Dear S. D. A. Present Truth Believer:
This is a personal message to you of how to prosper and enjoy life to the fullest measure. Prosperity and security are here guaranteed — insurance policy that knows no limit. I am, therefore, rushing this to you, and hope that you will enjoy it and profit by it. Here is how it works:
“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. ” — Mal. 3:1.
The promise here is that the Lord will send a messenger, and as the fourth chapter of Malachi is but a continuation of the story in the third, we are there told that the messenger is antitypical Elijah (Mal. 4:5), the one who is “to restore all things” (Matt. 17:11) and Inspiration of a later addition, and in a special message to the Seventh-day Adventist ministry warns:
“Prophecy must be fulfilled. The Lord says: ‘Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. ‘ Somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, and when he appears, men may say: ‘You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message. ‘” — “Testimonies to Ministers,” pp. 475, 476.
There are three main points to note in these quotations:
- that the message and messenger here mentioned are the very last;
- that they are to restore all things,
- that there is danger for some to make fools of themselves by daring to tell him how to teach his message — assuming to take God’s place!
This verse of Malachi three, as you will readily see, met only a partial, typical, fulfillment with John the Baptist, and that its antitypical fulfillment is now not only imminent but that aside from Christ’s first advent it is the most important. Let us now notice why most important:
The promise is that the Lord is to send a messenger, someone with a message, and that with It the messenger is to prepare the way for the Lord’s coming to His temple. The Lord’s purpose for coming, you will note, is to purify His Temple, the church, and in particular the Levites — the ministry:
“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’ soap: 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. “ — Mal. 3:2, 3.
No, not before this work is done for the ministry can they offer acceptable offerings to God, you note.
Plain it is that this chapter of Malachi was especially written for the faithful people of God at this very time, the time in which the purification of the church takes place, the time the good fish are put into vessels and the bad “cast away. ” (Matt. 13:47, 48). After the purification takes place, you note, that
“Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.” — Mal. 3:4.
“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. For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. ” — Mal. 3:5, 6.
Here Inspiration explains how the Judgment for the Living begins, how the cleansing of the sanctuary on earth takes place (Dan. 8:14). And having unveiled His people’s shocking irresponsibility towards the unfortunate ones among them, and their taking advantage of others whenever possible, He then reassures that He changes not; that He is the same unerring and just God; that His ancient statutes and ordinances are ever lasting; that He has not changed them; that He will restore all things. He, as you will see, finally comes to the real trouble, then pleads His people accepts His remedy.
Says He: “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from Mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?”— Mal. 3:7.
Since His people still do not see wherein they have departed from His ordinances, He specifically points out and immediately pleads for action:
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” — Mal. 3:8-10.
The phrase, “even this whole nation” robbing God is so because the old message, the “Judgment for the Dead, (for the proclamation of which the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination was specifically called forth), is now out of date as is the message of Noah’s flood, and as Denominational officials have already rejected the message of the Judgment for the Living but are still collecting tithes of the people, they as a nation (as a Denomination) are robbing God.
There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God but it is present Truth that the Flock needs now. (“Early Writings,” p. 63).
Note that not to the Levites, or to some other place or people but into God’s storehouse are the tithes and offerings to be brought. And for no other reason than that His storehouse may have the means to dispense spiritual food, “meat in due season. ” These words definitely and positively show that the only support which the message of the purification for the church has for caring on its work is the tithes and the offerings from His faithful people; that in no other way could the message be dispensed; that in no other way could the expenses be paid. This is God’s reason for no plate passing now in our gatherings, for no money raising in any form, and for scattering our literature everywhere as the leaves of autumn without money and without price to the people. In other words, the literature, the ministers, and the Bible workers — those who bring the message of the hour to your door, are to be paid by the tithes and offerings that come to the Lord’s storehouse. God, therefore, asks His faithful people to gladly respond to His call and sufficiently to supply the need. He asks this not only for the prosperity of His storehouse, but for His people’s prosperity as well.
Why must the message bearers come to your door in order to bring the message to you? — Because, as you already know, most of the ministers have closed the church doors and the laity’s minds and hearts against the Lord’s message for today. This they have done in no lesser degree than the priests did in Christ’s day. The Lord way back in Jeremiah’s time foresaw that the angel (ministry) of the church of the Laodiceans would do this wicked thing against Him and His people so as to keep forever the Laodiceans in their self-deception. Speaking of ancient Israel’s dispersion among the nations, and of antitypical Israel’s gathering, in the sixteenth chapter of Jeremiah’s prophecy Inspiration explains thus:
“Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them, and after will l send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. ” (Jer. 16:16. )
Here you are plainly told that in the gathering time the servants of God are compelled first to fish His people, then to hunt them. Since our first contact with them has been through the literature, it, therefore, must be the fishing. Rightly so, too, because as it is scattered everywhere as the leaves of autumn, the fish come to examine it, find it good for food, take a bite and get hooked, so to speak. Now, however, we are in the hunting period, and we have already begun to hunt them, be they in the city or in the country, in places easy to get to, or in places hard to get to. Wherever they live, there they must be hunted, although it will not be a small easy task to catch at home something like 300,000 or more Adventists scattered throughout the United States alone, besides over 500,000 or more scattered throughout the foreign lands. This you see is mighty expensive work demanding many hunters with expensive chariots (cheaper ones could not stand the task), covering hundreds of thousands of miles and requiring as many barrels of gasoline and oil. This is not a small task, proportionately there has never been the like, and will therefore take the united strength of every present Truth believer to keep them going and get the work done so that we can soon go to Glory Land.
Yes, it is a great undertaking and a great work with a great promise requiring multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars and all the able and willing bodies He can get to hunt hundreds of thousands of Seventh-day Adventists “in the holes and in the rocks” world over. To say a tremendous responsibility hardly describes the load, but as plain as day stands the fact that it is worthwhile, that we cannot fail, and that His people will respond both to the message and to the help of the Lord against the mighty. And how thankful we ought to be that everyone is given the privilege and the opportunity in one way or in another to share the “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
In the light of revealed Truth you now plainly see that God accepts only that which His Truth-loving and Kingdom-seeking people give willingly and cheerfully. He hates gifts obtained by begging, high pressuring, and campaigning. He challenges His people to prove Him, now in the gathering time, by wholeheartedly bringing their tithes and offerings to His storehouse of the Judgment of the Living and see if He will not open the windows of Heaven and pour down a blessing that there would not be room enough to receive. Then He reassures:
“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts. “— Mal. 3:11, 12.
Now that the time has come for the Lord to openly manifest His power, anyone wishing prosperity and publicity can have them, “For the time is come that Judgment must begin at the house of God: if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17. )
Though we may have been in the class which the following words describes, yet we can return to Him and He will pardon and open our eyes so that we may now see that there is a difference between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not:
“Your words have been stout against Me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against Thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.” — Mal. 3:13-15.
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.” — Mal. 3:16-18.
Having returned to God and having tasted of this new experience with the Lord, His faithful people long to meet together and speak their blessings one to another. Being mindful of their gladness of heart, and of their longing to communicate His goodness one to another, He promises to write a book of everlasting remembrance.
We can now for sure take hold of God’s promises and make them our own. What a privilege and what an opportunity is now ours! Look and see what a difference there is between God’s method for supporting His work, and the Roman system that is now carried on by the church: plate-passing, high-powered speeches, Big Day, Book Day, high pressuring, campaigning, selling, auctioneering, Harvest Ingathering, birthday offerings, Christmas-tree hangings, baby weighings, Dorcas sales, investment funds, and what not! As none of these squeezings are Biblical, and as all of them are Pagan in origin and condemned by the Scriptures, they could not possibly be considered freewill offerings. Search and see.
Instead of Sabbath-keeping the day is devoted to money raising, and instead of a house of worship, the church is turned into a den of thieves — disgusting to observers, and most discouraging for a member to invite a friend or a neighbor to a church service. Is there any wonder that God does not now bring many into the church (“Testimonies,” Vol. 6, p. 371)?
It was this sort of thing that aroused Luther to action as he saw the priests living in luxury by exploiting the people’s conscience and by making the poor poorer. True worship and God’s plan for supporting the work must now be restored.
If there is any revival and reformation needed in any line it is certainly needed in this line, and no one is excused from having a part in it if he but takes to heart the Word of God and if he refuses to comply with the aforementioned abominations.
The message will soon reach every Seventh-day Adventist home and the “judgment in the house of God” (1 Pet. 4:17) will then begin; there is therefore, no time to waste. These things should now “engross the whole mind, the whole attention.”
Now in the day of restoration, Brother, Sister, God is calling you to arise to His plea:
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. “— Isa. 58:1.
Be kind, but by no means be sympathetic with the sinner’s sin and do not try to cover the sin. For your own sake, and for the sake of the brethren’s life depart from the abominations and receive the mark of God’s deliverance from the slaughter weapons of the angels. Read Ezekiel nine and Isa. 66:15-17, 19, 20.
Faithfully yours for eyes to see the need for cleaning up, and for Wisdom to restore all things,
V.H. Jezeel, H.B.
Original Letter entitled “Jezreel Letter No. 9″ published in 1954 by V. T. Houteff.
For a PDF of the scanned original Jezreel Letters Nos. 1-9, please click this link.