SHEPHERD’S ROD VOLUME 1 TIMELY GREETINGS NO. 21
THE CHURCH ENTERING INTO AND IN THE HARVEST PERIOD
THE ONLY PEACE OF MIND
Numbers 21, 22
Copyright, 1953 Reprint
All rights reserved
THE CHURCH ENTERING INTO
AND IN THE HARVEST PERIOD
THE HATED JEWS OF TODAY
NOT THE ADMIRED JEWS OF TOMORROW
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 1
OPENING REMARKS AND PRAYER
I shall read from "The Mount of Blessing," page 175, the last paragraph.
M.B., pg. 175 -
What shall we now pray for? -
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 2
THE CHURCH ENTERING INTO
AND IN THE HARVEST PERIOD
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-
SABBATH, DECEMBER 28, 1946
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
No matter how great and how effective a revival and reformation even God Himself may launch in His church, the Scriptures make it plain that both the sinners and the saints will be in the church until the harvest. No one need brag that the members of his church are all saints, that they are all of one accord. If they really are of one accord, then it must be that they are all tares, that there is no saint among them; that church for a certainty is not the church of which Christ speaks in His Word. If anything is plain in the Bible this one thing is. Now let us turn to the thirteenth chapter of Matthew.
Matt. 13:24, 25 -
The reason given for the tares to be among the wheat is that "men slept." Plainly then, if man had kept awake, the Enemy would not have sown the tares. Now, to ascertain what it means for men to be awake, we shall read from the third chapter of Matthew.
Matt. 3:5, 6 -
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 3
Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins."
This scripture makes plain that John baptized many, and that those whom he baptized were only those who confessed their sins.
Matt. 3:7, 8 -
Though these were the popular groups of John's day, he not only refused to baptize
them, but also plainly and politely gave them to understand that baptism is not something
with which to cover sins, but something with which to wash them away. He made it
clear that he was not in the business of making hypocrites. John left no doubt in
their minds that God did not have need of them, but that they had need of Him. The
Pharisees and the Sadducees then went away with full knowledge that the great wide-
We as members of the church, too, should be awake as was John, and as firm as was Job, able to say: "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him...." Job 13:15.
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 4
those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
"And when the King came in to see the guests, He saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and He saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless."
Though God's servants be awake and do their work right, yet some of the members
may fail to put on the wedding garment. A garment, you know, is something to put
on the outside of the body. The garment, therefore, denotes a daily Christ-
The fact that the man in the parable was speechless when asked, "Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?" shows that he was guilty of neglect, not of ignorance! He was without excuse, and he knew it.
Let us go back to-
Again it plainly appears that the church membership is divided into two classes, the wise and the foolish. The wise take no chances; they continually search
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 5
for oil (Truth) and they fill their vessels with It at first opportunity. The foolish, though, see no need for any more than what is in their lamps; they are satisfied with what they already have.
The oil, a substance which lightens ahead one's path, obviously is figurative of prophetic Truth, Truth that lightens the heart by unveiling the future. Concretely speaking, the lamp filled with oil denotes the individual's reservoir of Truth in action, Truth that meets his needs only for the time then present. The extra oil in the vessels, therefore, represents additional Truth, Truth that takes up where the old Truth leaves off. In other words, the oil in the lamps and the oil in the vessels represent two revealed truths, at two different times, one following the other. For example, while the Judgment for the Dead is Truth in action, the Judgment for the Living is Truth to go into action as soon as the Judgment for the Dead is over.
Obviously, oil that has been consumed, as is the oil in the virgins' lamps, represents past Truth, Truth that has accomplished Its purpose; but the oil in the vessels represents Truth ready to be activated and made to shine immediately after the oil in the lamps is consumed. Since the ten virgins represent the church membership during the Judgment for the Dead, the oil in the lamps manifestly represents the truth of the Judgment for the Dead. The extra oil, that is in the "vessels" must, therefore, represent the truth of the Judgment for the Living, the additional Truth (Early Writings, pg. 277). Plainly then, the lamps gone empty represent the Judgment for the Dead passing away, and the oil in the vessels represents the Truth of the Judgment for the Living going into action.
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 6
Since all ten had oil in the lamps, but only half of them had the oil in the vessels,
the symbolism clearly discloses that, as always, the whole church membership did
not accept the message of the Judgment for the Living. The foolish virgins were
satisfied with the Truth they had acquired while joining the church that bore the
message of the Judgment for the Dead, but failed to acquaint themselves with the
additional message -
These were left out with the tares only because they let the Devil sow in their hearts seeds of foolishness, seeds of contentment (lukewarmness) with the initial truths by which they joined the church; thus they mistakenly felt no need of additional light from the Lord. But when prophecy began to fulfill itself beyond their scope of Divinely revealed knowledge, and as they saw the events of the gospel shaping themselves contrary to their expectations, they became alarmed and confused, saw themselves in darkness.
The lesson is unmistakable: Those who for ever feel "rich, and increased with goods, and in need of nothing more, will not get to the "door" on time.
Besides the tares among the wheat, there are idlers, inactive folk who are to
be cast out and destroyed with the tares. Let us read-
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 7
unto one He gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took His journey.
"Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his Lord's money.
"After a long time the Lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, Thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
"He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, Thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His Lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
"Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew Thee that Thou art an hard man, reaping where Thou hast not sown, and gathering where Thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid Thy talent in the earth: lo, there Thou hast that is Thine. His Lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: thou oughtest therefore to have put
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 8
My money to the exchangers, and then at My coming I should have received Mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
From this parable is seen that when a Christian falls asleep, Satan comes along and sows seeds of idleness in his heart so as to cause him to be cast out with the tares. At the commencement of the harvest, therefore, this class of tares is the first to appear as such. It is high time to learn that religion is not an opiate.
There is still another class of church members who in a different way fall victims
with the tares. This we shall see from-
"Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 9
"Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee?
"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me. Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not.
"Then shall they also answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee? Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
The most outstanding sin of the goat class of professed believers is that they
are all for self and none for others. The sheep class are the opposite in character.
Since those who do charity work are not to make a display of it -
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 10
for it: "To promote the assembling of the people for religious service, as well as
to provide for the poor, a second tithe of all the increase was required. Concerning
the first tithe, the Lord had declared, 'I have given the children of Levi all the
tenth in Israel.' But in regard to the second he commanded, 'Thou shalt eat before
the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the
tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds
and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.' Thus
tithe, or its equivalent in money, they were for two years to bring to the place
where the sanctuary was established. After presenting a thank-
Matt. 13:44 -
Matt. 13:45, 46 -
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 11
These parables distinctly point out that those who do not care to invest everything they possess, if need be, to obtain the Kingdom, are to be cast out with the tares.
Matt. 13:47, 48 -
A net cast into the sea naturally catches good and bad, small and large fish. But fish, like all other living creatures, move in families, each species with its kind, and so each time the net is cast, it catches families of fish. So it is that the gospel net in many instances naturally brings in families and relatives all in one catch; that is, as parents accept the gospel of Christ, along with them are often brought the children, and even relatives and friends.
The bad fish represent those who, with no real knowledge, conviction and conversion
of their own but through emotion and the influence of others join the church. So
it is that those who never studiously, whole-
True enough, the Spirit of God causes people to become one thing, and the spirit of Satan causes them to become another thing, but the difference is discernible
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 12
only as the harvest time approaches -
From these simple parables comes the fact that Satan raises tares in the church
and ever tries his level best to keep them in it. Why? -
Rev. 12:13 -
When the Devil saw that he was no longer permitted entrance into Heaven, he went to persecute the church after she brought forth "the man child," Christ. The dragon, therefore, is to persecute the church in her Christian period.
Rev. 12:14 -
Because of the persecution, the church was given the means by which to take her flight from the promised land (the vineyard) into the land of the Gentiles (the wilderness).
Rev. 12:15 -
At the beginning, the serpent persecuted the church, but as he saw that the church still grew and prospered, he reversed his tactics, and began instead to persecute the Pagans who would not join the church, and raised ministers by whom to bring in a flood of unconverted
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 13
by which to paganize the church, so that she could not Christianize them.
Rev. 12:16 -
Thus is the church purified and thus are the tares destroyed. As tares they are
burned; as unprofitable workers they are cast into outer darkness there to weep and
gnash their teeth; as unfit guests for the wedding they are bound hand and foot and
cast out into outer darkness; as foolish virgins they are refused entrance; as goats
they are sent into everlasting punishment; as dragon's flood, they are swallowed
by the earth. But the actual thing that happens to them all in common, is fully
described in Ezekiel's prophecy, chapter 9. Let us turn to it-
"And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon He was, to the threshold of the house. And He called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 14
"And to the others He said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And He said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.
"And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt Thou destroy all the residue of Israel in Thy pouring out of Thy fury upon Jerusalem?
"Then said He unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not. And as for Me also, Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head. And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as Thou hast commanded me."
The promise to purify Jerusalem, Judah and Israel stands as sure as any promise
in the Word. The terms, Jerusalem, Judah, Israel you know, cannot be applied to
anything but to the church, the place where everyone should sigh and cry against
abominations. Those who do not sigh and cry are to be left without the mark, and
then the angels who have charge of the church smite everyone of them -
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 15
both maids and little children, and women." Only those who have the mark shall be left. They are the remnant. The angels are thus to take care of both the wheat and the tares.
Yes, there is to be a clean riddance of every sort of tare just as anciently there
was a clean riddance of all the first-
When is this thorough purging to take place? For the answer let us turn to Zephaniah, chapter 1.
Zeph. 1:2, 3 -
Here is a promise that the Lord is to thoroughly cleanse the land, and I am sure none of you will say that these prophecies have ever been fulfilled.
Zeph. 1:4, 5 -
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 16
Not only the land but the people that are to make up the house of Judah, are to be cleansed: There is to be a clean land and a clean people as well.
Zeph. 1:6 -
The backslider and the indifferent, those who are unstable and those who see no need of God, are to perish along with the tares.
Zeph. 1:7 -
This is the long-
Zeph. 1:8 -
The great crashing shall be from both the fish gates and from the hills -
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 17
their master's houses, and the wicked masters themselves, shall be punished.
The time of the day of the Lord is pointed out by increased "wrath," "trouble,"
"distress," "wasteness," "desolation," "darkness" and "gloominess," -
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 18
the Lord is to search Jerusalem with candles. This is the day in which he is to cleanse His people from sin and sinners. It is "the great and dreadful day of the Lord."
Should we not now consider ourselves the most fortunate people in the world for
knowing these things beforehand? Shall we not be glad and thankful for having been
warned beforehand that we have come almost to the time of the harvest, and that we
have been given the opportunity to make ready for it? Shall we not be glad that
we are not left in darkness, and that we are now plainly shown that these are the
closing hours of the pre-
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 19
Rev. 18:1 -
The fulfillment of this scripture is what is called the Loud Cry of the Third Angel's Message. But note that the whole earth is lightened with his glory. Let us now take notice of what happens after the Three Angels' Messages permeate the earth, after the earth is thus lightened with the glory of the angel.
Rev. 18:2 -
Ah, after the earth is lightened, then it is that Babylon falls. Plainly, then, Babylon has not actually fallen as yet. In fact Babylon has not even come into existence yet, for she is yet to mount (rule) the beast (the world). See Revelation 17 and Tract #12, "The World Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow."
Rev. 18:4 -
This voice from heaven, you see, comes to God's people after the earth is lightened with the Loud Cry of the angel. The burden of the Voice is that God's people should come out of Babylon so that they be not partakers of her sins, and receive not of her plagues. If on this account they must come out of Babylon, then it must be that the place into which they are called to come is free from sin and thus free from danger of
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 20
the plagues. And where could that be but in the purified land and church of God,
where there is no more sin and no more sinners to endanger the peace of God's people?
Vain, indeed, it would be if the people were called from one place of sin and brought
into another place of sin. As clear as crystal it is that the purification of the
church ("cleansing" -
"The third angel's message is to lighten the earth with its glory; but only those
who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted
to act a part in proclaiming it when it shall have swelled into the loud cry." -
Most Christians know that there are two classes in the church -
At the time labor and capital are in a clash, then it is that Jerusalem (the church) shall be searched, as it were, with candles. Consequently, the men who have settled in their houses, those who act as though the Lord has forsaken the earth shall have their punishment.
Not only do we behold and feel the day of the Lord approaching but even hear Its Voice.
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 21