Vol. 2 Timely Greetings Nos. 31, 32
THE ONLY PEACE OF MIND
Numbers 31, 32
Copyright, 1948 Reprint
All rights reserved
THE RESTORATION AND THE TIME
IF A MAN DIES HOW SHALL HE LIVE AGAIN?
AND WHAT SHALL HE BE LIKE?
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TEXT FOR PRAYER
Do Your Work; Leave The Results To God
I shall read from Christ's Object Lessons, page 64, beginning with the last paragraph:
"The work of the sower is a work of faith. The mystery of the germination and growth of the seed he can not understand. But he has confidence in the agencies by which God causes vegetation to flourish. In casting his seed into the ground, he is apparently throwing away the precious grain that might furnish bread for his family. But he is only giving up a present good for a larger return. He casts the seed away, expecting to gather it many-fold in an abundant harvest. So Christ's servants are to labor, expecting a harvest from the seed they sow.... In our life-work we know not which shall prosper, this or that. This is not a question for us to settle. We are to do our work, and leave the results with God."
Let us pray for faith, and then go cheerfully into the vineyard and sow the seed the Lord has so graciously provided, remembering His promise that His Work shall not return unto Him void, but that it shall prosper in the thing whereto He sends it. We must remember, too, that faith is the first rung of the ladder to salvation, and that without faith we cannot please God.
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THE RESTORATION AND THE TIME
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF D. SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, MARCH 13, 1948
- CARMEL CHAPEL
Our text is found in the third chapter of Acts:
Acts 3:19-21 -- "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began."
Here we are told that the heavens must receive the Lord, not forever, but until the times "of restitution of all things." He is, therefore, at the time of restitution to return to earth.
Shall this returning be unexpected? or shall the Lord first send someone to prepare His way? And if someone is to precede His coming, who will it be? -- "And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things." Mark 9:12. The Lord, moreover, through the prophet Malachi declares:
Mal. 3:1; 4:5 -- "Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His
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temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.... Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."
Here the Scriptures point out that someone in the spirit and power of Elijah the prophet is first to appear, and will not only prepare the way, but will also restore all things. Plainly, the message of Elijah shall restore all things in the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the day of restitution, the day the Lord comes to His temple, the Church. The spirit of Elijah was a spirit against idolatry, and his power was a power to destroy those who led in idolatry, and to bring about purity.
Mal. 3:2, 3 -- "But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' sope: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."
At this coming He is not to take His saints to the mansions above, but He is to purify the sons of Levi -- the ministry; He is to destroy the leaders of idolatry. Since the purity of His servants is first to be restored, the restoration, therefore, commences in the Church. Thus is the Edenic state of peace and security to be restored, for we are told that--
Isa. 11:6-9 -- "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the
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fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."
So it was in Eden, and so it must be again if all things are to be restored, and if these prophecies are to be fulfilled.
Isa. 11:10 -- "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious."
"In that day" -- that is, in the day this Edenic peace and security are restored -- then, not after, is the Kingdom of Judah and Israel to be restored (Ezek. 37:16-28) and made to stand for an ensign. To it shall the Gentiles seek. This restoration of Judah and Israel, therefore, takes place in probationary time, for the Gentiles shall seek the "ensign." Plainly, then, the Gentiles shall still be standing when Edenic peace and security are restored to God's people during the great and dreadful day.
"Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.... But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above
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the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Mic. 3:12; 4:1, 2.
Clear it is that after the dispersion of the Jews, and after the destruction of Old Jerusalem, in the Christian era, the last days, then it is that the restoration of all things takes place; and the fact that many people shall then join the Lord, the restoration therefore takes place in probationary time, in the great and dreadful day. The "ensign," too, shall then stand and to it shall the Gentiles seek. The day is to be great for the righteous, and dreadful for the sinners.
Zech 14:4, 5 -- "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee."
"In that day." In what day? -- In the day all nations gather against Jerusalem that now is, and bring its fall from Gentile rule. In that day the Lord's feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives shall cleave in
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the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, there shall be a very great valley; "and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south." Zech. 14:4. The Lord's post-millennial coming, too, shall be similar to this. See Early Writings, pp. 51, 52.
The servants of God shall then flee to the valley of the mountains, where the Lord's feet shall stand, and all the saints with them; that is, the Lord's "feet" will open the way for the restoration of the Kingdom, and for the gathering of the people into it.
Isa. 11:11-14 -- "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them."
Here we see that there is to be peace in "the valley of the mountains" -- peace between beast and beast, and also between man and man, for the lion shall not hurt the lamb, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim, and Ephraim shall not envy
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Judah. Judah and Ephraim are nevertheless to be in conflict with the countries surrounding the land, for they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines, and lay hand upon Edom and Moab. The Ammonites, though, shall obey them.
Isa. 11:15 -- "And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod."
Yes, the Lord will open the way for the gathering of His people. The Exodus of today, therefore, shall be as the Exodus of yesterday, only on a greater scale. God's people in these last days shall be gathered from every land, not from the land of Egypt.
Isa. 11:16 -- "And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt."
Thus shall the kingdom of Judah and Israel be restored, and be given peace and plenty.
Micah 4:4 -- "But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it."
And now this is God's light, and this is His plea:
Isa. 2:5 -- "O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord."
The message of Elijah that restores all
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things is indeed an addition to the Third Angel's Message, and it shall certainly swell into a loud cry. It shall gather God's people from the four corners of the earth, and bring them out of Babylon as the earth is lightened with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1-4). (See Early Writings, pg. 277.)
As Noah's ark preserved every living thing that was to inhabit the earth after the flood, in like manner the restored Kingdom of Judah and Israel is to gather and preserve from the plagues every living thing that is to inhabit the new earth; the Kingdom restored is to be the ark in our day, and her people shall live and reign a thousand years with Christ (Rev. 20:4), and finally return when the earth is made new.
Isa. 65:17, 18, 25 -- "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.... The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord."
Obviously those who seek to enter into this ark of safety shall live and reign with Christ during the thousand years, and those who spurn it shall lie breathless in the "bottomless pit" until the post-millennial resurrection, only to rise in shame and everlasting contempt, subject to suffer the second death.
How important, then, that we be not napping, but that we arise and put on the wedding garment
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now lest we find ourselves weeping and gnashing our teeth, even worse than did the ante-diluvians outside the ark when the rains came and the lightning and thunder blasted through the sky as the fountains of the deep broke up.
We have now seen that the restoration "of all things" begins with the gathering of the people unto Judah, and that the Kingdom is complete when the earth is made new. Let us therefore do what we can to help build the ark now and to enter into it with as many souls as possible, for Inspiration's own revelation of this Truth shows that we are approaching the day of restitution of all things, that this is the message of the hour.
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O solemn thought! and can it be
The hour of Judgment now is come,
Which soon must fix our destiny,
And seal the sinner's fearful doom?
Yes, it is so; the Judgment hour
Is swiftly hastening to its close;
Then will the Judge, in mighty power,
Descend in vengeance on His foes.
He who came down to earth to die,
An offering for the sins of men,
And then ascended up on high,
And will ere long return again,
Is standing now before the ark,
And mercy-seat, and cherubim,
To plead His blood for saints, and make
The last remembrance of their sin.
The solemn moment is at hand
When we who have his name confessed,
Each in his lot must singly stand,
And pass the final, searching test.
Jesus! we hope in Thee alone;
In mercy now upon us look,
Confess our names before the throne,
And blot our sins from out Thy book.
O Blessed Saviour! may we feel
The full importance of this hour.
Inspire our hearts with holy zeal,
And aid us by Thy Spirit's power,
That we may, in Thy strength, be strong,
And brave the conflict valiantly;
Then, on Mount Zion, join the song,
And swell the notes of victory.
--R. F. Cottrell.
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Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 32
IF A MAN DIES HOW SHALL HE LIVE AGAIN?
AND WHAT SHALL HE BE LIKE?
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF D. SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, MARCH 20, 1948
- CARMEL CHAPEL
"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thess. 4:14-18.
Here we see that those who come up in the first resurrection shall not only live again, but shall die no more.
Now to find our answer to the question, What shall man be like if he lives again? We shall first turn to the book of Genesis:
Gen. 2:7 -- "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
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In this scripture we are told that God formed man out of the dust of the ground. Then the breath of life was breathed into his nostrils, and thus he became a living soul, that the breath and the body together are what make the soul. The process of development is the same as is the process of ice making -- low temperature and water make ice just as the body and the breath make the soul. Hence when the breath leaves the body, man no longer is a living soul -- no, no more than the ice is ice after it goes back to water. Man obviously has no existing soul after the breath leaves his body, for the body and the breath together make the soul.
"I know" says the wise man, "that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him." Eccl. 3:14.
Eccl. 9:5, 6 -- "For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun."
Eccl. 3:18-21 -- "I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth
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the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?"
Inspiration you see, first tells us how man was created and what he is like, then It asks point-blank: "Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?" -- The only answer that can be given is that no one knows but God. And since He has told us that the body and soul together, not apart, make the soul, then it is plain that a dead man has no soul, that the body returns to dust, and the breath returns to breath, to wind. Moreover, whatever befalls the beast the same befalls the man. They both have one breath, declares Inspiration, and the one has no preeminence above the other.
This is what God says about the soul, and we should believe Him rather than fool ourselves with uninspired theories of men who presumptuously say that the soul never dies, although God says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezek. 18:4. Hence, when man dies, his soul vanishes as does ice when the temperature rises above freezing.
Next to find what man will look like when he is made to live again a sinless life, we should see what man looked like before he sinned:
Gen. 3:6-8 -- "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they
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sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden."
Immediately after Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, a surprising change took place. They at once perceived that the light of life and beauty with which they had been clothed vanished away, and they saw themselves naked, ugly, and shameful to the eye. Consequently they tried to cover themselves with leaves and to hide away among the trees. The leaf-covering, though, was not adequate, and therefore the Lord made them "coats of skins."
What shall man be like if he lives again? -- Certainly not less than he was in the beginning for all that was lost is to be restored. Neither is he to be improved upon, for everything the Lord made, He Himself pronounced "very good." Gen. 1:31. And so if a man lives again, he shall be exactly what Adam was before he sinned.
Now for the answer to the question, "How shall he live again?" we shall turn to Ezekiel--
Ezekiel 37:1-10 -- "The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, Thou knowest. Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones,
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and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
"So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said He unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army."
Here we learn that the process of resurrection is the same as the process of creation: first the frame of the man, then the organism, the flesh, the skin, and last the breath, and again he becomes a living soul. Man's soul or spirit, you see, is not called down from heaven, or up from hell. In fact, not a soul at all, but wind from the four corners of the earth fills his lungs at the command of God, and thus he again becomes a living soul. Then, too, the material of which man was composed originally, of the same shall he be made again, for bone to bone come together. When he is thus re-created or resurrected, though, he must retain the knowledge and memory which he
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had at his death, otherwise the man that is raised would not be the man that died, and if such be not his case, then the experience gained in this life would be lost.
The next point of interest would be to note why there are two resurrections, a thousand years apart (Rev. 20:5, 6). Let us turn to Romans:
Rom. 8:10, 11 -- "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."
Those who die with the Spirit of Christ in them, are the ones who come up in the resurrection of the just. But those in whom the Spirit of Christ does not dwell are to come up in the resurrection of the unjust, a thousand years after the resurrection of the just.
Rev. 20:6 -- "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."
If these verses mean what they say concerning the righteous, then concerning the wicked they actually say:
"Cursed and unholy is he that hath no part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath power; they shall not be priests of God and of Christ, and shall not reign with Him during
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the thousand years."
If we accept God's Word as Inspiration gives It to us, and if we are doers of His Word, we shall live again, and be the perfect image of God as were Adam and Eve. We shall indeed return to the Garden of Eden. The garden, too, shall again flourish as before, and the tree of life shall bear its fruit every month. And so, you see, man shall thus live again, and thus live forever.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son." Rev. 21:4-7.
"But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." 1 Cor. 13:10-13.
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