BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 1, Number 1, November 1980

 

Rod of An Almond Tree The Dragon of Revelation 20 "Seven Times" - 4 Times War in the Middle East! Coup in Turkey!

 

Rod of An Almond Tree

 

"Jeremiah, what seest thou? . . . I see a rod of an almond tree. . . . Thou hast well seen for I will hasten my word to perform it." #Jer 1:11, 12

 

What does an almond rod have to do with the Lord "hastening" to fulfill his word? It is evidently a play on words in the Hebrew. In Nelson edition of the American Standard Version the footnote gives shaked for "almond tree," and shoked for "hasten" (rather, "watch" in ASV). (Footnote - How is it that the two words are so similar? Rotherhamís footnote: "ĎThe watcherí -íso called from its early blossom, as being the first of the trees to wake from the sleep of winter.í-Davisí H. L." His translation is "a twig of an almond tree . . . Thou hast rightly seen, for keeping watch am I, over my word to perform it.")

 

The use of sound-alike words to emphasize a point appears also in #Isa 5:7. In Rotherhamís translation, "And he waited for equity but lo! murderous iniquity. For the rule of right, but lo! The cry of the wronged." His footnote: "N. B.: the striking assonance-íAnd he waited for mishpat, but lo mispah; for zedhakah, but lo zeakah.í"

 

But there is a notable difference between the word play of Jeremiah and that of Isaiah. In Isaiah the meaning of the words convey a direct thought, in addition to the "assonance," In Jeremiah, there appears to be little direct relation between an almond tree and the accomplishment of Godís word. Symbolically, however, there is a connection. The rod of an almond tree represents the manifestation of Godís election of the Church class. This comes from its use in the Tabernacle to show that Aaron and his tribe were to serve the priestly and ceremonial duties. (#Nu 17) A representative of each tribe provided a rod; these were collectively laid up in the tabernacle by Moses. "And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. And Moses brought out all the rods from before the Lord unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod. And the Lord said unto Moses, Bring Aaronís rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels . . . "

 

But what particular manifestation of Godís election of the church is represented in #Jer 1:11? We think it is the resurrection of the sleeping saints, (Footnote - The other possibility which comes to mind is the completion of the church in glory. But against this is that Jeremiah represents the harvest saints in the flesh.) investing them with judicial authority and power (#Re 11:15) to actually accomplish the words of #Jer 1:10

 

". . . over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to, destroy and to throw down, [and, concerning Christís kingdom] to build, and to plant."

 

Jeremiah, who spoke these words, pictures the saints in the flesh. They are Godís spokesmen declaring the necessary replacement of present institutions with the incoming Kingdom of Christ. Our mouths have been "touched" and the Lord says to us "I have put my words in thy mouth." (vs. 9) (Notice a similar mention respecting Isaiah who had his mouth purged to cleanse him for service-another picture of the saints in the flesh.-#Isa 6:5-7)

 

Among other scriptures which show a close relationship between the raising of the saints and the judgments of Christendom, note #Ob 21, and #Eze 43:2, 4, 5 cf. #Re 18:1, 2.

 

 

The Dragon of Revelation 20

 

As there appears to be some question regarding the identity of the dragon of #Re 20, the following is offered as a summary of the position that it represents primarily the civil power as a tool of the adversary.

 

Dragon appears in the New Testament only in the book of Revelation. There it appears only in chapters 12, 13, 16 and 20. The 12th chapter is explained in detail by Bro. Russell in which he clearly shows the dragon as pagan Rome as the enemy of both the true and the apostate churches. It is not an unsafe generalization to say that in this chapter Bro. Russell equates the dragon with civil power. In the 13th chapter he does likewise, and in the 16th chapter likewise. It should not, therefore, be inconsistent or surprising to claim that the final mention of the dragon in #Re 20 is also representative of civil power. Some, however, seriously questions this position.

 

On R4609 Bro. Russell stresses that while the devil of #Re 20 includes the actual being (the personal devil), the term is much broader than that and represents a system. Care must be taken with this quote. Note that Bro. Russell says "religious system." Note also that he specifies verses 7-9 dealing with war in heaven. Because the dragon was pagan it was religious in a pagan sense only. But as such it did control the heaven of its day. The result of the battle, however, is that the dragon is cast out of heaven to which it never returns. After this point it is an exclusively civil entity-a thought which we believe is consistent with all of Bro. Russellís writings on the matter and which accounts for his interpretation of dragon in chapters 13 and 16.

 

The internal evidence from the book of Revelation seems to support the conclusion that the dragon of chapter 20 is the civil power heretofore discussed. We believe this evidence is strongest in the following three references:

 

1. In #Re 12:9 this dragon is named with its multiple names: dragon, serpent, devil and Satan. Only in one other place does this occur: #Re 20:2. It is not unreasonable to think that this is so because the Lord wished to stress to the careful observer that the identity of the entity in #Re 20:2 is the same as that which was cast out of heaven in #Re 12:9 - i.e., the civil power. 2. In #Re 16:13 is introduced a trinity of enemies: beast, dragon, and false prophet. The Revelator follows these enemies until their destruction. Two of them, the beast and false prophet, are destroyed in the lake of fire in #Re 19:20. But the dragon is not. Thus the 20th chapter is set aside as a detailed description of the destruction of the same dragon introduced in #Re 16:13 - the civil power.

 

Some have suggested that the dragon is represented in chapter #Re 19:19 under the words "kings of the earth." We do not believe this to be true because "kings of the earth" are also listed in #Re 16:14 as the ones affected by the pronouncements issuing from beast, dragon, and false prophet. Therefore, a distinction must be made between dragon and kings of the earth. They are not the same.

 

Additionally, note that the kings of the earth are not destroyed in the lake of fire in #Re 19:20 with the beast and false prophet so that if the kings of the earth were synonymous with the dragon, their destruction would even so of necessity be reserved for a later text than chapter 19.

 

3. #Re 20:10 shows us that finally, at the end of the little season, the dragon has joined the beast and false prophet in the lake of fire. There would be no need to mention the beast and false prophet in this verse except to draw our attention to the fact that all three enemies of #Re 16:13 are finally accounted for-the third having its demise 1000 years later than the first two-and its identity yet the same: civil power.

 

In summary it would be wise to stress again that the personal devil must not be excluded from #Re 20. His personal binding as shown by Jesus in the Gospels is to be an accomplished fact. However, chapter 20 is not primarily dealing with the personal devil, but rather with the binding and ultimate destruction of his long-cherished tool: civil government. It seems to have been our Pastorís expectation that the deception of the little season would be in the form of a civil government- a coup to displace or challenge the ancient worthies. This concept is in harmony with the loosing of civil government and its master, Satan. Perhaps the terms Gog and Magog also give us the same clue. These names in the gospel harvest we do not connect with a religious power nor with the personal devil solely, but rather with some civil invading force. A similar interpretation at the little season is consistent.

 

In short, there seems to be no particular argument against the dragon of #Re 20 being representative of civil power, and there seems to be strong, consistent, contextual argument for it. Let the Lord enlighten us further as need be.

 

ó Contributed

 

 

"7 Times" - 4 Times

 

"Hew down the tree. . . leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass . . . let a beastís heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him" - #Da 4:14- 16

 

This text comes from a dream of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Many things occur in dreams which are impossible in reality. That was true in this dream. Nebuchadnezzar saw a great tree which sheltered and nourished all the beasts of earth and fowl of heaven. "The height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth." Suddenly this majestic tree was ordered of the angels to be hewn down, but to leave the "stump of his roots in the earth, . . . with a band of iron and brass." (#Da 4:10-15) The scene changed, and the tree became a man given over to the life of a beast. "Wet with the dew of heaven . . . let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: let his heart be changed from manís and let a beastís heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him." (Vs. 15, 16)

 

FIRST INTERPRETATION

 

The prophet Daniel gives us dreamís immediate interpretation. The tree represented Nebuchadnezzar as king of the empire. His authority was cut down and he wandered insane as an animal for "7 times."

 

But his reason and kingdom were subsequently restored. That his dominion was to return had been shown by the stump of the tree remaining in the earth. It was circled with iron and brass bands, suggesting that at some time the hands might be loosed, and the stump sprout again. "For these is the hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease." (#Job 14:7)

 

DEEPER MEANING

 

But the dream was recorded to inform us of affairs more important than Nebuchadnezzarís period of insanity. We have long seen it to foretell 7 prophet times of 360 years each, when the beastly governments (lion, bear, leopard and "dreadful" beast of #Da 7) would subordinate Godís typical kingdom, Israel. These "7 times" of gentile rule parallel the "7 times" of Israelís national punishment spoken of in #Le 26:18: "I will punish you seven times more for your sins." (Vs. 18)

 

This was from 607 BC to 1914 AD, when the incoming actual kingdom of Christ began the disruption of the gentiles and the restoring of Israelís nationhood. A comparison of #Le 26:31-34 with #2Ch 36:17-21 shows that Israelís 7 times of punishment began with their subjection to Babylon.

 

Seven TIMES - 4 TIMES

 

An intriguing feature of both #Da 4 and #Le 26 is that the warning of "7 times" appears exactly 4 times. (#Da 4:16,23,25,32, #Le 26:18,21,24,28) This in itself forms another link between the two passages supporting the conclusion that they do refer to the same period. It is valuable at least for that.

 

But is there any special reason why it appears four times? This is the kind of question that we often cannot answer. But in this case we have a suggestion. We think it infers there are four intended applications of the 7 times. These are upon:

 

1) Nebuchadnezzar personally (7 X 1 year?)

 

2) Israel during 70 of bondage to Babylon (7 X 10 years)

 

3) Israel in bondage to Gentile power for 2520 years, 607 BC-1914 AD (7 X 360 years)

 

4) Mankind, who forfeited their dominion for 7000 years (7 X 1000 years)

 

(1) is evident. Daniel gave us that interpretation. (3) and (4) are discussed in Volume 2, chapter IV. (Footnote - That chapter does suggest a correlation between Adam and Nebuchadnezzar (pg. 96). It does not suggest the 7000 year period as a fulfillment of the 7 times, nor equate the tree with Israelís sovereignty.) We add (2), and suggest the 70 years of servitude to Babylon (the "head," representative of the entire image) was itself a small picture of the entire 7 x 360 years of the gentiles.

 

The dream showed a tree being cut down - a dominion lost. Each of these interpretations includes a lost dominion, and the hope of its restoration after the 7 times. The dominions lost in each case:

 

1) Nebuchadnezzarís

 

2) Israelís independent statehood lost to Babylon.

 

3) Israelís national independence lost to 4 world empires.

 

4) The dominion of earth possessed by mankind in Adam.

 

A CLOSER LOOK AT (2) & (3)

 

These 2 views are intimately related because they both refer to Israel. In fact, as before stated, (2) is a small model of (3). The subjection of Israel to the head of gold (Babylon) was the representative of the longer subjection to the entire gentile image.

 

In support of this note part of the prophecy against Israel in Leviticus. ". . . seven times . . . and I will break the pride of your power, (Footnote - Cf. #La 2:3,17. Power is symbolized by a horn. #La 2:3,17 seems to record the fulfillment of this Leviticus expression.) And I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass." (#Le 26:18,19) (#De 28:23 reverses this: "thy heaven . . . shall be brass, and the earth shall be iron.")

 

This refers to the governmental forces which would subordinate Israel. They appear as the iron and brass bands around the tree stump (#Da 4:15) to restrain growth. The breaking of these bands means the end of the 7 times, and #Isa 45:1,2 prophesies of that breaking. "Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden to subdue nations before him; . . .I will go before thee, . . . I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron."

 

This speaks of the overthrow of Babylon by Cyrus. The cutting asunder of the restraining iron and brass led directly to the return of Israel to their land. But in the fuller and larger application

 

Cyrus is a type of Christ, Godís true "anointed." He subdues the gentile image, freeing Israel in a greater sense from the restraints of "iron and brass" that they might sprout as an independent nation again. Those bands began to be broken in World War 1.

 

#Ps 107:11,16 refers to this: For Israel who had "rebelled against the words of God, and condemned the counsel of the most High," the Lord breaks "the gates of brass, and cut[s] the bars of iron in sunder." The brass and iron remind us of the metallic image.

 

WHAT IS A TIME?

 

We are using a "time" variously in the 4 applications of Nebuchadnezzarís dream. We think this is justifiable. Prophetic teachings often encompass different but not contradictory applications. E. g., notice how differently the famous prophecy of #Isa 7:14 was fulfilled in the case of Isaiahís son and Jesus. (#Isa 8:3, #Mt 1:23) In this way God teaches several things with a few prophecies. Often this permits a lesser fulfillment to further illustrate a fuller and grander one. This is so in Malachiís prophecy of Elijah. John the Baptist was a fulfillment, and in turn was himself typical of the greater fulfillment, the Church. #Ps 2:1-5 is another prophecy which clearly has two fulfillments.

 

Of course the primary meaning of a "time" is that carried most consistently in Scripture. It is a period of 360 years. This is gathered from #Re 11:2-3, 12:6,14, 13:5 which refer to the same period as "[1] time [symbolic year] [2] times, and a half a time" (3 1/2), 42 months, and 1260 days. Using 30 days per month all are identical. Using the day-for-a-year reckoning of #Eze 4:4,6 and #Nu 14:34, one "time" = 360 years.

 

ADDITIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION

 

There are two manuscript words used for "time(s)" in Daniel. Strongís 5732, iddan, #Da 2:21, 4:16,23,25,32, 7:25. Strongís 4150, mowed, #Da 12:7. Since the last two scriptures refer to the same period (3 1/2 times) it seems either word can be used for the prophetic time of 360 years. In #Le 26th chapter there is no direct Hebrew word for "times." It is supplied; or perhaps more correctly, inferred by the use of "seven." "I will chastise you seven [seven what?] for your sins." (#Le 26:28) Various translations of this: "seven times" (AV, ASV, Lamsa, Smith, NASB, Rotherham), "seven (times)" (Green), "sevenfold" (Leeser).

 

The fact that in Daniel different words are used helps us see that a specific word is not required in Leviticus. The concept of a seven- segment, "sevenfold," or seven-staged punishment is sufficient to suggest a punishment of 7 prophetic times. Relating Mosesí prophecy to the dream in #Da 4 fortifies the conclusion.

 

 

WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST!

 

Monday, September 22, 1980 - Iraq declared war on Iran. How does this relate to the mustering of nations for the Armageddon conflict at Israel? #Eze 38:5 mentions Persia (Iran) as an ally of Gog (Russia). In past decades, however, Iran has been aligned with the Western powers. This changed with the deposition of the Shah in 1979. Since then Iran has been bitterly anti-American, but also anti-Russian. Certainly Russiaís atheism is contrary to the principles of Mr. Khomeiniís Mohammedan revolution.

 

Iraq, on the other hand, is supplied with Russian arms and has close ties with the Soviets. The effect of the present war cannot be otherwise than to weaken Iran. This enhances Russiaís opportunity to exercise her influence and makes Iran more vulnerable to Soviet aggression. Will Iran be taken over by the Soviets, as in Afghanistan? Or will they remain independent, but through weakness lean more favorably to the Soviets than in the past, for appeasement sake? Any specific inference from the scriptures on this detail is not apparent to us. In any case Iran is irately anti-Israel. This in itself may be sufficient to align them with the attacking forces in the last battle.

 

The Strait of Hormuz is among the long disputed border territories which are the subject of the present struggle. As 40% of the free worldís oil supplies usually flow through this narrow outlet from the Persian Gulf, the western governments are gravely concerned. The United States recently proposed a council with her allies to lay contingency plans for retaining access to that region-with military force if required. For while America reportedly has a 2-year reserve of petroleum at present, most of her allies are not so well stocked. And even a slight shortage of oil on the open market could cause prices to soar, as suppliers barter among demanders for the highest price. At the very least this incident points to the vital importance of the sustained flow of Middle East oil. It is not difficult to see that measurable Soviet aggression in the Middle East could spark military countermeasures by Western nations. This is what we ultimately expect to occur when god descends "like a cloud the cover the land." (#Eze 38:9)

 

 

COUP IN TURKEY!

 

A coup from the Turkish military occurred on Friday, September 12. Its purpose was to calm the rising strife fomenting among the leftist element. The coup accented the severity of the unrest which in past months had led to the ambushment of several American military personnel stationed in Turkey.

 

These developments are of particular interest to brethren who have understood Ezekielís prophecy to show Turkey (Togarmah, perhaps also Gomer-#Eze 38:6) allied with Gogís forces from the north. If this is correct, it seems to require a shift of Turkeyís political alignment from the West to the East. A leftist takeover would serve that purpose. Presently Turkey is allied with the Nato powers.

 

A fuller treatment of #Eze 38 is available in tract form by request. It interprets the prophecy largely from a geographical approach. It identifies the areas where the peoples Ezekiel spoke of lived, and correlates the nations which inhabit those lands today.

 

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(Here there was a Scripture index with the pages listed)

 

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We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good." We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 1, Number 2, December 1980

 

The Irony of "Desolation" in the Gospel Age Covenants Jesusí Birth & Herodís Death What Was the Star of Bethlehem? Confirmation on a Fall Birth Date

 

The Irony of "Desolation" in the Gospel Age Covenants

 

One benefit of the Apostleís argument in #Ga 4:21-31 is his demonstration of the fact that two covenants are operable during the Gospel Age. As Jesus ignored the Highway of Holiness (#Mt 7:13,14) because it was not an option when he spoke, Paul here ignores the Keturah Covenant because it was not an option for the Gospel Age. This clearly demonstrates that the Law Covenant was yet an option - a Covenant which would continue in some form of existence until its antitype (the New Covenant) would begin. Paul knew well that Abraham had more than two sons (compare #Ga 4:22 with #Ge 25:1,2), but their representation of New Covenant factors was not relevant to Paulís argument.

 

#Ga 4:24 might be paraphrased thus: "These women represent the two covenants now in operation. The one originates from Mount Sinai which generates or gives birth to slavery. This is represented by Hagar."

 

In verse 25 is hidden a lovely play on words apparently designed to impress on the Galatian churches the barrenness of the Law Covenant. The reading of the King James Version is questionable. The Sinaitic reads, "For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia." The first word to notice with care is "for." It means "because." By it Paul is linking verse 24 with verse 25. He is saying the Hagar Covenant gives birth to slavery BECAUSE Sinai is a mountain in Arabia. Strange reasoning? Not at all! Note: Smithís Bible Dictionary defines Arabia as meaning desolate or barren - an etymology akin to the Hebrew "Arabah" (desert). Linking this meaning with our standard symbolism for mountain, the verse says: The Hagar Covenant gives birth to slavery BECAUSE Sinai (i.e. the Law) is a kingdom of desolation. (I. e., it cannot produce life or freedom from sin.) If we go further and translate Sinai (see McClintock and Strong) which means either "thorny" (i.e., cleft with ravines) or "devoted to sin," Paulís play on words is even more forceful.

 

How could you expect a covenant concluded in a place named "devoted to sin" located in a "kingdom of desolation" to bear fruitage? Paul then identifies which Kingdom this represents. Kingdoms are symbolized by their capitals, even to our day. Thus Paul introduces his new terminology. "Jerusalem which now is" -i.e., the kingdom of Israel under the Law Covenant as represented by its capital city. This gives him the opportunity for another etymological "trick." Jerusalem has a plural ending in Hebrew. There is more than one Jerusalem. Therefore, Paul (verse 26) tells us about the other kingdom - the kingdom built on the Sarah Covenant, and that we are the children of that kingdom, represented by its capital, Jerusalem above.

 

Paul then concludes his point with the ironic reference in verse 27 to #Isa 54:1. He wants to show prophetically that this Covenant is NOT barren. Sarah has been called BARREN and DESOLATE in prophecy when it is really the Law (concluded in ARABIA = "desolation") that is desolate. But the prophecy proves the point: the Law produced life for only one individual, the man Jesus (and that life was sacrificed). But the Sarah Covenant, produces life for "many more children" - Jesus as the Christ, and all of his disciples.

 

The lesson, of course, is obvious; the world sees the fruitful as barren and the barren as fruitful.

 

- Contributed

 

 

Jesusí Birth & Herodís Death

 

Bible Students have long believed that Jesus was born in 2 BC (SS, Vol. 2, pp. 54-62). But most modern historians have dated his birth at from 4-7 BC. The reason for this is that Jesus was born before Herod died (#Mt 2:1), and it has been thought that Herod died in the spring of 4 BC, following an eclipse of the moon early in that year. Early Christian writers, however, testify against such an early date:

 

Virtually all Christian historians and chronologers who lived from the second to the sixth centuries (and even later) put the birth of Christ after the eclipse of 4 BC. Iranaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Orosius, and Cassiodorus Senator said Christís birth was in a year we now recognize as 3 BC. (Footnote - In Pyramidology, Volume 2, pp. 309- 312, Bro. Adam Rutherford states that Iranaeus, Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian support the 2 BC date. His references from their writings make this sound reasonable. We have not independently checked the first-hand sources however.) The early Christian chronologis Julius Africanus said it was in the year from 3 to 2 BC. This same year was accepted by Hippolytus of Rome. Origen, the Chronicon Cypianicum. Eusebius of Caesarea, John Chrysostom, Jerome, Hippolytus of Thebes, Photius Patriarch of Constantinople, the Greek historian Zonaras, and Bar Hebreaus, who quoted Syrian, Armenian, and Greek sources. Ephiphanius and the early Syrian chronological work called the Chronicon Edessenum indicate it was 2 BC. Almost all the early Christian fathers of whom we have record said Christís birth was in either 3 or 2 BC.? (Footnote - Ernest L. Martin. (The Celestial Pageantry Dating Christs Birth.) Christianity Today, pg. 17, December 3, 1976.)

 

The Scriptures support the later date. Jesus began his ministry as he turned 30, being baptized by John. (#Lu 3:23) Since John had begun his ministry in the 15th year (Footnote - To reconcile this with the 4- 7 BC dates, some assume this 15th year is reckoned from some co-regency with Augustus prior to Augustusí death. So far as we know, this is an arbitrary assertion without historical support.) of Tiberius Ceasar (#Lu 3:1), 29 AD, Jesus turned 30 years of age no earlier than 29 AD. So Jesus could not have been born any earlier than 2 BC. (Footnote - For those wishing to calculate this, remember there is no year numbered "0" - the year preceding AD 1 is BC 1. This means any arithmetic between AD and BC dates must be adjusted by 1 to secure the correct result.)

 

This suggests that there has been an inaccurate deduction by many historians about the date of Herodís death. What is their reasoning? Where is the flaw? In an article by William Filmer, published in the October, 1966 issue of Journal of Theological Studies, "The Chronology of the Reign of Herod the Great," the evidence is reviewed in detail. Filmer concludes that Herod died early in 1 BC. We here summarize his findings.

 

Most of the primary information on Herodís reign is from Josephus, and Jewish historian of the first century AD. He states that Herod died shortly after a lunar eclipse, but before Passover. Eclipses which could be the one referred to occurred on 15 September 5 BC, 12/13 March 4 BC, 9 January 1 BC, and 29 December 1 AD. To determine which of these four was meant, we look at other evidence.

 

Josephus indicates that Herod was appointed king of Judea by the Romans, Mark Antony specifically, three years before Herod actually conquered Jerusalem, deposing the previous king, Antigonus. He states that Herod reigned 37 years from his appointment, but 34 years from the death of Antigonus. (Footnote - Ant. XVII viii 1, Wars 1 xxxiii 8. Bro. Adam Rutherford in Volume 2 of his work Pyramidology forwards the thought that the 37 years dates from Herodís victory at Jerusalem, and the 34 years from the death of Antigonus 3 years after that. While at first inclined to the argument, and examination of the balance of Josephusí data to us obviates that possibility.) Therefore, if we could date any year of either span positively, we could compute the date of Herodís death. Josephus does give data which enable dates to be assigned. The problem is that some of the data yields one date, and the balance of the data another.

 

On the one hand he states of Herodís appointment, "Thus did this man receive the kingdom, having obtained it on the hundred and eighty- fourth olympiad, when Caius Domitius Calvinus was consul the second time, and Caius Asinius Pollio." (Ant. XIV xiv 5) "This makes it 40 BC, but in this he is contradicted by Appian, who mentions Herodís appointment in a context that can be dated from Dioís Roman History to 39 BC.?"(Filmer, JTS pg. 285; Appian, Civil Wars, v. 75, chap. viii) And Josephus said of Herodís victory at Jerusalem that he took it with help from General Sosius, "when Marcus Agrippa and Caninius Gallus were consuls at Rome, on the hundred eighty and fifth olympiad . . . ," which gives 37 BC, but continues " . . . on the third month, on the solemnity of the fast, as if a periodical revolution of calmities had returned since that which befell the Jews under Pompey; for the Jews were taken by him on the same day, and this was after twenty-seven yearsí time." (Ant. XIV xvi 4) But Pompey conquered Jerusalem in 63 BC, giving 36 BC for Herodís victory. Filmer also quotes Dioís writings to show that Sosius was inactive in 37 BC, for "the Romans accomplished nothing worthy of note in Syria . . . Sosius . . . spent the time devising means, not for achieving some success and incurring [Antonyís] enmity, but for pleasing him without engaging in any activity." (Dio, xlix, 23, 1-2) Filmer supports the later dates (39/36 BC) with six more arguments:(1) a difference between Roman and Jewish new year dates may have led Josephus to err one year on relating Jewish records with Roman consular years; (2) "Apart from this, several other consular dates given by Josephus are impossible to reconcile with one another." (Pg. 287); (3) the 27 year span between Jerusalemís fall to Pompey and to Herod is confirmed by Josephusí mention of Hycanus (installed by Pompey) and his successor Antigonus (removed by Herod) holding the office of high priest for 24 years, and 3 years 3 months, respectively. (Footnote - Filmer later shows by a listing of 6 priestly rulers that Josephus uses an accession-year reckoning, meaning that a straight total of individual periods of office does result in a correct number of overall years.) (5) the history of Antonyís activities for six years from the Battle of Philippi (at the end of 42 BC) are much more consistent with the 39/36 BC dates; (6) Josephus refers to a shortage of food at the time of Jerusalemís fall to Herod, caused by a sabbath year. Concluding that a previous sabbath was recorded in 135/134 BC, one would also have fallen in 37/36 BC. So at the close of 36 BC there would indeed have been a shortage of food due caused by a sabbath year.

 

WHERE ARE WE?

 

What this evidence tells us is that Herodís appointment to be king was in 39 BC, and his actual assumption of kingly power by conquering Jerusalem was in 36 BC, 37 and 34 years respectively bring us to 2 BC. So neither the eclipse of 5 BC nor that of 4 BC can be the one Josephus referred to as just preceding Herodís death. The next possible eclipse would be that of 9 January BC 1. But isnít that too late? Shouldít Herod have died in 2 BC? No. We can adjust our dates by one year, if we assume (as the previous footnote suggested) that Josephus considers the first fractional year of reign as the "accenssion" year, and the next as year "one" (which was a common method of reckoning). Filmer also shows that both Herodís appointment and victory at Jerusalem occurred after Tishri 1 of whatever year. Therefore, year "one" of Herod would be either Nisan 35 BC to Nisan 34 BC, or Tishri 35 BC to Tishri 34 BC, and Herodís 34th (and last) year of kingship would end at either Nisan (spring) or Tishri (fall) BC 1 (depending on what month the regnal years began).

 

THE OTHER OPTION

 

Those who use the 40/37 BC dates can place Herodís death in 4 BC only by assuming "(1) That Josephus always reckons reigns or periods of time inclusively, that is by the non-accession-year rule. (2) That Herodís regnal years began on 1 Nisan. (3) That Herod died after 1 Nisan in BC 4, and that Josephus reckoned the odd day or two of the new year as a full regnal year. The first assumption converts the fraction of a year into a whole, while the last two make a couple days count as a year." (Filmer, JTS, pp. 293-294) The first assumption is contrary to Josephusí usual reckoning, and the second is not provable. The third is impossible! If Herod died after 1 Nisan BC 4, there would be only 14 days left to Passover, which must accommodate a funeral procession which William Whiston (the translator) puts at "no less than twenty- five days," and the quelling of a Jewish riot. (Ant., XVII viii-ix) (Footnote - This argument is nearly fatal in any case for the BC 4 date, as between the eclipse (March 12/13) and Passover (April 11) are only 4 weeks, which is still not adequate time.) The third assumption is therefore disproved, and the date must fall.

 

THE MEGILLAT TAíANIT

 

The Megillat Taíanit, compiled shortly before AD 70, was a list of days, associated with notable events, on which the Jews were not to fast. The reason for the holiday is given in every case but two, 7 Kislev and 2 Shebat. According to Jewish tradition these were the dates of the deaths of two hated kings, Herod and Jannai. But which died on 7 Kislev, and which on 2 Shebat? 7 Kislev fell earlier in the year than all the eclipses of 1 and 4 BC; 2 Shebat was before that of 4 BC, but 15 days after both eclipses of BC 1. So, if there is validity to the tradition, Herod must have died on 2 Shebat, and it could not have been in 4 BC.

 

HERODíS AGE

 

Josephus said Herod died at about 70 years of age. (Ant. XVII vi 1; Wars 1 xxxiii 1) As most understand Josephus to mean that Herod was 25 when his father Antipater made him governor of Galilee (Footnote - "The Greek text reads fifteen, but this must be an error, for otherwise Herod could never have reached the age of seventy." (Filmer, footnote, pg. 293) Whistonís translation gives "25".) in 47 BC, Herod would have been 70 in 2 or 1 BC.

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

The eclipse marking the approximate time of Herodís death was evidently that of 9 January BC 1, putting Jesus birth before the end of 2 BC. Scriptural evidence indicates Jesus was born no earlier than 2 BC. Therefore Jesus was born in 2 BC, and his ministry began in 29 AD. That this was the same year in which John began his ministry, and that John was 5-6 months older than Jesus (#Lu 1:35-38), are consistent with the usual reasoning on #Da 9:27 indicating that Jesusí birth was in the fall of the year.

 

 

WHAT WAS THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM?

 

We now know that Herod died in January of BC 1, and that Jesus was born in the fall of BC 2. (See previous article.) Since the wise men from the east visited Jesus between these two events, it settles an otherwise debatable matter concerning the date of their visit and of Josephís flight to Egypt to escape Herodís decree. Now we know that the wise men saw Jesus just weeks, at the most 2-3 months, after his birth, before he was taken to Nazareth.

 

After Herod inquired "diligently" of the wise men, he set the age limit of the boys to be slaughtered at 2 years. (#Mt 2:7, 16) Assuming that he allowed some margin of time previous to the wise menís first special notice of the "star," it is safe to say that the "star" appeared to the wise men not earlier than 3 BC, and they found Jesus not later than about the end of 2 BC. With this information Ernest L. Martin ("The Celestial Pageantry Dating Christís Birth," Christianity Today, pp. 16- 22, December 3, 1976.) looked back into astronomical history to determine what natural celestial appearances would have been visible to the learned astrologers from the east, and has found that during this period Jupiter was very active in striking a number of close conjunctions:

 

1) Aug. 1, BC 3 Jupiter becomes a morning star

 

2) Aug. 12, BC 3 Jupiter/Venus conjunction (.23 degrees)

 

3) Sept. 1, BC 3 Venus/Mercury conjunction (.36 degrees)

 

4) Sept. 14, BC 3 Jupiter/Regulus conjunction (.63 degrees)

 

5) Feb. 17, BC 2 Jupiter/Regulus conjunction (1.19 degrees)

 

6) May 8, BC 2 Jupiter/Regulus conjunction (1.06 degrees)

 

7) June 17, BC 2 Jupiter/Venus conjunction (.02 degrees)

 

8) Aug. 27, BC 2 Jupiter/Mars conjunction (.14 degrees)

 

9) Dec. 25, BC 2 Jupiter "stood still" over Bethlehem at Pre-Dawn observation.

 

Noting that "Jupiter was often associated with the birth of kings and therefore called the King-planet," (Hendriksen, Mathew, p. 153). Martin gives detailed suggestions on the probable, and notable, meanings the other luminaries Jupiter conjoined with would have had to the wise men of the east. Then he adds:

 

When [the wise men] reached Jerusalem, the Magi were told to look toward Bethlehem for the newborn king. This happened at a time when the New Testament says the star came to a definite halt in the heavens - it "stood over where the young child was"(#Mt 2:9). And indeed, the planet Jupiter [the other planets as well] does become stationary in its motion through the fixed stars. This happens as its times of retrogression and progression. It could well be that Matthew was referring to such a thing.

 

Jupiter had come to the point of retrogression . . . The precise time for the retrogression of Jupiter of December 25, 2 BC (Footnote - He does not suggest that Christ was born that night) . . . at the ordinary time of the Magiís predawn observations, Jupiter would have been seen in meridian position (directly of Bethlehem) sixty-five degrees above the southern horizon. This position would have shown the planet shining right down on Bethlehem! . . Jupiter was then situated in the constellation of Virgo the Virgin.

 

If the "star" was Jupiter, or a natural luminary which had gained the attention of the wise men because of its special movements, it is easy to see why the common populace would not have noticed it. If it were a miraculous, super-bright star, or a natural super nova, Herod would not have required to ask the wise men of it. A planetary movement of symbolic significance seems to fulfill the requirements of the case.

 

We think the visit of the shepherds the night of Jesusí birth, and the wise men shortly thereafter, were typical of events pointing to our Lordís second advent. As there they viewed our Lord 30 years before he was prepared to present himself as the Messiah at Jordan, so 30 years before our Lordís arrival as the new King of earth, many "shepherds" pastoring their flocks in the early 1800ís came to view the new Kingís approach in 1844. And "the wise" who were privileged to "understand" (#Da 12:10) some of the fulfillments of Danielís prophecies approached that date expectantly also. But the time was not yet to behold our Lordís return as King. They merely saw the foregleams of prophecy, 30 years before the destined time.

 

 

CONFIRMATION OF A FALL BIRTH DATE

 

Lukeís gospel tells us that after Elizabeth conceived John the Baptist, she "hid herself five months . . . and in the sixth month" Mary was told that she also would bear a son. (#Lu 1:24-26, 36) The inference of #Lu 1:5-24 is that Elizabeth conceived at the end of Zachariasí "days of . . . ministration" -if we can determine what time that was, we can compute roughly the time of year Jesus was born.

 

We find two differing approaches to the matter, but both resulting in nearly the same conclusion. The Edgar brothers (Great Pyramid Passages, Vol. 2, pp. 56-57) reason that since twelve divisions (of servants to the king - two examples; #1Ki 4:7; #1Ch 27:1-15) served in monthly rotations, the 24 courses of the priesthood would each serve half a month to fill out the year. Of the 24 courses, that of Abia (the course Zacharias served in - #Lu 1:5) was the 8th. (#1Ch 24:5-19) Assuming the first course serves first each year, Zachariasí service would have ended 4 months after the Jewish New Year. Adding to this 5+ months to Maryís conception and 9+ months to Jesusí birth brings us to early Tishri on the Jewish calendar.

 

Bro. Adam Rutherford begins with a different premise. He states, ". . . it is known that each course officiated at the Temple in turn for a week" (Pyramidology, Vol. 2, pg. 334 - he does not give his supporting source). He continues: "From the Talmudical statements and Josephus we learn that the Temple at Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus ton 5th August AD 70 and that the 1st course of priest . . . had just taken office . . . [this] period of service [ended] . . . the evening of the following Sabbath on 11Th August."

 

On this basis his conclusions are:

 

Abiaís summer, BC 3 course ended:13th July

 

Jesus conceived: beginning of 4th week of December, BC 3

 

Jesus born: beginning of 5th week of September, BC 2.

 

As the date is close, he suggests the evening of September 29th as the time of Jesusí birth, which he states was 1st Tishri in BC 2, the day of the Feast of Trumpets, and supports this with a quote from The Companion Bible:

 

"[Christís] birth took place on . . . September 29. An overwhelmingly strong argument in favor of the correctness of this view lies in the fact that the date of "the Festival of Michael and All Angels" has been from the very early times the 29th of September on Gentile (Western) reckoning. But "the Church" even then had lost sight of the reason why this date rather than any other in the Calendar should be so indissolubly associated with the Great Angelic Festival."

 

Bro. Rutherfordís note on this is also of interest: ". . . The Companion Bible applies this on a wrong year and a wrong Hebrew date and feast (Tabernacles) but on a Julian date (Sept. 29) that turns out right. It is more impressive of course when applied to the true Hebrew dating (Feast of Trumpets)." (Pg. 337)

 

Whether September 29 is the right date or not, it is reassuring that both views of the priestly rotation indicate a late September or early October birth of Jesus.

 

________________

 

At this point there was a Scriptural index for the issue

 

________________

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good." We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2, Number 1, January 1981

 

Evidence of Divine Design in the Great Pyramid Doves, Lamps, Eyes Correspondence

 

Evidence of Divine Design in the Great Pyramid

 

The arrangement of passages and chambers in the Great Pyramid appeals to many as a divinely - designed portrayal of the Divine Plan. The four main passages and three primary chambers represent paths and fixed destinies in Godís Plan.

 

The feature we mention here relates the lengths of the three upper passages to a significant length in the Kingís Chamber. The Kingís Chamber is clearly the most prominent aspect of the Pyramidís interior. Even in its construction and finish it is superior to every other internal location. Therefore, if the principal features of the Pyramidís internal architecture were intended to be related by dimensions (which most pyramid students affirm), it is not unreasonable to suppose the Kingís chamber dimensions would have a significant part in this.

 

The measure in that chamber that is used here is the longest one obtainable - from any bottom corner of the room to the opposite top corner of the room. This is called the solid diagonal or "Cubic Diagonal" (CD) of the Kingís Chamber. In the formulas which follow, Y. M and P stand for:

 

Y = 365.242199, the duration in days of a solar tropical year (one spring equinox to another) (Exploration of the Universe, Abell, 1964, pg. 119)

 

M = 29.5305879, the duration in days of a (synodic) lunar month (one new moon to another) (Abell, pg. 170)

 

See Image 00001

 

P = 360, the duration in days of a prophetic year.

 

The formulas are:

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† CD x Y

(1) Grand Gallery Length =†††††††††††† ___________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 100

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† CD x M

(2) Horizontal Passage Length =††††††† ___________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† CD x M††††††† Y

(3) First Ascending Passage Length =†† ___________ x _____

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10††††††††† P

 

The significant point to notice is this: the periods used by the architect to determine the length of each passage (Solar year, Lunar month, Prophetic year) identify symbolically the meaning of the passages they are used in. For example, the sun in scripture represents the Gospel (#Re 12:1), so the length of the Grand Gallery (Gospel age passage) is determined by the duration of the Solar year.

 

The New Law Covenant is represented by the Moon (#Eze 46:1), just as the Old Law Covenant is (#Re 12:1). So the Horizontal Passage, picturing manís path to perfection under the New Covenant, has a length determined by the days in the moonís cycle - a lunar month. We might expect the First Ascending Passage (Mosaic Law Passage) to have the same formula, and it almost does. But the additional factor Y/P appears. But this is appropriate

 

* Descending Passage - Path of sin and death

 

* First Ascending Passage - The Law Age

 

* Grand Gallery - The Gospel Age

 

* Horizontal Passage - Kingdom Age

 

* Kingís Chamber-Divine Life

 

* Queenís Chamber-Earthly perfection

 

* Pit-Destruction

 

because the Mosaic Law also served to provide types of the Gospel age realities. It was Prophetic of the Gospel: Y/P.

 

If any see symbolic meaning in the use of 10 in two of the formulas, and 100 in the Grand Gallery formula, fine. But we may consider them to be non-symbolic factors merely required to bring the lengths into reasonable range for construction. (Whereas, if the divisors were assorted numbers like 23,17,12, we would seem required to find symbolic meaning for them.) Notice that none of this depends upon the units of measure used as long as the same measure is used consistently. Therefore any discussion of the validity of "pyramid units" has no bearing here.

 

These relationships appeal to our judgment as a convincing evidence of the Divine mind in the plan of the Great Pyramid. Not because the duration in days of the year and moon are shown (for this could be determined by thoughtful observation close enough for this purpose), (Footnote: In fact Peter Tompkinís book Secrets of the Great Pyramid gives evidence from Egyptian works even apart from the Pyramid of impressive accuracy and sophistication in their knowledge of earthís dimensions and understanding of solar, lunar and stellar patterns. Chapter XVII, "Decline of Ancient Knowledge," begins: "What remains a mystery is how all the advanced science of the ancient Egyptians could have been lost for so many centuries." (pg. 214) It is certainly consistent with manís rapid decline after the flood, evidenced by the shortened life spans, that technical knowledge resulting from manís once-greater intelligence could be lost over centuries.), but because the solar, lunar and prophetic periods have been used in precisely the right ways to harmonize with the pyramidís demonstration of the ages of the Divine Plan.

 

HOW CLOSE ARE THE MEASURES?

 

We searched the 1976 republication of Great Pyramid Passages and found these measures (in British inches):

 

* Grand Gallery:1883:6 inches (Petrieís measure - pg. 375, Book 1. The Edgars said Smythís measure was too short, but did not supply the figure. It is generally recognized that Petrieís figures are on the whole more accurate than Smythís.)

 

* Horizontal Passage:1523:9 inches (Petrie), 1519:4" (Smyth), 1522:5" (Edgars)-mean = 1521:9 inches (pa 380, Book 1)

 

* First Ascending Passage: "Between the published figures of Professors Smyth and Petrie there is a difference of nearly 2 3/4 inches. A total length of very slightly over 1545 British inches . . . is a fair mean . . ." (pg. 285, Book 1)

 

Kingís Chamber length:412:54" is the mean of 7 measures given by Smyth.(Footnote: The Great Pyramid: Its Secrets and Mysteries Revealed, pg. 194. This is a republication of Smythís 1880 work, Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid) Because the Kingís Chamber width is half the length, and its height is half the floor diagonal, this length gives a cubic diagonal of 515:675" With this value for CD, the formulas above yield the following lengths. The reader may judge the tolerances himself. (Since these are in British inches, the figures will vary slightly with figures published in Pyramid inches.)

 

Grand Gallery = 1883:463 inches

 

Horizontal Passage = 1522:819 inches

 

First Ascending Passage = 1544:993 inches

 

WHERE THESE FORMULAS ARE FOUND

 

The three formulas are essentially those presented in Great Pyramid Passages. The first two are found in just the form we have stated them3 But the formula for the length of the First Ascending Passage is given in terms of the length of the Grand Gallery by the Edgar brothers: Grand Gallery Length x M First Asc. Pass = 36

 

It is stated (pg. 384) that 36 is appropriate because it is indicated by the 36 ceiling stones of the Grand Gallery. But as later investigators have observed, there are 40, and not 36, ceiling stones. (The Great Pyramid Decoded, Lemesurier, 1979, pg. 88) As there is no justification left for "36," evidently that method of expressing the theoretical length of the First Ascending Passage is not the intended one. The formula we suggest is equivalent to the Edgarsí but reworked in terms of the cubic diagonal of the Kingís Chamber. This form is consistent with the other formulas and fits the symbology of the passage.

 

 

Doves, Lamps, Eyes

 

Doves, lamps and eyes are used in the Bible as symbols of the Holy Spirit. It is the intent of this article to bring attention to their usage in a few cases.

 

Each of these symbols is independently tied in with the Holy Spirit. The dove appears in connection with our Lordís baptism. "And John bare record, saying, l saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him [Jesus]." (#Joh 1:32 also #Mt 3:16, #Mk 1:10, #Lu 3:22) It suggests the peaceable nature of the Holy Spiritís influence.

 

Lamps are identified with the Holy Spirit in #Re 4:5. #Re 4 is a symbolic picture of Godís throne, "and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God." Why 7? Perhaps to show that Godís Spirit was active in each of the 7 stages of the Church. The lamps of fire suggest the illuminating and searching power of the Holy Spirit.

 

The Holy Spirit is symbolized by eyes in #Re 5:6. ". . . stood a Lamb as it had been slain [our Lord], having seven horns [7 stages of the Church] and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth." The eyes here represent the use of the Holy Spirit to perceive, see, and know of all things pertaining to the Church, both of their adversities and their reactions.

 

Additionally there are Scriptures which use these symbols together, and because of the above references we can understand that what is symbolized is the Holy Spirit, or its influence and effect. For example, Songs of Solomon contains a description of our Lord, and two of his Bride, the Church, in which their eyes are described as doves. "His eyes are like doves beside the water-brooks, Washed with milk, and fitly set." "Behold, thou art fair, my love; Behold, thou art fair; Thine eyes are as doves." ". . . Thine eyes are as doves behind thy veil." (SS 5:12, 1:15, 4:1, ASV)

 

And #Zec 3:9, 4:2, 10 mingle the symbols, speaking of eyes, lamps and spirits.

 

3 DOVES IN NOAHíS DAY

 

Peter says that baptism is an "antitupon" (antitype) of the experience of the 8 souls, saved in the ark, "carried safely through the Water." (Diaglott, #1Pe 3:20, 21) Noting the link between Christian baptism and the flood experience leads to the natural question, is there any meaning to the 3 doves Noah sent out towards the end of the flood which relates to the Dove lighting on Jesus at the institution of Christian baptism?

 

There seems to be. But the 3 doves present a wider picture than the one dove of Jesusí time. #Ge 8:6-12 contains the account of the three doves.

 

* After a 40 day period Noah released a raven and a dove.

 

* The dove returned to him, and after 7 days he sent the dove out again. She returned in the evening with an olive leaf in her mouth.

 

* 7 days later he sent the dove out again, and it did not re turn to him again.

 

This suggests to us 3 times in which God sends forth his Holy Spirit. As 40 represents a trial or testing generally in Scriptures, we think the initial 40 days relates to the testing of Adam in the Garden. He failed, and the reign of sin and death was released. The raven represented this. But God also sent out the Holy Spirit, to develop a class we refer to as Ancient Worthies. That work was completed, pictured by the dove coming to Noah again, and the 2nd sending forth pictures the Holy Spirit sent forth to develop the spiritual seed, The Christ. This relates specially to the form of a dove seen lighting on Jesus at his baptism. When this doveís work is complete, in the evening of the Gospel Age, it gives evidence that peace is to be brought to earth - the olive leaf carried in her mouth. So with the close of the Gospel Age work comes the time for the kingdom pictured by the Mount of Olives (#Zec 14:4) to be established in its two phases, to bring peace and light to mankind. The dove is sent out again, and does not return, as the Holy Spirit begins to be poured out upon all flesh, and mankind rejoices in its blessed influence forever.

 

 

Correspondence

 

"I was very thankful to have received the first issue . . . The need for a publication of just this variety had occurred to me in the past year . . ."

 

"No doubt some differences of viewpoint will arise with respect to certain of the interpretations put forward in your newsletter ... In particular I have been impressed with the format for discussion provided by scientific journals such as Science and Nature. In these journals an article that has created some controversy may be the subject of a letter to the editor (of limited length) . . . it does permit a fuller discussion of some of the points raised. The author of the original article is then permitted to comment on the points brought out in the letter to the editor, and the subject is (usually) dropped. I would suggest your adopting a similar approach or providing for some sort of minimal system of commentary and dialogue."

 

"As an example, the article on the coup in Turkey did not appeal to me because I prefer to think of the groups referred to in Ezekiel as denoting families or races, and not geographical locations. The racial group that dominates Turkey today are the most recent of newcomers to Asia Minor, having arrived from Central Asia approximately 600 years ago...."

 

We appreciate the suggestion, and this issue provides an opportunity for using it. Concerning #Eze 38$, 39$, the problem we have with a purely racial interpretation is exampled by Gomer. McClintock and Strongís article under "Gomer" says ". . . there can be little reasonable doubt that both the name and the people are to be recognized by the Cimbri of the north of Europe, described by the classical writers sometimes as a German, sometimes as a Celtic race. The preponderance of authority is in favor of the latter . . ," This puts much of Ireland, Scotland, and northwestern Europe allied with Gog (Russia) against Israel if interpreted ethnically. Since this conclusion does not match current or anticipated political alignments, we think this procedure of interpretation is not the intended one. Concerning Togarmah McC&S says: "The Jews say that by Togarmah . . . we are to understand the Turks . . . however, as a geographical term [Togarmah] is connected with Armenia . . ." (Vol. 10, pg. 451) Present- day Turkey seems to be indicated in either event. This conclusion is favored also by recently published studies of other Christian groups Nevertheless, we admit to an uncertainty.

 

On "The Dragon of Revelation 20"

 

"Was interested in the Dragon article in your Nov. 1980 issue. Allow me to suggest a modification of the view so as to resolve a problem:"

 

"a. The four attributes of the enemy are identical in #Re 12:9 and 20:2. Both verses specifically identify the dragon with the great enemy Satan."

 

"b. The dragon became the ensign of Imperial Rome (but not before the 3rd Century), as shown below. Also shown is a coin of Constantine, showing the way many Christians viewed the fall of heathen Rome in the light of #Re 12:9."

 

"The two points are reconcilable. Consider Godís four attributes, which are given in #Ps 89:14, and again symbolized as four living ones in #Eze 1:5-10 and #Re 4:6-8. These are counterfeited by the four deathly attributes of the Adversary:"

†††† of God†††††††††††††††††††† Of the Adversary

 

†††† lion (Power)†††††††††††††† dragon (tyrant)

 

†††† eagle (Wisdom)†††††††††††† serpent (deceiver)

 

†††† manís face (Love)††††††††† devil (accuser)1

 

†††† calf (Justice)†††††††††††† Satan (enemy)

 

"1 We would contrast love with enemy, justice with (false) accuser. The correspondent suggests #Pr 17:9 for his alignment."

 

"Each symbol is used carefully in Revelation. Thus the dragon signifies Satan in his role as head of civil and economic power- especially Roman power."

 

See Image 00002

 

[The difference: the article said the dragon was "primarily the civil power as a tool of the adversary," while this letter suggests "Satan in his role as head of civil and economic power."-BT] The author remarks that in either case action against the "dragon" is evidence by disruption in civil governments.

 

On Jesusí Birth and the Star of Bethlehem

 

3 brethren have brought to our attention recent newspaper articles in Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego indicating a growing acceptance of the revised dating of Christís birth. We quote from The Fresno Bee, Saturday, Dec. 13,1980, article titled "New Ďstarí research revises birth date of Jesus Christ."

 

"This year, Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles presents a new Christmas Star program based on increasingly accepted research by a Pasadena scholar who argues that Jesus was born in 3 or 2 BC - not 7 or 6 BC ... At least 10 other planetariums in the United States, Germany and Greece also are revising their shows this Christmas season to correspond with the dating theory of Ernest Martin, director of the Foundation for Biblical Research. Scores of others are considering a shift.... ĎThere seems to be everything to be said for your case, and very little left to stand against it,í Prof. Richard Reece of the University of Londonís Institute of Archaeology said to Martin recently ... The heart of the matter, as Martin sees it, is evidence that Herod actually died in 1 BC rather than in 4 BC as commonly believed . . ."

 

On "The Irony of ĎDesolationí in the Gospel Age Covenants"

 

(Each number implies a separate correspondent.)

 

1) "Would dissent . . . from saying both covenants were operational during the Gospel Age. Would personally allow only the penalty phase of the Law."

 

2) "The article seems to be saying that the Law Covenant represented by Hagar, and the Grace or Faith Covenant represented by Sarah are both Ďoperableí during the Gospel Age. I do not think this is Scriptural. ĎBlotting out the handwriting of ordinances . . . nailing it to his cross.í (#Col 3:14) Anything nailed to the cross, figuratively is crucified, put to death. #Ro 10:4, ĎChrist is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.í I will agree that in a sense we could correctly say that the Law Covenant is still binding on those who do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God, as the promised Messiah, as the Redeemer, etc., and therefore a Jew might consider himself still obligated to the keeping of the Mosaic Law. But, he would be harboring an erroneous view. Its antitypical fulfillment began with Jesus."

 

"The articleís reference to, shall I call it a paranomasia as in #Isa 7, Sinai Mountain, ĎArabah,í is interesting, but in my opinion misapplied."

 

3. a. "Would it be better to say that two covenants were then at issue, not necessarily options for the Gospel Age?"

 

b. Inasmuch as the life principle of Jesus was a perfect transferred life, I find it difficult to say

 

ĎThe Law produced life for . . . the man Jesus.í Does it state the matter satisfactorily to say that the Law proved Jesus to be a perfect man? The expression seems the outgrowth of the concept that there was only one offspring from the Hagar Covenant. Did not Ishmael, the offspring of Hagar, represent the natural seed of Abraham which was producing under the Law Covenant for the hundreds of years before the Sarah Covenantís barrenness ceased? #Isa 50:1 seems to be speaking of the children of Hagar, and the taking away of their mother . . . thus there must have been imperfect children from the Law Covenant who transgressed. #Ga 4:29, 30

 

c. "I understand Ďdevoted to Siní as a definition of ĎSinaií to mean the moon or moon-god Sin, rather than our English word for unrighteousness. M&S, ĎSinai,í pa. 767, Ď. . . perhaps [if Shemtic] thorny, ... possibly [if Egyptian or Zabian] devoted to Sin, i.e., the moon.í Pg. 768, Ď. . . sacred to the God of the moon.í Unger Bible Dictionary:í. . . It may . .,, take its name from the moon god Sin, whose cult had made its way into Arabia.í "

 

We have heard from the author, and summarize his responses:

 

1, 2. The author is glad to avoid the expression "two covenants are operable" to avoid misunderstanding, but does point to the qualifying expression of the article ". . . in some form." He agrees (as all do) that God no longer offers blessings through the Law Covenant. His thought is that it exists by virtue of Israel holding to it, just as Paul referred to Israel in his day as still "under the law." (#1Co 9:20) The allegory recognizes this, as Hagar attended Ishmael in the wilderness. He sees that Israelites who have no faith in Christ are morally obligated to the Law until they see release under the New Covenant.

 

3. a. That is acceptable. "Option" was used only from the perspective of the Jew who was perplexed on the subject.

 

b. The editor is sympathetic with the correspondentís com meet. The author recognizes that Ishmael is used to represent natural Israel, and that the Law did have disobedient children. But he is still inclined to the explanation of #Isa 54:1 as contained in the article.

 

c. The author appreciates the correction.

 

_______________________

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things. hold fast to that which is good." We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to: beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor. Santee. CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2, Number 2, February 1981

 

Two Groups in the Revelation "From Glory to Glory" Units of Measure in the Great Pyramid

 

Two Groups in the Revelation

 

Applying the principles of topical study is especially imperative in the Bibleís last book. Among other advantages, it helps prevent our imaginations from going astray in an area already sufficiently imaginative. In this spirit is offered the following study on two different groupings of individuals in prophecy.

 

I. "Them that dwell upon the earth" is the first group for consideration. (Sometimes variable phraseology such as "inhabiters of the earth" is used.) This group must be kept separate in prophecy from the earth itself as seen by the use of each term separately in #Re 13:12. Each occurrence in Revelation is legitimate except #Re 12:12 where the words, "the inhabiters of" are spurious. A complete description of this group can be had by summarizing the testimony of all occurrences in Revelation. Thus, "them that dwell upon the earth" have the following characteristics and history:

 

a. The hour of temptation is designed, at least in part, expressly to TRY this group. (#Re 3:10)

 

b. This group is guilty of shedding the blood of saints. (#Re 6:10)

 

c. The final three trumpets (the Reformation angels to the Church) are a special woe to this class. (#Re 8:13)

 

d. This group hates Scripture and is delighted to see its defeat. (#Re 11:7,8,10)

 

e. This group worships the ten-horned beast. (#Re 13:8)

 

f. This group is nominally Christian. (#Re 13:8)

 

g. At some point in history this group is re-stimulated to worship the ten-horned beast. (#Re 13:14)

 

h. They are deceived by the two-horned beast. (#Re 13:14)

 

i. They are involved in making an image of the ten-horned beast. (#Re 13:14)

 

j. The true gospel is, at some point in history, preached to this group. (#Re 14:6)

 

k. This group has been intoxicated (overcome with the spirit of) by the mixture of ecclesiastical and civil elements. (#Re 17:2)

 

l. At some point in history this group is surprised by the reappearance of a former condition. (#Re 17:8)

 

From the forgoing contexts it is clear that "them that dwell upon the earth" are not the earth, not the kings of earth, and not "kindreds, peoples, tongues, and nations."

 

From the Scriptural delineations given, there appear to be two possibilities:(1) This group consists of the willing subjects of Papal rule, or (2) nominal Christians of any division of Christianity who favor civil-ecclesiastical cooperation and support it actively. We favor the first definition but acknowledge the possibility of the second.

 

II. The next group for definition is termed, "every kindred, tongue, people, and nation." This is a multiple-term description. It is always beneficial to determine if each word is important. We have not been able to conclude so in this instance, but believe, rather, that this term has its many components in order to stress the size and variety of the class it represents. Conclusions regarding this class are as follows:

 

a. The Church comes out of this class. (#Re 5:9)

 

b. The Great Company comes out of this class. (#Re 7:9)

 

c. This class does not permit the burial of Scripture. (#Re 11:9)

 

d. They were under the forced rule of the ten-horned beast. (#Re 13:7) (Note: #Re 13:7, 8 shows that the saints, this class, and "all that dwell upon the earth" are distinct groupsóeach experiencing something different from Papacyís 1260-year rule. Note Also: #Re 13:7 should, according to the manuscripts, read "kindreds, and peoples, and tongues, and nations.")

 

e. This group also, as some point in history, has the true gospel preached to it. (#Re 14:6)

 

f. This group is called "waters." (#Re 17:15)

 

With this evidence it appears that "kindreds, peoples, tongues, and nations" is a phrase representing that large bulk of the "Christian World" who do not support the established ecclesiastical-political systems. They are somewhat independent but not revolutionaryóat least not until the end of the age. They might, in short, be termed "the sea" of Christianity.

 

- Contributed

 

 

"From Glory to Glory"

 

"But all of us, as with unveiled faces we mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same likeness, from glory to glory, even as derived from the Lord the Spirit." (#2Co 3:18, Weymouth)

 

The expression "from glory to glory" has been mysterious to us for some time. In a recent class question meeting a harmony to the context in which this expression appears has been helpfully suggested, and it appeals to us greatly as the apostleís intended thought. We give it here. Paul is remembering the occasion when Moses received the tablets of the Law the second time. (Remember the first tablets were broken in disgust at Israelís transgression with the golden calf.) While Moses communed with God, the skin of his face took on a shine, as it were a reflection of the glory of God which he had seen. He was unaware of this, but it was brought to his attention when the people were frightened of his glowing countenance. But he beckoned them not to fear, and delivered to them the Law commandments. We pick up the account in #Ex 34:33-35......

 

"And when Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face." (Footnote - The King James version reads differently with a supplied word "till" - "And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face." (#Ex 34:33) Without probing this particular further, we content ourselves with the three assertions which follow in the article, believing all will concur with them.) But when Moses went in before Jehovah to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out; and he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moseís face shone; and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him." (American Standard Version) This passage indicates:(1) The Israelites at some time saw Mosesí shining face, (2) the shine evidently diminished with time, but replenished when Moses "went in before Jehovah to speak with Him," (3) the veil prevented the Israelites from observing the glory fade from Mosesí face. It is this last point which Paul refers to in #2Co 3:13. "Moses...put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel should not look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away."" (ASV) Paul infers that this was typical of the problem Israel had after Christ - they did not discern that the glory of the Law had faded. But in Christ the veil is removed and it is perceived that the Law was transitory.

 

Paul then proceeds to the key text of our article, verse 18. Bearing in mind the experience of Moses, reflecting the glory of God, we think the Weymouth version (quoted beneath the title) and the Rotherham version best convey the sense of Paulís words. We here quote Rotherham: "And we all with unveiled face [like Moses when he went in to speak with God], receiving and reflecting [or "mirroring" - rather than King James? "beholding in a mirror" (See footnote at end of article concerning this verse)] "the glory of the Lord, into the same image are being transformed, from glory to glory, even as from a Spirit that is Lord.""

 

So we commune with the Lord, and shine forth the glory we behold in him. Indeed, we are transformed into the glory of the image we are beholding - from the glory we behold to becoming ourselves a manifestation of that glory. "From glory to glory." In beholding the glory of the Lord, Christians imbibe and reflect the glory "derived from the Lord." (Weymouth)

 

(We had once thought Paul was speaking of being changed from the glory of the law to the glory of the Gospel. Though that would fit the experience of Jewish Christians, it is not what Paul is asserting here.)

 

We suppose the apostle means that we exude that glory now, as ambassadors of Christ and ministers of the New Covenant in urging prospective body members of the great Mediator "be ye reconciled to God," (#2Co 5:20), and assisting their development. Much more will the Church with their Lord manifest that glory when they minister the terms and operation of the New Covenant to mankind in the Kingdom.

 

Footnote - This word, katoptrizo, which appears in the Scriptures only in this place, has been the focus of considerable attention by translators and commentators. There seems to be two camps of thought for its translation in this scripture. (1) "Beholding as in a mirror," (2) "reflecting as a mirror." The first expresses its normal, and almost consistent Greek usage, while the second is what many feel was Paulís intended usage of the word to fit the peculiar case of #2Co 3:18. Thus while several exacting translations (except Revised Version and Rotherham) follow the normal linguistic usage (1), most paraphrase translations follow the latter meaning.

King James††††††††††††† beholding as in a glass

 

Amer. Standard††††††† beholding as in a mirror

 

Wilson Diaglott††††††† beholding as in a mirror

 

Berry Interlinear†††††† beholding as in a mirror

 

Concordant††††††††††††† viewing . . . as in a mirror

 

NASB††††††††††††††††††† beholding as in a mirror

 

Marshal Diaglott††††††† beholding as in a mirror

 

Youngís†††††††††††††††† beholding in a mirror

 

Revised†††††††††††††††† reflecting

 

Rotherham†††††††††††††† receiving and reflecting

 

Weymouth††††††††††††††† we mirror the glory

 

Phillips††††††††††††††† all of us . . . reflect like mirrors the glory

 

Goodspeed†††††††††††††† all of us, reflecting the splendor

 

New English†††††††††††† reflect as in a mirror

 

Good News†††††††††††††† all of us reflect

 

Moffat††††††††††††††††† but we all mirror

 

Fenton††††††††††††††††† all of us having the reflected splendor

 

New World†††††††††††††† reflect like mirrors

 

Which should we accept?

 

Let us assume for a moment that "behold as in a glass" is intended. Why would Paul say this? Only two possibilities appear to us.1. He might mean that we view our Lord as "through a glass, darkly," similar to #1Co 13:12. But that is against Paulís emphasis in the context, that we are beholding the Lord "with unveiled faces" - clearly, distinctly. And for probably this reason, we find no commentator suggesting this meaning in #2Co 3:18 2. Perhaps Paul means we behold Jesus in the mirror of the Gospel. (Suggested by Vincent, Word Studies of the New Testament, pg. 818, and Thayerís Lexicon) But Paul makes no allusion to such a metaphor, in this context or elsewhere. In our judgment it implausible that Paul meant us to understand, without explaining it, that he is here using a mirror to represent the Gospel.

 

But how can we defend "reflect" if it is contrary to normal usage?

 

The fundamental meaning of katoptrizo is to "cause to reflect." How do you cause something to reflect? The natural way is to hold it to a mirror and have it reflect in the mirror. How do you cause yourself to reflect? By putting yourself to a mirror-essentially, "beholding" yourself in a mirror.

 

Note the following definitions, which are given in the Active Voice (what we do to something or someone else), and in the Middle Voice (what we do to ourself).

 

"(active) To show in a mirror, to make to reflect, to mirror. (Middle) to look at oneís self in a mirror." (Thayer)

 

"(active) To show as in a mirror. (middle) to look into a mirror, behold oneís self in it." (Liddell & Scott)

 

"(active) Produce a reflection . . . (middle) look at oneís self in a mirror, what is seen in a mirror.?" (Bauer, Arndt & Gingrich)

 

Strongís (2734) ". . . to mirror oneís self, i.e., to see reflected."

 

". . . The verb in the active voice means to show in a mirror, to cause to be reflected. In the middle voice, to look at or behold oneís self in a mirror." (Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, pg. 818)

 

But in the unusual case which Paul is considering, there is another way we "cause ourselves to reflect." We imbibe and transmit the glory we are viewing. Vineís Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words accords with this usage. ". . . in the Middle Voice, to reflect as a mirror. So the RV ["reflecting"] in #2Co 3:18 . . . the whole context of the 3rd chapter and the first part of the 4th bears out the RV" Liddell and Scott Lexicon also agrees this is the sense in #2Co 3:18.

 

 

Units of Measure in the Great Pyramid

 

The feature discussed in the previous article (January issue) was not dependent upon any particular unit of measure. This is helpful because it makes the evidence more direct.

 

But the units of measure used in the Pyramid are of deep interest and now we turn to examine them. In considering what A popular standard of measure in ancient Egypt was the Egyptian Royal Cubit. Since actual measuring sticks of this length are preserved from antiquity, it is easily determined that the Egyptian Royal Cubit was, to the nearest tenth inch, 20:6 inches long. Is there evidence that this measure was used in the Pyramid? Yes. It appears in 12 instances of which we are aware.

 

1) Kingís chamber - 10 x 20 RC

 

2) Queenís Chamber = 10 x 11 RC

 

3) Niche in Queenís chamber is 3 RC wide at the bottom, 1 at the top

 

4) Grand Gallery ramps 1 RC wide, floor is 2, ceiling is 2

 

5) The passages are 2 RC wide

 

6) The Coffer is 2 RC wide

 

7) The insets along the sides of the Grand Gallery are 1 RC long, 1 RC high

 

8) The step in the Horizontal Passage is 1 RC tall

 

9) The masonry platform on which the Pyramid stands is 1 RC thick

 

10) There are 3 "girdle stones" upward in the First Ascending Passage. Their leading edges are spaced 10 RC apart, and the first is 10 RC from the last of several limestone girdle stones near the beginning of the passage

 

11) The angle of the inclined passages can be constructed in a triangle with the socket base length of the Pyramid as a leg, and 1000 RC as the hypotenuse

 

12) From the beginning of the Antechamber to the Granite Leaf is 1 RC

 

From these instances it is clear that the Egyptian Royal Cubit was employed in the Pyramidís construction. However, no symbolic significance to any of these measures has been brought to our attention. This leads us to suppose that symbolism was not intended to be demonstrated by Royal Cubit measures.

 

We next ask what evidence there may be for the use of what have been termed the "Pyramid Cubit," and the "Pyramid Inch." The PC is slightly over 25 inches, and the PI is 1/25th of the PC, or very nearly an English inch. Most Pyramid students who see it to be of Divine Architecture, (and some who do not) have felt that these measures do carry symbolic meaning in the pyramid. What is the evidence that they are valid units of measure? And why is the Pyramid inch so nearly equal to the English inch?

 

As to the last question, the basic thought is that the "Pyramid" cubit and inch were ancient earth commensurable measures, from which the English measures derive. (Footnote - Of interest in this connection is a quotation from Livio Stecchini, a lifelong researcher into the history of measure.)

 

"All the measures of length, volume, and weight of the ancient world, including those of China and India, constituted a rational and organic system, which can be reconstructed starting from a fundamental unit of length . . . The units used in Europe up to the adoption of the French metric system were the ancient ones or modifications of them introduced for specific reasons. The ancient system of measures continues to be used today in the form of English measures; we find the basic units of the English system, such as the pound of 453:8 grams, used in Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC The effort to reconstruct the original and unitary system of measures was started by scholars of the Renaissance . . . .Although the major concern of Renaissance investigators of measures was to establish the exact value of the ancient Roman foot, they were also concerned with a tradition to the effect that all measures were derived from the Egyptian ones. This is the reason why John Greaves went to measure the Great Pyramid of Giza, . . . [his] results . . . were later interpreted by Newton." (From "Notes on the Relation of Ancient Measures to the Great Pyramid," by Livio Catullo Stecchini a lengthy appendix to Secrets of the Great Pyramid, by Peter Tompkins, pp. 304, 305)

 

The Pyramid Cubit is strikingly earth-commensurable. To illustrate this, consider the development of the French Meter. The Parliament of the Revolution wished to adopt a new standard of length that would be intrinsically scientific and earth-commensurable. They determined that 1/10,000,000th the distance from the north pole to the equator would serve well. But as the earth is not truly circular, but a slightly irregular ellipsoid, it made a difference which straight path they would choose from the pole to the equator. They of course chose that line which would pass through Paris! This underscores the bias, however slight, which that system carries with it, and suggests that for an earth-commensurable unit of measure which would serve all

 

See Image 00003

 

peoples equally, the distance from the pole to the center of the earth along the polar axis would serve better. For all mankind revolves equally about that axis. And 1/10,000,000th (Footnote - ". . . the International Geophysical Year 1957-58 geodetic research with orbiting vehicles . . . obtained a figure of 3949:89 miles for the polar radius of the earth." (Tompkins, footnote, pg. 74) Divided by 10,000,000, this gives 25.0265" Pyramid Cubit, which gives 1.00106" per Pyramid Inch.) of the polar radius is the "pyramid cubit." It therefore lays firm claim to being an earth-commensurable measure of intrinsic propriety for use as a standard.

 

But what evidence is there that these units are actually significant in the Pyramid? On the "Granite Leaf" of the Antechamber, on the north face of the upper of the two stones of the "Leaf," there is a peculiar semicircular boss about 5" wide, and 1" thick. (Footnote - Why does this key to the symbolic measures of the pyramid appear here? We cannot say for sure, of course, but some reflection will show it to be a reasonable location. First, it is fitting that any such key would be located upward in the Pyramid, at least near the Kingís Chamber, which is the crowning point to which the internal architecture is directed. And placing it in the Antechamber rather than the Kingís Chamber serves to maintain the simple dignity of the Kingís Chamber. In its location in the Antechamber the boss is conspicuous, yet protected from damage by the narrow space between the beginning of the Antechamber and the Leaf.) The lack of any apparent functional use for this boss in its present position suggests that it is for a symbolic purpose. Its placement is off center horizontally one Pyramid Inch, and from the center of the boss to the far edge of the Leaf (measuring back across the center of the Leaf to the edge) is one Pyramid Cubit. Perhaps, then, the purpose of the boss was to expressly to indicate the units of measure used to convey symbolisms. (Whereas the Royal Cubit, used architecturally, bears sufficient structural testimony of its use.)

 

Notice that each unit (PC and PI) is shown independent of the other. For once the boss is offset from center to show the inch, the measure of the cubit depends solely upon the width of the Leaf. Since the leaf is recessed into the wall on either end, its precise width is not mandated by the width of the Antechamber, and is evidently arbitrary if not to demonstrate the length of the Pyramid Cubit.

 

This evidence is plausible, but it would be helpful to have a "second witness" for these units. More than this, we seem to require some striking and consistent number of these units to appear in a conspicuous way to validate the tentative conclusions drawn from the boss. For, specially with the Pyramid Inch, measures of just one such inch could be quite accidental, due to the shortness of the unit and the roughness of precision in measuring stonework.

 

For the Pyramid Cubit this is found in the socket base length of the Pyramid, measuring approximately 365 1/4 Pyramid Cubits. For the Pyramid Inch, note the figure below.

 

See Image 00004

 

The circle which fills the Antechamber, (Footnote - This circle in circumference is 1/100th the socket base perimeter of the Pyramid.) Combined with the coffer, also fills the Kingís Chamber. And the circumference of that circle, if rolled along the passage floor beginning where the circle touches the floor, would just reach to the wall of the Kingís Chamber. We maintain that this feature bears clear evidence of thoughtful design. For whatever purpose, by whatever builder, the architect desired that circle to be noted. And the circumference of that circle is 365 1/4 Pyramid inches.

 

It is of more than passing interest that both units are displayed in the same quantity - 365 1/4 -and that this quantity is an important standard quantity - the number of days in a Solar year. And of all the symbolic number referenced in the previous article, this is the most sublime among them. It is therefore appropriate that that particular quantity of units, above any other number we could suggest, is used to verify the Pyramid units. Why not 100, or 1000 such units? Would that be more appropriate? Essentially no, because while such round numbers are striking, they are not symbolic. They represent nothing. How much better that the chiefest symbolic number we have yet seen use in the pyramid, the number of days in a year, is the quantity selected to demonstrate the symbolic units of the Pyramid!

 

Anticlimactically, but to round out the discussion, we list three other appearances of the Pyramid Cubit:(1) From the Grand Gallery north (lower) wall to the beginning of the well shaft is 1 PC. (2) The horizontal center of the niche in the Queensís Chamber is 1 PC from the horizontal center of the Queenís Chamber (marked by the peak of the gabled roof), (3) The 35th course of external masonry (which stands out to the eye, and has a significant vertical placement) is 2 PC thick.

 

________________

 

At this point there was a Scriptural index for the issue

 

________________

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good." We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2, Number 3, March 1981

 

Jesusí Last Days Correspondence Two Women Compared

 

Jesusí Last Days

 

The last week of our Lordís human life was full and active. A good part of the Gospel accounts deal with his last days, and a surprising number of the teachings and parables recorded for us were delivered in them.

 

Sunday Nisan 9

 

We pick up the account of Jesusí last week in #Joh 12:1.. "Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead." To identify this day it is crucial to understand which day is meant by "the Passover." According to the Law, the Passover lambs were to be slain on the 14th day of Nisan. But the feast day associated with the Passover was the 15th day of Nisan. Which day does John mean by "the Passover," the 14th or 15th? We thnk he means the 15th. The term "Passover" was generally used for the feast day, the 15th. (#Lu 22:1, #Mk 14:1,2) By contrast John refers to the 14th day as the "preparation of the Passover." (#Joh 19:14). Therefore "six days before the Passover" means six days before Nisan 15. That is Nisan 9, which in the year Jesus died (33 AD) was a Sunday. (Footnote - Six days before the 14th would be Saturday. If Jesus arrived in Bethany on Saturday, then he was traveling on the sabbath. We think Jesus would not have done that.) We will have an opportunity to check this deduction later.

 

That evening (after sundown, which was technically Nisan 10) was the occasion when Mary poured out her ointment and affection. Jesus recognized this as an anointing "against the day of my burying." But the disciples failed to appreciate the devotion of Maryís sacrifice, and some remonstrated against the apparent extravagance. Judas, who led the criticism, was specially incensed. He would have had the ointment be sold, ostensibly for the benefit of the poor, but really ". . . because he was a thief, and had the bag." (#Joh 12:6) #Mt 26:6-16 infers that this was a turning point which led Judas to seek the "chief priest . . . And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him." It is probably for this reason that Matthew and Mark record Maryís anointing just before Jesusí betrayal, though neither Gospel states that the anointing took place then.

 

Monday Nisan 10

 

"On the next day" (#Joh 12:12) Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt. The crowds cried "Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord," fulfilling #Zec 9:9. But rather than an expression of triumph and joy, Jesus spoke of his death. "The hour is come, . . . Except a corn a wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone. . . Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour." (#Joh 12:23-27) He spoke of his death, realizing that his formal presentation to Israel as their King was also his presentation as the Passover lamb, soon to be slain. The day was Monday, Nisan 10. He thus fulfilled the provision of the type that the Passover lambs were to be selected "in the 10th day" of Nisan (#Ex 12:3), the 4th day preceding his crucifixion. In a larger sense Jesus fulfilled this provision by his selection "from the foundation of the world" (#Re 13:18) on the 4th thousand year day preceding his death at Calvary.

 

Jesus prayed audibly that God would glorify His (Godís) name. A voice from heaven affirmed that He would (through Jesusí ministry). This no doubt was a reassurance to our Lord of his faithfulness, and a help in days following as he prepared for his betrayal. But Jesus pointed out that the voice came specially as an evidence to those about him, that they might believe in his messiahship. "This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes." (#Joh 12:30) He continued teaching the people, answering questions, and admonishing them. "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him . . . Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue." (#Joh 12:37-42)

 

Johnís account does not continue a daily record of Jesusí activities. Of the other Gospels, Markís is most particular in sequencing the days, so we will follow his account now. He adds, concerning Monday, that "Jesus entered . . . into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve." (#Mk 11:11) What Jesus saw displeased him. That evening he no doubt considered carefully his responsibilities, and the next day was prepared to act.

 

Tuesday Nisan 11

 

"On the morrow" (#Mk 11:12) - Tuesday, Nisan 11-we have the occasion of Jesusí curse upon the fig tree, representing the punishment to be brought upon Israel for their lack of fruitage. (Footnote - The Matthew account might be misunderstood to imply that the fig tree withered before the eyes of the apostles. But the Mark account makes it clear that it was not until the following day that Peter remarked "the fig tree . . . is withered away." Still a miracle of course! Matthewís account also fails to distinguish that Jesusí cast out the money changers the day after he was acclaimed king, riding on the colt. Matthew often gives more detail than Mark, but does not distinguish the days as carefully.)

 

When they came to Jerusalem "Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple." (#Mk 11:15,16. This experience was recorded by John early in his Gospel, which was not written in chronological order. #Joh 2:13-22) Jesus evidently exhorted the people for some time on this day also, ". . . all the people were astonished at his doctrine" (#Mk 11:18), though Mark records no details of his words. Luke says . . . he taught daily in the temple." (#Lu 19:46, 47) Matthew records that "the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them." (#Mt 21:14.) It is possible that this expression belongs to Monday. Then, "when even was come he went out of the city. (#Mk 11:19)

 

Wednesday Nisan 12

 

The scribes and chief priests had already determined to slay Jesus, even before the activities of his last week. (#Joh 11:49-54) But they were specially incensed at his attack on the temple exchange business. That, after all, put money in their pocket. But though they "sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him," they could not take him openly, without a feasible charge, for the fear of retribution from the crowds. But they did confront him. "In the morning" (#Mk 11:20) - now Wednesday, Nisan 12-after noting the withered fig tree, Jesus and the disciples "come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priest, and the scribes, and the elders. And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? And who gave thee this authority to do these things?" (#Mk 11:27,28) He had indeed assumed authority the day previous, and they challenged him on it. It was not characteristic of our Lord to declare his heavenly authority, even as he did not proclaim himself as the Messiah. Had he done so on this occasion, he would probably have been charged with blasphemy and arrested. But if he declined to indicate the source of his authority it might appear that he had none. So He inquired of them the nature of John the Baptistís authority, knowing the predicament they would be in to answer. "They reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven: he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. And they answered . . . We cannot tell. And Jesus . . . saith . . . Neither do I tell you." (#Mk 11:29-33) He who spake as "never man spake" had turned the tables again!

 

He gave the parable of the vineyard (Matthew adds the parable of the wedding), and evidently addressed it to the priest and scribes and elders. They got the point. "They sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he dad spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way." (#Mk 11:12) But they sent replacements, Pharisees and Herodians, to trap Jesus in his words. They asked concerning paying tribute to Ceasar. The Sadducees argued against the resurrection, posing the problem of the woman with seven husbands. A scribe asked concerning the "first commandment of all," and unlike the others seemed to recognize the wisdom of Jesus= answer. After that "no man durst ask him any question." (#Mk 12:34) Then Jesus took the offensive. He rebuked the conduct of the Pharisees. Matthew records that Jesus then gave his eight stinging "woes" against them. (#Mt 23:13-39) He labeled them hypocrites, fools, blind guides, whited sepulchers, serpents, vipers and murderers. He of course knew of their design to slay him, and also to slay Lazarus (which was not accomplished), who was a living testimony to Jesusí power. (#Joh 12:10) He observed the rich donate to the temple treasury of their abundance, and commended the widow for casting in her two mites. As the disciples left the temple they remarked on the magnificence of the edifice. This led to Jesusí prophecy of the destruction of the temple, and to the question of his return at the end of the age. Matthew tells us he have the parables of the virgins, talents, and sheep and goats also.

 

This last day of Jesusí public ministry was a demanding one, which must have tested the fiber of his resolve. How noble an example, in all these experiences, he left for us! In the discipline and carefulness of is words, in the calm reason of his replies. In his fortitude before the chief priests and Pharisees. In his concern for his disciplesí instruction. We mentioned earlier that we would have an opportunity to check the placement of our days, and it is here. As our Lord finished his parables he said to his disciples, "Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover." (#Mt 26:2) ark (#Mt 14:1) says "After two days was the feast of the Passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people." This informs us that the feast day (Nisan 15) was "after two days" from Wednesday, Nisan 12. This exactly fits, as Thursday and Friday, Nisan 13 and 14, are two full days "after" which the feast day would come. But if we had assumed that #Joh 12:1 meant six days before Nisan 14, then we would need three intervening days in #Mt 26:2 and #Mk 14:1, rather than the two which they allow. (Footnote - Matthew and Mark both use the expression "after [so many] days" to mean a full number of intervening days. This can be seen by comparing #Mt 17:1, #Mk 9:2, #Lu 9:28. Though all describe the same situation, Matthew and Mark say "after six days," while Luke says "after eight days." We can only harmonize the accounts by assuming Luke is counting the first and last days as part of his "eight," while Matthew and Mark mean six intervening days. (In this case, between the day Jesus said some of them would "not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom," and the transfiguration.))

 

Thurday Nisan 13

 

So far we have had the expressions "on the next day," "on the morrow," and "in the morning" to link up consecutive days. Between Nisan 12 and 13 we are missing such an expression. But since Jesus died on Nisan 14 (before the 15th, the Feast day), it is clear that the day on which Jesus sent his disciples into Jerusalem to arrange the last supper must have been Nisan 13.

 

Therefore the account of days in Jesusí last week is complete. We have no days unaccounted for. On Thursday, Nisan 13, our Lord did not enter Jerusalem to teach the people. He evidently spent the day in Bethany with his disciples until he sent two of them into Jerusalem to prepare the supper. He knew what awaited him in the evening. He knew that his last opportunity to exhort his disciples was at hand." And in the evening he cometh with the twelve." (#Mk 14:17) "And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." (#Lu 22:15)

 

 

Correspondence

 

Concerning "Two Groups in the Revelation"

 

"Seven times in Revelation this similar four-grouping occurs," (Below, from Marshall Diaglott)

#Re 5:9†††† #Re 7:9†††† #Re 10:11†††† #Re 11:9†††† #Re 13:7†††† #Re 14:6†††† #Re 17:15

 

tongue††††† tongues†††† tongues†††††† tongues††††† tongue†††††† tongue†††††† tongues

 

people††††† peoples†††† peoples†††††† people†††††† people†††††† people†††††† peoples

 

nation††††† nation††††† nations†††††† nations††††† nation†††††† nation†††††† nations

 

tribe†††††† tribes††††† kings†††††††† tribes†††††† tribe††††††† tribe††††††† crowds

"Note the two times that Ďtribeí does not appear, it is replaced in #Re 10:11 by Ďkingsí and in #Re 17:15 by crowds.í Does the context of these passages indicate a group that would be excluded in these two instance, but which would be included in the other five? Might Ďtribeí refer to the Jews? . . ."

 

The correspondent suggests that in #Re 17:15, #Re 10:11 the context excludes Jews, but the five contexts using "tribe" or "tribes" do not exclude them.

 

In reply: we appreciate this kind of investigation, but are not inclined to this particular conclusion. #Re 17:15 and #Re 13:7 seem to apply to the same classes and in #Re 11:9 the context is of those how had been nominally Christian during the French Revolution.

 

-BT

 

Correspondence

 

On The Great Pyramid

 

"You current issue of BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH is very interesting, especially" Units of measure in the Great Pyramid. Have you ever considered why the acre contains 43,560 square feet, or a square of 208:71 feet per side? My curiosity prompted me to look for some unit of measure from which it might have been derived.

 

The Pyramid Cubit with a value of 25.0265 inches seems to fill the bill since a square, 110 PC per side, comes very close to 43,560 square feet.

 

Assuming 10,000 square PC = 43,560 square feet,

 

1 square PC = 4:356 square feet,

 

1 PC = the square root of 4:356, or 2.0871032 feet,

 

X 12 inches = 25.045238 inches per PC

 

"The accuracy compared to your value is :99925183 . . . well within the difference between the Pyramid inch and the British inch. So it appears logical that someone along the line simply converted the acre of 10,000 square PCís into feet and arrived at 43,560 square feet."

 

In reply. It is strikingly close! Our interest heightens when we remember that the basic ancient Egyptian measure of land area was the Arura, of 10,000 square Royal Cubits. The suggestion of the correspondent is an acre of 10,000 square Pyramid Cubits. So we have not only a striking closeness numerically, but even the same concept- 10,000 square units. We appreciate having this brought to our attention.-BT

 

Iím always delighted to see something on the Pyramid. Iíd like to comment on a few things in regard to that used in BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH [January issue].

 

1. Although all books on the Pyramid are interesting, Iím persuaded the Edgars are our best . . . . (2) Though, as was said, any consistent set of mathematical units would [yield] the same [conclusion], it seems that units used within the building, if we believe it is Godís building, are reasonably emphatic . . . . Applying the equations given to the Edgarís theoretical standards I find this proves them kosher to my persuasions. [Let PYN = Pyramid inches]

 

Grand Gallery = (515:164 PYN X 365:242) 100 = 1881:595 PYN

 

Horiz. Pass. = (515:164PYN X 29:530) 10 = 1521:279 PYN

 

1st Asc. Pass. = (515:164 PYN X 29:530 )100 X Y/P = 1543:431 PYN

 

Edgarís Measures, respectively (rounded to 3 decimals):

 

1881:599", 1521:311", 1543:464 PYN.

 

(3) One other thing on my mind. The Horizontal Passage Iím sure portrays mankindís entire journey in hope from the fall to perfection, if so be the individuals find their way through the well, and not the time under the New Covenant . . . even though it is level. The fall is shown elsewhere but this depicts the flawed condition and progress.

 

(4) Have you ever noticed how 21 PI is used in the Pyramid?

 

1) 21 PYN from north wall to the antechamber to granite leaf

 

2) 21 PYN 7 overlaps in walls of Grand Gallery, 3 PYN each.

 

3) 20:85 PYN height of ramps with each passage 42, PYN twice 21.

 

4) 20:85 PYN drop in Horizontal Passage.

 

5) 20:85 PYN depth of platform.

 

"Iíve enjoyed thinking on many subjects so far in Beauties."

 

In reply.(1) Our use of varied sources on the Pyramid is generally for factual data. Writers who have no appreciation of the Divine Plan of course cannot directly assist us in Scriptural applications of the Pyramid, which the Edgars have concentrated on.

 

(2) This letter predates the February article, in which we express agreement with Pyramid units. We also endorse standard theoretical measures for the passages, and then for the chambers. But we based our figures on a measured length for the Kingís chamber so as not to make our suggestions dependent upon an assumption of a particular theoretical length. The February article suggests (not original with us) that the Kingís chamber was designed to measure 10 x 20 Egyptian Royal Cubits. Bro. Adam Rutherford, and others, believe there is a mathematical relation between the Royal Cubit and the Pyramid Cubit, namely:1 Royal Cubit = Y ) (250 Xsd) Pyramid Cubits. We think the evidence for this conclusion (not given here) is reasonable. To boil it down quickly, this means the theoretical measures of the Grand Gallery, the Horizontal Passage, and the First Ascending Passage, respectively, are Y2) (40sd), YM ) (4sd), Y 2 M ) (4Psd). (Y=days in a solar year), (M=days in lunar month), (P=days in prophetic solar year.) These are precisely identical to the theoretical measures used by the Edgars, and, so far as we know, by all who endorse theoretical measures for those passages.Even if they do not use Egyptian Royal Cubits in their reasoning.) If we use Y=365:24220, M=29:53059, P=360, the respective lengths, rounded to 3 decimals, are 1881:599 PYN, 1521:311 PYN, 1543:464 PYN. These agree exactly with the Edgarís values. Authors who use slightly different values for the year and a month have slightly different results.

 

(3) Your thought does endeavor to express a consistent meaning for the Horizontal Passage. We are more inclined to think there are just two distinct thoughts expressed by that passage. In that it is constricted for most of its length, and enlarged at the end, it represents the entire history of mankind in their eventual course to the perfected state. But in that it is only accessible from the well (since the First Ascending Passage is blocked), it pictures mankind walking to life in the Kingdom, after the ransom has benefited them. (Two distinct perspectives are also shown in path to the Kingís Chamber, by the Grand Gallery and the Antechamber-though in a different way.) That the symbolism of the moon (in this case the New Law Covenant) attaches to the whole passage seems additional reason to express it this way.

 

(4) We understand these to be intended as Royal Cubits of approximately 20:6" Incidentally, to the instances of the Royal Cubit mentioned in the February article, one may be added. An oblong hole 20:6 Pyramid inches long (i.e., 1 Royal Cubit), 5:8 inches broad and 5:3 inches deep is to be found at the south-east corner and also at the south-west corner of the top surface of the Great Step . . . The bottom of each hole, at the back, . . . appears to Mark the level to which the sloping floor of the Grand Gallery would have reached had there been no Great Step . . . the virtual end of the Grand Gallery floor." (Rutherford, Pyramidology, Book 3, pg. 979) Also, our 7th listed appearance of the Royal Cubit (February issue) is stated incorrectly. We misread our source (Pyramidolgy, pg. 976). And in checking further, we found the matter stated differently in another source (The Great Pyramid Decoded, pg. 86). So we will not venture to restate the 7th point yet.-BT

 

 

Two Women Compared

 

#Re 17 and #Re 21 present contrasting pictures of the "great whore" and "the bride, the Lambís wife." There are several particulars of the passages which are so closely related, either by similarity or contrast, that it is apparent to the reader was intended to note a contrast between the chaste Bride of Christ and the adulterous pretender. We list them here:

 

____________

 

#Re 17:1-8†††††††††††††††††††††††††† #Re 21:9-27

_____________

 

And there came one of the††††††††††††††† And there came unto me one

seven angels which had the†††††††††††††† of the seven angels which had

seven vials, and talked with†††††††††††† the seven vials . . . and talked

me, saying unto me, Come†††††††††††††††† with me, saying, Come hither

hither; I will shew unto thee††††††††††† I will shew thee the bride, the

the judgment of the great††††††††††††††† Lambís wife.

Whore...

 

_____________

 

#Re 17:1-8†††††††††††††††††††††††††† #Re 21:9-27

_____________

 

So he carried me away in the†††††††††††† And he carried me away in the

spirit into the wilderness and I†††††††† spirit to a great and high

saw...†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mountain, and shewed me...

 

_____________

 

#Re 17:1-8†††††††††††††††††††††††††#Re 21:9-27

_____________

 

The woman was arrayed in†††††††††††††††† Having the glory of God and

purple and scarlet color...††††††††††††† her light was like unto a stone

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† most precious, even like a

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† jasper stone, clear as crystal;

_____________

 

#Re 17:1-8†††††††††††††††††††††††††† #Re 21:9-27

_____________

 

decked with gold†††††††††††††††††††††††† city of pure gold

and precious stones††††††††† ††††††††††††foundations of precious stones

and pearls†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 12 gates of pearl

a golden cup in her hand...††††††††††††† street of pure gold

 

_____________

 

#Re 17:1-8†††††††††††††††††††††††††† #Re 21:9-27

_____________

 

...full of abominations and††††††††††††† There shall in no wise enter

filthiness.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† into it any thing that defileth

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ...worketh abomination, or

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† maketh a lie...

_____________

 

#Re 17:1-8†††††††††††††††††††††††††† #Re 21:9-27

_____________

 

...they that dwell on the††††††††††††††† ...but they which are written

earth shall wonder, whose††††††††††††††† in the Lambís book of life.

names were not written in the

book of life...

 

_____________

 

#Re 17:1-8††††††††††††††††††††††††††† #Re 21:9-27

_____________

 

"Mystery, Babylon the Great"††††††††††††† "The great city, the holy Jerusalem"

_______________

 

At this point there was a Scriptural index for the issue

 

________________

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good." We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2. Number 4, April 1981

 

The Sign of JonasThe Theology of Isaac Newton Correspondence

 

The Sign of Jonas

 

When our Lord died, there were several notable occurrences to indicate the significance of his crucifixion. Darkness fell over the land from noon to 3:00, when our Lord expired. The Veil in the Temple was rent from top to bottom, the earth shook, graves were opened, and the moon eclipsed. Those who soberly considered these signs received a sense of the importance of Jesusí death. "Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned." (#Lu 23:47, 48)

 

The darkness must have been ominous. From what would ordinarily have been the brightest point of the day, until our Lord expired, "there was a darkness over all the earth." (#Lu 23:44) Perhaps one lesson of it was that God no longer recognized the offerings which the Israelites were busy preparing during that afternoon - the Passover lambs and evening sacrifice. As Daniel had prophesied, "In the midst of the 70th week, he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease" to be recognized. (#Da 9:27).

 

The veil rent in the temple pictured the rending of our Lordís flesh on the cross. (#Heb 10:20) The opened graves pointed to the time when "all that are in the graves ... shall come forth" due to Christís death for them. (#Joh 5:28, 29)

 

That there was an eclipse of the moon was not recorded in the Gospel accounts. But astronomy calculations show there to have been a lunar eclipse on Friday, April 3, 33 AD, which was the day of Jesus Ďdeath. "Shortly after Christís death at 15:00 (3 pm) Jerusalem time, a partial eclipse of the moon commenced at 16:09 over western New Guinea, reached its peak 17:23 at moonrise in eastern Babylonia, which would have lasted up to 19 minutes past moonrise near Jerusalem (18:18 to l8:37), and its conclusion barely seen at moonrise in Egypt. The maximum eclipsing would have been about 40%." (Chronology of the Time of Christ, J. Parkinson. 1974, pg. 17) Because of its timing, we suppose it was conspicuous, unless clouds prevented visibility. We think it was an intended sign of the eclipsing of Israelís favor. But as all these signs might be attributed to natural causes, the impact of them could pass over the callous heart of the Pharisees. Even the rending of the temple veil may have been thought caused by the earthquake which opened the graves. But our Lord had previously declared that there would be one sign which would be suited to even the "wicked and adulterous generation."

 

The sign of Jonas.

 

When the elders and chief priests had demanded of our Lord a sign of his authority, it was clear that their motive was evil, not sincere. They had ample "signs" which they chose to ignore. Jesus had just healed a withered hand, and cast out a devil, but their reaction had been to hold a "council against him. how they might destroy him, and to accuse him of casting out devils "by Beelzebub. (#Mt 12:10-14, 22-24)

 

Evidently these things occurred in Galilee. (#Mt 13:1) But the Pharisees near Jerusalem were similarly convicted. They had the direct testimony of healing from one who had been blind from birth (#Joh 9:14-16) and one who could not walk.(#Joh 5:9-13) Later they even had the evidence of Lazarus raised from the dead, Their response? A plot to "put Lazarus also to death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews ... believed on Jesus." (#Joh 12:10, 11) To such evil hearts were the rebukes of our Lordís last day of public ministry, when he called them "vipers. hypocrites, whited sepulchres." (#Mt 23:1, 33)

 

But the "sign of Jonas" was more radical than anything even they could have thought to ask him. He was to rise from death after 3 days being in the heart of the earth. The Pharisees understood what Jesus meant, for they told Pilate "that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again and desired his tomb to be guarded to avoid his disciples from stealing the body to make the claim appear correct. Pilate replied, "Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch Ď " (#Mt 27:63-66) And the very ones assigned to insure there would be no fraud, observed that "the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. (#Mt 28:2-4) This was reported to the chief priests and elders, who then bribed the guards with large money to change their story and claim the disciples had stolen Jesusí body. (#Mt 28:11-15)

 

What a convincing evidence that the sign of Jonas had been fulfilled! The very guards which they had set to insure against fraud testified of the verity of Jesusí words.í How manifest it was made that inveterate hypocrisy lay at the root of the Phariseesí position!

 

But for those whose hearts could receive it, the sign of Jonas was convincing. And it could be reasoned on more deeply. Paul tells us, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." (#1Co 15:20) We think there is more in this statement than an arbitrary simile, and suppose Paul was referring to the fact that Christís resurrection was a fulfillment of the firstfruits offering of the Law.

 

The ordinance is in #Le 23:10-12. "When ye come into the land ... and shall reap the harvest ... ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest. And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you on the morrow after the sabbath shall the priest wave it. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Lord." The "sabbath" referred to was the special sabbath of Nisan 15, "an holy convocation ye shall do no servile work therein" Vs. 6, 7. Every year, the Passover lamb was slain on the 14th of Nisan, the 7 day feast of Passover began on the 15th of Nisan, and "the morrow after the [15th] sabbath," Nisan 16, the firstfruits were to be offered. Just so, our Lord died on Nisan 14, and was raised Nisan 16.

 

We state that the "sabbath" of verse 11 was always Nisan 15. This is commonly agreed by Christian commentators, and by contemporary Jewish authorities. But in our Lordís day some sects, the Sadduccees among them, held that the sabbath referred to was the Saturday following Nisan 14. Under this arrangement the firstfruits would not have been offered the 3rd day after the lambs were slain, except in the unusual case when Nisan 14 was a Friday. Note however that the year of our Lordís death was an unusual one, in that Nisan 14 did fall on a Friday, and therefore Nisan 15 was a Saturday. In this way both views of the ordinance would coincide, and all would be able to appreciate that Jesus fulfilled the firstfruits offering.

 

The burnt offering of a lamb strengthens our assurance of the application of the firstfruits offering to Jesus. A burnt offering signifies the manifestation of Godís acceptance of a preceding offering. (Tabernacle Shadows, page 73) The preceding offering must in this case refer to the Passover lamb, and at least harmonious with this is that a lamb was used for the burnt offering. (Footnote: In most cases the burnt offering was not of the same kind of animal as the offering which it pertained to. Perhaps in this case it was, to enable us to discern more easily that the firstfruits offering was direct), related to the Passover lamb which was two days earlier. Why was the burnt offering delayed for 2 days, if it pertained to the Passover lamb? Because antitypically it was the resurrection of Jesus on the 3rd day that was the evidence of Godís acceptance of His sacrifice. This was illustrated also on the Day of Atonement. The High Priest passing beyond the veil, into the Most holy, was subject to death if all had not been performed property. His standing, alive, in the Most Holy, was proof that the offering was acceptable. So Jesusí resurrection into the Most Holy was proof of Godís acceptance. So, the burnt offering pertaining to the Passover lamb, showing Godís acceptance, is properly attached to the type of Jesusí resurrection, the firstfruits offering.

 

But Paul makes a broader application also. ". . . in Christ shall all be made alive ... every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christís at his presence [parousia]." (#1Co 15:21, 22) "Christ the firstfruits" here means the church, the body members of the Anointed. They also are raised on the 3rd day from the death of the Passover lamb. In this case, the 3rd thousand-year day.

 

We recently secured a detailed study of the events of our Lordís last days by a brother on the West Coast. Inquiring. we find that copies can be made available to those interested. fit-cause of the breadth of its scope and extent of detail, it is perhaps not surprising that among its many conclusions there are some we do not share. But we have appreciated it as a helpful resource for detailed study of our Lordís closing experiences. Those who wish a copy may address a request to:

 

Mr. R. E. Evans

4734 E. Yale Ave., 4 113

Fresno. CA 93703

 

 

The Theology of Isaac Newton

 

Concerning Isaac Newton. we read: "He was as great a writer in [theology] as his generation produced, and though not always in strict accordance with the most conservative Christian orthodoxy, he shone especially as a worthy example of Christian life, and, notwithstanding a most unfaltering inquiry into natureís law. stood fast always in his faith in the Holy Scriptures, which he made as much the subject of study as any field of science.... He was ... induced to prepare for the press his posthumous work. entitled The Chronology of ancient Kingdoms. which appeared in 1728.... Sir lsaacís principal theological works are Observations ox the Prophecies of Holy Writ, viz Daniel and the Apocalypse, and his Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture..."

 

. In this work Sir Isaac considers the two noted texts, #1Joh 5:7, and #1Ti 3:16. The former he attempts to prove spurious, and the latter he considers a false reading.... research has revealed that he speculated much regarding the "Homoousios" and must have entertained Arian views ..." (Footnote: McClinlock & Strongs. Vol. VII, "Newton, Isaac, pp. 31-13)

 

We understand he also published against the immortality of the soul. Below are several technical questions (Footnote: Sir Isaac Newton Theological Manuscripts, Ed. H. McLachlan; Liverpool. Univ. Press (1950).) from Newtonís pen, reflecting on the historical development of the trinitiarian view: three persons of one substance.

 

Queries regarding the Word Homoousios [same substance]

 

"1. Whether Christ sent his apostles to preach metaphysics to the unlearned common people, and to their wives and children?"

 

"2. Whether the word [Homoousios] ever was in any creed before the Nicene; or any creed was produced by any one bishop at the Council of Nice for authorizing the use of that word?"

 

"3. Whether the introducing the use of that word is not contrary to the Apostlesí rule of holding fast the form of sound words?"

 

"4. Whether the use of that word was not pressed upon the Council of Nice against the inclination of the major part of the Council?"

 

"5. Whether it was not pressed upon them by the Emperor Constantine the Great, a catechumen not yet baptized, and no member of the Council?"

 

"6. Whether it was not agreed by the Council that that word should, when applied to the Word of God. signify nothing more than that Christ was the express image of the Father? and whether many of the bishops, in pursuance of that interpretation of the word allowed by the Council, did not in their subscription, by way of caution, add - ?"

 

"7. Whether Hosius (or whoever translated that Creed into Latin) did not impose upon the Western Churches by translating by the words unius substantial, instead of consubstantialis? and whether by that translation the Latin Churches were not drawn into an opinion that the Father and Son had one common substance, called by the Greeks Hypostasis, and whether they did not thereby give occasion to the Eastern Churches to cry out, presently after the Council of Sardica, that the Western Churches were become Sabellian [confusing the Father and the Son]?"

 

"8. Whether the Greeks, in opposition to this notion and language, did not use the language of three Hypostases, and whether in those days the word Hypostasis did not signify a substance?"

 

"9. Whether the Latins did not at that time accuse all those of Arianism who used the language of three Hypostases, and thereby charge Arianism upon the Council of Nice, without knowing the true meaning of the Nicene Creed?"

 

"10. Whether the Latins were not convinced, in the Council of Ariminum that the Council of Nice, by the word, understood nothing more than that the Son was the express image of the Father - the Acts of the Council of Nice were not produced for convincing them. And whether, upon producing the Acts of that Council for proving this, the Macedonians, and some others, did not accuse the bishops of hypocrisy, who in subscribing these acts, had interpreted them by the word in their subscriptions."

 

"11. Whether Athanasius, Hilary, and in general the Greeks and Latins, did not, from the time of the reign of Julian the Apostate, acknowledge the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to be three substances and continue to do so till the school - men changed the signification of the word Hypostasis, and brought in the notion of the three persons in one single substance?"

 

"12. Whether the opinion of the equality of the three substances was not first set on foot in the reign of Julian the Apostate, by Athanasius, Hilary, etc.?"

 

"13. Whether the worship of the Holy Ghost was not first set on foot presently after the Council of Sardica?"

 

"14. Whether the Council of Sardica was not the first Council which declared for the doctrine of the Consubstantial Trinity? and whether the Council did not affirm that there was but one hypostasis of the Father, Son. and Holy Ghost?"

 

Newton also wrote twenty questions reflecting badly on the performance of Athanasius. In addition, he wrote extensively on the identity of Antichrist during the Gospel Age, beginning with the prophecies in Daniel about the succession from Babylon to Medo-Persia, to Grecia, to Rome.

 

-Contributed

 

 

Correspondance

 

War in the Middle East.

 

"We understand that Armageddon and Jacobís Trouble are two separate and distinct events; Jacobís Trouble being the last feature of Armageddon, after Armageddon is mainly over. In Armageddon, the Lordís great army will destroy present powers world-wide. In Jacobís Trouble, Gog and Magog, armies from the north, will come to Israel to take a spoil."

 

In Reply.

 

- Our thought is different. We understand Armageddon to begin with the Middle East conflict, and that the breaking of the might of nations there will directly lead to the unleashing of severe strife within nations, which will overturn present institutions. Under the correspondentís thought, it would seem that the structure of Christendom would be largely removed before the invasion of Israel. Yet #Eze 39:17-20 cf. #Re 19:17-19 implies that the strength of Christendom is broken "upon the mountains of Israel." #Joe 3:12, 13 suggests the same. But the subject is too large to treat comprehensively here. We recognize that each perspective - the correspondentís and ours is shared by a number of brethren.

- BT

 

On Godís Attributes Jan. 1981, 3B

 

"We see strong evidence that the face of a lion represents justice. In Bible times. the ox, #Eze 1:10, was the most used. and best known, source of power -the lion was not. The character of a lion is that of unyielding boldness; picturing justice. In contrast, an ox would be much more docile, yielding. Ironstone china, made in England. had on it an insignia showing a lion holding a balance-justice. The idea the ox corresponds to the bullock used in the Tabernacle ceremonies, is not valid. The bullock did not represent justice. The blood of the bullock was used to satisfy justice. Also, the bullock was a male. The ox was any cattle used for draft purposes, usually a cow or a steer (altered male). A calf could be either a male or a female. The Scripture (#Eze 1:10) corroborates this. The face of a man was in front-God is love. The face of a lion was on the right side-justice is the foundation of Godís throne. Justice is more prominent than Power. The lion on the right side; the ox on the left."

 

In reply

 

- We incline to believe with the previous correspondent (Jan. 1981) that Power is represented by the lion. It is not a matter of which animal could physically pull the greater load (an elephant would be best for that-and even in this regard a "calf" - #Re 4:7 - would be outdone by a lion), but which is considered to more commonly display power. Archaeologists indicate that from the ages of antiquity the lion has been considered a symbol of power, strength and might. The Scriptures are consistent with this: ". . . Out of the strong came forth sweetness ... what is stronger than a lion?" (#Jud 14:14,18) "A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any." (#Pr 30:30) "The Lion of the tribe of Juda ... hath prevailed. . ." (#Re 5:5, italics ours)

 

The "ox" (#Eze 1:10) or "calf" (#Re 4:7) was the highest expression of animal sacrifice. (#Ps 69:31) It was a calf (bullock) which provided satisfaction to justice on the Day of Atonement. The blood applied was only representative of the animal itself. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood." (#Le 17:10. Similarly our Lordís humanity was that which was sacrificed to secure atonement. ". . . My flesh ... I give for the life of the world." #Joh 6:51. We speak of his blood redeeming us only because it represents the human life which he gave.) Another approach to this matter compares the cherubim in the most holy of the tabernacle with the cherubim on the walls of Ezekielís temple. The cherubim in the tabernacle were over the ark of the covenant, looking in toward the mercy seat. We have the suggestion that they represented Power and Love, waiting to see justice satisfied, before "they fly to help, to lift up and to bless." (Tabernacle Shadows, pg. 125) Ezekielís temple, which pictures matters from a Kingdom viewpoint, after satisfaction to justice has been met for mankind, shows cherubim with wings stretched out, as if active in their mission of power and love. #Eze 41:18-19 identifies their faces as of a man. and of a young lion. Since all seem agreed that the manís face pictures love. it leaves the lion face to represent power. (Also of interest is the apparent coupling of man and lion in #Eze 1:10)

 

More indirectly, #Re 15:7 cf #Eze 10:7,13, #Eze 1:10 may suggest that the cherub-ox face represents the attribute responsible for the plagues, which we assume to be (retributive) justice.

 

Hour of Temptation:í (Feb. 1981, IA)

 

"We notice that Bro. Russell very definitely, and repeatedly, applies the ĎHour of Temptationí (#Re 3:10) to the true Church."

 

The Gospel Accounts. (1)

 

"Weíve been much enjoying the thoughts presented. . . . Last Sunday ... we severally discussed the four Gospel accounts of Jesusí anointing just prior to His last Passover. Excepting the Luke account, all other Gospels have the event taking place in Bethany, and for His burial, and during the Lordís last week on earth. (2) We seem to perceive the possibility of a family connection between Simon the Leper and Mary, Martha, Lazarus. (3) On the lower corner of the last page of Beauties are references not immediately clear ... please mention what the citations mean and how found. (4) Might the Centurion in #Lu 7:2 have been Cornelius? We are rejoicing in The Memorial season."

 

In reply.

 

- (1) We think the Luke account (#Lu 7:36-50) differs because it describes a different occasion than the other gospels. Luke records an anointing by "a woman in the city, which was a sinner," rather than by Mary, Jesus was in a Phariseeís home evidently in Galilee. rather than among his close friends at Bethany; and "it came to pass afterward that [Jesus] went throughout every city and village. preaching" (#Lu 8:1), instead of dying a few days later. The Phariseeís name was Simon, but we think he is not "Simon the leper" at whose home in Bethany Jesus was anointed by Mary. (See R2625)

 

(2) Rep. 2447 is in harmony with your thought, It suggests he may have been the father of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.

 

(3) They are merely a listing of Scriptures referenced in that issue, with page and column (A or B) where they appear.

 

(4) "It is certainly within the range of possibility that this centurion. ... might have been removed by Roman authority from Capernaum to Caesarea, another fortress, and that he may have been the centurion named Cornelius ... :í (R2620) But as there is no proof, it remains conjectural. Notice the consideration of this question also in R2132 and R1922."

 

- BT

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good." We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor. Santee CA 9207L

 

Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2, Number 5, May 1981

 

Spring & Fall Ordinances

 

Beasts Whose Blood is Brought into the Sanctuary

 

Stars Over Alabama

 

Three Observances of the Feast of Tabernacles

 

Spring & Fall Ordinances

 

There are certain parallels between the ordinances of the law which pertain to the spring of the year, and those which pertain to the fall of the year. For example, in the spring was the sevenday feast of unleavened bread, Nisan 15-21; in the fall was the seven-day feast of tabernacles, Tishri 15-21. In the spring, Nisan 10, the Passover lamb was selected; in the fall, Tishri 10, the atonement day sacrifices were offered. In the spring a cycle of 49 days lead to Pentecost; in the fall a cycle of 49 years lead to the Jubilee:

 

But there were also differences. The slaying of the Passover lamb, Nisan 14, and the waving of the firstfruits offering, Nisan 16, have no parallel in the fall. And the seven-day feasts, which both opened with an "holy convocation," closed differently. In the feast of unleavened bread, the 7th day was an holy convocation. But respecting the feast of tabernacles, the 8th day, the day following the feast, was specially holy. In the chart below, the shaded days are those described as an "holy convocation: "

 

See Image 00005

 

The question arises, are there any general distinctions, antitypically, between the spring and fall ceremonies? In a letter to the editor on Rep. 3575 there is a suggestion that the spring ceremonies pertain primarily to the Church, while those in the fall pertain primarily to the world. (Footnote: "Brother Hemery of London mentioned to me some time ago that he had noticed that events which occurred in the Spring foreshadowed blessings for the Church, while those which occurred in the Autumn foreshadowed blessings for the world. This appears to me to be a natural arrangement, as Spring is the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, whereas Autumn is the beginning of the civil year. Applying this thought, we find that the Passover and Pentecost, etc., foreshadowed blessings for the Church, whereas the Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Jubilee foreshadowed blessings for the world: " Rep. 3575) At least respecting the two seven-day feasts, this suggestion seems to bear out. For the feast of unleavened bread is generally understood to picture the Church rejoicing in the provision of the lamb of God. "We celebrate that feast antitypically, continuously feasting and rejoicing in the grace of God toward us: " (Rep. 2918) With this accord Paulís words, "Purge out therefore the old leaven. . . Christ our Passover is slain for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth: " (#1Co 5:7, 8)

 

The feast of tabernacles, however, is to be observed (antitypically) by the world of mankind in the kingdom. "Everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles" (#Zec 14:16)

 

There are other aspects of the feast of tabernacles which show it to represent a Millennial Age rejoicing of mankind.

 

* It was called the feast of "tabernacles:í (#Le 23:34) or "booths:í because during it the Israelites were to build temporary dwelling places, "booths" to live in during the seven days of the feast. This was to be in remembrance of the 40 yearsí wilderness wandering when the Israelites lived in temporary dwellings. (#Le 23:39-43) So mankind will remember with appreciation the sojourn of the Church, which will then be history.

 

* It was also called the "feast of ingathering," because it expressed Israelís thankfulness to the Lord for the ingathering of their crops Three particular staples are mentioned: wheat, wine and oil. (#De 11:14, 16:13) So the world of mankind will express thanks to God for providing the completed Church (wheat), the blood of atonement (wine), and the Gospel age ministry of the holy spirit (oil) to the saints, which will all benefit mankind in the kingdom.

 

* The sacrifices which were observed during the feast picture the sacrifices of the Gospel age, which will be remembered by the world in the kingdom. The bullocks, rams, lambs and goats do not picture sacrifices of the world (as the "after day of atonement sacrifices" do). The seven days of the feast commemorate Gospel age activities rather than activities actually occurring in the kingdom.

 

Why 7 Days?

 

The Gospel age is represented in seven divisions in the seven daysí consecration of the priesthood. The priests were to "abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the Lord: " (#Le 8:35) So it is not surprising that the Gospel age feast, the feast of unleavened bread, lasts seven days also. And as the feast of tabernacles pictures mankindís commemoration of the Gospel age (then past), it is of the same duration. All of this reminds us of the seven time divisions of the Church in Revelation, and we think the seven days tie in directly with the seven stages of the Church.

 

This helps to explain why the feast of unleavened bread and the feast of tabernacles closed with holy convocations on different days. The Church has special cause for rejoicing and celebration in its 7th stage, for it is raised and completed then. So the feast of unleavened bread closed with a holy convocation on the 7th day. But the world of mankind have their special cause for rejoicing after the Gospel age is completed, in the kingdom which follows. So their special day is the 8th day, which follows the seven day commemoration (feast of tabernacles) of the Gospel age:

 

Another ordinance which supports this meaning of the 8th day appears in #Eze 43:18-27. It describes the sacrifices to be given to prepare the altar of Ezekielís temple to accept the individual offerings of the Israelites. Those sacrifices evidently represent the sacrifice of Christ and, his Church, which are necessary before mankindís offerings in the kingdom can be accepted. (Most agree that Ezekielís temple represents matters as they will be during the kingdom.)

 

The first sacrifice was a bullock for a sin offering, representing our Lord. Next we might expect a goat for a sin offering, representing the Church, as we had on the Day of Atonement. But instead we have seven sin offering goats, one each on seven days. This indicates the seven stages of the Church during which the Church, goat class, is offered. And on the day following, "upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your [mankindís] burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord God: " (vs. 27) That eighth day is a picture of the kingdom which follows the "seven days" (stages) of the Gospel age:

 

Sin Offerings During the Feasts

 

Noting that the sin offerings during the seven days of #Eze 43 were goats (the Church as a sin offering), we wonder if the sacrifices during the feast of unleavened bread and feast of tabernacles show the sacrifice of the Church in the same way. And they do.

 

#Nu 28:16, 17, 22, 24 show that during the feast of unleavened bread one goat for a sin offering was to be offered daily (the only sin offerings sacrificed during the feast.) #Nu 29:16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34 show that it was likewise during the feast of tabernacles.

 

Still another feast is consistent with this. That is, the feast of Passover to be kept with Ezekielís temple: On the 14th of the first month a bullock (Jesus) for a sin offering was sacrificed, and on each of the seven days of the feast which followed a goat for a sin offering was sacrificed. (#Eze 45:21-23) (Footnote: There were also many burnt offerings on these various days. A burnt offering indicates Godís acceptance of another offering. (Tabernacle Shadows pg. 73) The burnt offerings on these feast days were of three kinds: bullocks, rams, lambs. The bullocks we think pictured Godís acceptance of Christ as a sin offering. The lambs pictured Godís acceptance of Christ as the ransom price: The rams, Godís acceptance of the goat sin offering which was being offered day by day.)

 

See Image 00006.

 

The number of animals as burnt offerings differed on the various occasions. We think all of the number of animals is significant, but it is more detailed and more interpretive and we will not mention our thoughts on the numbers here:

 

The Other Ceremonies Compared

 

Comparing the Passover with the day of atonement seems to bear out the spring-Church, fall-world pattern also. For most of the types connected with the Passover relate specially to the Gospel age: The household eating the lamb, the firstborn under penalty of death if they should come out of the house which had the blood sprinkled, eating with staff ready and shoes on their feet, were all types relating to the Gospel age: (Volume 6, pp. 459-460) By way of distinction, the secondary keeping of the Passover in the second month more aptly fits the world of mankind. It was designed for those who were unclean by contact with death, or were away on a journey. (#Nu 9:10-12) This represents the condition of mankind, who are still contaminated with Adamic death, and are "in a journey" away and estranged from God. That they must wait until the second full moon, shows that the world will eat of the Passover lamb when Israel is favored a second time, when the New Covenant is in operation. But the Church has been privileged to partake of the Passover sacrifice from the time of the first advent. That was the time of the first full moon, when Israelís favor was full and the Messiah was sent to them. The observance of Passover on Nisan 14 relates specially to the Church.

 

The Day of Atonement also benefits both classes, the Church and the world, but the primary purpose of that type was to show how God makes atonement for mankind in general (pictured by Israel). While the first application of blood was for "Aaron ... and his house", the faith class of the Gospel age, this was more or less to illustrate the process by which the Atonement comes to the world.

 

So we think the Passover and Day of Atonement types do, in their primary significance, relate to the Church and world respectively. And therefore they do conform to the spring-Church, fall-world pattern. Further evidence is that the feast following the Passover sacrifice shows the Church rejoicing over the Passover provision for them, and the feast following the Day of Atonement pictures the world rejoicing over the atonement provision for them.

 

The 50th day, Pentecost, represented the time when the Church would be accepted by God. That is why the holy spirit came to the Church on the day of. Pentecost after Jesus had ascended 10 days earlier. And the offerings of that day ordained by the Law show this. There were two loaves of the first ripe wheat harvest to picture the two spirit- begotten classes, the Church and Great Company. They were baked with leaven, showing that the spirit-begotten classes, though justified, are still in sinful bodies. A goat for a sin offering was sacrificed to illustrate the Church sacrificed as a sin offering at Pentecost. (#Le 23:16-21, #Nu 28:26-30) This all pertains to the beginning of the Gospel age:

 

But the 50th year counted from the fall of the year, and the Jubilee represents the restoration of mankind to their earthly rights and privileges. The sabbath years leading to the Jubilee each seem to apply to mankind also.

 

 

Beasts Whose Blood is Brought into the Sanctuary

 

The book of Hebrews is devoted to showing that the Law Covenant was not everlasting, and had in fact been superseded by the glory of the Gospel ministry. In the closing chapter when we read It is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein:í (#Heb 13:8,9) the writer seems still to have this in mind. He exhorts to being established with grace as opposed to meats. What does he mean? How might one think himself established ... with meats at all? We think he means that one should not consider himself established by the sacrifices of the Law. He is still dealing with the point that the law and its rites, which never produced life for the Israelites, should not be relied upon for our standing with God.

 

That the "meats" Paul refers to mean sacrificial meats of the Law might be inferred by the next verse which indirectly alludes to the custom of the priests to eat the meat of most sacrificial animals.

 

Paul then turns his attention to the benefit we have from the antitypes of the tabernacle offerings. Verse 10 is the heart of the matter. "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle: " He explains why the priests have no right to eat of this altar in verse 11. "For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood was brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp: "

 

This explanation help us get Paulís point clear in two ways. (1) It tells us why the priests of the tabernacle couldnít eat of those sacrifices, and the reason is that those sacrifices were burned. This is very helpful. It means he is not telling us that we eat from the altar spiritually, but the literal priests of the old testament did not because they were only natural men. That was not his point. If that were Paulís point, then he would have explained "For those who served the tabernacle served only as types:í or some such thing. So when he says "we have -an altar whereof they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle:í he is not saying that we have an altar to eat from therefore he must mean that we have an altar to be sacrificed upon. That is, we have the privilege of joining with our Lord upon the sacrificial altar.

 

(2) It tells us he is speaking of the sin offering sacrifices, for they are the only offerings from which blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest. What kind of sacrifice are we? A sin offering sacrifice, the kind which the tabernacle priests could not eat. The kind "whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priests for sin: " The kind whose bodies are "burned without the camp: "

 

Therefore this passage is an interpretation by the Apostle that we have a part with our Lord in the sin atonement sacrifices for the world. And it is the most positive direct expression of that point by an apostle that we know of.

 

But it may be asked, why did Paul use this way of telling us that he was referring to "sin offering" sacrifices? Evidently because he and the Hebrews he wrote to were familiar with the fact that the Law specifically states "no sin offering, [italics ours] whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire: " (#Le 6:30)

 

The following verses, 12-13, are also helpful. Verse 12 tells us of Jesusí part in the sin offering. "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate: " And verse 13 says we share in that experience: "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp bearing his reproach: " (#Heb 13:13) If faithful in this, we will also share the privilege of sanctifying the people of the world with Jesusí blood in the kingdom. For the very purpose and point of sharing with Jesus in the sacrifice of the sin offering is that we might be developed by suffering to be trusted with the high and honorable station of being members of the great Melchisedec priest in glory who will bless mankind.

 

Since there were two animals on the Day of Atonement which served as sin offering sacrifices, we perceive that Jesus was represented in the first, the bullock, and the Church in the second, the Lordís goat. The bullock was burned outside the camp first, and we, the goat class, follow. We "go unto him bearing his reproach: "

 

Another part of the type which helps to interpret the bullock and the goat is the origin of the animals provided for sacrifice: Of the bullock we read merely, "Thus shall Aaron [Jesus] come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering: " (#Le 16:3) But the goat for the sin offering comes from "the children of Israel: " (#Le 16:5) So the goat class comes out from the world, to follow our Lord in sacrifice:

 

 

 

Stars Over Alabama

 

In Volume 4, pp. 585-590, some literal applications of our Lordís words "shall the sun be darkened . . . the stars shall fall from heaven" (#Mt 24:29) are suggested. One of these relates to the star shower of 1833, and some brethren recently investigating that event found some newspaper articles speaking of its impact over Alabama, where the display was very prominent. Below are selective quotes from those articles.

 

Title: Confessions and Flight Marked Night in 1833 When ĎStarsí Fell on Alabama: "The night of Nov. 12, 1833 ... was the night Ďstars fell on Alabamaí - the great meteorite shower went on from about 11 pm until it was eclipsed by dawn, spreading astonishment, awe and terror. [Many] believ[ed] the Day of Judgment had arrived ... One man acknowledged he had stolen a number of horses in his time, and at that moment was planning to rob the bank at Decatur ... in Virginia a farmer had just robbed a hen roost when the stellar shower began. He was caught trying to sneak the stolen hens back into the coop."

 

"For many years, Alabamians dated events from the night of the great meteorite shower ... Astronomers today know that the rain of falling stars was caused by dust from Comet Tempel 1, which was discovered in 1866 and has a period of revolution about the sun of 33:36 years. Compet Tempel I will return to the neighborhood of the earth in 1999: " (Birmingham News, June 9, 1968)

 

Title: "Stars Fell On Alabama: " "... the strange shower of stars that fell on Alabama the night of November 12-13 in the year 1833 was a time of Ďgreat revival among Christians in the state who interpreted the falling stars as signs of approaching doom."

 

"The great meteoric shower that night was one of the most brilliant displays known to man. It was seen, not only in Alabama, but over the eastern United States, from as far west as New Orleans and north to New England.. all the meteors seemed to radiate from a point in the constellation Leo: " (The Baldwin Times, Bay Minette, Alabama) The article also speaks of a book Stars Fell on Alabama, by Carl Carmer, which in 1934 inspired the song Stars Fell on Alabama, which some may remember. The bookís name derives from the 1833 shower.

 

Of course "the symbolic fulfillments are ... even more interesting: " (Vol. 4, pg. 590)

 

 

Three Observances of the Feast of Tabernacles

 

The opening article referred to the feast of tabernacles as a kingdom celebration of mankind. The observances of this feast recorded in the Bible seem to support this. The Old Testament speaks of three such observances, and all were at times which represent the time of kingdom blessing opening to mankind.

 

1. After the dedication of Solomonís Temple: (#1Ki 8:1, 2; #2Ch 7:8-11) As Solomonís Temple represents the Church in their glorified condition, its completion and dedication for use brings us to the end of the Gospel Age: (Footnote: We are looking at the general picture: We do not mean to infer anything about detailed time points of this picture, which sometimes enter a discussion of the timing of the seven last plagues.) That is the time for mankind to begin observing the feast of tabernacles.

 

2. After the walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt, following the 70 years desolation of the land by Babylon. (#Ne 7:1, #Ne 8:14-18) We think the building of those walls represented the building of the walls of New Jerusalem. #Re 21:14,17 indicate that the walls of New Jerusalem symbolize the Church. Therefore the building of Jerusalemís walls in Nehemiahís time are a picture of developing the Church in troublous times, #Da 9:25, the Gospel age.

 

3. The third case is not an historical record, but a reference in #Ne 8:17 to a preceding observance in the time of Joshua. "And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths.[a part of the feast ceremonies] for since the days of Joshua [sic] the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so: " This also fits the pattern. Joshua represents Christ leading mankind to conquer their enemies in the kingdom. That puts the observance of the feast in Joshuaís day in a kingdom setting.

 

_______________

 

At this point there was a Scriptural index for the issue

 

________________

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is goodí " We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2, Number 6, June 1981

 

The Little Horn

 

Daniel 12 refers to three periods of time: 1260, 1290, and 1335 days. These prophetic days are generally understood to represent years, which began to count "from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up: " (#Da 12:11)

 

The date when Papacy was "set up" with her doctrine of the mass, which sets aside the value of Jesusí once-for-all ransom sacrifice, represented by the daily sacrifice, has been taken to be 539 AD. For then Papacy acquired a new dimension of civil authority, the result of a power vacuum caused by the defeat of the Ostrogothic kingdom who had previously ruled Italy.

 

Our purpose here is:

 

1. To review the 3rd Volume account of this date:

 

2. Identify the 3 horns of Daniel and discuss why they required to be plucked up.

 

3. To establish the 539 date from history.

 

4. To reflect on the significance of that date:

 

In this way we hope to reconfirm our faith in time prophecies.

 

1 The prophecies that mark the rise of Papacy to its position I of control appear in Daniel chapter 7. Papacy is represented as a little horn which grew upon the Roman beast and assumed dominance among the other horns or powers.

 

"I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.... in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things ... he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time: " (31/2 times, or 1260 days) (#Da 7:8, 24, 25)

 

Bro. Russell explains the date of Papacyís power this way:

 

"Since the close of the times of Papal power are not only thus clearly fixed, as occurring during the French Revolution, but also by the events of #Da 11:40-44, which mark the very year 1799, we can readily measure backward 1260 years to note whether Papal power had its beginning there: If we find that it had, we have our evidence as clear and strong as faith could ask. Let us thus verify. Measuring back 1260 years from 1799 would bring US to AD 539, where we shall show the Papal power began: " (C68,69)

 

The setting for the times which led to Papacyís "setting up" in temporal power is discussed in Volume 3, page 70:

 

"The spirit of rivalry was abroad, and other bishops in other large cities claimed supremacy also, some upon one and some upon another ground. It was not until AD 533 that the bishop of Rome was thus recognized by the emperor, Justinian 1. This was in connection with a warm religious discussion in which the emperor took sides with the bishop of Rome, recognizing the Virgin Maryís worthiness of adoration, and disputing with the Eutychians and Nestorians re-garding distinctions and blendings of natures in our Lord Jesus. The emperor feared that the discussion might divide the church, and thus divide the empire which he was desirous of more firmly uniting; for even at that early day the nominal church and the empire were one and the same ĎChristendom.í And desiring to have some authority as a standard to settle the dispute, and to tell the people what to believe and what to disbelieve, and finding the bishop of Rome already the most popular of the claimants to primacy (popedome or headship), as well as the one most Ďorthodoxí the one most nearly in harmony with the emperorís views on the questions-Justinian, by documents, not only condemned the doctrines of the Eutychians and Nestorians, but, address-ing the bishop of Rome as the Head of all the holy churches, and of all the holy priests of God, thus acknowledged him, and desired to assist the pope in putting down the heresy and in establishing the unity of the church: "

 

In the Volume 3 treatment there follows a letter from Emperor Justinian to Pope John, dated 533, in which Justinian maneuvers to exalt johnís power and to unify the kingdom under his doctrine: Then follows johnís reply of 534 to show he took the bait, and Justinianís letter to the Patriarch of Constantinople with instructions to cooperate: But this was only paper work. As Bro. Russell says (C76):

 

"Justinian was far from Rome, with his capital at Constantinople: Rome, and Italy in general, was under the sway of another kingdom-the Ostrogoths-who did not recognize the bishop of Rome as supreme pontiff; for they were mainly Arians in faith. Papacy, therefore, was exalted and advantaged in name only, by the emperorís recognition, until the fall of the Ostrogothic Monarchy, when its exaltation became an actual fact. Indeed, as if by a preconcerted arrange-ment, the emperor at once (AD 534) sent Belisarius and an army into Italy, and in six years after the popeís recognition by the emperor, the Ostrogothic power was vanquished, and their king Vitiges and the flower of his army were taken with other trophies to Justinianís feet. This was in AD 539, which is therefore the point of time from which we should reckon the ĎDesolating Abomination set up.í Papacy there had it small beginning. There the little, peculiar Ďhorn noted in Danielís prophecy, just began to push itself up, upon the Roman beast ..."

 

The Prophet had said that three horns would be plucked up, or rooted out, to make room or prepare the way for this peculiar power or Ďhorn.í And so we find it: Constantine built Constantinople, and removed his capital thither; this, though favorable to Papacyís development in the seat of the Caesars, was unfavorable to the empire; and soon it was found expedient to divide the empire, and Italy was thenceforth known as the Western Empire, whose seat or capital was at Ravenna. This was one of the Ďhornsí.it fell, AD 476, at the hands of the Heruli, another of the horns, which established itself on its ruins. Next came the Ostrogothic kingdom, another Ďhorn,í overthrowing the Heruli and establishing itself as ruler of Italy, AD 489. And, as we have just seen, it was during the power of this Ďhorní (the third to be rooted out to make way for the papal horn) that Justinian acknowledged the papal supremacy; and it was by his orders, and by his general and his army, that it was plucked up..

 

See Image 00007

 

2 For more history on the 3 horns, and why they required removing for Papacy to flourish, we return to the time of Constantine: Constantine was the Roman emperor who claimed the Christian faith and made Christianity the nominal religion of the empire: It was he who convened the Nicene council in 325, where 318 bishops disputed over the nature of Jesus and the identity of God. Arius defended our faith in the humanity of Jesus as the Son of God. He was defeated in these debates and banished from the empire: In later years his followers at times had more or less influence, but the trinitarians finally prospered in the young Catholic church.

 

The empire was sprawling and hard to control. So in 330, Constantine established two capitals, one in Rome and another in Constantinople, each with an emperor and senate, armies and courts. Each was to honor the ruling of the other capital, and so broaden the base of control over an immense kingdom. The region of Constantinople was called the Eastern Empire, and Italy with Rome its head was the Western Empire: The western empire became weakened by affluence, indulgence, political graft, and carelessness. The emperors were weak and often the subject of assassination. Italy was overrun by the Visigoths (western goths) and their king Alaric in 410.

 

Henceforth Rome was always accommodating or conceding to Germanic tribes. Though often enlisted in the service of the empire, they had become accustomed to set up and depose emperors to suit their own special interests.

 

So it was until Romulus Augustulus, the last of the Roman emperors. Finally in 476 Prince Odoacer of the Germanic Heruli, the most powerful of the rival German generals ir, Italy, banished the last of the Western emperors ar I ruled in his stead. The year 476 has commonly been taken as the date of the "fall" of the Western Empire and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Goodricheís Encyclopedia says: "The revolution of 476, which put an end of the Roman empire in the west, forms one of the most strongly marked epochs in the history of the world: "

 

Previous governments had succeeded one another in the Roman empire- first the Republic ruled by the Caesars as monarchs, then a Democratic form ruled by the Senate, then the Western Empire formed by Constantine: But this did not evolve into the next. It was "plucked up"-overthrown. But the Heruli Prince had a problem. How was he going to calm the wrath of Zeno, the emperor of the East in Constantinople, and placate the Roman population in the West?

 

He sent the imperial insignia to Zeno, declaring his subordination, with the modest request to rule the Italian diocese under the title of Patrician; while locally he reconvened the Senate and commanded respect of the imperial laws. So to the populace, they noticed little outward difference-except for 2 things: there was now a military might, and the Heruli were Arians-while granting the Catholic church liberty, they strictly limited its political influence:

 

While formally acknowledging Constantinople, Odoacer actually ignored the Eastern Emperor and his independence grew stronger.

 

While this was happening, a young Ostrogothic (eastern goth) prince was being trained in the arts of war and government in Constantinople: His name was Theoderic. In 475 the Ostrogoths proclaimed him their king. Zeno, seeing this menace in his eastern domain, and Odoacerís independence in the West, suggested Theoderic go west and invade Heruli-held Italy.

 

He entered Italy in 489 (C77), and soon struck a treaty with Odoacer for joint rulership. But in 493, Theoderic invited Odoacer and his son to dine with him at Ravenna. He fed them generously, then slew them both with his own hand for sole rulership of Rome: The 2nd horn had been plucked up.

 

Theoderic had been selected for the task because, though an Arian, he was more moderate, was well schooled in allegiance to eastern Byzantium and guaranteed greater liberty to the Trinitarian Catholics. Though he appointed some Arian bishops, he protected the Orthodox church and property and worship. One of his ministers penned this memorable policy of religious freedom. "We cannot command religion, for no one can be forced to believe against his will: "

 

But of course the "man of sin:" "antichrist," did not want toleration for all, he wanted complete power and authority. We think this time of struggle of the false church with civil Rome is the war in #Re 12:7-8, and that it occurred in the years preceding 539, before the woman, the true church, fled into the wilderness for 1260 years. (#Re 12:6, 14) Antichrist had already assumed the name, Michael. Indeed the mystery of iniquity had already conceived in Paulís day ... and was brought forth in Constantineís day. (#Re 12:5)

 

This Ostrogothic horn continued till Theoderic died in 526. He left the throne to his Grandson, Atalaric, for he had no son. His daughter, Amalasuntha, served as guardian of the throne till Atalaric would come of age: But her son became sick and died 8 years later. She invited her cousin Theodatus to share the throne: But he didnít want to share the throne, and had her killed.

 

The year after Theodericís death, one of the greatest emperors of the East, Justinian, had come to the throne at Constantinople: He undertook to regain for the empire the provinces of Africa and Italy, and his general Belisarius overcame the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa in 534.

 

It was admidst these unsettled situations that Justinian determined to uproot this Gothic horn, reoccupy Italy with Roman soldiers and align the military power behind the church as the head of the empire:

 

In the years 533-534 the exchange of letters quoted in Volume 3 occurred between Justinian and Pope John. Upon learning of Theodatusí usurpation of the Western throne (for Justinian had had a league with Amalasuntha), he called on his general Belisarius to put down the Goths. Belisarius entered Sicily immediately in 535, marking the first year of the Gothic wars.

 

3 Establishing the accuracy of 539 as the date of the subjuga3tion of the Ostrogothic horn, and hence the setting up of the antichrist, depends on knowing that 535 was the first year of these wars, and knowing the events of the next five years.

 

Fortunately there was an historian named Procopius who was an advisor to Belisarius and traveled with him. He is very careful in noting the events of each year of the war. However our AD dating had not come into common use yet. So he gives four time points to fix the lst and 2nd years of the war. * Year one was Justinianís 9th year of reign, thus 535. 9 Year two, when Belisarius captured Naples and Rome, is said to be the 3rd year of Theodatus. He is known to have come to the throne in 534; therefore his third year, year two of the Gothic war, was 536.

 

This is said to be 60 years after the Heruli victory of Odoacer, known to be in 476 (all history agrees), and 476 + 60 = 536. Here are 3 lines of evidence that concur with other histories that fix the dates of Odoacer, Justinian and Theodatus. The testimony confirms 535 as the first year of the Gothic War and 536 as the 2nd. But there is a 4th statement by Procopius that cannot be harmonized with the other 3 statements. o He says "Rome became subject to the Romans again after 60 years, on the 9th day of the last month, which is called ĎDecemberí by the Romans in the llth year of the reign of the Emperor Justinian: "

 

The 2 expressions are not in agreement, for 60 years after Odoacer was the 10th year of Justinian, not the llth. The only explanation is that either Procopius made an error or there is a transcript error of the Greek text. This error has caused some historians to date the war from 536 and 5 years later the fall of Ravenna in 540. Gibbon in Decline and Fall footnotes this discrepancy and weights the evidence for the war beginning in 535. He is correct.

 

Letís briefly cover the events just preceding the Gothic Wars. Justinian wished to reunify the Roman Empire: Ostrogothic powers held the throne: He wrote to Pope John 11, stating his intention to subjugate the Western Empire into the hands of the Papacy. Theodatus was invited to share the Gothic throne in 534 upon young Atalaricís death, but this sharing with Amalasuntha did not last more than a year. "Theodatus, upon receiving the supreme power, began to act in all things contrary to the hopes she had entertained and to the promises he had made: " (Procopius, Vol. 3 of H. B. Dewingís translation, pg. 37) During his 2nd year he slew her supporters, imprisoned, exhiled and finally killed her. Procopius continues: "Justinian, upon learning what had befallen Amalasuntha, immediately entered upon the war, being the 9th year of his reign: "

 

From here Procopius recounts the events of each year of the war to recover Italy for Justinian. He concludes each account with the words: "And the winter drew to a close, and the Ist (2nd, etc.) year ended in this war, the history which Procopius has written: " So knowing the date 535 as the lst year of the Gothic war (even if other dating methods are obscure) we can be sure what year it was that any event during the war happenedespecially the fall of the last Ostrogothic king-the 3rd horn on the beast of Danielís vision.

 

Year 1, 535 Theodatus had Amalasuntha killed Theodatus appointed Agapetus Pope: He was sent to Constantinople to deter Justinian in the Western Campaign ... to no avail. He died after I 1 months and 3 weeks in office: In this lst year of the war Belisarius conquered Salones and Sicily.

 

Year 2, 536 Silverius was appointed Pope in the place of Agapetus by Theodatus in June: The Goths replaced inept Theodatus with Vittigis, a military leader (in Theodatus Ď3rd year) Early in the year Belisarius moved into Italy, captured Naples through an aqueduct, and laid seige against Rome March lst. But with delays in wages for his army and hungry soldiers, it was not till December 9 that they entered Rome: Thus ended the 2nd year of the war. One of the lst executive act of Belisarius was to exile the Gothic-loyal Pope Sylverius and install Vigilius as more to his liking. Though Sylverius appealed to Justinian, he died late in the 3rd year of the war, 537.

 

Year 3, 537 Vittigisíforces tried to retake Rome: But while Belisarius held the city, his forces advanced on other Gothic-held cities. So Vittigis broke off the seige to fortify Ravenna, his capital, while Arminum, a city just to the south, was under seige by the Roman army.

 

Year 4, 538 Arminium fell to the Romans and Vittigis vainly tried to recover it. As city after city fell to Belisarius, and Vittigis saw the battle coming closer to the gates of Ravenna, he devised a clever scheme: Vittigis sent envoys with a letter to Chosroes, king of the Medes, offering him huge sums of money and alliances if he would break a treaty that he and the Persians had with Constantinople, to beseige Justinian in the east. It was intended as a distraction, knowing Justinian would recall Belisarius and the forces in Italy to defend his own frontiers.

 

The plan had its effect. "When the emperor ... heard that Chosroes and the Persians were planning to this end, he decided to bring the war in the west to an end, as quickly as possible, and to recall Belisarius in order that he might take the field against the Persians: " (Procopius, pg. 63) He sent word for Belisarius to "draw up the treaty with the Goths in such form that the interests of both sides would be furthered: " This was as the winter of 538, the 4th year of the war, drew to a close: But God had his own timetable, and would not allow the last little "horn" to fall a year too early or too late: Notice brethren, had this order been obeyed, the object of subduing the Western empire under Papacy would have been delayed for some years. But Belisarius had fought too long and hard to leave with a shared rule with a Gothic power still in control.

 

Year 5, 539 The news reached Belisarius of Justinianís order. He at first ignored it. From here on there were a number of events that Belisarius regarded as providential and took as signs to continue his pursuit. One of these was that the Goths had assembled a fleet of ships on the River Po with food and supplies for Ravenna. However the river dropped so drastically that the ships could not pass and were taken by Belisarius. The river not long afterward returned to proper volume and became navigable: As far as we know from tradition, this had never happened to the river before:

 

Belisarius now set seige directly to Ravenna. But the city was heavily defended. This was an advantageous time for another German tribe, the Franks. For a share in the rule of Italy, they offered to join forces with the Goths against the Romans. But about this time envoys from Justinian arrived to off er the terms of peace to Vittigis for a joint rule with Rome: A decisive victory was about to be snatched from the hands of Belisarius, either by a 3rd party or by his own emperor.

 

Vittigis favored a peace treaty with the Romans, but became suspicious when Belisarius would not ratify it with his own signature: The Roman troops were complaining bitterly against Belisarius. They were weary of the war and wanted him to break it off. Accordingly Belisarius had his commanders sign a document stating they felt unable to do the enemy any further harm and they were unable to achieve superiority over their opponents. This was to avert any regrets afterward for missing out on the spoils of war.

 

Now the Goths were hard pressed with famine and were ready even to declare Belisarius himself as emperor of the West. Belisarius was unwilling to usurp power against the will of the emperor Justinian and had vowed never in his lifetime to organize a revolution. But he perceived an advantage over the Goths to let it appear he had gladly received this proposal. He received envoys from Vittigis and pledged protection of the Gothic forces and to general terms of a treaty. But concerning his sharing kingship he said he would swear to no one else but to Vittigis himself.

 

With these assurances, the Gothic envoys conducted Belisarius and his army through the open gates of Ravenna with the supplies of food they had captured. But Belisarius had been intentionally vague to the envoys, and when conducted to the palace, he took Vittigis prisoner and quickly subdued his palace guards. The palace treasure was seized and whatever private property was to be had. Soon all Gothic resistance in Italy crumbled. Procopius writes:

 

"While I watched the entry of the Roman army into Ravenna at that time, an idea came to me, to the effect that it is not at all by the wisdom of men or by any other sort of excellence on their part that events are brought to fulfillment, but that there is some divine power which is ever warping their purposes and shifting them in such a way that there will be nothing to hinder that which is being brought to pass ... and Belisarius took his way to Byzantium; and the winter drew to its close and the 5th year ended in this war, the history of which Procopius has written: " (pp. 133-147) That 5th year was 539.

 

So the 3rd "horn" was plucked up. As Belisarius returned with the spoils of war in 540, it was with the implicit understanding that the Pope in Rome was the chief authority and that the Roman army would be there to defend him. Though civil heads were subsequently appointed in the West, they were ultimately subject to the church head.

 

It was a small beginning for the "Little Horn," but in the years to follow it would "grow" and speak great words and subdue other nations.

 

4 Why should such an obscure event in history mark the be4ginning of Danielís vision of 3 prophetic dates? Constantineís conversion to Christianity in 312 would to some seem more likely. But he was not the church. He was a civil emperor who only was strongly influenced by the church and influenced it.

 

Some would consider Pepinís donation of the Papal states in 756 or the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 as more significant. But the Papacy had already been commanding civil affairs before it owned lands and crowned kings.

 

So we see it was here in 539 when the last of the 3 "horns" were plucked up to make way for the Papal horn that the delicate balance of civil power was redefined to reside in the church and its head, the Pope:

 

-Contributed

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good Ď " We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2, Number 7, July 1981

 

Structure of the Jewish Calendar

 

Correspondence

 

Pentecost and the Decalogue

 

Chronology of the Development of the Doctrine of the Mass

 

Structure of the Jewish Calendar

 

The Jewish calendar was ingeniously constructed to regulate all the secular affairs of the people, as well as to mark the proper time for observing the recurring religious feasts and holy days. It is established on both a lunar and solar basis, meaning that both the moon and sun affect its structure, as we shall shortly observe:

 

Genesis specifically states that the heavenly bodies were divinely ordained to carry out a time-keeping function: days and years to be measured by the sun, months by the moon, and cycles by the stars (#Ge 1:14). In sharp contrast to other ancient calendars, the Jewish week ran consecutively in a seven day cycle completely independent of the lunar or solar cycles. Thus it was patterned on the Creation account of seven daysí duration and permitted a multiplication of cycles of seven for various religious convocations and festivals.

 

First, let us note how the moonís motion is used as the basis of the Jewish month. The moon, earthís sole satellite, revolves about it in just 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 31/3seconds on the average, or about 29:53 days. To closely approximate this, and to keep the months of the Jewish calendar a whole number of days, the Jewish months were made to alternate between 29 and 30 days. This becomes the unvarying rule, with every Jewish month being either 29 or 30 days in length. But only in what is termed a "normal ordinary" year do these days alternate perfectly with each other throughout the course of the year ie: -30, 29, 30, 29, 30, 29, etc.

 

The names of the Jewish months and their order are shown in the following table, entitled "Synchronized Jewish Calendar: " The names were originally borrowed by the ancient Israelites from their Canaanite or Phoenician neighbors. That the names had seasonal connotations is easily shown from the four that survived in the Biblical records. Abib, corresponding to Nissan, means "month of the ripening ears: ĎZiv, (lyar) means "month of flowers," Ethanim, (Tishri) means "month of perennial streams:í and Bul, (Heshwan) means "rain or showers: " We recall from the account in #Ex 12:2 that it was Jehovah God who required Moses to begin the sacred Jewish year with the month Abib (early in the spring), commencing with the institution of the Passover. This practice would have helped to set the Israelites apart from the heathen nations round about.

 

Synchronized Jewish Calendar

SacredCivic

Order†††††† Order†††††† Names of Months††††††† Farming Season

 

7†††††††††† 1††††††††† TISHRI†† (Sep-Oct)†††† Early rains, plowing

 

8†††††††††† 2††††††††† HESHWAN(Oct-Nov)†††† Wheat & barley sowing

 

9†††††††††† 3††††††††† KISLEV†† (Nov-Dec)†††† Winter season-

10†††††††††† 4††††††††† TEBET††† (Dec-Jan)†††† rainy period

 

11†††††††††† 5††††††††† SHEBAT†† (Jan-Feb)†††† Trees blooming

 

12†††††††††† 6††††††††† ADAR†††† (Feb-Mar)†††† Almond blooming

†††††††††††††††††††††††† V-ADAR†† (intercalary month used only in leap years)

 

1†††††††††† 7††††††††† NISSAN†† (Mar-Apr)†††† Barley harvest

2†††††††††† 8††††††††† IYAR†††† (Apr-May)†††† Barley harvest

 

3†††††††††† 9††††††††† SIVAN††† (May-Jun)†††† Wheat harvest

 

4††††††††† 10††††††††† TAMUZ††† (Jun-Jul)

 

5††††††††† 11††††††††† AB†††††† (Jul-Aug)†††† Grape, fig & olive ripen

 

6††††††††† 12††††††††† ELUL†††† (Aug-Sep)†††† Vintage

 

Next we should note how the apparent motion of the sun is used as the basis of the Jewish year (as distinguished from the Jewish month).

 

The expression "solar year" refers to the time required for the planet earth to make one complete orbit about the sun in its never-ending celestial journey. This has been determined to be 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, or about 365:24 days.

 

To maintain a fixed relationship between the Jewish holidays and the seasons of the year, it was necessary to adopt the solar year as the basis for the Jewish year (and again we emphasize the word "year"). A "normal ordinary" Jewish year consists of 12 months alternating between 29 and 30 days, as we haveí stated. This aggregates 354 days as a near approximation of 12 lunar months, or a "lunar year," the length of which is actually about 354:37 days.

 

But 12 lunar months are less than the solar year by 10 days, 21 hours, 0 minutes, and 6 seconds, which, if carried over from year to year, would cause each Jewish year to begin almost 11 days earlier in the solar year than its predecessor. Under this arrangement, Passover, for example, which is fixed as a spring holiday, would recede first into winter, then into autumn, and so on. To adjust for these differences and to prevent a wandering of the special holidays which were meant to be fixed according to the season, a thirteenth month was added to certain Jewish years, called leap years. Thus the addition of the thirteenth month, called "V-Adar" or an intercalary month, assists in keeping the Jewish year in closer accord with the solar years.

 

Basic to the structure of the Jewish calendar is a nineteen year cycle consisting of twelve "Ordinary" (12 month) years and seven "Leap" (13 month) years. Leap years occur in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, llth, 14th, 17th, and 19th years of the 19-year cycle: The 13th month, named "V-Adar," has 29 days and is interposed between Adar and Nissan. Also, the month of Adar is increased from 29 to 30 days in every leap year. By these and other adjustments, the accumulated time of the Jewish "19-year cycle" is almost exactly equivalent to a corresponding number of solar years and thus maintains a fixed relationship between them. (The difference is only about two hours in any given 19-year cycle: )

 

Overall there are six basic types of years in the Jewish calendar. Each of the "ordinary" and "leap" years previously described is further divided into "deficient: "Ďnormal," or "full," because some years are decreased by one day and others are increased by a day. The six types of the Jewish year are enumerated in the following - table: They-are described as "deficient ordinary," "normal ordinary:í "deficient leap," "full leap:" and so on.

 

Six Types of the Jewish Year

Ordinary Years†† Leap Years

 

Deficient 353 days†† 383 days

 

Normal††† 354††††††† 384

 

Full††††† 355††††††† 385

 

There is a fixed relationship between the Jewish and Gregorian (general or common) Calendar. By definition, Jewish Year I was designated as having begun in the autumn of the year 3761 BC. This is taken to represent both the date of Creation and the starting point for reckoning all events according to the Jewish Calendar.

 

Thus the Jewish year is always numerically greater than its corresponding General year by the number 3,761. However, since the Jewish (civic) year begins in the autumn with Tishri 1, every Jewish year laps portions of two General years (and conversely every General year laps portions of two Jewish years). This is shown in the diagram following, and serves to complicate somewhat the conversions from one system to another. But the rules for conversion are readily available: The following equivalencies serve to illustrate conversions from Jewish to General (Gregorian) years:

 

Nissan 15 in Jewish year 5741 falls in 1981 AD

 

Nissan 15 in Jewish year 6000 falls in 2240 AD

 

See Image 00008

 

References

 

Tenney, Merrill C. (ed.). ĎThe Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids, Mich. Zondervan Publishing House, 1963.

 

Zinberg, George: Jewish Calendar Mystery Dispelled. New York: Vantage Press, 1963.

 

- Contributed

 

 

 

Correspondence

 

A correspondent submits the following to clarify that Pentecost is the 50th day from Nisan 16th, which is the 50th day after Nisan 15th, lest any brethren have misunderstood. So far as we know, all authorities agree with the correspondentís conclusion.

 

"Abib or Nisan ... Day 15 - "The solemnity of the Passover ... Sivan ... Day 6-Pentecost, the fiftieth day after the Passover:(McClintock & Strong, Calendar, pg. 21, italics ours)

 

See Image 00009

 

To this date (Sivan 6th) for Pentecost agrees Temple Dictionary pg. 584, Davis Dictionary pg. 872, Harper pg. 760, and all Jewish calendars.

 

#Le 23:15, 16 - "From the morrow after the [Passover] sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering ... shall ye number 50 days: "

 

#De 16:9 - "Begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn [barley] .. :"-which was Nisan 16th. (#Le 23:10, 11)

 

 

 

Pentecost and the Decalogue

 

"Though the canonical Scriptures speak of Pentecost as simply a harvest festival, yet the non-canonical documents show, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the Jews, at least as early as the days of Christ, connected with it, and commemorated on the 6th of Sivan [Pentecost], the third month, the giving of the Decalogue [the ten commandments]. "The Talmud declares that Ďthe rabbins propounded that the Decalogue was given to Israel on the 6th of Sivan. . .íThis is the unanimous voice of Jewish tradition: " (McClintock & Strong, "Pentecost:í pg. 928)

 

This is of interest, for it provides a parallel between natural and spiritual Israel. As natural Israel was formally inducted into the Law on Pentecost, so spiritual Israel was formally inducted into the covenant of sacrifice on Pentecost. But was the Decalogue really given on Sivan 6th, as Jewish tradition asserts? It is consistent with the scriptural record of #Ex 19 if we understand verse 1 to refer to Sivan 1. "In the third month [Sivan], when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai: " (Italics ours) "The same day" as what? The same day they left Egypt, or the same day Sivan began? We think the latter. With this thought, a probable (though not provable) sequence, consistent with verses 1-11, is:

 

Sivan 1.Israel camped at Sinai.

 

Sivan 2.Moses went up into the mount, and received a message for Israel.

 

Sivan 3.He received the answer of the people, "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do: "

 

Sivan 4.Moses reascended the mount, and "returned the words of the people unto the Lord: "

 

God then told Moses to "Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow ... for the third day [Sivan 6th] the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. ."

 

The passage shows that the Decalogue was given on that "third day: " This arrangement of days and events is also supported by Jewish tradition. (Mc&S, ĎPentecost:í pg. 928)

 

 

 

Chronology of the Development of the Doctrine of The Mass

 

Last issueís article on the "Little Horn," dealt primarily with the time "the abomination that maketh desolate" (Papacy) was "set up" in civil control (#Da 12:11) This, by another contributor summarizes the development of the mass which caused "the daily sacrifice" (the ransom) to "be taken away" by declaring that Jesusí sacrifice was regularly repeated in the mass, rather than once accomplished and all- sufficient. The prophetic days of Daniel were to begin when both things had happened. The development of the mass happened to occur first, as outlined here:

 

End of 2nd century. Irenaeus of Lyons.

 

"With Irenaeus of Lyons (d. 202) there comes a turning point, inasmuch as he, with conscious clearness, first puts forward Ďbread and wineí as objective gift offerings, but at the same time maintains that these elements become the Ďbody and bloodí of the Word through consecration; and thus by simply combining these two thoughts we have the Catholic Mass of todayí " (New Catholic Encyclopedia, "Sacrifice of the Mass," Vol. 10, P. 11)

 

4th Century. Nicene and post-Nicene fathers.

 

"The doctrine of the sacrifice of the mass is much further developed in the Nicene and post-Nicene fathers, though amidst many obscurities and rhetorical extravagances, and with much wavering between symbolical and grossly realistic conceptions. . : " (History of the Christian Church, Philip Schaff, p. 506.)

 

"As regards the sacrificial aspect of the holy action, the most important development [in the 4th century] consists in the advance made in the transformation of the idea of sacrifice, for which the way had been already prepared in the third century. The offering of the elements, the memorial celebration of the sacrifice of Christ ... was changed into an offering of the body, a propitiatory memorial sacrifice ... Thus, owing to the influence of the heathen mysteries ... the idea crept in that the body and blood of Christ were constantly offered to God afresh in order to propitiate Him ... [Men] conceived of the Supper as a real renewal of the Sacrifice of Christ and of His saving death: " (History ofdogma, Adolph Hamack, Vol. 4, p. 287.)

 

"The conception of the Eucharist as a sacrifice received considerable development during the period under discussion [3rd and 4th centuries] ... The fullest statement of the sacrificial idea is found in Cyril of Jerusalem (about 348 AD). While repeating the language of the earlier period, and speaking of Ďthe spiritual sacrifice: Ďthe bloodless service,í he definitely calls it Ďthe holy and most awful sacrifice: Ďthe sacrifice of propitiation: over which God is entreated for the common peace of the churches. It is Christ sacrificed for sins who is offered, while the loving God is propitiated on behalf of the living and the dead. .: " (Encyclopedia ofreligion andethics, James Hastings, editor, Vol. 5, "Eucharist," pp. 551, 552.) 5th century.

 

"The transformation of the idea of sacrifice, according to which the conception of the offering of the gifts and the memorial of the Passion passes into an offering of the body and blood as a propitiatory memorial sacrifice [received further accentuation in this period] ... The practice of offering the Eucharist specially for the departed, which appears first in Teilullian and Cyprian, led gradually to the idea that each offering constituted a distinct sacrifice for sin. The transition was made slowly and almost imperceptibly. In popular religion the propitiatory conception doubtless received a considerable impetus from the influx of pagan ideas into the Church Ď " (Encyclopedia of religion and Ethics, James Hastings, editor, Vol. 5, ĎEucharist:í pp. 553, 555.)

 

"From the beginning of the fifth century, conceptions of the Eucharist were very decidedly influenced by ... Christological differences. If the conception of the Eucharist was connected with that of the Incarnation, then it could not be a matter of indifference to the former, whether in the latter the two natures were held to be fused in one or to remain separate: , Monophysites and Orthodox, however, had always been and remained of one mind regarding the Lordís Supper. Cyril argued over and over again from the Lordís Supper in support of the Incarnation and vice versa, and it was strictly due to him that the Church learned the connection between the two and never lost it ... Nay, the incorruptibility of the Eucharistic body was now accepted without question ... The strict Monophysites ... could bring the eucharistic and the earthly body quite closely together, because they also held the earthly body to be imperishable: " (History of Dogma, Adolph Hamack, Vol. 4, pp. 299-300.)

 

6th century.

 

"Here we have above all and first to name Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople in the time of Justinian. He [contended] that the ascended body abides complete (in substance) and undivided in itself (in heaven), and yet is received completely by each communicant in the portion of bread dispensed to him. Eutychius teaches a real multiplication of one and the same body of Christ in its antitypes - for as such he still describes the consecrated elements ... John of Damascus settled this question also ... He was the first to perfect the conception of the identity of the eucharistic and the real body of Christ . . . ĎThe body is truly made one with the deity, the body which came from the holy virgin, not that the body which was assumed comes down from heaven, but the very bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of God ... The bread and wine are not types of the body and blood of Christ; not so, but the very body of the Lord deified." (History of Dogma, Adolph Harnack, Vol. 4, pp. 301-302.)

 

"The transition from the Eucharistic to the propitiatory view of the Eucharist is reflected in the Western Sacramentaries, when compared with the earlier prayers (e: g. the DE SACRAMENTIS). Thus in the Leonine Sacramentary (6th century), side by side with the older language, which speaks of Ďthe sacrifice of praise,í we find Ďsacrifice of propitiation and praise: "Ď (Encyclopedia ofreligion and Ethics, James Hastings, editor, Vol. 5, "Eucharist," p. 555.)

 

"The doctrine of the sacrifice -of the mass ... in all points ... is brought to its settlement by Gregory the Great at the close of the sixth century. These points are the following:"

 

1. The eucharistic sacrifice is the most solemn mystery of the church, and fills the faithful with a holy awe ...

 

2. It is not a new sacrifice added to that of the cross, but a daily, unbloody repetition and perpetual application of that one only sacrifice ...

 

3. The subject of the sacrifice is the body of Jesus Christ, which is as truly present on the altar of the church, as it once was on the altar of the cross, and which now offers itself to God through his priest ...

 

4. "The offering of the sacrifice is the exclusive prerogative of the Christian priest:" (History of the Christian Church, Philip Schaff, Vol. 3, pp. 506-509.)

 

(From this contributor we have similar summaries of Papal Growth in Temporal Power, Papal Decline in Temporal Power, Highlights of the Millerite Movement, and Early Bible Student Movement-these will appear in future issueí-and the following reflections.)

 

The most crucial part of the prophecies of Daniel in the 12th chapter is in recognizing that the expression of verse 7, "time, times, and a half," is the exact equivalent of the 1260 days (or years) of #Re 12:6, as well as the "time, times, and half a time" and "42 months" of #Re 12:14 and #Re 13:5. When all of these expressions are recognized as being identical, and the year for a day principle applied, it indicates that a wicked ecclesiastical and political system is being identified with a period of 1260 years.

 

There is only one such wicked system that fits such a time setting, and it then becomes a relatively simple matter to obtain the correct starting and ending points. In the case of Papacy, the crisis year of 1799 is well marked in history, for at that point a blow was suffered which was of such proportion as to be recognized by all. Note some of these commentaries, including Catholic sources:

 

"[Pope] Pius VI was an ... unfortunate pope and at his death [1799] the papacy was at its lowest ebb for many centuries past: " (The Popes, edited by Eric John, p. 406)

 

"This moment [1799] marked the nadir [lowest point] of papal fortunes in modern times. .. . [Pius VIís] death while a prisoner [1799] marked a low point in papal fortunes not plumbed for centuries and gave rise to a prophecy that the apostolic succession had come to a close with the demise of ĎPius the Lastí "Ď (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, pp. 398-400, and Vol. 10, "Papacy from 1789 to 1815:")

 

"The papacy reached a low point in power and influence during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic period, from which it gradually recovered.. : " (Collierís Encyclopedia, 1957 edition, Vol. 18, p. 409)

 

With 1799 so clearly marked as the ending point of the 1260 year period of Papal dominion, the starting point is calculated to be the year 539 AD. But this is the starting point not alone for the 1260 year prophecy, but for the others as well, that is, the 1290 days and the 1335 days. This is not too clear from Daniel the 12th chapter, but it is interesting that the great majority of Bible expositors familiar with these prophecies, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries of awakened interest in Bible study, held that all three time prophecies of #Da 12 did indeed have the same starting point. And literally scores of them came within a few years of making the correct application. Thus, and this is thrilling to my faith, what we believe is not simply the result of the interpretation of one individual, but represents the concerted and united teaching of a host of sincere, earnest students of the prophecies, handed on down to us through the ministry of that wise and faithful servant. All of this, of course, is fundamental to an appreciation of how the 1874 date was arrived at for the invisible return of our Lord and the start of the Harvest period. The 1335 year prophecy, extending from the same starting point of 539 AD, brings us to the year 1874.

 

Hence the importance to us of the basis for establishing the key points of 1799, and 539 AD, without which we could not arrive at the 1874 date for the 1335 year prophecy of #Da 12. ... The very fact that such a wonderful time of blessing did occur and a fresh flood of light upon the Scriptures and revealment of the divine plan given, in itself gives evidence of the correctness of the dates, both of 1874 and that which led up to it.

 

- Contributed

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good: " We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2, Number 8, August 1981

 

Spoil

 

Burnt

 

Cross or Torture Stake?

 

Chronology of Growth in Papal Power

 

Spoil

 

A study on the word "spoil" as used in #Mt 12:29.

 

In this verse, our Lord gives us considerable information in regard to

 

the sequence of events, here at the end of the Age: Being so brief, it is necessary that we carefully consider the meaning of each word, in order to get the correct meaning. In this verse, the word "spoil" needs careful attention, since its meaning is often misunderstood. Unfortunately Bro. Russell, in some cases, uses the word in a sense somewhat different from the Scriptural usage:

 

#Mt 12:29: "Or else how can one enter into a strong manís house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house: "

 

Strongís Concordance: Spoil, Diarpazo: to seize asunder; plunder.

 

Youngís Concordance: Spoil: to snatch away thoroughly.

 

In checking other translations, we found none that used the word "spoil," but instead such words as ransack, plunder, loot and steal. We will quote two:

 

Weymouth: "Again, how can anyone enter the house of a strong man and carry off his goods, unless first of all he masters and secures the strong man? Then will he ransack his house: "

 

Interlinear Greek-English NT: "Or how can anyone to enter into the house of the strong man and the vessels of his to seize, if not first he binds the strong man and then the house of him he will plunder: "

 

The word "spoil" appears about 118 times in the Bible: In 14 cases in the Old Testament it is translated from a Hebrew word meaning to injure or destroy. In the other places, it is translated from an original word meaning to take after a victory. That evidently is the meaning in #Mt 12:29.

 

A69 top: "Thus we are taught that Satan must first be bound, restrained and deposed before Christís reign of peace and righteousness can be established: "

 

R575 p I: "The strong prince of this world has obtained much spoil from mankind, leaving him destitute; but this great Deliverer shall not only bind the strong man, but then shall he spoil his house (#Mt 12:29), and during his reign he shall divide or distribute the spoil to mankind, until at its close they shall be very rich in glory, honor and dominion of earth as at first: "

 

These two quotations relate to our topic. The first gives a general picture: The second uses the word "spoil" exactly as it is used in the Scripture: Satan has been the god of this world, but our Lord is going to complete his binding, and then take over. The binding of Satan, which includes the breaking down or destroying of the present systems, will be completed by the time, or before, the Mediatorial, reign begins, then the spoiling, or taking over, can proceed.

 

The word "spoil" does not mean destroy; but in the reality the "spoiling" will follow closely after the destruction of this order of things and thus could be said to be closely associated. We are told in Vineís Commentary that in some Greek texts the word translated "spoil" in the first instance in #Mt 12:29 is harpazo. The meaning of this word is essentially the same as diarpazo, though less intensive:

 

Two other words in this Scripture might be mentioned: "house" and "goods: " These seem to be good translations of the original, and need no elaboration. From the way these are used, we get the thought that although the Lord returned in 1874 and entered the strong manís house, he did not immediately exercise dominion, or take full control of earth and the affairs on earth among mankind. He will first bind Satan by breaking down his influence, and then destroying the evil systems which were established under Satanís influence: Then "the still small voice" will speak peace: Conditions on earth now indicate that Christ is not yet exercising full dominion, full control.

 

When he does, nothing will be allowed to hurt nor destroy.

 

 

 

Burnt?

 

Some question has arisen concerning #Le 9:24. What offering is it which was here consumed? Some have felt it to be (1) the daily evening offering; others feel it to be (2) the remains of the sacrifices earlier in #Le 9; yet others have thought it to be (3) one of the animals of verse 2. The answer seems to be hidden in the three Hebrew words translated "burnt" (among other translations). A full comprehension of these words will necessitate a complete investigation of these words in their various uses. This article will supply only the suggested conclusions of such a study.

 

Strongís 6999 (See definition 6999) seems to mean in its usage "turning to fragrance by fire: " Hence it is usually translated "burn incense: " However, in chapters dealing with the tabernacle, it is not translated in that manner. The implication, however, is that its use in tabernacle chapters has something to do with a sacrifice done in order to create an acceptable "fragrance" before the Lord.

 

(See #Ex 30:7; #1Ki 9:25, #2Ch 26:16, #Jer 11:13, #Le 9:10, 13, 14, 17, 20, #Le 8:16, 20, 21, 28, #Le 16:25 for examples.)

 

Strongís 8313 (See definition 8313) seems always to imply total destruction by fire or at least a thorough burning. (See #De 12:3, #Ex 12:10, 29:34, #2Ch 36:19, #Le 8:17, 32, 9:11, 16:28 for examples.)

 

Strongís 5930 (See definition 5930) seems to mean "ascending" in the sense of smoke climbing in the air. This word is usually translated burnt offerings. (See #Ge 22:2, #Le 8:18, 9:2, 16:3 for examples.) This word does not seem to be used to imply a complete consuming, but rather seems to be used as a term to describe the offering. Hence, burnt offerings (offerings which have the main function of sending up smoke) are used to picture that the other offerings had ascended to God (ie: , they had proven acceptable).

 

All three of these words are usually translated into phrases instead of merely into single words. This, and their usage, can most easily be seen in The Englishmanís Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament. (Numerically coded to Strongís.)

 

Having summarized the usage of these words, their application in #Le 9 can better be seen. Strongís 8313 (See definition 8313) is used only in verse 11. This seems to imply the purpose of totally consuming these parts as being useless.

 

Strongís 5930 (See definition 5930) is always translated "burnt offering" (or "burnt sacrifice") in this chapter. It is found in verses 2, 3, 7, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 22 and 24. The term seems to be used descriptively as above explained.

 

Strongís 6999 (See definition 6999) is a key word. It is used in verses 10, 13, 14, 17 and 20. It is important to remember its difference from Strongís #8313 as found in verse 11. Strongís 6999 (See definition 6999) does not seem to mean to destroy by fire: In each of the verses in which it is found it seems to imply burning NOT for the purpose of destruction, but for the purpose of a sweet savor ascending to God. The Socino translation (a Hebrew Rabbinical translation and commentary) translates this word in each of these verses with the phrase "made it smoke: "

 

CONCLUSION: It seems, due to these words, that the various sacrifices of the day were not totally consumed when burnt (as Strongís 8313 (See definition 8313) would seem to have meant if it had been used). (This may be suggested in verse 17. Is this verse suggesting that the morning offering yet remained in part?) If the sacrifices remained in part, the 24th verse is explained. The miraculous "consuming" (Strongís 398 [See definition 0398], to eat) devoured the remains of not only the burnt offering (possibly the evening sacrifice, seeing that the morning sacrifice is mentioned in verse 17), but also the fat. The mention of fat in addition to a burnt offering suggests the remains of more than one offering.

 

The antitype, of course, is lovely. The total end of all sacrifice will be heralded by the manifestation of the sons of God (#Ro 8:19). This is surely when the people will shout and fall on their faces.

 

- Contributed

 

 

 

Cross or Torture Stake?

 

Many have been plagued by the fruitless arguments of a well-known organization whose adherents make much of the question of what it was upon which Jesus was crucified (or "impaled").

 

One brother was accosted with the question at a fair booth: "Why do you have Jesus hanging on a pagan symbol?" His answer as classic: "Because it was pagans who killed him: " Perhaps the matter is not worth the space for consideration. Yet, if any feel it is, there is both historical Scriptural support that Jesus was slain on a two-piece cross.

 

Strongís Concordance (as other lexicons) demonstrates that the Greek word is of no help in solving the question.

 

Archaeological findings of the period (see McClintock and Strong, Vol. 2, pp. 575-581) are strongly in favor of two piece crosses. One-piece crosses, when used, either had the victims tied to them, or the stake was run through the body. The descriptions of Jesusí death obviously do not meet these conditions. The term "impale" (used in a modern translation) is most unfortunate, as the term suggests running the pole through the personís body, not affixing the person to the stake:

 

The Scriptural evidence, as usual, is the strongest available evidence: It is clear from #Joh 20:25 that nails (plural) were used in Jesusí hands. (Also note prophetic references to plural nails, #Ps 22:16, and to piercing of hands and feet, #Zec 12:10.) On a single upright the hands would have to be above the head and almost certainly upon each other fastened with a single nail. On a crosspiece, of course, plural nails are a necessity. Another evidence, a strong one, is suggested in #Mt 27:37 and #Joh 19:19, 20.

 

A sign, large enough to be written clearly in three languages, was placed OVER HIS HEAD. Had Jesus been hanging with his arms over his head on a single-piece stake, the sign could not have been over his head, but over his hands. This problem disappears with a two-piece cross.

 

- Contributed

 

 

 

Chronology of Papal Growth in Temporal Power

 

"Setting up of the abomination that maketh desolate" 4th-5th centuries. The churchís role in a collapsing Empire: "The Papacy was concerned with holding the Church together and protecting it from the invading barbarians. During the course of these invasions, both the popes and the bishops in the Roman Empire found themselves acquiring property and power by default as the Roman administration collapsed. This fusion of ecclesiastical and political functions in the bishopsí hands led to serious problems in the Middle Ages ... By the 5th century the pope was the largest landowner in Italy: " (Collierís Encyclopedia, 1975 edition, "Papacy," Vol. 18, p. 400)

 

445 AD. The Roman bishop gains prestige: "[In] 445 AD [the Emperor] Valentinian III issued a law by which the Roman bishop was declared the supreme head of the Western Church. This law gave for its reasons-the primacy of Peter, the dignity of the city [of Rome], and the decree of a holy synod. Resistance to the authority of the Roman bishop was affirmed to be an offence against the Roman state: " (History, of the Christian Church, George P. Fisher, p. 107)

 

476 AD. Fall of the Western Empire: (1st horn of #Da 7:8) "When and how did Rome fall? The first term in the title of Gibbonís famous work was more appropriate than the second. After the division of the empire and the removal of the seat of its western part from the city of Rome, there was a long decline - an evaporation of authority, a sinking of its vitality, the gradual fading and ultimate disappearance of its apparatus of government. Though moribund, it still drew a labored breath after the raid on Rome by Alaric the Goth (410). The invasion of Italy by Attila the Hun (455) left the Western empire virtually unconscious. It died in a coma a few years later, though already it had practically ceased to exist. When the insignificant Romulus Augustulus was deposed (476), there was no longer even a titular emperor. The ghost of the Western empire-feeble even for a ghost-was the shadowy claim of the Eastern emperor at Constantinople to the allegiance of the barbarian chiefs who exercised independent military control in Italy, Gaul, Spain, and North Africa. The only part of that claim that ever had any historical reality was the Eastern emperor I s exarchate at Ravenna: " (20 Centuries of Christianity: A Concise History, Paul Hutchinson and Winfred E: Garrison, p. 93) [A conglomeration of barbaric Germanic tribes, including the Heruli, Sciri, Rugii, and others, which once had acknowledged the rule of Attila, swept down into Italy.] "By 476 AD, [Odovacer or Odoacer] had evidently distinguished himself sufficiently to be readily chosen as their king: "

 

[The new invaders demanded a third of Italy; when I refused, they at once slew Orestes, the Roman general, and deposed his son Romulus Augustulus as emperor.] "It is indeed a new and important fact, that after 476 AD there was no Western Emperor until the year 800 [at the coronation of Charlemagne], and it must be admitted that the absence of any separate Emperor of the West vitally affected both the history of the Teutonic tribes and the development of the Papacy, during those three centuries: " (The Cambridge Medieval History, edited by H. M. Gwatkin and J. P. Whitney, "Italy and the West, 410-476 AD," by Ernest Barker in Volume 111, pp. 430-431.)

 

"[Pope Simpliciusí] pontificate [468-483 AD] saw the disappearance of the Western Roman empire: The boy emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed in 476 [by Odoacer]; no successor to him was nominated and when the barbarian patricius Odoacer [the title of Ďpatricianí was given by the Byzantine emperor], the real master of Italy, sent the imperial insignia to Constantinople, the Eastern emperor seemed to have become the sole rightful sovereign of the Roman world. This elimination of the imperial power in the West served perforce to enhance the prestige of the papacy throughout that half of the world, where it had begun to emerge as the focus of authority ever since Constantine had left Rome for Constantinople: " (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1972 edition, "Papacy," Vol. 17, p. 243)

 

493 AD. The Ostrogoth king defeats Odovacar. (2nd horn of #Da 7:8) "[Emperor] Zeno ... pleased that Theodoric should go into Italy ... sent him to attack Odovacar ... In 488 AD Theodoric crossed the frontier at the head of his Goths; it was the first step in the conquest which took five years to complete ... The conquest of Italy was practically achieved between 490 and 493; ... with the capitulation of Odovacar, which took place at this latter date, the victory of Theodoric was complete: " (The Cambridge Iledieval History, "The Kingdom of Italy under Odovacer and Theodoric," by Maurice Dumoulin, Volume 111, pp. 438-439)

 

"In 489 ... [the B,, Ďzantine Emperor] Zeno sent another barbarian against -[Odoacer], Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths. Theodoric defeated Odoacer (493 AD), established himself in Italy, and lived for several periods in Rome: (Encil. Brit., 1972, "Rome, Vol. 19, p. 582)

 

"533 AD Roman bishop acknowledged as head of all the churches. "Pope John II, a Roman by birth succeeded Boniface II in the Roman see in 532 AD The Emperor Justinian, in a letter addressed to him shortly after his accession [533], after earnest assurances of his endeavor to unite the Western and Eastern churches, makes full confession of superior power belonging to the Roman hierarchy, designating him as "the head of the holy Church: "Ď (Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, John McClintock and James Strong, "Pope John II," Vol. IV, p. 978) 534 AD. Emperor sends army to defeat Ostrogoths.

 

"Amalasuntha, daughter of Theodoric ... [proposed] to [Emperor] Justinian the conquest of Italy (534 AD) . . : " [The Ostrogoths, who were Arians and did not recognize the Roman bishop as the supreme pontiff, were then in control of Rome and the capital city of Italy, Ravenna. Accordingly, the emperor dispatched General Belisarius with an army to vanquish the Ostrogoths.] "[In] 535 AD, ... Belisarius landed in Sicily and occupied it, hardly needing to strike a blow ... Greeted by the Italian people as a liberator, [he] in turn seized Naples and occupied Rome unopposed (536 AD) . . : " (The Cambridge Medieval History, "Justinian. The Imperial Restoration in the West," by Charles Diehl, Vol. II, pp. 14-15) 539 AD. Ostrogoth kingdom (3rd horn of #Da 7:8 defeated at Faveima.) "The imperialists [under Belisarius] beseiged it [Ravenna, the capital of Italy] [at the] end of 539 AD. for six months the Ostrogoths held out [before capitulating in 540]: " (But see Gibbons note, 2nd paragraph following.) (The Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. 11, pp. 15-16) "Justinian sent an army to destroy the Gothic monarchy and restore Italy to the empire: The Goths at length ... offered to transfer their allegiance to [General] Belisarius on condition of his assuming the diadem of the Western Empire: Belisarius dallied with the proposal until he had obtained an entrance within the walls of the capital and proclaimed his inviolable fidelity to Justinian (539 AD): " (Ency. Brit., 1962, "Ravenna," Vol. 18, p. 999)

 

"The day of the surrender of Ravenna was stipulated by the Gothic ambassadors.... the gates were opened to the fancied king of Italy; and Belisarius, without meeting an enemy, triumphantly marched through the streets of an impregnable city: " [A footnote here states: "Ravenna was taken, not in the year 540, but in the latter end of 539; and Pagi (tom. ii. p. 569) is rectified by Muratori, (Annali díItalia, tom. v. p. 62) who proves from an original act on papyrus (Antiquit. Italiae Medii AEvi, tom. ii. dissert. xxxii. p. 999-1007) Maffei, (Istoria Diplomat. p. 155-160) that before the third of January, 540, peace and free correspondence were restored between Cavenna and Faenza: "] (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon, Vol. IV, p. 180) 554 AD. Popeís temporal authority confirmed. (Rise of the "little horn" of #Da 7:8) [During the reign of Pope Vigilius (537-555 AD), Emperor Justinian issued a "pragmatic sanction" of the papacy:] "By this act, the emperor acknowledged, confirmed and increased the temporal power of the pope, who was henceforth to have a voice in the nomination of the governors of the Italian provinces of the empire and to participate in the control of their finances. The pope became the official protector of the civil population against the depredations of the military, against extortion by the tax collectors, and against abuse of power by the administration: " (Ency. Brit., 1972, "Papacy," Vol. 17, p. 244)

 

556 AD. Popeís temporal authority enforced. "[Pelagius I succeeded Vigilius as pope, and he] made resolute use of the popeís new rights, organizing the temporal government of the territory over which he was actually sovereign and setting the papacy on the road to real political power. This power was to grow so rapidly that Gregory the Great [590- 604 AD] could write, a few years later.íI should like to know whether the pope, in this world, is a spiritual leader or a temporal king.í" (Ency. Brit., 1972, "Papacy," Vol. 17, p. 244)

 

Summary. "After the downfall of the Western Roman empire the political influence of the popes in Italy became of still more importance, from the fact that the popes had to take under their protection the unfortunate country, but particularly Rome and its environs, which were so often changing masters and continually exposed to the invasions of coarse and brutal conquerors. While the successors of St. Peter were so energetically interesting themselves in the welfare of the inhabitants of Italy, the latter were totally neglected by the Eastern Roman emperors who still laid claim to rule the land. Even after Justinian I had reconquered a part of Italy [AD 539] and converted it into a Grecian province, the lot of the inhabitants was no better; for the Byzantine emperors could only exhaust by taxation Ďthe subjects of the Exarchate of Ravenna, but in no way could they afford her the necessary protection."

 

"Under these circumstances it happened that the ... emperors ... lost all actual power, and remained only in name masters of the government, while the popes, in virtue of the needs of the moment, came practically in possession of that supremacy over the Roman domain ... This spontaneous result of generous exertion was in after times acknowledged as a lawful acquisition [by Pepin and Charlemagne] ... In this legitimate way, the temporal power and sovereignty of the popes was ... gradually established: " (The History of the Catholic Church, H. Brueck, Vol. 1, pp. 250-251)

 

- Contributed

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good" We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2, Number 9, September 1981

 

Bones and Bodies

 

Chronology of Papal Decline in Temporal Power

 

Helps for Tracing Bible Student Beliefs in History

 

Bones and Bodies

 

In #Eze 39:11-16 is a statement (apparently symbolic) of the burying of the bodies of the remnants of Gogís invasion of Israel. This articleís purpose is to suggest a possible solution to the symbolisms of bodies, graves, passengers, Hamon-gog, Gog, and the seven months.

 

Concerning the symbolic use of bodies and their parts, it is suggested that a reading of #Eze 37:1-14 and #Zec 14:12 will aid in understanding #Eze 39. #Eze 37 is the clearest statement of the problem. In it body parts coming together represent the restructuring of the polity of the Jewish nation. Using this as a clue, it seems likely that the decomposition of the bodies in #Eze 39 and the disintegration of bodies in #Zec 14 would each represent the destruction of polity - one gradual (decomposition), the other sudden (disintegration). If this be true, #Zec 14:12-13 represents a sudden governmental breakdown followed (verse 13) by anarchy. #Eze 39, however, seems to represent the tedious task of doing away with all remnants of former governmental concepts during the first 210 years (7 months) of the peaceable Kingdom.

 

The burying would represent the attempt of mankind to hide and forget all traces of the former ways of government. Those involved full-time in this work are Israel (verses 12-14). However, they are aided by "passengers: " It seems logical that the Ancient Worthies and restored Israel as the leaders of the new order would, indeed, be engaged full- time in eradicating the old order. The passengers, however, are those apparently who are coming to Jerusalem to learn. (#Zec 14:16-19, #Zec 8:20-23) Their learning ability will become acute so that they can readily point to remnants of the ways of the old order (#Eze 39:15), and they will be expected to do so. It is interesting to note that these "passengers" have a valley named for them. (#Eze 39:11) It seems probable that this valley represents the peaceable Kingdom of #Zec 14:4-5.

 

If the above symbolisms be correct, the symbolisms of Gog and Hamon-gog also become clearer. If the three chapters examined all represent incoming or outgoing polity, they are politically (ie: , civilly) oriented prophecies (as opposed to prophecies dealing with the religious aspects of Babylon). Therefore the decomposition of Gog represents the fading gradually of earthís civil influences in the lives of individuals. Bible students have long agreed that the invasion by Gog was basically an invasion of an irreligious force: This is civil governmentís last stand. (almost!)

 

The words of #Re 20 seem to confirm this conclusion. Here again Gog is mentioned (#Re 20:8). It does not seem reasonable to suppose that these are the same individuals who participated in Jacobís trouble: Rather, Gog here seems to represent the same symbolisms as he did in Ezekiel: civil powerís advocates. Civil power has long been Satanís tool (compare #Re 12), and it will apparently form the kernel of his final hour at the little season. Bro. Russell several times cautions that we recognize #Re 20 as being primarily about Satanís civil deceptions rather than primarily about his person. #Re 19 records the beast and false prophet being cast into the lake of fire; but what about the third part of the trio-the dragon (compare #Re 16:13)? The dragon is not destroyed until the end of the Millennium (#Re 20:7-10) although he is bound during that period. He works through Gog at both ends of the age!

 

NOTE: The "kings of the earth" of #Re 19 are not the dragon as can be confirmed by a careful comparison with #Re 16:13, 14. Even if they were, it will be noticed that they are not destroyed in the lake of fire in #Re 19:20. Only two entities are: beast and false prophet.

 

#Eze 39:11, 15 mention Hamon-gog (margin: The Multitude of Gog). Perhaps this clarifies the distinction between the dragon and Gog of #Re 20. Both represent facets of Satanís deception through the civil power. Dragon, however, seems to represent civil power as a unit, as a philosophy, as a tool of the devil. Gog, on the other hand, seems to represent the cooperating individuals (the multitudes). Thus we have portrayed in Scripture the multitudes ("Go") who serve Satanís governments, and the multitudes who serve Godís government. The ideas of the former shall be buried; those of the latter shall prosper.

 

One final note: The name of Haman in the book of Esther seems to have its origin lost in obscurity. But his history as one who planned to destroy Israel and who was destroyed in the process has a strong resemblance to #Eze 39. The similarity of names (Hamon and Haman) as well as of objectives is intriguing.

 

-Contributed

 

(We appreciate this stimulating article! With the authorís permission we mention our reservation - not the same as disagreement - respecting the 7 months equaling 210 years, and some reflections on the Dragon. #Re 20 does not mention a reappearance of Satan as a Dragon at the end of the 1000 years (though it does not deny it either). But #Isa 27:1, #Ps 74:13, 14, #Eze 29:3-5, #Job 41:1-7, 34 lead us to think that as a Dragon, Leviathan, Satan is slain and destroyed when the full binding of #Re 20 is completed. When Satan is released during the Little Season he is referred to as the Devil - accuser - which fits his role of then fomenting a bitter spirit against God. We commit this to your judgment. - BT)

 

 

 

 

Chronology of Papal Decline in Temporal Power

 

Loss of ability "to scatter the power of the holy people" (after 1260 days)

 

Prior to French Revolution (1775-1789)

 

"Between 1775 and 1789 Pius VI had to confront an almost universal malevolence or hostility of governments and public opinion against the Holy See: Rulers maneuvered to wrench from the Pope concessions designed to win for them popular acclaim, or to increase their authority over the clergy in their domains. Under the influence of the Enlightenment in France and England, an aggressive incredulity infiltrated the educated classes, the upper ranks of society, and even the clergy. National churches, even when they preserved regularity and piety, displayed active defiance of the absolutism of the Pope and the Roman Curia . .."

 

A pope able to hold his own against these opposing forces, oblige tax clerics to reform, and impose respect for papal authority would have needed unparalleled genius and energy. Pius VI possessed neither quality. He was sincerely intent on fulfilling his duties as administrator and defender of the Churchís rights, but he lacked firmness ...

 

Germany was the source of the gravest fears during the 15 years preceding 1789. Anti-Roman tendencies there affected the leaders among the clergy. In 1763 Febronius issued against the authority of the Roman Pontiff a veritable manifesto, repercussions of which were to be widespread ... The archbishops... issue(d) a public declaration, the Punctuation of Ems, affirming that German Catholics depended only on their bishops, to the exclusion of any papal representative: Schism seemed imminent.

 

In the Austrian territories the situation during the same period was still more alarming. Joseph II, Emperor ... sought (1) to submit the Church in Austria completely to the State; (2) to grant tolerance to all religious confessions ...

 

Pius VI became alarmed at the Emperorís haste and uncompromising rigorousness ... His protests proved vain ...

 

"The contagion of Josephinism reached Italy. In Tuscany Grand Duke Leopold I copied the reforms of his brother Joseph II. He found in Bishop Scipione deí Ricci a collaborator by conviction. The Synod of Pistoia (Sep. 1786), an assembly of Tuscan priests with Ricci presiding, published decrees very hostile to papal authority. As a result the Holy See beheld itself defied by anticurialists in ultramontane territory near Rome itself ..." (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, "Pope Pius VI," pp. 398-399)

 

During French Revolution (1789-1799)

 

"The French Revolution (1789-1799), ... abruptly opened an era of perils infinitely more menacing .. Pius VI ... [saw it as] a rebellion against the social order ordained by God and of a conspiracy against the Church concocted by the powers of evil ... he exerted himself to condemn without equivocation the principles formulated in the Declaration of the Rights of Man. On the diplomatic level he tried to arrange a kind of holy league against the Revolution ..."

 

The invasion of Italy (1796) by Napoleon abruptly changed the situation by advancing the Revolution to the frontiers of the Papal States. The Directory intended to take vengeance on Pius VI, at least by exacting a ransom for Rome, and perhaps by destroying the papacy itself. For two years the prudence of General Bonaparte, who refused to be the destroyer of the Holy See, permitted papal diplomats to purchase somehow a precarious peace at the cost of abandoning the Legations or northern provinces of the States of the Church, at the armistice of Bologna (1796), and the Peace of Tolentino (1797).

 

"Once Bonaparte left for Egypt, incidents inevitably occurred between Jacobins and zealous partisans of the Holy See: This furnished the pretext for a French punitive expedition against Rome: General Louis Berthier [Napoleonís chief of staff] entered the city (Feb. 10, 1798), proclaiming the establishment of the Roman Republic, and drove out Pius VI and the Curia. For a while the Pope sojourned in Tuscany, separated from his collaborators, and placed in circumstances that made his spiritual government of the Church impossible: The French made him captive, and began (March 1799) forcing him from city to city toward France ... He reached Valence, in southeastern France, on July 14 and was held prisoner there until his death, August 28. This moment [1799] marked the nadir [lowest point] of papal fortunes in modern times: " (New Cath. Ency., Vol. 11, "Pope Pius VI," pp. 399-400)

 

"... [Pius VIís] death while a prisoner [1799] marked a low point in papal fortunes not plumbed for centuries and gave rise to a prophecy that the apostolic succession had come to a close with the demise of ĎPius the Last.í ... The whole world [had been shown] the political impotence of the papacy in the period of Enlightenment. The end of the 18th century witnessed the deepest humiliation of the modern papacy in the wake of the French Revolution: " (New Cath. Ency., Vol. 10, "Papacy," pp. 965-960)

 

"... Pius VI was a far-seeing but unfortunate pope and at his death [1799] the papacy was at its lowest ebb for many centuries past. But pontifical authority survived this crisis and before very long emerged strengthened by it:" (The Popes. A Concise Biographical History. Edited by Eric John, pp. 404-406)

 

Post Revolution Period (1800-1814)

 

"The first part of [Pius VIIís] pontificate (1800-15), as indeed the whole history of Europe during these years, centered around the struggle against Napoleonic domination. The enterprises of Napoleon as first consul, then as emperor, imperiled the independence of the spiritual. Pius VII resisted this threat with increasing energy, conciliatory though he was in other respects ... Despite opposition of the cardinals, the Holy Father agreed to go to Paris for the consecration (Dec. 1804) of Napoleon as emperor ... He agreed to modifications in the traditional ceremonial proposed to him beforehand by Bernier, and consented to have Napoleon crown himself ... The Popeís remonstrances to Napoleon to improve the religious situation in France were for the most part repulsed ... Pius VII ... feared that the Emperor wished to extend to all Europe his religious system by introducing the spirit of the Revolution, as he had in Italy ... As this Napoleonic system extended to the Italian Peninsula and approached Rome, the danger mounted that the Holy See would become a vassal of France ... Events at Milan caused an irremediable rupture in the entente between the priesthood and empire ..."

 

Napoleon found himself impelled to take possession of all Italy. This led him into a conflict of ever-increasing gravity with Pius VII . .. The conquest of Naples and the occupation of the west coast completed the encirclement of Rome . . . [Napoleon] tried vainly to make the Pope yield . . . [Finally] General Miollis invaded Rome (Feb. 1808) ... The non-Roman cardinals were driven from Rome: Pius VII, who had opposed the arrest of Pacca, his Secretary of State, was seized, carried off from Rome (July, 1809), and deported to Savona, near Genoa.

 

Deprived of his liberty and his counselors, the Sovereign Pontiff henceforth refused to exercise his papal authority. As a result he would not canonically appoint those nominated to bishoprics by the Emperor. Numerous sees remained vacant to the great embarrassment of the French government . ..

 

"Napoleon then (June, 1812) transferred Pius VII to Fontainebleau, near Paris, to force his capitulation after the French victories in Russia. When the Russian campaign turned into a disaster, Napoleon hastened to finish with the Pope: Under compulsion Pius VII appended his signature to a project of concordat, which was intended as a basis for future negotiations and to remain secret. But Napoleon published the document, the so-called Concordat of Fontainebleau, as if it were a final one ... Pius VII wrote to Napoleon in vigorous terms, but Napoleon kept the letter secret. Military reverses in France [then] induced Napoleon to liberate his prisoner, who reentered Rome on May 24, 1814: " (New Cath. Ency., Vol. II, "Pope Pius VII," p. 402-403)

 

"The papacy reached a low point in power and influence during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic period, from which it gradually recovered in the nineteenth century to reach a position of prestige in the mid-twentieth century unequaled since the Middle Ages: " (Collierís Encyclopedia, 1975 Edition, Vol. 18, ĎPapacy, P 409)

 

- Contributed

 

 

 

Helps for Tracing Bible Student Beliefs in History

 

The prophets and the apostles prophesied the loss of many precious truths, and the pollution of the sanctuary class with defiling errors. As well, they spoke of the cleansing of the sanctuary as the end of the age would approach. Some brethren have researched the history of Truth doctrines, and others may have an interest in doing so. For those who wish it, the following is a staffing bibliography.

 

1. Bibliographic History of Dispensationalism, A. D. Ehlert, 1965, Baker Book House: Concise summary of the various schemes and outlines of dispensations and ages. CT Russell given about 1 page coverage of 3 ages and Divine Plan Chart approach.

 

2. Living in the Shadow of the Second Coming, T. P. Weber, 1979, Oxford. Good background of the 19th century premillennial beliefs. Essentially non-adventist in scope:

 

3. Prophets and Millennialists, W. H. Oliver, 1978, New Zealand. Relates numerous prophetic movements to historical settings. Coverage of reformation to 19th century. Substantially overlaps Froomís Prophetic Faith.

 

4. The Protesters, Alan Eyre, 1975, England. Christadelphian. Cites specific persons from reformation through mid 19th century with views similar to present Christadelphians. For areas where Bible Students agree with these, there is much interesting material.

 

5. The Religion of Isaac Newton, F. E: Manuel, 1974, Oxford Univ. Press. Detailed account of Newtonís beliefs on the Trinity, the Millennium, prophecy, etc. He was ahead of his time:

 

6. Martin Lutherís Religious Thought, W. M. Landeen, 1971, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc. Interesting discussion of Lutherís beliefs on justification, death and other subjects.

 

7. The Decline of Hell, D. P. Walker, 1964, Univ. of Chicago Press. Good coverage of 17th century repudiation of the eternal torment dogma by many prominent European scholars. Contains a lot of philosophical argumentation used at that time:

 

8. Foundations of the Seventh Day Adventist Message and Mission, P. G. Damsteegt, 1977, Eerdmans Pub. Relates more to the 7th Day branch of adventists, but contains a good summary of Millerite activities.

 

9. The Midnight Cry, F. D. Nichols, 1944, Review & Herald Pub. The best single history of Millerite activities. Is a defense of many accusations of fanaticism in the 1844 movement. Available in paperback.

 

10. Encyclopedia of American Religions, J. Gordon Melton, 2 Volumes, 1978. Exhaustive survey of all types of religions. Has several articles on Adventist and Bible Student backgrounds. Bulk of this material unrelated to the Bible Students.

 

11. The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, L. E: Froom, 4 Volumes, 1950s, Review & Herald Pub. The best current study of beliefs on the prophetic patterns of Daniel and Revelation. Much bibliographic material and quotations from important authors from the early church through the 1840s. Excellent information on tracing the origins of historical interpretations versus modern day fundamentalist futurism. Includes sections at the end concerning SDAís distinctives.

 

12. The Conditionalist Faith of Our Fathers, L. E: Froom, 2 Volumes, 1960s, Review & Herald Pub. Complementary volumes to the Prophetic Faith books. Excellent coverage of the conditional immortality beliefs from the Old Testament times to mid-20th Century. Good material on persons like Rotherham, Storrs, and CT Russell.

 

13. Future Probation in Christian Belief, A. O. Hudson, Bible Study Monthly, England. Introductory study and brief history of the doctrine of Future Probation. Good starting point.

 

14. Systematic Theology G. G. Huffer, 1976, The Restitution Herald, Oregon, Illinois. Basically a theological textbook from a more or less Christadelphian standpoint. Has several good summary chapters on the history of thought concerning the nature of man and the kingdom.

 

15. In Pursuit of the Millennium, Norman Cohn, 1971, Oxford. A good historical account of many prophetically oriented movements in the middle ages and reformation time: Written from a sociological viewpoint.

 

16. Millions Now Living Will Never Die, Alan Rogerson, 1970. An account of Bible Student and Jehovahís Witness history from the 1870s to the 1950s. Gives a good perspective on the subject, and is sympathetic with Bible Student perspective:

 

17. A People for His Name, Timothy White, 1967, Vantage Press. An account similar to Rogersonís. The book is more difficult to find due to the limited number published.

 

18. The Origin and Progress of Trinitarian Theology, J. Forrest, 1853. Illustrates the development of trinitarian dogma in the early church in the creeds and writings of the church fathers.

 

19. The Destiny of the Soul, Wm. Alger, Greenwood Pub., Reprint. Appendix, "The Literature of the Doctrine of a Future Life," Ezra Abbott, 1968, reprint. Written from a Universalist slant, this gives good information relating Christian views on salvation and other non- Christian ones. The appendix is the valuable part with an excellent bibliography for books on the nature of man and salvation. Originally compiled in 1860, its coverage ends at that time:

 

20. The Rise of Adventism, Edwin Gaustad, 1974, Harper & Row. Contains several essays relating to Millerite activities and their special context. Has an excellent bibliography of books and journals related to Millerism and early adventism.

 

21. History of Dogma, Adolph Harnack, 7 Volumes, 1970s, reprint. Very detailed history of the early church and early middle ages. Large amount of information on various councils and the rise of trinitarian doctrines.

 

22. Antichrist and the Millennium, E: R. Chamberlin, 1975, E: P. Dutton & Co. A survey of some of the notable characters and teachings from the middle ages to early 20th century. Some material on the Watchtower, but nothing unique:

 

23. Historical Waymarks of the Church of God, Clyde Randall, 1976, Oregon, Illinois. A concise history of the Church of God, Abrahamic faith, a blend of Adventists and Christadelphian backgrounds. Contains very interesting material for comparison to Bible Student development. Benjamin Wilson belonged to this group.

 

24. The Great Second Advent Movement, Its Rise and Progress, J. N. Loughborough, 1973, reprint. A good account of the Millerite movement, with emphasis on the subsequent Seventh Day branch and its activities. Not as useful as Nicholsí work.

 

25. History of the Second Advent Message and Mission, Isaac C. Wellcome, 1874. A very detailed history of the Millerite movement from an Advent Christian perspective: Some material on George Storrs, and brief notices on N. H. Barbour. Good biographical material on many Millerites and Adventists. Book is difficult to find.

 

26. The Advent Christian Story, C. J. Kearney, 1968. Brief account of the history of this Adventist branch. Gives good background for studying people that CT Russell tried to reach in the 1880s. Numerous reference to their competitive journal, The Crisis, can be found in the early Watchtower articles.

 

27. The 1975 Yearbook of Jehovahís Witnesses, Published by the Watchtower. Has a 100 page section covering the history of the Watchtower from the viewpoint of the Jehovahís Witnesses.

 

28. Meraiism end Gershonism, Epiphany Volumes 6 & 7, P S L Johnson, 1938, Laymenís Home Missionary Movement. Contains Johnsonís version of the 1917-1930 controversy in the Watchtower and PBI after CT Russellís death.

 

29. The Incredible Cover-Up, Dave MacPherson, 1975, Logos International. Historical critique of the pre-tribulation rapture idea of people like Hal Lindsey. Interesting narrative on 19th century development of 7 year tribulation and rapture views.

 

30. Finding the Lost Prophetic Witnesses, L. E: Froom, 1946. Brief personal account of tracking down sources for the Prophetic Faith books.

 

31. Finding the Lost Conditionalist Witnesses, L. E: Froom, 1965. Account of tracking sources for Conditionalist books. What does the Future Hold?, C. H. Hewitt, Advent Christian Pub. Contains some good analysis of various approaches to Conditionalism. Also has summary of Advent Christian views on the nature of man and of salvation.

 

33. Movement of Destiny, L. E: Froom. Similar in style to the Prophetic Faith volumes, but more concerned with developments in the post-Millerite movement of Seventh Day Adventists. Interesting notes on various unorthodox factions of nontrinitarian, future probation and nonsabbatarian adventists.

 

34. Dr. Thomas, His Life and Works, Robert Roberts, 1970, Birmingham, England. Gives a history of the founder of the Christadelphians Illustrates a similar development in beIiefs to Bible Students that began from different starting points than Adventism. In some ways reflects a more accurate tradition than classic Adventism.

 

35. Baptism through the Centuries, H. F. Brown, 1965, Pacific Press. Coverage of early church practices and continues to modern revivals of water baptism.

 

36. History of the Origin of the Doctrine of the Trinity, H. H. Stannus, 1882. Emphasis on early writers and creeds on the development of the trinitarian view.

 

37. The Shaking of Adventism, G. J. Paxton, 1977, Zenith Publishers. Study by a non-Adventist on the question of justification by faith in the 7th Day Adventist Church. Useful as a comparison study, but not much direct application.

 

38. A Great Baffle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, J. F. Rutherford, 1915. Consists of a defense of C. T. Russell against various of the morals charges by his contemporaries. Substantial biographical information.

 

Our contributor of the above would like to establish contact with any others who are interested in this kind of research, and is willing to share the fruits of his. Write: Charles Ryba, 10050 Paffon, Detroit, MI 48228

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good: " We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 9I59 Via de Amor, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2, Number 10, October 1981

 

Henry Grew on the Trinity Correspondence "And they lived . . . " Chronology of Highlights of Millerite Movement A Clue to Ezekiel?

 

Henry Grew on the Trinity

 

The following is excerpted from ĎAn Examination of the Divine Testimony Concerning the Character of the Son of God," by Henry Grew, published in 1824. The entire treatise is 70 pages in length, thoughtfully written and reverent. Bro. Grew preambled the publication with this quotation: "When we have humbly and attentively considered and ascertained the meaning of any proposition, we should implicitly believe it, how contrary soever it may be to our former opinion, or that of others in reputation for wisdom. "This summary of his reasonings may be of interest"

 

In concluding, let us review a few of the passages discussed in the preceding pages, and contrast them with Trinitarian sentiments. I am sensible that error as well as Truth may receive apparent support by this method; but this is only when the most obvious and literal import of a passage is not according to the general analogy of the scriptures. Whether that is the case or not with the following, the candid reader will judge: Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

To us, there is but one God, the Father. #1Co 8:6

 

Trinitarians

 

To us, there is but one God, the Father, Word, and Holy Ghost.

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

My Father is greater than 1. #Joh 14:28

 

Trinitarians

 

The Son is as great as the Father.

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature: #Col 1:15

 

Trinitarians

 

Who is the invisible God, the uncreated Jehovah.

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

The Son can do nothing of himself. #Joh 5:19

 

Trinitarians

 

The Son is omnipotent.

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

But of that day & c. knoweth no man, no not the angels, & c. neither the Son, but the Father. #Mk 13:32

 

Trinitarians

 

The Son is omniscient, and knew of that day as well as the Father.

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. #Mt 28:18 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. #Joh 17:2

 

Trinitarians

 

No given power can qualify the Son of God to give eternal life to his people:

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

God, who created all things by Jesus Christ. #Eph 3:9 By whom also he made the worlds. #Heb 1:2

 

Trinitarians

 

Jesus Christ created all things by his own independent power

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

The Return of Jesus Christ which god gave unto him. #Re 1:1

 

Trinitarians

 

The Return of Jesus Christ from his own omniscience:

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1Ti 2:5

 

Trinitarians

 

There is one Mediator between God and man; who is also supreme God and man in one person.

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

Denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. #Jud 4

 

Trinitarians

 

Denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who is also the only Lord God, and a distinct person.

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles, and signs, and wonders, which God did by him. #Ac 2:22

 

Trinitarians

 

Jesus performed his miracles by his own omnipotence:

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself. #Joh 5:26

 

Trinitarians

 

The Son is self-existent.

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

I live by the Father. #Joh 6:57

 

Trinitarians

 

The Son lives by himself.

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

This is my beloved Son. #Mt 3:17

 

Trinitarians

 

This is the only true God, the same numerical essence as the Father.

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

That they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. #Joh 17:3

 

Trinitarians

 

That they might know thee, who art not the only true God, in distinction from the Word whom thou hast sent.

 

Jesus Christ and His Apostles

 

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow -and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. #Php 2:11

 

Trinitarians

 

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow-and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to his own glory.

 

The fact that our divine Redeemer is called by some of the names of the Father, is considered by many as evidence that he is that very Being whose Son he is declared to be: They appear to have forgotten, that it was a common Hebrew custom to give significant names both to persons and places. Jesus Christ was called by the name of David. Was he therefore the identical son of Jesse? John the Baptist was called Elijah. #Mal 4:5. Was he therefore the very same being? If it was proper that the forerunner of our Lord should be called by this name (which signifies God the Lord), because he came "in the spirit and power of Elias," surely, it was proper that our blessed Lord himself should be called by some of the names of the invisible Father, in whose spirit and power he came down from heaven, and of whom he is by nature "the express image: " . . .

 

I object then, to the doctrine of three persons in the Godhead: First, Because it is not revealed in the scriptures of truth. There is not a single passage in the whole volume of divine Revelation that declares either expressly or implicitly, that there are three persons in one God. There is not a single passage which reveals that the one God consists of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit....

 

Secondly, Because it is not only not revealed, but the contra is most plainly declared in the divine testimony. We are therein assured, not only that there is but one God, but that this one God is the Father. The Father, as "the only true God," is as plainly distinguished from the Son as from all other beings....

 

Thirdly, Because I find the divine testimony of the Father, the Son, the Prophets and the Apostles, unitedly declaring the inferiority of the Son in his highest nature and character. . . .

 

Fourthly, Because it is not simply above reason, but contrary to every rational faculty I possess. It is impossible for me to conceive of three persons in any sense, without conceiving of three beings.... Fifthly, Because it adequate mediator between God and man. . . .

 

I object to this doctrine, Finally, Because it excludes from the universe the most glorious of all beings, God only excepted. If we should admit that the immutable Jehovah, at a certain period added to his being human nature, which is to be united with him "in one person for ever"; after all that can be said, we can have no idea of the Son of God in distinction from the Father; certainly none, except that of a mere perfect man. Thus the most mighty and glorious works of Jehovah, "the image of the invisible God; the first-born of every creature; the well beloved and only begotten of the Father, the joy of earth, and the glory of heaven" is blotted out of existence: And for this mighty loss, what is substituted? Nothing. For, beyond all controversy, there can be but one supreme God. "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him: " I cast my anxious eye around the universe, and most solicitously enquire, where is he who is "the beginning of the creation of God"; "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person?" Where is "the Word of God," who "was with God," and enjoyed glory with him "before the world was?" And where is he to whom every knee is commanded to bow, and whom the thousands of thousands of the heavenly hosts do actually worship in distinction from him that sitteth on the Throne? #Re 5:13. To this interesting enquiry, the system I am opposing gives me no satisfactory answer.

 

-Contributed

 

 

 

Correspondence

 

I thought some may be interested in additional information on the crucifixion question. In 1968 Israeli archaeologists uncovered the remains of a crucifixion victim named Jehohanan. They were able to determine that he was crucified on a cross with a cross-arm. A single nail was driven through a wooden plaque and then the feet into the cross, the knees were bent and a small platform on which the victim could barely sit was provided. The hand nails were actually placed through the wrists, a fact which was guessed at earlier due to the fragile nature of the hand-the hand would tear and not support the weight of the body. Also, a nail in the hand would most likely have shattered one of the fragile bones in violation of #Joh 19:36. (The Greek word for hand can include arm parts-see Youngís.) This person also had his legs broken to hasten death. #Joh 19:32.

 

Granted, this is only one crucifixion and no proof that all crucifixions were done this way, but it is strong evidence that this was the "normal" way it was done: Source: Bible and Spade, Vol. 1, No. 1, pg. 13.

 

 

 

"And they lived. . . "

 

This familiar expression is from #Re 20:4. "And I saw ... the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, . . . and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years: " We want to specially ask the meaning of the words "they lived: " The first impression which comes to mind is that the saints lived with and reigned with Christ. But some investigation convinces us that the thought intended was "they came to life and reigned with Christ: " There is a significant distinction in the two thoughts.

 

Weymouth renders the passage: "and they came to life and shared Christís Kingdom for a thousand years:" Rotherham supplies a footnote on the word "lived": "or.í came to life,í cp. #Lu 15:32; #Joh 11:25; #Ro 14:9; #Re 1:18, #Re 2:8:"

 

The context supports this rendering. In verse 4 John sees "the souls" of the saints. Why does he say "souls"? Why doesnít he say he saw the saints in glory, with white raiment, and girdles of gold, as in #Re 15:6, and #Re 19:8? Because he is describing dead saints. This description appears once earlier, in #Re 6:9, and there also refers to dead saints. "And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held . . : " Notice where these "souls" were located -under the altar. Why? It is a picture of saints who have completed their sacrifice, and as the ashes of a sacrifice would fall through the grating to the floor beneath the altar, so that is where we find these sleeping saints.

 

The reference to sleeping saints as "souls" reminds us of Paulís reference to the Ancient worthies as "the spirits of just men . . : " (#Heb 12:23) So John tells us, paraphrasing, "I saw the souls [dead saints], and then I saw them come to life! They lived!" He is describing the resurrection of the sleeping saints. He follows this up directly by telling us what he was just watching . . . "This is the first resurrection: " (Acknowledging that the first sentence of verse 5 is spurious.)

 

To some this may seem an incidental clarification, but it bears on at least three matters of significance in understanding the first 6 verses of #Re 20.

 

(1) It shows there is a time break between verses 3 and 4 (assuming the sealing of Satan in the pit is future, and the raising of the sleeping saints past).

 

(2) It may bear on the question of whose "thrones" are described in verse 4.

 

(3) It implies that the saints raised from death have entered into the promised reign.

 

 

 

Chronology of Highlights of the Millerite Movement

 

"Man purified ... the wise to understand" (after 1290 days)

 

1816 William T. Miller (1782-1849) was converted to Christianity in a Baptist church in Hampton, New York. A studious and self-educated man, he was not satisfied with certain aspects of Christian teaching and the many seeming contradictions of the Bible: This motivated him to undertake a two year comprehensive study of the Bible which convinced him that the Scriptures were consistent and harmonious when rightly understood. 1818 Finding the Bible to be "a system of revealed truth," Miller set forth tentative conclusions of his two year study. He differed rather strongly from the popular views of his day in a dozen points, among them his conviction that the world had entered the last phase of prophetic time and that in 25 years "all the affairs of our present state would be wound up: " To verify his findings, Miller entered into four additional years of intensive Bible study, from 1818 to 1822.

 

1822 Mr. Miller, now in his prime at age 40, composed his "Twenty Articles of Faith," which summarized most of his beliefs. Most of these points were considered fundamental gospel premises with which many devout Christians of diverse affiliations could agree: the inspiration of the Bible, belief in the Trinity, the creation and fall of man, Christís substitutionary atoning death, the saving power of faith in Christ, election founded on Godís purpose and foreknowledge, baptism by immersion, resurrection of the just and unjust, destruction of the wicked, and purification of the earth by fire: But the startling article concerned his unwavering belief in the imminent "second coming of Jesus Christ," which he wrote, "is near, even at the door, even within twenty-one years, on or before 1843: "

 

1829 Mr. Miller attended a series of special meetings in his local Baptist church in Hampton, NY, consisting of special sermons by guest preachers. A reasonable presumption is that he shared his views on the advent with these visiting Baptist ministers.

 

1831 Mr. Miller began his public ministry by setting forth his advent expectations to a small congregation in Dresden, NY, as a substitute preacher.

 

1834 Mr. Miller became a full-time preacher gaining many adherents, chiefly among the Baptists at first, but later reaching a cross-section of the Christian community. With a strong will and constitution, he enthusiastically threw himself in to the ministry to carry on what he conceived as his special mission to warn men of their impending doom unless converted before the second advent of Christ.

 

1836 Mr. Millerís writings began to attract some public attention and by 1838 were being republished by the Boston "Daily Times: "

 

1839 Mr. Miller made the acquaintance of Joseph Himes, leading to a new era of expansion for the infant Advent Movement. The following year, Himes began publishing the "Signs of the Times" in Boston, spurring the appearance of more than two dozen other journals, edited by ministers attracted from the ranks of Congregationalists, Methodists, Wesleyans, Christians, Baptists, and Presbyterian affiliations. The circulation of these second advent papers and journals was phenomenal, some reaching 100,000. By the middle of 1844, a total of 5 million copies had been distributed, and a very widespread witness given to northeastern and middle western America.

 

1840 The years 1840-1843 saw the establishing of sixteen large conferences in different major cities in six states (Mass., Maine, New York, NH, Vermont and Penna.), varying in attendance from many hundreds to 5,000. These attracted the support of numerous ministers from a wide spectrum of denominations, and helped greatly in solidifying and spreading the message:

 

1842 Beginning of a series of 130 camp meetings, lasting until 1844, which brought Millerism directly to the masses. The earnest preaching and stirring hymn singing and testimonies of these open air meetings held a contagious attraction and novelty that drew from 4,000-10,000 to each site: Half a million people were reached in this way.

 

The year 1842 also saw the introduction of "The Big Tent," 120 feet in diameter, accommodating 4,000-6,000 people: This innovation was prompted by increasing opposition from orthodox churches and the consequent difficulty of securing the large size halls needed for the work. "The Big Tent" was used successfully in New York, New Jersey, Mass., NH, Vermont, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, until 1844.

 

Suspended from two main supporting poles was a streamer reading "Thy Kingdom Come: " 1843 The actual date set for the return of Christ. It was based on the belief that the 2300 day prophecy of #Da 8:14 would end in the advent of Christ, covering the period from 457 BC to 1843 AD. However, due to a later refinement in the calculation, the date of expectation was postponed to the Spring of 1844.

 

1844 When the Spring of 1844 passed uneventfully, intensive restudy led to the acceptance of Oct. 22, 1844 (thought to be the Jewish Day of Atonement) as the final and irrevocable date for the visible return of Christ. But again, "their Lord came not, and the day of sweet expectation had become the day of bitter disappointment: "

 

Summary At the height of the Millerite movement, upwards of 50,000 believers had declared themselves to be Adventists. There were about 500 preachers from the leading denominations, 1500 public lecturers, and about 30 editors that comprised the loyal core of the group. They created a mighty stir across the land and aroused widespread interest in Bible study and the fulfillment of prophecy.

 

In the aftermath of the disappointment, there was great confusion and bewilderment, and the Adventist faithful had to face public ridicule at every hand. The Millerite Movement came to an abrupt end, many of its adherents drifted away, and the remnant divided into several factions. Nevertheless, a sanctifying Mark had been left upon a nucleus of believers who had been brought to a closer walk with the Lord and had been given an awareness that the prophetic "end of the age" was upon them. These were now prepared for fresh outpourings of Truth to accompany the advancing light. (The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, LeRoy E: Froom, Vol. 4, pp. 455-826.)

 

- Contributed

 

 

 

A Clue to Ezekiel?

 

It is possible that the book of Ezekiel is a prophecy of the harvest church. Chapter 1, verse 3, suggests in the meaning of the proper names employed that this might well be the case: Ezekiel means "Whom God will strengthen" (meaning uncertain)-perhaps suggesting #Re 3:20. Buzi means "contempt" -certainly the attitude with which the Babylonish world views the harvest church. Chebar means "extent of time," the appropriateness of which needs no comment.

 

The purpose of this article is to suggest a prophetic meaning for the first two verses of Ezekiel. If the suggestion seems reasonable, the article will, we trust, act as a catalyst for an energetic student who likes to work with dates and harvest history. If the following suggestion be a valid one, Ezekiel may open up beautifully as a detailed chronology of our experiences. (The verses which would need chronological-prophetic identification are: #Eze 8:1; 20:1; 24:1; 26:1; 29:1; 31:1; 32:1; 40:1.)

 

As Ezekiel opens his book, he makes mention of a "thirtieth year: " Yet he does not explain his dating - a fact which immediately invites our curiosity. One thing is certain, the date being pinpointed is an auspicious date: "the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God: " Fortunately, in verse two, Ezekiel supplies sufficient information so that we can compute the origin of the elusive thirty years of verse one:

 

The fifth year of Jehoiachinís captivity is also the fifth year of Zedekiahís reign (#2Ki 24:12, 15, 17). Zedekiah reigned eleven years and his reign terminated in 607 BC Therefore, the fifth year is six years previous, or 613 BC If 613 is the 30th year since an important date, we need merely go back 30 years to 643 BC which must be the important date: It is; 643 is the 18th year of King Josiah-a year which witnessed.

 

(1) the cleaning and repairing of the Temple;

 

(2) great religious reform in Israel;

 

(3) Josiahís Great Passover.

 

Now the guessing begins. If 643 is typical, of what like event or date is it typical? Perhaps the Great Passover is one key. Jesus said he would partake anew with his disciples in the kingdom. In 1878 he would have had that opportunity. (A very great Passover!) 1878 seems like a likely date also for an antitypical temple repair and religious reform.

 

If this assumption be correct, 613 (the year of Ezekielís vision) would have 1908 as its antitype, in which year September 25th was the Jewish New Year. The fourth month, fifth day of the month, would then be January 1, 1909. Question: Did any vision happen then due to the heavens being opened? Answer: Seemingly yes! In the January 1, 1909 Tower appears the first of about a two-year series of articles clarifying the covenants. This is not insignificant. The effect on the church was profound. It also seems significant that at least one of the many explanations of #Eze 1 deals with the wheels as representative of the series of covenants and ages about which the Divine Plan revolves. Therefore, 613 and 1908 would both have shown visions of the glory of God as never before revealed. The date parallelism grows more convincing yet as we realize that 607 (the end of Zedekiahís reign) parallels 1914 in this reckoning -making all of these parallel dates 2520 years apart. If there be validity in this attempt we pray the Lord will bless the ability of others to build on it.

 

- Contributed

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good: " We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amur, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

A Forum for the Publication of Scriptural Viewpoints

 

Thought to be Harmonious with Godís Plan of the Ages

 

Volume 2, Number 11, November 1981

 

The Plan of the Ages - A Review by Joseph Rotherham

 

Lutron Anti and Antilutron

 

A Covenant Sacrifice

 

Chronology of Early Bible Student Movement

 

Shroud of Turin

 

The Plan of the Ages-A Review by Joseph Rotherham

 

Joseph Rotherham, the translator of the Emphasized Bible which many Bible Students use frequently, was the editor of a journal titled The Rainbow. In Volume 23, 1886, appeared his 10-page review of the first Volume of Millennial Dawn, The Plan of the Ages. Though Rotherham held some of the conventional misinterpretations concerning the nature of man, the Trinity, #Re 20:5, and the identity of the Antichrist (and he criticized the book on those points), he evidently did embrace a hope of future probation after death for the unsaved. Perhaps readers will be interested to see a few excerpts.

 

"This is a notable book-bold, broad, and breezy; very refreshing after the stereotyped dogmas and platitudes which pass current in the theological world. It is a book for men and not for children ..."

 

". . . The one leading thought of this book . . . in a single word ... is RESTITUTION or RESTORATION: Restoration, sharply and constantly distinguished from Universalism. The author is not a Universalist, nor anything near it. With him the second death is total and final. From it there is no redemption and no recovery."

 

But he is a restorationist out and out. He holds that all men will rise from the dead - all be delivered from Adamís sin and all its consequences sooner or later-all be put afresh and individually on trial, under new and improved conditions, with a fair chance of obtaining eternal life-so that none shall fail of the prize save by his own inexcusable crime: He holds that this restoration of the race as a whole-distinguished from the little flock, the elect, the Church, the bride of Christ, who will have been previously raised from the dead and exalted to be sharers of Christís own glory-will take place during the Millennial Age; progressively, if we mistake not, at any rate within or during the Thousand Years; and that at the close of that period, the incorrigible will be utterly destroyed for ever, and sin and sorrow thenceforward be no more: The author is strong upon the point that all loss through Adamís sin will be more than made up to every man through Christ. Adam was created perfect.

 

Every man must be restored to the like perfection, and then decide for himself his eternal destiny....

 

"... It cannot be denied that there is to be a restitution; and very likely it is to be larger and grander than most of us have dreamed. For, though the word apokatastasis in #Ac 3:21 might be satisfied by the rendering "due accomplishment" (of the prophecies, that is), and so merely send us to the old prophecies to see what therein we can find to be fulfilled, yet still, when we get to the prophets, it is undeniable that they descry in the Messianic Age such an enormous amount of restoration than our poor systems can no way find room for it. If Elijah is to restore all things, depend upon it, it must be a restitution to Moses whose counterpart he is (#Mal 4). The only Messiah that Elijah knows must needs honour the Law before he delivers from it. So here is a great, even if only temporary, work of restitution to make room for. Then, again, there is the restoring of Israel, to her saving shame (#Eze 16); and if this includes her dead generations, as it surely must, who of us can find room for that in our "little systems," to say nothing of the restoring of Samaria and the restoring of Sodom itself; yes, of Sodom itself-for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it, and when we tremble at His word as we ought, and at the same time have an adequate apprehension of what fair interpretation really is, we shall blush even to begin to explain and mystify it away as we have done all too long. So that, up to this point, we can have no quarrel with Mr. Russell; nor can we doubt that there is much more of restitution in the Old Testament than even he has formally pointed out: there, in the sacred text itself, if we only knew how to read it . . ."

 

". . The Chapter on ĎThe Permission of Evilí is alone more than worth the price of the whole volume, and is the fullest discussion of this great mystery, and the nearest approximation to a probably correct solution of it, with which we are acquainted."

 

Incidentally, Rotherhamís criticism of Bro. Russellís treatment of Daniel and Revelation-"He goes in the beaten track. Babylon is Rome, and all the rest of it .. : " - is evidence that main-line Protestant thought had once been clear in the historical view of Revelation and the proper identification of Antichrist.

 

- Contributed

 

 

 

Lutron Anti and Antilutron

 

The word "ransom" appears in our English New Testament 3 times. #Mt 20:28, #Mk 10:45, #1Ti 2:6. But the Greek in each case is not the same: In #Mt 20:28 and #Mk 10:45, the word rendered "ransom" is lutron, followed with the word anti. But in Timothy the Greek is one word, antilutron. Why this difference?

 

There is a slightly different thought in each place: The basic word lutron means "lit., a means of loosing (from luo, to loose), occurs frequently in the Septuagint, where it is always used to signify equivalence:"

 

Thus it is used of the ransom for a life, e: g. #Ex 21:30, of the redemption price of a slave, e: g. #Le 19:20, of land, #Le 25:24, or the price of a captive, #Isa 45:13: (Vine, Expository Dictionary)

 

The derivation of the word is helpful. "Lu" is from Luo, as Vine comments, meaning "to loose: " Tron is not a word of itself, but its meaning in other words is exemplified in some English words using that Greek suffix, like "electron," and "positron: " An electron is that (particle) which has an electric charge, a positron that (particle) which has a positive charge: Lu-tron therefore is "that which looses"- the basis of loosing, the price of release:

 

Anti can appear either compounded in a word, or as a word by itself. "The basic idea of anti is Ďfacing.í This may be a matter of opposition, unfriendliness or antagonism, or of agreement.... antiparerchomai in #Lu 10:31, 32, where the verb is rendered Ďpassed by on the other side,í i e: , of the road, but facing the wounded man; antiballo in #Lu 24:17, where the anti suggests that the two disciples, in exchanging words (see RV marg.), turned to face one another, indicating the earnest nature of their conversation. The idea of antagonism is seen in antidikos, an adversary, #Mt 5:25, antichristos, antichrist, #1Joh 4:3, etc."

 

"There is no instance of the uncompounded preposition signifying Ďagainst.í ... the idea is that of Ďin the place of,í Ďinstead of,í or of exchange: ..: "

 

Examples listed by Vine ("for" = anti):

 

"an eye for an eye" (#Mt 5:38)

 

"evil for evil" (#Ro 12:17, #1Th 5:15, #1Pe 3:9)

 

"railing for railing" (#1Pe 3:9)

 

"for a fish ... a serpent" (#Lu 11:11)

 

"for one mess of meat . . . his own birthright" (#He 12:16)

 

"a shekel ... for thee and Me" (#Mt 17:27) ("That is to say, the exchange is that of the coin for the tax demanded from Christ and Peter, rather than for the persons themselves: ")

 

"for a covering" (#1Co 11:15) ("Where the hair is a substitute for the covering: ")

 

"The substitutionary meaning is exemplified in #Jas 4:15, where the AV and RV render the anti Ďfor thatí(RV, mar", Ďinstead of):í

 

("In #Heb 12:2, Ďfor (anti) the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,í neither the thought of exchange nor that of substitution is conveyed; here the basic idea of facing is present. The cross and the joy faced each other in the mind of Christ and He chose the one with the other in view: ")

 

So our Lord states that his human life was to be given a lutron, "price of release," anti, "in the place of, or instead of," many.

 

Paulís expression in #1Ti 2:6 is different. The word for "ransom" is not lutron, but antilutron, and his word for "for" is not anti, but huper. Antilutron means a "corresponding price of release," or as Vine puts it, "a substitutionary ransom ... there the preposition is huper, on behalf of...: "

 

To summarize:

#Mt 20:28††††††††† Ransom††††††††††††††††††††† for†††††††††††††††††††††† many

#Mk 10:45††††††††† lutron††††††††††††††††††††† anit

††††††††††††††††††† price of release††††††††††† in the place of

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††or instead of

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† or in exchange for

 

#1Ti 2:6†††††††††† Ransom††††††††††††††††††††† for†††††††††††††††††††††† all

††††††††††††††††††† antilutron††††††††††††††††† huper

††††††††††††††††††† corresponding†††††††††††††† on behalf of

††††††††††††††††††† price of release

††††††††††††††††††† or substitutionary ransom

 

 

 

A Covenant Sacrifice

 

As the years passed, and Abraham wondered about the birth of the promised heir, he queried the Lord for an assurance respecting his expectation. He no doubt wished to be certain he understood the promise correctly. God renewed his word, affirming that as the innumerable stars above, "so shall thy seed be: " (#Ge 15:5) God also instructed Abraham to perform what may seem a strange ritual. He directed that various animals be sacrificed, divided (except for the birds as #Le 1:17), and spread out on the ground. "And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram...: " (#Ge 15:16, 17)

 

Why this strange performance? Apparently God was condescending to a recognized custom of the time (as well as directing a type, on which perhaps more at a later date). When a solemn pact was made in ancient times the contract was solemnized, made binding, ratified, when the contracting parties walked between the pieces of a slain animal, the "covenant sacrifice" or "covenant victim: "

 

Thomas Scottís commentary: "As the ratification of a covenant between the Lord and his servant was intended, the animals were divided asunder, the birds alone excepted: because the form of covenanting required, that the persons concerned should pass between the parts of the sacrifice: perhaps intimating, that he who broke the covenant, might expect in like manner, to be cut asunder by the avenging sword of justice:"

 

"The Gentiles, as well as the Jews, used a form of this kind in confirming covenants and treaties; which custom might perhaps be derived by tradition from this transaction; or the Lord saw good, in this instance, to condescend as far as practicable, to a custom already established:" (Note Abraham did not pass between the pieces, but that which represented the Divine presence did the burning lamp. This was a unilateral agreement. God promised to do something. Abraham had no conditional part, having demonstrated his faith previously per #Ge 12:1-4.)

 

Another example of this practice is in #Ge 21:27. "And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave to Abimelech, and they two solemnized a covenant: " (Rotherham) Rotherhamís footnote on "solemnized a covenant" is "cut, because of the cutting up and distribution of the flesh of the victim: "

 

Adam Clarkeís comment: "the word is Kareth Berith-to cut a covenant, or rather the covenant sacrifice; for as no covenant was made without one, and the creature was cut in two that the contracting parties might pass between the pieces, hence cutting the covenant signified making the covenant: "

 

He goes on to explain that the Latin words of the Romans used for making contracts had root meanings of "cutting its throat," or "knocking it down" with a stone axe, from the custom of slaying a sacrifice to ratify the agreement.

 

A third scripture example of the custom is in #Jer 34:18-20.

 

With the background of this custom, the Diaglott version of #Heb 9:16, 17 makes good sense: "For where a Covenant exists, the Death of that which has ratified it is necessary to be produced; because a Covenant is firm over dead victims, since it is never valid when that which ratifies it is alive: "

 

 

 

Chronology of Early Bible Student Movement

 

"Blessed is he that cometh to the 1335 days"

 

1868. Charles T. Russell (1852-1916), raised in a Christian atmosphere, had joined the church at an early age and been active in mission work. But the creeds became a stumbling block to him, because he could not harmonize their teachings (especially eternal hellfire) with his concept of a loving God. But just as the very foundations of his faith were being threatened, he stumbled upon an Adventist meeting seemingly by accident, and its message served to restore his confidence in the Bible: Thereafter he was careful to distinguish between man-made creeds and teachings of the Bible, and determined to return to his Bible study with more zeal than ever before:

 

1870. At age 18, Mr. Russell and a small group of associates formed a Bible class in Allegheny, Penna. He became convinced that they were living near the close of the Gospel Age, at which time the faithful watchers for the return of Christ would be given a clearer knowledge of the divine plan. The next five year period, in his own words, "was a time of constant growth in grace and knowledge and love of God and his Word: " By 1872, he came to the realization that the atoning sacrifice of Christ would bring about the resurrection of all who had died and provide them with an opportunity for coming to a full knowledge of the Truth and for gaining everlasting life:

 

In later years, Mr. Russell was to gratefully acknowledge the assistance in doctrinal matters which he received from Mr. George Stetson and Mr. George Storrs (the latter, editor of "The Bible Examiner,") in this early period. He wrote, "We were then merely getting the general outline of Godís plan, and unlearning many long- cherished errors, the time for a clear discernment of the minutiae having not yet fully come: "

 

1876. Mr. Russell was elected Pastor of the Allegheny Bible class and began to assume more of a leadership role: His warm, loving personality and kindly manner endeared him to the group and proved a great asset throughout the years of his expanding ministry. Pastor Russell had always been grieved at the date setting practice of the Adventists and what he considered their crude ideas of the object and manner of the Second Coming. But his acquaintance with two Adventist- oriented writers now gave fresh insights into the subject of prophetic time: These were Mr. Nelson Barbour, editor of "The Herald of the Morning" in Rochester, NY, and Mr. J. H. Paton from Almont, Mich.

 

They suggested that the time prophecies pointed to the year of Christís invisible presence, when he would begin setting up his Kingdom on earth, gather his church and separate the wheat from the tares. Mr. Barbour convinced Pastor Russell from several lines of prophetic testimony that 1874 had seen the beginning of this work.

 

1877. Pastor Russell and Mr. Barbour jointly published The Three Worlds and Plan of Redemption, which combined the concepts of the ransom sacrifice of Christ, restitution blessings to follow, and time prophecy. Pastor Russell also became assistant editor of "The Herald of the Morning" with Mr. Barbour. Pastor Russell called a special meeting of all the ministers in Pittsburgh and Allegheny to demonstrate that Christ had returned invisibly in 1874. Many attended, but none accepted the teaching. The following year, he published the pamphlet, "The Object and Manner of the Lordís Return," hoping thereby to dispel some of the "doomsday" aspects traditionally associated with the event.

 

1879. Doctrinal divisions caused Pastor Russell to withdraw support from Mr. Barbour and to begin publishing an entirely new journal, called "Zionís Watch Tower and Herald of Christís Presence: " Pastor Russell was to remain editor of this monthly magazine (semi-monthly from 1892) until his death in 1916. It became the chief means of stirring interest in the doctrines of the divine plan and, in later years, of maintaining that interest.

 

1881. Pastor Russell published Food For Thinking Christians which carried an illustrative "Plan of the Ages" chart summarizing the various stages of Godís plan of salvation. It was followed by The Tabernacle and Its Teachings, detailing sacrificial aspects of the life of Christ and his followers, drawn from types in the Old Testament.

 

Local congregations of Bible Students began to spring up around the country, supporting the work of the Watch Tower Society and electing Mr. Russell as their pastor. The largest groups were in Pittsburgh, New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. Convention gatherings began to be organized in various cities, attended at first by hundreds, and in later years by thousands.

 

1886. Pastor Russell published Millennial Dawn, an enlargement of the earlier Food For Thinking Christians, and the work soon became the classic and mainstay of the movement. Its simple, easy-flowing style contrasted sharply with the complicated theological treatises of the day. It laid out the successive stages of Godís purposes as revealed in Scripture, covering such subjects as: Time features, the program of blessing, the permission of evil and its value, ransom and restitution, the Day of Judgment, distinction between spiritual and human natures, the prophetic course of the kingdoms of this world, the great time of trouble, and the nearness of Godís Kingdom upon earth. (The title of the work was later changed to The Divine Plan of the Ages and it became the first of six volumes under the heading of "Studies in the Scriptures: ") Circulation eventually surpassed the six million mark, a phenomenal record for a religious work, attesting both to its value as a textbook and to the zeal of those promoting it.

 

A large group of volunteer workers gradually entered the work, enthusiastically distributing Watch Tower publications throughout the country at a minimal cost to the public. By 1886, the number of these colporteurs, or traveling agents of the Society, reached about 300.

 

1889. Pastor Russell published The Time Is At Hand, Volume Two in the "Studies in the Scriptures" series. This work concentrated on chronological and prophetic aspects of Godís plan, summarizing studies of earlier devout students of the Bible, especially of the Adventist movement, and adding appropriate refinements and the fuller unfoldings just recently uncovered. Subjects discussed included Bible chronology, the first advent in prophecy, the Time of the Gentiles, the manner of Christís return, earthís great jubilee, and the Antichrist system.

 

Two teachings were stressed in this volume which were quite unorthodox: First, that the invisible return of Christ, beginning in 1874, would be marked initially by an intense period of distress upon the nations which would give way to an unparalleled time of blessing under the Millennial Reign. And second, that the year 1914 would mark the end of the "Times of the Gentiles" lease of power and herald the earthly establishment of Godís Kingdom. These two dates, 1874 and 1914, henceforth became cornerstones of the movement and elicited great excitement among the believers.

 

Summary. During his forty-year-plus ministry, Pastor Russell traveled more than a million miles as public lecturer, preached more than 30,000 sermons, and wrote books and tracts totaling over 50,000 pages. He managed a world-wide evangelistic campaign that employed 700 speakers and at the height of his popularity, 2,000 city newspapers with a circulation of 15 million published his weekly sermons. By 1916, there were more than 1,000 Bible study classes around the world that had elected him as their beloved Pastor. But perhaps the highlight of his public witness work was the "Photo Drama of Creation," a unique slide and film showing with accompanying sound, far ahead of its day, depicting Godís plan from earthís creation to its perfection in the Millennial Reign. Beginning in 1914, this production was shown throughout the US and several foreign countries to large audiences totaling more than ten million.

 

Despite the disappointment in the partial failure of the 1914 hopes, when it had been expected that Godís Kingdom would come, the Bible Student movement survived and many continued to rejoice in the blessings of increased knowledge which Pastor Russellís ministry had provided. Under his leadership, it was felt that a fresh flood of light had been directed upon the Scriptures which revealed and clarified many truths long hidden and misunderstood. Errors of the past regarding the inherent immortality of man, the relationship of the Father and Son, and the nature of eternal punishment gave way to these beams of advancing light. Contemporary Bible Students remain convinced that current crisis events of the world are verifying the predictions of the Bible relative to the "end times," and that we are on the threshold of a new era in which God will intervene to establish His long-promised Kingdom of blessing.

 

(The Bible Student Movement in the Days of C. T. Russell, James Parkinson.)

 

Jehovah Ďs Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, pp. 14-68.

 

Thy Kingdom Come, C. T. Russell, pp. 88-89.

 

Watch Tower Reprints, "Harvest Gatherings and Siftings," (CT Russell, Vol. 6, pp. 3820-3826.)

 

Contributed

 

 

 

Shroud of Turin

 

The 40-member Shroud of Turin Research Project tentatively concludes the image on the shroud is of a scourged crucified man. The blood stains are real, but it is not possible for scientists to decide if the image is Jesus Christís. Nonetheless, a former member of the team is co-author of a book claiming the long linen cloth is Christís burial shroud.

 

The holy scriptures have something to say on the matter. When Lazarus arose from the dead his face was bound with a napkin separate from the grave clothes. #Jo 11:44. In Jesusí tomb the napkin that had bound his head was found separate from the other grave clothes. #Joh 20:7. Since a one piece burial cloth does not fit that description, the Turin Shroud is not Christís. (Footnote - #Joh 19:40 also says Jesusí body was "wound" in linen clothes (plural), whereas the Turin shroud had been stretched lengthwise. "Similarly, the Greek #Mt 27:59 means rolled in a clean linen cloth"; so Thayer.)

 

The shroud may be of some interest, however. It is another stark witness to the horrid Roman practice of torture and death by crucifixion.

 

- Contributed

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good." we do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address an correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 9159 via de Amor, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2, Number 12, December 1981

 

Allegories of Redemption

 

Stars, Dust & Sand

 

A Note to Readers

 

A Sword Upon Babylon

 

Some Sin Offerings Eaten

 

Allegories of Redemption

 

The Old Testament Scriptures are literally full of allegorical illustrations of various features of the Divine Plan. And there is an order to the allegories. Allegories illustrating Godís covenants, for example, are not randomly distributed throughout the Old Testament, but are concentrated in the history of the lives of the patriarchs to whom Godís covenant of blessing was expressed. To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the promise of a blessing to all mankind was given, and in their lives were illustrations of the covenants and classes to be developed in the outworking of Godís promised blessing. Further,

 

x In the affliction of Abrahamís natural seed for 400 years we have a picture of the affliction of the spiritual seed of promise during their development in the Gospel Age.

 

x In Israelís deliverance from bondage to Egypt we have an illustration of the deliverance of the saints (firstborn) and the world from the bondage of Satanís rulership.

 

x In Godís dealing with Israel, in their Law and Atonement rites, we have pictures of the processes by which atonement will be made for all mankind -first for the saints, and then for the world.

 

x In receiving the inheritance of the promised land Israel typified the saints (two tribes on the east of Jordan), Ancient Worthies (Manasseh, which settled on both sides of the Jordan), and the world (9 tribes on the west of Jordan) coming into the inheritance of rest God intends for each.

 

x In the history of the judges, which preceded Israelís Kingdom, we find allegories of the Gospel age, which precedes the establishment of the Kingdom.

 

x In the period of Israelís kingdom we have pictures which relate to the Kingdom in one sense or another. The first three kings of Israel, each with a reign of 40 years, picture the Typical (Saul), Embryo (David), and Glorious (Solomon) kingdom of God, respectively. The reigns of many of the subsequent kings who were unfaithful represented the false kingdom of Antichrist. The reign of Ahab is prominent in this connection.

 

x In the captivity of Israel to Babylon is a picture of the captivity of spiritual Israel to Mystic Babylon.

 

x In the building of Jerusalem after Babylonian captivity we find allegories relating to the construction of the walls of New Jerusalem, the Church. The books of Nehemiah and Esther record experiences which illustrate the construction of Christian character and resolve.

 

Early Allegories of Redemption

 

But our focus now is on the allegories formed by the experiences of Adam, Eve, and their sons. They also fit a pattern. As Adam and Eve were the source of manís fall into sin and death, so their experiences represent mankind in a fallen condition, seeking redemption. As a promise of a seed of deliverance was intimated to Eve, so her sons foreshadow the development of the seed of promise which would deliver mankind.

 

When Adam and Eve had sinned, they realized a need of a covering. This represents that mankind in their sinful condition require a covering- not of mere clothing, but of righteousness. What would be suitable? "... and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

 

We notice two things about this: first, that this covering was provided by Adam and Eve, rather than God, and second, that this covering was evidently unsuitable since God provided them with animal skins later. "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them." (#Ge 3:21) Bible Students have seen this to mean, typically, that God provides mankind a covering of righteousness at the cost of life - the shedding of blood being necessary to secure the skins of the animal. In the reality, the cost was the life of Jesusí human nature. The benefits of that gift have come to us now, and will shortly come to all mankind in the mediatorial Kingdom, near at hand.

 

But what of the fig leaf aprons? Do they symbolize something in particular of manís attempt at justification? Yes, they seem to represent efforts toward self-righteousness, self-righteous acts and conduct to act as a covering. This was essentially the hope held out by the Law. "For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them." (#Ro 10:5) By perfect obedience, perfectly doing righteous works, it would be possible to secure life by evidencing that you were not an imperfect, condemned human. The flaw, of course, was that such a thing is an impossibility. Perfect works are not possible with fallen man. That attempt at covering is not suitable.

 

That the leaves were of the fig tree helps identify the symbol. The fig tree is used extensively to represent Israel. Leaves, the prominent visible aspect of a full tree, indicate the outward manifestation, profession, teaching, instruction of that represented by the tree. So our Lord cursed the fig tree shortly before his death, illustrating that Israel was cursed for having nothing but professions, without actual fruitage. And in #Re 22:2, the leaves of the tree of life picture the teachings and instructions of the glorified saints, which shall be "... for the healing of the nations."

 

What was the teaching, instruction held out by the Jewish tree? It was that by obedience to the Law, life could be had. The fig leaf aprons are a good illustration of endeavoring to gain life by righteous works. But alas, a fruitless endeavor! requiring Godís provision of the ransom, shown in the animal skins which God provided.

 

#Ge 3:8 says that after Adam and Eve had adorned themselves with the aprons, "... they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden." This also has its lesson. It shows mankindís condition after the fall, associating in nations and governments as though to gain some security and protection from the condemnation imposed by God. Trees do symbolize nations, and the trees of Eden in particular are used to represent nations. This is explicitly so in #Eze 31, in a prophecy against Pharaoh, king of Egypt. In that prophecy both Pharaoh, representing his nation Egypt, and Assyria are likened to great trees made "... fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden [other nations], that were in the garden of God, envied him. ... To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth.... This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord God." (#Eze 31:9, 10, 16, 18)

 

The Genesis record next tells of Godís conversation with Adam and Eve, the sentence of condemnation, and the hope of eventual release through the seed of the woman. (#Ge 3:15-17) The following chapter builds on that hope. The firstborn, Cain, was evidently seen to be in fulfillment of Godís promise, for Eve said "I have gotten a man from the Lord."

 

Let us look at Cain, then, as the first development of Godís promise to provide the way of blessing. That would be Israel, the people of whom it was said, "Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests..." if they would be faithful to the Lord. (#Ex 19:5, 6) Had they remained faithful they would have secured the privilege of coming into Christ, to become Godís agent for the blessing of all mankind. But they did not. Rather, they slew the Messiah appointed for them, their younger brother according to the flesh, just as Cain slew Abel. Abel was an illustration of Christ, slain by the rebellious Jewish people. Even the offerings of Cain and Abel to the Lord suggest this: Cain, Israel, offered vegetation - it reminds us of the fig leaf covering first used by Adam and Eve. But Abel offered a blood sacrifice, of the firstlings of the flock, just as Jesus offered himself as the spotless lamb of God to provide the ransom covering for mankind, pictured by the animal skins given Adam and Eve.

 

Cainís punishment was not death, but to be "a fugitive and a vagabond ... in the earth ... and the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him." Just so, Israel has been a dispersed and fugitive nation during the Gospel age, but a people marked of the Lord to prevent their destruction.

 

After the death of Abel, Eve had another son, Seth. Her comment on the occasion gives us a clue as to who Seth pictured, and also adds strength to the thought that Abel pictured Jesus. "... she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." Previously she had looked to Cain as the "man from the Lord" to fulfill the promised seed. But as Cain evidently disqualified himself by his treachery, she understood Abel to have been shown the worthy one. But Abel having died, Seth becomes his replacement. ... "another seed instead of Abel, ..." Seth pictures the risen Christ, as Abel pictured the sacrificing Christ. Christ risen is the successor to Jesus slain, and is the seed through whom the promised release of mankind will be effected.

 

In course of time Seth also bore a son, "and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord." (#Ge 4:26) This takes us to the time when the risen Christ, with his completed bride, will as the "everlasting father" bring forth children in the kingdom. Then Christ will give to mankind the benefit of the life he yielded at Calvary, and become the second father of the race. And then, when Seth - Christ risen - brings forth mankind as his children in the kingdom, men will call upon the name of the Lord in praise and thanksgiving for His kind mercies.

 

 

 

Stars, Dust & Sand

 

God promised Abraham that his seed would be multiplied greatly. To illustrate this God likened Abrahamís seed to the stars of heaven, the dust of the earth, and the sand of the seashore - each multitudinous. But Bible Students have long seen that these terms convey a deeper meaning than just of a vast number. The stars picture the heavenly seed of Abraham, the church of the firstborn, and the sand the earthly seed of Abraham, which will ultimately include all of restored mankind. A thought which has appealed to some is that the dust of the earth refers to natural Israel -earthly, but to some extent distinct from the sand class of all mankind.

 

We agree with these identifications. And when we look to the narratives of Genesis dealing with the patriarchs, we find a consistency in the use of these terms.

 

Stars

 

#Ge 15. Abraham is asking for some assurance of Godís promise of a child. At this time Abraham had no child at all, and it appeared that his inheritance would fall to "one born in my house" of servants - perhaps Eliezer, his steward, or a child of his (#Ge 15:2, 3, cf. #Ge 14:14.) But the Lord assured him, "This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir." (vs. 4) The promised child, of course, was to be Isaac, who Paul tells us pictured the spiritual seed of Abraham. (#Ga 4:28) God responded by telling Abraham to "Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be." (vs. 5) So the promise of Isaac was specially tied to the stars, just as we would expect if the stars picture the spiritual seed of Abraham, as Isaac did.

 

And when God repeated the covenant to Isaac, after Abrahamís death, it was the symbol of stars that God used to describe Isaacís seed. "I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries (as #Ge 15:18-21); and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (#Ge 26:4)

 

Dust

 

The symbol "dust of the earth" for Abrahamís seed was mentioned on the occasion of Lot and Abraham separating, dividing the land because of their number. After Lot had chosen the well-watered plains of Jordan, God said to Abraham: "Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee." (#Ge 13:14-17)

 

The land which was being promised was the land given later to the Israelites, and to which they are now regathered. The land promised was most pertinent to Abrahamís natural seed, Israel. This aspect of Abrahamís seed was likened to the dust of the earth.

 

And when God repeated the covenant to Jacob, who in contrast to Isaac stands for the natural seed of Abraham, Israel after the flesh, it was the symbol "dust of the earth" that He used. And again, the land itself was an important part of the promise. "... the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south.(as #Ge 13:14) and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (#Ge 28:13, 14)

 

Sand

 

This term appears first in connection with Abrahamís offering of Isaac. That event pictured the death of Jesus as the Ransom for mankind, which assures the blessing of all those who will constitute the heavenly seed of Abraham, and those who will constitute the earthly seed in its widest scope. So it is consistent that on this occasion God likened Abrahamís seed to "the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore ..." (#Ge 22:17)

 

In #Re 20:8 the expression "sand of the sea" is applied to restored mankind. Satan will "... go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea."

 

 

 

A Note to Readers

 

We have had a good number of heartening letters and comments about BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH. Thank you. It has encouraged us to continue. We have also heard from two readers who very courteously, and with wishes of blessing on our efforts, informed us that time, or benefit derived, was not sufficient for them to think it advisable to continue receiving BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH. If others are of this persuasion, kindly inform us, as we do not wish this mailer to burden any. We appreciate the honest feedback.

 

However, you may know of brethren who would appreciate receiving this circular who are not yet aware of its availability. Please inform them. We are happy to send BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH to all the brethren who wish to have it.

 

We specially express our thanks to those who have shared their studies with us, which is the point and purpose of distributing this folder. And we are grateful to those who have sent suggestions and counsel. They do not fall on deaf ears, but on thoughtful ones. And we thank you for sending us feedback on specific articles. Some brethen have said they enjoy most seeing the responses of readers published as "Correspondence."

 

We are always glad to hear from you. - BT

 

 

 

A Sword Upon Babylon

 

Some time ago a brother directed our attention to a passage of Jeremiah which prophesied the destruction of Babylon, and suggested that it paralleled the 7 plagues, which are a seven-staged destruction of mystic Babylon during the Gospel Age Harvest. The prophecy is in the 50th chapter of Jeremiah. That chapter opens: "The word that the Lord spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet." After reciting the cause for Babylonís doom, and exhorting his people to "remove out of the midst of Babylon ..." (vs 8), Jeremiah breaks down the destruction of Babylon into 7 divisions. The first 5 of these are designated by the expression ĎA sword is upon ...í

 

There is "A sword upon the Chaldeans ... the inhabitants of Babylon, ... A sword upon the chief stays [margin] ... A sword upon her mighty men ... A sword upon their horses and ... chariots and ... mingled people ... A sword upon her treasures..." (vs. 35-37) Then follows "A drought upon her waters..." and finally utter desolation, "As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah ..." (vs. 38-40) Let us put this to the test, by comparing these 7 divisions of Babylonís fall with the 7 plagues which bring down Mystic Babylon, recorded in #Re 16. Working backwards, the 7th and 6th divisions compare readily. 5. The treasures aptly depict the heart of Great Babylon -the seat of the Papal beast itself. 4. Horses represent doctrines, and the sun pictures the basic doctrines of gospel truth. 3. The mighty men of Babylon are the teachers and leaders, the "rivers and fountains" who spew forth Babylonís bloody teachings. 2. The chief stays [marginal rendering] perhaps refer to the political stays of the sea class. 1. The inhabitants of Babylon, nominal Christians, are the earth class of Revelation.

 

#Re 16

 

#Jer 50:35-40 ..... Plagues poured upon

1) inhabitants ................. earth

 

2) chief stays.................. sea

 

3) mighty men................... rivers & fountains of water

 

4) horses....................... sun

 

5) treasures .................... seat of the beast

 

6) waters....................... Euphrates dried up

 

7) destroyed as................. air-"it is done"-Great

Sodom & Gomorrah.. Babylon destroyed in Armageddon

 

In each case, we find that the divisions in #Jer 50 closely parallel the divisions in Revelation

 

16. The same things are affected in each. We therefore conclude that in #Jer 50 we have a prophetic account of the 7 last plagues.

 

How Does This Help?

 

By having two passages to compare, it should be easier to determine what is to happen in the reality, in this harvest period, to fulfill the 7 plagues. Of course, oneís conclusions in this area would be affected by (and affect) the view one holds on the timing of the 7 last plagues. Our view (reasons not detailed here) is that the plagues commence with the fall of Babylon in 1878 and are sequential and cumulative to the destruction of Great Babylon in a future Armageddon. From this viewpoint the following suggestions seem reasonable.

 

1) The Truth message plagues the inhabitants of Christendom, nominal Christians who havenít an ear to hear.

 

2) WWI disrupts the chief political stays of Babylon, and the sea class.

 

3) The teachings of Christendom are seen to be deathly, not life giving, as world events (like WWI) shatter hopes for a peaceful conversion of the world.

 

4) Modernism sweeps over the churches, corrupting doctrine to the core. But basic Gospel truths are a scorching rebuff to the modernist persuasion.

 

5) Papal crises within the church, foment and discontent within the clergy.

 

6) Evaporation of popular support from Christendom, leading to a coalition to fortify their waning strength.

 

7) Christendomís Overthrow in Armageddon

 

 

 

Some Sin Offerings Eaten

 

A reader points us to #Nu 18:9-10, inquiring how this accords with our comment regarding #Heb 13 that sin offerings were not to be eaten. (As in "Beasts Whose Blood is Brought into the Sanctuary," May 1981 BT.)

 

The answer is that some sin offerings were eaten, and some were not. The kind referred to by Paul in #Heb 13 could not be eaten because they were burned. The kind of sin offering which was to be burned rather than eaten is distinguished by what is done with the blood. If the blood of the sin offering was brought into the tabernacle, applied to atone or reconcile, then it was the kind of sin offering which was to be burned. (As on the Day of Atonement.) Otherwise, it might be eaten. The law which forbids eating certain sin offerings is contained in #Le 6:30. "No sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire."

 

On the other hand, most sin offerings were not of this type and were to be eaten. #Nu 18:9-10 and #Le 6:25-29 both show this .In fact, #Le 10:16-20 records one occasion when Moses was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar for not eating the sin offering. He said."... behold, the blood of it was not brought in within the holy: ye should indeed have eaten it ..." (NASB)

 

In #Heb 13 Paul informs us that we have the privilege of being offered as an atonement sin offering. He wrote: "We have an altar," for our use -to be sacrificed on. What kind of sacrifice do we become on the altar [The kind ... ] "whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle [because] the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned [instead of eaten] ..." (#Heb 13:10, 11)

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good." We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 3, Number 1, January 1982

 

The Mount of Olives A Prophecy of Noah A Talent-the Price of a Man Revelation

 

The Mount of Olives

 

This famous mount, standing east of Jerusalem, is referred to often in the Scriptures. It seems to be frequently linked to prophetic events to occur at the Lordís return. It was "as he [Jesus] sat upon the mount of Olives" that the disciples asked of the signs of his presence (#Mt 24:3). It was from Mount Olivet that Jesus evidently ascended out of the apostlesí sight, and where the angels promised "this same Jesus ... shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (#Ac 1:11, 12)

 

Perhaps the most famous reference to it appears in #Zec 14. There, in dramatic symbology, is described the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth, and the subsequent flow of blessing from it. "His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south." (#Zec 14:4) This passage is treated at length in the chapter "Jehovahís Footstool Made Glorious"-see Volume 4. It describes the establishment of the kingdom in two phases-heavenly, northward, and earthly, southward.

 

When this is accomplished it will allow the blessings of life and truth, pictured by the river flowing from the temple at Jerusalem, to reach the Dead Sea of mankind, awakening them out of the sleep of death and refreshing them with all the benefits of Godís grace and nourishment.

 

An interesting detail of #Zec 14:8 is that the waters from Jerusalem will actually flow to both the Dead Sea and the great Mediterranean Sea. "And it shall come to pass in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the eastern sea [the Dead Sea], and half of them toward the western sea [the Mediterranean Sea]..." (ASV) Perhaps this pictures the two classes of men under Adamic curse -those who are still breathing (Mediterranean), and those in the grave (Dead Sea). Both will be revived, freshered, blessed by the living waters.

 

The splitting of the mount of Olives, which we see to be symbolic and not literal (though the symbolisms follow closely the potentials of the geographic layout), happens in connection with Godís final deliverance of Israel from her enemies, according to the context of the first three verses. This will come in close association with the raising of the Ancient Worthies, which will directly inaugurate the earthly kingdom, and so differentiate an earthly sphere of Godís kingdom from the heavenly one "splitting" the kingdom of God into two aspects.

 

The name of the mountain chosen to symbolize the Kingdom government-the Mount of Olives - well suggests the character of that kingdom as offering the blessings of the holy Spirit (represented by olive oil, the special produce of the olive -see #Jud 9:9) for enlightenment, solace and peace to troubled mankind. Remember that the olive leaf in the mouth of the dove was used to signal peace and solace after the flood.

 

There is another reference to the Mount of Olives which, like Zechariah, points to the blessing of the Kingdom through the Spirit of God. It is found in #Eze 11. As a preample to it, Ezekiel is shown visions of the great iniquity of Jerusalem, its idolatrous religious leaders, the "sealing" of the faithful, and the destruction of the rest. (Chapters 8-10) This is a picture for us of the false worship of Christendom, the sealing of the saints, and destruction of the systems of error and the tares they contain.

 

We know that following the overthrow of Christendom the Kingdom will be established. So following #Eze 9-10 might there be a reference to the kingdom work? There is. #Eze 11:17-20 refer to the blessing of Israel. "I will even gather you from the people ... and I will give you the land of Israel ... I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you ... that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God." This happens during the Kingdom. And in connection with this, we read in verse 23, "And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city." This appears to end that particular vision of Ezekiel. (See verse 24.) (#Eze 11:23-24)

 

What mountain is that described as "on the east side of the city"? Zechariah answers "... the mount of Olives ... is before Jerusalem on the east." (#Zec 14:4) So #Eze 11:23 also refers to the Lordís spirit resting on the mount of Olives as illustrating the blessed effects of the Kingdom of light and peace to comfort and bless Israel and mankind.

 

 

 

A Prophecy of Noah

 

"Noah ... said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren ... Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." (#Ge 9:24-27)

 

As time progressed, the Canaanites did become subservient to the Shemites. For of Shem came Abraham, and of Abraham ultimately the 12 tribes of Israel, who were given the land of Canaan. "Behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession." (#De 32:49)

 

But the prophecy also indicates Japheth was to receive of the blessing which would naturally fall to Shem supposing this is the meaning of "God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem." This was also true. The Gospel, generally repudiated by the Jewish people, was opened to the gentiles. And of the gentiles those of Japhethís descent seem to have been the most highly favored. Might this be related to Godís direction of the Gospel into Macedonia (#Ac 16:9) and westward into Europe?

 

 

 

A Talentó the Price of a Man

 

Israelís tabernacle, in the strictest sense, was the linen tapestry which first overlaid the boards which supported it. "Thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.... the five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another ... and couple the [two larger, 5-piece] curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle." (#Ex 26:1, 3)

 

This, in turn, was overlaid with 3 coverings: one of goat hair, one of ram skins, and above all a covering of seal skins (badgers in King James). The supporting edifice was constructed of boards standing upright, measuring 11/2 cubits wide, evidently 1/2 cubit thick, and standing 10 cubits tall. (#Ex 26:16) They were arranged 20 per side, and 6 in the back, with an extra board placed at each comer. We cannot be sure how those two comer boards were placed.

 

Each board was supported beneath by two tenons, each projecting into a socket of silver weighing one talent. The sockets, then, were the fundamental grounding of the whole structure-the foundation, so to speak. Since there were (20 + 20 + 6 + 2 =) 48 boards, there would need to be 96 sockets. (#Ex 26:17-25) But four more silver sockets were employed to hold four pillars supporting the vail leading into the most holy. (#Ex 26:32) This brings the total to 100 sockets of silver, and there were none others.

 

Our focus now is to identify what was symbolized by these sockets. We think it represents the ransom of our Lord, the redemption price delivered up at Calvary. Or, as silver elsewhere represents truth (#Ps 12:6), perhaps it would be more precise to say they represent the truthof the ransom doctrine -the basic foundation truth upon which the plan of atonement and redemption is laid.

 

To see that the silver sockets are directly linked to redemption, we investigate the origin of those sockets. The silver, as all of the elements of the tabernacle, was received from the people of Israel. (#Ex 25:1-8) But the silver was received in a different manner than the other materials, or even the other metals. #Ex 38:24-25 speaks of the "gold of the offering verse 29 speaks of the "brass [copper] of the offering but when the silver is mentioned, verse 25, it is referred to differently. "And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary: A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men." (#Ex 38:25, 26)

 

Rather than everyone giving as they could, the receipt of silver was as it were a tax upon the adult men, each paying the same amount, a bekah, which is 1/2 shekel. To summarize: There were 603,550 men age 20 and up. Each gave 1/2 shekel. There are (evidently) 3000 shekels to the talent. The total, therefore, would be 100 talents, 1775 shekels of silver.

 

#Ex 30:12-16 explains the tax in more detail. "When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel ... then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, ... half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary ... shall be the offering of the Lord. Every one ... from twenty years old and above, shall give ... The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel ... to make an atonement for your souls. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation ... to make an atonement for your souls."

 

The silver sockets, then, are linked directly with the atonement of the men of Israel. The men of Israel represent mankind, so the silver sockets are tied in with the atonement of man. And that which enables the atonement of mankind is the ransom price laid down by our Lord -evidently pictured by the sockets.

 

But why 100? Well, it is a good round number, and if it were any "un-round" number, we might feel inclined to search for some deeper symbol in the number itself. But it does serve to link those sockets, 100 in number, to three other parts of the tabernacle (used broadly) which have the measure 100 associated with them, and also represent our Lord. They are the gate to the court, the door of the tabernacle, and the vail leading to the most holy. Each of these measures "100" in area. The gate was 20 x 5 cubits, the door and vail each 10 x 10 cubits. Each of these represents our Lord in one sense or another. It is by faith in Christ that we first have access into the court. It is by consecration of our all to be dead with Christ that we enter into the door of the tabernacle, and begin our development as New Creatures. It is through the veil of flesh rent for us that we have subsequent access into the most holy. (#He 10:20)

 

It is through Christ that we see the "Way" to reconciliation with God, that we subsequentlyare begotten by the "Truth" to become "new creatures in Christ," and finally receive "Life" immortal if faithful unto death. Jesus is the "Way [gate], the Truth [door], and the Life [vail]: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (#Joh 14:6) The number 100 running through each of these elements of the tabernacle-the sockets, gate, door, and vail serves to link them together as all pictures of essentially the same thing from one perspective or another -in this case, the one thing being our Lord.

 

A Life or a Talent

 

The weight of the silver sockets is also noteworthy. It was a talent. A talent of silver is elsewhere referred to as the price to be paid for a manís life, and this strengthens the identification of the talent-weight silver sockets as representing the price required for mankindís life -the ransom.

 

The account is in #1Ki 20. The King of Syria had twice attacked the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel, and the Lord had given the victory to Ahab, king of Israel. After the second battle Ahab should have slain the opposing king, Benhadad, but instead made a pact with him and spared him. For this Godís punishment was that Ahab would die. His life would go for the life of Benhadad. This judgment was communicated to Ahab in the following way. A prophet placed himself so as to intercept Ahab in his passage. The prophet pretended to be a soldier, and even arranged to be wounded to make it convincing. He told Ahab that during the battle a man delivered a captive to him with the warning "if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver." Ahab judged the man [prophet] should therefore die, whereupon the prophet explained that just such a judgment was to befall Ahab for freeing Benhadad. (#1Ki 20:42)

 

The point of the story we concentrate on here is that the prophet equated the value of a life with "a talent of silver." Why, if not to tell us that symbolically a talent of silver is representative of the ransom of a manís life? It is very consistent, then, that the silver sockets of the tabernacle, each a talent in weight, point to the price of manís redemption-the Ransom.

 

Talent-Weight Hail Stones

 

We will add another reference in a more tentative vein. Silver does represent truth, as referred to earlier. So does water, and hail, which is frozen water. In #Re 16:21 there is described a "great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent ... the plague thereof was exceeding great." This occurs in the last of the 7 plagues, Armageddon. It refers to the last great conflict which overturns the powers -that be. May it not represent the hard cutting truths concerning the rights or worth or value of men (so described as a talent in weight, like the silver sockets) which are the cause for the final overturning?

 

 

 

 

Revelation

 

Scripture generally requires careful study to get the full value, and this is certainly true of apocalyptic scripture. But with a respect for the studies of devoted brethren preceding, a thoughtful look at history, and a reverent application to the prophetic word, we have every reason for optimism in trying to understand Revelation. Unlike Daniel who was told to "Go thy way ... for the words are closed up," we are urged "blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things written therein: for the time is at hand." (#Re 1:4)

 

Revelation has always been helpful to the Church. Evidently it helped the brethren early in the age see that a difficult adversary would come from Rome, the seven hilled city. (#Re 17:5, 9) Bro. Streeterís research on this is interesting. (The Rev. of Js. Christ, pp. xxxv-xxxvi) "From Irenaeus (145 AD), a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of St. John, to Chrysostom and Jerome (345 AD), there was a very general agreement on the following matters which may truthfully be said to constitute the key to Apocalyptic interpretation: 1 That the Ďlittle horní of #Da 7, the Ďman of siní of #2Th 2, and the Ďbeastí of #Re 13, were to rule from Rome, and that these prophecies refered to one and the same power-the Antichrist."

 

2 That the hindrance to Antichristís full development and rule, mentioned by St. Paul (#2Th 2), was the Roman emperors reigning in the city of Rome.

 

3 That the ten-homed dragon and the ten-homed beast of #Re 12, 13, 17, were the same as the fourth beast seen by Daniel (#Da 7), and that they describe different aspects of the Roman Empire.

 

4 That the Ďten hornsí on the beast seen by St. John and on the fourth beast of Daniel referred to a division of the Roman Empire into ten kingdoms, at a time future from St. johnís day.

 

5 That when this breaking up of the Empire would take place, the predicted Antichrist would then begin to rule.

 

"It is a most remarkable fact that all the noted expositors throughout the entire Age until now are agreed in these matters. It is true that the writers who lived during the first two and a half centuries supposed that when Antichrist became seated at Rome, his career would be a brief one. However, it is reasonable to suppose this would be the case in view of the Divine rule of progressive interpretation of prophecy."

 

Later, as the Man of Sin Paul warned of developed, the brethren were able to see that papal, rather than pagan Rome, was the greater adversary. This not only helped the reformers, but later allowed brethren to mark the end of papal power, and note the prophetic guide posts of Daniel leading to the Lordís return. Now it helps us see that it has been time to "come out" of Babylon to the light of Present Truth. And with the light shining more brightly now than ever before, Revelation as a whole should be clearer than ever.

 

Today many brethren understand much of Revelation in a rather uniform and consistent way. Their understanding is a reasonable extension of the understanding gradually developed by the Lordís people throughout the age, in response, we feel, to the leading of the Lordís holy Spirit. In contrast to this, many "Protestant" fundamentalist interpreters follow a persuasion sometimes called the "futurist" view of Revelation. This view puts most of Revelation into the future, rather than applying it to the experiences of the Church throughout the age. The "futurist" view is a tangent which evidently originated from Catholic expositors during the Reformation. Protestant reformers were applying such passages as #Re 17:5 to the Papacy (rightly so), and a defense was sought. We quote Bro. Streeter again, who in turn quotes H. G. Guinness. "The Futurist interpretation applies the prophetic visions of the Apocalypse to the Jews after the Church is glorified. ... It originated in the Roman Catholic Church, and was a reply of the Roman Catholic theologians to the Reformers of the sixteenth century who applied those Apocalyptic visions that portrayed the great Apostasy, the Antichrist, to the Romish system. Rome had her theologians, learned men, among whom were Ribera and Bellarmine."

 

ĎRibera was a Jesuit priest of Salamanca. In 1585 he published a commentary on the Apocalypse, denying the application of the prophecies concerning Antichrist to the existing Church of Rome. He was followed by Cardinal Bellarmine, a nephew of Pope Marcellus II, who was born in Tuscany in 1542, and died in 1621. Bellarmine was not only a man of great learning, but the most powerful controversialist in defense of Popery that the Roman Church ever produced. Clement VIII used these remarkable words on his nomination: ĎWe choose him, because the Church of God does not possess his equal in learning.í Bellarmine, like Ribera, advocated the Futurist interpretation of prophecy. He taught that Antichrist would be one particular man, that he would be a Jew, that he would be preceded by the reappearance of the literal Enoch and Elias, that he would rebuild the Jewish temple at Jerusalem, compel circumcision, abolish the Christian sacraments, abolish every other form of religion, would manifestly and avowedly deny Christ, would assume to be Christ, and would be received by the Jews as their Messiah, would pretend to be God, would make a literal image speak, would feign himself dead, and rise again, and would conquer the whole world -Christian, Mohammedan, and heathen; and all this in the space of three and a half years. He insisted that the prophecies of Daniel, Paul, and John, with reference to Antichrist, had no application whatever to the Papal power.í

 

"The earliest of what may be termed Protestant writers who adopted the system of Futurist interpretation are Todd and Maitland, the latter living from 1792 to 1866. There have been many since their day who have adopted their views, with some minor changes. These views are very little different from those of the two Roman Catholic theologians above mentioned. It cannot therefore be successfully disputed that the Futurist interpretation of the Apocalypse had its origin in Rome at the end of the sixteenth century and was designed to relieve the Papacy from the terrible stigma cast upon it by the Protestant interpretation. ... The Historic interpretation was, of course, rejected with intense and bitter scorn by the Church it denounced as Babylon, and the power it branded as Antichrist, and it is still opposed by all who in any way uphold these." (The Rev. of Js. Christ, pp. xxiv-xxvi)

 

In coming articles we will look at Revelation itself. We will examine the basic structure of the book, and some of the areas of detail which contemporary brethren often concern themselves with.

 

We hope that if the book appears formidable to some, grasping its basic order and plan will ease the mind, and make Revelation easier to reason upon. For it is a book meant for our upbuilding, our help.

 

A brief outline of Revelation will be helpful. To us the book seems to divide rather naturally into five segments.

 

1) Introduction (Chapter 1)

 

2) A series of 7-staged histories of the Gospel age (7 Churches, 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets-Chapters 2 -11)

 

3) An historical overview of the Church, true and nominal (Chapters 12, 13)

 

4) The Harvest (Chapters 14-19)

 

5) The Kingdom (Chapters 20-22)

 

More on these divisions later.

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers.

 

"Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good." We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor, Santee, CA .92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 3, Number 2, February 1982

 

Revelation-Section 1. Introduction Solar System Symbology ............

 

Revelation-Section I, Introduction

 

At the outset of the book, John gives us the authority for the Revelation he saw and recorded. It came from God, given to Jesus, and delivered to John through Christís angel, messenger.

 

God to Jesus to Angel to John

 

John addressed his writings to the seven churches in Asia minor, as he was instructed to do (vs.11). But as the promises, warnings, counsel and encouragement of the book are clearly pertinent to the entire church, it is evident that those 7 churches are representative of the entire Church of Christ.

 

Then follow greetings to the Church. "Grace be unto you, and peace, from ...." God, the 7 spirits, and Jesus. God is not named as such, but is described as "him which is, and which was, and which is to come." God is the one who has been from "everlasting" and will be to everlasting (#Ps 90:2)-always existent. He was, He is, and He always will be. This may be a reasonable extension of His description as the great "I AM" of #Ex 3:14, referring to Jehovah.

 

That Johnís description refers to Jehovah is clear enough. He is distinguished from Jesus, mentioned in verse 5, and is said to have 7 spirits before his throne. In Chapter 4 of Revelation God is viewed as seated on his universal throne, with 7 spirits before his throne. There also He is described as he "which was, and is, and is to come," (#Re 4:8), and there also distinguished from Jesus, the Lamb who subsequently approached the throne. (#Re 5:7) But another title is added: "Lord God Almighty."

 

Both of these designations also appear in verse 1:8, but it is not apparent from the King James version, which omits the word "God." From the American Standard version verse 8 reads "I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, who is, and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." We understand this text to refer to Jehovah. If so, then we have found yet another appellation for God: "Alpha and Omega." But here we have a title that does not refer exclusively to God, for it is elsewhere used of Christ. (Footnote: Many brethren choose the other alternative-that verse ~ refers to Jesus, leaving "Alpha and Omega" a singular title for Him, and sharit the other designations with Jehovah. On this see Streeter, Rev. of Jesus Christ, pp. 84-85. Also see last subhead, Rep. 1514.)

 

Not in verse 11, for "Alpha and Omega" there is evidently spurious (note its absence in ASV), but in 22:13. "I come quickly ... I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last ... Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (#Re 22:12,13,19. Notice also #Re 1:17 where Jesus is "the first and the last," which is very much like saying "alpha and omega," the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.)

 

In what sense is God Alpha and Omega, and in what sense is Jesus Alpha and Omega? From different standpoints. Jesus is the first of Godís direct creation (#Re 3:14), and the last, for after the Logos (Michael) was created, he was used to create all else. "By him (Jesus) all things consist." (#Col 1:17) God is the first and last in another sense. He is the only supreme omnipotent God, there never will be another, and thus he is the First and Last supreme God. #Isa 43:10 speaks of Jehovah this way. "Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, ... before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."

 

IN THE SPIRIT ON THE LORDíS DAY

 

At the time John received the Revelation it was late in his life. It is commonly thought that John was the only surviving apostle at that time. That he would linger longer than the others may have been suggested by our Lordís words of him, recorded in #Joh 21:18-23. Jesus had foretold Peterís death, cryptically, "signifying by what death [crucifixion] he should glorify God." Peter then inquired of Johnís future. Jesus replied, "If I will that he tarry ... what is that to thee?" And indeed, John did tarry. He tarried longer than the others, in the flesh.

 

But Jesus actually said "If I will that he tarry till I come ..." That could not happen to John himself. But may it be that Jesus referred to the possibility of Johnís tarrying till the 2nd advent, to identify him as representing those of his followers who would tarry into the second advent the feet members of the Body of Christ? We think so. We understand John receiving the vision of Revelation to represent the feet members at this end of the age, those who tarry into the second advent, receiving the revelation of present truth, a revealing of Godís plans. When John received the Revelation, he was "in the Spirit on the Lordís day ..." (#Re 1:10) Literally, this means he received the Revelation on Sunday, the Day of the Lordís resurrection. But spiritually it points to the John class on the Lordís greater day - the "Day of the Lord," the time of his return, and assumption of control of earthís dominion. (#Re 11:15) In this greater day, the vision of truth from our returned Lord originates, like the Revelation John himself received, from God. And we also receive it through a messenger, the Laodicean messenger.

 

Perhaps that John "turned . . . and being turned, I saw" the vision of the 7 candlesticks, the 7 churches, shows that from our vantage point we look back over the Gospel age to view the history of the church, and our Lordís care for it.

 

OUR LORD, THE HIGH PRIEST

 

In verses 13-18 our Lord appears among the golden candlesticks, identified as symbolic of the 7 churches. This shows him as our Great High Priest, tending and caring for the candlesticks, much as the high priest in the tabernacle might care for the burning of the 7-branched candlestick in the holy. Perhaps another parallel to this scene is in #Ge 15:17, showing the Divine presence (lamp of fire-margin) attending the sacrifice of the Church.

 

Our Lord is described in detail. Various elements of his description are:

 

Clothed with a garment to the foot

 

A golden girdle about the chest

 

Head and hair white as wool

 

Eyes as a flame of fire Feet as burnished copper

 

Voice as the sound of many waters

 

7 stars in his right hand

 

2-edged sword proceeding from his mouth

 

His countenance was as the sun

 

The first and the last

 

He that lives forever, but had been dead

 

He has the keys of hell & death.

 

These all indicate symbolic aspects of Christ. It is of interest that in the messages to the various churches, one or another of these features is recalled, as though emphasizing an aspect of the Lordís character which specially relates to the experiences of that church.

 

The introductory chapter closes with a brief interpretation of the main symbols introduced to that point. The 7 candlesticks are the 7 churches, and the 7 stars in the hand of our Lord are 7 messengers to the 7 churches.

 

 

 

 

Solar System Symbology

 

A number of brethren favor the thought that the star constellations of the heavens are arranged by divine providence to picture features of the Divine Plan. And there are scriptural references to the "Mazzaroth, " the signs of the zodiac, and particular symbolic stars and star clusters. We cannot recount the evidence here, but many brethren have some familiarity with this subject. This leads to the natural question: do the planets also bear symbolic testimony to the Divine Plan? We have not heard much discussion on this, but the article following gives some suggestions. It is from a brother who has considered the question in some detail, building on a study of earlier date.

 

From time immemorial, mankind has been fascinated by the planets, the brightest objects in the sky next to the sun and moon. Their movements were particularly intriguing, since they did not follow the general rotation of the stars, but wandered along their own individual, sometimes erratic paths. For this reason they were looked upon with awe and reverence and given the name "planets," which is Greek for "wanderers." Five days of the week were named after them and a great body of superstition was formed around them. Some of this survives even today in astrology circles.

 

It appeals to us that the planets and other bodies of the solar system serve as remarkable object lessons of the main characters in the cast of what Bible students familiarly term "The Divine Plan of the Ages."

 

Such a conclusion, however, is not based upon astrological tradition or the literature of ancient mythology, which we believe is false and Satan-inspired. Rather, it is founded upon a scientific study of the physical characteristics of the heavenly bodies themselves.

 

As remarkable as it may be, the very heavens themselves seem to serve as a stage for presenting the highlights of the drama of the ages. The Bible instructs us regarding the various classes of people and the personalities involved; the heavenly objects seem to reflect such in their unique qualities and arrangement. In the study that follows, which is limited to our own solar system, the evidence is presented to show how such things as location, motion, appearance, temperature, and color combine to set forth a corroboration of the basic features of the divine plan and particularly the role of the principal characters therein.

 

This study was stimulated by an article by C. E. Stewart entitled, "The Glory of Jehovah In Our Solar System," which appeared in the St. Paul Enterprise on November 19, 1915. It was also enriched in no small measure by this countryís recent spacecraft flights, with their spectacular photographs and wealth of new data and discoveries.

 

See Image 00070

 

SOLAR SYSTEM SYMBOLOGY

 

A Portrayal of the Chief Characters in the Divine Plan of the Ages

 

HEAVENLY BODY PHYSICAL TRAIT OBJECT LESSON SUN (Jesus) (a) Inexhaustible energy source, golden color. (b) Center of solar system. (c) Most brilliant object in sky. (d) Rays of light vital to all life. (e) Rays are warm and healing. (a) Immortality, divine nature. (b) Jesus honored above all others; ransom the central doctrine (#Eph 1:20, #Ro 6:23). (c) Jesus altogether lovely (Song Sol. 5:16). (d) Jesus the light of men and of the world (#Joh 1:4,9, #Joh 8:12). (e) Sun of Righteousness to arise with healing in his wings (Mal. 4:2).

 

MERCURY (Great Company) (a) In close proximity to sun, within 36 million miles. (b) Most eccentric planet, varying 33% in orbit. (c) Slow rotation causes high surface temperature on exposed side, extreme cold on dark side. (d) Name has basic meaning (apart from mythology) of "messenger, news carrier, guide." (a) Great Company in position of favor while running for prize. (b) Great Company unstable and erratic, wandering from calling. Undependable, influenced by worldly goals; character not developed (#1Co 3:10-15). (c) Hot-cold, on again-off again nature of Great Company. (d) To function as servant class "before the throne" (#Re 7:13- 17) Venus (Church) (a) Orbit is almost perfect circle. (b) Slightly yellow in hue. (c) Most brilliant planet, 15 times brighter than Sirius (the brightest star). (d) Closest planet to earth. (e) Similar in size, mass, and density to earth. (f) High surface temperature and pressure, 100 times earth. (g) Backward rotation. (h) Rotation slower than revolution about sun. (a) Perfection, faithfulness, consistency. (b) Reward of divine nature. (c) Church shines brightly in a dark world, reflecting light of Jesus (#Php 2:15,16). (d) Church as sympathetic priesthood to bless mankind. (e) Trials of Church similar in some respects to common experiences of man (1 Cor. 10:13). (f) Thorough testing of Church through severe trials (1 Pet. 4:12,13). (g) Christian viewed as fanatical and peculiar, out of step wth world (#Ro 12:2). (h) Church more concerned with serving God and others than self (#Pr 23:26, #Php 2:3,4). VENUS (Continued) (i) Ashen light: mysterious luminosity on dark side. (i) Shekinah light: Godís presence and favor (Exod. 25:22, #2Co 6:16-18). EARTH (a) Strikingly beautiful planet; abundant form, (Restored color, and variety; pleasant environment of Kingdom. Humanity) to support life. (b) Green color of foliage and trees. (c) Blue color of sky and ocean. (d) Brown color of earthís soil and crust. (a) Humanity in perfection enjoying blessings (b) Everlasting life on earth to be reward of meek (Ps. 37:11,29). (c) Faithfulness of God and man (#Joh 3:16, Ps. 72:11). (d) Earthly promises connecting man to planet earth. MARS (a) Red/orange dominating color. (b) Rugged surface features, including mountains, volcanoes, and canyons. (c) Planet is earthís second closest neighbor. (d) Thin atmosphere permits good observation. (a) Slaughter of war: courage and exploits of Godís heroes in ancient times (Heb. 11). Ashes of Red Heifer sprinkling the unclean: lessons for mankind. (b) Dependability and endurance of Ancient Worthies. (c) Next in honor to Bride (Venus) Class in uplifting humanity as Princes in all the earth. (d) History of Ancient Worthies spread out clearly before us. ASTEROIDS OR MINOR PLANETS (Holy Angels) (a) Divisible into classes, by surface composition. (b) Large number of bodies, almost numberless. (c) Moving about silently, mostly unnoticed. (d) A few asteroids follow widely wandering paths. (a) Various orders of angels: messengers, seraphim, cherubim. (b) Vast multitude of angels (Rev. 5:11). (c) Spirit beings normally invisible to human eyes. (d) Special assignments take angels to far-flung places. JUPITER (Fallen Humanity) (a) Sixth planet out

from sun (counting asteroid belt). (b) Rapid rotation in less than 10 hours. (c) Gases brilliant and rich in color, almost psychedelic. (d) Cloud belts turbulent and stormy. (e) Complicated, chaotic pattern of motions within belts. (f) Large number of moons circling about the planet (16 or more). (a) A symbol of imperfection-fallen humanity. (b) Boastful, proud, calling attention to self (#2Ti 3:2). (c) Vain goals and attractions of life that appear so desirable but burst as bubbles (#1Ti 6:9). (d) Restless, moody, argumentative temperament of fallen man. (e) Confused, angry nations of world; disorder and anarchy evident (Ps. 46:2,3,6). (f) Fallen angels sentenced to darkness and restraint, in close proximity to fallen humanity (2 Pet. 2:4, Jude 6). SATURN (Satan and Systems of Error) (a) One of the most beautiful and impressive of all planets. (b) Yellow in equatorial regions, green in polar. (c) Differential wind speeds mask circulation pattern in equatorial region. (d) Most regular and organized magnetic field pattern of all the planets. (e) Vast number of moons in orbit about planet (at least 15). (f) Intricate ring system composed of (a) Lucifer ("day star," "light-bearer") originally created perfect in beauty, marked by wisdom and brightness (Ezek. 28:12,15,17). (b) Yellow or gold symbolizing Satanís attempt to appear as divine; green, his bold lie, "Thou shalt not surely die" (#Joh 8:44). (c) Deception the key method chosen by Satan to spread his influence (#Re 12:9). (d) Vast army of degraded order of angels under Satanís control. (e) Vast organization of fallen spirits marshalled to do Satanís bidding. (f) World system of error SATURN (Continued) three main sections: outer "A," brighter "B." and inner faint crepe "C." (g) Some fainter rings recently discovered seem controlled by "shepherd moons." (h) Rings appear beautiful and impressive, reaching out nearly 100,000 miles in diameter, yet if compressed, yield one tiny body. composed of "beast" (antichrist), "dragon" (civil powers), and "false prophet" (daughter systems) (Rev. 16:13). (g) Worldly systems of error are under control of demonic forces (Rev. 16:14). (h) Satanís systems of error appear impressive on worldwide scale, but will collapse in due time (#Isa 14:12-20, Rev. 20:10,14). NOTE: Planets discovered in recent era - Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846), Pluto (1930) - omitted from this study since not known to the ancients and seemingly extraneous to symbolizing revealed features of Divine Plan.

 

We urge that the presentations of this journal be tried thoughtfully by all readers. "Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good." We do not necessarily endorse every expression of contributed articles appearing herein. Information on the authorship of any article is freely supplied on request. Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 9159 Via de Amor, Santee, CA 92071. Published through Millennial Morning.

 

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 1, Number 1, October 1990

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Messiahís Conquering Reign

 

The Fillets of the Tabernacle

 

Cords and Pins

 

Tabernacle Symbols

 

The Beginning and the End

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH is published as a service to the brethren to stimulate their consideration and appreciation of the boundless riches of Godís Word. It is published free of charge. Subscriptions will be entered for all who request it. Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 10034 SW 52nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97219. Editorial board: Brs. Jerry Leslie (Editor-in-Chief), David Doran, Carl Hagensick, Michael Nekora, David Rice, David Stein.

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

"Truth, like a modest little flower in the wilderness of life, is surrounded and almost choked by the luxuriant growth of the weeds of error. If you would find it you must be ever on the lookout. If you would see its beauty you must brush aside the weeds of error and the brambles of bigotry. If you would possess it you must stoop to get it."

 

"Be not content with one flower of truth. Had one been sufficient there would have been no more. Gather ever, seek for more."

 

"Weave them together as a garland -íBind them on thee as a bride doethí. ĎBind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart; so shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man." #Pr 3:3 - R9 This journal was first started in 1980, and provided a rich source of spiritual stimulation for many. After a long hiatus, it is being renewed with the hope and prayer that it will again fill the need of earnest Bible students for fresh insights into the limitless resources of Scriptural truth.

 

This journal is not designed for the casual reader of the Bible, for there are many other periodicals to supply this need. Nor is its aim to seek merely the applications of the Bible to daily living. Once again, there exist excellent magazines designed to this end. Rather, it is put forth as a medium to probe the mysteries of faith and the depths of the Divine Word in the ongoing search for The BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH.

 

It is recognized that this search deals subjectively with the fascinating field of Scripture interpretation. Therefore there may be honest differences of opinion on the matters presented. It is not the policy of the Editors to present only concepts on which they personally agree. Indeed, this would be impossible, for even they do not agree with each other on all concepts of Biblical interpretation.

 

Rather, it is with the realization that a broad framework of concurrence marks and identifies the principles of faith of what has become known affectionately as The Harvest Truth Movement, that the Editors are committed to maintain firmly these broad boundaries, while accepting honest dialog on supporting details.

 

The writings of Charles Taze Russell are highly prized by the Editors as setting forth these broad guidelines, which will be adhered to in determining the content of this journal. While a broad base of some 30 brethren throughout the world have been contacted to submit articles based on their personal studies, the thoughts of others are also desired. Anyone who would care to share the results of their studies with others are encouraged to submit articles of up to 2000 words in length for consideration by the Editors.

 

Correspondence on articles printed, either in agreement, further extensions of the material presented, or in honest disagreement presented in the spirit of dialog, is also invited. Where feasible and approved by the Editors, these will be printed in future issues.

 

While most articles are signed, not for the notoriety of the authors, but to accept responsibility for their thoughts, the Editors will honor the request of any writer to withhold his name. This journal is presented free of charge out of love for the Truth and its beauties. "Buy the truth, and sell it not," is a principle of its publication. Any who do not desire to receive this publication will have their names withdrawn from our mailing list immediately upon request. On the other hand, any who do not regularly receive this journal and desire to do so, will be gladly added to our list with no cost or obligation.

 

While not committing ourselves to a specific period, we hope to print this journal initially on a quarterly basis. It is with the sincere hope and prayer that this publication will help us all in our search for understanding Godís Word and The BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH that this paper is sent on its way.

 

Jerry Leslie, Editor-in-Chief

 

David Doran

 

Carl Hagensick

 

Michael Nekora

 

David Rice

 

David Stein

 

 

 

Messiahís Conquering Reign

 

In attempting to understand what the prophets of the Old and New Testaments have spoken regarding the setting up of Godís Kingdom in its early stages, it is helpful to draw together the various lines of testimony in chart form. This facilitates a comparison of related texts, similar language and patterns to clarify the meaning of individual Bible texts.

 

There are several areas of scripture which lend themselves to this kind of comparison in our subject. These include five of the prophetic (#Ps 2$, 46$, 97$, 110$, 149$ ) and portions of #Re 11 and #Re 19. When these scripture references are listed side by side, several common themes become readily apparent, like so many recurring colored yarns in a woven fabric. These may be identified as:

 

(a) The rebellion of earthís rulers and people

 

(b) The destiny of Jehovahís anointed one

 

(c) The conquering phase of Messiahís reign

 

(d) Participation by consecrated followers of Christ

 

(e) The blessedness of the believer

 

ENEMIES MADE HIS FOOTSTOOL

 

#Ps 110:1 may well be used as the basic text central to the message of the prophets now under discussion: "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." Bible students have long recognized that Messiahís "sitting" at Jehovahís side does not signify inactivity, but the very reverse; it depicts an appointment to a position of authority, the exercise of which involves activity. #Isa 40:10 clearly bears this out, with the declaration that Jehovah will come with strength and "his arm [Messiah] shall rule for himí " #Ps 98:1 adds that it is "[Jehovahís] right hand and his holy arm [that] hath gotten him the victory." Psalm 2 and 110 supply further details of how this shall be accomplished, with emphasis upon Messiahís role in subduing the nations.

 

When Messiahís conquering work is finished, #Ps 110:1 poetically describes the result in the expression, "thine enemies thy footstool." This language was borrowed from the custom of Eastern conquerors and signified the utter humiliation and subjection of their enemies after defeat in battle. [See Commentary by Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, p. 380]. A similar usage is found in #Jos 10:14-26, at the time of the conquering of Canaan. After the defeat of the five kings of the Amorites, the captains of Israel were instructed to place their feet upon the necks of these kings as a symbol of complete triumph, prior to slaying them.

 

Jesus implicitly applied #Ps 110:1 to himself when quoting it to the Pharisees (#Mt 22:42-45), and later explicitly before the high priest, when he said "Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heavení " (#Mt 26:64) He linked the sitting at Jehovahís right hand with his own second coming, in the clouds of trouble that mark the beginning of this most momentous period of earthís history. Finally, the Apostle Paul offered a yet broader perspective of #Ps 110:1 when he stated (#1Co 15:25) that Christ "must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death Ď " This we recognize will not be finished until the thousand-year Kingdom has fully accomplished its work.

 

REBELLION OF THE NATIONS

 

#Ps 2:1-4, #Ps 46:2, 3, 6, and #Re 19:19 graphically portray the uprising of earthís masses and their rulers against the laws of God and His principles of Truth and righteousness. The early disciples, including Peter and John, made a preliminary application of #Ps 2:1, 2 to the unjust opposition they encountered from the authorities of their day. Yet it is evident that this could be but a partial and relatively minor fulfillment, when the inclusiveness of the scriptural symbols is noted. Such broad terms as nations, kingdoms, earth [society], kings and armies entrenched in opposition to divine authority can only find fulfillment in events taking place even now on a broader, global scale. The conflict will enlarge to include representatively all the nations of earth, their people and their rulers, civil and religious. (#Re 16:13, 14) From Godís viewpoint, they are considered as taking counsel against Him and His anointed, then gathering together to war against them, and particularly to resist the incoming Mediatorial Kingdom.

 

#Ps 2:4 states that "He that sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord (Hebrew Adonai) shall have them in derision." Many commentaries interpret this passage as pertaining strictly to God. Yet it is evident that this word Adonai (Strongís #136) is from the Hebrew root Adon, which is defined simply as "sovereign, ie. controller (human or divine)í " Adon is used elsewhere in Scripture to denote the Lord Jesus; we believe likewise that it is appropriate to apply Adonai in the same manner here (to Jesus). (Pastor Russell so applies it; see Vol. 5, p. 47.) Hence it appears to be Messiah himself who disdains the rebellion of the nations and their meager efforts to resist his taking charge of their affairs.

 

MESSIAH TO PREVAIL

 

#Ps 2:6-8 declares that Jesus was anointed King by Jehovah God and that as part of his rulership, the nations of earth are to become his inheritance. #Ps 2:10-12 of this Psalm depict Godís warning to the rulers of earth not to oppose the incoming Kingdom, but to serve Him in reverence and obedience. If they are foolish enough to spurn His good counsel, the Sonís wrath will be kindled and he shall speak to them in deep anger and confound them in sore displeasure. He has the authority and power, as conquering King, to break the nations with a rod of iron and to dash them to pieces like a potterís vessel.

 

The early part of Messiahís reign is described in vivid language in #Ps 97:1-7. Whereas Jehovah is credited with reigning, it is accomplished in the Kingly presence of His great Representative, Christ Jesus (see R5989). The period is characterized by clouds of trouble (cf #Lu 21:27), thick darkness (cf #Joe 2:1, 2) and fire which burns up his enemies (cf #Zep 3:8; #2Pe 3:10). The earth trembles under the onslaught and at the flashes of his lightnings, which light up all the earth. Thus do truths along many lines flash out in the midst of gloom and perplexity to provide enlightenment for the people. Injustices and errors of the past must now begin to give way to the light of the new day.

 

#Ps 110 correlates perfectly with this picture and thus identifies the "enemies" that are made Christís footstool. Jehovah is to send the rod of the Lordís [Adon] strength out of Zion to rule in the midst of these enemies. Notice how the wording of verses 5 and 6 parallels the description in Psalm 2 already considered. The Lord [Adonai] shatters kings in the day of his wrath. He executes judgment upon the nations, filling them with dead bodies, while crushing the heads of many countries.

 

The word pictures of Revelation weave directly into this tapestry. The sounding of the seventh angel heralds the transfer of the kingdom of this world to our Lord and His Christ. (#Re 11:15) Christ assumes his position of power and begins his reign, but the nations are angry and kindle his wrath. It is the momentous period of earthís history when the faithful are to be rewarded and the enemies of God destroyed. Nothing can prevail against Messiahís conquering power.-#Re 11:17, 18

 

#Re 19 enlarges the picture further to identify in symbol various participants in the final conflict. The beast [mother church], the false prophet [daughter systems] and the kings of the earth and their armies gather together to make war against the Word of God and his armies. A sharp sword proceeds out of the Lordís mouth, with which he smites the nations. He rules with a rod of iron and treads out the winepress of the wrath of God. The outcome is certain as the beast is conquered and the false prophet with him. They are both cast alive into the lake of fire and brimstone, symbol of everlasting destruction.

 

#Ps 46:8-10 offers another view of the aftermath of Messiahís conquering rule. Again Jehovah is pictured as carrying out the works of desolation, whereas the parallel texts confirm that He does so through His strong right arm, Christ Jesus. The outcome fulfills the longing of every peace-loving person in every land: wars will forever cease, the bow is broken, the spear cut in half, and the chariot burned. God is to be exalted in all the earth at last. - #Mic 4:1-3

 

See Chart

 

ROLE OF THE SAINTS

 

As the table shows, most of these prophetic passages describe the role of the consecrated followers of Christ during the period of Messiahís conquering reign. Psalm 149 reads, "Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud upon their bedsí " At the same time that "the high praises of God" are in their mouth, "a two-edged sword" is in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the nations and punishments upon the people. Kings are bound in chains, nobles in fetters of iron, and all the saints are credited with executing the judgments written.

 

This language parallels that of #Ps 2$, #Ps 110$, and #Re 19:11, 15, and must be considered contemporaneous with them. In the closing years of his ministry Pastor Russell suggested that it pictured the joyful participation of the saints on both sides of the veil in kingdom work (R5451). Those engaged in the proclamation of Truth and in various witnessing activities would thus be credited with executing vengeance upon the nations, equivalent in Godís eyes to the more direct confrontation with the enemies of righteousness in which the risen saints are engaged.

 

Similar reckoning is illustrated in the role of the prophet Jeremiah, who by his faithfulness in proclaiming Godís message was credited with being "set over the nations and kingdoms [of his day], to root out, to pull down, and to destroy." - #Jer 1:4-10

 

#Ps 110:3, in highly figurative language, gives some added insights into the work of the saints. The Hebrew is sufficiently obscure, however, to require the help of several translations: "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morningí " The time element identified here as "morning" or "dawní (see Rotherham and Leeser translations) may suggest that the activity takes place in the beginning of the new (symbolic) day, which would be the long-awaited seventh thousand year day of earthís history. God directly intervenes to help the saints, "when the morning appeareth" (#Ps 46:5, margin), suggesting the resurrection of the sleeping saints and the instantaneous change of those following afterward. As for the Lordís people yet in the flesh, we are told that they are not in darkness concerning this day (#1Th 5:1-8); as they discern their Lordís return and the world-shaking events that accompany it, they become willing participants with Christ, fully desirous of sharing in the early phases of his conquering reign."

 

It seems significant that many of the alternate translations for #Ps 110:3 describe the participation of the saints in terms that have a distinct military tone. Rotherhamís footnote renders it, "Thy people will be ready to volunteer in the day of thy host" (or "army," see American Standard and Rotherham translations). The phrase "in the beauties of holiness" may likewise be translated "in holy array" (American Standard and Amplified versions) suggesting an orderly, cooperative stance not unlike a military formation. This is further home out in the final portion of the verse, "thou hast the dew of thy youth," which could also be rendered, "thy youth (or Ďyoung mení) spring forth to thee, fresh as the dew." Or, as Rotherhamís footnote suggests, "ĎYoung mení- figuratively of young warriors of the king established by Jahweh, with flashing weapons like dew drops" Hence, participation in the work of Christ during the early stages of the setting up of his Kingdom may be likened to the combined efforts of dedicated, disciplined warriors carrying forward their Kingís objectives.

 

Ferrar Fenton, whose translation is generally rendered in a fairly loose style, nevertheless seems admirably to have captured the military setting of this Psalm. He combines verses 2 and 3 into one poetic stanza, as follows:

 

The Lord sends your brave army from Zion;

 

Charge up to the breast of your foes!

 

Your forces are ready today,

 

Your Army in beautiful pomp,,

 

More than dew-drops that come from the breast of the Dawn!

 

Coming now to the parallel picture of #Re 19:11, 14, 19, we notice the comparison becomes very precise, as the opponents in the great battle of the ages are portrayed in clear terms of military conflict. The Word of God Judges in righteousness, followed by his armies (plural) clothed in fine linen. Together they make war against the beast, the kings of the earth and their armies, and are victorious over them. Pastor Russell, again toward the close of his ministry suggested that these armies may possibly symbolize the saints on both sides of the veil, actively engaged in kingdom activities related to Messiahís conquering reign. (See R5451.) What added dignity and responsibility such a thought lends to the sanctified course that the Lordís people are to pursue, especially during this period of intense trouble and distress upon the nations! (#2Pe 3:10-14) And what incentive it provides to close ranks behind our mighty King of Kings and Lord of Lords, as his work of subduing the nations proceeds. "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" - #1Co 14:8

 

ZIONíS GLAD STATE

 

How remarkable it seems that in a correlation of passages of Scripture related to the prophetic topic, "Messiahís Conquering Reign," there should emerge a consistent supplementary theme which at first might appear to be unrelated. Almost every prophetic passage cited includes a description of the blessed state of the believer - his position of favor before God - especially during the tumultuous activity and stress of this unique period of earthís history. This could not be merely coincidental, but speaks of direction by the Holy Spirit, particularly as seen in the utterances of the Psalms. And how lovely an insight this affords us into the special care and provision which our Heavenly Father has made for His own! These represent special encouragements to those who are willing to "put their trust in Him," even in the midst of the raging conflict.

 

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth [society] be removed, and though the mountains [kingdoms] be carried into the midst of the sea [rising masses of humanity] ... There is a river [of truth], the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy of the tabernacles [consecrated believers] of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved: God shall help her, when the morning appeareth" (margin, KJV), or "at the dawn of morning" (American Standard footnote). - #Ps 46$

 

#Ps 97$, after dramatizing the destructive aspect of Messiahís conquering reign in vivid symbols of clouds, darkness, judgment and fire, states that Zion [the church] was made glad (compare #Ps 46:3-4) and the daughters of Judah rejoiced. We believe that in the aftermath of Messiahís enemies being consumed (verse 3), the people see (discern) Godís glory and understand His judgments. The true basis for the rejoicing of the saints is not that they take delight in trouble or suffering, but in the realization that this is a prerequisite to the blessings which follow (#Ps 72$, etc.), and the enlightenment of the people.

 

In $Ps 110:7 David is moved to proclaim, "He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head." This seems to have reference to the Christ, head and body, as they are refreshed by the waters of truth, even while engaged in their glorious triumphant work of subduing the enemies of righteousness. (Compare #Ps 46:4 and #Ps 97:11.)

 

#Ps 149$ carries forward the theme of the final six Psalms in expressions of praise to extol the mighty God and Creator for all of His goodness and mercy. Especially are the children of Zion and Israel to be joyful for all that the Lord has done. "For the Lord taketh pleasure in His people; He will adorn the meek with salvationí " The praises of the saints are then described in the active terms already considered, of participation in announcing the glad tidings of the Kingdom, with the high praises of God in their mouth and the two-edged sword in their hand.

 

In another view of this same activity, the prophet Isaiah declared, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth [proclaims] peace ... that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" (#Isa 52:7) "Beautiful" is from the Hebrew Naah, meaning "to be at home; by implication, to be pleasant or suitable" (Strong) Hence, the watchmen who are proclaiming the glad tidings are truly at home doing the work most suitable to them.

 

Finally, #Ps 150$ provides the fitting hallelujah chorus of musical instruments in a climactic burst of poetic praise. Indeed, Godís great "power," His "mighty acts" and His "excellent greatness" are all manifested in His divine plan of the ages which will bring blessings to all the families of the earth. This understanding gives perspective to the precipitous events of our day which herald the incoming Kingdom and manifest the signs of Messiahís conquering reign. Not until Messiahís enemies have been made his footstool can the uplifting and blessing phase of his glorious reign begin. Then "shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings;" the "pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeds out of the throne of God," and "the tree of life [appears], [whose] leaves [are] for the healing of the nations." #Mal 4:2; #Re 22:1, 2

 

Charles Redeker

 

 

 

Fillets of the Tabernacle

 

As Bible students, we have come to appreciate deeply the typical significance of Israelís Tabernacle, both in its construction and in its services. One of the details of the construction of the court seems to have received little attention as to what it was and its possible significance. The Lordís instructions to Moses concerning the construction of the Tabernacle include the following directions about the making of the court: "And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side: And the twenty pillars and their twenty sockets shall be of brass [copper]; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver. And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings of an hundred cubits long, and his twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of brass [copper]; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver. ... All the pillars round about the court shall be filleted with silver; their hooks shall be of silver, and their sockets of brass [copper]." - #Ex 27:9-11, 17

 

See Image 00010

 

The account of the actual construction of the court is found in #Ex 38$."All the hangings of the court round about were of fine twined linen. And the sockets for the pillars were of brass [copper]; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver; and the overlaying of their chapters of silver; and all the pillars of the court were filleted with silverí " (#Ex 38:16, 17)

 

The court was an enclosed area surrounding the Tabernacle proper. The enclosure consisted of a linen curtain supported by wooden posts set in sockets or bases of copper. The curtain was attached to the posts, or suspended from them, by silver "hooks" and "fillets."

 

The "hooks" on the posts and their function are rather easily understood, but what are the "fillets" and their function? Brother Russell seems to make no specific suggestion regarding them in his writings. Other Bible helps provide information which can help us come to an understanding. The Hebrew word translated "fillets" is given in Strongís Concordance as #2838 - "chashug, attached, i.e. a fence-rail or rod connecting the posts or pillars." Geseniusí Hebrew Chaldee Lexicon gives the definition of this word as, "plur. joinings, i.e. poles or rods, which were used to join together the tops of the columns of the court of the holy tabernacle, and from which the curtains or hangings were suspended." These definitions compare favorably with the contemporary definition of the English translation, "fillet: a thin narrow strip of any material" The Hebrew word translated "filleted" is given in Strongís Concordance as Strongís 2836 (See definition 02836) -"chashaq, to cling, i.e. join, (fig.) to love, delight in."

 

It would appear from these definitions that the fillets were silver rods which extended from pillar to pillar and on which the linen curtain was hung. These silver "curtain rods" were apparently attached to the wooden posts by means of the silver hooks.

 

Other translations of the Exodus texts bear out this thought. Rotherham renders #Ex 38:17."And the sockets for the pillars were of bronze, the hooks of the pillars and their connecting-rods [fillets-#2838] of silver, and the overlaying of their capitals was silver, -and they themselves were filleted with silver, even all the pillars of the courtí " Rotherham renders verse 28 of the same chapter: "And with the thousand, seven hundred and seventy-five [shekels of silver] made the hooks for the pillars, - and overlaid their capitals and united them with connecting rods." The marginal notes in the Companion Bible give very similar renderings. Moffattís translation uses "rods" in place of "fillets."

 

A final source of input to this discussion is McClintock and Strongís Encyclopedia. The lengthy entry under the heading, "Tabernacle" includes the following description of the court and its pillars: ĎAt the top these pillars had a capital or head (xxxviii, 17, "chapter"), which was overlaid with silver; but whether the body of the pillar was plated with any metal is not said. Connected with the head of the pillar were two other articles: hooks, and things called chashukim, rendered "fillets," i.e. ornamental caplets in relief around the pillar (so Ewald, Alterthumer, p. 335, note 5), but most probably meaning rods (so Gesenius, Furst, and others), joining one pillar to another. These rods were laid upon the hooks, and served to attach the hangings to and suspend from them. The hooks and rods were silver, though Knobel conjectures the latter must have been merely plated (Exod p278).í (Vol X, pages 130-131)

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

From the information available, it seems reasonable to conclude that the construction of the court included silver rods connecting the wooden posts, and upon which the linen curtain was suspended and supported. These rods would also add a great measure of physical stability to the whole arrangement.

 

The idea of silver rods connecting the wooden posts fits beautifully into our understanding of the typical significance of the court of the Tabernacle. "The Court represents, in the present time, the earthly condition of those who are approaching God, but have not yet made a full consecration of their lives to Him and His service" (R5418). ĎThe posts which stood in the ĎCourt,í and upheld the white curtains, represented [tentatively-see Vol. 6, p. iii] justified believers ... The posts were of wood, a corruptible material, thus implying that the class typified are not actually perfect as human beingsí, (T113) The curtain of white linen represented the righteousness of Christ and was a wall of faith to those within the court condition (T114, T18). How appropriate that this wall of faith should be held up by hooks and rods of silver-silver representing truth. It is Godís Truth that has drawn individuals into the court; the Truth has been the seed that grew into faith in Christ and his sacrifice.

 

The truth, represented by silver, is also the element that unites individual believers one to another. An early Reprint article (100) authored by "WIM" stated, "... Truth is symbolized by silver, which thus adorned the posts, clothing their heads with beauty, forming the ornaments of the body, and being the hook or connection which bound them to the curtain of linen, and by it to each other." How beautiful appears the additional symbolism that silver rods of Truth unite the posts to each other- the bond of one believer to another. "Blest be the tie [the truth] that binds our hearts in Christian love!"

 

- Thomas L. Gilbert

 

 

 

Cords and Pins

 

In an accompanying article, we read how the posts that held up the curtains around the tabernacle were strengthened and stabilized by the "fillets," or silver curtain-rods, which connected them. Considering the tremendous weight of a continuous curtain, seven and a half feet high and over 400 feet long, it is no wonder that such an architectural feature was required. However, these rods would only give stability from side to side. There was also a need to provide security for the posts from falling inward or outward. The hefty winds that occur in hot, dry climates, such as the Sinai, also make such additional strengthening necessary. Although few details are given concerning this feature of the Tabernacle, two texts do provide strong hints.

 

"The pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords." (#Ex 35:18)

 

"The hangings of the court, his pillars and his sockets, and the hanging for the court gate, his cords, and his pins, and all the vessels of the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of the congregation" (#Ex 39:40)

 

See Image #00010

 

While specific details are not given of how these cords and pins were used, it is generally agreed that two pins, or tent pegs, were driven into the ground opposite each of the court posts - one inside the courtyard and one outside. A cord, or rope, was then drawn taut between these two pins, being wrapped once or twice around the top of the post. Thus the post, with its attached curtains, was held secure from falling either inward or outward from the weight of the curtain and from the various wind conditions.

 

The importance to the Bible student lies not in the details of tabernacle construction, but in the deeper significance of its symbolic or antitypical meaning. Two other references to cords, or threads, may give us some insight. The first of these is found in the account of the offering of the red heifer.

 

"And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet [a scarlet string-T109] and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer." (#Nu 19:6)

 

The suggestion on the same page in Tabernacle Shadows that the scarlet string would represent the blood of Christ seems very reasonable.

 

The second text is found in connection with the battle of Jericho and the faith of Rahab.

 

"Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy other, and thy brethren, and all thy fatherís household, home unto thee" (#Jos 2:18)

 

Again, it seems reasonable to accept the suggestion of R4070 concerning this act of Rahab as illustrating "faith in the great sacrifice for sin."

 

Thus, scarlet threads (or strings or cords or lines or ropes) were illustrative of the ransom sacrifice. Although the color of the cords in the tabernacle is not given, it seems not unreasonable to interpret them as being similarly associated with the ransom.

 

The curtain, which formed the wall around the courtyard of the tabernacle, well represents the Christianís faith in Christ as his covering; while the posts picture the justified believer himself, demonstrating this faith to the world in the camp outside. (See T113, T114.) Is not the great stabilizing factor in our faith the utter simplicity of the ransom concept - a perfect human life for a perfect human life? This accords well with the demands of the law. (#Ex 21:23) The philosophy of this sin-atonement is stated in simple substitutionary terms by the Apostle Paul in #Ro 5:19 "For as by one manís disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous."

 

In #Ex 38:20 we read that "all the pins [or tent pegs] of the tabernacle, and of the court round about, were of brass."

 

In our interpretation of the Tabernacle symbology, places represent conditions, actors represent classes, and metals represent natures. Brass, it is commonly agreed, pictures perfect human nature. Thus the picture suggests two possessors of perfect human nature, one inside the court and one outside. Further, it may be implied that these two are connected with the common thread of the ransom sacrifice, to stabilize the faith of justified believers.

 

In the pages of Holy Writ we read of only two possessors of perfect human nature-Adam and Jesus. One of these, Jesus, is certainly within the condition pictured by the court. Almost as certainly the other, Adam, is outside of this condition, as a result of original sin. It is just these two perfect men -Adam and Jesus-whose lives are inexorably linked by the ransom. Paul names the disobedient and obedient men of #Ro 5:19 in #1Co 15:21, 22 "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

 

Here, then, is the stability for our faith. We are held firm from wavering by the simplicity of the ransom concept - one perfect life for another perfect life. The basic doctrine of substitutionary atonement, Jesus for Adam, is so simple that faith can firmly rest upon it. "How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for our faith in his excellent word."

 

-Carl Hagensick

 

 

 

Tabernacle Symbols

 

Enclosures = our conditions in the house of God

 

Fixtures = positions

 

(a) as humans, (b) as New Creatures

 

Furniture = activities (sphere of use, fullness)

 

Priests = ourselves as agents and intelligent worshippers

 

Sacrifices = experiences

 

Camp = our environment

 

Tabernacle itself; set up = House of God

 

- John Meggison

 

 

The Beginning and the End (Of Revelation 13)

 

Students of the Bible have become aware that chapter divisions can be misplaced and thus cause confusion in the understanding of a passage. One of the better known examples is #Mt 16$ - 17$. If there were no chapter division after 16:28, it would be much easier to discern that the transfiguration was the fulfillment of the statement of #Mt 16:28.

 

The 13th chapter of Revelation suffers from the same malady. It begins (in the KJV) ĎAnd I stood But the old MSS. do not read that way. The 12Th chapter should end with the statement: "And he [not I] stood upon the sand of the seaí " It is the dragon standing on the sand which ends the 12Th chapter. A little thought on this yields excellent dividends.

 

Chapter 13, then, begins: "And I saw a beast rise up...." It is John (the MSS. add "I") which sees the beast.

 

Chapter 13 is also ended in the wrong place - a fact which obscures the meaning of the 14th chapter. The true end of chapter 13 is the end of the 5th verse of chapter 14. Thus chapter 13 continues to the completion of the church. Chapter 14 begins with the harvest period. Particularly beneficial in this is the contrast which now exists at the close of chapter 13. We not only have those who carry the improper mark (#Re 14:16-18) in hand or head, but we also have those who carry the proper mark (#Re 14:1) which, in contrast, Inust be only in the head - the hand will not do! The MSS. also indicate that it is not merely the Fatherís name in their foreheads, but rather "His name and His Fatherís name"

 

#Re 12$, 13$, 14$ reconsidered with these new beginnings and endings in mind each reveal truths more clearly.

 

- David Doran

 

 

 

Let your Life be a Bible

 

Have Christ for its Genesis

 

Have Consecration for its Exodus

 

Have Love for its Leviticus

 

Have joy for its Psalms

 

Have in it the courage of a Daniel, the patience of a Job, the zeal of a Jeremiah, the Love of a John.

 

Have plenty of Jesus in it, and may its end be as much grander than its beginning as Revelation is grander than Genesis.

 

Benjamin Barton

 

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2, Number 1, January 1991

 

"In the Name of..."

 

Atonement. #Le 9:16

 

"Three Days and Three Nights"

 

Israel, Iraq and the Gulf Crisis

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH is published as a service to the brethren to stimulate their consideration and appreciation of the boundless riches of Godís Word. It is published free of charge. Subscriptions will be entered for all who request it. Address all correspondence to Beauties of the Truth, 10034 SW 52nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97219. Editorial board: Brs. Jerry Leslie (Editor-in-Chief), David Doran, Carl Hagensick, Michael Nekora, David Rice, David Stein.

 

"In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit"

 

With this statement, a candidate is baptized and welcomed as a new member of the body of Christ. The phrase taken from #Mt 28:19 followed Jesusí command to baptize all nations. But is this phrase really the saying of Jesus? Or was the scripture altered during the third century to support the development of the doctrine of the trinity?

 

Since the concession that #1Jn 5:7 is spurious, only #Mt 28:19 remains as a scriptural support for the triune name. That is why the triple formula, "father, son and holy spirit" formed the framework of the Apostlesí Creed. Oxford scholar Moberly (1902) claimed #Mt 28:19 to be a "solemn precept to baptize in the name of the holy Trinity, which fell from the divine lips of the newly risen Lord"

 

Because this scripture is important to the trinitarian belief, there has been little interest in pursuing its authenticity. Yet some scholars of the 19th and 20th centuries believe the scripture was altered. James Martineau, in Seat of Authority, says that the "very account which tells us that at last, after his resurrection, he commissioned his apostles to go and baptize all nations, betrays itself by speaking in the Trinitarian language of the next century and compels us to see in it the ecclesiastical editor."

 

In History of Dogma, Adolph Harnack claims #Mt 28:19 is "no word of the Lord" Even the cautious critic Canon Armitage Robinson, in Encyclopedia Biblica, says that Matthew "does not here report the (very words) of Jesus, but transfers to him the familiar language of the church of the Evangelistís own time and locality."

 

There are early church writers who also seem to support these views. Eusebius, a fourth century writer, had the greatest library of any early church scribe. It contained manuscripts of the new testament that were at least 200 years older than any existing today. Manuscripts copied by Origen, Clement of Alexandria, and others not available today gave him access to almost original material. Eusebius cites #Mt 28:19 eighteen times in his work, always in the same form: "Go ye and make disciples of all nations in my name, teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I commanded you"

 

When he comments on the verse, Eusebius places great stress on the phrase, "in my name." Apparently his sources, Origen, Clement and Justin Martyr, excluded "father" and "holy spirit" from this scripture.

 

Justin Martyr wrote between 130 AD and 140 AD While much of his work is no longer available, there is a passage that is generally thought to be a reference to #Mt 28:19."God hath not yet inflicted nor inflicts the judgment, as knowing of some that still even today ARE BEING MADE DISCIPLES IN THE NAME OF HIS CHRIST, and are abandoning the path of error, who also do receive gifts each as they be worthy, being illumined by the name of this Christ." Aphraates, a Syriac writer of the middle-fourth century, cites the text in yet a different manner, "Make disciples of all nations, and they shall believe in me."

 

It probably was not until the middle of the third century that the current rendering of #Mt 28:19 appeared when Bishop Cyprian of Rome insisted on the triple formula for baptism. Ironically, Pope Stephen used only one name, Jesus.

 

During the fourth century, the orthodox church used the phrase, "in the name of the father, son and holy ghost" as a battle cry against the Macedonians who claimed that no new testament text supported the spirit as part of the trinity. However, by the seventh century the church had wholeheartedly accepted the current rendering of the scripture, and excommunicated the Celtic church for insisting on one name in baptism.

 

In 1902, the modern scholar F C Conybeare summed up the history of the development of #Mt 28:19 as follows:

 

"It is worth considering, however, whether the original text of the gospel did not end at the word Ďnations,í and whether the three rival endings of the text were not developed independently, viz:"

 

(i) Ďin my nameí in Justin, Eusebius, and perhaps Stephen of Rome and the Pneumato-machi

 

(ii) Ďand they shall believe in me, in Aphraates, representing the older Syriac version

 

(iii) "baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the holy Ghost; or similar in the Greek gnostic Theodotus, Ter-tullian Latin version of Irenaeus, and the surviving Greek MSS."

 

BAPTISM AND THE APOSTLES

 

There are four instances of baptism by the Apostles recorded in the book of Acts. In each instance, only the name of Jesus is used in connection with the baptism.

 

#Ac 2:38. Peterís sermon on the day of Pentecost was followed by a call to those who would become followers of Jesus."Repent and be baptized, every one of you, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (NIV)

 

#Ac 8:16. Philip preached throughout Samaria and gained several converts. However, when Peter and John arrived, those converts had not received the gifts of the spirit that normally accompanied conversion in those days. They then laid their hands upon them, "because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized INTO THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS" (NIV)

 

#Ac 10:48. Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, was baptized after a lengthy conversation with Peter: "So he ordered that they be baptized IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST." (NIV)

 

#Ac 19:5. Paulís initial encounter with the brethren at Ephesus caused him concern as they had been baptized by Apollos with Johnís baptism. He instructed them regarding Jesus: "On hearing this, they were baptized INTO THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS" (NIV)

 

BIBLE STUDENT PRACTICE AND THE TRIUNE NAME

 

In The New Creation, page 455, "The Baptism of the New Creation:í Brother Russell recommended the words that we traditionally use. However, it is important to note how and why he made this recommendation:"

 

"No particular form of words for this service (baptism) ie, set before us in the Scriptures, and all can readily see that the words are of secondary importance-that the baptism might be equally valid if no words at all were used; because, as previously stated, the real contract is between the baptized one and the Lord and the act of water baptism is the open confession of it. It is not, therefore, a question of what the administrator may believe or disbelieve, say or omit to say, but of what is the thought and intention of the heart of the one thus symbolically baptized. Nevertheless, BASING OUR JUDGMENT UPON THE WORDS OF THE LORD, IN #Mt 28:19, AND THE WORDS OF THE APOSTLE IN #Ro 6:3, WE RECOMMEND AS A SIMPLE FORM OF SOUND WORDS FOR THE OCCASION THESE BROTHER JOHN, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, BY THIS AUTHORITY, I BAPTIZE THEE INTO CHRIST."

 

Note that Brother Russellís recommendation was based on his assumption that #Mt 28:19 contains the words of the Lord. #Ro 6:3 contains no reference to the Father or the holy spirit. It is only recently that the authenticity of #Mt 28:19 has come into doubt. As Bible Students, we have always examined the translations carefully to assure that we are following the original texts as closely as possible. When dealing with subjects like the trinity, this has especially been

 

true. Although #Mt 28:19 has not yet been agreed upon by a majority of scholars as spurious, there is certainly enough evidence to limit its use. At least it would be wise to consider it inappropriate for use in baptism, given its questionable history and subtle support of the doctrine of the trinity.

 

-Leonard Griehs

 

 

 

 

Atonement Leviticus Chapter 9 vs. Chapter 16

 

Bible Students have long appreciated the Plan of God as it is illustrated in the Tabernacle arrangement of the ancient Israelites. This Tabernacle or tent had two compartments containing articles of gold. It was placed in a courtyard surrounded by a high white curtain. The Tabernacleís construction details are recorded in the book of Exodus.

 

A structure alone benefits no one. There must also be people who know what to do with it. God dedicated the tribe of Levi to be His servants and assigned them the job of physically transporting the Tabernacle from place to place. From this tribe, He selected Aaron as high priest and his sons as assistant priests. #Le 8 describes the seven day ceremony that consecrated these individuals for their duties.

 

From a human viewpoint, this should have been enough. There was a place for worship, a law that said how to worship, and a priesthood capable of organizing that worship. However, one thing was missing. In Godís sight, the Israelites were in an unclean, fallen condition and could not approach Him. Atonement for sins had to be made to give them a standing to bring sacrifices that He could accept. According to Strongís Concordance the Hebrew word translated "atonement" is also translated cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pardon, purge, reconcile.

 

Immediately following the consecration of the priesthood in #Le 8$, Aaron was told to "make an atonement for thyself and for the people" (#Le 9:7) The remainder of that chapter describes what had to be done to make atonement a reality in Godís sight.

 

The necessity for atonement was so important that in #Le 16$, God directed that a ceremony similar to #Le 9$ be repeated every year, on the tenth day of the seventh month (#Le 16:29). The people knew this was a special day because it was the only day of the year when fasting was required. "Ye shall afflict [fast -see #Isa 58:5] your souls by a statute for ever." -#Le 16:31

 

An annual day of atonement was necessary because "it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should [really] take away sins." (#Heb 10:4) Although the Israelites may not have realized it, their Tabernacle arrangement with its sacrificial rituals was a grand picture of a great high priest to come, of real atonement that would take place during a 2,000-year sacrificial period, and a time when the entire human race would have a relationship with God after those sacrifices were completed.

 

Students of the Tabernacle might expect that the sacrificial arrangements of #Le 9$ and #Le 16$ would be identical. The sacrifices of chapter 9 were needed to give the people a typical standing before God as soon as the priesthood was ready, so the people could bring acceptable sacrifices to Him. Six months later, the annual atonement day sacrifices began, renewing the nationís typical cleansing. Although the outcome of both days was the same (atonement), the arrangements were carried out in very different ways. Determining the reason God ordered these differences constitutes one of the beauties of the truth.

 

THE DIFFERENCES

 

There are said to be more than 20 significant differences between the atonement ceremony of chapter 9 and the atonement ceremony of chapter 16. Here are just a few:

 

Who officiated? #Le 9$ Moses, Aaron, Aaronís sons #Le 16$ Aaron only

 

What is offered? #Le 9$ Sin, burnt, meal, peace, wave offerings #Le 16$ Sin, burnt offering

 

Where was the blood sprinkled? #Le 9$ Horns and bottom of brazen altar #Le 16$ Mercy seat and horns of incense altar

 

What was the peopleís sin offering? #Le 9$ One goat #Le 16$ Two goats, one of which was killed

 

How does it end? #Le 9$ People are blessed and "glory of the Lord" appears #Le 16$ Aaron changes clothes and offers the burnt offerings

 

Note that in #Le 9$, activity in the Holy and Most Holy is not an integral part of the service. In #Le 16$ it is, particularly in the ceremony of sprinkling the blood on the Mercy Seat. Many people are involved in #Le 9$, including the elders of Israel (evidently as observers). Only Aaron is shown in the picture in #Le 16$.

 

THE DIFFERENCES EXPLAINED

 

God provided for differences in the two atonement ceremonies in the inaugural year of the Tabernacle, in order to show the antitypical atonement day (the Gospel Age) from two completely different perspectives. His own perspective of the Gospel Age is shown in chapter 16; the churclfs perspective is shown in chapter 9.

 

In chapter 16, only Aaron is present. So God sees one entity: His son as head and the church as body members. "We are members of his body." (#Eph 5:30) However, from the churchís perspective as shown in #Le 9$, we see our great high priest, Jesus, officiating and fellow assistant priests helping. We also see the "elders" who obtained a good report (#Heb 11:2).

 

In chapter 16, the blood of both sin offerings goes into the Most Holy and is sprinkled on the Mercy Seat. The satisfaction of Godís justice illustrated by this ritual is not something the church actually "sees" Thus it is absent from the account of #Le 9$. It is very real to God, and in fact, the sprinkling of the blood is the most important event of #Le 16$.

 

#Le 9$ describes meal, peace, and wave offerings, all of which are absent from #Le 16$. These show our consecration from three perspectives. With the meal offering, each person brings an individual "handful" of meal, mingled with oil, and burns it on the altar. No measure is specified, just that it be what one hand can hold. The peace offering illustrates the payment of vows because of the peace enjoyed. The wave offering continued until it was removed, illustrating that our sacrifice continues until God says it is enough. These three perspectives of our consecration can be appreciated by the church. Their absence in #Le 16$ teaches that these perspectives do not pertain to Godís relationship toward the Church.

 

The interpretation of the scapegoat in #Le 16$ has been debated by Bible Students. Br. Russell suggests that it represents the Great Company. If this is the correct understanding, the distinction between the Lordís goat and the scape goat is one which only God perceives. Those who are attempting to make their calling and election sure do not determine among themselves who is in one classification and who in another.

 

At the culmination of this "day" of sacrifice, the church, as shown in #Le 9$, sees that the people are blessed and Godís glory is revealed. No such dramatic ending can be found in #Le 16$. There, the burnt offerings showing Godís acceptance of the other offerings are made, and it is over. Although no special blessing of the people takes place, they are now able to come to God with their sacrifices and have a relationship to Him. This was, after all, the whole point of the day of atonement.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Most people get little out of their reading of Leviticus chapters 9 and 16. They cannot understand why so many animals had to die. They would prefer another way -one with no suffering, no sacrifice, and no death. The picture shows us that the remission of sins - atonement- comes only by the death of a perfect bullock, illustrating the perfect man Jesus. He has passed into the Most Holy and offered his blood, his life, to Godís justice. By his sacrifice he opened up a new and living way for us (#Heb 10:20).

 

Because of Jesusí faithfulness, we have the opportunity of laying down our lives sacrificially during this Gospel Age, the antitypical day of atonement. "For the bodies [plural] of those beasts whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin are burned without the camp. Let us go forth therefore without the camp bearing his reproach Ď "-#Heb 13:11, 13

 

So it remains for us to continue to lay down our lives faithfully in sacrifice that we may have a share in the great work of blessing the entire world of mankind in the coming kingdom.

 

-Michael Nekora

 

"I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore." - #Re 1:18

 

 

 

"Three Days and Three Nights"

 

I. PROBLEM

 

In #Mt 12:40 Jesus indicated he would be in the tomb for "three days and three nights:" an expression in our time and culture that implies three 24 hour time periods, or 72 hours. The rest of the biblical record, however, indicates the time was considerably shorter (Friday afternoon to Sunday morning). How do we harmonize this apparent disagreement? An understanding of Hebrew idiom is necessary to resolve the difficulty.

 

II. HISTORICAL FACT AND PROPHECY

 

When considering the phrase, "three days and three nights" (#Mt 12:40) we must keep an important principle in mind. Interpretation of prophecy can not, must not, dispute fact; instead, fact must be used to interpret prophecy, fact takes precedence. The text in which the above phrase appears is a prophecy, not a record of historical fact.

 

A. Historical Fact The historical record concerning the day of Jesusí death and the day of his resurrection is found in the following texts:

 

Crucifixion and burial

 

Day of preparation Day before Sabbath Friday (14 Nisan) #Mt 27:62 to #Mt 28:6 #Mk 15:42 to #Mk 16:2 #Lu 23:52 to #Lu 24:3 #Joh 19:31, #Joh 19:42; #Joh 20:1 #1Co 15:4 #Ac 10:40 #Lu 24:7,21, 46 Resurrection First day of week Day after Sabbath The third day Sunday (16 Nisan)

 

It is well documented that the day preceding the weekly Sabbath, the sixth day of the week, our Friday, was designated by the Jews as the Day of Preparation. This no doubt arose from the need to prepare the food and all else that was required for the day of rest -no work being permitted on the Sabbath (#Le 23:3).

 

In #Lu 23:54-56, the day of the crucifixion is stated to have been "the preparation," and it is also explained, "the sabbath drew on. Ď Verses 55 and 56 tell of some women preparing "spices and ointments: Ďthen resting on "the sabbath day." The account in #Mk 16:1, 2 relates that "when the sabbath was past" certain women "came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. " They found the tomb empty. This day, the day of the resurrection, is declared to have been the "first day of the week" (#Mk 16:2), our Sunday. The preceding day, therefore, a day identified as a sabbath, must have been a regular, weekly sabbath, the last day of the week, our Saturday. Thus, the day before that, "the preparation," the day of the crucifixion, would have been Friday.

 

The phrase, "the preparation of the Passover" in #Joh 19:14 may refer to the day preceding the Passover as some believe; however, such idiomatic use has not been documented. As others have suggested, this writer understands the phrase to mean "the preparation day of the Passover week"-in other words, Friday of the Passover week, like our Easter Friday.

 

Verses 31 and 32 explain that the bodies were to be taken down so they would not remain "upon the cross on the sabbath day," and they declare Jesus was taken down and laid in a tomb on the "Jewís preparation day." In these verses the preparation day of the weekly sabbath is meant. (This is significant when it is stated that the Passover of our Lordís death occurred on a day other than the weekly Sabbath.)

 

B. Prophecy

 

Difficulty exists not only between prophecy and fact, but between prophecy and prophecy as well. There is an apparent disagreement between the two prophetic phrases, "three days and three nights" and "the third day."

 

1. #Mt 12:40 - ... so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

 

2. #Mt 16:21- ...be raised* the third day.

 

#Mt 17:23-...the third day he shall be raised* ...

 

#Mt 20:19-...the third day he shall rise*.

 

#Lu 9:22- ...and be raised the third day.

 

#Lu 18:33- ...and the third day he shall rise*.

 

This difficulty, too, may be resolved by an understanding of Hebrew idiom.

 

III. BIBLICAL IDIOM

 

While the language of the New Testament is Greek, the human agents employed by God through the holy Spirit were mostly Hebrew. Hence, though the thoughts were of divine origin, the words spoken and written came from minds conditioned to Hebrew expression, Hebrew idiom. In a living language there is a continuous growth and decay of phrases, constructions, and expressions that are contrary to the usual patterns of the language and have a meaning different from the literal one. These are called idioms, and are usually particular phrases which we learn as separate items-easily in our own language, with difficulty in another. For example, consider the literal meaning of these common expressions in our culture:

 

to talk turkey

 

to put through the mill

 

to catch his eye

 

to take the bull by the horns

 

to get your ducks in a row

 

to be taken in

 

It is clear we must be careful about idiomatic phrases when interpreting the Bible. If we insist at all times on the absolutely literal, it can be a fruitful source of error.

 

A. Old Testament Idiom

 

1. #Ex 19:10, 11 - "sanctify them to day and to morrow ... the third day the LORD will come down ..." The third day is here defined as the day after tomorrow.

 

2. #Ge 42:17, 18 - Verse 17 states Joseph kept his brothers in prison "all together into ward three days." Verse 18 states Joseph spoke "unto them the third day," and in the following verses, he released them that same day (the third day).

 

3. #1Sa 20:12 - Again, the day after tomorrow is referred to as "the third day."

 

4. #1Ki 20:29 - Israel and Syria camped opposite each other "seven days." Yet, "in the seventh day the battle was joined"

 

5. #2Ch 10:5, 12 (#1Ki 12:5, 12) - In verse 5 Rehoboam told the people of Israel to "come again unto me after three daysí " In verse 12, they return, "on the third day" and restate Rehoboamís orders as "come again to me on the third day."

 

6. #Es 4:16; #Es 5:1 -In #Es 4:16 Esther asked the Jews to "fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night and day. I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king", Yet, in #Es 5:1 it is stated "on the third day" Esther went into the king.

 

7. #1Sa 30:12, 13 -An Egyptian found by Davidís men "had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nightsí " In verse 13 he told David he was deserted "three days agone"

 

B. New Testament Idiom

 

1. #Lu 13:32 -"I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." As in the Old Testament, the third day is defined as the day after tomorrow.

 

_______

 

*Note: There is no Greek word for "again" in these verses as rendered in the KJV, it should be omitted.

 

2. There are four passages that describe the resurrection as occurring "after three days" (in the Kiv #Mk 9:31 and #Mk 10:34 were mistranslated. The Greek phrase is identical to that in #Mk 8:31).

 

a. For three of the passages there are parallel accounts which help our understanding:

 

- "after three days" - #Mk 8:31 #Mk 9:31 #Mk 10:34

 

- "the third day" -#Mt 16:21 #LK 17:23 #Lk 20:19 #Lu 9:22 #Lu 18:33

 

b. In the fourth passage-#Mt 27:63, 64 - it is recorded that the Pharisees told Pilate how Jesus had predicted, "after three days I will rise again" In verse 64, they asked that the tomb "be made sure until the third day."

 

From these texts it may be seen that the expression "after three days" was equivalent to "the third day" in the idiom of Israel in Jesusí day.

 

IV. CONCLUSION

 

This study has shown we must be ever careful when we are dealing with ancient idiomatic expressions. We must not apply modern literal meanings. Hebrew reckoning is as distinct from our reckoning as is their practice of commencing the day at sunset and ours to begin it at midnight. These different modes of expression are peculiar to the respective peoples and languages and must be taken into account.

 

From the evidence of both the Old and New Testaments, we find it was Jewish idiom to equate "three days," "on the third day," and "after three days" Apparently, this custom was derived from the practice of counting a part of a day as a whole day-and-night. This practice is corroborated by the Rabbinic literature. Today, in the USA., if we say an event happened "on the third day," we mean it occurred sometime during the third day. If we state it took place "after three days" we mean after three days have passed. And, if we say "three days and three nights," we mean three 24 hour periods or 72 hours. Yet Christ and the Apostles used all these expressions in reference to the same period of time.

 

Therefore, understood in the context of Biblical idiom, the phrase "three days and three nights" presents no problem to a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday resurrection, as recorded in the Gospel accounts.

 

Based on the idiom of the time, "three days and three nights" may be thus explained:

 

1. The first night and day Jesus was in the tomb was from about the tenth hour (4:00 pm) of the day of preparation, Friday, to the evening, the end of the day (6:00 pm).

 

2. The second night and day was from the beginning of Sabbath (Friday night) to the end (Saturday evening).

 

3. The third night and day was from end of Sabbath (Saturday night) to the resurrection early in the morning of the "first day" (Sunday).

 

-R E Evans

 

 

 

Israel, Iraq and the Gulf Crisis

 

A LAND BROUGHT BACK FROM THE SWORD

 

"After many years thou shalt be visited in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them."- #Eze 38:8

 

"And thou shalt say, ĎI will go up to the land of unwalled villages,- I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates."- #Eze 38:11

 

Most Bible scholars agree that the detailed prophecy of #Eze 38$-39$ describes Israelís final battle before the full introduction of Messiahís glorious kingdom. The texts excerpted above indicate that at the time of this battle Israel would be a land:

 

* Brought back from the sword

 

* Dwelling safely

 

* Of unwalled villages

 

* Having neither bars nor gates.

 

Any observer of world conditions during the past 40 years finds these conditions difficult to imagine. From the time that Israel became a nation in 1948 until the present they have been living constantly either under attack or in fear of imminent attack.

 

Surrounded by enemies without, and disrupted by foes within, it is little wonder that Israel has armed itself to the teeth. With one of the most modern armies in the world, and rumored to have nuclear weaponry, they are confident of taking on all opponents. Strong lobbies in the United States and other world capitals seek to insure agreements to add to their defense capabilities. As a result, this threatened nation has moved from an importer of arms to one of the chief exporters of military technology.

 

The above is hardly descriptive of "a nation brought back from war" "living with neither bars nor gates" What scenario will bring about this dramatic change of condition?

 

40 YEARS OF CONFLICT

 

1948 Statehood declared, Arab neighbors instantly attack

 

1956 Nasserís Sinai campaign threatens destruction

 

1957 The Six-Day war expands Israelís borders

 

1973 The Yom Kippur invasion catches Israel by surprise

 

1982 Israel invades Lebanon to secure Northern borders

 

1987 Arab lntifada seeks to destabilize Israel internally

 

THE EVENTS OF 1990

 

The past year has seen two great events on the world stage that may bear on our question. The break-up of the Communist bloc in Eastern Europe, along with the accompanying spread of Russiaís new policy of glasnost and the thawing of the "cold war," have produced a global climate of hoped for "peace and safety."

 

Long a supplier of arms to the Arab peoples in their struggle against Israel, Russia has signalled its intention to stop arming the Arabs. Not only so, they have also been putting pressure on their client state of Syria to press for peace with Israel.

 

Secondly, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait has drastically realigned Arab alliances. While alienating most of the world powers, including many of its Arab neighbors, Iraq has formed a league with Jordan and begun to improve its relationship with Iran.

 

The alliance with Jordan provides a clear pathway between Iraq and Israel, and hardly forebodes a condition of "peace and safety."

 

TWO CONTRASTING PROPHECIES

 

In seeking a scriptural perspective to the current situation, two prophecies stand out in marked contrast -#Eze 38 and #Ps 83.

 

It has been noted by many that the Ezekiel context portrays an alliance of seven or eight nations that will come against Israel "from the north parts." While the modern identities of these nations are problematic, one thing seems clear-none of them are of Semitic origin. Thus, they do not represent Arab powers, nearly all of whom are Semitic.

 

In marked contrast, #Ps 83$ describes a coalition of some 10 or 11 nations who come against Israel with a common purpose, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation" In this coalition all of the names, except one, are Semitic and ancestors of present-day sworn enemies of Israel. The lone exception are the Philistines, a Hamitic people who are considered by many to be the ancestors of present day Palestinians.

 

These two sets of Scriptures then do not seem to refer to the same event. One describes an invasion of Arab peoples; the other an invasion of non-Arab countries.

 

Which comes first? Inasmuch as the "peace and safety" precondition for the Ezekiel battle is not laid down in the Psalm reference, the natural assumption is that the Psalm prophecy is fulfilled first.

 

The confederacy referred to in #Ps 83:6, 7 -"Edom, Ishmaelites, Moab, the Hagarenes, Gebal and Ammon" all reside in modern Jordan Only Amalek, in the northern Negev, and Tyre, in southern Lebanon, are exceptions. It is interesting to note that these areas are today where the Arab Palestinians are the strongest.

 

The text becomes even more appropriate in verse 8, "Assur also is joined with them they have holpen the children of Lot."

 

Ancient Assyria claims its name because it owes the ancestry of its inhabitants to Assur. The modem name for Assyria is Iraq. The "children of Lot" were two -Ammon and Moab. Ammon dwelt in central Jordan Todayís Jordanian capitol, Amman, takes its name from this ancient tribe. Moab dwelt just to the south, in the hill country surrounding the fabled redrock city of Petra.

 

The confederacy mentioned in #Ps 83:8 includes approximately the same nations as that formed in the past few weeks, during the "Gulf Crisisí " Could it be that this modem coalition will be provoked to attack its ancient nemesis, Israel? Could it be that Israelís victory will be so decisive that not only this league, but other Arab enemies of Israel as well, will have to agree to a treaty of "peace and safety"?

 

While we, in studying Bible prophecy, must be careful not to become prophets ourselves, the above possibilities appear very real in the light of current developments.

 

If this, in fact, is true, then certainly it can be said in the aftermath, that Israel truly is "the land that is brought back from the sword," and the stage is set for Israelís final battle.

 

ISRAELíS FINAL BATTLE

 

The description of Israelís final battle in #Eze 38$-39$ is quite simple. A coalition of nations attacks from the "north quarters" The reason for their attack is stated specifically "to take a spoil, and to take a prey."

 

The lure is apparently not only to take spoil, but also the ease of obtaining it. The relaxation of Israelís military preparedness, indicated by "dwelling without bars and gates," encourages the invaders to expect an easy victory.

 

THE PARTICIPANTS

 

There is considerable discussion as to the identification of the participants in the battle of #Eze 38$, 39$. This is largely because of the various methods of interpretation used in arriving at an answer to this question.

 

Two methods of approach are the most predominant. The Geographical approach seeks to locate the areas occupied by these tribes in Ezekielís day, and identify the participants in this battle as being those living there at the present time.

 

The Genealogical method traces the migrations of these people to their present locales, thus identifying modern day participants.

 

While a number of opinions prevail as to the precise identification of the nations involved in this battle, many agree on the following:

 

THE INVADING CONFEDERACY

 

* Rosh 1 Russia

 

* Meschech 2 Northern Turkey

 

* Tubal 3 Georgia

 

* Persia Iran

 

* Ethiopia 4 Central Africa

 

* Libya 5 Northwest Africa

 

* Gomer Northern Turkey, Armenia 6

 

* Togarmah Turkestan 7

 

THE SECOND CONFEDERACY

 

* Tarshish Western Nations 8

 

* Sheba Saudi Arabia 9

 

* Dedan Yemen

 

1. "Rosh" is the Hebrew word translated "chief prince" in the King James Bible.

 

2. Some take "Rosh, Meschech and Tubal" to be Russia, Moscow and Tobolsk. The ancient title of the Czar of Russia was the "Czar of Russia, Moscow and Tobolsk." It is worthy of note that the three important forces in the Soviet Union today are Gorbachev in Moscow, Boris Yeltsin of the Republic of Russia and the Mohammedans, centered around Tobolsk.

 

3. The capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, is from the same origin as the Biblical "Tubal."

 

4. Or, Cush. Settling not only in Ethiopia, but throughout central Africa.

 

5. Or, Phut; primarily the Berbers.

 

6. Some, following the Genealogical method of interpretation, identify the migrations of Gomer with the Eastern European countries.

 

7. Linguistically identified with South Central Russia. Others say Armenia since "Tog;Yíis the Chaldaic word for "Tribe:íthus, "the tribe of Armah:í or ĎArmenians."

 

8. Tarshish is variously identified with southern Spain or the British Isles. In either case, it represented the Westernmost reaches of civilization and thus is identified with Imperial England and her "young lion" or colonies, including the United States and Canada.

 

9. There are two sets of "Sheba and Dedan" in the Bible; one was Hamitic, being sons of Cush (#1Ch 1:9) and the other Semitic, being descendants of Abraham and Keturah (#1Ch 1:32). The Semitic descendants settled in southern Saudi Arabia, while the Hamitic ones were nearer to present-day Yemen.

 

Gog and Magog

 

Two mysterious names dominate the 38th chapter of Ezekiel, Gog and the land of Magog: Gog appears to be the head of the confederacy against Israel in this traumatic battle. Magog is given as the sphere of his influence, seemingly encompassing all of the various tribes mentioned in the coalition of enemies.

 

It is obvious from the context that the battle of #Eze 38 occurs before the introduction of Christís kingdom, for the result of that battle is "that all men may know that I am the Lord" Gog and Magog appear one more time in the Bible, in a far different context. This is found in #Re 20:7, 8:

 

"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea."

 

Here, a thousand years after the battle of Ezekiel, when evil has been restrained and righteousness has ruled on the earth, we find the same foes appearing once more.

 

One more reference is worthy of note-#Nu 24:7 -a Messianic promise of Israelís Millennial king: "He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted."

 

The Septuagint and other ancient manuscripts here read, "Gog:" instead of "Agag." The reference seems clear in showing the height of Messiahís throne to be above that of his chief adversary-Satan, the devil.

 

Therefore it seems that in the name Gog we have a reference to the real leader of the hosts of the north against Israel, Satan himself. The land of Magog refers to his entire dominion.

 

These nations apparently will be brought into this battle after having been previously involved. The Lord himself takes credit for causing them to once again invade Israel -"I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army." (#Eze 38:4)

 

From another prophecy of the same conflict, #Zec 14:1-3, it appears that at first the battle will go against Israel, so much so that "the city shall be takení " It is at this desperate turning point for Israel, with its back against the wall, that both Zechariah and Ezekiel prophesy a dramatic turn of events.

 

"Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle." - #Zec 14:3

 

 

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH

 

Volume 2, Number 2, May 1991

 

The Seven Churches of Revelation

 

Rewards of Victory

 

Overview of Church History

 

#Ge 2:2

 

From a Reader

 

BEAUTIES OF THE TRUTH is published as a service to the brethren to stimulate their consideration and appreciation of the boundless riches of Godís Word It is published free of charge. Subscriptions will be entered for all who request it Address all correspondence to: Beauties of the Truth, 10034 SW 52nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97219 Editorial Board: Bros. Jerry Leslie (Editor in Chief), David Doran, Carl Hagensick, Michael Nekora, David Rice, David Stein.

 

The Seven Churches of Revelation

 

The seven churches of Revelation, as described in chapters two and three of that Book, have intrigued Bible expositors down through the age. Were the messages to these churches intended mainly for the congregations to which they were sent during the apostolic period? Were they intended to be instructive in a general way to the church worldwide in every period of its development? Or were they actually prophetic of Seven Historical Ages of the church, with each successive stage reflecting the conditions and characteristics ascribed to the original churches? Most believers have concluded that Truth is found in all these possibilities that the messages were designed for the original congregations, as well as generally throughout the age, and chronologically through seven major periods of church history. Nevertheless, the latter view seems to receive particular emphasis from the widely held belief that the Book of Revelation is a forecast of unfolding church history, both good and bad, of the false church as well as the true, from the apostleís day all the way to the end of the age. This conception views the Book as a panorama of colorful pictures portraying the successive development of the church through struggles in a hostile world, near extinction by the rise of apostate elements, gradual recovery to an active role, and a final triumph after tumultuous end time experiences.

 

From a careful study of the events of the long period of the history of the Christian church, it does indeed appear to be plausible to view its development as seven distinct stages that parallel the messages to the seven churches of Revelation. Many prophetic expositors of the past have drawn this conclusion, and this continues to be the main current of present Bible Student thinking. Some observers have felt it was not possible always to draw fine lines of separation between the periods and believed that the seven "angels" or messengers represented a class of leaders throughout the age, rather than individuals assigned those responsibilities. Yet others have felt strongly that close students of history and the Book of Revelation can identify both the periods and the particular individuals serving as messengers to a reasonable degree of accuracy.

 

Certainly for 200 years there has been virtual concurrence on the first four stages: Ephesus, that of the apostolic church, when truths were held in basic purity; Smyrna, the early persecutions of pagan Rome and beginnings of doctrinal corruption; Pergamos, the rise of papacy and compromise with the world; and Thyatira, the reign of the apostate church, the counterfeit to the true Kingdom of God, which brought on the dark ages of the civilized world and the near extinction of the saints. For the next two periods, Sardis and Philadelphia, some differences of view were evident. But in the past century, a consensus has emerged which appears reasonable and might be termed the traditional or common view of the Bible Students, though there are some notable exceptions. The majority identify Philadelphia with the Reformation movement and Sardis as the brief interval just prior to it. Laodicea is then almost always taken as the lukewarm end-time church, identified with the harvest message, "Come out of her, my people."

 

See Image 00011

 

The chart is a graphical portrayal of the composite view. Drawn to scale, it allows the lengths of the periods to be compared visually, along with the ministries of each of the messengers. Two points become startlingly clear from the chart: First, that several of the church stages cover long periods of time, with Pergamos the most outstanding in this regard. Thus Arius is credited as its messenger for over 800 years, as the light of Truth grew dimmer and dimmer. Strange as it may seem, a search of history reveals no other champion of Truth of his stature throughout this period until Waldo appears on the scene. And second, it is typical of the ministries of the messengers that these are relatively short as compared to the overall lengths of the various stages of the church which they are credited with guiding and that they appear at the beginning of these respective periods. Thus the fact that we are yet benefiting from the ministry of the seventh messenger long after his death should not seem inappropriate; such was simply the pattern throughout the Gospel Age.

 

Why do we believe the traditional view is correct and deserves our support? First, pertaining to the periods. Ephesus, from the Pentecostal blessing to about 70 AD The latter date, marking the fall of Jerusalem, seems a significant transition from the early period of Jewish influence dominated by Paulís ministry to the phase of rapid expansion into the Gentile world. Smyrna, from 70 AD to 313 and the Edict of Milan, again seems well marked, with the ending point accepted almost universally, since it brought to a close the bitter afflictions that characterized the period. Pergamos runs from 313 to 1157, the time of the early beginning of the Waldensian movement. This synchronizes exactly with the 360-year "space" to repent given to Jezebel (#Re 2:20,21), extending from 1157 to 1517 (Thyatira through Sardis), the very year that Luther nailed his theses on the church doors at Wittenberg. Any attempt to shorten Pergamos, for example to 800 AD, the year of Charlemagneís crowning by the pope and the start of the "papal millennium;" runs into a double snag: there is no champion of Truth to replace Arius prior to Waldo; and if Waldo is selected as the messenger to Thyatira, he would not appear on the scene (1157) for hundreds of years after the start of the stage of the church which he is credited with overseeing, a premise that seems most unreasonable.

 

Thyatira, from 1157 to 1367, then seems substantiated by the latter dateís opening of the 150-year (five months) stinging of the locusts (#Re 9:5, under the sounding of the fifth trumpet which parallels the fifth stage of the church), which so markedly characterized Wycliffeís tormenting attacks upon the papal system, extending to the very beginning of the Reformation movement (1517). Sardis, from 1367 to 1517, is thus clearly delineated by this 150-year period. Laodicea, the end-time church beginning with our Lordís presence and knocking at the door (#Re 3:20), would extend from 1874 to the full end of the harvest period. Philadelphia, the church of the Reformation and subsequent Protestant expansion, would then be cradled between 1517 and 1874. The Philadelphia period brings into focus a couple of interesting points which should be addressed. The "open door" of #Re 3:8 seems to be a strong key unlocking the main activity that characterized this stage. Prior to this time the forces of darkness had prevailed to the point where the light bearers had been worn out and almost totally suppressed, so that true witnessing work was virtually at a standstill. Then came Lutherís daring proclamations that set all Europe aflame and brought about a sweeping change in conditions that opened the floodgate of Truth and began a process that has continued ever since. We are strongly persuaded that the descriptive picture of the "open door" is best seen as beginning in the Reformation movement.

 

How did the Church of Philadelphia live up to the meaning of its name, "brotherly love"? It was hardly to be expected that all believers could at once catch the spirit of their newfound Bible truths and suppress all bitterness toward the corrupt church that had kept them in bondage so long. Yet in coming to a fuller understanding of the great appreciation of one another as fellow believers in Christ would also grow. Such a growing realization of the fellowship and close ties of all believers and their privileged standing before God, as contrasted with the dictatorial and hierarchical structure of the established church, would surely have kindled the spirit of brotherly love for each other in their hearts.

 

Next, some comments pertaining to the messengers: Paulís ministry in the early church was so outstanding as to make him the almost universal choice as the first "angel." Highlights are his special commission by God, authoring most of the New Testament books, providing the doctrinal foundation for the Christian faith, extensive missionary efforts and care of all the early churches. The Apostle John seems logical as the overseer for the second church, having received the visions of Revelation, authoring four additional books of the New Testament, and offering by way of teaching and example great encouragement to the believers during the period of intense persecution by pagan Rome.

 

Arius is universally selected as the shining light for Pergamost the basis of his leading role in defending the early churchís view of Jesus as the created Son of God and resisting mounting efforts to equate him with the Father. Waldo seems a strong choice as the guide for Thyatira, considering his translation of the Bible into the common tongue and his effective ministry for the Truth in a very dark period of the churchís history. Wycliffe likewise stands out as the messenger to Sardis and seems fully deserving of the wide acclaim given to him for his relentless opposition to Papacy, outstanding work as an early reformer, and first translation of the complete Bible into English. Luther, though one of many leaders of the Reformation movement, clearly was its moving force and rightly should be recognized as the overseer to the Philadelphia church. His accomplishments were truly extraordinary: .powerful sermons and writings that shook all Europe, shattered the claims of Rome and initiated the founding of widespread protest movements; translation of the Bible into the vernacular and restoring it to its rightful place of authority among men; and steadfast opposition to the fundamental errors and abuses of the papal system in the face of personal threats and overwhelming odds.

 

Finally, C. T. Russell is seen to emerge as the messenger to Laodicea and the harvest church. His unique contributions have given rise to unanimous recognition and acclaim by Bible Students for such a position: a Bible-centered ministry that stressed Christís ransom sacrifice, revealed the Divine Plan of the Ages for blessing all