THE SHEPHERD’S ROD VOLUME 1 TIMELY GREETINGS NO. 32
FATHERS PREFERRED DECEIT THEIR CHILDREN GIVEN GRACE
FATHERS PREFERRED DECEIT THEIR CHILDREN GIVEN GRACE
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-
SABBATH, MARCH 15, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
We shall study the thirteenth chapter of Isaiah, beginning with the very first verse.
Here, as in other chapters of Isaiah's prophecy, you will notice that a part of the chapter (in this instance, the first seventeen verses) speaks of the sins of ancient Israel, the fathers of antitypical Israel, and of their fall from power. But the remainder of the chapter speaks of Israel in the latter days, the days in which antitypical Israel rises to power. Let us now consider
Isa. 30:1, 2 -
Evidently God's people in those days were guilty of these sins. Instead of trusting in God to deliver them from their enemies, they trusted in Pharaoh. What a poor support to lean on! As a result they were plainly told:
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This, as you know, is exactly what befell God's ancient people. How much better it is to sit still, to wait on the Lord for help when you are helpless, than to solicit the help of His enemies!
Isa. 30:8 -
True, they killed the prophets for warning the people of their sin, but God decreed that the prophets' writings against the existing sins must remain intact to be read as object lessons by the generations that were to follow thereafter. God's people of today, therefore, have no excuse for repeating the mistakes of their predecessors. If they do repeat the sins of those who have gone before them, however, then their guilt will bring upon them even greater doom than was brought upon the Jews. And if no one can deny that Isaiah's prophecies against the Jews were fulfilled, then who can dare say that they will not be fulfilled
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against us if we fail as they did?
Isa. 30:9, 10 -
By killing the prophets for their frank speaking, God's ancient people were in
effect saying, Prophesy unto us deceit. Tell us smooth things, we do not want to
know the truth about us. Does this thing still exist among us? -
Just the other day from a brother minister I received a very kindly written letter, in which he sincerely expresses his opinion of our literature. He very politely explained that all he has against it is that in it we speak of the sins and mistakes which the leaders of the church commit. If you have love for them he said, you will speak only good of them.
I do appreciate this brother's sincerity in this matter, but I do not appreciate
his judgment on it. If he will re-
Our business, Brother, Sister, is not to find fault with either the ministry or the laity, but to truthfully bring to light what the Scriptures have to say to God's people of today. We cannot do otherwise, God helping us. Ezekiel's charge is our charge:
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"When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." Ezek. 3:18.
When the Jews found fault with the prophets for speaking of the sins in which the priests were indulging, they actually said:
Isa. 30:11 -
Spiritual blindness is a cruel thing. Its victims can hardly be made to see either their sins or the righteousness of God. They misinterpret and misapply everything that is intended for their own good.
Isa. 30:12, 13 -
If the spiritual eyes of God's ancient people could possibly have been opened, if they could have seen that their sins were undermining the foundation upon which they were standing, they would not have spit upon the faces of the prophets for warning them of their plight. Indeed not. Instead, they would have welcomed the prophets.
Isa. 30:14 -
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bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit."
Who dares deny that their kingdom thus fell? All these things came upon them only because they refused to hear the prophets.
Because there was nothing that could have been done to save our ancestors from shame, the Lord let the nations beat His people and scatter them to the four winds. He nevertheless left a promise that He would wait until they as a people have gone through their period of prodigality, until they as individuals discover their mistakes and give the Lord opportunity to display His grace to them. Those who wait for Him are certainly to receive His blessings.
With the eighteenth verse comes the dividing line between the account of God's ancient people and the forecast of His people's future in the latter days. Up to this point is the record of the former; now concerning the promises to the latter, we read:
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Isa. 30:19 -
What is the reason that God so patiently waits? and why does He promise His grace
so abundantly to His people? -
So it is that while God's ancient people faced destruction, punishment, and desolation,
we now are facing restoration, pity, and grace. Today we have the same promise that
the people had in Moses' day -
Isa. 30:20 -
Although God anciently permitted the peoples' teachers (their prophets) to be
pushed into a corner, abused, and slaughtered, He will permit it no longer. The
eyes of His people shall see their God-
Isa. 30:21 -
There is therefore no need for any of us to go wrong. There is no excuse for making mistakes which we ought not make.
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Isa. 30:22 -
No, God's faithful people will not hold to anything that displeases the Lord. Not only will they cast away all idolatrous things, but they will actually hate them.
Isa. 30:23 -
When we comply with all God's requirements, then it is that we will prosper. Then it is that the devourer shall be rebuked, and the curses kept back from us. We should therefore now realize that prosperity does not depend merely upon one's ability, but that it depends even more upon God's approval of one's deeds.
Isa. 30:24 -
If our cattle are to have clean feed, then how much more important that we ourselves have spiritual food that is winnowed by the Spirit of Truth. This they are to have.
Isa. 30:25 -
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Obviously, when God's waters of salvation cover the earth -
This Truth to which you are listening today will verily spread throughout the world as fire spreads in stubble. Matters not who attempt to stop God's Truth, I know that all such will stumble and fall and not be found, but that the Truth shall cover the earth.
Isa. 30:26 -
Were this not a figure of speech, were the sun actually to become seven times
hotter than it is, then the earth itself would go into flames. Obviously the sun
in this instance is used figuratively to illustrate that the light of God's Word
now while He is binding the "wound" of His people, is to increase sevenfold -
Isa. 30:27 -
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far, burning with His anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire."
Look! commands the Lord, the unveiling of these truths indicates but one thing
Isa. 30:28 -
The Lord's breath, His written Word, will rise (revealed Truth will increase) up and up until It shall reach to the "midst of the neck," as it were, to sift the nations. The vain shall fall, but the humble, those that wait for the Lord, shall stand.
Isa. 30:29 -
Yes, the rejecters of God's Word may lament and gnash their teeth in outer darkness, but the obedient, those who wait for the Lord, shall sing as when a holy solemnity is kept, and shall, as it were, play with a pipe instrument "to come into the mountain [kingdom] of the Lord."
Isa. 30:30 -
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God is about to thus manifest His power and vindicate His cause. The days of His silence are almost past.
If God's people in ancient days had believed what the prophets told them, what a difference it would have made! Their mistakes must now become our knowledge, our stepping stones of escape.
"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.... Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard It. Again, He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." Heb. 3:1, 2; 4:1, 2, 7.
Our forefathers preferred deceit. We, though, ought to now gladly respond to Mercy's plea, and thus obtain grace.
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