SHEPHERD’S ROD VOLUME 2 TIMELY GREETINGS NO. 9
BE A NEW THRESHING INSTRUMENT IN THE HAND OF GOD
TEXT FOR PRAYER
We shall read from Christ's Object Lessons, beginning on page 43, the last paragraph:
"That with which the parable of the sower chiefly deals is the effect produced on the growth of the seed by the soil into which it is cast. By this parable Christ was virtually saying to His hearers, It is not safe for you to stand as critics of My work, or to indulge disappointment because it does not meet your ideas. The question of greatest importance to you is, How do you treat My message? Upon your reception or rejection of it your eternal destiny depends...
"The seed sown by the wayside represents the word of God as it falls upon the heart of an inattentive hearer.... Absorbed in selfish aims and sinful indulgences, the soul is 'hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.' The spiritual faculties are paralyzed. Men hear the word, but understand it not. They do not discern that it applies to themselves. They do not realize their need or their danger. They do not perceive the love of Christ, and they pass by the message of His grace as something that does not concern them."
We should pray that we not fall after the manner of those who are always ready to find fault and to criticize, but that we give undivided attention, laying aside all prejudice and preconceived ideas, be they private or Denominational; that we open our hearts to truth, not because it is popular, but because the Bible teaches it, realizing that anything short of this is sure to lead us where it led the ancient Jews.
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BE A NEW THRESHING INSTRUMENT
IN THE HAND OF GOD
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-
SABBATH, OCTOBER 4, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL WACO, TEXAS
Our subject this afternoon is found in Isaiah, chapters 40 and 41. We shall begin with the first verse of the fortieth chapter:
Isa. 40:1, 2 -
Inspiration, we see, is here urging someone to comfort God's people. They are to be told, not that their warfare will be accomplished, but that their warfare is accomplished; that their iniquity is pardoned; that Jerusalem, the Church, has already received double for all her sins.
This warfare, of course, could not have been accomplished in Isaiah's time, nor
in John the Baptist's time, -
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Isa. 40:3 -
This is the verse in which John the Baptist found his text as the messenger to
prepare the way for Christ's first advent. But since we have already seen that the
chapter begins with a message for the people of God who live in the time of the end,
the time they have paid for all their sins, and since the time of their redemption
has at last arrived, obviously the chapter has a primary as well as final application:
It applies both to Christ's first and to His second advent. The last of these is
Isa. 40:4 -
The burden of the message to be proclaimed is to prepare the people to meet the Lord: to level the high places, to raise the low, to remove all the impediments, so that the highway of the Lord, the way for His coming, be cleared. These terms, of course, figuratively say: The exalted ones are to be humbled; the humbled ones and those who have been cast out are to be exalted; wrongs are to be made right, for in God's domain equality and justice must prevail.
"When the Spirit of God, with its marvelous awakening power, touches the soul, it abases human pride. Worldly pleasure and position and power are seen to be worthless. 'Imaginations,
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and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,' are cast
down; every thought is brought into captivity 'to the obedience of Christ.' Then
humility and self-
Isa. 40:5 -
Here we are told that when this "revival and reformation" takes place, the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. Let us therefore realize that if we do these things we all would be the forerunners of these glorious promises, and the servants of God for this time.
The message of the hour is to point out that all men are mortal, no more enduring than the grass; that even their virtues are no more lasting than the flowers of the field; but that the Word of God is everlasting; that those who desire to obtain eternal life, to become as eternal as the Word Itself, should not put confidence in any man, but in the Word of God only: that they should inquire for themselves, "Is it Truth?"
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and not, "From whom does it come?"
Isa. 40:9 -
Those who shall finally stand on Mount Sion, and who are now preparing the way of the Lord by bringing these good tidings, are all counselled to get on a high mountain, as it were, and to lift up their voices together without any fear whatever, to proclaim to the cities of Judah (to the churches everywhere) to prepare the way of the Lord and to say, "Behold your God."
Isa. 40:10 -
The arm of the Lord that rules for Him must be figurative of those through whom
He works (Isa. 51:9), of those who are to stand with Him on Mt. Sion (Rev. 14:1),
The messengers of the hour are to declare, too, that the Lord's reward (life forevermore) is with Him, but that His work is still before Him, yet to be finished.
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Isa. 40:11 -
This care over His people is to be felt when His arm rules for Him. He shall then take charge of His work, and of His people, as a shepherd takes charge of a flock. He shall exercise personal care over all, old and young alike.
Isa. 40:12 -
Since there is none other than God Himself who can do all these things, and since He Himself is to take charge of His Own flock, we know that His care over them will be matchless. And why should we not hasten that time?
Isa. 40:13, 14 -
We know that the Spirit Who leads into all Truth and all knowledge is not Himself led or taught by any man. Hence, why should we depend on any man that is divested of Inspiration to pass judgment on inspired Truth? The Word points out that not men only but even the nations are as nothing:
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of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity."
When we realize that the nations on earth in comparison with God's power are as nothing, that neither the timber nor the beasts of Lebanon are sufficient for even burnt offering, just that soon we will see all men, including ourselves, as insignificant, and as worthless as the dust. Then we shall see our dependence upon Him as important and as complete as is the dependence of an infant upon its parents.
Isa. 40:18 -
This is now a question for each one to answer in his own mind.
Isa. 40:19, 20 -
In these verses is shown how foolish men are: They do not stop to consider that though a piece of wood may be good for fuel, yet when man tries to make of it a likeness of God, it is but foolishness and that to bow down to it, is degrading and blasphemous.
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Since God is greater than human imagination can fathom, why do men depend so little
upon Him, -
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that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Is it not surprising that the Church, having come down through the ages this far, must now be taught the very first fundamentals of her faith?
Isa. 41:1, 2 -
To renew their strength is to put away sin, and to come near to God, is to learn of Him. Having done this they are then to invite others to come to judgment. The nations will keep silence until that time, and then will they say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Micah 4:2.
Our work is therefore to prepare the way of the Lord for the gathering of the people.
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feet. Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am He. The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came."
These verses plainly show that the manifestation of God's power is to be felt everywhere.
Isa. 41:6 -
God's people are indeed to help their neighbor. The foolish nevertheless shall do foolishly, and shall continue in their idolatry.
God's promises to His servants are sure. Let us take hold of them now. We shall never find an opportunity as good as we have today. Tomorrow will be too late; we had better respond while God is pleading.
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Isa. 41:11, 12 -
Now is our opportunity to do all we can for those who oppose us, for here we are plainly told that if they continue in their hostility they shall perish.
Isa. 41:13 -
If we as a people are not fearful, then why all these pleadings and encouragements? Why the urgings that we cast out our fears?
Isa. 41:14, 15 -
To thresh the mountains (kingdoms) is to take the wheat (saints) out of them.
The servants of God, therefore, are here promised a new instrument, different from
any ever used before; that is, the gathering of the saints in the harvest time is
to be accomplished in a way un-
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...will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matt. 3:12. For this cause we are called, and for this great and grand work we are to prepare the way.
Isa. 41:16, 17 -
Yes, the chaff shall be blown out and the whirlwind shall carry it away to be burned with consuming fire. But God's people shall rejoice in the Lord, and their poor will He comfort.
Isa. 41:18 -
The latter rain, we here see, is to be plentiful. It will make rivers, springs,
and pools where not expected. All this is a forecast of a great harvest, even from
the desert places -
Isa. 41:19 -
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and the pine, and the box tree together."
God will beautify the lands of the Gentiles with people having Christian characters and graces as beautiful as the myrtle, the oil, the fir, the pine, and the box trees together. There is nothing in the world today to give men hope and peace of mind but these promises of God.
Here is a challenge to all our adversaries. Let them tell you what shall happen hereafter if they can, or let them tell the past if they will, God challenges them. Thus they may now know that they are as nothing, and those who choose to follow them, even they shall be an abomination to Him.
Isa. 41:25 -
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This one that is in prophecy comes from somewhere north of the Promised Land.
He calls on the Lord early -
Isa. 41:26 -
Is there anyone who ever declared these things to the people? asks the Lord. Then He answers His Own question: "Yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words."
Isa. 41:27, 28 -
When God visits His people with these good tidings, He finds no man among His servants to do this work, and no counsellor among them to give an answer to these things! We nevertheless are to do all we can to awaken them. We should exalt the Word, comfort His people, and prepare the way so that He can make a new threshing instrument of us.
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Ashamed Of Jesus!
Jesus, and shall it ever be,
A mortal man ashamed of Thee?
Ashamed of Thee, whom angels praise,
Whose glories shine through endless days?
Ashamed of Jesus! sooner far
Let evening blush to own a star;
He sheds the beams of light divine
O'er this benighted soul of mine.
Ashamed of Jesus! just as soon
Let midnight be ashamed of noon;
'Twas midnight with my soul till He,
Bright Morning Star, bade darkness flee.
Ashamed of Jesus! that dear Friend
On whom my hopes of heaven depend!
No; when I blush, be this my shame
That I no more revere His name.
Ashamed of Jesus! yes, I may
When I've no guilt to wash away;
No tear to wipe, no good to crave,
No fears to quell, no soul to save.
Till then I boast a Saviour slain;
And O, may this my glory be,
That Christ is not ashamed of me!
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