OPENING PRAYER THOUGHT
I shall read from “The Mount of Blessing,” beginning on page 183, the last paragraph.
M.B., pg. 183 – “If Christ is in you ‘the hope of glory,’ you will have no disposition to watch others, to expose their errors. Instead of seeking to accuse and condemn, it will be your object to help, to bless, and to save. In dealing with those who are in error, you will heed the injunction, Consider ‘thyself, lest thou also be tempted.’ You will call to mind the many times you have erred, and how hard it was to find the right way when you had once left it. You will not push your brother into greater darkness, but with a heart full of pity will tell him of his danger.
“He who looks often upon the cross of Calvary, remembering that his sins placed the Saviour there, will never try to estimate the degree of his guilt in comparison with that of others. He will not climb upon the judgment seat to bring accusation against another. There can be no spirit of criticism or self-exaltation on the part of those who walk in the shadow of Calvary’s cross.”
From this we see that our need is to pray for Christ to abide in us, so that instead of watching for opportunities to accuse or to condemn others, and to expose their errors, we shall seek every occasion to help them, to bless them, to save them. We should pray for a deep realization of our own sins; pray that the spirit of criticism and self-exaltation be forever banished from us. Then we shall not feel free to mount the judgment seat and accuse anyone.
A WORLD WIDE STIR, AND ITS RESULTS
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, FEBRUARY 1, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
This afternoon we shall continue our study of the book of Micah. Let us turn to the fifth chapter, and begin with the first verse.
Micah 5:1 – “Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: He hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the Judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.”
You will notice that besides introducing a number of pronouns – he, us, they, this verse also introduces several different topics: first a “daughter of troops,” then “the judge of Israel” and a “rod.” Other subjects are introduced further along in the chapter.
Now to gain the vision and the lesson that Inspiration is anxious that we should from this scripture, it is necessary that we study one subject at a time. And in order to do this, we must group the verses according to subjects. Since the subject of verse one is the same as of verses 10-15, we shall quote them connectively:
Verses 1, 10-15 – “Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops:… and it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots: and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down
all thy strong holds: and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers: thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands. And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities. And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.”
These verses present a group of people – good and bad commingled – whom God is to cleanse. Then the scripture closes with God’s promise to execute vengeance upon the heathen. The mixed group of people, “wheat” and “tares,” very obviously constitute the church that is approaching “the time of the harvest” (Matt. 13:30), the time in which all idolators are to perish. “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just…. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matt. 13:49, 43.
We now come to the last part of Micah 5:1. The antecedent of the pronoun “He” is found in the preceding verse – chapter 4, verse 13. There quickly we see that it is the Lord Himself. Plainly, then, by the pronoun “us” Micah means himself and his people – Judah and Israel, the church.
Clear it is that while the Lord with His message of warning and reproofs makes a siege against His people the adversaries gather together in groups to oppose. Such has been the case at the introduction of each newly-revealed Truth.
The church is logically called “daughter of troops,” because her mother the Jewish church at the time of
the introduction of the gospel of Christ, gathered together in troops, to oppose the Lord.
Moreover being smitten in the face rather than in the back, the Judge of Israel (Christ) must have been squarely facing them – speaking to them, – the reason for which the Jews’ crucified Him. The verses that follow verse one again confirm the fact that “the Judge” is Christ. They that smite Him are, of course, His adversaries, His enemies. Concerning them Inspiration says:
Verse 9 – “Thine hand shall be lifted up upon Thine adversaries, and all Thine enemies shall be cut off.”
According to Christ’s parables, the time His “adversaries,” His enemies of progressive Truth, are cut off is at the commencement of the purification of the church, at the harvest time. Then, according to Ezekiel’s prophecy, the Lord commissions the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands, saying, “Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Ezek. 9:5, 6. The Spirit of Prophecy confirms this by saying:
“Here we see that the church – the Lord’s sanctuary – was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say, The
Lord will not do good neither will he do evil. He is too merciful to visit his people in judgment. Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs, that would not bark, are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together.” – “Testimonies,” Vol. 5, pg. 211. And through the apostle Peter, Inspiration declares:
“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.
Verse 2 – “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
There is no doubt that this verse predicts the birth of Christ, “the Judge of Israel,” “Whose goings forth” have been from everlasting.
Verse 3 – “Therefore will He give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of His brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.”
Crucifying Christ and their refusing to return to the Lord, there was nothing that could have been done for the Jews at that time but to give them up “until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth.”
The pronoun “she” points to the daughter of Zion
(Mic. 4:10). She is to bring forth her children while in the field; while in the Gentile lands. Then the time of her sojourning is to end and she is to be delivered. “In that day, saith the Lord, will I assemble her that halteth,…and I will make her that halted a remnant…and the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.” Mic. 4:6, 7.
Verses 4, 5 – “And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall He be great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.”
When the children of the daughter of Zion return to Mount Zion, they are to abide forever. Never again are they to be cast out among the Gentile nations. Never are they to be given up. The Lord is thus to make Himself “great unto the ends of the earth.” When she that travaileth shall have brought forth, then the saints are to raise against the Assyrian “seven shepherds, and eight principal men”; that is, all God’s shepherds and all His principal men, including Christ, the eighth.
Verse 6 – “And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.”
The kingdom of Israel that was destroyed by Assyria, and also the kingdom of Judah that was destroyed by Babylon, even all the twelve tribes of
Israel are to be delivered.
“And I will,” declares the Lord, “make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people, and I will be their God. And David My servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them.” Ezek. 37:22-24.
Verse 7 – “And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.”
After the Judgment in the house of God takes place, then it is that “the remnant,” those that are left, are to finish the work of the gospel.
“Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent, will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and he cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view.” – “Testimonies,” Vol. 5, pg. 80.
Then it is that they, the remnant of Jacob, are to be gathered into their homeland, after which they are sent as missionaries to the Gentiles that have not heard of God’s name and of His fame. Thus it is that those who escape alive from the Judgment of the Lord, the remnant, shall be as dew from the Lord, as showers upon the grass. They shall wait for none in their missionary work. They shall bring all their brethren out of all nations “for an offering unto the Lord.” Isa. 66:15, 16, 20.
Verse 8 – “And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.”
While God’s people are as dew and as showers to the righteous (Mic. 5:7), they are to the wicked as lions among beasts and flocks of sheep. In other words, their gospel will save the penitent, but destroy the impenitent.
Verses 9-14 – “Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots: and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds: and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers: thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thy hands. And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities.”
These verses can mean only one thing, and that is, that God will thoroughly purge His floor. He will take the fan in His hand and blow out the chaff, He
will destroy the sinners that are among His people. In thus purifying His church, He will create a clean people, a united and zeal-filled ministry. “Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice;” He declares, “with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” Isa. 52:8.
Verse 15 – “And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.”
“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? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 1 Peter 4:17, 18.
That we miss no part of the lesson in this study, let us recapitulate the main points.
To begin with, a group of people – good and bad commingled – are brought to view. They, as we have seen, constitute the church that is approaching the time of harvest in which the wicked are to be severed from among the just. (Matt. 13:49).
While the Lord with a message of warnings and reproofs makes a siege against His people, the adversaries gather together in groups (“troops”) to oppose. Then they are to be cut off. The horses (leaders) shall be cut off (discharged) and the chariots (gathering places) destroyed. God’s people are to be thoroughly purged of sin and sinners and only the penitent are to be left. They are the remnant of Jacob who “shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for
they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.” Zeph. 3:13. They are to be gathered into their homeland, from thence to go as missionaries to the Gentiles. To the penitent they are to be as dew and as showers, but to the impenitent, as lions among beasts and flocks.
So the stir caused by Truth’s siege of the church and It’s adversaries warring against It, that is already beginning to arrest the attention of the world, is to result in the cleansing of the church, “temple.” Mal. 3:1-3.
Thus is the Lord to finish His work on earth, gather His people, destroy the sinners and the heathen alike. Necessarily, “…the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true.” – “Testimonies,” Vol. 5, pg. 80.
Depth Of Mercy
Depth of mercy! can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear,
Me, the chief of sinners spare?
I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face,
Would not hearken to His calls,
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.
There for me the Saviour stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands,
God is love! I know, I feel;
Jesus weeps and loves me still.
Universal Publishing Association
P.O. BOX 7613
WACO, TEXAS 76714
Volume 1, Nos. 23, 24, 25, 26
Printed in the United Stated of America