SHEPHERD’S ROD VOLUME 2 TIMELY GREETINGS NO. 30
THE REVIVAL AND REFORMATION
CROWNED WITH THE PURIFICATION
THE REVIVAL AND REFORMATION CROWNED WITH THE PURIFICATION
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-
SABBATH, MARCH 6, 1948
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
The text for our subject this afternoon is Malachi's prophecy. It treats of a revival and reformation such as the world has never yet known. Moreover, the fact that the prophecy is written in such a way as partially to apply to ancient Israel, and yet specifically for the people in the latter days, for those who are approaching the great and dreadful day of the Lord, prove that the reformation needed in Malachi's day is needed also in our day.
There is nothing so mysterious in the writings of Malachi but what any Bible student
can comprehend by studying the book itself. I shall therefore study with you the
last two chapters. The first two you can study at your leisure. We shall begin
Mal. 3:1, 2 -
Two persons are here disclosed to view, the messenger
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and the Lord. The messenger is to precede the coming of the Lord. He is to prepare
the way, then the Lord is to appear. And who could this messenger be if not the
one whom the Lord names? -
This messenger of the covenant (of the promise), antitypical Elijah the prophet shall prepare the way; he shall restore all things. As he prepares the way, the Lord will suddenly come to His temple, to His church. And what is His work to be? To purify or cleanse His people by weeding the unrepented sinners from among them. The question: "But who may abide the day of His coming?" solemnly declares that we had better now get busy and do what it takes to make us stand before the cleansing begins.
Whom in particular will He purify? -
Mal. 3:3 -
The Levites, you know, comprised the tribe from which came the priesthood, the ministers of the Lord. And since this prophecy is to meet its complete fulfillment in our day, the figure is clear: The Levites, the ministers of the Lord in our day, are to be purified. What then?
Mal. 3:4 -
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old, and as in former years."
This verse implies that the offerings which we now bring to the Lord are not pleasing to Him, not pleasing as in times past.
Here we have the glorious promise that not long hence there shall be a pure ministry,
a pure people, -
This glorious future is, moreover, reiterated by the Spirit of Prophecy in our day. Here it is:
"...Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One
will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel's Message] when
it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry." -
"We have been inclined to think that where there are no faithful ministers, there can be no true Christians; but this is not the case. God has promised that were the shepherds are not true he will take charge of the flock himself. God has never made the flock wholly dependent upon human instrumentalities. But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place, we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that his fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly
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purge his floor.
"The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion.
Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect. There
will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. Those
who have rendered supreme homage to 'science falsely so-
In the sifting, shaking time ("Testimonies," Vol. 5, pg. 80) we shall be better able to know how many are really serving the Lord. Those whom we may think are to lead the church into the Kingdom may be missing, while others entirely unknown to us take their places.
Moreover, it will be found that those who are constantly drilling into the minds
of the laity that there are to be no more messengers sent from God, no more Truth
needed, and that someone is constantly trying to deceive them; that they should keep
aloof from everything that does not meet the minister's approval, -
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their best to keep them deceived. This fact, you see, stands up high like a beacon on a hill.
The only thing their carefulness not to be deceived will accomplish, unless they awake, is to keep themselves deceived forever and away from Truth. These shall not be able to stand when the Lord appears in His temple. Hence, the revival and reformation brought to view in Malachi is the first and the last of its kind, and is indeed to be crowned with the purification of the Church. Those who do not awake now, will therefore sleep for ever.
The Laodicean deception from within should not be news to you, for you well know that the Church has never in any age been deceived by any but by its own ministry, by those who have been as highly esteemed as were the members of the Sanhedrin, those who crucified the Lord, those who kept the nation deceived until it was too late to recover. Thus it was then, before then, and thus it has been ever since, and so it is now. Stop and think this through.
No, I am not telling you something new. You know this to be so, but you never think of it, and that is the main trouble with the entire Denomination.
The Church purified shall nevertheless triumph and march to victory. "'Fair as
the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,' she is to go forth
into all the world, conquering and to conquer." -
Let us once and forever realize that the Devil is more shrewd than we can imagine. He is not particular what you believe so long as he can keep you ignorant of revealed Truth. This is what he is now doing within
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the Church, using men of influence, men who can put on the best front, men who are
clever, who know how to gain the confidence of the people, men who can easily and
quietly lead the Church away from God's messages for today, the message of the Judgment
for the Living -
Is not the knowledge of Malachi's prophecy, the purification of the Church, the Judgment for the Living, more important to the Church than the Judgment for the Dead? Does it look to you as though you are being deceived by this Bible study, or does it look to you as though you need to reform?
Hear, therefore, what the Lord is about to do:
Mal. 3:5 -
These are only some of the sins in the Church in which men are indulging. Speaking
of the message bearers of today and of the church's condition Inspiration further
says: "...They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness,
and deception of almost every kind are in the church. The Spirit of God, which prompts
to reproof, is trampled under foot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is
dishonored, the truth made of none effect." -
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You will receive the mark of deliverance only if you sigh and cry against all
these abominations. Ezek. 9:4-
To this list of sins the Lord calls attention to the following, and asks us to repent:
These verses do not blame the individual members of the church for robbing the
Lord, but the whole denomination, the "whole nation." Moreover, you will note that
the story of Malachi chapter three begins with chapter two. There you will note
that the Lord addresses the ministry, not the laity, saying, "...O ye priests, this
commandment is for you." Mal. 2:1. Plainly, then, the trouble lies in the fact that
though the laity as a rule pay faithful tithe and offerings God nevertheless is robbed
because the Denomination is taking the tithes and at the same time is fighting rather
than accepting and promulgating His message for today -
Here is what God would have the laity do:
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Mal. 3:10 -
Where is one to look for God's storehouse? -
The statement, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse," implies that some are already bringing into it, but not all. This, along with the charge that the whole nation is robbing God, positively shows that the tithes are now brought, not to God's storehouse, but to some other house. To repeat, God's storehouse has ever been and ever will be where "the message of the Hour" is, where "Present Truth" is, the house from which "meat in due season" is dispensed at the time the tithes are paid.
Since the old message, the "Judgment for the Dead," is out of date as is the message of Noah's flood, it is plainly seen that inasmuch as the Denomination as a whole has rejected and is fighting the message of the hour, but is still collecting the tithes of the people, it is indeed robbing God.
His people are, therefore, asked to send their tithes to the "storehouse" whence
Present Truth is dispensed, for it is Present Truth that the flock needs now. "There
are many precious truths contained in the word of God, but it is 'present truth'
that the flock needs now." -
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Under no other conditions does He promise His blessings. You have hard luck?
You cannot make ends meet? Start paying your tithes. Note carefully that God requires
not only tithe but tithes; that is, tithe and free will offering. He does not want
them spent on something of your own devising. You are to bring them into the "store
house." "...Concerning the first tithe, the Lord had declared, 'I have given the
children of Levi all the tenth in Israel.' But in regard to the second he commanded,
'Thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place
his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings
of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.'
This tithe, or its equivalent in money, they were for two years to bring to the
place where the sanctuary was established. After presenting a thank-
"Every third year, however, this second tithe was to be used at home, in entertaining the Levite and the poor, as Moses said, 'That they may eat within
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thy gates, and be filled.' This tithe would provide a fund for the uses of charity
and hospitality." -
The command is, "...they shall not appear before the Lord empty." Deut. 16:16.
God does not lie. He carries out His promises. He never fails. There is nothing more offensive to Him than unbelief and unfaithfulness in His Word.
Here is pointed out another need of reform: We as a Denomination are charged with imagining that the ungodly are better off than those who serve God. Before drawing such a conclusion, let each first examine himself and see if he is really and honestly serving God.
Mal. 3:16, 17 -
If we give undivided attention to God's Word, if
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we do all He asks us to do, we shall indeed be His people, His "jewels." Then a book of remembrance shall be written of us and our good and heroic deeds shall be read by the redeemed throughout eternity!
Mal. 3:18 -
We may not now see the difference between him who serves God, and him who serves Him not, but the day is fast approaching when the difference will be seen by all.
Mal. 4:1, 4 -
Here we are asked to remember the law of Moses which God commanded in Horeb -
Mal. 4:5, 6 -
The word "behold," calls our attention back to chapter 3, verse 1, where we are
told that the Lord will send His messenger to prepare the way of the Lord for the
Judgment for the Living -
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Obviously, besides preparing the way of the Lord, Elijah, the Lord's messenger, is to declare that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is at hand.
The work of ancient Elijah, you know, was the closing work for typical apostate
Moreover, if Elijah is a messenger, he is to have a message. His message is to
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into the house of the Lord." Isa. 66:16, 19, 20.
This slaying, you see, takes place before probation closes for the escaped ones
are sent to the Gentiles, to finish the gospel work -
"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have
heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels
was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence
of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first
began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him;...
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any
of you should seem to come short of it." Heb. 2:1-
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