” (1) And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (4) And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for thewitness of Jesus, and for theword of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (6) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:1-4, 6, KJV).
Discussions of this subject sometimes involve the following questions.
(1) Was Satan bound in 1874, when Jesus returned invisibly? (2) Was Satan bound in 1914, when the time of Trouble began (Daniel 12:1)? (3) Is the binding of Satan gradual since our Lord’s return? (4) Will Satan be bound when the Church is complete? (5) Does the binding of Satan include the fallen angels? (6) Is the binding of Satan by Christ alone or by Christ and his complete Church?
The first explicit statements that the Kingdom of God will reign on earth for a thousand years appear toward the end of the Bible, in the book of Revelation. Revelation 19 describes the Revelation of Jesus Christ in full glory and power with his 144,000 Bride, his “body” members all raised to the Divine realm to institute a new, just reign on earth (verses 11‑16). Christ will put down rebellion and institute a government of God for the 1000 year Millennium.
The Evil One Bound
Revelation 20, describing the binding of Satan, follows Revelation 19 and is linked to that narrative. Revelation 19 depicts the marriage of the Bride class, and subsequently describes the closing judgments of the Harvest of the Gospel Age that introduce the Millennium. Revelation 19:11 and forward speak of the treading of the winepress. Verse 17 says “I saw an angel standing in the sun,” probably referring to the Church complete (compare Matthew 13:43). It then speaks of the “supper of the great God,”which continues through verse 18. This draws symbolically from Ezekiel 39:17-20, which refers to the defeat of Gog and his allies when they attack Israel at the end of the harvest.
Revelation 19:19-21 then refers to the Beast, and the False Prophet, and chapter 20:1 add the Dragon — so that we now have all three elements that are involved in precipitating the Battle of Armageddon (compare Revelation 16:13,14). Thus the passage that speaks of the binding of Satan (Revelation 20:1 and forward) follows through on depictions that refer to the close of the Harvest, introducing the Millennium. All of this puts Revelation 20:1 at the close of the Harvest, rather than earlier in the Harvest.
“Notice that the great symbolic battle, and the harvesting of the vine of the earth [are] here described as closing the present age and opening up the Millennial Age (Revelation 20:1-3)” (Volume One, page 324).
In Revelation 20, one of the first events after the Church is complete, is the binding of Satan for 1000 years. We read this in Revelation 20:1‑3 (ESV):
“(1) Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. (2) And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, (3) and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.”
Is there still deception on earth?
YES. Thus, we believe the binding of the evil one has not yet occurred. The agencies by which Satan has controlled affairs are under judgment. But his deception over the nations remains until he is deposed as the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
The subsequent rule of righteousness willbegin at Israel and gradually expand outward to a weary world, prepared to learn something better after the deceptions of Satan have been removed. Thus the world is given a thousand years to learn righteousness, and have it rooted in their hearts, before “the little season” of testing (Revelation 20:3,7,8). Thereafter Satan and all evil ones shall be destroyed forevermore. Then all the former things will have passed away. “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
A Process of Judgment Precedes the Binding
Throughout the Parousia of Christ, and specially from the Time of Trouble in 1914 onward, the institutions Satan has used to control his usurped domain have been under judgment and are crumbling. All of this is part of bringing down the power of the adversary — and preliminary to the complete divestment of Satan from the domain he has manipulated for 6000 years.
When Jesus came at his first advent, he entered into the “house” of the strong man, Satan, and measurably disrupted the progress of affairs. Thereafter, during the opening centuries of the Gospel Age, the rule of the world by Pagan Rome, an instrument of the Adversary, was overthrown, and this was a major step in the progress of the Gospel (see Revelation 12:7-9). However, as a counter to this, Satan corrupted the Church and the great Nominal System of Christianity grew so much as to be described as “where Satan dwelleth” (Revelation 2:13).
It is thus after dispossessing the systems of Christendom — represented by the Beast (Papacy) and False Prophet (Church of England and associated allies) — that Satan, the great “Dragon” who exercises his power through the political systems of earth, is defrocked of his personal power and allowed no more influence, until the close of the Millennium.
The judgments of Nominal Christendom are depicted as a series of seven “plagues” in Revelation chapters 15 and 16. These judgments have proceeded ever since the return of Christ, and build toward the Armageddon conflict that opens the seventh plague. Notice that during the time of plague 6, which builds toward Armageddon, that there is a coalition for mutual support by the “dragon … the beast, and … the false prophet”(Revelation 16:13) — but no chain restraining the “dragon” appears as of that time. Thus the “chain” symbol, appearing in Revelation 20:1, applies not during the entire Harvest period, but only at some time following plague six.
The Gospel References
The binding of Satan is referred to in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These passages are sometimes appealed to in a discussion of the binding of Satan in Revelation 20. However, properly, in context, those Gospel passages apply the influence of Jesus at his first advent restraining the influence of Satan, binding his power to keep the world and its inhabitants under his control. We here look at the passage from Luke 11:21-22 (KJV).
“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.”
Jesus had entered the strong man’s house at his first advent, and began an active ministry after his baptism that was counter to the influence of Satan. When Jesus healed others, it was contrary to the influence of Satan who had imposed the distress on mankind by leading our first parents into disobedience. “Ought not this woman … whom Satan hath bound … be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” (Luke 13:16). More than this, the teachings Jesus declared during his ministry liberated those who received them, from the control of the adversary. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
In the Luke passage about the binding of Satan, this is the kind of work that Jesus refers to. Jesus was the strong one that came upon Satan and his “palace” and “goods.”Jesus was stronger, in that Jesus had access to Divine power. Jesus healed, and enlightened the people, and in this way removed Satan’s “armour wherein he trusted.” By this means Jesus restrained or bound the influence of Satan, and began taking to himself those who turned to Jesus out of the domain of the adversary. In this way he “spoiled” the house of Satan — that is, Jesus took to himself, some of the precious goods out of the house of Satan. These precious goods, the “spoils,” were ones who had formerly been under the control of Satan.
A Parallel to the Second Advent
We can take a parallel from this, perhaps, respecting the work of Jesus’ second advent, when he returns in order to dispossess Satan and take control of the world of mankind as the “spoils” of his conquest. During the parousia of Christ, Jesus has been removing the armour in which Satan trusted, piece by piece, through the increase of knowledge.
The “spoils”to be taken by Jesus are the world of mankind that has lain captive as part of the usurped domain of the “strong man” of the old world. Now that a stronger has come upon him, Satan is in retreat, using whatever schemes he is able in order to thwart the inevitable. He continues to exercise himself to resist the incoming Kingdom, and evidently would be pleased to see confusion in the Church, and the defeat of Israel, to thwart the establishment of both the complete Church in glory, and the nation of Israel being prepared as the beginning of the earthly Kingdom in due time.
Satan’s final extremity apparently is his marshalling of forces against Israel as prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39, to quash the opportunity for Israel to facilitate the establishment of an earthly kingdom. But this extremity will his last. The defeat of Gog in Armageddon, and the subsequent fall of “great Babylon” (Revelation 16:19), are followed by Satan being completely removed from his ability to control, manage, and deceive — as referred to in Revelation 20:1.
Thereafter his “spoil” — the world of mankind — will be taken by Jesus and controlled, managed, and enlightened, by Christ and his Church class. “He [Jesus]shall divide the spoil with the strong [the overcoming Church class]” (Isaiah 53:12).
Thereafter follow a thousand years when all the dark effects and influences of Satan rule will be turned back, not in a day, but as the blessings of the Kingdom flow outward and people respond to them. Then all the world’s current problems — wars, hatred, drug addiction, abuse, mental and physical illness, will be gradually eradicated. Whereas today, under Satan, some of these problems are increasing.
Suggested Further Reading— With Direct Online Reading Reference Links —
“Questions of Interest” — What Is the Meaning of Christ’s Presence?Faithbuilders Fellowship — Proclaiming Christ’s Parousia, “Journal” section, May-June 2008 (at 2043ad.com / button “Journal.”) Here is the direct link to this article:
Here is a recording of Hymn No. 18 from the “Hymns of Dawn” to aid God’s people in singing and making melody in their hearts unto God.
“(1) Come, let us shout joyfully to Jehovah!Let us shout in triumph to our Rock of salvation. (2) Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; Let us sing and shout in triumph to him” (Psalm 95:1,2).
“My mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips” (Psalm 63:5).
“(1) Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
(2) For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. (3) And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”
“(31) So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, (32) and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.‘ (33) They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?’ (34) Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. (35) The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. (36) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (37) I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. (38) I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
“(1) For freedom Christ has set us free;stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (2) Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.(3) I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.(4) You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.(5) Forthrough the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.
(6) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, butonly faith working through love.
(7) You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?(8) This persuasion is not from him who calls you.(9) A little leaven leavens the whole lump.(10) I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is.(11) But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.(12) I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves! (13) Foryou were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.(14) For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’(15) But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”
‘I will walk infreedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.’
Awake, Jerusalem, awake!
No longer in the dust lie down;
The garment of salvation take,
Thy beauty and thy strength put on.
2. Shake off the dust that blinds thy sight,
And hides the promise from thine eyes;
Arise, and gladly hail the light:
The great Deliv’rer calls, Arise!
3. Shake off the bands of sad despair;
And now receive thy liberty;
Look up, thy broken heart prepare,
And God shall set the captive free.
Vessels of mercy, sons of grace, Be purged from ev’ry sinful stain;
Behold your Lord! His Word embrace,
Nor bear His hallowed name in vain.
The History Of This Hymn
Author — Charles Wesley (1707-1788). There are several slight changes of lyrics found in the Hymns of Dawn version of this hymn. (i.e. St. 1. “dust” rather than “thy sins;” St. 2. “gladly hail the light” rather than “struggle into light;” St. 3. “And now” rather than “Zion assert;” St. 4. “Be-hold” rather than “Be like.”)
Composer — no information found.
FREEDOM IN AND THROUGH CHRIST
As soon as any measure of truth is received into a good and honest heart, it begins to strike off the chains of sin, ignorance, superstition and fear (R5508:4, R3153:6) … to make people independent (R2440:1) until each member shall stand free and independent of all human bonds, creeds and confessions (F242; R5144:6).
“Only the courageous “overcomers”of those bound in the congregational chains could even think of bursting the bonds which associate them with their food supply, their honor of men, and all opportunity they know for divine service” (R5145:1).
This freedom is necessarily incomplete so long as we have this treasure in an earthen vessel, so long as the new creature must use the imperfect body of the flesh as its instrument and exponent (R2440:2).
Those who make satisfactory progress will have in the resurrection full deliverance from sin, from all imperfections of the flesh, and from the flesh itself—through the power of the first resurrection (R5507:4, 2440:2).
“If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed;and ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make youfree.”—John 8:31,32.
At his first advent our Lord came to the Jewish nation, which was a House of Servants in covenant relationship with God. To these was to be granted the first privilege of becoming sons of God, and their blessing would be in proportion as they were faithful to the light that would come to them. Before they could become sons of God, however, it was necessary that Jesus should be their Redeemer, should make reconciliation for iniquity, and thus open up the way. This He had come to do, but He had not done it as yet. Whoever would come to understand the Divine purposes and arrangements, and act in harmony with them, should be made free, should be liberated from the condemnation resting upon them as Jews, from the results of the weaknesses of their flesh, and would be brought into full accord with God.
We can see that this great privilege also meant something more than all this. It meant something still higher—even joint-heirship with Messiah. But all these things were a hidden mystery as yet. They were known up to that time only by our Lord Himself; they were made clear to Him because He had been begotten of the Holy Spirit. There were many things hard to be understood. Jesus spoke in parables, in dark sayings, for the very purpose of making the Way of Life then opened up a “narrow way.” And so we read in the Scriptures that some said of the Master’s words: “This is a hard saying! Who can hear it?” Who could believe it?
The particularly hard saying referred to was that His “flesh was meat indeed, and His blood was drink indeed,” and that by eating and drinking of these they might gain eternal life. And so we read that after this many forsook Him and abandoned the thought of being His disciples, so blinded were they to their own interests. Instead of following on patiently, they said, This is all foolishness! We do not understand it!
Jesus was anticipating this condition of things when He spoke these words to them. He would put them on their guard. It was as though He would say, You have declared that “never man spake like this man!” Already you have heard words very different from the words of the Scribes and Pharisees. Now continue; hold on for a little while. If you will do this, you will grasp the situation in due time. Exercise faith—exercise patience. You have begun to have interest in these things, and as you fully become My disciples you will be granted a knowledge of the Truth. And this Truth will make you free; it will give you all the blessings and privileges that come to the children of God. Greatly blessed were the few who took heed to the Master’s counsel!
BLESSINGS BEGUN AT PENTECOST
These words of Jesus were not addressed especially to the twelve Apostles, but to the Jews in general who were sympathetically drawn. Nicodemus may have been one of these; he was inclined to stumble over the spiritual things; he could not see how one could be born again. The Holy Spirit was not yet given, we read, “because Jesus was not yet glorified.” St. Paul tells us that “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”—1 Corinthians 2:14.
But some saw enough in Jesus to attract them to Him. These, in honesty of heart, said, Surely His words are true, and His criticisms of our nation are true. We do [R5507 : page 227] not see how He is going to fulfil these prophecies; but He says to us, Hold on and you will understand later. And some did hold on—”above five hundred brethren.” As Jesus had promised, these were given the privilege of becoming disciples indeed.
When Pentecost came, the Heavenly Father received all who had continued in Jesus’ Word, and they were begotten of the Holy Spirit into the Lord’s family. Then they began to see spiritual things—they were illuminated. All the light did not come at once, but they progressed as the days and years went by. They were indeed Christ’s true disciples—such followers of Jesus as the Father was pleased to recognize. They were not only made free from the condemnation of the Law Covenant, but made free from sin and death. They received a new will, a new mind, and the Holy Spirit showed “the deep things of God” unto them.
In His prayer to the Father, our Lord said, “Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy Word is Truth.” By the word Truth Jesus was here referring to the Father’s revealment of His Divine Plan through the Holy Spirit; and the sanctifying influence would come through the knowledge of that Truth, received into an honest heart. This sanctification, or setting apart, strictly speaking, began with the Pentecostal blessing, and still continues to operate. And this sanctification progresses as long as the individual allows the Truth to have its designed influence in his life. We see a difference between our text and the one just quoted. In the latter case it is the Word [R5507 : page 228] of Jehovah, and in the former it is the Word of Jesus. Jesus says, If you continue in My Word, you will become more and more acquainted with the Heavenly Father, and will know His will, His way, His method; thus you will know His Word. All things are working out His will—the will of the Father—and seeing and doing the will of the Father, the sanctifying process will follow. Jesus says to all, “I am the Way; I am the Truth; I am the Life.” I am the only One through whom you can come to the Father and become His sons; and abiding in Me will bring you the grand consummation.
THE CHANNEL OF ALL OUR BLESSINGS
We perceive, then, that Christ is the sufficiency which God has provided for us in all respects. “He of God is made unto us Wisdom, and Righteousness [Justification], and Sanctification, and Redemption [Deliverance].” (1 Corinthians 1:30.) We first receive, through learning of His sacrificial work on our behalf, necessary wisdom, instruction and guidance, by which we may through His merit come to the Father. And He is our Wisdom all along the way. The Heavenly Father had a glorious Plan before the foundation of the world; this was hinted in Eden, just after the fall. In due time He gave a further intimation of that Plan through Enoch and through Abraham, and still later through Moses and the Prophets. But how the world was to benefit from it was all hidden, all kept secret.
Not until Jesus came was the way of life opened up, made manifest. “He [Christ] hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” The essence of the Gospel was never even declared, much less known, before Jesus came. The Apostle Paul says that this salvation “at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him.” (Hebrews 2:3.) Our Lord began to speak it; but the secret of the Gospel, its Mystery, was not fully revealed until after Pentecost. It was not until after Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit that He Himself began to comprehend it clearly—not until then did He begin to set before us the way of life and immortality. And even then His words were parabolic, and it was not until His followers were begotten of the Holy Spirit that they were able to enter into “the deep things of God.”
JESUS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
In addition to His being our Wisdom, Jesus becomes our Righteousness. He covers our sins. He imputes to us His own righteousness, the merit of His own sacrifice. And this imputation brings us to a condition of complete righteousness—not actual, but reckoned, which God is pleased to recognize in the way He has arranged.
Our Lord does not become the Righteousness of everybody—not even of those who give some heed to His Words—but to those alone who come to the point of full submission to the Father’s will. And there is a good reason for this; for only those who offer themselves to become members of His Body during this Gospel Age, only the spirit-begotten, would be profited by a justification by faith. Others would be condemned to death by it now. In the next Age, others will come to Him. But only those who come to Him now, to walk in His steps, have a faith-justification.
JESUS OUR SANCTIFICATION
The step of consecration on the part of those who become Jesus’ disciples is in the Scriptures called sanctification. But it is not the same sanctification which comes to us through Him. God says, “Sanctify yourselves, and I will sanctify you”—that is,Set yourselves apart, and then I will set you apart; I will put you into this place where you desire to come. So, to all of us who come to the Father through Him, Jesus not only becomes our Justification, but through Him we also have Sanctification—the complete setting apart. We are accepted in Him, and His grace and Advocacy enable us to attain complete and final sanctification.
God sets us apart by begetting us of the Holy Spirit to the new nature and making us prospective members of the Royal Priesthood—prospective members of the Body of the Anointed One. This is Scripturally called a foretaste, or “earnest,” of our inheritance, which will be experienced to the full when we are changed from the human to the spirit nature—”changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” But this “earnest of our inheritance” is given us with the intention of our growing in the process of sanctification already begun in us until its completion. We attain this through Christ.
JESUS OUR DELIVERANCE
Those who make satisfactory progress will have in the resurrection full deliverance from sin, from all imperfections of the flesh, and from the flesh itself—full deliverance through the power of the First Resurrection. Christ thus becomes our Deliverance. We shall then attain the full completeness of sons of God on the Divine plane.
In all these things Christ is the Center; through Him alone can we obtain these blessings. While the Father gives them, they are given through His Son, who is the Father’s Representative. Jesus received the Spirit of the Father and has shed it forth upon us. This is pictured in the type, in the anointing of the high priest. The holy anointing-oil was poured upon his head, and it ran down over his body. So we are anointed through our Head as members of the great High Priest.
“He who raised up Jesus from the dead will raise us up also by Jesus”; that is to say, Jesus will be the active agent. But there are certain features of the Divine Plan which Jesus will accomplish in His own name; for instance, the world’s blessing and uplifting. While the Father is the Author of the entire Plan, yet this blessing comes to the world exclusively through the sacrifice of the Son. Christ will do the work of the Millennial Age, and will then deliver mankind up to the Father.
But His work for the Church is different: “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to His abundant mercy, hath begotten us.” (1 Peter 1:3.) It is not the Son who has begotten us, though it is through the Son that we receive this Divine favor. The price, or cost, of obtaining this special Divine favor is the sacrifice of our lives. The particular thing which the Church receives more directly from the Son is justification. Yet this justification is of the Father, and it is not an actual justification, but an imputed justification. It is a special arrangement on the Father’s part for us that we may come into His favor now in advance of the world—the First-fruits unto God and the Lamb.
Ours is a wonderful God, and His great Plan of the Ages is marvelous beyond expression!Our hearts rejoice that our eyes have been anointed to see these glorious things hidden to the many during this Gospel Age, knowing that all the blind eyes shall yet be opened, and all the deaf ears be made to hear!
“THEY TURN THEIR EARS FROM THE TRUTH”
The Lord’s preaching always produced two opposite effects upon the promiscuous multitudes that heard Him: He attracted one class and repelled the other. Those who were full of pride and conceit, and who preferred darkness to light because their deeds were evil and because they realized that if they admitted the light of Truth they must of necessity conform their characters to it—all such were repelled by the teachings of Christ. And [R5507 : page 229] if the Lord had undertaken the work of the ministry according to the methods pursued today, depending for support on the good will and contribution of the people, that support would often have been very meager, or at least, very fluctuating.
On some occasions multitudes received His testimony, but later deserted Him, walking no more with Him as He continued to enforce the lessons of Divine Truth. (Luke 4:14-29.) Sometimes the multitudes hung upon His teachings, “wondering at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth”; yet again and again they forsook Him, only the merest handful remaining.—John 6:60-69.
What consternation would follow in the various churches of today, if the professed ministers of the Gospel should follow the Master’s example in similarly declaring the whole counsel of God! How quickly they would become unpopular and be charged with breaking up the churches! The congregations of the great temples of fashion ostensibly dedicated to the service of God and the teachings of Christ would not stand it. They go there to [R5508 : page 229] be entertained with pleasing and eloquent discourses from titled gentlemen who presumably know the tastes and ideas of the congregation, and will preach to please them. They are quite willing to pay their money for what they want, but they do not want the Truth.
Those who followed the Lord only for a little season and then forsook Him, of course then ceased to be His disciples and were no longer so recognized; nor did they presume longer to claim to be His disciples. A disciple is a pupil, a learner; and when a man ceases to be a student and pupil of Christ, the great Teacher, he is no longer His disciple. This was very manifest when the Lord was present, and when His name was one of reproach among men; but later, when His presence was withdrawn, and when His doctrines were unscrupulously mixed with human philosophies to such an extent as to divest them of reproach, and to make them really void, then men began to claim to be His disciples. This was long after His doctrines had been utterly repudiated.
THE REWARD OF TRUE DISCIPLESHIP
The Lord’s expression, “Then are ye My disciples indeed,” implies a distinction between real and merely nominal disciples. And since we desire to continue to be Jesus’ sincere disciples, let us mark the expressed condition: “If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed.” The hypocrisy of merely nominal discipleship is an abomination to the Lord.
It is a blessed thing to take the first step in the Christian life—that of acceptance of Christ as our Redeemer and Lord and yielding ourselves fully to the Father through Him. But the rewardof this step depends entirely upon ourcontinuancein His Word, in the attitude of true disciples. The disposition of human pride is to wander away from the simplicity of Divine Truth and to seek out new theories and philosophies of our own, or to pry into those of others who desire to be considered wise and great according to this world’s estimate.
The reward of continued discipleship is, “Ye shallknow the Truth”—not, Ye shall be “ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7.) Here is the mistake many make; failing to continue in the Word of the Lord, they delve into various human philosophies, which ignore or pervert the Word of the Lord and set up opposing theories.To those who seek for Truth among these human theories, there is no promise that they shall ever find it, and they never do.
Divine Truth is found only in the Divinely appointed channel—our Lord, the Apostles and the Prophets. To continue in the doctrines set forth in the inspired writings of the Prophets and the Apostles, to study and meditate upon them, to trust implicitly in them, and to faithfully conform our characters to them, is what is implied in “continuing in the Word” of the Lord. And this is entirely compatible with the heeding of all the helps which the Lord raises up from among our brethren in the Body of Christ, as enumerated by the Apostle Paul. (Ephesians 4:11-15; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14.) The Lord always has raised up, and will to the end raise up, such helps for the edification of the Body of Christ; but it is the duty of every member carefully to prove their teaching by the infallible Word.
If we thus continue in the Word of the Lord as earnest and sincere disciples, we shall indeed “know the Truth,” be “established in the Present Truth” [the Truth due], and “be rooted and grounded in the Truth”; we shall be “firm in the faith,” and “able to give a reason for the hope that is in us”; to “earnestly contend for the Faith once delivered to the saints”; to “war a good warfare”; to “witness a good confession” and to firmly “endure hardship as good soldiers of Jesus Christ,” even unto the end of our conflict.
We do not come into the knowledge of the Truth at a single bound; but gradually, step by step, we are led into the Truth. Every step is one of sure and certain progress leading to a higher vantage ground for further attainments both in knowledge and in established character.
The Truth thus acquired, step by step, becomes a sanctifying power, bringing forth in our lives its blessed fruitsof righteousness, peace, joyin the Holy Spirit,love, meekness, faith, patience and every virtue and every grace, which time and cultivation ripen to a glorious maturity.
Not only shall the true disciple thus know the Truth and be sanctified by it, but the Lord also said, “The Truth shall make you free.” Those who have received the Truth know by blessed experience something of its liberating power. As soon as any measure of it is received into a good and honest heart, it begins to strike off the fetters of sin, of ignorance, superstition and fear. Its health-restoring beams penetrate the darkest recesses of our hearts and minds, and thus invigorate the whole being; it quickens our mortal bodies.
“THE ENTRANCE OF THY WORDS GIVETH LIGHT”
Sin cannot endure the light of Truth; and those who continue to live in sin when a sufficiency of light has been received to manifest its deformity must inevitably lose the Light, because they are unworthy of it. Ignorance and superstition must vanish before this Light. And what a blessed realization it is to be thus liberated! Millions, however, are still under the blinding influence of error. Under its delusions they fear and reverence some of the basest tools of Satan for their oppression and degradation, because they hypocritically claim Divine appointment; and they have been made to fear God as a vengeful Tyrant, consigning the vast majority of His creatures to an eternity of torment. Thank God! We who have received the Truth have awakened from that horrible nightmare, and the bondage of Satan over us is broken. The Light has scattered our darkness.
We are made free, too, from the fear that we now see coming upon the whole world as the great civil and ecclesiastical systems that have so long ruled the world are being terribly shaken. All thinking people are in dread of the possible outcome of anarchy and terror; the alarm of all is increasing as we near the awful crisis toward [R5508 : page 230] which we are rapidly hastening, and as the danger becomes more and more apparent. Yet, in the midst of it all, and with the fullest assurance of the infallible Word of God as to the terrors of the conflict through which the world will soon have to pass, the true disciples of Christ who abide in His Word are not afraid, but rejoice; for they know that God’s object in permitting this mighty storm is to clear the moral atmosphere of the world, and that after the storm, there shall come, by His providence, an abiding peace. Instructed in the Truth, they realize the necessities of the situation, and have confidence in the Divine providence that can make even the wrath of man to praise Him, make all things work together for good.
Blessed promise!—”If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed, and ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” Dearly beloved, having received this wondrous favor from the Lord, shall we not continue in it, giving no heed to seducing doctrines but bringing forth its blessed fruitage in our lives? And shall we not be faithful to it under all circumstances, defending it against every assault, and bearing its reproach? Let us prove our appreciation of the glorious Light by our loyalty and faithfulness, working out our salvation with fear and trembling.
“My Saviour” — Christ Jesus
Here are some free online articles in relation to the Heavenly Father — Jehovah, and his Son — Christ Jesus — “a ransom FOR ALL … to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:6), as well as, about the holy Spirit (the invisible power and influence of God) with clear explanations about why the anti-Christ teaching of “the trinity” — introduced by the Roman Catholic Church system (the “Beast” in the Book of Revelation) — is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible Student Movement does not support the teaching of purgatory nor does it support the Roman Catholic System’s teaching about people being sent to a place where they burn up forever, which certainly does not reflect the perfect love of God — the Almighty Creator of all things.
Hence, for the interested Reader, we urge you to consider the following articles and posts:
Br. Charles Russell—the founder of the Bible Students movement, who is the compiler of“Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn” which was published in Allegheny, Pa., in 1890. This Bible Students’ devotional originally contained a total of 151 poems and 333 hymns.
The following prefatory to the1905 publication of Hymns of Millennial Dawnmay be of historical interest to many of our readers.
We published in 1890, with several more recent editions, a volume entitled “Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn” without music. The same collection of hymns with the music is now urgently needed, and therefore appears in this volume. The poems, although highly prized, are omitted for greater convenience in size. We have preserved the same alphabetical order, because so many of our readers have the older book; and where a different tune is given from that originally suggested the latter is indicated by Alt. for alternative tune, with the number where that tune can be found.
Both words and music are credited to the same class to whom the work is dedicated-to the Lord and His faithful people, “the Saints.” The authors of many of the best of them are unknown to us, and, besides, slight changes have been made in the phraseology and sentiment of quite a number, which we could not be sure their original authors would approve, and to give personal credit to less than one half would seem invidious. To all of these dear “Saints” of all ages we therefore give united and hearty thanks for the blessings which they, as the Lord’s servants and handmaidens, have bestowed upon their fellow-members of “the Church of the Firstborn, whose names are written in Heaven.” Most of them died long ago: their abundant reward will be of the Lord in the resurrection.
That the collection is thoroughly undenominational, unsectarian, will be manifest to those recognizing the fact that it includes the choicest old hymns and tunes used by all denominations.
Although we have gathered far and near and winnowed carefully we cannot hope to have gotten all the golden grains, though we do hope that no chaff can be found. The collection is for the Church, for “believers” “reconciled,” and hence contains none of the “sinners” hymns, such as “Come, ye sinners poor and needy,” because willful sinners are in no sense members of the “Body” of Christ, nor are those who have not yet accepted the Lord as their Savior.
Those who will feel the deepest interest in this collection, and whose sentiments will be most fully voiced in its verses, will undoubtedly be those in fullest degree of sympathy with the divine plan of the ages, as set forth in the several volumes of Millennial Dawn – the eyes of whose understanding have been opened to the clearer, purer light now shining from our great Redeemer’s cross, showing the fulness and the completeness of his salvation.
In fact, this volume, while not numbered as one of the volumes of the Millennial Dawn series, is designed to be a companion volume, a melodious accompaniment to the “new song,” “the song of Moses and the Lamb” (the grand harmony of the Law and the Gospel), as presented in the regular Dawn series.
Let the music of God’s good and great plan ring through your hearts and lives, dear fellow-pilgrims and fellow members of the “royal priesthood,” so that every day and every hour shall be filled with joy and praise and thankfulness! And that this little volume may assist in deepening the work of grace in your hearts is our hope and prayer.
– Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, July, 1905, Allegheny, PA, USA
Later on, the hymns from this book formed a basis for the hymnal titled “Hymns of Dawn” which was published by the Dawn Bible Students Association in East Rutherford, New Jersey (USA) and the 1999 edition contains a total of 361 hymns.
There are many names and titles of Jesus found in the Bible, and each of them contains a description or illustration of his life and work. Let us examine some of those names, and gain the lessons to be found in the deeper meanings in Jesus’ name.
First, let us look at the most familiar name, Jesus. Matthew 1:18‑23 tells about the angel of the Lord appearing to Joseph in a dream explaining to him to call the boy who would be born to Mary “JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” These words directly reference the words of Isaiah 7:14.
Bible dictionaries tell us that Jesus is theGreek form of the Hebrewname Joshua and both these names are English adaptations of these respective forms of the word just as Elisheba (the wife of Aaron, Exodus 6:23) is a Hebrew form, and Elisabeth (mother of John the Baptist, Luke 1:5) is a grecianized form, but both of these names also are English adaptations. The full form of the name Joshua has two parts—Jeho‑shua, or Jehovah‑shua, meaning Jehovah saves. Later, this name assumed the form Jeshua (sometimes pronounced Yeshua), from which came the Greek form Jesus. But the Hebrew origin of the Greek name Jesusliterally meansJehovah saves, or, God saves, and that name was given to our Lord to describe the mission of his life, to save the people from their sins, as we just read in Matthew 1:21.
Why did not Joseph call Jesus’ name Immanuel,like Isaiah prophesied? Here’s where understanding the meaning of names makes everything clear.
The word El means might, strength, power. The Schofield Reference Bible states that God (El) signifies the Strong One. In the Old Testament El refers not only to God, but also to mighty men of earth. The word El was often made part of peoples’ names to include a reference to God. For example, the name Elijah, or El‑i‑Jah, begins with El and means Jehovah is God. The name Daniel, or Dan‑i‑El ends with El and means God is my judge.
“Notice the above texts carefully and critically and all will agree that the context in every case shows the meaning of the Hebrew word Elto be powerful one. How clearly it is stated in the last three quotations that JEHOVAH is the chief “el”and ruleth over all other el—powerfulones. And it should be known to all, that JEHOVAH is the name applied to none other than the Supreme Being—our Father, and him whom Jesus called Father and God. (John 20:17.) The meaning then of the words ‘Mighty God’in our text, is,—He shall be called the mighty powerful. And so he is, for to him the Father has given all power in earth and heaven—(Matt. 28:19, and 11:27.) ‘He is Lord of all’—next to the Father for “The head of Christ is God.” (1 Cor. 11:3.) They are one in mind, purpose, etc., because Jesus gave up his own will and took the Father’s(John 5:30) just as we must give up our will, mind, spirit and receive the Father’s if we would be made heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord.Does any one ask further proof of a distinction of persons? If so we request such to read Matt. 22:44—Jesus’ application to himself of Psa. 110:1, remembering that the words used by David, translated Lord [Master]are totally distinct and entirely different words, the first one being Jehovah, and the other adon. We give Young’s translation of this verse—’The affirmation of Jehovah to my Lord—sit at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.’” (Reprint 296, Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence)
In the name Immanuel, the suffix ‑El is at the end, which tells us that the word God is part of that name. Bible dictionaries say that the first part of that name, Immanu, means with us. Thus, the entire name means God is with us. Indeed, God was with mankind in that He turned His favor toward mankind when he gave us his only begotten son to be Jesus—the savior of the world.
Since both names, Jesus and Immanuel, convey the thought of God sending his son Jesus to be the savior of the world, what is the deeper meaning of the name Jesus—which the son of man was to be named by Joseph?
It is salvation! But what does “being saved” mean?
Let us first explain what the Bible says is the punishment for sin.
Is it Hell?
No. It is simply death.
The Bible answers in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death.” God’s punishment upon Adam in the Garden of Eden extends to all of Adam’s progeny, the entire world of mankind, as explained in the following three Scriptures.
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16,17).
“Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalms 51:5).
This scripture explains to us that death is unescapable. Right from birth, humans inherited the penalty God imposed upon Adam, and that is whyeveryone dies.
The good news of salvation is all about being saved from death.
What are we saved to, and how? The Bible answers in the following way.
“(3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; (4) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (5) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (6) Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:3‑6).
“(21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21, 22).
The word ransom means a price of release. As by one man’s (Adam’s) sin of disobedience, death came upon him and all mankind, so too, by one man, Jesus, mankind is saved from the just penalty of death. Jesus’ willing sacrifice of his life on the cross provided a ransom, a price of release for Adam and all mankind. The scales of God’s justice remain balanced, yet mankind is allowed relief from the penalty of death. They can be freed from condemnation because Jesus provided the price of release by accepting the penalty upon himself. Mankind may thus be freed from condemnation, and released from death in a resurrection.
Those who come into Christ presently are released from condemnation now. Romans 8:33,34, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Others will have their condemnation lifted during the Kingdom (Revelation 22:3).
Now the deeper meaning of the name Jesus is clear: we have the whole picture of salvation, and its two main features—the ransom and the resurrection. Jesus is the savior of the world because by his ransom sacrifice he saved mankind from death, to a resurrection to life. We also gain a correct understanding of the nature of man, specifically that he is mortal human flesh, and does not have an immortal soul. For if man had an immortal soul that could not die, then there would be no need for the resurrection of the dead, which is so clearly taught in the Bible.
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).
Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
What will this resurrection be like, and when? Let us answer that question by considering the five names of Jesus found in Isaiah 9:6,7 (a prophecy of Jesus’ birth, and a scripture we often hear read or even sung in Handel’s Messiah).
“(6) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
(7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.”
The first few words of Verse 6 refer to Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. The rest of these two verses fast‑forward to a time yet future, as the tense changes from present tense (“unto us a child is born”) to future tense (“and the government shall be”). It is apparent that Jesus’ government, Jesus’ kingdom of peace, is not yet established with judgment and justice. When it is, all mankind will say, this is the government we have always wanted, but never had. This promised government, this kingdom, was the most frequent topic Jesus preached about, during his three and a half year ministry on earth. When Jesus taught his disciples, and us, how to pray in the model prayer, He included these words.
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
In Isaiah 11:9 we read, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”
“Mountain“ is used as another word for kingdom or government. The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, just as the Apostle Paul wrote in that scripture we read earlier, “God wills that all men will come into a knowledge of the Truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus will be mankind’s Counselor, or teacher, in that Kingdom.
When will Christ’s kingdom be established “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10)? Examining John 18:36 sheds light on the answer to this question. In the context, Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate to answer the charge that claimed Jesus had committed treason against Caesar by claiming to be King of the Jews, which if true would be punishable by death, hence why Pilate put the question directly to Jesus in John 18:33. “Art thou the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence”(John 18:36).
At first reading, it might be thought that Jesus is saying, I am indeed a king, but my kingdom is not of this world, this planet, this earth; my kingdom is in heaven. But that is not what Jesus is saying. A closer examination of the names of Jesus helps us gain a deeper understanding of his life and work. The word world in Jesus’ reply is kosmosin Greek and it means order. When Jesus said, my kingdom is not of this kosmos, he was as if saying, I am not establishing my kingdom now; it is not of this present order, but there is a new world order coming. And when it does, that new world order, that new social order, that new kosmos, will be my kingdom, here on earth.
In relation to the resurrection to life in God’s Kingdom on earth, some sincere Christians believe that this world will be destroyed by literal fire(based on Scriptures such as 2 Peter 3:12) and that only the true followers of Jesus who have done their best to live a righteous life will be saved from destruction by being taken up to heaven.
That is not what this means.
In fact, Ecclesiastes 1:4 says the opposite: “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.”
How do we harmonize these two seemingly contradictory scriptures?
We do so by recognizing that 2 Peter 3:12 is symbolic. Here the Greek word for elementsis stoicheion, which, like that other Greek word,kosmos, means an orderly arrangement.It is describing the end of the old social order of things in this present evil world, not the end of the planet.
In Ecclesiastes 1:4, the Hebrew word for earth, means the dirt, the planet—these will never pass away.
Jesus will be the world’s Counselor, instructor, teacher, and guide to give assistance and direction, whereby the billions of resurrected people will return to harmony with Jehovah and to the enjoyment of the blessings provided through the ransom.
His name, The Mighty God, or Mighty, Mighty One, will be recognized then, on earth, as well as in Heaven. As the Heavenly, Divine Being he became after his own resurrection, he will have all the power necessary not only to resurrect mankind, but also to bring to pass justice and righteousness for everyone.
The name, The Everlasting Father, will apply to him as the Life‑Giver of the world, during the thousand years of his reign. In all that time he will be giving “life more abundant” to mankind—everlasting life to all who will obey him—therefore his title, The Everlasting Father, or the Father who will give everlasting life to humanity, is a fitting one. All the world of mankind, resurrected on the human plane, will obtain their right to everlasting life as human beings in an earthly Paradise from their Redeemer, who will then be their King.
His name, The Prince of Peace, will not apply to Him at the beginning of His reign when He will be tearing down the old order of this Present Evil World. However, true peace will speedily be establishedand he shall be known as The Prince of Peace, whose reign will be undisputed and uncontested. “Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end,” there will be no rebellion, and his kingdom will not pass away.
Combining all these names and the future works they reveal to us, his name will be Wonderful—the one who will be recognized by all as the embodiment, the expression, of Divine Justice, Love, Wisdom, and Power. That will be the Kingdom on earth for which Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth.”
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Another name or title of Jesus mentioned in 1 Timothy 6:15: “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.“
The meaning of this title is fairly straightforward, and this scripture also tells us what the other Scriptures have been telling us about Christ’s kingdom, namely, that it is not yet fully established, but will be, in his times, and we believe that time is soon as we will examine a little later.
A Bible dictionary gives the following definition for the name Christ:
(1) Jesus of Nazareth (Jesus Christ), regarded by Christians as fulfilling Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, (2)The Messiah or anointed one of God as the subject of Old Testament prophecies.
An ordinary dictionary says that Christ comes from the Latin Christus, which in turn comes from the Greek Khristos, which means anointed. Thus, the name Christ carries the thought of, anointed. We can understand that because we have a few English words derived from Christ which convey the idea of anointing. We speak of babies and even ships being christened, with some ceremonious application of a liquid in the manner of anointing.
So when we say the compound name “Jesus Christ,” we are saying, Jesus Anointed, or Jesus, the Anointed one.
What, then, is the deeper significance of this name of Jesus, Anointed, or the Anointed One?
In Old Testament times, a special anointing oil was prepared according to a formula given by God Himself in Exodus chapter 30. It was to be used only to anoint the persons who were to serve as Israel’s priests, as well as the furniture and utensils used in the sacrifices God commanded the nation of Israel to offer on various occasions. This anointing signified that the ones being anointed wereauthorized to serve as priests. This holy anointing oil was so restricted in its usage, that if anyone used the holy anointing oil for any other purpose, or if anyone concocted an oil like the holy anointing oil, they were to be put to death (Exodus 30:32‑33).
A different oil was also used to anoint Israel’s kings, in a type of inauguration ceremony, to signify the authority of the one being anointed to legitimately assume the office of King. The one doing the anointing was often a prophet whom the people recognized as God’s spokesperson; authorized by God to anoint a king to his office.
We can think of these words anointing, or anointed, as an Old Testament equivalent of what we commonly see today when a president, or governor, or other high official, is sworn into office by placing his hand on a Bible and taking the oath of office administered by a judge or other official.
We now see that this term, Christ, defined as anointed, has a deeper meaning of authorized by God Himself to serve in the capacity or office given to them.
The word “Messiah”comes from a Hebrew term meaning “to smear or anoint.” When grease or oil was applied to objects by Israelites, the commonly used term was “anoint.” However, the name “Messiah” is used in reference only to persons, rather than to “anointed” objects. As mentioned before while discussing the name Christ, persons who were anointed had been appointed and given authority for specific offices and tasks given to them. So, then, “Messiah” is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek name, “Christ.”
Since Old Testament times, Jews have been looking for the Messiah to come and fulfill all the prophecies that foretold his work of delivering Israel from their oppression as a people, and their scattering as a nation. Even today, religious and even non‑religious Jews will say something like, “When Messiah comes, Israel will prosper and the world will be a better place.” So the name Messiah has a connotation of delivererto the Jews. This matches nicely with the equivalent name Christ, because ever since Jesus died and was resurrected, Christians have been looking forward to his return, or coming again, as mankind’s deliverer. Thus the name Messiah is associated withJesus’ return. Jews in general do not believe that Jesus Christ is their long awaited Messiah. But when they see the establishment of his kingdom and how it meets and exceeds their grandest expectations, they will.
The restitution, or restoration, of all things meansto restore mankind, and the earth, to the perfection Adam and Eve enjoyed in the Garden of Eden.
The spiritual part of the restitution phase has begun since our Lord’s second presence(invisible to the world, but visible by the eyes of understanding to the spirit begotten of the Gospel Age).
The presence of Christ is referred to by the wordparousia in the New Testament, in scriptures such as Matthew 24:3 (where the word “coming” is properly translated “presence”).
Whenmankind is restored to perfection, then they will be tested individually, as Adam was.
If they are obedient they will live—if they are disobedient they will not.
In that future test, mankind will have the enormous advantage of their past experience with sin and its consequences, that will enable them to
choose life through obedience, and pass the test.
This doctrine of Restitution now gives us the third “R” in a trio of precious truths concerning salvation:
Let us now consider our key scripture, Colossians 1:26,27.
“(26) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: (27) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is, Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Remembering that the anointingrepresents authorization to a work or office, like the priests and the kings of Israel, this passage tells us that Jesus’ close, footstep followers, can be, like he was, anointed or authorized to join him in his kingdom work.
Is not this thought incredible!
The following Scriptures support this:
“If we suffer (with him), we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Timothy 2:12).
“To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life” (Romans 2:7).
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality”(1 Corinthians 15:53).
“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).
This means that there are actually two resurrections, and therefore, two salvations (See the HOPE & RESURRECTION posts: PART A, PART B, and PART C).
There is a first resurrection, now during the Gospel Age (from Christ’s ascension until the end of the age of the High Calling, ending six millenniums of the permission of evil), to a salvation of glory, honor, and immortality in heaven (Romans 2:7). This is for the very few who share in Christ’s sufferings by living their lives as peculiar people, a Royal Priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), following in Jesus’ footsteps.
Then there will also be a general resurrection in the future, on a perfect earth, of the rest of mankind, to a salvation in God’s kingdom.
Why is it taking so long for the Kingdom Jesus taught us to pray for, to come?
Why is it taking Jesus so long to establish his kingdom and do all the things his names imply?
Here is the answer:
Before the general resurrection and earthly salvation can begin, the first resurrection to the heavenly salvation must be complete. Romans 8:19 explains:
“The earnest expectation of the creature [all mankind] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God [the completion of the Bride class].”
All this truth is embodied in the name Christ—Jesus, the anointed redeemer, and the anointed class, his footstep followers, who will reign with him as kings and priests in his kingdom.
By examining the several names and titles of Jesus and their meaning, deeper illustrations of our Savior’s teachings, life, and work can be learned.
In the name Jesuswe see his work of salvation, from death to life, which the doctrine of the Ransom teaches us about.
In the names Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting father, the Prince of Peace, we see when that due time when that Ransom will have its fullest effect. It will be in the coming Kingdom on earth for which Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come.” In that Kingdom the resurrection will take place. Everyone who has ever livedsince Adam and Eve were created will be raised from death to lifeby the Everlasting father or life‑giver and taught by that Counselor in the peaceful kingdom where none will hurt anyone else.
In the name Messiah we see the return of Jesus when the spiritual phase of the restitution period begins, after which time shall commence the process of resurrecting, teaching, and guiding mankind back to the perfection enjoyed by Adam and Eve before sin entered the world. Since restitution means to restore to a previous state or condition, here mankind shall be restored to perfect bodies, perfect minds, and perfect characters. After that restitution work is complete, everyone in that kingdom will be equipped and ready to pass the test that Adam failed: obey and live, disobey and die. But this time mankind will have the enormous advantage of experience with sin and its consequences, which will enable them to choose life through obedience, and live.
In the name Christ, which means anointed and is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament word Messiah, we see Jesus, authorized by God to be our Savior and to accomplish all things required for the salvation of mankind. More than this, the scriptures tell us that there is also an anointed class of Jesus’ true footstep followers who are also called to be assistants in Jesus’ work for mankind in the kingdom. These footstep followers will have a first resurrection in heaven, following which will come a resurrection for the remainder of mankind on earth. This is the key doctrine of the two salvations.
In learning about Jesus’ life and work, we have gained some key insights into commonly held misconceptions that are not supported by the scriptures. We have seen that there is no Hell of torment, and that man does not have an immortal soul.
[NOTE: The word “many” in the above Matthew 20:28 verse reaffirms that many are involved in being freed from the sentence of death. Thus similarly, in Romans 5:19—manywere constitutes sinnersbut really,ALL of uswere (Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:10, 1 John 1:8).]
“But Moses said to God,‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’” Exodus 3:11
Are you timid and fearful in using your abilities as Moses seemed to be when the Heavenly Father sent him to speak to the Egyptians and lead his people out of captivity?
Fear often prevents us from getting out of our comfort zone, even for righteousness’ sake.
Timidity can even stop us from standing alone and DEFENDING THE TRUTH.
Human emotions often causes us to fear rejection by our friends. It can even paralyze us and block the voice of God as He speaks through the Bible and providence.
Anxiety and depression can cause us to be overly concerned about something that is not reality.
If you can identify with any of these symptoms, then read on for somegood news– as this post is for you!
As an infant, Moses was placed by faithful parents where an Egyptian princess could find him, amidst the bulrushes of the Nile. Seeing the young baby, she decided to adopt him.
Safe in the midst of his enemies, he received an ample education.
“And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.” (Acts 7:22)
The honors of the Egyptian Court were his, but when Moses learned the truth of his origin he no longer could enjoy the benefits of his high station while his kinsmen—the Israelites—suffered under the burden of slavery.
After killing an Egyptian taskmaster for his cruelty to an Israelite slave, he was disappointed when his brethren did not appreciate his endeavors to help them, but instead, reported him to the Egyptians (Exodus 2:11-22).
He fled to Midian, and was gone forty years. Then…
GOD’s time having come,
he was sent to deliver his people—Israel; but by nowhe was timid and feared his inability.
By Divine command, Aaron became his mouthpiece, and the message was carried to Pharaoh that Israel must be released from bondage. This commission to Moses was given at the burning bush which was not consumed. The Lord used thismiracle to impress on Moses that God was with him.It provided thecourage and confidence for Moses to fulfill his mission.We read of this in Exodus chapter 3-4.
1Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
5 Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. 7 Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
9 And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”12 He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’ 18 And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’
19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, 22 but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”
Exodus Chapter 4 (ESV)
1 Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’”
2 The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.”
[A staff signifies divine authority. R4058:4. A special manifestation of divine power and rule. R5419:5]
3 And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it.
[Became a serpent—Symbolizing that all the evil there is in the world is the result of God’s having let go of his rod of authority temporarily. R4058:4 Those things closest to us might become injurious except for God’s power to overrule. R5419:2 Antitype may be that the power of God may appear to be evil.]
4 But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— 5 “that they may believethat the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”
[Put out your hand — Typifying God’s purpose to lay hold upon present evil conditions. R4058:4It became a staff — Typifying the re-establishment of divine authority. R4058:4 Representing God’s power to turn evil things into good things through the operation of FAITH.R2910:4, R5419:3From this we should realize that of ourselves we could accomplish nothing. R5419:2]
R3990: “The assurance that he would be able to give the people this demonstration [with the staff] and other demonstrations that God had sent him to them strengthened Moses’ confidence in God and made up for his lack of confidence in himself. And this should be the case with all of us; we are not to have confidence in ourselves, but if we go forth strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, confident and rejoicing because he is with us,we are not only safe as respects ourselves but in the proper condition for the Lord to more and more use us in his service—”He that humbleth himself shall be exalted; he that exalteth himself shall be abased,” is the divine method of procedure.”
6 Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow.
[He put his hand — Leprosy is a symbol of sin. Divine power was first manifested without sin or imperfection or blemish (in Jesus Christ); secondly, that the same divine power, hidden for a time, was afterward manifest in sin and imperfection (in his Body members) and thirdly, that the same divine power, hidden again for a time, will subsequently be manifest without sin (in the glorified Christ) R4059:2]
7 Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh.
[Restored — By and by the Church is to be received into Christ’s bosom and “changed” in the first resurrection. R4059:3 As his other flesh — Be used again of the Lord as his agent in stretching forth his rod and bringing forth the plagues, and delivering the residue of God’s people. R4059:3]
8 “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign.
[Voice of the first sign — Literature on the subject of “Why evil was permitted” has been circulated to the extent of millions of copies throughout the world ever since the year 1879. R4058:6 Voice of the latter sign — The sign of the leprous hand—the “Millennial Dawn” series of volumes (later called “Studies in the Scriptures”) the first of which was published in 1886. In these books the relationship between justification, sanctification and deliverance is distinctly shown. R4059:4]
9 If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shalltake some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”
[Water from the Nile — The truth, as contained in millions of pages of tracts, poured upon the symbolic earth, society, liberally on many lands and in many languages. R4059:6 Upon the dry land — Typifying society. R4059:5 Shall become blood — To society the truth seems repulsive, undesirable, bloody. They not only view the typical sacrifices as bloody but they resent the thought that the antitypical sacrifice for sins was the death (blood) of Christ. R4060:1]
10 But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”
[I am not eloquent — Moses was so meek that he could not realize that with divine help he would be successful. R5262:2]
11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?12 Now therefore go, andI will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
*[I will be with thy mouth — So God declares to the humble ones now; that having no confidence in ourselves, we should have every confidence in God. R5262:4]*
13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”14 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.
[Aaron represents the Royal Priesthood still in the flesh, still sacrificing. R4058:3]
15 You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. 16 He shall speak for you to the people [to true Israelites], and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him.
[The understanding of God through studying Scripture and prayer and developing the fruits of the spirit allows the called ones running for the prize of High Calling during the Gospel Age to be used as the “mouthpieces” of the Heavenly Father through Christ. Be as God to him — Moses was to be like God unto Aaron in that he would tell Aaron what he should say and do. Q498:5 Moses, not Aaron, was the one competent for the great work because of his schooling. Aaron was his servant, or mouthpiece, speaking only as authorized by Moses in whom, because of his meekness, God was reposing the responsibility. R5262:4, R4537:1; PD32]
17 And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”
18 Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” 19 And the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.”
20 So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt [for the last 40 years of his life]. And Moses took the staff of God in his hand.
21 And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’”
24 At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to put him to death [because Moses has not circumcised their son.] 25 Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” 26 So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.
[The circumcision — Symbolizing a cutting off, a separation from the flesh, its aims, hopes and desires. R3022:3]
27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went and met him at the mountain of God [Mount Horeb, one of the peaks of Mt. Sinai. R4011:3] and kissed him.
[Does not the Lord God also tell us: to shelter ourselves from all evil by finding rest under his wings of care and Divine supervision when feasting upon the Words of Life in Scripture and when in prayer communion with the Him through Christ. Here the New Creation can “meet” with Christ and his Body members – in sweet fellowship for as we are told “where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20) and “where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather” (Luke 17:37).]
28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him to speak, and all the signs that he had commanded him to do.
This reminds us of Jesus’ words in John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
29 Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel. 30 Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people.
31 And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.
Moses’ experiences changed him for the better. How?
By God giving him the perfect experiences—which for the first 40 years of his life taught him to depend on his own strengths (i.e. he killed the Egyptian rather than depend on God to bring justice, etc); then the next 40 years of his life, Moses learned to not depend on his own strength (i.e. he worked for his Father-in-law looking after the sheep—which were not his own) and finally in the last 40 years of his life, Moses learned to put all his past experiences into practice hence why we read in Numbers 12:3 that“the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.”
Lessons from the Burning Bush
“God usually has a symbolical meaning in every miracle, and in this one the representation is supposed to be Israel in the midst of tribulation, yet not consumed. Later on, in Reformation times, the Church of Scotland appropriated this burning bush as its emblem on its banner, because its experience had been similar in that it had passed through severe afflictions and distresses and trials, yet had not been consumed.
Is not the burning bush a good illustration of the experience of Christ and all of his members? Are they not indeed surrounded by fiery trials? And do they not emerge from these unscathed, uninjured?—on the contrary, blessed, developed, strengthened, made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light? (R.3990)
The Fear, Reverence of the Lord –
“Well do the Scriptures declare that the fear, reverence, of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We greatly deplore the growth of irreverence in our day, and urge upon all of our readers for themselves and for their families the cultivation of this proper attitude of mind, so helpful to our preparation for the life that now is and that which is to come. Liberty and independence, while excellent qualities, are always to be valued and conserved and protected, are never to become license, never to lead in any degree to irreverence. This is the more necessary to us for two reasons: (1) Because of the growing irreverence of the world about us, born of a declining faith in God and everything supernatural; (2) because of our growing enlightenment in theTruth, by which we see that the fears of an eternity of torture were groundless, there is a danger of losing that proper reverence for God which belongs to and is an integral part of love.
“The Prophet David writes, “Keep thy foot when thou goest into the house of God”—take heed to your standing, take heed to your walk, take heed to your conduct. Whether the house of God be a great temple, as in past times, under divine direction, or whether it be the temple of God, which is the Church of Christ in the flesh, we should realize that reverence is befitting to us in connection with everything that is holy and consecrated. We should realize that whoever neglects the cultivation of reverence in respect to these matters is making his own pathway slippery and dangerous. He who reverences little and is careless is much more likely to stumble, to fall, and be utterly cast down.
If even Moses, the “meekest man in all the earth,” needed from the Lord as his first instruction a lesson of humility, shall we not suppose that such a lesson is necessary to us? Yea, verily!
Let us honor the Lord in our hearts, in our outward demeanor. Whether we bow to give thanks for our daily bread, whether we bow our knee night and morning in acknowledgment of divine care and providences, or whether we meet with those of like precious faith, let us see to it that reverence marks our conduct and our words as well as rules in our hearts. Let us, too, take off our shoes, let us lay aside the ordinary conduct of life by which we are in contact with the world, and in all our ways acknowledge him, especially when we hearken to his voice in the study of his Word as his people.” (R.3990)
Like Moses was asked by God, does not our Heavenly Father also ask us:
“What is in your hand?”
“God can use our humblest talent to his praise. If, then, we would serve, we should look to see what we have in our hands.” (R5419:2)
How to overcome timidity and fear
Jesus gives us the ANSWERin overcoming fear of others (i.e. timidity.)
Timidity of people
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. (Matthew 10:28, 29)
God is mindful of every creature that lives. He even knows when a sparrow dies. So, we can be confident that He cares for us and we have nothing to fear from others. David echoed this sentiment when he said, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” (Psalm 118:6).
Fear of doing wrong in the eyes of God
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1, 2).
Christians who are committed to serving God have a special relationship with Him. Jesus, as their “Advocate” covers their sins. We can take great comfort in knowing we do not have to be perfect for God to accept us. The blood of Jesus provides our standing before God.
Fear of being misunderstood which can lead to being hated
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).
Though every Christian should be sensitive to the feelings of others we should not fear what they will think of us. Only God’s view truly matters. If we live according to His principles and serve Him the best we can, then we have nothing to worry about.
Fear of standing for the Truth when others will not
“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 10:22-24).
Enduring to the end is important as we stand for truth. God sees and remembers all that we do for the cause of Truth. That’s what matters most.
Do you deal with any of these fears?
Then please STOP right here!
“God has the plan, man has the problem, the Bible has the solution.” – Dewey Aaron.
May the words of Holy Scripture , be your comfort and your strength.
We cannot do more than to give our best to the Heavenly Father as we present our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). It sometimes involves much pain and suffering for righteousness sake. But whatever suffering we are asked to endure will be well worth it in knowing that God is pleased.
“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God,as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-5)
As Christians, we have a guidebook, as well as a guide, to show us how to live. The more we follow the instructions left by our guide, the more we begin to understand the plans, and influence others to do the same.
“And without faithit is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
We cannot seek God’s help if we do not believe that He will help us.
When we come to Him, we must do so with the faiththat He knows all, sees all, and has power over all.
“His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” (Psalm 147:10-11)
The Lord is not impressed with the things that the world sees as important.
Our Heavenly Father cares little for our physical strength, speed, or agility.
What makes our Heavenly Father smile is the strength of our love for Him.
“My son, give meyour heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.” Proverbs 23:26
This is the ANSWERto overcoming ALL things through CHRIST!
It involves falling in love with the one who reads the heart’s deepest sorrows… deepest regrets… deepest pains… deepest secrets of our good intentions …
The Heavenly Father’s delight comes when our faith in his perfect abilities is strong.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-16)
FOCUS ON YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE.
This does not mean shutting ourselves away from everyone. The Lord wants us to serve one another and share each other’s burdens.
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Galatians_6:2 )
If physical or mental impairment prevent one from being able to meet the needs of others, this too, is something the Lord understands perfectly. He reads the heart and understands the difficulties we often face in life.
This is wherePRAYERSfor each otherARE WORTH MORE THAN GOLD.
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”(James 5:16)
Comfort and Reassurance
How reassuring to know that our Heavenly Father helps our weaknesses to become our strengths as we DEPEND WHOLEHEARTEDLY upon Him—that we might look to Him in every time of need and receive strength through CHRIST. He becomes our strength when we remain in Him and His Word remains in us.
Here are some Scriptures to meditate upon to gain strength from our Heavenly Father through CHRIST Jesus. These can give us great JOY. He is OUR STRENGTH as we fight the good fight of Faith to overcome sin and sorrow, focusing on the author and perfecter of our Faith, Christ Jesus.
CONFIDENCE & STRENGTH THROUGH CHRIST SCRIPTURES:-
“The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”Exodus 15:2 (ESV)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9 (ESV)
“He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness. For by strength no man shall prevail.”1 Samuel 2:9 (NKJ)
“God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect.”2 Samuel 22:33 (NKJ)
“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”1 Chronicles 16:11 (ESV)
“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 (ESV)
“I love you, O Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”Psalm 18:1-3 (ESV)
“The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.” Psalm 33:16 (ESV)
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”Psalm 27:1 (NKJ)
“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24 (NKJ)
“God, hear my cry; pay attention to my prayer. I call to You from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to a rock that is high above me, for You have been a refuge for me, a strong tower in the face of the enemy. I will live in Your tent forever and take refuge under the shelter of Your wings. Selah” Psalm 61:1-4 (HCSB)
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 (ESV)
“5 Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 6 Passing through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), they make it a place of springs; the early rain also fills [the pools] with blessings. 7They go from strength to strength [increasing in victorious power]; each of them appears before God in Zion.” Psalm 84:5-7 (AMP)
“28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV)
“…in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”Isaiah 30:15 (ESV)
“…Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’”Joel 3:10 (ESV)
“17 Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation! 19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!” Habakkuk 3:17-19 (AMP)
“26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (ESV)
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (ESV)
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 (ESV)
“On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses.”2 Corinthians 12:5 (NASB)
“9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 10 So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (HCSB)
“8 I know your works. Because you have limited strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name, look, I have placed before you an open door that no one is able to close.” Revelation 3:8 (HCSB)
“15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV)
“Thou Mayest Bring Forth My People”
Just as God used Moses to deliver the Israelites out of the hands of Pharaoh, so too, if “the Lord may choose to send us on any special mission, we may be sure that he does not wish us to undertake it as our own mission, nor to claim the honor of the success attending it. He merely deigns to use us as his instrumentalities, whereas he could do the entire work much easier, we might say, without us. How wonderful it seems that God throughout all his dealings, past and present, has been willing to use his consecrated people. Telling them on the one hand that they are unworthy, he assures them on the other hand of his willingness to use their imperfections and to overrule and guide in respect to their services for him and his cause.” (R. 3990)
“The prime essentials evidently in the faithful performance of such a commission would be reverence for the Lord and humility as respects our own talents and abilities. It was so with Moses, the “meekest man in all the earth.” (R.3990)
“Not stopping even to tell the Lord of his appreciation of the facts that he had been chosen for and had undertaken this great work, Moses was overwhelmed with the thought that the Lord would deign to use him as a messenger, and he promptly disclaimed any special qualifications therefor. Indeed, he evidently felt, as well as said, that there were others much more capable of the work than himself. (R.3990)
“But was it not this very appreciation of his own unworthiness that helped to make him suitable for the Lord’s business?
“And so with us: we may be sure that when we feel strong then we are weak, and when we feel weak in our own strength then we are best prepared to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might and to be used of him as his instruments.” (R.3990)
“And all the members of the body of Christ, the antitypical body of Moses, are permitted to have a share, as the Lord’s representatives, in this work of declaring the fall of Babylon, the presence of the King, and the gathering together unto him of all who have made a covenant with him by sacrifice. While feeling our unworthiness of so great an honor, and our inability as respects so great a work, let us remember that the Lord himself is with us, and thatsince it is HIS work it will go onward and accomplish the designs intended,and gather out eventually all who are truly the Lord’s, whether we are faithful or whether we are unfaithful.
“Let each of us then, dear readers, impress upon our hearts the essence of this lesson, that if God be with us and for us, however humble and weak of ourselves, we may be mighty through him to the pulling down of the strongholds of error and for the building up of his people in the most holy faith, and for their deliverance from the bondage of error. Let us in the name of the Lord do with our might what our hands find to do, but always with the thought that we serve the Lord. ” (R. 3991)
Let his words in Isaiah 41:10 be the strength in our every endeavor in his name and cause.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
By being faithful unto death, may we maintain the relationship to the great antitype of Moses, and ultimately be associated with him in the glories of the Kingdom, in the dispensing of the blessings and judgments of the future age.—Acts 3:23. (R.3
Br. Charles T. Russell, Reprints of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. (R)
The set-up of the Israelites’ camp is described in the first three chapters of Numbers. Numbers 1:1-4 describes how God asked Moses to divide up the Israelites and take a census of the Israelites a little over a year after the Exodus. (The date of the Exodus is discussed in Study 2 of the “Beauties of the Tabernacle” Series.)
“1 And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; 3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies. 4 And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers.”
[NOTE:“the first day of the second month, in the second year” was 1st Iyyar, 1444bc, one month after the Tabernacle was set up. The Tabernacle was first set up on 1st Abib, 1444bc—see Exodus 40:2, 17.]
The camp was arranged into east, south, west, and north sides as documented in the diagram below.
God arranged that Moses, Aaron, and his sons (the Priests) would camp “in front of” (i.e. closest to) the Tent of Meeting (Numbers 3:38). God also instructed that the Levite camps be adjacent to the tent on the 3 other sides (South, West, and North), while those of the other Israelites were to be “far off” (Numbers 2:2).
WHO DO THE ISRAELITES REPRESENT?
In the Tabernacle arrangement, Israel consisted of 4 categories of Israelites:
(1) the High Priest (Aaron) — represented Jesus, our “high priest.”
We read in Hebrews 4:14-16,
“14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Also, Hebrews 6:19-20:
“19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
The symbolic meaning of the actors in the next 3 categories of Israelites depends upon the passage of Scripture at hand. The meaning is contextually sensitive.
(2) the under priests (Aaron’ sons) — Refer to Study 7 of the Beauties of the Tabernacle section, titled“The Priests. The Day of Atonement.”
(3) the tribe of Levi, (not including the Priests) — Refer to Study 6 of Beauties of the Tabernacle, titled“The Levites.”
(4) the Israelites (not including the Tribe of Levi) — Let us examine this here.
There are two groups of such Israelites represented in the Tabernacle type, which do not consist ofthePriests (who only came from the Tribe of Levi) and the remaining (non-Priest) Levites:-
(a) the non-believers in Christ amongst the world of mankind — These are represented in the Israelites who are outside the court, in the camp area. Such individuals do not believe in Jesus and do not consider the Bible as the glorious, divinely inspired words of God, just as the Tabernacle’s outer-most covering may have looked unattractive to the Israelites in the camp. We discuss this further below, in the following Study. (See also Study 9 of Beauties of the Tabernacle, titled“Tabernacle Coverings.”) As the burnt offerings were a stench to Camp of the Israelites, so the message of God’s Truth is a stench to non-believers in today’s world and considered “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:14; 3:19).
(b) the non-spirit begotten believers in Christ amongst the world of mankind—These are represented in the Israelites inside the court area who enter the “gate” (which represents Christ, see John 10:9; 14:6). See Study 4 of Beauties of the Tabernacle, titled “The Court (Holy Place).” These are believers in Christ but non-spirit begotten individuals, who have not fully consecrated their lives in following Christ and doing God’s will.
Let us now consider what an Israelite represents in relation to the Gospel Age and the future Millennium Age:-
During the Gospel Age
During the Gospel Age (33 ad until the completion of the 6000 years of Permission of Evil) an Israelite coming to make an offering typifies “the Church of the Firstborn whose names are written in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23) — those who have consecrated their lives to the God. These develop as Christ’s body members, sharing in the sufferings of Christ (2 Timothy 2:12), and “by persistence in doing good, seek glory, honor and immortality” (Romans 2:7). Such are promised a “first resurrection” and spiritual, “incorruptible bodies”as Divine beings (1 Corinthians 15, Revelation 20:5). After the present time of sacrificing, these are to be kings and priests unto God, and to reign on the earth (Revelation 5:10).
The Laodicean (7th) Messenger to the seventh Gospel Age Church, Brother Charles Russell, in his later years, came to see that full justificationapplied toonly the spirit begotten, rather than to those who are believers but not consecrated. Please refer to Reprints from the Original Watch Tower 4546:4, 4427:6, 5972:6.
During the Millennial Age
As the type also pertains to the Millennial Age, the Israelites represent the world of mankind in the near future who will choose to walk up the Highway of Holiness. The term an “Israelite indeed” (as Nathanael was labelled by Jesus in John 1:47) is an expression that applies to anyone who adheres to the principles of Godliness, the golden standard in the Kingdom, the only standard by which one will be able to have eternal life. (Isaiah 26:9, Proverbs 2:21–22, Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 21:1.) For further reading, refer to the post “Will All Mankind Need to Become “Israelite Indeed”?”
Hence when considering the Day of Atonement, the Israelites (not including the Priests) represented the world of mankind. The sin offering sacrifices made for the Israelites only, represent the “better sacrifices” and atonement made on behalf of the whole world by Jesus (“head”, Colossians 1:18) and the Church (the “body” of Christ members, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Colossians 1:18, Romans 12:5) — who God has permitted to share in the antitypical sin offering. The sufferings of the Church count as sin offerings sacrifices, in that the present sufferings of the Church prepare them to assist the world during the Millennium to be purged from the propensity for sin — much as the sufferings of Christ prepared him to be our high priest, to purge from us the propensity for sin (2 Corinthians 1:3-7, 2 Timothy 2:12).
The Apostle Paul beautifully explains this through his words in Colossians 1:23-24:
“ 23 I Paul am made a minister; 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church…”
In 1 John 2:2 we read that Jesus “is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” In the future, the saints are permitted the privilege of assisting Jesus to free the world from their sins, through the priestly work they will share with Christ during the Millennial Age of Christ’s Reign with his 144,000 (Bride) body members.
What could be seen from out in the camp looking toward the Tabernacle arrangement?
The Tabernacle was in the middle of the camp in the desert.
Looking at the Tabernacle from the outside, an ordinary Israelite only saw the gate kept by the cherubim, perhaps the top part of the first 5 pillars of the Holy; perhaps some parts of the top of the posts and fencing equipment; the pillar of cloud of God’s presence, and the smoke of the perpetual offering rising from the altar in the Court because the white fine twined linen curtain surrounding the court was 5 cubits (2.29 metres; 7 1/2 feet) high all around. That is how we human beings perceive others and sometimes even God himself. Yet the Lord teaches Samuel the prophet and us, “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart”(1 Samuel 16:7).
Of course depending on where one stood, the top of the Tabernacle could also be seen from the camp, since it was twice the curtain’s height. It would have appeared dark since it was made of the skin of sea cows (manatee or dugong) skins, (mistranslated badger skins). Because this dark skin was not attractive to the eye, perhaps a foreigner could never imagine that this was the house of the Creator of the Universe. Who would imagine there was so much gold inside?
“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing”(C. S. Lewis).
Here are parts of an excerpt from “Approaching God,” by Br. Regis Liberda in The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, Nov.- Dec. 2002:
As the Tabernacle as seen from outside was not attractive, God knew it had to be this way for the camp in the desert where the Tabernacle is set represents the world. God does not attract anyone by apparent riches. We do not come to God because of the majesty and beauty of some building. Our reasons are not visible.
Many think that the Truth is as unattractive as the outer skin covering of the Tabernacle. Many think a Christian life is sad and dark; they do not know that for Christians the exterior has no value. Inside there is light, joy, richness, and peace.
Some are interested to know more. They suppose that this tent contains something more, and they draw closer. The closer they get, the greater appears the building, but they cannot see what is inside the Court since the linen hanging is too high. They can only see the top of the Tabernacle or tent. When they are very close, they can only see what resembles a white wall; the Tabernacle itself has disappeared. They know there is something beyond the wall but they cannot enter into the Court because of that wall. It is the white linen. Linen represents the justice of God; white represents purity and holiness: “Fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Revelation 19:8).
In front of that white wall, one understands he is a sinner. If he circles the wall trying to enter the Court, he continues to be stopped by this justice. When he finally recognizes his situation as a sinner, a unique door appears on the eastern side.
The sun arises in the east at the beginning of a new day. Likewise when someone reaches the door of the Court, a new day or a new life starts for him. He is now walking in the light.
Outside the Camp
Through Moses, God instituted a Law for all Israelites to adhere to which entailed the exclusion of lepers out of the camp in the wilderness, and out of the cities in Judea. We read about this in Leviticus 13:46, “46 All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.47 The garment also that the plague of leprosy is in, whether it be a woollen garment, or a linen garment.”
In Numbers 5:2-3 we read, “Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is unclean by the dead; both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camp, in the midst whereof I dwell.”
Leprosy is a picture of sin, and its cleansing represents the cleansing of the consecrated and spirit begotten believers in Christ now, during the Gospel Age, and the cleansing of the world later in the Millennial Kingdom Age, under the righteous rulership of Christ with his Bride of 144,000 Elect members.
The camp, the dwelling place of God, throughout which God would “walk” just as in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8), was to be holy. We are explain about this in Deuteronomy 23:14, “For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.”
Its holiness was to be achieved by the keeping of the ordinances of cleanliness, by the cleansing received from sacrifices, and by removing those who threatened its cleanliness. Offenders would be stoned outside the camp. (Leviticus 24:14) The remains of the offenders who died inside the camp were taken outside such as was the case of the two sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:4).
There was a “ceremonially clean place outside the camp“ (Numbers 19:9) where the ashes of the sacrifices whose blood was carried into the sanctuary, were thrown and a wood fire on this ash heap was where, for instance, the remains of the sin offering’s bull were to be burned up as explained in Leviticus 4:11-12. The ashes of the red heifer were gathered up by a “clean” Israelite and placed in this ceremonially clean, which according to Numbers 19:9-10 were used “in the water of cleansing”. The water from a jar containing the red heifer’s ashes would be sprinkled over any one or any thing classified as “unclean” to purify (Numbers 19:9-22).
Hebrews 13:13 (KJV) — “Let us go forth therefore unto him without [“outside,” ESV] the camp, bearing his reproach.”
The following extract is from: Souvenir Notes, Bible Students’ Conventions 1913 – Question Meeting Conducted by Br. Charles T. Russell (in the Bible Students Library CD) –Question 4— “Together with Him without the camp” — does this mean to go out in the second camp, or are there two camps?
The Apostle says, “Let us go to Him without the camp.” In the English of today we would
say, “Let us go to Him outside the camp.” We do not use the word “without” the camp in that same way today. Let us go to Him outside the camp — what does that mean?
Well the camp would represent that condition of things which claimedto be in harmony with God.
Look back in Jesus’ day:
Jesus went outside the camp. Was it the Gentile camp? No. What was the camp with Him? The camp in Jesus’ time was composed of all those who professed to be God’s people, holy people — all the Jewish people who professed to be in harmony with the Lord. What would it mean that He went outside the camp? He was pledged in his faithfulness and loyalty to God to take His standwhich took Him outside of the sympathy and fellowship of those who were not fully Israelites indeed — all the Jews that were Israelites indeed in whom was no guile could appreciate it, and they, like the disciples, were in the attitude of the Levites that were approaching the Holy and drawing near to the Lord, and were, like the Levites, ministering in the Court. This would represent the attitude of all believers inside of that white curtain, but those who constituted the camp at that time were nominal professors who did not appreciate fully, and Jesus in order to be faithful to God and His message was obliged to stand for the truth, for that which is right, and that brought Him out of sympathy and out of accord with the great nominal mass of the Jewish people.
Now the Apostle says, “Let us go to Him outside the camp.” What does this mean?
It meant to the Apostles’ of old that they should also take the same stand toward the law that Jesus took toward the law; the same stand toward the pharisees and scribes and the doctors of the law that Jesus took. Then to those afterwards who became associated with the Gentiles, as, for instance, Paul, Silas and Barnabas, who ministered to the Gentiles, we think outside the camp meant outside the synagogue of the Jews and all of those who professed to be in harmony with God that were living in Rome, or wherever they might be — whoever stood for and claimed to be God’s people constituted the camp.
What does it mean today?
The camp today means all of Christendom, all the dear people who claim that they are spiritual Israelites, that is God’s camp… And all of God’s people who are sincerely following in the footsteps of Jesus will find that they will not be appreciated by the general camp. In other words, the nominal church will not generally appreciate the spirit of the Lord and the teachings of the Lord, and therefore all who would he faithful to Jesus and walk in His steps will find themselves today just as much out of accord with the camp of today as Jesus and the Apostles found themselves out of accord with the camp of their clay. To go to Him without the camp today means that we will take up our cross, whatever sacrifice it might mean to you and me, the breaking of tender ties with dear fellow Christians who are Methodists, or Presbyterians, etc., willing to go to the Lord and be faithful and loyal to Him at any cost, no matter how others may view it.
And as a matter of fact it was those of the camp that persecuted Jesus and the Apostles: and it is those of the camp who have persecuted the Church which is the Body of Christ from that day to this.
Br. Charles Russell: “Tabernacle Shadows,” “The Tabernacle and Its Teachings” — Supplement to Feb. “Zion’s Watch Tower,” Pittsburgh, PA, 1882, Volume 6 — “Studies in the Scriptures,” Reprints of the Watch Tower.
Br. Anton Frey: “Notes on the Tabernacle,” “Wilderness Wanderings.”
Br. Regis Liberda: An article titled “Approaching God”, The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, Nov.- Dec. 2002.
The directions given to Moses for the construction of the Tabernacle are found in Exodus chapters 25 to 27, and the account of the performance of the work, in Exodus chapters 35 to 40.
The Tabernacle was a house constructed of a series of boards of shittim (acacia) wood, “overlaid” or plated with gold, set on end into sockets of silver, and firmly fastened together by bars of the same wood, also covered with gold.
The Tabernacle proper was 10 cubits (15 feet; 4.5m) wide, 10 cubits high and 30 cubits (45 feet; 13.5m) long, with it’s opening (entrance) on the east side.
NOTE: Bible Measurements are calculated in cubits.
The boards of the Tabernacle proper were put as near together as possible. They were mortised into the sockets, and moisture would swell the joint and tighten it. The fact that they were joined in the same way in the Most Holy as they were in the Holy, illustrates that the union and fellowship which we now enjoy are a counterpart and foretaste of what we will have when united with our Lord.
There were 20 boards on the north side, and 20 on the south side; plus there were six boards in the back of the Tabernacle, as well as two corner boards—so a total 48 boards making up the Tabernacle proper. Each board was set in two sockets of silver, so we have 96 sockets of silver. Plus four sockets of silver for the pillars that held up the vail giving a total of 100 sockets of silver in relation to the Tabernacle Proper.
Calculating the Tabernacle Proper
The outside length of the structure is calculated from the figures respecting the side boards in Exodus 26:16-18 which says each side contained 20 boards, each 1½ cubits wide, yielding 30 cubits overall for the Tabernacle’s outer side measurement. The inside width of the Tabernacle was 9 cubits, judging by verse 22 which says the back end of the Tabernacle contained 6 boards, presumably spanning the interior width between the two side walls. But as the Temple measures are given as 60 cubits long and 20 cubits wide in 1 Kings 6:2 (presumably exterior measurements), the inference from the proportions is that the Tabernacle would have been 10 cubits wide (exterior measurement), as the Tabernacle floor plan was half the size of the Temple of Solomon. Thus the boards were evidently ½ cubit thick.
(Diagram: The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, Nov./Dec. 2002, “The Holy,” Br. David Rice).
Exodus 26:33 tells us the interior was divided by a vail (“curtain”—NIV) hung under the golden taches (“hooks”—NIV) connecting the two parts of the white linen tapestry formingthe ceiling of the Tabernacle proper (Exodus 26:1).
Exodus 26:2-3 explains that each of the two parts of that tapestry was composed of five strips, with each strip measuring 4 cubits wide and 28 cubits long. Five strips would be 20 cubits wide. When the two five-strip sections were joined together with golden taches, the length would be 40 cubits. This covering began at the front of the Tabernacle structure, which means the taches fell 20 cubits from the entrance of the structure. Under these taches the vail was hung. Thus do we reason that the Holy was 20 cubits long.
(Diagram: The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, Nov./Dec. 2002, “The Holy,” Br. David Rice).
The Number Two (2)
The Gospel Age is often represented by the NUMBER 2, or its greater magnitudes 20, 200, 2,000. A 20-cubit length for the Holy fits the symbolism. Perhaps two is used because the fruits of this age of the spirit are nourished by the two sources of instruction, the Old and New Testaments.
The following examples of two in the Bible all relate in one way or another to the Gospel age, or to the nourishment and care of the saints during it :-
two fishes (Matthew 14:17)
two pence (Luke 10:35)
20 years oppression by Jabin (Judges 4:3)
20 years of Samson (Judges 15:20)
20 years of the ark at Kirjath-Jearim (1 Samuel 7:2)
200 pennyworth of bread (Mark 6:37)
200 cubits to shore (John 21:8)
2,000 cubits from the ark to the Israelites (Joshua 3:4)
In both Exodus 26:26-29 and Exodus 36:31-34, we read of the instructions God gave Moses regarding the making of crossbars that held the boards together for the three frames of the Tabernacle. Here is an illustration of this:
As illustrated above, on three sides of the Tabernacle’s frames there were two bars end to end spanning the length on the upper side, two on the lower side, and one bar went end to end in the middle. Thus five bars altogether on each of the three frames/sides, which equals a total of 15 crossbars.
The Number Five
The NUMBER 5 in the Bible represents the Church, (the new creation) because it depends on the two elements indispensable for its development, the spirit (two) and blood (three).
Here are several instances where five is symbolic of the new creation: the five wise virgins in Matthew 25, Christ feeding 5000; in the time of Joseph the proportion of grain stored was one part in five (Genesis 41:34); in Numbers 31:27-31 the Lord’s share of the goods collected by the Israelites was 1 part out of 50 or out of 500 depending on the circumstance. As with the 2, 20, 200, and 2,000 discussed earlier, this number also appears in various orders of magnitude: 5, 50, 500, and 5,000. The Number Fifteen (15)
The NUMBER 15 appears to symbolize deliverance, with the associated ideas of restoration, restitution, and healing. Here are some other Biblical examples of this:
Hosea 3:1-5—Fifteen pieces of silver were paid by Hosea for the deliverance of the woman who represents the nation of Israel.
2 Kings 20:1-6—Hezekiah’s prayer was answered, his life was spared, and God granted him fifteen additional years of life.
John 11:18—When Lazarus was raised from the dead, the distance between Bethany and Jerusalem was mentioned as “fifteen furlongs” symbolizing the journey of mankind from the misery of sin to the deliverance of Peace.
Genesis 7:20—The waters of the Great Flood covered the tallest mountains by fifteen cubits reminding us that the flood of knowledge in the kingdom covering everything will effect the full deliverance, healing, and restoration of mankind by destroying every imperfection of sin. Genesis 7:24 says “the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days”—ten times fifteen. Ten often symbolizes earthly wholeness or completeness. Perhaps this one hundred fifty indicates the complete deliverance of Noah and his family.
Genesis 31:41—Jacob served Laban fourteen years as debt for acquiring Laban’s two daughters as wives. Thus the fifteenth year was one of final deliverance from this debt to his father-in-law.
Leviticus 23:6, 34—The Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles both commenced on the fifteenth day of the month (Nisan 15 and Tishri 15).
Ezekiel 40:22, 31—In Ezekiel’s Temple, there were fifteen steps to the Sanctuary of the House of the Lord—the place of deliverance, healing, and restoration.
Numbers 33:3—Israel’s deliverance from Egypt occurred on Nisan 15.
Micah 5:5—the deliverers of Israel when the “Assyrian” attacks are seven shepherds and eight principal men (princes)—a total of fifteen deliverers.
Esther 9:18—the Jews celebrate their deliverance from the enemy on the fifteenth day of the twelfth month.
Often symbols of the sacrifice of Jesus are implicitly associated with the number fifteen.
Let us now go back to our original verses from Exodus 26 and 36 concerning the fifteen crossbars in total. This may beautifully represent how love binds the church together.
“The love of Christ constraineth us.” (2 Corinthians 5:14).
The crossbars, covered with gold, represent thedivine love Jesus has for the church, the same love expressed by those in the church. That there were fifteen bars suggests deliverance.
Perhaps the most dramatic deliverance effected by love is deliverance from fear.Love delivers from fear and substitutes trust.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18).
The Tabernacle properrepresents the two conditions of all who undergo a change of nature from human to spiritual. There are 2 phases or stages of the new life to which we are begotten by the holy Spirit. The tabernacle was composed of 2 compartments (see Exodus 26:33):
The Holy (Leviticus 16:17, 20, 23)
The Holy was 10 cubits wide x 20 cubits long. It was the first compartment of what is sometimes termed the “Tabernacle of the congregation” (Exodus 38:8, KJV) or “Tent of Meeting.”
The Holy represents the present condition of all those begotten of GOD through the Word of Truth (James 1:18) who FULLY consecrate their human nature to death, that they might become partakers of the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).
During the Gospel age, such are called to consecrate and sacrifice their human nature in God’s service, and to inherit instead the spiritual nature—as members of the Body of Christ. These enjoy the inner light of the golden candlestick, while others are in outer darkness; these eat of special spiritual food, represented in the unleavened bread of presence, and offer incense at the golden altar, acceptable through Christ Jesus.
The spiritually-minded creature in the Holy BY FAITH looks forwardthrough the rent vailinto the Most Holy, catching glimpses of the glory, honor and immortality beyond the flesh; which HOPE is—as an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast, entering into that which is beyond the vail. (Hebrews 6:19; 10:20)
Only those of the Levites who were consecrated to thework of sacrificing(the Priests only)had access to the Tabernacle; so only those of the household of faith who are consecrated to WILLINGLY SACRIFICE, even unto death, enter the divine conditions represented in the Tabernacle.
Only those whose consecrations have been accepted“in the Beloved” are represented as being in this Holy condition.
If we would attain the prize of the high calling which is of God in Christ Jesus, and enter through the Holy into the Most Holy, we must follow in the footsteps of Jesus, our Leader and Head—the High Priest whom we confess (Hebrews 3:1 NIV). Here are the ways in attaining the prize and please our Heavenly Father:-
(1) By faith in Christ’s ransom-sacrifice, represented in the Brazen Altar, we enter through the gate to the Courtyard—the veil of unbelief and sin is passed. This step is one which our Lord Jesus never took, because not being of Adamic stock, but holy, harmless, separate from sinners, he never was outside the Court condition.
(2) Renouncing our justified human wills, and all our human aspirations and hopes, we pass the first vail, or veil of human-mindedness—counting the human will as dead; henceforth consulting not it, but the will of God only. We now find ourselves as “new creatures” in the Holy—in the first of the “Heavenlies” or Holies (Ephesians 2:6—see Diaglott), and begin to be enlightened by the golden candlestick(God’s Word) respecting spiritual things, “the deep things of God,” and to be refreshed and strengthened daily with the Truth, as represented in the shew-bread, lawful for only the Priests to eat (Matthew 12:4). Thus enlightened and strengthened, we should dailyoffer up sacrifices at the golden altar, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ—a sweet perfume to our Father (1 Peter 2:5).
The Most Holy was a perfect cube measuring 10 cubits on all sides—the only part of the tabernacle that was BALANCED, which represents the condition of divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).
We attain to the Most Holy by faithfully overcoming in the Gospel Age. We enter there, beyond the second veil, through death. These, after having completed their consecration in death, are fully changed,born from the dead in the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6, Hebrews 10:20, 1 John 3:2).
The volume of the ark of the covenant (the only furnishing within the Most Holy) was 5.625 cubic cubits (1½ x 1½ x 2½). The volume of the interior of the Most Holy was 810 cubic cubits (9 x 9 x 10). Dividing this volume of the Most Holy by the volume of the ark of the covenant produces a significant number: 144, a number relating to the church.
Revelation 14:1 describes a group of 144,000 standing upon symbolic “Mount Sion” with the symbolic “Lamb.” This refers to the overcoming Bride of Christ. Since the ark represents the Church that will gain the prize of the high calling in the condition that the Most Holy represents (the presence of God, the divine nature), the appearance of 144 does not seem accidental. The number 144 is not 144,000, for the scale of the Tabernacle does not permit the building of a Most Holy containing 144,000 arks. However, the factor of 1,000 is contained in the picture, since the exterior dimensions of the Most Holy were 10 cubits by 10 cubits by 10 cubits or 1,000 cubic cubits.
The (second) vail (as discussed in Study 9 of “Beauties of the Tabernacle” on this website and titled “The Gate. The Door. The Vail.”) was “a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim worked into it” hung “with gold hooks on 4 posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold and standing on 4 silver bases.”.” (See Study 4 of “Beauties of the Tabernacle.”) It was hung “from the clasps.” (Exodus 26:31-33, NIV)
The (second) vail represents Christ (as do the gate and door).
Passing through this second vail into the Most Holy,involves“the death of the HUMAN body” (Tabernacle Shadows, p.22). Both the fleshly mind and fleshly body must be left behind before we can enter into the “holiest of all.” We will then be in the spirit realm, for flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50).
Br. Charles T. Russell—Tabernacle Shadows.
Br. Anton Frey—Notes on the Tabernacle.
Br. David Rice—The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine (Nov/Dec 2002 Edition).
Br. David Stein—The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine (Nov/Dec 2005 Edition).
To us,the Bible is the Word of GOD, the sole authority of Christian Doctrine and Practice. To us it clearly teaches that:
* JEHOVAH (Hebrew: YAHWEH) is THE ONE ALMIGHTY GOD, who is from “everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2).
* JESUS CHRIST, the Logos (Word), is GOD’S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, the firstborn of every creature who was made flesh and by the grace of GOD gave himself a willing and voluntary RANSOM for ALL mankind, to be fully demonstrated in GOD’s due time, and His is the Light that enlightens all who come into the world. He is our Lord and Master and the Captain of our Faith, our Redeemer (John 3:16; John 5:28-29; John 14:16; Colossians 1:15-17; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 2:9).
* JESUS WAS RESURRECTED on the third day after his crucifixion (50 hours from the moment he went into the heart of the earth), Jesus was resurrected a Divine Celestial Being, Immortal, and will never come again in the flesh (Luke 24:1-7).
* THE HOLY SPIRIT is the character of the Heavenly Father Jehovah who is Love and Justice balanced by His awesome Wisdom, and His Great Power carries out His balance through actions and magnificent influence on ALL of His creation; and this power of His character is working in and through His called out people, to guide them into understanding of and conformity to His will. It is not a third person of a Godhead (Luke 11:13; John 16:13; Acts 1:8, Romans 8:14).
* Man IS A SOUL (Sentient being), but does not HAVE a “soul.”
* The wages of sin is DEATH and NOT TORMENT or some form of living separate from the Creator (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23).
* ALL MANKIND SHALL RESURRECT out of their graves and partake in the blessings and opportunities of Christ’s one thousand year kingdom which present conditions indicate is extremely close at hand (Luke 21:25-28, John 5:28, 29, Revelation 20:6).
* THE EARTH WILL NOT LITERALLY BE BURNED UP (but the systems of the world will be destroyed), but rather will become a paradise worldwide by the end of the Messianic Age, inhabited by the obedient regenerated race of Adam, when death will be destroyed forever (Ecclesiastes 1:4; Isaiah 25:8; 1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 21:4).
* MEANTIME THE SHAPING AND POLISHING of individual Christians—“living stones”—has been in progress, and when all have been made ready, they will share in the “first resurrection” and the completed, glorified Temple will become the meeting place between GOD and mankind (1 Peter 2:5, 2 Peter 1:5-8, Revelation 20:6).
* THE HOPE OF THE CHURCH is to be like her Lord, to see Him as He is, to be partakers of the divine nature and to share in His glory in the divine realm as His joint-heirs helping the world of mankind come up the Highway of Holiness and come into harmony with GOD, so that GOD our Creator can be ALL IN ALL—which is the ETERNAL GOSPEL (Isaiah 35:8; 1 John 3:2, 2 Peter 1:4, Romans 8:16-17; Revelation 14:6).
* THE BLESSINGS OF GOD’S KINGDOM will include the return of GOD’S favour to Israel and the restoration of all things lost in Adam for all the willing and obedient in that time; that at the end of the thousand years Satan and all the willfully wicked will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:12-22, Romans 11:25,26, Acts 3:20,21).
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in my entire holy mountain, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 65:17-25, KJV).
We Believe the Bible
The following is taken from The Watch Tower, January 15, 1912, pages 28,29; Reprints pages 4955, 4956:
THOSE WHO OPPOSE our teaching are given to misrepresenting it. They do not wish to speak untruthfully, but desire to hinder our work, which they fail to recognize as the Lord’s work.
It is difficult to answer the arguments of our opponents in a few words, when they misunderstand our presentations of more than three thousand pages. If they cannot understand a detailed account, we have no hope of making a brief one satisfactory to them. However, we give here a synopsis:—
I. We affirm the humanity of Jesus and the deity of Christ.
II. We acknowledge that the personality of the Holy Spirit is the Father and the Son; that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both, and in turn from all who are begotten by it.
III. We affirm the resurrection of Christ—that He was put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit. We deny that He was raised in the flesh, and challenge any statement to that effect as being unscriptural.
IV. We affirm, with the Scriptures, that God alone possessed immortality, “dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto.” We affirm that this Divine quality has already been granted to the Lord Jesus and is to be the portion of the elect Bride, the “Body of Christ.” As for mankind, we affirm the Divine provision for these [R4956 : page 29] and for angels to be everlasting life for the obedient. This, by many, is mistermed immortality. We follow the Scriptures strictly.
V. We hold that the entire race lost life with Father Adam, as a result of his failure in Eden; and that Christ died to secure a second chance for Adam and an individual chance for all of his race, who lost their first chance in Adam when he sinned. “As all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:21,22.) A few of us, comparatively, having eyes of faith and ears of understanding, have had this second chance in the present life. Adam and the great mass of his posterity must get their second chance after being awakened from the tomb. But NOBODY IS TO GET A THIRD CHANCE!
VI. We believe that the soul was condemned to death. “The soul that sinneth it shall die.” We believe that this death would have been eternal, everlasting destruction, had it not been for God’s mercy in and through our Lord’s redemptive work. By reason of His death our souls do not die in this full sense of the word, but are Scripturally said to “fall asleep,” “asleep in Jesus.” The awakening will be in the resurrection morning; and the interim will be a period of unconsciousness, beautifully symbolized by a restful sleep.
VII. We believe in the “hell” of the Bible, sheol. This, the only word used for hell for four thousand years, is translated more than one-half the time grave in our Common Version, and should always be thus translated. “Hades,” in the New Testament, is its equivalent. “Gehennafire,” of the New Testament, is a symbolical picture declared to signify the Second Death.
VIII. We believe that God is able to destroy “both soul and body” in Gehenna—the Second Death. We consider it much more sane to believe thus, as it is moreScriptural, than to believe that in creating man God dida work which He could not undo; much more reasonable also than to believe He prefers to have the incorrigible suffer eternally, when their sufferings could do neither themselves nor others any good.
IX. We believe that, like the Father and the holy angels, our Lord is a spirit being. We are convinced that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.” We do not believe that our Lord has a flesh and blood body, a “little lower than the angels,” and has thus been out of harmony with His heavenly environment for nearly two thousand years. We believe the Apostle’s statement, “Now the Lord is that Spirit.” This is the Jesus who will “so come, in like manner,” quietly and unknown to the world, as He went away. We do not affirm, dogmatically, that He came in 1874, but we say that to us it is the evident teaching of the Scriptures. Our Lord warned us not to expect Him in the flesh; that men might say “Lo, here” or “Lo, there.” The Harvest work in the universal Church Nominal, the Laodicean period of the Church, well corroborates our expectations of what His work will be, as outlined in His parables, etc.