THE SHEPHERD’S ROD -
THE MIGHTY ESAUS AND THE UNPRETENTIOUS JACOBS
TEXT FOR PRAYER
The Test Of Discipleship
I shall read from "The Mount of Blessing," beginning on page 209, the last paragraph.
"A mere profession of discipleship is of no value....a belief that does not lead to obedience is presumption. The apostle John says, 'He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.' Let none cherish the idea that special providences or miraculous manifestations are to be the proof of the genuineness of their work or of the ideas they advocate. When persons will speak lightly of the Word of God, and set their impressions, feelings, and exercises above the divine standard, we may know that they have no light in them.
"Obedience is the test of discipleship. It is the keeping of the commandments
that proves the sincerity of our professions of love. When the doctrine we accept
kills sin in the heart, purifies the soul from defilement, bears fruit unto holiness,
we may know that it is the truth of God. When benevolence, kindness, tender-
Let us pray for power that will enable us to turn away from being hypocrites,
from being mere professors of discipleship to genuine followers of Christ, living
after the manner He lived and toiled -
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THE MIGHTY ESAUS AND
THE UNPRETENTIOUS JACOBS
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-
SABBATH, JUNE 14, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
We are to study the sixty-
Isa. 66:1, 2 -
By saying "the heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool," the Lord actually says that He has not forsaken the earth; that though His throne is in heaven, His feet are still on earth; that He is still interested in His people. But the questions, "where
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is the house that ye build unto Me? and where is the place of My rest?" sadly reveal that the work has been neglected, that neither a house nor a place of rest has been prepared for Him. The Lord's next statement further confirms this fact, for He reiterates that the things which He found were only those things which always were, and which His Own hand, not the hand of His servants, have made.
Then by saying, "But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, that trembleth at My Word," He positively makes known that His unfaithful servants are discharged from His work, that others, poor and of a contrite spirit who tremble at His Word, have taken their places, that what the former servants have failed to do, the latter will do. At the same time He charges the former servants that they feel rich in spirit and in need of nothing more; that they do not fear His Word. Hence the servants who are to build Him a house and to make a place for His rest, are to be men of a poor and a contrite spirit; men who tremble at His Word; men who are not proud and boastful, but who are teachable and mindful of His Word; men who are penitent and see themselves in need of everything instead of in need of nothing. Finally the Lord angrily declares:
Isa. 66:3, 4 -
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No matter how good or how important the sacrifices may be, so long as we serve Him in our own way our gifts and sacrifices are an abomination unto Him. Man's own ways must be abandoned, even though it be the hardest task to face, if he is to make peace with God.
There is no question but that God has now sent this warning message to His unfaithful
Isa. 66:5, 6 -
Some have already had the experience of being carried bodily out of the churches for no other reason than for having read "The Shepherd's Rod," and for having said, "I believe what It says." Of course, it is incredible that men should act like demons. It is nevertheless so, and God Himself testifies against their demon practice. We do not pity ourselves, and are not at all angry at our adversaries, but we are sorry about their spiritual blindness, misery, poverty, and nakedness, for we know that the coming joy is to be ours, and the sorrow and shame and gnashing of teeth, theirs. This we know as verily as Jacob knew that God was with him in his flight from the face of Esau.
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The Esaus of today, though, do not know this. No, they do not know it any more
than Esau of old knew of Jacob's night vision of the ladder that extended from heaven
to Jacob's dew-
If any part of the Bible is become present Truth, Isaiah 66:5 certainly is. Consequently, from the city there is a noise and there is a voice from the temple against us; but the voice of the Lord, the message of today, is what counts and what settles all things. Are you afraid of being cast out? or are you trembling at God's Word? Now you have to make your choice against opposition if you expect to be in the Kingdom eternal.
Isa. 66:7 -
For a woman to be delivered of a child before she travails and before her pain
comes, is an incredible thing -
Isa. 66:8 -
The church is now filled with tares, with bad fish and with goats. It is hard to find the saints. She is
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nevertheless all at once to bring a multitude of converts which no man can number. The Denomination does not believe this; no, no more than the Jews believed that the Saviour was born in the manger, nor any more than did they expect the fishermen of Galilee to take the places of the pious priests and of the exalted religious leaders of that day, and no more than did they expect the Gentiles to share in the promises of Israel. The Denomination of today, too, thinks that tomorrow is to be as today, that the Lord God has left men forever to do as they please. She does not know that the Lord is taking the reins in His Own hands ("Testimonies to Ministers," p. 300). She still thinks that she is rich and increased with goods (Truth), and has need of nothing more. The church will, nevertheless, see all the promises fulfilled. She will see that these scriptures are not in the Bible merely to fill space. As soon as she thus travails and feels her need, just that soon will her courts be filled with saints and her work finished.
Isa. 66:9 -
Would the Lord have made these promises if He were not able to fulfill them? This is the great question before you, before me. And would He start something if He cannot perform and finish? You must not lightly pass over these questions, for your answers will decide your destiny.
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of her glory. For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward His servants, and His indignation toward His enemies."
Here we are told that only those who mourn for Jerusalem, those who pray for the
establishment of His antitypical throne of David, and kingdom, are to rejoice with
her. They, and only they, will profit from the abundance of her glory. None others
will share her peace and her abundant glory. No, none others will be dandled upon
her knees. The sinners shall not be comforted in Jerusalem, and their lukewarmness
will become red hot and put them running to the hills and to the rocks of the mountains
After God has done all He can do to direct the path of His servants, when there is "no more remedy," just then, Divine retribution is to be meted out. Those who continue to walk in their own way will then
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find themselves in the wide path where there is no Divine mercy, where the Avenger of justice takes His toll.
They are those who sanctify and purify themselves in the garden behind one tree
(behind the leader); that is, they pretend to be very religious in their gathering
places, trusting that the minister will lead them through to the Kingdom. They indulge
in the use of forbidden meats and at the same time boastingly pretend to be sanctified
and purified. To the Lord, however, they appear as white-
Isa. 66:18, 19 -
What the Lord is about to do is not to be done in secret. It is not an imaginary thing not something enshrouded in mystery to be guessed at; but it is a plain and open act before all the nations.
Now to their own destruction, men argue that this is a spiritual slaughter, (What
is a spiritual slaughter? -
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foolish arguments now prove that they are not only ignorant of it, but even so blind
(Rev. 3:17) that even after told and shown what it is they cannot see it! Although
they claim to know that the Judgment is to separate the wheat from the tares, the
good from the bad, that it is to cleanse the sanctuary by blotting out the names
of the bad and the sins of the good, they do not admit that this strange act of God
is nothing less than the Judgment for the Living in the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17),
the cleansing of the sanctuary (Dan. 8:14), the purification of the church ("Testimonies,"
Vol. 5, pg. 80), the cleansing of the temple (Mal. 3:1-
No longer try to console yourselves that this slaughter of the Lord is something imaginary, or that it takes place after the close of probation. Now get ready lest you fall. Let no man divert your attention from it.
The verse we just read explains that those who "escape" the Lord's sword, will He send to the Gentiles, to those who have not heard His fame or seen His glory, and they shall declare His glory among the Gentiles; they shall bring to the house of the Lord all who will be saved. Here let us read the Lord's exact words:
Isa. 66:20, 21 -
Now, in view of the fact that those who escape the slaughter of the Lord are sent as missionaries,
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preachers, and ministers to all the nations and peoples who as yet know not God and His gospel, there is but this conclusion: that the slaughter takes place only among God's people; that it is the Judgment for the Living in the "house of God" (1 Pet. 4:17); that shepherds are slain because they have kept the sheep away from the Lord's green pasture (present Truth); that the faithful laity take their places; that then the church, "bright as the sun, fair as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners," "goes forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer." Thus is the gospel work finished and the wicked world brought to an end.
"Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will
be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [Third Angel's Message] when it shall
have swelled into the Loud Cry." -
"...We have been inclined to think that where there are no faithful ministers,
there can be no true Christians; but this is not the case. God has promised that
where the shepherds are not true he will take charge of the flock himself. God has
never made the flock wholly dependent upon human instrumentalities. But the days
of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure
and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place, we shall be better able to measure
the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will
manifest that his fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor." -
Isa. 66:22 -
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Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain."
With this verse Inspiration now begins to disclose things which take place in the earth made new.
Isa. 66:23 -
The Sabbath, you see, is as eternal as the earth. It is to be kept not only now,
but even after this sin-
Isa. 66:24 -
Although the preceding verses of this chapter are not studied much by any, the
last two have often been discussed and debated upon by many. To some they mean that
there is to be an eternal torment. But does the scripture at all sustain such a
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the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the
soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts." Mal.
The carcasses at first and the ashes at last of the unfaithful servants being under the feet of the saints, can hardly indicate that the unfaithful are pushed into "hell fire," there to live forever. Moreover since only the righteous are given eternal life, then the wicked must be given eternal death. Furthermore, "second death" (Rev. 20:14) cannot mean "second life."
The theory of eternal torment has been superficially derived from the statement, "their worm shall not die." "Their worm," the worm that gorges on their carcasses, though, cannot possibly mean the souls of the people. At least it cannot mean such to him who digs deep into the well of salvation, and that can think and reason for himself. Such a one reads between the lines and notes the full value of each word. If "worm" means anything, then it means that the worm thrives on the carcasses, that it is the agency which reduces the constituents of the carcasses to their original elements. Indeed, "the worm shall not die"; it shall certainly accomplish its consuming work; the carcasses shall He bring down to dust, "for dust thou art," says the scripture, "and unto dust shalt thou return." Gen. 3:19. It is this disintegrating agency, the consuming worm that does not die. Moreover, we are told that the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezek. 18:4).
It is plainly seen that the preaching of eternal suffering in hell fire rather
than eternal death, is prompted by unscrupulous so-
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endeavoring to drive their audiences into church by fright. But if they knew that
only the born-
"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over His household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That He shall make him ruler over all His goods.
"But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming;
and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in
an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion
with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 24:42-
There is but one right choice for you to make, and that is to cease keeping company
with the mighty Esaus, and to join the unpretentious Truth-
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