Timely Greetings Volume 2, No. 3
THE CHRISTIAN'S LAND RENOVATION AND HEART OPERATION
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, AUGUST 23, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
TEXT FOR PRAYER
The Bible--Unquestionable Authority
I shall read from "Christ's Object Lessons," beginning on page 38 with the last paragraph--
"The teachers of Israel were not sowing the seed of the word of God. Christ's work as a
teacher of truth was in marked contrast to that of the rabbis of His time. They dwelt upon
traditions, upon human theories and speculations. Often that which man had taught and written
about the word, they put in place of the word itself.... The subject of Christ's teaching and
preaching was the word of God. He met questioners with a plain, 'It is written.' 'What saith the
Scriptures?' 'How readest thou?'... Christ's servants are to do the same work. In our day, as of
old, the vital truths of God's word are set aside for human theories and speculations. Many
professed ministers of the gospel do not accept the whole Bible as the inspired word. One wise
man rejects one portion; another questions another part. They set up their judgment as superior
to the word; and the Scripture which they do teach rests upon their own authority. Its divine
authenticity is destroyed.... He pointed to the Scriptures as of unquestionable authority, and we
should do the same. The Bible is to be presented as the word of the infinite God, as the end of all
controversy and the foundation of all faith."
We need to pray this afternoon for help never to set aside God's Word for human theories and
speculations, but always to teach the plain truths of the Bible according to the Spirit, the only
unquestionable authority -- the end of all controversy, the foundation of our faith. Let us kneel.
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THE CHRISTIAN'S LAND RENOVATION AND HEART OPERATION
Our subject for this afternoon is the Christian's land renovation and heart operation. This
subject we find in the thirty-sixth chapter of Ezekiel.
Ezek. 36:1-10 -- "Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye
mountains of Israel, hear the Word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy
hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places [the places of worship in the Promised
Land] are our's in possession: therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Because they
have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto
the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the
people: therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the Word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord
God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and
to the cities that are forsaken [by His people], which became a prey and derision to the residue of
the heathen that are round about; therefore thus saith the Lord God; Surely in the fire of My
jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and agaist all Idumea [now Arabians],
which have appointed My land into their possession with the joy of all their
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heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey. Prophesy therefore concerning the land of
Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the
Lord God; Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and in My fury, because ye have borne the
shame of the heathen: therefore thus saith the Lord God; I have lifted up Mine hand, Surely the
heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame. But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall
shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to My people of Israel; for they are at hand to
come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: and I
will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited,
and the wastes shall be builded."
These verses, now seen in the framework of the message of the hour, show that the time of the
Gentiles is at an end, that God's elect are to return and for ever possess their land!
Ezek. 36:11-14 -- "And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring
fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your
beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even
My people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt
no more henceforth bereave them of men. Thus saith the Lord God; Because they say unto you,
Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations: therefore thou shalt devour men no
more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord God."
These verses cannot be misconstrued to mean the
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return of the Jews from Babylon, because here it is said, the land shall "devour men no more,
neither bereave thy nations anymore," whereas history shows that since the Jews' return from
Babylon, the land has devoured -- there has been no lasting peace. Moreover, this chapter is in
particular speaking about the "house of Israel," the ten-tribe kingdom, which has never to this day
returned since it was scattered by the Assyrians.
Ezek. 36:15-22 -- "Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more,
neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations
to fall any more, saith the Lord God. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son
of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by
their doings: their way was before Me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I
poured My fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols
wherewith they had polluted it: and I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed
through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And
when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned My holy name, when they
said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of His land. But I had pity
for Mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heahen, whither they
went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your
sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the
heathen, whither ye went."
By these scriptures it can now be understood that God does not do this because His people of
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or of today have been good, but because He must vindicate His name, and He must let the
heathen know that they were able to drive His people out of the land only because He allowed
them to do so on account of the iniquity of His people.
Ezek. 36:23-26 -- "And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen,
which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith
the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among
the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will
I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your
idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:
and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."
Plain it is to see that before you and I can be ready for translation, we must first be ready to go
into the Promised Land, there to be cleansed, there to have our stony hearts removed. Yes, the
only way to have this heart operation performed upon us is to let the Lord first gather us from
among the heathen and bring us into our own land. For "then will I," says the Lord, "sprinkle
clean water upon you," and "a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within
In the face of this, I should like to know who could ever live with Christ during the thousand
years without having first gone to the land, there to be cleansed and there to receive a new heart?
Ezek. 36:27-32 -- "And I will put My Spirit within you,
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and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. And ye
shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your
God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will
increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase
of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye
remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in
your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith
the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of
The Lord knows how to save: He had His people dispersed throughout the nations so that when
He brings them back home they will remember the result of their evil doings, and so loathe their
Ezek. 36:33-36 -- "Thus saith the Lord God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all
your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the
desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they
shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the Garden of Eden; and the waste and
desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left
round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was
desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it."
All these wonders, you see, the Lord performs in the land of Israel and in the sight of the
heathen. These are necessarily premillennial events.
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Ezek. 36:37 -- "Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel,
to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock."
God's elect, this verse declares, will be praying for the fulfillment of these scriptures. What are
you doing, Brother, Sister? Are you praying for these things? Or are you fighting against them?
You dare not say, "It matters not," for such an attitude of unbelief will keep you out of the
Kingdom just as surely as it kept the antediluvians out of the ark.
Ezek. 36:38 -- "As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the
waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord."
Is there still a doubt in the hearts of any of you? O, how could there be a doubt? These verses,
you see, do not really need any interpretation whatever. There is no plainer doctrine in the Bible.
You cannot close your eyes to it and yet expect to be counted among the believers of the Word of
Now we see that there must be land renovation and heart operation -- that God's Kingdom
begins on earth in the sight of the heathen, that it is to be as real as anything, and that there is to
be neither a sinner in It, nor a stony heart in It. Is this not more appealing than the imaginary, the
much spiritualized, kingdom so often heard of?
Elijah shall indeed come first and restore all things. And we shall finally be what Adam was in
the beginning, live in the Garden of Eden, and feast on the tree of life.
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It Shall Be Well With You
Be tranquil, O my soul,
Be quiet every fear!
Thy Father hath supreme control,
And He is ever near.
Never of thy lot complain,
What ever may befall,
Sickness or sorrow, care or pain,
'Tis well appointed all.
A Father's chastening hand
Is leading thee along:
Nor distant is the promised land,
Where swells the immortal song.
O, then, my soul, be still!
Await heaven's high decree;
Seek but to do thy Father's will,
It shall be well with thee.
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