VOLUME 1 TIMELY GREETINGS NO. 6
ZION AND HER DAUGHTERS IN THE LAST DAYS
OPENING PRAYER THOUGHT
Before engaging in a season of prayer, I shall read from The Mount of Blessing, pg. 154, beginning with the first paragraph:
M.B., pg. 154 -
"Here is the announcement of that wonderful truth, so full of encouragement and comfort, that God loves us as He loves His Son. This is what Jesus said in His last prayer for His disciples, Thou 'has loved them as Thou hast loved Me.'
"The world that Satan has claimed and has ruled over with cruel tyranny, the Son of God has, by one vast achievement, encircled in His love, and connected again with the throne of Jehovah. Cherubim and seraphim, and the unnumbered hosts of all the unfallen worlds, sang anthems of praise to God and the Lamb when this triumph was assured. They rejoiced that the way of salvation had been opened to the fallen race, and that the earth would be redeemed from the curse of sin. How much more should those rejoice who are the objects of such amazing love!"
To say "our Father," not My Father, especially when praying in public, helps us
to realize that we all are brothers. God loves us all as He loves Christ, and He
will not disappoint us if we pray and live as Christ's prayer and example teach.
He cannot deny us the answer to our prayers if we know what we are praying for,
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ZION AND HER DAUGHTERS
IN THE LAST DAYS
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-
SABBATH, SEPTEMBER 14, 1946
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
You remember that in our last Sabbath's study, we found that the prophecy of the third chapter of Isaiah actually begins with the second chapter, continues on through the third, and ends with the fourth chapter. And you also recall that the concerns therein, are for the church "in the last days," in the latter part of the time of the end. In other words, you recollect that in these chapters God is speaking directly to His people who are living at this very time.
Since the concerns of these chapters are addressed to Judah, Jerusalem, and Zion of the last days, let us briefly transpose these titles into the language of today.
The title "Judah" (kingdom of Judah), of course, takes in the nation as a whole. Applying this title to the church in our time, it means the Denomination as a whole, the people that are to make up the antitypical kingdom of Judah. The title "Zion," the ancient palace grounds personified as is in this chapter, and away from the promised land, means the General Conference, the headquarters of the Denomination. According to Nehemiah 11:1, the title "Jerusalem" anciently meant the city of the rulers of the nation. Applying this title to our time, and away from the
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father land, as Inspiration does, means the under-
Knowing now that chapter 3 presents the Lord's concerns for us today, we shall begin our study with
Isa. 3:16 -
Besides the concerns which we considered last week, the Lord has today this message for "the daughters of Zion."
In this particular verse, therefore, God is especially addressing the daughters
of the highest officials in the Denomination, the ministry, those that are at the
head of the work. Accordingly, He is about to do something because the daughters
of Zion are "haughty," proud. Their pride is made manifest in the fact that they
walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes; they are unrestrained, licentious,
vain. Then, too, while walking, they mince and tinkle with their feet, -
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You remember in our previous study what the Lord has against the ancients of His people, against the mighty man, the man of war, the judge, the prophet, the prudent, the captain of fifty, the honorable, the counsellor, the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator (Isa. 3:2, 3). They are "soothsayers," He declares (Isa. 2:6); they "have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in [their] houses." Isa. 3:14. Thus Inspiration points out that they are wickedly spending the spoil of the poor. Strong language, indeed, but it is God that says it.
Isa. 3:17 -
Because the daughters of Zion are on the one hand at the expense of the poor making
fools of themselves, and on the other hand professing to represent Heaven, the Lord
will smite with a scab the crown of their heads. No, they are not getting away either
with the spoil of the poor, or with their own foolish, wicked, vain fiddle-
"The Lord will discover their secret parts" if they do not now repent. They are proudly misusing their heads and their necks, their wrists and their feet. They are proud to make a display of their wares. For this reason the Lord will put on display those parts which they do not wish to have exposed. He will make them naked. He will make a public example of them.
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bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, the rings, and nose jewels, the changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, the glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails."
"In that day," the day in which these conditions prevail among God's professed people, He will take away their bravery, take away the boldness with which they make fools of themselves. He will remove the wicked ornaments of their feet, legs, and necks. These daughters of Zion, right at the head of the work, are challenging the Lord, and misleading His people at the expense of His Truth, of His vineyard, and of the sweat of the poor. But now He will turn the tables. He will challenge them.
What can round tires like the moon be? -
To so extremely follow the fashions of the world is perfectly proper for unbelievers, but it is certainly all wrong for those whose religious profession condemns their practice.
This catalogue of ornaments takes in everything imaginable, everything useless
one may put on for display. Why not now, Brother, Sister, remove from your bodies
the vanities that degrade your professed reputation, and that make God's message
of no effect? Why not now dress neat, clean, decent, modest -
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harmony with your profession? Why wait until the Lord smites you with some curse from which you can never recover? Why not work out your welfare of life with God, the One Who is your only true Friend, your only Deliverer, the only One Who knows all your problems, the only One Who can blot out your sins?
Why not take the advice of the all-
Do you suppose that we can convert the heathen to Christ's high and exalted way of living when we dress no better than they, especially when they know that our dress is not in harmony with our own profession? So far, it looks as though the heathen are heathenizing the church, rather than the church Christianizing them.
Had God wanted you to be different from what you already are, He could have made
you different. Had He wanted you to be like a turkey bird, He would have as easily
given you a nose jewel, ear rings, and a brooch. Had He wanted you to be like a
peacock, He would have given you a peacock tail and a peacock crown. Had He wanted
you to have a stretched-
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Not many years ago if one of the daughters of Zion should have appeared on the streets attired in the kind of dress they wear today she would have been rushed into jail. But if one of them in a dress of that day should appear on the streets of today, no one would bother her. What does that mean to you? Does it not mean that the dress of today is indecent? that the world's fashions are growing worse?
Are you Davidians, too, going to fall after the manner of the haughty daughters of Zion? Have you come into this world to gratify the eyes of the street idlers? or are you here to do the world good, and to please the Lord? Which one of you brethren wants to have your wife or your daughter on exhibition to please the wanton eyes that fill the streets?
Why is God to strip the daughters of Zion of their vanities? -
The fashionable way of dressing makes them haughty, proud; makes them stretch
forth their necks, and makes them tinkle with their feet; makes them do anything
to attract attention -
Moreover, if you sisters do not dress in harmony with the Lord's will, in harmony with His advanced Truth, even the world, if it knows anything of your
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profession, will not think much of you. They are looking for hypocrites anyway, and if you are not faithful to your religion, you will in their eyes appear to be the best of hypocrites.
Isa. 3:24 -
Dress properly and you will find not only that wicked men will not hang after you, but neither will the Lord's curses fall upon you.
Isa. 3:25 -
If the daughters of Zion fail to reform, then their men shall fall by the sword.
Do you want me to tell you why their men will fall by the sword? -
What would you think if the angels came down on the streets dressed like these daughters of Zion? Would you think they were angels, or would you think they were devils? Would you think that Heaven is a
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good place to live in? Honestly, now, just what would you think? Would you give them the respect they deserve? No, I am sure you would not. Then why not dress as would the angels dress if they were in your place? If the angels should now appear, they would not be ashamed to be seen, but many a woman would be ashamed to be seen by the angels. Truth is Truth, and sense is sense; let us have them both.
Isa. 3:26 -
The very thing that sifts out the unconverted, because the standard of her profession is cast to the winds, her gates of gathering places, shall lament and mourn. Desolate shall sit on the ground, not on a throne. Why suffer such a loss?
Of course people will look at you, but they will not regard you as an evildoer, or as a vain or a lude person, but rather as a respectable Christian. If they hate you, it will be because your behaviour is making them ashamed. And, moreover, how else will you win them to your religion which they must have to be saved, unless you rightly represent it?
When I go out with my wife, people that have never seen me before, that have no
idea who I may be, with but very little hesitancy call me "Reverend" because they
take her to be a preacher's wife. That shows what the people of the world think
when they see properly well-
Why not heed the Lord's rousing cry? Do not put off heeding this urgent call until tomorrow, Brother,
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Sister. If you fail today, the morrow will never come. This is your opportunity.
As aforementioned, just as Isaiah chapter 3 is a continuation of chapter 2, chapter 4 is a continuation of chapter 3. We shall therefore continue this study through chapter 4.
Isa. 4:1 -
That is, in the last days, the time the daughters of Zion are haughty, then seven women (all the churches of that day) shall in heart say to Christ, the one Man, "We shall eat our own bread, we shall wear our own clothes, We shall be entirely independent of Thee. There is but one thing that we want from You: Only let us be called by Thy Name, Christian, so as to take away our reproach." This is the way God sees His church enslaved by the world.
Now, to this end, I want to read a poem to you. It perfectly tells how the fall has come about.
THE CHURCH WALKING WITH THE WORLD
The Church and the World walked far apart
On the changing shores of time,
The World was singing a giddy song,
And the Church a hymn sublime.
"Come, give me your hand," said the merry World,
"And walk with me this way!"
But the good Church hid her snowy hands
And solemnly answered "Nay,
I will not give you my hand at all,
And I will not walk with you;
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Your way is the way that leads to death;
Your words are all untrue."
"Nay, walk with me but a little space,"
Said the World with a kindly air;
"The road I walk is a pleasant road,
And the sun shines always there;
Your path is thorny and rough and rude,
But mine is broad and plain;
My way is paved with flowers and dews,
And yours with tears and pain;
The sky to me is always blue,
No want, no toil I know;
The sky above you is always dark,
Your lot is a lot of woe;
There's room enough for you and me
To travel side by side."
Half shyly the Church approached the World,
And gave him her hand of snow;
And the old World grasped it and walked along,
Saying, in accents low,
"Your dress is too simple to please my taste;
I will give you pearls to wear,
Rich velvets and silks for your graceful form,
And diamonds to deck your hair."
The Church looked down at her plain white robes,
And then at the dazzling World,
And blushed as she saw his handsome lip
With a smile contemptuous curled.
I will change my dress for a costlier one,"
Said the Church, with a smile of grace;
Then her pure white garments drifted away,
And the World gave, in their place,
Beautiful satins and shining silks,
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Roses and gems and costly pearls;
While over her forehead her bright hair fell
Crisped in a thousand curls.
"Your house is too plain," said the proud old World,
"I'll build you one like mine,
With walls of marble and towers of gold,
And furniture ever so fine."
So he built her a costly and beautiful house;
Most splendid it was to behold;
Her sons and her beautiful daughters dwelt there
Gleaming in purple and gold:
Rich fairs and shows in the halls were held,
And the World and his children were there.
Laughter and music and feasts were heard
In the place that was meant for prayer.
There were cushioned seats for the rich and the gay,
To sit in their pomp and pride;
But the poor who were clad in shabby array,
Sat meekly down outside.
"You give too much to the poor," said the World.
"Far more than you ought to do;
If they are in need of shelter and food,
Why need it trouble you?
Go, take your money and buy rich robes,
Buy horses and carriages fine;
Buy pearls and jewels and dainty food,
Buy the rarest and costliest wine;
My children, they dote on all these things,
And if you their love would win
You must do as they do, and walk in the ways
That they are walking in."
So the poor were turned from her door in scorn,
And she heard not the orphan's cry,
But she drew her beautiful robes aside,
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As the widows went weeping by.
Then the sons of the World and the Sons of the Church
Walked closely hand and heart,
And only the Master, who knoweth all,
Could tell the two apart.
Then the Church sat down at her ease, and said,
"I am rich and my goods increased;
I have need of nothing, or aught to do,
But to laugh, and dance, and feast."
The sly World heard, and he laughed in his sleeve,
And mockingly said, aside-
"The Church is fallen, the beautiful Church;
And her shame is her boast and her pride."
The angel drew near to the mercy seat,
And whispered in sighs her name;
Then the loud anthems of rapture were hushed,
And heads were covered with shame;
And a voice was heard at last by the Church
From Him who sat on the throne,
"I know thy works, and how thou hast said,
'I am rich,' and hast not known
That thou art naked, and poor and blind,
And wretched before My face;
Therefore from My presence cast I thee out,
And blot thy name from its place."
I do not know the author of this poem, but it seems as inspired as what I have
read to you from the Bible. The poem tells the same story as the Bible does. Those
who like to dress and look like the world, do so only because their hand is, as it
were in the world's hand, and because the world refuses to walk with them unless
they dress as the world dresses. Ironical indeed -
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but the daughters of Zion are not true to theirs!
The world kept on pleading. The church at first kept on backing out. But the world kept on pleading and pleading until it finally won. Those who give in by a fraction of an inch, day by day, are, therefore, the very ones who by their influence Satan is using to cause the church to fall. Awake Brother! Awake Sister! lest the Devil make everlasting fools of us all.
God is not asking us to put on anything that will roast our bodies. But He is asking us to put on something decent that will represent Him and His message of the hour. Unless we do this, the world will not believe that He has sent us, and we ourselves will begin to doubt. Our manner of dress speaks louder than words.
The Devil, of course, works both ways -
Isa. 4:2 -
In that day, -
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It is obvious that they escape the destruction of these sinners in the church.
Isa. 4:3 -
Only the holy ones, those whose names are left written in the Book escape the
destruction that falls upon the wicked in the church. Only they constitute "the
remnant," the ones that are left. When is this to be? -
It is to be when the purification of the church takes place, during the Judgment for the Living in the house
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of God (1 Pet. 4:17), during the separation of the wheat from the tares, in the harvest time, the time the good fish are separated from among the bad, the goats from among the sheep (Matt. 25:32).
In this time of trouble, when every element is at work to bring the time of trouble such as never was (Dan. 12:1) God is to cleanse His church in order to protect His people from the trouble that she is headed for. The people that are left after the sinners are taken, "the remnant," shall have perfect peace.
The Lord is now calling for men and women "to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
"And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them. For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their
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work in Truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.
"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
"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. 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. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in
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the earth. The Lord hath sworn by His right hand; and by the arm of His strength,
Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of
the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: but they
that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the Lord; and they that have brought
it together shall drink it in the courts of My holiness. Go through, go through
the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather
out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. 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. And they shall
call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought
out, A city not forsaken." Isa. 61:1-
Why not return to God? No matter how bad a sinner you may be He will gladly pardon
you. Why not accept now His call? You cannot afford to lose out eternally, you
certainly do not want to miss this future glory that is projected by the prophets,
and now freshly brought to light. "Love not the world, neither the things that are
in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For
all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the
pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth
away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
1 John 2:15-
This is your opportunity. Today you may take it or you may pass it by, but tomorrow you will either
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leap for joy, or gnash your teeth in the outer darkness. It now all depends on you.
Surely you will not sell out so cheap as to forsake all this unsurpassing glory
and God's heart-
Can the World See Jesus in You?
Do we live so close to the Lord today,
Passing to and fro on life's busy way,
That the world in us can a likeness see
To the Man of Calvary?
Do we love, with love to His own akin,
All His creatures lost in the mire of sin?
Will we reach a hand, whatsoever it cost,
To reclaim a sinner lost?
As an open book they our lives will read,
To our words and acts giving daily heed;
Will they be attracted, or turn away
From the man of Calvary?
Can the world see Jesus in me?
Can the world see Jesus in you?
Does your love to Him ring true,
And your life and service, too?
Can the world see Jesus in you?
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Vol. 1 Timely Greetings Nos. 7, 8
THE ONLY PEACE OF MIND