Continuation of the sermon by brother Houteff concerning Isaiah —
The sinners in Zion are first to cry to the rocks and to the mountains, then will the proclamation of the great and dreadful day of the Lord go forth far and wide saying: “Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge My might.” Isa. 33:13.
Now is the time to quit fooling ourselves, to make up our minds to wholeheartedly serve the Lord, and Him alone.
How do I know that the great day of the Lord is almost here? — I know it because the announcement of it is here already, and because the message of the marking that is foretold in Ezekiel’s chapter nine, the work of the Judgment, is already making its way throughout the Adventist world. I know it also because the material for the glory that follows immediately thereafter (the material that is to lighten the earth with the glory of the angel, the Loud Cry — Rev. 18:1) is all ready and waiting.
And what happens then? — the cry goes out to the whole dominion of Babylon, “saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4. God’s people come out of Babylon to join His purified sin-free church, His guileless servants, the 144,000, the first fruits of the mountain of the Lord’s house.
Then it shall come to pass that from all nations will the saints flow into it. “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee [upon the church purified, the mountain of the Lord], and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.
Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord.
All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on Mine altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for Me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He hath glorified thee.
And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in My wrath I smote thee, but in My favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.” Isa. 60:2-11.
Then it shall come to pass that
Isa. 2:11 — “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.”
Man has long been exalting himself; so much so, in fact, that there are perhaps only a few Christians in the world that are really following “the light of the Lord.” Most of them are following sparks of men, following uninspired interpretations of the Scriptures, — devisings of men, men who scoff at the idea of Inspiration; they see no need of more Truth or of prophets, although they well know that the only Truth that has ever come has been through chosen servants of God.
Even present Truth believers have not as yet fully awakened to this startling revelation, many of them are carried away with every wind of doctrine, much of which is created by impostors such as Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Num. 16:9-11) coveting Moses’ office — usurpers of Inspiration’s Throne — taking sides, one for Paul and another for Apollos, as it were! Inspiration’s eye focusing to this day and message, reveals that much of this self deception is the result of what the Spirit describes, a double face hypocrisy, saying:
“Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
And, lo, thou art unto 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. And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.” Ezek. 33:30-33. We need to be doers of the Word not merely hearers.
Isa. 2:12, 13, 15, 16 — “For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: and upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,…and upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, and upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.”
These are of course figurative expressions, referring to proud and self-sufficient men who in the people’s eyes are as the cedars of Lebanon, and as the oaks of Bashan.
Isa. 2:17-20 — “And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols He shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats.”
What idols are to be abolished? — Idols that walk. They are, therefore, men whom the people idolize. They, and those who idolize them will run into “the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth.” Only those that cast out the idols shall be spared. In these verses three kinds of idols are mentioned: (1) works of men’s hands, (2) men that are revered, (3) gold and the silver that are worshipped. These shall be abolished, there are to be idols no more.
They and their worshipers are;
Isa. 2:21 — “To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.”
If we do not now voluntarily cast out all our idols, we shall be forced to cast them later, but what good will it do us then?
Isa. 3:1 — “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.”
The time is at hand when the sinners in Jerusalem and in Judah — the General Conference men and the church as a whole, will not have a drop to drink or a bite to eat. Who are among them?
Isa. 3:2-4 — “The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. [Having taken away the men that have been exalting themselves, and thus having freed His people, the Lord puts children and babes, so to speak, humble ones to rule over His people.] And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.”
The signs of the times are to be recognized by the conditions revealed in
Isa. 3:5 — “And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: thechild shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.”
Since these things are now taking place, we need not be ignorant of the fact that the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” is at hand. The unruly and disrespectful shall not survive the day.
Isa. 3:6 — “When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand.”
To say “come and rule over us because you have clothing,” is perhaps equivalent to saying, “If you rule over us you can at least give us something to wear, and this ruin shall be under your control, you can remedy the situation.”
The people’s way of thinking and acting in this soon-coming time of trouble, ruin, and adversity of all kinds, clearly reveals that they are not taking God into consideration, — no, not at all. They are trusting in men and goods. They hope that someone can yet remedy the situation, can save them from ruin. Thus by their calling on men to help instead of calling on God, they are acting as if God has forsaken the earth.
Isa. 3:7 — “In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.”
The one that is called to rule, also shares the people’s attitude. He declares that he is not able to heal the evil, that he, too, is poor. God, though, makes clear the cause of the trouble: Let us read
Isa. 3:8 — “For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of His glory.”
Not the world, but Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen. Why? — Because their doings and their tongues are against the Lord; that is, they are against His Judgment Truth. What are the eyes of His glory? According to Isaiah 62:3 and 4:5, His glory is the ever-living Zion, His Truth- enlightened church. The depository of His revealed Truth is, therefore, His glory, His seers are His “eyes.” See I Samuel 9:9. That is, God’s Spirit-filled servants who lead into all Truth, are the eyes of His glory whom the sinners shamelessly provoke.
You know for a fact that there is not one who names himself a Christian that talks outright against God. What professed Christians really do, is say things against God’s revealed Truth, without realizing that they are talking and sinning against the “Holy Ghost,” and thus against God Himself, too.
Even some present Truth believers now and then drop a word of criticism, saying things by which to bolster their own reputation and down another’s or to win someone to their way of thinking at the expense of God’s cause! These kinds of sins are the most insidious. And the greater the ability of the one that is engaged in such practices, the greater the damage.
Are these tongues of ours not given to us to glorify God through His Truth, or are they given to us to use God’s revealed Truth in a way to exalt self, to get others to think our own way?
Perhaps most destructive of all are the unjust criticisms that are often spoken in the hearing of the children and youth, or in the presence of the inexperienced and uninformed. These are damages that can never be altered! Parents on the one hand work hard to save their children, and on the other hand by unwise conversation they drive them away from God and His Truth.
Isa. 3:9 — “The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.”
The sins that are committed, are not the kind that people as a rule do in secret, but rather the kind that people are proud of, for they hide them not, they sin openly and their shamelessness continues to witness against them. The very men who could have been a great help to Moses, were a great hindrance, creating trouble and discontent. Even the Lord Himself could not bring them to their senses so the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them all. (See Num. 16:26- 33; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 400-405.)
The time has come for us to get out of our childhood, to be stable men and women — fully grown in the faith. The time has come for us all to take “strong meat,” and to fully realize that the work we are doing would have gone into the “dumps” ere this, if it had to depend on human wisdom.
Isa. 3:10-12 — “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. As for My people, children are their oppressors [rulers], and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”
God Himself cannot rule over the proud, self-important, and self-sufficient. But as to His people, even children and women rule over them. Thus they are now being warned that the proud who now rule over them are causing them to err, destroying God’s plan for them.
A certain brother said, “I hope the Lord will soon take the reins in His Own hands to deliver Israel.” Even after coming to the Red Sea, the multitude did not know that God had taken the reins in His Own hands. They, too, thought everything was in Moses’ hands. Though by miracle they passed through the Sea, and though they sang the song of deliverance, and understood that God’s hand had delivered them, yet soon after, they forgot, and again began to accuse and to condemn Moses for bringing them into the desert wastes. They bogged even at the borders of the promised land, and as a result had to spend forty years in the desert.
Even the manna coming down to earth daily could not convince the multitude that God had taken the reins in His Own hands. So it was that their carcases fell in the desert, but the children whom they thought would never reach their goal possessed the land (Num. 14:1-3, 27-32; 26:63-65).
There is a certain element whom even God Himself cannot convince that He has taken the reins in His Own hands. They never take orders from any but themselves. Such independent ones will continue to question and criticize everything in which they themselves have no part. So regardless of their profession, of what they think or say, they are not God’s people. His real people, He declares, are able to take orders even from women and children.
God’s people take orders from anyone whom God appoints because they walk in the light of the Lord, not in the sparks of men. He plainly states that those who now rule over them, are causing His people to err, and are destroying the way of their right path!
Isa. 3:13, 14 — “The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people. The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of His people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.”
This scripture emphatically declares that the Lord is pleading while He stands to judge the people, showing that the Judgment of the Living begins after this announcement of it has sounded throughout Laodicea. The charge against the ancient and the princes (leaders and ministers) is that they have eaten up the vineyard, that they have consumed the entire income, and that they have robbed His people to enrich themselves.
It is a known fact that not only the tithe (the only lawful allowance for the ministry) but also the offerings (the portion for the poor) and all else are consumed by the ministry, and that they have turned even the Sabbath and the house of worship into institutions of money raising, using all kinds of means and devices in the name of religion by which to make the poor poorer and themselves richer.
Not I, but the Lord is the One Who says so. It is no exaggeration, therefore, to say that the house of God is become a house of merchandise, run by thieves, that the dwelling places of the ancients and the princes thereof are used as pack rat nests, and that the Sabbath day has been turned into a market day.
“Who can truthfully say, ‘Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted by the world’? I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: ‘Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character?’ “How is the faithful city become an harlot?” My Father’s house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed! For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking.'”–Testimonies, Vol. 8, pg. 250.
Seeing that nearly all are overcome by the Enemy of souls, we should, therefore, so much the more fear God and walk closer with Him, else we, too, fall into the Devil kidnapping bag. We should be careful and considerate shepherds, not cruel grafters.
You will find that the Devil will fight for life and violently contest this Judgment message, and will try to convince all that these prophecies will not be fulfilled. God’s true people, though, will see the importance of their fulfillment at this special time, and will gladly take what God’s Word’s says.
We are called to be reformers, not deformers, gatherers with God, not scatterers with Satan. Let’s be what we profess to be, and thus stand faultless before the Throne of God, without guile in our mouths and eventually without sinners in our midst.
Isa. 3:15 — “What mean ye that ye beat My people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord God of hosts.”
What an awful charge for one to be taking advantage of the poor. It is too bad that our brethren have fallen down so low. And still worse it is that they do not pay any attention to these Heaven-sent messages, and rather than to welcome them, they are doing all to dodge them and to keep the laity away from coming in contact with them.
May their mistakes become our stepping stones to success. That where they grind the faces of the poor, may we make them happy, and may we realize that to receive one of the least of God’s people, is to receive God Himself. How thankful we ought to be for this great privilege.”
(Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 5 , page 12-23)