Vol. 11 The Symbolic Code No. 2
Vol. 11 No. 2
THE THREE REQUISITES
Printed December, 1955
From time to time, as the Lord directs, it will be the privilege of The Symbolic Code to publish certain sermons delivered by the late Brother V.T. Houteff through the years before the Timely Greetings series was started. These sermons will be judiciously selected on the basis of their current application to our present needs, from the most complete collection of existing notes on his addresses since 1929. These discourses should prove just as encouraging and helpful and perhaps even more timely in view of the closing phase of the work for the church than they were when they were delivered.
The sermon selected for this issue is the one the servant of the Lord delivered May 13, 1944:
"The time had come for the disciples who had been most closely associated with Christ to unite more directly in His work, that these vast throngs might not be left uncared for, as sheep without a shepherd. Some of these disciples had joined themselves to Him at the beginning of His ministry, and nearly all the twelve had been associated together as members of the family of Jesus. Yet they also, misled by the teaching of the rabbis, shared the popular expectation of an earthly kingdom. They could not comprehend the movements of Jesus. Already they had been perplexed and troubled that He made no effort to strengthen His cause by securing the support of the priests and rabbis, that He did nothing to establish His authority as an earthly king. A great work was yet to be accomplished for these disciples before they would be prepared for the sacred trust that would be theirs when Jesus should ascend to heaven. Yet they had responded to the love of Christ, and though slow of heart to believe, Jesus saw in them those whom He could train and discipline for His great work. And now that they had been long enough with Him to establish, in a measure, their faith in the divine character of His mission, and the people also had received evidence of His power which they could not question, the way was prepared for an avowal of the principles of His kingdom that would help them to comprehend its true nature." -- Mount of Blessing, pp. 11, 12.
From this reading we can see what the Christian does before his conversion, and this afternoon we are to study further what the Christian does after his conversion.
Heb. 11:1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20-23, 31 -- "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.... By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.... By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.... By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace."
This is what faith wrought in the instances we just read about, but something else must also be needed besides faith.
Num. 13:20 -- "...And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes."
The twelve spies whom Moses sent to investigate Canaan were commanded to be of good courage. Had all the spies shared in the courage Moses all along had possessed, they would not have been tempted by unbelief at this time. And not only the ten disheartened spies, but the whole multitude of Israel except two who were over twenty years of age when they came up out of Egypt, died outside the land of promise because of their lack of courage. What a costly defeat! Here we can also see that it is just as fatal to believe a disheartening report brought by others as it is to make the report. Forty years later Joshua sent two men again to secretly "view" Canaan and this was their report:
Josh. 2:23, 24 -- "So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them: and they said unto Joshua, Truly the Lord hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us."
This is the report of these two spies. A courageous report it was. God's men knew that God had delivered the land to them when they saw that the people's hearts fainted because of them as is recorded in the testimony of Rahab:
Josh. 2:8-11 -- "And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof; and she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath."
Yes, the inhabitants of Jericho all lost courage -- and that was the beginning of their defeat.
In order for Christians to be victorious they must possess (1) faith -- Hebrews 11; (2) courage -- Joshua 2; (3) action -- Exodus 14.
Ex.14:11-16 -- "And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
"And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
"And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto Me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea."
Here we see a picture of all Israel with no courage just at a time when they so much needed it. To solve their problem did God command them to sit down and pray? -- No, the command was that they go forward, that Moses first lift his rod and stretch forth his hand to divide the sea, and that the multitude go on through. To all human reasoning this command would seem utterly foolish in the face of their predicament, but God knew all about it. He knew what He was doing when He led them there, too. He was about to bring to pass so great an event that it would bring fear upon the heathen and thus help make possible God's people taking the land of their promise, as well as to relieve them of the pursuing Egyptians.
This lesson shows that unfailing faith, courage, and action is the cooperation that is required from the converted Christian every advance step of the way in God's leading, and it always brings success.
The Midianites also lost courage and they were defeated. Yes, discouragement does bring defeat. Discouragement is one of the snares of the Devil to bring defeat to God's people if they allow it.
In the days of King Belshazzar there was a war in which the Medes and Persians wanted to break through the walls of Babylon and subdue her under their rule. You recall that the Babylonians suddenly lost out because they were over-confident. Yes, they had placed all their confidence in their strong walls!
To bring this lesson down to our time we find from Holy Writ that the cause of the Laodiceans' downfall is due to the operation of the same principle that brought Babylon's defeat -- over-confidence. Yes, they say they are rich in Truth and have need of no more although God says that they are "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Thus they have fallen into the Devil's trap for them.
In warfare you know that each side tries to confuse its enemy and break their morale with the end in view of weakening the enemy and thus making its own victory easier. And when they plan their attacks and invasions they attempt to make them in the places they think their enemy would least suspect.
In the spiritual warfare the Christians' Adversary does not nap. He, too, seeks his opportunity to break down their courage and morale and thus make sure to accomplish their defeat as we saw demonstrated in the examples we have cited today. And do not think for a moment that he is not looking for the vulnerable point in us, too, that he might strike and cause our defeat. We could expect his assault upon us to come from the place we least expect it. So, unless we know what our weakest spot is how could we know where the Devil is going to attack us?
The Enemy made Laodiceans believe they have no need of more Truth, that they have all Truth that is necessary to get them through Heaven's portals, although God has declared that they are in need of everything, and are about to be "spued out" (Rev. 3:16).
Now we really are enriched with Truth if we have studied and assimilated what has been given us, for we have had made available to us the "gold that is tried in the fire" that we might be rich, the "eyesalve" that we "might see," and the "raiment" with which we may be covered (Rev. 3), and the "extra oil" that our way might be lighted (Matt. 25). Therefore the Devil is not going to attack us where he attacked Laodiceans, but he will tell us that we are poor in Truth. He will do this in almost any way. The testimonies I heard some give here last night showed just that. Such testimonies would not spawn courage in anyone, but they rather would bring nothing but discouragement. For anybody to come to a meeting and manifest discouragement, it is a sure sign of his own personal spiritual bankruptcy, his personal defeat.
And what kind of daily testimony do you give in your associations with others by word or by pen?
There is only one road, but it has two sides to it: On one side are the Laodiceans saying, Fear not, everything is all right. I saw some Davidians last night on the other side of the road discouraged with everything. Neither is right. Neither is trusting in God.
1 Tim. 3:7, 8 -- "Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the Devil. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued,..."
Yes, the men in God's service must be able to bring a good report of themselves and must not be doubletongued -- he must not bring a mixture of good and bad reports which in nearly every case is calculated to serve his own selfish interest, or it reflects his low spiritual condition. When one starts giving bad reports he is either assuredly falling into a snare of the Devil, or it is an index that he has already fallen into the snare.
Jas 2:17-20 -- "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
The only way we can show our faith to others is by our deeds, our works.
What does it mean to confess our faults one to another? -- We do that when we make our faults right with those whom we have wrongly influenced. But last night this is not what we heard in some of the testimonies that were spoken. The converted Christian always has a good report; he is a man of faith, courage, and works; he is a Davidian indeed.
Rev. 12:10, 11 -- "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."
It is for us to go through with these who shall be given sure and complete victory over the Evil One. Let none, therefore, fall into the snare he has set for us.
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MT. CARMEL'S REPORT
It is heartening indeed to have been privileged to understand more from Daniel 12 and Revelation 11, as was presented in the November, 1955 issue of The Symbolic Code. From it we can see that but a short time remains for our own individual preparation for deliver¬ance, and to complete our work for our Laodicean brethren. Because the time is short it would be well for us again to focus our attention briefly on the great task before us and what we are doing to accomplish it.
"Our work and duty are now made as clear as they can be made at this particular time. We need not, therefore, err. Need not be ignorant of what is to be done and how it is to be done. "—Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 9, p. 13.
"...To get this work done we are to be at first the 'many fishers,' then the 'many hunters' (Jer. 16:16). Thus it is that the first fruits are to be gathered 'one by one.' Isa. 27:12. We are now in the hunting days going from city to city, from village to village, and from door to door, a thing which has never before been done. Besides fishing and hunting we also are to make 'a highway for the remnant of His people which shall be left, [after the first fruits are gathered] from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.' Isa. 11:16. After this hunting is over and the highway built up, then it is that the second fruits will flow to the moun¬tain of the Lord's house...."--Id., p. 11.
"Micah 6:1, 2—'Hear ye now what the Lord saith; Arise, contend thou before the moun¬tains, and let the hills hear thy voice. Hear ye, 0 mountains, the Lord's controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the Lord hath a controversy with His people, and He will plead with Israel.'
"First to be noted is the fact that the messenger of God is instructed to contend before the mountains, and that the hills are to hear his voice. Obviously, then, in this scripture as elsewhere in the Bible, mountains and hills must be figurative of kingdoms and governments.
"He is to contend before the mountains not against them; that is, he in to proclaim that the Lord has a controversy with His people, that He in asking for a thorough reformation among them, and that they are not willing and co-operating.
"It was seen in previous studies that the prophecies of Micah 4 and 5 are to be fulfilled in the latter days, our time, in a time that Inspiration by the revelation of these prophecies calls for a reformation among God's people.
The prophecies now being unsealed for the first time since they were written, and the reformation already on foot, the fact that instead of gladly accepting the freshly revealed message, they are creating a controversy throughout the Adventist churches, very obviously indicates that now is the time to contend before the mountains, now is the time for them (the ’mountains') to hear the Lord's controversy with His people.
"The words, Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice, imply that heretofore his voice has been heard only locally but that now he must meet the situation even though the mountains, hills, and the strong foundations of the earth hear that the Lord in having a controversy with His people.
"Until now, we have been merely trifling with the Lord's adversaries but now we must get down to business regardless who hears it. His people must now forever turn from man's sayings, whatever they be, and confine their faith and hope in 'Thus saith the Lord,' regardless through whom He says it, or else they lose out. As followers of the Lord, we should hearken to His heart-rending plea for revival and reformation."--Timely Greetings. Vol. 1, No. 27, pp. 3, 4.
For another phase of our work, let us review the announcement that was made in the September, 1954 issue of The Symbolic Code.
"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 there of goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.' Matthew 13:44. The Lord Himself in leading the way.
"'...Jesus has made it possible for you to accept His love, and in happy co-operation with Him to work under its fragrant influence. He requires you to use your possessions in unselfish service, that His plan for the salvation of souls shall be carried forward with power. He expects you to give your undivided energies to His work.
"'Would you make your property secure? Place it in the hand that bears the nail-print of the crucifixion. Retain it in your possession, and it will be to your eternal loss. Give it to God, and from that moment it bears His inscription. It is sealed with His immutability. Would you enjoy your substance? Then use it for the blessing of the suffering.'-- 'Testimonies. Vol. 9, pages 50, 51.
'"I saw that if any held on to their property, and did not inquire of the Lord as to their duty, He would not make duty known, and they would be permitted to keep their property, and in the time of trouble it would come up before them like a mountain to crush them, and they would try to dispose of it, but would not be able. I heard some mourn like this: "The cause was languishing, God's people were starving for the truth, and we made no effort to supply the lack; now our property is useless. Oh, that we had let it go, and laid up treasure in heaven!" I saw that a sacrifice did not increase, but it decreased and was consumed. I also saw that God had not required all of His people to dispose of their property at the same time, but if they desired to be taught, He would teach them, in a time of need, when to sell and how much to sell. Some have been required to dispose of their property in times past to sustain the Advent cause, while others have been permitted to keep theirs until a time of need. Then, as the cause needs it, their duty is to sell.'--'Early Writings,' page 57.
"'Spiritual prosperity is closely bound up with Christian liberality. The followers of Christ should rejoice in the privilege of revealing in their lives the beneficence of their Redeemer. As they give to the Lord, they have the assurance that their treasure in going before them to the heavenly courts. Would men make their property secure? Let them place it in the hands that bear the marks of the crucifix ion. "--'Acts of the Apostles.' pages 344, 345.
"We see each passing day more and more that God requires His people to gladly suppor His cause, first by their tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8-10), and at last by selling all, if they would enter into life eternal. He who taken part in the first of His requirements, will at last with joy go all the way by selling all when God gives the command. Thus only may he joyfully buy the 'field' with the great 'treasure.'
"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.
"The wise do not consider it a gamble to sell all they have in order to make the Kingdom their own. They know that they are getting a bargain, that such an investment will make them rich. Both the man that bought the 'field' containing the great 'treasure,' and the man who bought the 'pearl of great price' sold everything they had in order to close the deals. But even though it took everything, they both had enough to buy what they had set their hearts on.
"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 is 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!"—The Symbolic Code. Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 3-6.
These references clearly outline our duty, therefore it would be well for us to consider now what we are doing to accomplish it. We shall in the next few paragraphs review momentarily what we are doing, not to boast or to complain, but to study if there be more that we could be doing. The print shop is running at a steady pace to keep the literature supplied for the mails. This is consuming tons of paper. Faithful workers of the various departments each have a part in producing the literature. In the past few weeks alone there were mailed close to a half million pieces of free literature. With each piece of this literature an enrollment card for the introductory Bible Course has been inclosed. These enrollment cards, through the hunting and fishing efforts, have been coming in by the hundreds. A number have already completed the introductory course and are ready to take the advanced course.
Since the hunters for the United States returned to the field this summer they have called on approximately 11,000 homes to give warning to their Adventist brethren of their "visitation." To maintain the "hunters" and to pay the cost of the tons of free literature plus the postage is costing the Association thousands of dollars monthly. To defray this heavy cost, the funds which have accrued from the sale of Mt. Carmel property have supplemented the tithes. (To date approximately one third of the idle land has been sold and for which payments are being received.)
Though the Devil has not been napping, still the Truth continues to penetrate in all parts of the field. Knowing the time and our work let us even more closely unite our forces in God's program of the day. We cannot for a moment slacken our efforts. With the light and knowledge we have of our work and the time we have to do it in, it is clear that we must intensify and accelerate our efforts many times over.
Let us remember the faith of the Israelites at the battle of Jericho when the walls came tumbling down. Indeed it took much courage and patience to march round the city thirteen times before anything happened. Likewise today we are compassing the Laodicean church and it will take no less faith, work, patience, prayer and courage on the part of every Davidian to keep marching round the city so to speak with the present Truth literature until the walls of preconceived opinions, prejudice, and opposition collapse. Then all the honest of heart, the "hidden ones" ("Testimonies," Vol. 5, pp. 80, 81) will be disclosed to view.
"And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout." Josh. 6: 10. This may well be a good object lesson for us today to the end that we let not idle useless talk proceed from our mouth but that we pay more attention to our marching until we have compassed the city in harmony with the Lord's plan, and then we can shout the victory and give God the glory.
As stewards, each Davidian will have to give an account of what he did with the Truth he so freely and generously received. Although more will be required of some than of others, still each Davidian should place his maximum possible talents and resource and influence into operation in a way that will be pleasing to the Lord and conducive to the advancement of the work in the church.
"Time is short, and our forces must be organized to do a larger work. Laborers are needed who comprehend the greatness of the work, and who will engage in it, not for the wages they receive, but from a realization of the nearness of the end. The time demands greater efficiency and deeper consecration. 0, I am so full of this subject that I cry to God, 'Raise up and send forth messengers filled with a sense of their responsibility, messengers in whose hearts self-idolatry, which lies at the foundation of all sin, has been crucified .'"--Testimonies. Vol. 9, p. 27.
Thus we see that the Lord wants workers who are not chasing the dollar but rather fishing and hunting for precious souls still unreached in Laodicea, that when they face their lost Adventist brethren in the Judgment, they can honestly feel that they had done their utmost to give them warning, and forever rejoice with those who heeded the warning they passed on at God's command (Ezek. 3:4-7). May each of us come up to the help of the Lord in whatever capacity the Lord has blessed us, for there is no doubt that the work will be successfully finished, but the question today is--who will have the wisdom and endurance to finish with it?