Timely Greetings Volume 1, No. 44
THINGS THAT OBTAIN BEFORE AND AFTER THE EARTH IS MADE NEW
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, JUNE 7, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
TEXT FOR PRAYER
Be Doers Of The Word
Our thought for prayer is found in “The Mount of Blessing,” p. 209 —
“Not all who profess His name and wear His badge are Christ’s. Many who have taught in My name, said Jesus, will be found wanting at last. ‘Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’
“There are persons who believe that they are right, when they are wrong. While claiming Christ as their Lord, and professedly doing great works in His name, they are workers of iniquity. ‘With their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.’ He who declares God’s Word is to them ‘as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear Thy words; but they do them not.'”
The people here described like to hear God’s Word, but that is as far as they go. I hope there are none here only to listen, but to do something about it. Only the doers of the Word are justified. Let us kneel and earnestly pray that God will help us not to be mere professors of the Truth, but actual doers of It.
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THINGS THAT OBTAIN BEFORE AND AFTER THE EARTH IS MADE NEW
We are to study the sixty-fifth chapter of Isaiah. As we study we shall see that it bears record of things that take place in the period before the earth is made new, and in the period after it is made new. We shall begin our study with the first verse.
Isa. 65:1 — “I am sought of them that asked not for Me; I am found of them that sought Me not: I said, Behold Me, behold Me, unto a nation that was not called by My name.”
Paul, writing to the Romans, applies this verse to the Gentiles coming into the Gospel (Rom. 10:20). They are, therefore, those who sought the Lord without asking for Him, and those who found Him without seeking after Him. This condition laden with results, points out that the Lord is easily found.
Isa. 65:2 — “I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts.”
Here is a great contrast between the well-informed in the things of God, and the ignorant Gentiles. While the former are pulling away, although the Lord is tearfully pleading with them, the latter are drawing
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nigh to Him. Here we see how patient God is. He continues to plead on and on. It is hard for Him to give up a sinner before all possible means to save are exhausted. Here is clearly seen that it is easier to save a heathen than it is to save a well satisfied deluded Christian.
Isa. 65:3 — “A people that provoketh Me to anger continually to My face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick.”
To sacrifice in gardens is to make a display of religion, and altars of brick (the product of man, not of God’s creation as is stone), are the works of man. Cain offered an undesirable sacrifice, but the people brought to view in this scripture offer on an undesirable altar. The one is as bad as the other. And what could altars of brick be if not places of worship which God Himself has not commanded to be built?
Isa. 65:4 — “Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels.”
To remain among the graves is to be denied of having a part in the resurrection of the saints. And to lodge in the monuments is to live in a so-called exalted cliff of life — dead to God and alive to the world.
The Jews were quite careful of what they ate, but here is a forecast of a people whose appetites are as loose as were Adam’s and Eve’s while partaking of the forbidden fruit.
Although we as a people profess to be strict in keeping the unclean meats away from our tables, this
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scripture, nevertheless, unveils the shameful truth. It makes known that many are indulging in these abominable things. In one part of the world perhaps they indulge in one abomination, and in another part of the world they indulge in another abomination.
Isa. 65:5 — “Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in My nose, a fire that burneth all the day.”
On the one hand they are as careless as they can be, eating anything and everything, clean and unclean alike. And on the other hand they have a high opinion of themselves — they think themselves holier than any others. Plainly, then, those who indulge in the abominations which verse four tells about, are the very ones who protest against having communion with those who try to live a life consistent with their profession, fearing that reformation might take place. Satanic indeed! God hates hypocrites more than He hates any other kind of sinners. Those who are thus pushed to the right and to the left, see the perfect fulfillment of this scripture at this very time.
Isa. 65:6, 7 — “Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom, your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed Me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.”
Verse six needs no comments, and but a sentence on verse seven will suffice. The Pharisees of yesterday and the Pharisees of today, so to speak, we see are to receive similar rewards.
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Isa. 65:8, 9 — “Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for My servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all. And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of My mountains: and Mine elect shall inherit it, and My servants shall dwell there.”
The seed of Jacob, the inheritor out of Judah, is, of course, Christ. The elect, His servants, are those who escape the destruction here mentioned. They are to be a blessing to others. Symbolically speaking, the mountains are the kingdoms of Judah and Israel gathered together as also foretold in Ezekiel 37:16-28. But if taken literally, the mountains are those in the Promised Land. The phrase, “Mine elect shall inherit it,” changes the object from the plural “mountains” to the singular “it,” and makes the symbolism carry both thoughts, the Kingdom and the location of It. The verse that follows verifies this very thought.
Isa. 65:10 — “And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for My people that have sought Me.”
Verses nine and ten carry us from the Jewish period into the Christian era, then down to the restoration and consolidation of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel in the land of our fathers, Sharon and Achor.
Isa. 65:11 — “But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget My holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.”
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Those who are to be destroyed are those who do not particularly care for His holy mountain, the Kingdom mentioned in these scriptures. They are those who prepare a table, or who assemble passages of Scripture taken out of their setting, and with them they feed (teach) the group, or the troop that is of the same mind as themselves. To “furnish the drink offering” is as much as to say that the troop is drinking in whatever their teachers put out.
Isa. 65:12 — “Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before Mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.”
To this call of God they do not answer. Neither do they hear Him speaking, for they are inclined to do evil. They delight in their own ways and hate the Lord’s. Of this sin they are possibly not conscious.
Isa. 65:13-15 — “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, My servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, My servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, My servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto My chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call His servants by another name.”
These evil doers may not now give even a thought to this solemn warning, but as sure as day is followed by night, just that sure their want, shame, sorrow, and calamity are soon to come.
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The denominational name will they leave to God’s servants; that is, to those who escape from the Lord’s sword shall the name consequently be left. The name, however, is left only as a curse, and His servants will be called by another name which “the mouth of the Lord shall name.”
Isa. 65:16 — “That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of Truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of Truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from Mine eyes.”
In this verse it is implied that the Lord is taking this strange action because His unfaithful servants have not been blessing themselves in the God of Truth. Consequently, they must have been blessing themselves in the god of falsehood; that is, they have been teaching, approving, and spreading falsehood while the Lord is endeavoring to bless all His servants with Truth fresh from His throne. To those who embrace His Truth for this time, He will never bring up their past.
Isa. 65:17 — “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”
Here we are brought down to the time the Lord finally renews the heaven and the earth.
Isa. 65:18, 19 — “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. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”
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We are encouraged to rejoice because Jerusalem, as well as her people, are created for joy.
Isa. 65:20 — “There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.”
Concerning the wicked in the earth made new, who come up in the second resurrection, the resurrection of the unjust (Rev. 20:5), there shall be neither birth nor death among them for one hundred years. Thus the only children that shall be among them will be those who are raised from the dead. Consequently both those who are old and those who are young will have lived a hundred years from the resurrection of the unjust to the second death. Thus the child and the sinner, becoming a hundred years old in the earth made new, shall both succumb in the end of the century. Then the righteous shall inhabit the whole earth.
Isa. 65:21, 22 — “And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.”
Again we see that the Hereafter is to be as real and as natural as was the Garden of Eden in the day it was created. So the message of Elijah shall indeed restore all things — all that was lost through sin.
Isa. 65:23 — “They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.”
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Much of our labor on this earth is done in vain, and many of our sons and daughters are also born in vain. But in the earth made new, no one shall labor in vain, and nothing shall be brought forth for trouble.
Isa. 65:24 — “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”
For the answers to some of our prayers we often wait long, and most of them are not answered as we want them to be. But in the earth made new there shall be no delay and no disappointment.
Isa. 65:25 — “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.”
There shall be peace all around. We shall not see men quarreling nor beasts fighting and eating one another. There shall be real and perfect peace among them all.
If we could only realize what God has prepared for them that love to study His Word and to walk in His ever-increasing Light, then we would make God’s business our chief interest; then we would no longer waste our energies striving for the material things of life. They will be added unto us while we diligently labor for the upbuilding of His Kingdom, for He Himself says: “The workman is worthy of his hire.”
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