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Month: July 2017

The Great Pyramid, Part 23

The Great Pyramid, Part 23

THE WELL SHAFT

Key to the Pyramid

The Well-Shaft is in truth thekeyto the entire symbolism of the Great Pyramid. Just as the ransom-sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ is the central theme of the whole Plan of God, and is the key that unlocks the teaching of the Bible, so the understanding of the Well-Shaft in the Great Pyramid opens up the true meaning of all the passages and chambers in the building.

Well Shaft

From the structural standpoint the Well-Shaft is entirely with-out meaning. It can serve no useful purpose so far as the building itself is concerned. That is why some investigators, such as Professor Flinders Petrie, are of the opinion that the Well-Shaft was an after-thought on the part of the builders—that they cut it through the rock and masonry after the Pyramid had been erected. Close investigation of the masonry and rock, however, demonstrates beyond question that the Well-Shaft was not an afterthought, but was part of the original design of the whole building. We our-selves (The Edgar brothers) gave particular attention to this part of the building during our visits to the Pyramid, and we have no hesitancy in saying that the Well-Shaft is indeed an integral part of the monument’s original design. In our Volume 1 of “Great Pyramid Passages,” to which specially attention was drawn by Brother Russell in the “Watch Tower” of 1st August, 1910, we go into this matter at some length, presenting diagrams to illustrate the important architectural features at the upper end of the Well-Shaft; for we have always considered that a correct understanding of this part of the Pyramid is essential.

Let us repeat: Structurally speaking the Well-Shaft is meaningless, but symbolically it is absolutely necessary—it is the key that unlocks the meaning of all the other parts of the building. As anyone can see, by a contemplation of the chart above, it is not possible for one to reach the upper passages and chambers except by the Well-Shaft, because the First Ascending Passage is rendered impassable by the obstructing Granite Plug. In symbolical language this means that neither the spiritual nor human conditions of life (represented by the two chambers high up in the masonry of the building) can be gained by the works of the Law (represented by the First Ascending Passage); but it is possible to gain them through faith in the ransom-sacrifice of Jesus Christ (represented by the open Well-Shaft).” Pyramid Discourse-1929, Page xi-xii

The Well-shaft not an Afterthought, Page 346

“The theory held by Colonel Howard Vyse, and others of an Egyptological turn of mind, as to the original purpose of the Well-shaft in the Great Pyramid is that, it was intended to be used as a way of escape from the upper parts of the monument, to be used by those men who carried the dead monarch up the ascending passages to the sepulchral King’s Chamber where they interred him. After the work of entombing the king in the “King’s Chamber” (and the queen in the “Queen’s Chamber” ; for this tombic theory is responsible for the distinctive names given to these two chambers), these men are supposed to have pushed down the blocks of granite which form the Granite Plug in the First Ascending Passage, and which till that moment had been stored in the lofty Grand Gallery, so as to effectually close the upper parts, and then to have climbed down the Well-shaft to the lower end of the Descending Passage, up which they made their way to the outside of the Pyramid.

Note: it would have been near impossible to attempt to push these granite blocks from the Grand Gallery all the way down the First Ascending Passage (122.5 feet) as each of these three stones comprising the granite plug weight nearly seven tons a piece, even at the unique 26 degree angle of the passage the narrowness of the passage as well as friction itself would make this a very difficult task to perform. If by chance one of the stones became wedged somewhere along the passage way it would destroy the whole design and purpose of the structure.

There are however too many objections to this theory for anyone to seriously entertain it for long; and some of these objections are architectural, or constructional, ones, and all of them are dictated by common sense. That Col. Howard Vyse lacked real confidence in this theory is demonstrated in the building itself in a very practical way, for he left here and there large, and deeply excavated holes in the masonry, where he had been searching for the “body,” anywhere, in fact, but in the King’s Chamber where the theory demanded that it was placed !

Had the Well-shaft been intended by the Pyramid’s designer to serve as a means of egress in the way suggested, there could have been no need for it to have taken the course it does, away down to the lower end of the Descending Passage. But when we understand the true significance of the Great Pyramid, we perceive how necessary this peculiar well-like shaft is to complete, and, indeed, givelifeto, the symbolical building’s interior system, and how necessary that its upper and lower openings should be precisely where they are. From the purely symbolical standpoint the Well-shaft is essential, and reasonable; from the Egyptological standpoint which regards the Great Pyramid as simply a huge monumental tomb, its existence, and especially the direction of its course, is not only unnecessary, but meaningless. ” (Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 252, 255, par. 416-418)

As stated above some Egyptologists like Professor Flinders Petrie claim that the Well-shaft was not contemplated in the first instance, but was merely an after- thought. This is how Professor Petrie states his opinion:

“The shaft, or `Well,’ leading from the north end of the Gallery down to the subterranean parts, was either not contemplated at first, or else was forgotten in the course of building; the proof of this is that it has been cut through the masonry after the courses were completed. On examining the shaft, it is found to be irregularly tortuous through the masonry, and without any arrangement of the blocks to suit it; while in more than one place a corner of a block may be seen left in the irregular curved side of the shaft, all the rest of the block having disappeared in cutting the shaft. This is a conclusive point, since it would never have been so built at first.”

Our comment upon this reasoning is that: because a section of the tortuous part of the shaft may have been cut through while some of the masonry blocks were in situ, this is not at all a conclusive proof that the Well was not in the original design; for the same thing is evident in the bore of the First Ascending Passage, especially at the lower end of that passage, as we have already noticed (Pars. 461,468); and Professor Petrie does not suggest that the First Ascending Passage was a mere afterthought. And then it is in the tortuous part only that such cutting seems to have been made; for Professor Petrie says nothing of the long section of the shaft which is not tortuous, that is, the top, vertical part, which is square in bore, and presents every appearance of having been built while the building-operations were in progress.

Continuing his argument, which he claims to be conclusive, Professor Petrie says: “A similar feature is at the mouth of the passage, in the Gallery. Here the sides of the mouth are very well cut, quite as good work as the dressing of the Gallery walls; but on the south side there is a vertical joint in the Gallery side, only 5.3 inches from the mouth [He means a joint on the Ramp side, which is about 5 ½ inches to the south of the Well-mouth]. Now, great care is always taken in the Pyramid to put large stones at a corner, and it is quite inconceivable that a Pyramid builder would put a mere slip 5.3 thick beside the opening to a passage. It evidently shows that the passage mouth was cut out after the building was finished in that part. It is clear, then, that the whole of this shaft is an additional feature to the first plan.”

As Professor Petrie does not present his readers with a diagram to illustrate the vertical joint he speaks of, it is almost impossible for the student who has not been to the Pyramid to judge the soundness or otherwise of the argument. When I visited the Pyramid again in 1912 (my second visit), I took the opportunity to carefully measure every stone and joint both on the west side of the Gallery where the Well-mouth is situated, and on the opposite east side as well; and from these measurement I have drawn the diagram here presented—Plate CLXXI.

For the sake of easier comparison I have drawn the vertical elevation of the Gallery’s east side as if it were possible to see it thus while looking west, or as if the wall and Ramp on this east side were transparent. An examination of this diagram will convince you that the masonry-blocks were all specially cut as to size, and arranged as to position, with direct reference to the open mouth of the Well on the west side. And the “large stone at the corner,” which Professor Petrie declares must always be found where a passage begins, is not missing in this case also; for a very large corner stone is there to be seen very clearly, placed right at the southern boundary of the Well-mouth; and the “mere slip” of stone to which Professor Petrie refers is safely below this protecting corner block; and for over four thousand years it has stood as it is, uninjured in the main. And immediately over the mouth of the Well, and spanning the Ramp-stone which was purposely broken-away for symbolical reasons, there is a specially-placed large wall-stone, to still further strengthen the masonry surrounding the open mouth of the Well.

I am assuming the small “slip” of stone mentioned as residing beneath the large corner stone (the “ramp stone”?) is that which we have highlighted in red above. It’s very difficult to locate this vertical joint supposedly located 5 ½ inches south of the well mouth given what photos and illustrations we have.

You will notice how squarely and symmetrically arranged the masonry-blocks are, which form the Ramp on the west side, and to the south of the Well-mouth. Anyone can easily see that the masonry of this part of the Grand Gallery was particularly designed on account of, and for the sole purpose of, the originally contemplated Well-mouth and shaft. And as if to further accentuate this special arrangement of the masonry on the west side, the masonry on the opposite, east side is altogether different. Therefore, from the purely architectural aspect, even apart from our belief in the necessity of the Well because of its symbolical importance, we are abundantly justified in stating that all the evidences prove that the Well-shaft is indeed an integral part of the Great Pyramid’s passage and chamber system as originally designed and completed. This is the opinion that was held by Professor C. Piazzi Smyth, and other competent authorities.” (Pages 346-351, par. 532-536)

We will continue with our examination of the well shaft with our next post.

Bible Prophecy

Bible Prophecy

Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7

The following article was written by Charles Redeker and brings out several important points concerning why the Lord’s people should make the effort to study prophecy.

“The Bible as God’s gift to us is a book of great diversity! It contains history and law, types and symbols, poetry and promises, devotion and doctrine, parables and paradoxes. Much of it also contains prophecy. In the Old Testament alone there were sixteen different prophets who authored seventeen books of prophecy; hence one of the three divisions of that work is designated as “The Prophets.” (The other two are “The Pentateuch“, the first five books of the Old Testament and “The Holy Writings.”)

In the New Testament, the book of Revelation is devoted merely to outlining events that would occur all through the Gospel Age, culminating in the establishment of the kingdom. In addition, many prophecies are interwoven throughout the other books of this Testament. The sayings of Jesus were so frequently associated with predictions of future events that some consider him to be among the greatest of the prophets (Acts 3:22, 23).

Considering such weighty emphasis upon prophecy in the Scriptures, we may properly ask regarding its purpose in God’s unfolding plan. Why did our heavenly Father cause so much of his word and revelation to consist of prophetic utterances that spoke of future times, circumstances, and events?

All Scripture, we understand, “is profitable for doctrine for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). But what is the special role that prophecy holds in influencing the life of the believer?

Before proceeding, let us look more closely at the words “prophecy” and “prophet.” In modern usage, a prophecy is thought of as a prediction of a future event, especially when made under divine influence or direction. To this should be added what commonly accompanied such declarations in biblical times: rebuke for sin and a call to repentance. It is estimated that more than half of the prophetic utterances in the historical books and those of the Major and Minor Prophets fall under this latter category. Thus a prophet was one who delivered the divine message or interpreted God’s will, and this generally entailed the foretelling of future events.

One author has described the function of a prophet as two-fold: to “forth tell” and to “foretell.” Forth telling sets forth the message of the Lord by teaching, warning, exhorting, and comforting. Foretelling involved the prediction of future events, whether of people and nations, or of Messiah’s coming reign. A surprisingly large number of prophecies deal with our Lord’s return and detail circumstances involved in this event and in the setting up of his kingdom upon earth.

Bible time prophecies are a yet more specialized and exacting form or prophecy. These lay out a period of time required for the unfolding of a given event and thus permit a specific year to be determined. It is fascinating to see how some time prophecies were hidden in the Bible types or in seemingly vague wording of Scripture, waiting God’s due time for them to be understood.

To Reveal the Glory of God

Our first consideration fittingly pertains to God, the source of all true prophecy. In fact, God claims to be the only one capable of foretelling the future: “I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done” (Isa. 46:9, 10). “Who then, like me, can call and declare . . . things yet to be and that shall come to pass? Let them declare on their part” (Isa. 44:7 Rotherham’s). God has also challenged all others to manifest this clear evidence of divinity: “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, That we may consider them, And know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods…” (Isa. 41:22, 23)

As most are aware, the accuracy of worldly prophets who attempt to penetrate the future with their predictions is very low indeed, and hardly exceeds that of chance occurrences. Neither the astrologers nor the magicians of the past nor the scientists and intellectuals of today have been able to shed any light on future events. Yet God, speaking through his prophets, is able to do just that, demonstrating his glory and his unerring wisdom.

To Establish the Bible’s Credibility

The Bible as a book is unique in that it contains literally hundreds of prophecies that span thousands of years and that have witnessed equally as many fulfillments. Other sources may venture opinions or suggest reasonable outcomes of events, but they amount to little more than hopes or outright guesses. Only the Bible, as the word of God, has proven consistently reliable in its predictions dealing with empires, nations, civilizations, and events, often very specific and detailed in their coverage.

It has been said that prophecy is greater than miracles in establishing faith in the Bible. A miracle that occurred, say 2,500 years ago, fades into the mist of time and cannot be confirmed today. But a prediction of antiquity, if preserved in writing, especially if appearing at odds with known facts at the time and therefore most improbable of ever occurring, yet fulfilled later as stated, amounts to very convincing evidence.

The credibility of the Bible as a whole is greatly enhanced when the accuracy of its prophetic forecasts is considered. Careful reflection shows that these predictions are of an order and detail that preclude the possibility of historical facts being mere wrested to fit the outcome. Numerous recent archaeological findings have further validated certain Bible prophecies by indirectly confirming their early origin. This has disarmed the critics who contended for later dates or had supposed they originated after the historical events they depicted had occurred.

Now even skeptics are being forced to admit the accuracy of the Bible without being able to provide a satisfactory explanation!

As a sincere truth seeker considers the claims of the Bible as the word of God the overwhelming testimony of fulfilled prophecy encourages an overall faith that will accept the divine revelation in its entirety. This builds confidence in the yet to be fulfilled promises (prophecies), and a willingness to accept its broader teachings and precepts.

To Enlighten the Believer

Bible prophecies provide a whole range of information related to the divine plan that is useful to the believer. Especially do they reveal the steady progress that is being made in the outworking and final culmination of that plan. Such developments as the punishment of Israel, the coming of Messiah in his role as Suffering Servant, the lease of power to the gentile nations, the rise of the Antichrist system and the persecution of the saints, the cleansing of the sanctuary, and many others were all predicted in Scripture and find clear fulfillment’s in history.

Thus step by step we are able to recognize the approach of the climax of God’s purpose in the establishment of his kingdom and the blessing of mankind.

Another era of enlightenment is in the time prophecies relating to the end of the age. There are forecasts of the harvest of the gospel age; the Parousia (or presence) of our Lord, the great time of trouble, the times of restitution, the day of judgment, and Israel’s returning favor. All of these and more have enabled the Lord’s people to be fully aware of the significance of the distressing events taking place about them, surely this insight into the purposes of God and recognition of our position along the stream of time amounts to a wonderful blessing.

To Stimulate To Activity

Such knowledge is also strengthening and stimulating to the Lord’s people. It enables them to be spiritually awake and provides the tools needed to be about [the] Father’s business. We are not to be complacent with the insights that prophecy provides, nor hide our light under a bushel. There is a work to be done and a message to be proclaimed (Matt. 24:14).

In this connection we think of Jesus’ words, “The night cometh when no man can work” (John 9:4). The realization that the time is short provides added incentive for zealous activity in the Lord’s service. The true gospel of the Kingdom needs to be proclaimed to a fearful and perplexed world about us. Bible prophecy has strengthened us; let us use it to strengthen and encourage those about us (Isa. 61:1-3).

To Comfort and Encourage

When these things (prophecies) come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your [deliverance] draws nigh.” (Luke 21:28). What could be more cause for rejoicing to the Lord’s people than to recognize by the eye of Bible prophecy that we are approaching unto Mount Zion and the grand fulfillment of our hopes (Heb. 12:22-29)! While we cannot take pleasure in the suffering and pain inherent in the birth pangs of the kingdom, we do rejoice in the prospects of peace and life and blessing that await a very troubled humanity.

There is also encouragement that we receive as believers in the prophecies and in noting their realistic fulfillment’s. We are confident that we have not been following cunningly devised fables but a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto [we] do well [to] take heed (2 Pet. 1:16, 19). We are convinced of the divine origin and outworking of these matters, which is so heartening and uplifting to us as God’s people. Again, this in turn leads to a heightened desire to be found faithful in doing the work of the Lord and in letting our light shine out to others.

To Test Our Faith

We have witnessed so many end-time fulfillment’s of Bible prophecies in our own lifetime that one might almost think that faith in this area is hardly required any longer. And yet, as we reflect on this matter, we see how vital faith remains as an element in the development of the Lord’s people, even to their closing experiences this side of the veil. It was necessary that the patriarchs and saints of past ages be tested, frequently in respect to a promise of God or a predicted event in their day; and so likewise it is for us.

Think of the experiences that must have befallen Noah and his family as they endured the reproaches of their contemporaries in patiently carrying out God’s instructions in building the ark and waiting the due time for the deluge (Gen. 6:12-22). Think of Abraham and Sarah as they contemplated God’s promise of a son and heir, and yet realized the impossibility from the human standpoint for such an occurrence at their advanced age (Gen. 18:10-14), or of the Israelite’s when they had been taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar and longed for the day of promised restoration (Jer. 29:10-14).

For the experiences of the Lord’s people at the end of the age, the matter of the time of their deliverance also has become a test. Major disappointments accompanied the failure of expectations of the church’s glorification in 1844 and 1914, and other anticipated dates have come and gone. Yet we are now assured that God’s program is on track and his timetable correct: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it [seem to] tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Hab. 2:3).

Bible prophecy provides a test of our faith along yet another line. Sometimes we find that secular history is at variance with the Scriptures in regard to chronology and other significant dates. There appear to be differences, for example, in the dates which are derived for the destruction of Jerusalem in Zedekiah’s day (606-607 B.C. versus 586-587 B.C.) and in calculating the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes (455 B.C. versus 445 B.C.).

The date for Jerusalem’s fall is critical in establishing many unique harmonies of the divine chronology; that of the twentieth year of Artaxerxes is the basis for calculating the start of a crucial biblical time prophecy pertaining to the first advent of our Lord—the sixty-nine weeks reaching to Messiah the Prince (Dan. 9:23-27). It is not easy to resolve such issues, and our faith may need to be called upon to assist in arriving at a conclusion that harmonizes with our overall beliefs. Thus our faith continues to be put to the test.

To Develop Christian Character

Finally, Bible prophecy is very instrumental in helping to shape and formulate our character. The message of the prophets of old was all but lost upon the rulers and people of Israel, with very few exceptions; but we dare not ignore nor gloss over it in our own lives. There is a personal aspect to the many warnings of wayward conduct that were issued in the past and we need to listen to what God would have us do today.

How does the knowledge of what must soon come to pass, or in fact is already occurring, affect us as the Lord’s people? Are we diligent in making every effort to develop that character which is pleasing to the heavenly Father and useful as an instrument of his blessing to others? Are we so thrilled with the vision of the future and by the increasing evidences of the nearness of the kingdom that we are doing all in our power to develop the fruits and graces of the Spirit and to be like our Lord?

This is perhaps the most basic and vital aspect of Bible prophecy that confronts us today. How we respond to it will determine whether we will receive the abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we so much desire. And as the Apostle Peter reminds us, “He that lacks these things [the mature development of Christian character] is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (2 Pet. 1:5-11).

Though the world seems immersed in the clouds and gloominess of the present “day of the Lord,” the early light of the morning is spreading upon the mountains and can be discerned by the believers who are spiritually awake (Joel 2:1, 2; Isa. 60:1, 2). These earnest students of the prophecies are fully aware of the realities of the present, and have been blessed by the administration of their Lord in the early dawn of the new day (Psa. 46:5). For all such the Apostle Peter has one final admonition:

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation [manner of life] and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God. . . . Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”—2 Peter 3:11-14

What, then, is the role of Bible prophecy in the plan of God? In summary, it is:

 

  1. To reveal the glory of God.
  2. To establish the Bible’s credibility.
  3. To enlighten the believer.
  4. To stimulate to activity.
  5. To comfort and encourage.
  6. To test our faith.
  7. To develop Christian character.

 

Creation, Part 15

Creation, Part 15

THE SEVENTH DAY (The Year of the World 4128 B.C.)

Thus were finished the heavens and the earth and their entire host. And by the Seventh Day God had finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the Seventh Day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the Seventh Day, and hallowed it … These are the geneses [historical accounts] of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven.” (Gen 2:1–4)

Evening and morning, Day Six, closes, 42,000 years after “work” had begun, finding the earth ready for man to subdue it, but yet still, as a whole, unfit for him. Knowing in advance of his creature’s disobedience (and of his entire plan connected with his sentence of death, his redemption and the ultimate recovery from sin and death of all rightly exercised by their experiences), God did not wait to create man until after the whole earth was completely ready for him, but rather merely prepared a specific area, a Paradise, a garden in Eden–perfecting it in every way for the brief trial of the perfect pair, this would be all that was necessary at that moment as God in his foreknowledge knew that due to their lack of experience with evil, the perfect pair would fell the test.

Thus the earth left in its unfinished condition would serve both as a blessing and as a curse –leaving to mankind, as convict laborers, the work of “subduing” it and at the same time gaining thereby valuable lessons and experiences.

Thus we read:

Cursed is the ground for your sake” or we could say, “Blessed is the ground for your sake” (Gen 3:17)

The earth is in its present imperfect condition for your profit and experience even though you may not esteem it so, See Eccl 1:13; 3:10, 18

God saw best to permit his creature Adam (i.e. mankind) to exercise his free will and fall under temptation into sin and its legitimate penalty, death–including a long period, 6,000 years of dying and battling, as a convict, in an evil environment. God saw best to permit him thus as a convict to do a part of the subduing of the earth; that to bring it as a whole toward its foretold Paradisiacal condition would be profitable to man under the circumstances; that it would be expedient that man realize the principles underlying divine righteousness and the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and be thus prepared for the grace to be brought to the world in due time.

God’s resting on this day from all his work was not from tiredness, since we are told that “the Creator of the ends of the earth faints not, neither is weary” (Isa 40:28).

One of the chief reasons for Jehovah’s cessation of the creative work undoubtedly was that it might be accomplished by another–by his Only Begotten–in a manner that would not only glorify the Son, but glorify the Father also, by displaying the perfections of the Divine attributes as no other course could do. This was by the giving of his Son to be man’s redeemer–an exhibition not only of Divine Justice, which could by no means violate the decree that “the wages of sin is death,” but which simultaneously illustrated Divine Love- compassion for his fallen creatures to the extent of the death of his Son on man’s behalf. Divine Wisdom and Power (pictured by the two cherubs upon the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant) will also ultimately be exhibited in every feature of the arrangement when completed.

God beheld the ruin and fall of his noblest earthly creation through sin, yet put forth no power to stay the course of the death sentence and started no restitutional procedures. Indeed, by the law, which he himself imposed, he precluded any opportunity for his exercise of mercy and clemency toward Adam and his race, except through a ransomer.

The penalty being death, and that without limit—thus styled everlasting death, “everlasting destruction” and it being impossible for God to lie, impossible for the Supreme Judge of the universe to reverse his own righteous decree, for he changes not, it was thus rendered impossible for the Creator to become directly the restorer of the race, or in any sense or degree to continue his creative work in the condemned man or in his estate, the earth. Thus did Jehovah God manifest his confidence in his own great plan of the ages, and in his Only Begotten Son to whom he has committed its full execution. God rested by placing in the hands of another, i.e. his son Jesus — the responsibility for perfecting the human creation.

Note closely that the expression “evening and morning,” regularly used to describe the first six days, is significantly lacking here, and suggesting that the Seventh Day is yet still in progress.

At the start of each epoch a certain amount of confusion and uncertainty prevailed, termed “evening” or darkness. (The uncertainty here was not on the part of God who knows the end from the beginning, but rather on those not privy to his foresight, such as the angelic host) However by the close of each period, it became abundantly evident what God had intended to accomplish, hence described as “morning” or light. (For a similar principle see Zech 14:6, 7) Thus, not until the end of the Seventh Day, when the messianic kingdom rule will have restored mankind to harmony with God and the earthly creation is completed, will it be appropriate to say, “And there was evening and morning, the Seventh Day.”

If our Creator’s resting, or desisting from coming promptly to the relief of his fallen creatures, has in any degree the appearance of indifference or neglect, it was not really so, but merely the outworking of the wisest and best means for man’s assistance–through a Mediator. If it is suggested that the restitution work should have commenced sooner, we reply that the period of the reign of Sin and Death, 6,000 years, has been none too long for the bringing forth by births of a race sufficient in number to “fill the earth“; none too long to give all a lesson in the “exceeding sinfulness of sin” and the severe wages it pays; none too long to let men try their own devices for their own uplift and note their futility.

The coming of our Lord at his first advent to redeem (purchase) the world so that he would have a just, equitable right to come again to bless, uplift and restore all who will accept his grace, although it was more than 4,000 years after the blight of sin and death entered, is, nevertheless, declared in Scripture to have been in God’s due time: “In due time God sent forth his Son.” Indeed, we see that it would not even then have been due time, except that it was the divine intention and purpose to call, gather and polish and make ready the elect Church to share with the Redeemer in the great Millennial work of blessing the world. God who foresaw that it would require this entire Gospel age (a little over 2000 years thus far) for this election sent forth his Son for the redemptive work just long enough in advance to accomplish it.

How long has it been since Jehovah ceased, or rested in, his creative work? We reply that it is now a little more than six thousand years (6134+ years now according to the true Bible Chronology). How long will his rest, or cessation, continue? It will continue throughout the Millennium–the thousand years of the reign of the great Mediator, effecting “the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:21)

Will the confidence of Jehovah in the outworking of his plan, which led him thus to rest it all in the care of Jesus prove to have been fully justified? Will the conclusion be satisfactory? Jehovah God, who knows the end from the beginning, assures us that it will, and that the Son, at whose cost the plan is being executed, “shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.” (Isa 53:11)

Yea, all believers who are resting by faith in their Redeemer’s work–past and to come–may have full assurance of faith that “eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things which God hath in reservation for those who love him,” specially for the Church; but also the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of love and mercy and restitutional blessings, for all those of the non-elect world, who in their Millennial day of grace shall heartily accept the wonderful divine provisions on the divine terms.

Six thousand years past and one thousand years future, seven thousand years total of Jehovah’s “rest,” will carry us to the time when the Son’s Millennial reign shall cease because of having accomplished its design–the restitution of the willing and obedient of mankind to the divine image, and the subjugation of the earth under man, as his estate, his kingdom, then the Mediatorial throne and reign having served their purpose, and all corrupters of the earth having been destroyed, “the Son shall deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father”-by delivering it to mankind for whom it was originally designed, as it is written. (1 Cor 15:24-28) “Then shall the King say unto them…Come, ye blessed [approved] of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world“—mundane creation. Matt 25:31-34

It is the length of this Seventh Epoch-Day, so distinctly marked by history and prophecy that furnishes us the clue to the length of all the other epoch-days of the creative Week. And the whole period of seven times seven thousand years, or forty-nine thousand years, when complete, will lead up to and introduce the great Fiftieth, as is so prominent in the Scriptures, as marking grand climaxes in the divine plan; Israel’s day Sabbaths culminating in 7 x 7 equals 49, leading to and introducing the fiftieth, or Pentecost, with its rest of faith; their year Sabbaths 7 x 7 equals 49, introducing the fiftieth, or Jubilee, year; the still larger cycle of 50 x 50, marking the Millennium as Earth’s great Jubilee.

And now, finally, we find the Sabbath, or seven-day system, on a still larger scale measuring earth’s creation, from its inception to its perfection, to be 7 times 7,000 years equals 49,000 years, ushering in the grand epoch when there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more pain and no more dying, because God’s work of creation shall then have been completed, perfected so far as this earth is concerned. No wonder that, that date should be marked as a Jubilee date!

Here we have presented what we believe is a more reasonable (or logical) view of the creative days one which appears to harmonize the scientific account (geology) with the Scriptural account given us in Genesis, as in contrast with that suggested by many naïve Christians who insist in the literal 24-hour day theory, one which only serves to discredit the testimony of the Holy Scriptures before the eyes of the world and the skeptic.

Creation, Part 14

Creation, Part 14

THE SIXTH DAY (The Year of the World 11,128 B.C.)

And God said: Let the Earth bring forth living soul after its kind, cattle and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind: and it was so … and God saw that it was good. And God said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God CREATED MAN in his own image, in the image of God CREATED HE HIM; male and female CREATED HE THEM. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it … And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the Sixth Day.” (Gen 1:24–31)

Modern land animals (mammals) now were created, including both the wild beasts of the field and domesticated types. These are the highest form of animal life, with some 5,000 species recognized. They vary in size from the tiny bat to the giant land elephant. The major difference between these and those living creatures, which preceded them in the age before is that their young are all brought forth by live birth, rather than hatching from eggs like birds and fish and all the various reptiles, dinosaurs and etc. It is a most miraculous process involving conception, gestation, birth and growth to maturity.

The phrase “after its kind” used to describe the propagation of the new life in each era is of special note. This represents a basic and profound biological principle, which the Creator has imbedded in the core of every living thing.  It means simply that every form of life was designed to reproduce only within a limited family grouping, to insure the integrity of the various orders. This principle of fixed species is the very opposite of evolution and absolutely forbids the gradual changing of one kind into another. A thorough study of the fossil record has never uncovered a crossing over of major kinds of life, going all the way back to Cambrian times!

We need not quarrel needlessly with Evolutionists. We will concede that, if God chose, he could have brought all the different species of animal life into being by a development of one from the other, or he could have developed each species separately from the original protozoan slime. We know not what method he adopted, for it is revealed neither in the Bible nor in the rocks. It is, however, clearly revealed that in whatever way God chose to accomplish it, he has fixed animal species, eachafter his kindin such a manner that they do not change; in such a manner that even the ingenuity of the human mind has not succeeded in assisting them to change.

Here is the stamp of the intelligent Creator upon his handiwork; for had “Nature” or “blind force” been the creator, we would still see it plodding blindly on, at times evolving and at times retrograding; we would see no such fixity of species as we behold all about us in nature.

Toward the close of the Sixth Day came God’s crowning work — the creation of man. “God formed man of the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7). Thus MAN WAS CREATED DIRECTLY BY GOD, in his very own image (We are not to understand this “image” to be one of nature, i.e. physical shape or bodily form; but, rather, a moral and intellectual image of the Great Spirit, fashioned appropriately to his earthly conditions and nature.): this implies mental faculties of reason, judgment and will, moral qualities of love and justice, and the propensity to worship his Creator. Man was created as an EARTHLY representative of his SPIRITUAL Creator. Thus was God manifested in the FLESH of Adam, and as king of nature’s realm, he was given responsible dominion over the earth and the animal kingdom, and told to be fruitful and multiply, under conditions of Endemic bliss.

In view of our remarks, foregoing, that the Scripture language does not forbid the possibility of the plants, water-creatures and land-creatures being more or less developed, or evolved, in their various kinds, it may be well for us to note the wide difference in the language used when referring to man’s creation. The latter is a specific declaration of the direct exercise of divine creative power, while the others are not, but rather imply a development:

“And the earth brought forth grass,” etc.

“Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature,” etc.

“Let the earth bring forth living creature after his kind, cattle,” etc.

Here is where every believer in the Bible must take his stand. The wording is clear; there is no possibility of mistake. Man is not the end product of a long chain of evolution that began somewhere in the unknown past. The inspired record states plainly that man was CREATED BY GOD in his own image and that he began immediately thereafter to function as an intelligent human being. There is no support whatsoever for the “caveman” notion or similar concepts of “fossil man” — part human and part animal (ape or what have you) — as taught by evolutionists today. Such a God-dishonoring theory is not a product of valid intelligent thought, but of “Science falsely so called.” (See Romans 1:18–32.)

Here is the battlefield between God’s Word and so-called Modern Science, to which the whole world, especially the learned–including the leaders of thought in all the various theological seminaries, and the ministers in all the prominent pulpits, are bowing down–worshiping the scientific God called Evolution,” (likewise known by the Greeks as Chronos the God of Time). The two theories are squarely at issue: if the Evolution theory were true, the Bible is false from Genesis to Revelation. If the Bible be true, as we hold, then the Evolution theory is utterly false in all its deductions AS RESPECTS MAN.

In contrast the possibility that an evolutionary process by which the lower creation developed up to the point of fixity of class, nature or genera under divine supervision is nevertheless a distinct possibly.

It is not alone the Genesis account of man’s creation in the divine image that must determine the matter, strong as are the declarations of the Word: the entire theory of the Bible supports the Genesis record, and stands or falls with it. For, if man was created otherwise than pure and perfect and mentally well endowed, he could not, truthfully, have been called an “image of God; nor could his Creator have placed him on trial in Eden to test his fitness for everlasting life; nor could his disobedience in the eating of the forbidden fruit have been accounted sin and punishable, as it was, by a death sentence; nor would it have been necessary to have redeemed him from that sentence.

Moreover, “the man Christ Jesus” is declared to have been the anti-lutron, the ransom-price (an equivalent or corresponding price) for this first man’s guilt, thus he must have been considered a sample, or illustration, of what the first man was, before he sinned and passed under the divine condemnation of death.

We will take a look at the Seventh Day of Creation with our next post.

Setting Dates

Setting Dates

The following comment was made on Facebook by a young Christian.

“I need to be very careful how I state this: There are a few very well meaning pastors who like to set dates for specific things they believe will happen as it relates to prophecy. This the Bible states clearly that He is coming back and there will be certain signs before He does. However……one should not specifically set dates to make the Bible fit their narrative.”

Although it is true that many well-meaning howbeit misguided souls have endeavor to set forth various dates in which they believed certain prophetic events were/ are to take place, the problem was twofold, 1) they were as you say attempting to force events (the times and the seasons) into their own particular plan not realizing that God already has a plan of his own and that it is unfolding according to the counsel of his own will, and 2) they were attempting to predict the time for the fulfillment of prophecy (future events) forgetting that no prophecy, that is the exact time or date of that prophecy can be ascertain until (after) its fulfillment.

Now at the other end of the spectrum, the pendulum swinging to far the other way are those naive souls who believe that it is impossible to arrive at a set date for a fulfilled prophecy.

And yet the dates for those prophecies which have already been fulfilled can be readily determined by the facts (the signs and/or evidences) given, take for example the time of our Lord’s first advent, the time (or date) of his crucifixion, the time when the nominal fleshly house (the Jewish nation) was cast off, left desolate, the time when favor would return to them etc., etc.

The problem today is that most of the Lord’s professed people have become indifferent, lethargic, disinterested in prophecy and so have little if any awareness to the times and seasons.

The spirit of prophecy is the spirit of the Lord.

We read in the scriptures of how the angels in heaven greatly desired to know prophetic matters, their own interest in these matters puts to shame any professed Christian who does not share the same desires especially seeing as most of the prophecies recorded in the scriptures relate to mankind, the church especially.

We are admonished, “Do not despise prophecies.” (1 Thess 5:20).

As for the neglect of prophecy and the study of the coming (or presence) of our Lord, the fault lies not so much in the individual professing Christian as in the erroneous misconception which has been fostered by the blind guides of Christendom, specifically that no one knows nor ever will know of the time of the Lord’s Second Advent. In fact it is asserted that not even the Lord himself knows the exact time of his own arrival, this of course being preposterous as obviously the Lord would know of the day when he comes as it is he who is to come.

“But of that day and hour knows no man; no not the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but my Father only.” (Matt. 24:36, Sinaitic MS, Compare with Mark 13:32, 33.)

“Take ye heed, watch and pray, for ye know not when the time is.”

To many these words seem to imply much more than they express: they think of them as though they put a lock upon and made useless all the prophecies of the Bible—as though our Lord had said, “No man shall ever know,” whereas he merely said, “No man [now] knows,” referring only to the persons who heard him–to whom the exact times and seasons were not due to be revealed. Who can doubt that the “angels of heaven” and “the Son” now know, fully and clearly, matters which have progressed so nearly to fulfilment? And if they are not now hindered from knowing by the statement of this verse, neither now are God’s saints hindered or restrained by this verse from seeking an understanding of all truth “written aforetime for our learning.” Indeed, it was in great measure because it was not the Father’s will that his people then, nor down to the time the “seals” were broken should know the date, that our Lord delineated the course of events, and assured them that if they would watch and pray and thus continue faithful, they, at the proper time, would not be left in darkness, but would see and know.

God, through his Prophet Daniel, pointed out that at this time “the wise shall understand” the vision and prophecy, and merely that “none of the wicked shall understand.” (Dan. 12:9, 10) To this the Apostle Paul adds his testimony, “Ye brethren are not in darkness that that day should come upon you as a thief,” although it shall come thus upon the entire world. “Watch ye, therefore [that in due time YE MAY KNOW], and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass.”

If no man is to know of the day of the Lord’s presence, then why are we admonished to be vigilant, to keep awake, and to watch?

“Watch therefore, for you do not know what day your Lord is coming” (Matt 24:42) “If therefore, thou shalt not watch, thou shalt not know what hour it will come upon thee.”

What then are we watching “for”? Strange indeed to be told to look for something which no man can know.

The key here is that none would be aware of the day of the Lord’s Second Advent PRIOR to its having taken place, not AFTER it takes place.

“The Apostle Paul declares, “Of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you; for yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. [Quietly, stealthily it will come, and after it has come, many will not for some time know that they are in it] for when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them as travail upon a woman. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thess. 5:1-4

The “brethren” all have the lamp, the more sure word of prophecy mentioned by Peter (2 Pet 1:19), as a light in a dark place; and while they keep the proper attitude of brethren, as faithful, meek and humble students of the Word, they will at no time be in darkness as to that day: they will always have the truth supplied as meat in due season. At no time have those then living in full harmony with God been left in ignorance of necessary truth, to grope their way in the dark with the world.

Abraham and Lot knew of the destruction of Sodom beforehand, God saying, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?” (Gen. 18:17) Noah knew of the flood in time to build the ark, and was informed of the very day that he should go into it. At the first advent, too, Simeon and Anna, and the wise men of the East, knew to expect Messiah. In fact, the expectation was general then. (Luke 2:25-38; Matt. 2:2; Luke 3:15) And if God so dealt with the house of servants, shall he do less for the house of Sons? Our Lord and Head has said,

Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knows not what his Lord does; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (That is all things necessary for you to know.)

Our Lord certainly shall know of the times and seasons when due (including his second advent), especially since he is the one appointed to arrive and to accomplish the plan, and unless he has changed, he will continue to make known those plans to those close to him and associated in his work–his friends, his saints.

Reason, then, teaches us that so surely as it is written, “The Lord will do nothing, but he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7), and that most of what he revealed unto them was not for themselves, but for us, the Gospel Church (1 Pet. 1:12), so surely will the faithful not be left in darkness, unable to discern it, when the day of the Lord has come. It will not come upon them as a thief and a snare–unawares; for they will be watching (looking to “the more sure word of prophecy”, NOT to the sky as others do), and will have the promised light then due upon the subject.”

There are many prophecies which have already been fulfilled which specific dates (within the year) can be ascertained by the signs, facts and evidences given the majority of these unbeknownst to most Christians due to their lack of study upon the subject and more importantly their lack of “oil” (the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit) in their vessels.

These gems are given only to those who are diligently seeking to know and to understand them so that they might know precisely where they are on the stream of time and in the out folding of God’s plan. They are given neither to the scoffer or skeptic nor the lukewarm listless Christian, all such shall the Lord assures us shall remain in darkness as to the times and seasons.

Time to wake up my friends, to truly wake up, many make the claim to be awake, but their knowledge of prophecy, of the times and seasons states otherwise.

Revelation Chapter 14, Part 3

Revelation Chapter 14, Part 3

Revelation Chapter 14

Verses 9-12

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

Then A THIRD ANGEL followed them…

“The third angel in the vision follows the prior two and like them, it is assumed, also flew through the midst of heaven, representing a message independent of orthodoxy.”

That is to say this proclamation or warning does not emit from the orthodox churches, it is not something you’re going to hear proclaimed from the podium by your minister, heavens no! That would be admitting to their true condition as proclaimed by the Lord. And what pray tells is that? Why it is just as the Lord so states,

“…because you are lukewarm (indifferent, lethargic, apathetic, drowsy, dull of hearing), neither cold (opposed to my counsel or instructions) nor hot (fervent of spirit for truth and zeal for service), I will vomit you out of my mouth (utterly disavow you).” Rev 3:16

And so it has happened, Great Babylon, the apostate church (composed of a mixture of Catholic and Protestant church systems) has fallen and has been cast off by the Lord.

Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand (but no more).” Jer. 51:7

And yet, she still professes to be the Lord’s mouth piece, still proclaims to be, rich, wealthy, and in need of nothing.

This message indicates the self-complacent attitude of the nominal Church completely unaware of its true condition.

“The third angel might be named THE PLAGUING ANGEL. Leave or else! This is his message. (Compare with the Lord’s injunction in Rev 18:4).”

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “IF ANYONE WORSHIPS THE BEAST AND HIS IMAGE, AND RECEIVES HIS MARK ON HIS FOREHEAD OR ON HIS HAND, HE HIMSELF SHALL ALSO DRINK OF THE WINE OF THE WRATH OF GOD, WHICH IS POURED OUT FULL STRENGTH INTO THE CUP OF HIS INDIGNATION.

Verse 9 refers back to the characters of Chapter 13 (The Beast, the Image of the beast and etc.) to warn again regarding the cooperation or character likeness with churchianity — Protestant or non-protestant. Verse 10 shows the results DURING THIS HARVEST PERIOD: God’s wrath, no longer tempered as it was during the age, but now full-strength for the destruction of the apostate systems, will be shared by all who remain affiliated with those systems.”

“The third message is rather long, but in substance is a warning to those who “worship the beast and his image.” Although it was possible to worship the beast in past centuries, prior to the harvest time, as stated in the preceding chapter, when all the world except the followers of the Lamb (Rev. 13:8) worshipped the beast—and although it was also possible to worship the image of the beast prior to the harvest, since the formation of the image began in A.D. 1846Verses 9 to 11 refer to the beginning of the harvest (i.e., 1878) onward in relation to the fall of Babylon.

To state the matter another way, not as much guilt or culpability was involved prior to the declaration of rejection. Now, however, after Babylon fell from favor because she made the nations drunk with the wine of her fornication, the message is: “Beware! If you have the mark of either the beast or its image, you will receive special torment. If you do not respond to the message, then in proportion as you are enlightened with truth and disobey, you will receive the disapproval or indignation of God. This portion you will have to drink with others”—wormwood and gall, as it were. Matt 24:51 states that the rejected class will have their “portion with the hypocrites.”

The rejected ones are a class of hypocrites who are informed but do not obey. As a result, they will share with all the hypocrites the “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Those who lend support to the beast or its image or have the characteristics thereof (Verse 9) will have to imbibe or partake of the “wine” or judgments of God’s wrath (Verse 10). However, one should not think that “ignorance is bliss,” for those who prefer to be “willingly ignorant” will also be held accountable (2 Pet. 3:5–7).”

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. HE SHALL BE TORMENTED WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE

The torment will be mental anguish. No one who is aware of error but chooses to ignore it can rest comfortably in hypocrisy. The fire (righteous destruction) which will consume the old errors and their attendant systems will also eat away at any spirit-begotten Christian still in the midst of it all. The brimstone (Sulphur poisoning) will get what the fire misses.”

Verse 10 states that such “shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” The torment experience of the harvest period will not come and go right away; it starts with vexation of conscience, trials, and tribulations—especially to those more conscientiously motivated, for the message is particularly addressed to professedly Christian men and women. These are more keenly aware of and more sensitive to the iniquities of the systems and thus are more apt to be vexed.

Since 1878 those who are called of God and receive enlightenment yet remain in Babylon because of the fear of man, the reluctance to lose certain honors or prestige, etc., will have to account for their continued presence there. Verses 9 to 11 imply their awareness of their failure to properly respond; they may not discuss the matter with others, but they have mental conflict with their own conscience because they choose to remain in the system.

Pray that this is not you that once you have been made aware of the Lord’s command to separate yourself from the nominal systems you do so promptly without hesitation, not looking back as was the case with Lot’s wife, and we all know what happened to her. Leaving the nominal system is a very hard thing for many to do; in many cases it requires the severance of some very tender ties, friends, family etc., this however is a choice you must decide for yourself, it is an individual matter. You yourself must determine which is more important to you your love for the Lord and his will in you or your love for your church organization and the honor and praise of men.

The message is simply: “From 1878 on, be alert! In this hour of decision (of judgement) the Lord wants a separation. The harvest period is a time of separation. Come out of Babylon, for she has fallen. If you remain in her, you will become guilty in proportion to your understanding. If you hear the Lord’s voice and do not respond, then do not expect to be specially favored when her trouble comes. You will share Babylon’s troubles, torment, and brimstone; you will have the same experience that Babylon (the system, the church nominal) will have.”

What will be the nature of the torment with fire and brimstone?Firesymbolizes severe trial (Compare 1 Pet. 1:7) and “brimstone,” which is sulfur, adds to the intensity of the fire, signifying either complete purification or complete extermination as God sees fit.

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY ANGELS AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB.

The torment takes place “in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” Matt 25:31, 32 helps to identify the “holy angels” as being to a large extent, if not wholly, the risen saints. The expression “in the presence of the Lamb” seems to be related to the Second Presence of the Lord.

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. AND THE SMOKE OF THEIR TORMENT ASCENDS FOREVER AND EVER; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.  

Verse 11 shows that there is no let up. The smoke (the evidence of the burning) is everywhere; there is no hiding that the apostasy is suffering.

And this will continue AGE-ABIDING (“forever”) — i. e., until the age is over. Those with the Lamb HAVE REST (Matt. 11:28); those who do not come out do not have it PERPETUALLY (day nor night.) — the situation only gets worse.

The “torment” with some will pertain not only to the present life but also to the shame that will extend into the Kingdom Age—and even beyond the Millennium into the everlasting future. Whenever those of this class happen to think back, they will experience a twinge of shame because of their past actions (or inaction). From that standpoint thesmokeor remembrance of their shame or torment will be an everlasting lesson to themselves and, more particularly, to others in the ages to come. Those who, in the present human experience, receive the mark of the beast or his image will figuratively “have no rest day or night” in the Kingdom Age; only after a period of purgation will the torment cease—but not the “smoke (the remembrance).”

Smoke rises from the place where burning took place. Accordingly, not only will the individual wrongdoers themselves experience shame, but others who reflect back upon certain events, times, and circumstances will think upon those who did the wrong. Thus others will view these wrong deeds and the retribution from the standpoint of example and judgment. The smoke will “ascend” in the sense that, where necessary, the sinful deeds will be publicly exposed or revealed to both wrongdoer and onlooker. When the Kingdom is established, humiliation will be felt by various popes, emperors, and certain individuals upon their coming forth from the grave and hearing the terms that must be met in order to abide by the laws of Messiah and to receive life. They will experience shame for their past misrepresentation of God and Christ in the earth and for their fraudulent claims not based on Scripture. The Lord will speak of such, “I never knew you” (Matt. 7:21–23); yet many of these posed as his chief representatives upon earth.

Today there is no literal smoke in the Valley of Gehenna in Israel as there was many centuries ago when the burning was continuous, but anyone acquainted with the history of Jerusalem would know of its past association as the Valley of Hinnom, where garbage was burned and the corpses of criminals considered unworthy of burial were thrown (Nothing live was ever thrown in there). Even though there is no literal fire or smoke now—even though that consumption took place thousands of years ago—the historical memory of that place lingers on. Likewise in a spiritual or figurative sense, the smoke or lesson of the past will linger on.

In summation, three angels went through the midst of heaven. Each was a distinct message, but all three pointed out the date 1878 (The beginning of the Harvest and the fall of Babylon). The important point is that a date is furnished without actually naming the date.

Verse 11 also mentions the “mark of his name.” This means the CHARACTER represented by the name of the beast. What his name is apparently symbolized by a number (Rev 13:18 which must be CALCULATED. The total will be 666. One of the primary titles of the Papacy, and one which formerly was on the gate of Vatican City, is VACARIVS FILII DEI (Vicar of the Son of God). The name means, one in Place of the Son of God. In Roman numerals, the name does equal 666. The significance, then, of the MARK OF HIS NAME seems to be the character which usurps authority from Jesus and uses it to rule over others.”

Verse 12

Here is the patience (the waiting) of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

Verse 12 is very important. It summarizes everything since Verse 6. It is saying that all of this torment will take SO LONG as to try the patience of the saints. And since this has all been going on since 1878 (Verse 8, the time of the fall of Babylon), and still goes on, it has, indeed, been an ongoing test of our faith as time passes. This verse is so very important because it ASSURES us that this whole harvest period WILL take an extremely long time. It says, KEEP FAITH; don’t give up; though it tarry, wait for it.

The date 1878 likewise marks the end of the sixth Church epoch (the Philadelphian stage) and the beginning of the seventh or Laodicean period. The three angels of Verses 6 through 11 are simply announcements of facts and warnings addressed to the last stage of church history: (a)Fear God,” (b)Babylon is fallen,” and (c)If any man worship the beast and his image…”

Verse 12 is a commendation of the faithfulness of the true saints of the last members of the Philadelphia era, which terminated at the end of A.D. 1877, and it harmonizes with the remarks addressed to that Church: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10).

Excerpts for this study were taken from Brother Frank Shallieu’s “The Keys of Revelation”, and the “New Albany Notes on Revelation”.

Revelation Chapter 14, Part 2

Revelation Chapter 14, Part 2

Revelation Chapter 14

Verses 6-7

Then I saw an angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

Then I saw an ANGEL

In Scripture there are four primary usages for the word “angel”:

1) It can denote a special, prominent dispensational messenger or individual used of the Lord (See Rev. 1:20; 2:1, 8, 12; etc., regarding the seven messengers to the Church).

2)Angel” can refer to Jesus (Rev. 10:1, 2; 20:1).

3) The word “angel” can portray the forces of nature, such as an earthquake, wind, fire, etc. In such highly figurative or poetic language, the forces of nature are pictured as being God’s servants, showing they are at His disposal to be used in whatever way He might choose (Psa. 104:4).

4) And in the Book of Revelation an “angel” can be a message. Such a message can be in the inanimate form of reading material, published thoughts, or proclamations issued to enlighten, encourage, and instruct, as well as reprove, those to whom the message is addressed.

Then I saw an angel FLYING IN THE MIDST OF HEAVEN

In Verses 6 and 7 an “angel” is seen to fly “in the midst of heaven.” This expression indicates something outside of, different from or issuing forth between heaven and earth—hence an independent voice or message not identified with established religious orthodoxy (not emanating or being proclaimed by the professed church, the church nominal as they are totally unaware). The harvest message at this end of the age has already gone forth throughout Christendom with the proclamation “Fear God . . . and worship him.”

Note:And I saw [omit ‘another’] an angel.” The Greek word signifying “another” is not found in the main body of the Sinaitic text; it appears as a marginal gloss by a later copyist. There is no angel before this one, thus it is clear that “another” makes no sense.

Then I saw an angel flying in the midst of heaven, HAVING THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL TO PREACH TO THOSE WHO DWELL ON THE EARTH—TO EVERY NATION, TRIBE, TONGUE, AND PEOPLE

“This first angel is the angel which opens the harvest. He is FLYING — flying is the active tool of searching (in this case searching for wheat.) His flight is in mid-heaven — directly in the midst of the Christian religious world, not favoring one end over the other. He has the EVERLASTING GOSPEL — an implication that VARIATIONS of the gospel had been popular at various times during the age; but THIS Gospel is the totality of the story (the one true gospel) — the one which accounts for and covers the good news of ALL AGES.

Note that this message is for the REAPING OF ALL OF THE FIELD (and for the additional work of binding the tares) because it is preached to both groups: Those who dwell on the earth (nominal Christianity) and every nation, tribe, tongue, and people (the group from which the True Church & Great Multitude comes.) in other words from one end of heaven to the other (Matt. 24:31).”

Then I saw an angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— SAYING WITH A LOUD VOICE, “FEAR GOD AND GIVE GLORY TO HIM

“His voice is LOUD. History has demonstrated this. The harvest message was broadcast far and near with clarity and distribution unparalleled by any former reformation. His message, although it contains MUCH MORE, is based on that most basic of doctrines; WORSHIP GODdon’t worship the CREATED, but the CREATOR. No other approach will allow us to find or comprehend THE TRUTH. Don’t worship the religious world (heaven); don’t worship the society (earth); don’t worship the liberty seeking masses (sea); don’t worship the accepted sources of truth (springs of water, churchianity, the denominations themselves). These items (or systems) may be symbols of the parts of this present world which the Lord ordained for a while until the time for His kingdom. But people have worshipped the items, not the ONE who ordained them. These items, though, may not be symbols. The statement may simply be: Worship Him Who made it all, but cease from the worship of the things made.”

Then I saw an angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, FOR THE HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT HAS COME; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

“It is specified that the REASON for re-adjusting the focus of worship is that THE HOUR OF HIS JUDGMENT HAS COME. It is now the harvest period, and all who worship the created over the Creator will fail this judgment. It is interesting to note that it is the HOUR of judgment rather than the DAY. It is, of course, the beginning of the 1000-year DAY of judgment; but the FOCUS here is not on the whole age, but only on its beginning, the harvest; this first hour of judgment deals with the weighing and destruction of all pagan religion including false Christianity before individual judgment begins for the world.”

The hour of his *judgment (or judging—Rotherham’s Version) is come” is a reference to the judgment of the house of God, both the true and the nominal. The emphasis is on the judgment of the spiritual class. The judgment of the true Church will be favorable, while that of Babylon will be unfavorable (1 Pet. 4:17–19). While the True Bible Chronology indicates that six thousand years transpired from the fall of Father Adam in Eden to A.D. 1874, Bible prophecy and time parallels indicate that the hour of judgment or the inspection period referred to in Verse 7 began with A.D. 1878. This same date, 1878, also marked the time that God caused His trueeverlasting” (age-lasting) gospel to spread throughout the world.”

Verse 8

And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

And ANOTHER ANGEL FOLLOWED

“This angel is said to FOLLOW the first one. But the Greek [“for followed”], means “accompanied” — to be in the same way with, or to be as a disciple. It is NOT that this angel comes later; it is that his message accompanies the message of the first angel. If the first angel might be named THE HARVESTING ANGEL, this second angel might be named THE JUDGING ANGEL.

And another angel followed, saying, “BABYLON IS FALLEN, IS FALLEN, THAT GREAT CITY

There are many subtleties in this verse. It introduces BABYLON — a term hitherto unfound in Revelation. But the verse includes enough information to identify this symbol clearly. Babylon, of course, was born a city and a kingdom; therefore, this Babylon should also be a capital and an independent power. It is said to be “the great.” While original Babylon was a great empire, this Babylon would apparently have greater influence. It is termed “SHE.” This is very revealing. A woman is either a church or a covenant. No covenant fits this description! From the verse it is clear she is no virgin; therefore, she is not the true Church, but the apostate. How wonderfully the Lord can introduce a symbol out of the blue and yet, with it, give all the information necessary for its interpretation!

And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because SHE HAS MADE ALL NATIONS DRINK OF THE WINE OF THE WRATH OF HER FORNICATION.”

This Babylon has influence well beyond its own borders: she made all the nations drink. Her primary sin is said to be fornication — the amalgamation of church and state. While Babylon’s sins can be expanded far beyond this, it is clear that the Lord is especially displeased with her unfaithfulness to Jesus as her head. Instead of waiting for His return and the establishing of His kingdom with her as His bride, she insisted on establishing her own temporal power. This doctrine (wine of wrath), with which the nations were made “drunk” (incapable of sound judgment; unstable), has been responsible for much of the chaos in Europe over the last 2,000 years.”

Brother Frank Shallieu’s thoughts on the matter,

“Based on the Sinaitic text and contextual evidence, only one fall of Babylon is mentioned. The text should read: “And there followed another [angel], a second, saying, is fallen Babylon the Great…” Like the first angel or message (Verse 6), the second (Verse 8) is also a pronouncement. The message does not signify an immediate destruction of churchianity. Rather, it refers to the spewing out of the nominal Church from the Lord’s mouth…to mystic Babylon’s rejection from divine favor (Rev. 3:16).

During the week of his crucifixion at the First Advent, Jesus pronounced a rejection of nominal fleshly Israel: “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matt. 23:38). These words were uttered nearly four decades prior to the actual destruction in A.D. 70. Here in Verse 8 a similar surety prediction of ultimate destruction is made: of the nominal spiritual house.

Few realize the already fallen-from-grace condition of Babylon now; none will fail to recognize it’s sudden and utter collapse in the near future.

Why this rejection by the Lord? The answer given is: “Because she made all nations drink of the [mixed] wine [false doctrines intermingled with some truth]…of her fornication [her illicit relationship with the world, imparting her own spirit as well as partaking of the world’s spirit].” Through the Prophet Jeremiah (51:7—Newberry Bible), the Lord states the matter in a similar vein: “[Babylon] made all the earth drunken…of her wine [from the cradle to the grave]; Therefore the nations are mad [stupefied, sharing in her abominations and impurities—Rev. 17:4].”

The great mass of professing Christians having been raised (or taught) from the cradle (from the very beginnings of their beliefs as young Christians in Sunday schools and etc.) the teachings and doctrines of Babylon, the church nominal have become so accustom to these teachings, this mixture of false doctrines with a bit of truth, the truth simply being added in order to make the false doctrines more palatable that they have become (drunk) on these doctrines so much so that they (that is the majority of them) in all honestly believe them to be true.

We will continue with this study with our next post.

Excerpts for this study were taken from Brother Frank Shallieu’s “The Keys of Revelation”, and the “New Albany Notes on Revelation”.


*judgment

The word translated “judgment” is the Greek krisis, which does not mean final judgment but signifies a trial, a crucial time period.

 

Revelation Chapter 14, Part 1

Revelation Chapter 14, Part 1

 

This study is in response to the following comment we received from one of our readers,

You need to read Revelation 14 again. Many things wrong with your dissertation. Most obvious one is how Revelation 14 is clear that those who take the mark of the beast will definitely go to Hell for eternity.”

Let us take a closer look at Revelation Chapter 14 specifically the text which you believe supports your thought.

Verses 9-11

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

“First and most importantly it is important to remember that the book of Revelation is a prophecy, and not a literal epistle. It abounds in symbols or signs, and these are the rule, and the literal—when unavoidable–is the exception”.

Recall our Lord’s opening remarks to this book,

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants (the True Church) things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and SIGNIFIED IT by his angel (messenger) unto his servant John” (Rev 1:1)

Signified: Strong’s # 4591, marked, indicated (sign-ifiedtold in signs and symbols, which are the rule, the literal being the exception and used only when unavoidable).

The greatest source of error in understanding the symbols of Revelation is a too literal interpretation. It is read as though it were a statement of facts, instead of a statement of symbols.

Only the context can help determine whether or not a literal or symbolic usage of a word or particular statement is intended. In this case the evidence provided in the context overwhelmingly supports a symbolic interpretation. If one were to attempt to interpret this text as literal as do the majority of those who believe in the theory of everlasting torment as the wages of sin it would involve several absurdities.

First it would imply that not only are the “fire, brimstone and smoke” to be taken as literal, but so too “the beast and his image”. Likewise the “mark” is literal and is to be literally placed upon the forehead or hand of the individual. More than this it implies that the “the wine of the wrath of God” is literal wine and is actually contained in a literal “cup”, how absurd.  And let us not forget that those poor souls foolish enough to have received this mark are likewise to be tormented not only in the presence of the holy angels, but likewise in the presence of a literal “lamb”.

Let us put aside such foolish thoughts, imaginings and such which have been fostered by the blind guides of Christendom. It should be self-evident to anyone in possession of “the spirit of a sound mind” that any interpretation of this text other than a symbolic interpretation is grossly in error and should be disregarded immediately. We are not at liberty to pick and choose which symbols we think are literal which symbolic simply because it supports our own particular beliefs.

Now before we examine the text in it’s entirely, symbolically as it was intended we should first like to lists a few of the key symbols found in our text. The ability to understand the true meanings of these symbols is necessary to a proper understanding of the text as a whole.

BEAST: a group of men (an institution or government) with unholy characteristics.

IMAGE: (a likeness or copy of someone or something) in this case federated Protestantism.

MARK: a distinction or indication of agreement / sympathy or cooperation.

HAND: works; cooperation; responsibility (with the hand or hands one renders service or performs works).

FOREHEAD: represents the sum total of one’s character (the forehead also represents ones intellectual consent to a particular set of teachings or doctrine).

FIRE: severe trials: destruction and/or judgment.

BRIMSTONE: deadly poison (added to the symbol of fire to show no way of escape).

SMOKE: remembrance, obscuration, or evidence.

TORMENTED: vexed to the point of great discomfort (could be physically or mentally).

To properly grasp the true intent of our text it will prove necessary to back track a bit, back to the true beginning of Chapter 14, which begins with Chapter 14 Verse 6.

Chapter 13 should end at the close of 14:5.

THE REASONS: Chapter 14 is a harvest chapterthe FIRST chapter which deals with the harvest exclusively, and the first chapter in *the second section of Revelation (Chapters 14-19) dealing only with the harvest period. How strange, then, to begin the harvest section of Revelation with the Church complete! Yet 14:1 has the Church complete with the Lord on Mt. Zion. It is true; of course, that the Church is completed during this period (during the harvest); but this period does not begin with the Church completed.

Keep in mind that that both the punctuation and the chapter divisions found in the bible are of recent times, the original text as it was written employed neither.

 “The chapter divisions commonly used today were developed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton. Langton put the modern chapter divisions into place around A.D. 1227. The Wycliffe English Bible of 1382 was the first Bible to use this chapter pattern. Since the Wycliffe Bible, nearly all Bible translations have followed Langton’s chapter divisions.”

“The Hebrew Old Testament was divided into verses by a Jewish rabbi by the name of Nathan in A.D. 1448. In 1555 Robert Estienne (a printer), also known as Stephanus, was the first to divide the New Testament into standard numbered verses. Stephanus essentially used Nathan’s verse divisions for the Old Testament. Since that time, beginning with the Geneva Bible, the chapter and verse divisions employed by Stephanus have been accepted into nearly all the Bible versions.” Nevertheless there is no authoritative basis for the divisions.

 As far as punctuation is concerned, there are many schools of thought, as far back as 250 B.C. to a school of thought that a group called the Masoretes added vowels and punctuation around or after 500 A.D. Neither the original Greek nor Hebrew had punctuation.”

Chapter 14 divides nicely into three main sections: Verses 6-12, Verses 13-14, and Verses 15-20. Jesus appears in the middle of these sections; three angels appear in the first section and three more in the final section.

In this particular study we are going to be concentrating on the first section as it deals specifically with our subject.

The three angels mentioned in Verses 6, 8 and 9 represent 3 PARTS OF THE HARVEST MESSAGE. Notice the increasing importance of their messages: The first PREACHES; the second CONDEMNS; the third WARNS.

The progression of thought is very much as is our individual, personal experience in finding the harvest truths.

FIRST we HEAR the message;

NEXT we SEE clearly the filthy (false or erroneous) doctrine of historicalChristianity”, and

FINALLY we realize clearly our responsibility in separation (separation from such systems and teachings), and the dangers involved if we remain a part of what God Himself has cast off.

Excerpts were taken from the “New Albany Notes on Revelation”.

We will continue with our study in our next post.


*the second section of Revelation

Revelation can be broken down into five sections. At the beginning (1:1-8) is a small section that serves as an introduction to the entire prophecy. At the end (22:6-21) is another small section that serves as an epilogue to the entire prophecy. Between these two small sections, are three larger sections, which we call sections 1 through 3, and which serve to detail in advance all of the history since the ending of the Jewish Age.

Section 1 (1:9-14:5) gives FIVE views of the entire Gospel Age (including the Harvest).

Section 2 (14:6-19:21) gives FIVE views focusing exclusively on the Harvest Period.

Section 3 (20:1-22:5) gives FIVE views of the Millennium (all having at least some connection to the Gospel Age Harvest).