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Question and Answer Discussion Part I

The Only Peace of Mind

OPENING PRAYER THOUGHT

  This afternoon our prayer thought is found on pages 149, 150 of The Mount of Blessing. We shall read the first four paragraphs. These are based on the scripture, “Be not therefore anxious for the morrow…sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

  M.B., pp. 149, 150 – “If you have given yourself to God, to do His work, you have no need to be anxious for tomorrow…. When we take into our hands the management of things with which we have to do, and depend upon our own wisdom for success, we are taking a burden which God has not given us…. We may well have anxiety, and anticipate danger and loss; for it is certain to befall us. But when we really believe that God loves us, and means to do us good, we shall cease to worry about the future. We shall trust God as a child trusts a loving parent. Then our troubles and torments will disappear; for our will is swallowed up in the will of God.

  “Christ has given us no promise of help in bearing to-day the burdens of to-morrow…. One day alone is ours, and during this day we are to live for God. For this one day we are to place in the hand of Christ, in solemn service, all our purposes and plans, casting all our care upon Him, for He careth for us. ‘I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.’ ‘…in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.’ “

  Let us pray for an abiding realization that God has promised help in bearing our burdens, not of tomorrow, but of today; pray that we each day place in His hands all our purposes and plans, all our cares and anxieties. Then only can we rest in the assurance that in “quietness and in confidence” shall be our strength.

Copyright, 1953 Reprint
All rights reserved
V.T. HOUTEFF

QUESTION AND ANSWER DISCUSSION

(Part I)

 TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, AUGUST 17, 1946
CARMEL CHAPEL
WACO, TEXAS

  Several of you have come to me lately with some questions apparently very important to you. For this reason we shall devote the study hour this afternoon to answering them.

  I shall now read the question: “Are we, Brother Houteff, less worthy to ordain among us ---The Lord’s Supper?”

  Let us see. Just before instituting the ordinance of humility, Jesus said to His disciples, “Ye are clean, but not all.” One was not. In spite of the fact that Judas was unworthy, the ordinance could not longer have been put off. Albeit as soon as he had partaken of the sacrament, he arose, went out, and did his devilish work. Afterward his eyes were opened to the crime he had committed, and he hanged himself. The other disciples, though, were as ready, or as worthy for the sacred service as they could have been up to that time.

  The Lord’s Supper was ordained in remembrance of the Lord’s sacrifice, not to cleanse the partakers of it from their sins but to cleanse them from sinners, as is seen from the Passover in Egypt and from the fact that thereafter Judas no longer walked with the disciples. Plainly, then, the celebration of the ordinance brought blessing to the eleven, but damnation to the one.

  There have been a number of reform movements among us before and in our time. Of course, they all ordained the Lord’s Supper in their midst. But it did not profit them. It did not make them or their work lasting and eternal. As a matter of fact, they went out of existence even faster than they came in. Now let us read from –

  1 Cor. 11:17, 18 – “Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.”

  The Corinthians were having controversies, causing divisions among themselves, and so their getting together in church was “not for the better,” but for the worse.

  If we meet together only for the “worse,” is it not far better to stay at home?

  Verses 27-30 – “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”

  The Lord’s bread and cup are to be taken by a people only after they have examined themselves, and have seen to it that they are not causing trouble; that their meeting together is for the better, not for the “worse.” Now, if we have reached that standard of righteousness, then we should by all means ordain the Lord’s Supper among us. But if we have not come to that point as yet, then our instituting the ordinance of humility among ourselves would only be to our own damnation, not to our salvation.

  Our chief duty right now is not to urge the observance of the Lord’s Supper, but rather first to come up to the standard of perfection which the message of today, along with the message of yesterday urges. The Lord never calls for “revival and reformation” when the church is enjoying good spiritual life. The Lord’s Supper, therefore, is never to be ordained at the beginning of such a revival and reformation, but at its completion. Jesus did not institute the ordinance at the beginning of His ministry, but did so at its close.

  And if we would avoid causing divisions among ourselves, we should never discuss the sins of others, nor pass judgment on them. If we cannot right the matter privately with the ones at fault, then we had better either discuss it with no one or else follow the instruction given in

  Matt. 18:16, 17 – “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

  We cannot lead the Lord. He is to lead us. We of ourselves never know what is right and what is wrong unless we are told. Easy enough, if we do whatever we are told to do, no more and no less, we shall be accounted worthy. So far, our God-sent message has not brought to our attention the ordination of the Lord’s Supper, but it is pleading with us to depart from the abominations, to cast aside all our idols, to put away all our private ideas and opinions, to wholeheartedly return to the Lord.

  The message, moreover, teaches that we should remain in the mother church and work strictly for her salvation. The conclusion then is that as long as we stay with her, there seems to be no need for ordaining the Lord’s Supper privately among ourselves, perhaps not before the hour comes for the penitent to be separated from the impenitent, as taught by the types – by the Passover in Egypt, and by the Passover on the night when Judas was to go out, never again to walk with the twelve.

  Furthermore, no one seems to know when and how to observe the sacrament. Some observe it every Sunday or every Sabbath, some occasionally, some every quarter and so on. It seems logical to say that when God commands us to ordain it anew He will tell us also how and when to observe it properly.

  Several have said to me, “Brother Houteff, when we meet those who oppose us, we do not know how to answer their questions. We become confused. We do not know whether we are right or whether we are wrong. They mainly confuse us on the ‘Rod’s’ interpretation of the ---Trumpets And The Seals.”

  Those of you who are having to answer controverted questions, just say to your opponents: One of us is wrong for sure. We cannot both be right, to say the least, and so let us carefully and impartially look into the subject.

  I would tell them that we teach the Trumpets just as John saw them in vision. For example, The Revelation says, “And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.” Rev. 9:16-19.

  This is the descriptive picture which the Revelator gives us of the 200,000,000, horses and horsemen. The following objectification is as close to John’s description of the horses and horsemen as we can make it, and our interpretation of them is accordingly. See Tract No. 5, “Final Warning.”

  Here follows the objectification of the horses and horsemen which the General Conference puts out to the public.

  Now compare Inspiration’s own description of the horses and horsemen with the Denomination’s illustration of them as given in “Thoughts on Daniel and The Revelation,” p. 510. Why can not the Denomination in their exposition of the Trumpets use Inspiration’s own description of the horses and horsemen? Why did they have to devise one of their own? – The only answer that can be given is that the Spirit’s Own description does not fit their uninspired interpretations. One’s inability to interpret correctly, without Heaven’s gift of interpretation, however, is expected and is excusable. But to say that the vision was shown to the Revelator at so great a distance, that he was unable accurately to see the kinds of heads and tails the horses had and where the fire, smoke, and brimstone came from, in order to tailor the vision to accord with their interpretation of it, is not only defiance against Christ’s warning concerning adding to and subtracting from the Scriptures (Rev. 22:18, 19), but it is also outright blasphemy.

  Do you now see what the men whom they call great, “men of experience,” are doing? These unscrupulous deeds condemn their boast that saintly men are running the Denomination; and their boastingly speaking of the millions of dollars the Denomination annually gathers from the poor is anything but saintly if it has to be spent for such kind of work. They need to repent and correct the errors which they are passing as Truth before they can conscientiously accuse others.

  If John could not see exactly what the horses looked like, then how could he see that all the fish in the sea died (Rev. 8:9)? And with such a self-exalting precedent for studying the Scriptures as the kind the General Conference has set up, how can anyone be sure that any of the prophets saw anything right? Do you not realize that such foolish and twisted interpretations of the Scriptures are Satanic attempts to undermine men’s confidence in the prophets and of Christ’s ability to correctly reveal and portray Truth to His servants? Consider how damaging the charge against Inspiration, how soul-destroying, and blasphemous against the Holy Ghost Who leads into all Truth! and how repulsive it must be to Christ, especially for coming from those who pretend to serve Him! This alone ought to be sufficient to show that the angel (ministry) of the Laodiceans is blind and naked and in need of everything. For the sake of your life and for the lives of others, do not support such doctrines of devils. They are anything but Truth, anything but signs of the Spirit of Prophecy at work. Ask yourselves when Turkey or any other nation ever had 200,000,000 cavalrymen! And if you still wonder why God permitted the errors to creep into the church, the answer is: So that by their fostering and propagating them He may at a time such as this expose the workers of iniquity and prove to the laity that His church is now as badly overrun by the Devil as was the Jewish church at Christ’s time, thus to awaken the honest ones and to set them free from their Laodicean self-deception, and thus from the overflowing scourge (Isa. 28:13-15).

  Do you not now see the reason for the name “Blasphemy” over all seven heads of the leopard-like beast (Rev. 13)? And that if one head symbolizes a religious system, then they all must do the same, for they are all alike save for the wound on one of them, and all are on the beast (world) at the same time, not one after another.

  As for their charge that the “Rod” teaches that the church is Babylon, we challenge them to produce the statement. And if they do not know what Babylon is, then they better read “The Shepherd’s Rod.”

  True, the church is God’s church, but those who have taken charge of it are no better than the Sanhedrin in Christ’s day. It is because God has supreme regard for His church that He has thus with His Truth invaded it, and is thus to reclaim His people by cutting down those who are unlawfully enslaving them, teaching them doctrines of devils as shown in this study; and keeping them from coming in contact with Heaven’s Truth for this time of crisis. Do you see why the General Conference is now no more the Voice of God to the people (General Conference Bulletin, 34th session, Vol. 4, Extra No. 1, April 3, 1901, pg. 25, Cols. 1, 2) than was the Sanhedrin’s to the Jews in Christ’s time? I hope you will no longer deceive yourselves that “The Shepherd’s Rod” is tearing down anything that God has built up. Now ---The Seven Seals

  The Laodiceans teach that the seals begin with the resurrection of Christ, which, as you know, was about seventy years before John the Revelator had the vision of the seals. Let us now hear what the Voice of the Revelation Itself says:

  Rev. 4:1 – “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”

  The Voice spoke emphatically that the things which John was about to be shown had not taken place, and were not then taking place, but that they were to take place later in the stream of time. Since they were to take place after John had the vision (after 96 A.D., not in the first century of the Christian era), then is it not blasphemy to teach contrary to what the Voice said – to say that the seals began over three decades before shown to John? No, the seals cannot, therefore, begin with the Christian church. To find out the Truth of them, read Tract No. 15, “To the Seven Churches.”

 “What About Revelation Twelve?”

 “Does the woman clothed with the sun symbolize the church from the Pentecost on, clothed with the Gospel (sun) of Christ?”

  When the dragon attacked the woman, she was already clothed with the sun, and her child, the Lord, was not yet born. This being so, how can her sun clothing be symbolical of her being clothed with the gospel of Christ and how could she have been a representation of the Christian church, seeing that neither the gospel nor the church were then in existence. And how can she be Christ’s mother before the Christian church herself is born? She cannot is the overall ---answer.

  The theory, then, that the woman takes her beginning at the Pentecost, is about as logical as it is to say that the chicken is hatched before the egg is laid.

  “Is the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 to take place in the world or in the church? Is it the seven last plagues, or is it ---The Purification Of The Church?”

  Ezek. 9:1, 4, 9 – “He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. Then said He unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not.”

  The angels have charge of the “city,” Jerusalem, not of the world, and not of Babylon. Even an altogether uninformed Christian knows that the terms Jerusalem, Judah, and Israel, mean the church, never even as much as imply the “world.” They have always meant the church and always will mean the church, for that is what they are.

  The slaughter of Ezekiel 9 is positively not the same as the seven last plagues (Rev. 16), because the plagues fall on Babylon, but the slaughter, on Judah and Jerusalem. Moreover, the angels of Ezekiel 9 slay every one who does not have the mark, but the plagues do not slay anyone. By wresting Moses’ writings, the Jews tried to refute Christ’s teachings and it is certain that if the Laodiceans continue to wrest Sister White’s writings in trying to refute the message for today, then their end shall be even more mournful than was the Jews’. Concerning what she says about Ezekiel 9 read Testimonies, Vol. 3, pg. 267; Id., Vol. 5, pg. 211; also The Great Controversy, pp. 656, 657. Ezekiel nine pictures the Judgment of the Living in the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17) – the sealing of the saints and the destruction of the wicked in the church.

 I think I have time for another question: This question is asked in five parts, and so I shall answer it accordingly.

 Question 1: “Does the prophecy of Nahum predict ---World War II or Some Other War?”

 For the answer let us go directly to Nahum’s prophecy.

  Nah. 2:1 – “He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily.”

  Nahum predicts that the one who starts the war, “he that dasheth in pieces,” will have been well prepared before he starts the war, but his opposing power, Assyria, will not have been prepared until after the war begins; that is, after the one who “dasheth in pieces” comes before Assyria’s face, then it is that Assyria makes preparation to meet him. Then it is that she makes her loins strong, and fortifies her “power mightily.”

 Now, since it is a known fact that Great Britain and France were not prepared to fight Hitler when he opened up his guns against them, and as everyone of the Allies began to prepare themselves mightily after Hitler started to dash in pieces, the truth stands out as clear as crystal that “he who dasheth in pieces” is none other than Hitler, the one that was ready at the commencement of the war, the one who broke in several pieces Germany itself, the British empire and many other countries. The Allies, therefore, must be the antitypical Assyria. This is clue number one.

  For clue number two we shall read about the means of travel and transportation in the day that the war preparations are made and the war itself fought.

  Verses 3, 4 – “…the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation,… The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.”

  These verses portray the means of travel and transportation in the day the war preparations are made and the war fought. Since World War II is the only war in history for which the preparations described by Nahum were made and used while the “chariots” (vehicular traffic) move with unprecedented speed, “lightning-like” speed, while motor traffic in air and sea, in city and countryside (streets and broadways), “justled one against another.” All these signs of the time, mark the time the war is fought, they leave no room for doubts. They all in perfect terms certify that Nahum predicts World War II. For a third clue we shall read Nah. 1:15 – “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”

  Nah. 1:15 – “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”

  Here we are told that at the time the war is fought someone is to be publishing inspired revelations of newly revealed Truth, the Truth of the Judgment of the Living, the which is to forever separate the wheat from the tares (Matt. 13:30), the good fish from the bad (Matt. 13:47, 48), the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:32), and the wise virgins from the foolish ones (Matt. 25:1-12). These shall “no more pass through” the church, declares the scripture, they are “utterly cut off.” Thus urging Judah, the church, to keep this antitypical atonement feast and to perform her vows to God so as to be found worthy of escaping the judgments of God. Hence God’s plea to His church is now ringing throughout the land, saying, “Awake, awake: put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and unclean.” (Isa. 52:1)

  With these positive signs of the times Inspiration lets each individual decide for himself whether to put confidence in the Voice which Inspiration Itself recommends, or in a voice which uninspired human beings recommend. Henceforth there is to be no confusion among God’s true people. His “…watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” (Isa. 52:8.)

  Question 2: “Who does Nahum say will win the war – ‘he that dasheth in pieces’ or ‘Assyria’?”

  Although Nahum’s prophecy places the greater emphasis on the fall of Assyria, it nevertheless declares that they both will lose out, for speaking of him that “dasheth in pieces,” the scripture says: Nah. 2:5 – “He shall recount his worthies: they shall stumble in their walk; they shall make haste to the wall thereof, and the defence shall be prepared.”

  To “recount his worthies” implies that the number of worthies – captains and generals and other mighty men along with his fine army – is diminishing and hence the need of recounting, and that “his worthies” are to stumble in their walk; that is they are to make some kind of a blunder on their march to victory and cause them to fall. And this is exactly what happened: Hitler’s army stumbled by waging war against Russia while he was in war with Great Britain. That critical moment of his career was Hitler’s greatest folly. England was just about to give up, but the German army pulled away and went to fight Russia! And, too, the fall of his worthies being mentioned before the fall of Assyria is mentioned, the prophecy thus reveals that “he that dasheth in pieces,” Hitler, was to fall first.

  Question 3: “Why is Hitler’s title ‘he that dasheth in pieces’?” Well, that is all Hitler did. He began to dash in pieces from the very inception of the war, – none were able to stand against him, and even after he disappeared, and Germany surrendered, the breaking in pieces continued and as yet has not stopped. As a result the whole world is broken in pieces, not only geographically, but politically and socially and economically as well. The English Empire is still tottering, and the ominous “squeaks” are becoming louder and louder with each passing day. Hitler, therefore, deserves the title (“dasheth in pieces”) in more than one way. 

 Question 4: “Does not Nahum’s prophecy teach that Assyria is to fall completely?”

  Yes, that is just what we understand it to teach. Very evidently, then, Nahum’s prophecy forewarns that World War II is not as yet completed. The world itself knows that it is not, and that the Allies, save Russia, won nothing, that they would have been better off to have given to Hitler part of Poland than to fight the war and then to lose out to Russia not only a part but whole of Poland and with it whole Eastern Europe. Moreover, Russia has now become their greater enemy than was Hitler. They did away with Hitler, but the hot war never completely ceased, and the cold war was soon added to it. Everyone knows that the war is not settled, and that peace has not come, that the war may break out red hot any day.

  Question 5: “What do your tracts teach concerning the war?” –The tracts do not say as much. They do not say definitely who “he that dasheth in pieces” is, nor do they say for certain that World War II is Nahum’s war. And while Tract No. 14, War News Forecast, does say that the army of him who dasheth in pieces, “too nevertheless shall fall,” it does not say for sure whose army will fall first. (See Tract No. 14, pg. 12, – comments on Nahum 2:5.)

  Tract No. 12, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, published two years before Tract No. 14, does, however, say:

  “It now being apparent that ‘the tabernacles of his palace’ are supposed to represent holiness, and that the woman’s riding the beast denotes her settling the world’s social, economic, political, and religious problems, the truth is clear that the present Christian governments are to be reorganized, and ruled by an ecclesiastical head – not by Hitler.”

 The tracts do not tell everything, but what they tell, they tell it straight.

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Question and Answer Discussion Part II