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                                        VOLUME 12 - NUMBERS  1 Through 9














Brother Randahl and Sister Genelle


                               SHEPHERD’S ROD NEW SYMBOLIC CODES

                             VOLUME 12, NUMBERS  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9







VOL. 12 NSC N0. 4 -  WHAT BRINGS SUCCESS? —–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––--- Feb 1957

VOL. 12 NSC NO. 5 -  A STUDY IN TYPOLOGY —–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––- March 1957


VOL. 12 NSC NO. 8, 9 - ISAIAH 28 —–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-- Jun, Jul 1957


Vol. 12  The Symbolic Code  No. 1

Vol. 12   No. 1




Symbolic Code, Vol. 12, No. 1                          2



(The sermon selected for this issue of The Symbolic Code was delivered by Brother V. T. Houteff on March 14 and June 30, 1942.)

PRAYER THOUGHT: "The message we have to bear is not a message that men need cringe to declare.  They are not to seek to cover it, to conceal its origin and purpose.  Its advocates must be men who will not hold their peace day nor night.  As those who have made solemn vows to God, and who have been commissioned as the messengers of Christ, as stewards of the mysteries of the grace of God, we are under obligation to declare faithfully the whole counsel of God.  We are not to make less prominent the special truths that have separated us from the world and made us what we are; for they are fraught with eternal interests.  God has given us light in regard to the things that are now taking place in the last remnant of time, and with pen and voice we are to proclaim the truth to the world, not in a tame, spiritless way, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power of God.  The mightiest conflicts are involved in the furtherance of the message, and the results of its promulgation are of moment to both heaven and earth.

  "The controversy between the two great powers

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of good and evil is soon to be ended; but to the time of its close, there will be continual and sharp contests.  We should now purpose, as did Daniel and his fellows in Babylon, that we will be true to principle, come what may.  The flaming fiery furnace heated seven times hotter than it was wont to be heated, did not cause these faithful servants of God to turn aside from allegiance to the truth.  They stood firm in the time of trial,  and were cast into the furnace; and they were not  forsaken of God.  The form of the Fourth was seen walking with them in the flames, and they came forth not having even the smell of fire upon their garments....

  "Today the world is full of flatterers and dissemblers; but God forbid that those who claim to be guardians of sacred trusts, shall betray the interests of God's cause through the insinuating suggestions and devices of the enemy of all righteousness.

  "There is no time now to range ourselves on the side of the transgressors of God's law, to see with their eyes, to hear with their ears, and to understand with their perverted senses.  We must press together.  We must labor to become a unit, to be holy in life and pure in character.  Let those who profess to be servants of the living God no longer bow down to the idol of men's opinions, no longer be slaves to any shameful lust, no longer bring a polluted offering to the Lord, a sin-stained soul." -- Testimonies

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to Ministers, pp. 470, 471.

= = = = = = = = = = =

  Our study for today is taken from several chapters in Isaiah, particularly chapters 12, 13 and 14.  Some of these chapters contain prophecies which are illustrated by certain experiences of ancient peoples and nations which at some time were to be repeated.  We shall now commence our study with only a brief review of what we have already found in chapters 7 and 8 because our time is limited and you are all more or less familiar with it.

  First is mentioned the history of ancient Israel's unsuccessfully confederating with Syria against Judah, for they could not prevail against her.  Instead, both were taken by Assyria.  Then follows the prophecy of the birth of Immanuel.  Since, however, Christ was born long after the kings of Israel and Syria were taken, it is obvious from verse 16 of chapter 7 that a circumstance was to occur at sometime that would be the antitype of the confederacy which took place anciently between Israel and Syria against Judah, and that in this antitypical period both kings represented by Syria and Israel would be taken by a power represented by Assyria before "Immanuel" would know the difference between good and evil.

  Since, as has already been pointed out, Christ ("Immanuel") did not live in the time of such a

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confederacy, it must be that not only Israel, Syria, and Assyria are types, but Christ Himself  is also a type.  We learned that Immanuel (meaning, "God with us") could represent only His true followers, the born-again Christians.

  Through these scriptures and historical facts we learned that the antitype of Israel and Syria's confederacy took place commencing in the first century A.D., when one part of the Christians (Israel) federated with pagans (Syria) against the other Christians (Judah), but their combined church-state power was broken by the Protestant nations (Assyria) after Immanuel (born-again Christians) came but before they had advanced in Truth far enough to know how to choose between good and evil and before the younger Christians, represented by the second son, Mahershalalhashbaz of chapter 8, had  progressed enough even to know their "father" (God) and their "mother" (the church).

  After Isaiah mentions the ancient historical confederacy and then the sign of Immanuel, which we have just reviewed and applied to the experience of the early Christian church history, Isaiah 8:9 warns against another association of peoples, saying that this confederacy will likewise surely fail and fall to pieces.  And for us, this is the main lesson in these chapters.  We are  instructed as to what to expect and what to do about it.

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  The period we are now in is antitypical Assyria.  The Assyrian period is about to pass away and the period of Babylon to be ushered in.  But there is another thing that is to happen between the setting up of the confederacy of Isaiah 8:9 and the rise of Babylon: it is the setting up of God's Kingdom.  God's people are to be taken to their own land and made free.

  In outlining the chapters we find this order: The seventh chapter brings the birth of Christians and the federation against them, the eighth chapter brings in the latter-day confederacy of peoples and nations and the outcome of it;  the ninth and tenth chapters contain a continuation of the antitypical period of Assyria and her fall; the eleventh chapter brings the setting up of the Kingdom of God; the twelfth chapter expresses the praise of those in Zion in the Kingdom; the thirteenth chapter brings the burden of Babylon.

  Recently, you recall, we studied the tenth chapter of Isaiah and found that this chapter brings us to the time when the period of  antitypical Assyria is to come to its end.  We might naturally expect Babylon to follow next, because that period comes after the fall of Assyria.  But that is not correct, for Christ's Kingdom must also come in Its proper time.  That is the child -- His people when they have become mature, born-again Christians.  The burden of Babylon, therefore, is not mentioned until the thirteenth chapter of Isaiah.

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  Now we may ask ourselves why the symbolization of the government of God's Kingdom as given in Isaiah 11 is in the form of the rod and the Branch and the root?  Other figures might have been used that would be just as fitting, but God chose these.  Why? -- It must be noticed that the eleventh chapter starts with the word "and," showing that it is a continuation of the tenth chapter.  Now let us read

Isa. 10:33, 34 -- "Behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.  And He shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one."

Isa. 11:1 -- "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots."

  The people are illustrated as trees.  The Lord is first to take out the people -- clean the land -- and then a Branch shall stand.  In other words, one set is to be taken out completely and a new set is to stand in its place.  The land of our fathers, Palestine, then will be clean from all wicked and wickedness, and Christ's people will be there with Christ's principles and influence ruling over them.

  You see, then, that these chapters are arranged in their correct order, and put in other

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terms, it can be said that when this association of Isaiah 8 is urged, the leopard-like beast of Revelation 13 is about to pass off and the other period represented by the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation 17 is about to come on the stage of action.  With the fall of Assyria, the land of promise is also prepared for God's people to come and there set up a place for those who are to be called out of Babylon, to come where there are neither sin nor sinners.  Those are God's plans.

  The rest of chapter 11 describes the condition of God's Kingdom and the way His people are brought there, and continuing on with the praise of the righteous in the  Kingdom, chapter 12 commences with the word "and."   Let us read through this chapter and make a few comments as we proceed.

Isa. 12:1 -- "And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise Thee: though Thou wast angry with me Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me."

  In the church purified, Christ's Kingdom described in the preceding chapter, God's people will praise Him though He had been angry with them.  When was He angry with them? -- When He had to use the Gentile nations to disperse them because of their rebellious and idolatrous ways.  When they are brought back into the Kingdom and are comforted,  then they will understand all God's dealings and will praise Him for it.

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Isa. 12:2 -- "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation."

  This is the testimony God's people will bear in His Kingdom.

Isa. 12:3 -- "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation."

  Now the Lord speaks.  When God's people are safely and peacefully situated in the land of promise; when they bear their testimony of faith and trust in God, then God says that they with joy shall draw water (Truth) out of the wells of salvation.

Isa. 12:4 -- "And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted ."

  The 144,000 will do this very thing when they go to all nations.

Isa. 12:5 -- "Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth."

  All the earth is to know of the Lord's excellent things.

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Isa. 12:6 -- "Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee."

  The 144,000 standing on Mt. Zion with the Lamb will cry out and shout for joy.

  How plain it is that God is about to do a great thing in the earth that all will know about.  Before this message came we were unable to place all of these events, but how clear they are now!

  We already learned that with the fall of Assyria God sets up His Kingdom and then Babylon comes on the stage of action.  Therefore  the burden of Babylon is mentioned in the next chapter, which we shall now study.

Isa. 13:1, 2 -- "The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.  Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand that they may go into the gates of the nobles."

   In presenting the burden of Babylon, God first commissions His Own people to lift up a banner, meaning that they are to make known what they have.  They are to exalt the voice or message by letting it do for them what it ought to do.  God's people, the 144,000, are to do this for those in Babylon who will constitute  the great multitude of Revelation 7:9, "that  they may go into the gates of the nobles."  The Bible declares

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that it is at Mt. Zion where the nobles will be.  "Gates" and "nobles" would indicate territory and rulers, showing that God's Kingdom  at that time is in existence and it is this Kingdom that the sincere will go when they leave Babylon -- the world, in the time of the image of the beast.

Isa. 13:3 -- "I have commanded My sanctified ones, I have also called My mighty ones for Mine anger, even them that rejoice in My highness."

  Two groups are here mentioned: (1) His "sanctified ones" -- His sanctified ministry; and (2) His "mighty ones" -- the unfallen angels.  In other words, He is here telling us that He is recruiting His church and His angels for His anger.

Isa. 13:4 -- "The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle."

  Joel, speaking of this event, says that the heathen will be brought to the Valley of Jehoshaphat where the Lord is afterward to judge them.  When this happens it is the great day of the Lord.

Isa. 13:5 -- "They come from a far country from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole land."

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  The Lord also comes.

  We have seen in these first five verses of this chapter the description of God's army which is to "destroy the whole land."

Isa. 13:6 -- "Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty."

  The day of the Lord is at hand. And the Lord is telling you and me to howl even now because  of it.  People can know only what they are told; therefore the command comes to howl, for certain destruction is coming. It is at hand.

Isa. 13:7, 8 -- "Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: and they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames."

  A great and sudden surprise is coming to the nations, and all who are unbelievers shall faint, for the great day of God shall suddenly bring trouble and destruction that they are not expecting.

Isa. 13:9 -- "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger to  lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy  the sinners thereof out of it."

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  The day of the Lord is at hand to lay the land desolate and to destroy sinners out of it.

Isa. 13:10 -- "For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine."

  This verse gives the signs that are to  precede the final great day of the Lord.

Isa. 13:11, 12 -- "And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their  iniquity: and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.  I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir."

  At this time God's people will be without guile and perfect in His sight, and therefore more precious than fine gold.

Isa. 13:13, 14 -- "Therefore I will shake the heavens and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.  And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land."

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  Every man turning to his own people and fleeing into his own land does not mean that they will migrate to their native land.  It shows a separation in which every man must choose whether he will go to the land of the righteous and be with righteous people, or whether he will choose to dwell in Babylon where, according to Zephaniah 5, all  wickedness is to be carried.

Isa. 13:15 -- "Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword."

  It will indeed be a terrible, a cruel day for those in Babylon.

Isa. 13:16 -- "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished."

  This is the work of wicked men and happens when finally the ten horns of Revelation 17:16 shall destroy Babylon the Great.

Isa. 13:17 -- "Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it."

  What happened to ancient Babylon is a type of what is to happen to modern Babylon.  The "horns" or heathen nations will destroy her. Her gold and silver will be of no consequence to them.

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Isa. 13:18, 19 -- "Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.  And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah."

  Babylon will never rise again.

Isa. 13:20 -- "It shall never be inhabited,  neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there."

  If Babylon (the "woman on the beast" of Revelation 17) is to extend over much of the earth, and at her fall is to be left with no inhabitant, it would suggest the period of the millennium.  It is true that when the millennium  begins the whole world goes down, but that  is not in the period of Babylon.  The millennium comes after the falling of the plagues, the  wrath of God.  The verse we are now studying is talking about Babylon.  The ancient capital city of Babylon fell in the type and is not in existence today.  Therefore, in the antitype whatever modern Babylon is, her capital city is likewise to come down.

Isa. 13:21, 22 -- "But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be

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full of doleful creatures, and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.  And the wild beasts of the  islands shall cry in their desolate houses and dragons in their pleasant palaces; and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged."

  Elsewhere in the message it teaches that Babylon will rule but one hour, and this verse says that her time will not be prolonged.

  We have come to the end of the thirteenth chapter, and the next verse starts with the word "for," indicating that it is a continuation of  the thirteenth chapter.

Isa. 14:1 -- "For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob."

  God is doing this all because of His mercies on Jacob.  Of the two kingdoms -- the Kingdom of God and the kingdom Babylon, God of course will destroy the latter and save the former forever.

  God will have mercy on Jacob and Israel and set them in their own land -- Palestine.  Heaven could not be their own land yet, for Jacob and Israel have never been there.  Moreover, if this were speaking of the period on the other side of the millennium, it could not speak only

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of the house of Jacob, for that would exclude Abraham and all the righteous who lived before him.  And what "strangers" could be joined to the house of Jacob after the millennium? -- None.  It is clearly evident from all these facts, therefore, that this verse applies before the millennium, before the close of probation, and that the "strangers" that are to join the house of Jacob could be only the Gentiles which will constitute the great multitude of Revelation 7:9 and Isaiah 66:20.

Isa. 14:2 -- "And the people shall take them and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors."

  This verse hardly needs explanation, for it plainly tells us that those who will then be taken as captives will be under the rulership of those over whom they formerly ruled.

Isa. 14:3, 4 -- "And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased!  the golden city ceased!"

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  In the day that Jacob's bondage under the Gentiles is ended, in the day that "strangers" have joined themselves to Jacob, in that day Jacob will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon.

Isa. 14:5-20 -- "The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted,  and none hindereth.  The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.  Yea, the fir trees  rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.  Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.  All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we?  art thou become like unto us?  Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  how art thou cut down to the ground,  which didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart I will  ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will

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ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.  They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?  All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.  But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.  Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because  thou hast destroyed thy land and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned."

  The antitypical king of Babylon is called Lucifer because Babylon is an institution of the Devil.

Isa. 14:21 -- "Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities."

  Babylon's expectations of what they will do will fail and reverse the destruction upon themselves just as Haman's gallows at last was the instrument of his own destruction.

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Isa. 14:22-25 -- "For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant and son,  and nephew, saith the Lord. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction saith the Lord of hosts.  The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have  thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: that I will break the Assyrian in My land, and upon My mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders."

  Why is Assyria brought in at this point when all through the chapter it has been talking about Babylon?  For the reason, let us read the next verse.

Isa. 14:26 -- "This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations."

  God is here telling us that what He will do with Assyria He will also do to Babylon.  He declares that He will surely do it and we must not doubt it. Just as God was able to lead His people into their land of promise anciently so He can now also today lead His people back and take from them their yoke and make of them a nation that shall never be given to other people, but which will stand forever.

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Isa. 14:27 -- "For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?  and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?"

  Who is able to tear down His purpose?  His hand already is stretched out to do it, and none has power to turn it back -- no one can stop it now.

Isa. 14:28 -- "In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden."

  This gives the time Isaiah saw this burden.

Isa. 14:29 -- "Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent."

  Here the subject again changes, this time to Palestina, the promised land.  Anciently the rod that smote Palestina was Israel who came into the land and became a nation of its own.  But because of her disobedience Israel was broken down and scattered and has remained so to this day.  This verse tells Palestina, however, not to rejoice over Israel's  broken condition, because something worse is coming upon Palestina, for we read this in

Isa. 14:30 -- "And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he

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shall slay thy remnant."

  It is the firstborn of the poor that shall feed and live in safety in Palestina, and God says that He will kill with famine the root of the heathen that are now planted there, and the remnant will He slay.  He is utterly to clean out the land of all the heathen that are there and give it to His people.

Isa. 14:31 -- "Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times."

  Palestina is to be completely dissolved.  Through our study of the Bible we have come to expect the heathen to be dissolved out of Palestina in the Assyrian period.  "Whole Palestina art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke."  Smoke does not creep along the surface of the ground, but travels through the air, and as the smoke comes from the north, the phrase suggests that aerial attack will be waged against her from the north and pass on to the south.  It will mean that those who now possess Palestina will lose out.  The last phrase, "and none shall be alone in his appointed times," means that they will not be alone, for others will be with it "in his appointed times."

Isa. 14:32 -- "What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation?  That the Lord hath

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founded Zion, and the poor of His people shall trust in it."

  This tells how Zion is going to be founded: the Lord is to accomplish it.

  From all appearances it looks as though we are very, very close to the fulfillment of these prophecies.  Only one thing hinders it and that is that we have not finished our work.  Had we taken the message of warning to the church, this could all have been finished by now, for the nations are all ready.  God will hold it until we get our work done.  Another thing that is certain is that it is for our good whatever happens and whoever wins, if we are followers of God in Spirit and in Truth.

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Vol. 12  The Symbolic Code  No. 2

Vol. 12    No. 2




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(The sermon selected for this issue of The Symbolic Code was delivered by Brother V.T. Houteff on July 20, 1946).

Rev. 10:5-7 -- "And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up His hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, Who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets."

  The angel swore that there should be time no longer.  I think I understand how we as Seventh-day Adventists interpret "time no longer"; but these two verses when read together clearly show what kind of time is to be no longer, for it is during the time of the sixth trumpet that the angel said there shall be time no longer, but that at the commencement of the sounding of the seventh trumpet the mystery of God shall be finished.  What is the mystery of God? -- It is the work of salvation, or the Gospel work.  Then during the

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period of the seventh trumpet there will be no mystery yet to be finished, for it is to be finished during the sixth trumpet.  The angel, therefore, is to be understood as stating simply that probationary time will extend only through the sounding of the sixth trumpet and that is all, because the mystery of God is to be all finished at the time the seventh angel begins to sound.

  Now we wish to ascertain what period we are living in.  At the sounding of the sixth trumpet, the four angels are to be let loose and they are then to kill a third part of men; and their army, moreover, is to number 200,000,000 "horsemen" and that many "horses."  Since no such thing as this has ever happened, it therefore speaks for itself that the sixth trumpet is yet in the future.  It has not yet commenced to sound.

  In view of the fact that we are not living in the sixth trumpet, let us ascertain whether we may be in the sounding of the fifth trumpet, or whether it, too, is yet future.

Rev. 9:1-6 -- "And the fifth angel sounded and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.  And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.  And there came out of the

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smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.  And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.  And to them it was given that they should not kill them but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.  And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them."

  We do not know as yet of a man who really wishes to die and yet cannot die, for there are a great number of ways that he can end his life if he so chooses to do it.  Since this scripture says that in the fifth trumpet some men will seek death but death will flee from them, we know that we have not yet come to this part of the fifth trumpet.  With this fact in mind we may next ask ourselves the question, Has the fifth trumpet even started to sound?

  As the fifth angel sounded a star fell from heaven, and the star is called "he."  To "him" was given the key to the bottomless pit, and when he opened the pit smoke ascended out of it.  I do not think we can understand whether or not the trumpet has already sounded unless we understand what the smoke and the pit are.

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  In Revelation 20 we find that the Devil is to be cast into the bottomless pit and he must remain bound there for a thousand years.  We as Adventists have been taught that the earth is the bottomless pit, a prison house for the Devil during the millennium and that the angel who has the key to the bottomless pit and who chains the Devil there for a thousand years, is Christ.  If Christ is to have the key at the commencement of the millennium then He must have gotten it sometime before.  Our subject for today on the trumpets may throw light on that, for Revelation 9 says that locusts came out of the bottomless pit after it was unlocked by the "star" which fell from heaven to earth, and the Bible calls Christ "the bright and morning star."

  From our study to this point we may conclude that the star in the fifth trumpet must represent Christ.  But let us now further check our interpretation to see if it is correct.  The star being designated by the pronouns "he" and "him" and its coming to earth from heaven, clearly identifies the star as a heavenly male being.  He also had the key with which to open the bottomless pit.  When He opened it smoke and locusts came forth out of the pit, showing also that the pit had been a prison house for the locusts until they were released.  The command to the locusts was that they should hurt only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads, which shows that they were friends to God's people.  Since it is the Devil's aim to hurt

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God's people, then the locusts having been freed by the star and commanded not to hurt the sealed ones, shows that they were friends of the star and the star was a friend to them and therefore the star could be none other than Christ.

  Our next step is to ascertain who the locusts are and when Christ released them from the bottomless pit.

  In Revelation 12 we have a description of the dragon at the time Christ was born.  He had seven heads and ten horns, signifying that all the kingdoms (10 horns) of the world and all religions (7 heads) were serving the dragon.  Had he not conquered the Jewish church, too, he could not have had seven heads.  When the dragon conquered the Jewish church -- God's people at that time, that gave him seven heads.  The very fact that the Jews were the ones who had Christ crucified furnished the evidence that the Bible correctly pictured them exactly where they were -- with the dragon.  Seeing then that the Devil had all the religions of the earth and all the kingdoms of the earth, represented by the 7 heads and 10 crowned horns on his head, then how much was not the Devil's? -- It was all his.  This being true then for God's true individual people within the church the earth had indeed become a bottomless pit, a prison house.  There was only one way of escape for them and that was for the Star to come down from heaven and open the pit.  That being true, then whom do the locusts represent? -- The Christians.

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The fifth trumpet, therefore, sounded when Christ came nearly 2,000 years ago.  We find ourselves therefore living in the period of the sounding of the fifth trumpet -- the Christian period -- before the sounding of the sixth trumpet.

  But now in this period before the sixth angel sounds his trumpet, some men are to seek death and they will not find it, and would  desire to die and death would flee form them.  They just could not die, for they would be immune to death.  Since we understand that the Lord is going to find a living church besides those righteous who are lying in the graves then from that also we can easily conclude that if these people during the fifth trumpet could not die, then they will live through the sixth trumpet, too, and never die.

  To find out what will make these men immune to death, we shall refer to Revelation 7.  I doubt that we need to read the chapter,  because everyone of us is so well acquainted with it that we can almost quote it verse by verse.  You recall that there were four angels stationed on the four corners of the earth, and they were to hold the winds from blowing on the earth and the sea and the trees until the servants the 144,000, are sealed, for when the winds are loosed they will hurt.  After they receive the seal, though, the winds will blow but they will not hurt the sealed ones for they have received perfect and absolute protection from all harm.  Let us read about a man who long ago received a seal of protection:

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Gen. 4:15 -- "And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.  And the Lord set a mark upon Cain lest any finding him should kill him."

  Cain slew Abel and therefore he deserved to be slain himself.  He did not deserve life any longer, but God said that if anybody dare kill Cain sevenfold vengeance would befall him.  The Lord put a mark on him for the safety of Cain, and so long as he had the mark no one should dare kill him.  What is the mark? -- You may say that the mark is as much as an angel guard present all the time.  God set a guarding angel with Cain to protect him from anyone's killing him.  Now we come to another marking period, that described in Ezekiel 9.

  In this chapter the Lord called the angels who had charge of the city, showing that they had charge of the city perhaps in a way similar  to the charge of the angel over Cain.  These six angels who have charge of the city are called to come forth and one among them is seen to have a writer's inkhorn.  And he is to set a mark on everyone that sighs and cries for the abominations.  When the marking is done, then the five other angels which have the slaughter weapons in their hands are to smite everyone who has not the mark.  This indicates that the mark in Ezekiel 9 assures safety from the angels' slaughter.

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  John in Revelation 7, says that he saw 144,000 with the seal of God in their foreheads, and since we understand through Inspiration that this sealing and marking are done to the same people, let us now see what the seal is.  To serve as an illustration, let us suppose that this book that I  now hold up is an envelope.  And let us also suppose that this slip of paper which I have now in my hand is very precious to me and I want to save it from all manner of defacement and destruction.  Is it not reasonable that you would expect me to put it into this envelope and seal it well to keep the paper from falling out?  Moreover, if you do not want the wrong persons to open your letters you seal them.  When God places His seal upon the 144,000, then nobody can hurt them.  Do you see then  that the winds were held by the angels because  the servants of God were not as yet sealed -- under special protection?  Unless they were sealed when the winds start to blow, God's people would be left utterly without protection from the danger of the hurting of the winds.  Were they sealed, however, before the winds blow, the winds could not harm them.

  Let us read

Eph. 1:13, 14 -- "In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of Truth, the gospel of your salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the

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purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory."

  The people spoken of here were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise until the mystery of God is finished, until the sounding of the seventh trumpet.  In other words, they did have the promise that they were sealed for the resurrection day.  But the 144,000 are not sealed with a promise of the resurrection, they are sealed for some other purpose.  They are sealed for protection from the hurting of  the winds.  That shows that the 144,000 are not sealed for the resurrection day, but for protection from being harmed by everybody and everything.  They are alive at the time they are sealed, and the sealing enables them to live on.  And since the message that is to seal the 144,000 is here, we believe that we are now living in the period when God is going to seal first the 144,000 and when they are sealed their destination is God, New Jerusalem, not the grave and the resurrection.  Having this explanation, let us now reconsider

Rev. 9:6 -- "And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them."

  Is it not logical to believe that the reason these men could not die is that they are sealed by God?  What else can make men live on and on and no one could kill them?  Who, other than God, can give life?  And do you suppose that God

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is going to extend the life of the wicked?  He promises to do that only for the righteous those having the seal of God in their foreheads.  Then these that seek death and cannot find it are God's people.  They are to live on and on for eternity.  At what time will they be made invulnerable to death?  Our study today makes plain that it is during the fifth trumpet and before the sounding of the sixth trumpet.  If God is going to do this during the period of the fifth trumpet, then the sealing of the 144,000 must take place in the period of the fifth trumpet and not in the sixth.  It is then before the sixth angel sounds that some will have the experience of seeking death and not finding it.

  (This is a deep subject.  If I am not making it clear to you, then you should ask questions, for it is very important.  It is not a doctrine to talk about merely to pass the time.)

  To repeat, it is "in those days" in the fifth trumpet that some will seek death and will not find it.

  In Daniel's time King Nebuchadnezzar approved a decree forbidding any man to make petition to any god or to anyone except himself for thirty days, and further, that if any should violate this law he would be thrown into the lions' den to be eaten by the angry beasts.  Daniel, you recall, prayed to God as usual, and in that respect he was seeking death, for he understood

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that by praying he was violating the law and that the penalty for it would be death.  But when they threw Daniel into the den, what happened to him? -- Death fled from him.

  You remember that just prior to this incident involving Daniel, the King of Babylon made a great image all of gold and gathered all his mighty men and all the people there and decreed that when the trumpet sounded everybody must bow down to his image or be  thrown into the fiery furnace to burn to death.  Only three Hebrew men in the vast throng refused to bow down, saying that the God whom they served is able to preserve them, but if He chose not to save them they would be willing to die anyway, for they would not worship the image.  As a consequence of their disobedience to the king's decree the three youth were thrust into the furnace by men who themselves were consumed by the intense heat, whereas the boys came out of the furnace with not a hair even singed, nor was there the slightest smell of smoke upon them.  This was another example of men seeking death and not finding it.

  Then we know of another man: the Lord Himself.  He knew that He was to be killed.  But He did not hesitate to "seek death."  In this instance, though, death did not flee from Him, but the resurrection brought Him from the grave.  Then you remember that Paul knew that if he went to Jerusalem he would not come back, for the enemies of the Truth would slay him.  Nevertheless he went,

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and thus did he, too, seek death.  But death did not flee from him, for he was killed.

  Throughout the Dark Ages all who dared accept the Gospel were seeking death, and they found it, too.  So we see that history in the period of the fifth trumpet discloses that up to this time Revelation 9:6 has not met its fulfillment.  But there will yet be a decree before the fifth trumpet ends, that if men dare to disobey,  they must face the threatened penalty of death. Those however, who have been sealed when the decree comes will seek death and death will flee from them.  God will not let them die.  By faith it is not difficult to understand how this could be, for you know that if God wills that you live you simply cannot die.  We already saw a demonstration of that in Daniel's time.  Men's lives are in the hands of God, and if He chooses to preserve the lives of some there is none who can snuff them out, not even the Devil.  A good example of this was furnished when the Lord made it impossible for the Devil to take the life of Job.

  In the time of the fifth trumpet the locusts (Christians) were to torment or hurt only those men which have not the seal of God.  And their torment was inflicted by the sting of their scorpion-like tails.  Why, though, should Christians torment anyone, some may ask?

  It is not difficult to understand this when we recall that Christ's Own ministry was a torment

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to the wicked.  Though He was gentle and though He healed all manner of diseases and made the common people rejoice in His works, there was another class that were made so miserable by His work which was a continual torment to them, that they crucified Him in order to eliminate it.  Likewise when the Christians after the crucifixion became numerous, they too, became an intolerable nuisance to this same class.  Indeed, throughout  the history of the world God's people have always been a torment to the wicked who wanted to stay wicked.

  It was the tails of the locusts that did the hurting.  Since the tail is that part of the body which follows behind, it would aptly symbolize  followers.  And if the followers are symbolized by the tails, then God's leaders (ministers) would be symbolized by the heads.  It is the  followers or converts that hurt the opposers of the Truth.  And that tormenting will  also be present in the sixth trumpet, for then there is to be those mighty horses having tails of serpents.

  People may not be so impressed with locusts, but 200,000,000 horses and horsemen would be very impressive.  Revelation says that they would be present and working during the sixth trumpet.  So what are we approaching? -- In just a little while this period will begin.  It means that God's army will increase to  200,000,000 strong.  That will indeed be a great movement.  In fact, the world has never seen anything like

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it.  They will not only be great, but they will also be invulnerable to death.

  We learned that in the fifth trumpet there are only 144,000 sealed ones, but in the sixth trumpet there are to be 200,000,000.  Now we want to know what is to cause the increase in number.  Let us turn to

Rev. 7:1-8 -- "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.  And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither  the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.  And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.  Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve  thousand.  Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand.  Of

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the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand.  Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand."

  The 144,000 are sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel.

Rev. 7:9 -- "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of  all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands."

  Now at first impulse you may tell me that I was wrong a few moments ago when I told you that the number of God's army will grow from 144,000 to 200,000,000.  You may say it  because this verse says that there will be so great a multitude to be converted that they could not be numbered.  But you must not fail to remember that Revelation 7:9 includes not only the 200,000,000 "horses" but also their converts which are represented by the tails.  When you add to 200,000,000 leaders the number of their followers, you will have a number so great that it would be innumerable.  In order to ascertain how we know that there are more than 144,000 leaders, let us turn to

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Isa. 66:12 -- "For thus saith the Lord, Behold I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees."

  This is talking about the church, Jerusalem, the city.

Isa. 66:13 -- "As one whom his mother  comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem."

  This is a promise which has not yet met its fulfillment.  In the next verse we are told that when God does comfort His people, it is to be a sign post.

Isa. 66:14 -- "And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward His servants, and His indignation toward His enemies."

  The Christian is really going to be converted and their enemies are going to be tormented.

Isa. 66:15 -- "For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire."

  This gives the reason The Lord will come

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with anger and fury.

Isa. 66:16 -- "For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many."

  The angels in Revelation 9 were to slay a third part of men.  In that way "the slain of the Lord shall be many."

Isa. 66:17 -- "They that sanctify themselves and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord."

  Those who pose as Christians but obey not the laws of God shall be consumed.

Isa. 66:18, 19 -- "For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see My glory.  And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles."

  The Lord is going to come and slay many who claim to be sanctified but are not obedient

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to the Truth.  Those who escape will go to the nations that have not heard the Truth.

  Let us discuss for a few moments what it is that seals God's people as a whole, as a body.  You recall that in the days of Joshua the whole nation fell in defeat before their enemy.  Then Joshua prayed and God revealed to him that there was a sinner in the camp and that unless he were found and removed, Israel would never stand before her enemies.  This illustrates the fact that it is the removing of the wicked from the midst of the church that seals it -- makes it able to live on.  You see, then, that the church's danger lurks behind the hypocrites that are in it.  For this reason the winds are held until the first fruits are individually sealed, and when all the sinners have thereafter  been removed, there will remain only the righteous, thus leaving a sealed church, a holy people that God can put His angels round about to protect (seal) against any molesting thing.  And they are the men, who, having escaped the slaughter, constitute the servants of God whom He shall send to all the nations to proclaim His glory.

Isa. 66:20 -- "And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord."

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  Do you not see how the work will be finished?  It can be finished in no other way than by a church containing only holy people.  In the words of Isaiah, they will bring all their brethren out of all nations in a clean vessel, meaning a clean church.  And when they bring in all their brethren, it will result in a great ingathering of souls.  That is why there will be 144,000 leaders to start with instead of only 12.

Isa. 66:21 -- "And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the Lord."

  Of those that are gathered, God will take some for priests and Levites.  That is what will swell the force to 200,000,000 horses.  Their riders are the angels.  Workmen whom God thus describes would fear nothing, for they, too, will receive the seal of protection that will make them invulnerable to death.  Now you should be able to see what a great people God is to have.

  Is it displeasing to God for any to urge His people to study the Bible, to obey His Truth that they may become the great People He has pictured them to be?  Can it be?  If it is not, then shall we be just like walls through which nothing can penetrate?  I am sure that if we are God's people we will be responsive to the revelation of His Truth and we will earnestly set ourselves to the business of knowing His will and obeying it, that we may be His people.  Men like that will not talk empty, vain things, but their words will instead

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be powerful like fire, smoke, and brimstone.  And speaking of fire, where there is smoke there is also fire.  Since smoke ascended  out of the bottomless pit, fire must have been in the pit.  And as fire and smoke and brimstone issued forth from the mouths of the horses, what can it represent but the Spirit of God, the Gospel of Christ?  Is not the Spirit of God a number of times represented by fire?  The smoke fittingly represents a complete sacrifice burned by fire, consumed by the Holy Spirit.  Have we yet made up our mind to sacrifice all -- to be all for God and none for self -- not meaning, of course that we must torture ourselves?

  For our closing thought we should remind ourselves that the 144,000 were without guile in their mouths.  And the Bible says that he that overcomes his tongue is a perfect man.  Are we ever guilty of uttering statements before checking them for accuracy, for justice,  for necessity of telling, for edification?  Let us learn to speak the right thing at the right time and in the right place.  Having learned that, we will have become heroes, for it is a fact that for at least some people to gain the victory on this point they will have to make what will seem to be the supreme sacrifice.  Let us not speak evil of other people.  Let us not speak discouraging, disheartening things.  Always remember that persons who speak thus invariably betray their own low spiritual condition.

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Vol. 12  The Symbolic Code  No. 3

Vol. 12    No. 3




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(The sermon selected for this issue of The Symbolic Code was delivered by Brother V.T. Houteff March 18, 1939).

Isa. 62:1 -- "For Zion's sake will I not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth."

  This verse denotes that it will take much speaking and effort on God's part before righteousness and salvation will go forth out of  Zion and Jerusalem.  It is because God's people need a work to be done for them that will cause Him to continue speaking and working until righteousness and salvation are accomplished.  We may be certain also that in this process we as a body will win; but some as individuals will lose out because they, like rebellious Israel of old, will  not submit themselves to the necessary requirements that God lays before them.  They refuse to exchange their ways for His ways and their thoughts for His thoughts.

Isa. 62:2 -- "And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name."

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  A new name is to be given to His people as a body, and perhaps even as individuals also just as it was in the cases of Abraham, Sarah, and Jacob.  For after our characters are changed God may wish to give us names that would be indicative of that fact if our present names should not then be fitting.  God is going to make His people so glorious that kings who now glory in their power will then acknowledge the glory of His people.  Consequently, if we are to be among that people, then we are going to be made known in all the world even to all kings at the time when God makes His people known, and our names will be classed forever among the names of the great men of the Scriptures.  Do you actually realize that?

Isa. 62:3 -- "Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God."

  We are also to be a crown of glory in the hands of God.

Isa. 62:11 -- "Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him."

  This glorious announcement is to be made just before we receive our reward.  And of what will our reward consist if we are faithful?

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-- Eternal life; a place in the Kingdom of Christ; a complete cleansing of body, soul and spirit, thus making us a people without guile, a crown of glory unto God; and everything else that goes with it.

  Let us now turn to

Joel 2:1 -- "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand."

  Here a command is given to someone to blow a trumpet and sound an alarm.  Why?--

  "For the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand."

Joel 2:2 -- "A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither  shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations."

  In this day of gloominess and thick darkness there is also to be a great and strong people.  If they are to be greater and stronger than any in the past, then they will exceed in strength even Samson.  What is it that will make that people so strong? -- The very first requisite is

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faith.  The second is courageous action.

  We must continue to believe even in the face of the severe circumstances that will present themselves to challenge our faith.  We must realize, therefore, that not a little faith but very much faith is required of any who would be among this great people.  Ever remember that the Israelite multitude and later the whole nation completely lost out simply because of their unbelief which led to their rebellion against God's ways until there was no remedy.

  As an incidental thought we might mention also that Samson was obedient to a strict diet and a specific injunction concerning his hair; and his strict adherence to these requirements did prove to be the provisions he had to meet in order to possess superior muscular strength.  This example teaches us that if God requires of us something which He may even require of no others, the purpose in it can be served in no other way than by our strictly adhering to it.  If God, for instance, has given us dietary and other requirements to follow in order to keep us separate from the world so that He can deliver us from the evils in the world, then we must obey them if we would be delivered.

  Now let us return our attention to Joel's prophecy by reading

Joel 2:3 -- "A fire devoureth before them; and

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behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the Garden of Eden before them and behind them a desolate wilderness;  yea, and nothing shall escape them."

  What will make the land before them as a garden and behind them a desolate  wilderness? -- They will leave nothing behind but desolation, for they will gather out all the saints into the Kingdom of God which is ahead of them.

  Let us turn to

Isa. 33:14 -- "The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites.  Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?  who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?"

  Fire is both before and behind, and only those, therefore, who are insulated then with the righteousness of Christ will be able safely to stand between these two fires.

Isa. 33:15-19 -- "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.  Thine

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eyes shall see the King in His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.  Thine heart shall meditate terror.  Where is the scribe?  where is the receiver?  where is he that counted the towers?  Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand."

  We do not now see the great men joining themselves with God's people, and moreover, God's Truth does not come to us in a deeper speech than we can perceive, neither in a tongue which we cannot understand.  God's people will be able to understand and they will also be able to live in the midst of the fire.  Besides all this their bread and water will be sure.

  Let us reread verses 15 to 19 and include verse 20.

Isa. 33:15-20 -- "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the  munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.  Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

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Thine heart shall meditate terror.  Where is the scribe?  where is the  receiver?  where is he that counted the towers?  Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand.  Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet  habitation, a tabernacle that shall  not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken."

  This is why kings shall at last seek our glory.

Joel 2:4 -- "The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run."

  The appearance of horses is that of strength, nobility, and even graceful beauty.

Joel 2:5, 6 -- "Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.  Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness."

  When the Israelites went out of Egypt, all

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the nations trembled.  So will it be with us in the ingathering of the saints.

Joel 2:7, 8 -- "They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded."

  This army will act in perfect unity, and each will tend well to his own given part of the work.  Moreover, none will suffer harm.

Joel 2:9 -- "They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief."

  In the time of the image of the beast when harm will threaten God's army, they will nevertheless fearlessly go out to carry the Gospel everywhere.

Joel 2:10 -- "The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining."

  This suggests that His people will have power of the kind which Joshua and Hezekiah and Elijah had.

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Joel 2:11 -- "And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His Word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?"

  We must be righteous if we would abide it.

Joel 2:12 -- "Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning."

  For this reason we should now turn to God with all our hearts, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.  This is what God calls for now from each of us individually.

Joel 2:13 -- "And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil."

  When we rend our hearts we will in other words be inwardly repentant, and it will be our experience only if we are genuine believers, knowing what we believe, and believing what we know.

Joel 2:14-18 -- "Who knoweth if He will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind Him; even a meat offering and a drink

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offering unto the Lord your God?  Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: gather the people sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber and the bride out of her closet.  Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them; wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?

  "Then will the Lord be jealous for His land, and pity His people."

  Not the heathen, but God is to rule over His people.  Nevertheless, in order to obtain this blessing it will require the most earnest supplication and effort on the part of His people.

Joel 2:19 -- "Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto His people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen."

  These are God's promises to us.

  Micah 4 and Isaiah 2 clearly outline the great blessings God has in store for those who

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choose to serve Him.  For our further encouragement today, let us turn to

Mic. 4:1 -- "But in the last days it shall come  to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it."

  God's Kingdom, which Daniel in his second chapter said would be set up "in the days of these kings," is here referred to as "the  mountain."

Mic. 4:2 -- "And many nations shall come and 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."

  To continue our reading, let us now skip a few verses and read very carefully

Mic. 5:1-15 -- "Now gather thyself in troops O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have

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been from of old, from everlasting.  Therefore will He give them up until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.

  "And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.  And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.  And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.  And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.

  "And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces and none can deliver.  Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine

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adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.  And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee and I will destroy thy chariots: and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds: and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers: thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.  And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities.  And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen such as they have not heard."

  God has determined that He will cut out all wickedness, and when He does it His people will then be made great through it.  In Isaiah chapters 32 and 34 a further description is given of what the Lord has done and will yet do, and then, speaking of His righteous people, we read in

Isa. 35:1, 2 -- "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of  Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see

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the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God."

  His land will yet blossom abundantly and bring forth fruit, and there will also be rejoicing, joy, and singing when the Lord's glory and excellency will be seen.

Isa. 35:5-7 -- "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes."

  In the time of the Loud Cry signs and wonders and miracles will follow the believers.  All  this awaits those who are awake to these facts and who devote their main interests and even their very lives to the furtherance of God's cause, His Kingdom.

  David applied himself well to his work, and God saw It and made him king, for in order to be a good king a man must tend well to his business.  In God's work as in everything else, men can succeed only if they take real and sustaining interest in the work He gave them to do.

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  It would be profitable for each of us to examine ourselves closely for the purpose of  determining whether we are in every respect seeking first the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness.  If we have a clear vision of what God is to do, and if we really want to receive the promised blessings we will in no wise find ourselves guilty of hindering or delaying there which makes possible their fulfillment.


  "Often the Christian life is beset by dangers, and duty seems hard to perform.  The imagination pictures impending ruin before, and bondage or death behind.  Yet the voice of God speaks clearly, 'Go forward.'  We should obey this command, even though our eyes cannot penetrate the darkness, and we feel the cold waves about our feet.  The obstacles that hinder our progress will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit.  Those who defer obedience till every shadow of uncertainty disappears, and there remains no risk of failure or defeat, will never obey at all.  Unbelief whispers, 'Let us wait till the obstructions are removed and we can see our way clearly;' but faith courageously urges an advance, hoping all things, believing all things." -- Patriarchs and Prophets, page 290.

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  To those who wish to know when the living in the church will be judged in the books of heaven we give you the benefit of Brother Houteff's clear-cut statements which he wrote in answering specific questions on the subject:

  1.  "As to whether this work of separation, or investigation of who has and who has not the 'wedding garment,' is now taking place, I may say that it is not, for the reason that we are now in the marking time of Ezekiel chapter nine, not yet in the time of investigation of who has the mark, and who has it not.  The marking itself is not the separation, not a work of the sanctuary in Heaven.  It takes place in the church on earth as well as in the home.  Each one for himself decides his own case either by sighing and crying for the abominations in the midst there of, or by not so doing.  Thus they themselves determine whether to be marked, or to be left without the mark and be cut down by the angel's slaughter weapons.  The only judging which the sanctuary in Heaven does in regard to these is to give the right for one class of the dead to arise either in the first resurrection, or in the second resurrection; and to give right for one class of the living to stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb for translation, and for the other to die at the slaughter weapons of the angels, and to arise in the second resurrection.

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  "Thus it is seen that the time of the sanctuary judgment among the living first fruits starts at the time of the slaughter, and continues  thereafter during the time of the second fruits."

  2.  "In our conversation I meant to explain that we are not in the sanctuary-judgment of the living, not in the time for our sins to be blotted out, but in the time for us to decide (judge ourselves) either to receive the mark and be saved, or to remain without it and be taken by the slaughter weapons of the angels.   We are not in the seventh seal; the half hour silence is yet future.

  "I tried to explain that we have not advanced far enough in the harvest of the first fruits to have the tares cut down from the ground where they are rooted (the church), or to have the wheat put into the 'barn' (the Kingdom); but that we are in the time when the distinction between the tares and the wheat is becoming more and more apparent while the stocks of wheat are being 'marked' so that when the reapers of the tares pass by they will leave the wheat on its stocks until all the tares are cut out.  Then the wheat will be gathered and put into the 'barn' (the Kingdom).  The great harvest, the harvest of the second fruits,  is to follow after."

  3.  "The Judgment of the Living on earth commences with Ezekiel 9, but in heaven (in the books) after Ezekiel 9.  The Judgment of

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the Living is in two phases: The first phase is a separation that takes away the wicked from among the righteous, Ezekiel 9.  The second phase is the book work when the investigation takes place, and when the sins of the righteous and the names of the wicked are blotted out of the records in Heaven.  This second phase, the judicial session in heaven, is what commences after Ezekiel 9."

  4.   "It is true that The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, p. 172, reveals that we are entering into the time of the Judgment of the Living, but it does not say that we have entered into it, neither does it say that the Judgment of the Living has already begun, not that part which we as Seventh-day Adventists call Judgment, blotting out sins and sinners from the books of records, --  the separation.  The very fact that we are still  together, commingled the good with the bad, itself speaks the Truth."

  5.   "The reason that you have not been able to ascertain from the publications how we are to know when the Judgment will pass from the dead to the living is that you have failed to study the message in its entirety.  The trumpet is even now blowing, but as yet the day has not been announced.  We can, however, say that the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 is what marks the Judgment passing from the dead to the living."

  6.  "Regarding the Judgment, although

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the message of The Shepherd's Rod does announce the Judgment of the Living a number of times, yet according to The Answerer, Book No. 2, pp. 38-42, we are still in the time of the Judgment of the Dead.  You will also notice that in the reference you mentioned (The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, p. 162), it says the Investigation of the living 'commences after the fulfillment of Ezekiel 9.'"

  7.  "With regard to your answers to the questions in the Sabbath School Quarterly, we want you to know that you got along just fine throughout the entire lesson with the exception of your passing mention that the Judgment of the Living began in 1929.  You will find that the message consistently teaches that the Judgment of the Living has not yet commenced, that we are still living in the time of the Judgment of the Dead, and that the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 is what marks the judgment passing from the dead to the living.  Read the White-House Recruiter."

  8.  "The commencement of the Judgment of the Dead was marked by 'lightnings and thunderings and voices' (Revelation 4:5), whereas the commencement of the sanctuary phase of the Judgment of the Living is marked by 'voices, and thunderings, and lightnings and an earthquake' (Rev. 8:5).  See The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 220, 221, and Tract No. 15, p. 64."

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  9.  "As to the time of the commencement of the Judgment of the Living, see The Answerer,  Book No. 1, pp. 94, 95, and The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, p. 220 which says: '...when the seal is opened, and the Judgment of the Living begins, we must know it... The date of that glorious event...will be made known at the fulfillment of Revelation 8:5.'"

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Vol. 12  The Symbolic Code  No. 4

Vol. 12    No. 4



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(The sermon which follows was given by Brother V.T. Houteff, May 6, 1944).

James 4:2, 3 -- "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may  consume it upon your lusts."

  There is a class of people who do everything they can in order to enrich themselves in material wealth perhaps even for a good cause, yet they are poor because they attempt to acquire it in their own wisdom and strength and do not ask God either for the riches or His help to obtain them.  Because this class did not ask they received not.

  There is also another class who ask, but they ask amiss, wanting only to consume it upon themselves, and therefore they, too, receive nothing.

  These are but two reasons why even some of God's Own people are poor.  James here deals only with these two reasons, but other Bible writers give additional specific reasons such as poor management, indolence, providential

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reverses, and so on.

  By inspired testimony we have learned that Abraham and Lot both became so rich that they had to dissolve partnership and occupy separate portions of land.  Abraham suggested that Lot should choose first the land he wanted, and Abraham would take what was left.  Lot chose all the plains and left the hills for Abraham.  Perhaps from a business standpoint Lot's choice was good, but from God's viewpoint it was poor.  In making his selection Lot failed to see or take into account the fact that he had been greatly blessed by his having been in partnership with his uncle Abraham.  He thought only of his personal, selfish future security.  Abraham, nevertheless raised no objections to Lot's choice.  He gladly took the hills.

  In the process of time Lot moved into the city where he became poorer and poorer.  At last the angel of the Lord had to rescue him, and he came out with nothing.  In striking contrast to Lot's devastating experience, Abraham steadily became richer and richer and God finally gave him all the land.  What was the secret of Abraham's success? -- God Himself made Abraham prosperous when He saw Abraham faithful in everything.  When we are faithful in everything He will more abundantly bless us also.

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  When Joseph started out he, too, was very poor.  He was sold by his own brothers and later sold again as a slave.  All he possessed at that time were his soul and the clothes on his body.  But eventually he became the world's richest man.  He held the key to all the riches in Egypt, because whatever he did he put real religion into it.  Even Pharaoh recognized his outstanding worth and availed himself of it by appointing Joseph to run his government.

  The troubles which came to Joseph in his life were actually for his good and prepared him to become an interpreter of dreams, a king, and doubtless the greatest economist the world has ever seen.  God had observed that Joseph did everything as if it were his very own, and, moreover, he was constantly sensible to the fact that God was his Master and that nothing could be hidden from Him.  It was this conviction that caused Joseph to understand that regardless what men did to him or said about him, God alone had charge of his life.  Therefore, in prosperity and fame Joseph maintained his loyalty and integrity; and in adversity Joseph did not waste his time ascribing to others the cause of his troubles.  Instead, he set about to behave in a way that would commend himself even to royalty, for it is not likely that the Ishmaelites would have been able to sell him to Potiphar had he not been a superior person.

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  "And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.  And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.  And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.... And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured." Gen. 39:2-4, 6.  But again it was his lot to suffer reversals over which he had no control, and he landed in prison where his excellent personality and faithfulness once again won him his freedom, and, moreover, he was promoted to the highest position of the land.

  In the meantime Joseph's brothers kept coming down until finally they were reduced to such poverty that they had to leave their country and come to Joseph for their food and living.  We should be able to see in this that although God's people may be disgracefully dealt with by jealous associates, still they will not suffer the wrong forever if God is with them.  Joseph followed righteousness and no man could prevent God from blessing him with riches and honor.  It matters not what men may say or do against you to put you down, if you have God with you you will in the end be on top and they at the  bottom.  Jealousy may be as cruel as the grave, but sooner or later righteousness is rewarded.

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How important it is that God's people have their minds constantly employed in serving Him perfectly in everything!

  We can indeed make ourselves the poorest of the poor by concerning ourselves wholly with our own needs and wants instead of working toward the goal of producing all we can for the benefit of others.  Doing for others is what brings success and alone makes one in demand.

  Job, you remember, was a very rich man because he was perhaps God's best friend on earth at that time.  At least the Devil grew jealous of him and told the Lord that Job was not as good a man as the Lord thought, and he could prove it if he were allowed to bring enough trouble and hardship to him.  And you remember that the Lord allowed the Devil to do anything he wanted to Job, except to take his life.  In the midst of the fires of his many and grievous afflictions Job declared, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." Job 13:15.  Because Job did not fail, he in the end was many times richer than he was in the beginning.  God's people do not become rich in any respect by playing the fool.  Nor does it help for them to give themselves over to self pity in the day of adversity.  When a person feels sorry for himself he has at least brought himself to a state of stalemate if not outright defeat.  None of the men of God, regardless

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how severe were the hardships they were called upon to bear, felt that these sacrifices were too great.  Generally speaking, all these men possessed a stabilizing power that is hard to explain other than to say that it is a gift  of God which He bestows upon those who are intimately and firmly acquainted and united to Him.

  Solomon, too, saw his great personal need, not for his own personal benefit, however, but for the ultimate benefit of his people.  And he longed for the fulfillment of his need for their sake.  That is why he asked God for the right thing -- wisdom.  And God gave him everything, including wisdom.

  David was anointed king over Israel because God had daily seen him while he was a shepherd boy faithfully doing all he could to take  the very best care of his father's sheep.  God knew that if David would give even his life for sheep, he would be the right one to  rule the kingdom.

  The only lasting fortune man can obtain is gotten through righteousness, through God's way and in His time.  The successful life is not that one which gained riches and acquired fame for this life and nothing for the future  life.  The successful man, on the contrary,  insures his eternal riches by daily making straight paths for his feet to walk in, thus

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insuring also his present life's success.  God controls the distribution of riches and He does not give them to His people as a blessing if they are selfish.  If such people obtain wealth it is invariably a curse to them.

  Now let us study Jacob's life for a few  minutes this afternoon.  You remember that  he was the son of Isaac whom God had greatly blessed.  And when he grew old Jacob coveted the birthright which according to custom was to be Esau's.  In desiring it Jacob was not seeking to become rich, he was after the spiritual blessing that it would bring and which Esau did not esteem highly, until in one way or another Jacob had successfully gotten it for himself.  If a man wants spiritual blessings bad enough for the right purpose God will give  them to him.

  After Jacob obtained the birthright he had to leave home and build his life with practically nothing at his uncle Laban's.  There Jacob agreed to work for Laban seven years for his daughter Rachel, whom he wanted to marry.  During these seven years Jacob had practically taken the business under his control, and God had greatly blessed his efforts, and through it Laban also was blessed.  But Laban deceived him at the end of the seven years and gave him the wrong girl!  Jacob again agreed to work another seven years for Rachel.  During this time

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Jacob's work was of the same high quality as it has been before, even though he has been treated wrongly by his uncle.

  Since God's people in this age are to endure "the time of Jacob's trouble" and receive the blessing which was promised to his posterity  in the latter days, it would be time well spent for us to give further attention to the details as they are recorded in the Bible which describe the faithfulness with which Jacob, our type, discharged his daily responsibilities, and compare ourselves with him to see if we are as diligent and careful and trustworthy as he was.  Let us read first

Gen. 30:25-43 -- "And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.  Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.  And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.  And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.  And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me.  For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a

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multitude; and the Lord hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?  And he said, What shall I give thee?  And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock.  I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire.  So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.  And Laban said, Behold, I would it might  be according to thy word.  And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstraked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted and every one that had some white in it and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons.  And he set three days' journey betwixt  himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks.

  "And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chestnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them,

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and made the white appear which was in the rods.  And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink.  And the flocks conceived before the rods and brought forth cattle ringstraked speckled, and spotted.  And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstraked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves and put them not unto Laban's cattle.  And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods.  But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's.  And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses."

  When Jacob's fourteen years service to obtain his two wives were over he wanted to move his family and possessions back to his own country whence he came.  But Laban knew that he had prospered by having Jacob with him, and for this reason he did not want him to leave.  Had Jacob not been enterprising and faithfully producing more than he consumed

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you know that Laban would not have wanted Jacob to stay even as long as he did.  The thing that makes anyone valuable in the world is his ability to see and fill a need that exists in the world.  The valuable man does not gain this reputation by measuring the good he will do by what he expects to receive in return.  He is the valuable man, I repeat, because he saw and filled a need that existed in the world.

Gen. 30:27 -- "And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake."

  This is the kind of recommendation the Christian should cause to be said of his religion by those for whom he works.  Such a  recommendation comes only by putting practical religion and thought into your everyday living and working habits, and by producing more than you consume.  The real Christian will never say what I heard a man say one time.  He told me that where he was working he was getting only a certain amount per hour which he stipulated in a tone of dissatisfaction, and then he quickly added that that is all the value in work he would give them, too.  That is not the way to commend your religion to anyone for whom you intend to continue working.  But it is the way to get yourself out the

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door sooner or later.

  Let us read again

Gen. 30:31-34 -- "And he [Laban] said, What shall I give thee [Jacob]?  And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock.  I will pass through all thy flock to day removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire.  So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come when it  shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.  And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word."

  In drawing up the new labor contract, Jacob said he did not want Laban to give him anything.  He wanted to work for Laban on a purely production basis and what God would give him.  Laban listened to Jacob's proposal and agreed to it because he expected  the spotted lambs to be fewer than the others.  Jacob, on the other hand, proposed this kind of contract because he knew that God was with him and would bless him.  He seemed to know also

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that there is a natural law that we are blessed only when we put forth exertion and thought, for it took both on Jacob's part to prepare the rods and to separate the feeble from the strong cattle when they came to drink.  And God did greatly bless him.

Gen. 31:1 -- "And he heard the words of  Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory."

  Laban's sons said Jacob became rich because of Laban; but it was God who made him rich because of his faithfulness and effort.

Gen. 31:2-4 -- "And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.  And the Lord said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.   And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock."

  Though Jacob was rich he was still on the job.

Gen. 31:5, 6 -- And said unto them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me.  And ye know that with all my power I have served your father."

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  He served Laban with all his power, and he acknowledged that God had blessed him.

Gen. 31:7-9 -- "And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.  If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The  ringstraked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked.  Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me."

  Both of the men charged each other with deceit.  In his account to his wives, Jacob  recalled that Laban had changed his wages repeatedly, and, furthermore, he pointed out that he could not help it that the cattle came ringstraked and speckled.  He had simply put forth his best efforts and God had blessed  him.

Gen. 31:10-12 -- "And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled.  And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked,

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speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee."

  God revealed to Jacob that He Himself was responsible for Jacob's good fortune.  Had Jacob not been faithful, however, do you think God would have blessed him?  God blesses us only when we keep busy at our given work, whatever it may be.  Moreover, just as God saw all the evil that Laban did toward Jacob, and did not suffer him to hurt Jacob, so also whatever anyone attempts to do against His faithful people today, it will in the end fail to accomplish the intended purpose to injure them, for God will turn it around at last to glorify Himself and to bless His people.  And when God wants to bless, someone, no one -- not even the Devil -- can keep Him from doing it.

Gen. 31:14-16 -- "And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house?  Are we not counted of him strangers?  for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money.  For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do."

  Laban's daughters, too, recognized the fact that their father was selfish and a grafter.

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They were therefore willing to cooperate with Jacob in whatever God had told him to do.

Gen. 31:17-22 -- "Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels; and he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanaram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.  And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had  stolen the images that were her father's.  And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.  So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the Mount Gilead.  And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled."

  The fact that Laban was unaware of Jacob's absence until someone informed him of it three days after he left, shows that Jacob had taken care of Laban's work so well that Laban did not have to go every day to check up on Jacob's work.

Gen. 31:23-27 -- "And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and they overtook him in the Mount Gilead.  And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and  said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.  Then Laban

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overtook Jacob.  Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead.  And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters as captives taken with the sword?  Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?"

  Laban pretended in this, for were he not lying God would not have had to appear to Laban in the dream to warn him to leave Jacob alone.

Gen. 31:28, 29 -- "And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters?  thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.  It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad."

  So what could Laban do?

Gen. 31:30-36 -- "And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?  And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou

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wouldest take by force thy daughters from me.  With whomsoever thou findest thy gods let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee.  For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.  And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maidservants' tents; but he found them  not.  Then went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent.  Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them.  And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.  And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me.  And he searched but found not the images.  And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban What is my trespass?  what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me?"

  Jacob knew that Laban was not saying and doing all these things for nothing, and he demanded that Laban explain his reason for  his behaviour.  Jacob continues speaking in

Gen. 31:37-42 -- "Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff?  set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt

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us both.  This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.  That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.  Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.  Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.  Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty.  God hath seen mine affliction  and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight."

  Jacob had kept the cattle in the best possible way so that there was no loss to Laban.  Jacob, himself, had suffered the loss of those which happened to be stolen.  He had watched and worked diligently both day and night, tending well to his business.  And that is the real reason that Laban was after Jacob now.  He knew that Jacob was a valuable worker and that he needed him.

  We, too, must be diligent and faithful as was Jacob if we are to enter the Kingdom, for the men that are wanted in God's cause

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are men who are dependable in whatever the Lord gives them to do.

Gen. 31:43 -- "And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?"

  Poor Laban!  Everything was his, yet there was nothing he could do to possess them!

Gen. 31:44-52 -- "Now therefore come thou, let us make covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.  And Jacob took a stone and set it up for a pillar.  And Jacob said unto his  brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.  And Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.  And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day.  Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; and Mizpah; for he said The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me

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and thee.  And Laban said to Jacob Behold this heap, and behold this pillar,  which I have cast betwixt me and thee: this heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm."

  Laban finally became convinced that he could do nothing, and being fearful of Jacob, he proposed that they enter into a covenant together for peace.

Gen. 31:53-55 -- "The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father,  judge betwixt us.  And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.  Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried  all night in the mount.  And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned  unto his place."

  Laban had gone after Jacob with the intention of cursing him, but he was obliged to bless him instead.

  Now we as Christians must be joined to the Lord even as Jacob was and be diligent in the pursuit of that which God had given each

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of us to do if we would be blessed as he was.  Diligence and faithfulness characterized all the great men of the world, and it is the only way to gain lasting blessings and be in favor with both God and man.  For, says the wise man, "A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.  He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him." Prov. 28:20,

  May each of us as children of God be aware that He sees all that we do and reads all our thoughts; may our constant motive be that of serving Him and not ourselves; may we live to bless others and not just to seek the means by which we only may exist; may we realize that no man can put us down if God wants us up; and finally, may we realize that it is God from Whom all blessings flow.  Thus may we prepare ourselves for the day when God shall separate the saints and the hypocrites and give each his rightful reward.

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Vol. 12  The Symbolic Code  No. 5

Vol. 12     No. 5

MARCH, 1957


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(The sermon which follows was given by Brother V.T. Houteff, July 15, 1944.)

  Our study for this afternoon is based on the statement found in

Isa. 41:21-23 -- "Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.  Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall  happen: let them shew the former things,  what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.  Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.'"

  God is challenging the world not only to predict the future, but to explain also what bearing the past has on the future, that they may show that they are gods.  The challenge itself, implies that none but God knows "the latter end" of "the former things."  Now let us read

Isa. 41:4 -- "Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning?  I the Lord, the first, and with the last;  I am He."

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  God here propounds the question as to who had foreseen and declared the generations that were to come from the very beginning even to the very end of time.  Then He answers His own question, -- "I, the Lord...I am He."

  This scripture plainly shows that God has declared the generations of today from the beginning of time, and that the former things are significant in that they point forward, or are otherwise related, to present or future events or conditions.  With the help of this chart I believe we shall be able to see a little of God's work, particularly in respect to how He has pictured the generations of today in the generations of yesterday.

  Let us turn now to

Gen. 3:15 -- "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

  We cannot possibly misunderstand what woman God meant in this scripture, for there was only one woman -- Eve -- then in the earth.  In the presence of Adam and Eve and the serpent, God spoke these words predicting the future outcome of Eve's seed and the serpent.  Eve's children were to have their heel bruised by the serpent, the Devil.  And in return, the children of Eve, the human family, were to

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bruise the Devil's head, the serpent's head.  Now you know that even if one's leg were to be amputated, one can live on; but when one is decapitated his life immediately ends.  God predicted here that there was to be enmity between good and evil all through time.  And though the serpent would wound the human family, yet the descendants of Adam and Eve, were finally to bruise Satan's head.  "But," you may say, "Christ is to do that."  I do not wish to dispute your word, but actually it is Christ through the human family that is to accomplish it.  For in Jeremiah 51:20 God Himself declares that Israel is to be His battle ax, His weapon of war; for with Israel will He break in pieces the nations.  Then though it is to be accomplished by the will and direction of Christ, yet Christ will do it through His people.  In this way His people who have been wounded by Satan, will finally bruise Satan's head.

  To represent the period of church history symbolized by Eve, we have assigned to her the first of the three sections on the chart.

  Next in the line of typology we have Hagar and Ishmael, and Sarah and Isaac.  They, too are types of the church, as you already know from the fourth chapter of Galatians.  In this chapter, Paul makes it plain that Hagar was a type of the Old Testament church, the Jewish church -- and that Sarah was a type of the New Testament church, the Christian church.  With

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the first period symbolized by Eve herself; the second symbolized by Hagar; and the third symbolized by Sarah, we see that church history is divided into three periods.

  In the first period -- Eve's period -- there was no particular line save that of Cain and Abel, through which the seed of the woman was at last to bruise Satan's head.  And since Cain, being evil, could not become that line of seed, and since Abel was now dead, someone else was needed to carry on the line of righteous seed.  Let us read

Gen. 4:25 -- "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew."

  God appointed Seth to stand in Abel's stead, and through the line of Seth was God to carry on His purpose for the human race.

  Proceeding on to the next period, we come to Hagar and Ishmael. Providence, you recall, brought Hagar and Ishmael into the home of  Abraham.  You well know the circumstances which brought it about: God had promised a son to Sarah, but years passed without the promise being fulfilled to her and she grew impatient over the long delay.  In order to pacify Sarah, God permitted that Hagar become Abraham's

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wife, and Ishmael was born to them.  You can see that this arrangement was not a necessary part of God's plan.  In fact, it was Sarah's plan whereby she could at least vicariously have a son, if she were not to have one of her own.

  According to Paul in Galatians 4, Hagar typified the Jewish church, and Ishmael her children.  Through it all we see that it was God's plan from the beginning to have only the church born of the Spirit -- the Christian church.  But as in the case of Hagar and the birth of Ishmael, the Jewish church, which was born after the flesh only and not of the Spirit, came into being.  Through the experience of Hagar and Ishmael, Providence, you see, wrote both history and prophecy, for it foreshadowed the coming of the Jewish church.

  After Isaac was born, trouble came into the home of Abraham, and God instructed him to put away Hagar and her son, for her son was not to be heir with Ishmael.  But why did God direct Abraham to do this, if it was not an allegory?  I do not believe that God did it  because He wanted to be mean to Ishmael.  I believe He did it because He was writing both history and also prophecy in this experience.

  If it is an allegory, then what is its meaning? -- It means that when the Jewish people, the children of the Jewish church, failed to be converted and reconciled to God, failed to be

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born again and become the children of Sarah -- born by the Spirit, by the will and the power of God which the miraculous birth of Isaac typified, -- when they failed to do this, they met with the sad experience which was typified by Ishmael and Hagar's being sent  away from Abraham.  It was God in the antitype who cast off the Old Testament church and her people -- the unconverted Jewish people, -- so that the children of the Old Testament  church should not be heirs with Isaac -- the children of the New Testament church, -- for  they have nothing in common.

  This plainly says that the Jews that failed to accept Christ, and thereby failed to receive the second birth, shall therefore never, never have a part in the Kingdom of God.  And if the unconverted Jew cannot inherit the Kingdom, certainly the unconverted Christian  and the unconverted Gentile cannot be heirs of the Kingdom of God, either.

  Following the Jewish church typified by Ishmael, we have next the church which originated with a people from the same nation but who received the second birth, a birth that is impossible for man to give, just as by nature it was impossible for Isaac to  be born to Sarah in her old age.  God alone through His Spirit and His promises can give the second birth, just as it was God alone who could make possible Isaac's birth.  That is why Isaac represents

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the New testament church or the people of the New Testament church.  Sarah typified the church itself.   Sarah and Isaac together  represented the New Testament church and her children.

  We have now discussed three periods: (1) the period represented by Eve, (2) the period represented by Hagar; and (3) the period  represented by Sarah.  Thus we have covered one part of the typology.

  Just as there were three sections or divisions of the church, so also there are three sections of the true priesthood.  You know that the  priesthood in the time of the Jewish church was the Levitical priesthood, and it was not in existence before Israel left Egypt, and it is not the true priesthood today.  Before the Levitical priesthood, there was Melchizedek who had neither father nor mother, neither beginning of days nor end of days, and he was the priest of the Most High God, king of Salem, king of peace.  To him Abraham paid his tithes.  Then the three sections of the priesthood lines up thus: (1) in the period from Adam and Eve to the time of Israel, we have Melchizedek; (2) to the Christian era, we have the Levitical priesthood; and (3) in the Christian period we have the priesthood of Christ Himself.  So much for the priesthood.

  We are ready now to study the typology of

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the children of the church.  To Eve was born first Cain and Abel.  Cain was wicked and Abel was righteous.  In the typology of Abraham's two sons Ishmael and Isaac, Ishmael, who taunted Isaac, was put aside and Isaac was chosen.  Then came Esau and Jacob, again one being evil and the other good.  Thus we see that through the types there were two classes of children in the history of the church -- the good and the bad.

  In the case of Cain and Abel, Cain who should have led out in true worship since he was the eldest son, chose instead not to worship God according to His commands; whereas Abel was a true worshipper of God.  Because God accepted Abel's offering and rejected Cain's, he persecuted and slew Abel.  This incident served to demonstrate the actions of church leaders who were determined to lead God's people wrong and even resorted to martyring those who refused to be led wrong.

  Next in line came Ishmael and Isaac.  Ishmael was the older, Isaac was the younger.  But Ishmael and Hagar were sent away because  he persecuted Isaac and Hagar persecuted Sarah.  This friction and trouble in Abraham's home foreshadowed the trouble that came later between the converted Jew and the unconverted Jew in the Christian church at the beginning of the Christian dispensation.  God's casting away Hagar who persecuted Sarah, and Ishmael who

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persecuted Isaac, typified His casting away the Jewish nation and its people that would not become converted to Christianity.

  In the experience of Esau and Jacob we find still another allegory which carries the line of church history still further as we shall see a little later.  Of these twins, Esau was the older and Jacob was the younger.  It was therefore Esau's privilege to be the spiritual leader of the family, and through Esau the twelve tribes of Israel were to come.  Besides this blessing, Christ Himself was to come through Esau's line of posterity.  But because he was evil and held in low esteem his birthright  privileges, he lost them to his brother Jacob who coveted the spiritual blessings.  After the momentous transaction was consummated in which Jacob purchased Esau's birthright for a bowl of pottage, then Esau reflected upon the deal and deeply regretted it.  Since there was no way for him to recover his loss as long as Jacob was living, he at once sought to persecute and kill Jacob.  This is the circumstance that drove Jacob from his home to another country.

  Now if the experience of Jacob and Esau does constitute an allegory, where in church history does it apply?  Since Ishmael was a type of the Jewish church and Isaac was a type of the Christian, then we must look sometime in the Christian dispensation for an experience similar to Jacob and Esau's, for they were

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Isaac's sons.  Therefore, sometime during the Christian period two classes of people were to be born to the Christian church -- one evil and one good.

  Before going further in the study of Esau and Jacob's typology we need to spend a few moments on this part of our chart, which shows the line of children (people) born to this line of women representing the church's history in its three divisions.  To make up the church there must be the mother (the agency which embodies the Truth), the children (the people brought into the church), and the priesthood.  These three constitute the living church on earth.

  First in the line of the children of God in the living church is Seth who was appointed to fill Abel's place.  After Seth was Isaac whom God chose in preference to Ishmael.  After Isaac came Jacob who obtained from Esau the birthright which brought great spiritual blessings.  Do you not see that one child from each of the three periods was used to typify the continuance of the children of God in the church?

  The living church represented also by the woman of Revelation 12,  was in existence from Eden and will continue to the time the Holy City receives the saints.  These three good children -- Seth, Isaac, and Jacob -- were her seed, her children through time, and it was through

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this line of descendants that the kingdom temporal -- the kingdom of Israel -- was made up.  It took all three to make up the people who constituted the kingdom, for not any one of these types did it.

  But, according to Revelation 12, the church was at sometime to leave the vineyard (the kingdom) and go into the Gentile world.  This phase of the church's history is not typified either in Seth's or Isaac's experience.  Only in Jacob's life do we find the type for it.

  Just as it was Esau's persecution of Jacob that caused Jacob to leave Palestine, so also it was the persecution by the unconverted Jews against the Christians which caused them to leave Palestine and go to the Gentile nations.

  It was the line of Seth, and Isaac, and Jacob that made possible the kingdom of Israel in Palestine.  But if the trouble that came between  the Christian Jew and the unconverted Jew was the actual cause of the woman's leaving the kingdom and going into the Gentile world,  who came into the Gentile world?  Was it the Isaacites, and Ishmaelites, or the Sethites, or was it some other?  It was the Jacobites in the Jacobite period who came to the Gentile world.  Therefore we now see that the church is in the Jacobite period.  We also are able to see from the further development of Jacob's type that from this Gentile world the living church is to

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return to Palestine, just as the Bible prophesies that it will.

  We shall now devote a few moments to the study of Jacob, the type, in relation to the church in the antitype.  When Jacob left his home in Palestine, while he was on his way to Padanaram, God met him and gave him his promises that He would be with him, and God fulfilled His promises.  Likewise, when the church left the vineyard, God's Promise was with her that He would not forsake her in the Gentile world.  While Jacob was in Padanaram away from home, he became very rich and his household increased greatly.  Then he was commanded to return home.  So it will be today in the antitype.  The time will come when the church is to be multiplied and then return home.  But when Jacob left his father-in-law's house, and was on the way back to Palestine, you remember that he had his great time of trouble.  It happened before he reached Palestine, his homeland.  He wrestled in anguish all night with God, and it was then that his name was changed from Jacob to Israel.

  We are not now living in the antitypical time of the changed name, Israel, but we are living in the antitypical "Jacob" time.  You might say that Jacob is the fleshly name, a name that does not spell either prince or saint.  Why are we still in the time portrayed by Jacob's sin-denoting name? -- Because we have not yet

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started for home.  When we start for home as did Jacob, we, too, shall meet with our time of trouble, even Jacob's time of trouble.  And at that time we shall become thoroughly converted  to God forever, and our name will be changed as is foretold in Isaiah 61:6, and it will  be a name that the Lord Himself will give us.  When we demonstrate that we are truly converted, then this great promised blessing will come to us.  And when our name has been changed it signifies that we are certain candidates for entrance into the Kingdom eternal.

  In our study today we have travelled over the road the church has gone through its long history.  Our journey brought us through the patriarchal period and then the temporal kingdom age and on through the sojourn of the church in the Gentile nations.  It has brought us to the place we find ourselves now -- on the verge of leaving for the Kingdom eternal, which also means that we are about  to go through our time of trouble and have our name changed, then to be accepted into the Kingdom which God is about to set up that shall last forever.

  For the next few minutes we shall depart from the overall application of the allegories to the living church through the ages, and let us also see what lesson there is in it for God's church at this time.

  The natural birth that Rebecca gave to her

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twins -- Esau and Jacob -- symbolizes the church giving spiritual birth to two classes of people, one good and one bad.  Since though contrary to established custom, the blessing was to be bestowed upon the younger, it denotes that in the latter-day church experience the class which should receive the spiritual blessing will forfeit it in favor of the other -- the younger -- class.

  From one of these twins is to come the twelve tribes of the children of Israel -- the spiritual children of Israel, the 144,000 firstfruits.  When the time comes for the 144,000 to be born, the class represented by Esau are to have first opportunity to realize the privilege of leading the 144,000 who are to usher in the Kingdom over which Christ is to rule.

  When Sister White, the founder of the Seventh-day Adventist church, first began her work, she had a vision concerning the gathering of  the 144,000, which was to be the work of the church.  In the terms of the allegory, then the Seventh-day Adventist church was travailing with the antitypical twins and was to give birth to Jacobites and Esauites.  Who are the ones that would be classed Esauites, and who are the ones that would be classed as Jacobites -- the two people that are in the church now?  The Esauites would be those that are older in the Advent message, those that came first and led the Jacobites, the younger ones into the church.  And as it was

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the younger all through church history that cherished the spiritual blessings which the older ones should have possessed for themselves, so it is that the younger children in the Advent Truth -- God's true church today -- is to carry on the line of the living church.  The others, the older ones, whose right it was by birth to be the leaders of the 144,000 princes standing with the Lamb on Mt. Zion, are going to lose out.  When Sister White first saw the coming of these twelve thousand out of the twelve tribes it indicated that the church was travailing with them and they were soon to be born.  From that time until 1930, when The Shepherd's Rod message came, there was no more Truth revealed concerning the 144,000.  And since the Rod message explained who are the 144,000 and announced that now is the time for them to appear, then we may know that they, the Jacobites, were born, so to speak, from the time the message came.

  But the Jacobites are not yet on Mt. Zion with the Lamb.  Instead, they are in antitypical Padan-aram where God is sustaining them apart from the Esauites in the church.  That is why one part of the Adventists are in Washington,  D.C. and the other part is in Texas.  They are  unable to get along together.

  According to the type we are studying, and also prophecy, the Jacobites are about to gather themselves and leave the Gentile nations to return

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to their homeland, Palestine.  And on their way they will meet Esau and have their name changed to Israel.  Since Esau, however, did not go to the Gentile nations, but it was Jacob who left and came here, there must be Esauites also in Palestine.  Is that not correct?  Though it is true that we are connected with Edomites in the church, -- those who despise their birthright and whom God will therefore take away, -- it is equally true that there are other Esauites besides, for the Esauites in the Seventh-day Adventist church are not all of them.  No, they are not all of the Esauites.  In addition to the Esauites that are in the Adventist church, there are Esauites in Palestine, and there are also Esauites in the other churches, too, and from them other Jacobites must be gathered.  Do you not see that the Esauites are going to be enraged with God's people and give them trouble behind and a bigger trouble ahead?  And besides all the trouble Jacob will suffer from Esau, he is also to have Laban running after him!  Somebody typified by Laban will pursue antitypical Jacob for trouble.

  It is very apparent, then, that God's people will have much trouble among themselves on the way, and ahead.  Trouble is what they face.  But God will take care of them today as He did anciently.  He has promised that He will remove the Edomites in the church and He has promised also to clear away the Edomites and all of the others that are in the land of

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promise, and give it to His people.

  If we had a representation of the Seventh-day Adventist church here along with Protestant and Catholic representations, and if we  could at one presentation show them the vast amount of Truth which we have been blessed with both from typology and prophecy, they would be amazed and confounded.  Just as the woman of Samaria who talked with Jesus at the well, exclaimed because He was able to reveal all that she had ever done they, too, would ask, "Where did this people learn so much about what is going to happen?"

  Where did we get it?  Who is the one that  predicted all this?  To find our answer, we  will read again

Isa. 41:4, 20 -- "Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning?  I the Lord, the first, and with the last: I am He....That they may see, and know and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this and the Holy One of Israel hath created it."

  What effect does all this Truth have upon your heart?  Does it not inspire within you the consuming desire to possess the promised spiritual blessings that can be ours?  Are you not becoming daily more intimately acquainted  with God and becoming hid away in Him, that you may

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be protected in the storm which will soon break upon His people?

  Those who prevail with God for His blessing will be delivered and know no defeat.



In the hour of trial

Father, strengthen me;

Lest by base denial,

I depart from Thee.

When Thou see'st me waver,

With a touch recall,

Nor from Thy dear favor

Suffer me to fall.

With forbidden pleasures

Would this vain world charm,

Or its sordid treasures

Spread to work me harm;

Grant that I may never

Fail Thy hand to see;

Grant that I may ever

Cast my care on Thee. Amen

--J. Montgomery.

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Vol. 12  The Symbolic Code  Nos. 6, 7

Vol. 12    Nos. 6, 7

APRIL - MAY, 1957



Symbolic Code, Vol. 12, Nos. 6, 7                       2


(The following sermon was given by Brother V.T. Houteff April 24, 1943.)

  When John the Baptist preached that the Kingdom of God was at hand, he also taught the need for repentance and baptism.  The baptism that John performed was itself an object lesson that the people were sinful and unprepared for the Kingdom.  We may gather, therefore, that the baptism he gave was to fit the people at that time to meet the Lord and be accepted into the Kingdom of God.  Since John was preparing the way of the Lord, then all the saints should have been baptized and ready to meet the Lord by the time He came.  But the facts are that when Jesus came He not only also baptized, but He baptized even more persons than John did.  And when it was time for Him to ascend into Heaven He commissioned His apostles also to baptize as He had commanded.  This commission, moreover, was to extend to the end of probationary  time.

  If baptism was a significant object lesson pointing forward to one's actually being cleansed and prepared to meet the Lord, then the event itself is still in the future, because the rite of baptism still continues to be performed.  We therefore understand that the baptismal ceremony

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which John instituted was not only for the people who were living at that time, but it is also for those who lived after him.  Since those persons whom John baptized, and even many that were baptized later, are now dead they will not meet the Lord except they be  resurrected, which fact causes us to understand that they were baptized for the resurrection.  In other words, had they not performed their duty of baptism they would not rise in the first resurrection nor would they enter the Kingdom of God.  We must bear in mind, however, that the Judgment precedes the resurrection.  Then prior to the resurrection their cases are taken up in the Judgment and the decision is made which determines that they are worthy to be called forth in the resurrection of  the just.  After their resurrection they will meet the Lord and will receive welcome into His Kingdom.  Their baptism, then, was for the resurrection of the righteous dead.

  While John was preaching baptism with water he said in

Matt. 3:11, 12 -- "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

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  Jesus, who was to follow after John was to baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire.  But the fact is that when He came He, too,  baptized with water just as John did.  Therefore, we must conclude that the baptism of which John spoke is still future.  If it is, when will it come to pass?  That is the question before us now.  For the answer, let us read again

Matt. 3:12 -- "Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

  The time that He is to baptize His people with the Holy Ghost and with fire is when He comes to take away the tares and burn them with fire.  And our message teaches that the time this purging will take place is at hand (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80).  Yes, the Lord is to come to purge His floor, destroy the chaff and gather the wheat into His Kingdom.  Since only the announcement of this most solemn event has been given, and it has not yet come to pass, therefore we still see the chaff and the wheat commingled.  In the light of this fact, we must be standing in the same place John and the disciples stood in their time.

  John the Baptist found his commission in Isaiah 40:1-5, which we shall now read and analyze.

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Isa. 40:1 -- "Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God."

  This is the gospel of John the Baptist.  He was sent to do this.

Isa. 40:2 -- "Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins."

  When we analyze this statement we find that this condition was not true in John's time, for Jerusalem's warfare was not accomplished  and her sins were not at that time pardoned.  Nor were her trials over.  But she was to be comforted by these words.  If John's preaching  was a type of anything, it must be a type  of the message that God wants His servants to preach today just before the Lord comes to baptize and purge His people with fire.  If this be true, then this chapter most certainly says that we are in the time when Jerusalem's warfare is to be accomplished and her sins are to be pardoned, the reason being that she has received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.  And we understand clearly that Jerusalem cannot mean anything other than God's church, His people.

  What specific punishment did the church receive? -- The Lord took away her kingdom and then sent her into the wilderness where she was

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to be fed 1260 days (Revelation 12).  Though some may understand that the church was to be in the wilderness only for the duration of the prophetic 1260 days, it should be pointed out that Revelation does not say that.  The Revelation only says that the woman was to be fed in the wilderness 1260 days; it does not say how long she would be there.  Her warfare was to be in the wilderness.  By the authority of other Scripture prophecies in conjunction with Revelation 12, we have learned that when her warfare is finished she is to journey out  of the wilderness and return to the vineyard (Kingdom) which God is to restore unto her.   We believe we are now approaching that very  event when God's people must return and reestablish the vineyard -- God's Kingdom -- that is to constitute the "stone" of Daniel 2:44, 45.

  When John the Baptist came he found the people deeply entrenched in sin, and therefore not at all prepared for the Kingdom of Christ.  And if he and his work are a type of the message and work today, then it, too, must find the people in the same condition -- asleep and in sin and thus unprepared for Christ's Kingdom.  Because of their low spiritual condition in John's time, he baptized them in water.  If we are in the same condition today, then the message of today must baptize us, too.  But the message is not teaching rebaptism and it most likely will not do so for the Bible teaches only one baptism.  The message does say, however, that it finds

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the people of God in a sad deception (Testimonies,  Vol. 3, p. 253).

  John the Baptist came and baptized with water.  Then Jesus came and He also baptized with water.  It was not until the end of His ministry that Christ ordained the Lord's Supper among His disciples.  Before they partook of that supper He washed their feet which He said they must let Him do for them if they would have part in the Kingdom.  In the evening of this occasion, Jesus told the disciples  that they were all clean save one.  They were as clean as they could be at that time.  The unclean one was Judas who was present among them and who also partook of that ordinance; but he partook of it to his own damnation.  Because he allowed the Devil to be in Him he committed treachery against Christ and then hanged himself.  This, though, actually was a great blessing to the apostles, because  as a result of his own act, they were purified.

  When the Lord instituted this ordinance He commissioned His people to celebrate it after His example, but a warning was also given that those who partook unworthily of that bread and wine which symbolize Himself, do so to their own damnation.  In compliance with the commission, the apostles performed this ordinance with all who believed.  Sometime after the ordinance of humility was given, the Pentecost took place.  They were not, however, baptized with fire.

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  Since the proper form of baptism is by immersion, then those who are baptized with the Holy Ghost must be covered with the Holy Ghost.  Likewise, for a person to be baptized with fire he must go through the fire.

  John the Baptist preached repentance and baptism to show that they were in sin and needed to repent and be converted.  We do not have the Lord's Supper among us now because  we are not ready for it.  We are still sinners, not yet clean.  But now is the time we are to repent if we ever will, and when we do have the Lord's Supper among us it will denote as much as did John's baptism.  But if we are ever to partake of it among ourselves we must first repent, we must be clean.  Since we as Adventists have been in the habit of celebrating the Lord's Supper, it is clear that our not having this ordinance among us for the time being signifies that it is a temporary restriction peculiar to us.  In order for us to become ready for this ordinance something must take place.

  John said that He who would come after him would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire.  That baptism is still future.  And if it is still future from John's time, it must be performed sometime before we get into the Kingdom, sometime when the Lord's fan is in His hand.  We see, then, that after John's baptism comes the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire; therefore John's baptism must be a symbol of another baptism, that

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of the Holy Ghost and fire.  To find out more about what this means, let us turn to

Mal. 3:1-3 -- "Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.  But who may abide the day of His coming?  and who shall stand when He appeareth?  for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."

  Jesus used this scripture to identify John as being the messenger who was to prepare the way for His coming.  In studying these verses we find that there is no difference in the event mentioned here in Malachi and the event mentioned by John himself other than that another symbolism was used in Malachi.

  We went through the baptism of water to show that we were sinners and have received forgiveness, but this baptism is a baptism of fire which is to purify us and cause us to emerge as silver and gold.  Yes, we have been baptized with water, but when the Lord comes to His temple to baptize us with the purifying fire, who will be able to

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stand?  This experience must come to take away the chaff and to save the wheat and to cleanse those who are God's people.

  Now let us turn to

Isa. 52:1, 2 -- "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.  Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion."

  These verses indicate that from the time the church, Zion, is called to awake and put on her strength, the announcement is also made that the uncircumcised and the unclean are no more to pass through her.  At that time the church is asleep and the Lord is calling her to awake; she is weak and the Lord is admonishing her to put on strength.  The second verse shows that she is also in the dust and a captive and must be made free from her yoke of captivity.

Isa. 52:7 -- "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that  bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"

  This is the time of the preaching of the

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Kingdom over which God reigns.  The good tidings are of salvation, indicating that they are proclaimed in a time when people can still be saved.  For a similar statement in another scripture, let us read

Nah. 1:15 -- "Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings that publisheth peace!  O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off."

  In our study of this prophecy we learned that this happens when the Assyrian falls, but the Lord's call to the church in Isaiah 52 to awake comes first.  After she awakes she is to behold something and she is to do something.  What is she to do? -- She is to keep her solemn feasts.  She is to perform her vows.  From this we understand that at the close of the Assyrian period and in the time when the wicked no longer will be in the church, God's people in it are to keep their solemn feasts and perform their vows.  The Lord's Supper being one of the solemn feasts, it will be celebrated next in the time when the wicked are no more to pass through the church.  Do you not see that we are now closer to it than when we first believed ?

  Now let us turn to

Isa. 4:1 -- "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own

Symbolic Code, Vol. 12, Nos. 6, 7                       12

bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by Thy name, to take away our reproach."

  To learn the time this is speaking of we will read from the preceding chapter.

Isa. 3:25 -- "Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war."

  This verse places the time when the men of Zion shall fall by the sword, and the mighty in the war.  Through Nahum we learned that it is the Assyrian war that is being fought in the day these things take place.  The preceding verses in this chapter show that Zion is to lose her men and her mighty because her people are following after vanity.

Isa. 3:26 -- "And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground."

  Since gates are not able to lament and mourn, they must represent people, those who let others come in and go out.  Therefore they must represent watchmen, ministers.  This verse says they shall lament and mourn.  Besides this sad state of affairs, Zion is described as being desolate.  If she at that time is desolate, it would mean that she is empty -- empty of sinners and sin.  All of this, you see brings us to the time of the purification which comes also in a time of war.  In that

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day the gates will lament and mourn.

  Now we are ready to reread

Isa. 4:1 -- "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by Thy name, to take away our reproach."

  If these scriptures have brought us to the time of the purification of the church, then today there must be seven women taking hold of one man and wanting nothing but His name.  The seven women in the spiritual realm are symbolical of the seven churches -- all the churches -- just as the seven heads on the leopard-like beast are symbolical of all the churches.  And what does this say they want? -- They want only to be called Christians, but they do not want either His bread (Truth) or His clothing (righteousness).  They want just His name.  Then in the time when the purification is due there is to be a complete apostasy among all the churches.  And that is the very condition that now exists.  The very fact, moreover, that we are not yet observing the Lord's ordinance privately among ourselves shows that some of us as individuals may yet be in the very apostasy described in these verses, and perhaps even asleep.  It is possible that some of us as individuals may want to be associated with the Davidian organization but refuse to fully imbibe its Truth or live its principles.

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Isa. 4:2 -- "In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel."

  We know the Branch to be Christ.  A branch is a part of a tree, and in this instance the tree represents the kingdom of David which is to come from the stem of Jesse.  In that day the Branch shall be beautiful and glorious, and through the beauty and glory of the Branch -- Christ -- the whole Kingdom is also to be beautiful and glorious, and "the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel."

Isa. 4:3 -- "And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem."

  Some are to be taken away from Zion and Jerusalem, and all who are left are holy.  Then it is evident that those who were taken away were the unclean and the uncircumcised.  At this time the church will be pure, every member of it being holy.  What will purify them? -- The next verses give us the answer:

Isa. 4:4 -- "When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning."

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  When this verse has been fulfilled all could partake of the Lord's ordinance and bring not damnation to themselves; whereas if; the people should partake of the Lord's Supper before they were washed it would be a curse to them.

Isa. 4:5 -- "And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence."

  The holiness of the people constitute the glory.  Moreover, there shall be a defence for all Zion's people, for the Lord will defend and deliver them.

Isa. 4:6 -- "And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain."

  The admonition in this verse is not given to ancient Israel, but rather it is given to a modern people.  We now are to turn to God from Whom the ancient children of Israel have deeply revolted.

Isa. 31:7 -- "For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin."

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  If we had no idols then this verse would not be written as it is.  What are idols? -- A idol is anything that comes between us and God.  As a simple illustration, if you knew that the right thing for you to do right now is to move this book from this place to that place, and if something stands in the way and you allow it to remain in your way, then you are either too lazy to remove the obstruction and thus you show that you love ease more than you love to do your duty, or else you love the obstacle itself more than you desire to fulfill your duty.  Anything that keeps you from doing what you ought to do is your idol.

  From our study today we are able to know and understand that we are in the days when God's people will cast away all their idols. The great question each of us must now settle is this: Are we personally going to be among those who have cast aside every idol?  No one can decide this for you, you alone must decide it for yourself.

Isa. 31:8 -- "Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword and his young men shall be discomfited."

  When we cast away our idols then the Assyrian will fall and the Assyrian yoke will be broken.

Isa. 31:9 -- "And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid

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of the ensign, saith the Lord, Whose fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem.

  The "ensign" is the object of the Assyrians' fear.  After God's elect go through the baptism of fire and come out purified and refined, the ensign or Kingdom is to be set up in Jerusalem for a place of refuge for the others who will afterwards come into It.  This is God's schedule.

  The important lesson for us to learn is this:

  We are approaching the parting of the ways where we must decide whether we will be among the many of whom Daniel spoke that shall be purified, and made white, and tried and understand; or of those who shall do wickedly and not understand.  If we would be among the wise and purified ones we had better without delay find out what our idols are and put them away, for that is the factor that will decide which of the two classes we will belong to.  Since none of the wicked shall understand in the day of the Lord, it shows that the Truth will become deeper and deeper until finally the wicked will not be able to comprehend It.  The point where they first lost out or became blinded, however, was when they met their idol and refused to tear themselves from it.  The things we love and esteem more than God's Kingdom are our idols.

  "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." -- Josh. 24:15. "If the Lord be God, follow Him.

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but if Baal, then follow him." 1 Kings 18:21.  "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matt. 6:24.


Jesus calls us from the worship

Of the vain world's golden store;

From each idol that would keep us

Saying, "Christian, love Me more!"

Jesus calls us! by Thy mercies,

Saviour, may we hear Thy call,

Give our hearts to Thy obedience

Serve and love Thee best of all.

--Mrs. C. F. Alexander.

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Vol. 12  The Symbolic Code  Nos. 8, 9

Vol. 12    Nos. 8, 9



Symbolic Code, Vol. 12, Nos. 8, 9                       2


(The following sermon was given by Brother V.T. Houteff March 6, 1943.)

  We shall spend our allotted time today studying the twenty-eighth chapter of Isaiah.

Isa. 28:1 -- "Woe to the crown of pride to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine."

  The drunkards in this verse are identified as Ephraimites.  The kingdom of Ephraim is known as that division of Israel which was made up originally of the ten tribes and was called the house or kingdom of Israel.

Isa. 28:2-4 -- "Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.  The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim,  shall be trodden under feet: and the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up."

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  These verses portray the downfall of Ephraim which comes as a result of their sins.

Isa. 28:5 -- "In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people."

  Another class of people is brought to view in this verse; namely, the residue of His people.  There are, then, the Ephraimites mentioned in Isa. 28:1 and also the residue of His people mentioned in Isa. 28:7.

  In the time of the reign of Solomon's son, you recall, the kingdom of Israel was divided into two kingdoms.  Ephraim, or the kingdom of Israel, being composed of ten tribes, was the main body or division.  The "residue" was the house or kingdom of Judah and was made up of the two remaining tribes, Judah and Benjamin.  After the kingdom of Israel was divided into these two kingdoms the tribes in each intermingled, thus causing each kingdom to have within it people from all the twelve tribes.  The two kingdoms, however, never merged themselves into one kingdom.

Isa. 28:5, 6 -- "In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of His people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate."

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  This chapter is a prediction of what was sometime to take place in the house of Ephraim and what was sometime to take place in the house of Judah.  History so far does not bear record, however, that this prophecy has yet met its complete fulfillment.  Moreover, since this prophecy was made directly for Ephraim and Judah back there, and indirectly for Ephraim and Judah today, therefore, just as the kingdom was divided into two divisions anciently, so also must there be two divisions in modern Israel today.  And what happened to the kingdoms of Israel anciently is to be repeated in our day; similarly, what happened to the ancient nations of the world will also happen to their descendants in our day.

  According to verses 5 and 6 which we have just read, the Lord must be very close to those for whom He is to be a crown of glory.  Let us reread those verses:

Isa. 28:5, 6 -- "In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of His people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate."

  He is to be all this to "the residue of His people" -- Judah .

  We have learned that it is from the Seventh-

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day Adventist church that the 144,000 are to come and with them will begin the establishment of the kingdom of Judah, and those of the  kingdom of Ephraim are to join the kingdom of Judah and together they will become one nation.  If the 144,000 are in the Seventh-day Adventist church, then Ephraim must be found in some other church.  The Protestant churches think they can sometime join themselves together into one religious unit, and you know that for some time they  have been working toward that goal.  We understand the name Ephraim in this prophecy to be speaking chiefly of the Protestant sects, for the Catholic church is a paganized Christian church.

Isa. 28:7 -- "But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink, they err in vision, they stumble in judgment."

  In Isa. 28:1 we are told that Ephraim has been overcome with wine and are therefore drunkards.  And Isa. 28:7 tells us that "they" (the "residue" -- Judah) have also erred through wine.  In other words, both the Protestant churches and our own Seventh-day Adventist church have become drunk with "wine" -- theories of men.

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Isa. 28:8 -- "For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean ."

  At the time this verse applies the world has no clean place.

Isa. 28:9 -- "Whom shall He teach knowledge?  and whom shall He make to understand doctrine?  them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts."

  When the Lord saw that it was time to teach knowledge and to give understanding of doctrine there was no clean place in the world.  Hence the question, "Whom shall He teach knowledge?  and whom shall He make to understand doctrine?"  The implication which this question carries is that it is almost impossible to teach anyone the pure doctrine, the reason being that at that time all the churches were seen drunk on the contaminated doctrines of men.

  But the Truth had to come.  And this verse says that it could only be given to those weaned from the milk (those who have long been in the faith and are able to take strong meat).  It is for this reason that the Rod message has come only to the Adventist church; the Ephraimites would not understand it.  It is only those older in the faith (farther advanced in Truth) that can at first understand.  The Adventist doctrines, of course, are the most advanced; therefore, it is to the Adventist church that the Lord

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wants first to teach knowledge and make to understand doctrine.

Isa. 28:10 -- "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little."

  There are repetitions spoken here.  Our message today covers certain subjects from many angles.

Isa. 28:11 -- "For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people."

  In its application to the present descendants of Ephraim and Judah who anciently were broken and scattered, we find that the message which is today being brought to Judah comes not in Hebrew, but in the English language.

Isa. 28:12, 13 -- "To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.  But the Word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."

  Those to whom this happens have no excuse.

  In His message to Judah, God is to point

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out "the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and...the refreshing."  Is not that the very message God has sent us to carry to our Adventist brethren today?  But, sadly, they will not hear.

  Sister White, in commenting upon these verses has this to say: "...'For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this  people.  To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.  But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept;  line upon line, line upon line; here a little,  and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.'  Why? -- Because they did not heed the word of the Lord that came unto them.

  "This means those who have not received instruction, but have cherished their own wisdom, and have chosen to work themselves  according to their own ideas.  The Lord gives these the test, that they shall either take their position to follow His counsel, or refuse and do according to their own ideas, and then the Lord will leave them to the sure result...." -- Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 418, 419.

Isa. 28:14 -- "Wherefore hear the Word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem."

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  This verse calls those who rule this people in Jerusalem (Judah) "scornful men."

Isa. 28:15 -- "Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing  scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves."

  They of course will not say this in words, but in their actions they will say this very thing.

Isa. 28:16 -- "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste."

  When Christ was on earth He had nothing to do with Zion.  But in His Kingdom which He is soon to set up He is to be the precious corner stone, the sure foundation, and will sit on the throne of David in Zion.  Moreover, it is Christ and His people which will constitute the beginning or foundation of the Kingdom symbolized by the stone of Daniel 2 which is to smite the image on the feet and then grow and become a great mountain.

  Those who believe shall not make haste,

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meaning that they will follow, think twice, and not run ahead.

  Through our study today it is evident that God's people at this time are going through the very same test that the Jews were put through at Christ's first coming.  The test is the same but it is coming in a different way.  Christ at that time came in person and they heard Him not.  Today He sends His Word and they will not hear It.  Do you see that?

Isa. 28:17 -- "Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place."

  A message is brought which is to plumb and straighten judgment and righteousness.  It will correct all our ways.  The hail in this verse foretells a destruction, and whatever the waters mean, they will overflow their hiding places.

Isa. 28:18 -- "And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing  scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.'

  Those who will not heed God's Word must expect these results.

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Isa. 28:19 -- "From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report."

  A great and terrible surprise is to overtake them.  And when the judgment of God as foretold in Ezekiel 9 commences in the church, it will continue on to the end with any who will be scornful of the Truth.

  "And it shall be a vexation only to understand the report."  God will cause them to understand the report, or understand the doctrine, and it will be a great vexation to them.

Isa. 28:20, 21 -- "For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.  For the Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act."

  It was in Perazim that David destroyed the Philistines.  And it was in Gibeon that Joshua destroyed the Amorites.  Now God is to do something "strange," something new, something that has never been done before.  It is called His "strange act."

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Isa. 28:22 -- "Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth."

  Since it is the Truth that shall make people free, then the bands being made strong would mean that they would turn away from the Truth and never become free.  The consumption is determined upon the whole earth to the end of time.

Isa. 28:23-25 -- "Give ye ear, and hear My voice; hearken, and hear My speech.  Doth the plowman plow all day to sow?  doth he open and break the clods of his ground?  When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place?"

  The plowman plows his land in preparation for sowing the seed.  And the reason he does this is that he expects to receive a  harvest.

Isa. 28:26 -- "For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him."

  Through nature God has instructed the farmer how to prepare his soil and plant his seed.

Isa. 28:27 -- "For the fitches are not threshed

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with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod."

  The Lord also instructs here that not all crops are harvested properly in the same way.  One kind requires one method and another requires a different method.

Isa. 28:28 -- "Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen."

  If corn were to be threshed like cummin a farmer would never get through, and he would ruin it.

Isa. 28:29 -- "This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working."

  God has told us how to sow, how to harvest, and how to thresh.  In the spiritual realm, we as Adventists have learned one thing: that the message is to be carried to the ends of the earth, then probation will close and everything goes down and we go up into Heaven.  It is  only now that we are beginning to learn how God does His harvesting of the various spiritual crops.  He is first to harvest the righteous (the teachable ones) from the Seventh-day

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Adventist church (the house of Judah); next, He is to harvest His people from among the Protestants (the house of Israel); and last, He will harvest from the heathen them that will turn and worship Him.  Each of these crops He wisely harvests in a different way and in their appointed time of harvest.

  In conclusion, let none of us be among those of whom it will be said, "they did not heed the word of the Lord that came unto them" (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 419), but let us rather remember that "it is the submissive, teachable spirit that God wants.  That which gives to prayer its excellence is the fact that it is breathed from a loving, obedient heart" (Ibid).

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