SHEPHERD’S ROD VOLUME 2 TIMELY GREETINGS NO. 8
REVIVAL AND REFORMATION
PRECEDE THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD
REVIVAL AND REFORMATION PRECEDE THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-
SABBATH, SEPTEMBER 27, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
Our subject for this afternoon is found partly in Daniel 2, Matthew 4, Jeremiah 51, Micah 5, and Malachi 4, but mainly in Joel, chapters 2 and 3. We shall first turn to Malachi:
Mal. 4:5, 6 -
Here we have the promise that God is to send someone before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and when he comes, whether he accomplishes anything else, he is to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.
Now, it appears somewhat puzzling that the hearts either of the fathers or of the children need to be turned toward the other. But if we consider that the work of Elijah is not of a domestic nature, but spiritual, then we shall see that Elijah's message is to intensify in the heart of the parents, as well as in the hearts of the children, a burden for the salvation of the
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other. Parents are very anxious to labor with other people's children but seldom with their own. Likewise children are anxious to preach to others, but not so anxious to preach to their own parents. Elijah's message of revival and reformation, however, will place the burden of saving souls primarily where it belongs. His message will be seen to be of real importance rather than a theory. And when its followers fully realize that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is at the door, they will be seen pleading first for those who are nearest their hearts.
Let us now turn to Daniel's prophecy:
Dan. 2:44 -
It is understood by most Bible students that this great image of Daniel 2 represents the kingdoms from Daniel's time down to the end. Here, you see, the stone which is cut out without hands smites the image in the feet, and the stone fills the whole earth. "In the days of these kings," our time, declares Inspiration, God will set up the kingdom that is represented by the stone, and it will smite the nations and thereby bring their end. What could that day be but great for God's people, and dreadful for the nations? Indeed, it is to be the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
Dan. 2:45 -
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that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure."
Daniel's account of the day is very brief, but Jeremiah describes the day in detail:
Here Inspiration explains that God with His Kingdom is to break the nations, that His people are to be His battle ax. Both Daniel and Jeremiah are definite that the Kingdom is to bring the kingdoms of the world to an end.
Micah 5:7 -
The remnant of Jacob (those who are left after the tares are taken out), when once set up as a kingdom, is to be as showers of blessing to those who seek salvation, and as a lion that tears in pieces those who continue in their sin. The day shall be great to the one people,
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and dreadful to the other.
Now we turn to the chapters of Joel's prophecy that meet their fulfillment in the latter days.
Here you see that a message is to be proclaimed to the church, to Zion, declaring
that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is at hand; that it is to be devastating
behind His people, and glorious ahead of them, -
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We see that the power which attended ancient Israel while they were taking the Promised Land, shall also attend the servants of God at this gathering time.
Joel 2:7, 8 -
Nothing shall be able to hold down the people of God. Everyone shall perfectly
attend to his business. They shall gather the fruits of the earth and nothing shall
hurt them. The Spirit of Prophecy testifies: "As the saints left the cities and
villages, they were pursued by the wicked, who sought to slay them. But the swords
that were raised to kill God's people and fell as powerless as a straw" -
Joel 2:9 -
"The servants of God" shall certainly gather all their brethren out of all nations
(Isa. 66:20). Indeed so, for the legs of the Gospel are the legs of the people who
proclaim it. Of course, only with perfect co-
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Joel 2:10, 11 -
Having announced how great and dreadful the day is to be, the Lord is making this plea:
God's plea is that we prepare to meet the day; that now as sincere Christians who realize that for such an hour as this has this message of mercy come to us, we penitently return unto Him.
Joel 2:15, 16 -
In these verses, as in Joel 2:1, the command is given to blow the trumpet in Zion. This
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second trumpet, however, is not to announce the day of God, but to sanctify both a fast and the people, to call a solemn assembly, from which not one is to be excluded from the assembly.
Joel 2:17 -
Here we are plainly told that God's people are to face persecution and distress, and that unless they keep close to the Lord their very existence may be at stake, God's name dishonored, and the heathen allowed to rule over them and to challenge their faith in God.
Joel 2:18, 19 -
God finds refuge and freedom for them in their own land where nothing shall be lacking.
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It is plain enough to see that God is speaking to His people who are to receive both the former and the latter rain in the first month.
Joel 2:24 -
Inspiration, of course, is not speaking of spiritual things only, but of material
things as well. The rain (newly-
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Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call."
Here we see that those who call on the name of the Lord after the latter rain falls, shall find deliverance on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, also in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
The very first word ("for") of the next chapter shows that the prophecy of chapter two continues through chapter three.
Joel 3:1, 2 -
These verses explain why, how, and when God's people are delivered in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. These things, you see, are to take place when He brings again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem. Then shall He bring all the nations into the valley of Jehoshaphat and there plead for all His captive people whom the nations have scattered throughout the world.
Joel 3:3 -
Verse 3 reveals the vile practices of the world.
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O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render Me a recompence? and if ye recompense Me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head; because ye have taken My silver and My gold, and have carried into your temples My goodly pleasant things: the children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border. Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head."
Tyre and Zidon, and the coast of Palestine, then, those nations which have scattered
God's people, shall have their reward. What shall their recompense be? Here is
Inasmuch as the nations will be preparing for war when these prophecies are being fulfilled, it is plain to see that atomic weapons will not bring peace.
Joel 3:11 -
Here we are told that God's mighty ones are
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to meet the armies of the heathen. And where will God judge the people? -
Yes, here is described the day of decision. The multitudes will then have to decide either to serve God and live or to continue serving the Devil and perish with him.
Joel 3:15, 16 -
What a day the world is now approaching, and how blind to the fact is even the church herself!
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come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion."
Our final cleansing is to be in our own land. The Scriptures, you see, are correlated; one truth explains another. Verses and chapters, therefore, cannot be isolated from their context if they are to be rightly understood. A correct idea cannot be built upon any one verse when isolated from its continuity. And only when we take God at His word can we in truth study the Scriptures. Then we need but the key word to unlock the mysteries of God. And here we have it.
Revival and reformation, a change of ideas and practices, therefore, is our greatest need. Without this we are sure to be found among those who shall say "to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Rev. 6:16, 17.
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