THE SHEPHERD’S ROD -
GOD'S CERTIFICATION TO RESURRECT,
PURIFY, AND CONSOLIDATE JUDAH AND ISRAEL
TEXT FOR PRAYER
Build On A Sure Foundation
I shall read from "The Mount of Blessing," page 217,beginning with the second paragraph. Incidentally, this is the last chapter in the book.
"You who are resting your hope on self, are building on the sand. But it is not
yet too late to escape the impending ruin. Before the tempest breaks, flee to the
sure foundation. 'Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation
a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-
We are now to pray that we break away from self and wholly rely on God; that we build, not upon a sandy foundation, but upon the solid Rock, upon a sure foundation that will not be swept away when the storm comes.
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GOD'S CERTIFICATION TO RESURRECT,
PURIFY, AND CONSOLIDATE JUDAH AND ISRAEL
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-
SABBATH, JULY 5, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
This afternoon we are to study Jeremiah 31. It contains Inspiration's guarantee for God's people to return to the homeland. This chapter, you will recognize, contains a prophecy for the latter days:
Jer. 31:1 -
The phrase, "at the same time," takes our thoughts back to Jeremiah 30, verse 24, where it explains that the time is the latter days, our time. Not long hence, therefore, our God will be the God of all the families of Israel, the God of the whole church. Saint and sinner during the Judgment for the Living will no longer be commingled.
Jer. 31:2 -
The people who survive their captivity, are to find grace in the lands of the
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will find this grace at the time the Lord causes them to rest from their "sojourning"
Jer. 31:3 -
At the fulfillment of this prophecy the people will realize that the Lord has really loved them, and that He draws them to Himself with loving kindness.
Jer. 31:4 -
The Lord assures His people that though the Gentile nations have torn down their kingdom, He will restore it to them, and they shall again become a glorious and joyous nation. These promises imply that the people are not now adorned and happy. We may not fully realize this, but God knows better than we do.
Jer. 31:5 -
Most of the world thinks that as the ten tribes, the Kingdom of Israel, are lost among the Gentile nations, that their kingdom is forever gone, yet God Who does according to His good pleasure plainly declares that the faithful, after their separation from the unfaithful, shall be gathered out and brought back into the mountains of Samaria; and that they shall plant and eat the fruit of their planting as a common thing.
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Jer. 31:6 -
The future watchmen of Mount Ephraim, rather than separating themselves from those of Mount Zion as they did anciently, shall gladly lead the laity back to Zion. No longer shall arise the question, Why is it that "our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship"? John 4:20.
Jer. 31:7 -
The "remnant" are those who survive the "Judgment in the house of God." God's people now, while dwelling among the chief of the nations, are urged to proclaim this good tiding in their midst with singing, gladness, and praise, saying, "O Lord, save Thy people." This Truth is now the very present Truth, and It is to be proclaimed and heeded. To work and pray to this end, is the message of the hour.
Jer. 31:8 -
We need not fear; our efforts will not be fruitless. God's sincere people will hear and give heed to the message of this day, and the Lord will thus gather them from the four corners of the earth. Be they blind or lame, be they women or children, they shall
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all return to the vineyard of the Lord.
Jer. 31:9 -
Ephraim himself, Inspiration says, was to become a "multitude of nations." Gen. 48:19, 20.
Jer. 31:10 -
God is speaking and who dare not take His Word to heart? Who dare be indifferent
and keep silent? In order for the nations to be able to say, "He that scattered
Israel will gather him, and keep him," they must be nations that believe, nations
that understand these prophecies and promises. They are to do what we are doing.
But since there is no nation doing this at the present time, and since we are the
only ones that are engaged in this work, the truth becomes evident that our message
is to awaken nations to the fact that we, the last descendants of the twelve tribes
of Israel, are called forth to declare this Truth not only to all our brethren, but
even to the nations. Then the nations are to re-
We, therefore, must not fail in our trust. We must prove worthy of our calling.
Jer. 31:11 -
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ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he."
We are not able to redeem ourselves, nor are we able of ourselves to return to our land. God is to accomplish all this for us. We ought therefore to be thankful that our freedom and redemption do not depend upon ourselves. The responsibility is God's. He is to redeem us from him that is stronger than we.
These verses, I am sure, need no interpretation or elucidation.
Jer. 31:15, 16 -
To understand these verses we must first look into the historical background of them. Rachel, the wife
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of Jacob, had but two sons of her own, Joseph and Benjamin. They were the only sons that were born to Jacob in the Promised Land. Rachel died while giving birth to Benjamin, and so she herself could not have wept for the loss of her children. They were both with her when she died. Hence, the only conclusion one can come to, is that Rachel in this scripture is figurative.
After the death of Solomon, the kingdom was divided, the ten tribes taking the
north, and the two tribes taking the south. The tribe of Joseph was in the one kingdom,
and the tribe of Benjamin in the other. Rachel, therefore, must be the figurative
mother of the children of both kingdoms -
The incident of Jer. 31:15 Matthew applied to Herod's killing the children in an attempt to slay the Lord (Matt. 2:18). A study of this verse along with the entire context of the chapter, however, will disclose that it has an even more direct application to the dispersion of both kingdoms, Judah and Israel, and of their return from the lands of their enemies to the fatherland.
Jer. 31:17, 18 -
Two distinct thoughts are brought to view in this verse: first, that the children of the Kingdom will come again to their own border; and second, that they will have beforehand experienced a great revival
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and reformation. They will have realized that God's chastisement was for their own good, and that the Lord is their God. This reformation, along with God's mercies, is further seen in the following verses.
Jer. 31:19, 20 -
The next verses contain God's command and counsel to His people:
Jer. 31:21 -
Inspiration here very definitely urges God's faithful people to get ready for their return to the Promised Land, and continues:
Jer. 31:22 -
As it is not possible for a woman actually to encompass a man, the woman here spoken of must therefore be symbolical of the church. And the man whom she is to encompass is, according to Inspiration, the Lord Himself. The church therefore is to be made to encompass the Lord and thus enter into her new and happy experience.
"Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I
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come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall
be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the
midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the Holy Land, and shall choose
Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for He is raised up out
of His holy habitation." Zech 2:10-
Jer. 31:23, 24 -
Again and again we are told that the Kingdom of the Lord, the church purified, free of tares, is not something mystical, but that It is absolutely real.
Jer. 31:25, 26 -
Evidently the prophet's awakening must point to the people's spiritual awakening. And the sweetness of his sleep must point to the people's love to continue in their slumber and sleep, their hesitation to awake to these realities.
Jer. 31:27 -
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After this Kingdom is established in the land of promise, It shall grow with both man and beast just as the symbolism of Daniel's chapter two explains: "The stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." Dan. 2:35. "In the days of these kings," not after their days, "shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, ...and...It [the Kingdom] shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms..." Dan. 2:44.
How will they multiply and fill the earth? -
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Isa. 2:2, 3.
Jer. 31:28 -
From these passages of Scripture we see how the Lord will build and increase the Kingdom, and cause It to fill the earth.
Jer. 31:29, 30 -
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The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge."
The ancient kingdom was torn up because of the sins of those who led and ruled the nations; and so all, good and bad alike, suffered. One of the good persons who suffered for the sins of the bad, was Daniel. And thus has it ever been. But now we are coming to the day when everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Michael shall stand up and "everyone that shall be found written in the book" shall be delivered (Dan. 12:1).
This new covenant, you see, is to go into effect in the gathering time. Then shall all God's people know the difference between good and evil. Thus shall they know what is the Lord's will and way. And thus shall they be able to perform the good and to shun the evil. They shall naturally and gladly incline to do good, just as they now incline to do evil.
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was a very great king. He ruled a great kingdom, and lived in a
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wonderful palace. But as soon as his human heart was taken away from him and the heart of a beast put in him, just that soon his own desires and ways left him and the desires and ways of a beast entered him. (See Daniel 4:16). So with God's people: Just as soon as He puts His law in their inward parts, and writes it in their hearts, just that soon the carnal heart's desire and enmity against God's law will disappear. No longer will God's people need to say, When we "want to do good, evil is present." "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Rom. 7:24.
Jer. 31:34 -
Note that the sinners and those who are ignorant of God shall no longer be among God's people. Certainly a change is coming. The present state of affairs will not long continue, the sinners will be put away forever. And how glad we ought to be that if we now repent, our sins will be forgiven and forgotten, and that no one will ever remind us of them!
Jer. 31:35, 36 -
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Here is God's bonafide guarantee against doubt and unbelief. As certainly as the doubters cannot change the ordinances of the heavens, just that certainly shall God's people once again become a Theocratic nation.
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