SHEPHERD’S ROD VOLUME 2 TIMELY GREETINGS NO. 37
HISTORY AND PROPHECY,
COMMANDMENTS AND STATUTES-
TEXT FOR PRAYER -
I shall read from Christ's Object Lessons, beginning on page 70.
"'The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.' 'The field,' Christ said, 'is the world.' But we must understand this as signifying the church of Christ in the world. The parable is a description of that which pertains to the kingdom of God, His work for the salvation of men, and this work is accomplis hed through the church.... The good seed represen ts those who are born of the word of God, the truth. The tares represent a class who are the fruit or embodiment of error, of false principles. 'The enemy that sowed them is the devil.' Neither God nor His angels ever sowed a seed that would produce a tare. The tares are always sown by Satan, the enemy of God and man."
According to this reading, our prayer this afternoon should be that we realize that God through servants of His own appointment accomplishes His work for the salvation of souls, that neither He nor His angels ever sowed a tare, but that Satan, the enemy of God and man, sows the tares. Let us pray, too, then that we ourselves be of the good seed, those born of the Truth, and not of the bad seed, not of those who are the fruit of the flesh, devoid of the Spirit.
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HISTORY AND PROPHECY, COMMANDMENTS AND STATUTES-
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-
SABBATH, JULY 17, 1948
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
What a gloomy life this would be if there were no history -
Let me illustrate: Suppose you should look out of your windows both toward the east and toward the west, and you should see the land lighted for miles around, even to the horizon, but there were no light at all in your own home! Again, suppose you should wish to drive somewhere, and you had a flood of lights both on the rear and on the front of your car, but the motor would not turn over. What good would the car be to you? and what good the lights? That is the exact predicament you would be in if you understood history and understood prophecy, but knew nothing about your own spiritual condition, knew not that you were being overcome by the fiery darts of the Devil. It would be like walking over a bridge which, unbeknown to you, was collapsing.
You will agree, I know, that it is absolutely
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necessary to know both history and prophecy, absolutely necessary to know the past
and the future. But this in itself will not profit you if your soul is languishing
in darkness, if you are spiritually dead and do not know it; -
The Bible, you know, consists of three parts: (1) History, (2) Commandments and
Statutes, (3) Prophecy. The Psalms and the Proverbs, along with The Song of Solomon,
come under these same categories. History tells the past, and prophecy tells the
future, but the keeping of the commandments and the statutes brings the blessings
that should be ours today, enlightens the soul, and shields the body. Indeed, Jesus
in the commandments and the statutes is our only salvation. Am I speaking the truth?
Rev. 22:16, 13, 14 -
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break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.... Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
Only those who do God's commandments, you see, are able to enter the Holy City. None others are thus privileged. No, Jesus did not come to bring crime and lawlessness, but rather to bring righteousness and peace by blotting out the sins of all who repent of breaking the law. To be saved involves much more than merely calling Him Lord and Saviour and shouting halleluia.
"Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I
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profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore
whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a
wise man, which built his house upon a rock." Matt. 27:21-
Jesus said: "Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me." John 5:46. To
believe in Moses is to believe what he wrote; to believe in Jesus is to believe what
He says. If you cannot believe in Moses, then you cannot believe in Jesus. And
how much shall we believe? -
Mal. 4:4, 5 -
You know by now that Malachi, chapters 3 and 4, prophetically speak to the people
of today, to the people just before the great and dreadful day, to the people to
whom antitypical Elijah the prophet is sent. And what wise counsel does the Lord
give through Malachi? -
Broadly speaking, the law of Moses consists
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of three parts. The first is the Ceremonial law, the law of the temple -
And so, as this law was nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14), we need not, and must not, observe it now.
The second part of Moses' law, is the law by which Israel was to rule its people,
the civil, or legal law, -
The only law of Moses, therefore, that we can possibly be admonished to remember,
is the third part of his law: the moral law, which consists of the things that pertain
to us as individuals, the things that we as individuals must perform, the things
that perfect our character, the things that make us a peculiar people. We therefore
need to search out and do the things contained in the moral law of Moses -
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And the surest way to select these moral essentials from among those things which pertain to the sacrificial and the legal systems, is to go to the book of Deuteronomy. This book is the summary of all the laws and statutes which Moses spoke to ancient Israel, his last words.
We shall begin with his prediction of our own situation, of our sojourning in the land of the Gentiles, as it is this day, the certification of the fact that in the counsels of Moses' writings we, too, are included.
Here Moses predicted the disintegration of the kingdom then expected, and the dispersion of the people of Israel throughout the nations, the
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exact situation in which we are today. He also herein predicted our visitation in
the latter days, our time -
We should, therefore, now give ear to His voice, and whatsoever He commands we must do if we want His blessings upon us.
Remember we anciently lost the Kingdom because of disobeying His commandments and statutes, and it is certain that he will not take us back into it so long as we neglect to take heed to His voice. And here is the Voice which rings in our ears today as loudly as it did in the ears of the people in Moses' day:
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thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Neither shalt thou commit adultery. Neither shalt thou steal. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour. Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's."
Deut. 6:5, 8 -
Deut. 7:6, 12, 15 -
According to these verses most of our diseases are caused through disobedience. And the very fact that there is so much disease in our time is evidence in itself that the world is reaping a full harvest for its disobedience. Hence, the longer we continue in our sins the worse off we will be.
Deut. 10:12, 13, 19, 20 -
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the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and His statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?... Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; Him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave, and swear by His name."
Deut. 12:32 -
Deut. 14:3 -
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which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God. If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: but thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days. When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence. Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with diverse seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together."
In this particular catalogue of commandments and statutes, you see that God is particular what His people wear and what they eat. He expects them to be kind to animals. He wants them to be careful not to leave traps for the unaware to fall into or for anyone to be hurt in any way. Then, too, God's people are to farm in accordance with His wisdom if they would have His blessings upon their labor, and if they would obtain health from the food they eat.
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goest to possess it.
"When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth."
Deut. 24:6, 10-
"When thou dost lend thy brother any thing, thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge. Thou shalt stand abroad, and the man to whom thou dost lend shall bring out the pledge abroad unto thee. And if the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge: in any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates: at his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee."
God's people are here told not to pledge their means or tools (not to pledge "the nether or upper millstone") with which they make a living. And they are not to be exacting with
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their poor brethren. They are not to collect by force, and they are not to delay paying wages to the poor.
Deut. 25:4, 13-
Deut. 27:17, 21, 24, 26 -
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"Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out....
"But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord Thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly, because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until He have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflamation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish... The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.... The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head."
These verses need no comment. The requirements are plain to all.
Deut. 30:15 -
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life and good, and death and evil."
1 John 1:4-
James 2:19, 20 -
Your obeying "all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments" of the moral law of Moses, you see, is your evidence that you have been born again, that you have been endowed with power from above, that you are enabled to choose the good and to refuse the evil, that you are the children of God. Keeping the commandments and the statutes in the Lord, then is the light and shield of your life. It is the outward sign that by the life of Christ you have overcome the Enemy of your soul and body. This system of worship, therefore, is truly the Righteousness by faith that brings the righteousness of Christ in the people of God. Let us now with ears wide open hear the crier's bell:
Isa. 52:1, 7 -
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Zion, Thy God reigneth!"
Nah. 1:15 -
Here the prophetic Word of God plainly declares by both Isaiah and Nahum the prophets that when we see these good tidings published by him whose feet are seen upon the mountains (and this is now taking place for the first time since the prophets wrote), it is to be a sign that the wicked, the violators of the laws of Moses, are soon to be cut off from among God's people.
And now, since you are priviledged to hear all these things, "happy are ye," says the Lord, "if ye do them." Job 13:17.
For the summary of our study, I would have you seriously look at this illustration. Look at it, store it in your mind, and study it at your leisure. Yes, be convinced of the truth which I have tried to present to you, for it is your life, your prosperity, your health and happiness, your eternity.
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