Christian Churches of God

No. 137

 

 

Measuring the Temple

(Edition 4.0 19950930-19970621-20080707-20100630)

This paper is a lengthy exposition of the measuring of the Temple of God and the prophecies involving Israel and the nations over the last phase of thirty years up to the commencement of the Millennium. The removal of the three classes of leadership, namely the Priests, Prophets and Princes, is examined. The judgment of the sheep in relation to the way they treat each other is central to the last phase of the measurement. The parable of the sheep and goats is perhaps better understood from this text. The paper interrelates with the understanding of The Witnesses (No. 135) and The Warning of the Last Days (No. 144) together with the wars of the end.

 

 

Christian Churches of God

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(Copyright © 1995, 1997, 2008, 2010 Wade Cox)

 

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Measuring the Temple

 

Part 1 - Introduction

 


The measurement of the Temple is referred to in Revelation 11:1-2.

Revelation 11:1-2 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. (KJV)

 

This process of measuring the Temple is a specific activity of the Last Days prior to the activities of the two Witnesses who are referred to in Revelation 11:3f.

Revelation 11:3-4 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. (KJV)

 

The measurement of the Temple takes place in accordance with a sequence of activities which precedes the period of 1,260 days or forty-two months. Both are the same time scale but are expressed differently. We might thus deduce that two periods are meant. It appears that we might be dealing with two varying scales of time in the texts of Revelation, one on a year-for-a-day basis, which reflects the 1,260 years of the tribulation, and the other the lesser actual period of three and one half years. The period of the Witnesses is given as 1,260 days clothed in sackcloth, and this period equals the period for which the court outside of the Temple is trodden under foot, together with the holy city, which is Jerusalem.

 

This period involves two prophets who cause rain to cease during the period of their prophecy and they prophesy clothed in sackcloth for the period of three and one half years.

Revelation 11:5-14 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. (KJV)

 

There are a number of propositions in this text. The first is that the Witnesses cannot be killed until they have finished their task. The Witnesses stand before the god of the Earth who is Satan (2Cor. 4:4). Thus, they are there to witness against him and this worldís system. Those seeking to kill them are killed in similar manner. This is the power of Elijah, who had the power to call fire down from heaven against the priests of false gods (1Kgs. 18:1-46), and those who would harm him (2Kgs. 1:10-15) or indeed show him disrespect as Godís appointed messenger (2Kgs. 2:23-24) as was the case with Elisha. Elijah had power over the waters and over rain, as did Elisha (2Kgs. 2:8,19-22). Heaven is shut up because of the sin of the people evidenced in the mouth of two Witnesses (1Kgs. 8:35; cf. Lev. 26:19; Deut. 11:17).

 

Elijah shut the heavens according to his word.

1Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. (KJV)

 

The nature of the Witnesses was examined in the paper The Witnesses (including the Two Witnesses) (No. 135). We restate the major points. Elijah was a Gileadite. Gilead was a clan or family of the territory of Gad (1Chr. 3:14) who were resident in Gilead. They were resident to the east of Jordan. They were separate residents in the midst of both Ephraim and Manasseh with whom they fought under Jephthah (Jdg. 11:4). The name Gilead is most probably derived from the name rugged country, being adjacent to the fertile plains of Bashan. Its area was understood to be bounded by the Arnon on the south, the Jordan Valley on the west, the south-north part of the Jabok and the desert to the east, and the limit of Bashan, a few miles north of the Yarmuk, on the north. The inheritance of Gad was a country more rugged than Manasseh. The inheritance of both was outside of Israel proper being beyond the Jordan.

 

The Interpreterís Dictionary of the Bible holds that Gilead is evidently a tribe parallel to Reuben and Dan and equivalent to Gad. In its broadest sense, it extended further north into Bashan and even beyond the Yarmuk. As a result of this vagueness, the territory of Manasseh is sometimes mentioned as overlapping into Gilead. However, it is usually only the tribes of Reuben and Gad that were settled there. It appears that there was an independent kingdom set up in Gilead under Pekah son of Remaliah from the twenty years assigned to his reign in 2Kings 15:27. This appears to have occurred circa 750 BCE in the latter part of the reign of Jeroboam II. He ruled there until 735 BCE. He killed his predecessor with the aid of the Gileadites (2Kgs. 15:25). He then attempted to unite all the surrounding regions against Assyria. The Assyrians defeated him and carried away all the Israelite population of Gilead (2Kgs. 15:29) and from that time it was no longer part of the kingdom. This concept of the dispersed birthright has application in the Last Days.

Elijah can thus be identified as a Gadite, coming from the areas of inheritance of Israel beyond the Jordan. This has significance for the Last Days if we assume that the symbolism of the inheritance outside of Israel has significance for the Witnesses and the allocation of tribes, at least four of which (Reuben, Gad, Manasseh and Dan) have inheritance outside of Israel, and in conjunction with Ephraim. Simeon is also scattered among them.

 

From the power we see given to Elijah over drought, fire and the elements, we can see that the Witnesses are thus in the power of Elijah as promised from Malachi 4:5-6.

Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (KJV)

 

The power of this prophet is not only in the matter of the performance of miracles but also concerns the re-establishment of family relationships on the earth so that it might be saved.

 

John the Baptist was a forerunner to this prophet, but he was not that prophet.

Matthew 11:12-14 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. (KJV)

 

Thus John was Elijah, being in the spirit of Elijah, yet there would also be another who was also of the spirit of that prophet (see also Mk. 9:11-13).

Matthew 17:10-12 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. (KJV)

 

The restoration of all things will occur under that system of the Last Days. The Witnesses have those powers. Elijah is either one of the Witnesses and he is joined by another to stand in Jerusalem, or the Witnesses exercise the same powers in the Last Days. The empire of the Beast is allowed to kill them after they have finished their prophecy. Their bodies are left to lie in the streets for three and one half days.

 

These Witnesses perform the same functions as Moses did to Egypt. The plagues that Moses inflicted upon Egypt were to deal with their spiritual system on a physical plane: the Witnesses deal with the system of the Last Days. This process was also effected by Elijah who witnessed against false religion within Israel. Thus the Witnesses testify against false religion both within Israel and among the nations. The sequence of their prophecy and the scope of it will be given later. These two people exercising the power of Moses and Elijah are yet to take up their positions. From the necessity of their prophecy, it is thus evident that there will be significant false religion in Israel and the nations in those days. From Jeremiah 4:15ff., it is deduced that there is a prophet that precedes the Witnesses, who warns the nations of the coming of the Messiah. The destruction of the nations is inherent in the power of the Witnesses, but is not fully exercised until Messiah. The work of this prophet of the Last Days is carried out from Dan-Ephraim. From the non-biblical prophecies, it appears that this prophet will be referred to by the mainstream religious system as Antichrist or the Danite Antichrist. That is because this prophet condemns false Christianity and preaches the restoration of the biblical system and the coming of Messiah to rule from Jerusalem. These prophecies will be examined elsewhere.

 

Before that happens the sequence given in Revelation 11:1-2 has to be carried out. That sequence is developed in Old and New Testament prophecy. The measurement of the Temple precedes the measurement of the nation of Israel. The nation is represented here as the outer court which is given over to the Gentiles to be trodden under foot for three and one half years. The measurement of the Temple thus precedes the three and one half year period of the Witnesses from Revelation 11:3ff. and is listed in Zechariah.

 

The measurement of both Judah and Joseph occurs at this time, and the shepherds of both are troubled and incur the wrath of God.

 

Zechariah 10:1-12 Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field. 2 For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd. 3 Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. 4 Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together. 5 And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded. 6 And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them. 7 And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD. 8 I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. 9 And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again. 10 I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them. 11 And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away. 12 And I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD. (KJV)

 

The affliction of the shepherds occurs over time as does the dispersal of Israel, both Ephraim and Judah. The passage is through the sea of affliction (see The Companion Bible, n. to v. 11). This process is to establish both Judah and Israel as powers among the nations in the Last Days. They shall be brought to repentance and they will turn again to the Lord among the nations, and then they will be restored to Jerusalem and their inheritance. Their numbers will be increased as they have increased. The river that is dried up is the Tigris-Euphrates system. That fact denotes the destruction of the northern system and that of Egypt. That process then makes way for the kings of the East to pass over and move on Jerusalem.

 

This process again deals with the northern kingdom as we saw from 2Kings 19:21-28 (esp. v. 24). This is prophesied in Revelation 16:12.

Revelation 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. (KJV)

 

This process of drying up the river does not necessarily mean prolonged drought. The same thing was done to the Red Sea as we know from Psalm 106:9.

Psalm 106:9 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. (KJV)

 

Thus, the way is made open for the eastern forces to move through what is now Iraq and perhaps Iran.

 

Before that process of bringing the nations down to judgment can happen, the nation of Israel is purged.

 

The three-year period of trial and salvation is also found in 2Kings 19:29-30. This also refers to the Holocaust.

2Kings 19:29-30And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruits thereof. 30 And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. (KJV)

 

The measurement and the affliction of the shepherds precede that of the nation. However, Judah and Israel both fight as mighty men in the Last Days. How this is accomplished will be developed later.

 

The measurement begins with the House of God.

 

Ezekiel 9:1-4 He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. 2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. 3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; 4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

 

The glory of the God of Israel moved from the cherub to the threshold of the House of God.

 

The angelic Host moves to purge the nation prior to the re-establishment of the House of God. This re-establishment or occupation occurs in stages as we might deduce from the occupation of the threshold. The Cherubim were in stages and in diverse locations (see the paper The Meaning of Ezekielís Vision (No. 108)).

 

The entry of Messiah to the threshold of the inner Temple as the Prince is prefigured by the system set down from Ezekiel 45 and 46.

 

The Prince has a series of requirements placed upon him from the text in Ezekiel 45:8-10.

Ezekiel 45:8-10 In the land shall be his possession in Israel: and my princes shall no more oppress my people; and the rest of the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes. 9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD. 10 Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath. (KJV)

 

The nation is levied an approximate half-percent tithe to cater for the offerings which then become the responsibility of the administration for each Sabbath, New Moon and Holy Day. The sacrifices of reconciliation are done in the First and the Seventh months. The sacrifices are at the New Moons and the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. The Prince is to represent Messiah in all of the Feasts. This process is to occur in the Sabbaths and the New Moons, both of which are non-working days or Sabbaths.

Ezekiel 46:1-3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. 2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 3 Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons. (KJV)

 

Thus the Sabbaths and New Moons alike are days of worship and solemn assembly under the care of the Prince, and with the people. This system extends to the feasts (Ezek. 46:9-10).

 

There is incumbent upon the princes and the priests a duty of charge over the people and they are judged by the manner in which they exercise that responsibility. The failure of the princes, priests and prophets of the nation in the Last Days sees their removal.

Ezekiel 22:23-31 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 24 Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. 25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. 26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. 28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken. 29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. 30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. 31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)

 

Thus, false prophecy is found among the priesthood. This is the case in this century especially in American Protestantism, but everywhere generally. The Law of God is preached as removed. There is no obedience. The priesthood likewise sin and each is a false prophet. They profane the Sabbath and teach another God. They steal and rend the sheep to the hooves.

Jeremiah 7:9-12Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; 10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? 11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD. 12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. (KJV)

 

Here we see that God did not spare Shiloh, nor did He spare Jerusalem, either with the Babylonians or later under the Romans. Look to what God does even to His own sacred places. How much more will He rebuke the dispersion? He holds the priests, prophets and princes responsible first. He removes them and then He rebukes the nation. These are the three shepherds removed in one month.

 

The princes have destroyed the monarchy by their sin and men have no fear of speaking evil against the crown. The evil system in the nation must be destroyed. The destruction is commenced after the marking has taken place. Ezekiel 9 continues:

Ezekiel 9:5-11 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: 6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. 7 And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city. 8 And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? 9 Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not. 10 And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head. 11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me. (KJV)

 

The measurement and the marking begin at the House of God. The ancient men are the Sanhedrin of the Church, the Council of the Elders of the physical Temple. This group is reconstructed from the ordination of the seventy [two] from Luke 10:1. The spiritual Temple also has its Sanhedrin. Thus the very height of the priesthood of the Judeo-Christian system is dealt with first. They are marked for slaughter according to their repentance. The mark is the mark of the elect. Those who have the seal of God are spared. This is the reference to Revelation 7:3. The earth cannot be harmed until these have been sealed. The reference here is not purely to Jerusalem Ė it refers to all Israel, both Judah and Joseph. The nations comprising Joseph include both the United States and the British Commonwealth. Judah embraces also the nation of Israel as it now exists and the remnants in other nations. There are two harvests appointed Ė one for Judah and another for Ephraim, which in the generic sense includes Manasseh.

Hosea 6:1-7 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. 2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. 3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. 4 O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. 5 Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. 6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. (KJV)

 

The two days refer to the two days after the national repentance. The nation is punished for three years.

Hosea 6:8-11 Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood. 9 And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness. 10 I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled. 11 Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people. (KJV)

 

The words by consent in the KJV are derived from the word Shekem (SHD 7926) which means the neck. It refers to the part of the body between the shoulders and, hence, means a place of burden. Figuratively, it is the spur of a hill which has the connotation of a burden by consent, or portion or shoulder. The place in Palestine Shechem, the ridge, is derived from this word shekem. It is assumed from the NKJV text and others that the place is meant. However, the KJV places the meaning as murder by consent. The real meaning is that the priesthood murder by willing consent, in that they commit sin and murder by example.

 

The priesthood are thus punished first because of their responsibility in the sin of the nation and the promulgation of false doctrine. The princes follow in their removal.

 

Judah also was harvested over three years. The punishment was carried through from the repentance as we saw in the Holocaust. The scattering among the nations was a punishment of both. The texts from Hosea deal with Ephraim over chapters 7 and 8. The captivity of Israel is stated in Hosea 8:13. Israel is brought to sin through its religious system.

Hosea 8:11-14 Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin. 12 I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. 13 They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt. 14 For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof. (KJV)

 

The harvest of Judah was set at the Last Days, when the captivity of Israel was returned in the restoration. Both Ephraim and Judah are thus placed in fear of destruction and are restored through divine intervention. Judah was tried by fire in the Holocaust. Their conversion process is undertaken from the logic of the rebuke of the harvest. Judah and Israel are refined by fire before the nations are dealt with in the process we understand from Revelation and other prophecy.

 

The process of the removal and the replacement is found in a number of prophecies in both Old and New Testaments. We have seen the time-frames involved in the process being the one month referred to in Zechariah 11:8. This removal refers to the process of dealing with Israel and its leadership prior to the re-establishment of Israel.

Zechariah 11:1-17 Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. 2 Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down. 3 There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled. 4 Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter; 5 Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not. 6 For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them. 7 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty [Grace], and the other I called Bands [Union]; and I fed the flock. 8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me. 9 Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another. 10 And I took my staff, even Beauty [Grace], and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. 11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD. 12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD. 14 Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands [Union], that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. 15 And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. 16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. 17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened. (KJV)

 

The reference to Beauty and Bands or Grace and Union is to Messiah and to the Union of Judah and Israel. The removal of Messiah saw the removal of the priesthood and its vesting in the Church in the dispersion. The reference to the three shepherds is to the princes, priests and prophets, or the three classes of rulers in Israel. The Soncino notes that the Talmud identifies them as Moses, Aaron and Miriam. The supporters of a pre-exilic date for this process identify them as the last three kings of Judah: Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah (rabbi Kimchi). The advocates of a Maccabean date think of the high priests of the period: Jason, Lysimachus and Menealus; or of Judas Maccabeus and his brothers Jonathan and Simon (rabbi Arbarbanel), who ruled the people for one month of years, that is thirty years.

Driver remarks cautiously, ĎThe allusion seems to be to some incident of the time, now unknown to us.í In one month is probably a formal term meaning a short time (cf. Hos. 5:7) (Soncino fn. to v. 8).

 

The identification of this period of thirty years has been the subject of rabbinical speculation over the centuries. The period from the death of Messiah in 30 CE to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, and the closure of the Temple at Heliopolis or Leontopolis in Egypt in 71 CE by order of Vespasian, saw the end of the forty-year period of the sign of Jonah (see the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13)). This period of forty years was the beginning of the period of the Last Days. It was not the end of that phase. We saw the significance of the thirty years from the end of the period in the wilderness and the mourning for Moses. The sign of Jonah and the destruction of the Temple saw the removal of the authority of the priesthood in Judah to a nation showing the fruits of it, which was in fact Israel as the ten tribes.

 

The period of the thirty years is marked by the end of the Time of the Gentiles which as we saw is 1914-1996. The war began in 1914 but the period actually was 1916-1996, with the Thirty-year period in 1997-2027 (see the paper The Fall of Egypt: The Prophecy of Pharaohís Broken Arms (No. 36)). By 2025/6 all nations will be in their allotted places and the wars of the end will have been fought.

 

God shows what the end objective of the process is in Zechariah 12:1-14.

Zechariah 12:1-8 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. 2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. 3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. 4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. 5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God. 6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. 7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. 8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them (emphasis added).

 

Judah is saved first so that the elect do not hold precedence over the tribe of Messiah. The end objective is that the elect become elohim as Messiah or the Angel of Jehovah at their head.

Zechariah 12:9-14 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. 11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; 13 The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; 14 All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. (KJV)

 

The sequence of that process will be examined in detail in this paper. The purification of Israel is the first phase. The process, commenced by Joshua or Jesus Christ as Messiah of Aaron, which saw the removal of the authority of Levi, will see the priesthood purified in Israel.

 

The princes, priests and prophets are removed in this one month. The princes are responsible for ensuring that the nation is governed according to Godís Laws. The priesthood that does not instruct the nation in the Laws of God and introduces false prophecy is eliminated, and then the kingship that allowed this process is destroyed along with the people who followed them. The nation is sent into captivity. In the Last Days the nation is refined in fire and the truth is established by prophets in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

The final thirty years of the end encompass the Wars of the Restoration and this is the subject of a separate paper. The phases are thus commenced from the Temple as we saw above. The priesthood is purged first. The process of dealing with Godís chosen is thus:

 

1. The Four Seals or Horsemen

The elect as the Church

a)    Removal of the physical Temple and priesthood

b)   Establishment of the Churches

c)    Satan establishes the false system

 

2. The Fifth Seal

Testing of the elect as the Churches

a)    Removal of the priests

b)   Testing of the elect according to knowledge

 

3. The Time of Jacobís Trouble

Trial of the elect as the nation

a)    Establishing and confirming the nation in the birthright of Israel

b)   Warning of the nation

c)    Removal of the false priesthood

d)   Removal of the monarchy

e)    Purging of the nation

 

The next phase then begins the complete restoration.

 

4. Preparation for Messiah

Preparation by phases

a)    The elect

b)   The nation

 

5. Dealing with the Gentiles

Phases of the subjugation

a)    The warning of the Witnesses

b)   Examples of the power of God

 

6. The Advent of Messiah

Intervention to save mankind from itself

a)    Advent

b)   The removal of the government systems and the false priests

c)    The destruction of the power of the nations in the wrath of God

d)   The issue of the Law from Jerusalem

e)    The relocation of Israel and the nations

 

7. Preparation for the Millennium

Implementation

a)    The land systems implemented

b)   The Jubilee system enforced by the elect as the New Armies of God

c)    The Messianic system established in all nations and re-education commences

d)   The war of the rebellion

 

8. The Millennium

Millennial systems enforced

a)    The administrative and judicial system developed

b)   The Temple constructed and priesthood allotted duties

c)    Jerusalem developed as the centre of world government under Messiah in preparation for the second resurrection and the hand over to God

d)   War of the end of the Millennium c. 3001-3027

 

9. The Second Resurrection

Finalisation of the elect after the last war and the restoration of all flesh

a)    The loyal remnant

b)   The general or second resurrection of the dead

c)    The judgment

(i)††† The demons

(ii)†† Mankind

(iii)Reorganisation of the Host

 

10. Hand over to God the Father

The preparation is completed and is ready for God to be all in all

a)    Advent of God and New Jerusalem

b)   God establishes the universal administration from New Jerusalem

c)    The Host goes on to its greater potential as Elohim and Sons of God in the Universe.

 


 

Part 2 - The Temple Measured - Removing the Priests

 


We have seen from Ezekiel 22:17-31 that the House of Israel is measured according to its performance and, from Zechariah, we see that measurement began at the House of God.

 

Ezekiel 22:17-31And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 18 Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. 19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you. 21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. 22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you. 23 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 24 Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. 25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. 26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. 28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken. 29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. 30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. 31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)

 

The condemnation of the three classes of rulership is also found in Micah 3:1-12.

Micah 3:1-12 And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment? 2 Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; 3 Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. 4 Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. 5 Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. 6 Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. 7 Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God. 8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. 9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. 10 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. 11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us. 12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest. (KJV)

 

The problem here is that the princes pervert judgment and equity. Indeed, they abhor judgment in that they will not be judged according to the laws of God.

 

The priests teach for hire and the prophets speak smooth things for the security of the people in their sin. The priests and prophets will not speak the word of the Lord fearlessly, nor is the name of God important to them as we see from Malachi. Jeremiah shows that God dealt with Israel and Judah and Jerusalem itself for these same sins.

Jeremiah 32:26-44 Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying, 27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? 28 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it: 29 And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger. 30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD. 31 For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face, 32 Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 33 And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction. 34 But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it. 35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. 36 And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; 37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. 41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. 42 For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them. 43 And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. 44 Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD. (KJV)

 

God delivered Israel to the Assyrians and Judah to the Babylonians Ė who were the successors to the Assyrians Ė so that they might be rebuked. Yet, God promised to restore them in the Last Days so that they would receive the everlasting covenant. They refused to repent and were again removed and the covenant established without the nation being in control or involved, save as individuals. They will be converted in the Last Days in spite of their traditions and their priesthood, as we will see. Jeremiah speaks of the priests and prophets and the establishment of the kingdom of the Last Days.

Jeremiah 23:1-4 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. 2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. 3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. (KJV)

 

This text refers to the priesthood of Israel and Judah who have continually mishandled the sheep. It is an ongoing rebuke until the return of the Messiah. It did not cease with his resurrection.

 

Jeremiah 23:5-8 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land. (KJV)

This prophecy has not yet occurred. It is occurring now but there is another sequence of activities yet to be completed. Before that can happen, the priesthood has to be purified by removal.

 

Jeremiah 23:9-22 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness. 10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right. 11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. 12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. 13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err. 14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. 15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. 16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. 18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? 19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. 20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. 21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. (KJV)

This process of evil and the prophecy of peace are what is found among the people in these Last Days. The priests teach that the Law of God was eliminated with Messiah. This is the very sin that occurred under the Baal system in Israel. Indeed, it is the same system extant even now.

 

Jeremiah 23:23-40 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? 24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. 25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. 26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; 27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. 28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. 29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. 32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. 33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD. 34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house. 35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken? 36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God. 37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken? 38 But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD; 39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence: 40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten. (KJV)

Godís burden is light. He speaks through the prophets and His word is true. He will deal with this false system in the Last Days. Zephaniah again speaks of this matter of the evil of the princes, priests and prophets. The Lord is in the midst to deal with this process and the priesthood is removed. This process is in the time of the end when the restoration is to occur and the nations are judged.

 

Zephaniah 3:1-7 Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! 2 She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God. 3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. 4 Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. 5 The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame. 6 I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant. 7 I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings. (KJV)

The rulership, administration and priesthood are absolutely condemned here by God. However, the nation is required to wait upon God until the time of His wrath and restoration. Then they are given a pure language. The proud of Judah, who are haughty or arrogant because of the chosen of Judah, will be removed. The afflicted and poor people that remain shall trust in the name of the Lord. Judah and Israel are thus tried by fire prior to the restoration, but none shall make them afraid.

 

Zephaniah 3:8-20Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. 9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. 10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. 11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. 12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. 13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. 14 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. 15 The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. 16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. 17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. 18 I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. 19 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. 20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD. (KJV)

This is the captivity of Israel where Messiah takes captivity captive (Eph. 4:8 from Ps. 68:18) but in the Last Days (Rev. 13:10).

 

Malachi shows that the main issue and failing of the priesthood in the Last Days is that of the name or nature of God and His power and authority. There is no honour given to the Father and no fear to Him as God and Lord of Hosts.

 

Malachi 1:1-5 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. 4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. 5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.

 

The distinction between Jacob and Edom here is between the two covenants or systems of worship. The distinction is not between the Old and New Covenant but between the false and true. The slave and the free systems are also between the two mountains of Gerizim and Ebal.

 

Moses made some tribes stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people and others to stand on Mount Ebal to curse them (Deut. 27:12-13; Josh. 8:33; Jdg. 9:7). Those on Gerizim were Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin. Those on Ebal were Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Napthali.

 

These divisions have a significance which will be examined elsewhere. They differ from the divisions made by Paul in Galatians 4:21-31. The Levites had specific responsibilities here (Deut. 27:14-26). These responsibilities lead directly into the blessings and the curses of Deuteronomy 28, which are inflicted on the people. Thus, the rulers and priests are held responsible for the blessings and the curses (see the paper The Blessings and the Curses (No. 75)). Mount Seir or Edom here has a perpetual hatred against the children of Israel. This problem is identified in Ezekiel 35 where the two nations of Judah and Israel are protected from destruction.

 

Before speaking of the nation of Edom and the attempted destruction of Judah and Israel in the Last Days, Ezekiel deals with the priesthood in Ezekiel 34. This is the most telling condemnation of the priesthood.

Ezekiel 34:1-9And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. 4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. 5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. 7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; 9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; (KJV)

The shepherds hear without hearing. They read the Scriptures but do not understand.

 

Ezekiel 34:10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. (KJV)

The shepherds will not be fed by the flock in the Last Days and they will be forced to labour because they have not fed the flock with meat in due season. God seeks and restores His flock.

 

Ezekiel 34:11-16 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. 16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. (KJV)

Here we see that the shepherds are condemned and then the flock is placed against each other in judgment. The elect are judged on how they treat each other.

 

Ezekiel 34:17-28And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. 18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? 19 And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet. 20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. 21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; 22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. 23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. 24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it. 25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. 26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. 28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. (KJV)

 

The restoration is to peace and freedom from fear. They are to have raised for them a plant of renown. The plant is Messiah who shall feed the flock and David will be their prince under Messiah who is his Lord.

Ezekiel 34:29-31 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. 30 Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD. 31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)

 

The restoration of the First Resurrection is here mentioned, as David is to be set over the flock after its return and re-establishment. The covenant of peace is established on the return of Messiah the Prince of Peace. The shame of the heathen is that of the false or Babylonian system which is made to fall in the Last Days, as we see from Revelation 18:2ff.

 

The real issue between God and priesthood is the fact that they have set up a false system, which does not honour God. This is the triune system which seeks to assert equality with the Father to other entities, specifically to Messiah, and from this to reduce the impact of the Law of God. This is evident from Malachi 1:6-14.

Malachi 1:6-14 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? 7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. 8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. 9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts. 10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. 13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. 14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen. (KJV)

 

There is no priest who would shut the door on the apostasy for nothing. They demand payment for teaching the word of God and profane the Scriptures and their intent by teaching for hire. God will have no respect of their persons, which was in fact their most grievous sin.

 

Prophets as part of the Priest System

Ezekiel 13:1-16 deals with the false prophets. These are part of the priesthood and fall with them. The churches of the Last Days are permeated with false prophets and false prophecy. They preach safety to a deluded congregation.

Ezekiel 13:1-9 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; 3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 4 O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. 5 Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. 6 They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. 7 Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken? 8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD. 9 And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD. (KJV)

The prophets in the Last Days divine lies for the congregation and prophesy peace for Israel when there is no peace. The punishment for these false prophets is to be removed from the assembly of Israel and neither shall they be written in the writing or records of the House of Israel.

 

In other words, the letters and false prophecy of the priesthood of the churches of the Last Days will be struck from the letters of the Church, and their names from the roll of the congregation. In other words, they are consigned to the Second Resurrection. This applies to all false prophets and false prophecy of the church that seeks to make refuge in other than God.

 

Ezekiel 13:10-16 Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: 11 Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. 12 Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? 13 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. 14 So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 15 Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it; 16 To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)

This false prophecy became a wall of untempered mortar and thus it could not stand. Let each servant of God take care how he builds. False construction will not stand. That is the lesson of the end of the twentieth century for the Church of God. Here priests and prophets overlap.

 

God is against the prophets for this spirit of false prophecy (Jer. 23:30). The false prophets are dealt with. They forfeit the protection of God and do not enter the assembly of God, being faced with the true spirit of prophecy as we see from Jeremiah 20:3-6.

Jeremiah 20:3-6 On the morrow, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, "The LORD does not call your name Pashhur, but Terror on every side. 4 For thus says the LORD: Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon; he shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword. 5 Moreover, I will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them, and seize them, and carry them to Babylon. 6 And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity; to Babylon you shall go; and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely." (RSV)

Jeremiah altered the name Pashhur, which is Aramaic, by interpreting it in Hebrew as Isaiah did in Isaiah 8:1,3. The Aramaic is based on the words pash to stay or remain and gur to wander about or sojourn in a strange land. The Aramaic is sehor; the Hebrew is sabib. Hence the text becomes thy name is not staying on, but wandering about. This is induced by terror.

 

The prophets and priests who do not remain faithful are given over to the Whore or the false system of the Babylonian mysteries. The intoxication of wine is both physical and spiritual.

Isaiah 28:7-13†† These also reel with wine and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are confused with wine, they stagger with strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in giving judgment. 8 For all tables are full of vomit, no place is without filthiness. 9"Whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast? 10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little." 11Nay, but by men of strange lips and with an alien tongue the LORD will speak to this people, 12to whom he has said, "This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose"; yet they would not hear. 13Therefore the word of the LORD will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little; that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (RSV)

 

The wine of the spirit of fornication is evident in the system of the Babylonian Whore that is the church that is drunk on the blood of the saints.

 

Revelation 17:1-9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who is seated upon many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the dwellers on earth have become drunk." 3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; 5 and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth's abominations." 6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her I marveled greatly. 7 But the angel said to me, "Why marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to perdition; and the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will marvel to behold the beast, because it was and is not and is to come. 9 This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; (RSV)

This whore is the mainstream church of the Christian system and it is drunk on the blood of the saints that she has killed. These saints are they who obey the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus.

 

The nation is given over to destruction because of the iniquity of the priesthood.

 

Isaiah 56:9-12 All you beasts of the field, come to devour -- all you beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. The shepherds also have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all. 12 "Come," they say, "let us get wine, let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure." (RSV)

The priesthood are described as dumb dogs and blind guides. They have no understanding because they do not fear God or keep His Commandments.

 

Our people are fed falsity and perish because of the priests and their system of living.

 

Isaiah 5:11-13 ††Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening till wine inflames them!12They have lyre and harp, timbrel and flute and wine at their feasts; but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD, or see the work of his hands.13Therefore my people go into exile for want of knowledge; their honored men are dying of hunger, and their multitude is parched with thirst. (RSV)

 

The system goes on into the Feasts and the system of worship. As the priests have forgotten the Lord and mislead His children, so will He forget their children.

Hosea 4:1-6 Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel; for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or kindness, and no knowledge of God in the land; 2there is swearing, lying, killing, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds and murder follows murder. 3 Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field, and the birds of the air; and even the fish of the sea are taken away. 4 Yet let no one contend, and let none accuse, for with you is my contention, O priest. 5 You shall stumble by day, the prophet also shall stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother. 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (RSV)

 

This injunction is because the priests teach against the Law. They say it is no longer valid.

 

Isaiah 5:18-24Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, who draw sin as with cart ropes, 19who say: "Let him make haste, let him speed his work that we may see it; let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near, and let it come, that we may know it!" 20Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! 22Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, 23who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right! 24Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. (RSV)

 

The rejection of the Law results in the fact that understanding of good and evil is lost.

 

Both priest and prophet are profane in the House of the Lord (Jer. 23:11-40). The prophets do not disclose the iniquity of Zion.

 

Lamentations 2:14 ††Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles false and misleading. (RSV)

 

These same false prophets see no problems for the churches of the Last Days. However, the Lord will restore Israel as a peaceful end.

Jeremiah 29:8-14For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream, 9 for it is a lie which they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the LORD. 10 "For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfil to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. (RSV)

 

Moses stood between God and Israel to turn Godís wrath (Ps. 106:23), but these false priests do not stand for Israel as Moses demonstrated, or stand against evil for Israel (Ezek. 13:5).

Ezekiel 13:5 You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the LORD. (RSV)

 

In fact, the false prophets say that the elect will be in a place of safety in the day of battle of the Lord. There is no man that wants to stand in the gap.

Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none. (RSV)

 

From Jeremiah 23:11-40 we see that the Lord is against the false prophets (vv. 30,31,32). The comparison of these texts is seen as follows: v. 11 cf. Zeph. 3:4; v. 12 cf. Jer. 11:23; v. 13 cf. Isa. 9:16; vv. 17,22 show that the false prophets encourage evil and those who despise God and His Laws.

 

The message of the Last Days will not be given in Hebrew but from strange lips and an alien tongue.

 

The priests who fail in the Last Days will be given over to the Beast system and the Babylonian mysteries. They are removed to face the terror referred to by Jeremiah. They are not written in the record of the House of Israel.

Ezra 2:59-62 The following were those who came up from Tel-me'lah, Tel-har'sha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer, though they could not prove their fathers' houses or their descent, whether they belonged to Israel: 60 the sons of Delai'ah, the sons of Tobi'ah, and the sons of Neko'da, six hundred and fifty-two. 61 Also, of the sons of the priests: the sons of Habai'ah, the sons of Hakkoz, and the sons of Barzil'lai (who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzil'lai the Gileadite, and was called by their name). 62 These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but they were not found there, and so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean; (RSV)

 

This is restated in Nehemiah 7:5.

Nehemiah 7:5 Then God put it into my mind to assemble the nobles and the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogy. And I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written in it: (RSV)

Thus, the register is maintained for the priesthood.

 

The profanation of the Levitical priesthood was met with exclusion. How much more is the penalty for the Melchisedek priesthood whose only reason for entry is the purity of their calling? Thus, they are excluded altogether to the Second Resurrection.

 

God is grieved at the priests because they have destroyed the congregation and scattered the sheep.

Jeremiah 10:20-25 My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. 21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered. 22 Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons. 23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. 24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. 25 Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate. (KJV)

 

The Tabernacle of God is the Temple of God that is the elect. The Tabernacle is unable to be set up for adequate worship. The children of God are scattered because of the shepherds.

 

Because of this neglect of the brethren, the pastors shall not prosper. The pastors became brutish because they had no fear of God and, hence, lost understanding and wisdom.

 

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (KJV)

 

The reduction of the force of the commandments by the priesthood removes them to the Second Resurrection. They have the dung of the Feasts which in fact is the dung of the korban or the dung of the sacrifices spread on their faces. These are the victims that constitute the 144,000. One shall take the priesthood away with one of the Feasts. This is an enigmatic prophecy which has application for the removal of the priesthood in both phases of the Messianic system. The first occasion was in 30/31 CE with Messiah. The second instance will be at the Last Days before the Second Advent when the entire ministry falls.

 

Malachi 2:1-9 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. 2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. 3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. 4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. 5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. 6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. 7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. 8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. 9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. (KJV)

 

They are profaned because they do not fear God.

 

Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. (KJV)

 

The judgment of the Lord is also against the people who fall aside through the priests and the mysteries or the sorceries. Ezekiel continues on in 13:17ff., after the prophets are condemned, to deal directly with the female sorcerers who have been the great thorn in the side of Israel throughout its history.

Ezekiel 13:17-23Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them, 18 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you? 19 And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies? 20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly. 21 Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 22 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: 23 Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. (KJV)

This form of witchcraft comes from the Babylonian system and involves stargazing and all forms of the occult. False prophetesses have long led Israel astray. The most damaging have in fact posed as angels of light in the Church of God. These are they who split the Church in the last century by following the false prophetess Ellen G. White.

 

The moral decline of the people is directly related to the lack of diligence of the priesthood and the prophets. The moral decline under Ahaz was the direct result of the laxity of the priesthood.

2Chronicles 28:19 For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had dealt wantonly in Judah and had been faithless to the LORD. (RSV)

 

The NKJV says:

For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had encouraged moral decline in Judah and had been continually unfaithful to the Lord.

 

This is examined below in Part 3 Ė Removing the Princes.

 

The sacrifices of the priesthood must be clean before God.

Haggai 2:11-14"Thus says the LORD of hosts: Ask the priests to decide this question, 12 `If one carries holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and touches with his skirt bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any kind of food, does it become holy?'" The priests answered, "No." 13 Then said Haggai, "If one who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?" The priests answered, "It does become unclean." 14 Then Haggai said, "So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, says the LORD; and so with every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean. (RSV)

 

The priesthood is contaminated with the Babylonian system and the triune god. What they offer is unclean and so it is with this people. God will cleanse Israel once and for all of this heresy and this system. Babylon will fall and fall permanently (Rev. 18:2ff.).

The Elders are charged and given the promise of their reward. They must repent.

 

Peter charges the elect so that they may be found worthy to stand before Messiah.

1Peter 5:1-4So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. 2 Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, 3 not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory. (RSV)

 


 

Part 3 - The Temple Measured - Removing the Princes

 


The kingdom was established in Israel because of a failure of the judges to ensure equity on the part of their administration and the lack of faith in God among the people to establish His ruler in just judgment in the nation. They wanted a line of succession that they could pinpoint and control. They didnít take it on faith that the Lord would raise up a judge on the death of the previous judge from among their people. They didnít think God could discern the hearts of His people to see which judge, given His Holy Spirit, could repent, change and lead the people. That was why the kingship was established. A major fault in the judges was that they did not rule their own families. Eli was judge in Israel and he did not rule his sons. Also, Samuel was judge in Israel and he did not rule his sons. Both of those judges Ė the last two judges of Israel Ė contributed to the downfall of the time of the judges because their sons committed iniquity and they were not rebuked by their fathers. The kingship became a necessity in the eyes of the people because the people did not have faith that God would remove the iniquitous priests.

 

Even though God slew Aaronís two sons for iniquity, Israel did not have the faith that Eliís sons Ė who were also killed Ė would be controlled by God. They had Samuelís sons as the third example and they did not want to trust in God to remove these other two, or to trust in God establishing a judge. When a judge was given power, his sons were used in the administration, but if they did not obey God they were killed. The sons did not inherit the judgeship. That is why, when God raises up Elders in the Church, their sons do not inherit the judgeship. That is why the people turned away from God and sinned and asked for a kingship. It was, however, allowed to develop into that situation by God so that Israel might learn, and the kingship could then be taken by Messiah as his inheritance in Judah. Moses had provided for a kingship in the Law. Even though there was no view or prospect of a kingship, Moses left a clause in the Law, which provided for the establishment of a king.

 

1Samuel 8:1-5When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 The name of his first-born son was Jo'el, and the name of his second, Abi'jah; they were judges in Beer-sheba. 3 Yet his sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice. 4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5 and said to him, "Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint for us a king to govern us like all the nations." (RSV)

 

1Samuel 8:6-9But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to govern us." And Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8 According to all the deeds which they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9 Now then, hearken to their voice; only, you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them."

 

They did not have faith in God. They were going to put their faith in a man to whom they could talk because they were not talking to God. They didnít have a personal relationship with God in Israel. Nobody in Israel did except Samuel.

 

In the days of the judges, every man did what was right in his own eyes but they were terrified of Samuel because he had the Urim and the Thummim and God spoke out of his mouth. Samuel was a prophet of God and he had the power of divination. He was a seer. Only occasionally does a priest arise in Israel with a power of the Urim and Thummim: with the power of prophecy and divination. The solemn warning to the nation was so that they would understand what it meant to reject God and to rely on human administration.

 

1Samuel 8:10-22So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking a king from him. 11 He said, "These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; 12 and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your menservants and maidservants, and the best of your cattle and your asses, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the LORD will not answer you in that day." 19 But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No! but we will have a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles." 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the LORD. 22 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Hearken to their voice, and make them a king." Samuel then said to the men of Israel, "Go every man to his city." (RSV)

 

This Yahovah (Jehovah) who is talking to Samuel is Jesus Christ. Samuel didnít hear the Lord of Hosts (God the Father) speak. No man has ever heard His voice. We know that from John 1:18 and 1Timothy 6:16. No man has seen God, or heard His voice, or ever can see Him.

 

The problem here is evident. The people of Israel wanted a visible head to fight before them. They relied on the physical and not the spiritual. In a way, we canít blame them for that because they didnít have the Holy Spirit as we have it. They couldnít see the armies of the Lord around Israel. That is exactly the mentality of modern day Israel. They donít want to trust in God; they want to trust in the big bomb. And these fellows wanted a big king. They wanted somebody to go before them and do their fighting.

 

1Samuel 9:14-17So they went up to the city. As they were entering the city, they saw Samuel coming out toward them on his way up to the high place. 15 Now the day before Saul came, the LORD had revealed to Samuel: 16 "Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines; for I have seen the affliction of my people, because their cry has come to me." 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the LORD told him, "Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall rule over my people." (RSV)

 

Saul was raised for a specific purpose which was to liberate Israel from the yoke of the Philistines. Israel wanted somebody they could see, so God gave them somebody who was head and shoulders over Israel. Saul was a big, good-looking man and God took him from the least of the families of the least of the tribes of Israel. He was a Benjaminite of the smallest family. Benjamin had almost been wiped out as a tribe.

 

1Samuel 9:18-21Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate, and said, "Tell me where is the house of the seer?" 19 Samuel answered Saul, "I am the seer; go up before me to the high place, for today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind. 20 As for your asses that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father's house?" 21 Saul answered, "Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my family the humblest of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?" (RSV)

 

Samuel already demonstrated he was a prophet then, because Saul hadnít mentioned the asses. Samuel told him. That was why Saul was despatched in the first place. God took three asses and pushed them out to a place where they were then lost to the family of Kish, and Saul was sent after them. He had to be sent after them in order to be delivered into the hands of Samuel to be made king. So God had His hand in this process.

 

The Benjaminites knew that the sceptre would come out of Judah from Genesis 49. It was a birthright promise to Judah. God used the weakest family of the weakest tribe to bring deliverance out of bondage to Israel. That is Godís way. God uses weakness to bring forth power. Out of weakness He brings forth strength and that is why He uses us. He uses the weak and the base and He develops the salvation of Israel out of weakness and baseness.

 

1Samuel 9:22 Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited, who were about thirty persons. (RSV)

 

It was not an accident. Samuel invited about thirty people to this coronation Ė this investiture, or appointment of Saul. The reason thirty people were there was because that was to represent the governing Council of the Godhead and the Inner Council of the seventy in Israel. So Saul was in effect placed among the thirty to establish and show that the council would be relocated to the kingship.

 

1Samuel 9:23-27 And Samuel said to the cook, "Bring the portion I gave you, of which I said to you, `Put it aside.'" 24 So the cook took up the leg and the upper portion and set them before Saul; and Samuel said, "See, what was kept is set before you. Eat; because it was kept for you until the hour appointed, that you might eat with the guests." So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 And when they came down from the high place into the city, a bed was spread for Saul upon the roof, and he lay down to sleep. 26 Then at the break of dawn Samuel called to Saul upon the roof, "Up, that I may send you on your way." So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street. 27 As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell the servant to pass on before us, and when he has passed on stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God." (RSV)

 

So Samuel is then setting the king aside to establish his relationship with the king, but God changed this fundamentally. God did not speak directly to the king, Saul; He spoke through a prophet. God (through the Angel of Yahovah) spoke to David, but He rebuked him through the prophet Nathan. God used Samuel and then Nathan to deal with the kingship in Israel.

 

Here Saul is symbolically set as the head of the Inner Council by fact of the thirty guests. His elevation was as the physical ruler of Israel in reflection of the spiritual Kingdom.

 

1Samuel 10:1-4Then Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said, "Has not the LORD anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the LORD and you will save them from the hand of their enemies round about. And this shall be the sign to you that the LORD has anointed you to be prince over his heritage. 2 When you depart from me today you will meet two men by Rachel's tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will say to you, `The asses which you went to seek are found, and now your father has ceased to care about the asses and is anxious about you, saying, "What shall I do about my son?"' 3 Then you shall go on from there further and come to the oak of Tabor; three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three kids, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. 4 And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand. (RSV)

 

We have here these seven elements and, out of that, two loaves of bread are given to the king. In other words, the covenants are given to the king. These two loaves of bread came to represent the covenants in the Pentecost sacrifice.

 

1Samuel 10:5-6After that you shall come to Gib'e-ath-elo'him, where there is a garrison of the Philistines; and there, as you come to the city, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. 6 Then the spirit of the LORD will come mightily upon you, and you shall prophesy with them and be turned into another man. (RSV)

 

This shows that the Lordís anointed in the administration is given the Holy Spirit and given the capacity to become another man with the spirit of prophecy. This represented the kings and priests who were going to be taken out of Israel as the elect, and it was to represent the Holy Spirit being able to deal with the elect and change the old man into a new man.

 

1Samuel 10:7-16Now when these signs meet you, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you. 8 And you shall go down before me to Gilgal; and behold, I am coming to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do." 9 When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all these signs came to pass that day. 10 When they came to Gib'e-ah, behold, a band of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came mightily upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And when all who knew him before saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, "What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?" 12 And a man of the place answered, "And who is their father?" Therefore it became a proverb, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" 13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place. 14 Saul's uncle said to him and to his servant, "Where did you go?" And he said, "To seek the asses; and when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel." 15 And Saul's uncle said, "Pray, tell me what Samuel said to you." 16 And Saul said to his uncle, "He told us plainly that the asses had been found." But about the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel had spoken, he did not tell him anything. (RSV)

 

Saul didnít fully internalise all of this. He saw the enormous responsibility that had been put before him.

 

1Samuel 10:17-19 Now Samuel called the people together to the LORD at Mizpah; 18 and he said to the people of Israel, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, `I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.' 19 But you have this day rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses; and you have said, `No! but set a king over us.' Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your thousands." (RSV)

 

When we ask something of God, we had better be careful of what we want, because we are tied and bound by it.

 

God assembled all of Israel before Samuel at Mizpah in order to make injunctions against Israel and set them in their thousands under the king. It wasnít up to Israel to take themselves out from under the king as Manasseh did. It will be shown later how God is going to wrest the tribes of Israel from under the hand of the crown. Even saying that would have been treason among our people, and 500 years ago the person would have been hung, drawn and quartered for simply mentioning this, let alone giving a sermon about how God was going to do it. We will see how God is going to deal with the monarchy.

 

1Samuel 10:20 Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. (RSV)

 

He is showing the confirmation of what he had been told by God. He then demonstrated by drawing out by lot what God had told him. What he then demonstrated was not a fluke. God then chose the king by lot, as he chooses the high priests and the divisional high priests in their duties in the Temple. All duty in the leadership of Israel is determined by lot.

 

1Samuel 10:21 He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the family of the Matrites was taken by lot; finally he brought the family of the Matrites near man by man, and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found. (RSV)

 

So they took the lots of every man in the family and they drew out Saul. But Saul was hiding in the baggage. Perhaps Saul was trying to test the issue. If he wasnít there then God would make it plain. Saul doubted that God had placed the mantle on his shoulders.

 

1Samuel 10:22 So they inquired again of the LORD, "Did the man come hither?" and the LORD said, "Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage." (RSV)

 

There is nowhere we can hide from the living God when we are placed in the Body of Christ, anointed and given a job to do. We canít go home. We canít hide in the baggage.

 

1Samuel 10:23-26Then they ran and fetched him from there; and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 24 And Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen? There is none like him among all the people." And all the people shouted, "Long live the king!" 25 Then Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship; and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the LORD. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home. 26 Saul also went to his home at Gib'e-ah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched. (RSV)

 

So God set around Saul, in the kingship, men who were capable of fighting Ė men who were capable of going forward with Saul to do the work and there werenít many of them. But God set enough around Saul. Weíll see the order of odds he fought against, but God gave him a spirit with which to do the work, and the men who were strong and brave enough to do the work.

 

1Samuel 10:27 But some worthless fellows said, "How can this man save us?" And they despised him, and brought him no present. But he held his peace. (RSV)

One of the problems with Saul was that he harboured grudges and he was bitter.

 

The rights and duties of the kingship are related to the preparation and the enforcement of the Law of God. Each king is to study and prepare for himself a copy of the Law so that he might know the requirements of the office. This exact situation had been seen by Moses in the establishment of the provisions for the office. Samuel was restating the provisions Moses had laid down in the Law and he listed the sequence of the administration in the kingship when it was set up and what had to happen.

 

Deuteronomy 17:14-15When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. (KJV)

No foreigner can be king of Israel.

 

Deuteronomy 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt,

Two paramount injunctions against the king are: he canít use his office for personal gain and he must not cause the people to sin, to return into captivity.

Ö to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. (KJV)

 

We canít go back into captivity or bondage to another nation. We cannot sell our liberty to another nation. No king can enter into an allegiance with another system. In other words, we cannot have anything to do with the world systems and the false religions for our own or other gain, or for any reason.

 

Deuteronomy 17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. (KJV)

David and Solomon did not heed that and Solomon, in the end, turned to idolatry. The greatest, wisest king in Israel ended an idolater and cursed of God.

 

Deuteronomy 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: (KJV)

 

The authorised texts of the work had to be written out and the king had to prepare his own copy of the Law to ensure that he had read it and that he understood it. Each of us has the responsibility to prepare this text for ourselves. We have to have our own copies of the Law and we have to study it and understand it. Responsibility is on each one of us, not on some Elder. As nominated kings and priests of the nation, the responsibility is fairly and squarely on us. The elect canít have anybody else do it for them.

 

Deuteronomy 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: (KJV)

 

The charge is on him all of his life and he is to fear God and keep His Commandments all of his life. That is the whole duty of the monarch.

 

Deuteronomy 17:20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel. (KJV)

 

That is the whole duty of the king. There is to be no respect of persons in Israel, or the monarchy, or among the elect. No person is to be elevated above another, or treated with respect above that of another. There is no distinction between the Elder and the member in the Church of God.

 

Of himself, Saul was not a brave man. He had been hiding among the baggage on the day of his induction before the nation. He was given the Spirit of God to accomplish all that God wanted him to do. His purpose was, as stated by God to Samuel, to rid Israel of the Philistine host. The flash point was, however, found among the Ammonites. God used a weaker threat to prepare Israel to fight the greater threat. Thatís the way God works. He didnít discourage them by giving them a burden they couldnít handle. He gave them something that they could accomplish in order to give them strength to go on to the next phase. If they had fought the Philistines first they might have weakened.

 

1Samuel 11:1-3Then Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Ja'besh-gil'ead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, "Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you." 2 But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, "On this condition I will make a treaty with you, that I gouge out all your right eyes, and thus put disgrace upon all Israel." 3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, "Give us seven days respite that we may send messengers through all the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will give ourselves up to you." (RSV)

 

The seven-day period is a respite. The reason they were allowed the seven days is because he had such contempt for them. Israel was a subject land, a subject people to the Philistines. They were the vassals of the Philistines. There was such contempt that seven days did not matter. He did not expect anyone to take him on. He didnít think anyone in Israel was going to stand up and if they did he would put them to the sword as well. We are viewed by the world, which sees in terms of numbers and of wealth and of physical power, as irrelevant and God deals with that concept. Out of weakness comes strength.

 

1Samuel 11:4 When the messengers came to Gib'e-ah of Saul, they reported the matter in the ears of the people; and all the people wept aloud. (RSV)

 

Step one is anguish at the condition of our brothers. Step one in the call to action in the elect is an empathy with our brethren such that we are prepared to act on their behalf. We cannot be one of the elect unless we love our brother and we are prepared to lay down our life for our brother. To do that we have to feel for our brother. Love comes first from a bond of fellowship.

 

1Samuel 11:5-6Now Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen; and Saul said, "What ails the people, that they are weeping?" So they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh. 6 And the spirit of God came mightily upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled. (RSV)

Of himself, Saul could not do this. God set the circumstances, put everything into place then poured His spirit into Saul, such that he became a vessel of God. It wasnít Saul that acted; it was God who acted.

 

1Samuel 11:7a He took a yoke of oxen, and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, "Whoever does not come out after Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen!" (RSV)

 

The punishment is quite simple. If we donít turn up for battle, our oxen will be killed. Saul issued a mobilisation order. It was the authority of God that spoke. They didnít need a long preamble. They were simply told to come and if they didnít come they would be punished. That is the way God deals with the elect. We are brought by the scruff of the neck into the Church. We are told to report for duty and we do not have any choice. God deals with us until we get the message and we do come into the Body of Christ. God puts us in the Body of Christ where He wants us and we work, and weíll do the job. We are here to learn obedience. God wants obedience more than sacrifice.

 

1Samuel 11:7b-11 Then the dread of the LORD fell upon the people, and they came out as one man. 8 When he mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. 9 And they said to the messengers who had come, "Thus shall you say to the men of Ja'besh-gil'ead: `Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have deliverance.'" When the messengers came and told the men of Jabesh, they were glad. 10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, "Tomorrow we will give ourselves up to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good to you." 11 And on the morrow Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and cut down the Ammonites until the heat of the day; and those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together. (RSV)

 

God did that in order to encourage these people for the work they had to do. The main task had not yet begun. He gave them a victory over the Ammonites in order to prepare them to fight the Philistines. That has an application as well. The Ammonites were the brothers of the Moabites. Both were the sons of Lot who were part of the system of the inheritance. They were part of the family of Abraham. So Saul subjugated the family of Abraham first so that he could then get on with the main job of defeating the Philistines. The rule is quite simple. We have to consolidate our position so that we can fight on a broader front. That position has to be done in the Churches of God. They have to be consolidated so that the work can go on to fight and to deal with the real enemy, which is the Babylonian system. That is the function of the Last Days.

 

1Samuel 11:12-13Then the people said to Samuel, "Who is it that said, `Shall Saul reign over us?' Bring the men, that we may put them to death." 13 But Saul said, "Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the LORD has wrought deliverance in Israel." (RSV)

 

That was God speaking. God had hardened their hearts. All these sycophants then, when the system became powerful enough and victory would have occurred, wanted to kill the people who expressed what they themselves thought. They at first said, ďThis is ridiculous, this person will do nothingĒ. But they were let off the hook then because God had used that process to establish the kingship in their eyes Ė and it is natural that people weigh up and see things in physical terms. They take God out of the picture and they see the frailties of humans. They looked at the frailty of Saul and they looked at his weakness and at what he had been and what he had done and, therefore, what he could do. Saul was a new man. He had become anointed with the Holy Spirit and God put him there to do a job, which was to eliminate the Philistines.

 

The reason he was there was to establish that kingship and establish freedom from the Philistines so that David could go on and destroy the power of the Philistines and establish Israel as far as the borders of the Euphrates River. The Temple of God could not be built until David had massed the resources and he had established them all. At that time it couldnít be done because Israel was a vassal state to the Philistines and as poor as the proverbial church mouse. So Saul first had to rid them of the yoke and consolidate the kingdom. Saul rid them of the yoke, and showed that the kingship could happen. It couldnít all be done by David because he only had one life and he was a boy at that time. So they had to have a transient king in order for Saul to establish the position for David to go on.

 

In the same way, the Macedonians had Phillip establish the groundwork so that Alexander could conquer the world. If it wasnít for Phillip, Alexander would have conquered nothing. And if it wasnít for David, Solomon could not have built the Temple and, if it wasnít for Saul, David could not have done what he did in order for Solomon to do what he did. It was a sequence that God established. That sequence in the kingship was done, not to establish the kingship, but to establish the Temple and to place a leader, or high priest, as king over that Temple. The physical Temple was the precursor to the spiritual Priest and Temple which is Jesus Christ, and which Temple we are. The whole process started back then in order to establish us under Jesus Christ as the Temple of God. The kingship is an integral part of that system and when it fails it is removed.

 

1Samuel 11:14 Then Samuel said to the people, "Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingdom." (RSV)

 

Samuel then took the next step. As the prophet of God and the judge in Israel he then realised Saul had been magnanimous. They then renewed the kingship so that everyone then went back under and willingly consolidated their oath of allegiance to the king. Samuel was smart enough, with the Holy Spirit, to do that. It was a wise move done in the spirit of God.

 

1Samuel 11:15 So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal. There they sacrificed peace offerings before the LORD, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly. (RSV)

 

There the kingship is consolidated. Now, after the victory over the Ammonites they are all consolidated, they are all behind Saul and they all understand. They are ready now to go and tackle the major issue which is to eliminate the Gentile nations from Israel and subjugate them. The renewal of the kingdom was deemed necessary because it had been threatened and confirmed by this victory. The challenge to Saulís office was deemed to need confirmation.

1Samuel 12:1-2 And Samuel said to all Israel, "Behold, I have hearkened to your voice in all that you have said to me, and have made a king over you. 2 And now, behold, the king walks before you; and I am old and gray, and behold, my sons are with you; and I have walked before you from my youth until this day. (RSV)

 

Samuel is now getting ready to relinquish the power of judge. He is getting ready to die and the period of the judges is coming to an end.

 

1Samuel 12:3-5Here I am; testify against me before the LORD and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose ass have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me and I will restore it to you." 4 They said, "You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man's hand." 5 And he said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand." And they said, "He is witness." (RSV)

 

That is the way they should be able to speak of us Ė that we are blameless before God, and they hated us without cause. It should be said by us and by Christ when he confesses us before the Father. He must be able to say they hated them without cause.

 

1Samuel 12:6-7And Samuel said to the people, "The LORD is witness, who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. 7 Now therefore stand still, that I may plead with you before the LORD concerning all the saving deeds of the LORD which he performed for you and for your fathers. (RSV)

 

Samuel is driving it home to these people that it is not men in whom they trust, but that God is their salvation and their saviour.

 

1Samuel 12:8-23†† When Jacob went into Egypt and the Egyptians oppressed them, then your fathers cried to the LORD and the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, who brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place. 9 But they forgot the LORD their God; and he sold them into the hand of Sis'era, commander of the army of Jabin king of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them. 10 And they cried to the LORD, and said, `We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served the Ba'als and the Ash'taroth; but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.' 11 And the LORD sent Jerubba'al and Barak, and Jephthah, and Samuel [heb: Samuel; NRSV has Samson], and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you dwelt in safety. 12 And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, `No, but a king shall reign over us,' when the LORD your God was your king. 13 And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you. 14 If you will fear the LORD and serve him and hearken to his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well; 15 but if you will not hearken to the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king. 16 Now therefore stand still and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the LORD, that he may send thunder and rain; and you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking for yourselves a king." 18 So Samuel called upon the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. 19 And all the people said to Samuel, "Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king." 20 And Samuel said to the people, "Fear not; you have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; 21 and do not turn aside after vain things which cannot profit or save, for they are vain. 22 For the LORD will not cast away his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself. 23 Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. (RSV)

 

Even though the king was placed there, the position of the prophets was not removed. That instruction remained with the prophets.

 

1Samuel 12:24-25Only fear the LORD, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king." (RSV)

 

So the injunction is on both the king and the people to follow God and if they do wickedly then they will be swept away. But the responsibility is on the king to control the sacrifices and deal with them and be an example to the nation. Here the nation was made witness against itself. Its judge was just, yet it sought a king. The nexus between the nation and prosperity was directly linked to obedience to the law on the part of the king and the people. Both the king and the people had to obey Godís law to prosper. Yet the people were seen to have been evil for asking for a king. That did not change. It was precisely for that reason that Oliver Cromwell did not take the crown of England when it was offered to him. He was buried as Lord Protector of England with the motto Christ, not man, is King. Perhaps he was the greatest leader England has seen in the last 1,000 years, because, under Cromwell, the whole of the nation was prepared to take up its birthright. Cromwell entirely revised the system of military operations in England under the new model army. He reorganised the capacity of the English; he stamped out corruption. Twice he gave power to the Parliament. He took power back from the Parliament because they were entirely corrupt. So, the greatest king of England was perhaps not even king. He was Lord Protector of England, because he feared God. England under Cromwell feared God. The mainstream Christian church denigrates Cromwell because he would not tolerate their apostasy. He denounced the system in Rome for what it was and the church for what it was. He wouldnít allow any baubles in the church. There were no decorations on altars, no golden crosses and trinkets and whatever.

 

1Samuel 13:1-2Saul was ... years old when he began to reign; and he reigned ... and two years over Israel. [His age was unknown. Some hold he reigned twelve years other say twenty two years; see note to Annotated RSV: The KJV holds the verse to read. And Saul reigned one year and when he had reigned two years] 2 Saul chose three thousand men of Israel; two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gib'e-ah of Benjamin; the rest of the people he sent home, every man to his tent. (RSV)

 

He only chose 3,000 people to work with him. Remember, when the king chose his first army from Pentecost he baptised 3,000 in one day. This first king of Israel chose to have 3,000 people to fight with; 1,000 under Jonathan and 2,000 under himself.

 

1Samuel 13:3-8Jonathan defeated the garrison of the Philistines which was at Geba; and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, "Let the Hebrews hear." 4 And all Israel heard it said that Saul had defeated the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become odious to the Philistines. And the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal. 5 And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude; they came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth-a'ven. 6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in straits (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns, 7 or crossed the fords of the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. 8 He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. (RSV)

 

Through Samuel, the Lord told Saul that he would be there in seven days. Samuel was there and Saul did the same thing that Christianity did in counting for the resurrection. They did not count full days. Christ said that the son of man would be three days and three nights in the belly of the earth. Modern Christianity counts part days. The error was quite simply that the seven days were seven full days and Saul counted the part day that he was given the instruction as a day. Instead of waiting and obeying, he then commenced to sacrifice.

 

1Samuel 13:9-15 So Saul said, "Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings." And he offered the burnt offering. 10 As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him and salute him. 11 Samuel said, "What have you done?" And Saul said, "When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, 12 I said, `Now the Philistines will come down upon me at Gilgal, and I have not entreated the favor of the LORD'; so I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering." 13 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which he commanded you; for now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel for ever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart; and the LORD has appointed him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you." 15 And Samuel arose, and went up from Gilgal to Gib'e-ah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people who were present with him, about six hundred men. (RSV)

 

Saul was losing men rapidly because of the sheer magnitude of the Philistine force and he lacked the faith to wait. They were hopelessly outnumbered. The error of Saul at Michmash was that he did not have trust in the coming of the Lordís anointed. He usurped an authority that he was prevented from exercising by direction. Saul lacked faith and a discernment of times. He counted incorrectly in the exercise of his duty. This example has a lesson for the Last Days prior to the Advent of Messiah. The Lord does not delay his coming as some deem it. Messiah is sent at the time appointed.

 

Saul was hard-pressed as Israel will also be hard-pressed in the Last Days. What happened through the Church, under Messiah over its history, was that whenever the Church was hard-pressed in persecution a great many people lapsed into apostasy. They adopted systems they were told not to adopt and they did things they were told not to do. In recent times, they havenít even had persecution and they have done what the Lord has told them not to do. So, because of that the kingship is removed from them. If we have no obedience to the Law and to the Lord and disobey His instructions to the elect, then we are removed from the kingship and it is given to another. The names and the numbers are written in the Book of Heaven. We can ask for the Holy Spirit and it will be given to us, but if we donít obey God our place is removed.

 

That is the lesson of Saul and it was at the kingship, so there is no respect of persons. It goes from the top all the way down, right throughout the nation. We of the household of the king are part of that system. If we donít obey God, we are removed.

 

Saulís discernment was also not great and he placed burdens on the people that need not have been endured. This is another weakness in the kingship and it is a weakness in the elect.

 

1Samuel 14:24-30 And the men of Israel were distressed that day; for Saul laid an oath on the people, saying, "Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies." So none of the people tasted food. 25 And all the people came into the forest; and there was honey on the ground. 26 And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dropping, but no man put his hand to his mouth; for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath; so he put forth the tip of the staff that was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes became bright. 28 Then one of the people said, "Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, `Cursed be the man who eats food this day.'" And the people were faint. 29 Then Jonathan said, "My father has troubled the land; see how my eyes have become bright, because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found; for now the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great." (RSV)

Saul didnít feed his army and they couldnít accomplish the defeat of the Philistines by routing their army in defeat.

 

1Samuel 14:31-35They struck down the Philistines that day from Michmash to Ai'jalon. And the people were very faint; 32 the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep and oxen and calves, and slew them on the ground; and the people ate them with the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, "Behold, the people are sinning against the LORD, by eating with the blood." And he said, "You have dealt treacherously; roll a great stone to me here." 34 And Saul said, "Disperse yourselves among the people, and say to them, `Let every man bring his ox or his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and do not sin against the LORD by eating with the blood.'" So every one of the people brought his ox with him that night, and slew them there. 35 And Saul built an altar to the LORD; it was the first altar that he built to the LORD. (RSV)

 

Saul had placed his people under duress and caused them to sin. It was only when the people, under great duress, had commenced to kill the spoil and sinned by eating animals improperly killed and bled that Saul erected an altar to the Lord. He had not built an altar to God until that time. Thus, his priorities were clearly wrong. Saulís mind was not on the will of God. He was not a friend of God nor was he a man after Godís own heart in the same sense that David was. Nevertheless, he was used by God in order to achieve a number of things.

 

1Samuel 14:36-46Then Saul said, "Let us go down after the Philistines by night and despoil them until the morning light; let us not leave a man of them." And they said, "Do whatever seems good to you." But the priest said, "Let us draw near hither to God." 37 And Saul inquired of God, "Shall I go down after the Philistines? Wilt thou give them into the hand of Israel?" But he did not answer him that day. 38 And Saul said, "Come hither, all you leaders of the people; and know and see how this sin has arisen today. 39 For as the LORD lives who saves Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die." But there was not a man among all the people that answered him. 40 Then he said to all Israel, "You shall be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side." And the people said to Saul, "Do what seems good to you." 41 Therefore Saul said, "O LORD God of Israel, why hast thou not answered thy servant this day? If this guilt is in me or in Jonathan my son, O LORD, God of Israel, give Urim; but if this guilt is in thy people Israel, give Thummim." And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. 42 Then Saul said, "Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan." And Jonathan was taken. 43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, "Tell me what you have done." And Jonathan told him, "I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand; here I am, I will die." 44 And Saul said, "God do so to me and more also; you shall surely die, Jonathan." 45 Then the people said to Saul, "Shall Jonathan die, who has wrought this great victory in Israel? Far from it! As the LORD lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he has wrought with God this day." So the people ransomed Jonathan, that he did not die. 46 Then Saul went up from pursuing the Philistines; and the Philistines went to their own place. (RSV)

 

Saulís discernment was wrong and his thinking was not of God. He could not admit error even when it came to killing his own son. When it came to the orders of the Lord he could not obey in destroying the enemies of Israel. Saul had no real understanding of clemency, or personal internalising of fault. Saul could not internalise fault, even to the stage of killing his own son. If we are going to be kings in Israel, we have to be able to repent and take responsibility for what we do.

 

This is the biggest single problem in the priesthood and the reason they had to be removed. They were removed because they couldnít accept responsibility for what they did in respect of persons.

 

1Samuel 15:1-3And Samuel said to Saul, "The LORD sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore hearken to the words of the LORD. 2 Thus says the LORD of hosts, `I will punish what Am'alek did to Israel in opposing them on the way, when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and smite Am'alek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.'" (RSV)

 

The Lord was resolved not to let Amalek survive, because Amalek could only be dealt with in the Second Resurrection. Amalek was resolved in its cruelty to destroy Israel completely. Similarly, Simeon and Levi were not given an inheritance amongst the tribes. They were scattered amongst the tribes of Israel and they could not be dealt with because of their cruelty. Amalek was worse by a long way.

 

1Samuel 15:4-17So Saul summoned the people, and numbered them in Tela'im, two hundred thousand men on foot, and ten thousand men of Judah. 5 And Saul came to the city of Am'alek, and lay in wait in the valley. 6 And Saul said to the Ken'ites, "Go, depart, go down from among the Amal'ekites, lest I destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt." So the Ken'ites departed from among the Amal'ekites. 7 And Saul defeated the Amal'ekites, from Hav'ilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8 And he took Agag the king of the Amal'ekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them; all that was despised and worthless they utterly destroyed. 10 The word of the LORD came to Samuel: 11 "I repent that I have made Saul king; for he has turned back from following me, and has not performed my commandments." And Samuel was angry; and he cried to the LORD all night. 12 And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning; and it was told Samuel, "Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned, and passed on, and went down to Gilgal." 13 And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, "Blessed be you to the LORD; I have performed the commandment of the LORD." 14 And Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?" 15 Saul said, "They have brought them from the Amal'ekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed." 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, "Stop! I will tell you what the LORD said to me this night." And he said to him, "Say on." 17 And Samuel said, "Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel. (RSV)

 

The same thing is true of every one of us. The Lord has anointed us and given us a job to do. We have a mission. It is not up to us to decide whether we will fulfil that mission or not. Weíve already been given our mission, and we have to get on with it.

 

1Samuel 15:18-23 And the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, `Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amal'ekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.' 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop on the spoil, and do what was evil in the sight of the LORD?" 20 And Saul said to Samuel, "I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, I have gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, I have brought Agag the king of Am'alek, and I have utterly destroyed the Amal'ekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal." 22 And Samuel said, "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king." (RSV)

 

That is the charge to the elect and the charge to the kingship throughout Israel, and also the charge to the elect as kings and priests.

 

Why is obedience better than sacrifice? Why is rebellion as the sin of divination and stubbornness iniquity and idolatry? The logic of it is this. All people exist and derive their existence under the will of God. Monotheism directly is obedience to God. Individual rebellion places the individual outside of the will of God. Therefore, one establishes a will external to God and, hence, challenges the fundamental basis of Monotheism. Thus rebellion creates a polytheistic existence of wills. Therefore, it is idolatry because it establishes Polytheism and a thought process external to the will of God and His Law. It is the sin of witchcraft, because that is the consultation with wills external to the will of God against His express will. That is why the soul doctrine cannot exist.

 

God must destroy every will exterior to His to establish Monotheism as the theological system. That is the logic behind what Samuel said in the Spirit there.

 

The sin of the kingship has been traditionally in rebellion and stubbornness. They have continually interpreted the instructions of God to their own ends. Saul, in sparing Agag, was in effect giving rise to the persecution of his own people under Haman the Agagite, a direct descendant of Agag. Saul obviously did not get all of Agagís descendants, because Haman was able then, in the Babylonian Empire, to have risen to such a position of power that he threatened the existence of the tribe of Judah. Satan wanted to use the Agagites under Amalek to destroy Israel and specifically the tribe of Judah, so that Messiah could not be born. That was the higher purpose. But Saul did not succeed in this and therefore Judah faced, as we know from the book of Esther, the threat of extermination from the direct descendant of Agag. That was why obedience was paramount. Those long-term consequences of the instructions of God are not foreseen by us.

 

We donít know why we have to be obedient. All we know is that we do have to be obedient. It is not ours to ask why, but to what we have to be obedient. We must search the Scriptures to ensure we are obedient in the correct things. That is our responsibility. This is the reason that God gave the order. Obviously, the descendants of Agag were not eliminated at this time, even though Samuel acted on the Lordís instructions and made Agagís mother without a son as stated. It is probable that Saul did not want to set a precedent in case he himself was captured. The kings generally didnít kill other kings because they wanted somebody to ransom them in case they were taken. That was the practice in those days. Saul repented, in word, but it was too late.

 

1Samuel 15:24-26And Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, I pray, pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD." 26 And Samuel said to Saul, "I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel." (RSV)

 

That is the bottom line in the accounting process. That is what happens to the priests, the princes and the elect who reject the words of God. If we reject the Law of God, He will reject us from Israel. We can repent, but we repent in the Second Resurrection. That is the concept of Christ saying we cannot be restored to the Kingdom of God. If we put our hand to the plough and look back, we canít be put there again. God is not mocked. This acts as a central guide to all of the elect.

 

1Samuel 15:27-31 As Samuel turned to go away, Saul laid hold upon the skirt of his robe, and it tore. 28 And Samuel said to him, "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29 And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent." 30 Then he said, "I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD your God." 31 So Samuel turned back after Saul; and Saul worshiped the LORD. (RSV)

 

Samuel honoured Saul for the sake of the leadership of the people. Saul saw that. So the transition in power was orderly. Saul knew the kingship had been removed and had been given to another man who was better. Yet that other man had not even been anointed. Now we can understand the Saulís resentment when David was established. Saul knew that there was to be another king and he no doubt knew that David was the Lordís anointed. Instead of accepting that the Lord had placed his anointed within his charge, Saul tried to destroy David while he was serving him faithfully. That is not a new phenomenon. That has happened throughout the elect on a continual basis, through self-interest and self-righteousness, by those in the Body of Christ who tried to destroy those who were better than they were.

 

1Samuel 15:32-35Then Samuel said, "Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amal'ekites." And Agag came to him cheerfully. Agag said, "Surely the bitterness of death is past." [NRSV has the opposite meaning] 33 And Samuel said, "As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women." And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal. 34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house in Gib'e-ah of Saul. 35 And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel. (RSV)

 

Samuel already says the Lord is not a man that He should repent. This concept means that He had then commenced to change the facts of Saulís ordination. In other words, He was no longer with Saul. This process of repentance is a process of correction and change. Repentance means to accept that we had a course of action that we had to change.

 

The prophet grieved for the king but nevertheless did not see him again. When the kingship is removed from Israel, the prophets of the Lord will not again speak with the princes of Israel until he who comes, whose right it is Ė in other words, Messiah. This is represented in the text by the ordination of David.

 

We have gone through the story of Saul and developed his anointing as king, his selection, his development, and why the kingship was taken from him. All the lessons in that are for us in the Kingdom. Also, the analogy is that of a human kingship set up with all of its frailties ready to be handed over to David. The analogy was of the elect and the king was the Messiah. So we end up with the concept of David being prepared, waiting, and then the kingship is transferred to a better kingship. So there is a movement into that better kingship which we saw under David and subjugation under the nations so that it could be established in order then to build a Temple. Then the new kingship was established under Solomon, who built the Temple, which represents the millennial system.

 

At the end of Solomonís reign, after having established the Temple, he then fell into idolatry. That same position happens at the end of the Millennium. When Satan is released again amongst the nations at the end of the Millennium, they will fall back into idolatry and they will march against Jerusalem. That is the sequence and the significance of Saul to David to Solomon and to Solomonís idolatry. Then and only then, the Messiah re-establishes for the Second Resurrection and the coming of God. There are three phases from human to Messianic, to the construction of the Temple in the millennial structure and then to the elimination and wars of the idolatry that came through from the Gentiles at the end of it.

 

1Samuel 16:1-3 The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, seeing I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons." 2 And Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me." And the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you, and say, `I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.' 3 And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me him whom I name to you." (RSV)

 

The heifer was of course a symbolism of the cleansing. The whole structure was a symbol of Messiah cleansing Israel from sin and the heifer formed the sin offering. Samuel has a direct relationship with Jesus Christ, who is talking to Samuel so that he hears on a conversational basis what is happening. That is the relationship we should be looking at. We should be developing our relationship with Jesus Christ so that we understand exactly what happens on a daily basis. When these things happen to us, Christ is able to convict us through the Holy Spirit as to what course of action we should take.

 

1Samuel 16:4-13 Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, "Do you come peaceably?" 5 And he said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD; consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice." And he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice. 6 When they came, he looked on Eli'ab and thought, "Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him." 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." 8 Then Jesse called Abin'adab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one." 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one." 10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen these." 11 And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and fetch him; for we will not sit down till he comes here." 12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is he." 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. (RSV)

 

So, from the day of Davidís anointing, the Spirit of the Lord was mightily upon him, yet Saul was still king in Israel. David had to wait until Saul was removed so that he could then take up the kingship. There were two anointed kings extant at the same time in Israel. That symbolises the elect within the nation. It also symbolises that priesthood and that kingship that are meant to be drawn out for the millennial system, the future kingship, which is already anointed and waiting in the nation. We are anointed as kings and priests even if we have not yet taken up our kingship. When the time is right, we will take up our kingship. David was a symbol of Messiah in that he was the progenitor of Messiah, yet Messiah was his Lord. That shows us that Messiah was pre-existent in another form before he became the descendant of David.

God does not see as men see. David was the youngest of his family, even as Saul was of the least of the tribes. David was judged by the heart and by his diligence in caring for the responsibilities of his father Jesse. He who is faithful in the care of his earthly fatherís interest will also be diligent in the care of his heavenly Fatherís interests. That was one of the key elements in David. He was prepared to lay down his life in the sacrifice involved in looking after his fatherís interests. How much more would he be prepared to lay down his life in the interests of his heavenly Father and in the interests of the nation? He who is faithful in little will be faithful in much. That was the example used by David. He was tested and tried and was faithful in little so he was given much to be faithful over. This act of the ordination of David in Judah was to establish the promise to Judah by Jacob.

 

Genesis 49 was given by Jacob to Judah as his birthright promise, yet it was not enacted for many, many centuries. Three thousand years ago, it was enacted and given to David. Judah had to wait. He was ordained but that was his birthright.

Genesis 49:8-10Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons shall bow down before you. 9 Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as a lioness; who dares rouse him up? 10The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. (RSV)

 

That is a birthright promise. Yet that had not been enacted and all Judah went and were numbered with the children of Israel under Saul. They would have seen the ordination of Saul as quite puzzling and a direct refutation of the promises given to them in Genesis. Yet they obeyed Saul and they fought alongside him. Judah was numbered separate to Israel to make sure that everyone understood that they were there in numbers as the largest tribe and they provided 10% of the numbers of the armies of Israel, even though there were twelve tribes. They didnít shirk their duty even though their promises were given to them and hadnít been enacted. They were there in full measure amongst the tribes of Israel to take their part in the battles under the king who was of another tribe. The birthright appeared to have been taken from the biggest tribe and given to the smallest tribe. They were tested in what they had to do and the ordination of Saul was a direct refutation of the birthright promise to Judah, yet Judah fought for Saul and obeyed him as king. That is important. It shows the diligence required. Even though our promises appear to be one thing, we have a responsibility to do what the Lord gives us to do, and to fight with all of our might to achieve what the Lord wants us to achieve, even though it appears to run contrary to the promises made to us. The promises were made also to the nation of Jacob and the star that shall come out of Jacob is Messiah, who is the descendant of David.

 

Numbers 24:17 I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: a star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab, and break down all the sons of Sheth. (RSV)

 

David established the provisions for the Temple and, indeed, had subjugated the nations so that the Temple could be built. He was not allowed to build the Temple because he was a man of blood. That honour was left to Solomon. The allegory is that the nations must be subjugated in the Last Days before the restoration can be effected and the Temple built under Messiah. Solomon was nevertheless flawed because of his lust for foreign women who introduced idolatry into Israel again and turned Solomon himself to idolatry. Thus, no remnant of the religions of the Gentiles will be allowed to go into the millennial system. In spite of that, in the Last Days there will be a rebellion. When Satan is released he will, in a few short years, do everything to them that he did to us, even though they had a thousand years of just rule under Messiah.

 

1Kings 11:1-6Now King Solomon loved many foreign women: the daughter of Pharaoh, and Moabite, Ammonite, E'domite, Sido'nian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, "You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods"; Solomon clung to these in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ash'toreth the goddess of the Sido'nians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done. (RSV)

 

Solomon was the wisest man Israel had seen and he did not follow the Lord with the love that his father had and his zeal for the truth. It was zeal for the truth that kept David following God. Solomon was taken in by his foreign women and went after the gods of these other people.

 

1Kings 11:7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. (RSV)

 

Here we are looking at ecumenism. We are looking at Solomon trying to establish a religion that was acceptable to all of the people in his empire Ė everyone under his influence. Solomon was the greatest king in that area and they all came to see him. He is establishing a religious system that appeals to the Moabites and the Ammonites in the north-east and to the Sidonians and all of the Phoenician cities in the west, to the Philistines in Gaza and Jericho up to the Euphrates to the northern systems where Ashtoroth was extant right into the Babylonian system as Astarte or Ishtar. Solomon introduced the Easter system and Baal worship into Israel on an official basis by his idolatry.

 

He brought this idolatry into Israel in order to appeal to numbers. Instead of saying, ďThis is the Law of God that has given us power and established the Temple in order that we subjugate the nations and these nations are brought to a fear of the living GodĒ, he decided to appease them all and create a world religious system which would have fitted with our systems of international law now. It was simply an ecumenical council of different polytheist systems. All of his wives would have used the same argument, ďWell, Iím from Moab, Iím from Egypt, Iím from here or there, we all get together doing our thing; why canít we all have our own gods established here in Israel?Ē Solomon would have bought that and said, ďYes alright, weíll set up these temples in IsraelĒ. Then Solomon would have a duty to go to this temple and that temple in order to appease these people.

 

We are not in the business of appeasement. We adhere to the Faith once delivered (Jude 3) and wonít alter from the original first-century position despite persecution. The Church has held this position over many centuries. The problem with the churches today is that they are all frightened. They are frightened of persecution and they are frightened of standing for the living God and they do not know what they believe. Solomon did not follow the Law and he did not fear God.

 

1Kings 11:8-10 And so he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. 9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD commanded. (RSV)

 

The Lord, the God of Israel, appeared to Solomon twice. Jesus Christ came down in person and spoke to Solomon in person twice, and warned him twice about his idolatry. We wonít get that privilege. Christ is not going to warn us in person. We have the Holy Spirit to listen to Christ and we had better listen, because we wonít get any more chances than Solomon got. Solomon got three chances. He was warned twice and the third time he was finished. Thatís the way God will work with us. If we mess it up, we will be rebuked and corrected. If we mess it up again, weíll be rebuked and corrected. If we mess it up the third time, we are gone Ė we are then in the Second Resurrection. Thatís what that text is there for (see also Job 33:21-30 RSV).

 

1Kings 11:11-13 Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. 12 Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 However I will not tear away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen." (RSV)

 

In other words, he left the remnant in Judah and separated Judah from Israel, in order that Messiah could come to Jerusalem to take up the priesthood and take up an extant system. When Messiah came, the kingship was not in Jerusalem. It was merely the princes of Judah still in bloodlines, but it was of a priesthood in Jerusalem. The kingship had been removed to Israel that was in distant lands, but the lineages remained so that Messiah could be born from the royal lineage of the house of David, in the house of Nathan. He was also born into the Aaronic priesthood through the house of Levi, in the house of Shimei. This prophecy here was done in order to protect the lineage and genealogy of Messiah and it was done because of Davidís loyalty and because of the forthcoming of Messiah.

 

Because of the idolatry of Solomon, the kingship was removed from the hands of his son. God will not respect persons. He will reward faithfulness even to the extent of protecting, after the person is dead, an institution that was set up by that personís faithfulness. But He will tear it out of the hands, not of his successor, but of his successorís successor. We will see that happen again. We will see it happen with the priesthood and we will see it happen to the kingship.

 

Here, the division of the kingship was made so that the kingdom of Israel did not rest with Judah, and would not again until Messiah, even though the lineages of the kingship had to be of David and hence of Judah (see the paper Genealogy of the Messiah (No. 119)).

 

1Kings 12:1-5Rehobo'am went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 And when Jerobo'am the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was still in Egypt, whither he had fled from King Solomon), then Jerobo'am returned from Egypt. 3 And they sent and called him; and Jerobo'am and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehobo'am, 4 "Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke upon us, and we will serve you." 5 He said to them, "Depart for three days, then come again to me." So the people went away. (RSV)

 

We notice here that Jeroboam is going to be king in Israel and he was in Egypt. He fled there the same way David had fled from Saul and he was set aside. The next anointed is set aside and the people knew. Solomon knew. Jeroboam was a powerful man in Israel and he was known to be the likely leader of Israel. The people in power sense threats and they will try to eliminate them.

 

The Church of God worked on that system in the twentieth century, eliminating anyone who had any capacity at all to deal with biblical concepts. The theology of the Church in the twentieth century was faulty. They couldnít explain everything properly so they eliminated anyone who queried what they taught. The people now sense the change. Jeroboam is young, and he is not very bright. Solomon has gone and the people were probably nauseated by his idolatry. Not that they did any better in Israel, but their idolatry was more single-minded. He worshipped everything to appease his wives, because he had wives from everywhere.

 

1Kings 12:6-14Then King Rehobo'am took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, "How do you advise me to answer this people?" 7 And they said to him, "If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants for ever." 8 But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. 9 And he said to them, "What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, `Lighten the yoke that your father put upon us'?" 10 And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, "Thus shall you speak to this people who said to you, `Your father made our yoke heavy, but do you lighten it for us'; thus shall you say to them, `My little finger is thicker than my father's loins. 11 And now, whereas my father laid upon you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.'" 12 So Jerobo'am and all the people came to Rehobo'am the third day, as the king said, "Come to me again the third day." 13 And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel which the old men had given him, 14 he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." (RSV)

 

This is the sort of empty chest beating of young fools. They wanted to retain entrenched privilege. David had amassed all the wealth of the Temple. Solomon had built the Temple and wealth and privilege flowed to Israel. These people were brought up in a soft environment. They were wealthy and they were privileged and they wanted to retain it. They saw that, in order to lighten the load on these people, they had to do their own work. They had to take up the slack and they would have been then lessened in their privileges and they were not prepared to do that. These people shattered Israel just as surely as the rulership later, in its misuse of privilege, shattered Israel. That shattering of the people has gone through misuse of privilege and respect of persons through the kingships and through the priesthood to this very day. The shattering of the power of the holy people will be brought about by misuse of privilege both in the priesthood at all levels and the kingship at all levels in the judiciary and the administration. That misuse of privilege is occurring now throughout this nation and all churches on a daily basis and it will shatter the power of our people.

 

1Kings 12:15 So the king did not hearken to the people; for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that he might fulfil his word, which the LORD spoke by Ahi'jah the Shi'lonite to Jerobo'am the son of Nebat. (RSV)

 

So He had already prophesied and anointed Jeroboam and He hardened their hearts because these people could not see the logic of what they were doing and He simply stopped that system from going on. The Lord said, ďI will bring that to an end because it was rottenĒ. Solomon had infected it with idolatry and rottenness and it had to be brought to an end.

 

1Kings 12:16 And when all Israel saw that the king did not hearken to them, the people answered the king, "What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David." So Israel departed to their tents. (RSV)

 

There was no benefit, no inheritance, no virtue, no gain, no profit or any sort of enjoyment of the fruits of their labour under the tents of Jesse. By the house of Davidís misuse of privilege, the people groaned. Israel became a separate nation to Judah from that day forth. That reunion will only take place with the conversion of Judah and the establishment in Jerusalem of the system under Messiah.

 

The kingship was removed here through unsound decision-making. Without doubt, this was prompted by the decree of God. The kingship rested in both Israel and Judah until Jeremiah. Jeremiah was authorised to tear down and transplant. This he did by removing the authority of the kingship in Judah. He established the authority in Israel, as we will examine elsewhere.

 

It was done in order that the princes (the bloodlines) then remain so that Messiah could come out of those bloodlines, but they never had any authority from the time it was torn down by Jeremiah. The kingship was not established. It was a high priesthood, a theocracy, but not a kingship or monarchy. There was no king in Israel. Even though the princes returned and rebuilt the Temple, they did not assume the kingship. There were governors in Judah under the kings of a foreign land and some were of that royal lineage, and royal household and some were not. That privilege of the household of princes went through into the aristocracy which formed the sect of the Sadducees. That sect had such little biblical knowledge, it denied the resurrection. They wrested the high priesthood off and on and they fought with the Pharisees for control of the Temple. Sometimes there were Pharisees as high priests and sometimes there were Sadducees as high priests.

 

Jeremiah 1:10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant." (RSV)

 

Jeremiah had enormous power. He had power over nations and kingdoms. He tore down the kingdom of Judah and established the kingdom in Israel. From this time onwards the kingship of nations was totally determined by their repentance and their obedience. Judah was punished from this edict.

 

Jeremiah 18:7-11If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8 and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will repent of the evil that I intended to do to it. 9 And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will repent of the good which I had intended to do to it. 11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: `Thus says the LORD, Behold, I am shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.' (RSV)

 

Judah did not repent and Jerusalem was destroyed and the kingship was removed.

 

Jeremiah 22:1-10Thus says the LORD: "Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, 2 and say, `Hear the word of the LORD, O King of Judah, who sit on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. 3 Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their servants, and their people. 5 But if you will not heed these words, I swear by myself, says the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation. 6 For thus says the LORD concerning the house of the king of Judah: "`You are as Gilead to me, as the summit of Lebanon, yet surely I will make you a desert, an uninhabited city. 7I will prepare destroyers against you, each with his weapons; and they shall cut down your choicest cedars, and cast them into the fire. 8 "`And many nations will pass by this city, and every man will say to his neighbor, "Why has the LORD dealt thus with this great city?" 9 And they will answer, "Because they forsook the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshiped other gods and served them."'" 10Weep not for him who is dead, nor bemoan him; but weep bitterly for him who goes away, for he shall return no more to see his native land. (RSV)

 

This sequence entailed the dispersion of Judah, and the people who returned would not return again (that was a prophecy of the Lord) except those who were isolated and sent back under the kingship to establish the Temple.

 

Jeremiah 22:11-17 For thus says the LORD concerning Shallum the son of Josi'ah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josi'ah his father, and who went away from this place: "He shall return here no more, 12 but in the place where they have carried him captive, there shall he die, and he shall never see this land again." 13"Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice; who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing, and does not give him his wages; 14 who says, `I will build myself a great house with spacious upper rooms,' and cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar, and painting it with vermilion. 15 Do you think you are a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. 16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? says the LORD. 17 But you have eyes and heart only for your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence." (RSV)

 

These people in entrenched wealthy positions think they stay in there. They were put there through justice and righteousness, not because they have some intrinsic right of their own. That is a phenomenon that has happened to the American people over the last two centuries. There is a class system in America that has developed where the leading classes of both Republicans and Democrats are from a privileged elite. They come from wealthy families and an education system that establishes this privileged elite, yet they do not understand that they came from a privileged elite. Each is deluded enough to think they got there by his own merit. Therefore, because of the privileged position they think they have no obligation to look after those in menial and poor conditions, the underprivileged, the poor and the fatherless. Sociologists are now looking at this and saying these people actually think they got there by their own merits and that is the problem. Anyone can succeed if his father sends him to the best schools and he is given a million dollars.

 

That is the class that rules Western systems, particularly the United States. Sociologists are now saying these people are actually tearing away the support structure of the poor because they think they got to the position they are in by their own merits and that these poor people could get to the same position if they were not so slothful and lazy and incompetent. They think they rule by dint of their own capacities and in fact they rule on the backs of their fatherís fathers. They are an aristocracy and they donít understand it. Therefore, they do not understand the obligations they have to the poor and that nation will perish because it does not look after its fatherless, widows and the people who are poor, within it. The kingship is torn away through incompetence and imbecility at all levels because of that misuse of privilege. The same mindset is permeating our people. The same imbecility that is extant amongst the Western political system is entering other countries and the same perverted mandates in its education and entertainment systems are entering other people. Our people will perish for lack of knowledge and misuse of power.

 

Jeremiah 22:18 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning Jehoi'akim the son of Josi'ah, king of Judah: "They shall not lament for him, saying, `Ah my brother!' or `Ah sister!' They shall not lament for him, saying, `Ah lord!' or `Ah his majesty!'(RSV)

 

These are sayings of the heathen. They are brothers of this idolatrous system. They are sayings that became part of the normal exclamations of Israel. Their speech became tainted because of these idolatrous systems.

 

Jeremiah 22:19-22With the burial of an ass he shall be buried, dragged and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem." 20 "Go up to Lebanon, and cry out, and lift up your voice in Bashan; cry from Ab'arim, for all your lovers are destroyed. 21 I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, `I will not listen.' This has been your way from your youth, that you have not obeyed my voice. 22 The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds, and your lovers shall go into captivity; then you will be ashamed and confounded because of all your wickedness. (RSV)

 

All of the allies of Judah were sent into captivity and that will be the same again. If we rely on nations rather than God, those nations will be like reeds that shatter in our hand and spear us through the hand that we rest on. Lean on people rather than God and those nations will be taken away from us. We will be made to face our problem alone before God under another people.

 

Jeremiah 22:23-30O inhabitant of Lebanon, nested among the cedars, how you will groan when pangs come upon you, pain as of a woman in travail!" 24 "As I live, says the LORD, though Coni'ah the son of Jehoi'akim, king of Judah, were the signet ring on my right hand, yet I would tear you off 25 and give you into the hand of those who seek your life, into the hand of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hand of Nebuchadrez'zar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chalde'ans.26 I will hurl you and the mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die. 27 But to the land to which they will long to return, there they shall not return." 28 Is this man Coni'ah a despised, broken pot, a vessel no one cares for? Why are he and his children hurled and cast into a land which they do not know? 29 O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD! 30 Thus says the LORD: "Write this man down as childless, a man who shall not succeed in his days; for none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David, and ruling again in Judah." (RSV)

 

Here the lineage of the kings was established in Judah apart from Coniah. No descendant of Coniah could sit on the throne of Israel except at the express sanction of a prophet of God. God had to intervene again in the line of Coniah. That is the reason why Matthew 1 cannot be the lineage of Messiah, and why Messiah could not inherit the kingship by adoption from his father Joseph. Joseph was forbidden to sit on the throne of Israel by this prophecy. Matthew 1 is to show us why Messiah could not be king as the adopted son of Joseph, not to show why he could be king (see the paper Genealogy of the Messiah (No. 119)). The line of Nathan (Lk. 3) is the only way he could be king, except that a prophet of God says and establishes him as king regardless of his lineage from Coniah.

 

Jeremiah 32:26-44 The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 27 "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too hard for me? 28 Therefore, thus says the LORD: Behold, I am giving this city into the hands of the Chalde'ans and into the hand of Nebuchadrez'zar king of Babylon, and he shall take it. 29 The Chalde'ans who are fighting against this city shall come and set this city on fire, and burn it, with the houses on whose roofs incense has been offered to Ba'al and drink offerings have been poured out to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 30 For the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth; the sons of Israel have done nothing but provoke me to anger by the work of their hands, says the LORD. 31 This city has aroused my anger and wrath, from the day it was built to this day, so that I will remove it from my sight 32 because of all the evil of the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah which they did to provoke me to anger -- their kings and their princes, their priests and their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 33 They have turned to me their back and not their face; and though I have taught them persistently they have not listened to receive instruction. 34 They set up their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it. 35 They built the high places of Ba'al in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. 36 "Now therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, `It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine, and by pestilence': 37 Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation; I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety. 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them; and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul. 42 "For thus says the LORD: Just as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good that I promise them. 43 Fields shall be bought in this land of which you are saying, It is a desolation, without man or beast; it is given into the hands of the Chalde'ans. 44 Fields shall be bought for money, and deeds shall be signed and sealed and witnessed, in the land of Benjamin, in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephe'lah, and in the cities of the Negeb; for I will restore their fortunes, says the LORD." (RSV)

 

So we see the establishment, the rejection, the judging of the three groups Ė the kings and princes, the priests and prophets Ė men and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Three groups are judged, scattered and destroyed, then restored. Like the perfect father, discipline is tempered with mercy and with sound judgment. Correction is made to produce rectified activity and not to break the spirit. Discipline exists with God only to remove evil.

 

Ezekiel 45:8-10 It is to be his property in Israel. And my princes shall no more oppress my people; but they shall let the house of Israel have the land according to their tribes. 9 "Thus says the Lord GOD: Enough, O princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression, and execute justice and righteousness; cease your evictions of my people, says the Lord GOD. 10"You shall have just balances, a just ephah, and a just bath. (RSV)

 

The evictions of the people of the Lord come by their evictions from lands through a system not based upon the Jubilee system. The banks and usury are forbidden. The land ownership is on a Jubilee leasehold system within the Jubilee of fifty years. That is a system we will set up. There will be no usury within our system and there will be no operation of sale of lands in perpetuity outside of the tribe. The princes who do that will be removed. Only the towns will be allowed to be owned in perpetuity on the areas where we have households established. Houses will be allowed to be sold as a perpetual ownership. All agriculture will then be held under a different system.

 

The correct leadership is based on a just administration which is impartial in its execution. This is the responsibility of the leadership. Wicked leadership will ultimately see the removal of the monarchy in Israel.

 

Ezekiel 21:25-26And you, O unhallowed wicked one, prince of Israel, whose day has come, the time of your final punishment, 26 thus says the Lord GOD: Remove the turban, and take off the crown; things shall not remain as they are; exalt that which is low, and abase that which is high. (RSV)

 

By the time Ezekiel is prophesying, they are in captivity. The kingship is already in Israel. Judah is already in captivity and the kingship is taken from Judah, yet Ezekiel is giving these prophesies. He is talking about the future removal of the kingship in Israel.

 

This abasement and exaltation was the transfer of the dynasties of Israel.

 

Ezekiel 22:23-31And the word of the LORD came to me: 24 "Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is not cleansed, or rained upon in the day of indignation. 25 Her princes in the midst of her are like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in the midst of her. 26 Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in the midst of her are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. 28 And her prophets have daubed for them with whitewash, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, `Thus says the Lord GOD,' when the LORD has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery; they have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without redress. 30 And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none. 31 Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath; their way have I requited upon their heads, says the Lord GOD." (RSV)

 

The condemnation of the princes in Ezekiel is carried forward and is prophetic. The measurement of the nation begins at the House of God and includes the princes because they have central responsibility in the sacrifices of the cleansing of the nation.

 

Ezekiel 9:1-11 Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, "Draw near, you executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand." 2 And lo, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, every man with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his side. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. 3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherubim on which it rested to the threshold of the house; and he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his side. 4 And the LORD said to him, "Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it." 5 And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and smite; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity; 6 slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one upon whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the house. 7 Then he said to them, "Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go forth." So they went forth, and smote in the city. 8 And while they were smiting, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, "Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all that remains of Israel in the outpouring of thy wrath upon Jerusalem?" 9 Then he said to me, "The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice; for they say, `The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see.' 10 As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity, but I will requite their deeds upon their heads." 11 And lo, the man clothed in linen, with the writing case at his side, brought back word, saying, "I have done as thou didst command me." (RSV)

 

The judgment of the nation is clearly seen from Micah to encompass princes, priests and prophets as a triumvirate in evil. Thus, the change of the priesthood also encompassed a condemnation of the rulership. The transfer of the power to a nation showing the fruits of the Spirit entailed also a transfer of the kingship. That had indeed been done earlier in preparation for the New Covenant Church under Messiah, in fact anticipating his command in the New Testament.

Micah 3:1-12 And I said: Hear, you heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel! Is it not for you to know justice? -- 2you who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin from off my people, and their flesh from off their bones; 3who eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones in pieces, and chop them up like meat in a kettle, like flesh in a caldron. 4 Then they will cry to the LORD, but he will not answer them; he will hide his face from them at that time, because they have made their deeds evil. 5 Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who cry "Peace" when they have something to eat, but declare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths. 6 Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without divination. The sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be black over them; 7the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame; they shall all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God. 8 But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin. 9 Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert all equity, 10 who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with wrong. 11 Its heads give judgment for a bribe, its priests teach for hire, its prophets divine for money; yet they lean upon the LORD and say, "Is not the LORD in the midst of us? No evil shall come upon us." 12 Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height. (RSV)

 

The end result of all of this is that Israel will be completely removed from the holy land for an extended period. The kingship is removed, the priesthood is removed, the Temple is removed, all this destroyed and, literally, trees are allowed to grow on the mountain. God removed everything away from Judah and Israel and from Jerusalem. We saw that happen when the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, the Egyptian Temple was closed in 71 CE and then systematically they were removed from Jerusalem, removed from Israel and put into the dispersion.

 

The administration is also condemned, as we see, for its judges. Thus the kingship is judged and also the nation that has rejected the kingship. We can declare ourself a republic, but our leaders then take on the mantle and responsibilities of the kingship and are judged according to that model. We can declare that we are not a kingship but we are still judged according to the model of the kingship. The responsibility still rests in the nation and with its judges. Thus, a republic in Israel will not escape correction and stern rebuke. The converse is actually the case because of their rebellion. They are actually brought under greater judgment.

 

Zephaniah 3:1-20Woe to her that is rebellious and defiled, the oppressing city! 2 She listens to no voice, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the LORD, she does not draw near to her God.3Her officials within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves that leave nothing till the morning. 4 Her prophets are wanton, faithless men; her priests profane what is sacred, they do violence to the law. 5 The LORD within her is righteous, he does no wrong; every morning he shows forth his justice, each dawn he does not fail; but the unjust knows no shame. 6 "I have cut off nations; their battlements are in ruins; I have laid waste their streets so that none walks in them; their cities have been made desolate, without a man, without an inhabitant. 7 I said, `Surely she will fear me, she will accept correction; she will not lose sight of all that I have enjoined upon her.' But all the more they were eager to make all their deeds corrupt." 8 "Therefore wait for me," says the LORD, "for the day when I arise as a witness. For my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them my indignation, all the heat of my anger; for in the fire of my jealous wrath all the earth shall be consumed. 9 "Yea, at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord. 10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, the daughter of my dispersed ones, shall bring my offering. 11"On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain. 12 For I will leave in the midst of you a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD, 13 those who are left in Israel; they shall do no wrong and utter no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall pasture and lie down, and none shall make them afraid." 14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15 The LORD has taken away the judgments against you, he has cast out your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall fear evil no more. 16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Do not fear, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. 17 The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing 18as on a day of festival. "I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it. 19Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. 20 At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you together; yea, I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes," says the LORD. (RSV)

 

The Lord will establish the humble under the new kingship and under the just system of Messiah. These promises were made and the Lord doesnít slacken off. What He does is execute this on an ongoing basis to bring everyone into Jerusalem under Messiah and exalt the elect along with Judah on its repentance. This is because the lord is our king, that is, Messiah is the king of Israel.

 

Jeremiah 13:18-19 Say to the king and the queen mother: "Take a lowly seat, for your beautiful crown has come down from your head." 19 The cities of the Negeb are shut up, with none to open them; all Judah is taken into exile, wholly taken into exile. (RSV)

 

The prophecy in Jeremiah has application in the Last Days. This text foreshadows the removal of the kingship in Israel through the process it saw in Judah. The cities of the south are shut up from the monarchy in the Last Days. Ephraim will see republics established in its southern realms. The monarchy will be removed so that there is nowhere to go when it is subjugated by the European Beast system. The king or prince and Queen Mother will see the end of the monarchy in Israel because of their failure.

 

Jeremiah 20:3-6 On the morrow, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, "The LORD does not call your name Pashhur, but Terror on every side. 4 For thus says the LORD: Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon; he shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword. 5 Moreover, I will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them, and seize them, and carry them to Babylon. 6 And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity; to Babylon you shall go; and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely." (RSV)

 

The prophets have tied into, and the system within Israel is tied into, the kingship. It was sent into captivity to the Babylonians and remained in captivity there. The religious system of Israel is Babylonian. There are very few of the elect in Israel who understand. Israel will then be purified as we saw from Jeremiah 20:3-6.

 

Isaiah 56:9-12 All you beasts of the field, come to devour -- all you beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. The shepherds also have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all. 12 "Come," they say, "let us get wine, let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure." (RSV)

 

The concept is that through plenty they establish their position.

 

Here the people suffer and go into exile because of the failure of the kingship as part of the three shepherds of Israel. This whole process stems from their progressive alienation from God and its priests and prophets, the kings and princes, then extend into the next element. The people then perish for lack of knowledge because of lack of leadership.

 

Isaiah 5:11-13†† Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening till wine inflames them! 12They have lyre and harp, timbrel and flute and wine at their feasts; but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD, or see the work of his hands. 13Therefore my people go into exile for want of knowledge; their honored men are dying of hunger, and their multitude is parched with thirst. (RSV)

 

The anticipation of Messiah in the Last Days by mainstream Christianity will be turned to lamentation because they do not keep the Laws of God even though He is on their lips.

 

God will not hear them. Everyone is saying Christ is coming, but they are also saying we donít have to do anything. But the Bible says we have to keep the Commandments of God. When Christ gets here they are going to lament because it will be obvious that they have failed.

 

Isaiah 5:18-24†† Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, who draw sin as with cart ropes, 19 who say: "Let him make haste, let him speed his work that we may see it; let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near, and let it come, that we may know it!" 20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! 22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, 23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right! 24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. (RSV)

 

Thus the Laws of God were rejected as was the Testimony of the Holy One of Israel, who is Messiah. There is no knowledge of God in the land.

 

Hosea 4:1-6Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel; for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or kindness, and no knowledge of God in the land; 2 there is swearing, lying, killing, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds and murder follows murder. 3 Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field, and the birds of the air; and even the fish of the sea are taken away. 4 Yet let no one contend, and let none accuse, for with you is my contention, O priest. 5 You shall stumble by day, the prophet also shall stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother. 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (RSV)

 

This whole process is interlinked between kings and princes and priests and prophets.

 

God will use the system of the adversary to chastise Israel even though He will then destroy that system.

 

2Kings 24:1-4In his days Nebuchadnez'zar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoi'akim became his servant three years; then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chalde'ans, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the Ammonites, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD which he spoke by his servants the prophets. 3 Surely this came upon Judah at the command of the LORD, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manas'seh, according to all that he had done, 4 and also for the innocent blood that he had shed; for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD would not pardon. (RSV)

 

Itís quite clear that God uses those systems and uses all the people round about who had been adversaries to Israel to entrain upon them in order to bring them down because of what they were doing.

 

They will then be restored as they were under Nehemiah.

Nehemiah 11:20 And the rest of Israel, and of the priests and the Levites, were in all the towns of Judah, every one in his inheritance. (RSV)

 

God wants obedience not sacrifice. For that reason, they are punished so that they might become obedient. They will be punished in the Last Days so that they will learn obedience.

Jeremiah 11:6-7 And the LORD said to me, "Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. 7 For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. (RSV)

 

The restoration will be complete under Messiah.

Jeremiah 33:13 In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephe'lah, and in the cities of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the LORD. (RSV)

 

This obedience is also to be to Messiah to whom the kingship belongs.

 

Genesis 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. (RSV)

 

The priesthood will not be removed, as the kingship also will stand. The priesthood is of a different type as is the kingship. In the end, the Levites will be supplemented by the tribes of Israel that will inherit the Gentiles. Their responsibilities will become even greater.

 

Jeremiah 33:19-22 The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 20 "Thus says the LORD: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their appointed time, 21 then also my covenant with David my servant may be broken, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and my covenant with the Levitical priests my ministers. 22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered and the sands of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David my servant, and the Levitical priests who minister to me." (RSV)

 

This covenant with David is also made with the Levites. We canít divorce one from the other. The kingship of David is open to the Gentiles as is the Levitical priesthood. So the household of David becomes open, and organised under Messiah, to the Gentiles, and we are all ransomed as kings and priests. Revelation 4 and 5 talks about the Elders and they talk about the Lamb who ransomed men to become kings and priests. These two divisions are removed and re-established so that we become kings and priests within that system under Messiah at the return (see Ps. 132:6,11; Isa. 11:1,10; and Jer. 23:5-8).

 

Revelation 19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords. (RSV)

 

All of this will be under Messiah. The kingship finally is removed from where it stands now in the house of Israel so that Messiah can take it up.

 

Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (RSV)

 

He became the head of the human fatherhood or family of God.

 

Luke 1:26-38In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." 34 And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" 35 And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible." 38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. (RSV)

 

It is quite clear that Messiah was listed, isolated, and placed in a human form in a specific time. He did not become the king at that time. So obviously this prophecy spans a long period of time. If it doesnít, then Christ is not the Messiah and the New Testament is simply a completely meaningless story. This deals with the restoration of the kingship under Messiah after he is removed from the physical kings and priests. A new priesthood was established under us and the kingship was re-established in another nation other than Judah. It was sent to Israel and will stay with Israel until it is removed in the near future so that Messiah can take it up.

 

Anyone who tried to rule on the throne of Israel without divine sanction was doomed. All those who usurped Samariaís throne without prophetic sanction were assassinated (1Kgs. 11:26-39; 15:28-30; 16:1-4,11-15; 21:21-29; 2Kgs. 9:6-10; 10:29-31; 14:8-12). Nobody can take the throne of Israel without divine authority. Nobody can sit on the throne without the direct order of God through Jesus Christ. The throne will be removed in the near future, even though it has now been sanctioned for two thousand years or more. The throne, the entire system of the monarchy will be thrown down so that it can be established once again through Messiah in the near future. That is the second phase of the removal. The establishment of a republic will not save the nation from the elimination of its leadership, as we see from Hosea 10:3-4.

 

Hosea 10:3-4 For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the LORD; what then should a king do to us? 4 They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field. (KJV)

 

God will deal with Israel whatever its leadership is.


 

Part 4 - The Sheep Judged

 


The process of the measuring of the Temple has been examined in relation to the removal of the priests and prophets and the princes of Israel. The process then reduces to the measuring of the sheep and the purification of the remnant of the House of God. Those sheep that are diseased are removed from the House of God. No (spiritual) disease is allowed in the House of God. The elect as the nation are then measured and refined, being brought into a state where they can participate in the millennial Kingdom of God.

 

Jeremiah 12:10-11 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. 11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart. (KJV)

 

The nation is portrayed as a desolate wilderness because of the actions of the pastors of Israel. The vineyard of the Lord is the whole house of Israel.

 

Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry. (KJV)

 

Judah is a plant in the vineyard of the Lord which he regards as pleasant, but it is only one of the plants. So these pastors havenít just destroyed the small churches or larger churches, they have destroyed the nation in all of its churches by their failure to act. Because they are concentrated on dividing the sheep up and devouring them to the hooves nobody knows what is true anymore.

 

The action of the shepherds portrays a national destruction of the knowledge of the Lord. This is the equivalent to the famine of the word of God. God is on the lips of the shepherds and the people but they internalise nothing and do not obey the Commandments.

 

The Commandments are the premier action and the Testimony of Jesus is a secondary action. Both of those are the two elements of the elect. They represent the two loaves at Pentecost. The Commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus comprise the New and the Old Testaments. The Bible comprises the entire works of God.

 

We have seen the condemnation of the shepherds in Jeremiah 23:1-8 and the condemnation of the prophets from Jeremiah 23:8-22. The time-frame of these texts has application in the latter days specifically (Jer. 23:20).

 

Daniel 12:1-3And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (KJV)

 

This is important, because it is the wise in the Last Days that understand what is happening and will turn many to righteousness. We will instruct many because we understand what is happening. It is not all that evident yet, but we have to start with the establishment of a clear and concise position so that all understand. When all things are explained and can be easily seen, we can then put it out to the world.

 

God promises a restoration in the text of Jeremiah 23:5-8. The restoration of Daniel returning to righteousness in Daniel 12:1-3 is also referred to in Jeremiah 23:5-8. That restoration encompasses a great period of time. God promised a restoration in the same text where He will restore the nation under Messiah who is the righteous branch referred to in Jeremiah 23:5-8.

Jeremiah 23:5-8 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land. (KJV)

 

The comment about the righteous branch refers to the Last Days. Christ was raised as a righteous branch and he, in the incarnation, was sacrificed as the Messiah. He was a priest Messiah then. In the early part of Atonement the priest was in linen garments, he fulfilled a function. His secondary function is as king Messiah portrayed on the Day of Atonement by his dressing in kingly garments after he changes. The reconciliation is the real position referred to here, where Israel is restored and brought back and the government established.

 

Verse 4 says that the remnant of Godís people will be gathered and fear no more. They will be set under shepherds who will care for them. Obviously, the shepherds of Israel are removed because they do not care for them. The system is thus an extended system covering the entire nation. The Church is dealt with first. The nation is measured next. So the priests and the prophets are removed, then the elect in the Church are judged, and then the elect outside the Church in the nation are judged. That is the stage of judging the sheep. This restoration is to occur with the establishment of the nation Israel as the centre of the new millennial government in Jerusalem. However, before that happens, the sheep are judged against each other to determine their fitness to become the Temple of God.

 

The prophet Jeremiah was physically distraught because of the activities of the priests and prophets who had misused their authority and became evil (Jer. 23:9-10). God will bring evil upon them in the year of their punishment (Jer. 23:12).

 

The judgment of the sheep is to occur after the removal of the shepherds. The three categories of leaders are to be removed in one prophetic month as we see from Zechariah 11:8.

Zechariah 11:8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me. (KJV)

 

These are the shepherds of Israel who actually hate God. A priesthood that is not obeying God, wresting Scripture and making administrative decisions about what the word of God says, must be removed in order that a restoration may be properly entrenched. The peopleís minds then could be open to what is actually being taught. The whole of the mindset of our people has been so altered. They have been conditioned to rejecting everything that is not within the paradigm that has been instilled in them from the later councils. Zechariah 12:8 shows what the destiny of the sheep will be.

Zechariah 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. (KJV)

 

The text in Zechariah 12:8 shows that the leadership of Israel was anti-God and that God stood against them. The common rabbinical understanding (see also Soncino) was that this period referred to a period of some thirty years or at least a span of time of that order.

 

The leadership had to be removed in order to examine the conversion and attitudes of the individual members of the flock towards each other. That examination could only reasonably have taken place where the overall compulsion of the autocratic system is removed and the sheep themselves are taken out of the structure of respect of persons imposed upon them from above and are free to demonstrate their actual conversion or views of ethics, morality and brotherly love. We canít judge somebody properly unless we see what is really in their heart.

 

Where a priesthood administers a system and there is respect of persons within the system, we donít really see what these people would actually do under their own circumstances where they were given reign themselves. We have to be judged on how we handle responsibility. So we have to be seen in that position. A lot of people donít even want to take responsibility, because then they are accountable. Some donít actually want to vote in their churches and organisations because they then are accountable. They know God will hold them accountable for what they do. God is going to hold the sheep accountable. He said that He is going to tear the sheep out of the hands of the shepherds and the prophets and the princes, and they are going to have to look to themselves.

 

What is going to happen also is, once the leadership is removed, it will get to a point where people will say: ďrule over us and we will provide our own rations and weíll do whatever you say, if you helpĒ. Women will say (and the Scriptures are there), ďJust give us your nameĒ. There will be seven women take hold of the robe of a man in Israel and say: ďIf you just give us your name for our children, to take away our shame from us, we will pay our own rationsĒ. That will happen in the families to restore the family. But to restore the kingdom the people will say: ďRule over us so that we can eatĒ. It will get to the stage where the rulers, the people who are asked to rule, will say: ďI canít feed you. This country is so bad I canít do anythingĒ. Those two positions (see Isa. 4:1), both in the kingdom and the family, are the two texts which show where the process of degeneration went to in Israel and Judah, and where it will go to in the Last Days, according to the Bible. It is only when the power of the holy people is broken that God then intervenes.

 

The leadership had to be removed in order to examine the attitudes and the conversion of individual members of the flock towards each other in the Church. Remember, measurement began at the Temple of God. That had to be looked at and then the nation had to be purified. That examination could only reasonably take place when the overall compulsion of the autocratic system is removed.

 

Jeremiah likens the nation of Judah to a basket of figs Ė some of which are good and the others are rotten.

Jeremiah 24:1-9The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. 2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. 3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. 4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. 6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. 7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. 8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: 9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. (KJV)

 

The distinction here was between attitudes to correction displayed by the kingship and the people. Those removed were so removed to correct and develop their relationship towards God. Note that the two baskets of figs were placed before the Temple of God. Rotten fruit cannot be rectified and must be destroyed. The lineage of Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim had gone into captivity. That lineage was never again to produce a king. Zedekiah was to be destroyed completely. There was to be no king of Judah at that time. The kingship was removed to elsewhere in Israel.

 

This separation and measurement of Judah from its leadership down was to precede the transfer of authority to Israel and then the establishment of the church system under Messiah in Judah and its subsequent removal with the authority of the priesthood to Israel as the nation showing the fruits of the Kingdom of God. So Israel went through a process where the kingship was removed and placed apart or aside and the nations were established. The priesthood then had to carry on with the lineage of Judah through to the coming of the Messiah.

 

Messiahís lineages are in Nathan and not in Jeconiah, so that he then was able to inherit the kingship of Judah. Judah was then removed from its inheritance and scattered. The priesthood was transferred from the Levitical priesthood to the Melchisedek priesthood and transferred to Israel. It was transferred by different eras in different places. It went through to Pella and then off into Asia Minor and from there also into southern Europe, on through Europe and on throughout the rest of the world.

 

Moses charged the Elders of Israel with their responsibilities and also foretold what evil would become them in later days.

 

Deuteronomy 31:26-30 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. 27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death? 28 Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them. 29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands. 30 And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended. (KJV)

 

Preliminary to the Song of Moses was a prophecy of the evil that would befall Israel in the latter days because of their iniquity.

The people of God are those who obey the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ. The General Multitude is those who keep those two elements and are given the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb (Rev. 15:3). The Song of Moses is found in Deuteronomy 32. God will hide His face from Israel to see what its end will be, for they are unfaithful and perverse (Deut. 32:20). They have both Songs because these two elements, the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Messiah, are necessary to inclusion in the elect.

 

The people are judged after the priests, prophets and princes are removed. The first element to be eliminated is the female sorcerers of Israel who practise the sorceries of the Mysteries, including divination. Why specifically females? Because it seems to be a preoccupation of the women of Israel more than anything else. Notice the stargazing in womenís magazines! The stargazing is actually increasing now. People are becoming preoccupied with what is to happen and are not looking at the word of God for the future.

 

Ezekiel 13:17-23Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them, 18 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you? 19 And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies? 20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly. 21 Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 22 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: 23 Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. (KJV)

 

Verse 18: These were practices in Israel. Instead of obeying Deuteronomy 22 and having blue ribbons on the corner of their garments to remind them of the Laws of God, they put little satchels with charms in them to stop the evil spirit from getting at them and also to stop people from running into mischief. They were actually into the transmigration religions of the Mystery cults. The biggest problem is that women love to believe in channelling, transmigration, soul movement and any of those Babylonian systems. Thatís what the women of Israel were doing then and that is what they are doing today. The point is that these people are hunting souls.

 

Verse 22: The people who were wicked were being reinforced in their wickedness, and the people who were righteous were actually being told by these people that there was nothing good in store for them. They were divining doom for the virtuous and constant activity and benefit for the evil.

 

Ezekiel shows the problem of judging between sheep and sheep after the removal of the shepherds.

 

Ezekiel 34:10-16Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. 11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. 16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. (KJV)

 

It is quite clear that God is going to deal with the sheep on how they deal with each other. He will judge and correct those people in the process of bringing them back. He sets up the position to the point where He removes all authority. The sheep are left trying to get along with each other and trying to keep each other alive and they are judged on how well they do that.

 

The sheep are restored and re-established. However, the Lord speaks to the sheep through Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 34:17-21 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. 18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? 19 And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet. 20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. 21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; (KJV)

 

The people, the flock of God, are scattered abroad because all of the fat and privileged push and butt at them and destroy everything for them. There is nothing left for them. Food is no good. Water is polluted and in these words their sustenance is taken both spiritually and physically, and muddied or destroyed. God deals with that problem and deals with the people who cause it. Most of the problems that occurred in the Church of God in the twentieth century were caused by respect of persons and materialism. The doctrines that arose out of materialism were sickness equals sin and health/wealth gospels. Those two are the most evil and insidious propositions that were ever in the Church of God. Those systems developed and people then judged others by the fact that they were ill, or that they were poor. Instead of helping and establishing them, they put them in an inferior class and they used the shepherds to establish their own position. God is totally against that system and He will destroy it and He will judge everyone who lives under that system.

 

Ezekiel 34:22-31 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. 23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. 24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it. 25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. 26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. 28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. 29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. 30 Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD. 31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)

 

It was said in the first part of this paper that this restoration is with Messiah. The plant of renown is Messiah and he will feed them from pure food. The shame of the heathen is taken away because the false systems with which they were polluted are taken away also. The removal of the priests leaves another element to be dealt with in the order of the priesthood, which is denounced by God from Malachi 2:7‑9. The priests also have a class within it called the scribes and the sects who deal with the word of God. They were also known with the Scribes as the Pharisees. The Scribes and Pharisees were denounced as a group by Christ in Matthew 23:13-36. This whole group, as Christ deals with them, shows that there is a whole entourage to the priesthood, but the Scribes and Pharisees were two elements of the priesthood centred round the Temple who were responsible for keeping the instructions of God. When the priesthood was removed from the Temple and the authority was removed, this authority of the Scribes and the keepers went to the Church. The Scribes and Pharisees as a class developed within the Christian faith and they exist today within the Christian faith.

 

Matthew 23:13-15 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (KJV)

 

The Jews went everywhere to get converts to Judaism and they created them: the Ashkenazi tribes are classic. The most fanatic of the groups come from Eastern Jewry and they are mostly proselytes and not natural-born Jews. They were made twice as much children of hell as the original Jews. In the same way, mainstream Christianity converted the Gentiles and made them twice as much children of hell by the way they produced and distorted Christianity.

 

Matthew 23:16-36 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. 23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. (KJV)

 

When he said that, in forty years (or one generation) it had indeed come upon that generation. The Scribes and Pharisees were removed by 71 CE both in Jerusalem and in Egypt at the Temple at Leontopolis. Both Temples had been destroyed or closed. That condemnation applies to the mainstream Christian church. Revelation takes it on into the churches and shows that when the authority was transferred to Christianity there arose in it a system worse than the Scribes and Pharisees who became drunk on the blood of the saints and martyrs. This system became ongoing for two thousand years. Even now it lives and breathes and it is quickly reorganising for survival. Christianity is under threat because the leadership has destroyed it through their incompetence. The last-ditch effort of this false system then will be the reorganisation back under the one system so that they can eliminate the elect.

 

This condemnation is against the adherents and administrators of organised structures that seek to subjugate men to a system, which is a perversion of the structure of God. Those did not enter the kingdom themselves and sought to prevent others from entering the kingdom. This is found today among the religions of mainstream Christianity that do not themselves enter the Kingdom of God and seek to prevent others from entering. This process is found in the Fifth Seal where the false religious system is set up and seeks to prevent those of the elect from keeping the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Messiah. Orthodox Christianity claims that the New Covenant has eliminated the Law of God and replaced it with a new system that is independent of the Old Testament and, indeed, replaces the Laws of God.

 

If that claim is correct then it is irrelevant whether the small group of adherents who follow the Laws and keep the Sabbaths, New Moons, and Holy Days do so. At best, they could be charged with zealous adherence to obsolete laws and food laws. If what mainstream Christianity says is correct, that we donít have to do what we do because the Commandments are done away with, it doesnít matter what we do. Therefore, there is no logical reason to object to what we do. All we seek to do is keep the Sabbath, the Commandments, the food laws and obey and worship God. We donít ask anymore from any man. However, that is not the reaction. The Church which seeks to obey the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Messiah has been persecuted ruthlessly and killed in thousands. They have been denied employment and sanctuary and society. The Orthodox have an animosity towards the Churches of God that is bizarre given that the Orthodox consider that they are correct.

 

The condemnation of the Scribes and Pharisees is carried on to the administration of the national religious systems of the post-Levitical period, i.e. after the authority of the Levites was removed and passed to the order of Melchisedek and the Temple was destroyed.

 

The system that Christ set up was based on truth; not on organisational power. After Christ had been tempted, he was sent in the power of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 4:14). The food of Christ was to do the will of He who sent him and to finish His work (Jn. 4:34). The prophet Isaiah had foreshadowed the work of Messiah in Isaiah 61:1-2, which Messiah read (see Lk. 4:18-19).

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. (KJV)

 

Zion was to be in a state of mourning here. This work is the work of the elect. What Christ said there in that text is the standard by which they are judged. When he read it out in the Synagogue and it was recorded in Luke 4:18-19 the elements of that became the charge laid on the Church.

1.    The preaching of good tidings to the meek is the function of the gospel of grace and salvation to the humble and repentant before God. Luke has the word poor meaning beggar and the meek here has the understanding of daily petitioning God for His Spirit.

2.    The binding up of the broken is the commandment of love of oneís neighbour as oneself.

3.    The good news of the Kingdom of God is preached to set at liberty those who are captives and bound.

4.    The Acceptable Year of the Lord is to comfort the bereaved in their loss and to give encouragement to the afflicted.

5.    Provision of beauty for ashes is to proclaim the restoration to Jerusalem of the government of God and of His glorification.

 

Those are the five elements of the charge of Messiah, of the duty and work of Messiah. They are the standard by which we are judged. The last element of the charge is to make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Mat. 28:19). The standard by which the elect are judged is found in Matthew 5:17-48.

Matthew 5:17-20 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (KJV)

 

Verses 17 to 20 tell us that the Commandments have not been removed. These Commandments are there and stand as part of the Law. Whoever says that these Commandments are not necessary and teaches other men so are least in the Kingdom of Heaven and this means that we are at the bottom of the Kingdom of Heaven and in the Second Resurrection. That will tell us where the ministers and priests are who teach that the Laws of God are done away.

 

Matthew 5:21-32 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. 27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 31It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. (KJV)

 

This is a serious problem in terms of their understanding. Divorce is violence and it should not be allowed in the House of God. But these are levels of violence and Christ is interlinking concepts, the commandments of adultery and murder. He is looking at the concept of violence to the family and violence to the nation.

 

Matthew 5:33-35 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. (KJV)

 

What Christ is saying is that it is not our will that is being undertaken. When we take an oath we are saying: ďI will do thisĒ and we donít know whether it is the will of God that we do that or not. Christ is saying that we are to subjugate our will to the will of God, and seek first the will of God. We look to the guidance that the Spirit can give us and very often the Spirit will not want us to do something.

 

Matthew 5:36-42 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. 38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. (KJV)

 

We should be always thinking about the needs of others and should not have to ask. If we are in a position where we know what a personís needs are, we should offer before they ask.

 

Matthew 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (KJV)

 

So it is not a matter for us to be nice to each other. We have to be nice to people who donít really like us.

 

The standard of the Law was thus increased. It was not eliminated. Thus, the elect are judged on a higher level than the nation. Not only are the Commandments entrenched, they are elevated. We are judged at this level, not the lower levels of the physical. We are judged by spirit of the Law, which is of a much higher level. The Scribes and Pharisees and, by extension, the national authorities of Israel over time are judged by the minimum standard because they have been removed from the First Resurrection and, thus, if the elect do not exceed the standards they have set they will also fail (see also Mat. 15:1-14). The Church is to behave like Christ in every way.

 

The judgment of the elect occurs from the varying stages of the people in the churches and in the nation generally. The view of the people of each other determines the treatment of them by God through Messiah.

 

Once the nation is measured, it is given over to the nations to be refined in fire so that the nations can be measured by the standard of the way that they themselves treat Israel.

 

Matthew 25:31-46When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)

 

The Holocaust was the first measurement of the nations using Judah as the measuring rod. God measured this planet by the Second World War Holocaust. The next stage is in the harvest of Israel using it as the measuring rod. There are two national harvests and they are three years long. They are two days and the third day the Lord will raise up our salvation (Hos. 6:2,11). The harvest of Judah was three years and the harvest of Israel was three years. That process will then see the nations judged, but the Temple is measured first before any of that can happen. The process ends with the measurement of the elect at the Temple and then the outer court is given over to the Gentiles for forty-two months. Israel and the outer court will be dealt with for forty-two months. At the end of that time, the nation of Israel will be restored and the nations will be judged on how they treated Israel at the end of that forty-two months. That, then, will be the restoration of Messiah.