Christ has made it evident that His kingdom was not of this world; that the very fabric of the principles of this world are in sharp contrast to the principles of the kingdom of heaven. The kingdoms of this earth, because of Adam’s sin, have been surrendered into the hands of “that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” (Rev. 12:9) The Scripture declare him to be “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:3) because he receives the worship and homage of the unbelieving and disobedient of this present age.
Satan was so bold as to offer Christ all the kingdoms of the world, and passed them before his view in a moment of time, and said he would give them all to Christ, that He might be a temporal conqueror to fulfill the expectations of the Jews doctrine of what Messiah should be, if He would worship Satan (Luke 4:5-8). Yet this teaching led the disciple Peter to reject Christ’s true mission that he should suffer and die at the hands of the scribes and pharisees, and not fulfill their selfish ambitions regarding him; Christ plainly denounced this teaching as of man, and of Satanic origin (Matt. 16:22-23). Christ’s mission was not to establish His kingdom upon sin and death, but through destroying sin and death to reign in everlasting righteousness (Isaiah 32:1, 9:7), and by so-doing, destroying Him that has the power of death (Heb. 2:14, Hosea 13:14).
However, the doctrine that Christ has come and established His throne over this world presently is a doctrine that has gained widespread attention in the professed Christian world; in adhering to such a doctrine, they have practically crucified the confession of Christ before the cross that this present world was not His kingdom. The child doctrine of such a teaching has naturally followed such a belief, that the church should have authority over the kings of this earth. Such a deception has been successful, and Satan is well-pleased to furnish the deception, and transforms himself into an angel of light, even making himself to appear as Christ Himself, that he might receive the worship and honor that belongs to Him.
The Catholic doctrine of temporal power declares this teaching as follows: “67. … the hand of God, who guides the course of history, has set down the Chair of His Vicar on earth, in this city of Rome which, from being the capital of the wonderful Roman Empire, was made by Him the capital of the whole world, because He made it the seat of a sovereignty which, since it extends beyond the confines of nations and states, embraces within itself all the peoples of the whole world.” Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Letter UBI ARCANO DEI CONSILIO (On the Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ), December 23, 1922
In the coronation of all popes — including Pius XII, on March 12, 1939 — the tiara is placed on the candidate’s head with the words: “Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns and know that thou art Father of princes and kings, Ruler of the world, Vicar of our Savior Jesus Christ.”
The Evangelical Protestants are now beginning to hold a kindred doctrine to the Catholic doctrine of temporal power called Kingdom Now, or the Seven Mountains of Culture, where dominion of the governmental spheres of society is a Christian mandate that Christ requires of them to advance the kingdom of God. Lance Wallnau, who related a dream that seemed to suggest Donald Trump would become president, is one of the strongest advocates of the doctrine, whose teaching of governmental takeover has taken prominence since the election of Trump as president of the United States. The teaching is gaining ground that the Catholic teaching of Christian dominion over the kingdom of this present world at Christ’s ascension, which differs little in respect to the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees, is capturing the hearts of elected officials worldwide.
In 1985, the Pope John Paul II said: “France, eldest daughter of the Church, what have you done with your baptism?” More recently, Francis said “It is the eldest daughter of the Church, but not the most faithful!” Both of these reference it’s Catholic church/state union, where it made war for Catholic ideals such as the Trinity and Sunday sacredness, against the Seventh-day Sabbath keeping Christians who opposed the teachings of the Catholic faith, and turning heathen temples of sun worship into Catholic shrines venerating saints, forcing the heathens to assume the name Catholic Christian.
France has been noted in this way, but even more recently, it was the place where the United Nations had the Paris Climate Summit, where over 195 nations entered into agreement regarding the legal enforcement of Climate change agenda. The French Foreign Minister, while in the United States, speaking of the gathering, said “We have exactly 500 days to avoid climate chaos”; pointing to the very day in which the Papacy would spearhead the climate movement forward with the Papal encyclical “Laudato Si”, having both become a member of the United Nations, and “given a mouth” to address and give marching orders to the largest assembly of nations gathered ever on September 25th, 2015. The Climate Change Summit agreement with the United Nations was ratified in the capital city of the Eldest Daughter of the Catholic church.
Stating that this was a moral matter, the presidents of the U.S. and Canadian bishops’ conferences joined leaders of the regional bishops’ conferences around the world in signing an appeal for government leaders to reach a “fair, legally binding and truly transformational climate agreement” at a summit in Paris. They further said that there was “ethical and moral dimensions of climate change,” in which the leaders of the nations should to set a strong limit on global temperature increase and to promote new models of development and lifestyles that are “climate compatible.” The Catholic bishops of Lima said: “We Bishops want to accompany the political process and seek dialogue to bring the voices of the poor to the table of decision-makers; We are convinced that everyone has a capacity to contribute to overcome climate change and to choose sustainable lifestyles; We Bishops call on all Catholics and people of good will to engage on the road to Paris as a starting point for a new life in harmony with Creation respecting planetary boundaries.”
It becomes increasingly evident how the United Nations has become a Catholic soapbox in which to raise their moral lifestyle concerns to a worldwide level, where the Papacy is now wielding strong influence. All of these “boundaries” for legally enforced moral lifestyles would most certainly mean an environmental sabbath forced upon the people in accordance with the Catholic worship on the day of the sun. The United Nations has already had an Advisory Committee on regarding World Day of Rest/Environmental Sabbath, and has had environmental sabbath observance programs in the past. In the Papal encyclical on Climate Change, where Pope Francis speaks of the United Nations, he quotes from Pacem In Terris (Another encyclical by John XIII in 1963) where it emphasizes the “the urgent need for a radical change in the conduct of humanity” towards “authentic” “moral progress”; in the encyclical, you can further find this desire to establish a united nations to the end that Catholic law (which claims to be the law of the Creator, but is in fact a law substituted His law by the Catholic church) might be legally binding worldwide: “But one of the principal imperatives of the common good is the recognition of the moral order and the unfailing observance of its precepts….A firmly established order between political communities must be founded on the unshakable and unmoving rock of the moral law, that law which is revealed in the order of nature by the Creator Himself, and engraved indelibly on men’s hearts . . . Its principles are beacon lights to guide the policies of men and nations.” Pope Francis further stated in regard to Climate change that “Sunday…is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world.”
We see with distinct clarity what the object of the Paris Climate treaty was regarding, and what the Catholic ideal is desiring to bring to fruition; it is nothing less than an attempt to legislate laws in this present age to crown their Christ, and legally enforce religious observances upon the nations of the world. Lastly, we may know this is happening, and chiefly in Paris, when there is a documented called “The Paris Statement” in May 2017, by twelve conservative thought leaders for old Europe to be renewed and Catholicized anew. Speaking of Europe’s present society of tolerance of others, including Muslims and condemning multiculturalism, they state: “They ignore, even repudiate the Christian roots of Europe…This is done, of course, in the name of freedom and tolerance…Our nations and shared culture are being hollowed out by illusions and self-deceptions about what Europe is and should be. We pledge to resist this threat to our future. We will defend, sustain and champion the real Europe, the Europe to which we all in truth belong…The true Europe has been marked by Christianity. The universal spiritual empire of the Church brought cultural unity to Europe, but did so without political empire…Recognizing the particular character of the European nations, and their Christian mark, we need not be perplexed before the spurious claims of the multiculturalists. Immigration without assimilation is colonization, and this must be rejected…Human dignity is more than the right to be left alone, and doctrines of international human rights do not exhaust the claims of justice, much less of the good. Europe needs to renew a consensus about moral culture so that the populace can be guided toward a virtuous life. We must not allow a false view of freedom to impede the prudent use of the law to deter vice.”
To say that the church brought cultural unity to Europe “but did so without political empire” is ignorance at best, and is a statement wholly untrue. The Catholic church has, and still does, operate on the belief that political empire is ultimately theirs to be sovereign over, because they occupy the place of Christ’s viceregents on earth. It was through this conquering and exercising of power in political empire that the church forced worship according to it’s laws, inherited from paganism. It was in this manner that Satan indeed received worship by man and church, and the church, far from attaining to the power of God, forced unbelieving and unconverted men into her communion, flooding the church with corruption after corruption.
It is for this cause that it is said of her: “I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore…With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” (Revelation 17:1-2) And again, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her… Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” (Revelation 18:4-5)
Will you be joined to the kingdoms of this world and their Catholic communion? Or will you stand apart, looking for a better kingdom, where sin, pain, death and sorrow are hath no part, “which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God” (Heb. 11:10), which kingdom will come in truth after the great deception of the nations, when they have been weighed in the balances and found wanting and judged by the King of kings, and Lord of lords? Courage to you as you choose to stand on the Lord’s side in Spirit and in truth.
“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.”
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.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) What are we to do? We are to “study”. And what are we to study? “The word of truth”. And why study the Word of truth? That we “needeth not be ashamed.” Many today are in deep and desperate need of this counsel, as heresies are coming in rapidly amongst us; moreover, many are studying the Word of truth not that they need not be ashamed by rightly dividing that Word, but rather to prove their own opinions to be correct in that word. We are called to “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned (the Word of truth); and avoid them…for they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ…and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Rom. 16:17-18) Take note that it is the simple that are deceived “by good words and fair speeches”; it does not say that the deceptions will be of bad words, but it will take “good words”, even the Word of truth, and they will turn it to mean something it does not truly say; anything that seems to come in as “new light” must be thoroughly tested before being accepted and advanced. For this cause, we must “rightly divide the Word of truth”, for “the entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psalms 119:130)
For this cause, I felt impelled to share this message by elder W.D. Frazee, thankful to God for the light shining in this message, that it might minister understanding on the purpose of the heresies that are daily coming in among us, and how our wonderful God causes it to work for the good of those who love Him wholeheartedly. May you be blessed~ Christian Israel, Director of LC3AM~
THE MINISTRY OF HERESIES
“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
What do all things do? They work together. As we view them, they seem to be working at cross purposes, but all things are working together. They are working together for good, not for everybody, but for those who love the Lord. Man has been given the power of choice. It rests with each one whether everything that is working together is working together for his personal good or not. We must never lose sight of the eventual triumph of God’s purpose, the eventual carrying out of His plan. We must never forget those forces that seem to bring defeat are, nevertheless, being used by God.
Notice how Paul spoke of this, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8). Isn’t that wonderful? Even the devil can’t do anything against the truth. He is trying all the time, and here in this world, he seems to be having his way. Let us look behind the scenes. God is working out His will.
In the great crisis that is ahead of the church, which it is even now entering, we shall need the wisdom as well as the courage that comes from reminding ourselves of these promises, appreciating their full import.
“Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain” (Psalm 76:10). God uses even the wrath of man to praise Him. Man shouldn’t get any credit for that, but God should get a great deal of credit for using even the plans of His enemies and the wrath of the dragon to work out His will. Any wrath that doesn’t praise Him, He restrains.
This is no credit to Satan or his devils, and it is no credit to human beings that are used by him. They must all suffer in the final judgment for their rebellion against God and for the specious theories that they have advocated. They are just as guilty as though they had succeeded in subverting the truth of God and unseating God from His throne,
but they cannot succeed.
Concerning the security of His children, Jesus said, “No man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:29). We can be glad for that.
I’ve been led to study this subject as I have contemplated this inspiring statement from the messenger of the Lord in an article in the Signs of the Times, January 6, 1898:
It is thought by some to be a misfortune when erroneous theories are advanced, but the Lord has said, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” The contention among the Corinthians made it necessary for Paul to write his wonderful epistles to them. If the Gentiles [of Galatia] had not backslidden from the faith, Paul would not have written, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you out of the grace of Christ unto another gospel, which is not another.” It was a misapplication of the Scriptures, to prove falsehood and error true. If the Thessalonians had not misinterpreted the instruction they received, they would not have entertained the belief that the Lord was immediately to be revealed in the clouds of heaven, thus making it necessary for Paul to present the truth as it is in Jesus, leaving on record truth important for all time. And so opposition against light and truth called from Christ a clearer definition of the truth. Every time that error is advanced, it will work for good to those who sincerely love God; for when the truth is shadowed by error, those whom the Lord has made His sentinels will
make the truth sharper and clearer. They will search the Scriptures for evidence of their faith. The advancement of error is the call for God’s servants to arouse, and place the truth in bold relief.
So I want to study with you why God allows erroneous theories to come to His church either from without or from within, for the Scriptures state clearly that both happen. Paul said, “Grievous wolves” shall “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” (Acts 20:29, 30).
Why does God allow His church to be rent and torn with schisms, factions, contentions, discussions over this and that point? Why is the unity of the church threatened at times by these things? We can see already from the texts we have read that God must have a purpose, or He wouldn’t allow them.
Let us look at three great purposes accomplished through the ministry of heresies, three objectives that God has in mind in allowing erroneous theories of various kinds to find their way to you and me. God could stop them. Why does He let them come? As we study the ministry of heresies, we shall find at least three answers.
The first is to sift out the false-hearted.
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us” (1 John 2:18, 19). The falsehearted went out. Why? It might be made manifest. That is, clearly revealed, they were not of us.
Notice this wonderful statement on heresies by the servant of the Lord in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 707: “God will arouse His people, if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat.”
What do heresies do? They sift the church! What happens to the chaff? It is separated from the wheat! Never forget, as the winds blow, whether they be the winds of heresy or the winds of persecution, it’s the chaff that goes out; the wheat remains.
When I was visiting in Florida, a friend took me to a packing shed where oranges were being sorted according to size. The oranges were on a chute. As they passed over a certain place there were little holes, and the tiniest oranges dropped through them. Presently, as the oranges went along, there were holes a little larger, and the littlelarger oranges fell through them, and so on. Just because we may not fooled by one heresy, we must be careful not to pat ourselves on the back. In my imagination, I have looked at those oranges going along, and I heard a medium-sized orange say, “Well, we are not going to fall through; we’ve already been through that test and this one and we didn’t fall through. We are going to go right on to the end.” However, they hadn’t gone the whole length of the sieve yet.
Some of the heresies the devil brings into the church are so crude and bungling that I am amazed they fool anybody. The devil is not finished with the work of placing heresies among God’s people, and God is not finished allowing him to do it. Some far more subtle, more seductive, more difficult to discern and detect than we have yet seen are doubtless on the planning boards of the devil’s corporation. He is studying our minds and characters, and if there is anything falsehearted, there he will design something that will sift out the chaff. Our only safeguard is to be sure we are anchored in Jesus and His truth, and that we love God and His church more than we love ourselves
and our own opinions.
There is a second purpose of the ministry of heresies. I trust that God will use this to bless some heart who may feel secure, who may, indeed, be secure as far as theology is concerned. We get it from the story of Jehu, one of the kings of Israel.
Let us get a picture of Jehu from the sacred record. “The driving is like the driving of Jehu, the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously” (2 Kings 9:20). Jehu was a driver, and he has descendents today. He was furious against the apostasy and heresy of Ahab and rightly so, but there was something that he lacked. He lacked love.
Jehu was full of zeal. Watch him in action. “When he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot. And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord. So they made him ride in his chariot. And when He came to Samaria, he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the Lord, which he spake
to Elijah” (2 Kings 10:15-17, emphasis supplied).
Jehu was doing God’s work but not in God’s way. Yet, God used him. Baal worship needed to be rooted out, and Jehu did it, but I am afraid we won’t see Jehu in heaven.
I am calling attention to this because I read something in the book Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 333: “All who are longing for some engagement that will represent Jehu riding furiously will have opportunity enough to distinguish themselves.”
So Jehu’s chariot still rides, and like Jehu of old, some today will stop the chariot just long enough to say, “Is your heart right as my heart is? If it is, get in and ride with me; we’re going to go places and destroy Baal worship in Israel. Let me show you my zeal for the Lord.”
Notice this inspired comment, an Ellen G. White statement in The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2, p. 1038:
Men are slow to learn the lesson that the spirit manifested by Jehu will never bind hearts together. It is not safe for us to bind our interests with a Jehu religion, for this will result in bringing sadness of heart on God’s true worshipers. God has not given any of His servants the work of punishing those who will not heed His warnings and reproofs. When the Holy Spirit is abiding in the heart, it will lead the human agent to see his own defects of character, to pity the weakness of others, to forgive as he wishes to be forgiven.
Part of the ministry of heresies is to give an opportunity for Jehus to manifest themselves. However, because some in the church militantly defend the faith, get out their swords, and ride the chariot zealously, is no evidence that they will be with God’s people at the finish.
Note the warning in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 400: “As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks. Some who are now ready to take up weapons of warfare will in times of real peril make it manifest that they have not built upon the solid rock; they will yield to temptation. Those who have had great light and precious privileges, but have not improved them will, under one pretext or another, go out from us.”
There is more than one way to go out. We can get out the way Ahab got out, or we can get out the way Jehu got out. God keep us from either path of peril. But, remember, God was using them all.
Finally, there is a third ministry of heresies. Oh, I wish every one of us might be among those for whom it accomplishes this third purpose, that is, to lead us to study the Word of God. Concerning those in Berea, the Scriptures say, “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).
In Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 707, we are told, “There are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe; but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness.
“The fact that there is no controversy or agitation among God’s professed people should not be regarded as conclusive evidence that they are holding fast to sound doctrine. There is reason to fear that they may not be clearly discriminating between truth and error. When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition and worship they know not what.”
So one of the reasons that God allows erroneous theories of various kinds to come in is to lead us to go to the Word of God and to study for ourselves what God has said. If heresies accomplish that, has not some good been accomplished?
We need more than a superficial knowledge of the Bible. Satan is adept at quoting Scripture. In the wilderness his first temptation was met by Jesus from the Word. Satan said, “I can do that too.” So in the second temptation, he quoted from the Scriptures. Merely, because a man quotes Scripture, does not mean he teaches truth. Just because he gets out leaflets and photocopied material liberally sprinkled with quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy, doesn’t prove that he is an angel of light.
This may be the most important thing: what we need to study most of all are the original sources—the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Notice this statement in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 298:
Perilous times are before us. . . . The enemy is on our track. We must be wide awake, on our guard against him. . . . We must follow the directions given through the spirit of prophecy. We must love and obey the truth for this time. This will save us from accepting strong delusions. God has spoken to us through His Word. He has spoken to us through the testimonies to the church and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position that we should now occupy. . . . I beseech those who are laboring for God not to accept the spurious for the genuine. Let not human reason be placed where divine, sanctifying truth should be. . . . Let not erroneous theories receive countenance from the people who ought to be standing firm on the platform of eternal truth.
Throughout the history of this movement, there have been good men, educated men, experienced men who have lost their way and fallen on the dark mountains of unbelief. The enemy succeeded in leading them away from the truth even while they thought they were pursuing truth with all their heart.
We need God. We need the help of our brethren. We need the Holy Spirit. We need to dig deep into the written Word and the inspired commentary of the Spirit of Prophecy. In Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 273, is this statement: “Our people need to understand the oracles of God; they need to have a systematic knowledge of the principles of revealed truth, which will fit them for what is coming upon the earth and prevent them from being carried about by every wind of doctrine.”
God allows these false teachings and heresies to get us to study the original sources and to acquire a systematic knowledge of the principles of truth. We need to see how the different principles fit together, to weave a tapestry of truth into our minds, to build a solid temple of truth, to wear every piece of the heavenly armor. We need all of these elements to wage the battle in which we are now engaged.
Several years ago, the United States government conducted a school in various parts of the country to teach bank cashiers and others how to detect counterfeit money. The instruction lasted for fourteen weeks. How many pieces of counterfeit money did they examine? Not one! The government instructor knew that what they needed was a thorough knowledge of the genuine. Then they could detect the counterfeit.
If we are going to be saved from the many erroneous theories floating around, we need to study the original sources and fill our minds with the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. We will never find our safety in going into the false theories and studying them over and over. The better we know the genuine, the more surely will we detect the counterfeit when we meet it.
May God solemnize our hearts. May we not be wise in our own conceits and so sure of our own opinions or those of others that we fail to get on our knees as little children and say, “Dear Lord, there is much I don’t know. I want to know you and your way. Oh, keep me from the delusions of the enemy.” We shall need to pray that prayer again and again. We shall need to intercede with God, for we are entering into the time foretold in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 80: “Every wind of doctrine will be blowing.”
If we would not have the Scriptures clouded to our understanding, so that the plainest truths shall not be comprehended, we must have the simplicity and faith of a little child, ready to learn, and beseeching the aid of the Holy Spirit. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 703)
•Loud Cry of the Third Angel Ministries has published the sermon entitled Ministry of Heresies by evangelist W.D. Frazee, Scriptural injunction of the call “with all thy getting, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7) We are willing and ready to acknowledge elder Frazee’s precious light regarding the subject of the ministration of heresies, and believe it holds a vitalizing understanding for our time. May God bless you~ Christian Israel, Administrator of LC3AM•
“And I saw another beast rise up out of the earth, having two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” (Rev. 13:11)
We are told in the Scriptures that before the return of Christ there will be “false christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect,” (Matt. 24:24) “whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish…” (2 Thes. 2:10). These deceptions before Christ breaks upon the clouds in the Father’s glory will be preceded by false prophets working miracles by the power of Satan (while claiming it is Christ), claiming the power which Satan himself wields to lead souls into perdition, “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved; and for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie…”.
Note, that this “strong delusion” comes upon those who have resisted “the love of the truth”. The strong delusions begin by false prophets and apostles, whose wonder working power, which claims to be of Christ by the operation of the Holy Spirit, is in fact of Satan in whom he is especially working to seal and drown them, as well as those who follow them, into deception; that work is called in the Scripture “the mark of the beast”. In rapid succession upon being sealed by the mark of the beast into the deception, they end in accepting the person of Satan, veiled as Christ, to be their Messiah: the very voice of the one speaking through the false prophets.
We are told that this will be the case by Paul the apostle, who foresaw the deceptions that would arise in the church, declaring “of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:30) Further elaborating on the nature of that deception, he reveals the heartful utterance of the True Shepherd for His flock: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Cor. 11:3-4)
In the church would arise another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel which was preached; please take care to understand: the last great deception begins in the churches professing Christ, and it begins as false doctrine enters. The deception of Satan was to serve as the popular counterfeit to the true and pure doctrine of Christ; it was to be proclaimed under the moving of another spirit. And not only so. It would be a false Jesus, radically different from the glorious High Priest and Wonderful Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. Far different from He which baptizes His prophets with the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Word of truth (John 17:17), “confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20). This “Jesus” breathes upon his prophets an unholy spirit, proclaiming lies, and seeming to confirm them with “all power and signs and lying wonders.” All power is given in heaven and earth to Christ, but when God permits, Satan employs all his satanic power allied with human force to make the genuineness of his deceptions appear all-the-more irrefutable; this deception the God of heaven will permit when man persistently rejects the merciful appeals to come to Him who would be their “refuge in the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the spirit of the oppressor is as a storm against the wall” (Isaiah 25:4). Thus it is spoken of as “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:13-14)
What manner of miracles shall be performed by these “deceitful workers”, under the influence of the Master deceiver? When understanding the working of Satan as the Scripture reveals it, you may be more ready to know. Do not be deceived. These wonders may have easily discernable manifestations to the surface reading Christian, but they also have a more concealed and subtle manifestation to better serve the purpose of the enemy, but we are told how to test these matters. Christ says, “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. And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:18-20)
The very children of Christ are to be signs and wonders; their lives testifying to the power of the gospel unto salvation, causing them to reflect the fullness of Christ’s glory, and nothing short of complete restoration into the image of God: the character of God is a most wonderful sign of those who belong to Christ. It further tells us, “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them”. They are called “children of light,” and they walk in His law by their lives. They live out His testimonies as it is written of them. And they speak according to these very themes. They speak truth by the Spirit of truth, preparing men to receive the One who is called Truth. What are children of light commanded to do? We are commanded to be fully aware that our Master is ready to appear and not receive be brought under the satanic deceptions, and to “not sleep as do others”, but rather “watch and be sober.” (1 Thes. 5:5-6)
The “children of wicked one” (Mark 13:38) are also signs and wonders; the spirit that has taken hold of them does not reveal the image of God and the fullness of Christ’s glory, but they “changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things…” (Rom. 1:23); the spirit they reveal is earthly, deceptive, as the serpent in Eden which caused Eve to fall away from God’s law; it does not uplift man into a heavenly atmosphere, but debases him as those “drunken in the night.” (1 Thes. 5:7)
These lying signs and wonders do not speak to the law of God, nor does it live in harmony with those most holy precepts. When they speak against the law of God, they are fierce opposers to the true Spirit of prophecy; the Scripture terms this as “drunkenness” (which is far from sobriety of spirit), and likens these who receive not the truth to have the glory of beasts rather than of God; herein we find a startling contrast between those of God and those of Satan. Despite this contast, do not be deceived: while this is indeed the works of darkness, it will be covered in such a light as to appear true, that only those who honor Scripture will be able to discern “between him that serveth [God] and him that serveth him not.” (Mal. 3:18). Satan is fully aware of the Scripture, and quotes it to suit his designs (Matt. 4:6) and by this, he may deceive even the very elect. Here are some of the things to be aware of:
The false prophets employ the prophecies of Scripture in a false setting.
They will claim believe in God and Christ.
They will use Scriptural terminology, like the gospel, righteousness, gifts of the spirit, the law of God, power, blessing, covenant, etc.
Yet all of these things, though true Biblical terms, are used to conceal the true nature of the sorcery and rebellion of Satan’s agents. In fact, the Scripture tells us that Satan can cause disease:
“And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him, and said unto her, Woman you are loosed from your infirmity. And He laid hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God…ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” (Luke 13:11-13)
Satan had bound this woman for eighteen years with a spirit of infirmity. Satan further does this in the book of Job to try Job’s faith: “Put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.” (Job 2:5-7) Notice that Satan, in an attempt to prove Job’s bloodguiltiness, was permitted to bring disease upon him. Satan will make sick if he can cause you to deny God and the truth. And had Job cursed God, what would have happened? If Satan had let go of his hand, the disease would have been removed. If bringing sickness can cause men to deny God, Satan shall work to this end. If healing by removing his hand shall seal them in their denial of truth and righteousness, this equally suits his purpose. He makes men sick, and then removes the sickness; and this is one lying sign and wonder which he performs.
This very thing is happening, and it is happening in the churches that claim signs and wonders, healings and miracles in abundance. These very things are being fulfilled. You may find that the spirit of drunkeness, the spirit of beasts, the spirit of deception, and the spirit of counterfeit miracles as revealed in the following video:
The Charismatic Pentecostalism claims to have the “fire of the Holy Ghost” which will heal diseases and other infirmities. The preaching can be articulate and even quote many Bible passages; it is often boasted in these circles that they are “drunken with the Spirit”. In some of the these revival meetings, far from sobriety, it is not uncommon to hear shouting, laughing, rolling around, dancing around ecstatically, barking like dogs, howling like wolves, clucking as chickens, going unconscious, and people walking on their hands and knees like the beasts of the field.
THE KINGDOM CALLED FALSE PROPHET
And in Bible, we are not told of merely one false prophet. But in the book of Revelation, we are told of a whole kingdom called “the False Prophet”. This kingdom is built upon the very bulwarks of false prophetism. In Bible prophecy, a beast is a kingdom (Dan. 7:23), and we see in Bible prophecy a new kingdom arising from the earth. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” (Rev. 13:11) We are told that this False Prophet power has two lamblike horns. We have shown already with abundance of evidence in this ministry that this is the United States of America, with it’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution, that it could break away from the monarchial rule found in oppressive and Papal Europe, represented by the first beast in Revelation 13. Yet, despite this escape from the oppression of Papal darkness from the dark ages, it will “exercise all the power of the first beast (The Papal European kingdom) before it” (Rev. 13:12)
We are told that this power would use “another gospel”. And what is the gospel? “It is the power of God unto salvation…” (Rom. 1:16). But another gospel would necessarily mean another power is exercised. The power that the Papacy exercised was the power of the state to substitute the lack of the power of God’s Spirit; unlike the Spirit of God, the power thus exercised was the power of force.
Likewise, these false prophets, though clothed like lambs, shall speak with the tongues of fiery serpents, quoting Scripture to the destruction of many. And if Satan works disease, and healing by the removal of the disease to deceive a soul, what would he do to deceive a whole nation? It says that this beast will DECEIVE those who dwell on the earth. How? Through lying miracles.
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” (Rev. 13:13-14) He makes fire come down from heaven. These verses are filled with significance.
This power claims to be as Elijah the prophet, who prepares people for Christ’s return by upholding the law of God, but in fact, is a counterfeit, preparing for Satan’s appearing as Christ and making void the law of God, but exalting a counterfeit law in it’s place.
This power claims that it has holy fire to heal. When it is actually Satan who afflicts and then makes it appear as though these false prophets are healing.
This power, through it’s miraculous claims, shall deceive the people of the United States.
This power, like John and James, would destroy men’s lives in order to appease a vengeful God.
Lastly, Satan is given power over the elements to cause great storms, fire, hail, hurricanes, and other disasters. He causes great destruction, and presses hard against the people of God.
“Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” (Job 1:9-12)
The work of destruction Satan brings demonstates that he has some manner of power over nature, to cause great disasters when God permits:
“While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” (Job 1:18-19)
Satan works a disease, that his false prophets may bear a message that appears genuine in one healing. Satan is causing great disasters to strike across the United States, and around the world, that on a national level, these false prophets may bear a message that it is the wrath of a vengeful God, who is calling for a return to righteousness, and legislates laws and oppressive enactments to the end that they will make war with the children of God. Satan not only inflicts disease and loosens his hand to deceive them, but brings down fire from heaven in the sight of men to “deceive them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles”; this fire of the lamblike beast is the spiritual manifestations that lead men to believe they must urge with their influence in the Republic of the United States, to join their voices with the false prophets to demand the nation turn to laws of the church to expiate the divine judgment.
“While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” (Job 1:16)
When the true children of God oppose such messages, voicing support for the legislation of Caesar’s Sabbath, becase they choose to honor the law of God above the law of the Papacy, the calamities, unceasing from the hand of Satan will be reignited upon the land, and blamed upon the Sabbathkeepers. As John and James ‘knew not what spirit they were of’, and desired to call down fire from heaven to destroy the lives of the men who, in their estimation, had deserved the righteous wrath of God, so to will these false prophets show forth “another spirit” which will result in the mark of the beast crisis.
Do we believe that such a thing is possible? That such a thing ever will be so? On September 1, 2017, it happened in response to the hurricane in Houston, and Russia’s unwillingness to fully unite on the climate change agenda of the United Nations. Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Bartholomew I, stated that it was “moral decay” that was causing the calamities on earth. “”We urgently appeal to those in positions of social and economic, as well as political and cultural, responsibility to hear the cry of the Earth and to attend to the needs of the marginalized, but above all to respond to the plea of millions and support the consensus of the world for the healing of our wounded creation,” Both of the men have framed climate change as an urgent moral issue to address collectively.
Christian actor and activist, Kirk Cameron, said the following on September 3rd as a result of Hurricane Harvey and Irma:
“When he puts his power on display it’s never without reason. There’s a purpose. And we may not always understand what that purpose is, but we know it’s not random and we know that weather is sent to cause us to respond to God in humility, awe and repentance.”
“Here’s a city that has boasted of its LGBT devotion, its affinity for the sexual perversion movement in America. They’re underwater,” Evangelical radio host Rick Wiles said. While another prominent Evangelical says it is God’s judgment if America refuses to turn to him. With these acts intensifying, the lamblike beast will continue to speak as a dragon more and still more until the close of probation. These occurances are doubtless because God’s merciful restraint to hold back Satanic devices is being withdrawn, but these are not directly coming out from God’s hand; thus will Satan use his devices freely to deceive the world into a form of Christianity, without the power, inevitably leading them to the fiercest and most hostile enmity against the law of God’s government.
God’s hand shall not bring forth vengeance until His people are forced into a corner; then God will deliver with strong hand at the very closing scenes of this earth’s history, which will be the dawn of the crowning of the Son of Man; Christ shall come to take His people to Himself, that where He is, we may be also.
Why are there famines, earthquakes, floods, destruction and death in man and beast, with it’s ruin and decay felt by all life on the earth? Does it have to do with us? When Cain sinned by shedding the blood of his brother, a great curse was pronounced by God as the accompanying result: “And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” (Genesis 4:11-12) Does this punishment seem harsh? Why was the earth not to yield her strength any longer after Cain sinned? Was God actively punishing Cain, or was God pronouncing the punishment that Cain brought upon himself? While there are instances where we see active punishment from God (Gen. 19:24, Isaiah 37:36, Rev. 20:9), we’re going to understand something deeper regarding the judgment of Cain more fully as we see what the Scripture says regarding man’s covenant with the earth.
MAN’S RELATION TO THE EARTH
A theme woven into the Scriptural account regarding man is that he has been taken from “the dust of the earth” (Gen. 2:7). In fact, the ground from which our first father came was called in the Hebrew, “Adamah”; thus “Adam” was the name given to the representative of the whole earth. Likewise, the whole human race was also called “Adam” (Genesis 5:2), but in English is appropriately called “Man”, or more commonly termed “Human”. This name testified to our relationship with the earth, as God designed us by His own hand from it, and established our relationship with Him in it. The Creator designed us to have dominion over the earth, and to take care of it and keep it (Genesis 1:26, 2:4-17). Man was made perfect. No wrinkle, scar, nor trace of blood was visible upon him; he had perfect health and strength, and his intellectual endowments were fearfully and wonderfully wrought by the hand of Infinite Wisdom. Man was at peace with God, and with every beast, and bird, and sea creature; there was no war, no violence, or destruction, and man could rest in perfect safety; there was not a sign of physical decay to be found throughout it; it was in the perfection of beauty, and God was the joy of it (Psalm 48:2). We’re told that it was His hand whereby He caused “to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food.” (Gen. 2:9) This was the principle of the covenant He created man in, when He declares “Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.” (Leviticus 25:18-19)
God designed us to be in covenant with Him and therein was our safety and prosperity in abiding in His way of life. Man was told not to eat the fruit of the tree whereof if he ate of it, “ye shall surely die.” Yet man came against the Word of his Creator, and through sin, he forsook His covenant He made with him; this affected not only the whole Adamic race, but also the earth from which he came, of which he was a representative; the earth, revealing the startling condition of the Adamic race, also underwent the separation and felt the effects of the curse of their sin. The earth, like a mirror, has frighteningly testified of the condition of man upon the earth. As through sin, death passed upon all man, with it’s withering effects, even so, the earth withers and fades.
“The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.” (Isaiah 24:1-6)
While God’s hand caused every tree with it’s fruit to grow, even now, His hand, though rejected, has mercifully
sustained us. Man had forsaken the everlasting covenant through sin, and yet God still lent to him breathe, and caused to grow for him trees bringing their food. Like a husband whose wife rejects him and wants nothing to do with him, yet in care for her soul still supports her as he is able, even so has God done to the inhabitants of this earth if by any means, he can cause her to turn away from wickedness by beholding His goodness to the children of men: “And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now. For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.” (Hosea 2:7-8)
JOY TURNED TO MOURNING
With the increase of man’s wickedness, so the increase of separation from the life of God occurs, and the hand of God that is mercifully sheltering and taking care of humanity, being persistently rejected, is finally withdrawn. As separation occurs in the heart of the Adamic race through rebellion, the earth correspondingly is desolated. Famines, earthquakes, floods, violence in nature and in beast, and death are the portion and sure result. The earth and the beasts that dwell therein are corresponding signs that the marriage covenant with our Creator and God has been broken. Thus the land mourns, as the hand of God that was unto life and prosperity, seems to be upholding the death and desolation occurring, even as he upholds man in his wretched condition of sin and death.
“How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end.” (Jeremiah 12:4)
The land mourns, but the presence of God brings “fullness of joy” in “the paths of life” (Psalm 16:11); this joy of God’s presence through the Spirit is the same power by which He causes the trees to bear fruit. The restoration of the Spirit of God, through obedience to the law of God, prolongs the prosperity that exists upon the earth; this presence in the Spirit is referred to in the Scripture as rain. Like rain comes upon the earth, God pours out His Spirit of life upon man in accordance with the knowledge of Him:
“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.” (Hosea 6:3) The physical rain not being withdrawn from the land is but a merciful manifestation upon the earth that His Spirit is being poured out still (Matt. 5:45), pleading with a people who despise his love and reject His calls to turn back to Him; moreover, physical rain is also an accompanied blessing of mankind’s obedience to God, where He promises “rain in due season” (Leviticus 26:4); thus man’s covenant with God binds corresponding blessings to the earth, and thus to humanity in general. By God’s faithful children, who keep covenant with Him, nations are spared, blessings are bestowed which otherwise would be restrained, and wickedness is held in check upon the earth. It is thus that God may send showers of blessing upon the unjust.
Yet when wickedness prevails, and the righteous in the land are few, corresponding evils begin to take place, and the righteous are tried as Job was tried; the joy and power of God’s presence is not largely known or understood, neither is the spiritual rain of God’s covenant given. “Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.” (Joel 1:11-12) More than this, when wickedness prevails, Satan possesses more power to bring calamities and disasters upon the earth corresponding to the measure of man’s wickedness (thereby showing allegiance to him rather than God); despite having this power, he is not permitted to try the servants of God without the permission of God, yet God will permit trials for the blessing of His children, and for the unfallen worlds and angels to know that man, when tempted, will yield themselves to obedience still, rather than to evil. Even as it was with Job (Job 1&2).
Christ, who went into the earth for man’s sins, was made the curse for us (Gal. 3:13); therefore the curse that has devoured the earth is the same curse that has devoured the Son of God. The thorns which have sprung up as a result of the curse (Gen. 3:17-18) was the sign of the curse which crowned Prince Immanuel’s brow for our sake. In the curse of sin bringing disease, decay, and death to man, as well as beast, and nature, all of it testifies and reflects the piercing depths of suffering that fell upon the Son of God; every withering lily of the field, to the withering leaves of fall, to the vast sandy deserts of the Sahara (once a lush and vibrant land) all testify of the suffering of the Christ. In this striking illustration, the Son of God was to manifest the love of God the Father (1 John 4:9-10), and by His cross He was to reveal, in the very Face of the beauty of holiness, the suffering that the curse of sin has brought to the heart of God (2 Cor. 4:6); God, who beholds the corruption on the earth and His Spirit being withdrawn from man with the subsequent destructive curses that follow, reveals that “it grieved him at His heart” (Gen. 6:6).
Christ became as Adam, and bore all of man’s sins and laid them in “the heart of the earth”, and came forth from the earth and called “the second Adam”, enjoining all men to the marriage covenant with God which was formerly broken, saying “I restored that which I took not away” (Psalm 69:4).
“And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand;…” (Isaiah 28:18) By virtue of what Christ does as one with the Adamic race, He declares the covenant will be restored to man, and blessings as they walk in obedience to the covenant He makes with us. It is chiefly this which justifies the ungodly by turning away their ungodliness, and thus sending rain upon those who His blood has justified, thus blessing the unjust who know not God, nor Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. Christ is to be recognized as the Father of all of man’s undeserved blessings, and channeled forth in the world by those who are obedient to the gospel.
“And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.” (Hosea 2:16-19) “And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land…For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.” (Lev. 26:6-9)
However, it is not until sin and death are no more that the blessings of the everlasting covenant shall be fully restored. That man will be in faithful covenant to God, and the land, renewed by the creative power of God (Isaiah 65:17-18). Perfect peace and safety shall again reside to all the ends of the earth, but not by any measure shall it exist in the land until sin is destroyed at last (any message that declares otherwise is surely a deception [1 Thes. 5:3]). “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” (Isa 62:4-5) God is faithful, and keepeth covenant with those who love Him, and keep His commandments. Wait for this promised blessing, for when the Prince of heaven is reigning and has put down all rule and authority, it shall surely come.
“And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.” (Ezekiel 34:25-27)
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6-9)
“The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel” through Malachi was that the lessons of the past be not forgotten and that the covenant made by Jehovah with the house of Israel be kept with fidelity. Only by heartfelt repentance could the blessing of God be realized.” Prophets & Kings, pg. 705
There were two classes of priests/individuals in the book of Malachi.
1. Those that feared God, and “serve Him” in truth.
2. Those that did not fear Him, and “serve Him not.” (See Malachi Chapters 2 & 3)
In the days of Malachi the prophet, we read about these two classes of priests in the book of Ezra. Now Ezra was the son of Zadok, the son of Phineas, the son of Aaron, the high priest. Why is this point important? Because Phineas entered into an everlasting covenant “for the fear wherewith he feared Me.” During the time when Balaam cast a stumblingblock before Israel, to eat things sacrificed to strange gods, many of the men of Israel were seduced into joining to the idolatrous worship of the gods of the heathen religions. They united themselves with women of these idolatrous nations, and forgot the statute expounding the principles of the first commandment which declares:
“Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.” (Exodus 34:12-16)
So through the prophet Balaam’s wickedness, this snare came to Israel. Much of Israel in the days of Balaam joined themselves to the sun worshippers of Baal (Numbers 25:3-5, Revelation 3:14)
“And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly (where children are conceived). So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace. And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood (the priesthood of Melchizedek- the everlasting covenant- See Ezekiel 44:15,48:11); because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.” (Numbers 25:7-13)
A “covenant of peace” was made with Phineas, and to his seed. Ezra the priest, the son of Phineas, saw the faithfulness of that covenant from a God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), and of him, we are told that Ezra “had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” (Ezra 7:10; compare Malachi 2:6)
In the days of Malachi, there was an apostasy akin to the sun worship of Baalpeor. It says “Ezra the priest, with certain chief of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by their names, were separated, and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.
And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives by the first day of the first month.” (Ezra 10:16-17)
It was by this cleansing that the iniquity of Israel was purged. In Malachi, this prophecy was given: “And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
“My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips (See Revelation 14:4-5): he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 2:4-7; compare Numbers 25:7-13)
We are told that a priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and that the law of truth should be found at his mouth, being the messenger of the Lord of hosts. Not only are we brought to Phineas’ faithful example, and the covenant of peace made with him, but we are brought also to the Levites, from who Phineas and Ezra sprang, who would not worship the false gods of Egypt at Mount Horeb, and were committed by God with the priesthood, and the law of God, in which was shadowed the gospel.
We are told that there is another class of priest/individual in the Scripture:
“And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.” (Malachi 2:1-2)
The priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and the pronouncement of life and blessing would be with them:
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
However, it says of these priests, that they would not give glory to God, and were cursed, even their seed:
“Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.” For their doings that were corrupt before God, they are reproved, and told that the covenant of peace, and the law of truth is not with them, but is with His messengers, with Levi; the sons of Phineas, the sons of Zadok. He says instead of blessing and life, that their seed would live, that they would be cursed.
“But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. (Malachi 2:8-9)
To this, they then respond: “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? Why do wedeal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?” (Malachi 2:10) to which the reply is given clearly: “Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.”
The messenger of the Lord of hosts, who had the law of truth and the everlasting covenant, was to turn people back to the law of the Lord.
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1)
How will this waybe prepared?
“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet(“the messenger of the Lord of hosts”) before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (Malachi 4:4-6)
Elijah was not only to restore hearts to the knowledge of the true God, but would cause the blessing of life, the covenant of peace, to be restored to Israel, making an atonement for Israel, “to turn away the wrath of the Lord God”, as Phineas did, to “turn many away from iniquity” (Mal. 2:6) and turn their hearts back to the true worship of God.
The Message is For Today:
“What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:6-7)
There could be no countenance with those who married the daughters of strange gods. Even today, there are many who say, “Don’t we all serve the same God? Isn’t He the Father of us all? Aren’t we all Abraham’s seed?” To many who make a profession of being united with Christ, but have made a marriage covenant with the inhabitants of the land, as many as doing through ecumenical relationships with the “mother of Harlots”, and as truly worship another god as did the Israelites of old. Likewise, there are many today which trample underfoot the law of Moses, with it’s statutes and judgments, which have the blessing of life pronounced upon the keeping of them in the gospel. It is the Elijah message which is the message of the everlasting covenant made with Abraham (Gen. 14-18, Romans 3, Galatians 4:22-29), which turns aside the curse, which declares: “Cursed is the man that confirmeth not all the words written in this law to do them.” (Deut. 27:26) The Elijah message is a call to repentance for trampling upon the good statutes of our God and Father, and not walking in His ways. Lastly, the Elijah message is a call to turn from false worship the the true worship, from the false gods, to the only True God.
The Elijahs of today will repair the breaches made in the law through the covenant made with the inhabitants of the land, and through the worship of false gods, and call others into this message of reconcilation with our Father in heaven through the Son of God, and His everlasting gospel; fearing Him, as the prophecy declares the priests have feared Him, to remember His law, and to “give glory to His name” (Malachi 2:2, Revelation 14:7).
Here is the message of Malachi, the message of Elijah: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:6-7
Such a reverential fear is manifested in the hearts of the messengers toward the law of God in the Elijah Message, that he seeks to restore others to the blessings contained in the everlasting gospel, that the curse of sin will no longer triumph in both the lives of individuals, and in their families; that the cleansing of the sanctuary might be made (Malachi 3:2-4), and a sure atonement is made for Israel (Comp. Leviticus 16, Numbers 25:13).
With those who fear the Lord and His law, we are given this promise in the Scriptures:
“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (Malachi 3:16-18)
But to those who are otherwise, we read a repeat of the curse to those priests who were partial in the law, not fearing God, and not speaking often together one with another, not having God in all their thoughts, not considering His name & blessings:
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:6)
God has ever promised the blessing of life to those that remember Him and keep His ways, to them and their seed after them: (Exodus 20:4 [Exo.31:13-17], Deuteronomy 16:3, 8:18, 8:2)
“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” (Malachi 4:2)
These are promised: “They shall be Mine, in the day when I make up My gems”, and are likened unto “a son” that “serveth” his father. Only when we worship God our Father in Spirit and in Truth, can He call us sons that serve Him. There are those who claim that He is their Father, but they “serveth Him not” (Mal. 3:18), nor is “the law of truth in his mouth.” (Mal. 2:6) Therefore he is as Esau (Mal. 1:2-6), who is truly a child of Abraham his father after the flesh, but not after the Spirit, selling off the covenant of promise, and is accursed, entering into marriage covenant with the daughters of strange gods, and drinking from their communion cup.
So who are these who are gems, who fear God, and remember His eternal power and Godhead, reverencing His law? They are a “royal priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:9), children of the Lamb’s bride, the New Jerusalem, who is “the mother of us all” (Galatians 4:26):
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2)
To those who receive this message, they will be the adornments of the Lamb’s wife.
“For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours(the covenant), and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children (compare Psalm 119:165). In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.” (Isaiah 54:5, 11-14)
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered (which was accursed, not subject to the law), nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice (“the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” Psalm 19:8) for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.” (Isaiah 65:17-19)
Those who have this gospel are those who fear God and keep His commandments. In remembering the law of Moses, they gather together from one Sabbath to another, and from one new moon to another (See Isaiah 66:23, Ezekiel 46:1), to worship the King, the LORD of hosts (See Zechariah 14:16). He is the One that makes them holy; so is everyone holy that is a gem that adorns the Holy Jerusalem.
“Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they might have right to the tree of life, and enter in through the gates of the city.” Revelation 22:14
Last Study Notes:
***Spake often together one with another:
In the blessings given in the statutes, there were blessings given at certain seasons for the development of His people, and to protect them from idolatry. After the admonition to keep from turning aside to other gods, there was given the command to gather in the place of God’s own choosing (Exodus 34:18-23, also see John 4:21-23, Hebrews 12:22), those that fear God, and think upon His name were called to gather on new moons, Sabbaths, and annual festivals of God’s own appointing.
“God gave direction to the Israelites to assemble before Him at set periods, in the place which He should choose, and observe special days wherein no unnecessary work was to be done, but the time was to be devoted to a consideration of the blessings which He had bestowed upon them.” 2Testimonies 573
“Anciently the Lord instructed His people to assemble three times a year for His worship. To these holy convocations the children of Israel came… They met to recount God’s mercies, to make known His wonderful works, and to offer praise and thanksgiving to His name.” 6 Testimonies 39
“The Lord saw that these gatherings were necessary for the spiritual life of His people. They needed to turn way from their worldly cares, to commune with God, and to contemplate unseen realities.
If the children of Israel needed the benefit of these holy convocations in their time, how much more do we need them in these last days of peril and conflict! And if the people of the world then needed the light which God had committed to His church, how much more do they need it now!” 6T, pg. 40
This point was so vital, that the apostle exhorted the Hebrew believers in Christ:
“…forsaking not the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another and so much the more as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25
Them That Fear His Name:
To those who give the call to fear God, and give Him glory, this is the fear He calls us to:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever.” Psalm 111:10
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding” Proverbs 9:10
Pro 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Pro 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
“Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecc. 12
To the priests who not fear God, and do not keep His commandments, He has said, “Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” “Behold, I will corrupt your seed…” (Mal. 2:3)
**Please note, this article is proving that the Lunar Sabbaths are false based on clearly established historical documentation. May it prove a blessing to you when many are falling away from the true seventh-day Sabbath.
It is written in the law of Moses how to deal with a matter.
Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
Throughout the New Testament, this law is reaffirmed over five times. Christ Himself endorsed the very Scripture, and said it was how the brethren ought to conduct themselves amongst each other.
What is the charge that needs witnesses? It is claiming that weekly cycle changes were made in history. However, to sustain that theory using only a few critical scholarly quotes from the last 150 years is the only basis which the Lunar Sabbatarian has. This study will not go into any particular depth regarding what the Lunar Sabbath theory is, but rather the historical objections that are clearly raised in the matter. We want to go deeper and further than 150 years and prove the truth of these matters for everyone to see. Before we go into the ancient history that shows the truth regarding the Seventh day Sabbath, let’s look at one of their quotes they use to prove their “history” of the week.
The 1943 Universal Jewish Encyclopedia volume 10 page 482, under the article “Week”, describing how they believe the seven day weekly cycle began, we read:
“WEEK” (in Hebrew shavua). The idea of the week, as a subdivision of the month, seems to have arisen in Babylonia, where each lunar month was divided into four parts, corresponding to the four phases of the moon. The first week of each month began with the new moon, so that, as the lunar month was one or two days more than four periods of seven days, these additional days were not reckoned at all. Every seventh day (sabbatum) was regarded as an unlucky day. This method of reckoning time spread westward through Syria and Palestine, and was adopted by the Israelites, probably after they settled in Palestine. With the development of the importance of the Sabbath as a day of consecration and emphasis laid upon the significant number seven, the week became more and more divorced from its lunar connection, so that by the time of the second Temple it was merely a period of seven days and no longer depended on the new moon. From Judaism the week passed over to Christianity, and through the influence of the later was generally adopted throughout the Roman empire;” There are too many problems with the above statement to address them all, but it is a statement of history that comes from the very heart of Babylonian confusion. It is true that Babylon did have a reckoning of the week that was just like this, but regarding truth, that is about all that is true in the above quote. They say it is from Babylon that the Israelites adopted the weekly cycle, and then, even before the time Christ came (who observed and recognized the Sabbath as the other Jews did in the second Temple, see Luke 13:10-16), they forsook that method of reckoning the Sabbath. Thus when Christ came, He observed THE WRONG SABBATH. Wrong piece of “history” to use. We could look at their other claims to history and similar contradictions will appear, but instead, let’s not look to the false, but look to what history testifies they were observing. If it was a lunar Sabbath, surely there is history to sustain it, but if otherwise, there should be sufficient evidence to sustain that position also.
Now, these are historical sources, and while we do not necessarily uphold the particular writings or views surrounding these quotes as authoritative for doctrine, but they will suffice to sustain an accuracy of ancient history that may speak volumes against the lunar Sabbatarian viewpoint.
Since we know that Christ was in harmony with the 1st century Sabbathkeepers, let us look at what the Jewish people themselves said. First we will look at the Talmud, which was written around 200CE. It is often cited by Jews as a historical reference for beliefs held by the Jewish nation before the destruction of the temple in 70CE.
The Talmud speaks of two different schools of thought in the Jewish culture that generally opposed one another in their manner of observances, holding upwards to 300 differences of opinion recorded in the Talmud alone. One was called “Beth Hillel” (The most prevalent in the Jewish nation) and the other “Beth Shammai”. These “Bethels” or houses were prevalent from 50 BCE to 50 CE, which takes in the time of Christ’s ministry while upon the earth.
TWO OPPOSING HOUSES AGREE
Now the first example of what we find in the Talmud speaks of what should happen if ” a new moon falls on a Sabbath.” This is in sharp contradiction to the lunar Sabbatarian theory, who teach that any part of the weekly cycle and the new moon day cannot exist at the same period of time:
“R. Zera replied: The New Moon is different from a festival – Since its mention is included in the benediction on the sanctity of the day in the morning and evening prayers it is also included in that of the additional prayer. But do Beth Shammai uphold the view that the mention of the New Moon is to be included? Was it not in fact taught: If a New Moon falls on a Sabbath, Beth Shammai ruled: One recites in his additional prayer eight benedictions and Beth Hillel ruled: Seven? This is indeed a difficulty.” Talmud – Mas. Eiruvin 40b
It’s interesting that both houses did not find a controversy of if the new moon and Sabbath day can fall in the same place, but rather, IF IT DOES, how is it to be observed.
THE SIXTEENTH DAY SABBATH
In the Mishnah, a fundamental part of the Talmud, it speaks of what happened to the Passover lambs if the day after Unleavened Bread (which was the day the remaining portion of the lamb was to be burnt outside the camp) fell on a Sabbath day:
“Mishnah. The bones, and the sinews, and the nothar of the paschal lamb are to be burnt on the sixteenth. If the sixteenth falls on the Sabbath, they are to be burnt on the seventeenth, because they do not override either the Sabbath or the festival.” Talmud – Pesachim 83a
What is the issue here?
1) The Lunar Sabbatarians teach that it is impossible for the Sabbath to fall on any day other than the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 28th. Thus Sabbath would always fall on the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread. Therefore the Sabbath falling on the sixteenth would have been IMPOSSIBLE.
2) It was the priesthood of the temple responsible for taking care of the remains of the lamb. So the early temple and priesthood observed the principle historically recorded above.
The same principle issue we find regarding the meal offerings recorded in the Talmud:
“Mishnah. A man may offer a meal-offering consisting of sixty tenths and bring them in one vessel if a man said, I take upon myself to offer sixty tenths, he may bring them in one vessel. But if he said, I take upon myself to offer sixty-one tenths, he must bring sixty in one vessel and the one in another vessel; for since the congregation bring on the first day of the feast of tabernacles when it falls on a Sabbath sixty-one tenths as a meal-offering, it is enough for an individual that his meal-offering be less by one tenth than that of the congregation.” Talmud – Menachoth 103b
With a Lunar Sabbath, there is never a time when the first day of the feast of Tabernacles falls on any day other than the Sabbath (15th day of the seventh month). So to say “when it falls on a Sabbath” would never need to be mentioned, for according to the Lunar Sabbatarians it ALWAYS FALLS ON A SABBATH. The Talmud records so many historical points of interest, especially the arguments of various schools of thought in the Jewish nation, including controversial points. Yet never, not once, at all, is mentioned ANY CONTROVERSY regarding a difference of calculating the weekly cycle.
That is one witness of the Jewish nation historically. Let’s look at one or two more to establish the matter from the Jewish historical perspective.
2. The Dead Sea Scrolls and Josephus
The dead sea scrolls are considered some of the earliest dated and preserved extra-biblical scolls to ever be discovered. Much of this includes the history of both the Jewish nation, various Biblical books from the prophets, as well as some eyewitness accounts of the Messiah. Some of the books found among the extra-biblical scrolls were the Calendrical Scroll. This was written by the Essenes.
The Essenes were a sect from the time of the era of the second temple Judaism that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE, and some histories regard them as the priesthood which succeeded the line of Zadok. They were one of three major sects that existed at that time, along with the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Now what are the Calendrical scrolls that the Essenes wrote? They were the execution of priestly duties that the various houses would perform at the temple as priests in their appointed season. An example of the Calendrical scroll’s schedule order can be found in the Bible:
Luke 1:8-9 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, (9) According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. If ever there were a document to prove something for or against a lunar Sabbath, it would certainly be the Calendrical scroll. And far from being a modified Calendrical scroll, the “mishmarot” (the courses contained in the Calendrical scroll) are believed to be as old as second century BCE. Now, what do these courses say regarding the Sabbath? It states many, many things, but here is an example:
“[.. on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month] is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. On the fou[rth day of the week is a holy assembly. On the twenty-fifth of the month is] a Sabbath. On the twenty-sixth of the month is the B[arley] Festival…” (4Q326)
Notice that it says on this particular course that on “the twenty-fifth of the month is a Sabbath”. But this is impossible according the the Lunar Sabbatarian’s weekly cycle. Many Lunar Sabbatarians know this, and claim that the Essenes kept a different Sabbath, independent of the lunar Sabbath, but can any historical records further substantiate this claim to prove whether that itself is true history?
In fact, an ancient Jewish historian by the name of Josephus, who wrote regarding the history of the Jews extensively, both living in the time of and writing about the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem in 70CE, also wrote extensively about the particular practices of the Essenes.
So did Josephus mention that the Essenes kept the Sabbath on a day that was different than the rest of Judaism?
Wars of the Jews 2:147 … Moreover, they are stricter than any other of the Jews in resting from their labors on the seventh day; for they not only get their food ready the day before, that they may not be obliged to kindle a fire on that day, but they will not move any vessel out of its place, nor go to stool thereon.
It is clear that the Essenes, who Josephus was here writing about, rested on the same seventh day as the rest of mainstream Judaism of that time, and on that very same time, were emphasized as being much stricter than their Sabbath-keeping contemporaries. If it was not so, he would not have said “on the seventh day” to mix up terms. He might have said “they are stricter than any other of the Jews in resting from their labors on the day they suppose to be the seventh day”, but not even this is intimated. How is it that the Essenes can keep a different Sabbath than Lunar Sabbatarians, but yet there are no Lunar Sabbatarians to be found at all anywhere in ancient history? Josephus wrote a great deal on the history of the Jews, but never was such a point touched upon, or even whispered about. Could it be becoming apparent that the Lunar Sabbath “history” is merely a fable that has been fabricated over the last two centuries?
In fact the dead sea scrolls are in agreement regarding when the Sabbath was observed, and that there was no historical record ever found that there was any dissension as to the weekly cycle, or a difference in calculating the seventh day Sabbath, not even amongst the various Jewish sects. While not all these scrolls are good for doctrine, these ancient writings are truly historical gems preserved by God.
Another point of interest is how often the seventh day should come. In the Scriptures, there is a command from God that His people were to sound a trumpet throughout the land when the Sabbath was to begin:
Numbers 10:2 Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.
Josephus recounting a tower where the trumpet was to be sounded by one of the priests at the beginning of “every seventh day”: Wars of the Jews 4:582 and the last was erected above the top of the Pastophoria, where one of the priests stood of course, and gave a signal beforehand with a trumpet, at the beginning of every seventh day, in the evening twilight, as also at the evening when that day was finished, as giving notice to the people when they were to stop work, and when they were to go to work again. Now, if he says that it is every seventh day, are we to think that to mean that he means every seventh day from the day after the new moon and ending at the translation day or next new moon? Or does it mean just what it says, “EVERY seventh day”? Doubtless, just as it reads.
But so that we may know further the historical facts of what “every seventh day” means, we will now not leave ourselves with only two or three Jewish historical witnesses to establish the matter, but now we will also take two or three secular historical accounts that the matter may be established. That we can truly say we have two solid historical witnesses:
1) The Ancient Jewish Historical Witnesses 2) The Ancient Secular Historical Witnesses
Ptolemy was the General of Alexander the Great, who took over Jerusalem in 332 BCE. Now, Agatharchides, a 2nd century BCE Greek historian wrote about Ptolemy’s defeat of Jerusalem. From a strictly secular perspective, the Greek historian writes about the Jews resting “on every seventh day”:
“There are a people called Jews, and dwell in a city the strongest of all other cities, which the inhabitants call Jerusalem, and are accustomed to rest on every seventh day; on which times they make no use of their arms, nor meddle with husbandry, nor take care of any affairs of life, but spread out their hands in their holy places, and pray till the evening.
210 Now it came to pass, that when Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, came into this city with his army, that these men, in observing this mad custom of theirs, instead of guarding the city, suffered their country to submit itself to a bitter lord; and their law was openly proven to have commanded a foolish practice“
Now, if both Josephus, a Jewish historian, and Agatharchides, a Greek historian, both use the words “every seventh day”, it becomes an impossibly difficult task for the Lunar Sabbatarian to defend his history, since they cannot sustain what they are teaching from a secular historical perspective as being “every seventh day”, because the Lunar Sabbath count isn’t EVERY seventh day, but has interruptions by both the new moon and the “translation day”.
What a beautiful thing to consider though, that God rested on the seventh day, and every seventh day is a memorial of our wonderful Creator, and His creative and sanctifying power.
Now that we have looked at this point of every seventh day being the Sabbath from both a Jewish and secular perspective, let’s bridge from there to more secular perspectives regarding how the secular world regarded the Sabbath-keeping Jewish people.
3. Roman Historians and Writers
Before launching more fully into the secular historical accounts, we need to address a very common argument from Lunar Sabbatarians upon Sabbath-keepers who observe the seventh day Sabbath “every seventh day”, which would fall on Friday evening to Saturday evening on the Gregorian calendar, that they are worshipping on the day of Saturn, an ancient pagan god associated with star worship. They make the charge that the Jews adopted the ancient Roman week. The argument may sound good on the surface, but when examining the matter more closely, it falls apart.
The truth is that “every seventh day” since creation, man kept the Sabbath. From Adam to Noah, the truth faith was passed on. Then Noah passed on the true faith to Shem, Japheth, and Ham. Some may realize that from Shem came Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and his seed, from which Christ came. These kept the Sabbath. Now Ham’s descendants included Nimrod, Canaan, Gog, and Magog, and a number of other famous pagan kings; from him came the kingdoms of Canaan, Sodom, Gomorrah, and Babylon, and all the great pagan nations of the earth. Yet Ham had inherited the truth faith, but all of these nations that came from Ham had evidently departed from that inheritance.
That almost all old pagan beliefs seemed to hold a traditional account of a flood is evidence that they had a common lineage, and even certain common features of the true faith, yet despite any resemblance some of these nations have whether more of less to the true faith, they did not worship the same God.
There is no historical evidence that the Jews adopted the practices of the worshippers of Saturn, but on the contrary, it speaks all the more of something different and more definitely consistent with history. Simply because the Sabbath falls on in the same period of time does not make Lunar Sabbatarian arguments conclusive. Either the worshippers of Saturn adopted the Jewish practice (which there is historical evidence for), which we will speak more on shortly, or else, they inherited that point of faith from Ham that they never fully departed from, even though the knowledge of God was wholly perverted into the worship of the creature rather than the Creator, if not altogether lost. Therefore the charge either way is not upon the people from which the Messiah arose from, but rather upon the worshippers of Saturn.
Does that mean that they all forsook the time period of the Sabbath as set apart? Not necessarily. Consider that there are Sabbath-keeping Trinitarian groups, as well as Sabbath-keeping non-Trinitarian groups. You can most certainly worship a different god on the same day. Now, regarding those who worshipped the god Saturn on the Saturn day, or Saturday, is not evidence at all that God’s people are worshipping anything less than the true God on the seventh day Sabbath.
More than this, that the seventh day Sabbath falls on the day which was called Saturday does not mean at all that the Jewish people called the seventh day “Saturday”, or taught that Saturday was the origin of the Sabbath. The truth is that the Jewish people never associated Sabbath with the word Saturday at all, but called every seventh day “Sabbath” and kept the line clear and distinct from any connection to false gods.
But we will be looking at quotes that are speaking from a strictly secular perspective of the Jewish nation, coming from those who knew nothing much at all of the God of Israel, but are, in a general sense, much more acquainted with the pagan practices of the surrounding nations. Now Lunar Sabbatarians are correct on this point: the Roman week was not based upon the cycle of the moon. But each day of the week was generally devoted to a different god. The secular sources here cited are not to cast a Day of Saturn reflection upon the Jews, but to show clearly that their day of Sabbath observance did indeed fall at the same period of time, and that there is undeniable secular historical evidence for this fact.
70 – 84 CE (AD)
Frontinus, a Roman Soldier who lived from c. 40 CE to 103 CE, wrote book on military strategy called Strategematicon in 84 A.D. In it, he writes:
“The deified Augustus Vespasian attacked the Jews on the day of Saturn, a day on which it is sinful for them to do any business.” Frontinus Stratagem 2.1.17.
In Latin, the book by Frontinus has “the day of Saturn” translated into “Saturnis”, from which comes the word “Saturday”. And this book was written only 14 years after Titus’ destruction of Jerusalem, which makes it a considerable piece of historical evidence from a first century eyewitness, connecting “the Jews…day on which it is sinful for them to do any business” with “the day of Saturn”, or modern Saturday.
63 BCE – 229 CE
Cassius Dio, a Roman Historian who lived from ca. 155 to 229 CE, using the historical annals of the Roman empire, wrote concerning three wars that the Romans and the Jews were engaged in with one another.
The first battle was during a time when Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II, two brothers who were the offspring of the Maccabees, were engaged in a dispute over who would rule. The Romans, through the actions of Pompey, came in and settled the dispute, siding with Hyrcanus. While speaking of Pompey’s battle, the Sabbath is mentioned.
The setting is 63 BCE:
“Most of the city, to be sure, he took without any trouble, as he was received by the party of Hyrcanus; but the temple itself, which the other party had occupied, he captured only with difficulty. For it was on high ground and was fortified by a wall of its own, and if they had continued defending it on all days alike, he could not have got possession of it.
As it was, they made an excavation of what are called the days of Saturn, and by doing no work at all on those days afforded the Romans an opportunity in this interval to batter down the wall. The latter, on learning of this superstitious awe of theirs, made no serious attempts the rest of the time, but on those days, when they came round in succession, assaulted most vigorously.
Thus the defenders were captured on the day of Saturn, without making any defense, and all the wealth was plundered. The kingdom was given to Hyrcanus, and Aristobulus was carried away.” Cassius Dio Roman History37.16.1-4
It is very clear that the Romans had taken advantage of the fact that the Jews would not work on the Sabbath by making advancements upon them. And was this time called Sabbath? Again, the weekly Sabbath coincides with the Roman “days of Saturn.”
The second battle listed by Cassius Dio occurred in 36 BCE, is the one that resulted in the very first King Herod coming to power:
“The Jews, indeed, had done much injury to the Romans, but they suffered far more themselves. The first of them to be captured were those who were fighting for the precinct of their god, and then the rest on the day even then called the day of Saturn. And so excessive were they in their devotion to religion that the first set of prisoners, those who had been captured along with the temple, obtained leave from Sosius, when the day of Saturn came round again, and went up into the temple and there performed all the customary rites, together with the rest of the people. These people Antony entrusted to a certain Herod to govern; but Antigonus he bound to a cross and flogged,— a punishment no other king had suffered at the hands of the Romans,— and afterwards slew him.” Cassius Dio Roman History49.22.4-6
Notice that Cassius Dio reports the Jews as being in devotion to religion that they observed “customary rites” at the temple on “the day even then called Day of Saturn.” This indicates that the time period coinciding with Sabbath wasn’t only called the “Day of Saturn” during his lifetime, but it was called the “Day of Saturn” back in 36 BCE, even before Christ came. The time that the Jews themselves kept the Sabbath both before Christ and after Christ fell on that very same Day of Saturn.
Next, another experience related by him is in 70 CE, when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. This fell on the Sabbath, which again is called the “day of Saturn.”
70 – 229 CE
“Thus was Jerusalem destroyed on the very day of Saturn, the day which even now the Jews reverence most. From that time forth it was ordered that the Jews who continued to observe their ancestral customs should pay an annual tribute of two denarii to Jupiter Capitoline.” Cassius Dio Roman History65.7.2
So when we look at Cassius Dio’s historical account, he relates that the Jews kept the same Sabbath on the same “day of Saturn” from 63 BCE up until his day, no later than 229 CE. His report also agrees with Frontinus’ account of the 70 CE battle. This is two witnesses from a secular perspective, but we will continue to relate more history from this perspective.
The Historian Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56CE – ca. 117CE), suggested that Jews kept the Sabbath out of laziness, and also associated the Sabbath with the Roman idol, Saturn, showing that the historian did not have much understanding regarding the faith and practice of the Jewish people:
They are said to have devoted the seventh day to rest, because that day brought an end to their troubles. Later, finding idleness alluring, they gave up the seventh year as well to sloth.
Others maintain that they do this in honor of Saturn; either because their religious principles are derived from the Idaei, who are supposed to have been driven out with Saturn and become the ancestors of the Jewish people; or else because, of the seven constellations which govern the lives of men, the star of Saturn moves in the topmost orbit and exercises peculiar influence, and also because most of the heavenly bodies move round their courses in multiples of seven. From The Histories, Book V
The historian flips things upside down. Suggesting the possibility that the Jews inherited their religious principles of rest from those that honored Saturn. Yet the reverse is more likely to be true given the history of the descendants of Noah, that those who had inherited the principles of truth joined themselves to idols while maintaining the same day of worship. Again, the fact that a pagan associated Sabbath keeping with Saturn demonstrates that the Roman week’s day of Saturn (Saturday) was the same period of time as what God gave His people as Sabbath day. Tacitus is an eyewitness from the first century and wrote this a mere 30 years after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
THE JEWISH INFLUENCE OF THE SABBATH ON ROMAN CULTURE
Now that we’ve seen these, let’s turn our attention to how the Sabbath influenced the surrounding cultures. The Lunar Sabbatarian’s charge that the Roman week influenced the Jewish people, but Josephus writes that the opposite was the fact of the matter.
“The masses have long since shown a keen desire to adopt our religious observances; and there is not one city, Greek or barbarian, nor a single nation, to which our custom of abstaining from work on the seventh day has not spread and where our fasts and the lighting of lamps and many of our prohibitions in the matter of food are not observed. Apion 2:282-283
Eviatar Zerubavel, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University, suggested the following regarding the seven day weekly cycle:
“. . . The planetary week [the week we presently found on the Gregorian calendar], however, was a relative newcomer compared with the Jewish week. . . [and] may have evolved from [it], and was undoubtedly influenced by it. Presumably the seven-day structure of the Jewish week came first, and later people began to call the days of the week after the names of the planets. Our modern week is a blend of both traditions.”
Eviatar Zerubavel, by study of the week in his respective field, came to the conclusion that the Jewish people had it first, and the Romans as Lunar Sabbatarians have asserted. These points suggest that the Jewish influence not only affected their contemporary culture, but even the world, and that should be even less a surprise considering how quickly the work of Christ spread with His first apostles to nearly the whole world in less than century.
Even among secular historians, there is cause to believe that the Sabbath is closely entwined to the weekly cycle of the first century Romans. This is evidenced by the writings of a Roman historian by the name of Suetonius. Suetonius (ca. 69CE – 130CE) was the Roman Emperor’s secretary for a time. While describing the life of Tiberius Caesar (14 – 37 CE), he wrote:
“The grammarian Diogenes, who used to lecture every Sabbath at Rhodes, would not admit Tiberius when he came to hear him on a different day, but sent a message by a common slave of his, putting him off to the seventh day. When this man waited before the Emperor’s door at Rome to pay his respects, Tiberius took no further revenge than to bid him return seven years later.” Suetonius The Life of Tiberius32.2
This reference from Suetonius is a strong indication that the influence of the seventh day Sabbath over the Roman week may well have been linked more than people have thought, just as Josephus said, but not as the Lunar Sabbatarians are teaching.
28 BCE to 1 BCE
Lastly, we’ll share a quote from a Poet named Ovid, (43 BCE to 17CE), referenced by J. Hugh Michael in his writing “The Jewish Sabbath in the Latin Classical Writers”:
Still more impressive is the witness of Ovid. In the Ars Amatoria he instructs the young Roman who is desirous of finding an object for his affections how he should set about his search. The quest need not take him far a field: there is no lack of suitable damsels in Rome. The poet even specifies the parts of Rome where the quest of the amorous youth is most likely to be crowned with success: he should not neglect ‘(Adonis lamented of Venus, or the seventh day observed as holy by the Syrian Jew.” The first part of this direction can only mean that the youth should visit the Temple of Venus when her grief for Adonis was commemorated on the anniversary of his death. Similarly the second part must mean that he should attend the Sabbath services held in the Jewish synagogues. Is it possible to attach any other meaning to the advice that the youth should not avoid the seventh day observed by the Syrian Jew? And what meaning is there in the counsel unless Roman maidens were wont to attend those services? It is not easy to think that it was the poet’s intention that the young Roman should become enamored of a Jewess! The Jewish Sabbath in the Latin Classical Writers. J. Hugh Michael Victoria College, Toronto, Canada. The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 40, No. 2. (Jan., 1924), pp. 117-124
The work of the Poet Ovid which is referenced above is “Ars Amatoria” (The Art of Love), which was written in approximately 1 BCE. We’ve seen that the Romans were already observing the seven day week, but the Poet Ovid, who was a Scythian of the Roman Empire, was not of the Jewish faith, yet his poem does not fail to mention the seventh day kept holy by the Jews. Thus, we can see that the Roman culture was in fact being influenced in some manner in their association with the weekly cycle and the seventh day of the week.
These historical witnesses shut the door to any possibility to the Lunar Sabbath theory being historically true. Our Father has wonderfully preserved enough ancient history so that we needn’t be in darkness over the matter. Now that the light has shone, will you also walk in it?
The second beast of Revelation 13 depicts another kingdom, which, unlike the beasts of Daniel 7, and the Ecumenical beast of Revelation 13, all which arise out of the waters of “peoples, multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (Rev. 17:15), the second beast arises out of the earth. This depiction of coming out of the earth denotes that it arises from a new land, as Adam was newly formed out of the ground and given dominion. It’s two lamblike horns depict the principles of Christ which would protect papal tyranny and kingly oppression. This kingdom “speaks as a dragon” “saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the beast which had a wound by a sword and did live.” (Rev. 13:14) The appeal is made to the people to make an image of the first kingdom before it, which we identified as ecumenical Papal Europe. Here is demonstrated a republican type of government where the power of government rests with the people to make a church and state union. This kingdom is the United States of America.
John Adams referencing the deadly wound declared in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, who held differing ideas to Adams in regard to Christianity: “If the Christian religion, as I understand it, or as you understand it, should maintain its ground, as I believe it will, yet…Hindoo, and cabalistic Christianity, which is Catholic Christianity, and which has prevailed for 1,500 years, has received a mortal wound, of which the monster must finally die. Yet so strong is his constitution, that he may endure for centuries before he expires.” (John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, July 16, 1814)
The two lamblike horns are the Declaration of Independence which sets forth the principles of government, and the Constitution sets forth the operation of government with it’s legislative limitations. The Declaration of Independence enshrined the principles of separation from a monarchial form of government, kingly oppression, with the power of Republicanism. The Constitution enshrines the principles of liberty of conscience, and freedom from papal tyranny; no church was to enforce religious decrees against the conscience; this was the power of Protestantism. Referencing Protestantism as enshrined in the framework of the United States, James Madison, called “the father of the Constitution” declared: “It illustrates the excellence of a system which, by a due distinction, to which the genius and courage of Luther led the way, between what is due to Caesar and what is due God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations.” Protestantism has a rich heritage in the promotion of liberty of conscience, as was witnessed by the protest of the German princes against the Pope and Emperor, that they and the citizens under their subjection would be permitted freedom of worship, to honor their conscience acceptably before God without the interference of either ecclesiastical or political usurpation. It was this protest that gave the name “Protestant”; to be Protestant therefore is to protest the separation of church and state. While the United States is not a Protestant nation in respect to a national religion, it is Protestant in respect to it’s principles of protecting conscience.
The United States will go sharply contrary to it’s lamblike principles, which Christ raised up to serve as a restraint against Papal principles of force, ensuring the protection of His commandment-keeping people through enacting hard legislative decrees. Instead of the principles of Protestantism, it shall advocate the principles of Catholicism to infringe upon conscience. Instead of Republicanism, the demands of the church shall cause legislators to yield to the demands of the majority to oppress the minority. For this to happen, the churches must unite upon the doctrines which they hold in common, waiving all subjects upon which no agreement can be secured, even if they are vitally important in the Scripture. And now what do we see? Exactly this. The leading chuches of the United States are now uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common. The step now taking place has been progressively agitated, that the state should sustain their religious institutions and enforce their decrees. In this thing, Protestant America is forming an image to the beast in it’s church and state union. The results of which will be exactly the same as the dark ages; God’s people, not found in the majority, shall be subject to a revival of persecution which terrorized them in the dark ages.
This is happening right now, and we will cite seven key events that are taking place to secure this image of church and state in the United States. (Click on arrows for more detail)
MAKING AN IMAGE TO THE BEAST
1) [expand title=”The Protestants have renounced Protestantism”]
In renouncing the protest, you renounce the principles for which the protest stands. At the Kenneth Copeland Leadership Conference, an Anglican bishop and strong ecumenical supporter, declared before the Charismatic world, “Luther’s protest is over. And if the protest is over, how can there be a protestant church? Maybe we’re all Catholics again…”, citing the document signed together in agreement on Justification by faith in 1999 by the Lutherans and Catholics. He then challenges them to take this message throughout their churches “in the Spirit of Elijah”, to turn the hearts of the rebellious protestant children to the Papal father. Elijah was known for declaring that fire would come down in the sight of men as a sign of the genuineness of Elijah’s worship and identity as a man of God.
In the very words of the lamblike beast that speaks as a dragon, the Scripture says: “And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast (the Papacy)…” (Rev. 13:13-14) Thus a counterfeit Elijah message was committed to the Evangelical/Charismatic churches to declare that the protest is over. Yet to say the protest is over is to say that the days of liberty of conscience are at an end. This spirit of the dragon, when it reaches Washington, D.C., will kindle the fires of persecution. [/expand]
2) [expand title=”The Protestants and Catholics become Friends”]
ince the first beast is Papal, and the other beast is fallen Protestant, it necessarily follows that there would need to be an abolition of the enmity that was between them both. The renunciation of Protestantism has supplied for exactly this. Kenneth Copeland, James Robison, John Arnott, Geoff Tunnicliffe, Thomas Schirmacher, and Brian Stiller in total represent over 500,000,000 million Evangelicals (non-Catholic) of all different denominations. This was followed up by Kenneth Copeland’s statement that the Pentecostal movement at Azusa Street began with the prayer of a Pope to the Holy Spirit at the Vatican in the early 20th century, declaring, “We are not coming together in the unity of our faith, but the unity of our religions.”
This was pushed further when the Lutherans declared the Protest was over, and a joint communion to end the separation between Lutherans and Catholics took place on October 31st, 2017, several others worldwide denominations following suit. It was here that Kenneth Copeland, known for being a strong advocate of signs, wonders, and faith healing, called the Spirit that moved upon Luther to protest and contend for conscientious objection the spirit of the devil. He also strikingly brings out the prophecy of fire from heaven from the Lamblike beast, saying God told him that “2018 is the year of the Holy Ghost and fire!”
That same month, leading U.S. Protestant theologian Stanley Hauerwas observed in The Washington Post that “the gulfs between the denominations seem only to feel smaller and smaller. And so does the gulf between Catholicism and Protestantism.” [/expand]
3) [expand title=”The call by Rodney Howard-Browne to secure church authority in the Congressional, Judicial, and Executive branches of government.”]
The other arm of the Charismatic signs and wonders movement, Rodney Howard-Browne has campaigned at the heart of the nation, where the legislative organs of the United States reside: Washington, D.C. His campaigns were held in the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall, called Celebrate America. With statesmen, politicians, and other Evangelicals, they raised their voice for the desire of having a great awakening in America, and a turning to Christ. Rodney Howard-Browne’s most noted statement was that “the separation of church and state” was “a bunch of garbage.” He declared in militant fashion that “We need Jesus back in our nation’s capitol; we need Jesus in the government.”
The response amongst politicians in United States House of Representatives was startling as many came testifying that America was in need of moral revival. When asked by Christian News Network what the purpose of Celebrate America was in the United States capitol, Howard-browne declared, “We are going to light the fire in the belly of the beast, if you can put it that way.” [/expand]
4) [expand title=”The Pope standing in Congress”]
On the Day of atonement, known as a day of judgment, on the yearly calendar that God instituted at creation, a sign was given to God’s people that America has come to the bar of judgment, revealing that it is coming into review before the Ancient of Days (the Most High God). The Pope was given a king’s treatment in the House of Representatives and the Senate, where the laws are made and passed into legislation. The Catholic church was given authority to issue press passes, and the Pope was given the treatment of a president, placing him upon the large screens reserved for presidents upon being elected and entering into the executive office. There he began to speak of the divisions caused in the contemporary world from “open wounds.” “We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.” And what is for the common good according to the Catholic Cathecism? “ Every human community needs an authority to govern it…Its role is to ensure as far as possible the common good of the society. The authority required by the moral order derives from God: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities…and those who resist will incur judgment” (Article 1897-1927)… “In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church’s holy days as legal holidays.” (Article 2188) This is spoken about in the Papal encylical called Dies Domini: “Only in the fourth century did the civil law of the Roman Empire recognize the weekly recurrence, determining that on “the day of the sun” the judges, the people of the cities and the various trade corporations would not work…Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy. In any case, they are obliged in conscience to arrange their Sunday rest in a way which allows them to take part in the Eucharist… ” (Dies Domini, Section 64, 68)
Sunday sacredness, under the guise of a green sabbath, was what priests and bishops were appealing to legislators for on the day when the Pope addressed congress. Yet read how careful president John F. Kennedy was to ensure no national religion would be established, and how this Papal speech on the Day of judgment declared a great departure from this:
“I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials, and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.” [/expand]
5) [expand title= “Donald Trump Promises Evangelicals Power”]
As Constantine held the first ecumenical council to the divided Christians, and helped them ascend into positions of prominence to seize on eventual state power, Donald Trump, in an appeal for the people to band together in an unstoppable ecumenical force, fulfilled the prophecy in part that declares how the government shall say “to them that dwell on the earth [the people of America] that they should make an image to the beast.” (Rev. 13:14) And what is the image of the beast? It is the pattern of exercising state power by the church, where it says “he exercises all the power of the first beast [the Papal church state union]”. This was supplied by appealing to Evangelicals that if they would gather their strength as being the majority, “the government by the people”, “there is nothing” that would be able to stop them because they have too much strength. He then said, “But Christianity doesn’t have the strength it should have… Christianity is getting weaker and weaker in terms of a force…”. He then promised the Evangelicals if they would gather their armies to stand behind Trump that “Christianity will have power again…if I’m president, you will have plenty of power.” [/expand]
6) [expand title=”Trump forms the Evangelical Advisory Board, with Frank Amedia’s Prophetic Order of the United States.”]
Just as Constantine, after uniting Christianity, he brought with him the most influential bishops to be his advisors, securing for them tax exemptions on land, Trump has done likewise. Donald Trump has actively been involving Evangelicals in the political process in ways never before seen in the White House. He has formed a
board of Evangelical advisors to help aid in shaping policies favorable to them; the board consists of 25-30 of the most prominent Evangelical leaders in the United States. Here are some of the comments from members on the board itself, how they are pushing in no uncertain manner to takeover the government, and are pushing to get policies enacted from the executive office.
“Kenneth and Gloria Copeland have accepted an invitation to be a part of The Faith & Culture National Advisory Board that presidential candidate Donald Trump is forming. By accepting this invitation, the Copelands have the opportunity to be valuable contributors to conversations surrounding important issues relating to faith and culture that could shape the future of our nation… This presents a wonderful opportunity to further the Christian faith in our political process, and Kenneth and Gloria Copeland are honored to be included.” (Kenneth Copeland Ministries Announcement, June 22, 2016 [see here]) Copeland later stated “I have no doubt on what I could deliver.
Evangelical leader Johnnie Moore said of the formation of the board: “What’s unique about this group is that from the very beginning, it was all about the advice that the president and those around him wanted from the Evangelical community. So that does continue, where lots of us are called and asked questions about certain issues and decisions to be made…”
Presidential Evangelical Advisor and Southern Baptist Richard Land was noted for saying “…if the Republican Party wants the support of people who believe in God…and believe in the traditional family…then they need to cme and endorse our values and our beliefs and our understanding of the truth.” He also said ““We’ve never had the kind of open access to the administration that we’ve had in this administration…Personnel is policy. And there are more evangelicals in this administration as personnel than any administration in my lifetime…And, you know, it’s a lot easier to explain evangelical concerns to evangelicals… Not only do we have access, but we have had impact on decisions. We have had impact on policy. And it’s a whole different atmosphere, there really is, there’s a different atmosphere in the White House and the administration.”
Commenting on Vice-president Mike Pence he said: “Mike Pence is the 24-karat-gold model of what we want in an evangelical politician…I don’t know anyone who’s more consistent in bringing his evangelical-Christian worldview to public policy.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said the board was involved in many more policies than just religious issues, saying it was “a full range of issues which included the repeal of Obamacare, federal court appointments, foreign policy, Israel, and about a half-dozen other topics.” He continued by saying, that Trump and his administration are “genuinely interested and responsive to the concerns of the evangelical community.”
Rodney Howard-Browne laid hands on the president in the White House and prayed, while repeating in his report from the visit to the White House that the separation of church and state is “bogus”.
Robert Jeffress, another Evangelical Advisor described why he likes Trump, and threw the teaches of Christ behind his back: “When I’m looking for a leader who’s going to fight ISIS and keep this nation secure, I don’t want some meek and mild leader or somebody who’s going to turn the other cheek. I’ve said I want the meanest, toughest [man] I can find to protect this nation. And so that’s why Trump’s tone doesn’t bother me…we all want that in a leader, somebody who is able to fight back.” He declared that God gave Trump permission to bomb South Korea.
Lastly, Frank Amedia, Trump’s Christian Policy Advisor, has made a number of strong declarations regarding the United States. Amedia began Project POTUS Shield, saying “POTUS” in the name does not refer only to the president of the United States, but also to a new “prophetic order of the United States that God is establishing”. He also said that the Supreme Court, who interprets the Constitution which helps define the laws, would “change the laws of the land” under president Trump, as he chooses conservative Evangelical and Catholic judges to define the law of the land after the law of God, which Papists thought they had the power to change and caused the world to observe the commandments of men rather than the commandments of God.
In the POTUS Shield meeting, most startling things were declared foreshadowing the dark advances of a church ready to wield state power. They declared that as the walls of communism fell, even so Islam must fall, as one of the last false religions before America takes it’s place of authority and Christ may return. It is a strongly embedded belief that the nation must be taken to enforce the laws, and then the king who gave those laws shall appear to reign. Yet if the law is the day of the sun, which has no law contained in Scripture, but is a law and creation of man, then the law enforced upon the people would rise no higher than the worship of the sun, the creature, and not the Creator.
Mark Gonzales, head of the Hispanic Action Network, said: “God, we’re here to shift the nation. God we’re here to put it back on track by your spirit and by your power. … America belongs to you. America belongs to you. America belongs to you. … God, you founded us on a Judeo-Christian ethos, and we’re declaring that yes, America is and will be a Christian nation, like never before.”
At these meetings, Lou Engle’s prayer gathering in Cleveland was promoted. Lou Engle is known for his belief that Christians will reign over the land. In Keys of Dominion, Engle said “The same authority that has been given to Christ Jesus for overwhelming conquering and dominion has been given to the saints of the most high. … We’re God’s rulers upon the earth. … We will govern over kings and judges will have to submit. … We’re called to rule! To change history! To be co-regents with God!” And on July 4th, 2017, Amedia promised “We are going to re-establish the Judeo-Christian doctrines of this country…It’s coming and can’t be stopped.” [/expand]
7) [expand title=”White House Weekly Bible Studies”]
Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries is the Bible Teacher which actively been engaging in opening up the Bible in the White House with the presidential administration. His purpose for this and his belief regarding government as a moral “avenger” to employ the “use of force” is evident: “I supported Trump from very early on in the campaign, and Jeff Sessions would tell you I influenced him to do the same in the Bible study. The Bible contains some criteria for someone who’s going to lead in the state. The primary passages are Romans 13:1–8 and Peter 2:13–14, both reiterate the idea that the institution of state does not bear the sword for nothing. It’s an “avenger of wrath”: It punishes those who do evil and it rewards those who do good. So the major God-given responsibility, the state’s primary calling, is to “moralize a fallen world through the use of force.”
If this is his belief regarding the Bible, he is doubtless teaching them the principles of government to be actively engaged in wielding the sword for their God-given mission of opposing all who do not adhere to their ideologies, beliefs, and practices as opposing morality. [/expand]
The lamblike beast is beginning to speak as a dragon from the government under the assumption of lamblike garments, and aiming for the jurisdiction which belongs to Christ alone to execute judgment upon man. All too clearly can the students of history see how history is repeating itself. The image to the beast is growing in strength daily and is being breathed into life by the power of the people.
Journalist Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept seems to strikingly bring to view the prophetic direction of this prophetic power in his observation of the Trump Administration: “Trump is a Trojan horse for a cabal of vicious zealots who have long craved an extremist Christian theocracy, and Pence is one of its most prized warriors. With Republican control of the House and Senate and the prospect of dramatically and decisively tilting the balance of the Supreme Court to the far right, the incoming administration will have a real shot at bringing the fire and brimstone of the second coming to Washington…”