(Waco TX) Jonah and the People of God
Unpublished (June 1956)
Vol. 11 The Symbolic Code No. 8
Vol. 11 No. 8
JONAH AND THE PEOPLE OF GOD
Printed June, 1956
This publication is dedicated to the mission of conveying to Davidian present truth believers, edifying news and articles of timely significance. This comforter freely gives its time to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation, and neither collects fees nor charges for its service.
Address all communications to:
THE SYMBOLIC CODE
Mt. Carmel Center Waco, Texas
JONAH AND THE PEOPLE OF GOD
(The question has frequently come to Mt. Carmel, since the subject of the "forty-two months" was explained in The Symbolic Code asking why the Code has never said when the forty-two months started and when the "great earthquake" of Revelation 11 is to take place. Therefore, to help clarify these questions and to emphasize the fact that God has given us sufficient information to know the seasons," the study of "Jonah and the People of God" which Brother Houteff delivered June 10, 1944 has been selected for this month's issue of The Symbolic Code.
It is true that just as "the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming" (Jer. 8:7), God has mercifully made available to His people the knowledge of "the judgment of the Lord" for this age, if they are willing to know it. He has not, however, seen fit at this time to make known the day and hour. He has told His people enough that they certainly need not be caught unawares as one being surprised by an unexpected thief. God has revealed the forty-two-month prophecy to us for no other purpose than that we be made to realize that we individually have no time to lose in cleaning ourselves up with the provisions He has given us, no time to lose in getting our divinely-appointed work done in the church, and no time to lose in setting our own house in order. When God's people need more information for their own good the Lord will not withhold it from them.)
PRAYER THOUGHT: "God's message for the inhabitants of earth today is, 'Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.' The conditions prevailing in society and especially in the great cities of the nations proclaim in thunder tones that the hour of God's judgment is come, and that the end of all things earthly is at hand. We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another, -- fire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive: for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent.
"'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.' The storm of God's wrath is gathering; and those only will stand who respond to the invitations of mercy, as did the inhabitants of Nineveh under the preaching of Jonah, and become sanctified through obedience to the laws of the divine Ruler. The righteous alone shall be hid with Christ in God till the desolation be overpast. Let the language of the soul be:
'Other refuge have I none;
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, O, leave me not alone!
Still support and comfort me.
'Hide me, O my Saviour, hide
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Oh, receive my soul at last!'"
-- Prophets and Kings, p. 278.
There is hardly a doubt that we all know what is contained in the book of Jonah. You probably are familiar with all the details of Jonah's experience as they are given in the Bible. You also recall that the sign which was given to the Jews was the sign of Jonah -- the three days and three nights that he spent in the belly of the fish. We know that as Jonah was there three days and three nights so Christ was to be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. Christ Himself said that. By this, however, He could not have meant that He would be in the center of the earth nor could He have meant that He would be in the tomb three days and three nights, for the facts are that He never was in the center of the earth nor was He in the tomb three days and three nights. Without the heart nothing lives. It is the heart that keeps one alive, and therefore the heart of the earth must be that which keeps the earth alive. Therefore the heart of the earth is God's Truth, His people, and His Spirit. Without all these three components I tell you the world would not now be in existence. The Truth alone is dormant. But when the Truth, the Bible, is combined with people and the Spirit of God, then there is life in the earth. Yes, to repeat, Bible Truth alone is dormant; with people it is active; and when these have also God's Spirit something then can be accomplished. It is the combination of these three that makes up God's church, the heart of the earth.
In our study of the three days and three nights what light did we receive to help us? -- That the heart of the earth was not the tomb, but rather Jesus was in reality in the power or in the hands of the church for three days and three nights even though part of that time He was dead and in the tomb.
Had Jesus meant that He would be in the "tomb" for three days and three nights He would not have said "heart of the earth." It therefore shows that contrary to appearances, Jesus was actually resting in the power of God those three days and three nights, and therefore He was in a good and a safe place. When Jonah was cast into the sea and swallowed by the fish God had prepared for him it appeared to Jonah to be his end. Likewise in the case of Jesus those last three days and three nights before He was resurrected gave the outward appearance of defeat for His righteous ministry. Nevertheless, Jonah's experience brought salvation to Nineveh, and Christ's experience brought salvation to the world.
So much for the sign of Jonah to the Jews in Christ's time. Let us now consider for the remainder of our time the possibility that the rest of Jonah's experience is a type also. If so, what do Jonah, Nineveh, the sea, the fish, and the fish's expelling Jonah after he had partly learned his lesson typify?
Jonah's whole experience could be a type of God's people with a message that they were to proclaim to the world. It could be a type of the duties God gave to His people and they, like Jonah, wanted to put it aside and "let George do it," so to speak.
The purpose of this study is to help us all to see that Jonah's experience is a sign not only to the Jews in Christ's time but also to you and to me. Whom does Jonah represent by his running away? -- Not the 144,000, for they do not run away. On the contrary, they "follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth" (Rev. 14:4).
We shall now briefly mention the high points in Jonah's experience and see what lesson we can get out of it today.
There arose a great storm at sea where Jonah was, and Jonah was sleeping through it all. This is a fitting type of a people who knew they were commissioned to carry a message but were sleepy and wholly indifferent to their responsibility. Then you remember that the men on board ship discovered Jonah to be the cause of their great trouble and so they cast him into the sea. The sea, as we have already learned, is a symbol of the Old Country, the storehouse of waters, peoples. While Jonah was there in the sea he was swallowed by the fish and realizing that he was in the depths of the sea and in trouble, he began to pray to God for deliverance. This typified an experience God's people were to have at some time while they were in the sea -- the Old country.
God had prepared the fish to swallow up Jonah because He was determined that Jonah should be the one to take the message to Nineveh and Jonah, not at all inclined to do it, arranged for his passage to another place than Nineveh. And so the fish swallowed up Jonah to take him where God wanted him to go. The experience Jonah had while he was in the belly of the fish was a good one for him, for it caused him to realize to a degree his need of God. He realized that he was gone without God's immediate help.
Next, Jonah was vomited on shore by the fish. The earth, being the opposite of sea (the Old Country) signifies or typifies God's people being brought to the new world. And it was after Jonah came on shore that God met him the second time and told him to take a message to Nineveh. This shows that a message was due to arise sometime in the new world with a prediction concerning Nineveh. And the fish was a type of the providential circumstances which God used to bring His people to the new world. The message Jonah was to bear to Nineveh is a type of our message arising in the new world, America.
It has ever been God's plan that man should have as his kingdom the earth. And when those whom He originally created to subdue and rule the earth failed to do so He commissioned the Jewish people to become a nation that would be the "head" and not the "tail" and to be the "lenders" and not the "borrowers" and to be "exalted very high." But they were asleep to their great privilege and failed; yet they, the Jonah's of the world, were the ones whom God was determined should sometime carry the gospel of the kingdom not only to their own people, but also to the world. They were the depositaries of the oracles of God. And so the descendants of Jacob, failing properly to testify of the kingdom in the land which was given them for that purpose were through necessity expelled from their land and no more had a country of their own. Then they had to go through an experience typified by being assimilated in the sea and then providentially being taken to the new world where finally they would be again commissioned to carry a message to Nineveh which would save not only themselves but Nineveh as well. And as Jonah finally did carry his message, so God's people at this time will carry theirs.
Here is proof from another angle: The ten-tribe kingdom was disbursed from their land, Palestine, and were assimilated by the nations whither they went, and their identity was lost so that they are not known today, but the message we have has come to gather all the twelve tribes. Preparatory to this, providential circumstance arranged by God brought the church to shore -- to the new world where we find ourselves today. Therefore Jonah's message is to arise from the new world. In process of time we find that the Jews are to carry a message of salvation.
Now we may ask when did Jonah's message arrive in America? -- Jonah's message was one to Nineveh exclusively, and the only message to Nineveh today is that contained in the Truth given in "War News Forecast," tract No. 14. There is no other message to Nineveh. And bear in mind that the church is not Nineveh.
The message in tract No. 14 shows to what age God's people have come: It shows that the church has now grown up in Truth and can become husbandmen, rulers, etc., and that therefore the time has come that the kingdom of Christ is to be set up. And the tract contains the message to Nineveh. These two things are all that tract 14 shows.
Our message for the present is in two sections, two divisions: (1) the message to the church and (2) the message to Nineveh. In other words, we have the message of Elijah and also the message of Jonah. After Jonah came on shore following his experience in the sea, his next step was to proclaim a message to Nineveh evidently to save it or there would have been no need for Jonah to be sent. At the end of the given forty days Nineveh stood. At this Jonah should have taken the position of rejoicing that he was a saviour of Nineveh. But instead Jonah was sick and wished he was dead.
Nineveh, you remember, repented and proclaimed a fast. And even the cattle were aware that Nineveh had repented, but Jonah did not know it. Jonah must have been proud and more concerned with bringing his prophecy to pass than he was with the salvation of the city, for he mourned over the withering of the gourd which is just a plant rather than rejoicing over the repentance of Nineveh!
This should be a great object lesson to us. In carrying our message of Elijah we should not be anxious for the execution of Ezekiel 9 in the church, but rather we should be anxious for the souls of the people. Likewise in bearing our message of Jonah we should not be anxious for Assyria's fall, but rather for her repentance and salvation.
The message we have from the Scriptures concerning Nineveh says that Nineveh is to be overthrown. In fact all the prophets who speak of Nineveh or Assyria say that she is to be overthrown. Yet the type and other scriptures say she is to be saved.
It is Nahum's prophecy, the message contained in Tract 14, War News Forecast, that is to bring salvation to antitypical Assyria. She will not be saved from the nations not defeating her, for they will. But in her defeat she will be brought to repentance and be reconciled to God and be saved.
On Invasion Day many prayers were prayed by the Christian nations involved in the war, but the prayers were only for military victory, not for salvation. "Nineveh" is today doing the same things that she did a year ago. There is no change. Therefore her downfall is her only way to bring her salvation.
The whole story of Jonah's experience, you see, is more than a record of what happened to him. It is a picture of the experience of God's everliving church.
And not only is antitypical Assyria to be saved, but "Egypt" also is at last to be saved according to the "more sure word of prophecy."
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem." Isa. 27:13.
"In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance." Isa. 19:23-25.
Yes, this is the great revival and reformation that we are now praying for, working for, longing for. It is the hope of the world; for in it is the salvation of the world. Let us with hearts enlightened with the sun of Truth, and embued with genuine Christian love for humanity, and fired with zeal borne of God's Spirit allow ourselves to be used of Him to usher in salvation to the world.
So help us God, Oh, our God.
Universal Publishing Assn.
Waco, Texas 76710
MARKING ANOTHER MILESTONE
As we have now reached another important milestone in the progress of our Kingdom-bound journey, the Mt. Carmel young people planned their Young People's Meeting on Friday evening, June 1, 1956 to show respect especially to those older members of our Mt. Carmel Family who are now most directly affected by this milestone of progress. Since, however, it involves all Davidians everywhere, we are taking this opportunity to share with you the text of the address which Sister Houteff delivered at that meeting, and which we quote in full.
TEXT OF ADDRESS:
I sincerely consider it a special privilege to speak to you this evening on this occasion when we shall endeavor to evaluate the important milestone we are now passing in the life of the cause which makes us one in faith and hope. In order properly to do this, however, we must direct our mental gaze for a few moments to the past.
It was just 21 years ago this May that the world headquarters of The General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists moved here to Mt. Carmel Center from Los Angeles, California were privileged to be among the first twelve pioneers came with only the promise that we would "work for nothing and furnish our own board and room, and that there would be plenty of hard work to do." That is the way Mt. Carmel Center started.
There were approximately 375 acres in the original tracts of land comprising Mt. Carmel which, in its natural rustic setting and overlooking Lake Waco and the vast cultivated fields beyond, rendered it a beautiful location, indeed. But there was not a building on the place; nor were there any roads or water. And very little of the acreage was under cultivation as most-of the land was rough and completely undeveloped. With this picture before you who were not then here, it should not be difficult for you to imagine the primitive conditions under which Mt. Carmel got her start, nor should it be difficult to realize the great amount of work which had to be done to provide the needed buildings in which to carry on the publishing and office work and to build dwellings for the workers.
Through those several years of growth and development a number of people came to help out in the work of building this institution which was to be but temporary headquarters for the duration of "the closing work for the church."
Some of those who came found the arduous work and rugged life of those early days to be a challenge to their faith and an opportunity for them to serve in a capacity urgently needed in the cause of God, and so they joined the few pioneers to help as they could in the work. Not a few of you who sit before me this evening were among those persons. Others, of course, for various reasons left here for other places and other pursuits.
We are not going to dwell tonight on the struggles and the trials that went with the work of the past years in building this place to what it is today; suffice it to say that due to financial limitations and the acute lack of sufficient skilled personnel and also the impediments to the building work occasioned by the war emergency, it was indeed a struggle all along the way to accomplish what has been done.
If we were to review the work that has been done here we must include the clearing of the land and construction of the several public buildings, farm buildings, and dwellings. Then there was the earth dam which is but a part of our private water system, the building of which represents a great amount of time and labor. Besides this there were the roads and the power lines. Several acres of orchards were planted and the land was terraced and seeded to provide pasture for our dairy cattle. This is just a synopsis of the outside work which was accomplished with God's help almost entirely by Mt. Carmel resident student labor.
Inside, was the work of writing, publishing and mailing of the millions of pieces of free literature which have been sent from this Center. Among the many duties performed in the office, the thousands of letters which have come in were read and answered and otherwise cared for as the needs called for.
Then there was the intensive religious-educational program for the training of our Bible workers and present "Hunters." And in 1953 was launched the work of "hunting" called for in Jeremiah 16:16 and which work by now has been pursued in a large part of the United States and in portions of some foreign countries as well. Then there was the benevolent work that God privileged us to do both at the Center and in the field, which of itself has been no small item.
Not only was Mt. Carmel built up through the years, but those of us who have been here since the beginning wit- nessed construction work continuously going on of another kind- -the building work of the beautiful edifice of Truth of the Ages. As Sabbath after Sabbath we sat spell-bound and thrilled at the un-folding of new Truths, we could see the continual building up of the Temple of Truth on earth which was started when "the foundations of the world were laid" and which will be completed when "the mystery of God is finished." In nearly every one of those inspiring meetings our attention was faithfully called to the progress that was steadily being made in the erection work of this Structure, and we were also caused to reflect on the comparative progress we individually were or were not making in both our personal lives and in our task of building the physical aspects of this institution. All these memories en-deared Mt. Carmel to our hearts, and can never be erased from our minds.
In the course of all these various activities there were myriads of large and smaller events along the way that would be interesting to recount but which our time limitations this evening forbid us doing. And so we shall come directly to one of the most important and significant events that have taken place in the last two years. It is important because of its significance--its significance being vitally related to our faith and belief. I am referring to the selling of Mt. Carmel's excess property. You recall that an announcement of the launching of this event was made by Brother Houteff through the medium of the Association's official organ, The Symbolic Code, in September, 1954.
Though at the time the land was originally purchased some may not then have seen the wisdom of its acquisition, yet it was definitely in God's plans that in that time of depression this undeveloped piece of property be purchased, for there lay in it great potential value of many kinds particularly tailored to fit the manifold needs of the cause. Besides providing a wonderful base of operations. the experience we were to have here while "dwelling solitarily in the woods, in the midst of Carmel," was designed to teach us how to surmount difficulties, how to cooperate with God, how to get along with other people, and how to evaluate and appreciate the more important things in life. Then of course an property for residential purposes, it is valuable.
In discussing this new undertaking with some of us, Brother Houteff emphasized the urgency of carrying out this part of the work (the selling of the excess property) without delay and as quickly as possible. The reasons are found in the few paragraphs which I shall now read and which were written by Brother Houteff himself.
"The hunting Campaign launched last year initiated and heralded a new electrifying and progressive advancement of present Truth.
"Now again, with even greater emphasis toward reaching her goal, Mount Carmel Center makes the following announcement to all faithful Davidians who will realize that this good news is perhaps nothing short of a sign. Mount Carmel Center, by commencing to first sell its excess property, then the whole, is symbolically leading the way to the Program that is outlined by the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, in the words:
'"Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.' Matthew 13:44, The Lord Himself is leading the way.
"It now becomes very obvious that the time is short, that he who would be ready for the 'great supper' and for his eternal home, will have his eyes open to Truth and his heart set on his eternal welfare. God will direct him day by day.
"Certainly then this move could be a signpost to both Davidians and to Laodiceans that the eleventh-hour message is on the very verge of a final and all-out effort to reclaim the church from the hands of the Enemy.
"Be it, therefore, known that part of Mount Carmel property is being subdivided for high class residences beginning at the old peach orchard near Mount Carmel entrance.
"Then who knows, but the Lord, that this heart-stirring example may soon turn into a sounding alarm and be followed by every faithful Davidian believer throughout the land. Even now, the Lord’s example to raise funds by disposing of His possessions, is a loud cry to every Davidian to awake to the fact that he in privileged to join the campaign with faithful tithe and offering at first, and at last to swell the funds by giving everything so that the work may be finished and the saints be gathered home! Exerpts from The Symbolic Code.September, 1954, pp. 3-6.
And so it was that before Brother Houteffs death, Mt. Carmel successfully got under way the subdividing of about 35 acres. It was Brother Houteff's deep concern at the time of his death, however, that the subdividing of the rest of the land would require a great many customers which Waco may not have unless some new industries or other installations were brought into Waco, thus causing a need for more housing. And as I related to you quite in detail a few evenings ago, many changes later did take place in Waco, which materially altered our situation in regard to the selling of the land. Those changes were brought about by a variety of factors, chief among which were (1) increasingly sharper competition and (2) the new regulations and requirements of the city incident to our being taken into the city limits.
These factors, coupled with the element of time limitation binding upon us, and the world unrest and war prospects, gave the Executive Council clear evidence of God's leadings through these providential circumstances, and were therefore the basic causes of the Council’s decision to start selling the land in acreage tracts while there was still some demand for Waco property among those whose business is land development.
To date six tracts of the land have been sold on two and three year pay-off terms.A The last of these six comprised all of the (I acreage except 18 acres which is reserved I for the use of the Institution as long as it is needed.
Due to the fact that some of our dwellings are on the land that was last sold, the necessity of moving the people who live there constituted a need which had to be met. Since, as you know, our other living quarters are occupied, it was plain to be seen that we would have to do something about our housing situation so that those who are needed here in the work would have a place to stay. The Council foresaw this problem before the tract of land was sold, and took steps to provide for the need.
We were able at once to recognize that perhaps the very reason God put it in the hearts of the Springer family in Wyo- ming, and the Davidians in South Carolina six or seven years ago to dedicate themselves to the noble task of building the two Rest Homes which are now in shape to receive our older brothers and sisters who are our honored guests here this evening, was to provide them with a home at this time.
How good God is! How personally He is interested in each of us from the youngest to the oldest! The love of God which is so manifest to us in this tonight has been bestowed upon us all along the way and will continue with us and ahead of us as long as we keep close to Him.
Needless to say, it was with mixed feelings that we announced to you in the meeting of a few evenings past that we would be transferring you older brothers and sisters to one of the two places-Yoder, Wyoming, or Salem, South Carolina, where you would be comfortably situated in a place of quiet and seclusion for the trying months that are ahead of us.
I said that it was with mixed feelings that we made this announcement, because naturally we will miss you very much when you will not be present in the chapel and cafeteria and the other places here where we see you every day; and also because we know how disturbing a move is to anyone, old or young. But especially do we realize the trial that it is for ones advanced in years to rather quickly move from a place which has been home, to another place. We preferred sparing you the inconvenience and hardship attendant in making the move. But we could not.
We are glad, though, that where you are going you will also feel at home, and that you will be in good hands.
And now to the main reason why we are here honoring you tonight. My dear brothers and sisters who are about to leave us, I speak in behalf of all of us who will "remain with the stuff" when I say that we mean to do more tonight than to let you know that we will miss your presence among us; we mean tonight to express our admiration for your ready understanding of the situation which has made necessary your leaving, and for your cooperation which has contributed in no small degree to the smoothness with which this difficult move has proceeded to this point. Taking everything into consideration, we could not have expected you to do better. Collectively you have set us younger ones a very fine example of how we should relate ourselves to a similar situation when it comes to us, as it surely will. The live lesson you are enacting be fore us now as you prepare to leave Mt. Carmel should not be forgotten by any of us.
And what makes these honored ones among us be so cooperative through this experience which is truly a trying one for them?- -There can be but one answer: It is their belief in present Truth. I do not believe it would be possible for a group like this to make such a move as smoothly as they are doing it, were it not for the power that is in the Truth they love. It is this in combination with the fact that they have learned that God is faithful in tenderly looking after His own, and that just as He has cared for their every need in the past, He will certainly do it in the future. They see, too, that whether they have anything or not, God, through this institution takes the same thoughtful care of them. They know too, that as we are surely drawing close to the final movements which will come in rapid succession, we must ever be ready to follow closely God's leadings and His directions, and not waste any time murmuring and complaining about the means He may choose to use for our deliverance in time of trouble.
Yes, the path to the Kingdom, our great goal, is rapidly growing narrower and narrower. And that which yet lies ahead will try every man's soul. May each of us make it as easy as possible for ourselves to get through by determining to be cooperative in all God's leadings. Thus will we not repeat the inglorious history of our forefathers before us just on the borders of the Kingdom.
Now in conclusion we express to each of you the love that is in our hearts for you and we give you the promise that just as we have daily prayed for you while you were among us, we shall continue to meet you at the throne of grace each day in the short time we shall be apart. May God richly bless each of you, and may we all rejoice together at last, when we shall be given that grand welcome into the Kingdom which is so close at hand. And then will we sing together for the righteousness and mercy of our God, for "the toils of the road will seem nothing when we get to the end of the way."