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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.

 

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).

The Great Pyramid, Part 22

The Great Pyramid, Part 22

The Importance of Granite Plug and its relationship to the First Ascending Passage

“The Apostle tells us that ‘death reigned from Adam to Moses” (Rom 5:14), a period of over 2,500 years. Then an opportunity to escape death was granted to the people of Israel, the descendants of Jacob. God gave them the Law through Moses, and intimated that those who did the things of the Law would live in them. The people of Israel thought it an easy matter to observe the things of the Law and readily promised to do them, but they very quickly realized how powerless they were to observe this Law of God. For the Law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good (Rom 7:12), while they were sinful, born under condemnation to death. They found that they could not keep that perfect law of God inviolate. Thus the commandment which was ordained to life was found to be unto death (Rom 7:10). None could pass the perfect requirements of the Law and gain life.

The First Ascending Passage represents this opportunity to escape the downward way to death and go on an upward way to life. But just as, in reality, the people of Israel could not ascend to life by their Law, so it is found to be impossible to take advantage of the First Ascending Passage. It is blocked at the lower end by a Granite Plug. As Brother Russell clearly proves, granite in the Great Pyramid represents that which gold in the tabernacle and temple represents, namely, divine, spiritual things.

The Granite Plug blocking the lower end of the First Ascending Passage thus very well symbolizes the divine Law of God blocking the way of life. The apostle declares that ‘the Law is spiritual,” but that we are carnal, sold under sin (Rom 7:14). Thus we find that the Great Pyramid corroborates the declaration of the Scriptures: “There is none righteous, no, not one.” “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:10, 23). Both the people of Israel and the Gentiles are alike condemned to death, and none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him (Psa 49:7). In the Great Pyramid all are represented as hastening down the Descending Passage toward the Pit, symbolical of death.

But God, who is full of mercy and loving kindness, and who had foreseen that no one could escape death by his own efforts-neither the Jew with the Law, nor the Gentile without the law-had already provided a way of escape. We read that Jesus Christ is the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” and that he was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” (John 1:29; 1 Pet 1:19, 20). God had provided in his great Plan of the Ages that His Son should come and die for all mankind, and that he should rise again and become Lord both of the living and the dead.

Thus we read that: “In due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6), and: “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son” (Gal 4:4). He was “delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom 4:25). This great scriptural truth is symbolized in the stone “Sign” and “Witness” by the Well-Shaft. (“The Great Pyramid, Why Was It Built? Who Built It?Page ix-xi)

Further insight on the Symbolism of the First Ascending Passage

THE First Ascending Passage represents the Law Covenant, or, from another point of view, the Law Dispensation. On examining the floor of the Descending Passage, which represents the downward course of ‘this present evil world,” it will be found that the portion which faces the entrance to the First Ascending Passage is composed of extremely hard limestone (Plate XIV above), whereas above and below this it is softer, and consequently much worn by the traffic of centuries.

The hardness of the floor at this part was intended for the purpose of maintaining exact measurements, but it was also intended to signify the fact that at the time when the Israelite’s were called out of Egypt to be the people of God, their standing with the Lord was firm and sure.

Owing to the extra headroom consequent upon the First Ascending Passage branching upwards from the Descending Passage in the same vertical plane, it is not necessary to stoop at this point; the traveler is here able to stand upright, and so ease his aching back. He will thus be able to appreciate the joy which the Israelites must have experienced when freed from their bondage in Egypt, and he will be enabled to sympathize with them, when, on being given the Law, they cried joyfully: “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do“-Exod. 19:1-8.

But should he now endeavor to climb the First Ascending Passage, he will find that the Granite Plug completely blocks the way. In this ingenious manner, as before explained, the Great Pyramid teaches that the way to life by the Law Covenant was impassable, and that what blocked it was the Divine Law (represented in the granite plug itself), because “by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified,” for “in man, that is in his flesh, dwells no good thing“-Rom 3:20; 7:18.

Nevertheless, although the Israelite’s could not keep the perfect Law of God, the Bible informs us that God permitted them to continue their endeavors to do so. The Great Pyramid teaches the same lesson, for in spite of the fact that at its beginning the First Ascending Passage is blocked completely by the Granite Plug, beyond this it is open. By its symbolical features, also, including its length, it represents the condition of Israel under the Law. Through the atonement sacrifices the Lord year by year forgave the Israelite’s their sins, and as a nation they were typically justified, that is, they were typically reckoned as having passed from the plane of condemnation represented in the Great Pyramid by the Descending Passage, to the plane of justification represented by the level of the Queen’s Chamber. That this justification was only typical is clear from the statement of the Apostle that the Law made nothing perfect, but was only a shadow of good things to come, for “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Heb 10:1, 4). Those individuals, however, who, like their father Abraham, rejoiced to see Christ’s day with the eye of faith, and remained until death true to the Lord in the midst of severe trials, had their faith accounted unto them for righteousness. They had friendship with God, and will be awakened to perfect human life through the instrumentality of the glorified Church (Heb 11:39, 40).

The mode of access by which it is now possible to reach the part beyond the Granite Plug (which is still in position) is the hole forced through the soft limestone to the right (west) of the Plug by Caliph Al Mamoun. The Lord thus delayed the discovery of the upper passages and chambers in order that they might be kept intact until the due time for their thorough examination. Once the traveler enters the First Ascending Passage he finds himself on a higher level that the Descending Passage, though still below the level of the Queen’s Chamber, which represents the plane of human perfection. By this means the Pyramid teaches the same lesson as the Chart of the Ages; for if reference be made to the latter, it will be seen that the imperfect pyramid (circled in blue), which represents the nation of Israel, is lifted measurably above the plane of human depravity (the world under Adamic condemnation, plane “R), but below the plane of human perfection (plane “N). Israel for some time resided on plane “P”, which represented their typical justification under the law.

As it is in the Descending Passage, so in the First Ascending Passage the roof is less than four feet transversely above the floor. Accordingly, the traveler is still obliged to bow his head and shoulders, though not so low as when going down the Descending Passage, because now, in walking upward, he has the advantage of the greater vertical height (4 feet 5 inches). The Pyramid thus teaches that the Jew was less degraded than the Gentile.

The way is dark, steep and slippery, and he readily stumbles and falls, more especially as there is nothing to hold on to when he slips. So slippery is this passage that we found that our measuring rods and other articles, when laid on the floor, glided rapidly to the bottom. Does not this wonderfully represent the condition of the Israelites during the Law Dispensation? Those who were sincere in heart delighted in the Law of God after the inward man, but they saw another law in their members warring against the law of their mind, and bringing them into captivity to the law of sin-Rom 7:22, 23. Bowed under the yoke of the Law, they were weary and heavy laden with the ordinances which were against them, and, as the true Light which lightest every man that cometh into the world had not yet appeared, their lamp, the Word of God, shone as yet but dimly. As a result, they stumbled, and since they were under the Law and not under Grace, they had nothing to sustain them when their feet slipped. No wonder the noble Apostle Paul, when he reflected on his former abject condition under the Law, cried despondently: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this death-doomed body?” But at the time when he uttered these words he had already found the answer, and so he exclaimed triumphantly: “I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The terminal end of this passage (the last 33 ½ inches) represents the years of the earthly life of the “man Christ Jesus,” who nailed the Law to his cross, and thus by his death brought the Law Dispensation to a close. The faithful Israelites, who were looking and longing for the coming of the Messiah, being burdened by the Law, must have been comforted when they heard the gracious words of the Master: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light“-Matt 11:28-30. Those who accepted this loving invitation found to their joy that from that Pentecostal day, fifty days after the resurrection of Christ, when the Holy Spirit fell upon them, they were no longer under the Law symbolized by the First Ascending Passage, but were members of the high or heavenly calling, symbolized by the Grand Gallery. The Law Dispensation had come to an end, and the Gospel Dispensation had commenced. The Apostle declares: “That no man is justified by the law in the sight of God it is evident: for ‘the just shall live by faith.’ And the law is not of faith: but ‘the man that doeth them shall live in them.’ Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree’ ”; and again, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, he took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross“(Gal 3:11-13; Col 2:14).

These “Israelites indeed” were now able to stand fast (upright) in the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free. This, the teaching of the Scriptures, is also the teaching of the Great Pyramid, for the vertical height of the Grand Gallery is seven times the transverse height of the First Ascending Passage, twenty-eight feet as against four feet. There is no need to stoop.

Before passing up the Grand Gallery the traveler must recognize the Well at his feet (the ransom sacrifice). As has already been explained, the Well represents ‘Hades,” thedeath-state,” and the appearance of an explosion at its mouth represents the resurrection of Christ who thus opened up the new and living way to life and immortality. In this manner the Great Pyramid symbolizes that, before the Israelite’s could be accepted as partakers of the heavenly calling, it was necessary for them to recognize the love and righteousness of God in giving his only begotten Son as a sacrifice on their behalf, and to recognize also the loving obedience of the Son in drinking the cup which the Father had given him. It symbolizes further that it was necessary for them to believe that God had by his mighty power raised Jesus from the dead and set him at his own right hand on high.

Comparatively few, however, took advantage of the grand opportunity presented to them. As a Nation they rejected the offer and were, in consequence, cast off; and as a Nation, they passed a few years later (70 A.D.) into Hades, the death-state. The few who repented, however, and were baptized for the remission of sins, were justified through faith and had peace with God, and becoming partakers of the high or heavenly calling, and being privileged to suffer and die with Christ, they were given the “exceeding great and precious promises” whereby they might become partakers of the Divine nature.  (Page 99-103)

When we return we will take a further look at the “well”.

The Great Pyramid, Part 21

The Great Pyramid, Part 21

Before we take a look at the symbolic meaning of the First Ascending Passage we would like to note a few more interesting features with regards to the “girdles”, the “granite plug”, and the “large angular stone”. As the Edgar brothers pointed out save for the first three gridles the rest of the gridles were all set in contact one with another. Likewise although they are all set vertically in line with the pyramid as were the first three they nevertheless are not square across the passage, but as seen in the illustration above (noted in red) are inclined upward diagonally from the east wall to the west. Now in respects to those gridles which we believe encompassed the granite plug it is possible that they may have been the exception, for as noted in the diagram the last gridle line shown at the upper end of the granite plug appears to be nearly straight across the passage once again.

Now the précised number of gridles found at the extreme north end of the passage is not specifically designated, we would assume however judging from the size of the previous gridles, those found immediately to the south of the granite plug that there were at least three or four, the first of which may possibly have been a half or three quarter gridle. The reason we suggest this is because of the “large angular stone”, also referred to as the “concealing stone”. This stone like the majority of the other stones used in walls of the passage was made of the typical yellow Tura limestone, in this way it match the others and did not draw any undue attention to itself. The reason for the half griddle is two-fold, first it adds greater support for the angular stone and second if it were a full size gridle (as noted in the illustration below) there would be another joint line in the roof masonry, one for the angular block and one for the gridle, these two joint lines so close to each other might signify a “tell” as to something hidden.

NOTE: We have deliberately illustrated these gridle stones in gray so as to distinguish them from the passage and the other stones, in truth however they were constructed of the same yellow Tura limestone as the rest of the interior blocks. The only stones here of notable difference would be the three red or pink granite plug stones.

On closer examination of the “Trial Passages” it was observed that where the Ascending passage and the Descending passage met the passage contracted or tapered up at the bottom as though it were ready to accept plug blocks. Whether or not this was exactly how it was done in the pyramid itself is not specified in the Edgars examinations, but it is most likely how it was done.

The only reason we bring this up is because it has a direct effect on how we calculate the précised “Point of Intersection”, which is critical to many of the time measurements provided by the pyramid, however there possibly is a way in which this was accomplished without sacrificing the integrity of the measurements. The stone cutters simply tapered the bore of the gridle stone which served to lock the first of the three stones in place. In this way the passage maintained its précised dimensions as well as its degree of incline.

However it is very possible that this tapering was so minuscule that it had very little to no effect upon the point of intersection, but was nevertheless sufficient enough to lock the plug in place. The “Trial Passages” we believe were simply designed as a pattern or replica through which to work out the details.

Managing the granite plug stones would prove quite a chore as they’re estimated individual weight is at nearly 7 tons a piece. It is highly likely as illustrated that they would have positioned several temporary stones into place first, stones upon which to better facilitate sliding the great stones into place.

You will note we have also hinted at another possible way in which the plug could have been locked into place, instead of tapering the bore of the gridle stone, the first granite stone itself is tapered like a cork, and then inserted into the gridle stone, the larger end of the plug would then catch the sides of the bore as soon as both ends of the rear of the stone entered the bore of the gridle. The other two plug stones would possibly share the same dimensions (height and width) as the front of the first plug and therefore be much easier to slide into place.

Now as to our “angular” or “concealing stone” and how it may have come to be placed in its unique position. Remember the object of this stone was to conceal the entrance to the ascending passage. This stone would have been place while they were laying the sixth course of masonry, prior to the plugs. Now at first one might assume that it would have been much easier to simply set the concealing stone first, temporarily bracing it with something to hold it up into its position (possibly some short wood beams), which would then later be removed, but……. there is a purpose behind laying the partial gridle first. The gridle above, the stone below and the unique degree of angle of the ascending passage would in the end all work together to hold this particular cut or “angled” stone precisely in its place, this even without any cement.

Consider gravity; the force of gravity acting upon any object is that object’s weight or mass. If you held a baseball bat out before you horizontally and dropped it, which end would hit the ground first the handle or the hitting end? Which end generally weights more? Now which end of our stone most likely carries the most weight? So if this block were dropped in what direction would it most likely fall? Of course it would fall straight down, but would it not likewise (if dropped from a sufficient height) begin to rotate with the heaviest end coming around and down first?

Because of gravity and the unique 26 degree angle of the Ascending passage the large angular stone becomes wedged at the top and locked at the bottom as gravity attempts to row it out (the gridle stone positioned above greatly aids in supporting this stone). However first we need to get our stone into position. In order to accomplish this it would first require positioning the stone into the passage by means of a temporary support stone (as we had illustrated in the diagram above), and then in order to get it to slide in without becoming locked into place to soon a small thin wedge of some sort would be inserted beneath the bottom edge to keep it perpendicular with the passage (this and most likely the assistance of men bracing it in some form or fashion from beneath). When the stone was positioned at a point just about flush with the descending passage this wedge along with any braces beneath would be removed and gravity would do its work causing the stone to row forward locking it into the correct position.

This would not necessarily require any cement, however some may have been applied to the upper joint as this joint would have naturally been a bit lager than the joint found at the bottom. In our illustration we have exaggerated the size of this joint merely so as to emphasize it. One could see then how the forced entry by Al Mamoun’s men might have caused this stone to give way, if in their work they had caused the stone below upon which the angular stone was locked to break off as evidently it had as is apparent from the diagram below taken from the Edgar brother’s notes (note the red areas). Once these pieces broke off especially the bottom piece the angular stone would have dropped down into the descending passage.

Let us consider how our unique passage angle of 26 degrees applies to our “angular stone”, and what would be the consequences if we were to utilize another degree of angle. Let us first consider if we were to use a slightly lower degree of angle what then might be the consequences.

At 21 degrees our angular stone would increase somewhat in size adding extra head weight to the stone, this in turn means a greater gravitational force pulling the stone downward. It is very much possible that instead of locking in like the original stone that the forces exerted upon the lower supporting stone in this example would prove too much and cause it to fracture. Of course this is only an assumption. However the true problem with this particular degree of angle is that it would destroy the time measurements and symbolisms of the Great Pyramid.

What about a higher degree of angle, how would this work out for us?

Although our angular stone is much smaller now, smaller even than the original stone, the problem now is twofold. At this particular angle there is little to no pressure on the ceiling to wedge the block into place, as we have reached the point where the force of gravity becomes stronger than the friction force, thus we have nothing locking our stone at the bottom either, and unless our stone were sufficiently cemented into place it would fall out. In fact even if it were cemented, although the cement might hold true over the centuries (as has been proven elsewhere), the stone itself and or those surrounding it might still be subject to fracturing over the 3000 year period in which it had remained. However once again the true problem with this angle is what it does to the “stone witness”, how it destroys its witness as can readily be seen by the diagram below.

In our next post we will take a look at the symbolism of the First Ascending passage.

 

 

The Great Pyramid, Part 20

The Great Pyramid, Part 20

We continue once again with the Edgar brother’s examination of the First Ascending Passage.

“Since his return (from Jerusalem), John and I (Morton Edgar) have been working in the First Ascending Passage, verifying the measurements taken by Jack and me. Measuring in this passage is very trying. The joints on the walls seem so hopelessly confused that we had been inclined many times to give up in despair. However, we felt that we must continue, as otherwise the time already spent would be wasted.

Our labor has been rewarded, for what at first was confusion to us, is now seen to be wonderful symmetry. There is design in the whole passage. This we discovered when we had carefully drawn to scale an elevation of each of the walls, in conjunction with plans of the floor and ceiling Plate CXXVIII (See the second diagram below.)

In Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, 5th edition, page 295, Professor C. Piazzi Smyth inserted the following as a foot- note: “In the year 1872, Mr. Waynman Dixon applied himself long and steadily to mapping down everything measurable touching the reputed disorder of the joint-lines in the First Ascending Passage of the Great Pyramid, or that one leading up to the lower north end of the Grand Gallery; and presently perceived a most admirable order pervading the apparent disorder, tending also to hyper-excellent masonic construction. For the chief discovery was, that at stated intervals the smaller blocks forming elsewhere separately portions of the walls, floor, and ceiling of the passage, were replaced by great transverse plates of stone, with the whole of the passage’s hollow rectangular bore cut clean through them; wherefore, at these places, the said plates formed walls, floor, and ceiling, all in one piece.”

These plates of stone have been called Girdles. Before leaving home we had recognized the importance of the three upper ones as *marking important dates in the Law Dispensation.’ We therefore examined them with care, and found that while all of the Girdles are differentiated from the other stones in this passage by their remarkable structure, the other three are distinguished by symmetrical joints in the stones above and below them. An examination of these joints, as shown in the diagram—Plate CXXVIII, will demonstrate the exact symmetry of their angles one with another (We have highlighted them in Medium Gray so as to more easily distinguish this fact). Additionally, inserted into the walls immediately below the three upper Girdles, there are peculiar inset stones, which look like pointers, as if to call the Pyramid students’ special attention to these Girdles. And as if still further to accentuate their importance, you will note that the inset “pointer” stones are inserted into especially large wall stones, highlighted in Dark Gray in our diagram.

For the purpose of reference we have numbered the Girdles, beginning from the upper or south end of the passage, and counting downward—Compare with Plate XI. We find that the distance from the upper extremity of the passage to the lower joint of the first Girdle, is almost twice the distance between the lower joints of the first and second; while the distance between the first and second Girdles is nearly the same as that between the second and third, lower joint-lines in each case.’

*These are explained in Vol. II of Great Pyramid Passages; but we were unable to discover chronological significance in the lower Girdles.

Almost exactly in the center of the double space between the upper end of the passage and the first Girdle’s lower joint-line, the joints in the floor and both walls are nearly continuous with each other, forming, therefore, what we might term a Girdle Joint (Highlighted in Red). Inserted into the east wall immediately below this Girdle Joint (In between the word “East” and “Wall”), and as if to call attention to it, are two small inset stones, somewhat similar to the pointers immediately below the three important Girdles. The upper part of the passage from the top or south end down to the lower joint of the third Girdle is, therefore, divided into four parts of nearly equal length.

It is interesting to notice that the inset pointer-stones alternate, first on the east wall below the Girdle Joint, then on the west wall below the first Girdle, then on the east wall below the second Girdle, and finally on the west wall below the third Girdle. These inset stones were noticed by Mr. J. E. Perring in 1837, and are partially illustrated in Plate II of his great book of plates; but, so far as we are aware, the diagram we here present (Plate CXXVIII) is the only one in existence which shows the distinctive and symmetrical arrangement of the masonry of the First Ascending Passage in its entirety. Referring to the inset stones, Mr. Perring, filled with the theory that the Great Pyramid was a tomb, says: “In the upper [First Ascending] Passage, holes have been cut, which are now filled up, for the insertion of levers or beams to raise the sarcophagus.” Look once more at the diagram, Plate CXXVIII, and note the position and arrangement of the inset stones, and the symmetry of the whole passage: you will agree that Mr. Perring’s explanation is, to say the least, inadequate!

The three upper Girdles are vertical (See Plate XI), and square across from east to west, and are each composed of two stones, an upper and a lower, the upper forming the roof and part of both walls, and the lower the floor and the remainder of the walls. The joints on the walls of the passage between the upper and lower portions of each Girdle are horizontal, but are not opposite each other. In the first and third Girdles which, we have seen, are indicated by pointers on the west wall, the joint on the west is higher, or nearer the roof, than its companion on the east wall; while in the second Girdle, which is indicated by a pointer on the east wall, the east joint is higher than the west. It would therefore appear that the two stones which form each Girdle are not set horizontally one upon the other from east to west, but at an angle. The above two diagrams depict the third girdle illustrating how the two stones were joined together. The craftsmanship of the stone cutters were amazing, each stone needed not only to be cut so as to perfectly align with one another horizontally, but at the same time the exact degree of incline of the Ascending Passage needed to be maintained as it cut through the center of these great stones.

Those Girdles which lie lower down the passage than the three just described, are all in contact with one another. Though, like the first three, they are vertical, they do not lie square across the passage; their joint-lines on the floor and roof incline upward diagonally from the east wall to the west wall. Some of these lower Girdles are formed out of a single stone. As can be seen in the diagram (Plate CXXVIII), the fourth Girdle is very irregular in shape, its south face being cut to form no less than six distinct joint-lines with the stones above it.

The whole of the passage from the fourth Girdle down to the upper end of the Granite Plug is much dilapidated, extensive exfoliation having taken place on walls, roof and floor. Accurate measuring at this part is therefore almost impossible. However, we tried our best to get the exact positions of all the joints by stretching lines tightly along the four angles formed by the walls with the roof and floor, and taking off-sets to these lines from the various joints. Indications in the masonry forming the roof at this dilapidated part show that the stones which form the Girdles here were built in solid, end to end, after which the bore of the passage was cut through them. Above the fourth Girdle, however, there can be no doubt that the passage was constructed in the usual way, i.e., that the floor was first laid, the walls erected at the proper distance apart on the floor, and the roof-stones then placed on top of the wall-stones. Nevertheless, it is quite probable that the stones forming the three upper Girdles were built in entire, and the bore of the passage cut through them in situ. The two roof-stones immediately above and below each of the three upper Girdles, are in themselves partial girdles, thus further calling attention to the importance of these three prominent Girdles.

And yet, to the casual visitor to the Pyramid, and even to the observer who keeps his eyes about him, none of this wonderful symmetry in the masonry of the First Ascending Passage is clearly visible. The joints between the stones are in most instances so close that it is difficult to locate their exact positions, more especially as they appear to run in all directions. The first impression one gets from an endeavor to understand the system of masonry in this passage, is that it is without order. Here is the impression which Professor C. Piazzi Smyth had formed of it: “The walls show sometimes vertical and sometimes perpendicular-to-passage joints, and these are now and then confusedly interfered with by parts of horizontal courses of masonry. Altogether, there is smaller and less perfect masonry employed in the First Ascending Passage than in the Entrance Passage; giving the practical impression of the former being a necessary means of communicating between the Entrance Passage and the Grand Gallery, and having little or no symbolic importance in itself.” We have reason to believe, however, that Professor Smyth latterly came to see the important symbolical significance of this Passage; that it represents the Law Dispensation, the Age during which God had special dealings with the Jewish nation by virtue of their Law Covenant, even as the Grand Gallery symbolizes that Dispensation which follows the Jewish Age, namely the Gospel Age.

Because of the intercepting Granite Plug, and dilapidation’s, it is difficult to obtain a continuous end-to-end measurement for the length of the First Ascending Passage. Between the published figures of Professors Smyth and Petrie there is a difference of nearly 2¾ inches. A total length of very slightly over 1545 British inches (1543.464 +Pyramid inches.), from the “Point of Intersection” on the floor of the Descending Passage, up to the vertical line of the north wall of the Grand Gallery, is a fair mean between these two measures, and is the figure which yields harmony throughout the Scriptural time-measurements, and the scientific features connected with this passage. The floor-length from the upper, or southern, end of the Granite Plug, up to the vertical line of the north wall of the Grand Gallery is, according to Professor C. Piazzi Smyth, 1291.2, but according to Professor Flinders Petrie, 1293.8, British inches. According to our understanding, the theoretically correct value is a mean between these two extremes, or about 1292 1/4 British inches (1290.946 + Pyramid inches.). Regarding his measured length of the Granite Plug, namely, 178.8 British inches, Professor Smyth wrote: “It was so very difficult and roundabout to measure, that I do not attach much value to the numbers.” Professor Petrie, we believe, secured a truer length: his measure, 178.5 British inches, being barely ⅛ of an inch more than the theoretically correct amount, which is 178.189 + Pyramid inches, the figures which we now adopt.” (Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 281-285)

Once again we will continue with our next post.

 

The Great Pyramid, Part 19

The Great Pyramid, Part 19

THE FIRST ASCENDING PASSAGE

Having we believe thoroughly examined the Subterranean Chamber of the Great Pyramid we now follow the Edgar’s back up the Descending passage and out through the little gate which led us to the pit.

“Immediately above or north of the granite stone on which the grill-door is fixed, there is an irregular opening in the west wall of the Descending Passage (In the second picture presented above you are looking down from this opening to the grill-door or gate which they have just passed, which implies that you are coming up and under toward the western side of the granite plug standing on or about the level of the 6th or 7th course of masonry.)

When we stepped through this opening, we found ourselves in a large cavernous space. This cavity with its opening from the Descending Passage was hollowed out in the masonry eleven hundred years ago by Caliph Al Mamoun, son of Harun Al Raschid of Arabian Nights’ fame. After entering the cavity, when we turned round and looked up, holding our candles above our heads, we saw that the west side of the upper two-thirds of the Granite Plug, already mentioned, had been exposed by Al Mamoun’s excavation.

The small space between the lower end of the Granite Plug, and the roof-line of the Descending Passage, was originally closed by a smooth limestone block similar to the other stones which form the roof of the Descending Passage, and in line with them (as depicted in the diagram above). So effectually did this limestone block conceal the entrance of the First Ascending Passage, that none of the classic nations knew of the existence of the upper passages and chambers. Later, the little of what was once known by ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, was lost, for even the site of entrance to the Great Pyramid became forgotten. Consequently, when Caliph Al Mamoun, with the mistaken idea that the Great Pyramid contained treasures of gold and precious stones, desired to enter it and explore its wonders, there was only an indistinct rumor to guide him towards trying the northern rather than any other side of the monument. He selected a spot in the middle line on the seventh course of masonry, and, therefore, several feet below and to the right of the true Entrance. Here he caused his workmen to force a passage horizontally into the great mass of the Pyramid. (This theory of course has been debated by many scholars as discussed in one of our earlier post, The Great Pyramid, Part 11).

It is reported that after weeks of fruitless quarrying, the Caliph’s despairing workmen were disposed to abandon their task, when one day they heard a noise as if something had fallen in an interior space a few feet from where they were. They immediately set to work eastwards in the direction of the sound, and soon burst into the Descending Passage, thus forming the irregular opening already described. There they found that the noise had been caused by the falling of the large angular stone, which for ages had formed part of the roof of the Descending Passage, and had sealed up the entrance to the upper passages and chambers. In this way, the Pyramid’s most important structural secret was revealed for the first time since the erection of the building; and had it not been for the shaking of the masonry which caused the roof-stone to become dislodged and fall, the upper passages might even yet have remained unknown.

But the workmen, though they had discovered the First Ascending Passage, found that access into it is prevented by the Granite Plug, which is so tightly wedged that it is impossible to remove it entire, and so hard that it would be extremely difficult to break up. They chose the easier plan of breaking and removing the limestone blocks to the right or west of the Granite Plug, and so forced their way upwards into the passage above. This discovery of the upper passages was made in the year 820 A.D.; and as the Great Pyramid was built about the year 2140 B.C., their existence must have been unknown for practically three thousand years!

Imagine, when they laid the first of the great ceiling stones above the Kings Chamber this would be the last time any man would set foot in these upper passages, and when the second stone above that was laid the last time light would shine in its grand corridors for nearly three thousand years. Think of the history that transpired during this time. 155 years after its completion (roughly B.C. 2140), God would establish his covenant with Abraham. 430 years after this (after the covenant made with Abraham), the Jews would begin their Exodus from Egypt and God would establish the Law Covenant with the nation of Israel. Nearly 1600 years later (1553 to be precise) Jesus would be born in Bethlehem and not soon after the Jewish age would end and the Gospel Age would begin. It would yet be another 800 or so years later shortly following the crowning of Charlemagne as Emperor that the upper passages would be discovered once again.

To resume: having passed through the forced hole in the west wall of the Descending Passage into the cavernous hollow, and then, taking advantage of a ledge and a series of notches on the high south-east wall of the hollow (Today replaced by carved steps in the stone as noted above), we climbed to the upper end of the Granite Plug and gained access to the First Ascending Passage, which runs in the same vertical plane and at the same angle to the horizon as the Descending Passage. We were now able to inspect the upper butt-end of the Granite Plug, which is shown to advantage in the second photo above.

To proceed up the First Ascending Passage, we required to stoop uncomfortably low, for, like the Descending Passage, its roof is scarcely four feet above its floor. When, however, we reach the place where, to our joy, we found a level floor, and abundance of room to stand erect and so relieve our aching backs, we were now at the lower end of the noblest passage in the Great Pyramid, which has been well name the Grand Gallery. This Gallery ascends in the same vertical plane, and at the same angle, as the First Ascending Passage, the inclined floors of both being continuous. The reason why we stepped on to a level floor on emerging from the First Ascending Passage is because another passage, called the Horizontal Passage, also has its beginning at this place. We will examine these areas more thoroughly later, but for now we would like to continue our examination of the First Ascending Passage. (“The Great Pyramid Passages and Chambers”, Page 59-65)

Continued with next post.

 

 

 

The Great Pyramid, Part 18

The Great Pyramid, Part 18

THE SUBTERRANEAN CHAMBER

“The Subterranean Chamber is by far the largest chamber in the Pyramid, being, approximately, 27 feet from north to south, by 46 feet from east to west. Its area, therefore, is more than double that of the King’s Chamber, which measures 17 feet by 34 feet. Although the roof and walls of this large Subterranean Chamber are by no means smooth, they are for the most part square and level; but the floor is extremely rugged and unfinished, and is much encumbered with stones and sand.” (Page 176)

“While the roof and four walls of the Subterranean Chamber have been made fairly even, the floor, on the contrary, has been left in an extremely broken and unfinished condition, by reason of which the name ‘Bottomless Pit” has been aptly applied by some to this chamber. It is a fitting termination to the long low Descending Passage which leads down to it.” (Great Pyramid Passages, Page 91)

“In very early times, the Descending Passage appears to have been sufficiently clear to allow of venturesome travelers making occasional visits to the Subterranean Chamber; but in 1763, Davison, when describing the Descending Passage, wrote: ‘At the end of one hundred and thirty-one feet [from the junction of the First Ascending Passage] I found it so filled up with earth, that there was no possibility of proceeding.” It remained in this condition until the year 1817, when, by the efforts of M. Caviglia, access to the Subterranean Chamber was restored; and at the same time the whole length of the Well-shaft was cleared. M. Caviglia was afterward for a short time in the employment of Col. Howard Vyse.

Caviglia did not completely clear out the Descending Passage, for, twenty years afterward (in 1837), Col. Howard Vyse, in his description of the state in which he found the Great Pyramid previous to commending his extensive operations on it and the other Pyramids of Gizeh, wrote that, though open, it was ‘much encumbered with stones and rubbish.” This no doubt explains why he measured the passage along the roof-line, and not along the floor. When Professor C. Piazzi Smyth visited the Pyramid in 1865, the passage below its juncture with the First Ascending Passage appears to have again become so blocked with dust and large stones, that he did not visit the lower sections at all. The measurements of these parts given in his Pyramid books were derived from Col. Howard Vyse’s publication, and are, unfortunately, inaccurate.

In 1881, Professor Flinders Petrie caused the obstructing debris to be removed sufficiently for him to descend. It was during these operations that he discovered the large granite stone, which lies on the floor a little lower than the entrance to the First Ascending Passage. He did not disturb it. The parts which he found most encumbered were those at and below the granite block, and the lowermost thirty feet of the slope where the rains had washed down much sand. He did not have this material carried out, but instructed his men to distribute it more or less uniformly deep along the length of the passage as well as in the Subterranean Chamber. Thus we see that the floor of this Descending Passage has never been so thoroughly cleared, at least in modern times, as it now is.” “For the first time known in history, an accurate continuous floor-measurement of the passage from end to end was now made possible.” (Page 145, 171)

“During their first inspection of the Great Pyramid in the Spring of 1909 the Edgar’s had instructed their Arab assistant Judah to employ men to clear out the stones and sand which had accumulated in the Subterranean Chamber and Descending Passage, this in order to better facilitate a more accurate measurement of the Passage and Chamber, prior to this an American excavator had previously cleared out about thirty feet of the lower end of the passage as well as the lower end of the Well-shaft, but by the time of their visit the passage was once again blocked with debris throughout the greater part of its length, with the lower third completely filled again. Apparently it was much easier to throw any excess refuge down into the lower end of the Descending Passage and into the Pit than it was to bring it up the passage discarding it outside the Pyramid. Later during their second visit in 1912 they would once again embark on a further cleaning and restoration of the subterranean Chamber, as pictured in the black and white photo below. The color photo is of a more recent restoration which I believe took place around 1998-99.” (Pages 143, 181)

Personally I believe the debris adds character to the Subterranean Chamber and to what it signifies and that it was a mistake to remove all the debris, luckily however we still possess photos such as those taken by the Edgar’s above to remind us of its original condition prior to excavations. The true significance and meanings to the interior passages and chambers did not fully come to realization until just about the time of the Harvest Message and thus I believe the Lord intended that what we would take (i.e. comprehend) with regards to the mystery of the Pyramid and its interior chambers and passages should be based upon what was revealed at this particular time prior to any excavations and or etc.

Archaeologist are fawn of excavating sites meticulously believing that the true significance of a fine is hidden beneath the debris covering the site, but in this particular instance I believe the debris is a central element in the visualization of the chambers theme, the unfinished, broken and refuge filled chamber uniquely represents the abode of the dead, the final resting place of the refuge of the earth, the bottomless pit.

“The Subterranean Chamber of the Great Pyramid is roughly halved into two parts-an eastern and western. In the eastern half, the floor is excavated much lower than in the western. The large deep shaft is approximately in the center of the eastern portion. At the northeast corner of the chamber the floor is 12 feet, and at the southeast corner 14 feet, below the roof; but at the middle of the east wall, opposite the shaft, it is 17 feet below the roof. In the western half, which begins about 21 feet from the east wall, the rocky floor rises in high receding mounds, which reach to within about 10 inches of the roof. In our photograph which was taken with the camera erected near the east wall and pointing directly west (See black and white photo at top of page), it will be noticed that these mounds lie north and south, and are divided by a narrow trench, two and half feet wide, which inclines up the middle of the chamber, rather to the north of the center, and terminates with a width of two feet at the west wall. John is sitting at the entrance to this trench on the north side, while Judah reclines on top of the north mound.

At the north end of the west wall at the roof, we disclosed in our clearing operations a small and roughly squared recess. In appearance it is as if a small westward passage had been contemplated, but had been abandoned shortly after work on it had commended, as it is only from six to eighteen inches deep, the inner end being very irregular. Adjoining the wall to the north of the recess, there is a peculiar upright ridge of rock reaching from the floor to within 13 inches of the roof. It runs parallel with and about three feet from the north wall of the chamber; the long narrow space between the two is not unlike a horse-stall.” (Page 181)

In the black and white photo below is shown one of the Edgar’s attendants (Stanley) kneeling at the north–west end of this small ridge of the rock running along the north wall, he is looking directly at the small recess cut into the rear of the Chamber.

“In the unfinished floor of the Pit (as the Subterranean Chamber is generally referred to) appears the large, square mouth of a deep vertical shaft (pictured below in the colored picture). We (that is the Edgar brothers and their attendants) had always to avoid walking too near its edge, for the rough uneven floor of the Pit is covered with loose crumbling debris…” (Page 59)

“We should prefer the removal of every vestige of this debris, that we might examine and photograph the original contour of the rough floor, but the expense stands in the way. We have had some clearing done, however, in front of the doorway of the little south passage, and also at the west wall, which was almost entirely hidden by a bank of the debris seven or eight feet deep. This obscuring bank (referred to by Professor Flinders Petrie) having been cleared away, the west wall is now exposed to view; and we find that for a width of 13 feet in the middle of this end of the chamber, the floor is fairly well leveled, and is about five and a half feet below the roof, leaving almost sufficient headroom for one of average height to stand upright.

The larger stones removed by our men are stacked elsewhere in the chamber. The sand and small stones were thrown into the lower depths of the vertical shaft in the middle of the floor at the eastern end; for this portion of the shaft is a modern excavation by Mr. Perring, as explained in the first volume of Pyramids of Gizeh by Col. Howard Vyse. The upper, original, part of the vertical shaft (which we refrained from filling) is peculiarly arranged in two sections.

The ancient workmen cut a square hole in the floor, the bottom of which is fairly level and at a vertical distance of about 22 feet below the roof of the Subterranean Chamber. (It is not possible to state a definite depth for the hole below the chamber’s floor, for this floor is so irregular, as can be judged from our photographs, that any figures would be misleading.) And from one corner of this hole they cut another, smaller, square hole for a further depth of three and a half feet. The first hole, or shaft, is approximately seven feet square, and the second approximately five feet square. (Only approximate measures can be secured, for there is no part of the Subterranean Chamber clearly defined.) The sides of these ancient shafts lie nearly diagonally to the sides of the chamber. From the floor of the lower, second, shaft Mr. Perring sunk his irregularly rounded excavation. (Page 176)

In the first photo above we are standing on the opposite side of the vertical shaft looking north toward the square doorway of the Small Horizontal Passage by which entrance was gained to the Chamber.

“…Directly opposite this doorway… we perceived by the light of our candles another low doorway (second photo). On investigating this we found it to be the beginning of a small-bore passage, running horizontally southward for fully 50 feet to a blind end.” (Page 59)

Both the mouth of the deep vertical shaft and the small blind passage located at the bottom left hand corner of the south wall can be seen in the black and white photo above, however since that time due to safety concerns a gate has been erected around the deep vertical shaft in order to keep anyone from stumbling into the shaft, likewise you will note that a gate has been placed over the small blind passage as seen in the first photo below.

Below we have two photos the first is a view of what you would see immediately upon stepping (i.e. crawling) through the short little horizontal passage at the end of the Descending Passage into the Subterranean Chamber and looking toward the south west rear corner of the chamber, the second photo is a view from inside the chamber standing in front of the 50 foot little blind passage looking back toward the north wall and the entrance into the chamber.

The illustration below is a cross section of the Subterranean Chamber looking west, showing the 50 foot blind passage, and the vertical shaft which was dug beneath the Chamber extending into the bedrock. Extending another 36 feet below this vertical shaft is Perring’s shaft.

“Col. Howard Vyse had instructed Mr. Perring to excavate this deep shaft to test the truth of a theory which claimed, on the supposed authority of Herodotus, that a still lower and secret subterranean chamber existed, in which Cheops, the accredited builder of the Great Pyramid, was said to have been interred. But after penetrating to a considerable depth without result, the work was abandoned because of the lack of pure air. About a thousand feet to the southeast of the Great Pyramid, there is a large and very deep sepulchral pit, now named ‘Campbell’s Tomb,” which was cleared out by Col. Howard Vyse. Professor C. Piazzi Smyth proves that this tomb more nearly answers Herodotus’ description of Cheops’ burial place, and Professor Flinders Petrie concurs with him in this opinion.” (Page 181)

                          

“Campbell’s Tomb is a shaft tomb located about thirty meters west of the Sphinx enclosure. The tomb is at the bottom of a fifty-foot shaft sunk into the quarry floor and has been dated to about 600 B.C. Sand filled the shaft until its excavation in the 1830s.” The second illustration above was taken from Colonel Vyse’s notes.

In conclusion the Subterranean Chamber or Pit as it is often referred to, represents the death state, oblivion, described in Eccl 9:10. “Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” The Bible refers to death as the pit of destruction”.

But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; But I will trust in you.” Psa 55:23

For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise you; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your truth.” Isa 38:18                                                                  

The Pit chamber is an appropriate picture of the death state. It is large, and there is no way around it, and in its original condition (with all the debris remaining) the entire floor gravitated (tilted) toward the Vertical shaft. The Subterranean Chamber symbolizes the natural end of man’s downward course, death, destruction.”

The wages of sin is death.” Rom 6:23

(The Great Pyramid: Ancient Wonder Modern Mystery, Page 19)

In our next post we will examine the First Ascending Passage.