THE SHEPHERD’S ROD -
ONE SHEPHERD TO ACCOMPLISH
WHAT A MULTITUDE OF THEM FAILED TO ACCOMPLISH
TEXT FOR PRAYER
Why Jesus Taught In Parables
I shall read from "Christ's Object Lessons," p. 22, the first paragraph:
"And He had another reason for teaching in parables. Among the multitudes that
gathered about Him, there were priests and rabbis, scribes and elders, Herodians
and rulers, world-
Let us kneel and pray that we might be on guard against becoming impervious to the Truth as were the Pharisees, that we might be honest hearted and profit by the Truth that comes to us.
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ONE SHEPHERD TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT A MULTITUDE OF THEM FAILED TO ACCOMPLISH
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-
SABBATH, AUGUST 16, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
Let us turn to Ezekiel 34, the chapter we are to study today.
Ezek. 34:1, 2 -
Ezekiel, we read, was given a vision of selfish, greedy, and unworthy shepherds.
Now the first thing of importance is to ascertain whether these selfish shepherds
lived in Ezekiel's day, before his day, or after his day. To find this information,
let us read-
Ezek. 34:23, 24 -
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will then have but one shepherd. This, of course, cannot be Christ Himself, for Inspiration never calls Him David, but rather It calls Him the Son of David. Since God's people have always had, and still do have many shepherds, the truth stands out as clear as crystal that the David of verses 23 and 24 is yet to come, and that the shepherds whom Inspiration addresses are in particular those whom David is to succeed.
Ezekiel, then, was not given a vision of the shepherds in his day, nor of those
before his day, but of the shepherds after his day -
Ezek. 37:24, 25 -
Since this is the addition to the "Third Angel's Message" ("Early Writings," p.
277) and since it is the message of the hour, consequently the day of the Davidian
Kingdom is at hand. Let us turn to-
Hos. 3:4, 5 -
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days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days."
The many days are now almost over and the time for the fulfillment of God's promises is certainly at the threshold of our time.
Ezek. 34:3 -
The shepherds in the day the Kingdom is to be set up are accused of taking all they can possibly take from the sheep, and of not giving any care to the sheep. This must not become our practice.
Ezek. 34:4, 5 -
This careless attitude on the part of the shepherds is causing the laity to wander from one ism to another in search of spiritual food and physical care. Yes, they wander, so to speak, from one hill to another, many of whom have figuratively become meat for beasts (isms) because there is no shepherd to care for the sheep, but there are shearers to take the wool
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from their backs, and the fat from under their ribs. Shameful, indeed! And who dare refuse to declare what God says?
Let us not fool ourselves any longer. God cannot be mocked. He will not for ever forsake His sheep, neither will He for ever retain untrustworthy shepherds herding His sheep. He will soon discharge them, and will demand that they give an account for their unfaithfulness. So it is that what a multitude of shepherds have failed to do, one shepherd, even David, will, in God's hands, get done.
Ezek. 34:13 -
In the days of this antitypical David God gathers
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His flock from all the countries where they have been scattered, and brings them into their own land. God will no longer leave them in the mountains and the hills of the Gentiles. "Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel. Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days." Hos. 1:11; 3:5.
"...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
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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." -
Ezek. 34:17 -
Inspiration now turns from the shepherds and speaks to the flock, to the laity,
and warns that there are two kinds of cattle (two classes of laity), rams and he-
Ezek. 34:18 -
Part of the cattle are accused of being selective, of eating and drinking only that which is to their liking, and of tramping the residue. They accept whatever Truth is agreeable to them, but reject the rest. Here we shall cite an example:
"My labor has been most discouraging, as I have seen that what God designed has not been accomplished.... These brethren took this position: We believe the visions, but Sister White, in writing them, put in her own words, and we will believe that portion which we
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think is of God, and will not heed the other." -
The rebuke, O ye "slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken," that rested upon the two disciples, is a challenge to each of us. None of us is as great as the Lord, yet He believed all the prophets wrote. Entire belief in the prophets is what makes God's people great. Here is seen that "whosoever...humbleth himself shall be exalted," and "whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased." Luke 14:11.
Well, I for one do not question anything God has spoken through His prophets. I know that He does not lie; that He is well able to direct the writings of His prophets; that He makes no vain promises; that He is able to fulfill all He says; that His prophecies never fail. I take the promises of rebuke as readily as the promises of commendation. I study my duties as laid down by Him with as great pleasure as I study the promises of glory.
Ezek. 34:19 -
God's true people, the truly great, accept that which the so-
Ezek. 34:20, 21 -
There is a class of church members who thrust
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with side and shoulder those whom they dislike, usually those who are not of the same haughty type as themselves. These shall have their punishment. And those who are thus mistreated should never feel hurt, should never become discouraged, for their's is the Kingdom, so long as they do not "thrust" and "push" others. The doubters and "scatterers" will have their reward.
The present state of affairs among both ministry and laity will soon have to cease. No longer are the transgressors to commingle with the obedient. No longer are the hypocrite and the sincere to walk together. No longer are God's people to be obliged to listen to every wind of doctrine. No longer are they to be neglected, or left to suffer and fear.
Since we are now face to face with Inspiration, and are told the difference between right and wrong, we are left without a cloak to hide under. We can now intelligently choose either to serve God or to serve self and man, either to trust in God, to study His Word for ourselves or to trust in men, to have others study It for us and tell us what is Truth and what is error. We can now decide to let prejudice control us,
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or to open our hearts so that Truth can find lodgment there. We can now be as dark objects in the corner, or as bright lights on the top of the mountains. "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." Dan. 12:3.
Ezek. 34:26 -
We often sing the song, "There Shall Be Showers of Blessing," but now it is up
to us -
Ezek. 34:27 -
There shall be showers of blessing, and there shall be a great harvest, too. This shall be when the bands of our yoke are broken, when we are delivered from the hands of those who serve themselves instead of the flock.
Ezek. 34:28, 29 -
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the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen anymore."
Not only will God deliver His people from the hands of unfaithful and cruel brethren, but He will also protect them from being a prey to the heathen, and to isms.
Ezek. 34:30, 31 -
God does not forsake His flock. He tenderly calls them "My flock," and reassures them that He is their God. He will, without fail set one shepherd to accomplish what a multitude of shepherds have failed to do. Now is your opportunity to feast on "meat in due season," at the hand of God's chosen shepherd, or starve on husks at the hand of a multitude of shepherds.
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