Vol.1 Timely Greetings Nos. 33, 34, 35
THE ONLY PEACE OF MIND
Numbers 33, 34, 35
Copyright, 1953 Reprint
All rights reserved
THE DISPERSION, THE TIME,
AND THE DELIVERANCE
THE SPOILER'S SPOILS TAKEN BY
THE LAME AND THE WEAK
NATIONS SEE EDOM PERISH, DESERT
BLOSSOM, AND A HIGHWAY TO ZION
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 33 1
TEXT FOR PRAYER
Our Necessities Supplied
I shall read from "The Mount of Blessing," p. 190, the paragraph beginning in the middle of the page:
M.B., pg. 190 -- "Every promise in the Word of God furnishes us with subject-matter for prayer, presenting the pledged word of Jehovah as our assurance. Whatever spiritual blessing we need, it is our privilege to claim through Jesus. We may tell the Lord, with the simplicity of a child, exactly what we need. We may state to Him our temporal matters; asking Him for bread and raiment as well as for the bread of life and the robe of Christ's righteousness. Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things, and you are invited to ask Him concerning them. It is through the name of Jesus that every favor is received. God will honor that name, and will supply your necessities from the riches of His liberality."
Let us now summarize what we should pray for this afternoon. We need to pray for solid faith in the assurance that regardless what spiritual and temporal blessings we may need, it is our privilege to go to the Lord with the simplicity of a child and claim these blessings in the name of Jesus. We need to pray for help to take God at His word; pray for a realization that He means just what He says when He promises to honor the name of Jesus and to supply our necessities from His immeasurable riches.
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 33 2
THE DISPERSION, THE TIME,
AND THE DELIVERANCE
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, MARCH 22, 1947
- CARMEL CHAPEL
This afternoon we are to study Isaiah, chapters 31 and 32. In these chapters we shall see the cause of Zion's captivity by the Gentiles, their time limit, and antitypical Israel's deliverance:
Isa. 31:1-4 -- "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord! Yet He also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back His words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity. Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not Spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out His hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together. For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for Mount Zion, and for the hill thereof."
Though the Lord permitted His ancient kingdom
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to be taken by the Gentiles, this scripture shows that He will soon deliver it. Not only will He deliver His people and Mount Zion, but He will defend them, too.
Isa. 31:5, 6 -- "As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also He will deliver it; and passing over He will preserve it. Turn ye unto Him from Whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted."
Having now come to the time of their deliverance, the Lord is pleading with His people to turn to Him -- to reform.
Isa. 31:7 -- "For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin."
To turn to Him, He explains, is to cast away every idol. When such great revival and reformation takes place among God's people, He continues:
Isa. 31:8, 9 -- "Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, Whose fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem."
Because of idolatry, the Assyrian was permitted to take God's ancient people and their pleasant land. And certain it is that the Assyrian will control the land just so long as God's people continue in idolatry. But, just as soon as all idols are cast aside, -- yes, as soon as the great revival and reformation takes place
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in the hearts of the people, -- then the Assyrian (the power that now rules them) shall certainly fall, and God's people shall just as certainly return. The Assyrian shall thus fall, not at the sword of a mighty man, and not of a mean man, but "through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod." Isa. 30:31.
Isa. 32:1-8 -- "Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.
"The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right. But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand."
Turning again to his ancient people, Inspiration declared, that though their kingdom was doomed to fall, yet one day a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment; that in that day a Man shall be as an hiding place, as water in a dry place, and as a shadow of a great rock in a weary land (Isa. 32:2); that though the people were spiritually blind and could not see, yet there is a day coming
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when those who have eyes shall clearly see, and those who have ears shall plainly hear; that the heart of the rash shall then understand knowledge and the tongue of the stammerer be ready to speak plainly; that the vile person shall then be recognized as vile, and the churl shall no more be called bountiful; that the vile persons and hypocrites shall be known as those who speak error against the Lord and who endeavor to cheat the spiritually hungry and thirsty soul; that, on the other hand, the churl will be seen to be those who devise wicked means by which to make the poor ever poorer (Isa. 32:7).
Isa. 32:9-14 -- "Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear My voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto My speech. Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins.
"They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine. Upon the land of My people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks."
The "women" here referred to are doubtless "Aholah" and "Aholibah" (Ezek. 23), the figurative names of Judah and Israel. Here is described their dispersion among the Gentiles, the punishment which they were to bear.
Isa. 32:15 -- "Until the Spirit be poured upon us from
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on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest."
Here we are told that the people are to be among the Gentiles, and the land remain desolate until the Spirit be poured upon them from on high. Then will they return.
We have now already seen the reason for the dispersion and that the pouring of the Spirit marks the people's deliverance. Yes, then no longer will their land be in captivity, no longer will their houses be desolate. Even the wilderness shall become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be counted for a forest -- there shall be then an abundant harvest of souls.
Isa. 32:16-20 -- "Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; when it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place. Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass."
Now what have we learned from these two chapters of Isaiah? Actually we have had a summary of the subject which the previous chapters treated. Now even more vividly than before we see that ancient Israel's idolatry forced God to permit them to be ruled by the Assyrians. He is, however, well able to deliver them when His people hear His plea and lay aside their idols; when they turn again unto the Lord, when this great revival and reformation called for in this chapter is finally effected. Thus it is that
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"through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod." Isa. 30:31. Hence forth a King shall reign in righteousness. Then the vile persons and hypocrites shall be treated as such. In that day shall there be a great and glorious harvest of souls. Now that we have plainly seen the time, the need, and the deliverance, let us Brother, Sister, bring that day closer by parting with all our idols, and turning our hearts fully and unreservedly unto our God.
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Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 34
TEXT FOR PRAYER
Come To God As Little Children
This afternoon we shall continue reading from "The Mount of Blessing." We shall take up where we left off last week, page 191.
M.B., pg. 191 -- "But do not forget that in coming to God as a father, you acknowledge your relation to Him as a child. You not only trust His goodness, but in all things yield to His will, knowing that His love is changeless. You give yourself to do His work. It was to those whom He had bidden to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness that Jesus gave the promise, 'Ask, and ye shall receive.'
"The gifts of Him who has all power in heaven and earth are in store for the children of God. Gifts so precious that they come to us through the costly sacrifice of the Redeemer's blood; gifts that will satisfy the deepest craving of the heart; gifts lasting as eternity, will be received and enjoyed by all who will come to God as little children. Take God's promises as your own, plead them before Him as His own words, and you will receive fullness of joy."
Let us pray for realization that our relationship to God is as a child's relationship to its parents; that we trust God in all things as a child trusts its parents; that we know that if we give ourselves wholly to do His will and work, then we may ask and receive; that He has in store for us gifts to satisfy the deepest craving of the heart, gifts lasting as eternity; and that if we only go to Him as little children and take Him at His word, all these promises in His Word shall be ours.
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THE SPOILER'S SPOILS TAKEN BY
THE LAME AND THE WEAK
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, MARCH 29, 1947
- CARMEL CHAPEL
This subject is found in Isaiah 33. We shall begin our study with--
Isa. 33:1 -- "Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee."
Taking into consideration what follows in this chapter and in the next two chapters (for chapters 34 and 35 are a part of the subject that is in chapter 33), it becomes clear that the one upon whom "woe" is pronounced is the church preceding "the great and dreadful day of the Lord," the day in which the sinners of Zion perish, the day in which the repentant ones are given their reward, -- "the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion." Isa. 34:8.
The church is especially pointed out by the fact that, unlike the Old Testament Church, she has been spoiling but has not been spoiled; that she has been dealing treacherously but she herself has not been so dealt with. Inspiration, however, goes on to forecast
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a reverse of this situation: The church shall be spoiled and dealt with treacherously. His faithful ones in the midst of her, however, shall find grace, for they plead:
Isa. 33:2 -- "O Lord, be gracious unto us; we have waited for Thee: be Thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble."
This verse shows that while the pronouncement of woe (Isa. 33:1) is being made, at the same time a deep-rooted reformation is taking place among God's Truth-seeking people. They are praying, not for themselves alone, but for their brethren also. They fully realize that they are approaching the time of trouble, and their hope lies in the fact that they have waited for the Lord. God's power shall be felt throughout the earth:
Isa. 33:3 -- "At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of Thyself the nations were scattered."
This verse reveals that when God manifests His power among His people, the world will feel the effects of it.
Isa. 33:4 -- "And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them."
The spoils which the church has acquired, He gathers as the gathering of the caterpillar. Then it shall be said:
Isa. 33:5 -- "The Lord is exalted; for He dwelleth on high: He hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness."
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When these things take place, then Zion (the church purified) will be filled with judgment and righteousness. Moreover, God's faithful ones have this assurance:
Isa. 33:6 -- "And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is His treasure."
But concerning their unrepented mighty ones, Inspiration declares:
Isa. 33:7 -- "Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without: the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly."
Here we see that those who are proclaiming peace rather than the day of God, shall "weep bitterly."
Isa. 33:8 -- "The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man."
In the language of today this verse would read: The missionary routes lie waste; the missionary himself ceaseth; he has broken his contract; he has despised the cities; he regards no man.
Isa. 33:9 -- "The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits."
The nouns in this verse being profoundly figurative, and the time of fulfillment yet future, we are unprepared to make any comments.
Isa. 33:10 -- "Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up Myself."
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At the time the conditions here described materialize, then it is that the Lord will arise and be exalted and lifted up. But to those that are at fault He forewarns:
Isa. 33:11 -- "Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you."
Turning to the sinners and hypocrites among His people, those upon whom the woe of verse one is actually pronounced, God reveals that the fruit of their doings shall be chaff and stubble, that their own breath shall devour them as if it were fire. Moreover, concerning their followers He adds:
Isa. 33:12 -- "And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire."
Having commenced His purifying work in Zion, He declares:
Isa. 33:13, 14 -- "Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge My might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?"
When the righteous Judge rises to sift the people, then the hypocrites will not be boasting that they "are just as good Christians as any." Neither will they say anymore, "We do not need more Truth." Instead, fearfulness and surprise will overtake them. The greatest and most honorable question will then be, "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?"
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And here is the all-inclusive answer:
Isa. 33:15-17 -- "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the king in His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off."
Passing from this expression of Divine care and scene of beauty, they are next told:
Isa. 33:18 -- "Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?"
Terrifying indeed is the realization that those who are found without the wedding garment (among whom are those who hold the highest church offices, secretary and treasurer) are cast out to weep and gnash their teeth. But the remnant, those who are left, shall be exalted. To them the Lord says:
Isa. 33:19 -- "Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand."
The guests who pass the Master's inspection are actually to be made great. Be it in comprehension of a deep speech, or be it in understanding of a stammering tongue, none shall be greater than they. The eyes of the faithful are next directed to the city of God.
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Isa. 33:20 -- "Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken."
After the troublemakers have been removed, then God's people will be seen to stand steadfast and sure, standing not even the slightest chance of ever being disturbed. And the saints shall be full of joy. Even now they exclaim:
Isa. 33:21, 22 -- "But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; He will save us."
All these things shall be ours if we are but faithful to the end. Again addressing the church that is approaching the great and dreadful day of the Lord, He declares--
Isa. 33:23 -- "Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail: then is the prey of a great spoil divided; the lame take the prey."
They that obey not the voice of the Lord, are here fore-warned that the day is at hand when they will find themselves unable any longer to gather spoil. Then it is that their spoil shall be divided, and the lame -- the seemingly weak and helpless -- shall take the prey.
Isa. 33:24 -- "And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their
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Just think! In a little while, if we be faithful, no longer will any of us need to say, I am sick.
Now to review a few of the high points of our study:
Upon the unfaithful who are approaching "the great and dreadful day of the Lord," God pronounces a curse: The church is to be stripped of the spoil which she has acquired and is to be dealt with treacherously just as she has dealt with others.
Very obviously, at the time this pronouncement is made, a deep-rooted reformation is taking place among God's Truth-seeking people. They recognize the fact that they are approaching the time of trouble, and they are reassured that their stability and strength of salvation are to be found in wisdom and knowledge, in the Spirit and in the Truth for the day. The fear of the Lord is to be their greatest treasure.
When God manifests His power among His people, even the world will feel the effects of it. The missionary routes lie waste, the missionary himself ceases; he regards no man. God reveals that the fruit of the sinners and hypocrites among His people, shall be chaff and stubble; their own breath shall devour them as if it were fire. Fearfulness and surprise shall overtake them.
Then it is that Zion, the church purified, is to be filled with judgment and righteousness. God is at that time to be exalted and lifted up. His people who have walked uprightly, shall be blessed with His Divine care. Their eyes shall see the King and His beauty; the church shall be steadfast and sure, never to be
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disturbed; the spoil which the denomination has acquired, will be taken by the lame -- by God's true people. They shall be forgiven their iniquities, and their health shall be restored. Yes, the promise to you is sure:...thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward" (Isa. 58:8), if you will but give heed to this solemn warning and remain faithful to it.
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Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 35
TEXT FOR PRAYER
"Do Ye Even So To Them"
Our reading this afternoon is found on pages 192 and 193 of "The Mount of Blessing"--
"On the assurance of the love of God toward us, Jesus enjoins love to one another, in one comprehensive principle covering all the relations of human fellowship.
"The Jews had been concerned about what they should receive; the burden of their anxiety was to secure what they thought their due of power and respect and service. But Christ teaches that our anxiety should not be, How much are we to receive? but, How much can we give? The standard of our obligation to others is found in what we ourselves would regard as their obligation to us.
"Every one who has been made a steward of the manifold grace of God, is called upon to impart to souls in ignorance and darkness, even as, were he in their place, he would desire them to impart to him....
"So also with the gifts and blessings of this life: whatever you may possess above your fellows, places you in debt, to that degree, to all who are less favored."
What shall we pray for this afternoon? -- That we may imbibe the great principle of the Golden Rule, and realize that our concern should not be as to how much we are to receive, but as to how much we can give. Let us pray for understanding that the standard of our obligation to others is found in what we personally would regard as their obligation to us; and also that whatever we possess above our fellowmen places us to that degree in debt to those less favored.
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NATIONS SEE EDOM PERISH, DESERT BLOSSOM, AND A HIGHWAY TO ZION
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, APRIL 5, 1947
- CARMEL CHAPEL
Our subject for this afternoon is found in Isaiah 34 and 35. Last week, you recall, we studied the thirty-third chapter, the Lord's burden concerning the church as she approaches the time of "harvest," -- the time the "wheat" is put into the barn, and the "tares" burned (Matt. 13:30); the time the "good fish" are put into "vessels" and the "bad fish" cast out (Matt. 13:47-49) as are those who have not the "wedding garment" on (Matt. 22:1-13). Continuing now into the thirty-fourth chapter, we there see that God invites the nations of the world to draw near and to hear His mighty work of refining:
Isa. 34:1-3 -- "Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood."
Why does God invite the nations of all the earth to draw near and to hear? -- That they might consider His indignation against the wicked in His church and know
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what to expect when His Judgment spreads out among all nations; that they might know what to expect when His refining work begins among them; that they might therefore beforehand count the cost. His judgment, He declares, is already pronounced upon the armies of the world -- "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?"--1 Pet. 4:17.
Isa. 34:4 -- "And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree."
While verse 3 points out that the solemn events of this chapter take place in a day of gigantic world-wide armament program, verse 4, being parallel with Revelation 6:14, it reveals that they take place in the period of the sixth seal, in the days of the sealing of the 144,000 and the gathering of the innumerable multitude out of all nations, the seal that we are now living in. The sixth seal may overlap the seventh.
Isa. 34:5-11 -- "For My sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of My curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. And the
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streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and He shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness."
The immediate curse, we see, rests upon Idumea. Antitypically speaking, it is the land of the antitypical Esauites -- those who by rights should have kept the office which the antitypical Jacobites take away from them. They so underestimate its value that they, like Esau of old, sell their rights for a dish of red pottage as it were. (For further study on the subject, see "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, pp. 52-111.)
Isa. 34:12 -- "They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing."
Evidently after the destruction falls upon Idumea, none of her so-called nobles shall be found there to participate in the exodus (Isa. 11:11) to the antitypical Kingdom (the church purified), and her princes shall be as nothing. Then, it must be that those who escape and enter into the Kingdom are mostly from among the common people, those from the streets and the lanes (Luke 14:16-21). "...In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self- sufficient, independent of God, and he cannot use them." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, pg. 80. "...Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it
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[the Third Angel's Message] when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry." -- "Review and Herald," Nov. 18, 1908.
Isa. 34:13-15 -- "And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate."
God does not forsake the earth. He does not forgo His power nor His interest in Truth and righteousness. He does not let the world go into oblivion. What He does do, though, is make examples of some in order to save many others, for when the judgments of God are upon the earth, the inhabitants will learn righteousness. (Isa. 26:9.)
Is it armament then that the nations of today need for peace and security? Is atomic war to be their fear? -- What they need to fear is "the sword of the Lord," for His "sword shall be bathed in heaven," "it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of [His] curse." They need not fear anything if they fear the Lord. Let them make Him their fear, their dread and protection (Isa. 8:13). So He commands:
Isa. 34:16 -- "Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for My mouth It hath commanded, and His Spirit It hath gathered them."
God here counsels us to search the Bible and to implicitly
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believe that not one of Its prophecies shall fail, -- no, not one shall fail to follow another in its turn. And why should we have this confidence? -- Because God Himself has commanded, and because His Spirit, not the wisdom or efforts of men has gathered into a single volume, the writings of the prophets of old, "the book of the Lord" -- the non-sectarian Bible as we know It today.
Isa. 34:17 -- "And He hath cast the lot for them, and His hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein."
Regardless whether we take this verse to say that the wild beasts "shall possess it forever," or whether we take it to say that those who seek "out of the book of the Lord" "shall possess it forever," our greatest concern must be to personally acquaint ourselves with the Lord and His Truth if we would gain His favor and find a shelter in this time of trouble.
"Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." Isa. 32:1, 2.
Now we shall go on into the thirty-fifth chapter of Isaiah, which is but a continuation of the thirty-fourth.
Isa. 35:1 -- "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose."
What a difference when God manifests His power and purifies His church! Then the lands of the Gentiles (the wilderness) and the land of the heathen (the solitary
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place) shall both be glad to see God's holy people. Finally as God's Truth for this time penetrates throughout the lands where there are no Christians at all, the desert places shall blossom as the rose, so to speak, and thus yield an abundant harvest of souls.
Isa. 35:2-4 -- "It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you."
This great commission and opportunity to proclaim God's soon coming vengeance are ours. We must not fail to take advantage of these privileges. With the mighty message for this time we must strengthen the weak; we must make firm the knees that are giving out. Those who are unable to stand up and to hold their own must be strengthened. We must reassure the fearful that God is to come with vengeance against the unbelieving and with recompence for the faithful.
Isa. 35:5, 6 -- "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams [of truth] in the desert."
When these things take place, then it will be just as natural for the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to leap, and the dumb to sing, yes, as natural as blossoms are followed with fruit. God's Truth for this time is to spread everywhere and reap a great harvest of souls.
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"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, pg. 28. If but one soul saved from every city and village there would be several times 144,000 living souls.
Isa. 35:7 -- "And the parched ground [the places which are now entirely devoid of Truth] shall become a pool, and the thirsty land [the land that thirsts for God's Truth] springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes."
There shall be fruitage, you see, even where the dragons lie.
Isa. 35:8 -- "And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein."
None shall be left in the "wilderness," for there shall be a highway for all the followers of God's Truth. Matters not what the faithful be, illiterate or otherwise, they shall not err therein. Indeed, all the "wheat" shall be gathered and put into the "barn," the Kingdom. (See Tract No. 3, "The Judgment and the Harvest.")
Isa. 35:9 -- "No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there."
Once the hypocrites are taken out, they shall not
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be allowed to return and to endanger the peace of God's people. Only the redeemed shall walk on the Highway of Holiness. And where does the Highway lead? -- The next verse gives the answer:
Isa. 35:10 -- "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
Yes, the Highway leads to Zion. With songs and everlasting joy shall the redeemed enter therein, never more to sorrow or to sigh. "For He cometh, to judge the earth; He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His Truth." Ps. 96:13.
Brother, Sister, the sacrifices we may be called to make are as nothing in comparison to the privilege of heading for Zion via the Highway of Holiness. Ponder upon this, then act. Let nothing deter you from complying with God's Truth for this time -- the day in which the nations see Edom perish and the desert blossom. Act now while the highway to Zion is in preparation.
"We all went under the tree and sat down to look at the glory of the place, when Brethren Fitch and Stockman, who had preached the gospel of the kingdom, and whom God had laid in the grave to save them, came up to us and asked us what we had passed through while they were sleeping. We tried to call up our greatest trials, but they looked so small compared with the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory that surrounded us that we could not speak them out, and we all cried out, 'Alleluia, heaven is cheap enough!' and we touched our glorious harps and made heaven's arches ring." -- "Early Writings," p. 17.
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