13 Symbolic Code Nos. 3 & 4
January - February, 1958
THE LATTER-DAY CONFEDERACY
(This study was given by V.T. Houteff September 30, 1939 and
June 22, 1940.)
Through the prophecy of Isaiah 7 and 8 we plainly see that
God’s people are approaching a time that will demand of them great
faith to believe implicitly in God’s Word only.
Since the experiences which are recorded in the Bible were
written for ensamples or object lessons for God’s people today (1
Cor. 10:11), let us read a few verses from Isaiah 7 and then Isaiah 8,
and glean the lesson there may be hidden there for us.
Isa. 7:1—“And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of
Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of
Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up
toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail
This verse in conjunction with the verses which follow it reveal
that God favored Judah (the two-tribe kingdom) even though at the
same time Ephraim (the ten-tribe kingdom) were also His people.
The reason He favored Judah in this instance was that their brethren
(Ephraim) had joined heathen forces to fight against Judah.
Therefore, God could not bless Ephraim’s endeavor.
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Through this experience we should gain the lesson as Christians
that God will not bless the endeavors of any of His people when
they join heathen forces in order to gain strength in their effort to
overcome their brethren in Christ whom for some reason they wish
to have put out of their way. Such an alliance cannot prosper.
Isa. 7:2—“And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is
confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the
heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the
The people of Judah were afraid.
How would we feel if a like experience should befall us now?
What would sustain us through it?—The Lord again would be the
only hope of His people.
Isa. 7:3-9—“Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now to
meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the
conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field;
and say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not neither be
fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for
the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.
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Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel
against thee, saying, Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and
let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst
of it, even the son of Tabeal: Thus saith the Lord God, It shall
not stand, neither shall it come to pass. For the head of Syria is
Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within
threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be
not a people. And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head
of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe, surely ye
shall not be established.”
God was here telling Judah that they should not fear this alliance
because He was not sponsoring it. Israel and Syria were dependent
on nothing greater than their kings and the capitals of their nations.
Judah was instructed to depend on God’s Word which declared that
these allied powers would fail to overcome them. Moreover, Judah
was told, “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.”
In other words, Judah was told that if they did not believe what God
was telling them they would lose out. Their survival, therefore, was
wholly conditional on their complete belief in God’s promise only
that the alliance formed against them would fail.
The day is coming when you and I, too, must
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depend entirely on God’s Word. But unless we know what God’s
Word is it is impossible for us to believe Him.
Isa. 8:9—“Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be
broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird
yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves,
and ye shall be broken in pieces.”
God here is challenging a move toward a federation of nations.
With World War I we began to hear serious proposals for the
associating of nations into a single league. Today the proposal is
revived, and efforts are being made toward forming a strong and
workable union of nations. Indeed, not only is the idea of
international federation growing more and more prevalent, but in
the minds of many great men, there is the positive conviction that
the successful continuance of their nation’s way of life is utterly
dependent upon the closest association and cooperation of all those
nations which share their way of life.
The warning given in this chapter to nations and peoples is not to
associate and gird themselves or take counsel together, as it would
only come to naught. There may be some significance in the
repetitions of the warning. If so, it would indicate that either two or
possibly three attempts would be made among nations
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to associate and gird themselves, and it would only end in complete
failure. If there should yet be another attempt and there be involved
a war against Judah, then Judah, having no adequate means of
defense among themselves, will have to let God be their means of
Isa. 8:10—“Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought;
speak the word and it shall not stand: for God is with us.”
God’s people take a strong and independent attitude because
they believe that God is with them. Most human beings are
somewhat like Peter. We have great faith until we meet face to face
a trial. When the trial here prophesied comes, though, God’s people
must know that God is with them, and they must firmly stand on
His side. Through this verse we are made to understand the real
reason for the certain failure of the nations in their attempt to
obviate the fulfillment of their fears. God is not with them. It
becomes distinctly apparent, therefore, that it is the pressing duty of
every God-fearing country and individual sincerely to seek God’s
will and be with Him, if we are to survive and prosper.
Isa. 8:11, 12—“For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong
hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of
this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy,
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to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy;
neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.”
God’s people are not only commanded not to participate in the
confederacy, but they are to oppose it “to all them to whom this
people shall say, A confederacy.”
“Neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.” It is upon the root of
some fear that the confederacy is formed. But that which constitutes
their fear is not to constitute the fear of God’s people.
Isa. 8:13—“Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be
your fear, and let Him be your dread.”
God alone is to be revered; God alone is to be feared and
dreaded. If there were no possibility for fear at the fulfillment of this
chapter, there would be no need for this reassurance and instruction.
It is indicative of the fact that God’s People will see themselves
absolutely helpless, and they will appear helpless to all others. Then
they will receive deliverance from God, and all will behold it.
If God’s people are approaching the time when they must either
confederate or sacrifice their lives, they must be developing that
faith which will cause them to believe that “in those
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days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to
die, and death shall flee from them.” Rev. 9:6.
Isa. 8:14—“And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of
stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel,
for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
A sanctuary is a place of refuge. Besides being a place of refuge
to God’s faithful ones, He is also to be a rock of offense to both the
houses of Israel—Judah and Israel—and a gin and a snare to the
inhabitants of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the ruling city of Judah.
From this it is plain that through this confederacy God is to be a gin
and snare to antitypical Judah.
Isa. 8:15—“And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and
be broken, and be snared, and be taken.”
This prophecy declares that the confederacy will be a snare—a
trap—and that many will fall and be taken in it. It will be a fearful
trap and will separate God’s people. Thus is the Lord going to test
all His people and let them reveal just how much faith each of them
has. In the face of this warning, we must make the necessary
preparation so that we will not fall into the snare. God has clearly
forewarned His people so that they will not be taken by surprise.
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In Isaiah 24 we are told that there would be a shaking as of an
olive tree and but few men would be left.
The confederacy that we are studying this afternoon commences
before the Loud Cry and before the slaughter of Ezekiel 9. It is not
the Image of the Beast, for this association precedes the Image of
the Beast, and the confederacy is formed when the nations are
girding themselves for war. Put another way, the confederacy will
commence after the sealing and perhaps just before the slaughter of
Ezekiel 9. Moreover, it is in the time when the Christian nations are
united that the woman “Babylon” will sit on the seven “heads”
(Rev. 17:9), depicting also the union of the churches under Babylon.
All those who are not expecting the confederacy, but instead are
expecting next the reassertion of Roman church supremacy or the
battle of Armageddon or something else are going to fall into this
snare, for it will appear to them harmless and perhaps even a good
thing. But it will be their trap.
Isa. 8:16-18—“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My
disciples. And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth His face
from the house of Jacob, and I will look for Him.
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Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are
for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts,
which dwelleth in Mount Zion.”
Someone will have faith. God does not mean by this that He is
keeping His blessings away from Jacob, but it shows that though we
cannot see His face, we can witness His power.
Isa. 8:19—“And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them
that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that
mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living
to the dead?”
This shows that the world is going spiritualistic.
Isa. 8:20—“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not
according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.”
This does not mean that they are devils, but rather they are in
darkness. When they learn the Truth, then they shall speak
according to the law and the testimony of Jesus.
Isa. 8:21, 22—“And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead
and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be
hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and
their God, and look upward. And they shall look unto the earth;
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and behold trouble and darkness,
dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.”
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12 Symbolical Code, Nos. 3 & 4, page 12