VOLUME 1 TIMELY GREETINGS NO. 1
*TIMELY GREETINGS VOLUME 1*
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Vol. 1 Timely Greetings Nos. 1, 2
THE ONLY PEACE OF MIN
Numbers 1, 2
Copyright, 1953 Reprint
All rights reserved
THE WAY BACK TO EDEN
ONLY TWO WAYS
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OPENING PRAYER THOUGHT
I shall read from The Mount of Blessing, page 147, paragraphs 1 to 3. These paragraphs are based on the scripture, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God."
M.B. p. 147 -
"...'Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.'... Open your hearts to receive this kingdom, and make its service your highest interest. Though it is a spiritual kingdom, fear not that your needs for this life will be uncared for. If you give yourself to God's service, He who has all power in heaven and earth will provide for your needs.
"Jesus does not release us from the necessity of effort, but He teaches that we are to make Him first and last and best in everything. We are to engage in no business, follow no pursuit, seek no pleasure, that would hinder the outworking of His righteousness in our character and life. Whatever we do, is to be done heartily, as unto the Lord."
Let us now kneel and pray that we may make the advancement of the Kingdom our highest interest; that we may let no pursuit interfere with our wholeheartedly serving the Lord; and wholeheartedly believe that the Lord will provide for all our needs. Only then we shall not fear the future.
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THE WAY BACK TO EDEN
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-
SABBATH, AUGUST 3, 1946
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
Gen. 3:17 -
After Adam fell into sin, what did the Lord say to him? -
Error, being the opposite of Truth, would have said, "Blessed is the ground for thy sake." And instead of saying, "In sorrow shalt thou eat all the days of thy life," Error would have said, "In pleasure shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life." In other words, while God pronounces a curse, Satan under the same circumstances pronounces a blessing. So it is that the world, naturally being tuned to Satan's speech, expects to live in pleasure all its days. Nevertheless, it is having plenty of sorrow. Plenty of it.
Gen 3:18 -
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The Devil, of course, would have said, "Roses and flowers shall it bring unto thee." And rather than commanding, "Thou shalt eat the herbs of the field," he would have said "Thou shalt eat of everything you find in the field." True, he does not say so in a book, but he does say it in the hearts of all living, and they zealously obey his voice.
Gen 3:19 -
Satan would have said: "In pleasure shalt thou eat bread until, in the process of evolution, thou become as God; for out of an insignificant atom wert thou taken, and unto a mighty God shalt thou evolve if thou continue on and on.
What did God say, though? -
"But," you ask, "why did God purpose that all of us should go through hardship
and sorrow before we are taken back into Eden? If He is to take us back, why did
He not do it in the beginning, in Adam's days?" -
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And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living."
The story is that there were two sons in the family. The older one chose to remain home, but the younger one chose to go away. And you know what happened shortly afterwards: The younger son wasted all his substance in riotous living.
I am sure that the father knew beforehand that his son was headed for hardship. He loved him and longed to spare the youth from shame, sorrow and hard trial that he was headed for. The very fact that on the boy's return, the father met him while yet a long way off, and made a banquet for him, even after he had wasted his father's substance and disgraced the family name, is evidence enough that the father loved the boy supremely. The boy was allowed to leave home only because nothing but experience of his own could ever demonstrate his folly, and prove the father's love for him.
What forced the boy to dislike home? -
There may be a great deal of temporary fun in prodigality but it only ends in
humiliation and disrepute. If the prodigal were living in our day, what do you suppose
he would do to start out on the highway of fun, to have a good time? -
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fine clothes, a diamond ring, a sparkling stickpin, and a wrist watch. Oh, yes, he would not neglect to put a flower in his lapel and a silk handkerchief in his pocket. There may be nothing wrong in having some of these things, but it certainly is not commendable or even good taste to adorn oneself with everything that can be put on. It is, to say the least, ridiculous to deck oneself in peacock fashion.
And whom would the wayward boy take for rides? -
Luke 15:14 -
If you spend all you have and all you earn, you too, will sooner or later have famine. Providence brought the famine in order to bring the boy to "himself," to his senses. Indeed, no boy runs away from home when he is himself; and, conversely, neither does he return home understandingly before he comes to himself. Thus he learns his lesson, but at what a cost! At what a cost!
Luke 15:15, 16 -
The prodigal obtained a job all right, but it did not "fill the bill," he was still in want.
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enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of they hired servants."
He finally discovered that he had been playing the fool, and so he began to reason with himself about going back home, saying, "Just think how many servants are in my father's house and they all have plenty. Why should I perish with hunger? But, what shall I say when I get there?" Having come to himself, he felt, of course, that he must say just the right thing, the thing that would commend him to Heaven as well as to earth.
Had that boy taken his father's counsel in the first place, he would not have
had to be humiliated. And what a humiliation! And what a lesson, too, not only
for the young, but for the old also. Yes, there are thousands, young and old alike,
who learn great lessons, but they often pay a tremendous price only because they
are ever listening to the "humbug" of the Devil. Why are they so easily carried
away with his allurements? -
The prodigal's humiliation awaits all the young who do not profit by the counsel of the older, and all the older who do not profit by the counsel of the Lord. This is one of the laws of God which no one has ever been able to dodge.
The prodigal's experience now answers the questions, Why did God remove Adam out of the Garden? Since God has to forgive him some day anyway, why did He not forgive him shortly after his fall and take him back to Eden? Why could not all mankind have been thus saved from going through misery and death
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before going back to Eden?
Had God allowed Adam and Eve to remain in the Garden after they had sinned and
continued to have access to the "tree of life," He would have thereby perpetuated
their sinful lives in their sinful state. What a terrible thing that would have
"But," you say, "If the Lord could not have brought Adam and Eve into the Garden
before first passing through death and the resurrection, did He have to curse the
ground and cause them to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow?" And why did
He have to cause them to eat their bread in sorrow for 6,000 years? -
Because work is essential and because sinners by nature dislike work, the thorns and thistles were created to compel them to go to work for a living. If we leave the obnoxious weeds in the ground, and spend our time having fun, they will choke out the crops, and we, like the prodigal, will have famine. Thus, no work, no eat. God Who knows what is best for us has made it that we earn our living the hard way, to work all day long with but little rest.
Those who come to themselves, to them work is
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pleasure. Only fools hate work.
Before the modern machinery was invented farmers were not so troubled with pestilence
as they now are. But just as the machinery increased and improved, so the bugs did,
too. And for what reason? -
When I came to the United States some years ago, I saw all manner of machinery,
machinery that did a great amount of work in a short time. But along with these
conveniences, what else did I see? -
In the Old Country we did not have machinery, but we never had to spray any vegetation.
The Lord commanded that we should with sweat earn our living, but He knew that most of us would not do so if we did not have to. And He also knew that if we did not have much to do, we would get into mischief, into riotous living, and consequently never come to ourselves, and never go back to Eden. He therefore cursed the ground for our good.
Moreover, to the woman who sits down and does but little to keep up her home, God brings the bed bugs and roaches, the mice and the rats, the flies and the ants, the lice and the fleas, and the mosquitoes, too. These will put her to working inside
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and out if anything will.
Were it not for the pests, what would man be! God, you see, made all these things for a good purpose but in spite of the pests' urging sluggers to get up and start moving, still some prefer to live as pigs! Why wait until He sends His great army of pests? Why not take His counsel, keep busy, and do what you can to make others happy, to make the world better than it is, to let it know that you are in it to do it good, not to be burden upon it? Then the angels will delight to encamp round about you, and the Lord Himself will come and sup with you.
If we make God's business our business, His kingdom our home, then all the other things which we are striving for and worrying about will be supplied to us in great abundance. Let us, then, no longer be Christians outwardly and Gentiles at heart, but rather let us be without "guile in our mouths" and with "palms in our hands."
Why did mankind have to wait six thousand years before he could return to Eden?
Now we can see why it is easier for a camel to go through the needle's eye than it is for a rich man to get into the Kingdom. Only the prodigals who through
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experience realize that this world is not their Father's house, only those who start back to Eden with the same kind of mind and with the same kind of confession as that of the prodigal are to make up the Kingdom.
Moreover, when the children of Israel went into the land of Egypt, they made a fine living in Goshen. They lived like kings. Yes, they had even much better living than the best of the Egyptians. God knew, though, that if when the time neared for their deliverance they continued to live like kings, if everything continued to be as easy for them as it had been while Joseph was living, they never, never would make up their minds to go back to the promised land. So it was that Providential trying circumstances were brought to cause them to cry day and night for deliverance. Then they were ready to go. To make sure, though, that they all would leave Egypt, the Lord permitted the Egyptian taskmasters to lash their backs and to make their labor extra hard while Moses was in the land. Likewise must the love of the world be beaten out of us, too, if we are ever to start out for our Eden home.
If you boys and girls want to have riotous living, you can have it. Indeed, there is more to be had today than there was to be had in the days of the original prodigal. But remember that if you ever get back to our Eden home you must pay the same price he paid. There is to be no free ticket for any, old or young.
Eccles. 4:5 -
The fool folds his hands together; he despises work. He eats his own flesh: Rather than work, he will even stay hungry, causing his stomach to draw on
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his reserve fat, and thus be becomes steadily thinner. Who wants to be a fool?
Eccles. 7:2 -
The house of feasting brings the end of all men who live for fun, for riotous living. "The living will lay it to his heart." Those, then, who do not lay it to heart are not really living, and they need to be revived.
Eccles. 7:3 -
If you indulge in "fun," then your heart will someday be made sad, but if your heart is sad, it will be made glad. Only a fool chooses to be in the house of mirth. As for me, I would rather be in the house of mourning, "suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." Heb. 11:25.
There were two men who went into partnership after the Lord asked them to move into another land far from their homeland. There they became rich. In fact, they became so rich that they had to separate into two companies.
The one who chose to live in the hills, who chose to make his living the hard way, proved to be the wiser. But the one who chose to live in the plains, where he could make an easy living, proved to be exceedingly foolish. The latter was the younger, too, you know. He pitched his tent toward Sodom, and the longer he looked at the city, the closer he drew to it. Finally he decided to move his tent right into it where
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he could see it all with ease.
He became a great man, perhaps the mayor of the city as some think, and that thus it was there he sat at the gate of Sodom. Most likely, though, he sat there waiting for strangers to invite home. True, Lot's family had exciting, riotous living among the Sodomites, but the fun did not last forever, and Lot overnight lost everything he ever possessed; he came out the poorest of the poor. Lot, you see paid high for his fun, and if you want to pay such a price for your fun, you may do as he did.
The man from whose writings we are now reading was and still is, you know, the
wisest man the world has ever had. Now, what did he say the fool does? -
Eccles. 10:18 -
The slothful man's house decays, his house rots before he even has it finished,
or before he has it repaired. He is late in everything -
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Let us again turn to Ecclesiastes.
Eccles. 3:17 -
God is to judge the wicked and the righteous, because there is a time for every purpose and every work. Everyone is to give an account for his time as well as for his deeds.
Eccles 8:6 -
Because there is a time for every purpose and every work, there is therefore to be a time of judgment for both in the church and in the world. And because there is a time and a season for every purpose, the misery of man is increased if he does not heed this Divine law. He must do everything on time, lest his miseries increase.
Prov. 6:6 -
The man, a student; the little ant a teacher! What a humiliating statement against the idler!
Prov. 6:7, 8 -
The ant knows what to do and when to do it and does it. It never fails to make a living though it has no boss. Were you to go down into its house, you would find provisions for more than the season requires. It knows when harvest comes, and knows how
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to make the most of it. If a man fails to do as the ant, if he fails to take notice of the time and of the season, then his miseries shall certainly increase.
Had this counsel come from men, we would perhaps not need it; but it came from God, from Him Who has control of everything. He knows your life from the time you are born to the time you die. He knows what kind of life you are to go through. You may cause yourself to have to go the prodigal's way, but how much better if you do not. The best for you is to go the Father's way.
Ever remember that there are only two master minds in the world -
The young people know what you adults are doing. They know how much you think about God and His Kingdom. They know how much you think of this place and of His work. Since they know all that, and much more, then it is time for all of us to realize that we cannot lead the children closer to God's objectives than we ourselves are; we cannot inspire in them faith and zeal in anything while we ourselves do not have it.
I do hope that those who are headed for the prodigal's way, may come to themselves before a miserable experience comes to them.
Thus is the way back to Eden clearly charted for everyone that comes into this world.
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