SHEPHERD’S ROD -
BUILD THE CITIES, COMFORT ZION, CHOOSE JERUSALEM
Vol. 1 Timely Greetings Nos. 11, 12
THE ONLY PEACE OF MIND
Numbers 11, 12
Copyright, 1953 Reprint
All rights reserved
BUILD THE CITIES, COMFORT ZION,
IF ONLY 144,000 TRANSLATED,
WHAT CHANCE FOR YOU?
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OPENING PRAYER THOUGHT
I shall read from The Mount Of Blessing, page 161, beginning with the first paragraph.
M.B., pg. 161 -
"The petition, 'Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven,' is a prayer that the reign of evil on this earth may be ended, that sin may be forever destroyed, and the kingdom of righteousness be established. Then in earth as in heaven will be fulfilled 'all the good pleasure of His goodness.'"
We should now pray that the law of God be written in our hearts; that we obey the law because we want to, not because we have to; that we realize that our keeping God's commandments is for our own good. And above all, let us pray that our highest joy may be in doing His will. Thus may God's will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.
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BUILD THE CITIES, COMFORT ZION,
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-
SABBATH, OCTOBER 19, 1946
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
In our last Sabbath's study we learned that the prophecy of Zechariah is applicable to two peoples at two different times: first to the Jews while they were returning from Babylon to Jerusalem, and second to those who in the time of the end are to come out of all nations. (Rev. 7:9; 18:4). We also learned that the revival and reformation which took place in Zechariah's day, is a type of a revival and reformation that is to take place in our day, and that the people's returning anciently from Babylon is a type of the people's returning in the latter day Babylon (Rev. 18:4).
Let us turn to-
Zech. 1:1 -
Here we are told that the prophet Zechariah was called to his prophetic office
in the second year of Darius, the king. Why was he called in that particular year?
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Obviously Zechariah was called at that particular time because the work of the temple at Jerusalem was curtailed and abandoned. The Lord, therefore, through the prophets Zechariah and Haggai sent a message of rebuke to the builders and asked them to quickly resume building.
The builders were first reminded that they were in Babylon because their fathers had not obeyed the Word of the Lord that came to them through His prophets; that for their sins the temple and their kingdom were destroyed. The builders were plainly told that if their project was ever to prosper, they would have to avoid the course pursued by their fathers, and give special heed to the prophets Zechariah and Haggai. The builders promised that they would not walk in the ways of their fathers.
It was in the eighth month that Zechariah delivered to them this reformatory message. The Jews' hearty
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acceptance of it prepared the way for another message and it came within the space of three months. Here it is:
Zech. 1:7, 8 -
For the interpretation of this symbolism we shall read the prophet's interrogation and the angel's explanation of it in
Since the horses are sent by the Lord to walk to and fro through the earth, and since they have the ability to speak, all this very obviously reveals that the horses are symbolical of the Lord's messengers, of those whom He sends to the nations.
The red, speckled, and white -
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Zechariah's day, or those of Christ's day because the Lord's servants in those days
were all of one race -
Since it is a known fact that in Zechariah's day the message bearers were all
Jews (a people of one race and one nation), the symbolism is positively applicable
to a day in which God appoints evangelists of various races and nationalities, whom
He send to and fro through the earth -
All these positive identifications clearly point out that the horses represent
As Daniel's prophecy of chapter eight, namely the 2300 days, pointed out that the Judgment work was to commence in 1844 A.D. but as it was mistakenly understood that the world was to come to an end instead,
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they were greatly disappointed when the set date came and nothing happened. So it
was that as the set date approached they returned from their mission fields with
full confidence that they had finished their mission, -
Concerning the scope of their work The Great Controversy, page 368, has this to say: "The writings of Miller and his associates were carried to distant lands. Wherever missionaries had penetrated in all the world, were sent the glad tidings of Christ's speedy return. Far and wide spread the message of the everlasting gospel, 'Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.'"
Thus it was that the horses (messengers) thought their work was finished, but the angel who really knew the facts, and saw God's people still in captivity, still away from their homeland, while the heathen were at ease, pleaded for action:
Zech. 1:12 -
The prophet Jeremiah's prediction that the Jews were to spend seventy years in Babylonian captivity had ended although they were still in Babylon. But since this symbolical prophecy finds its fulfillment in our day instead of in Zechariah's day, the angel's plea for "mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah," therefore, finds its direct application in this day. There is, however, this parallel: The time of
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the Babylonian captivity overlapped some years the time of returning to Jerusalem,
in like manner John's prediction that the church should return to the vineyard after
having spent 1260 years in the wilderness (in the lands of the Gentiles) (Rev. 12:6),
had ended and even overlapped since the year 1798 and there was no sign as yet for
her returning. And as the Denomination was in no condition to accept additional
Truth, the results are that the church is still in the wilderness concerning which
Inspiration said, "If the people of God had gone to work as they should have gone
to work right after the Minneapolis meeting in 1888, the world could have been warned
in two years and the Lord would have come." -
This message now positively declares that her wilderness sojourn is about to end and that soon will she stand on Mt. Zion with the Lamb (Rev. 14:1). From this analytical point of view is again seen that the angel's plea for mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah is applicable directly to the people in our day, and only indirectly to the people in Zechariah's day.
Zech. 1:13, 14 -
Rather than saying, "Zion...shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become
Zech. 1:16, 17 -
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returned to Jerusalem with mercies: My house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem."
Since the light on these prophecies is now shining on our pathway for the first time since Zechariah wrote them, and since this message is now being broadcasted throughout Laodicea, the Truth that the Lord, at long last, has returned (visited) with mercies is very obvious.
After the disappointment in the year 1844 the messengers of Truth in Christ were told to "cry yet" (continue to preach) and say "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem."
So it was that just as soon as the set date in 1844 passed and the peoples' hopes failed, the Lord encouraged them by giving to Sister White a vision of the ingathering of the first fruits, the 144,000, the first to get to Mount Zion and there to stand with the Lamb (Rev. 14:1), the comfort of Zion and of Jerusalem. So they started out again with a set goal to gather the 144,000 guileless servants of God, those who were to be used for the ingathering of the second fruits, the innumerable multitude out of all nations (Rev. 7:9). But as time went on rather than working with God the Denomination backslid by unbelief in the Spirit of Prophecy (Testimonies, Vol. 5, pg. 217) and thus lost sight of the Truth that was yet to be unfolded, and the which is now brought to light.
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So it was that as soon as the disappointment in 1844 came, which is represented
by the little book's turning bitter after having been eaten, the angel declared:
"Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings."
Rev. 10:10, 11. The second advent movement was then reorganized and the title Seventh-
Here is seen that Inspiration does not at once lighten our path clear to the end, but that It does so step by step; that God's Truth is progressive; that we can never really say we have all the Truth to carry us clear through to the Pearly Gates.
As to the means which are to make possible the return of God's people to their
own land, we shall read-
Zech. 1:18, 19 -
Anciently the kingdom of Israel occupied the northern portion of the promised land, and the kingdom of Judah occupied the southern portion of it. The former was scattered by the kings of Assyria and the latter by the king of Babylon. Those who returned to Jerusalem
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in the days of Zechariah were from the kingdom of Judah, the Jews, but as the kingdom of Israel was assimilated by the nations, it consequently lost its racial and national identity. The powers that scattered both Judah and Israel are, you note, symbolized by the four horns.
Zech. 1:20, 21 -
Here the same powers which scattered Judah and Israel are again seen, not as horns,
but as carpenters; not to scatter God's people, but to build for them, and to cast
out the horns (powers) of the Gentiles -
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Then these guileless servants of God, the first fruits, are to be sent to the
nations that have not heard of God's fame (the non-
Blind to this Truth, to the Judgment for the Living, "the great and dreadful day of the Lord," the day in which all things are to be restored, the Laodiceans are seen to be in a sad deception. Read Testimonies, Vol. 3, pg. 253 and Testimonies, Vol. 5, pg. 217. Unless they awake to their plight they will be found wanting and spued out.
The Jews became blinded because they closed their ears to the prophets and took
no heed to what they said. The angel of the Laodicean church today is boastingly
saying, "I have need neither of prophets nor of more Truth" -
The book of Zechariah in its entirety has always been a closed book, but as its deep spiritual meaning is now unsealed and clearly brought to the attention of the church, then those who reject it and work against it are doing even worse than the Jews' killing the prophets and the Lord.
It is now clearly seen that God's Word lives forever. Man may slay the messengers of God, but they
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cannot destroy His Word. It is indeed like the mustard seed. Though It be trodden under foot so that It can no more be searched out than can a mustard seed after it is cast into the ground, yet as soon as the Scroll unrolls, It springs out anew.
When this message began to unfold, the Laodiceans tried desperately to kill it, yet it still lives on and grows the faster. They are still trying to kill it, but since they were unable to do so when it was as small and as weak as a tiny blade of a mustard seed, how can they do it now since it has grown and borne fruit?
We are therefore not to worry about a possibility of anyone's hurting the work of God. Neither are we to worry about how we are to get to Mount Zion, but are to make sure to be ready to board the chariot of God when the angels cry out, "All aboard!" Let us ever remember that those who once wrecked the ancient kingdom and cast out its people, shall now come to build it up and to cast out the horns of the Gentiles who now rule the land, so even our enemies of yesterday God puts working for us today.
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