Timely Greetings Volume 2, No. 31
THE RESTORATION AND THE TIME
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF D. SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, MARCH 13, 1948
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
TEXT FOR PRAYER
Do Your Work; Leave The Results To God
I shall read from Christ’s Object Lessons, page 64, beginning with the last paragraph:
“The work of the sower is a work of faith. The mystery of the germination and growth of the seed he can not understand. But he has confidence in the agencies by which God causes vegetation to flourish. In casting his seed into the ground, he is apparently throwing away the precious grain that might furnish bread for his family. But he is only giving up a present good for a larger return. He casts the seed away, expecting to gather it many-fold in an abundant harvest. So Christ’s servants are to labor, expecting a harvest from the seed they sow…. In our life-work we know not which shall prosper, this or that. This is not a question for us to settle. We are to do our work, and leave the results with God.”
Let us pray for faith, and then go cheerfully into the vineyard and sow the seed the Lord has so graciously provided, remembering His promise that His Work shall not return unto Him void, but that it shall prosper in the thing whereto He sends it. We must remember, too, that faith is the first rung of the ladder to salvation, and that without faith we cannot please God.
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THE RESTORATION AND THE TIME
Our text is found in the third chapter of Acts:
Acts 3:19-21 — “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”
Here we are told that the heavens must receive the Lord, not forever, but until the times “of restitution of all things.” He is, therefore, at the time of restitution to return to earth.
Shall this returning be unexpected? or shall the Lord first send someone to prepare His way? And if someone is to precede His coming, who will it be? — “And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things.” Mark 9:12. The Lord, moreover, through the prophet Malachi declares:
Mal. 3:1; 4:5 — “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His
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temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts…. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”
Here the Scriptures point out that someone in the spirit and power of Elijah the prophet is first to appear, and will not only prepare the way, but will also restore all things. Plainly, the message of Elijah shall restore all things in the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the day of restitution, the day the Lord comes to His temple, the Church. The spirit of Elijah was a spirit against idolatry, and his power was a power to destroy those who led in idolatry, and to bring about purity.
Mal. 3:2, 3 — “But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ sope: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”
At this coming He is not to take His saints to the mansions above, but He is to purify the sons of Levi — the ministry; He is to destroy the leaders of idolatry. Since the purity of His servants is first to be restored, the restoration, therefore, commences in the Church. Thus is the Edenic state of peace and security to be restored, for we are told that–
Isa. 11:6-9 — “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the
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fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”
So it was in Eden, and so it must be again if all things are to be restored, and if these prophecies are to be fulfilled.
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.”
“In that day” — that is, in the day this Edenic peace and security are restored — then, not after, is the Kingdom of Judah and Israel to be restored (Ezek. 37:16-28) and made to stand for an ensign. To it shall the Gentiles seek. This restoration of Judah and Israel, therefore, takes place in probationary time, for the Gentiles shall seek the “ensign.” Plainly, then, the Gentiles shall still be standing when Edenic peace and security are restored to God’s people during the great and dreadful day.
“Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest…. But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above
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the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Mic. 3:12; 4:1, 2.
Clear it is that after the dispersion of the Jews, and after the destruction of Old Jerusalem, in the Christian era, the last days, then it is that the restoration of all things takes place; and the fact that many people shall then join the Lord, the restoration therefore takes place in probationary time, in the great and dreadful day. The “ensign,” too, shall then stand and to it shall the Gentiles seek. The day is to be great for the righteous, and dreadful for the sinners.
Zech 14:4, 5 — “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.”
“In that day.” In what day? — In the day all nations gather against Jerusalem that now is, and bring its fall from Gentile rule. In that day the Lord’s feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives shall cleave in
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the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, there shall be a very great valley; “and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” Zech. 14:4. The Lord’s post-millennial coming, too, shall be similar to this. See Early Writings, pp. 51, 52.
The servants of God shall then flee to the valley of the mountains, where the Lord’s feet shall stand, and all the saints with them; that is, the Lord’s “feet” will open the way for the restoration of the Kingdom, and for the gathering of the people into it.
Isa. 11:11-14 — “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 of the earth. 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. 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.”
Here we see that there is to be peace in “the valley of the mountains” — peace between beast and beast, and also between man and man, for the lion shall not hurt the lamb, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim, and Ephraim shall not envy
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Judah. Judah and Ephraim are nevertheless to be in conflict with the countries surrounding the land, for they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines, and lay hand upon Edom and Moab. The Ammonites, though, shall obey them.
Isa. 11:15 — “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.”
Yes, the Lord will open the way for the gathering of His people. The Exodus of today, therefore, shall be as the Exodus of yesterday, only on a greater scale. God’s people in these last days shall be gathered from every land, not from the land of Egypt.
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.”
Thus shall the kingdom of Judah and Israel be restored, and be given peace and plenty.
Micah 4:4 — “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.”
And now this is God’s light, and this is His plea:
Isa. 2:5 — “O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.”
The message of Elijah that restores all
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things is indeed an addition to the Third Angel’s Message, and it shall certainly swell into a loud cry. It shall gather God’s people from the four corners of the earth, and bring them out of Babylon as the earth is lightened with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1-4). (See Early Writings, pg. 277.)
As Noah’s ark preserved every living thing that was to inhabit the earth after the flood, in like manner the restored Kingdom of Judah and Israel is to gather and preserve from the plagues every living thing that is to inhabit the new earth; the Kingdom restored is to be the ark in our day, and her people shall live and reign a thousand years with Christ (Rev. 20:4), and finally return when the earth is made new.
Isa. 65:17, 18, 25 — “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy…. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord.”
Obviously those who seek to enter into this ark of safety shall live and reign with Christ during the thousand years, and those who spurn it shall lie breathless in the “bottomless pit” until the post-millennial resurrection, only to rise in shame and everlasting contempt, subject to suffer the second death.
How important, then, that we be not napping, but that we arise and put on the wedding garment
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now lest we find ourselves weeping and gnashing our teeth, even worse than did the ante-diluvians outside the ark when the rains came and the lightning and thunder blasted through the sky as the fountains of the deep broke up.
We have now seen that the restoration “of all things” begins with the gathering of the people unto Judah, and that the Kingdom is complete when the earth is made new. Let us therefore do what we can to help build the ark now and to enter into it with as many souls as possible, for Inspiration’s own revelation of this Truth shows that we are approaching the day of restitution of all things, that this is the message of the hour.
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O solemn thought! and can it be
The hour of Judgment now is come,
Which soon must fix our destiny,
And seal the sinner’s fearful doom?
Yes, it is so; the Judgment hour
Is swiftly hastening to its close;
Then will the Judge, in mighty power,
Descend in vengeance on His foes.
He who came down to earth to die,
An offering for the sins of men,
And then ascended up on high,
And will ere long return again,
Is standing now before the ark,
And mercy-seat, and cherubim,
To plead His blood for saints, and make
The last remembrance of their sin.
The solemn moment is at hand
When we who have his name confessed,
Each in his lot must singly stand,
And pass the final, searching test.
Jesus! we hope in Thee alone;
In mercy now upon us look,
Confess our names before the throne,
And blot our sins from out Thy book.
O Blessed Saviour! may we feel
The full importance of this hour.
Inspire our hearts with holy zeal,
And aid us by Thy Spirit’s power,
That we may, in Thy strength, be strong,
And brave the conflict valiantly;
Then, on Mount Zion, join the song,
And swell the notes of victory.
–R. F. Cottrell.
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