FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
November 27, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE – Part XXV
WHAT IS THE TRUE INTERPRETATION OF REVELATION 16: 12-16?
(The Threefold Union in the Battle of Armageddon (Continued)
It’s shopping mania season, again. And nobody is complaining, “Oh no, not again!” In fact, with the introduction of e-commerce the demand is getting greater and the activities more frenetic. Nothing seems to satisfy this insatiable appetite—“the lust of the eye and lust of the flesh for the things of this world” (1 John 2: 15-17), one of the undeniable signs of the times. The giant retailers are amping the buying melee, vying for the multi-billion business. They’ve given it new names: Gray Thursday, now [sadly] AKA “Thanksgiving;” Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Sofa Sunday, and Cyber Monday. Emarketer predicts “A Happy Holiday Season Expected for Retailers.” It forecasts that “U.S. retail sales in the months of November and December 2015 will increase 5.7% year over year, reaching $ 885.70 billion.” www.emarketer.com/Articles/Happy-Holiday-Season-Expected-Retailers/1012898.
In sharp contrast, few give serious thought to the Bible forecast of the rapidly-approaching final test of every individual’s professed faith in God to be waged by the tripartite union of the prophetic “dragon, beast, and his image” before earth’s probation closes permanently.
Erika Morphy, prolific contributor to Forbes, writes: “And so it begins. The decorations for Halloween are still up and a lot of the candy still waiting to be consumed but retailers are plowing ahead for the holiday shopping season.” On the angst of retail workers having to work on Thanksgiving (“Why Retailers Have to Open on Thanksgiving Day”), Morphy wrote: “Corporate greed is blamed for the decision, and technically that is true if one defines corporate greed as staying solvent. . . .Consider this: IBM”s Holiday Benchmark survey reported that Thanksgiving online shopping grew by 39.3% over year. On Black Friday, on-line sales grew by 24.3% compared to the same period last year. If these people are logging in to shop, the thinking goes, they should also be interested in walking though a retailer’s doors as well. And when they do they will be counted andtracked by ever increasingly sophisticated retail management systems.” See Forbes/Leadership.www.forbes.com/sites/erikamorphy.
But where, in all these crush and rush does this truth find even a fleeting foothold in our minds, that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above [not from the gargantuan retailers of earth], and cometh downfrom the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1: 17, K.J.V. And. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift [in giving us His Son Jesus Christ]”? 2 Cor. 9: 15. Is there still even a tiny room of the inn of our hearts for Him—which is already over-crowded with the things and cares of this world?
Thank God. For Christ’s faithful followers, every single day, whether “in season or out of season” (2 Tim. 4: 2) is Thanksgiving day for the fresh victories gained in Christ Jesus. Of the many thanksgiving verses I have gathered from the Bible, here are two now closely interlinked, to my mind, by the serious subjects we are currently covering.
First, Apostle Paul says: “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 15: 57, 58.
What victory is this, in the ultimate sense? John in the Apocalypse, answers: “Then I saw another sign in the heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of the Lord, and the song of the Lamb, saying: ‘Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints.” Rev. 15: 2, 3, N.K.J.V.
Ah! This victory in Christ, so appropriately celebrated at the very end of time, is accompanied by the most jubilant and harmonious singing and harp-playing ever heard in the universe. It will be the victory song of Moses and the Lamb for the divinely pre-determined end of the great controversy results in perfect victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over his name! And yes, during the sixth plague, it will be the final victory “over the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet” in the Battle of Armageddon!
But we must first understand that Christ’s two temple cleansings at the beginning and towards the end of His ministry illustrate the last two calls made to all the churches worldwide by the “third,” then the “fourth” angel to “come out of her” –fallen spiritual Babylon” so that none partake of her sins before probation closes and receive of her plagues after probation closes. See Rev. 14:8, and Rev. 18: 1-5.
“When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation [John 2: 13: 22]. Among the last acts of His ministry was the second cleansing of the Temple [Matt. 21: 12-16]. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches. The second angel’s message [Rev. 14: 8 quoted]. And in the loud cry of the third angel’s message [or “fourth angel” of Rev. 18], a voice is heard from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven [meaning, the cup of apostasy and iniquity has been filled], and God hath remembered her iniquities.’”- Ibid, Vol. 2 Selected Messages, p. 18/ RH Dec. 6, 1892.
NOTE: The literal temple [the fourth and last of the earthly temples] was called Herod’s temple which he built for 46 years. It was here where Zacharias the priest, and father of John the Baptist received instruction of the miraculous birth of John the Baptist, Christ’ forerunner. Luke 1: 5-22. It was here where the godly Simeon finally “sees God’s salvation” and the 84-year old prophetess, Anna, witnesses to the Redeemer. Luke 2: 22-22-39. “According to the custom of the feast of Passover,” the Boy Jesus visited it at age 12. Luke 2: 42-52. Here Jesus finally publicly exposed the hypocrisy and apostasy of the Pharisees—the spiritual guardians of the nation at that time (Matt. 23: 1-39), and prophesied its utter “desolation” by the Romans which took place 40 years later. Matt. 24: 1, 2; Dan. 9: 24-27. The inner veil separating the holy from the most holy places of this last earthly temple was rent from top to bottom by unseen hands at Christ’s death. (Matt. 27: 5), forever ending the typical earthly priesthood and system of sacrifices, finally transferring to Christ, our antitypical merciful High Priest, Advocate, and “Mediator of the new testament“ at His ascension to the right hand of the Father. Heb. 3: 1-6; 4: 14-16; 9: 1-28; 10: 15-21.
L. F. Were continues in his “Armageddon—The Time of Spiritual Israel’s Deliverance” pamphlet, pp. 5, 6.
“(d) WHO ARE THE KINGS OF THE EAST OF REVELATION 16?
‘The expression ‘the kings of the east’ (Rev. 16: 12) refers back to the overthrow of literal Babylon. Cyrus, king of Persia, came from the east, leading other ‘kings.’ Predicting the fall of ancient Babylon, Isaiah [the gospel prophet] said: ‘The kings of the Medes . . . Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof’ (Jer. 50: 41; 51: 11, 28; Dan. 8: 20). As part of the strategy in the overthrow of Babylon they diverted the waters of the Euphrates from the accustomed channel (Isa. 46: 11; 41: 2, 25; 44: 27; Jer. 50: 38; 51: 36; PK 431). Thus the waters of the Babylonian Euphrates were ‘dried up’ (Jer. 50: 38)—hence the antitypical reference to this feature in describing the overthrow of spiritual Babylon (Rev. 16: 12) when Jesus intervenes to deliver His people (Dan. 12: 1).
“The east was employed in the Old Testament as a symbol of the place of the rising of the ‘Sun of Righteousness’ to give light and blessing to God’s people (see PK 688, 719; DA 261, etc.). By literalizing the east, Satan led the people into the idolatries of sun-worship, and by it also brought Sun-day keeping into the Christian church. By literalizing the number eight, which employed in Scripture as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection, Satan, by specious reasoning, deceived people into making Sunday, the first day of the week, a kind of ‘eighth day,’ to be observed in honor of the Lord’s resurrection. See my ‘Christ Conquers or Why Christ Rose on Sunday, the First Day of the Week,’ pp. 12, 14, 38, 42-44, 123-129.
“The literal east, the literal number eight with reference to Sunday, a literal king (the Pope), a literal throne,literal bread, literal ‘holy’ water, literal altars, literal priests, literal robes, literal candles, literal incense, literalearthly sanctuaries, literal images instead of mental images, literal interpretations of the prophecies pertaining to Israel and the anti-christ, and the literal, Palestinian ‘Armageddon,’ are all literal counterfeits of those things which are spiritually applied in the New Testament in connection with spiritual Israel. The Papacy is Satan’s counterfeit of the ministry and kingdom of the Lord Jesus. Fostered by the Papacy is that system of interpretation which literalizes, in connection with Palestine and the literal Jews, those prophecies outlining the details of the final conflict involving spiritual Israel and the Sabbath.
“In this dispensation of the Holy Spirit’ (TM 511) the literal interpretation of the things of Israel is contrary to the Scriptures. The principle of interpreting spiritually that which is mentioned in the Old Testament concerning Israel and her enemies is expressed by Paul: — ‘No you have not come near to something material. . . .No! you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.’ Weymouth’s Translation, Heb. 12: 18-22. In this ‘dispensation of the Holy Spirit’ the things of the kingdom of Christ arespiritual. Jesus, the King, is ‘invisible.’ (1 Tim. 1: 17; 6: 16), and His Representative [vicegerent], the Holy Spirit, is also unseen to human eyes, and because the world ‘seeth Him not’ (John 14: 17) it rejects the spiritual things of the spiritual kingdom: even the Third Angel’s Message!”- L.F. Were, Certainty of the Third Angel’s Message, pp. 78, 79.
(To be continued next week)