Timely Greetings Volume 2, No. 8
REVIVAL AND REFORMATION PRECEDE
THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, SEPTEMBER 27, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
TEXT FOR PRAYER
Our subject for this afternoon is found partly in Daniel 2, Matthew 4, Jeremiah 51, Micah 5, and
Malachi 4, but mainly in Joel, chapters 2 and 3. We shall first turn to Malachi:
Mal. 4:5, 6 -- "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and
dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of
the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."
Here we have the promise that God is to send someone before the great and dreadful day of the
Lord, and when he comes, whether he accomplishes anything else, he is to turn the hearts of the
fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.
Now, it appears somewhat puzzling that the hearts either of the fathers or of the children need
to be turned toward the other. But if we consider that the work of Elijah is not of a domestic
nature, but spiritual, then we shall see that Elijah's message is to intensify in the heart of the
parents, as well as in the hearts of the children, a burden for the salvation of the
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other. Parents are very anxious to labor with other people's children but seldom with their own.
Likewise children are anxious to preach to others, but not so anxious to preach to their own
parents. Elijah's message of revival and reformation, however, will place the burden of saving
souls primarily where it belongs. His message will be seen to be of real importance rather than a
theory. And when its followers fully realize that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is at the
door, they will be seen pleading first for those who are nearest their hearts.
Let us now turn to Daniel's prophecy:
Dan. 2:44 -- "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which
shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in
pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."
It is understood by most Bible students that this great image of Daniel 2 represents the
kingdoms from Daniel's time down to the end. Here, you see, the stone which is cut out without
hands smites the image in the feet, and the stone fills the whole earth. "In the days of these
kings," our time, declares Inspiration, God will set up the kingdom that is represented by the
stone, and it will smite the nations and thereby bring their end. What could that day be but great
for God's people, and dreadful for the nations? Indeed, it is to be the great and dreadful day of
Dan. 2:45 -- "Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without
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that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath
made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the
interpretation thereof sure."
Daniel's account of the day is very brief, but Jeremiah describes the day in detail:
Jer. 51:21-23 -- "And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I
break in pieces the chariot and his rider; with thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and
with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man
and the maid; and I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee
will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces
captains and rulers."
Here Inspiration explains that God with His Kingdom is to break the nations, that His people
are to be His battle ax. Both Daniel and Jeremiah are definite that the Kingdom is to bring the
kingdoms of the world to an end.
Micah 5:7 -- "And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the
Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men."
The remnant of Jacob (those who are left after the tares are taken out), when once set up as a
kingdom, is to be as showers of blessing to those who seek salvation, and as a lion that tears in
pieces those who continue in their sin. The day shall be great to the one people,
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and dreadful to the other.
Now we turn to the chapters of Joel's prophecy that meet their fulfillment in the latter days.
Joel 2:1-3 -- "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the
inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of
darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon
the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any
more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind
them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate
wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them."
Here you see that a message is to be proclaimed to the church, to Zion, declaring that the great
and dreadful day of the Lord is at hand; that it is to be devastating behind His people, and glorious
ahead of them, -- that the Lord is thoroughly to comb the field, that He is to gather every grain of
"wheat," and then burn the tares.
Joel 2:4-6 -- "The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall
they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a
flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face
the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness."
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We see that the power which attended ancient Israel while they were taking the Promised Land,
shall also attend the servants of God at this gathering time.
Joel 2:7, 8 -- "They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they
shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: neither shall one thrust
another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not
Nothing shall be able to hold down the people of God. Everyone shall perfectly attend to his
business. They shall gather the fruits of the earth and nothing shall hurt them. The Spirit of
Prophecy testifies: "As the saints left the cities and villages, they were pursued by the wicked,
who sought to slay them. But the swords that were raised to kill God's people and fell as
powerless as a straw" -- Early Writings, pp. 284-285.
Joel 2:9 -- "They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up
upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief."
"The servants of God" shall certainly gather all their brethren out of all nations (Isa. 66:20).
Indeed so, for the legs of the Gospel are the legs of the people who proclaim it. Of course, only
with perfect co-ordination and a bullet-proof army can the gospel work be finished when the
two-horned beast declares "that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be
killed." Rev. 13:15.
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Joel 2:10, 11 -- "The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the
moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: and the Lord shall utter His voice
before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His word: for the day
of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?"
Having announced how great and dreadful the day is to be, the Lord is making this plea:
Joel 2:12-14 -- "Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and
with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments,
and turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great
kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil. Who knoweth if He will return and repent, and leave a
blessing behind Him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God?"
God's plea is that we prepare to meet the day; that now as sincere Christians who realize that
for such an hour as this has this message of mercy come to us, we penitently return unto Him.
Joel 2:15, 16 -- "Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: gather the
people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the
breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet."
In these verses, as in Joel 2:1, the command is given to blow the trumpet in Zion. This
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second trumpet, however, is not to announce the day of God, but to sanctify both a fast and the
people, to call a solemn assembly, from which not one is to be excluded from the assembly.
Joel 2:17 -- "Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and
let them say, Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen
should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?"
Here we are plainly told that God's people are to face persecution and distress, and that unless
they keep close to the Lord their very existence may be at stake, God's name dishonored, and the
heathen allowed to rule over them and to challenge their faith in God.
Joel 2:18, 19 -- "Then will the Lord be jealous for His land, and pity His people. Yea, the Lord
will answer and say unto His people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall
be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen."
God finds refuge and freedom for them in their own land where nothing shall be lacking.
Joel 2:21-23 -- "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. Be not
afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her
fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and
rejoice in the Lord your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause
to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month."
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It is plain enough to see that God is speaking to His people who are to receive both the former
and the latter rain in the first month.
Joel 2:24 -- "And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil."
Inspiration, of course, is not speaking of spiritual things only, but of material things as well.
The rain (newly-revealed Truth) shall therefore produce a great harvest of souls as well as
abundance of provisions.
Joel 2:25-32 -- "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm,
and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you. And ye shall
eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt
wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the
midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and My people shall never be
ashamed. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men
shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out
My Spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of
smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and
terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoeve shall call on the name of
the Lord shall be delivered: for in
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Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom
the Lord shall call."
Here we see that those who call on the name of the Lord after the latter rain falls, shall find
deliverance on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, also in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
The very first word ("for") of the next chapter shows that the prophecy of chapter two
continues through chapter three.
Joel 3:1, 2 -- "For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of
Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of
Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for My people and for My heritage Israel, whom they
have scattered among the nations, and parted My land."
These verses explain why, how, and when God's people are delivered in Mount Zion and in
Jerusalem. These things, you see, are to take place when He brings again the captivity of Judah
and Jerusalem. Then shall He bring all the nations into the valley of Jehoshaphat and there plead
for all His captive people whom the nations have scattered throughout the world.
Joel 3:3 -- "And they have cast lots for My people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a
girl for wine, that they might drink."
Verse 3 reveals the vile practices of the world.
Joel 3:4-7 -- "Yea, and what have ye to do with Me,
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O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render Me a recompence? and if ye
recompense Me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head; because
ye have taken My silver and My gold, and have carried into your temples My goodly pleasant
things: the children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians,
that ye might remove them far from their border. Behold, I will raise them out of the place
whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head."
Tyre and Zidon, and the coast of Palestine, then, those nations which have scattered God's
people, shall have their reward. What shall their recompense be? Here is the answer--
Joel 3:8-10 -- "And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah,
and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the Lord hath spoken it. Proclaim
ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw
near; let them come up: beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let
the weak say, I am strong."
Inasmuch as the nations will be preparing for war when these prophecies are being fulfilled, it is
plain to see that atomic weapons will not bring peace.
Joel 3:11 -- "Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together
round about: thither cause Thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord."
Here we are told that God's mighty ones are
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to meet the armies of the heathen. And where will God judge the people? -- The following verses
give the answer:
Joel 3:12-14 -- "Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there
will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come,
get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes,
multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision."
Yes, here is described the day of decision. The multitudes will then have to decide either to
serve God and live or to continue serving the Devil and perish with him.
Joel 3:15, 16 -- "The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their
shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the
heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of
the children of Israel."
What a day the world is now approaching, and how blind to the fact is even the church herself!
Joel 3:17-21 -- "So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, My holy
mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills
shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall
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come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim. Egypt shall be a
desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of
Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and
Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed:
for the Lord dwelleth in Zion."
Our final cleansing is to be in our own land. The Scriptures, you see, are correlated; one truth
explains another. Verses and chapters, therefore, cannot be isolated from their context if they are
to be rightly understood. A correct idea cannot be built upon any one verse when isolated from
its continuity. And only when we take God at His word can we in truth study the Scriptures.
Then we need but the key word to unlock the mysteries of God. And here we have it.
Revival and reformation, a change of ideas and practices, therefore, is our greatest need.
Without this we are sure to be found among those who shall say "to the mountains and to the
rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath
of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Rev. 6:16,
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