Archive | March, 2015
21 Mar


THE REVIVAL AND REFORMATIONCROWNED WITH THE PURIFICATIONTEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTSSABBATH, MARCH 6, 1948MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS   The text for our subject this afternoon is Malachi’s prophecy.  It treats of a revival and reformation such as the world has never yet known.  Moreover, the fact that the prophecy is written in such a way as partially to apply to ancient Israel, and yet specifically for the people in the latter days, for those who are approaching the great and dreadful day of the Lord, prove that the reformation needed in Malachi’s day is needed also in our day.

   There is nothing so mysterious in the writings of Malachi but what any Bible student can comprehend by studying the book itself.  I shall therefore study with you the last two chapters.  The first two you can study at your leisure.  We shall begin with–

Mal. 3:1, 2 — “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 temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.  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.”

   Two persons are here disclosed to view, the messenger and the Lord.  The messenger is to precede the coming of the Lord.  He is to prepare the way, then the Lord is to appear.  And who could this messenger be if not the one whom the Lord names? — He declares, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Mal. 4:5.

 

   This messenger of the covenant (of the promise), antitypical Elijah the prophet shall prepare the way; he shall restore all things.  As he prepares the way, the Lord will suddenly come to His temple, to His church.  And what is His work to be?  To purify or cleanse His people by weeding the unrepented sinners from among them. 

The question: “But who may abide the day of His coming?” solemnly declares that we had better now get busy and do what it takes to make us stand before the cleansing begins.

   Whom in particular will He purify? — Let us read–

Mal. 3:3 — “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.”

   The Levites, you know, comprised the tribe from which came the priesthood, the ministers of the Lord.  And since this prophecy is to meet its complete fulfillment in our day, the figure is clear: The Levites, the ministers of the Lord in our day, are to be purified.  What then?

Mal. 3:4 — “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.”

 

   This verse implies that the offerings which we now bring to the Lord are not pleasing to Him, not pleasing as in times past.

   Here we have the glorious promise that not long hence there shall be a pure ministry, a pure people, — a people without guile in their mouths, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing (Eph. 5:27). 

Those who do not measure to this standard will not “stand.”  Thereafter no sinner will stand in their midst, for “Henceforth,” says the Lord, “there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.” Isa. 52:1.

   This glorious future is, moreover, reiterated by the Spirit of Prophecy in our day.  Here it is:

    “…Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel’s Message] when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry.” — “Review and Herald,” Nov. 18, 1908.

   “We have been inclined to think that where there are no faithful ministers, there can be no true Christians; but this is not the case.  God has promised that were 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 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.

 

   “The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion.  Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect.  There will be gods many and lords many.  Every wind of doctrine will be blowing.  Those who have rendered supreme homage to ‘science falsely so-called,’ will not be the leaders then. 

Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent, will now then stand at the head of rank and file.  They did not keep pace with the light.  Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock.  In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged.  They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and he cannot use them. 

The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view.  There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal.  They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you.” — “Testimonies,” Vol. 5, pg. 80.

   In the sifting, shaking time (“Testimonies,” Vol. 5, pg. 80) we shall be better able to know how many are really serving the Lord.  Those whom we may think are to lead the church into the Kingdom may be missing, while others entirely unknown to us take their places.

   Moreover, it will be found that those who are constantly drilling into the minds of the laity that there are to be no more messengers sent from God, no more Truth needed, and that someone is constantly trying to deceive them; that they should keep aloof from everything that does not meet the minister’s approval, — those who do this are the very ones who have already unwittingly deceived the laity, and are doing their best to keep them deceived.  This fact, you see, stands up high like a beacon on a hill.

 

   The only thing their carefulness not to be deceived will accomplish, unless they awake, is to keep themselves deceived forever and away from Truth.  These shall not be able to stand when the Lord appears in His temple. 

Hence, the revival and reformation brought to view in Malachi is the first and the last of its kind, and is indeed to be crowned with the purification of the Church.  Those who do not awake now, will therefore sleep for ever.

   The Laodicean deception from within should not be news to you, for you well know that the Church has never in any age been deceived by any but by its own ministry, by those who have been as highly esteemed as were the members of the Sanhedrin, those who crucified the Lord, those who kept the nation deceived until it was too late to recover. 

Thus it was then, before then, and thus it has been ever since, and so it is now.  Stop and think this through.

   No, I am not telling you something new.  You know this to be so, but you never think of it, and that is the main trouble with the entire Denomination.

   The Church purified shall nevertheless triumph and march to victory.  “‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” — “Prophets and Kings,” pg. 725.

   Let us once and forever realize that the Devil is more shrewd than we can imagine.  He is not particular what you believe so long as he can keep you ignorant of revealed Truth. 

This is what he is now doing within the Church, using men of influence, men who can put on the best front, men who are clever, who know how to gain the confidence of the people, men who can easily and quietly lead the Church away from God’s messages for today, the message of the Judgment for the Living — the purification of the church, the cleansing of the sanctuary.  Satan is doing as good a job now as he did in Christ’s time.

 

   Is not the knowledge of Malachi’s prophecy, the purification of the Church, the Judgment for the Living, more important to the Church than the Judgment for the Dead?  Does it look to you as though you are being deceived by this Bible study, or does it look to you as though you need to reform?

   Hear, therefore, what the Lord is about to do:

Mal. 3:5 — “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the Lord of hosts.”

   These are only some of the sins in the Church in which men are indulging.  Speaking of the message bearers of today and of the church’s condition Inspiration further says: “…They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church. 

The Spirit of God, which prompts to reproof, is trampled under foot, while the servants of Satan triumph.  God is dishonored, the truth made of none effect.” — “Testimonies,” Vol. 5, pp. 210, 211.Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 30 16   You will receive the mark of deliverance only if you sigh and cry against all these abominations.  Ezek. 9:4-6. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 30, p.11-16)

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