Timely Greetings Volume 1, No. 52
FIVE MEN SLAY AFTER ONE SETS A MARK
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, AUGUST 2, 1947
MT. CARMEL CENTER
TEXT FOR PRAYER
Bringing New Truths
I shall read from "Christ's Object Lessons," page twenty, beginning with the second paragraph.
"In the earlier part of His ministry, Christ had spoken to the people in words so plain that all His
hearers might have grasped truths which would make them wise unto salvation. But in many
hearts the truth had taken no root, and it had been quickly caught away. 'Therefore speak I to
them in parables,' He said; 'because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they
understand.... Jesus desired to awaken inquiry. He sought to arouse the careless, and impress
truth upon the heart...."
In Christ's day it was just as difficult to bring new truths to the people as it is today. Jesus used
every possible means to interest the people in the present Truth of His day, but you know what
little success He did have -- just a few of the common people. The so-called learned men of the
day bitterly opposed Him and spent their time and means to falsely accuse Him of one thing, then
of another. In the kind of world we live we cannot expect the people to be different today than
what they were in His day. Let us therefore pray that we ever keep awake, that we continue to be
even more dissatisfied with our attainments as the days go by lest we, too, be found wanting --
back into Laodiceanism. Let us pray that our hearts be ever open to His unfolding Truth, and that
we never lose our hunger for "meat in due season."
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FIVE MEN SLAY AFTER ONE SETS A MARK
The subject of our study this afternoon is found in the ninth chapter of Ezekiel. We shall begin
Ezek. 9:1-6 -- "He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge
over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold,
six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a
slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's
inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. And the glory of the God
of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon He was, to the threshold of the house. And
He called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; and the Lord
said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark
upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the
midst thereof. And to the others He said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and
smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and
little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My
sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house."
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Note that at the command of Lord, the angels in charge are to slay the sinners in Jerusalem (in
the church), not in the world. Only the abomination-hating ones, those who receive the mark for
sighing and crying against the wrongs are to be left.
The day Ezekiel had this vision in Babylon, Jerusalem had already been in captivity and emptied
of its people for years. See Ezekiel 1:1; 8:7. No such a purification or cleansing as here
described ever took place in Ezekiel's day or in the annals of the church since his day. It is,
therefore, certain that the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.
Inspiration in our day, moreover, puts this foreseen cleansing still in the future and makes this
"The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins
of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions his messengers, the men
with slaughtering weapons in their hands: 'Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not
your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and
women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then
they began at the ancient men which were before the house.'
"Here we see that the church -- the Lord's sanctuary was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath
of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as
guardians of the spiritual interests of the people," says the Spirit of God, "had
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betrayed their trust." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, pg. 211.
The enemies of God, you note, have taken possession of the churches, but soon the tables will
be turned, and the servants of the Devil will be no more; they will fall and not be found.
The people, you note, are deceived by the ancient men who have betrayed their trust. You well
know that the prophets, the apostles, Jesus Christ, and the reformers, were all in their times railed
against and taunted as "Offshoots," but we thank God that the "offshoots" and the Truth, not the
dead tops, triumphed.
"...They [the ancient men] had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the
marked manifestation of God's power as in former days." -- "Testimonies," Vol. 5, pg. 211.
Is not this now the position of the ancient men? Are they not now crying peace and safety? Are
they not now preaching that Ezekiel nine is not now to take place and that it is not to take place in
the church, that this message is a false alarm? What does it take to awaken a dreaming sleeper?
They are dreaming that--
"...Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say, The Lord will not
do good, neither will he do evil." "God will not slay His people," "The church is His most
precious object on earth," they say.
Of course the church is His most precious object on earth, and that is just exactly why He is to
cleanse it, that is why He is to slay the wicked in the midst of her
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and seal (preserve) the penitent so that He may have a church clean, "without spot, wrinkle, or
any such thing." -- Eph. 5:27.
"...Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a
trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb
dogs, that would not bark, are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men,
maidens, and little children, all perish together." -- "Testimonies," Vol. 5, pg. 211. Continuing
further, the Spirit of God asks:
"Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs
among the professed people of God, and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those
who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them, and sympathize with those
who commit wrong? No, indeed! Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing
those who have the burden of the work, and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will
never receive the mark of God's sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of the
wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with
care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost,
represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those 'that sigh and that cry for all the abominations
that be done' in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they
have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin that they are represented as being in agony,
even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel." Then says the Spirit:
"But the general slaughter of all those who do not
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thus see the wide contrast between sin and righteousness, and do not feel as those do who stand
in the counsel of God and receive the mark, is described in the order to the five men with
slaughter weapons: 'Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither
have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women; but come not
near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.'" -- "Testimonies," Vol. 3, pg.
Here are shown two classes in the church -- the faithful and the unfaithful -- those who view sin
as sin and those who view it as fun. Also it is seen that the church has a closing work, a work
that must be done especially for her, not for the world. In addition, it reveals that the closing
work for the church is the sealing of the 144,000, that they, therefore, are the ones who will feel
most deeply the wrongs among God's professed people.
Ezek. 9:7-11 -- "And He said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye
forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city. And it came to pass, while they were slaying
them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt Thou
destroy all the residue of Israel in Thy pouring out of Thy fury upon Jerusalem? Then said He
unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of
blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the
Lord seeth not. And as for Me also, Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will
recompense their way upon their head. And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the
inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as Thou hast commanded me."
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When is this separation of the wicked from among the righteous to take place? Jesus places it
in the end of the world. Says He:
"Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers,
Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat
into My barn. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and
gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered
the good into vessels, but cast the bad away." Matt. 13:30, 47, 48.
As tares they are burned; as bad fish, they are cast out. This is the way in which the Kingdom
comes, says the Lord. And what is the harvest if not the Judgment for the Living? -- the work
which separates the one from the other.
"The true people of God," says Inspiration, "who have the spirit of the work of the Lord, and
the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be
on the sides of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God.
Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four
thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the
wrongs of God's professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last
work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand." -- "Testimonies,"
Vol. 3, pg. 266. On which side do you stand?
Now the subject of the 144,000 stands out brighter than ever before. Now you can clearly see
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who escape the slaughter foreseen in Ezekiel nine, are the 144,000 the future servants of God, the
first fruits of the harvest, resulting from the cleansing of the sanctuary (church), the work of the
investigative judgment of the living. This work and this Truth, therefore, are the most important
for the day, and should whole-heartedly be heeded if one expects to receive the mark and the seal
and escape the slaughter, survive the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Our neglect to sigh and
cry for the abominations in the church would mean our eternal loss. We dare not allow anything
to divert our attention from this great and glorious work for the saints, and most dreadful and
inglorious for the sinners. This work must "engross the whole mind, the whole attention." --
"Early Writings," p. 118. Nothing should be allowed to interfere with your eternal welfare. No,
not for a moment, for the day is far spent! What? -- friends, relatives, husbands, wives, you are to
lose them with yourself if this Truth fails to convince you and them? But the promise to the
faithful is: "For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their
portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them."
Do you, Brother, Sister, actually comprehend, actually realize, the crisis as outlined here? Do
you see the prediction that the sealing message is to be resisted by those who foster the
abominations? Are you with them? I hope not. Is there then any question that if the brethren are
left ignorant of this cleansing work that God is about to do among His people, I say, if they be left
ignorant of it, will they not fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work
of the five men bearing slaughter weapons?
Obviously all the sinners in the church will perish
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in this slaughter of the wicked, be they men, women, or children. Parents who continue to serve
the Devil will have their little ones with them in hell; and parents who break away from
abominations will have their little ones with them in the Kingdom. Where do you stand? Are you
with those who have the burden of this work, or are you against them? This you see is the
decisive hour for you, for me.
"...Mark this point with care," counsels the Spirit of God. "Those who receive the pure mark of
truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in
linen, are those 'that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done' in the church. Their
love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the
exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying.
Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel." -- "Testimonies," Vol. 3, pg. 267.
Who are true Seventh-day Adventists at this crucial moment? -- Those who resist the closing
work for the church? or those who put their heart and soul into it? Let us face the situation
honestly and sincerely. Let us anoint our eyes with this Heavenly eyesalve that we might see and
know what Truth is. Only those who repent and promote the message of the hour rather than
fight against it will stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion.
Let me read again:
"In the time when his wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of
Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul-anguish, which is expressed in
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weeping, reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and
excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God's honor and a
love for souls, will not hold their peace to obtain favor of any. Their righteous souls are vexed
day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous. They are powerless to
stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn
before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. 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...." -- "Testimonies," Vol. 5, pp. 210, 211.
No longer serve Satan. No longer fight God's Truth against your own interests. The Spirit of
Prophecy in these lines has made it as plain as it can be made, that when the sealing message is
brought to the attention of the people, the servants of the Devil will temporarily triumph, while
God's servants and His Truth for a time will be trampled under foot by those who control the
churches. This evil work, you are all well aware, is already in progress: The ministering brethren
are already fighting the message instead of teaching it. The pulpits are occupied by men who
Sabbath after Sabbath stage tirade after tirade against this Truth, the Truth of the Judgment for
As the gospel prophet in chapter sixty-six was also given light on this subject, we shall turn to
Isa. 66:15-17, 19 -- "For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a
whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of
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fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall
be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens [in places of
worship] behind one tree [following a leader] in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the
abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord.... And I will set a sign
among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and
Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame,
neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles."
Here it is reiterated that the slaying takes place in the church among those who are well
acquainted with the things of God, so much so that those who escape are sent to declare His
glory, and His fame among the Gentiles. Moreover, the very fact that the Gentiles are not slain
but are to be taught of God after the slaying takes place, positively shows that the slaying takes
place in the church only, and before probation closes for the Gentiles. To repeat, those who
escape the slaying are sent to preach salvation to the Gentiles.
Isa. 66:20 -- "And they [the escaped ones, says the scripture] shall bring all your brethren for an
offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon
mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of
Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord."
Since the 144,000 are the first fruits, and also the servants of God, and are of both the
antitypical house of Judah and of Israel, they must be the escaped and
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sent ones. Those whom they bring to the house of the Lord out of all nations (Rev. 7:9) must,
therefore, be the second fruits. The former are the fruits from the church, and the latter the fruits
from the Gentiles (See Revelation 7:2-9).
In order to hush the Truth, the ancients in their wickedness and ignorance now teach the laity
that the subject of the 144,000 is a moot question rather than revealed Truth! The Devil would
have it thus so that the people might fall under the slaughter weapons of the angels. What folly!
And, what a hold the Devil has on the men that control the churches! Are they not deceiving the
very elect, the 144,000? This is truly the time for you to "come to the help of the Lord against
the mighty," if you are to receive God's mark of approval, and if you are to escape the slaughter
weapons of the angels -- if you are to be "left," if you are to be of the remnant.
There has never been made so great an effort to awaken any people in any age, as the effort of
today. Hundreds and thousands, yes, millions, of booklets have been scattered throughout the
Denomination. These have been going now for over a decade. Truly it can even now be said of
"Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were
done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth
and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the Day of
Judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought
down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it
would have remained until this day. But I say unto
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you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the Day of Judgment, than for thee."
The Devil today, you see, has the people deeper in the pit than he had them in the days of Christ
or in the days of Luther. The Lord's victory, though, and the victory of those who escape from
the pit, shall be just that much more glorious. "And they shall call them, The holy people, The
redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken." Isa. 62:12.
"Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O
Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee;
he is utterly cut off." Nah. 1:15.
The wicked in the church, you note, have finally come to their end. With which company do
you stand? With those who close their eyes to this Truth? or with those who endeavor to bring It
to the front? You judge your own case.
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