Daniel 7: The Rise & Fall of Antichrist


For a context for this article, it is highly recommended that you read the first part of this three-part series.

1) It arises amongst the divisions of Western Europe/Roman Empire.
2) It must rise after 476CE, when Rome was divided.
3) It’s rise to power includes uprooting three other kingdoms that stand in it’s way.
4) A man would represent this kingdom, claiming to have great authority over the kings of the Roman empire.
5) He is a different kind of king than the traditional political authority of the other kings.
6) He claims to have the authority that belongs to God.
7) He makes war with the saints who keep God’s laws.
8) He thinks to change times and laws of God’s government.
9) He reigns for 1260 years.

These points must be fulfilled to identify the anthchristian little horn power. Again, to have more detail on these nine points, and an abundance of Scriptural testimony, it is best to refer you to the first part of this three-part series.

The Antichrist Power revealed…

If antichrist was a giant political figure that everyone recognized as demanding the worship of Satan and having a hitler-esque demeanor, it would not be deceiving to many sincere but mislead Christians. Although nine characteristics have been revealed from this power, still more characteristics are necessary to understand what happened in the Roman Empire to cause the rise of this power.

The apostles all saw concerns coming in amongst those who received Christ’s sacrifice. He is the “Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29); He was called the Lamb, because anciently, the Hebrew people looked forward to the deliverance from sin by the Messiah-to-come, and to demonstrate their faith in His coming, they would sacrifice lambs, bulls, and goats. Yet “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Heb. 10:4) Yet most of the Israelites lost the meaning of their sacrifices, and had faith in those sacrifices to take away sins instead of the One to whom they pointed. And what is sin? The apostle John tells us that “sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4)

law-and-statutes-cross

The truth: Christ’s sacrifice and the law of God cannot be separated

The very law that the little horn would think to change was the law of God’s government; thus it would enforce a new law via the kings of Europe, and turn many away from the law of the true God; thus making of no effect the sacrifice of Christ. Christ, foreseeing what would come, declared:

“Do not think that I’ve come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I have not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

He then compared those who would “think” He came to abolish the law of God with the “righteousness” of the scribes and the pharisees (the religious class of people in Jerusalem): “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:20)

These men had taught that it was acceptable to “break one of these least commandments”; “Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” Christ told them, fulfilling the Scripture in Isaiah, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

The antichrist power would make of no effect the commandments of God by their traditions; and profess with their mouths that they worship Him, but like the religious people of Christ’s day, are in fact crucifying Him over again in breaking the law. The Bible declares this as the righteousness of man (Rom. 10:3), while the law of God reveals the righteousness of God (Isaiah 51:6,7), which God says “will not be abolished [destroyed].”

THE GREAT FALLING AWAY IN THE CHURCH

The apostle Paul had studied the prophecies carefully. He saw the rise of the antichrist coming from Rome, and how he would think to change the law of God, and was troubled. God even kept on record three such warnings for us that a great falling away would occur in the Christian church.

wolf-shepherd-clothing“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:29-31)

The Christian church was to be compromised by a foreign power, previously unknown to it. Paul said Christ would not return until the work of this power had been fully accomplished: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” (2 Thes. 2:3)

Paul, seeing the little horn as changing the law of God which exposes sin, called him “the man of sin”, revealed in the church by “a falling away”; and the son of perdition (literally, of destruction, ruin, or loss). Going to greater lengths, he goes to the very church at the heart of the conflict that would come, and writes to them regarding to gospel of Christ, which restores the law’s rightful place in the heart of the believer. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;… For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Rom. 1:16-17) He continues further, and declares that those who believe in the effectual power of Christ’s sacrifice, have sin “condemned in the flesh [our flesh]”, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3,4) He then warns the church in Rome not to become absorbed in worldly affairs, having their minds on this world and losing sight of the gospel, it’s power, and heavenly realities. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:6-7) Paul realized that the trouble was to arise in the church that was in Rome, that they would “think” against the law of God by supposing to hold some great authority to alter His commands. Paul emphasizes the words of Christ, that He came to “fulfill” the law, and not to destroy it.

In addition to the nine points, the tenth is this:

10) He came as the result of a falling away of the Christian church

ONE FINAL CHARACTERISTIC

One final characteristic must be mentioned, and then the identity cannot be mistaken to any honest child of God. To understand this point, we will examine another view of the characteristics of the little horn power of Daniel 7, from another prophecy in the Bible.

leopard-like-papal-beast-little-horn

The tokens of paganism are found in the little horn power…

“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” (Revelation 13:2)

This beast has all the parts of the pagan kingdoms brought into one unique and diverse kingdom that the little horn’s rise to power in the divided Roman empire. It has the body of the leopard, symbolized by Bacchus, the Greek god. It has feet that walk in the laws of sun worship found in Media-Persia. It has the mouth of Babylon’s lion, having Babylon at the heart of it’s religion. And he is honored by being given the dragon’s throne (“seat”) of the Roman Empire; which seeks to devour God’s true children, who like Chronos, the chief deity of Rome, that devoured his own children and controlled time. The dragon, also symbolizing Satan’s rebellious kingdom, would presumptiously pass the “great authority” of having “power” and authority to “change times and laws” to this kingdom who sits upon the throne of the Roman empire.

Thus pagan elements are infused into this little horn kingdom so definitely.
Further proof that the little horn and this beast are one and the same. Here are four characteristics that match perfectly:

Revelation 13 Daniel 7

A MOUTH AGAINST GOD
1) “there was given unto him a mouth speaking                                          1) “a mouth that spake very great things…
great things and blasphemies…against God…(v.5,6)                                  words against the Most High..” (v.20,25)

WAR WITH THE SAINTS
2) “it was given unto him to make war with                                                  2) ” I beheld, and the same horn made war with
the saints, and to overcome them” (v. 7)                                                         the saints, and prevailed against them…” (v.21)

1260 YEARS
3) “and power was given unto him to continue                                             3) “they shall be given into his hand until a time (1 year-12 months)
forty and two months [1260 prophetic days/years].”  (v. 5)                    and times (2 years- 24 months) and the dividing
of time (half a year- 6 months) [1260 prophetic days/years]. (v. 25)

AGAINST THE GOSPEL- KEEPS AWAY SALVATION FROM SIN
4) “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose                      4) “he shall think to change times and laws…”
names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb” (v. 8)

***The Lamb is Christ which saves from sin. Antichrist is the religious power from the church in Rome that changes the laws which reveal the sins needing to be saved from.

THE REVELATION OF THE LITTLE HORN

The ONLY power in all of history that fulfills all 11 of these points clearly, and definitely, is the Roman Catholic Papacy.

papal-keys
For some, it may be hard to believe that the Roman Catholic Papacy is antichrist, and at first glance, that may be understandable. However, when examining more closely, there are clear evidences which we will show for exactly why this is true. In the early Christian church, there was a falling away. It began at the time of pagan emperor Constantine’s “conversion” to Christianity. He began to shower favors upon the Christian church, and his counselors that it was God’s will to give them both advantages by removing the need to pay taxes, and also to give the church more land. The preference thus shown to Christianity, unconverted pagans walked into the church, and introduced paganism into Christianity; mingling it. Constantine sought to unite the pagans and the Christians, and those Christians who were already departing from the precepts given in the law of God were the most favorable to uniting with paganism. The falling away, while plaguing the entire Christian movement, was most advanced from the church in Rome, which Paul expressly counselled.

The most subtle form of deception which will deceive the whole world is a Christianized form of paganism, that has made this world it’s kingdom. Does this mean all the Roman Catholics are lost? No. In fact, Jesus said, “other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16) Jesus tells us that He has other sheep, who are in other parts of the world, who do not know see the truth, but when they hear the truth, they will leave their errors and their former teachers & leaders, and like the disciples of Christ, go and follow Him.

Now let’s examine these points, and trace their fulfillment in the rising of this power:
1) He is a different kind of king than the traditional political authority of the other kings.
The Papacy was given the name Pontifex Maximus (the great bridgebuilder) because that was the name given to the pagan high priests who were appointed by the Roman Emperor. The Pope is diverse from the other kings because he is both a political and religious figure. The Pontifex Maximus duties were to consecrate temples of their gods, to regulate calendar observances, and regulating public morals, and fining and punishing offending parties. To this day, the Papacy claims the title as Pontifex Maximus. He built bridges from Christianity to unite with Paganism, and for Christianity to be established as a political force in this world, contrary to the will and plan of God. The bridges thus built were nothing less than converting Christianity to the world, and concealing it’s true character of paganism.

 

1) He thinks to change times and laws of God’s government.
One of the most remarkable prophecies in the entire Bible is that the antichrist claims to have authority to change the times of worship and laws of God. It is commonly understood that the early Christians did in fact worship on the times found in the law of God. Those times were as follows:

7th Day Sabbath
God calls these “My Sabbaths”; six days, He created all things, and on the seventh day, He rested. It is a sign of His creative power, and power to save and separate His people from the world. (Exodus 20:8-11) (Exodus 31:13) (Deuteronomy 5:13-15) It will be observed in heaven (Isaiah 66:22-23)
Part of a continuous 7-day weekly cycle, beginning at the setting of the sun Friday to the setting of the sun Saturday.
It was kept by most Christians for the first 300 years until pagan celebrations took it’s place, and it was forced upon Christians.
The New Moon
God gave the moon as the calendar of the month in the heavens. (Gen. 1:14) The word for moon & months in the ancient language of the Bible is the same word. It will be observed in heaven (Isaiah 66:22-23)
The new moon is the appearing of the moon in the heavens. It is the first day of a new month. This is necessary to know when the three main feasts are observed.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread (1st moon of the new year, on the 15th day-21st day)
A feast that follows the Passover, a celebration & sign of partaking in Christ’s sacrifice. Unleavened Bread was to demonstrate the old ways of the world being removed from the life who has been washed by the blood of Christ. It will be observed in heaven (Luke 22:15-18)
It was the Passover communion time that was the first thing the church in Rome stopped observing in favor of the pagan festival: easter.
The Feast of Pentecost (observed early in the 3rd moon)
It is a celebration of God’s presence uniting with His people, giving to them His law & kingdom, and by His power to bring them into relationship with Himself, as a husband does a bride.
On Mt. Sinai, God’s presence came down in fire, He gave His law as a marriage promise for His people. In the early Christian church, God gives His presence in the Holy Spirit, which came down in fire, writing His law on the heart, bringing them into marriage relationship with Christ. (Acts 2:1-3)
The Feast of Tabernacles (7th moon, 15th day to the 22nd day)
A celebration of God’s full salvation; of the time when the throne of God shall be with man forever in a newly created heavens and earth. It is a time of special of special, unbroken communion in God’s presence. It will be observed in heaven (Zechariah 14:16)
This reveals the promise of heaven; this feast’s prophetic event has not yet been fulfilled.

The Papacy adopted the pagan sabbath, which was Sunday, the traditional day of sun worship. This they freely admit:

“…pastoral intuition suggested to the Church the christianization of the notion of Sunday as “the day of the sun”, which was the Roman name for the day and which is retained in some modern languages.(29) This was in order to draw the faithful away from the seduction of cults which worshipped the sun, and to direct the celebration of the day to Christ, humanity’s true “sun”.” John Paul II, Dies Domini, 27. The day of Christ-Light, 1998 (Prominent protestant leaders agree with this statement – See here for a statement by Dr. E. T. Hiscox, author of the ‘Baptist Manual’)

The pagans who flooded the entrance of the church were converted originally by the church converting to their laws. In an old Catholic Catechism, it is even more pronounced:

“Q. What is Sunday, or the Lord’s Day in general?

A. It is a day dedicated by the Apostles to the honour of the Most Holy Trinity…. It is also called Sunday from the old Roman denomination of Dies Solis, the day of the sun, to which it was sacred.” The Douay Catechism, (An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine) of 1649

How could they do this? They “think to change times and laws” because they “think” they have such authority to change them. Additionally, a triune understanding of God, where three divine beings were united in one divine nature, immortal, without beginning and end, was adopted to help pagans who were accustom to the triunity of divine beings in various pagan religions. These concessions from the church brought a unity between pagans and Christians that before this time would have been near impossible. This is in perfect harmony with the pagan beasts all being represented in the Catholic beast, which takes in the pagan doctrines.

2) He claims to have the authority that belongs to God.

Authority over kings: “the Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls.” 937, Catechism of the Catholic Church (1997) What does “universal power” mean?  It means power over kings for the sake of making converts, for “the common good of society”.

Infallability: What the Pope speaks in Encylical writings are legally and conscience-bound to the Christian particularly, and to the non-Christian without exception. It teaches that the Pope’s words cannot be wrong. Ex Cathedra is a Papal doctrine which teaches that “when, in the exercise of his office [the Pope] as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, (the Bishop of Rome) defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.” It teaches then that the Pope cannot be in error in faith or morals.

Authority to change God’s law: “Protestants … accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change… But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that … in observing Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the Church, the pope.” Our Sunday Visitor, February 5th, 1950

2) It must rise after 476CE, when Rome was divided into ten parts.

It arises amongst the divisions of Western Europe/Roman Empire.
It’s an interesting fact that the Papacy did rise at this time. After Constantine’s conversion in the fourth century, the prophesied falling away began to move swiftly; and with every step further into error, the greater favor it grew with the kingdoms of Rome.

It’s interesting to note that the Papacy’s political advancements began with the conversion of Constantine, and after this time, the Papacy’s rise to political favor grew more and more as it became more entrenched in the principles of paganism. It was not until 508 that the first war was waged in the name of a Catholic church/state, and it was not until 538 that the Papacy actually received the throne of the Roman empire itself, to exercise authority over the kings of Europe.

3) It’s rise to power includes uprooting three other kingdoms that stand in it’s way.
The Papacy uprooted three of the ten kings who had stood in it’s way, thus fulfilling the prophecy: “For the mystery of iniquity is already at work: only he who now restrains will restrain [him], until he is taken out of the way.” (2 Thes. 2:7) These three restraining forces were signs to the Christian church of the prevailing corruption and the growing power of the Pope over the kings of the earth. The restraints were imposed by three Sabbath-keeping, non-Trinitarian kingdoms. Both the Trinity and Sunday-keeping, in the place of Sabbath and the worship of the true God, were fundamental teachings of Catholic Christianity.
i) The Visigoths: In 508, the first of these kingdoms was rooted out of it’s land by church/state authority. It was the united France, under Clovis, a pagan-king who converted to Catholicism, that declared war in the name of the church. The Visigothic people, standing in the way of France and her Catholic teachings, ran her into the corners of Europe, where she began to be swallowed up by Catholicism at last.
ii) The Vandals: In 533, the zealously Catholic emperor Justinian overcame the Vandals, and issued a decree, declaring all were to submit to the Pope, to the Most Holy Trinity, and to assume the name Catholic.
iii) The Ostrogoths: In 538, the Ostrogothic kingdom occupied the land of Rome itself. It had constantly shifted hands, and for some years, it was in the hands of Sabbathkeeping Christians. Justinian, through his general Belisarius, entered into Rome, and overcame the Ostrogoths, who were slowly hunted and exterminated. It was at this time, after the final restaint was removed at last, that Justinian delivered the throne of Rome into the hands of the Papacy, to exercise authority over Europe’s kings.

4) A man would represent this kingdom, claiming to have great authority over the kings of the Roman empire.
It is evident as we have seen, that this was remarkably and unmistakenly fulfilled only by the Pope of Rome.

7) He makes war with the saints who keep God’s laws.
After receiving this authority over the kings of the earth, those who kept the laws of God, first the Visigoths, Vandals, and Ostrogoths, and then the persecuting the people progressively more and still more.
9) He reigns for 1260 years.
It was from the time of 538CE that the Papacy took Rome, when Justinians’ General, Belisarius, overtook Rome, until 1798CE, when Napoleon’s General, Berthier, entered into Italy, into the Vatican, and took the Pope captive, and restored the Roman republic to the people. While the Popes maintained a somewhat spiritual influence, their political influence was wholly crushed underfoot. The Church had long used the sword of the state to overcome her opposers, now the prophecy regarding the Catholic beast was fulfilled: “I saw one of it’s heads, as it were, wounded to death…He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” (Rev. 13:10)

Having so long forced the people to submit to her rule or face the sword, now the sword of France, the eldest daughter of the Catholic church, was to be her worst opposer, and force her into submission. However, the prophecy does not end there for the antichrist, because antichrist, as revealed in the Papacy, has a grand final work before the end of the world.




The God of Peace: A Marriage of Faith & Works


“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.” (Heb. 13:20-21)

The above text will be our focus for this study; which we will open up more fully from the Scripture.

God is called the “God of peace”, and how He makes peace is of interest towards all of us is worthy of continual study, because not all are at peace with Him. Worthy because the man who has sinned is separated from His Spirit of peace; this causes a disconnect between God and man, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6)
Before man sinned, and after he is redeemed from sin, the life and peace of God through the Spirit of God is to be in us. It is further stated in the Scripture of the God of peace how that peace is brought about. It is “through the blood of the everlasting covenant” that this peace is established. That peace that is brought to us is to bring a definite work into the soul:

“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself… And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”
(Col 1:20-21)

By that very blood, now you are reconciled to God, but before having this peace, you were counted as an enemy of God “by wicked works”, “because the carnal mind is enmity [hatred, hostility] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7) Yet that same blood of Christ (who is our peace [Eph. 2:14] with God, and called the Prince of peace [Isaiah 9:6]) so fully brings us back into the presence of the God of peace, so that we might be called truly “peacemakers” (Matt. 5:9), the children of peace, having peace with God, and in Christ, peace with all those who partake of His Spirit. Moreover, that “everlasting covenant”, the blood of which brings this peace, is called “the covenant of peace” between God & Christ (Zechariah 6:13). God says of “the Jerusalem above” (Gal. 4:26), His beloved nation that He is married to: “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.” (Isa 54:10)

The God of peace is truly merciful; seeking to reconcile all to Himself. There are many today who are professing to be children of peace, and part of the covenant of peace, and say they are citizens of that beloved heavenly nation that is at peace with God, but why are there so few that truly have any real peace at all?

The answer can be found in what happens when the God of peace brings us to covenant relationship with Him. It states that He will “perfect in every good work to do His will, working in us that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ…”; this work that is worked in us by God, through Christ. What is “every good work” that He works in us? It is nothing less than His commandments. We are told that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) The good works that we walk in, to reveal that we have peace with Him are the works which were “before ordained that we should walk in them.” Only a few verses before, it contrasts the saved experience of walking in good works, with the condition of before our salvation appeared: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:…But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”  (Eph. 2:2,4-6)

Instead of walking in good works, we had walked in disobedience to God’s law, being “dead in sins” (which is the transgression of God’s law 1 John 3:4). But “the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus” has “quickened us together with Christ,…and has raised us up…” that we might now walk in good works, as the Spirit that raised up Christ Jesus dwells in our hearts working in us.

To all who believe in Christ as a personal Savior, and walk in His commandments, He gives us the assurance:

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Peace can never be afforded from the world that doesn’t know God or keep His commandments, but only to those who truly love God and truly walk in His commandments. The peace that the world offers is temporary, superficial, and outward; it seldom is true peace that reaches from our heart to the heart of God, and to one another. Thus He promises a true and abiding peace; heaven’s peace is that which He works in us, and is called “the work of righteousness”:

“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” (Isaiah 32:17)

What a beautiful promise! The work of righteousness produces the peace of God! Now, the only righteousness that can be worked is that which divine power in Christ, through His blood, can work, and apart from that there is no righteousness at all which a man can have. We need a divine peace, which comes from a divine righteousness; this is wholly a gift of God’s grace, and not our own works, but receiving His works to be worked out in us. Man’s standard of righteousness is to try and work to create peace with God, and with each other by their own strength independent of God; this is a very common for men to to this; to believe “I’m a good person”, but blind to the obligations of God’s law, and what it means to have His righteousness. Anything less than His righteousness is worldly; Christ declared the same: “Do not think that I’ve come to destroy the law…I’ve come not to destroy but to fulfill…Verily I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no manner enter into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 5:19-21) Only through blood of Christ which cleanses us from all unrighteousness can this be made a reality in our lives. And His righteousness, which works peace can only be manifested in us by obedience to His commandments. “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law…” (Isaiah 51:7)

Here is the secret to real peace. It is knowing the law’s searching even the thoughts and intents of the heart, and being cleansed deeply; thus producing a depth of peace that few have realized in their walk with Christ. It is only when realizing the magnitude of the holiness of God’s law to reveal His own righteousness, that Christ may work in us to truly establish peace in the soul. Such a peace is found in the holiness of the law engraved on the tables of the heart that keeps God’s commandments. It is God’s righteousness in His law, and the blood of Christ which binds our hearts to peace in that law that finds the words fulfilled in our lives: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (Psalm 85:10)

It is evident by these passages of Scripture that if such a peace is in the heart, it is because the law is in the heart. Without the law in the heart, how can the soul be risen above stormy tempest,  to heaven’s atmosphere above the clouds, with the holiness of the Prince of peace? To such as who disregard His law as the basis of His righteousness, He says:

“O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:…There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.” (Isa 48:18,22)

Yet, of the redeemed children of that beloved nation of the covenant of peace, something far different is said:

“All your children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of you children.” (Isaiah 54:13)

“Great peace have they which love Your law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Psalm 119:165)

There is good reason why many do not have such peace today, they think that Christ came to take away the law instead of taking away our sins (the transgression of that law), rather than coming to fulfill the law in us. Like a shallow reading of the law and not seeing the deep holiness of God within it’s precepts, there are many who are not discerning Christ’s works of coming to fulfill the law, or the righteousness of God. The Scripture tells us that “what the law could not do, because it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh…that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us…who walk after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:3-4) Christ fulfills the law in us, He destroys our sins against that law, condemning them by His Spirit in our flesh; He restores order to the soul; He builds us anew.

It is not enough to have the law without Christ’s blood (works). Nor is it enough to have Christ’s blood without the law (dead, empty faith). Both can never produce peace. These are the two chief reasons that so few actually have peace today; they do not see Christ as inseparably connected to His law; they do not walk as Christ walked, though they claim to be in covenant relationship with Him. Both extremes the apostles frequently opposed and taught against, teaching the truth to be a narrow road between the two ditches.

FAITH APART FROM OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW

“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1Jn 2:4-6)

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:17)

Faith was alone, and James used starting words to declare the connection between faith and works. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (v. 26) Many are simply a body without the Spirit; if Adam’s body had been formed, but he received no breath of life, he could not walk, and live, and communicate. His soul was dead (non-existent) when he had an absence of life. The living soul of true Christianity is understanding the beautiful inseparable marriage between both the law and faith. It is true understanding when we realize that Christ did not die to divorce Himself, (or us) from the law, but to divorce man from sin, and it’s condemnation which brings death.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:…Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Rom. 5:1)

THE LAW APART FROM CHRIST

“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (Gal. 5:4)

Man is justified by faith, and that of faith by Christ’s blood. It will forever change how we relate to the law; but does not justify walking in disobedience like we did before we knew Christ. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Rom. 3:20) The law reveals sin. To try and keep it after you have broken it already, is sin; it is like Adam and Eve once they sinned and their nakedness appeared. They were guilty, but tried to clothe themselves to hide their guilt; but only Christ could clothe them by His sacrifice; God could accept nothing less. “For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” (Gal. 2:18) Therefore, the law can only produce condemnation and never salvation, but true salvation in Christ, which is by grace through faith, can produce the good works required by the law which we had sinned against.

Moreover, that the children of God’s covenant of peace are through-and-through commandment-keepers cannot be denied:

“And the dragon (Satan, the old serpent that deceived Eve into sin) was wroth with the woman (the beloved nation- the heavenly Jerusalem), and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (the Spirit of God- Rev. 19:10).” (Rev 12:17)

And even though all the wicked, all the devils of hell and their agents shall come against us, yet the peace of God that is manifested to us will overcome and triumph over all of our enemies; the devil was cast out of heaven, and though we live on this earth and are not shielded from the tempter, we may be united with the power of heaven in Christ, being risen above the storm in the Spirit that dwells in our hearts, as we walk in obedience to His Word. This peace in God will unite us to a divine source of power, which is well able to rise above the most terrible of persecutions.




IN THE BEGINNING: The Counsel of Peace


In the beginning of the Bible, our minds are taken back to the creation of God.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

"In the beginning God..."

                      “In the beginning God…”

Yet God was not alone in His work of creation. He had a Helper at His side. Of this, the Scripture tells us:
“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.” (Proverbs 8:22-26)

The Word of God tells us that Jehovah brought forth, and possessed One in the beginning of His way.Alluding to exactly who this was who was with God before the creation of the world is further alluded to in the same book of Proverbs:
“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” (Proverbs 30:4)

The Bible says that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, so therefore it is He that “hath established all the ends of the earth.” Then it presents another question, “what is His Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Therefore, the one who was brought forth, who was “set up from everlasting, from the beginning” was the Son of God. He declares it was “before His works of old”, His creation, that Jehovah had set Him up. Speaking further of this close Companion of Jehovah, from the beginning of the creation of God, the Word declares:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)

It says that the Son of God that was brought forth was the Word of God, God made “all things…by Him”. So it was the Word of God, Jesus, His only-begotten Son who was at His side, making all things in the beginning with Him.
“God… Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” (Hebrews 1:1-2)

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Col. 1:15-16)

The Bible abundantly testifies that in the beginning, God, the Father, had worked through His Son in the creation of all things. Therefore confirming that He was not alone in His work.

God shares His throne with His Son, “who He hath appointed heir of all things,” including His throne.

“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” (Hebrews 1:8-12)

“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:5)

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)

So we see that the Scripture declares that there were two in the beginning of God’s creation:
1) God the Father
2) Jesus Christ, the only-begotten (brought forth) Son of the Father

 

The Rainbow Covenant: On The Throne Is Seated The Father & The Son

Thus concluding that God was by no means alone in the creation. The creation of the whole kingdom of heaven, and the throne over it, was given Him, inasmuch as He partook in the creation of it by the Father.

The Bible gives us this glimpse of the Throne of God, showing the Son as seated down at the right hand of the Father:

“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1)
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrew 12:2)
“A Psalm of David. JEHOVAH said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool…” (Psalm 110:1)

Of that Throne which the Father shares with His Son, the Psalmist continues in verse 4,
“JEHOVAH hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4)

Thus we see that the Son of God, who shared in the creative work of God, and His throne, is also a Priest, as well as a King (the Order of Melchizedek) by divine institution of the heavenly Father. Thus the heavenly throne, is also a priestly throne. A priestly throne however, requires a Sanctuary. The prophet beheld in vision, a throne “from the beginning” that was exactly this:

“A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.” Jeremiah 17:12

So the  glorious high throne from the beginning, before JEHOVAH’s “works of old”, the Son of God was established as a Priest & King. And why a Priest? He was the Priest of the Sanctuary. And why a Sanctuary? That is the most vital part of understanding these points, because without the other points to bring us to this place, there would be no gospel. Yet there is the gospel. In holy vision, Zechariah saw the glory of the Son of God:
“Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” (Zecharian 6:13)
We are told that “the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Not merely affirming two, but it says the counsel of peace is between them. The Hebrew word for “shall be” is especially interesting, of the tense it is in. This means “I AM”, or “to exist”, “be/was/is”. It is the Hebrew word “HawYah”, from which comes the name JEHOVAH, and means “eternal”. It is the same words that our God employed when speaking to Moses:
“And God said unto Moses, I AM [HawYah] THAT I AM [HawYah]: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM [HawYah] hath sent me unto you.” (Exodus 3:14)
Therefore, an accurate rendering of Zechariah 6:13 may also read: “Even He builds the temple of the LORD; and bears the glory, and sits and rules upon His throne; and He is a priest upon His throne, and the counsel of peace IS between them both.”

What is this counsel of peace between our Heavenly Father and our Great High Priest? It is that which was from the beginning, and what the throne was established upon. It is the most sacred of counsels, because in it, was established both the Son, the Sanctuary, and the Throne over all creation. What is that eternal counsel which was from the beginning between them both? It was the formulation of the plan of the gospel.  The Word of God declares:

The Counsel of Peace Was Between Them Both

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” (1 Peter 1:18-20)

Of this counsel of peace that existed between the Father and the Son, it is called “the hidden wisdom”:
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:” (1 Corinthians 2:7)
“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest (revealed) unto his saints:
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery… which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Colossians 1:26-27)

Therefore, we see that this was hidden since creation. The plan of redemption was formed between God and His Son beforehand, in the event that man would choose to ruin himself by disobeying the command of His Creator, and eat the fruit of sin. Yet, at the fall, the counsel of peace, the everlasting covenant, at the very first sin went into effect. The Voice of God visited them at their fall, and promised that He would crush the dominion of the serpent, Satan. That promise was sufficient to break his dominion in their hearts if they would believe the counsel of peace. There, He covered their nakedness with a slain lamb, and declared to them:
“…the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.” (Isaiah 54:10)

God Didn't Desire Sin's Entrance, But A Plan Was Made Beforehand...

God Didn’t Desire Sin’s Entrance, But A Plan Was Made Beforehand…

So what is the counsel of peace? It is “the covenant of My peace” says the Word of JEHOVAH. It declares that the way of His mercy has already been established from the beginning, before His “works of old”, having “foreordained” His Son to be the Lamb of sacrifice, “before the foundation of the world“. Hallelujah! That peace of this counsel is none other than peace foremost with God through His Son:
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;” (Ephesians 2:13-14)

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1:18-20)

 

 

The plan established in the heart of God and His Son before the creation of the world was to, in the event of sin, “reconcile all things” to God through the One that God made all things through! And not only so, but in the heart of God therefore, when this plan was formed, it declares something of the greatest importance. This counsel was fixed in place before the creation was entered into by God and His Christ, but it was not for Themselves that they formed this plan. The Scriptures declare that it was for us, declaring that He has even “chosen us…before the foundation of the world”: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” (Ephesians 1:4)
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling… according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” (2 Timothy 1:9)

God has saved us from the beginning if we will choose to rest in His love. He has saved us, and called us, and chosen us, and even given us grace BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN; before we were born, He saw the mercy, and grace and glory He would crown us with in His love. He sees the covenant of peace, and He declares, “I have saved you, return unto Me.” Salvation has already been in place, so none need be lost. He who upholds the worlds fixed something in place even greater than the world, and He saw us in that very thing.

This is “the love of the truth” that we should purify our souls in obeying. It declares heaven is our home. It declares that our abiding place is in the Lamb of God before the foundation of the world. That He established His Sanctuary and Priesthood for our sakes, in the love wherewith He has loved us.

Why then should any be lost? Because they “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes. 1:8). The very same gospel which was ordained to their glory, they have refused. And why have they refused? Because of Satan.

The god of this world has blinded the minds of many from the glorious revelation of the love of the gospel

The god of this world has blinded the minds of many from the glorious revelation of the love of the gospel

 

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them….” (2 Corinthians 3:3-4)
Declaring that he works “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2Th 2:10)

Therefore, we read:
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)

 

 

Jesus is called the Lamb slain from the Foundation of the world, another reference to the counsel of peace that existed. He was slain from the foundation of the world, being that Lamb that was a ready sacrifice “foreordained” for fallen man, to be the Lamb promising mercy and life. Here is the promise God gave:

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2)
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;). That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:1-3)

In the above passage, John calls Jesus “the Word of life”, “which was from the beginning”, and “was manifested”, even calling Him “that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested”; in the same letter, declaring this eternal life which was with the Father, he says: “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”

Therefore, if the life was manifested to John, and that eternal life is in the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, being the Lamb bringing mercy to Adam, and all who sinned before He was manifested, then He is also the Life from the foundation of the world, giving eternal life to all who believe from the foundation of the world. Even before His Resurrection, Christ said:

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” (John 11:25)
Therefore, Christ is the Resurrection from the foundation of the world, and He is our Life. This is the peace, this is the life, this is the hope that you have been given in the gospel, declaring the love God has had toward you. Therefore, the question that remains, that Jesus asks of you, is this:
“And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:26)




The Revelation of Jesus Christ: The Seal of the Living God


In the Bible, we find the breadth of what we are to become brought to view. The Word of God is to give us an experience that causes us to view the world, not as man sees it, because “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not”, but it gives us a much different perspective. A different perspective not only causing us to behold who God is, but in beholding who God is, to see the world in a most startling condition: to see the worldwith new eyes.

This experience of seeing with new eyes is to see what is not presently seen, because it is seen through the eyes of faith. This is only possible by being born again.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
(Joh 3:3)

Are we seeing through the eyes of God's kingdom?

Are we seeing through the eyes of God’s kingdom?

A man cannot “see” the things of God unless he is “born again”. Even then, we do not “see” them with fleshly eyes, but with spiritual eyes we behold the things that God has prepared for those that love Him.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

Notice that although it hasn’t entered into the heart of man, it has been seen by the Spirit. That which is born of the flesh is fleshly, and cannot see nor discern spiritual things. Thankfully, those born of the Spirit can see spiritual realities. Many today claim that it hasn’t entered into our hearts what God has prepared for us, but neglect to share the very next passage, that He has revealed it to His Spirit-born children, yet it is abundantly evident from the apostle Paul’s next words that “the heart of man” refers to the carnal heart:

“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”
(1Co 2:9-12)

The Scripture tells us if we receive the Spirit of God, the things of God’s kingdom He “hath revealed…unto us by His Spirit.” Therefore we behold the beauties of the things unseen by faith, for “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

It is the things not seen that the children of God are to steadfastly behold, and this is the principle of the Kingdom of God.

Walking by faith in the word of the living God and not by the apparent contradictions of present sight are essential to learning how to see life as a Christian

Walking by faith in the word of the living God and not by the apparent contradictions of present sight are essential to learning how to see life as a Christian

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
(2Co 4:18)

More than the eternal principle of God’s kingdom, it is the very principle God has desired for His people to always have, which is faith. By faith, we may clearly see the eternal God, who is invisible to mortal sight, even as Moses, who “endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27)

Now, what about this faith that causes us to see with the world with new eyes. This is nothing short of being born of the Kingdom of God. Now what does the Scripture say about how to receive this faith? “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) This same faith that comes by the Word of God is the very thing which brings us to a new birth experience, giving us this spiritual eyesight:

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
(1Pe 1:23)

The Word of God is incorruptible, and that incorruptible seed contains all that we need to bring to full growth our spiritual maturity if we continue growing by that same spiritual seed, but the world is functioning on a different level. It is not the eyes of faith, nor is it able to perceive or know the things of the heavenly kingdom, and just the same, they cannot have a true conception of the invisible God unless they look to His revelation as revealed in Christ, and by us.

A NEW NAME

When we are born again though, just as we are given a new eyes to behold God’s character, we are given a new name. However, as we will see, those two things are intimately connected in our birth experience as children of God.

Moses made a request of the living God, and God said He would declare His name to Moses:

“And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; …And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD…and proclaimed, Yahuwah, Yahuwah God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty;…”
(Exo 33:18-19…34:5-7)

The name of God has everything to do with His character. And the name which is given to us in the new birth experience is the very formation of His character in us. He takes from us that perverse character, like Jacob (who was a deceiver) and gives us the new name, like Israel (which means overcomer):

“And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:… rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”
(Isa 65:15-18)

It is evident that to be born again by the creative Word of God, that we must see something of God’s love for us, and to be turned from our sins. We must necessarily, to be born again, see something of God’s character: this is when we begin to see something of God’s heart, and when this something is more readily seen, we ourselves begin to see even as He sees the perfect wisdom of His ways, the vileness of sin, and the affairs of the world, and will walk in the ways of His Spirit.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down…and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower…: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
(Isa 55:8-11)

Only by God’s Word can we share in His thoughts, His ways, and that Word alone can be the seed of the Spirit, because His Words “are Spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) Moreover, the Bible likens the same verse of “Spirit” and “mind” to be the very same. In the book of Isaiah, it asks the question: “Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord? Or being His counsellor has taught Him?” (40:13) Paul quoting this, it states “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counsellor?” (Romans 11:34) For this reason, His thoughts and ways are expressly said to be found in this same word which ministers to us His Spirit (His mind/thoughts), and is described as rain that comes, and which when that rain comes in contact with us, will cause us to prosper and grow. God refers to His own presence by the Holy Spirit as that rain that we might grow in the knowledge of the invisible God:

“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”
(Hos 6:3)

Now having a new name, which is God’s character, and new eyes, and a new Spirit, by that incorrupible seed which God waters with the revelation of His own presence, we are now “a new creation” in heart and mind in Christ Jesus as we walk upon this earth. By faith, we are the children of God, and in having the mind of the Spirit of God, those things not revealed to the hearts of men are now revealed to us more and still more, so fully that we will reveal the very things that are revealed to us:

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
(2Co 3:18)

TRUE LOVE REVEALED

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”
(1Co 15:50)

The flesh cannot ever inherit the incorruptible character of God, and for good reason. The flesh can produce no love for souls. It cannot possibly produce the fruit of the Spirit that permeates the Kingdom of God in us.

The flesh is corrupt “because of sin” (Romans 8:10), but “the fruit of the Spirit is love…” (Gal. 5:22). The Scripture shows that the flesh and the Spirit “are contrary to one another” (Gal. 5:17) “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”
(Rom 8:13) And if we claim to be born of God, having inherited His character, which is His name, we must clearly manifest love, for “God is love”.

The principles of love are to be so fully be manifested in us that we are to reveal this revelation of God’s glory, that Moses asked to see, to the whole world (See Rev. 18:1). What is love? The Scripture says love “does not rejoice in iniquity, but it rejoices in truth”. Neither does love “seek it’s own”, not

Are we seeing things as Christ Himself sees them in Spirit and truth?

Are we seeing things as Christ Himself sees them in Spirit and truth?

being selfish, and “thinks no evil”, but sees the true nature of sin, that instead of thinking evil of another soul, it sees that they are victims of sin, holding the very same perspective between the soul and the sin that holds it’s victim captive that is found in the heart-wrenching cry of Christ at the cross, “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing!”

This is the love we are to reveal to the world: it’s the Father’s character of love. We are told that this Spirit of love that causes us to have the mind of God toward mankind is nothing less than the thing “whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30), and when that day of redemption approaches, a special work is given to the ensure this seal is full and complete with the Father’s character impressed upon us before Christ returns to take all of the redeemed home.
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
(Rev 7:2-4)

The plea of the intercession of Christ is to hold back the judgments from coming upon the earth until the number of His kingdom is made up: 144,000 being “sealed…in their foreheads”.

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”
(Rev 14:1)

Now, what is the seal? It is the Spirit. More expressly, what is the seal? It is the Father’s name, His character, impressed upon our hearts. Moreover, it is the law of God which the Spirit writes upon the heart of the redeemed child of God who stands with Christ upon Mt. Zion:

“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples…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.”
(Isa 8:16-18)

And how is this character of the love of God manifested in our lives? “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.”

If the seal is the Father’s character, it is also true that it is the mark which is placed upon those that sigh and cry by reason of the abominations that are being done amongst God’s professed people. The character of God is to hate sin but love the sinner, and love “rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.” These souls that are living in their abominations we are to recognize as not having “received the love of the truth that they might be saved” (2 Thes. 2:10) and how can we rejoice if they are not in a saved condition? Do we sense the magnitude of the sin whose fruit brings forth death? The angels are to see the Father’s character in us, just as it was in Christ, hating iniquity as He hates it. It testifies that His thoughts towards both sin and the sinner are our thoughts, and that His ways are our ways. Truly to love the sinner but abhor the sin for which the sinner will inevitably die if he

The light of the cross brings to view the punishment of the transgressor in the justice of God, and the gift of life in the perfect love and mercy of God.

The light of the cross brings to view the punishment of the transgressor in the justice of God, and the gift of life in the perfect love and mercy of God.

does not repent. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11) Anything other than this character must be carefully examined in the light of the law of sin and death at the cross of Calvary and left “as a curse for My Chosen” that we “might be made the righteousness of God” in Christ.

“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”
(Rev 22:3-4)

Yet the terrible fate of the professed people of God who had not this love in their heart was judgment. They did not have the seal of God’s Spirit, and that special mark of God’s character was not impressed upon them, so that angels of God passed them by, and they were left to the inevitable judgments brought upon by neglecting so great a salvation.

“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…”
(Eze 9:4-5)

“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”
(Heb 10:29)

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”
(2Co 5:10-11)

Ezekiel, in seeing the slaughter that was happening by vision in Jerusalem, manifested that very same character of Christ at the cross, and should we expect to manifest anything less in these last days when considering the fearful danger of sin and it’s consequences of shutting it’s victims out of heaven?

“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.”
(Eze 9:8-9)

THE CLOSING SCENE

That judgment is long deferred by the intercession of the High Priestly ministry of Christ. Whether pleading at the conception of sin with Adam & Eve, to the intercession at the cross, to the cry to hold the four winds until the servants of God are completely sealed with the character of God, Christ desires to see souls saved from sin at last, “not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9) Anciently, the Levitical high priest wore a golden crown, inscribed “Holiness unto Yahuwah”. This was nothing less than the Father’s name inscribed upon that crown which he wore, and if this was the forehead of the high priest upon the earth, how much more the High Priest from heaven whose priesthood has no end? Moreover, the sons of the high priest served as priests in the temple, yet we are “the children that are with” our High Priest, “a royal priesthood” “after the Order of Melchizedek”. Should the character of our intercession and pleadings be anything less than reflecting the holiness we’ve inherited in connection with Christ’s priestly ministry? And when this glorious sealing of God’s character has crowned us, then the intercession will have served it’s purpose and be finished.

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book…”
(Dan 12:1-2)

When the work is done. We see Christ taking the kingdom as a Lion to the wicked, but as a Lamb to the redeemed, standing upon Mount Zion and ruling with a rod of iron:

When the number of the redeemed of Christ’s kingdom is made up, then Christ will return to take His children home.

“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed…Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion…You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
(Psa 2:2-9)

Every case has now been decided. The decisions made are ratified in heaven and in every soul made firmly fixed and definitely fixed; the numbering of the redeemed among men is final and there are no second chances. Every character is firmly impressed upon the soul, either for blessing or cursing, life or death. It is at this time the decree of Christ the priestly King declares at the ceasing of His intercession for man: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”
(Rev 22:11)

Therefore, may the living God, whose name is love, mercy, justice, and truth, sanctify us wholly with His Spirit and cause us to stand faithful and true with the Lamb on Mt. Zion.




The Heavenly Sanctuary: Was there feasts before Mt. Sinai?


We are told of a great high throne that existed in heavenly places “from the beginning”, which is “the place of our Sanctuary” (Jer. 17:12). Careful study of the Sanctuary and it’s services may yield much wonderful light to the people of God in these last days; indeed the Sanctuary itself is full of instruction for us. The throne in the heavenly Sanctuary was the archtype of the sanctuary patterned after it upon the earth; the purpose of which was to dwell amongst His people as King of His people: “And let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” (Exo. 25:8) Now, it’s evident that the heavenly Sanctuary was first, or else the pattern could never have been designed. We’re told that this pattern “serves unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” (Heb. 8:5)

While the reality did indeed exist in heaven, it was necessary to have a shadow of the true object existing alongside of it to help the mind go forth from the seen shadow to the unseen, yet living, reality.

The throneroom is called the Most Holy place; which throne is called “the throne of God and of the Lamb.” The risen Lamb of God, Christ, was seated on His Father’s throne of glory, “the glory which I had with Thee before the world was” (John 17:5). We’re told “Even He has build the temple of the LORD; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His [the Father’s] throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” (Zechariah 6:13) Christ is both High Priest upon His Father’s throne, and the Lamb of God. Yet where this is a Sanctuary there is a priest. Furthermore, even before Christ came to this earth, He was the “Lamb…who was verily foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was made manifest in these last times for you” (1 Pet. 1:20).

When examining the sacrifices of the burnt offerings of lamb, bull, goat, dove, etc. it is important to realize that these were emblematic of Christ’s sacrifice, and that “it was not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin;” (Heb. 10:4) but Christ was “the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:19); those sacrifices ever attended the sanctuary, and without the sacrifice pointing to Christ, not so much as a prayer could be accepted upon the altar of burnt offering. It was the fire of God’s throne, His Presence, where “a fiery stream issues and comes forth from before him” (Dan. 7:10) which kindled the coals of the altar. These coals were brought into the golden altar of incense, where prayer is continually offered; thus signifying that apart from the Lamb of God, no prayer is brought before God.

THE TIMES OF WORSHIP

These sacrifices were always enjoined to times of worship where the congregation would assemble. Every evening and morning, a sacrifice was laid upon the altar for the congregation. On the Sabbath, a double portion of the sacrifice signifying Christ was offered. On the new moons, even more sacrifices specified were done to signify the work of Christ, and on the feasts and solemn days; specific sacrifices were meant to carry to the understanding heart beautiful and wonderful spiritual truths (i.e. taking away our sins, taking away our ignorance, etc.), as well shadow forth prophetic signification. They are found specifically in Numbers 28-29.

We recognize that there is worship in heaven united to “better sacrifices than these” (Heb. 9:23). Among the worship in heaven, it consists of “an innumerable company of angels” and “just men made perfect” whose lives are upheld by Christ as part of the church of heaven, called “Mount Zion…the city of the living God” (Heb. 12:22,23). Additionally, there are men bought by the blood of the Son of God, who are “a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5) These three classes are those whose worship belongs to God upon the throne, and are enjoined to Christ in their various spheres of existence, even as the sacrifices on earth were always enjoined to the temple worship down here below.

THE ANGELS
Angels of God in awesome, wing-veiled face declare “holy, holy, holy” to God the Father (Isaiah 6, Gen. 4,5) “in His holy temple” (Hab. 2:20); and these surround His throne. In fact, the angels are said to use the instruments of the Sanctuary and to do the service of the Sanctuary in heaven under the High Priest, Christ their Commander. It is by virtue of Christ that “angels [are] ascending and descending on the Son of man” (John 1:51). As the sons of Aaron in the earthly sanctuary were connected to Aaron’s high priestly ministry to minister to mankind regarding the sacrifices, even so, the angels of the heavenly sanctuary minister to mankind by virtue of Christ’s high priestly ministry. In like manner, as the success of Aaron’s special work at the end of the year was the basis of all their daily ministration, even so it is with Christ and His angels. Isaiah, catching a glimpse of the heavenly throne room in the temple, sees an angel bringing the message of the Lamb of God to him in symbolic vision, “having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar…and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. ” (Isaiah 6:6,7) Do we suppose that the angels work upon any manner of timing? “When truth in it’s simplicity is lived, then God will work through His angels as He worked on the day of Pentecost…” (Ms 21, 1906) We here see that angels, also called elsewhere “flames of fire” worked on the day of Pentecost, the very time of worship in the Sanctuary; as the blood of the special Pentecostal sacrifices were poured out in the earthly temple, even so the life of Christ was poured out from on high from the heavenly. We can further gather that they do these special acts in regards to the sacrifice of Christ, as declared from the following: “Jesus was clothed with priestly garments. He gazed in pity on the remnant, then raised His hands, and with a voice of deep pity cried, “My blood, Father, My blood, My blood, My blood!” Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from God, who sat upon the great white throne, and was shed all about Jesus. Then I saw an angel with a commission from Jesus, swiftly flying to the four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and waving something up and down in his hand, and crying with a loud voice, “Hold! Hold! Hold! Hold! until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.” When the Feast of firstfruits, symbolizing Christ and His resurrection, was come, a sheaf of wheat would be waved up and down as an offering before the Creator; here an angel is doing exactly this, and says to hold until the seal, which is “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”, is poured out in full measure into our hearts.

The angels are shown to be in connection with perfect order which Satan seeks to disrupt the order which characterizes all heaven, this inevitably includes the order pertaining to worship. “Angels work harmoniously. Perfect order characterizes all their movements. The more closely we imitate the harmony and order of the angelic host, the more successful will be the efforts of these heavenly agents in our behalf. If we see no necessity for harmonious action, and are disorderly, undisciplined, and disorganized in our course of action, angels, who are thoroughly organized and move in perfect order, cannot work for us successfully….Satan well knows that success can only attend order and harmonious action. He well knows that everything connected with heaven is in perfect order, that subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. It is his studied effort to lead professed Christians just as far from heaven’s arrangement as he can…The Lord did not leave His holy tabernacle to be borne indiscriminately by any tribe that might choose. He was so particular as to specify the order He would have observed in bearing the sacred ark and to designate a special family of the tribe of the Levites to bear it… they were required to observe perfect order.” (1 Testimonies for the Church, p. 649-651)

Please notice the perfect order that angels work in unison with is in reference to “His holy tabernacle” and it’s order and priesthood. It was not to be done in whatsoever way the angels, or man, dictated it should be done; explicit instructions were given to carefully guard the order of heaven. These angels bear messages of the Lamb of God to the minds of mortals in large measure on these times of sacred assembly; because Christ, the Son of God, the Lamb, is the chief focus of what these assemblies are regarding.

JUST MEN MADE PERFECT
We are further shown a glimpse of the throne of God; “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”
(Job 1:6-7)

Here we see that the sons of God are gathering before the Lord, to “present themselves”, or another word means “to stand” before the Lord. But who are the sons of God? The Scripture tells us enough information regarding who they are. We are told in the Luke’s account of the genealogy of Jesus that “Adam…was the son of God” (Luke 3:38); the head of the human race, “the first man”, was declared to be a son of God; he was given dominion over this world, called the earth. However, the Bible speaks about other worlds also. “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” (Hebrews 1:2) We’re further told that “through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God,” (Hebrews 11:3) This language cannot be mistaken. There are more worlds than just this one. Upon it were “righteous” who were “made perfect”. The sons of God were the heads of the worlds without number, and Adam was the son of God over the earth, and Christ was Son of God over the entire universe; thus the dominion of the sons of God were to be subject to God the Father in the likeness of Christ’s subjection; and were to receive the power to reflect this pattern of dominion held by God and Christ on a smaller scale.

It was these sons of God that gathered before the presence of God the Father. Further evidence of this was that Satan presumed the earth to be his, and that it was his right to be at the heavenly convocation. In heaven, where there is perfect order, and a heavenly tabernacle of appointed times, we shall not go further to presume that this was just an assembly call at some unappointed time to the throne of God, but rather an assembly at the Sanctuary in heaven according to His sacred assemblies. Neither do we assume that the occasion was the Sabbath; the day upon which the heads of the worlds ought to have been rejoicing with their people in their collective creation. No, rather we find that it is a time when those representing their various world families would come to the Most Holy place. More evidence may be gathered from the Hebrew word for “There was a day…” when they came to present themselves; in the Hebrew it is Hayaw Yom; this means “there existed a day” when the sons of God would present themselves. We find in Scripture a similar principle for the feasts and the Sanctuary upon the earth:

“Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:” (Deut. 16:16)  “Anciently the Lord instructed His people to assemble three times a year for His worship.” More specifically, it was required that all men of the land were required to come to the yearly festivals. God has made “man the head of the woman” (1 Cor. 11:3), and together to have dominion over their home, with their children under their authority and jurisdiction; similarly to the realm of heaven. Likewise, men, as privileged to be amongst the redeemed, will reign together with Christ, having a share of His throne, and called “sons of God” (1 John 3:1) [Sidenote: This does not say that women are not the daughters of God, or hold a share of the throne- nor that they were not called to attend the feast, because they were also invited to come if able.] “Again the people were reminded of the sacred obligation of the Sabbath. Yearly feasts were appointed, at which all the men of the nation were to assemble before the Lord, bringing to Him their offerings of gratitude and the first fruits of His bounties. The object of all these regulations was stated: they proceeded from no exercise of mere arbitrary sovereignty; all were given for the good of Israel. The Lord said, “Ye shall be holy men unto Me”–worthy to be acknowledged by a holy God. (Patriarchs and Prophets, pg. 311)

These assemblies were holy and appointed gatherings of the holy sons of God, of which Satan had no share. In fact, Job was counted as the rightful representative. Job as a faithful priest of the home, as a son of God, offered sacrifice before God for his sons when the days of feasting came in case they should have sinned; thus the sacrifice is enjoined to the feast by the representative priest of the home. This illuminates with vivid distinction the illustration of Job as representing the Son of God in heaven, while upon the earth. It was then that Satan was permitted to leave, and he wasted no time, but we are told he went forth from the assembly in heaven. It is at this time that we find Job’s family feasting when a mighty wind comes upon the house to destroy them. As a son of God in Adam’s stead, even his own wife tempts him to sin, not realizing that she has, inadvertently, done as Eve did to Adam in being a vessel to bring the son of God down through sin. Yet we see Job overcome where Adam fell, despite being severely tried in the fire.

Like the sons of God must leave their respective worlds, even so the men were to leave their respective homes. Likewise, Job, like the sons of God in heaven, was separate from his family in almost symbolic fashion. The parallels may be found to be strikingly similar when compared.

Connecting this point of the sons of God worshipping in heaven, we turn to men upon the earth more fully. The tabernacle of the appointed times manner of worship was never confined strictly to sacrifices, or to an earthly tent; it was symbolic of the worship of the God of heaven and earth, and the true manner of worship was not as strictly confined as men had made it to be in the time of Jesus, but He rather said “believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father… The hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth; for the Father seeks such to worship Him.” (John 4:21-23)

While the physical earthly tabernacle was stationary, the worshippers were not to be confined to one place to worship; although the time of worship would remain the same; every evening and morning, Sabbath, new moon, and appointed holy days.

“The Jewish tabernacle was a type of the Christian church. ….The church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God, is the “true tabernacle,” whereof the Redeemer is the minister. God and not man pitched this tabernacle on a high, elevated platform. This tabernacle is Christ’s body; and from north, south, east, and west, He gathers those who shall help to compose it.” Ms142-1899

The Christian church has it’s times of worship, the antitype of the Christian church on earth, as well as the Sanctuary church in heaven. The holy priesthood was to “offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”  Adding more significant to this reality, was that Peter delivered the message of the Lamb of God on “the third hour,” (Acts 2:15) a direct channel in time to when Christ was laid upon the cross (Matt. 15:25), the time of the morning worship sacrifice which took place in the tabernacle upon the earth; no less at the very day of Pentecost this took place. The time was regarded on earth, from the Throne of heaven and the blood of the Lamb wrought powerfully in such an occasion.

We cannot with safety conclude that the God of heaven has no order or worship which He ordains in heavenly places. In fact, there is more reason to believe He does, than not. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of reasons for worship on the time of the feasts in heaven, these are some of the more conclusive and sound reasons behind the matter. We’ve primarily focused upon the matter of the feasts in heaven in relation to the heavenly sanctuary, but more points will be brought out in our next piece on this subject “Revisiting the Law: Because of Transgression…”

 

 




STUDY 1/1: Search the Scriptures


Searching the Scriptures:

1) WHAT did Christ say to the people of his day concerning
the Scriptures ?

“Search the Scriptures ; for in them ye think ye have eternal life ; and
they are they which testify of me.” John 5 : 39.

NOTE. —When this was spoken, not a word of the New Testament had
been written. It was to the Old Testament that the Jews looked as their
guide to eternal life ; and although they would not accept Christ, he said
that these very books which they esteemed so highly, testified of him. Truly the old testament has the gospel in it as verily as the new, because without Christ, there is no gospel. Therefore, if the Old Testament points to Christ, it is worthy of our careful study.

2. How early have we any record that the gospel was preached ?

“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the gentiles through faith,
preached before the gospel unto Abraham.” Gal. 3 : 8.

Note: Abraham was called from out from the land of the heathen. His father, Terah, had worshipped other gods (Joshua 24:2). Abraham was a Gentile who received the gospel, being justified because he believed God, who gave him the gospel.

3. Was it the gospel of Christ that was preached unto Abraham?

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.”
John 8 :56

Note: By faith, Abraham beheld the gospel of God revealed in the giving of a promised son, and through the supplying of a sacrifice in the place of his son as an offering for sin.

4. At what other time is it said the gospel was taught in the Old
Testament dispensation?

” For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the word preached
did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Heb.
4:2

The persons here referred to by “them” are the Israelites when on
their journey from Egypt to the promised land, as will be seen by the Scripture
connection. Paul says the same gospel was preached unto us as well as unto
them, but had been given to “them”, the ancestors of the Hebrews, before “us”.

5. Why did Moses give up the riches of Egypt ?

“Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.”
Heb. 11:26

What Christ was to do was clearly revealed by God to those who believed His Word even in the earliest times. People in that age, even as now, were influenced by the riches
of Christ to give up the world. Moses beheld the Suffering Servant even at that time and chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” (v. 25)

6. From where came the spiritual meat and drink of the Israelites while
in the wilderness ?

“And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea ; and did all eat
the same spiritual meat ; and did all drink the same spiritual drink ; for they
drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them : and that Rock was Christ.”
1 Cor. 10: 2-4

If they could but realize it, they would have seen God’s goodness in His deliverance, and His providence for them day by day. Each dealing with His children should be a fresh revelation of the gospel, which reveals Christ. God made all things by Christ, and all things that truly give life may reveal the truth of the gospel: “speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock.” (Numbers 20:8)

7. What was the chief corner-stone of the faith of both apostles and
prophets?

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ
himself being the chief corner-stone.” Eph. 2 : 20

The Scriptures came by apostles and prophets, but they had to recognize Christ, and testified of Him in all of their writings.

8. What part of the Scriptures did Philip hear a certain eunuch reading?

“And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and
said, Understandest thou what thou readest ? ” Acts 8 : 30.

9. When asked if he understood what he was reading, what reply did
the eunuch make?

“And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired
Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” Verse 31.
so.

10. What did Philip then do ?

“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached
unto him Jesus.” Verse 35.

NOTE. —Notwithstanding the clearness with which we see Christ referred to in
the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the Jews would not admit his claims
to the Messiahship. It is a truthful remark, that ” the New Testament was
hid in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New.” By searching
both Testaments together, we may become enlightened regarding the plan
of salvation; for without the Old Testament, the claims of Christ to the Messiahship
cannot be substantiated. It is also true that without the Old Testament, the New Testament would never have been, for it was the Scriptures of the writers of the New Testament. If the old testament did not have it, the New Testament writers could not have revealed it. The New Testament merely gives his history and teachings, showing him to be a pure and holy character ; but if the Old Testament had not before predicted what the Messiah would be and do, there would have been no standard by which to decide whether or not the
personage who then appeared was he. How necessary, then, that we love
and study all the Bible! If we do not, we, like the Jews, may lose sight of
some of the most important points contained in the New Testament itself.

11. What are the Scriptures able to do ?

“Thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto
salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Tim. 3 : 13.

Note: The timeframe of the Scripture is before the NT was written. Therefore the “Holy Scriptures” “which are able to make thee wise unto salvation” was a implicit direction to Timothy to hold in the highest regard the OT. Now the Holy Scriptures of both old and new are to be held in that highest esteem.

12. What was said of the Bereans because they searched the Scriptures
daily?

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the
word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether
those things were so.” Acts 17 :11

Those in Thessalonica were easily “shaken in mind” because they did not receive what was given with all readiness of mind in searching the Scriptures. (2 Thes. 2:2) Those who make the Scriptures their diligent study and guide to life will not be easily shaken.

13. By what is man to live?
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the
mouth of God.” Matt. 4:4.

If man is to live by the word of God, he certainly
ought to use it daily, as daily nourishment is needed to keep him alive.

14. How greatly has God magnified his word?

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name lor thy lovingkindness
and for thy truth ; for thou has/ magnified thy word above all thy
mime.” Ps. 138:2.

We ought, then, to treat the word of God with the
profoundest reverence, and search its pages daily, that we may continually
learn more of God.




Daniel 7: The Rise and Fall of Empires


daniel-7

The vision is of importance to us in these last days…

In Daniel chapter 7, Daniel sees a vision of impression importance, revealing a controversy that leads to the people of God in the last days. His vision is of vital importance for us to correctly understand. He told us “he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.” Here is that dream, and it’s prophetic unfoldings:

“I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.”

Here Daniel sees the four winds striving upon the sea. We are told what the waters represent, using the Bible as it’s own interpreter:
THE SEA: “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest…are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”  (Revelation 17:15)

The four winds striving upon the sea are the power of God’s judgment to bring scatter the power of the nations of the earth:

THE FOUR WINDS: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might. And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.” (Jeremaih 49:35-36)

Daniel then beholds four great beasts, one rising after the other, from amongst the people. We are told that these beasts symbolize kingdoms: ” These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth…The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth.” (Daniel 7:17,23) A king always is representative of his subjects, which make up his kingdom, with it’s associated laws and distinctive government; thus these four represent kingdoms.

                                                          THE FIRST BEAST: “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings…”

Ishtar's lion on the walls surrounding Babylon

Ishtar’s lion on the walls surrounding Babylon

Tiglath-Pilesar I depiction; a symbol of coming judgment

Tiglath-Pilesar I depiction; a symbol of coming judgment

Ishtar standing upon lions: a symbol of her throne/chariot

Ishtar standing upon lions: a symbol of her throne/chariot

This kingdom would have been instantly recognizeable to Daniel, who was both a captive in Babylon, and a counsellor to the sovereign of Babylon. All surrounding the walls of Babylon, there were over 120 lions with wings portrayed in honor of the goddess of war and fertility, Ishtar, who was one of the chief dieties of Babylon, alongside Bel (Baal) represented by a dragon, and Adad. The lions were symbolic of Ishtar’s throne. The inspiration for these came from both from Ishtar, and ancient Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser I, who described in ancient texts his nations walls portraying great lions on them, and having sacrificed over 120 of them by hand in war. He is depicted as putting them to death by causing them to stand upon their feet. In a striking resemblance, we’re told of the lion: “it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man…” The the book of Daniel is filled with several stories of how God deals with the kings of this earth; He committed light into Babylon’s hand, which represents it standing upon it’s feet as a man, but the interpretation is twofold: a blessing, yet a foreboding of a coming judgment if it should turn aside from the light and privileges God had bestowed upon it (Rom. 1:20); Babylon, that great lion, was judged by the hand of God for profaning the holy privileges given to her.

                             THE SECOND BEAST: “And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side…”

the-constellation-bear-ursa-minor

The height of the tail is the star “polaris”, which is a fixed star. All other stars revolve around it, thus it is called the hand of Mithra.

persia-bear

sol-invictusThe second kingdom that came was Media-Persia. The bear was raised up on one side, because the Persians were more powerful than the Medes, but they confederated together to secure the demise of Babylon. Like the lion, which symbolized the pagan religion of Babylon, the bear is symbolic of the pagan religion of the Persians. Mithraism, the worship of the sun, had it’s deity symbolized by the constellation “ursa minor” or bear. Ursa minor in the heavens is the constellation which is connected to the north star, “polaris”, which is immovable, but rather all stars move around it. Mithras holds constellation the Great Bear in one hand, emphasising his power as the stellar god who moves the cosmic pole as well being responsible for the procession of equinoxes. In an ancient Mithraic liturgy, it says describes him as “a god immensely great, having a bright appearance youthful, golden-haired, with a white tunic and a golden crown and trousers, and holding in his right hand a golden shoulder of a young bull: this is the Bear which moves and turns heaven around, moving upward and downward in accordance with the hour.”

The bear is said to have “three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.” The rib: is a symbol of woman who was made from a rib, and in Bible prophecy, we are told of a woman who reigns over the kings of the earth and is hostile towards God’s people, depicted by the rebellious tendencies of Babylon, and given the same name. Prophetic Babylon has a judgment pronounced against her; thus the kings of the earth “devour her flesh”. The ribs are a symbol of the three sovereign nations, chiefly Babylon, then Egypt, and Lydia, which Media-Persia’s confederacy “devour”.

THE THIRD BEAST: “After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl;”

The Grecian god Dionysius sat enthroned on a leopard.

The Grecian god Dionysius sat enthroned on a leopard.

dionysiusgreece-leopardThe third kingdom to arise after the Media-Persian kingdom was the Grecian empire. It was symbolized by a leopard, a figure of the patron god of Greece, Dionysius, the god of revelry and fertility, who sat enthroned upon the leopard as his chariot. The leopard was the beast said to overcome all who opposed him.

Oppian, Cynegetica 4. 230 :
“Leopards are overcome also by the gifts of Dionysos… Leopards are now a race of wild beasts, but aforetime they were not fierce wild beasts but bright-eyed women…But to the women he gave the grey eyes of a wild beast and armed their jaws and on their backs put a spotted hide like that of fawns and made them a savage race.”

According to Greek Mythology, Dionysius freed his female worshippers from their imprisonment when they were incarcerated for worshipping him, and at their request they were transformed into leopards to avenge themselves and their god upon the king who imprisoned them.

It had four wings: symbolizing the great speed at which Alexander the great conquered the world; riding the winds of judgments falling upon the Media-Persian kingdom. It had four heads: symbolized by the divided dominion of Alexander, upon his death from the overuse of alcohol (a practice common among Greeks in dedication to Dionysius), shortly after he proclaimed he was a god.  Having no living successor, his kingdom was given into the hands of his four generals, Lysimachus, Cassander, Ptolemy, and Seleucus.

THE FOURTH BEAST: ” After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the remnant with the feet of it…”

Chronos, the god of time, often depicted with a serpent/dragon chariot, devoured children.

Chronos, the god of time, often depicted with a serpent/dragon chariot, devoured children.

chronus-devouring
red-dragonThe fourth kingdom is the Roman Empire, which is said to devour and break in pieces. The chief god of the Romans was known as Saturn, or Chronos, god of time, whose chariot was serpents/dragons. Chronos, in fear of losing his place as chief among the gods, devoured any child who was born from him.
It was during the Roman Empire that Christ came as a man. Speaking of Christ’s birth during this time, we are told this devouring beast was the “dragon”. “…the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.”(Rev. 12:4) Upon the king Herod learning of Christ’s birth from the wise men, he ordered all of the youth two and under to be killed for fear of his throne being overthrown. Satan, also called “the great dragon…that old serpent” (Revelation 12:9) in the Bible, had inspired the king with his very own fears of losing his throne. Thus Herod was moved by the very spirit of Satan to “devour” Christ “as soon as he was born.”
saturn
The beast symbolized by the devouring beast of the dragon, “that old serpent”, was also symbolic of the Roman god, Saturn. Saturn was known to transform himself into a serpent with wings, and he is also depicted as having a chariot carried along by serpents with wings. The “old serpent” in Scripture is a reference to the Satan using the medium of a serpent with wings before it was cursed perpetually to live on the ground. The god Saturn was known for having devoured his children as soon as they were born for fear that they would overthrow his dominion.

It was through the Roman Empire that it “break in pieces” Christ, as the sacrifice for man on the cross. After He ascended, we are told that the dragon makes war with “the remnant…which keep the commandments of God”: so the early Christians were terribly persecuted under the empire until the time of Constantine, when the dragon, “that old serpent”, would take a much more subtle form of attack in the Roman Empire.

THE TEN HORNS OF THE FOURTH BEAST: “…and it had ten horns.”

Daniel 7:24 says, “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise…”

The Roman empire was divided into what may be more commonly understood as ancient Europe. When the single Roman emperor fell, the kingdom was divided initially into ten divisions: Franks, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, Saxons, Lombards, Suevi, Celts, Alemanni, Thuringians.

A LITTLE HORN: ” I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots…”

littlehorn1024

The Antichrist’s Rise: Who is this little horn?

We must not make the mistake of falsely identifying this little horn power, because it will prove to be the great antichrist power of history, and serve as a key to unveil the deception of the subtle serpent, and how he is working in these last days.

In order to avoid all mistakes of identity, it would be well first to consider the nine characteristic marks described in the prophecy itself. These marks of identity will enable us to be absolutely sure of the interpretation. We dare not guess or speculate concerning the historical identity of this “little horn” of prophecy.

1) It arises amongst the ten horns of Western Europe and it’s divisions.
2) The ten horns were in 476AD, so the little horn rises after this point.
3) It would uproot three horns standing in the way of it’s dominion, saying that “there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.”.
4) It would have “eyes like a man and a mouth speaking great things,” signifying that it would be a man symbolized by this reign, and he would claim to be in a position of great authority.
5) This horn would be “diverse from the first”, showing that he is a different kind of power than the traditional political authority of the other kings.
6) It says “he shall speak great words against the most High.” Another verse says, “speaking great things and blasphemies.” [Blasphemy in the Bible is defined as a man, placing himself in the position of God. “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” John 10:30-33, also to forgive sins- ““Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” Mark 2:7)
7) He makes war with the saints, and prevails. (The saints are defined in the Bible as those who have the gospel of Christ and keep the law of God [Rev. 14:12])
8) He thinks to change times and laws. This does not refer to the laws of the kingdom of Rome, because the laws of the earthly kingdoms have always changed. It speaking about a man who claims to have authority to change the law of God and His kingdom.
9) It will reign for 1260 years. The Scripture says “a time, times, and a dividing of time.” While it seems unusual to word time like this, how can we know it is referring to 1260 years? The expression is employed again, in regards to a time when the church of God must flee persecution “for a time, and times, and half a time” in Revelation 12:14, which in verse 6 is referred to as “a thousand, two hundred, and threescore (a score is 20, so 3×20=60) days”. A day in Bible prophecy is in fact a year, according to Ezekiel 4:6 (“I’ve appointed thee each day for a year.”) A time therefore is 360 days, which is the length of the Bible’s year. Times is 720 (2×360), and a half a time is 180. If this is all put together, it gives us the key of reigning for 1260 years.

All of these points must match perfectly to identify the antichristian power, which will be used by Satan in the last days to deceive the world. God has already let these points find fulfillment, so none need be in darkness in the last days regarding the deceptions of Satan.

Are you ready to see who fulfills all of these characteristics? Click here.

little-horn-question




STUDY 1/2: The Sure Word of Prophecy


1) BY what means is all Scripture given ?

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of Cod, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Tim. 3 : 16.

2) For what purpose ?
“That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good
works.” Verse 17.

3) To whom do the things revealed from the Scriptures belong ?
“The ‘secret things belong unto the Lord our God ; but those things which are
revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” Deut. 29 :29.
That is, they belong to the human family.

4) What is the last book of the Bible called ?
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him.” Rev. I :I.

5) What are many saying about this book even today?
Isa. 29:11-12 “And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.”

6) What does the Bible say?
Rev. 22:10  “And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”
Revelation was given as an unfolding prophecy that is being fulfilled. It was not to be sealed, but to be understood.

7) What is said of those who read or study this book ?
” Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy,
and keep those things which are written therein.” Verse 3.

The book of Revelation, then, is not only designed to be understood, but a blessing is
pronounced upon those who read or study it. No one would expect to obtain
a blessing by reading a book he could not understand ; hence the implication
is that he who studies this book may understand it.

8) How were the Old Testament prophecies given ?
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man ; but holy men of God
spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 1 Peter 1: 21.

9) What is said of the interpretation of these prophecies ?
” Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation
[impulse].” Verse 20. The Peshito Syriac version renders this verse :
“No prophecy is an exposition of its own text.” The idea conveyed is that
the text in which the prophecy is found, does not explain itself ; but that one
must go to some other statement of the Holy Spirit for an explanation. No
one, unaided (relying on his own private judgment), is competent to give an
exposition of a prophecy. Its meaning should be sought elsewhere in the
word of God, ” comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” i Cor. 2 : 53.

10) When prophecy is to be fulfilled, what does God do?
Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”

11) In giving their prophetic utterances; what did the prophets seek ?
” Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls ; of which sal:*
vation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of
the grace that should come unto you.” I Peter i : 9, xo.

12) By whose spirit were they actuated ?
” Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them
did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory
that should follow.” Verse ii. Then all the prophecies of the Old Testament,
as well as those of the New, were dictated by .the Spirit of Christ,
and are therefore designed to be studied by Christians.
so.

13) How did Peter confirm his former preaching on the coming of
Christ?

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto
you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of
his majesty.” 2 Peter i : 16.

14) When did the apostle see the majesty (kingship) of Christ, and
hear the approbative words of God ?
” And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in
the holy mount.” Verse i8.

15) What other and more certain evidence did he have of the power
and coming of Christ ?
” We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take
heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawh, and the
day star arise in your hearts.” Verse 19.
The apostle assures his readers that you need not fear if you were not an eyewitness of that majesty, as though your soul would be without an anchor upon which to substantiate your faith. Rather he plainly declares you have the word more sure to you than if you saw it with your eyes, because the prophecy that God has given is absolute.

16) At the time when Jerusalem was to be destroyed, to what prophecy
did Christ point his disciples as a guide to their actions ?
” When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel
the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand).”
Matt. 24: 55

God does nothing new without revealing what He is doing from His word of prophecy to His servants. In the destruction of Jerusalem, not a single Christian perished because they understood the prophecy Christ gave, and fled to the mountains. Likewise, the same prophecies are given for our day so we might be instructed on how to act accordingly. God does not leave His children in the darkness.

17) When were all the prophecies in the book of Daniel to be understood?
“But thou, 0 Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of
the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Dan.
12:4

NOTE. —Certainly it is that the study of prophecy should by no means be neglected.
This part of the word belongs to that which is said to be a lamp unto
our feet and a light unto our path. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
God gives his people, through the prophetic word, an opportunity to learn
what is coming on the earth, that they may know how to act when the predictions
shall come to pass. In view of this, whoever is overtaken unawares by
any calamity which the prophecies have pointed out, will be held guilty by
Him who so kindly reveals these things for our benefit.




Sermons in Stone


Some poet has spoken of seeing sermons in stones, and this will be our study this morning­—­­to see “sermons in stones.

“Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him; but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel).” “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” Genesis 49:22-24; 1 Peter 2:4, 5. We shall see different cases, where, under one experience and another, one record and another, this thought of the “living stone” is brought out.

“Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek; to-morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and He sat thereon.” Exodus 17:8-12 The fact that Moses sat upon a stone means something more than simply that he had something to sit upon. It indicates that it was the God of Israel, “the stone of Israel,” who gave him the victory.

THE STONE IN THE HAND OF ISRAEL’S SHEPHERD BOY

We have, too, the case of David and Goliath. We need not take time to read how the Philistines had defeated the army of Israel, and how Goliath came out morning after morning to defy them. David, who was but a shepherd boy at this time, came down to visit his brethren. They rather despised him. “And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness?” 1 Samuel 17:28. David came from keeping the sheep. A shepherd is one who keeps his sheep, not loses them. Christ is the Good Shepherd.

David, after talking with Saul, obtained his consent to go out and fight Goliath, and “Saul armed David with his armour, and he put a helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.” He thought that if David was going to fight against Goliath, he would need armour. “And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him. And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied…. And it came to pass when the Philistine arose, and came, and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone.” 1 Samuel 17:38-50.

David went out in the name of the Lord, and Jesus went with him to give him the victory simply by a stone. It was not simply David’s power and accuracy that caused that stone to sink into the forehead of the Philistine. It was the power of the Lord, who was fighting the battle for him. That record is for us. We have battles to fight against the enemy of the Lord of hosts, and we prevail over him with a stone. David without armour, without implements of warfare, David going forth in the faith of the Lord of hosts, is the example for us. He prevailed with a stone. Jesus Christ, the living stone, is our strength and power for our battles with the enemy.

A BUILDING OF PREPARED STONES

In 1 Kings 6, we have a record of the building of Solomon’s temple. In the 7th verse is a description of the house: “And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither; so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.” The stones of this temple were quarried out and hewn, and each stone fitted for its particular place in the temple, before they were brought together; and then when they were brought from the quarry, each stone fitted into its place. The building was put together, stone upon stone, and there was heard no sound of ax or hammer. “They prepared timbers and stones to build the house.” But all the preparing was done before they were fitted together.

“Ye also as lively stones, are built up—

A SPIRITUAL HOUSE,

a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Christ Jesus. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious; but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient.” 1 Peter 2:4-8. Christ is the living stone; and as soon as we come in contact with Him, we become living stones. Apart from Him, we are dead; but coming in contact with Him, we are built up a spiritual house for Him, “whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Hebrews 3:6); “Jesus Christ Himself, being the chief cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:20. “For ye are the temple of the living God.” 2 Corinthians 6:16. And the whole house, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. We are built together for an habitation of God. Each believer is a temple of God, and then the believers are built together, and that makes the church, which is the temple of the living God, He, by His Holy Spirit, taking up His dwelling place there.

We become living stones because He is a living stone, and we are built upon Him. Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid. “I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up.” He will gather again a people with which to build His church. He is at work now, preparing the stones for His temple. They are being quarried and hewn, each one to fill his place in the temple of God. When that temple is complete, the work will be done.

PREPARING THE STONES

In Hosea we have again brought to view the figure of preparation: “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, What shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets.” The Lord takes us out of the quarry, rough unhewn stones. That is the beginning of our experience. Each individual is to be fitted for his particular place in the temple of God. And when the temple is fitted together, it will be without the sound of ax or hammer. That is done before. It is then that He says, “Come, ye blessed of My Father.” But we are not to wait till that time to prepare. The work of preparing these rough, unhewn stones must be done before. I once visited a cemetery in which was a very beautiful statue of a man standing by a chair. It was of heroic size; and the attendant called my attention to the fact that it was all carved out of one stone. The sculptor, when he started, saw an immense stone, but he also saw the man and the chair. As he looks, he loses sight of the rough edges, and sees instead a man of heroic size, standing there perfect. Everything else must be cut away, and he goes to work with his tools. He wants the world to see what he sees, and so he cuts away everything but the man and the chair.

God takes us, rough, unlikely-looking stones; but He sees in us an expression of His character, and He looks upon us, not as rough stones, but as what we may be. Even then He sees in us Jesus Christ. And so He goes to work to cut and to polish. What is He doing? Some would think that He was destroying the whole thing. But He has a place for that stone, and He wants it cut in a particular way. These are the hard experiences of life, when it seems as if Christ would pound us to pieces. But He will not spoil His stone. He knows exactly the place it is to fill in His temple, and He is cutting it so that it will fit. The Lord carries on His work of preparing, that a people may be prepared, each one to fit in his place in the heavenly temple, and each one becomes a living stone, because of his contact with Christ, the living stone. God will develop in each one just that phase of character that will fit the best in the place He wants filled. When He comes, He says, Let the work of preparation cease. “He that is unjust, let him he unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11.

When we receive Jesus Christ, God sees in us that perfection of character which we may attain. He knows what He purposes to do with us. He gives us the character of Christ, and then looks upon that character and so “we are accepted in the Beloved.”He accepts us, not for what we are, but for what He purposes to make of us and for what Christ is. He will make of each one of us a stone for His temple. The Master-builder looks at the rough stone, and sees in it His model of perfection. He accepts us, not for what we are, but for what He is.

Let us turn to another line of thought. “And He gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” Exodus 31:18. In Exodus 34:28 we are told what was written there. You will remember that when Moses came down from the mount the first time, he found that the children of Israel had broken God’s commandments already, and were worshipping idols; and that when he saw them, he cast the two tables of stone down and broke them. Then God told him to prepare two more tables. You see in this the rewriting of the law. Man in the first place broke the law. God then wrote it on the tables of stone. After He had written it there to tell them in words what His character was, Jesus Christ came to interpret it in His life. Jesus Christ was the one who spoke the law on Sinai; and when He came, in human flesh, He sat upon another mount, and spoke the law over again. We have it in the sermon on the mount. It was the same law, the same Christ, the same principles, but He was opening it out. He not only opened it out in words, but He Himself was the law, the expression of God’s character. He tells us what God is, not only in His word, but by being that among us. He was God manifest in the flesh. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”

Then Christ is the stone, the stone of Israel. God wrote the law perfectly and completely in the first place on the tables of stone, and gave them to the people. Then He wrote that same law upon the Living Stone and gave it to the people. Thus, you will see, Christ is the living law. That was putting the law in stone the second time. Here, then we have the law in stone twice; on the tables of stone, written with the finger of God, and on the Living Stone, Christ, and presented to the people.

Let us consider for a moment—

THE LAW WRITTEN ON THE TABLES OF STONE

“Moreover the law entered that the offence might abound.” It came to give the knowledge of sin, and to condemn sin. “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” Romans 5:20; 1 Corinthians 15:56. Sin is not taken into account where there is no law. Sin results in death. “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:15. The law on the tables of stone, simply as the ten words of God, condemns to death. “Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Then when we meet the law simply as God’s code, it means death to us. But God has put that same law upon living stone, and when we meet it written on the Living Stone, it means life to us; but it is still the same law. We must either meet the law upon the tables of stone, and be condemned and put to death by it, or we must meet it upon the Living Stone, and be made alive by it. But we must meet it. God does not ask us whether we want to or not. What we say makes no difference. But whether we are condemned or made alive by it, it is the law of God just the same. It is our attitude toward it that makes the difference. The law in Jesus Christ is—

THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE

He is the Living Stone, the Rock of Ages.

“And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” Matthew 21:44. One of two things must happen: We must fall on the stone, or the stone must fall on us. If we fall on the stone, we come down on top; we shall be broken, and He will heal us. If we fall the other way, the stone comes down on top, and it grinds us to powder. One of these experiences comes to every one. Shall we fall on the living stone, or shall it fall on us, and grind us to powder? We must meet the law of God out of Christ or in Christ. When we meet God out of Christ, He is a consuming fire; when we meet Him in Christ, He is our glory. We must be hidden in the Rock in order to see the glory of God without perishing. I beseech you to think most earnestly of this lesson. We must be brought face to face with the law of God. When the Spirit of God brings the law before our minds, and brings conviction, it is that we may be forgiven and cleansed.

GOD’S GREAT PURPOSE

Let me call your attention to another point. God’s purpose in history, in types, in shadows, in ceremonies, is to preach the gospel; and even in some of those thing that seem to us the most forbidding, God is still preaching the gospel. I doubt not that in the minds of many there has been a feeling that stoning to death was a terrible punishment, and how many look to it as a way of preaching the gospel? You remember that in the days of the theocracy of God, when His law was the law of the nation, any offence against it was punished by stoning. But in this method of punishing for breaking the national law, God was preaching the gospel. If you will make a study of this, and look up each of the ten commandments, you will find that the punishment for breaking it as a national law was stoning. And how was the gospel preached in this? God was teaching the people, in this form of punishment, that the law out of Christ would stone them to death. Just as these literal stones killed them, the law in dead stone would put them to death. He was even in this way teaching them of the Living Stone, the Stone of Israel, the law in life, and that is the gospel.

“And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If thou be the Son of God,—

COMMAND THAT THESE STONES BE MADE BREAD

Matthew 4:3 It seems as if God has put lessons for us even in the devil’s mouth. Some preach Christ through envy, but nevertheless Christ is preached. “If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Christ’s work on this earth was to change stones to bread, that the law which on the tables of stone condemns and kills should be changed in Him, the Living Stone, into the very bread of life. His work all through His career was to change stones into bread, put the law into the gospel, change death into life, and become the living life. He said, “I am the bread of life,” and at the same time He is the Stone of Israel. The law of God, lived by Christ, becomes life, and He says the commandment is life everlasting. So while Christ refused for His own benefit to change literal stones into bread, yet His whole life was spent in changing stones into bread to satisfy the longing of hungry souls. When we receive the law of God in Christ, it has power to make us like unto Himself.

A BUILDING ALL GLORIOUS WITHIN

This lesson of stones goes all through the Scripture. Suppose we take the lesson found in 1 Kings 6:14: “So Solomon built the house, and finished it.” Remember that this house was built of stone. From the outside, all that could be seen was stone; and you know that sometimes a stone building looks rather cold and uninviting. “So Solomon built the house, and finished it. And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling; and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir. And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar; he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place. And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long. And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen.”

“So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold.” From the outside it was building of stone, nothing but stone. But inside there was not a stone to be seen. Stand outside of Christ, look from without at the Christian life, and all you see is two tables of stone. It seems forbidding; but come inside. You need not take down the stone to do this. Come inside, and the building is aflame with gold. It is only those who stand outside who complain that it is a hard law which they have to keep. Come inside; there are no stones to be seen inside, and yet they are not taken away. By them the building stands. Suppose you take them away, what becomes of the rest of the building?—Down it falls. Takes away the law, and the gospel comes with it. You cannot keep the pure gold of the gospel apart from the law. Come inside. There you will see nothing but pure gold.

Another thought. Just as soon as you enter a building of gold, your image will be reflected everywhere. Christ would have us reflect His image in the temple of the living God.

All through the Scripture mention is made of walled cities, and these walls were made of stones. Jerusalem was—

A WALLED CITY

The wall was meant as a protection. But if a city is shut in with a wall, no matter how elaborate, if there is a flaw in it, the protection is gone. The enemy never attacks a walled city that has a breach in the wall anywhere except at the open place. You will find that this idea of the wall is made very prominent throughout the Scriptures. We will notice it in Nehemiah. He was sorry because the city of his fathers lay waste, and the wall was torn down; and he proposed to go up and rebuild the city and the wall. “But it came to pass,” he says in his record, “that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? Will they fortify themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they make an end in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?” Nehemiah 4:1, 2. What do they think they are going to do? The stones are buried. Do these feeble Jews think that they are going to recover them? “Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. Hear, O our God, for we are despised; and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity, and cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before Thee; for they have provoked Thee to anger before the builders. So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof; for the people had a mind to work.”

GOD’S WALL FOR HIS PEOPLE

We read in Mark that a certain man planted a vineyard and set a hedge about it. What was the hedge for?—Protection. The Lord brought up His vine out of Egypt, and set it anew, and built a hedge about it. That is the purpose of a wall-to protect and keep out the enemy; but the wall must be complete. God has built a wall for His people. The law is this protection, but in order to be a complete protection, it must be a complete wall.Our safety is in having a complete wall; but they have broken down the wall sadly. It is God’s purpose to have it built again. “Is not this the fast that I have chosen,” He says, “to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall by thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah 58:6-14

A BREACH TO BE REPAIRED

There has been a breach made in the wall God would set about His people. It is to be repaired, and God’s people are to be hedged in with a perfect law, every commandment is to be restored. And “they shall be called, The repairer of the breach.” Every man builds over against his own house. Are you building over against your house in repairing the breach? If so, the wall will be built again, even in troublous times.

This is only a mere hint of what is contained in the Scripture about stones. God would have us keep His words in mind, that we may live in them, and that above all, and in all, and through all, we shall see Jesus Christ, the Stone of Israel, the Rock of Ages.

October 23 1895, 1895 Armadale Camp Meeting




The Gift of Tongues


Christ gave a commission to His appointed apostles to bring the light of the gospel committed to the Hebrews to the rest of the world in the darkness of error.

“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues…”
(Mark 16:15-17)

     tongues promise spiritThe commission for the men of Galilee was of a worldwide scale, and only divine enabling could fulfill them to accomplish that mission. For this cause, those reconciled to God were given authority over devils to cast them out through the power of the gospel. They were also given the promise of being equipped to “speak with new tongues” as their mission demanded. However, there has been some confusion as to what this gift was exactly, and even more obscured is the purpose. The largest and fastest growing religious movement to originate in the United States” is the Pentecostal movement. The movement emphasizes the gifts of the Spirit, and in specific, holds to a doctrine that demands all believers speak in a manner of tongue that departs from the plain understanding of the Bible gift. The Scripture admonishes us, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1John 4:1) Seeing that the movement has risen in numbers like wildfire, it demands that there is the clearest account of what the gift of tongues is from the Scriptures.While, this article does not intend to dwell at great length on a false gift of another spirit, we must be able to “test” these spiritual gifts by the Bible, and to do this, we must understand the true gift of tongues. As we examine Scripture, it will shed a clear light on the subject to clear up misunderstandings that may exist regarding the matter.

THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT

We are told of the designations in the body of Christ, with the various gifts in addition to those.

“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” (1 Cor. 12:28-31)

There are several points that need to be realized regarding the body of Christ. All those functions are in the body of Christ of which Christ is the head. Notice that the gifts of the

Many parts; one body; one Spirit: the Spirit of Christ.

Many parts; one body; one Spirit: the Spirit of Christ.

Spirit are not all the same, but it is the same Spirit operating throughout the body. The apostle said to the same church that “the Lord is that Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17), and Christ is called the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit, hence it is said of Him “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.” (1 Cor. 12:4-5) Christ administers the Spirit, by which the members of the body have their appointed administration, and all the various gifts, “but the same Spirit” accomplishes the same glorious purpose of furthering the gospel in the world.
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“But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” (1 Cor. 12:11-12)

Now, if Christ is working through His people to “walk even as He walked” (1 John 2:6), we must say that it is Him that speaks through the body of His people. In Christ is all the gifts, as it is written: “When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Eph. 4:8) Thus the gift of tongues is also found in Christ to give unto men.

John beheld the risen Christ, a glorious high priest and the life of the body of His people, maintaining the oil in the lampstands of the church; supplying them sufficient oil to be a light for their mission. Thus John described Christ as having “the voice of many waters” (Rev. 1:15), and was further told that the waters “are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” (Rev. 17:5) Thus in Christ’s voice, we find the voice of the Spirit which is imparted to His believing church; this is the voice of many waters, or “tongues”, which He “gave…unto men” to communicate with men the gospel.

Before we enter into a more full understanding of that gift however, we should understand the purpose of the body of Christ.

THE PURPOSE OF THE BODY

We are told the purpose of the body is to edify each other member, to present each member perfect in the Son of God.

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-13)

The gifts are to bless and uplift each other in love to bring the restoration of the image of God in man. Yet it is also for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel to the whole unbelieving world. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matt. 24:14)

The body of Christ therefore has a twofold purpose on this earth:
1) Accountability to love and nurture those within the church with the Word of God.
2) Accountability to speak the truth in love to those without the church with the Word of God.

Thus the believing become stronger in the truth of Christ. And the unbelieving are brought to belief of the truth of Christ.

THE GIFT OF TONGUES

It is evident that not all have the gift of tongues, but that the gift of tongues is a sign that follows the Christian believers for the sake of proclaiming it to others around the world who speak in different languages. We are going to examine closely the outpouring of the Spirit, when Christ promised the signs for proclaiming the gospel:

“And they weretongue all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.” (Acts 2:4-5)

In Jerusalem, at the time of the three annual feasts, there gathered men from all over the world. This was especially true in this case. Men of Israel had relocated to other lands after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, and as such, learned the native tongues of the people wherever they resided. Thus, during Pentecost, there were dwelling at Jerusalem men “out of every nation under heaven.” These devout men knew nothing of the Messiah and the work He had fulfilled, and spoke other tongues. For this purpose, the outpouring of the Holy Ghost caused the believers in Christ “to speak with other tongues”, and connects this sign with the men of other nations. And more than just connecting the gift of tongues with men of other nations, the inspired record goes further than this.

“Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all

For bringing the gospel to the world...

For bringing the gospel to the world…

amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” (Acts 2:6-11)

There can be no mistake in the matter of what the gift of tongues was: it was other languages. The languages of many “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”

THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH

The Greeks prided themselves on knowledge, and this was especially the case with Corinthian church. In the beginning of his address to the Corinthians, he said “the Greeks seek after wisdom”, then says “knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” (1 Cor. 8:1) He speaks regarding the gifts to them that there is no purpose for the Greeks to speak in another tongue to fellow Greeks, and for this cause he says: “Follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that you may prophesy, because he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not unto men, but unto God: for no man understands him; but in the spirit he speaks mysteries.” (1 Cor. 14:1-2) The man who speaks to other men of his own language in another language doesn’t speak to men because “no man understands him”, so he can only speak to God, even if he speaks, as the apostles did, of “the wonderful works of God”- He may “speak mysteries”, but it isn’t profitable for anyone.

Why would anyone in the Corinthian church speak such things? The Greeks who prized wisdom, knowledge, and were competitive, was not unlikely to show that he may speak in many more tongues than his brother in a typical Greek fashion. Typical of the Greek mindset, they were strongly desiring spiritual gifts, and revealing this in tongue speaking to no profit: “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” (1 Cor. 14:12) However, Paul admonished them to “covet earnestly the best gifts”.

The apostle was careful to compare the reality of the gifts, to show “the best gifts” which would serve to edify the church, saying to “desire spiritual gifts but rather that you may prophesy.” Seeing as the multitude of unknown tongues was not edifying for the churches, although it was not a gift contrary to the Spirit. “I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.” (1 Cor. 14:5)

When the Corinthian believers spoke these manifold languages in the congregation, being “zealous for spiritual gifts”, Paul said it would not profit the unlearned “except he interpret” the language so the church could understand and receive the mysteries of the revelation spoken by the Spirit of God. He further remarked of his labors to many different lands, saying “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.” (1 Cor. 14:18-19)

THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECY OF TONGUES

Christ foretold the gift of tongues, but he foretold a reality that was not a new one, but an old truth written from the prophets in the Old Testament:

“In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.” (1 Cor. 14:21)

The verse Paul refers to, referencing the gift of tongues is the one in Isaiah: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” (Isaiah 28:11-12) “Another tongue” will he speak to the people, giving a proclamation to the weary that they may find rest for their souls. Such is the purpose of the gift of tongues: it is to proclaim the gospel truth spoken of by Christ, inviting all: “Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-29) For this purpose, the gift of tongues was given. “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serves not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.” (1 Cor. 14:22)

Thus we are given the instruction of the purpose of tongues: it is for the unbeliever, that he may understand the gospel. Yet the purpose of prophecy was to edify the church. Paul then makes the conclusion, “Let all be done for edifying.”

However, there is one more notable thing that should be considered about the gift of tongues in the Old Testament reference. The word in the Hebrew for “tongue” is “lâshôn” (לָשׁוֹן). If there was any doubt that this gift of tongues was that of a known language amongst men, we needn’t go far to see how this word for tongue is used in the Hebrew in the Old Testament. The same word is used in Genesis 10:5 to speak of the languages which came as a result of the scattering from the Tower of Babel, when God and Christ decreed that the builder’s speech should be confounded, thus bringing an eventual division in communication. “By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” (Gen. 10:5)

However, where the curse of rebellion brought division, strife, and confusion of tongues as at Babel, the gospel’s gift of tongues is a promise that the gospel will at last, in Christ, unite those who were once divided. “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and tongues, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:14)

THE TONGUES OF ANGELS

Some, in sincere misguiding, believe they speak in “the tongues of angels”; a language which cannot be comprehended at all. Yet the result is little different from the Corinthians speaking unknown languages to their fellow Greeks which they zealously boasted themselves in. It is not a language that can be comprehended which could not edify the church. “Though I speak with the tongues of men, even of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:1-2)

There! It is proof that men can speak in an angelic language! Yet wait. The apostle is not saying this, because it is clear that the rest of his testimony was regarding the spiritual gifts which the Corinthians were priding themselves on; but rebuked them saying that “knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” The word for “EVEN of angels” is the word in Greek meaning accumulative force. It is meant to embellish the point the apostle was seeking the make to advance the idea that NO LANGUAGE, NO KNOWLEDGE, NO PROPHECY IS ANY GOOD AT ALL WITHOUT LOVE. Love is the thing which edifies the church, and makes noble use of any language we could speak. It is love which moves the angels of heaven to work for our salvation. It is the angels without love that would make the idea of speaking a mystery language to no understanding which cannot edify, hence why Paul said he would rather speak five words someone can understand, than ten thousand words that are not able to be comprehended.

TONGUES IN PAGANISM

pagan tongueThe apostles did not speak in angelic tongues, but tongues that could edify unbelievers with the gospel message. However, there were those who spoke in unknown tongues. In ancient pagan temple worship, it was common in the worship practices of the congregation to speak in languages that were thought to be the languages of the gods. Ancient history records it abundantly as occurring amongst non-Israelite, non-Bible believing heathen religions as far back as 1100BC. It was not uncommon for these heathen worshippers, especially their prophets, to speak in unearthly languages, go into trances, have fervent or animalistic behaviors. 

The earliest reference may be found in the “Report of Wenamon”, where it speaks of a young Amen worshiper whose possession became something of a sensational matter and attracted historical notoriety. When he became possessed by “a god”, it is said that he began to emit sounds in a strange ecstatic “tongue.”:

“Now, when he sacrificed to his gods, the gods seized one of his noble youths, making him frenzied, so that he said, ‘Bring the god hither! Bring the messenger of Amen who hath him. Send him and let him go.'” George A. Barton, Archaeology and the Bible, page 353

Plato, in his >account of the dialogue between Socrates and Phaedrus speaks of a madness that is a gift from the heathen gods. “but in reality the greatest of blessings come to us through madness, when it is sent as a gift of the gods.Io in Prometheus Bound states: Oh! Oh! Alas! Once again convulsive pain and frenzy, striking my brain, inflame me. I am stung by the gadfly’s barb, unforged by fire. My heart knocks at my ribs in terror; my eyeballs roll wildly round and round. I am carried out of my course by a fierce blast of madness; I’ve lost all mastery over my tongue, and a stream of turbid words beats recklessly against the billows of dark destruction.”

He also spoke about miraculous healing that would take place when the possession took over the worshippers:

“Moreover, when diseases and the greatest troubles have been visited upon certain families through some ancient guilt, madness has entered in and by oracular power has found a way of release for those in need, taking refuge in prayers and the service of the gods, and so, by purifications and sacred rites, he who has this madness is made safe for the present and the after time, and for him who is rightly possessed of madness a release from present ills is found.”

“And a third kind of possession and madnesscomes from the Muses…All these noble results of inspired madness I can mention, and many more. Therefore let us not be afraid on that point, and let no on disturb and frighten us…We, on our part, must prove that such madness is given by the gods for our greatest happines.”

Virgil (70-19BC) in the “Aeneid” speaks of this tongues speaking. He references a Sibylline priestess, when in prayer on the Isle of Delos, telling of her speaking in an frenzied and strange tongue after being united with the god Apollo. Speaking of the Greek god Apollo, the oracle of Delphi was well known over all of Grecia since 400BC. Speaking of the Oracle of Delphi, Chrysostom made the observation: “This same pythoness is said, being a female, to sit at times upon the tripod of Apollo astride, and thus the evil spirit ascending from beneath and entering the lower part of her body fills the woman with madness. And she with dishevelled hair begins to foam at the mouth, and thus being in a frenzy, to utter the words of her madness.”

“Oracles of the great ‘lord’ at the Shrine of Delphi, as Heraclitus put it, were revelations of the god’s will through ecstasy, not through sensible words. So were the Sybil’s unintelligible cries. A priest or priestess, seized by sudden trances of the spirit, uttered mystic sayings, which were held to be all the more divine as they were least rational or tongues- oracle of delphiarticulate. Philo in Alexandria had taken over the Greek notion, arguing that such ecstasy, when the mind or unconscious reason was superseded, was the highest reach of the human soul in its quest for God.” Moffatt’s New Testament Commentary, p. 214

One modern day observation was written of an Eskimo ritual to contact the spirit world. The testimony says: “Suddenly one of the men, Krisuk, went out of his head. Unable to contain himself to the regular rhythm of the service he leapt to his feet crying like a raven and howling like a wolf. In ecstasy he and the girl, Ivaloo, began to yell in a tongue I could not understand… Certainly it was not the usual Eskimo language… and if there is such a thing as speaking in tongues I heard it then.”

Yet this is only one of many modern examples. Others may be found amonst Hinduists, Animists, and Islamic Sufists to name a few.

What is this spirit that is speaking through them? We are told in the Scripture that unclean spirits, the spirits of devils, can speak through human vessels:
“And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.” (Luke 4:33-34)

The demonic influence manifested itself in these heathen religions which were “without God” and “having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them.” (Eph. 4:18) Even so, in the last days, we are told of this very experience happening with supernatural manifestations throughout the entire earth:

“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” (Revelation 16:13-14)

Notice that the unclean spirits come from the mouth of these three spiritualistic powers; one being called “the false prophet”; which means another spirit takes possession of this prophetic ministry that is of a worldwide scale, and it works miracles to deceive mankind. In the prophecy, we are told that it is out of the mouth, where the tongue resides, there comes an unclean spirit as frogs. And frogs always catch their prey with their tongues. It is further spoken of in Revelation 13, as a lamblike beast that deceives the world because of it’s miracle-working power, and that it speaks “like a dragon”. The dragon, is identified in Revelation 12 as the Satan and his fallen angels, which are devils and are called that old “serpent”. Thus, the voice of the serpent or dragon is that same angel which used the serpent’s subtlety to deceive Eve, causing her to disobey God and fail the test of faith. That voice is the same who will work in these last days through the lamb-like false prophet to deceive many.  Thus it is indeed the tongues of angels speaking through the false prophet system, but it is not the angels of God; but the devil and his angels taking possession of souls.

The counterfeit gift of tongues, which speaks in a language not familiar to man, which is prevalent in Pentecostalism today is not a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit; but rather a new manifestation of the devil’s spirit from ancient paganism.

In Conclusion:
1) The Gift of tongues is intelligent language
2) It was prophesied in the Old Testament
3) Their was a manifestation of a strange tongue from the heathen before Acts 2.
4) The last movements of prophecy declare a false spirit and a false prophet that manifests the counterfeit gift of tongues.
5) We are left to conclude that the fastest growing movement in the world, the Pentecostal movement, that holds tongue speaking does not hold it’s origin in apostolic godliness, but rather from Babylonian confusion and Greek mysticism.
6) The movement is nothing less than the spirit of false prophet of Revelation: introducing a counterfeit spirit to the true God.