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Month: January 2017

Temple of Beauty, Part 9

Temple of Beauty, Part 9

The servants and services of the Temple

In our explanation of the Levites (which please see) we had hoped to have distinguished between the Levites in general, and the Priestly class which was selected from amongst them. The Levites as a whole were a consecrated class taken from amongst the twelve tribes in the place of the first born of all the tribes of Israel and as such dedicated to the Lord and to his service.

They were given title to no land, thus illustrating the fact that the antitypical Levites would be without earthly inheritance, but would be called to a heavenly inheritance.”

The Levites in general typifying the great company class, and the Priests representative of the “little flock” or faithful over-comers. As you recall we had determined that in fully consecrating themselves to the Lord and to his services both of these classes had entered into covenant arrangement with the Father, a “covenant by sacrifice” (Psa 50:5), and in so doing they had sacrificed all their earthly life rights in the hopes of obtaining a heavenly inheritance. Such having been sealed by the spirit were then begotten to a new nature, a spirit nature, and henceforth declared “new creatures in Christ Jesus”.

Now it is important to remember that all of these were called in the one hope of their calling, they were all called as prospective members of the body of Christ members of the “Church of the first born”, a “royal priesthood”.

THERE WAS NO CALL TO A GREAT COMPANY CLASS, this class is simply the refuge of all those called who felled to make their calling and election sure, but who nevertheless would in no sense deny their Lord and so in mercy the Lord will permit them to pass through great tribulation so that they might wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb (robes, which they had allowed to become stained through contact with the world and its various enticements Rev 7:14). Those who succeed in this cleansing (having received the palm branch, representative of victory, Rev 7:9) shall stand before the throne (that is to say they will serve in the temple as ministers of the throne) Rev 7:15.

They are to be servants even as the typical Levites were servants who served in the Tabernacle, only these shall serve in the Temple of God (the Church), but they shall not be a part of the Temple.

Now much of this we have already addressed, but in order for us to get a proper grasp of the whole picture we will need to mention certain aspects once again.

As you recall in Ezekiel’s Temple or Sanctuary if you prefer, there are TWO courtyards, and inner and outer one, also in addition to the “Holy” and “Most Holy” contained in the main central building there is a vestibule or porch which leads into the “Holy.” Likewise there are the Priest Chambers located on north and south sides of the main building along with a rather large building located at the west end behind the central building, which we will explain later.

In that picture the Levites who typify the Great Company Class are said to serve as ministers in the Lord’s sanctuary (Ezek 44:10) servants of the true Church in the inner court, although they do venture out into the outer court, thus as was alluded to in Rev 7:15 they serve God in the service of his temple.

However they are not permitted to come near God to minister to him as priest nor to come near any of the holy things nor into the “Most Holy” place, nevertheless they shall keep charge of the temple, for all its work, and for all that has to be done in it. (Ezek 44:13, 14) thus distinguishing them from the “sealed ones” the “little flock” the “Royal Priesthood” (Rev 7:4; Luke 12:32; 1 Pet 2:9)

These in contrast with the priest, the Levites, the sons of Zadok who typify the Little Flock, (Zadok means to be just, righteous or lawful, thus approved) who are permitted to minister to God as priest to come near His table to minister to Him (Ezek 44:15, 16)

Now in regards to the TWO courtyards, (parts of the sanctuary) the outer courtyard pictures human perfection (actual or heart) which none of mankind shall enter until first they will have passed through the “gate”, there are three of these which lead into the outer court and three which lead into the inner court in both cases one at the north side, one at the south, and one on the east.

The 144,000, the “little flock” depicted as the “glory of God” all entered through the east gate (Ezek 43:1-5), of the outer court, the various chambers within this gate typifying the trials and test which they all must pass after they have attained to the plane of heart perfection. By passing these tests they manifest to themselves as well as to God and angels that they are truly at heart perfect, loyal and true. Likewise chambers in the north and south outer court gates type similar tests which mankind will pass during the millennial age. The last manifesting test before entering the outer courtyard of the sanctuary after they have attained to the plane of actual perfection will take place during the little season at the end of the millennium (Rev 20:3, 7, 8).

All of the gates were approached by steps leading up to them; each had a threshold or door to enter and another to exit, in between these doors along both sides of a small corridor were small chambers six on one side and six on the other. Each gate also included a vestibule or porch, however on the outer three gates (the ones surrounding the outer courtyard) the porches followed after passing the chambers and exiting the threshold, whereas on the inner gates (the ones surrounding the inner courtyard) the porches were approach before entering the threshold and the chambers. (Ezek 40:6-16)

There are two pavements in the sanctuary, the upper pavement being the outer portion of the inner court, fifty cubits in breadth and the lower pavement being the outer portion of the outer court, also fifty cubits in breadth. Walls, gates and buildings will occupy both pavements. They typify conditions and activities in connection with the establishing of the Kingdom. The lower pavement is referred to in Ezek 40:17.18. The upper pavement is not specifically mentioned, but is inferred from the term “lower pavement”.

The outer court typifies the condition of actual or heart perfection of mankind. At the close of the Millennial age all the ransomed human race will have attained to that plane. (Isa 35:10; 51:11; Rev. 21:7) The outer court is elevated the height of seven steps above the surrounding land, seven symbolizing the perfection of those who enter the outer court condition. Climbing the seven steps denotes the development and progress of mankind from the debased to the perfect condition.

The inner court proper is situated at the center of the sanctuary typifying the condition of the Great Company, spirit beings. The Western building Ezek 41:12, which we referred to earlier located directly behind the central building, represents the condition of angles, it is on the same level as the inner court, suggesting that the condition of the resurrected Great Company will be similar to that of angles. (Rev 7:13-17; Psa 45:14, 15)

The higher elevation of the inner court implies that the Great Company class (similar to angels) are on a plane of existence higher than that of perfect humanity. The steps, eight in number, intimate that while the spirit nature of the Great Company is perfect (seven) it is only one-step higher than that of the perfect human nature (Ezek 40:37). Perfect man is only a little lower than angels (one step lower). Psa 8:4,5; Deut 32:4

As for the temple steps, they are not numbered, suggesting that it is not possible to measure the infinite height and glory of the Divine nature of the Little Flock above the glory of the nature of the Great Company and Angels. The great difference between the Divine nature and all else cannot be suggested by any number of steps. “Canst thou by searching find out God? Or canst thou find the way unto the utmost limit of the Almighty?” (Job 11:7-9; Isa 40:12, 18; Rom 11:33, 34).

All of the consecrated, those spirit begotten pass through the outer east gate, both the Church and the Great Company there is no distinguishing between the two, all are called in the one hope of their calling, all must pass through trials and testing (the various chambers) however the faithful consider these trials as but light afflictions whereas to the Great Company class these are considered as great tribulations, burdensome trials, thus felling to be rightly exercised and developed by these they have need of further testing.

The porches coming before the six chambers in the inner court gates, rather than after as in the outer gates, type that the Great Company will receive tests after they have entered into the fullness of the perfect life on the spirit plane. Their contact with fallen humanity (Ezek 44:11) during the millennial age will afford abundant tests, which will serve only to manifest their perfection.

There is only one gate opened at the present time and that is the east outer gate and none may enter who have not taken the necessary step of full consecration and sacrifice, but shortly that gate will be closed and the door or entrance to the High Calling will be closed forever (Ezek 44:1,2; Matt 25:10; Rev 3:7) mankind’s time for entering will not come until the next age and then only by means of the north and south entrances.

In the next age the door to the inner east gate will open, it has been shut for “six working days” (6000 years) but on the Sabbath the Millennial Day “it shall be opened”, on the day of the New Moon (the day when the New Covenant goes into effect) during that time the “prince” representing the Ancient Worthies will stand by the gate post (Prov 8:34, 35) receiving instructions from the “priest” (the Church) who will receive the offerings of the people.

For out of Zion (the Spiritual Phase of the Kingdom) shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (the Earthly Phase, represented in and through the Ancient Worthies).” Isaiah 2:3

This shall continue until the work of the Millennial Age is completed, and then in the “evening” that is at the end of the Millennium this door to the inner east gate will be shut even as was the door to the outer east gate shut (Ezek 46:1, 2).

In our next post we will take a look at the river which ran from the temple.

 

Who are the Levites?, Part 2

Who are the Levites?, Part 2

THE ANTITYPICAL LEVITES

Is there any question as to there being an antitype? Surely not when we summarize the preceding paragraphs and note afresh the minuteness of detail given us by God’s Word in regard to this class. In brief, the Scriptures teach:

1) On the Passover night the first-born of Israel are saved by the blood of the paschal lamb.

2) For a permanent memorial they are exchanged for the tribe of Levi, which is set apart to spiritual service.

3) From the Levites the high priest and under-priests are selected.

4) Under the supervision of the priests, the Levites perform the tabernacle service and are also instructors of the Law to the people.

Thus far we have merely recited the Scriptural facts upon which all will agree. In interpreting these acts, however, patience must be exercised by all, inasmuch as there is some honest and sincere disagreement. Taking the above points in the same order, the following appears to be their logical interpretation:

(1) The Passover night represents the period of the Gospel Age, during which a class from amongst mankind, namely the Church of the First-born (Heb 12:23) are delivered from the danger of destruction by the “sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ,” the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. (I Pet 1:2; Rom 5:9; Rev 5:9; Acts 20:28; John 1:29, 36; Rev 13:8) These are “passed from death unto life” and are become “a kind of first-fruits of His creatures” and “the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb.” “For Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” – James 1:18; Rev 14:4; 1 Cor 5:7

The deliverance of the world follows that of the Church, and was pictured in the departure from Egypt (Satan’s order) of all Israel after the “passing over” of the first-borns. The next morning typified the millennial morning; and the subsequent passing through the Red Sea and the destruction of Pharaoh’s hosts, pictured the work of the Restitution Age culminating in the final removal of all evil forces.

(2) The selection of the tribe of Levi as permanent representatives of the first-born and their separation to the tabernacle ministry can well represent the called-out class of Christians consecrated to God’s service. These constitute the “household of God” and are “the household of faith“; the “Church of the First born, which are written in heaven.” (Eph 2:19; Gal 6:10; Heb 12:23)

These are set apart to God’s service and have made with Him acovenant by sacrifice“; thus emulating their Master, whose footsteps they seek to follow in fulfilling their vow to do not their own, but the divine will.

(3) The elevation of some of the Levites to the Priesthood, comprising a High Priest and under priests seems to teach an eventual separation of these called-out, consecrated ones into two classes.

Other Scriptures bear out this thought of a division of true believers into two classes. Actually, all believers, sincere and otherwise, can be listed under four headings, viz.: those who go into the Second Death; those who are mere professors, “tares” (a.k.a. nominal Christians); and the two classes mentioned by St. Paul in the oft-quoted words of 1 Cor 3:11-15: “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and. the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abides which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he him-self shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Here then, are two Christians, both justified, consecrated, and spirit-begotten, justified, because they build on the only Foundation (Psa 40:2; Matt 7:24; 1 Cor ,10:4); consecrated, because none can be related to the Master except they take up their cross and deny themselves; spirit-begotten, because they are building a spiritual structure. (Not an earthly structure as our JW friends would have some to believe) “No man takes this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” (Heb 5:4,) Both have come “under the blood“; both are antitypical first-borns and consequently, antitypical Levites. Both are endeavoring to emulate the High Priest of their profession (Heb 3:1); both are probationary members of the Royal Priesthood. (1 Pet 2:5, 9) The superstructure they must build is that crystallization of spiritual principles that attainment of Christ-mindedness which is best summed up in the one glorious resolution: “Not my will but Thine, O Lord, be done.” Theirs is a purely voluntary walk, neither demanded by the justice of God, nor coerced by His Power. Their attainment of the divine goal, joint-heirship with Christ, depends entirely upon the carrying out of their consecration vows, by means of the “grace sufficient” God has promised to supply. “Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” (Psa 50:5)

Both are called in the one hope of their calling, but only the one is chosen and abides faithful. Only the one follows the “Lamb whithersoever He goes.” The other, alas, fails to realize that complete submission of self-will requisite for complete overcoming, and consequently is unable to endure the fiery tests which come in the “way” of suffering with Christ. Nevertheless they are beloved of the Lord, for their failure is not due to willful sin, but solely to an avoidance of the sacrificing necessary to carry out the terms of their covenant.

In nothing perhaps is the difference between these two types of Christians more discernible than in a comparison of the lives of Abraham and Lot. Both love the Lord, both are righteous, both leave all to come to the Promised Land. But the one completely submerges self-will in a marvelous obedience to the will of God; the other endeavors to do both God’s will and his own, and succeeds in doing neither. Yet Lot is “righteous” and God spares him, though so “as by fire.” There is much food for thought here for the sincere follower of Christ.

(4) What shall be the eventual position of these two classes? There can be no question regarding the members of the Royal Priesthood — theirs, a position of joint-heirship with Christ; Kings and Priests for a thousand years. They — the “Abrahams” — shall out work all God’s gracious provisions on behalf of the human race, theirs, the joy incomprehensible.

But what of the antitypical Levites, the “Lots“? Three conclusions offer themselves. The first, that they shall be cleansed by the “fire” and thus become members of the “little flock,” we reject as doing violence to other Scriptures. The second that they shall eventually occupy a position on the earthly plane as perfect human beings is also inadmissible. We reason as follows:

1) They are a class consecrated to do God’s will.

2) As human beings, they in common with all mankind were born in sin and “shapen in iniquity,” and were “dead in trespasses and sins“; and thus were alienated from God. – Psa 51:5; Eph 2:1.

3) Before their consecration could be acceptable, they needed to be justified from Adamic condemnation.

4) Because of His purpose to “call out a people for His name,” God had arranged the means of this justification, by sending His Son to die on Calvary as the ransom price for all. (Having been “called out”, during the Gospel age in advance of their fellow man they received their share of this ransom sacrifice in advance of their fellow men who receive their share in the next age.)

5) God’s object in providing this justification (in advance) was to give them the opportunity to consecrate themselves and thus to become joint-sacrificers with their Lord, as a members of His Body.

6) God marks His acceptance of their consecration by begetting them through the Holy Spirit.

7) Thenceforth they are “new creatures“; sons begotten to the spirit plane. That which is born (after being first begotten) of the spirit is spirit. John 3:6.

8) The condition of God’s acceptance of their consecration was their “death” to all the human rights which would accrue to them otherwise, in the next age, the Millennial Age as a result of the ransom sacrifice of Christ. The grace of justification (in advance of their fellow man) was granted to them to enable them to offer up these rights by sacrifice, thus becoming “dead with Christ,” for God could not accept upon his altar anything less than that which was holy, pure, righteous, and just. These human or earthly life rights, once given up, cannot be taken back again. None of the spirit-begotten, therefore, can be reinstated to earthly hopes or human lives, for all rights to these were sacrificed at consecration.

9) They must either be born on the spirit plane or die; and since St. Paul says they will be “saved,” death certainly is not to be their portion.

10) In the wilderness the Lord set the Levites apart for His service. Thenceforth they were to represent the first-born of all the tribes. These were typical of the Church of the First-born. (Heb 12:23) They were given title to no land, thus illustrating the fact that the antitypical Levites would be without earthly inheritance, but would be called to a heavenly inheritance.

In view of these considerations we are led to the third conclusion, namely, that the antitypical Levites, after passing through the disciplinary experiences arranged by the Lord during each one’s lifetime to reveal the vanity of self-will (“saved, yet so as by fire“), will be raised to a spirit plane of existence, in which state, under the supervision of the Royal Priesthood, they shall be active ministrants in the great work of reconciliation during the Millennial Age. This we believe is the teaching of the Spirit in the typical work of the Levites on the days subsequent to the Day of Atonement.

In conclusion we would again stress the necessity of clearly discerning the importance of the doctrine of justification in its relation to this question of the future condition of the antitypical Levites. Once it is seen that consecration means the complete surrender of all earthly rights received through justification as a result of the ransom sacrifice, and that God’s acceptance of one’s consecration is marked by spirit-begettal, once these things are seen, it seems obvious that all the called of this Gospel Age must either be born on the spirit plane or go into the Second Death. There cannot possibly be a return to human rights, as the covenant by sacrifice” (is to the death- of the earthly or human life Rev 2:10, and) is irrevocable with the Lord.

And finally, though we accept the Scriptures as teaching the eventual existence of a spiritual class subordinate to the “little flock,” let us emphasize the glorious position to which we are all called, even to joint-heirship with our High Priest, and strive so to run as to obtain. Let no spirit of slothfulness be engendered because of the Levitical type, that thereby we may be led to feel that if one does not attain to the highest position, the lower will in any case be allotted. Such a disposition is very dangerous and may result in the complete loss of all. We can never plead divine grace as an excuse for indifference or carelessness; for sin ever lies at the door, and “if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in Him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe [in all the fullness of faith] to the saving of the soul.” – Heb 10:38, 39

 The truth could not have been stated any plainer for those who have eyes that see and ears that hear. Now you know whom the “great company” will truly consist of, and that their fate or inheritance is to serve the Lord and his Church as spirit beings in heaven.

 

Who are the Levites?, Part 1

Who are the Levites?, Part 1

We present the following subject due to the fact that there are still many who are confused over the issue of the Great Company , who they are and what should be their ultimate fate, much of this confusion centers over one particular statement found in Revelation Chapter 7 Verse 9 which states,

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, STANDING BEFORE THE THRONE and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”

The question being whether their “standing” before the throne be a symbolic or a literal statement, if it be literal then this implies they have been raised spirit beings , heavenly beings no longer human and as such have received a heavenly inheritance, for as you recall, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God” (that is the spiritual phase of the Kingdom) 1 Cor 15:50.

As such in the attempt to promote their own agenda (an “earthly” calling or hope if you will), in truth but “another gospel” our Jehovah’s Witnesses friends, that is the organization or governing body itself have felled as faithful ministers of the Word of God (not unlike the rest of orthodoxy) to provide their followers with “the whole counsel of the Word of God” on this issue, much of which is covered in The Tabernacle and the Leviticus Types. However over time the study of the Tabernacle has fallen out of favor as most deem it as past attempts by the Jewish nation to redeem itself through the bloody sacrifices of bulls and goats. Now although it is true that the blood of bulls and goats could in no way ever bring true redemption it must be understood that these typical sacrifices and services were merely set forth as examples, types of the “better sacrifices” and of the true and actual redemption to come.

In this respects we consider the Tabernacle and the Leviticus types as key issues to understanding certain specific truths hidden from the rest of the professing church. Among these are to be found the difference between “faith justification and actual justification”, the difference between the “high priest and under-priests” the “Lords goat” (the “little flock”), and the “scapegoat” (the “great company”), as well as the truth concerning the “anointing”, and the “high calling”, but alas they (the “blind guides” of Christendom) “have taken away this key of knowledge” (the truth on these issues as well as on that of many other important issues concerning the faith, substituting instead their own teachings and beliefs, and thus not only depriving themselves, but also those who trusted in them as the Lord’s representatives to show them the way) they themselves are not entering in (into the heavenly phase of the kingdom), and those who were entering in (that is those who were approaching the entrance to the heavenly kingdom, attempting to enter in), they have hindered (mislead through false and misleading teachings, deceiving them into thinking they have already done everything necessary to secure themselves a heavenly inheritance). Luke 11:52

With the following article written by Brother W. J. Siekman we hope to shed some of that missing light which has been hidden from them thus far.

The company and assembly of the first-born in heaven enrolled.” – Heb 12:23, Young’s Literal Translation.

Regardless of our preference in favor of any interpretation, one objective and one alone must guide us as we reconsider this perennially interesting subject. And that is, to ascertain in humble and teachable spirit, what saith the Lord With this, the proper attitude of mind, let us consider anew the Scriptural facts relative to the tribe of Levi with full assurance of God’s blessing as we endeavor to learn,

1) Who the Levites were

2) Whom they typify; and,

3) The ultimate destiny of this anti-typical class.

THE SELECTION OF LEVI

 The patriarch Jacob’s descendants through his twelve sons, after having multiplied in Egypt, were reduced to virtual slavery. God raised up for them a great deliverer, Moses, and by ten plagues revealed His mighty power, until Pharaoh permitted the Israelites to depart. In the last terrible plague that befell Egypt, all the first-born of man and beast were slain except the first-born of Israel, who were preserved by the sprinkling of the blood of the paschal lamb. (Exod 12:7, 13)

In view of this deliverance, God claimed all the first-born of man and beast as His own in a special sense. (Exod 13:2) During the wilderness journey, He separated the Levites, and took them and their cattle instead of the first-born of man and beast among the other tribes.

Take the Levites instead of all the first-born among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites shall be mine: I am the Lord.” (Num 3:45) From the tribe of Levi, thus set apart for the special service of Jehovah, God took Aaron and his sons for the priesthood (Exod 28:1), giving them the tribe of Levi for their attendants. Thus all the priests were Levites, but not all the Levites were priests. Henceforth the Levites always represented the first-born delivered on the Passover night.

The whole arrangement is given in the following words (Num 3:6-10):

Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him. And they shall keep his charge and the charge of the whole congregation [“charge”, in the sense of duties with which they are charged in behalf of Aaron and the congregation] before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle. And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation [that is, the tabernacle itself, with all its furnishings], and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle. And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron, and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel. And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest’s office: and the stranger [that is, one “not of the seed of Aaron,” Num 16:40] that cometh nigh [nigh to the sanctuary to perform any priestly function] shall be put to death.”

In the Eighth Chapter of Numbers, a more detailed account is given of the Levites’ inception of sacred service, and should be carefully considered in its relation to the antitype. We note particularly Verses 13 to 15: “Thou shalt set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them for an offering unto the Lord. Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine, and after that shall the Levites go in to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: and thou shalt cleanse them, and offer them for an offering.” Thus an entire tribe was set apart for God’s service; the Levites holding a nearer relation to God than the other tribes, the priests than the Levites, and the high priest than the subordinate priests. The Levites alone could minister to the priests, but were themselves forbidden to exercise any priestly function.

The tribe of Levi received no inheritance with the other tribes in the land of Canaan. It was necessary, therefore, that an adequate provision should be made for their maintenance. This was included in the declaration: “Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, according as the Lord thy God promised him” (Deut 10:9), which is several times repeated for substantiality (Num 18:20, 24; Deut 18:1, 2; Ezek 44:28); for when God gives an inheritance to His servants, it meets all their wants, temporal as well as spiritual. Accordingly, God ordained that the other tribes should give the tenth part or tithe of all the increase of their fields and of their flocks and herds: “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Num 18:21) The Levites, in turn, were commanded to give a tenth of this tenth for the maintenance of the priests. – Verses 26-32.

The Levites have no part among you; for the Priesthood of the Lord is their inheritance.” (Josh 18:7) Receiving thus no territorial possessions, forty eight cities were assigned to them by lot, out of the inheritance of the other tribes, with ample suburbs (pasture-grounds) for their cattle. (Num 35; Josh 1:21) Of the above named forty-eight cities, the priestly order had thirteen, all in the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin; and six of them were also cities of refuge, three on either side of the Jordan. By this arrangement the Levites were distributed throughout the whole Hebrew commonwealth, and so enabled, if faithful to their office, to exert the widest influence for the maintenance of the Mosaic institutions in their purity. Thus the prophetic announcement of Jacob respecting Simeon and Levi, “I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel” (Gen 49:7), was so fulfilled in the case of this tribe as to be made a blessing to the tribe itself and to the whole nation; for the functions of the Levites were spiritual, and they became, in a measure at least, the instructors of the people.

Continued with next post.

 

Revelation Chapter 12, Part 1

Revelation Chapter 12, Part 1

Among the 13 chapters which form the first section of Revelation, Chapter 12, is one of the most complete units. Being able to interpret it correctly is the key to interpreting the remainder of Revelation. It might even be wise for a student to begin with Chapter 12 and then work both directions to understand the remainder of Revelation. The following is a relatively complete exposition of Chapter 12.

However first before we begin it is important to possess the “Key” to understanding this Chapter:

To have the proper perspective and interpretation of the drama unfolded in the Twelfth Chapter of Revelation, one must realize from the outset that, this chapter is the record of events as viewed in or through the eyes of orthodoxy (the church nominal, more specifically Papacy) that is to say as it was perceived by them, not as the true Church perceives it.

Understand we are not here saying that it is presented as (we) Bible Students view it, but rather as God has presented it, as seen through the eyes of the Professing Church (from the church nominal perspective).

“The events were viewed (by the false church) as something wonderful, indeed as God’s overruling providential care in granting His professed Church an astounding victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. That Constantine, the ruler of the mighty Roman Empire, would espouse Christianity and make it the religion of the realm was truly a surprising development. However instead of viewing the emperor’s nominal acceptance and adoption of Christianity as the religion of the empire in its proper light—that is, as being a most baneful and dangerous influence (an amalgamation of church and state), being a trap and an ensnarement of the true brotherhood—Christianity’s adherents, for the most part, considered this development a harbinger of better things to come and did not recognize it as an artifice and stratagem of the Adversary, (The Master Deceiver) who now would assume the role of an angel of light (Matt 4:8,9; John 5:43; 2 Cor 11:14).” The Keys of Revelation“, Page 293

VERSE 1Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.

In the religious world (the ecclesiastical heavens) appears a sign (see margin) — a sign of a change from the Jewish Age to the Gospel Age. We see a woman (A woman can be the Church if she’s a virgin, the false church if she’s a harlot, or a covenant (Gal 4:24). This woman is the “Sarah Covenant” (“The New Jerusalem” Covenant of Gal 4:26, the “Covenant of sacrifice” of Psa 50:5). Some call her the Grace Covenant. She is the Covenant under which the Church is developed. She is clothed with the sun (the Gospel) but has the moon (the Jewish Law and prophets) as a foundation. Her head (the part which thinks, which leads and directs) is crowned by the 12 light-bearers (the Apostles).

“Which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—.” Gal 4:24

“But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” Gal 4:26

“Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Psa 50:5

“Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spoke Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.” John 12:36

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” Matt 5:14

VERSE 2Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.”

She wants to be delivered of her true seed (the Wheat class). Unfortunately, as we shall see, and as we know from Jesus’ parable, there will also be a false seed (Tares). That her seed is plural may be seen by the reading of Verse 17 where it refers to the “remnant of her seed.”

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Rev 12:17

 VERSE 3And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.”

Another sign of the changing age occurs; a great red dragon. A dragon is a civil power; the red dragon actually became the official symbol of pagan Rome, after their symbol was the eagle. This dragon is almost certainly the civil power known as pagan Rome on its way out of power. Paul refers to it in 2 Thess. 2:7 as “he who now restrains.” The New American Standard reads. “…he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way” In short: Pagan Rome fought the development of Christianity (false as well as true), but pagan Rome was to disintegrate, making way, as Paul points out, for the “mystery of iniquity” …the Tare Class which would dominate Christianity and make Babylon such an anti-Christian institution. This dragon has seven heads (forms of government) and 10 horns (supporting powers). The Antichrist will eventually dominate these 10 powers. Thus we saw in Rev 11:13 that a tenth part (France) fell in the French Revolution. The crowns upon the heads show Rome’s sovereignty during its seven stages.

VERSE 4His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.”

The tail of this dragon is likely Constantine as he was the LAST emperor in Rome; he moved the Imperial capital to Constantinople setting up great changes in history. Constantine, now embracing Christianity, and being chief religious ruler of the empire, called the Council of Nice which drew to it one third of all the bishops (stars, teachers) of heaven (the Christian religious ruler-ship). It is almost at this point that Babylon is born. The bishops are “cast…to the earth” – that is to say, they now become primarily embroiled in earthly power-grabs and political maneuvering. Their spirituality is lost. The dragon, wishing to use newly-born Babylon (the Wheat-Tare mixture) to strengthen Rome, is ready to devour (consume) this “new” religion for political reasons (political opportunism).

VERSE 5She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.”

The child of the covenant (which was supposed to be true Christianity) turns out to be a “man-child”, “the man of sin” which, during the Christian age, would rule all nations with total dictatorial authority (a rod of iron). This is the clear history of the Roman Catholic Church during what most scholars call the Dark Ages. This “child” (the Papacy) was exalted to being “God on Earth” (Compare 2 Thess 2:3, 4)

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

 VERSE 6Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”

 Consequently the true covenant (and the true seed mentioned in Verse 17) had to flee into a condition of mind-separateness, away from this symbolic “city” (government, Great Babylon) which persecuted her. (Rev 17:18). Here for 1,260 years (from 539 A.D. when the Pope had obtained dominance in the city of Rome until 1799 A.D. when the French Revolution ended with the embarrassing capture of the Pope by Napoleon) the true saints fed on whatever truth God let to be known in the midst of the darkness.

Excerpts taken from the New Albany Notes on Revelation.

Continued with next post.

Revelation Chapter 12, Part 2

Revelation Chapter 12, Part 2

VERSE 7And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought…”

How did this happen?

There was a great struggle (war) in the religious world (the ecclesiastical heavens) between the Papacy (who applied the title of Michael to itself,Michael” means “One Who as God), this false Michael with its followers, waged war with pagan Rome and its religious interests.

VERSE 8 “…but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.”

The dragon did not win. Papacy did. Pagan Roman religion disappeared — no room was found for it in heaven (the religious world).

VERSE 9So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

Rome, and all subsequent civil power, no longer exercised any religious authority. The emperor gave the Pope the titlePONTIFEX MAXIMUS” (Chief Religious Ruler) — a title only the former emperors had worn. Now civil power (the dragon) was cast to theearth” (a secular rule only). Note the 4-name entity here: “dragon, serpent, Devil, Satan.” This has been discussed in the treatment of Rev 20:2 where this symbol also represents a purely civil power. (No doubt, however, under the dominion of the literal Devil.)

VERSE 10Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”

The result of this rise to power of the Roman Catholic Church was the loud boast in heaven (the religious world) “We are the kingdom of God on earth! We have conquered pagan religion! They who have persecuted us are now beneath our power.”

VERSE 11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

Naturally, Papacy attributes the victory to Jesus. Papacy also attributes it to its martyrs whom it venerates. Thus they claim the victory due to the martyrdom of thoseaccused” (Verse 10) and to their life-stones (“the word of their testimony”), and also to their willingness to love the church over life itself (“loved not their lives unto the death”). Papacy will always be thenceforth willing to ask others to sacrifice for the maintenance of church power.

VERSE 12Therefore rejoice O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

The rejoicing continues IF you are part of the apostate church (“ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them”) IF you are not, WOE! The false church quickly took on the power of the persecutor, and if used the dragon (civil power) to enforce its persecuting power. Throughout the 1,260 years of Papal dominance, the earthly princes readily obeyed Papal dictates knowing that the rule of the church seemed endless, but that of the civil princes, only a “short time” — unless, of course, they obeyed.

VERSE 13Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.”

The civil power relished its job of cooperating with the man of sin in putting down all “heresies.” Heresies, of course, were truths promulgated by thewoman” (covenant, the true church) and those being developed under her.

VERSE 14But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.”

The Dark Ages (3 1/2 symbolic years) were pictured by the 3 1/2 year period in the life of Elijah when there was no rain (Water is a symbol of truth) See also Amos 8:11. The true church (the women) was fed during this time by the two wings (Old and New Testament writings) of a great eagle. The eagle is far-sighted and represents WISDOM. This wisdom, of course, is the Bible itself which sustained true Christians all during the 1,260 years of Papal persecution. Notice she is hidden from “the face of the serpent.” Face is a symbol of favor. She was OUT OF FAVOR with the civil authorities. (Serpent and dragon are the same character as is shown by comparing Verses 15 and 16.).

VERSE 15So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.”

Elements of the civil power were tired of being under the thumb of the Pope. They revolted. They revolted by what history calls the “Age of Enlightenment.” There was a large and dramatic spread of TRUTH (water) — so much truth that it was a flood. This was a flood designed in large part, to do away with the oppression of religion (false or true, it made no difference). This movement was centered in France and erupted into what we know as the French Revolution. Among other things, it OUTLAWED RELIGION.

VERSE 16But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.”

Things didn’t quite work as expected. The earth (society everywhere) liked the idea of truth. Revolution spread everywhere. But many also liked religious truth also. By accepting revolutionary trends, the world actually opened the way for religious freedom. This helped the woman. Since 1799 A.D. Papacy has been unable to control the rapid rise of religious truth — seeking and investigation. In terms of the Elijah picture: it rained everywhere!

VERSE 17And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Religious truth is always a threat. This final verse indicates that before the church is completed the civil power will yetmake warwith the remaining members of the true church.

NOTE: The first phrase of Rev 13:1 belongs in Chapter 12. It reads, (in its corrected translation), “And he (the dragon) stood upon the sand of the sea” (Chapter 13 then begins, “And I saw a beast…”) the sand of the sea is a symbol for the great masses of humanity. The civil powers (the dragon) yet dominate the masses until the Lord will overthrow their selfish ruler-ships.

NOTE: A number of brethren feel uncomfortable with the suggestion that the woman represents the Sarah Covenant. One reason for this uneasiness is that it opens the way for the common misapplication of the man-child’s being Jesus — an interpretation which ruins Chapter 12 and which makes a reasonable interpretation of it impossible. That such a misinterpretation is possible, however, is not a good reason for dismissing the possibility that the woman is the covenant. Nevertheless, EITHER interpretation of the woman (Sarah Covenant or True Church) is quite workable and will not do violence to a good interpretation of the chapter.

Excerpts taken from the New Albany Notes on Revelation.

“IT COMES”, Part 11

“IT COMES”, Part 11

The Beast and the Ten Kings, (Continued from previous post).

Verse 14 ended one part of the narrative. The story, in a sense, is complete at this point. The Lamb has overcome the enemy. But we need more detail; so, in the following verses, the angel supplies it.

Verse 15

Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.”

AND HE SAID TO ME: From here to the end of the chapter we again have evidence of the angel’s commission toward us. He is saying, “Here are the symbolic tools for interpretation. I can’t give you the answers directly, but I’ve given you all you need.”

THE WATERS WHICH YOU SAW WHERE THE HARLOT SITS: (Compare with Verse 1) Here is the first ingredient for the final revolution. The harlot controlled the people and the people (consciously or unconsciously) didn’t like it. These people (waters) will be the multitudes who form and constitute (as they did in France) the beast which comes up out of the abyss, the Lord’s Great Army.

ARE PEOPLES AND MULTITUDES AND NATIONS AND TONGUES: — the sea-class of humanity. It will not be “those who dwell on the earth”, (those with vested interest in the present order) which form the ascending beast. They will be with the “kings” and will cooperate with the beast only for expediency.

Verse 16

And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.”

AND THE TEN HORNS WHICH YOU SAW: In Verse 12 they were re-named “kings;” But now, they have something new to support and can again be called “horns” on the “beast” which they support.

AND THE BEAST: This is the correct reading (See your margin). (Brother Shallieu however insist that in order for this to make sense it should be read as “upon the beast” rather than “and the beast”, however as his interpretation differs widely from that which we are presenting it would but seem natural to him that the first rendering be the more appropriate.) However it is important to remember that the ten horns and the beast cooperate but do not amalgamate. (See notes on Verse 13.) This is the beast (a people’s revolutionary republic) which has ascended out of the abyss of inactivity.

THESE: The nations and the odd “republic” with which they are in league

WILL HATE THE HARLOT: — even as the (partial) beast of 11:7, 8 hated her (along with all religion!) WHY? Isaiah 23:15- 17 may answer this. The woman will TRY to MOUNT THIS BEAST as she did mount the beast with seven heads. But, apparently, this beast won’t want to be ridden!

AN IMPORTANT ASIDE: Having studied Chapter 13 and having studied the Sixth Plague (Rev 16:13 in particular), we are all aware that RELIGION will have some sort of part in the persecutions on the final members of the Church and Great Company. Chapter 17 seems NOT to be focusing on this factor. We must read between the lines to see the connection between the confederacy of Rev 16:13 and the confederacy shown in Chapter 17 which seem NOT to include the beast and false prophet of Rev 16:13. But reading between the lines IS ENCOURAGED by the context of Rev 17:16.

It does NOT SAY why the horns and beast HATE THE HARLOT. The fact is, however, that we KNOW why they hate her because we have the prototype of this hatred in the French Revolution when the first tenth of the city fell. We can justly reckon thus: When ten horns and people’s revolutionary republic form their cooperation, the apostate church will “volunteer” to assist. She will go too far and wear out her welcome by showing her old schemes, characteristics, and intrigues. But the people’s revolution will be tired to the bone of political and ecclesiastical lies. When the harlot tries to mount, ride, orsit onTHIS beast, she will get the surprise of her life! She will be trampled to death! Thus, Chapter 17 only “suggests by way of memory” the inclusion of apostate religion in the confederacy which will oppose the saints. It is more interested in focusing on how the people and rulers will turn on religion and destroy it even as the French did.

AND WILL MAKE HER DESOLATE: — empty, without form for expression (even as the house of Israel was in A.D. 33 — See Matt. 23:38, 39.)

AND NAKED: — exposed for what she is.

AND WILL EAT HER FLESH: — consume her polity; take away any power or influence she might have had.

AND WILL BURN HER UP WITH FIRE: — cause events which totally destroy her.

Verse 17

For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.”

FOR GOD HAS PUT IT IN THEIR HEARTS: Somehow God will so arrange matters that the desires of men will be so strong toward this confederacy that it will be easy of accomplishment.

TO EXECUTE HIS PURPOSE (MIND)See Psa 76:10 KJV. God’s plan WILL be accomplished. The instrumentalities are always there, willing or not.

BY HAVING A COMMON PURPOSE: (Literally – “even to do one mind.”) This, in today’s world is remarkable, indeed! All ten kings agree! (It may be of interest to us to note the past agreement of U.N. and NATO forces in Bosnia to take united action in attempting to stem the slaughter which was taking place there. This action is basically unprecedented. Perhaps it is setting the stage for future ideas of international cooperation.)

BY GIVING THEIR KINGDOM TO THE BEAST: Note carefully: the kings of Verse 12 have by Verse 17, received the “kingdom” which they did not earlier have. They will share their federated alliance with the people which have risen up. This, according to this verse, executes God’s purpose. We KNOW what His purpose is: it is the burning of the tares, the crushing of the grapes of wrath, the destruction of Babylon. Seeing the kings and beast cooperating should be, in a sense, a great joy for all saints who behold it! Unfortunately, (Verse 14) they will also be waging war against the Lamb. It is important to us to remember this TWO-FOLD work of this confederacy: (1) it is against the spirit-begotten and the spirit-born. (2) But it is also against Babylon. This same beast in Chapter 11 had the same indiscriminate hatred of all things religious.

UNTIL THE WORDS OF GOD SHOULD BE FULFILLED: The confederacy will not last a moment longer than is necessary.

Verse 18

And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

AND THE WOMAN WHOM YOU SAW: — the harlot who had controlled the age.

IS THE GREAT CITY: — antitypical Babylon, the capital of Christendom.

WHICH REIGNS: (Literally = “has a kingdom”) She is an apostate church. She reigned too early and improperly. It is in the present tense because it is the angel speaking in his day.

OVER THE KINGS OF THE EARTH: — a church over the state: harlotry.

One Final Receptive Thought

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls” who came and spoke with John COULD HAVE BEEN introduced earlier in Revelation with some benefit. There seems, however, a very special reason why the introduction was postponed to Rev 17:1. Chapter 17 concentrates on the subject of the judgment of the great harlot. It was through Brother Russell that we learned the enormous particulars of this subject and the great emphasis which Scripture places on it. The fact is, Chapter 17 opens with this angel because this chapter cannot be interpreted without knowing who this angel is and without having had the benefit of his counsel. Just as Brother Russell wrote in THE TIME IS AT HAND, prophecy has a combination-time lock, like a vault. Until the set time has arrived, it is useless to try to open the door. The COMBINATION of symbols MAY well have been available before Brother Russell. But the TIME setting (five are fallen, one is, etc.,) can be understood from one standpoint ONLY. We MUST KNOW when the angel is speaking. To know WHEN, we must also know WHO. We are blessed, indeed, to be privy to the knowledge of the harvest message which helps us unlock the mysteries of his chapter. We NEED the information contained herein for our soon-to-come experiences. We are grateful to God for providing it and for opening our eyes so that we can accept the messenger who delivers the information. We do not in any way wish to be inappropriate in our use of the messenger. (Rev 19:10; 22:8, 9) But we DO want to know who he is so that we can receive what he has to deliver.

“IT COMES”, Part 10

“IT COMES”, Part 10

The Beast and the Ten Kings

(Here we continue with the narrative we left off with in Part Two of this study.)

Revelation 17:12-18

There are actually two views held with regards to the events spoken of in these verses. One is that most of this has already been fulfilled and the other is that it has yet to have been fulfilled each however presents an excellent argument for their case.

Both Brother Shallieu in his work (“The Keys of Revelation”) and the New Albany Notes on Revelation support the future view however both hold various views as to how things will unfold.

Although I personally think the future view held by the New Albany class makes the most sense I would not say that this is set in stone, as I have said the first view makes a strong case, and seeing as we are dealing in prophecy here, much of which is still unfolding its best to keep an open mind and not become too dogmatic in our views.

“Briefly in the first view (that most of this has already been fulfilled), the ten horns are explained as symbolizing ten kingdoms, which, at the time that St. John was given the visions, were still future. Indeed, these ten horns are the same as those seen by Daniel on the fourth beast, which were divinely explained to him as the ten-fold division of the Roman Empire.

The explanation as given by the revealing angel to St. John is contained in the words: “And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings [kingdoms], which have received no kingdom as yet [that is, at the time St. John saw the vision]; but receive power as kings one hour [“at one and the same time,” as rendered by noted translators] with the beast.”

Brother Shallieu’s explanation being the “seven kings” or kingdoms in Verse 10 are successive powers of the government of Rome while the “ten kings” (kingdoms) of Verse 12 are contemporaneous, that is all are 10 kingdoms exist at the same time, with this we are in full agreement.

As the ten horns, according to Irenaeus, a disciple of a disciple of St. John, are “the same as mentioned by Daniel,” and since they came into existence on the division of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, the vision of the “harlot woman” seated on the beast could not possibly begin to meet its fulfillment, until the Roman Empire was thus divided. In the explanation of the angel, these horns or kingdoms are represented as first giving a voluntary submission to the harlot woman or city (government). They are subsequently represented by the revealing angel as rising against her, “and making her desolate and naked, and eating her flesh and burning her with fire.”

Now this explanation by the angel is a faithful portrayal of outward Christian history for long centuries. It is universally agreed that in less than four centuries after St. John’s day, the Western Roman Empire fell and its territory was divided into ten kingdoms and that after a brief period these kingdoms all gave their support to the Roman bishop who sat at first as a religious ruler and next as a temporal ruler.” (The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Page 29)

The foregoing makes sense, and yet there is another view, which likewise has its merits.

Verse 12

The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.”

AND THE TEN HORNS WHICH YOU SAW: “Which you saw” is important. The Revelator is mopping up details.

He has disposed of the heads, the eight kings, and the body of the beast in his predictions to this point. He realizes that we also “have seenhorns and a harlot. He will, from this point on, tell us how these end up in this story of Babylon’s fall. The ten horns, of course, have been the supporting powers (nations) which have cooperatively sustained the great heads (empires) through the age. They have not always been the same ten, but they have always been there to bolster up the system. As we continue the narrative, we are looking at the supportive powers of the 20th Century.

ARE TEN KINGS: — ten nations yet on earth formerly supportive of the beast. Remember that the beast has been “downsizing” since Napoleon. By the time Victor Emanuel rules, it has shrunken so that, functionally, only Italy remains. The Nazi empire tried to return a more continental size to the beast, but failed. By 1945, the beast lost its seventh head. Thus these 10 kings are no longer horns (supportive powers) upon a beast, the beast not now being supported. They are, thus, functionally KINGS, not horns, now.

Thus, note with interest this other change in symbolism: in Verse 10, the heads became kings. In Verse 12, the horns become kings — and all for the same reason. There is now no head to support. But these “horns” have not vanished. They are not now horns, but kings — nations not currently supporting a beast.

WHO HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED A KINGDOM: Note carefully that it doesn’t say they haven’t received kingdom(s). They are kingdoms (nations), but they have not collectively received A kingdom — an overall beast-type of empire. They DO eventually receive one as is proven by Verse 17. When they DO receive this kingdom, they give it to the beast – the PARTIAL beast which made its first appearance as the French Republic.

BUT THEY RECEIVE AUTHORITY AS KINGS WITH THE BEAST: Thus, eventually, they collectively have some kind of authority in cooperation with this re-emerged body of the beast. The thought seems clear. For a while they are merely ten different nations (kings). Eventually they cooperate (“in unity is strength”) and support (sort of like new horns – which they are again called in Verse 16) the beast that “was” and which will have made its comeback. This gives them a collective “authority” they could never have enjoyed individually.

FOR ONE HOUR: An hour is a non-specific time with a specific characteristic. The addition of the word “one” intensifies the peculiar nature of the time. Thus, this will be ONE UNUSUAL time in history. It is likely that the first half (or maybe the “middle half”!) is the period of time referred to in the seventh seal. (Rev 8:1) While, scripturally, an hour can be long or short, the nature of this time and the description here given suggests that it will, in this instance, be quite short.

The thought seems to be that Europe’s nations will collectively support some new continent-wide republic — perhaps one which comes into existence (as in France) from an uprising. And for a time (one unusual time, indeed,) this arrangement will give great power through shared authority.

Here we have the answer to a member of the Bible Student Forum’s earlier question, viz. “Are we really to expect that 10 kings will lend their support (give power) to a headless beast (a group of anarchist ‘people’)?

Heavens No! It is not the anarchist masses that these governments will lend their support it’s this new republic. Anarchy is the opposite of government; of law and order, no government would willingly lend its support to such an unruly mass, although it has been shown in recent times that governments have been a bit too tolerant of such groups both here at home and abroad, yielding to their demands.

Verse 13

These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.”

THESE HAVE ONE PURPOSE (MIND): Their purpose is not stated, but it likely will be self-preservation. It is probably that this is in some way connected to the ideas of the sixth plague.

AND THEY GIVE THEIR POWER AND AUTHORITY TO THE BEAST: Note the contrast to Verse 12. In Verse 12 the kings receive authority. In Verse 13 they give authority. It is very clear that this is a two-way cooperative arrangement. “You scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours.” It is also clear by comparing these verses that each (king and beast) retain their own individuality while cooperating. This is not a United States of Europe. This is independent European nations cooperating with a larger system (possibly some continent-wide republic as suggested above).

There is of course another possibility and that is that the “ten kings” represent more than just those ten nations who formerly supported the beast “that was”, but that as the number “ten” symbolizes “completeness”, so these ten kings represent all the (cooperative) nations of the world who cooperate in some type of world-wide or one world order type government.

Verse 14

These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”

THESE: kings and beast

WILL WAGE WAR AGAINST THE LAMB: There are two thoughts here, one far more important to us than the other. The first is that, by trying to bolster up the old order through their confederacy, this unholy alliance is warring against the incoming kingdom. The second thought, and personally most important to the saints, is that this alliance will be an enemy of saints — probably (as in France) of religion as a whole. Whatever final experiences are in store for church and/or the Great Company, this will be the time they will occur. It is not unlikely that the Church will be gone in the early part of this time.

AND THE LAMB WILL OVERCOME THEM: There is no question that the alliance will fail — to the good against him whom God has established as judge of all — once the time has come.

BECAUSE HE IS LORD OF LORDS AND KING OF KINGS: (Compare Rev 19:15, 16.) It is impossible to prevail against him whom God has established as judge of all — once the time has come.

AND THOSE WHO ARE WITH HIM: — the completed Church.

ARE THE CALLED, CHOSEN, AND FAITHFUL: Having gone through all, these are on Zion with the Lamb. (Compare Rev 14:1).

Continued with next post.

Temple of Beauty, Part 7

Temple of Beauty, Part 7

 

“Outside the inner gate (that is in the inner court) were the chambers for the singers in the inner court, one facing south at the side of the northern gateway (M), and the other facing north at the side of the east gate (P).” (The New King James Version has the second one at the side of the southern gate, but it should be placed at the side of the east gate as stated in the Original King James, the New American Standard Bible, and Young’s Literal Translation). Ezek 40:44

The singers’ chambers are for the priests (The Little Flock). The chamber at the East typifies the Little Flock, who from their position in Christ (The East) will sing praises to Jehovah in the (North) for His goodness to them, and the chamber at the north typifies the same immortal ones singing from their standing in the north (The Divine Plane) towards restored humanity (the South), of the manifold blessings of Jehovah. (Rev 15:2; Psa. 106:10-12; Zeph 3:14, 15, this song will be echoed by perfected mankind. Isa 35:10; Psa 135:1-3, F52, par.1, See Hosea 2:21, 22).

The inner court wall (N) types the Great Company who will then be under the headship of Christ. (Rev 7:15) The dimensions of this wall are not given, which suggest that the Word of God gives but little direct information about the condition and activities of this class in the Kingdom. It is presumed that they might work closely with the Church in the work of future worlds and in the creation of new life and beings.

The pillars (O) in both inner and outer court (Ezek 42:6) will probably form a colonnade around the border of the pavements. They will typify the pillars, chief ones, amongst mankind (outer court) and amongst the great company (inner court). In 1 Sam 2:8 the pillars refer primarily to the Little Flock, but the same thought could be applied to the Ancient Worthies who will be pillars on the earth “in that day”.

The vestibules or porches (Q) of the inner and outer gates and also that of the temple, see letter (F), are described in Ezek 40:7-9, 39, 40, 48, 49. All the porches of the gates and that also of the temple typify Christ as the resurrection. It is only through our Lord and His ransom sacrifice that any can enter into life on any plane. See John 6:40; 11:25, 26 and comments.

“Then he went to the gateway (S) which faced east; and he went up its stairs and measured the threshold (outer door) of the gateway, which was one rod wide, and the other threshold (the inner threshold) (R) was one rod wide.” (Ezek 40:6)

As in the Tabernacle the same here the gate, the door and the veil, all facing the east, typed Christ and in a certain sense those in Him. None might enter those holy entrances except those having to do, as actual or probationary, participants in the sin offering. So in the Temple of Ezekiel, in connection with the east gate of the outer court is pictured the entrance of those that will have to do with the cleansing of the people from sin- the Little Flock and the Ancient Worthies.

The Little Flock is depicted as the glory of God entering by the east gate of the outer court and the east gate of the inner court, and finally into the temple (Ezek 43:1-5), typing the progress of the Christ Body through Christ Jesus, as the way (gate or door) into Imputed human perfection (outer court) through thechangeto the Spirit plane (inner court) and up to the immeasurable exaltation of the nature of God (the Temple).

“Each gate chamber (T) was one rod long and one rod wide; between the gate chambers was a space of five cubits…” (Ezek 40:7), “In the eastern gateway were three gate chambers on one side and three on the other; the three were all the same size…” (Ezek 40:10), “There was a space in front of the gate chambers, one cubit on this side and one cubit on that side; the gate chambers were six cubits on this side and six cubits on that side.” (Ezek 40:12).

The six little chambers in the gate typify conditions of testing to be complied with, by all those on the plane of human perfection (actual or heart).

The six chambers in the outer east gate typify the testings, which have come to all the 144,000 after they have attained to the plane of heart perfection. By passing these tests (chambers) they have manifested to themselves, and also to God and to angels that they truly are at heart perfect, loyal and true.

The six chambers in the north and south outer court gates type similar tests which mankind will pass during the millennial age. The last manifesting test will come to them at the close of the 1,000 years. Rev 20:7, 8; F129, par. 1, last 4 lines E402, par. 1 D644, par. 1.

The six chambers in the north and south inner court gates, teach that the Great Company will yet have to pass certain tests which are designed to manifest their loyalty.  (1 Cor 3:15, G142, par. 8).

An important thought to consider, the porches coming before the six chambers in the inner court gates, rather than after as in the outer gates, type that the Great Company will receive tests after they have entered into the fullness of the perfect life on the spirit plane. Their contact with fallen humanity during the millennial age will afford abundant tests, which will serve only to manifest their perfection. (This may also apply to the Ancient Worthies prior to their being brought to the plane of spirit birthEzek 44:11. G141, par. 4; 334, par.1. 

Continued with next post.

 

Temple of Beauty, Part 6

Temple of Beauty, Part 6

The side chambers (G) were in three stories, one above the other, thirty chambers in each story; they rested on ledges which were for the side chambers all around, that they might be supported, but not fastened to the wall of the temple. As one went up from story to story, the side chambers became wider all around, because their supporting ledges in the wall of the temple ascended like steps; therefore the width of the structure increased as one went up from the lowest story to the highest by way of the middle one.” (Ezek 41:6, 7)

In antitype, the side chambers with their treasures picture for us character treasures laid up in the memory of the Christ. The character treasures of the Little Flock will be represented by the uppermost chambers. The middle chambers will type the character treasures of the Great Company and others on the spirit realm, and last the lowest chambers will represent the character treasures of the human family developed during the millennial age. (See Matt 6:20 and comments. Matt 19: 21; Col 2:1-3; 1 Cor. 3:12-15 comment on Verse 12).

“I also saw an elevation all around the temple (H); it was the foundation of the side chambers, a full rod, that is, six cubits high.” (Ezek 41:8)

Different elevations type different planes of life. The inner court platform level being lower than the temple platform typifies that the plane of life of the Great Company will be lower than that of the Little Flock. The fact that the temple will be elevated one reed (rod) above the surrounding inner court, suggests that the Little Flock will be fully elevated in accordance with all the promises of the word of God to the highest plane of life, the Divine Plane. (Luke 1:76; Eph. 1:21; Phil. 3:21; Acts 26:13-15; Col. 3:4; Romans 8:16-18)

The brazen altar (I) (described in Ezek 43:13-17) will be situated at the mathematical center of the inner court proper, of the sanctuary, of the land of the priest and of the whole land of Israel, symbolizing that the ransom sacrifice and the completed sin-offering which it types is the center and hub of the entire Plan of Salvation. (1 John2: 2; Rev. 5:11-13; E. 98, par.1, lines 5-8. E. Foreword 1, par. 3) All the gates to both inner and outer courts are in line with the altar, so that anyone going through the gates and looking ahead must see the altar, symbolizing that all who attain unto life must first appreciate the ransom sacrifice of our Lord and the completed sin-offering. (Acts 4:12; John 3:16)

The great size of the altar suggests the immensity and great magnitude of the work of the ransom and the sin offering and the importance of it. The elevation of the altar above its bottom and the two settles (ledges) show the lofty exaltation of the Christ, far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named. (Eph. 1:21-23; Phil. 2:9; Col. 2:10; 1 Peter 3:22, A.134, lines 7-9)

The altar is reached by a stairway on the east side. The sacrifices being carried to the high elevation of the altar, up this stairway, symbolizes that the evidence of the consecrations of the people will be carried into Heaven itself. (Psa. 51:19; Luke 15:7).

This stairway (entrance) (J) leading into the priest chambers is mentioned in Ezek 42:9 and 46:19, this separate entrance into the priest chambers represents that the general convention and the love feast of the Little Flock will be exclusively for them alone. (John 14:2, 3; 17:24)

There is yet still another possible significance to this private entrance into the outer court and that is found in Ezek 44:25-27. The offerings and cleansing’s of the Priest typify that while the Little Flock will not come in contact with fallen humanity as a whole, they will be permitted to come near those whom they were intimately connected in the flesh (their natural children, parents, etc.), to give them special help up thehighway of holiness”. In this way they will come in contact with that which is defiling, but by the close of the millennial age (seventh day) the application of the merit of the Ransom will have cleansed or destroyed all such cases and The Christ will no more be in touch with such defilement’s.

Fallen humanity is referred to as dead, note the following scriptures: Luke 9:60; 2Tim 4:1; Rev. 20:12, 13; 1 Cor. 15:29.

“There was a chamber (K) and its entrance by the gatepost of the gateway, where they washed the burnt offerings.” (Ezek 40:38)

Here the Levites will wash the burnt offerings of the people. The washing of these sacrifices with water would typify the cleansing of mankind with the water of the Word in the millennial age. The Levites (Great Company) are shown doing the work of cleaning. Other pictures of this cleansing work are given in (2 Kings 5:10-14 and John 9:7). In 2 Kings, Naaman types mankind, and Elisha types the Ancient Worthies directing the work of cleansing. In comparing this picture with the one in our question, it is noticed that the Great Company will have to come in direct contact with the people (typed by washing the sacrifice), whereas the Ancient Worthies will not come in such close contact, but direct the work of cleansing through another. (See also Ezek 36:25) This direct contact with humanity will of necessity require that the Great Company (spirit beings) manifest themselves in fleshly bodies first, just as angelic beings had done in the past.

NOTE: The three little chambers (K, M, and P) in our layout above have presented quite a bit of trouble, as their exact number and placement has been debatable.  A quick view of some of the various illustrations of the temple on the internet will confirm this. Some have simply chosen to avoid the problem altogether and have not illustrated them at all. Even in the two we have chosen you will note there is a difference in placement.

Nevertheless if you consider closely Ezek 40:37 you will note that when describing the northern (inner) gateway “the man” mentions that its gateposts faced the outer court. Then in the next verse he mentions a chamber (K) whose entrance was situated by the gateposts, this would seem to imply that the chamber was located outside the gateway in the outer court. This seems correct as one would naturally assume that before a sacrifice could be accepted it must first be washed, therefore it would only seem right that this little chamber was located outside the gate.

In the vestibule of the gateway were two tables on this side and two tables on that side, on which to slay the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering (these are not marked in our illustration). At the outer side of the vestibule, as one goes up to the entrance of the northern gateway, were two tables (L); and on the other side of the vestibule of the gateway were two tables. Four tables were on this side and four tables on that side, by the side of the gateway (two in the vestibule and two outside in the outer court), eight tables (total) on which they slaughtered the sacrifices.” (Ezek 40:39-41). Verse 42 describes the same eight tables giving further information regarding the size of the stone tables and the instruments used in the sacrifices.

These tables typify the character pattern of Our Lord and His Church to which the people must endeavor to conform. (A242, par. 3 Isa. 51:1; 1 Peter 2:5 and comments refer to the Church, but mankind will be hewn, shaped and chiseled in the millennial age).

Continued with next post.

 

Temple of Beauty, Part 5

Temple of Beauty, Part 5

Before we precede any further we should first like to mention a few of the various individuals mentioned in our study, and who they represent and/or typify.

1) The Prophet Ezekiel, likewise referred to as the “Son of Man” (Ezek 40:4), represents the Elijah class (B252), the true Church in the flesh, more particularly the feet members (Isa 52:7).

2)The Man”, (Ezek 40:3) the individual who showed the Temple to Ezekiel, likewise “The man in linen with the writer’s inkhorn” (Ezek 9:2), “The Watchman” (Isa 21:11), The Laodicean Messenger (Rev 3:14), “the faithful and wise servant” (Matt 24:25), is none other than the Harvest Messenger, Pastor Russell.

3) The Priest, typify the glorified “Little Flock” (Luke 12:32), Sons of God (Rom 8:14-17), also referred to as the “Sons of Zadok” (Ezek 44:15) The Righteous One, (Zadok means righteous).

4) The Levites typify the Great Company Class (Rev 7:9; 22:3, 4).

5) The Prince typifies the Ancient Worthies “princes in all the earth” (Psa 45:16)

There are others mentioned but these are the central players.

The Layout of Ezekiel’s Temple

“Now he (“The Man”) brought me through the entrance, which was at the (right) side of the (inner north) gate, (J) into the holy chambers of the priests which faced toward the north; and there a place was situated at their extreme western end (B).” “ And he said to me, “This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, and where they shall bake the grain offering, so that they do not bring them out into the outer court to sanctify the people.” (Ezek 46:19, 20)

Some of the various offerings and their meanings:

A trespass offering signifies the recognition of a trespass committed, repentance for the trespass and a restoration for the wrong. (Lev 5:15-19; 6:1-7)

A sin offering types an acknowledgement of past sins, with repentance and the re-consecration of the offerer. The sin offering differs from the trespass offering, as it refers to sins for which no restoration is possible. Those sins and trespasses of the people, of which the Great Company find too difficult or too great to deal with, will be referred to the Priest, who will mete out judgment (Compare Deut 1:17)

Baked and burnt offerings are also offered at the Priest’s boiling and baking places unlike the four boiling points of the Levites. Burnt offerings typify prayers of thankfulness to God, acknowledgement of His mercy, wisdom and love, as manifested in Christ our ransom. (Psa 96:7-9; 107:21, 22) Baked or meat offerings of unleavened cakes, and etc., suggests the consecration of the offerer’s all. (Ezek 46:14; John 4:34; Psa 51:17)

“Then he brought me out into the outer court and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court (A); and in fact, in every corner of the court there was another court.” “…These are the places where the ministers of the temple shall boil the sacrifices of the people.” (Ezek 46:21, 24)

The sacrifices that will be boiled will be the trespass and the sin offerings, these offerings shall be eaten by the people thus typifying that they will be required to assimilate their consecrations into their very beings. An outward consecration will by no means be sufficient.

The boiling of some of the sacrifices, types the application of stripes, chastening, fiery trials, ameliorated by the word of God (hot water) to those of the world who commit trespasses. The Levites (the Great Company) ministers of the temple (Ezek 44:10) will administer these corrections, typed by their being the ones who boil the peoples offerings.

The building (C) that faced the separating courtyard at its western end was seventy cubits wide; the wall of the building was five cubits thick all around, and its length ninety cubits.” (Ezek 41:12)

The position of the western building should be noted. From this building it will not be possible to see the great brazen altar, typifying a class, which had no direct connection with the sin offering. Also note that none of the thirty chambers are to be found on either side of this building, representing that unlike the Great Company, the Angels will not stand before mankind to minister unto them, to be their servants. (Ezek 44:11)

“The length of the vestibule (F) (the porch to the temple) was twenty cubits, and the width eleven cubits; and by the steps which led up to it there were pillars by the doorpost, one on this side and another on that side,” (Ezek 40:49) This Porch at the entrance to the temple types, the first resurrection (Rev. 20:6; John 11:25), when the Little Flock having finished their trials will enter into the blessings of life with our Lord on the Divine Plane. (Rom 6:5).

The temple steps are not numbered, suggesting that it is not possible to measure the infinite height and glory of the Divine nature of the Little Flock above the glory of the nature of the Great Company and Angels. The great difference between the Divine nature and all else cannot be suggested by any number of steps. “Canst thou by searching find out God? Or canst thou find the way unto the utmost limit of the Almighty?” (Job 11:7-9; Isa 40:12, 18, Rom 11:33, 34).

“Then he brought me into the *sanctuary (E) (the holy) and measured the doorposts, six cubits wide on one side and six cubits wide on the other side-the width of the tabernacle. The width of the entryway was ten cubits, and the side walls of the entrance were five cubits on this side and five cubits on the other side; and he measured its length, forty cubits, and its width, twenty cubits. (Ezek 41:1, 2)

*Sanctuary: Hebrew heykal, here the main room of the temple, sometimes called the holy place (Compare Exod 26:33)

The Holy types the memory of the spirit-begotten condition. Our experiences while traveling the narrow way, these will never be forgotten, but will be a blessed memory throughout the eternal ages. (Mal. 3:16; Psa 56:8; Heb 6:10)

The only furniture in the temple will be an altar of cedar wood located in the Holy, before the entrance into the Most Holy. (Ezek 41:22; 44:16) The altar types the ransom sacrifice of our Lord and the completed sin offering, of our Lord and His Church. These sacrifices will then be located in the memory of the spirit-begotten condition (the holy). The altar will be of wood and no sacrifices will be offered thereon, typing that all sacrificing by the Christ will then be over. The placement of the table before the entrance to the Most Holy represents that Jehovah appreciates the sacrifices, which the altar typifies and will keep the memory of them before Him forever.

From here “… he went inside and measured the doorposts, two cubits; and the entrance, six cubits high; and the width of the entrance, seven cubits. He measured the length, twenty cubits; and the width, twenty cubits, beyond the sanctuary; (the holy), and he said to me, “This (D) is the Most Holy Place.” (Ezek 41:3, 4)

The Most Holy types the accomplished Divine nature, the glorious time and conditions prevailing when the bride-groom will present his bride to the Heavenly Father, when Jehovah will reveal His own glory to the Little Flock and the Divine nature in all its fullness will be accomplished in them.

Continued with next post.