Timely Greetings Volume 1, No. 31
THE OLD FAMILY TREE
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, MARCH 8, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
TEXT FOR PRAYER
I shall read from “The Mount of Blessing,” beginning on page 188, the last paragraph.
M.B., pg. 188 — “Jesus…earnestly desired that the great multitude might appreciate the mercy and loving kindness of God. As an illustration of their need, and of God’s willingness to give, He presents before them a hungry child asking his earthly parent for bread. ‘What man is there of you,’ He said, ‘whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?’ He appeals to the tender, natural affection of a parent for his child, and then says, ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?’ No man with a father’s heart would turn from his son who is hungry and is asking for bread. Would they think him capable of trifling with his child, of tantalizing him by raising his expectations only to disappoint him?… And should any one dishonor God by imagining that He would not respond to the appeals of His children?
“…The Holy Spirit, the representative of Himself, is the greatest of all gifts. All ‘good things’ are comprised in this. The Creator Himself can give us nothing greater, nothing better….”
If we do not believe what God tells us, if we do not believe what He says He is, then we dishonor Him. He is very anxious to give us gifts, but only if we want them. He is particularly anxious to give us the greatest gift — the gift of the Holy Spirit. Naturally, with this gift all other gifts are given. It was this gift that Solomon asked for, and with it he was liberally given all the other gifts. Let us likewise pray for this great gift. It is just what God wants to give us if we will only wholeheartedly and honestly promise — positively to use the gift in the way He would have us use it.
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THE OLD FAMILY TREE
Let us turn to the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, and begin our study with the first verse.
Isa. 11:1 — “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”
Here is a family tree in which three persons are introduced. This verse does not say whom the rod represents; it does not say whom the Branch represents; but it does say that the stem is Jesse, the father of king David. The rod, of course, which came out of the stem, could be none other than the son of Jesse — David, the king of ancient Israel. The verses following this verse explain that the Branch is the Lord Himself. Clearly, then, this family tree represents Jesse, David, and Christ.
The remaining verses of the chapter are concerning Christ, His work, and His kingdom.
Isa. 11:2 — “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”
Upon this one gift — the gift of the Spirit — all things hinge.
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Isa. 11:3, 4 — “And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth: with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.”
These verses, I am sure, need no comment save to mention that “the rod of His mouth” and “the breath of His lips” must mean God’s Word, His Truth. This very Truth to which we are listening this afternoon will, therefore, on the one hand slay those who reject It together with those who are disobedient to It, but on the other hand save those who give heed to It, and who comply with Its requirements. The one consequence is as natural as it the other. For example, did not the preaching of the gospel of Christ save the Apostles, but at the same time cause Judas to commit suicide? And did it not save the disciples but destroy all the unbelieving of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.?
In the Kingdom here predicted, not only are men to be at peace with men, but men with beast, and beast with beast as well. The reason given for such perfect peace is that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. Knowledge, then, is what we need, and shall we turn it down now when it is so freely brought to our doors?
Just as soon as God’s people obtain this knowledge of the Lord, just that soon shall the kingdom appear. So it is that while learning of God and of His wisdom,
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we are at the same time bringing peace on earth. Plainly, then, those who have not this knowledge of the Lord cannot become citizens of His kingdom. How essential, then, that we study for ourselves; how essential that we know what is Truth through our own personal experience, not through the experience of others!
Isa. 11:10 — “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.”
That is, in the day of the Branch (in the Christian period), in the day this family tree is completed, then it is that the kingdom of peace (the church purified) sprouts, so to speak, from the ground up. It then stands for an ensign to the people, and to It shall the Gentiles seek for salvation. Plainly, then, this old family tree, Kingdom, is to be set up while probation lasts. Moreover, the place where It is to stand (rest) shall be glorious. It is therefore to have Its own location, and Its own boundary line. It is to be for the gathering of the people, the ark of today as was Noah’s ark in Noah’s day. So we are again brought to the same truth which Isaiah, chapter 2, and Micah, chapter 4, teach:
Isa. 11:11, 12 — “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners
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of the earth.”
The Lord is to recover the remnant (those that are spared) of His people in the day this Kingdom is set up; that is, the Kingdom is set, then those who are left behind among the Gentiles, those who seek after the ensign, the Lord is to recover them. This second recovery of His people declares Inspiration, is to be from the four corners of the earth. The first, as you know, was from Egypt only.
Isa. 11:13-15 — “The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim [–there shall be no sinner among them]. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.”
Both kingdoms, Israel (sometimes called the house of Ephraim) and Judah, are to be restored and united in the antitype. They shall never again envy or vex each other. And through Ezekiel commands the Lord:
“Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in Mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say
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unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people, and I will be their God.” Ezek. 37:19-23.
Thus it is that “…in the days of these kings [not after their days] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it [the kingdom] shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Dan. 2:44, 45.
If the Kingdom is to destroy all these kingdoms, then It must be set up before these kingdoms are destroyed. The stone that is cut out of the “mountain” in the days of these kings, is itself to become a great mountain, and It, the Kingdom, is to fill the whole earth (Dan. 2:35, 45).
In the days of Moses the Lord smote but one stream, the Red Sea, and one nation, Egypt. But now the
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Lord promises to smite every stream (all “seven”) and cause His people from the four corners of the earth to reach their land without so much as getting their feet wet. Although today as in Moses’ day, such a thing seems utterly impossible, yet it is certain that just as God made it possible then, He will now, too. The battle is the Lord’s, the will is ours. We have nothing to do but to obey His voice. That is our only duty Brother, Sister.
There is no Bible Truth plainer than this, and there is no truth as important at this time as is this Truth. These are the very reasons that it either saves or destroys — to accept It is to have all your sins blotted out; to reject It, is to sin against the Holy Ghost. “Today if ye will hear His Voice, harden not your [heart]” is God’s counsel for you and for me. You well know now that this Truth is irrefutable. Try and see for yourself.
Isa. 11:16 — “And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.”
After the first fruits and the Lamb are gone to Mount Sion, there shall be a highway for the second fruits, for those who are still in “Assyria,” the world. In other words, all obstructions shall be removed. Our faith shall not fail us, and our hope shall not be in vain, for God has not forsaken the earth. He Who rules and guides the stars in their unerring path, is able to lead us safely to our own land. Indeed, just as not one of them fails in its course, so not one of God’s promises shall ever fail to materialize. Let no one deceive you in this. Study verse by verse, word for word, read, stop and think,
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do not hastily pass by this positive, most urgent Truth, for as it was in the days of the flood so shall it be now, says the Lord (Matt. 24:37). The first born (firstfruits) who failed to paint the door post with the sacrificial blood in the first exodus, the type, perished. So any of the firstfruits of today who fails to comply with the demands of the message for today, will as certainly perish at the angel’s slaughter weapons (Ezek. 9:5, 6).
Isa. 12:1-3 — “And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise Thee: though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”
“In that day,” that is, in the day His people are being gathered from the four corners of the earth, in that day are they thus to praise Him, because they will plainly see that His anger has been turned away from them. They will positively know that He is their salvation, their fear, and their strength. They will therefore with greater joy drink in the freshly revealed truths of the Bible.
Isa. 12:4 — “And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted.”
“In that day,” that is, in the gathering time shall they encourage one another to praise the Lord, to call upon His name, and to declare His doings among the people. They will then whole-heartedly and with knowledge be doing real and profitable missionary work.
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Isa. 12:5, 6 — “Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.”
You certainly will not let anything hinder or stifle your voice now that God commands to cry out and shout.
“Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in Judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isa. 32:1, 2.
No, this is not what popular theology teaches, but you admit that this is what the Bible teaches, and that It we must believe rather than men.
Thus far faith in God’s promises has not failed us, and why will He fail us now? — Never. Faith mixed with works will bring everything in due season. The adversaries of Truth shall fail, but Truth shall triumph, and the faithful with It.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was
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translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in taberacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
“Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful Who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things, declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not
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ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest He that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
“By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the
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harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
“And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
“Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
“And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:1-40.
Now while the eternal records are being made, will you not cause your name to be written among the great heroes of God? How can you afford to eternally lose out at such a late hour?
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