SHEPHERD’S ROD VOLUME 2 TIMELY GREETINGS NO. 34
IF YOU WERE NOTHING, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE?
IF YOU WERE NOTHING, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE?
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF D. SEVENTH-
SABBATH, APRIL 17, 1948
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
Our text is found in 1 Kings 3:5.
1 Kings 3:5 -
Solomon asked for wisdom, and along with it he got everything a man could desire
to have. (1 Kings 3:10-
Supposing you were nothing, and you had enough sense to hear God's voice, as did
Solomon, saying: "What do you wish to be? Ask for it, and that shall ye be." You
would, of course, want to be the best in God's creation -
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Let us suppose that your request has been granted, that you have now become a fine human being, but have advanced no further: You as yet belong to no family, race, government or people. You know nothing about God and nothing about religion.
Next in your progress among the living, you would want to choose your nationality. Which of all the people on earth would you choose to be? I would choose to be a Hebrew, because the Hebrew nation of all the nations on earth has for its parentage prophets, kings, and priests. The Hebrew nation, of course (I do not mean the unbelieving present day Jews), at the present time has no government of its own; it is scattered among the nations. You would therefore have to choose the government under which you would like to make your home. Since the United States of America is the most prosperous nation, and since under its rule you can move about with greater freedom than in any other nation, you would doubtless choose to become one of its citizens.
Suppose next you were greatly impressed to connect yourself with a church. There
being but three religions to choose from -
Since the religion of Christ alone has proved itself capable of performing all
these and of predicting the rise and fall of nations and peoples, past, present,
and future -
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immemorial to the time of the end. And since its founder alone claims credit for creating the world; and of being the Son of God, the beginning and the end, the Saviour of all mankind, you would want to join it. In fact, if one is to reap the fullest benefit from religion, then these are the qualifications which his religion must have. And if these are the chief reasons for one's embracing religion, then there is no alternative but to take the Christian religion, for it alone backs up its guarantee with actual facts, with actual performance.
Suppose you have now become a whole-
Your choice, of course, would have to be again based on facts, not on assumption.
And since the Bible Itself has now become your only guide, your only teacher, you
would have to consult It, and your choice would have to be made accordingly. And
if you be living now in the time of the end, the time in which The Revelation of
John actually speaks and shines upon the path of the saints, you would of course
have to consult the book of The Revelation first and join the sect which It recommends.
And which is it? -
Rev. 12:15 -
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The woman, you know, is the symbol of the sect, the Church.
Rev. 12:16 -
Only this Church, you see, is favored even by the earth itself. This sect alone is saved from the Dragon's flood, saved from being carried away by the flood of hypocrites and "tares" in her midst.
Rev. 12:17 -
Here, you see, the remnant -
Then, too, it alone has the testimony of Jesus Christ -
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Keeping the commandments of God, though, involves keeping everyone of them, for "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10. And remember, too, that the keeping of the commandments can openly be recognized only by the keeping of the Sabbath commandment, the commandment which says:
"Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath
of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy
daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that
is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and
all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath
day, and hallowed it." Ex. 20:9-
The Sabbath day, you see, is created holy, but the first six days are created
for work. The seventh-
No, do not contradict the Lord by saying the seventh-
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keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from His people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and take hold of My covenant; even unto them will I give in Mine house and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting It, and taketh hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon Mine altar; for Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people."
The only Sabbath Jesus ever knew was the seventh-
Isa. 66:23 -
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Me, saith the Lord."
Since "The Revelation," the book that speaks to the people of God at this time,
recommends the sect that keeps the commandments and that has the gift of prophecy,
you cannot wisely connect yourself with any other sect. And since God so declares,
it must be that there is but one such people at this particular time who have the
living testimony of Jesus Christ, the Gift of the Spirit of Prophecy. Moreover,
for God to place the Gift with more than one people, would be for Him to cause confusion
and disaster to His own work, to thwart His own purpose. Still further, if more
than one has the Gift, then they all would necessarily have to agree as one. But
since there are no two sects that agree with each other, the truth that there is
but one sect that has the Gift is an absolute reality. And while you may choose
to keep the Sabbath commandment, you cannot inspire yourself with the Spirit of Prophecy
Your next problem in your progress of life would be to find the proper name of
Let us not neglect to note, too, that the name of a people is not really a name but a title. And titles, you know, change as fast as Truth unfolds, as fast as Truth advances from one phase of the gospel work to another.
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To illustrate: Even the personal names of the patriarchs, by which various movements of the past were named, were changed as time went on. Abram, you recall, in the process of time was called Abraham; and Jacob was called Israel. Then, too, the Church of Moses' time was called Israelite, at Christ's time it was called Judean, and after that Christian. Finally came the time that it was called either Catholic or Protestant. Then either Lutheran or some other. Each one of these was the offspring of the old. Not those who lag behind, but those who march on with the messages of God, as time goes on, are always recognized by Heaven as the Church.
At the commencement of each message the people that marched on with the Truth were the individual members of the church which had become a church through the acceptance of a message, a message which its founder brought forth. For example, the entire Jewish church did not become a Christian church, but the Christian church drew its members from the Jewish church and brought them to advanced Truth, Truth especially adaptable for the time and the people then.
As we are now living in the time of The Revelation, in the time of the unfolding of the prophecies which point to the setting up of the Kingdom as well as to the second advent of Christ, the Church at this time, therefore, could not logically go by a name other than a name which would befit her present (advanced) phase of the gospel work.
Plainly, then, her name must express the truths she advocates: that is, the keeping of
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the commandments, the second advent of Christ, and also the restoration of the Davidian
Kingdom according to prophecy. Hence the logical name that would represent her work
from this time down to the time the Kingdom is set up, is to be Davidian Seventh-
Now you see that every additional timely Truth brings an additional timely name. And you who have not been baptized in the name of the Church, but in the name of Christ through the Truth of the Spirit, you who are not tied to any man, but to Christ, cannot help going on with the Spirit of Prophecy Who unfolds the Truth and names Its people. You could not, therefore, afford to calmly stand by, dreaming of being rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing while in fact you are spiritually poor and naked. And you will stay that way if you neglect to advance with the Truth for this time.
Finally, you need to know concretely what is the Kingdom message, the "additional
message" (Early Writings, pg. 277), and the phase of its work that promotes the title
Isa. 11:11, 12, 16 -
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assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.... And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt."
If God's people who are in Babylon are to come out of her to escape her plagues
(Rev. 18:4) and to avoid the sins that are in Babylon when she rides the beast and
rules the world (Rev. 17) they must necessarily go to a place that is not vulnerable
to her plagues, and where there is no sin. Where is that place? -
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therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children forever: and My servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore."
Now you can more fully appreciate the name
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Suppose, though, you would then wish to go on to perfection? You would of course again cry out to the Lord, and say:
Mic. 6:6, 7 -
And now this is God's answer to your cry:
Mic. 6:8 -
Yes, here you have the answer to your heart's desire: Do justly, love mercy, and
walk humbly with thy God; be not high-
Mic. 6:9 -
The Shepherd's Rod, the books that Inspiration so named and inspired its contents, being the only Rod in the world that can be heard speaking, the Lord commands that you should hear it, that you do not waste any time in deciding
Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 34 28
between the Rod literature and some other. For there is none other today than the Rod literature which God recommends you to hear. And when you hear the Rod, you will find yourself wrapped in the love of Christ and in the "arms" of God. Try it.
Now listen to His Word and let Him in the language of the prophets tell you more
about the day you and I are now approaching, the day with which we are almost face
to face. With the light already given, the following scriptures need no special
comments; they are self-
Micah 6:9 -
Zech. 13:8, 9 -
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Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
Jer. 30:9 -
Since you are now instructed in Truth and righteousness, and since the earth has
not yet swallowed up the Dragon's flood, also since this message is but the announcement
that the earth will soon swallow the flood, with which class of church members would
you love most to associate? -
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obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for their's is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No.