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 God's Word Two

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Esther BOOK
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast
FOREWORD

There are two books in Scripture named for women — Ruth and Esther — and no one knows who wrote either book.  But both books form major keys to a correct understanding of the whole of Scripture.

Each book, from a typical perspective, covers a complete panorama of the triune Godhead’s dealings with both the Church and Israel.  Ruth deals with Christ and the Church, and Esther deals with God and Israel.  And the two books together reflect upon and relate the complete story of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation.

The information provided in these two books is indispensable to a correct understanding of numerous parts of Scripture.  And this would be particularly true relative to a correct understanding of the book of Revelation, for both Ruth and Esther deal heavily with the same subject matter seen in this book.

Thus, any proper exposition of the book of Revelation will, of necessity, have to draw heavily from both Ruth and Esther — along with other Old Testament books such as Exodus and Daniel — or miss the mark on vital points of interpretation.  In this respect, God has provided His own built-in interpretation of His Word; and that which God has provided is the only completely correct interpretation in existence.

Ruth and Esther form integral parts of the complete Old Testament word picture that God has provided, revealing His plans and purposes as they relate to man and the earth.  And this word picture, designed by God Himself, allows the spiritual man, under the leadership of the Spirit (who gave this Word [2 Peter 1:21]), to come into a full and complete understanding of that which has been revealed.

God has provided different parts and facets of the picture in different places throughout Scripture, and the complete picture can be seen only through viewing all of the different parts together, as a unit.  Scripture must be compared with Scripture.  Only through this means, under the leadership of the Spirit, can man see all of the various “things that God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9-13; cf. John 16:7-15). 

INTRODUCTION

The book of Esther contains a wealth of information relative to Israel and the nations, having to do mainly with activity occurring at the end of and following the Times of the Gentiles.

Esther 1; 2, within the typical structure of the book, relate the complete history of Israel — from God’s call surrounding this nation during Moses’ day to that future day when this call will be realized under the One greater than Moses, with Israel then occupying the nation’s proper place, in the Messianic Kingdom.

Then the remaining seven chapters (Esther 3-10) form commentary material for the first two chapters, centering attention on that future time when God will resume His national dealings with Israel, at the end of Man’s Day, terminating at the same place as the first two chapters — Israel occupying the nation’s proper place, in the Messianic Kingdom.

Esther 3 begins with the rise of Haman to a high position of power in the kingdom, typifying the future rise of Antichrist to a position of world power in the kingdom near the middle of Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week.  And the remainder of the book reveals Antichrist’s activities (typified by Haman’s activities) as they relate particularly to Israel (typified by both Esther and Mordecai), that which Israel will do because of these activities, Antichrist’s ultimate fall (which marks the end of the Times of the Gentiles), and Israel’s subsequent rise to the position that the nation was called to occupy almost 3,500 years ago when God called the Israelites out of Egypt under Moses.

In the preceding respect, Esther 3-10 parallel Revelation 6-20.  And, when studying either book, to gain a proper understanding of the book, it is vitally important that Scripture be compared with Scripture.  One book must be studied in the light of the other, among other books (Old Testament and New Testament) containing related subject matter as well.

This is simply one of the ways in which God has structured His Word, necessitating comparing Scripture with Scripture in order to gain a correct understanding of that which has been revealed.  God, through this means, has provided man with a complete revelation of Himself, His plans, and His purposes.

This complete revelation though can be seen only in one place — in the complete Word.  And it can be properly seen and understood through only one means — through comparing parts of this revelation with other parts of this revelation, through “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:9-13), viewing and studying the whole of Scripture in this manner.

In this respect, the book of Esther is an integral and vital link to seeing and understanding the complete word picture that God has provided.  Not only must Esther be viewed and studied in the light of related Scripture (e.g., Exodus, Daniel, Revelation, among numerous other books and places in Scripture) but related Scripture must be viewed and studied in the light of Esther as well.

And the importance of Esther in this respect is self-evident.  This book is about Israel and the nations, and understanding God’s dealings with Israel in this respect is a central key to understanding the whole of Scripture.

Understand the message of the book of Esther (comparing Scripture with Scripture), and you can understand what has happened, is happening, and is about to happen relative to Israel and the nations.  It was all foretold in the small book of Esther almost two and one-half millennia ago.
Chapter 1
The King and the Queen

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia),

in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the citadel,

that in the third year of his reign he made a feast . . .

when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days in all.

And when these days were completed, the king made a feast lasting seven days . . .

On the seventh day . . . he commanded . . .

to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold. (Esther 1:1-5, 10-11 [3a, 5a, 10a]).

There are two books in Scripture bearing the names of women who appear as principal characters in the books — the books of Ruth and Esther.  These are the only books in Scripture named for women; and an element of mystery surrounds both, for no one knows the identity of the person who wrote either book.

The book of Ruth has to do with events occurring during the days of the judges (Ruth 1:1).  Events during the days of the judges began following Joshua’s death and lasted until the time of Samuel the prophet, a period covering about three hundred years (which followed a period covering “about . . . four hundred fifty years,” going back to the birth of Isaac [Acts 13:17-20; ref. NASB, NIV]).  Events in the book of Ruth though cover a much smaller part of the time of the judges, occurring during the latter part of this period (Ruth 4:13-22), about the latter part of the twelfth century B.C.; and events in the book occurred both in a Gentile land (Moab) and in the land of Israel.

The book of Esther, on the other hand, has to do with events occurring about seven centuries later, in Persia (following not only the Babylonian captivity [about 605 B.C.] but also following that time when the Medes and the Persians conquered the kingdom of Babylon [about 538 B.C.]).  Events in the book of Esther would appear to have occurred during the latter part of the fifth century B.C., about sixty years after the Medes and the Persians conquered Babylon (Esther 1:1; 2:5-6).

The book of Ruth, in its type-antitype structure, has to do with the Church.  And the book of Esther, in its type-antitype structure, has to do with Israel.  Ruth presents a complete overview of the history of the Church, and Esther presents a complete overview of the history of Israel.  But the emphasis in each book is not so much on the past and present as it is on the future.

Ruth 1; 2 deal with the past and present; but Ruth 3; 4 deal almost entirely with future events, beginning with events surrounding the judgment seat at the end of the present dispensation.  And these events, along with subsequent events seen in Ruth 4, immediately precede and lead into the Messianic Era.

Esther 1 deals with the past and present; but Esther 2-10 deal entirely with future events.  These last nine chapters deal with Israel mainly during seven unfulfilled years that remain in God’s dealings with this nation in order to complete Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, ending with the restoration of Israel and the ushering in of the Messianic Kingdom.

In the preceding respect, the books of Ruth and Esther together provide a complete overview of God’s dealings with His people — both the Church and Israel — throughout the last 4,000 years of Man’s Day, leading into the Messianic Era.  Certain things are opened up and revealed in these two books after a manner not seen in other Old Testament books.  And these things form an integral part of God’s complete word pictures pertaining to both the Church and Israel in the Old Testament, providing different facets of information, apart from which these word pictures would be incomplete.

Then, insofar as the end of the matter is concerned — the realm where the emphasis is placed in both books — these two books together cover exactly the same period of time and deal with exactly the same information as seen in chapters one through twenty of the book of Revelation.  Ruth covers matters relative to the Church during this period of time, and Esther covers matters relative to Israel during this same period.  And, in this respect, if an individual would properly understand that which has been revealed in these chapters in the book of Revelation, he must go back to the books of Ruth and Esther, along with sections of numerous other Old Testament books that would have a direct bearing on the subject (e.g., Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel).

There is no other way to properly understand the book of Revelation (or, for that matter, any other part of the New Testament).  All of that revealed in the New was previously set forth in the Old.  Different Old Testament books deal with particular facets of the matter — “here a little and there a little” (Isaiah 28:10); and it has all been opened up and revealed in the New, though a person, in order to properly grasp and understand the New, must continually look back to and draw from the Old.

The whole of the matter is by divine design, and only through viewing the whole together — after running all of the checks and balances by comparing Scripture with Scripture — can a person see the complete picture (comprised of word pictures dealing with both the Church and Israel), exactly as God would have man see it.

HISTORICAL SETTING FOR ESTHER

The events seen throughout the book of Esther occurred in the southern part of the country known today as Iran.  “Iran” is a name of more recent origin.  The country was known as “Persia” prior to 1935, reflecting on the racial identity and history of the people inhabiting the land — descendants of the ancient Persians.

Though the people inhabiting this land during modern times are of Persian descent, which carries all the way back to the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians during Ahasuerus and Esther’s day, the name change in 1935 reflected another racial characteristic of the Persian people — that of Aryan descent.  The name Iran is derived from “Aryan,” a reference back to the Aryan tribes in that part of the world (as distinguished from the Middle East Semitic tribes); and the Aryan tribes would include the descendants of the ancient Medes and Persians, among other tribes in that region.

Iran today though only covers a small part of the kingdom as it existed during Ahasuerus and Esther’s day in the book of Esther.  The kingdom during that day extended all the way from India west to Ethiopia (Esther 1:1).  It was the world kingdom of that day, represented by the breast and arms of silver on Daniel’s image in Daniel 2:32, 39).

This kingdom, represented by the breast and arms of silver, was a dual kingdom — the Medo-Persian kingdom — throughout the time of its existence as the center of world power (from about 538 B.C. to about 330 B.C.).  This was the kingdom that conquered Babylon (the kingdom that conquered the world power represented by the head of gold on Daniel’s image); and the Medo-Persian Empire formed the kingdom that, in turn, was conquered slightly over two hundred years later, in Babylon, by Alexander the Great and his armies (which then brought into existence the third part of Daniel’s image, that represented by the belly and thighs of brass [cf. Daniel 2:32, 39; 8:3-8]).

The Medes were the dominant power at first.  But, according to secular history, about the time that the Medo-Persian Empire became the center of world power, the dominance in power shifted from the Medes to the Persians.  And the Persians continued as the dominant power throughout the empire’s status as the world power of that day.

(Following the Medo-Persian kingdom being depicted by the second part of the image in Daniel chapter two, this dual kingdom was later depicted in the book through a bear raising itself up on one side [Daniel 7:5], which is subsequently explained by the horns on a ram in the next chapter.  The ram had two high horns [representing “the kings of Media and Persia” (cf. Daniel 8:3, 20)], “but one was higher than the other, and the higher [the king of Persia] came up last” [Daniel 8:3].)

The Persian kingdom had become the dominant power long before the time of Ahasuerus’ reign, as seen at the beginning of the book of Esther.  Note that this world power is referred to as that of “Persia and Media” at this time (i.e., Persia mentioned first, in accord with the power-structure of the kingdom [Esther 1:3; cf. Esther 1:18-19]).  And the time of his reign — several generations following the captivity under Nebuchadnezzar (Esther 2:5-6) — would be in complete accord with the probable identity of Ahasuerus (a title or family name, similar to “Herod” in the gospel accounts).  Ahasuerus in Esther was probably Xerxes (the son of Darius in Daniel 5:31), who ruled the Medo-Persian Empire during the years 486-465 B.C.

(There is one exception to Persia being mentioned before Media in the book of Esther, and that occurs in Esther 10 where mention is made of “the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia” (Esther 1:2).  However, it would only naturally follow that Media should be mentioned first when this book was referenced, for this book contained records dating back to the time when Media rather than Persia was the dominant power.  In this respect, attention was called to the original title or way in which the book was known, not to the present status of power among the two nations forming the kingdom.)

Thus, the book of Esther has to do with the most powerful of all the kings on earth ruling over the world empire of that day.  In conjunction with his reign, his queen is brought to the forefront different places throughout the book.  And the queen is brought to the forefront in this manner for a revealed reason, set forth and established in an unchangeable fashion in chapter one of the book.

This is the setting for the book of Esther, a book fraught with types and meaning.

TYPICAL STRUCTURE OF ESTHER

Events in the book of Esther occurred almost a millennium after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt (a type of the world); and these events occurred during a time when the Israelites were once again under Gentile subjection, awaiting that time when the One greater than Moses would return to lead the people out from a worldwide dispersion (i.e., awaiting that time when Christ will return at a yet future date to lead the Israelites out from that typified by the Exodus from Egypt under Moses).

Thus, events in the book of Esther occurred at a mid-point between the actions of Moses in the type and the actions of Christ in the antitype.  And, at this juncture in the history of Israel and the nations, God, through bringing circumstances and events to pass among Israel and the nations over a period of centuries and millennia, could take the current events of that day and use these events to reveal great spiritual truths concerning both history and prophecy surrounding the same nations carrying out these events.

God’s sovereign control over all things throughout Man’s Day has allowed Him to take Old Testament history and, through divine design, structure this history in a manner that is highly typical in nature.  Only an omniscient and omnipotent God, who possessed perfect knowledge of all things — the beginning, the end, and all that lay between — could, within His sovereign control over all these things, reveal His plans and purposes in this manner.

And, accordingly, only through studying God’s revelation after the manner in which God has structured this revelation can man come into a proper understanding of the revealed Word.

1)  CHAPTERS ONE AND TWO

The whole of the story as it pertains to Israel — typified by the queen (Vashti, then Esther) — is set forth in the opening two chapters of the book.  The remaining chapters (Esther 3-10) simply provide commentary for that previously revealed in the opening two chapters.

But first, the type, as it is set forth in each of these opening two chapters:

a)  The Type — Chapter One

Esther 1 begins with the king making a great feast.  Mention is made of his power and the riches of his kingdom, with those in positions of power in the kingdom being invited to the feast.  The feast was proclaimed “in the third year of his reign”; and, during this time, “he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days in all [six months]” (Esther 1:3-4).

Then the king made a feast to all who were present — to all the people “from great and small” — for “seven days.”  And, “on the seventh day,” the command was given “to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown.”  And this was to be done in order “to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold” (Esther 1:5, 10-11).

But, “Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command.”  And, because the queen refused to come, after the king had commanded her to come, “the king was furious, and his anger burned within him” (Esther 1:12).

Then the remainder of the events in chapter one surround that which was to be done concerning Vashti because she had refused to come at the king’s command.  The king consulted his advisors.  And because the actions of the queen had wronged not only the king but everyone in the kingdom as well, a decree, in keeping with her actions, was issued.

This decree was “a royal decree,” which had been “recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes.”  And the decree, because it was recorded among national law, could not be altered.  The decree stated the matter simply and clearly:

. . . that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. (Esther 1:19b; cf. Esther 1:15-19a)

This decree, in turn, was to be published throughout all of King Ahasuerus’ empire, in the various languages of all those throughout the empire.  This was done because other women in the empire might be inclined to follow Vashti’s lead.

Then, something additional was written in the decree concerning Vashti’s actions.  Because that which Vashti had done reflected negatively on the king’s authority and brought dishonor to the king, it was decreed “that each man should be master in his own house.”  This would turn matters around and result in wives honoring, not dishonoring, their husbands (Esther 1:17, 20-22).

b)  The Type — Chapter Two

Esther 2 begins with the king’s wrath being appeased and his remembering Vashti, “what she had done, and what had been decreed against her.”  Then the king’s servants suggested that a search be conducted for one to replace Vashti — a “young woman who pleases the king,” who would “be queen instead of Vashti” (Esther 2:1-4).

The search was begun; and Mordecai, whose great grandfather had been carried away in the captivity (under Nebuchadnezzar, which began about 605 B.C.), had a cousin named Hadassah, whose Persian name was Esther.  And Esther was among those “taken to the king’s palace” to later appear before the king (Esther 2:5-8).

Proper preparations would be made for meeting the king over one year’s time, divided into two equal periods of six months, with different things regarding preparation being accomplished during each period.  It was only at the end of this time — after complete and proper preparation had been made — that a young women would be taken in before the king (Esther 2:9-14).

When Esther’s turn finally came, she was taken in before the king “in the tenth month . . . in the seventh year of his reign.”

The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. (Esther 2:17)

The king then “made a great feast,” which was proclaimed to be the “Feast of Esther.”  And he “proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king.” (Esther 2:18)

At the same time, “Mordecai sat within the king’s gate.” And, while in this position, he became aware of a plot against the king.  Mordecai then made the matter known to Esther, who told the king.  An inquisition was conducted.  And, as a result, the two men involved in the plot were “hanged [impaled] on a gallows” (Esther 2:19-23).

c)  Antitype of Chapters One and Two

In different parts of Esther 1; 2, reference is made to various time-periods in connection with festivities, showing the honor of the king’s majesty, showing the riches of the kingdom, and bringing the queen before the king.  In chapter one, reference is made to “the third year,” “one hundred and eighty days [six months],” “seven days,” and “the seventh day” (Esther 1:3-5, 10).  And in chapter two, reference is made to “the tenth month” and “the seventh year” (Esther 2:16).

The whole of the matter has to do with different ways of viewing part or all of a single time-period in the antitype, set forth and established in an unchangeable manner in the foundational framework at the very beginning of Scripture, in Genesis 1:1-2:3.  And that which is revealed in the book of Esther has to do with commentary on these opening verses in Genesis (as does all other Scripture subsequent to these opening verses), providing additional sinews and flesh necessary to clothe the skeletal, foundational framework established at the beginning (cf. Ezekiel 37:1ff).

(I.E., the opening verses of Genesis establish the pattern for the whole of subsequent Scripture — God taking six days to restore a ruined creation [the earth], followed by a day of rest.  And this points to God taking six more days [6,000 years] to restore a subsequent ruined creation [man], to be followed by a day [1,000 years] of rest [ref. the editor’s book, in this site, The Study of Scripture BOOK, chapter 2, “The Septenary Arrangement of Scripture”].)

Israel was called into existence to occupy a particular position before the King — before God Himself — at a time designated by the number three, following a time designated by the number six, and during a time designated by the number seven.  All of these are seen in the Esther 1.  Then, in Esther 2, the number ten is brought into the picture in connection with another reference to the number seven.

Time, through the use of numbers in the preceding respect, is dealt with different ways in Scripture.  But, as previously stated, the whole of the matter must be in line with the foundational framework established at the beginning, i.e., in line with six days of restorative work, followed by a seventh day (a Sabbath) of rest.  And in the opening two chapters of Esther, one finds various ways in which Scripture deals with time in this respect.

In the third year” (Esther 1:3) points to the seventh day in the respect that Israel had been called into existence two days (2,000 years) before the nation was destined to be raised up to live in God’s sight on the third day, which, using the full reckoning of time, would be the seventh day (cf. Hosea 5:13-6:2).

Israel was called into existence after two days (after 2,000 years) of human history; and, according to Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, the Messianic Era would be ushered in at the end of the Jewish dispensation, 2,000 years following Abraham’s birth, 4,000 years following Adam’s creation.

But the present dispensation (during which time God deals with the one new man “in Christ” another two days, another 2,000 years, with Israel set aside) must fit into the equation.  The present dispensation is not seen within either Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy or Hosea’s reckoning of time, though it would relate to the fifth and sixth days (covering the complete six days, the complete 6,000 years) in the opening verses of Genesis.  And that which occurred during and following the complete six days in the opening verses of Genesis is that which is in view through events occurring during and at the end of the six months in Esther 1:4-5. 

Then the “seven days,” with the crowned queen being called into the king’s presence on “the seventh day” Esther (Esther 1:5, 10-11), is self-explanatory.  This, in the antitype, has to do with the entire seven days in Genesis 1:1-2:3, with Israel being called into existence during the six days in order to realize a particular position on the seventh day — the Sabbath day, pointing to the seventh millennium.

And “the tenth month” and “the seventh year” in Esther 2:16, in connection with the crown being placed on Esther’s head (Esther 2:17), point to exactly the same thing.  “Ten” is the number of ordinal completion, and all things will be brought to completion when that seen in these verses is brought to pass on the seventh day.

Then, Mordecai seated in the king’s gate completes the type — the Jews one day possessing the gate of the enemy (Genesis 22:17).

Israel in the Old Testament was called into existence to occupy a particular position at a particular time.  Israel refused, and the nation was set aside.  That’s what Esther 1 is about.

However, the day is coming when God will once again turn to Israel and complete His dealings with this nation, establishing Israel in the position to which the nation was called, during a time that God has established.  That’s what Esther 2 is about.

Thus, in the preceding respect, the opening two chapters of Esther cover the complete history of Israel — from the time of the nation’s inception to the time when the nation realizes her calling, in the Messianic Kingdom.

2)  CHAPTERS THREE THROUGH TEN

These eight remaining chapters in the book of Esther provide commentary, filling in details, for the complete story that has already been told in Esther 1; 2.  This commentary, when seen in the antitype, fits into the latter part of the time covered by chapter one and ends at the same place where chapter two ends.

The arrangement of God’s revealed Word after this fashion — a complete sequence of events, followed by commentary — is something seen quite often in Scripture.  Actually, as previously seen, viewing Genesis 1:1-2:3 in connection with subsequent Scripture, the whole of Scripture has been structured in this manner (cf. Matthew 17:1-5; 2 Peter 1:15-18; 3:1-8).

Revelation 12 would be one of the more classic examples of a section of Scripture structured after this fashion.  The complete sequence of events is given in Revelation 12:1-6.  Then Revelation 12:7-17 provide commentary for that which has already been stated in the opening six verses.

And this is the manner in which the book of Esther is structured — the complete story is given first, and commentary then follows.  And the latter (commentary on Esther 1; 2) is exactly what the last eight chapters deal with.

a)  The Type — Chapters Three through Ten

Esther 3 begins with the king promoting Haman to a high position of power.  From information provided in the book, his position of power appeared to be second only to the king himself.  And Haman (a Gentile), rather than Esther or Mordecai (both Jews), held this position of power.

Haman was placed over “all the princes that were with him.”  And “all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate” were commanded by the king to honor Haman in the position to which he had been appointed, bowing before him (Esther 3:1-2a).

But Mordecai, also at the gate, “would not bow or pay [Haman] homage.”  And this infuriated Haman to the extent that he, knowing Mordecai was a Jew, sought to not only slay Mordecai but all the Jews throughout the entire kingdom (Esther 3:2-6 [2b]).

And this sets the stage for that which occurs throughout the remainder of the book.

Haman, seeking to bring about the destruction of the Jews, instead, ultimately brought about his own destruction, along with that of his house as well.  Haman had built a gallows upon which he planned to have Mordecai hanged (impaled).  But, through God’s providential control of all things, the tables were turned, with Haman himself subsequently being hanged (impaled) on the gallows.  And not only was Haman hanged (impaled) on the very gallows that he had built for Mordecai, but his ten sons were subsequently slain and hanged (impaled) on this same gallows as well (Esther 3:8-9:14).

(Relative to the preceding, the English text in most versions refers to being hanged on a gallows, as the two men were hanged on a tree at the end of Esther 2.  The thought though, in all instances throughout the book, has to do with being hanged in the sense of being impaled, whether on a tree or on a gallows.)

Then, following Haman’s overthrow, instead of a Gentile continuing in power, a Jew was promoted to the position that Haman had held.  The house of Haman was given to Esther the queen; and Esther, in turn, placed Mordecai — who had been promoted to a position of power directly under the king — over the house (Esther 8:1-7; 10:3).

b)  The Antitype of Chapters Three through Ten

The account of Haman, his love for both recognition and power, his hatred for the Jewish people, his ignominious end, and the ultimate triumph and exaltation of a Jew to the position of power previously held by a Gentile have to do with that future time when God turns back to and completes His dealings with the Jewish people.  These dealings will complete the full time seen in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, bringing “the times of the Gentiles” to a close (Luke 21:20-24).  And the long-awaited Messianic Era will then follow.

Haman” typifies the man of sin (Antichrist), who, in the middle of the coming Tribulation (Daniel’s Seventieth Week), will find himself occupying the same position in Satan’s kingdom that Haman occupied in Ahasuerus’ kingdom.  Satan (ruling the present world kingdom under God, though a rebel ruler) will give to this man the same thing that He offered to Christ in the temptation account (Luke 4:5-6).  Satan will give to this man “his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:2).

Though giving his throne to Antichrist, Satan will still hold the same regal position to which he was appointed in the beginning.  God alone can appoint or remove rulers, and Satan will be removed from his present position only after Christ returns (cf. Daniel 4:17, 25; Revelation 19:17-20:3).  But, regardless, the man of sin will still exercise power emanating from God’s throne through Satan’s throne in the same manner in which Haman exercised power emanating from Ahasuerus’ throne.

Scripture deals with matters surrounding the emergence of this man at the end of Man’s Day in a manner far more extensive than many realize.  Numerous types and prophecies have to do with the day when this man will be upon the earth; and most also continue into the end of the matter, into the Messianic Era.

The book of Esther forms a good illustration of the preceding.  Note that the larger part of this book has been given over to the emergence of this man, that which he will do, and that which will resultantly occur.  Then matters end with conditions that foreshadow the coming Messianic Era.

This man was on the scene in type at the time of the inception of the nation in the book of Exodus.  There was an Assyrian Pharaoh ruling Egypt in that day (the Assyrians had conquered Egypt, and an Assyrian Pharaoh ruled Egypt).  And this Assyrian Pharaoh foreshadowed the future Assyrian (the man of sin, who will arise from within the territorial boundaries of the old Assyrian kingdom, which covered parts of present day Iraq, Iran, and Turkey [cf. Isaiah 10:5; 14:25; 30:31; 31:8; 52:4; Daniel 8:22-25; Hosea 11:5]).

And this man will be on the scene when God completes His dealings with the Jewish people at the end of Man’s Day (Revelation 13:1ff).  The type in Exodus, having to do with not only this man’s activities but his destruction in the Red Sea as well, foreshadows that which will occur when this man emerges in the antitype.  And that which occurred relative to the Jewish people — beginning with the appropriation of the blood of the slain paschal lambs in Exodus 12 and continuing with their departure from Egypt — foreshadows that which will occur in the antitype as well.

Almost the entire book of Exodus deals with prophecy in this respect.  That which is about to happen has all been foretold in this manner in various Old Testament books.  And each part of the Old Testament where these matters are dealt with provides another, slightly different, part to the complete word picture.

And the book of Esther is one of these books, providing part of the complete word picture.  This book centers on the Jewish people and the great enemy of the Jewish people in the end times.  And this book relates the matter from God’s standpoint, revealing those things that God chose to reveal, after the manner that He chose to use.
Chapter 2
Vashti Rejected

But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him. . . .

What shall we do to Queen Vashti . . . ?

If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. (Esther 1:12, 15, 19 [15a])

Esther 1 begins with the ruler of the world empire of that day (Ahasuerus), the most powerful of all the kings on earth, performing certain regal tasks relative to his kingdom.  As he sat on his throne, “he made a feast,” and “he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty.”  And these things were done in connection with set times — “the third year,” “one hundred and eighty days [six months],” and “seven days” (Esther 1:1-5).

Then, also in connection with these set times, “on the seventh day,” the king commanded that Vashti the queen be brought before him, “wearing her royal crown” (Esther 1:11).

The queen was to appear in the king’s presence at a set time, for a particular purpose.  She was to appear following the festivities, on the seventh day; and the purpose of her appearance had to do with regality, for the queen was to come forth wearing a crown.  Further, the king planned to openly present the crowned queen to those in his kingdom at this time, “to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold” (Esther 1:10-11).

But “Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command.”  The king was enraged, for Vashti, through this refusal, had dishonored the one with whom she ruled as consort queen.  And through dishonoring the king in this manner, she had “not only wronged the king, but also all the princes, and all the people who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus (Esther 1:12-16).

And because of Vashti’s refusal to come, she was rejected as queen.  Not only would she never again be allowed to appear before the king, but “her royal position” would be taken from her and given to “another who is better than she.”  And this matter was made known through a decree issued by the king and published throughout the kingdom in all the various languages of those in the kingdom (Esther 1:17-22).

That is the story seen in chapter one.  It is actual history fraught with significance and meaning.  This chapter forms one part of the end result of God, through His sovereign control of all things, bringing events and circumstances to pass in such a manner that He could use the end result of His work (in this case, events in the book of Esther) to teach His people great spiritual truths.  And, drawing from biblical history, the central means that God uses to make known spiritual truths in this manner is typical teachings.

Esther 1, within a type-antitype framework, has to do with God ruling over a province in His kingdom (God ruling over the earth).  This chapter centers on certain things concerning the King and this one segment of His kingdom, which lead into certain things concerning the queen (Israel, the wife of the King).

This chapter has to do with God and a province in His kingdom, with Israel’s calling relative to the King and this province, with Israel’s refusal to come at the King’s command, and that which the King did about the matter.  And, in this manner, this chapter covers the complete history of Israel, up to and including the present day and time.

And note where the emphasis is placed in the book of Esther.  It is placed first on set times in which certain things are brought to pass.  In complete keeping with these set times, there was a display of the riches of the kingdom, along with the splendor and greatness of the king’s majesty.  And this all led into things stated about the queen, who was to be brought forth in a regal capacity, on the seventh day.

Bringing matters over into the antitype, God’s plans and purposes are carried out at set times.  In complete keeping with these set times, the riches of God’s kingdom have been/are being/will be made known, along with the splendor and greatness of His majesty.  And, within a Scriptural framework, this all leads into things stated about the queen (about Israel), whose calling involves being brought forth in a regal capacity, on the seventh day.

(For a detailed discussion of the significance of the set times mentioned several places in Esther 1 [along with Esther 2 as well], see chapter 1 in this book.)

ISRAEL’S CALLING

Man, at the time of his creation, was brought forth to rule in God’s kingdom.  Satan, the incumbent ruler whom God had placed over the province in the beginning, had disqualified himself; and man, created in God’s image, after God’s likeness, was brought on the scene to replace the disqualified ruler (cf. Genesis 1:26-28; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:14-19).

However, because of Satan’s intrusion, man, following his creation, found himself (as Satan) disqualified to rule.  Satan, knowing the reason for man’s creation, sought to thwart God’s regal purpose for man through bringing about his fall.  And, with man in a fallen state, Satan was allowed to continue holding the scepter (cf. Genesis 3:1-7; Luke 4:5-6; John 14:30; Ephesians 3:9-11; 6:12).

(A principle of biblical government necessitates that an incumbent ruler, if he is to be replaced, must continue holding the scepter until his replacement is on the scene and ready to ascend the throne.  Then, action will be taken by God [the One who both places and removes rulers (Daniel 4:17, 25)].

An example of this can be seen in the account of Saul and David in 1, 2 Samuel.  Saul, through disobedience, had disqualified himself; and David was then anointed king in Saul’s stead.

But David didn’t immediately ascend the throne.  Saul continued in power until David was ready to ascend the throne [in God’s time, when David had acquired all of the necessary qualified rulers to govern with him in the kingdom].  Only then did God remove Saul and give his crown to David.

And exactly the same thing is true in the antitype.  Satan, through sin, has disqualified himself; and Christ has been anointed King in Satan’s stead.

But, as in the type, Christ didn’t immediately ascend the throne.  Though Christ has already been anointed King, Satan continues to hold the scepter.  And Satan will continue holding the scepter until Christ is ready to ascend the throne [in God’s time, when Christ will have acquired all of the necessary qualified rulers to govern with Him in the kingdom (through the work of the Spirit during the present dispensation)].  Only then will God remove Satan and give the crown to His Son.)

Both man’s fall and Satan’s fall have to do with regality, but their respective falls differed in one major respect.  Following man’s fall, unlike events following Satan’s fall, redemption was provided; and redemption was provided with one end in view — man realizing the purpose for his creation in the beginning.

But still, though redemption was provided, man had to wait for God’s time before he could exercise regal power.  And, even though almost 6,000 years have come to pass since Adam’s fall, the time for man to rule has not yet arrived.  The time for God to remove the incumbent ruler and place another One in his position is still future.  We’re still living during that day and time when Satan has been allowed to continue holding the scepter.

Thus, man seeking to rule today, should he be successful, would find himself ruling before the time.  And, ruling before the time, he could only find himself occupying a position of power in the present kingdom, in Satan’s kingdom.

Satan and his angels presently rule the earth through the Gentile nations, from a heavenly sphere.  This is the way in which the present kingdom of the heavens (under Satan) is structured, paralleling the way in which the coming kingdom of the heavens (under Christ) will be structured.  And man exercising regal power today, among the nations of the world, can only find himself ruling under a fallen angel who occupies a position of power with Satan, seated in the present kingdom of the heavens (Daniel 10:13-14, 20). 

For an unsaved person to occupy a position of this nature is one thing, but for a saved person to occupy a similar position is a completely different matter.  Saved individuals have a calling to occupy regal positions in the coming kingdom of Christ (from a heavenly sphere), not regal positions in the present kingdom of Satan (from an earthly sphere); and for a saved person to aspire to occupy a position of power in the present kingdom of Satan could only be an act diametrically opposed to his high calling.

Viewing the matter from the framework of the type in 1 and 2 Samuel, such action on the part of saved people would be comparable to one or more of those who had joined themselves to David out in the hills leaving the camp of David and returning to Saul’s kingdom, in a regal capacity.  Christians doing something of this nature will find themselves ruling before the time, in the wrong kingdom.  And such can only lead to dire consequences:

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. (2 Timothy 2:4-5)

Man is to exercise regal power on the seventh day, in Christ’s kingdom, not prior to the seventh day, in Satan’s kingdom.  And man is to bide his time, waiting for that future day.

Man, at the time of his creation, was brought forth on the sixth day, for regal purposes; and man’s creation for regal purposes could only have been with a view to the seventh day, for that was the only day left within the framework of the complete type seen in Genesis 1:1-2:3.

Then, the same thing is seen relative to Israel in the opening two chapters of Esther.  Vashti, in chapter one, was to appear before the king, wearing her crown, “on the seventh day”; and Esther, in chapter two, appeared before the king, wearing this same crown, “in the seventh year” (Esther 1:10-11; 2:16-17).

Thus, man’s calling to exercise regality has to do with one time alone.  It has to do with the coming seventh day, the coming seventh millennium, the Messianic Era.  Satan will continue on the throne until that time.  And man exercising power today can only do so before the time, within the wrong kingdom.

1)  BUT, GOD’S DEALINGS WITH ISRAEL

Regality in relation to Israel during the past dispensation though presented a slightly different situation than exists for Christians during the present dispensation.  Following Adam’s fall, any man seeking to exercise regality among the nations could only rule in one realm.  He could only rule in Satan’s kingdom, under a fallen angel ruling with Satan.  But, when God created a second man (Jacob [Isaiah 43:1]), with a nation emanating from the loins of this second man (the nation of Israel), things changed in this respect.

Following the nation of Israel being brought into existence, God had a nation that could exercise regality within the sphere of Satan’s kingdom, though separate from exercising this power in connection with the kingdom itself.  Michael would be the “prince” over Israel (Daniel 10:21), not an angel in Satan’s kingdom (Daniel 10:13, 20).  Israel would occupy the position of not only God’s firstborn son (only firstborn sons can rule in this manner) but also that of the wife of Jehovah (the King could rule only in conjunction with a queen, fulfilling a requirement seen in Genesis 1:26-28 — “let them [the man and the woman together] have dominion”).  Thus, God could rule in “the kingdom of men” (Daniel 4:17, 25), through Israel, within a theocracy, in this manner.

This rulership within the theocracy though had to be entirely Jewish.  That is, those exercising this rulership had to be from the lineage of Jacob through his twelve sons, ruling within a nation comprised of individuals from this same lineage.

The descendants of Jacob alone comprised a nation that could exercise regality in this manner, separate from Satan’s rule.  The regal system that God established for Israel wouldn’t, for example, have worked through a Jew ruling in a Gentile nation.  That would be no different than a Christian today ruling in a Gentile nation.  The Jew during past time would have found himself completely out of place; and the Christian today can only find himself equally out of place.

The Jew was (and remains today) of the old creation in Jacob (separate from the Gentiles), and the Christian is a new creation in Christ, a part of the one new man (separate from both Israel and the Gentiles).  A Jew during the days of the Old Testament theocracy (and even today) who associated himself with a Gentile power in a regal capacity would simply have found himself associated with power in Satan’s kingdom, exercising power in the kingdom under a fallen angel, exactly as any Gentile holding a similar position.  And the same would be true for Christians today.

The simple fact of the matter is that Israel was called into existence to rule during Man’s Day (while Satan still held the scepter), within a theocracy.  Israel was to rule in this manner, within the sphere of Satan’s kingdom, though separate from exercising regal power in connection with the kingdom itself.  And the Gentile nations within Satan’s kingdom were to be both ruled over and blessed through Israel within the theocracy.

2)  STILL, WITH THE SAME END IN VIEW

But, despite all of the preceding, the full and ultimate end of Israel’s regal calling had to do with the seventh day, the seventh millennium, the Messianic Era.  This is made plain from not only man’s creation on the sixth day (with a view to the only day left, the seventh day) but from that which is seen in the first two chapters of Esther as well.

The crux of Esther 1; 2 — the introductory chapters to the book, which relate the complete history of Israel, from the time of the nation’s inception to the Messianic Kingdom — has to do with a crowned queen being brought forth “on the seventh day,” “the seventh year.”  And, comparing Scripture with Scripture (going back to Genesis 1; 2 and progressing from there), this can only point to one thing.

The full and ultimate end of Israel’s calling has to do with the Messianic Era, not with the Old Testament theocracy.  Israel’s calling during Old Testament days was not an end in itself, as the Law governing the Jewish people within the theocracy was not an end in itself.  Rather, Israel’s calling was designed to lead into and reach an ultimate goal only during the Messianic Era.

ISRAEL’S REFUSAL TO COME

The history of Israel though, in relation to the nation’s calling, could be summed up under words such as a disobedient people, a rebellious people, a people who had forsaken and rejected God and His Word.  And, because of this, toward the closing years of the Old Testament theocracy, God pictured the nation, from a spiritual standpoint, as sick and unsightly beyond one’s imagination.

Because the nation had become “a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers . . . corrupters,” ones who had “forsaken the LORD,” God viewed the nation as sick, “from the sole of the foot even to the head.”  The nation was viewed as completely unsound, a people whose spiritual appearance before God was that of “wounds and bruises and putrefying sores” (Isaiah 1:1-6).

And not only was this the case, but, because of Israel’s disobedience, even the land of Israel itself had become in a parallel condition to that of the people.  The land was pictured as desolate and devoured by strangers, with the cities pictured as burned with fire (Isaiah 1:7).  And, as with the result of Israel’s disobedience, this was also in exact accord with God’s promise (Leviticus 26:33).

Israel’s calling was of such a nature that obedience would result in the nation being taken to the heights (Leviticus 26:3-13; Deuteronomy 28:1-14), or disobedience would result in the nation being taken to the depths (Leviticus 26:14-39; Deuteronomy 28:15-68).

And exactly the same thing can be seen in the Christians’ calling today (e.g., contrast Romans 1:1-17 and Romans 1:18-32; all thirty-two verses deal with Christians, not just the first seventeen).

God will reward man’s adherence to and obedience surrounding the greatest things He has ever designed for redeemed man.  And the opposite of that is equally true.  God will not take lightly man’s aversion to and disobedience surrounding that which He deems of utmost importance.  This applies equally to Israel during the past dispensation and to Christians during the present dispensation.

When one reads sections of Scripture such as Leviticus 26:1ff and Deuteronomy 28:1ff relative to Israel, or 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12 and Hebrews 10:26-39 relative to Christians — in the light of man’s calling (regal) — the whole of the matter, as it pertains to both Israel and Christians, can be clearly seen.

Matters surrounding Israel’s disobedience have been openly revealed for man to see during Man’s Day, as was David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba.  David’s sin was committed in connection with Israel’s earthly calling (a king ruling those whom God had called to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” [Exodus 19:5-6] in an earthly land).  Accordingly, David’s sin was not only a sin against God but against Israel and the nations of the earth (because of Israel’s position in relation to the Gentile nations).  And, because of this, David’s sin was openly revealed at this time, not only “before all Israel” but “before the sun” as well (2 Samuel 12:12).

Israel’s disobedience, in like manner to David’s, has not only been against God, but against the nations of the earth.  God called Israel to occupy a particular position in relation to the Gentile nations, wherein blessings for these nations were involved.  And, because such blessings were withheld as a direct result of Israel’s disobedience, Israel’s sin has been openly manifested in the presence of these same nations.

This is why one finds Israel scattered among the Gentile nations, with the nations not only allowed to rule over Israel but to also be the instrument of God’s promised wrath upon Israel as well.  This is why there could be, and was, a Holocaust during the days of the Third Reich.  And this is also why there will yet be a far worse Holocaust during the days of the man of sin.  Matters surrounding the Christian though are of a different nature.  The Christians’ calling is heavenly alone and doesn’t presently involve the nations of the earth.  Thus, events of a parallel nature to those which Israel has undergone and continues to undergo, await decisions and determinations at the judgment seat of Christ.

It is Israel’s disobedience alone, not that of Christians, which involves the nations in this respect (though, within another frame of reference, parallel sins of numerous Christians are just as terrible in God’s sight; and these sins will one day be dealt with accordingly).  But, because Israel’s disobedience involves the nations of the earth during Man’s Day, God deals with Israel accordingly during the present day and time.

Israel’s disobedience in respect to God and the nations can be seen throughout the days of the Old Testament theocracy, beginning almost three and one half millennia ago.  This disobedience was brought to an apex at Christ’s first coming, and it will not be brought to an end until the time Christ returns yet future.

During the interim, as in the past, Israel continues to be called to an accounting for the nation’s disobedience.  And this continues to occur in exact accord with the way in which God has outlined the matter in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, with the Gentile nations being allowed to step in and help “forward the affliction” (Zechariah 1:14-15 KJV; cf. Joel 3:6-8; Zechariah 14:1-3; Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24).

1)  DURING THE OLD TESTAMENT THEOCRACY

Following Adam’s fall, God waited 2,000 years before he brought forth the man — Abraham — through whose lineage the nations of the earth were to be blessed.  Then, 500 additional years passed before God was ready to begin fulfilling his promises to Abraham concerning a seed and a land, through a nation emanating from his loins (Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:13-21; Exodus 6:3-8; 12:40-41).

Twenty-five hundred years beyond the creation of Adam, during the days of Moses, the nation emanating from the loins of Abraham found itself exactly where the same nation (because of disobedience) finds itself today.  The Israelites found themselves in a Gentile land (in “Egypt,” a type of the world in Scripture), ruled over and persecuted by a Gentile power.

God called the nation out of Egypt under Moses, to dwell in the land that had been covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  They were to dwell in this land as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”  And, in this position, they were to be placed “above all people,” with the Gentile nations of the earth being blessed through Israel (cf. Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 6:23; 7:6; 28:13).

However, unbelief and disobedience marked the history of the Israelites — from the days of Moses to that time centuries later when God allowed Gentile powers to come into the land, uproot his people, and carry them away captive into Gentile lands.

A theocracy existed in the land of Israel for about eight centuries, which reached its heights during David’s reign, extending into part of Solomon’s reign.  But this theocracy, because of Israel’s disobedience, never rose to the heights that God had intended.  It never became a theocracy in which the nations of the earth could be ruled by and blessed through Israel.

During the latter part of Solomon’s reign, things began to go even further awry.  And about fifty years after his reign, Elijah appeared, followed by Elisha, calling attention to sin, disobedience.

But matters remained unchanged.  And, to remain true to His Word, God was left with only one recourse.  The Israelites were to find themselves occupying a position diametrically opposed to the position that God had called them to occupy.

The Israelites would be removed from their land and scattered among the Gentile nations;  they would find themselves under subjection to these nations and mistreated by these nations in every conceivable way, exactly as God had promised (cf. Leviticus 26:21-22, 27-28, 33-39; Deuteronomy 28:25, 30, 37, 65-67).

In 722 B.C. the Assyrians were allowed to come into the land and take the northern ten tribes into captivity.  And slightly over one hundred years later, about 605 B.C., the Babylonians were allowed to come into the land and take the southern two tribes into captivity.  These were captivities from which only remnants of Jews have ever been allowed to return, more particularly at two different times — one that began seventy years following the Babylonian captivity, and the other that began in 1948, during modern times.

The nation itself has never been allowed to return from the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities.  Rather, because of disobedience, the nation has remained scattered among and persecuted by Gentile nations.  And that which happened in Europe during particularly the years 1939-1945 — 6,000,000 Jews slain as a result of Gentile persecution — is simply an extreme outworking of that which God promised would happen to His people if they did not obey His voice.  In short, the Holocaust was the direct result of two things:  (1) Jewish disobedience, and (2) God keeping His Word.

But the Holocaust also had to do with something else relative to God keeping His Word.  Though the Gentile nations may seek to carry out genocidal activities surrounding Israel, this nation cannot be destroyed.

As the bush burned during Moses’ day, apart from being comsumed (Exodus 3:2-3), the nation of Israel will continue to be persecuted by the Gentiles, apart from being destroyed.  For, as God was in the midst of the burning bush during Moses day (Exodus 3:4), or as a fourth person was seen in the fiery furnace during Daniel’s day (with the three Israelites [Daniel 3:19-25]), God has always resided in the midst of His people, Israel (even today, in their disobedience).  Thus, to destroy Israel, God Himself would have to be destroyed.

Two things relative to Israel in the preceding respect are contingent entirely upon God fulfilling that which He has promised in His Word.  One has to do with the position in which the nation of Israel finds itself today (scattered among and persecuted by Gentile nations), and the other has to do with the fact that Israel will continue as a people until God’s purpose for calling this nation into existence has been realized.

2)  AT CHRIST’S FIRST COMING

Christ’s first coming occurred about six centuries following that time when the complete nation (northern ten tribes and southern two tribes) had been removed from their land, carried away by Gentile powers, and scattered among the Gentile nations.  And His first coming occurred at a time slightly over five centuries following the return of remnants under Zerubbabel and Ezra.

These remnants formed the original nucleus for that segment of the nation that was in the land, under Roman dominion and persecution, at Christ’s first coming.  Most of the Jews at this time were still scattered throughout Gentile lands (Acts 2:8-11), and even the ones in the land of Israel found themselves under subjection to a Gentile power.

Christ’s first coming occurred during “the times of the Gentiles,” which began about 605 B.C., when Nebuchadnezzar was allowed to come into the land and begin carrying the remaining southern two tribes into captivity; and this time will continue until the heavens are opened, Christ returns, overthrows Gentile world power, and places Israel in the position to which the nation was called in the beginning.

Jerusalem was being trodden down of the Gentiles when Christ came the first time, and it will be trodden down of the Gentiles for the three and one-half years immediately preceding Christ’s return (Luke 21:20-24; John 19:10-15; Revelation 11:2).  Then, “the times of the Gentiles” will end, for Israel, in that day, will be brought to the place of repentance.

In this respect, note the message of John, Jesus, the twelve, and the seventy at Christ’s first coming.  It was a simple message:  “Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand” (cf. Matthew 3:2; 4:17; 10:7; Luke 10:9).  There was a call for national repentance, and this was to be followed by national baptism (showing exactly the same thing that the Red Sea passage during Moses day depicted relative to the entire nation in the type [ref. the author’s book, in this site, Search for the Bride BOOK, chapter 6]).

And this call for repentance, followed by baptism, was voiced by Peter on the day of Pentecost, after the promised Spirit had been sent:  “Repent and be baptized every one of you [the entire nation of Israel] . . . .” (Acts 2:38a).

This was the beginning of the re-offer of the kingdom of the heavens to Israel (which lasted until about 62 A.D.).  During the original offer (during Christ’s earthly ministry), the message was to the Jew only (Matthew 10:5-6; 15:24).  But, during the re-offer, the message was to the Jew first, not to the Jew only.  And, during this time, it was also to the Gentile (Romans 1:16; 2:9-10, 16).

However, Israel refused to repent during both the offer and the re-offer of the kingdom.  During the offer, the Jewish people climaxed their unbelief and disobedience through rejecting the message and the Messenger, pledging their allegiance to a pagan Gentile king, and then crucifying the true King (John 18:19-23; 19:14-15).  This was then followed by continued rejection during the re-offer of the kingdom (Acts 2:37-41; 3:19-4:3, 10-21; 5:17-33; 7:51-8:4; 9:20-29).

This left God with only one recourse — to continue fulfilling in the lives of the Jewish people that which He had stated in His Word relative to the consequences of disobedience (e.g., allowing a Gentile power to destroy Jerusalem in 70 A.D., followed by a scattering of the remnant in the land, followed by continued Gentile persecution).  Though the nation was set aside for a dispensation, there must be a continuation of the outworking of the principles that God has laid down in His Word surrounding Israel (for Jew or Gentile, as seen in Genesis 12:3).

Man is living today during a time when Israel remains in an unbelieving and disobedient state.  And God’s Word, relative to Israel in this state, must be fulfilled.  That’s what most of the book of Esther is about.  The matter is introduced in chapter one, and the remaining chapters present the full and ultimate end of the matter — the unparalleled sufferings that the nation is about to undergo, followed by the glory to then be revealed.
Chapter 3
Esther Accepted

After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decreed against her. (Esther 2:1)

Chapter two begins with a reference back to events in the previous chapter.  Ahasuerus had commanded Vashti to come forth, at a particular time, wearing “her royal crown.”  But Vashti refused to heed the king’s command.  And the king, because of Vashti’s refusal, became enraged.  Vashti was rejected as queen; and her “royal position” was taken from her, with a view to her position being occupied by another (Esther 1:10-12).

Then, after a period of time, the king calmed down and his wrath subsided.  And after his wrath had subsided he remembered Vashti, that which she had done, and that which had been decreed against her (Esther 2:1).

The king’s servants, seeing where the king’s thoughts lay following his wrath subsiding, knew that something had to be done concerning the present state of affairs.  And the only thing that could be done was to find someone who could replace Vashti.  Therefore, the king’s servants suggested to the king that a search be conducted throughout the kingdom for a maiden who could “be queen instead of Vashti.”  And the suggestion “pleased the king” (Esther 2:2-4).

The remainder of the chapter is then taken up with a successful search for a new queen, the new queen being crowned, and conditions in the kingdom following this time.

During the search for a queen, Esther was among those singled out and brought into the king’s house.  And, after a time of preparation requiring twelve months, Esther’s turn came to appear before the king (Esther 2:8-16).

Esther, being properly prepared, was taken into the royal palace to appear in the king’s presence, in the tenth month, in the seventh year of his reign.  And it is recorded, apart from further revelation surrounding the matter,

The king loved Esther more than all the other women and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. (Esther 2:17)

The king once again had a crowned queen to rule in the kingdom with him.  A “great feast” followed, and the king “proclaimed a holiday [‘a rest’]” to all the provinces in his kingdom, and “gave gifts” to those in the kingdom (Esther 2:18).

At the same time, Mordecai is seen seated “within the king’s gate,” which, when viewed in the light of the antitype, portends regality (Esther 2:17-23).  And all of this — Esther crowned queen, and Mordecai seated within the king’s gate — sets the stage for the way matters are depicted in different places throughout the remainder of the book.

The matter is established in chapter two; and both Esther and Mordecai, throughout the remainder of the book, are seen typifying Israel at different times and under different circumstances, with regality in view.

(Reference to a twelve-month preparation time, the tenth month when Esther appeared, and the seventh year of Ahasuerus reign [Esther 2:12, 16], are fraught with significance and meaning.  And the previous reference to certain days and years in chapter one [Esther 1:3-5, 10] is seen in this same respect as well [ref. chapter 1 in this book].

“Twelve” is the number of governmental perfection; Esther was brought forth after twelve months, with a view to regality.  “Ten” is the number of numerical completeness; Esther was brought forth at the close of a complete period of time.  And “seven” has to do with the completeness of that which is in view; in this case, completeness is shown by a time of “rest” completing a previous period of time.  “Rest” for those inhabiting all the provinces in Ahasuerus’ kingdom occurred during “the seventh year of his reign.”

The complete picture seen through the use of both the numbers ten and seven is twofold.  It has to do with Israel exercising regal power at the full end of the days, shown by the number ten.  Then, the number seven, showing another facet of completeness, has to do with Israel exercising regal power at the end of Man’s Day [having to do with six days, six millennia], during the coming Sabbath rest awaiting the people of God [during the coming seventh millennium].  The full seven days, seven millennia, form the complete period of time in view [cf. Genesis 1:1-2:3; Exodus 31:13-17; Hebrews 4:1-9; 2 Peter 3:1-8].)

THE KING’S WRATH APPEASED

Esther 2, forming a continuing type of Israel from Esther 1, has to do with information that continues and completes the story.  Both chapters together provide the complete history of Israel, extending from the time of the nation’s inception during Moses’ day (after Moses had appeared to his people a second time) to the time of the nation’s restoration when the One greater than Moses reappears (after Christ appears to His people a second time).

Chapter two, in this respect, begins with events in that future day when God’s wrath upon Israel will subside and be brought to an end.  And the remainder of the book, forming commentary material on Esther 1; 2, is in complete keeping with that seen in chapter one, the way in which chapter two is introduced, and the way in which chapter two continues and ends.

Most of the remainder of the book (Esther 3-9) has to do with events that will occur very near the end of God’s wrath being manifested toward Israel (which would relate to events in chapter one).  God’s wrath during this time will be manifested in all its fullness.  This will be “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7); and God’s wrath, during that coming day, will be manifested in such a full and complete manner that “unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved” (Matthew 24:22).

Then, the conclusion of the book (Esther 10) has to do with that day when God’s wrath will subside and will be brought to an end (which would relate to events in Esther 2).  Israel will be restored as the wife of Jehovah, a theocracy will once again exist upon the earth, and there will be a time of rest for individuals throughout the entire kingdom.

1)  GOD’S WRATH DURING THAT COMING DAY

God’s wrath upon Israel, resulting from Israel’s disobedience, has occurred down through the centuries, extending out into millennia.  God’s wrath, in this respect, can actually be seen occurring at various times throughout the entire 3,500-year history of the nation.

But, as severe and intense as conditions through which Israel has been brought at times in the past may appear — e.g., conditions in Europe during the days of the Third Reich — “the great day of his [God’s] wrath” is yet future (Revelation 6:17).  Israel is yet to pass through the most intense time of the nation’s sufferings.

Approximately three years following the end of World War II and the corresponding end of the Third Reich, a Jewish nation was brought into existence (reestablished) in the Middle East.  The leadership of this new Jewish state during those days declared Israel’s independence on May 14, 1948, and a people who had not existed as a nation since 70 A.D. found themselves once again a nation among the nations.

This nation was, in a respect, born out of the Holocaust; and the Jews forming the nation, looking back on those days, together echoed (and continue to echo today) the same cry for all to hear:  “Never Again!”

But Israel’s endeavors and cry in this respect — “Never Again!” — will prove to be in vain.  Something similar will happen again.  It has to happen again, for God’s wrath has yet to be appeased.  And, according to Scripture, when it does happen again, past exhibitions of God’s wrath upon His people will pale by comparison.

A remnant of Jews is in the land, in an unrepentant state, without breath (without spiritual life [cf. Ezekiel 37:1-14]), prior to the time when God’s wrath is appeased.  This remnant is there for a reason — to set the stage for the final, climactic exhibition of God’s wrath.  And God will manifest His wrath upon Israel in that day, in exactly the manner described in Scripture.

God’s wrath will be manifested in this manner, at that time, because of Israel’s disobedience; and this manifestation of God’s wrath will be with a view to bringing about the goal toward which the whole of the exhibition of His wrath has been moving since Moses’ day — to bring Israel to the place of repentance, in order that the nation might realize her calling.

When Scripture deals with God’s wrath upon the Jewish people, events surrounding “the great day of His wrath” — which will occur at the very end of God’s dealings with Israel during Man’s Day — are invariably brought to the forefront.  Almost every time that the subject is mentioned in Scripture, the end of the matter is brought into view.  Then events continue from that point and carry the reader on into the Messianic Kingdom.

And the revelation surrounding God’s wrath in the book of Esther is a case in point.  This is exactly the manner in which God’s wrath is dealt with in this book.  God’s wrath is introduced through events in Esther 1 and His wrath is done away with through events in Esther 2.  Then, Esther 3-10 provide commentary material for both Esther 1; 2.  Esther 3-10 though only deal with one part of God’s wrath, a wrath that was introduced in chapter one and done away with in chapter two; and chapters three through ten, as well, end with events foreshadowing Israel in the Messianic Era, which is seen at the end of chapter two.

Esther 3-10 deal only with God’s wrath as it will be manifested at the very end of Man’s Day, in all its fullness, during Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week.  And the emphasis is upon the last half of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, the last three and one-half years of the full seven years.  It will be during these last three and one-half years that God’s wrath upon Israel will reach an apex, with the reason for this wrath ultimately being realized.  And that which will ultimately emanate out of God’s wrath befalling His people is seen in the closing verses of the book, in Esther 10, with the Messianic Kingdom in view.

In the preceding respect, most of the book of Esther is solely about the last three and one-half years of the coming Tribulation, providing a wealth of information about that which will occur during this time.  That’s one reason why the book of Revelation, which also deals extensively with this same period, must be studied just as much in the light of the book of Esther as in the light of the book of Daniel (along with numerous other books bearing on the subject as well [books in both the Old and New Testaments]).

And all of these books (Esther, Daniel, Revelation, and all other books bearing on the subject) end exactly the same way.  They all end with God’s wrath ceasing, for the purpose and ultimate goal of His wrath will have been realized.

2)  GOD’S WRATH CEASING

God’s wrath will be brought to an end after Israel has been brought to the place where the Jewish people will have no choice but to call upon the God of their fathers.  God will then hear, remember His covenant with the Jewish people through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and turn His attention upon this nation once again (Exodus 2:23-25; 3:7ff).

That is what is portended in Esther 2:1 through Ahasuerus’ wrath subsiding and his remembering Vashti.  It points to that future day, at the conclusion of “the great day of His [God’s] wrath,” when God will remember Israel.

Israel, through God manifesting His wrath in all its fullness, will be brought to the place of repentance.  And that which is seen occurring throughout the remainder of the chapter foreshadows that which will occur after the purpose for God’s wrath has been realized.

God’s wrath will reach an apex and come to a climax after almost 3,500 years of Jewish disobedience, going all the way back to the time of the inception of the nation during Moses’ day.  The bush that burned with fire, apart from being consumed (Exodus 3:2-3), will then no longer burn.  But the One residing in the midst of the burning bush (Exodus 3:4) will continue to reside in the midst of the nation (Joel 2:27), though apart from a manifestation of wrath.  Rather, blessings will issue forth instead (Joel 2:32).

The people of Israel will be brought to the place where they will do that which God has said that they must do; and God, in turn, will then do that which He has said that He will do.  The people of Israel will humble themselves, pray and seek God’s face, and turn from their wicked ways.  Then, when the Jewish people do this, they have the promise that God will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

The solution for the whole of the existing Middle East problem (with almost daily skirmishes between the Arabs and the Jews, which affect the Gentile nations at large), from God’s viewpoint, is really that simple.  Israel has to be brought to the place of repentance.  This is what God, in His Word, has to say about the matter; and, accordingly, this is the only way in which Middle East peace can be effected.

And also, accordingly, where the Gentile nations of the world are concerned, the existing Middle East problem has a complexity beyond their ability to bring about any type solution.  And the reason for this is inseparably connected with that which Scripture reveals concerning the problem.  The same One who brought Israel’s present condition to pass (sick, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot) is the only One who can effect healing.  Scripture is very clear on this matter.  No one can deliver Israel, aside from the One responsible for the nation being in this condition (Hosea 5:13-14).

. . . I, even I, will tear them and go away; I will take them away, and no one shall rescue. (Hosea 5:14b)

And Scripture is also very clear concerning the fact that Israel is going to continue to be afflicted — God is going to continue manifesting His wrath upon a people whom He has made sick, because of their disobedience — until a certain revealed time.  God states that the Jewish people are going to remain in their present condition, being afflicted, “till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face” (Hosea 5:15a).  And this time of affliction will reach an apex and be seen in all its fullness at the very end of God’s dealings with Israel during Man’s Day (Hosea 5:15b).

In that coming day, during the affliction that the Jewish people will undergo as they pass through the Great Tribulation, Israel will be brought into such dire straits that the nation will have no choice other than to acknowledge and say,

Come, and let us return to the LORD; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.

After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. (Hosea 6:1-2)

After the full two days, the full 2,000 years of the Jewish dispensation (seven years yet remain), the nation is going to “return to the Lord.”  Then, the One who “has torn . . . has stricken” will provide healing, with the nation being raised up to “live in His sight.”

ESTHER CROWNED

Events surrounding Esther being crowned queen foreshadow events surrounding Israel being restored, as the wife of Jehovah, within a theocracy.  This, as seen in the type in Esther, will occur only after God’s wrath has ended; and, as seen in other types and other portions of Scripture, God’s wrath will end only after Israel has been brought to the place of repentance.

God, through Israel, following the nation’s restoration, will bring two things to pass concerning man that He set forth at the very beginning of His Word:  (1) man’s creation, for a purpose; and (2) man realizing that purpose in a certain manner.

Man was created for regal purposes.  Man was created to rule and to reign.  Satan, the incumbent ruler over the earth, had disqualified himself; and man was created to rule the earth in Satan’s stead.

Then, the manner in which man was to rule the earth had to do with how God had created man.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion [‘and let them rule’] . . . .”

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion [‘and rule’] . . . .” (Genesis 1:26-28a [26a])

(The Hebrew word translated “dominion” in Genesis 1:26-28 is radah, meaning “to rule.”  This is the same word used of Christ’s coming rule after the order of Melchizedek in Psalm 110:2 — “. . . Rule in the midst of Your enemies!”)

God did not create man to rule alone.  Rather, God created man a dual person physically, a two-part being, male and female.  The woman was created in the man; then God put the man to sleep, opened his side, and from this opened side God took a part of the man (a rib) which He then used to bring the woman into existence.

God formed the woman from a part of the man; and, though a separate entity, she was bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh (Genesis 2:21-23).  Since the woman was formed from and is identified with the man in this manner, a man, apart from a woman, is an incomplete being.  A woman, when united with a man (the marriage relationship), completes that man.

This is a principle, set forth in the opening two chapters of Genesis; and the matter has its basis in man’s creation, for purposes surrounding regality — “. . . let them [the man and the woman together, forming one complete person] have dominion [‘let them rule’] . . . .”

And the whole of the matter is at the center of that seen in the marriage relationship today and that to which it points.  This relationship brings a man and woman together in a manner that forms one complete person.  And the two who form this one complete person are seen in Scripture foreshadowing the union between Christ and His wife yet future (Ephesians 5:22-32; cf. Hebrews 2:10), following both the procuring of a bride and the marriage which will follow.

And the bride being procured (through the work of the Spirit during the present dispensation) and the marriage that will follow (through the work of the Son yet future) has to do with regality, which has its basis in that which God brought to pass in the opening two chapters of Genesis.  As it was with the first man and his wife, so will it be with the second Man and His wife.

With all of this in view, apart from taking certain things into account, it could only appear strange to see the biblical pattern surrounding rulership being followed in a pagan Gentile kingdom in the book of Esther.  This was a kingdom ruled by those who would neither know nor give thought to biblical principles that God had established.

Why would there be both a crowned king and a crowned queen in this pagan Gentile kingdom (showing, through a union of this nature, that they exercised regality together)?  This was not just a regal system that closely approximated that which God had established; rather, this was a regal system that was in exact accord with that which God had established.

There can be only one answer concerning why Ahasuerus’ kingdom had been established in this manner.  And that answer is found in God’s sovereignty.  God, in His sovereign control of all things, saw to it that even this pagan Gentile kingdom had previously followed the biblical pattern, which was to be resumed in the kingdom following Vashti being removed from her position.  And God brought matters to pass in this manner so that He could, at a later point in time, take these events in history and use them to teach His people deep spiritual truths relative to the nation of Israel.

There can be no biblically correct rule by man in the kingdom of men, relative to this earth, apart from a husband-wife relationship.  Man cannot rule alone, apart from the woman.  He has to rule as a complete being, with the woman completing the man.

But, though man can presently follow the biblical order concerning how he is to rule, man is not really in a position to rule today.  Man, at the time of his creation, was commanded to rule.  But, following man’s fall, this was not the case at all.  Note the difference in the command given to Adam and Eve preceding the fall (Genesis 1:26-28) and the command given to Noah and his sons (which would include their wives) following the fall (Genesis 9:1).  The command to rule is in the former setting alone (the command to Adam and Eve), for man, following the fall, was in no position to rule.

However, God provided a way whereby a nation could be brought into existence during Man’s Day that could exercise regality in the kingdom of men.  This had to do with Israel, ruling within a theocracy; and there had to be a Husband-wife relationship between God and Israel within the theocracy, in exact accord with that which had previously been established in the opening two chapters of Genesis (ref. chapter 2 in this book).

And God has provided a way in which Israel can one day be restored as His wife, within a theocracy; and He has also provided a way in which His Son can, at the same time, possess a wife and, with His wife, rule the theocracy.  The former is the central subject of the book of Esther, and the latter is the central subject of the book of Ruth.  And revelation in both books moves toward one end — bringing these things to pass.

According to Esther 2, the day is coming when God’s wrath will be brought to an end, God will remember Israel, and Israel will once again occupy the nation’s proper place in a restored theocracy.  The nation will wear the “royal crown,” and the Messianic Era will be ushered in.

This will be a time of rest — the Sabbath rest awaiting the people of God, following six days of God’s redemptive work — and blessings will then flow out through Israel to the nations of the earth (cf. Esther 2:17-18; Hebrews 4:4-9).

MORDECAI, SEATED IN THE KING’S GATE

. . . then Mordecai sat within the king’s gate.

In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king’s gate . . . . (Esther 2:19, 21a [19b])

Seated within the gate,” and “possessing the gate,” form expressions that Scripture uses to call attention to an exercise of power and authority.  The thought has to do with exercising control over that (a people or a territory) to which the gate leads.

Those “seated within the gate” of a city, for example, conducted legal transactions for those in the city, similar to legal transactions carried out in a modern-day courthouse; and, individuals occupying positions of this nature exercised governing power among the people  (cf. Genesis 19:1; 22:17-18; 24:60; Ruth 4:1ff).

Mordecai, at the same time Esther was wearing “her royal crown” within the palace, was seen seated “within the king’s gate” outside the palace.  Governmental control in the kingdom is seen in the antitype through viewing the complete word picture that Scripture sets forth, using both instances.  Esther’s position as crowned queen has to do with one facet of the matter, and Mordecai’s position at the king’s gate has to do with the other.

Mordecai, seated within the king’s gate, is seen bringing a matter to pass through Esther.  A plot against the king by two of the king’s officials was made known to Mordecai.  Mordecai then made the matter known to Esther, who “informed the king in Mordecai’s name.”  An inquisition was conducted, the matter was found to be correct, and the two men who had plotted against the king were impaled on a tree [gallows] (Esther 2:21-23).

In that coming day, when God restores Israel, the whole of that seen in the positions occupied by Esther and Mordecai will be seen in the position that the nation will hold.  Israel will be the restored, crowned wife of Jehovah; and Israel will find herself seated in the King’s gate, possessing the gate of the enemy.

Israel will be placed at the head of the nations, exercising governmental control over all the Gentile nations.  Israel, in that day, will be “a peculiar treasure” to the Lord, “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6).  And, as Israel occupies this position, with blessings replacing past curses, the Gentile nations will be blessed through the crowned wife of Jehovah.

This will be the day when the one sick “from the sole of the foot even to the head” will be healed, along with restoration provided for the “desolate” land covenanted to Israel through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Isaiah 1:5-27).  This will be the day when that revealed to Isaiah concerning “Judah and Jerusalem” will come to pass:

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.

Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore(Isaiah 2:2-4).

A “mountain,” used in the preceding respect in Scripture, signifies a kingdom (cf. Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45; Matthew 16:28-17:5).  And “the house of the God of Jacob” is, textually, a clear reference to the house of Israel, following deliverance from the prophesied desolation having previously befallen the nation, because of disobedience (cf. Daniel 9:27; Matthew 23:37-39).

The picture in Isaiah 2:2-4 is that of a restored nation — restored Israel (seen restored at the end of the preceding chapter) — in a restored theocracy, during the Messianic Era.  Israel is seen occupying a position at the head of the nations, all things having to do with the Word of God are seen emanating from Jerusalem, and peace is seen existing worldwide.

This is the biblical picture of Israel in the Messianic Era, and exactly the same thing is seen from another perspective in Isaiah chapter six:

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.

Above it stood the seraphim . . . 

And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” . . . 

So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar.

And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.” (Isaiah 6:1-3, 5-7 [2a]).

Uzziah was a leper, who had become leprous through disobedience (2 Chronicles 26:16ff).  Uzziah, in this respect, typifies Israel, who became sick through disobedience.  And Uzziah’s death, bringing an end to his condition, foreshadows that future day when Israel will be healed.

Israel’s healing is further dealt with in Isaiah 6:6-7.  Isaiah, penning this account, dwelt among a nation of unclean people.  And, in this condition, they could not properly look upon “the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).

But cleansing for the nation is prophesied (seen in Isaiah 6:6-7).  And, in that coming day, the Lord, in relation to the earth, will be seated “on a throne, high and lifted up”; and the whole earth will be “full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:1, 3).

And this same scene is repeated, in different ways, over and over throughout the Old Testament prophecies.  The book of Esther provides one way, the referenced passages from Isaiah provide two other ways, and the numerous other places in the Old Testament provide other ways.

Then, the whole of God’s revelation surrounding the matter presents the complete picture — a word picture, presented exactly as God would have man see Israel’s future destiny.
Chapter 4
Haman’s Rise to Power

After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him.

And all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage. . . .

When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath.

But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus-the people of Mordecai. (Esther 3:1-2, 5-6).

The book of Esther begins with a panoramic view of the entire history of Israel, revealed through the experiences of three individuals in the kingdom of Ahasuerus:  Vashti, Esther, and Mordecai.  The complete story is told in very brief form throughout Esther 1; 2. The things revealed in these two chapters have to do with Israel’s calling, Israel’s disobedience, Israel’s rejection, God’s wrath because of Israel’s disobedience, God’s wrath coming to an end, God remembering Israel, and Israel’s restoration.

In this respect, the first two chapters of Esther provide a sequence of events that briefly cover 3,500 years of Jewish history, extending from the things that occurred after Moses had appeared to his people a second time to the things that will occur after the One greater than Moses appears to His people a second time.  Then the remainder of the book (Esther 3-10) forms commentary material on these two chapters, providing details concerning events that will occur during the time covered by these two chapters.

This commentary material though does not deal with the whole panorama of Israeli history, as revealed in brief form in chapters one and two.  Rather, this commentary material begins with and deals with a particular aspect of this history — God’s wrath, because of Israel’s disobedience.

But the whole panoramic view of God’s wrath, as seen in the opening two chapters, is not covered.  Rather, revelation forming this commentary material begins with and deals with God’s wrath at the time this wrath reaches an apex, at the end of Man’s Day.

And further narrowing down and pinpointing the time when God’s wrath will be manifested in this manner, this part of the book centers on and deals with events during the last three and one-half years of this wrath.  And then the book moves into that time when God’s wrath will end, followed by subsequent events, which carries matters beyond Man’s Day into the Lord’s Day.

Thus, most of the book of Esther, as the book of Revelation, centers on events during three and one-half years of human history (related in Esther 3-9 and Revelation 6-19).  And, as in the book of Revelation, so in the book of Esther — one man is seen moving center-stage at this time.  This man is introduced at the very beginning of Esther chapter three, in the person of Haman; and the remainder of the book is mainly about God’s wrath being executed through the actions of this man, along with the end of the matter.

The man typified by “Haman” is the prophesied man of sin, the Antichrist, who will arise at the very end of the time fulfilling Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy.  This man will arise in the Middle East, from within the territorial boundaries of the northern segment of the kingdom of Alexander the Great, as it was divided following his death in 323 B.C. (which, today, would cover parts of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey [Daniel 8:8-12, 21-25]).

And this man will rule from that part of the world, not from Europe, as is often erroneously taught.  From an established Middle East power base in the proximity of ancient Babylon, this man, during the first part of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, will rapidly move into a position in which he will (near the middle of Daniel’s Seventieth Week) control all of Gentile world power.  He will then become the last “king of Babylon,” as he reigns from Babylon (Isaiah 14:1-7, 25).

Satan will give to this man “his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:2b).  At the end of Man’s Day, he will occupy the same position that Satan offered to Christ during the temptation account, at Christ’s first coming (Luke 4:5-6).

This man is seen occupying a central place in books such as Exodus, Esther, Daniel, and Revelation.  And he is seen occupying a prominent place in numerous other books as well (both Old and New Testaments).

Excluding that which Scripture reveals about Christ (for the whole of Scripture is about Him), Scripture deals with and reveals more about this man — Antichrist — than any other one person throughout Man’s Day.

Thus, in this respect, two prominent Men are seen in Scripture — One throughout Scripture, and the other in numerous parts of Scripture.  And one of the great paradoxes of the times in which we live is the fact that man, in general (which would include numerous Christians as well), knows very little about either person.  Man, in general, knows very little about the Christ who came and will come again; and man, in general, knows very little about the Antichrist who is to appear on the scene immediately before Christ reappears.

(God has used, continues to use, and will continue to use the Gentile nations as the instrument to execute His wrath upon Israel, because of the Jewish people’s disobedience.  God has used the Gentile nations to uproot His people from their land, and He has used the lands where the Gentile nations dwell as the place where His people are to be scattered and dealt with, leaving the Jewish people as strangers among and at the mercy of the Gentiles.

This scattering has occurred in the past, bringing about the present situation in the world [most of the Jews in the world today are not located in the Middle East, in the land of Israel, but remain scattered among the nations]; and this scattering will occur again [for the last time] when the remnant presently in the land is uprooted, followed by conditions in the world becoming far worse for the Jewish people than have ever existed throughout the 3,500-year history of the nation.

The Gentile nations often overstep their bounds and seek to help God “forward the affliction” of His people [Zechariah 1:14-15 KJV].  This has happened numerous times in the past [e.g., in modern times, through events in Europe during the days of the Third Reich]; and this will happen once again, yet future [during that coming day when Antichrist rules the world].

God, in order to bring His plans and purposes surrounding Israel to pass, allows the Gentiles to act in this manner.  But, through the actions of the Gentiles, not only will the promises set forth in Genesis 12:2-3 ultimately be brought to pass but the principles set forth in verse three must ultimately be brought to pass as well:

I will make you [Abraham] a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (Genesis 12:2-3)

God is using the Gentile nations to bring His disobedient son, Israel [Exodus 4:22-23], to the place where this son will acknowledge his offense.  This will allow His son to occupy the place seen in Genesis 12:2-3.

But, in turn, God is also going to deal with the Gentile nations in accord with verse three.  Though He is using the Gentile nations to bring His plans and purposes surrounding Israel to pass, He is going to ultimately judge these same nations in accord with their attitude toward and treatment of Israel, exactly as stated in Genesis 12:3 [cf. Esther 6:13; 7:6-10; 8:7; Joel 3:2-8; Zechariah 14:7-21; Matthew 25:31-46].)

HAMAN’S APPOINTMENT

It is clear from the way Esther 3 begins that Haman, in the past, had held a particular position of power in the kingdom.  The text begins with reference to that position and to Haman’s promotion to the highest of all positions under the king — a position “above all the princes that were with him” (Esther 3:1).

Haman is said to have occupied the “seat” above other princes who, from the text, could only have occupied subordinate positions of power in the kingdom.  The word “seat” (Esther 3:1) is the same word in the Hebrew text translated “throne” in Esther 1:2; 5:1 (cf. Genesis 41:40; Psalm 45:6; 103:19, where the same Hebrew word is also used).  The picture has to do with Haman occupying a high position of power in the kingdom, with his power emanating from the king’s throne; and it also has to do with subordinate rulers placed under Haman, with their power emanating from this same throne as well.

The things foreshadowed by these events, along with the time when they will occur, is quite simple to ascertain.  These things have to do with the man of sin, the Antichrist, being promoted to a regal position directly under the One whom the king typifies (directly under God), with subordinate rulers also occupying positions of power with him.

Since Satan presently occupies this high position — ruling the earth directly under God, though a rebel ruler — these things can only occur at and following that time when Satan gives to this man “his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:2b).

In this respect, Antichrist, at this time, will occupy Satan’s throne; and, though Satan will not be removed from his position as the earth’s ruler until Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation, he will give his regal power and authority to Antichrist.

And Antichrist, occupying Satan’s throne in this manner, will rule the earth in a position directly under God (a rebel ruler, as Satan), with the power and authority to rule coming from God’s throne.  And, occupying this position, Antichrist will have ruling princes under him who will exercise power from this same throne (cf. Romans 13:1).

According to Scripture, those ruling with Antichrist will form a ten-kingdom, Middle East confederacy (cf. Esther 9:10-14; Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45; 7:7, 19-20; Revelation 13:1; 17:12);  and those forming this confederacy will rule the earth from within the territorial boundaries of ancient Babylon (which is seen in the Old Testament as a city-state — a country with a capital city by that name, with the name “Babylon” including the surrounding country and other cities as well [Jeremiah 51:24, 29, 37, 42-43]).

According to the chronology of Revelation 12:3-4, this man will be positioned on Satan’s throne shortly before Satan and his angels are cast out of heaven onto the earth.  In verse three, all seven heads of the Beast (Revelation 13:1) are seen crowned, wearing diadems (Greek: diadema), which shows that they, at this time, will be exercising regal power.

The seventh head of the Beast will be the Antichrist.  This man (represented by the seventh head) will receive a deadly wound (apparently be slain, possibly by an assassin), become the eighth (through being raised from the dead, for this man will rise from “the abyss [Greek: abussos, ‘the underworld’]),” but still be of the seven (cf. Revelation 13:1-4, 14; 17:8-11).

(RefTwo Types of Crowns, in this site, for information concerning the use of the Greek words stephanos and diadema — words translated “crown,” apart from differentiation, in the English text.)

At this time, immediately before Satan and his angels are cast out of heaven, the final form of Daniel’s image will come into existence.  And the power represented by this part of the image, as the powers represented by the previous parts of the image (which it will incorporate [Daniel 2:35, 45]), can only bear rule from one location — Babylon, in the Middle East.  The image, depicting the beginning and the end of Gentile world power during the Times of the Gentiles, is associated with that part of the world alone.

And the closeness of this final form of the image coming into existence (Revelation 12:3) and Satan being cast out of heaven (Revelation 12:4; cf. Revelation 12:7-9) is shown by the time in which Antichrist will occupy Satan’s throne.

Revelation 11:7 reveals that this man will slay the two witnesses in Jerusalem following his rise to power (following his ascending Satan’s throne).  And the slaying of these two witnesses can only occur in the middle of the Tribulation, for not only will they have testified for three and one-half years but, following their being slain, the Gentiles will tread the city of Jerusalem under foot for a subsequent three and one-half years (cf. Revelation 11:2-3).

Then, Daniel 7:25 reveals exactly the same thing.  This display of Gentile power, under Antichrist, will last for “a time and times and half a time [three and one-half years, the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation].”

According to Revelation 12, Satan and his angels will have been cast out of heaven apparently very near, but before, the middle of the Tribulation.  After being cast out, Satan will first direct his attention toward one thing — slaying the “man child” (144,000 Jewish evangelists), whom Satan will know are destined to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom throughout the earth during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation (Revelation 12:4-6, 17; cf. Matthew 24:14).

These 144,000 Jewish evangelists will apparently have heard the gospel message and will have been saved through the testimony of the two witnesses during the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation (cf. Revelation 11:13; 12:17).  But once these Jewish evangelists have been removed from the sphere of Satan’s control, he will then continue to vent his wrath by turning upon the entire Jewish nation (Revelation 12:5, 13; 14:1-5).

At that time, a remnant from the nation will escape to a specially prepared place in “the wilderness,” where God Himself will take care of and protect them for “a thousand two hundred and sixty days,” for “a time and times and half a time” (cf. Revelation 12:5-6, 13-16).  And, again, as in the previous chapter and other portions of Scripture, the time element is the same — three and one-half years, the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation.

All of these things occurring in the middle of the Tribulation follow two revealed events:  (1) Satan giving to Antichrist his power, throne and great authority, and (2) Satan and his angels being cast out of heaven.  And both of these events appear to occur shortly before the middle of the Tribulation.

From comparing Scripture with Scripture, the picture appears to be that this man, Antichrist, at the beginning of the Tribulation, will possess sufficient power to make a covenant with Israel.  He will not be the world ruler at this time, but he will possess sufficient power to make this covenant (which will possibly be done through his bringing together an alliance of nations as the guarantor of the covenant).  And this covenant can only be one that will seemingly effect peace in the Middle East — something that has been and remains uppermost in the minds of those in the Middle East and the world at large today; and also something which, in that day (as today), will have eluded all his predecessors.

Then, near the middle of the Tribulation, when this man finds himself seated on Satan’s throne, possessing vast power and authority, he will break his covenant with Israel (for he will then possess power and authority over all nations, not just those in any type of possible alliance concerning the covenant).  He will then slay the two witnesses (which will have testified in Jerusalem during the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation); and this will be followed by his genocidal activities relative to Israel, as foreshadowed through Haman’s activities in the book of Esther.

As previously shown, Satan and his angels will have been cast out of heaven onto the earth shortly before these things occur.  And from this point forward, Satan and his angels will no longer rule the earth from a heavenly sphere.  They will have been cast out, with a view to Christ and His co-heirs ultimately taking the kingdom and ruling the earth from this same heavenly sphere.

Satan knows the things that Scripture reveals about Christ and His co-heirs, along with the things that Scripture reveals about Israel’s future destiny as it pertains to the theocracy.  He was present when God, in His sovereign control of all things, brought all events recorded in Scripture to pass.  And he has had centuries and millennia to study and reason out the significance and meaning of all these events.

Referring to an earthly prince, the prince of Tyre, it is said of Satan (and possibly of Antichrist as well [note that this individual is called “a man,” who will declare himself to be “God”; and he is also called “the anointed cherub,” who sought to be “like the most High”]),

Behold, you are wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that can be hidden from you! (Ezekiel 28:3; cf. Ezekiel 28:2, 14; Isaiah 14:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 8-9).

And, knowing the things that God has revealed about Israel in His Word, when Satan is cast out of his place in heaven, he will do all within his power to thwart God’s plans and purposes concerning Israel, directing his actions through the one to whom he will have given his power, throne, and great authority.

This is why wrath will befall Israel in the manner seen in Scripture during that coming day.  It has to do with God allowing His wrath upon Israel to be manifested through the actions of the Gentile nations under Satan, with a man seated on Satan’s throne.  The Gentile nations, led by the man seated on Satan’s throne — and, in this manner, led by Satan — in an effort to thwart God’s plans and purposes surrounding Israel, will forward God’s affliction of His people to an extreme without parallel in history.  And God will use this manifestation of wrath to bring about an end to the matter, to bring Israel to the place of repentance.

HAMAN’S POSITION

Esther 3 begins at the point Haman is promoted to a position of power and authority directly under the king.  Nothing is revealed in the chapter about this man’s previously held position in the kingdom.  He is only said to have been promoted, alluding to a previous position.  And matters surrounding Haman begin at this point, moving immediately into events having to do with things transpiring in the kingdom following his promotion.

The book of Revelation, revealing the actions of the one whom Haman foreshadows, is only slightly different.  Revelation 6 begins with an introduction of Antichrist (the seventh head of the Beast in Revelation 13) by introducing this man as he is seen during the first part of the Tribulation.

Through the breaking of the first seal, this man is seen crowned, seated upon a white horse, with a bow in his hand, going “forth conquering, and to conquer” (Revelation 6:2 KJV).  The Greek word used for the “crown” which Antichrist will wear at this time though is stephanos, not diadema (again, ref. Two Types of Crowns, in this site, for a discussion on distinctions between these two words).  But, in the middle of the Tribulation, when the seventh head of the Beast controls Gentile world power from Satan’s throne, the seventh head is seen wearing a diadem (a type crown depicted by the Greek word diadema, not one depicted by the Greek word stephanos).

Thus, there is a change of words in the Greek text for the type crown that will be worn by this man at this time, from stephanos to diadema.  Only the word diadema could point to one seated on the throne and exercising regal power.  The word stephanos would be used in any other instance (e.g., one anticipating a position of power, or one removed from his position of power [though still retaining his crown, awaiting the appearance of his successor to take the crown;  cf. Revelation 4:4, 10 where stephanos is used in the latter manner]).

The type crown seen upon Antichrist’s head in Revelation 6:2, depicted by the word stephanos, can only point to one thing.  His wearing this type crown can only point to a position that he will aspire to attain — his aspirations to exercise controlling power over all of the Gentile world, as he goes “forth conquering, and to conquer.”  And, when he achieves this goal, the word for “crown” in the Greek text changes from stephanos to diadema (Revelation 12:3).

Something very similar is seen concerning Christ in the book of Revelation, prior to the time He takes the scepter and reigns.  He is seen wearing a crown depicted by the word stephanos in Revelation 14:14 (same word used for the crown of thorns placed on Christ’s head at His first coming); but when that which is revealed in verses fifteen through twenty is brought to pass at the time of Christ’s return (cf. Revelation 19:11-21), He will come forth wearing many crowns upon His head (Revelation 19:12).  And the Greek word used for “crown” at this time is diadema, for Christ’s Father will have previously given to Him “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom” (Daniel 7:13-14); and He will be returning to the earth to overthrow Gentile world power and take the kingdom.

The diadems upon Christ’s head at this time though are not crowns that Christ will wear during the Messianic Era.  Rather, He will wear the crown presently worn by Satan; and the crowns upon His head at this time can only be crowns that will be worn by those who will rule with Him, His co-heirs.

(Ref. the author’s book, in this site, Judgment Seat of Christ BOOK, chapter 12, for a full discussion of the crowns on Christ’s head at the time of His return, along with the crown that He will wear during the Messianic Era.)

Thus, the book of Revelation, revealing the sequence of events foreshadowed through Haman’s rise to power and his actions in the book of Esther, covers certain things about Antichrist that are not covered in Esther.  And the reverse of that is equally true.  Certain things about this man and his reign are revealed in Esther (not seen in the book of Revelation) that will help to complete the picture seen in the book of Revelation.

As previously shown, the book of Esther, covering this period of time, begins with events occurring near the middle of the Tribulation and continues from that point.  Then, the book of Revelation adds to the picture.  Centering around this same period of time as well, the book of Revelation, unlike the book of Esther, drops back and briefly covers this man’s rise to power, though providing very little detail.

God’s revelation surrounding this subject always follows the same pattern any place in Scripture where it is dealt with.  God’s revelation concerning this man always centers on that which will occur when he ascends Satan’s throne, wears a diadem, and rules the world.

This is where the book of Esther begins when this man is introduced in the person of Haman.  And, as well, this is where the book of Revelation rapidly moves after this man is introduced as the rider on the white horse.  And exactly the same thing that is true of the book of Esther and the book of Revelation is also true of the book of Daniel and numerous other books in the Old Testament where the subject is dealt with.

Numerous Old Testament books deal with this subject, providing different facets of teaching; and Scripture must be compared with Scripture in order to properly grasp and understand the complete picture presented by the whole of Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:9-13).

1)  APPOINTED BY THE KING

In the type, Haman was appointed to his position in the kingdom by the king himself.  And it is no different in the antitype.  God is the One who rules in the kingdom of men, as well as in the angelic world.  He alone positions and removes rulers within the overall scope of His kingdom.

God is the One who placed Satan (in his unfallen state) in his present position — as the ruler of the earth:  “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you . . . .” (Ezekiel 28:14a).  And this would, as well, have to hold true for all other provincial rulers (angelic rulers over other provinces) elsewhere in God’s universal kingdom.  God alone positions rulers in His kingdom; and He alone, as in the case of that awaiting Satan, can remove these rulers.

Exactly the same thing holds true in the kingdom of men throughout Man’s Day.  God alone positions and removes rulers.  “Heaven rules,” beginning with God and progressing through angels; and then, on the earth in the present kingdom, this rule progresses from angels through men (among the Gentile nations, this rule progresses through angels in the kingdom of Satan to men; the nation of Israel though is an exception, with this rule progressing through Michael to men [Jews], apart from Satan’s kingdom [Daniel 10:13-21]).

. . . the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men. . 

. . . the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. . . .

. . .  Heaven rules. (Daniel 4:17, 25-26b [17b, 25b]).

In relation to God ruling in the kingdom of men in the preceding respect, different forms of government among nations are of no consequence.  Whether a democracy or a dictatorship, God, in His sovereign control of all things, brings matters to pass in such a way that Daniel 4:17, 25-26 holds true.  God alone is the One who positions and/or removes rulers — angels or men.  Satan will give his throne to Antichrist; but God alone is the One who can, and will, place this man on the throne.  He alone is the One who gives the kingdom “to whomsoever He will.”

The first king of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar, during the Times of the Gentiles) came into possession of and held his position after this fashion.  And this has been and will be true of any subsequent king of Babylon during the Times of the Gentiles, which will include the last king of Babylon (Daniel 4; 5).

2)  AN EXALTED POSITION

Haman — once he had been appointed to a position of power directly under the king, by the king himself — expected to be accorded honor in keeping with his exalted position.  The king had commanded that Haman be accorded this honor (Esther 3:1-2); and any refusal would not only reflect negatively upon Haman’s exalted position but upon the king himself, the one who had appointed Haman to this position.

In the world of that day, individuals occupying positions as kings, or exalted positions such as Haman held, were to be accorded honor of this nature.  It was customary among all nations, even among those comprising the nation of Israel, to bow or fall to the earth before such individuals, recognizing their position (cf. 2 Samuel 14:4; 18:28; 1 Kings 1:16).

The picture in Esther 3 though goes far beyond honor of the preceding nature.  Among numerous Gentile nations of that day, it was customary to ascribe divinity to an individual such as the king or Haman.  And bowing before a person of this nature would be openly acknowledging, by this act, that the exalted person was recognized by that individual to be more than a mere mortal.

This will answer questions concerning both Mordecai’s and Haman’s actions relative to the exalted position in which Haman had been placed by the king.

Mordecai refused to bow before Haman.  Why?  Unless something beyond simply his high position in the government was involved, this would not be in keeping with the custom of the Jews (according honor of this nature to individuals occupying high positions of power and authority).  Something else had to be involved.

Then there is the matter of Haman not simply seeking to slay Mordecai alone because of his refusal to bow before him.  Rather, Haman, because of Mordecai’s actions, sought to slay all of the Jews in the kingdom, not just Mordecai.  Why?

There can be only one answer to both questions.

Haman, in keeping with the custom among many Gentile nations of that day, was apparently viewed in a divine manner because of his exalted position.  For Mordecai to bow before Haman would have been an open display of worship by acknowledging that he recognized Haman’s ascribed divinity; and this would, in turn, have been an open repudiation by Mordecai of his faith in the one true and living God.

This would also be the reason why Haman, seeing Mordecai refusing to bow and worship him, knowing that he was a Jew, sought to slay not only Mordecai but all of the other Jews in the kingdom as well.  Haman knew that the same attitude that Mordecai exhibited would be exhibited by the whole monotheistic Jewish nation.  Thus, he looked for a way to slay all of the Jews in the kingdom.

(The antitype of Haman’s actions toward the Jewish people in this respect is dealt with in the next chapter of this book.)
Chapter 5
Sackcloth and Ashes

When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry.

He went as far as the front of the king’s gate, for no one might enter the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth.

And in every province where the king’s command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. (Esther 4:1-3)

Haman is introduced in the book of Esther as “the son of Hammedatha the Agagite” (Esther 3:1).  This identification is also repeated several subsequent places in connection with both Haman and his ten sons (Esther 3:10; 8:5; 9:10, 24).  Thus, the book associates Haman and his sons with Agag in this manner.

Agag, in Jewish history, was an Amalekite king who lived over five centuries earlier, during Saul’s day (1 Samuel 15:8).  Agag was the one who, indirectly, brought about Saul’s downfall (by Saul sparing Agag and refusing to destroy all of which he possessed, contrary to that which God had commanded [1 Samuel 15:3, 9-23]).  And, apparently because of Saul’s actions surrounding Agag, God, years later, used an Amalekite to slay Saul at the time He removed Saul from the throne (cf. 1 Samuel 31:1-6; 2 Samuel 1:2-10).

The Amalekites were the first of the nations to war against Israel following the Exodus from Egypt under Moses.  Because of this, God stated, “I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”  And God appointed His people, the Israelites, to be the executioners of this nation (Exodus 17:8-16; Deuteronomy 25:17-19).

This appointment though, as the executioners of the Amalekites, became another area of disobedience in the long history of the Jewish people.  And because of this disobedience, four centuries later, during the days of Saul and David, the Amalekites were still present in numbers sufficient to have a king leading them.

The subsequent history of the Amalekites can be traced to about three centuries beyond Saul and David’s time, to the days of Hezekiah, when apparently the last of the Amalekites were slain (1 Chronicles 4:41-43).  Beyond this point, the Amalekites appear in Scripture only as a people who existed in past time.

And, in complete accord with God’s previously announced judgment upon this nation, the Amalekites were so completely destroyed that archaeologists today cannot even find a trace of this once mighty nation.  In this respect, the Amalekites today exist upon the pages of Scripture alone.  They, because of their attitude toward and actions against Israel, have been utterly put out of remembrance from under heaven (Exodus 17:14; Deuteronomy 25:19).

The events in the book of Esther occurred over two centuries after the events that occurred in 1 Chronicles 4:41-43.  And if the events in this section of Scripture in 1 Chronicles are to be understood as an announcement concerning Israel’s part in the fulfillment of that which God had decreed during Moses’ day — the complete destruction of the Amalekites — which appears to be the case, it would not be possible for Haman to be a lineal descendant of this race of people.

According to archaeological findings in that part of the world, there was a province in the Medo-Persian Empire during Ahasuerus’ reign called Agag.  And referring to Haman’s father as an Agagite would apparently be a reference to this province, with Haman, through this means, being associated several places in the book with this province.

But why does the book of Esther, in several places, call attention to Haman’s association with a certain province in the kingdom in this manner, particularly one that had the same name as an Amalekite king from over five centuries earlier?  Is this repeated association no more than a reference to a location in the kingdom, having to do with Haman’s origin, with that being the end of the matter?  Or, can spiritual significance be found in this repeated association of Haman with Agag?

The answer can be found by first viewing Haman’s actions in the light of the actions of the one whom Haman foreshadows — the man of sin, the Antichrist.  Then, relative to the actions of both men (which are the same), both the type (the actions of Haman) and the antitype (the actions of Antichrist) must be understood in the light of that which is stated in the last of Balaam’s prophecies.

Viewing all of these things together — the type, the antitype, and Balaam’s last prophecy — the repeated reference in Esther, associating Haman with Agag, can be clearly seen to be more than just a reference to a province in Ahasuerus’ kingdom.  It can be clearly seen as an allusion back to Agag and the Amalekites during Saul’s day as well, even though it is apparent that Haman was not a lineal descendant of Agag.

Both the Amalekites and Haman were bitter enemies of the Jewish people in past Israeli history; and the Antichrist will be a bitter enemy of the Jewish people in future Israeli history.  And Balaam’s final prophecy, having to do with the appearance of Messiah at the end of Man’s Day, includes an “oracle” concerning Amalek, which reflects on the whole of the matter:

. . . A Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab . . .

Out of Jacob One shall have dominion, and destroy the remains of the city.

Then he looked on Amalek, and he took up his oracle and said: “Amalek was first among the nations, but shall be last until he perishes.” (Numbers 24:17, 19-20 [17b]).

The complete prophecy has to do with the destruction of Gentile world power at the time of Messiah’s return, followed by Messiah’s reign.  And the end of Gentile world power, particularly as it involves anti-Semitism (as, for example, exhibited through the actions of the Amalekites), is summed up through a statement in an oracle in the prophecy concerning the end of Amalek — “. . . his latter end shall be that he perish forever” (Numbers 24:20 KJV)  Thus, in Balaam’s closing prophecy, the end of Antichrist and his kingdom is associated with the end of the Amalekites (though Antichrist will appear millennia after the Amalekites ceased to exist).

In a similar manner, Gentile world power in that coming day, headed up by Antichrist, will incorporate the whole of that seen in Daniel’s image in Daniel chapter two (Daniel 2:35, 45; cf. Daniel 7:11-12), which depicts Gentile world power in Babylon from its beginning during Nebuchadnezzar’s day to its end during Antichrist’s day (Daniel 2:31-45; cf. Daniel 7:3-8).  Thus, as with Antichrist’s association with Amalek, Antichrist and his kingdom will also be associated with certain Gentile regal powers that will have long since ceased to exist at the time this man comes into power and reigns.

Further, Antichrist is called an Assyrian (Isaiah 10:5; 14:25; 30:31; 31:8; Hosea 5:13), though the Assyrians, as the Amalekites or certain Gentile regal powers associated with Daniel’s image, will have long since ceased to exist when Antichrist makes his appearance.

The Assyrian association goes back 2,300 years to the days of Alexander the Great (Antichrist will arise from within the borders of the old kingdom of Assyria [Daniel 8:8-9, 21-25]).  And, in biblical typology, this Assyrian association goes back even farther — to the days of Moses, 3,500 years ago (the Assyrians, having previously conquered Egypt, sought to destroy the Israelites; but God sent Moses to deliver them [cf. Exodus 1:8; Isaiah 52:4; Acts 7:18]).

Thus, Antichrist and/or his kingdom will have an association with different Gentile powers going back millennia in Jewish history (which no longer exist today and will not exist in that coming day).  This association goes back to the time of the beginning of the Babylonian kingdom under Nebuchadnezzar (marking the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles); and, back behind that, this association extends to the time of the Assyrians and the Amalekites (and, as previously shown, with the Assyrians this association goes back even to the time of an Assyrian Pharaoh in Egypt during Moses’ day — back to the very time of the inception of the nation of Israel itself).

In this respect, during Haman’s day, it would simply be in complete keeping with related Scripture for God to go back almost six centuries, to a people no longer even in existence, and associate Haman with an Amalekite king.  Associating Haman with Agag from Saul’s day would simply be associating one of the most complete types of Antichrist to be found anywhere in the Old Testament with the king of one of the bitterest enemies of the Israelites in history — an association in complete keeping with the way in which God has formed other associations relative to Antichrist in His Word.

This association, in the antitype, as previously shown, is clearly dealt with in an oracle concerning the Amalekites in Balaam’s closing prophecy.  And the time to which the prophecy relates (the destruction of Gentile world power at the time of Messiah’s return, followed by Messiah’s reign) has to do with a time over two and one-half millennia after the Amalekites ceased to exist.

As Antichrist will be associated with Assyria (though neither the people nor the nation will have existed for millennia), and as Antichrist and the power that he will control will be associated with a particular past form of Gentile world power (depicted by the first three parts of Daniel’s image, which also will no longer exist), so will it be in the matter surrounding the association of this man and his kingdom with the Amalekites (who also will no longer exist as well).

Thus, biblical prophecy clearly associates the reign of Antichrist with certain Gentile powers in the past, which have been destroyed and will not exist when Antichrist comes into power.  An association of this nature not only characterizes this man’s reign in different ways but announces the coming utter destruction of this man and his kingdom as well.

God uses the destruction of certain Gentile powers in the past, in this manner, to demonstrate particular things about the future destruction of Antichrist and his kingdom.  The certainty of the destruction of Antichrist and his kingdom is told through historical fact — these Gentile powers were destroyed in past time, as Antichrist and his kingdom will be destroyed in future time.  And the way in which these Gentile power were destroyed — passing completely out of existence — depicts the way in which Antichrist and his kingdom will be destroyed and pass completely out of existence as well, bringing a full and complete end to the Times of the Gentiles.

(Note in this same respect that there are four oracles connected with Balaam’s last prophecy, with the last two oracles having to do with Assyria, among other nations.  “Asshur” in Numbers 24:22, 24 should be translated Assyria.  And Assyria at this future time, as the Amalekites at this same future time [viewing all of the last three oracles in the prophecy], shall “perish forever” [Numbers 24:20, 24].

Antichrist, in biblical prophecy, is connected with both the Assyrians and the Amalekites.  But neither the Assyrians nor the Amalekites have existed for millennia; nor will they exist at the time of the fulfillment of Balaam’s closing prophecy, though they are seen being destroyed at this time.

These nations exist in history alone, and both have been completely destroyed in past time, never to rise again.  But, as previously shown, both are used different places in the manner seen in Balaam’s prophecy to point to the certainty and completeness of the end of Gentile world power in that coming day when it is headed up under Antichrist.)

Thus, related Scripture clearly shows that Haman’s identification with a particular province in the kingdom was for purposes rich in spiritual significance.  This identification provides an association with the king of the Amalekites in history; and it is clear from Balaam’s prophecy that this same association carries over into the antitype and will extend to Antichrist yet future.

Though the Amalekites had apparently long since ceased to exist during Haman’s day, the association (through the use of the name “Agag”) was there; and though the Amalekites will not exist during the days of the one whom Haman typifies, the association — from the type in Esther, from Israeli history, and from Balaam’s prophecy — is there.

Both men (Haman and Antichrist) are identified in Scripture with the king of one of the most bitter enemies of the Israelites in history — the Amalekites — a nation that, because of that which the people of this nation had done surrounding Israel, was to be destroyed to the extent that their very remembrance would be put out of existence.  Both men, because of their actions surrounding Israel, occupy a parallel place to that of the Amalekites in Israeli history; and both men, because of these same actions, are seen coming to the same ignominious end as the Amalekites (cf. Isaiah 26:13-14).

ISRAEL’S LAST GREAT ENEMY

Israel’s last great enemy is referred to as an Assyrian, though the Assyrians passed off the scene of world history over two and one-half millennia ago; Israel’s last great enemy is associated with the Amalekites, though the Amalekites, as the Assyrians, also passed off the scene of world history over two and one-half millennia ago; and Israel’s last great enemy is also associated with particular past Gentile regal powers (from Nebuchadnezzar to Alexander the Great), though these powers, as well, passed off the scene of world history over two millennia ago.

Antichrist, with his worldwide kingdom, seated on Satan’s throne, will embody all of the things opposed to God’s plans and purposes surrounding Israel, seen in these Gentile powers; and this association dates back to even the very time of the inception of the nation of Israel itself, during Moses’ day.  Antichrist will bring all anti-Semitism embodied in these Gentile powers from history into full fruition, which alone could bring about his fall and form his epitaph.  But he will go beyond this and seek to exalt his throne after a similar fashion to that which Satan sought to do at a time prior to man’s creation.

He will sit, “as God . . . in the temple of God [the rebuilt temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem], showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).  And, in this position, he, through the actions of his false prophet, will be honored and worshiped by individuals throughout his worldwide kingdom, exactly as Haman was accorded honor and worship in the kingdom of Ahasuerus in the type (Revelation 13:3-8, 11-12).

Antichrist will have previously broken his covenant with Israel, destroyed Jerusalem, and will be in the process of attempting to wipe the Jewish people from off the face of the earth (cf. Daniel 9:26-27; Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24; Revelation 11:2; 12:13-17).  This is where Esther 3 begins within its type-antitype framework — with this man (typified by Haman), holding a position of power in the kingdom directly under God (though a rebel ruler, as Satan), demanding worship, and seeking to destroy the Jewish people.  And the Jewish people, a monotheistic people, will have the same attitude toward this man and his actions as seen in the type in Esther.

When this man rises to that position in the kingdom typified by Haman and the position that he held, he will, through his false prophet, require that the people in the kingdom view him as divine and worship him.  But the Jewish people, as Mordecai in the type, will refuse.

This man will have both defiled the rebuilt Jewish temple and have committed blasphemy by declaring himself to be God.  And, resulting from these actions, he will meet with the same rejection at the hands of the Jewish people that Haman experienced in Esther.

When these things come to pass in that future day, exactly the same thing seen in Esther will occur.  The Jewish people — as Mordecai in the type — will refuse to worship Antichrist, bringing his wrath down upon them; and, exactly as in Mordecai’s day, the decree will go forth that all the Jews in the kingdom are to be destroyed.

And also, exactly as in the type, the King (God) will deliver the Jews into Antichrist’s hands for a set period of time — “a time and times and half a time,” for three and one-half years (cf. Esther 3:10-11; Daniel 7:25).

There though will be more to the matter in the antitype than simply a monotheistic people refusing to worship this man.  And this is related in the type in Esther, along with other Scripture, as well.

Haman’s charge against the Jewish people was brought about by Mordecai’s refusal to bow and worship, knowing that this same attitude would be exhibited by the entire monotheistic nation.  But the charge that he brought before the king, in order to bring about the destruction of the Jews throughout the kingdom, was stated in a different manner.  He went back to the root of the matter:

Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain.

If it pleases the king, let a decree be written [in laws governing the kingdom] that they be destroyed . . . .” (Esther 3:8-9a)

Antichrist, seated on Satan’s throne, will bring this same charge against the Jewish people yet future (individuals scattered throughout his kingdom, whose laws are diverse).  This was a charge brought against Daniel, resulting in his being cast into the lions’ den.  The “law of his God,” which he kept, was different than the “law of the Medes and Persians.”  And neither law could accommodate the other in this respect, for neither the law of God nor the law of the Medes and Persians could be changed or altered (with this unchangeableness of the law of the Medes and Persians typifying the unchangeableness of the law of God within one facet of the overall type [cf. Daniel 6:5, 8, 15]; Psalm 12:6; 138:2; Malachi 3:6; Luke 4:4, 8, 10; 1 Corinthians 10:11).

Then, the three Hebrews who had previously refused to worship the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up in the plain of Dura relates the other side of the matter from Esther — having to do with worship, as well as law (Daniel 3:17-18).

The Israelites will refuse to worship Antichrist.  And, at this time, because of the resulting genocidal activities of Antichrist, the Israelites will begin their return back to a law different than laws governing the Gentiles, one which cannot be changed or broken.

The law governing the Jewish people during both Daniel’s and Esther’s day was the old covenant given through Moses.  This covenant, along with the new covenant that will one day be made with the house of Israel, always has been and always will be diverse from laws among the Gentile nations.  And this is a major realm in which Antichrist will seek to bring about changes as he attempts to destroy the Jewish people.

According to Daniel 7:25, Antichrist will seek to change both “times and laws”; and, continuing from this statement, apart from any break in the thought, the text goes on to reveal that the Jewish people will be delivered into Antichrist’s hands (exactly as in Haman’s day), for “a time and times and half a time.”  Thus, contextually, his seeking to bring about a change in “times and laws” can only have to do with things relating to the Jewish people.

The Jewish people were delivered into Haman’s hand by the king; and, yet future, they will be delivered into Antichrist’s hand by the One whom the king typified, by God Himself.  In that future day, God will deliver the Jewish people into Antichrist’s hand for the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation.

So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews.

And the king said to Haman, “The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you.” (Esther 3:10-11)

And during this three and one-half-year period, as Antichrist seeks to bring about the destruction of the Jewish people, he will seek to bring about a change in both times and laws that God has established.  He will seek to prolong the time in which these Jewish people have been delivered into his hand (prolonging the Times of the Gentiles), and he will seek to bring about a change in laws that God has established (allowing Gentile law to continue, as he seeks to extend the period surrounding the Times of the Gentiles as well).

But this man will utterly fail.  He will be brought to the same end as the Assyrians, the Amalekites, and other Gentile nations in the past.  God has established times and laws, integrally associated with His plans and purposes surrounding the Jewish people; and man can no more bring about a change in these times and laws than he can bring about the destruction of the Jewish people.

Antichrist though, seated on Satan’s throne, will show the folly of the fullness of that which characterizes both Satan and fallen man, by raising his hand against God, against His Word, and against His people.  And, relative to the whole of the matter, it has been written in God’s unchangeable Word:

But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever.

Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.

This is the end of the account. . . . (Daniel 7:26-28a)

ISRAEL BROUGHT TO THE PLACE OF REPENTANCE

All these things having to do with Antichrist’s reign, shown in the type in Esther (among other types), will occur for a divine purpose.  God will deliver the Jewish people into Antichrist’s hands, for a period of time, in order to bring His plans and purposes surrounding Israel to pass.

The Jewish people, in that coming day, will be brought to the same position, through the same means, as seen in that which God allowed to occur during Moses’ day.  During Moses’ day, through the genocidal actions of the Assyrian Pharaoh in Egypt — which God allowed, delivering His people into the Assyrian’s hands for a period of time — the Jewish people were brought into such dire straits that they were left without a choice other than to call upon the God of their fathers for deliverance.  And this resulted in God sending Moses back to Egypt (always a type of the world in Scripture) to deliver His people, as God will send the One greater than Moses back to deliver His people (scattered throughout the world) when this entire matter is repeated in the antitype.

The Jewish people calling upon the God of their fathers during Moses’ day in the book of Exodus are seen again in biblical typology in the book of Esther, presenting another facet of the complete picture.  The Jewish people during Esther’s day not only arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes (portending repentance in the antitype [cf. Jonah 3:5-10]), but Esther is seen going in before the king himself, to beseech the king on behalf of her people.

During a yet future day, God will deliver the Jewish people into Antichrist’s hands, for a set period of time, in order to bring them to the place seen in both the books of Exodus and Esther.  And when the Jewish people are brought to this place and do that revealed in these two types — repentance, followed by their calling upon the God of their fathers — they have a promise, from God Himself, which He will then fulfill:

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

God, however, will not fulfill this promise until the conditions in the promise have been met.  And He will use Antichrist to bring Israel to the place where the Jewish people will be left without a choice other than to meet these conditions.  In this respect, God is able to use even “the wrath of man” to praise Him as He brings His plans and purposes to pass, in spite of all the finite folly surrounding man’s wrath (Psalm 76:10; cfPsalm 76:2).

1)  CHRONOLOGY OF ESTHER CHAPTERS 3-9

As the ten chapters in the book of Esther center mainly on three and one-half years of Jewish history yet future — the last three and one-half years of Daniel’s Seventieth Week — the chapters detailing these events, in a type-antitype framework (Esther 3-9), themselves, center mainly around a very limited time within this three and one-half-year period.  These chapters center mainly on that which will occur very near the end, and at the end, of this time.

Esther 3 provides details concerning that which God would have man to know from this book about Antichrist’s reign.  This chapter centers on God’s wrath surrounding the Jewish people being brought to an apex through the reign of Antichrist.  And it will be brought to an apex beginning with God positioning this man on Satan’s throne.  And when this occurs, that which God has been setting the stage for throughout 3,500 years of Gentile persecution — 2,600 years during the Times of the Gentiles — will be brought to fruition in the short space of three and one-half years.

The Jewish people, as revealed in this chapter, will be delivered into this man’s hands; and all of the other things set forth in this chapter will be brought to pass in the antitype as well.  These things, according to this chapter, will center on the world worshiping Antichrist, the Jewish people refusing to worship this man, and the Jewish people resultantly coming under the sentence of death.

Then, beginning Esther 4, the Jewish people are seen being brought to the place where they array themselves in sackcloth and ashes (depicting repentance in the antitype [cf. Jonah 3:5-10]), with Esther in the following chapter going in before the king himself because of the dire straits in which the Jewish people found themselves.

In this respect, Esther 4 begins with events foreshadowing that which will occur very near the end of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.  It will be near the end of this period of time that the Jewish people will find themselves in such dire straits under Antichrist’s reign (exactly as the Jewish people found themselves during Haman’s day) that they will have no choice other than to do that foreshadowed by the Jewish people in Esther 4; 5.  Then Esther 6-9 simply foreshadow that which will subsequently occur when the Jewish people have been brought to the place depicted by an arrayal in sackcloth and ashes, calling upon the God of their fathers (previously seen in Esther 4; 5).

Thus, Esther 3 alone covers all of the time in the last half of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.  Events in this chapter bring about the sequence of events seen in subsequent chapters.  And the remaining chapters associated with this three and one-half-year period of time (Esther 4-9) have to do with events which will occur very near the end, and at the end, of the time in which the Jewish people have been delivered into Antichrist’s hands, not with events occurring throughout this entire period.

2)  THEN WILL I HEAR FROM HEAVEN

When the Jewish people have been brought to the place depicted by an arrayal in sackcloth and ashes, calling upon the God of their fathers, then God will hear from heaven and intervene on their behalf.  Until then, there will be no such intervention.  Until then, trouble at the hands of the Gentiles will ensue for the Jewish people — trouble that will be brought to an apex under the reign of the one whom Haman in Esther 3 typifies.

But, when that foreshadowed by events in Esther 4; 5 come to pass, the latter part of that which God stated in 2 Chronicles 7:14 will come to pass as well.  God will hear from heaven, forgive the Jewish people, and heal their land.

And, in the process of this occurring, that seen in Esther 6-9 will come to pass as well.  God goes into great detail in these four chapters to outline Haman’s fall, which foreshadows Antichrist’s fall.

As it occurred in the type, so will it occur in the antitype.  Haman’s fall came about through the king’s intervention on behalf of the people whom this man had sought to destroy; and Antichrist’s fall will come about through God’s intervention on behalf of the people whom this man will seek to destroy.
Chapter 6
The King’s Hand Turns

Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king's house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house.

So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter.

And the king said to her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you-up to half the kingdom!” (Esther 5:1-3)

Esther 3 began with Haman’s promotion to a position of power in the kingdom, directly under the king.  In this position of power, Haman was to be accorded honor and worship.  And, in keeping with the custom among many Gentile nations of that day, it is evident from the text that Haman was apparently viewed in a divine manner.

Haman being viewed in this manner would account for the different things that transpired in the chapter.  First, Mordecai refused to bow before Haman and worship him, though it was customary among the Jews of that day to recognize and honor individuals holding high positions of power (cf. 2 Samuel 14:4; 18:28; 1 Kings 1:16).  Then, because of Mordecai’s refusal to bow and worship, Haman reacted in a manner that went far beyond Mordecai’s actions alone.  Haman, because of Mordecai’s refusal to bow and worship, sought to slay not only Mordecai but all of the Jewish people dispersed throughout the kingdom.

Haman knew that the Jews in the kingdom followed laws that were different than the laws of the Medes and Persians.  Further, he could only have known that the Jews were a monotheistic people, and the laws that they followed were the laws of their God.  And, knowing these things, he knew that all of the Jews in the kingdom that he controlled under Ahasuerus, following the laws of their God, would do the same thing that Mordecai had done.  They, as well, would refuse to bow before him and worship.  And, as a result, Haman issued a decree, validated by the king, that all of the Jews throughout the kingdom were to be slain.

Following this, beginning chapter four and leading into chapter five, the Jewish people are seen reacting to this decree.  Because of Haman’s decree, and the dire straits in which this decree left the Jewish people, Jews throughout the kingdom arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes;  then the queen, arraying herself in royal apparel (proper apparel [cf. Esther 4:2]), entered into the inner court of the King’s house and appeared in the king’s presence on behalf of the Jewish people.

And it is at this point in the book that matters began to change rapidly relative to both Haman and the Jewish people.  In one respect, Haman, at this time, is seen at the height of his power.  He is seen possessing everything, with the fate of the Jewish people resting in his hands.  But in another respect, Haman, at this time, is seen nearing the end of his power.  He is seen about to lose everything, with the Jewish people about to be delivered from his hands.

Then, beyond that, the Jewish people at this point in the book are seen as a people who, following deliverance, are about to come into possession of all that which Haman possessed — his house, and his position in the kingdom (Esther 8:1-7; 10:3).

In the latter part of Esther 5 — after the Jewish people had arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, and after the queen had gone in before the king — Haman called attention to that which he now possessed, in his exalted position.  He spoke of the glory of his riches, his large family (which included ten sons), his position in the kingdom above all the other princes, and his being the only person in the entire kingdom whom the queen had invited (with the king) to a banquet (Esther 5:11-12).

But there was one problem insofar as Haman was concerned, which, until the matter was resolved, canceled out everything else:

Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate. (Esther 5:13; cf. Esther 5:9)

The Jews in the type, in the person of Mordecai, were seen as a people whose laws were different than the laws of the Medes and Persians.  They would not bow down and worship Haman, which brought about his wrath.  But the entirety of the matter is brought to an apex because of a position in which Mordecai is continually seen to occupy in the book — seated in the king’s gate.  And this fact, combined with the former, was something that could have only been uppermost in Haman’s thinking after the Jews had been brought to the place where they are seen arraying themselves in sackcloth and ashes, along with the queen appearing before the king (arrayed in royal garments) on the Jew’s behalf.

In the antitype, matters will be exactly the same.  The Jews will be seen as a people whose laws are different than the Gentile nations.  They will not bow down and worship Antichrist, which will bring about his wrath.  But, as in Haman’s day, the entirety of the matter will not be brought to an apex because of any attitude that the Jews may have toward Antichrist, his ascribed deity, and their laws.  Rather, it will be brought to an apex because of the position that the Jews will hold — seated in the King’s gate.  And this fact, combined with the former, will have to be something uppermost in Antichrist’s thinking after the Jewish people have been brought to the place where they will have no choice but to call upon the God of their fathers (in complete accord with the type, seen in both Mordecai’s and Esther’s actions).

This entire scene in the antitype will begin to occur near the end of the Tribulation, for it will only be at this time (with the Jewish people having almost completed their passage through “the time of Jacob’s trouble” [Jeremiah 30:7], having endured Antichrist’s wrath for almost three and one-half years) that the Jewish people will be brought to the place of repentance.  Thus, it will be at this time that Antichrist will be seen in the antitype viewing himself at the height of his power, as Haman in Esther chapters three through five.  Yet, exactly as in Haman’s case, he will know that all of this power and prestige will avail him nothing as long as Israel continues in existence, seated in the King’s gate.

Antichrist, as Haman, will initially vent his wrath upon the Jewish people because of their refusal to worship him.  But also, exactly as in the type, Antichrist’s wrath will be exhibited in its fullness because of the position held by the Jewish people within God’s economy — the ones seated in the King’s gate.  Or, as ultimately seen through Esther, it would be the ones crowned and arrayed in royal apparel (who, alone, are destined to enter into the inner court of the King’s house on the third day [Esther 5:1; cf. Hosea 6:1-2], clothed in royal apparel, for no one will be able to enter clothed in sackcloth [Esther 4:2]).

It was at this time that Haman vented his wrath against the Jewish people in all its fullness by building a gallows upon which he planned to impale Mordecai; and it will be at this time, in the antitype, that Antichrist will vent his wrath against the Jewish people in a manner causing conditions to ultimately become such that “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved” (Matthew 24:22a).

It will also be at this time that, through Gentile persecution that has lasted for centuries and millennia, the Jewish people will finally be brought to the place where God has been working to bring them.  And, once the Jewish people have been brought to this place, God will step in and begin to rapidly bring about changes.

As things began to rapidly change for both Haman and the Jewish people at this point in the type, so will it be in the antitype.  Why?  The answer, whether type or antitype, is the same.

In the type, Haman had raised his hand against the Jewish people, bringing them to the place where they had arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, with the queen going in before the king (on the third day, arrayed in royal apparel) on their behalf.  And in the antitype, Antichrist will raise his hand against the Jewish people, bringing them to the place of repentance, a place where the Jewish people (who are to appear before the King on the third day, arrayed in royal apparel) will have no choice but to call upon the God of their fathers.

In the preceding respect, God brought two things to pass in the type:  (1) Haman had filled his cup of iniquity, which God had both measured and allowed (cf. Genesis 15:16);  and (2) the Jewish people, through God delivering them into Haman’s hands, for a time, had been brought to the place in which God had promised to intervene on their behalf (cf. Exodus 2:23-25; 3:9-12; Leviticus 26:39-42).

Haman’s wise men, along with Haman’s wife, possibly summed up and stated the whole of the matter best after Haman began his fall.  And because of the nature of their statement, as it pertained to the issue at hand, the Holy Spirit saw fit to move the writer of this book to record the statement for all to read, throughout all time:

If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him. (Esther 6:13b)

And the antitype will be no different, with the statement from Esther 6:13b applying equally to Antichrist and the Jews in that coming day as it applied to Haman and the Jews over twenty-four hundred years ago.  When Antichrist, through venting his wrath upon the Jewish people, causes them to come to the place of repentance toward God (the place to which God will bring them through delivering them into Antichrist’s hands, for a time, allowing Antichrist to vent his wrath upon them), things will begin to change rapidly.

Antichrist’s fall will begin at this point and will occur in the same rapid and complete manner seen in Haman’s fall.  This last king of Babylon will be as Nebuchadnezzar at the time of his fall (the first king of Babylon during the Times of the Gentiles).  Or he will be as Belshazzar at the time of his fall (the last king of Babylon during that period covered by the first part of Daniel’s image — the head of gold).

Nebuchadnezzar was at the height of his power when he lifted up his eyes and said,

Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty? (Daniel 4:30b)

But before the king had even finished speaking, a voice from heaven revealed that the kingdom would be taken from him and that he would be driven out into the field, among the animals, to live and to eat grass, for seven years (a complete period of time).  And the same hour God brought the matter to pass, exactly as He had revealed to Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:33).

And Belshazzar, during what could possibly be considered the height of his reign, not only defiled vessels taken from the temple in Jerusalem at a drunken feast in Babylon but, at the same time, praised “the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know.”  And Belshazzar, also at this time, failed to acknowledge and glorify the God responsible even for his very life — the One responsible for man’s “breath,” which provides life (Daniel 5:1-4, 23; cf. Genesis 2:7).

At the very time that these things were occurring, God stepped in and began to rapidly bring about changes.  God first revealed a message of doom through the fingers of a man’s hand writing four words upon the wall — “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” (words interpreted for the king by Daniel, a Jew [Daniel 5:5, 25-28; cf. Psalm 147:19-20]):  God had numbered and finished Belshazzar’s kingdom, Belshazzar had been weighed in the balances and had been found wanting, and his kingdom had been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.

Then, that very night, bringing matters to pass in complete accord with that which had been written upon the wall, two things were taken from Belshazzar — his breath, and his kingdom.  Belshazzar was slain; and the kingdom passed into the hands of the Medes and the Persians, setting the stage for later events as seen in the book of Esther (Daniel 4:30-31).

Belshazzar had not learned the lesson from Nebuchadnezzar’s previous experiences along similar lines.  Rather, he made similar mistakes and paid a similar price.  And Antichrist will not have learned the lesson through Haman’s previous experiences in the type.  Rather, he, in the antitype, will make exactly the same mistakes and will pay exactly the same price that Haman made and paid.

Thus, God will bring matters to pass in a similar swift manner for the last king of Babylon as He did for Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar.  And God will bring matters to pass for Antichrist, in the antitype, in exactly the same swift manner as He did for Haman in the type.

One simply cannot do that which Haman did and escape God’s wrath.  If a person could, God, by allowing such to occur, would be violating that which He has set forth in His unchangeable Word — an impossibility (cf. Genesis 12:1-3; Psalm 12:6-7; 138:2).

And, on the same basis, one simply cannot do that which Antichrist will do and escape God’s wrath.  When Antichrist raises his hand against the Jewish people in that coming day, his fate, as Haman’s in the type, will be sealed.

(Though God is not dealing with Israel on a national basis during the present dispensation, the principles that God has set forth in His Word surrounding Israel must not only remain true and valid but must remain in effect as well [e.g., Genesis 12:2-3].  And, with that in mind, note something that will illustrate this matter, regardless of the dispensation or time.

World War II in Europe [1939-1945] was not lost by Germany in 1945.  Rather, this war was lost years earlier — 1938 or earlier — when the Third Reich began to raise its hand against the Jewish people throughout Europe.  Germany’s fate was sealed in the ’30s, with the war lost at a time before it even began.  The 1945 date simply marks the time when God completed an out-working of the principles set forth in His Word, with the Third Reich lying in ruins because of their previous anti-Semitic policies and actions.)

God will allow Antichrist to exercise power over the Jewish people for a time, as seen in Haman’s exercise of power over the Jewish people for a time in the type.  But, when God’s plans and purposes for allowing this to occur have been brought to pass, exactly as seen in the type, things will begin to change rapidly.

That is to say, when God has used Antichrist’s wrath to bring His Own plans and purposes to pass — God using man’s wrath to effect praise (Psalm 76:9-10) — then things will begin to change rapidly.  And when these things do begin to change, Antichrist, at the zenith of his power, is going to suddenly and swiftly not only find himself removed from power but he will find himself, as well, in the same position that he had sought for the Jewish people.  And, again, this will occur exactly as in the type.

A CROWN OF TWELVE STARS

Both Mordecai seated in the gate and Esther seated on the throne are positions referred to over and over in the book of Esther (e.g., Esther 2:17, 19, 21; 4:2; 5:1, 9, 12-13; 6:10, 12; 7:5).  And “the gate,” as “the throne,” points to a place of regality in the kingdom.  Both point to two different facets of the same thing (ref. chapter 3 in this book).

The book of Esther deals with God’s wrath from a two-fold perspective.  The book deals with the purpose for God’s wrath (to bring Israel to the place of repentance), and the book deals with the position that Israel has been called to occupy (regal).  And God’s manifested wrath in this two-fold manner is dealt with in an integrally related fashion in the book.  That is, God is manifesting His wrath in this manner in order to bring Israel to the place of repentance; and Israel is being brought to the place of repentance in order to realize her calling, which is regal — appearing in the King’s presence, on the third day, arrayed in royal apparel.

In the type in the book of Esther, Mordecai is seen seated in the king’s gate and Esther is seen crowned as queen at the same time Haman occupies power under the king.  How could this possibly foreshadow that which will occur in the antitype, for Israel (typified by both Mordecai and Esther) will occupy power only after Antichrist (typified by Haman) has been put down?

The answer can be found in Revelation 12, comparing Scripture with Scripture.  Note how this chapter begins:

Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. (Revelation 12:1)

It is evident from subsequent revelation in the chapter that the “woman” represents Israel [Revelation 12:4-6, 13-16; cf. Matthew 24:15-22].  After Satan (represented by “a great red dragon” [Revelation 12:2-3, 7-9, 13]) has been cast out of heaven near the middle of the Tribulation, he is seen centering his attention upon Israel, ready to devour the nation’s child at birth — the “man child” — which Israel will bring forth at this time (which, contextually, can only be the 144,000 from Revelation 7; 14 [Revelation 12:5, 17; cf. Matthew 24:8, 14; Mark 13:8, 10; Revelation 11:13; 14:1-4]).

Note that the woman (Revelation 12:1), during the time that Antichrist is in power, seated on Satan’s throne (Revelation 12:3; cf. Revelation 13:2), is seen crowned.  In fact, exactly as in the book of Esther, both Israel and Antichrist are seen associated with regality at this time.

But note that there is a difference in the regality in the antitype, which would be the same difference seen in the positions occupied by Mordecai and Haman in the type.

In the type, though Mordecai is seen seated in the king’s gate, he didn’t actually hold a position of power in the kingdom.  This continued reference to his position at the king’s gate portended the position which he was about to hold.

In the antitype, matters are exactly the same.  Though Israel is seen crowned at the time Antichrist reigns, Israel will not actually be exercising regal power at this time.  Rather, the twelve-starred crown upon the woman’s head portends the position that Israel is about to hold, with “twelve” being the number of governmental perfection.

There are two words used for crown in the Greek text of the first three verses of Revelation 12.  The word used in Revelation 12:1, relative to the crown upon the woman’s head, is stephanos.  And the word used in Revelation 12:3, relative to the seven crowns upon the seven heads associated with the dragon, is diadema.

The change in words for “crown” in the text reveals one thing:  Israel, at this time, will not be occupying the throne and exercising regality.  Rather, Antichrist, at this time, will be occupying the throne and exercising regal power.  The crown upon the woman’s head, depicted by the word stephanos, shows that the woman is destined to occupy regal power.  But crowns upon the seven heads associated with the dragon (Antichrist will be the seventh head, incorporating all that preceded in the first six), depicted by the word diadema, show these seven heads not only in a regal capacity but actually occupying regal power at this time (in the person of the seventh head — Antichrist).

(For additional information concerning the use of stephanos and diadema in the preceding respect, refer to the Two Types of Crowns, in this site.  Also, see the author’s book, in this site, Judgment Seat of Christ BOOK, chapter 12.)

Then, aside from viewing the matter in the preceding respect through Mordecai alone, that which is seen through Esther seated on the throne depicts another facet of the type.  Note that Esther reveals herself to be a Jew only when it is time for Haman to be put down (at the end of two days, on the third day [cf. Esther 5:1; 7:4-6; Hosea 6:1-2]), which was following the Jewish people’s appearance in sackcloth and ashes and Esther’s appearance before the king.  It will be at this time in the antitype when the stephanos upon the woman’s head will change to a diadem (similar to Christ appearing in Revelation 19:12 with diadems upon His head rather than crowns depicted by the word stephanos [as in Revelation 14:14], immediately before Antichrist is put down).

Thus, the manner in which regality is seen relative to Israel in the type (not only through Esther but through Mordecai as well) is in complete keeping with the antitype.  It has to be, for the type foreshadows that which will occur in the antitype, and the antitype must follow the type in exact parallel and detail.  This is simply the way in which God chose to deal with two different aspects of the same thing, from type to antitype.

FAVOR IN THE KING’S SIGHT

The stage is set in Esther 4; 5 for that which is about to occur — the Jewish people being brought to the place where they array themselves in sackcloth and ashes, along with Esther appearing before the king (arrayed in royal apparel) on behalf of the Jews in the kingdom.

Then, in Esther 6; 7, things begin to rapidly transpire in a completely different manner than in the past — things that in a very short period of time carry Haman from the top to the bottom.  Haman suddenly finds his world turned upside-down.

The sequence begins with Haman holding a high regal position directly under the king, a position to which the king himself had elevated him; and, in this position, the fate of the Jewish people had been placed in his hands.  Then, all at once, by command of the king, Haman found himself being humiliated at the hands of a Jew;  and he was powerless to do anything about the matter (Esther 6:10-12).  And shortly after that, Haman found himself in particular circumstances, which resulted in his being impaled upon a gallows at the command of the king, because of a Jew; and, again, Haman was powerless to do anything about it (Esther 7:6-10).

But why did these things occur?  Why were matters so completely turned around?  The answer is given in the book of Esther and elsewhere in Scripture.  This complete change occurred because of two things:  (1) that which the Jewish people did, and (2) God keeping His promises to the Jewish people.

1)  “WHAT IS YOUR REQUEST?”

There is really nothing more fundamental in the study of the Jewish people in Scripture than that which is outlined in the book of Esther.  But how many Christians know and understand these things?  Or, how many Jews know these things, or are willing to admit them?  Or, how many Gentiles (and, yes, even many Christians) know why they are singling the Jewish people out for persecution?

The answer to the questions is simply, very few to none.  Very few Christians have any understanding at all concerning that which Scripture teaches concerning Israeli persecution; the Jewish people, spiritually dead, are in no position to either understand or admit the truth about Israeli suffering at the hands of the Gentiles; and the Gentiles, also spiritually dead, along with being alienated from “the commonwealth [citizenship] of Israel” (Ephesians 2:12), are in no position to understand that which they are doing as well.

But the simple truth of the matter has been set forth in God’s unchangeable Word for all to see.

Down through the centuries God has allowed the Jewish people, because of their disobedience, to be dispersed among and persecuted by the Gentile nations.  The matter surrounding Israel’s persecution by the Gentiles — past, present, and future — is that simple.  And to deny this would be to deny the Word of God, for this is exactly what God promised would happen in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 if the Jewish people did not obey His voice.

And disobedience is the direction that the Jewish people took.  Then, God, in complete accord with His Word, uprooted and drove His people from their land and scattered them among the Gentiles, where they have found no rest.  And dispersed among the nations in this manner, they have been, are being, and will continue to be persecuted by these same nations, until . . . .

And the thought of the Jewish people being dispersed among and persecuted by the Gentiles, until, presents the other side to the matter.  God has allowed, continues to allow, and will continue to allow this persecution to occur at the hands of the Gentiles, for a purpose.  God has delivered His people into the hands of the Gentile nations, to effect their ultimate repentance, in order that His plans and purposes concerning Israel might ultimately be realized.

And to bring this about will take more than 6,000,000 Jews being slain in the death camps in Europe.  It will take that which — except for the Jewish people’s repentance and God’s intervention — would seemingly bring about the very destruction of the nation itself, at the hands of a man seated on Satan’s throne.

This is why God will deliver the Jewish people into this man’s hands for three and one-half years.  Through this man’s actions, that which occurred in Europe over fifty years ago when 6,000,000 Jews were slain during a period of about seven years will pale by comparison.

This man will slay approximately twice as many Jews as the Third Reich did in less than half the time (note that the days forming his three and one-half-year reign of terror will be shortened [Matthew 24:22]).  And, he won’t stop with Europe or the Middle East.  He will seek to do to the Jews worldwide that which God did in the past to the Amalekites and Assyrians.

It will take this type of Gentile persecution to bring the Jewish people to the place seen during Moses’ Day, when they were forced to cry out to the God of their fathers; it will take this type of Gentile persecution to bring the Jewish people to the place seen in Esther 4; 5, where the Jews arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, along with Esther going in (arrayed in royal apparel) before the king.

All of these things, foreshadowed by these two types, will occur in the antitype at a future date, under the reign of the future Assyrian, for a purpose.

This is what individuals don’t seem to understand about Jewish persecution at the hands of the Gentile nations — past, present, or future.  But this is so fundamental to any correct biblical interpretation surrounding Israel that it cries out to be understood, by Christian and Jew alike (even though the Jew is spiritually dead).

But the preceding is simply not the case, in either instance.  Christians are interested in other things, even if Israel is involved in their thinking.  And the Jewish people, as well, are interested in other things.  

But all of that is immaterial, for the entire matter concerning how God has decreed that His plans and purposes surrounding Israel will be worked out has been set.  And matters will come to pass exactly as God has stated in His Word.

2)  “IT SHALL BE GIVEN TO YOU . . . .”

God has been working with the Jewish people through centuries and millennis of time in order to bring them to one place, for one purpose.  That place has to do with their repentance, and that purpose has to do with regality.

The means that God will use to bring Israel to this place is seen in Esther 3;  Israel being brought to this place is seen in Esther 4; 5; then, that which God will then do, along with God’s purpose for bringing Israel to this place, is seen in succeeding chapters (Esther 6-10).

When Israel has at last been brought to this place, their request for deliverance will be heard.  It was only at this point in the type that the king asked, “What is your request”; and it was only at this point in the type that the king said, “It shall be given to you . . . .”  In like manner, it will only be at this point in the antitype that the King will ask, “What is your request”; and it will only be at this point in the antitype that the King will say, “It shall be given to you . . . .”

Haman was put down, and Antichrist will be put down.  The house of Haman was given to a Jew, and the house of Antichrist will be given to the Jews.  Deliverance was provided for the Jewish people, and deliverance will be provided for the Jewish people.  And a Jew occupied the position that Haman had occupied, and the Jewish people will subsequently occupy the position that Antichrist will occupy.

This is what the book of Esther is about — God, through His means, in His time, bringing His people to the place that they were called to occupy in the beginning, the place that they are seen occupying at the end of this book.
Chapter 7
Haman’s Fall from Power

Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.

. . . If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him. (Esther 5:13; 6:13b)

Haman, in Esther 5, is seen at the height of his power, with the Jewish people having been delivered into his hands.  Then, matters in both respects began to suddenly and swiftly change.  Through commands of the king, Haman was first humiliated at the hands of a Jew; and there was nothing whatsoever that he could do about the matter.  Then Haman found himself under the sentence of death and impaled upon a gallows because of a Jew; and, again, there was nothing whatsoever that he could have done about the matter.

Then, if that wasn’t enough, all that Haman possessed — his house, and his position in the kingdom — ultimately passed into the hands of the Jews.  And bringing matters to pass after this fashion was something completely out of his hands as well.  Though he possessed power directly under the king, he was powerless to effect any type change in the direction that matters took at this time.

What precipitated Haman’s fall, particularly the manner in which it occurred?  The answer is very simple.  Haman made a fatal mistake upon his rise to power, setting in motion a particular course of events.  Haman not only raised his hand against the Jewish people but, in the process, he went to extreme measures and sought to destroy all the Jews in the kingdom.  And this not only sealed Haman’s fate at the outset, but it sealed Haman’s fate in a particular manner.

The laws of the harvest came into view for Haman at this time.  A person not only always reaps the same thing that he sows — like for like — but he also always reaps more than he sows.  As in Hosea 8:7, if he, in like fashion to Haman, sows “the wind,” he will reap “the whirlwind” (the word translated “whirlwind” is in an intensive form in the Hebrew text, pointing to a violent, tornado-like whirlwind).

And these laws of the harvest relate not only to curses but to blessings as well — “. . . I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you . . . .” (cf. Genesis 1:11-12, 21, 24-25; 12:1-3; Proverbs 22:8; Matthew 13:8; Luke 19:13-24; Galatians 6:7-9).  According to Genesis 12:3 (which has to do with the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob), in the light of the laws of the harvest, two things are in view:  (1) God will abundantly bless individuals because of their positive treatment of the Jewish people, or (2) God will bitterly curse individuals because of their negative treatment of the Jewish people (cf. Matthew 25:31-46).

Thus, Haman could not escape reaping that which he had sown in this respect; nor can anyone else, for no one can escape set laws that God has established.  Haman could not simply be removed from power, with that being the end of the matter.  Rather, his fall must show a reaping in keeping with established laws of the harvest.  He must not only reap that which he had sown but he must also reap more than he had sown, “in due season” (which points to another law of the harvest — reaping occurs at a set time, following the sowing).

In connection with a reaping of this nature, there is an irony seen in Haman’s experiences in the book of Esther, which will be duplicated in Antichrist’s experiences in the antitype.

Haman’s fall occurred “in due season,” resulting from that which he had sown.  Haman, through anti-Semitism of the worst kind — attempted genocide — brought the Jewish people to the place where they, in turn, brought about his downfall.  Instead of destroying the Jewish people, Haman brought them to a place that, because of the identity of and God’s promises to the people whom he had sought to destroy, resulted in his own destruction.

God, in order to bring His plans and purposes surrounding the Jewish people to pass, delivered the Jewish people into Haman’s hands, for a time.   And Haman, through attempted genocide, brought the Jewish people into the very place that not only resulted in their deliverance but in his destruction.

Haman brought the Jewish people to the place where Jews throughout the kingdom arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, along with Esther appearing before the king on behalf of her people.  Then, with the king acting on behalf of the Jewish people, things began to change.  And this change was both sudden and rapid.

In the antitype, God, in order to bring His plans and purposes surrounding the Jewish people to pass, will deliver them into Antichrist’s hands, for a time (for three and one-half years).  And Antichrist, through attempted genocide, will bring the Jewish people into the very position that will not only result in their deliverance but in his destruction.

Antichrist will bring the Jewish people to the place where Jews throughout his worldwide kingdom will have no choice other than to repent and turn from their disobedience (foreshadowed by the Jewish people in the type arraying themselves in sackcloth and ashes [cf. Jonah 3:5-10]); and the Jewish people in that day will call upon the God of their fathers for deliverance (foreshadowed by Esther appearing before the king and subsequently petitioning the king on behalf of her people).

When these things occur, the King will not only hear and remember but will also act on behalf of the Jewish people.  And changes will then begin to occur, in a sudden and rapid manner.

Haman fell under God’s judgment at the very beginning, at the time he raised his hand against the Jewish people, with the magnitude of that judgment being determined by the laws of the harvest.  And, through his anti-Semitic policies and practices, Haman, in the end — completely contrary to that which he had set out to accomplish — brought about deliverance for the Jews and destruction for himself.

And in a parallel, previous type in the book of Exodus — the Israelites in Egyptian bondage, under an Assyrian ruler — exactly the same thing can be seen as set forth in the book of Esther.  The books of Exodus and Esther simply present two word pictures of the same thing, from two different perspectives.  And, in this respect, one will shed light upon and form commentary material for the other.

Note how matters are presented in the book of Exodus when the Israelites were brought into such dire straits that they had no place to turn other than to the God of their fathers.  And the irony of the matter was the same as seen in Esther — the one persecuting the Israelites would ultimately be responsible for both their deliverance and his own destruction:

. . . they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.

So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.

And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.

So I have come down to deliver them . . . .” (Exodus 2:23-25; 3:7-8a [23b]).

God, as seen in the type in the book of Exodus, in the immediate future under Antichrist, will once again bring the Israelites into such dire straits that they will have no choice other than to call upon the God of their fathers.  And, when this occurs, the Jewish people have the promise that God will hear, remember, and act — as in the types, or as in God’s promises such as those in Leviticus 26:40-42 and 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Antichrist, as the Assyrian during Moses’ day, or as Haman during Esther’s day, will bring the Jewish people into such dire straits that they will have no choice other than to do that seen in the types — calling upon the God of their fathers, an arrayal in sackcloth and ashes, and a petitioning of the king on the behalf of the Jewish people (all foreshadowing different facets of that seen in Leviticus 26:40; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 1:16-19).  And, exactly as in the types, God will then hear, remember, and act (as He has faithfully promised in Leviticus 26:42; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 1:25ff).

In one type, the Israelites were delivered, and the power of Egypt was destroyed.  In the other type, the Israelites were delivered, and Haman, along with his ten sons, were slain.

And so will it be in the antitype.  The Jewish people will be delivered; and Gentile world power, as it has existed for the past 2,600 years, will be destroyed through the overthrow of Antichrist and his ten-kingdom federation.

Christ, personally, will appear and overthrow Antichrist and those ruling with him.  The “Stone” (Christ) will smite the “image upon his feet” (feet having ten toes, pointing to Antichrist’s ten-kingdom federation, the final form of Gentile world power); and through this revealed means, the whole of Gentile world power, headed up under Antichrist in that coming day, will be destroyed.

And Gentile world power, once destroyed, will “become like the chaff of the summer threshing floors,” which the wind will carry away.  Gentile world power, in that day, will pass out of existence; and the Stone that smote the image at its feet will become “a great mountain [kingdom]” and fill “the whole earth” (Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45).

In this respect, as in the case of the Assyrian in Egypt during Moses’ day, or as in the case of Haman in the Medo-Persian kingdom during Esther’s day, so will it be in that future day when the last Assyrian, the latter-day Haman, arises in the world.  God, through delivering the Jewish people into this man’s hands, for a time, will use this man to bring His plans and purposes to pass.  Then, as in all past anti-Semitism, God will judge this man in exact accord with that which He has set forth in His Word (cf. Genesis 12:1-3).

HAMAN’S END

When things began to rapidly go awry for Haman, he was first humiliated at the hands of a Jew.  And this was not humiliation at the hands of just any Jew.  Rather, this was humiliation at the hands of the Jew who sat in the king’s gate, who had refused to bow and worship Haman.  This was the Jew toward whom Haman had first vented his wrath, resulting in his ultimate fall and the Jewish people’s deliverance.

God used this particular Jew to first humiliate Haman as his rapid fall from power began to occur.  The “due season” for reaping was at hand, and there must not only be a reaping but it must be in complete keeping with God’s set laws surrounding the harvest.  Haman had sown “the wind,” and now he must reap “the [violent] whirlwind.”

Esther 3 records Haman’s rise to power and his exhibited hatred for the Jewish people, carried to the point of attempted genocide.  Esther 4; 5 record the action that the Jewish people took, because of that which Haman had done.  They arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, and Esther appeared before the king on the Jewish people’s behalf.  Then, in Esther 6, suddenly matters began to change rapidly.

Haman, in Esther 6, is seen appearing at the king’s house early in the day in order “to speak unto the king” about impaling Mordecai “on the gallows that he had prepared for him” the previous day (Esther 6:4).  And he stood in the outer court at this time, making his presence known, awaiting a summons to appear in the king’s presence in order to make known his request.

But the king hadn’t been able to sleep during the preceding night; and, to pass the time and keep up with events in the kingdom that he ruled, he had “the book of the records of the chronicles” brought into his chambers.  Reading through these records, he ran across events surrounding Mordecai and that which he had done following Esther becoming queen (Esther 6:1-2).  Mordecai had previously warned the king (through Esther) concerning a plot against him, recorded at the end of Esther two (Esther 2:21-23).

The king made inquiry concerning that which had been done to reward Mordecai concerning this deed.  And he was told that nothing had been done.  The king immediately realized that the matter had not been handled properly at all, and he needed someone to rectify the existing situation.

Looking for such a person to carry out his wishes along these lines, he asked, “Who is in the court?”  And he was told, “Haman is there, standing in the court.”  Then, with Mordecai uppermost in both Haman’s thoughts and the king’s thoughts — though for entirely different reasons — the king said, “Let him come in” (Esther 6:3-5).

After Haman had entered into the king’s presence, the king, before Haman could make know his request, asked Haman a question.  The king asked, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?”  And Haman, not knowing anything about that which had proceeded, thought the king had him in mind.  Haman, self-centered in the whole matter of things occurring in the kingdom, thought in his heart, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me” (Esther 6:6)?

Haman had no idea that a Power far higher and mightier than existed in the kingdom — the source of all power — had begun a work that would reverse everything.  It would lead first to Haman’s humiliation and death, and then it would culminate in the exaltation of the Jewish people.

The king hadn’t been able to sleep during the previous night.  The king, during this time, asked for “the book of the records of the chronicles.”  Then he found a particular place in the book where Mordecai’s deed was recorded.  Why did this sequence of events occur at this particular time?  The reason is evident. 

God, in His sovereign control of all events and circumstances, brought these things to pass.  “. . . He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:4).  Nor would He allow the king to sleep, in order that the king might read and be made aware of that which Mordecai had previously done on the king’s behalf.

And the king would not be allowed to sleep for another reason, seen in the type-antitype structure of the book.  The king typified the One Who neither slumbers nor sleeps, with Israel in view in both the type and the antitype.  And because of that seen in Esther 3-5, God was about to act on behalf of the Jewish people, seen through the actions of the king.

In this respect, the “due season” for Haman to reap that which he had sown was at hand.  And Haman, reaping that which he had sown, began his sudden and rapid fall early in the day, immediately following a night in which both the king couldn’t sleep and Mordecai’s act had been brought to his attention.  Then, all in the same day, Haman was humiliated at the hands of a Jew and subsequently slain because of a Jew.

1)  HAMAN HUMILIATED

Haman, believing that the king was talking about him when asking what should be done for the man whom the king delighted to honor, answered with the same self-centered mind-set seen in Satan’s previous actions when he had sought to exalt his throne (Isaiah 14:13, 14).  Haman, with himself in mind, said that the person should be arrayed in royal apparel, with a crown placed upon his head.  Then he should be allowed to sit on the king’s own horse, with a noble prince leading the horse through the street of the city, proclaiming before the one seated on the horse, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor” (Esther 6:6-9).

Then, with the king’s next words, the bottom dropped out of Haman’s world.

Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken." (Esther 6:10)

Haman had appeared in the king’s presence to speak with him about impaling Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him only hours before.  However, because of the previous intervention of the One who never slumbers nor sleeps — typified by the king, being unable to sleep — the king was the first to raise an issue surrounding Mordecai (note God’s providential control of all things, typified by the king’s control of all things).  Haman now had no choice other than to do as the king had commanded; and, being forced to follow the king’s command, Haman began his trip down a path of utter humiliation and no return — first, at the hands of Mordecai, and then because of Esther.

Haman, prior to his subsequently being removed from power via death, was forced to array Mordecai in royal apparel, see to it that he was seated on the king’s own horse, lead the horse through the street of the city, and proclaim before Mordecai, seated on the horse, that this was the one whom the king delighted to honor.

Haman was forced to do this for the one whom the king knew was seated at his gate, the very one about to replace him in the kingdom, the one whom he had sought to impale on a gallows that he had built for that purpose.

After Haman had done as the king commanded, two things are seen in the text:

Afterward Mordecai went back to the king’s gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered. (Esther 6:12).

Mordecai’s position at king’s gate portends regal power in the kingdom, which he was about to possess (ref. chapter 3 of this book); and this was portended in another respect by his being arrayed in royal apparel and being led through the street of the city on the king’s horse.  Haman, before he was slain, was forced, by the king’s command, to openly demonstrate Mordecai’s connection with regality (the very power that he himself possessed) through carrying out that which he himself said should be done to the man whom the king delighted to honor.

Haman, through being forced to carry this out, suffered a degrading humiliation, which could only have been vastly different than anything he had ever come close to experiencing prior to this time.  And this happened in the life of a man at the height of his power, ruling directly under the king.

Then, when Haman appeared at his home, mourning, with his head covered (humiliated in his own house), his wife and his wise men perhaps summed up and stated the whole of that which was occurring best:

If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him. (Esther 6:13b)

Haman, because of that which he had done to the Jews, was on the way down.  He was in the process of reaping that which he had sown.  And his reaping would not only be in exact keeping with that which he had sown and how he had sown, but it would occur, as well, in a rapid and concluding manner.

2) HAMAN SLAIN

The next step in Haman’s fall is seen in Esther 7.  Esther, through a sequence of events surrounding a royal banquet, brought about circumstances resulting in Haman’s death immediately after he had been humiliated at the hands of Mordecai.  He was first humiliated at the hands of a Jew; now, later that same day, he was to be slain because of a Jew.

It was while Haman spoke with those in his home concerning events that had occurred earlier in the day that the king’s servants appeared in order to hurriedly escort him to a banquet that Esther had prepared (Esther 6:14).  Because of that which Haman had done, necessitating his reaping the violent whirlwind, God wasted no time moving him from the place of utter humiliation to the place of death.

Haman, hurriedly escorted to the banquet, had another surprise awaiting him; and this again came at the hands of a Jew.  This time though he wouldn’t be returning to his home with his head covered, to mourn.  This time his lifeless form would be carried back to his house and impaled upon the very gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.

(The gallows was located “in the house of Haman” [Esther 7:9].  The term “house” is an all-inclusive term, indicating all which Haman possessed.  The gallows was located somewhere on his property.

Also, the normal use of a gallows in that day was not as an instrument of death itself but as a place where those already slain were to be impaled, as an open display of guilt, humiliation, etc. [e.g., Esther 9:10, 13-14].  Haman was apparently slain before being impaled on the gallows.  And being impaled upon the gallows, especially this particular gallows, would simply be a continuation of the humiliation that Haman had previously experienced — humiliated in both life and in death, demonstrating publicly his guilt and shame.)

The record of Haman’s death begins later on the same day that Haman had led Mordecai through the street of the city, the day following his building the gallows for Mordecai.  Haman was with the king at the second part of Esther’s banquet of wine.  And it was here that Esther made known her petition to the king, which had its origin in her appearance before the king in Esther 5.

The king had previously promised Esther that her request would be granted, even to the half of his kingdom (Esther 5:3).  And Esther had told the king that her request would be made known at a banquet of wine that she would prepare for the king and for Haman.  The first day, the king repeated his promise (Esther 5:6); but Esther delayed her request until the second day of the banquet (Esther 5:7-8), which is where chapter seven begins.

Then, at the beginning of the banquet on the second day, the king again asked Esther about her request.  And he once again promised that her request would be granted, even “to the half of the kingdom” (Esther 7:2).

And Esther then made known her request:

If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.

For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. . . .” (Esther 7:3-4a [3b]).

The king, apparently startled, then asked Esther:

Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?  (Esther 7:5b)

And Esther answer,

The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman! (Esther 7:6a)

The statement is short, simple, and concise; but it was all Esther needed to say.  The one who had come “to the kingdom for such a time as this,” the queen herself, had spoken.  And though God could have effected deliverance for the Jews through another means, had He chosen to do so, He chose to do it this way (Esther 4:14).  Now Esther’s part was done; and the remainder was left to the king.

Haman, hearing this, was “afraid.”  But seeing the king’s reaction, he could only have become terrified.  The king arose from his place at the banquet and, exhibiting wrath, walked out into the garden.  And such an act by an Eastern king in that day could only mean one thing for the person responsible for his wrath — judgment without mercy.

Haman knew this, and he knew that he had only one recourse — to turn to the queen herself, one now revealed to be among those whom he had sought to destroy.  Haman fell down upon the couch where Esther was reclining at the banquet, to plead for his life.  But when the king walked back in and saw this, matters only became worse.  The king apparently interpreted this as an act of violence committed against the queen herself (Esther 7:7-8).

The king asked, “Will he also assault the queen while I am in the house?”  And as the words went out of the king’s mouth, “they covered Haman’s face” — an act which portended impending execution (Esther 7:8b NASB95).

Then the king’s attention was called to the gallows that stood in Haman’s house, “which Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king’s behalf.”  And the king said,

Hang [impale] him on it! (Esther 7:9)

So they hanged [impaled] Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.  Then was the king’s wrath subsided. (Esther 7:10)

This was the manner in which God saw fit to bring matters surrounding Haman to an end.  Haman was at the height of his power one day, and he ended that day by building a gallows on which to impale Mordecai.  Then, the very next day, he was humiliated beyond degree and subsequently slain, at the hands of and because of the very ones that he had sought to slay.  And that day ended with a continued humiliation by his being impaled on the very gallows which he had built for Mordecai.

And if that wasn’t enough, Haman’s ten sons (in whom he took great pride [Esther 5:11]) were later slain and impaled on the same gallows.  And if that wasn’t enough, the book ends with Mordecai (whom Haman hated above all others in the kingdom) occupying all which Haman had possessed — his house, and his position in the kingdom.

Such is the manner in which God carries out that which He has promised and decreed.  And as it occurred in the type, so will it occur in the antitype, which takes us to the fall of Antichrist and the elevation of the Jewish people yet future.

ANTICHRIST’S END

If one first views that which God has revealed about Haman’s end in the book of Esther, little really needs to be said about Antichrist’s end, for, in reality, it has already been said.  The whole of the matter has been set forth in Haman’s experiences in the type, which foreshadow Antichrist’s experiences in the antitype.  And the antitype must follow the type in exact detail.

Thus, viewing that which happened to Haman in the type, one has already seen that which is about to happen to Antichrist in the antitype.  And the same holds true concerning the experiences of Mordecai and Esther in the book.  Seeing that which happened to Mordecai and Esther, one has already seen that which is about to happen to the nation of Israel.  It’s all recorded back in the oft-neglected book of Esther.

Antichrist’s end is seen numerous places in Scripture.  He is seen destroyed in the Sea in Exodus 14:23-28; he is seen slain and impaled on a gallows in Esther 7:10; he is seen coming to a violent end in Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45; 8:23-25; 11:36-45; and he is seen destroyed by Christ at His coming in the New Testament (e.g., 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:11ff).

Then, exactly as the Jews were delivered in Exodus, Esther, and Daniel, with regality in view (Exodus 14:30-31; 19:5-6; Esther 8:1-7; 10:2-3; Daniel 12:1ff), so will it be yet future (Isaiah 1:25-2:5; Ezekiel 37:21-28; 39:25-29).  Matters can end no other way for either the persecutor or the persecuted, for the type has been set; and, again, the antitype must follow the type in exact detail.

One section of Scripture will perhaps suffice to illustrate the end of Antichrist, apart from the types — Isaiah 14.

Note that this chapter deals with the king of Babylon, the Assyrian (Isaiah 14:4, 25).  And between these two descriptions of this man lie verses often attributed to Satan alone (Isaiah 14:12-17).  However, Scripture sometimes uses verses of this nature in a dual sense, referring to more than one person (e.g., Isaiah 40:3 [of both John the Baptist and Elijah] or Hosea 11:1 [of both Christ and Israel]).  And, from a contextual standpoint and that which is stated, this can only be the case in Isaiah 14:12-17.  These verses can only be a reference to both Satan and Antichrist — two inseparably related individuals insofar as their goals, aims, ambitions, and aspirations are concerned.

The things stated in Isaiah 14:12-17 really couldn’t be said of any earthly king of Babylon unless Satan was ultimately in view.  And, for obvious reasons, it could really be said only of the last king of Babylon.  Though Babylon has been Satan’s earthly capital since time immemorial, and he has ruled through all of the earthly kings of Babylon in history, no earthly king of Babylon has ever occupied the type alliance with Satan that Antichrist will occupy — seated on Satan’s throne, exercising Satan’s power and authority.

In this respect, in verses that have Satan ultimately in view, the entire career of the last king of Babylon, the latter-day Assyrian, is outlined in Isaiah 14:13-17 — from his seeking to exalt himself as God (Isaiah 14:13-14), to his utter humiliation and death (Isaiah 14:15-17).  As it happened to Haman in the type, so will it happen to this man in the antitype, for the same reasons.

For you have said in your heart . . . I will be like the Most High.

Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.

Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,

Who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?”

Thus will this man come to his end — as Haman — with no one to help, for no one will be able to help (cf. Daniel 11:45).
Chapter 8
Haman’s House Given to Esther

Then the king said, “Hang [impale] him on it!”

So they hanged [impaled] Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s wrath subsided.

On that day King Ahasuerus gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her.

So the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman. . . .

Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Indeed, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged [impaled] him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews.” (Esther 7:9-10; 8:1-2, 7 [9b])

The Old Testament can be divided into three major sections — Genesis through Esther (historic), Job through the Song of Solomon (personal and experiential), and Isaiah through Malachi (prophetic).  And the book of Esther coming at the end of the first of these three major sections would be the proper place for this book in the canon of Scripture.

Insofar as the historical nature (and much of the typical nature) of that seen throughout the first part of these three major sections is concerned, Esther — having to do with Israel — outlines, in a typical fashion, that seen throughout the whole of this first section of Scripture (Genesis 11 b ff).  Thus, in this respect, the book of Esther simply presents a brief summary of all that has preceded surrounding Israel, with the emphasis placed in the same realm seen in the preceding Scriptures that the book outlines — on the latter days, leading into the Messianic Era.

This first major section of Scripture (Genesis through Esther) is often thought of only in the sense of providing biblical history, along with spiritual lessons drawn from biblical history.  However, viewing this section of Scripture from this perspective alone only presents part of the picture.  This section, through mainly its type-antitype structure, is highly prophetic in nature.  In fact, from a typical perspective, this first section is just as prophetic in nature as the third section — from Isaiah through Malachi, containing the major and minor prophets (major and minor in the sense of length, not importance).

Also, though this first section centers on Israel and the nations from a historical perspective, typology throughout this section is another matter.  The typical structure of this section of Scripture, a section covering about one-half of the entire Old Testament, is somewhat divided between God and Israel and Christ and the Church.

For example, viewing two parts of Genesis (Genesis 2-4 and Genesis 23-25), Genesis 2; 3 have to do with Christ and the Church, and Genesis 4 has to do with God and Israel; then Genesis 23 has to do with God and Israel, Genesis 24 has to do with Christ and the Church, and Genesis 25 has to do with God and Israel once again.

Both aspects of these typical teachings can be seen in the lives of Joseph in the latter part of Genesis (Genesis 37-45) and Moses in the first part of Exodus (Exodus 2-4).  Both Joseph and Moses took Gentile brides during a time after they had been rejected by and separated from their brethren (having to do with Christ and the Church, following Christ’s rejection by and separation from Israel, His brethren according to the flesh); but the time came when both Joseph and Moses dealt with their brethren again (having to do with God and Israel, with that time when God resumes His national dealings with Israel).

(Much of the preceding is developed more fully in the author’s books, Bible One - Had You Believed Moses by Arlen Chitwood, and in this site, The Bride in Genesis BOOK, and Search for the Bride BOOK.)

Then, whole books deal with matters in this typical manner.  Most of the book of Exodus deals with God and Israel in this respect, and the books of 1, 2 Samuel deal with Christ and the Church in this same respect.  Then, the same thing can be seen in the books of Ruth and Esther.  The book of Ruth deals with Christ and the Church, while the book of Esther deals with God and Israel.

And, viewing matters from a different perspective yet, note that the journey of the Israelites under Moses and Joshua typifies the journey of Christians under Christ today.  An earthly land lay before one in the type, and a heavenly land lies before the other in the antitype.

This type-antitype structure is that which is referenced through the use of the word tupos (type) in the Greek text of 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11; this is the basis upon which particularly the second, third, and fourth of the five major warnings in Hebrews are to be understood (Hebrews 3-10);  and this forms the basis for a proper understanding of the entire pilgrim walk of the Christian today (a journey from Egypt [a type of the world] to Canaan [a type of that heavenly land, connected with an inheritance and a rest, awaiting Christians]).

Thus, saying that this first major section of Scripture is historic in nature, apart from being prophetic, would be far from correct.  Within its typical structure, this section of Scripture is highly prophetic — as prophetic as any section of subsequent Scripture.  And not only are numerous prophecies seen in the types extending from Genesis through Esther but also in places such as Balaam’s prophecies (Numbers 22-24), or that seen in God’s promises and warnings to Israel in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 as well.

This section of Scripture provides a detailed history of Israel, relating the reason why the nation was called into existence, what was expected of this nation, and the reason why the Jewish people ultimately found themselves uprooted from their land and scattered among the Gentile nations.  Then, viewing the typical aspect of this section of Scripture, events move beyond history into prophecy, showing the end of the matter — the same thing seen in the Psalms and the Prophets.

This is the way in which God designed and structured this opening section of His Word.  And if man would properly understand God’s revealed Word, he must recognize this fact and study this Word after the same fashion in which it has been given.

This opening section of Scripture, from Genesis through Esther, forms the backdrop for not only the second major section (a section covering five books, from Job through the Song of Solomon) but the third major section as well (all of the prophetic books, extending from Isaiah through Malachi).  That would be to say, Genesis through Esther forms the backdrop for the remainder of the Old Testament.  And if man does not understand (or if he ignores) that which is placed at the beginning, it will be impossible for him to ever come into a proper understanding of later revelation (including of course the New Testament as well), for the latter is inseparably tied to and built upon the former in this respect.

God’s revelation to man is progressive in the sense that it has been designed so that a proper understanding of later revelation rests on a proper understanding of former revelation.  One part progresses into the other, and Scripture must be compared with Scripture — later revelation with earlier revelation, and earlier revelation with later revelation (1 Corinthians 2:9-13; cf. Isaiah 28:10).

For example, in the second section, there are numerous Psalms covering not only Israel’s present condition (scattered among the Gentile nations) but also that which lies in the future for Israel (the end of Gentile world power, with Israel restored to her land and elevated to her proper place among the nations [e.g., Psalms 2; 8; 22-24; 37; 45-47; 76; 83; 89; 97; 102; 110; 121; 126; 137; 145]).  And these Psalms cannot be properly understood apart from the backdrop provided by the first section of Scripture.

The fact that numerous Psalms cannot be properly understood apart from this first section should be easy enough to understand, for this first section of Scripture reveals the history of Israel, revealing why God allowed the Gentile nations to come into the land and uproot His people.  Then, beyond that, the typical aspect of the first section enters into the matter, projecting events out into the future, as seen in the Psalms.

And all of the prophets present exactly the same central theme.  It is that which is seen throughout the preceding Psalms, or the preceding historical books, viewing the latter from both historical and typical vantage points.

Each of the prophetic books (seventeen in all, as there are seventeen historic books) deals with different facets of God’s punishment upon Israel for the nation’s disobedience, followed by the Jewish people’s repentance, followed by the destruction of Gentile world power, followed by God restoring Israel.  These things comprise the overriding theme of all Old Testament prophecy as it pertains to Israel, whether in the historic books, the Psalms, or the Prophets.

Each of the prophetic books, beginning with Isaiah, covers, after some fashion, this panorama of Israeli history — events extending from the time of the nation’s inception almost three and one-half millennia ago to the Messianic Kingdom yet future.  But no two of these seventeen books cover exactly the same thing, after exactly the same fashion.  Each book centers on a particular and peculiar facet of study within this panorama of events.

In this respect, studying these prophetic books is much like studying types.  As no one type provides the complete picture in and of itself, no one Old Testament prophetic book provides the complete picture in and of itself as well.

Over and over in the Old Testament — beginning in Genesis — the end of Gentile world power comes into view.  There is an emphasis placed in this realm, for Gentile world power must be brought to an end before Israel can occupy the nation’s proper place within a restored theocracy.  This is why one finds the power of Egypt destroyed in the Red Sea at the time of the Exodus under Moses (Exodus 14:27-31); this is why one finds Haman slain in Esther prior to the Jewish people receiving their proper and due recognition (Esther 7:9-10; 8:15-17; 10:1-3); and this is why numerous Psalms and the Prophets deal with this subject prior to Israel being restored (e.g., Psalm 2:1-5; Isaiah 24:21; Jeremiah 4:26-28; Ezekiel 39:21-22; Daniel 11:36-45; Joel 3:12-16).

Gentile world power is going to come to an end.  And its end will be as depicted in Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45, among numerous other places in the Old Testament.  Christ will return and personally destroy Gentile world power in its final form, headed up under Antichrist in that coming day.  And once Gentile world power has been destroyed in this manner, Scripture pictures it as “chaff” thrown into the wind from a threshing floor, being carried away by that wind.

A “threshing floor” is used in Scripture to depict judgment.  This is true of God’s judgment upon Christians at the end of this dispensation (cf. Ruth 3:2ff; Matthew 3:11-12), and it is equally true of God’s judgment upon the Gentile nations at the end of the Tribulation.

If one understands these things about Gentile world power, the latter part of the book of Esther will naturally fall into place.  It is simply the story of God bringing Israel to the place of repentance, bringing Gentile world power to an end, and elevating the Jewish people to their rightful place — the place that they were to occupy when called out of Egypt under Moses almost 3,500 years ago.

And to deny that this sequence of events will occur at the end of Man’s Day is to deny the central theme of all Old Testament Scripture, as it pertains to Israel and the nations.  Much of Old Testament Scripture surrounding Israel and the nations awaits fulfillment.  And, in this respect, when God steps in and begins to fulfill these prophecies, multiplied thousands of prophecies seen throughout the pages of Old Testament Scripture will be fulfilled in a very short period of time.

God, through the writers of the Old Testament, has provided a voluminous amount of information on this subject; and there is no reason for anyone today to be uniformed or ignorant concerning that which God is about to do.  It has all been laid out in the Old Testament Scriptures, beginning with Moses and ending with the Prophets.

THE HOUSE OF HAMAN

A reference to one’s house, such as “the house of Haman,” is often used in Scripture in a different manner than we would normally think of the expression in the West today.  The thought from Scripture, in its broadest usage, can have to do with all which appertains to that person — all his property, all his possessions, and all the people associated with him.

Or, note in Hebrews 3:5-6, the house of Moses and the house of Christ.  One has to do with Israelites, who possessed an earthly calling under Moses during the past dispensation; and the other has to do with Christians, who possess a heavenly calling under Christ during the present dispensation.

Then, the entire nation of Israel is referred to as “the house of Israel” in a similar respect (Matthew 10:6; 13:1; 15:24; 23:38).  The thought has to do with all that pertains to Israel in a national sense — a peculiar people with property, possessions, and promises.

Or the thought of “a house” could be used in a different sense yet, with the context always being the determining factor.  The “house of David” in 2 Samuel 7:16, for example, had to do with David’s lineage in a regal respect (with the kingly tribe of Judah in view), culminating in the Messiah.

David had sought to build the Lord a house, but the Lord said that He would make a house out of David instead.  God, referring to David’s lineage, stated that He would establish David’s house — i.e., raise up his seed after him (2 Samuel 7:12).  And, in this manner, the throne of David — having to do with not only David but with Messiah, Israel, and the kingdom — would be established “forever” (cf. Ezekiel 37:24-28; Joel 2:27; Luke 1:31-33).

The reference to the “house of Haman” in the book of Esther must be understood in a contextual respect as well.  This is a reference to all that pertained to Haman — property, possessions, and people.  And the king giving the house of Haman to Esther following Haman’s death was simply his giving to Esther all that had pertained to Haman (Esther 8:1).

Then, after the king had given the house of Haman to Esther, he removed his ring from his finger.  This was the ring that he had previously both given to and taken from Haman; and he now gave it to Mordecai.  All this was then followed by Esther placing Mordecai over the house of Haman (Esther 3:10; 8:2).

Mordecai, at this time, came into possession of all that Haman had previously possessed.  The king’s ring (giving him power in the kingdom [Esther 3:12; 8:8]) and Haman’s house (property, possessions, and people in the kingdom) now belonged to Mordecai.  He now held the exact position that Haman had previously held — a regal position directly under the king, with the delegated authority to exercise power throughout the kingdom, emanating from the king (cf. Esther 8:15-17; 10:1-3).

And moving this into the antitype, one finds exactly the same thing concerning the house of Antichrist and the Jewish people.  All that will pertain to Antichrist in that day will come into possession of the Jewish people following his being put down, exactly as in the type.  The Jewish people, rather than Antichrist, will possess the King’s ring; and they, coming into possession of Antichrist’s house, will then rule the house.

This is when and how the Times of the Gentiles will end.  Twenty-six hundred years of Gentile rule will come to a sudden and climactic end.  The scepter will pass from the hands of the Gentiles into the hands of the Jews.  The house that the Gentiles had ruled for millennia will be placed under Israeli control; and the Jewish people, as God’s firstborn son, exercising the rights of primogeniture (cf. Exodus 4:22-23), will then rule the house.

1)  THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES

The “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) should never have occurred.  That is to say, Israel should have remained obedient, preventing the Times of the Gentiles from ever occurring.  The Old Testament theocracy should have continued to exist in an uninterrupted manner, with Israel continuing to hold the scepter and ultimately coming into a full realization of the nation’s calling.

But, because of Jewish disobedience, God allowed that which has occurred for the past 2,600 years.  And, as it began for a revealed purpose, that purpose will one day be realized, bringing an end to this period of time.  That is to say, the Times of the Gentiles is about to be brought to an end, for God’s purpose for allowing this time to occur is about to be realized.

This period known as the Times of the Gentiles began about 605 B.C.  The stage was set over one hundred years earlier when God allowed the Assyrians to come down and take the northern ten tribes into captivity in 722 B.C.  Assyria was the Gentile world power of that day; and, over one hundred years later, in 612 B.C., the Babylonians, Medes, and Scythians conquered this empire, completely destroying its capital city, Nineveh.  Following this, the Babylonian kingdom is seen rising into prominence — as a phoenix, rising out of the ashes of the previously destroyed Assyrian kingdom — becoming the succeeding Gentile world power of that day.

Nebuchadnezzar succeeded his father, Nebopolassar, in 605 B.C.  And he not only brought about the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles by completing the captivity of the Jewish people (a captivity that began shortly after he came to power), but he also subsequently brought the kingdom of Babylon to the height of its beginning glory among the Gentile nations (Daniel 1:1ff; 4:30).

Thus, it was near the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign in Babylon that the scepter passed from the hands of Israel into the hands of the Gentiles.  This couldn’t have occurred in 722 with the Assyrian invasion of the land, for the southern two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) still remained in the land; and, along with these two tribes remaining in the land, the theocracy (which had been established over eight hundred years earlier, during Moses’ day) continued without change.  The Times of the Gentiles could begin only when God allowed the Gentiles to remove the southern two tribes from their land, bringing an end to the theocracy.

The book of Daniel deals with the Times of the Gentiles within the scope of that seen in the four parts of Daniel’s image (Daniel 2), or the four wild beasts (Daniel 7).  This period began with a king in Babylon, who came against the Jewish people in Jerusalem; and it will end with a king in Babylon, who will come against the Jewish people in Jerusalem once again, and for the last time.

It all revolves around the Gentiles and Babylon on the one hand and the Jews and Jerusalem on the other.  The first king of Babylon, through activity surrounding the Jewish people and Jerusalem, brought about the beginning to the Times of the Gentiles; and the last king of Babylon, through activity surrounding the Jewish people and Jerusalem, will bring about an end to the Times of the Gentiles.

And during the interim, Jerusalem being or not being under Jewish control, or the Temple Mount being or not being under Jewish control has nothing whatsoever to do with the matter.  That which occurred at the end of the Six-Day War in 1967, for example — the old city of Jerusalem, along with the Temple Mount, coming under Jewish control — had nothing whatsoever to do with ending the Times of the Gentiles, as many have erroneously sought to teach

The Times of the Gentiles exists for a purpose.  This period exists because of Jewish disobedience, and it will not pass out of existence until the reason for God’s purpose surrounding this period of time has been realized.  It will not be brought to an end until Israel has been brought to the place of repentance.

The beginning and end of the Times of the Gentiles are inseparably tied to Israel’s past disobedience and Israel’s future repentance.  Apart from Israel’s past disobedience, the Times of the Gentiles wouldn’t have begun; and apart from the Israel’s future repentance, the Times of the Gentiles couldn’t be brought to a close.  Understanding the Times of the Gentiles, in one respect, is that simple.

2)  THE FINAL YEARS

What then is about to happen?  The answer can be found in Scripture alone, and it can be found innumerable places in Scripture.  God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles is about to be realized.  Israel is about to be brought to the place of repentance.  That’s what is about to happen!

Israel, because of the nation’s disobedience, was delivered into the hands of the first king of Babylon; and this act, bringing an end to the Old Testament theocracy, began the Times of the Gentiles.  Now, some 2,600 years later — in order to bring about a climax to that which has been happening throughout this 2,600-year period, in order to put an end to Israel’s disobedience through bringing about Israel’s repentance — this same nation is about to be delivered into the hands of the last king of Babylon; and through that resulting from this climactic act, the Times of the Gentiles will be brought to an end, allowing the theocracy to be restored to Israel.

And central events that will occur during this time have been pre-recorded for all to see.  Specific reference is made in Scripture to Jerusalem being destroyed and trodden under foot for the final three and one-half years of the Times of the Gentiles — the period during which Antichrist will rule the world.  Jerusalem will be destroyed and trodden under foot by the last king of Babylon during this time, with the Jews who do not escape to a specially prepared place in the mountainous terrain of the land of Israel either being killed or sold as slaves throughout the Gentile world (cf. Daniel 9:26; Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24; Revelation 11:1-2).

The nation of Israel, as it is known in the Middle East today, will cease to exist under this man’s reign.  This man, in the middle of the Tribulation period, will destroy this nation.  Then he will seek to do, worldwide, that which Hitler failed to do in Europe over half a century ago.  Hitler sought to bring about a Jew-free Europe, but he failed; this man will seek to bring about a Jew-free earth, but he will likewise fail (cf. Jeremiah 31:35-37).

But, through this man’s actions, God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles — which really has to do more with Israel than with the Gentiles — will ultimately be realized.  And this will allow God to bring this period to a close.

The Jewish people will be brought into such dire straits through the actions of Antichrist that they will have no place to turn other than to the God of their fathers.  They will be brought to the place of repentance; and, once this occurs, there will no longer be a need for the Times of the Gentiles.  It will be then, when Israel repents, that the things typified in Esther 6-10 will occur.  It will be then, when Gentile world power has served its divine purpose, that the Stone will smite the image at its feet (Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45), becoming a great mountain (pointing to a kingdom, the kingdom of Christ) and filling the whole earth

THE SCEPTER

The earth’s scepter is about to change hands.  Satan, who, with his angels, rules the earth through the Gentile nations, is about to be put down (cf. Ezekiel 28:14; Daniel 10:13-20; Luke 4:6; Ephesians 6:12); and Christ, with His co-heirs, will then take the kingdom (cf. Romans 8:17-20; Hebrews 1:9; 3:14-4:11; Revelation 19:7-21).

The Gentile nations, during the present day, rule the earth under Satan in this manner.  They, under Satan and his angels, hold the scepter.  Israel has never been nor will ever be placed in this position (i.e., exercise power under Satan, as the Gentile nations do).  The heavenly prince in the angelic world over Israel during Man’s Day is Michael, who has no part in Satan’s kingdom (Daniel 10:21; cf. Numbers 23:9; Deuteronomy 7:6).

But the Times of the Gentiles is about to end, Gentiles are about to relinquish the scepter, and the nation of Israel is about to take the scepter (though not under Satan but under Christ, during the Lord’s Day; and Satan will be bound, in the abyss during this time [Revelation 20:1-3; cf. Joel 2:27; Luke 1:31-33]).  Then matters will be completely reversed, for the Gentile nations will be subservient to and be ruled by Israel.

Thus, the government of the earth is about to undergo a complete change — exactly as seen in the book of Esther, though only the Jewish and Gentile side of the matter is presented in this book.  One has to go to the book of Ruth to see the corresponding other part of the picture — Christ and His co-heirs taking the kingdom.  But viewing the complete picture from both Ruth and Esther, governmental rule is about to pass from the hands of Satan, his angels, and the Gentile nations into the hands of Christ, His co-heirs, and the nation of Israel.

1)  HELD BY THE GENTILES

The Gentile nations have held the scepter — ruling under Satan, who rules under God (in a rebel capacity) — since the days of Nebuchadnezzar, about 2,600 years ago.  And, as previously shown, this has been for a reason and a purpose surrounding Israel.  God’s reason for allowing the Times of the Gentiles to exist in the first place had to do with Israel’s disobedience, and God’s purpose for allowing this time to continue for over two and one-half millennia has had to do with bringing Israel to the place of repentance.

That time when Israel will be brought to the place of repentance is fast approaching.  And it can equally be said that the end of the Times of the Gentiles is also fast approaching.  As long as Israel remains in an unrepentant state (e.g., today, either among Jews comprising the nation in the Middle East or among Jews remaining scattered among the nations), the Times of the Gentiles will continue.  But once Israel has been brought to the place of repentance, the Times of the Gentiles will be brought to an end, suddenly and swiftly.

God’s purpose for allowing the Gentiles to exercise control in this manner will have been realized, and there will be no further need for the Times of the Gentiles to continue.  Furthermore, it will be time for the final outworking of the principles set forth in Genesis 12:2-3.  Not only will the scepter be taken from the Gentiles and given to Israel, but God — to remain true to His Word — will have to enact judgment upon the same nations that He used to bring Israel to the place of repentance (cf. Zechariah 1:14-15).

This is the why of the scene that Scripture presents of the nations both near and at the end of the Tribulation.  Mass chaos will exist among the nations near the end of the Tribulation because of God’s wrath (Revelation 6:12-17; 16:17-21).  Then, at the end of the Tribulation, the Stone cut out of the mountain without hands will suddenly and swiftly destroy the final form of Gentile world power, under Antichrist (Psalm 2:1-5; Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45; Revelation 19:11ff).  Only then will God’s wrath be pacified, as seen in the type in Esther 7:10.

2)  TO BE HELD BY ISRAEL

During the subsequent Messianic Era, as previously seen, Israel, rather than the Gentiles, will hold the scepter.  And, as Israel occupies her God-ordained place with respect to the nations, the Gentile nations will not only be ruled by Israel but will be blessed through Israel as well.

God deals with mankind at large through Abraham and his seed, through Isaac and Jacob.  This would have to do with the lineal descendants of Jacob through his twelve sons (the nation of Israel); it would have to do with a lineal descendant of Jacob through Judah and David, who is destined to sit on David’s throne (Christ); and it would have to do with those placed “in Christ,” through a work of the Spirit during the present dispensation (Christians).  Blessings in that day will flow out to the nations of the earth through God’s three firstborn Sons — Christ, Israel, and the Church.

But, again, the book of Esther deals only with Israel and the nations, not with Christ and the Church.  And the book of Esther outlines exactly what will occur when Israel one day, again, holds the scepter.  Note the last three chapters in this book, where the Jews hold complete sway over the Gentiles in the kingdom, which is exactly as conditions will exist yet future.

The power emanated from the king in Esther’s day, exactly as it will emanate from the King during that coming day (cf. Esther 8:9-10, 15-17; 9:1-5; Psalm 2:6-9; Joel 3:6-8).  Christ will dwell in Israel’s midst, seated on David’s throne (Joel 2:27; Luke 1:31-33); the center of the earth’s government will then be Jerusalem, not Babylon, Rome, Washington, or any other Gentile capital city; and by means of this rule, though administered with “a rod of iron,” the Gentile nations of the earth will be blessed through Israel.

This is what the future holds for Israel and the nations, told through a sequence of events in the book of Esther that God, in His sovereign control of all things, brought to pass almost two and one-half millennia ago.
Chapter 9
Mordecai’s Rise and Greatness

So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.

The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor.

And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them. . . .

And King Ahasuerus imposed tribute on the land and on the islands of the sea.

Now all the acts of his power and his might, and the account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?

For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen. (Esther 8:15-17; 10:1-3)

In chapters one and two of the book of Esther, the complete story of the Jewish people is told in brief, minute form.  Then, throughout Esther 3-10 (forming commentary material for Esther 1; 2), the thought of the Jewish people ultimately occupying their God-ordained place on earth — as seen in the opening two chapters (a place having to do with regality) — is continually brought to the forefront.  And, as the sequence of events depicted in the book relative to Israel and the Gentile nations draws to a close, information surrounding the Jewish people occupying their proper place within God’s economy is brought to the forefront in an ever-increasing manner.

Throughout Esther 3-10, which have to do mainly with a time near and following the end of Gentile world power (foreshadowing events during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, progressing on into the Messianic Era), regality relative to Israel is shown a number of times, several different ways.  And when one arrives at the last four chapters of the book (Esther 7-10), this is seen even more so, with the book ending by taking two whole chapters (Esther 8; 10) to foreshadow Israel holding the scepter during the Messianic Era.

Mordecai, at different times throughout the first part of the book, is seen seated “within the king’s gate” (Esther 2:19; 3:2-3; 4:2, 6; 5:9, 13; 6:10, 12), an act portending regality (cf. Genesis 22:17-18; 24:60).  Esther 5 is seen appearing before the king in “royal robes” on the third day, which is the time when Israel will appear in the King’s presence arrayed in this manner — after two days, on the third day;  after 2,000 years, in the third 1,000-year period (cf. Hosea 6:1-2).

And following Haman’s death (Esther 7), the whole of Esther 8 is given over to thoughts surrounding the Jewish people and regality.  Then, following Haman’s ten sons being slain (Esther 9), the whole of Esther 10 is given over to thoughts surrounding the Jewish people and regality once again, which is how the book ends.

Events surrounding Haman’s death at the end of Esther 7 foreshadow the destruction of Gentile world power (headed up under Antichrist) at the end of Man’s Day, resulting in the end of the Times of the Gentiles.  God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles will have been realized, for the Jewish people will have been brought to the place of repentance.

Then, in Esther 9, another word picture is given concerning the end of the Times of the Gentiles.  Haman’s ten sons (foreshadowing Antichrist’s ten-kingdom confederacy) are slain and impaled upon the same gallows that Haman had built for Mordecai, the same gallows upon which Haman had previously been impaled.

Thus, the whole of that seen in Esther 7; 9 foreshadow the destruction of Antichrist and his ten-kingdom confederacy, depicting the destruction of Gentile world power at the end of Man’s 6,000-year Day.

But in Esther 8; 10, quite another story is seen.  The Jewish people are seen occupying their proper God-ordained place in relation to the kingdom and regality.  And this place is seen to be the highest of all positions in the kingdom on earth — next to the King (Esther 10:3).

Insofar as the book of Esther itself is concerned, Esther 7; 9 together present a complete picture of the end of Gentile world power, and Esther 8; 10 together present a complete picture of Israel in the Messianic Era, following the destruction of Gentile world power.  And this is where the book ends — Gentile world power destroyed, Israel holding the scepter, the theocracy restored, and the Messianic Era ushered in.

And as the book progresses more and more toward that day, Israel is seen being moved more and more from the shadows into the spotlight.  Then as the book is brought to a close, following the overthrow of Gentile world power, it is the Jewish people alone who are seen in relation to regality, ruling directly under the King.

ANTICIPATING THAT COMING DAY

Israel though is presently scattered among the nations and has been since the days of Nebuchadnezzar, about 2,600 years ago.  And, throughout this period, the Times of the Gentiles has been allowed to continue.  The Gentiles, during this time, have been allowed to hold the scepter; and, throughout this same time, the Gentiles have been allowed to persecute the Jewish people whom God has scattered among them.

Israel must first be brought to the place of repentance.  Only then can the Times of the Gentiles be brought to an end, for the entire purpose for the Times of the Gentiles is to bring Israel, through Gentile persecution, to the place of repentance.  Only then, following Israel’s repentance and the end of the Times of the Gentiles, can the things depicted at the end of the book of Esther be brought to pass.  Only then can Israel, as God’s firstborn son, hold the scepter directly under the King.

And to show all these things in what would be considered the commentary section of the book of Esther (Esther 3-10), God begins at the very heart of the matter.  Viewing Esther within a type-antitype framework, God begins very near the end of Man’s Day and details a sequence of events, lasting three and one-half years, which brings Man’s Day to a close.  Then, following this sequence of events, which completes Man’s Day, the Messianic Era is ushered in.

This sequence of events begins with the rise of Antichrist to a position of world power near the middle of the coming Tribulation.  This will be the man who, as the antitype of Haman, brings Israeli persecution to an apex — attempted worldwide genocide.  And, as also seen in the type, this will be the man whom God will use, through this intensified persecution, to bring Israel to the place of repentance.

Thus, the reason God begins at this point in the book is evident.  The book of Esther throughout centers on Israel in relation to a future regality.  But Israel must first be brought to the place of repentance; and Gentile world power (which cannot end before Israel has been brought to this place) must then be destroyed (after Israel has been brought to this place), allowing repentant Israel to hold the scepter.

Accordingly, Esther 3-10 begin very near the end of the Times of the Gentiles, showing the final outworking of God’s plans and purposes surrounding the Times of the Gentiles.  God simply moves to near the end of the matter (not only here but numerous other places in Scripture as well) and reveals a concluding sequence of events at the end of 2,600 years of Gentile persecution during the Times of the Gentiles.

The purpose for the Times of the Gentiles will ultimately be realized.  Israel will ultimately be brought to the place of repentance.  Then, Gentile world power will be destroyed, Israel will take the scepter, and Israel will be elevated to the nation’s proper place on the earth.

But, until that day arrives, matters relative to Israel and the nations will remain unchanged.  The Gentiles will continue to hold the scepter, and the Jewish people will remain scattered among and persecuted by these same nations.

1)  ISRAEL, TODAY

Thus, Israel in the world today still finds itself in exactly the same position that the Jewish people have occupied since the days of Nebuchadnezzar — living during the Times of the Gentiles, scattered among the nations, persecuted by these nations, and still unrepentant.  And, these conditions will, they must, persist until God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles has been realized.

During the Times of the Gentiles, there have been two restorations of remnants of Jews to the land of Israel.  The first occurred during the years following the Babylonian captivity, forming the remnant in the land when Christ came the first time; and the second has occurred during modern times, forming the remnant that is not only presently in the land but will be in the land when Antichrist appears.

The first remnant returning to the land (near the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles) ultimately found itself uprooted from the land and scattered among the nations.  And this exact same fate awaits the second remnant returning to the land (near the end of the Times of the Gentiles).  This remnant too is about to be uprooted from the land and scattered among the nations, where most of world Jewry still resides (about one-third of world Jewry is presently in the land, with the remaining two-thirds still scattered among the nations).

The first remnant was uprooted in this manner through the actions of Titus and his Roman legions in 70 A.D.  Titus marched against Jerusalem, besieged the city, and ultimately destroyed both the city and the temple.  And more than one million Jews perished in this destruction, with the remainder subsequently driven into Gentile lands.

The second remnant, in the land today, will be uprooted in a similar manner by Antichrist and his armies.  Antichrist, after three and one-half years (in the middle of the Tribulation, Daniel’s 70th Week), will turn against the Jewish people, break his seven-year covenant with Israel, and destroy both Jerusalem and the rebuilt temple (cf. Daniel 9:26; Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24).  And, in the process, above one million Jews in the land will be slain (Zechariah 13:8), with the remainder (other than the remnant that escapes into a specially prepared place in the mountainous terrain of the land [cf. Matthew 24:16-20; Revelation 12:6, 14]) being uprooted and driven into Gentile lands.

Then, for the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, Jerusalem will be “trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (cf. Luke 21:24; Revelation 11:2).  And it will be during this period that Israel’s suffering at the hands of the Gentiles will reach such extremes (cf. Matthew 24:21-22) that the Jewish people will be left without a choice other than to cry out to the God of their fathers, fulfilling the type seen in Exodus 2:23; 3:9 (among numerous other types and prophecies in Scripture).

God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles will then be realized.  Israel, through Gentile persecution, will be brought to the place of repentance.  It will have taken 2,600 years of Gentile rule and Jewish suffering at the hands of the Gentiles to bring this to pass; and Jewish suffering will have been climaxed by the Holocaust in Europe during the reign of Hitler and a succeeding worldwide Holocaust during the reign of Antichrist.

Thus, in that coming day, preceded by Jewish persecution and suffering over millennia of time, God’s plans and purposes surrounding Israel and the nations will have been worked out.

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [without a change of mind]. (Romans 11:29)

The context of Romans 11:29 has to do with Israel’s future deliverance at the time of Messiah’s return (Romans 11:24ff).  Israel will have been brought to the place of repentance, and the Times of the Gentiles will have been brought to an end.  God is not going to change His mind concerning the reason He called man, then the nations, and then Israel into existence.  God is not going to change His mind concerning the reason He brought the Times of the Gentiles to pass.  God’s plans and purposes surrounding individuals and nations, occurring during time, will ultimately be realized.

The Infinite God, unlike finite man, does not get in a hurry in matters of this or of any other nature.  Nor does God do things as man might seek to do them.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

God is often seen taking millennia to bring His plans and purposes to pass.  He is seen working with man in general, with Israel and the nations, and with the Church in this manner.  God, in this respect, brings matters to pass within His own set times, with one thing clear and certain.  God’s plans and purposes — that which He has decreed and revealed in His Word — will ultimately always be brought to pass.

2)  THE REMNANT PRESENTLY IN THE LAND

As previously seen, the Jewish people in the world today can be divided into two categories:  (a) those in the land, forming the present nation of Israel; and (b) those remaining scattered among the Gentile nations.  Only a remnant though has returned to the land, with the majority of the Jews remaining outside the land and scattered among the nations.

But why is there a segment of world Jewry back in the land today?  There has been no repentance on Israel’s part, neither the people nor the land has been healed, and man is still living during the Times of the Gentiles.

Is this somehow the beginning of God’s restoration of the Jewish people back to their land, as foretold by the prophets, anticipating their repentance and that seen at the end of the book of Esther?  Or, is this something else?

Note a short history of Israel during modern times, bringing the matter somewhat up-to-date in this respect:

The present existing Jewish nation in the Middle East is the end result of a Zionistic movement that had its beginning during modern times through the efforts of Theodor Herzl (and other Jewish leaders) during the closing years of the 19th century.  Herzl (1860-1904), who became the first president of the World Zionist Organization in 1897, was a Hungarian-born Jew who would presently be looked upon as the father of modern-day Zionism.  Herzl, and other Jewish leaders of his day, opened the door to a renewed Zionism among Jews worldwide, Jews scattered among and persecuted by the Gentiles.

Then, at the beginning of the 20th century, Britain figured prominently in the matter.  Britain, throughout the years leading into and during World War I (1914-1918), was sympathetic toward the Zionistic aspirations of the Jewish people.  But it was only near the end of World War I that all of this was brought out into the open, with the British government acting on the matter.  And a Russian-born Jew, Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952), who had become a British subject prior to the war, figured prominently in that which the British government did in this respect near the end of the war.

Chaim Weizmann, a chemist, had been placed in charge of the Laboratories of British Admiralty during the war.  And, as director, he discovered a process for synthesizing acetone, a substance necessary for the manufacture of high explosives — something that helped, in a major way, to bring about an Allied victory in the war.

Weizmann was an ardent Zionist.  And the British government, near the end of the war, exercised governmental control over Palestine (though they were not officially given the mandate by the League of Nations until 1922).  Thus, the stage was set for that which then occurred.

Weizmann, because of his contribution to the war effort, in a manner of speaking, was in Britain’s debt.  And, with Britain both in governmental control of Palestine and looking favorably upon Jewish Zionistic aspirations, Weizmann, through his influence in the British government, brought Zionism to the forefront.

Weizmann was the person largely responsible for Arthur James Balfour (Foreign Secretary in Britain’s government during the war), on Nov. 2, 1917, issuing what later became known as “The Balfour Declaration.”  This declaration, in essence, set the course for future actions that the British government took toward Jewish Zionistic aspirations of that day.  The declaration read, in part:

“His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object . . . .”

Britain though, seeking to carry matters forward in this respect in the Middle East, immediately ran into the same problem that the Jews have experienced in the land for the past half century.  The British government found itself in the middle of and adding fuel to a 4,000-year old conflict between two half brothers.  And, seeking to appease both participants in the conflict (Arabs and Jews alike), the British began to issue what were called “White Papers,” sharply limiting Jewish immigration.  And the issuance of these papers all but closed the door during the ’20s and ’30s to the Jewish dream of a national homeland in Palestine.

Then in the late ’30s, World War II, with its Holocaust, began to envelope Europe.  And, because of that which occurred during these years (1939-1945), with a Zionistic base already well-established in the Middle East, the flood of Zionism among Jews worldwide following World War II was unstoppable.  Regardless of the White Papers and continued British control and rule in Palestine, nothing was now going to stop the Jewish people from establishing a national homeland within the boundaries of the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

And the nation in the land today can be traced back to the succeeding events of May 14, 1948, when David Ben-Gurion stood beneath a picture of Theodor Herzl in the Tel Aviv Museum Hall and, shortly before sunset, declared Israel’s independence.

Events beginning with Theodor Herzl and continuing through men such as Chaim Weizmann paved the way and opened the door for that which occurred in Tel Aviv May 14, 1948.  And the Jewish frame of mind, worldwide, at the conclusion of World War II was the central driving thrust that brought all that had preceded into reality.

So, again the question:  Is the remnant presently in the land today (approaching 5,000,000 strong) somehow the beginning of God’s restoration of the Jewish people back to their land, as foretold by the prophets, anticipating that seen at the end of the book of Esther?  Or, is this something else?

To address the issue, note two simple facts:  (a) The Times of the Gentiles presently continues, and (b) Israel has yet to be brought to the place of repentance.  And, as has previously been shown, an inseparable relationship exists between the two.  The reason for the Times of the Gentiles is to bring about Israel’s repentance through the Jewish people being scattered among and persecuted by the Gentiles.

And, in keeping with the preceding, Scripture clearly reveals when God’s purpose for the Times of the Gentiles will be brought to pass — under the reign of Antichrist yet future, at the end of Man’s Day.  Only then and not before, will God heal His people, heal their land, and restore His people to their land within a theocracy.

The remnant presently in the land is there as a result of Zionism, which, in this case, is little more than finite man’s efforts to help an infinite God fulfill His plans and purposes — an effort to push God’s plans and purposes ahead of His timetable.  Thus, from a Scriptural standpoint, under no stretch of the imagination could this remnant be said to exist in the land in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies concerning God restoring the nation to its land.

For the latter to be true, God would be violating His own Word — an impossibility.  He would be ignoring the purpose behind the past 2,600 years of Jewish history — the scattering of a disobedient people among the Gentiles in order to bring about their repentance.  He would be re-gathering a disobedient and unrepentant people back to a desolate land, during the Times of the Gentiles, before His purpose for scattering these people among the Gentiles had been realized (e.g., Isaiah 1:4-15).

Thus, God re-gathering His people in fulfillment of the restoration foretold by the Old Testament prophets is simply not what is presently occurring.  According to Scripture, both Israel and the land must first be healed.  Only then can the prophesied restoration occur (e.g., Isaiah 1:16-2:5).

In more ways than one, the remnant presently in the land has returned before the time.  Not only has this remnant returned before God has completed His purpose for the Times of the Gentiles, but this remnant has returned while Christ is still exercising His high priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.  And, according to the type in Numbers 35, the slayer (Israel, in the antitype) cannot return to the land of his possession (the land of Israel, in the antitype) until the death of the high priest (which, in the antitype, could only have to do with the termination of Christ’s present high priestly ministry after the order of Aaron, when He departs the heavenly sanctuary and comes forth as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek).

According to the type in Numbers 35, for Israel to return to the land before the time foreshadowed by the death of the high priest is to place the nation in great danger.  It is to place the nation in danger of being slain.  And this danger is not only very real but it is about to be realized.

When Antichrist rises to power in the immediate future, he will attempt to slay the slayer.  He will break his covenant with Israel, uproot the remnant presently in the land, and attempt to destroy all of the Jews worldwide.

Hitler attempted to bring about a Jew-free Europe, and Antichrist will seek to bring about a Jew-free earth.  Failure marked Hitler’s efforts, and failure will mark Antichrist’s efforts (cf. Jeremiah 31:35-37).  And, as a nation arose from the ashes of the first Holocaust, so will a nation arise from the ashes of the latter Holocaust, with the latter being the restoration foretold by the prophets.

Thus, to bring matters to pass, a remnant of Jews has been allowed to return to the land near the end of Man’s Day, not as part of the prophesied Old Testament restoration of the Jewish people, but as a Zionistic undertaking that has occurred under God’s sovereign control of all things.  God, in His sovereignty, has allowed this remnant to return in order to bring about a conclusion to the outworking of His plans and purposes surrounding the Times of the Gentiles and Israeli repentance.

WHEN THAT DAY ARRIVES

The day of Israel’s prophesied restoration to the land will be following Israel’s repentance, following Christ’s return and the overthrow of Gentile world power, and following the healing of both the people and the land.  This is simply what the Old Testament prophets have revealed about the matter, and this is what must be followed.

Further, Israel will be restored to the land in accord with the seven “feasts of the Lord” in Leviticus 23.  These festivals form the prophetic calendar of Israel and detail the chronology of events, as they will have to do with Israel, from the time of Christ’s return to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom (a period, which, according to Daniel 12:11-12, will apparently be seventy-five days in length).

The first festival, the Passover, has to do with Israel’s national conversion after Christ returns and the Jewish people (still scattered among the nations) look upon the One “whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10).  The Jewish people, in that day, will look upon the Aleph and the Tau (the first and last letters in the Hebrew alphabet, as Alpha and Omega in the Greek alphabet [cf. Revelation 1:8; 21:6]).  These two letters form an untranslated word in the Hebrew text of Zechariah 12:10, which follows and refers back to “Me [Christ]” in the verse.

Israel has slain the Lamb, but the Jewish people have yet to apply the blood.  Thus, insofar as Israel is concerned, not a single festival from Leviticus 23 (festivals that must be fulfilled in the order given) has been fulfilled.  But, in that coming day, following Christ’s return, these festivals will be fulfilled, beginning with the Passover (during what would appear, from Daniel 12:11-12, to be a seventy-five-day period).

But note within this order where Israel’s restoration is placed.  It is seen in events surrounding the fifth festival, the Feast of Trumpets (which follows Israel’s national conversion [fulfilling the first festival], among other events set forth through the intervening three festivals).  It will be then, not during the present day, that the fulfillment of verses such as Deuteronomy 30:3; Ezekiel 37:11-14; Matthew 24:31 will occur.

Then, a restored nation, in a restored land, during the Messianic Era, is seen through events surrounding the seventh and last festival — the Feast of Tabernacles.  And it is toward this day that the whole of Scripture moves.

1)  NEXT UNTO THE KING

Israel in that coming day will be the restored wife of Jehovah, with the theocracy restored to the nation.  “God” will be King; and “Israel,” a nation separate and distinct from the Gentile nations (cf. Numbers 23:9; Deuteronomy 7:6), will be queen.

Israel will be placed back in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (a healed nation placed back in a healed land).  Israel, in that day, will occupy her proper, God-ordained place at the head of the nations.  The Times of the Gentiles will be past, Israel will hold the scepter, and the Gentile nations of the earth will be ruled by and blessed through Israel.

In that day, Israel is going to go forth in the antitype of Joseph’s brethren after his reappearance to and their acceptance of him.  Joseph’s brethren, in the type, went forth with the message, “Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 45:1-4, 9, 26).  And Jesus’ brethren, in the antitype, are going to go forth with the same message:  “Jesus is yet alive, and He is Governor over all the earth.”

The Jewish people, in that day, will fulfill the one thing that they have yet to fulfill surrounding their calling.  They, as Jonah following his being raised from the dead after two days, on the third day, will carry God’s message to the Gentiles.  And, as in Jonah’s experience, the Gentiles will hear and take heed (cf. Isaiah 43:1, 10; Jonah 1:17; 2:10-3:10).

2)  GREATNESS, ACCEPTANCE, WEALTH, PEACE

The end of the matter is seen in both Esther 8; 10.  Esther 8 depicts one facet of Israel’s royal position during the Messianic Era — arrayed in a regal manner (Esther 8:15); and Esther 10 depicts another facet of the matter, with four words used to describe Israel in that coming day — greatness, acceptance, wealth, peace (Esther 10:3 KJV).

The only word that probably needs any comment at all is the word “wealth.”  This is the translation of a Hebrew word that has to do with “good,” or a reference to “the welfare of the people.”

Israel in that day will be great (at the head of the nations, rather than as today), the Jewish people will be accepted (the present-day situation will be reversed), the Jewish people will do that which is good (looking out for the welfare of all), and there will be worldwide peace (cf. Luke 1:31-33; 2:13, 14).

And it will be in that day, in accord with Esther 8:17 — “. . . many of the people of the land became Jews, because the fear of the Jews fell upon them” — that the Gentiles are going to recognize the Jew in complete accord with his true identity and calling:

Thus says the LORD of hosts: “In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” (Zechariah 8:23).

“Ten” is the number of ordinal completion, pointing to all of the Gentiles, calling attention to that which the future holds for both Israel and the nations (Psalm 122:6; 126:1-6; Isaiah 60:1-22).
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To website CONTENTS Page.
From Egypt to Canaan BOOK
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast
Foreword

Something that must be understood in biblical studies is the fact that Old Testament history has been recorded after a particular fashion.  Not only does Old Testament history comprise an actual account of that which God wants His people to know concerning events throughout the 4,000 years preceding Christ’s first coming, but this history is also fraught with types and meaning.

Actually, all Old Testament history has been written after this fashion.  In the words of Paul to the church in Corinth,

Now all these things happened to them as examples [lit., “for types”] . . . .  (1 Corinthians 10:11; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:6)

And though this passage written to the church in Corinth refers more specifically to events during the wilderness journey of the Israelites under Moses, other portions of Scripture make it perfectly clear that this is not the only block of Old Testament history that has been recorded after this fashion.

When Christ dealt with the two disciples on the Emmaus road following His resurrection, He began “at Moses and all the Prophets” and “expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27).  All Old Testament Scripture is about Christ, beginning with Genesis 1:1.

Christ is the Word that became flesh.  The former is the Living Word in written form; the latter is the living Word manifested in flesh, God, inseparably identified with the Word as well (He would have to be because of the inseparable nature of the trinity), became flesh in the person of His Son (John 1:1-2, 14).

The Old Testament Scriptures, beginning with the opening verse of Genesis, set forth numerous inexhaustible word pictures of the person and work of Christ.  And these word pictures are set forth largely within the numerous divinely designed and established types found in all revealed Old Testament history.

God, in this manner, throughout the Old Testament Scriptures, has seen fit to reveal the numerous facets of Christ’s person and work — past, present, and future.  This is the way Scripture has been written, and this is the way Scripture must be studied and understood.

This book, From Egypt to Canaan, deals not only with the type extending from Exodus chapter twelve through Joshua but also with the original type in Genesis 1:1-2:3.

The type beginning in Exodus 12 is simply an expansion of the former, adding numerous details.  The original type in Genesis was set perfect at the beginning; and the subsequent type beginning in Exodus, designed and established by the same triune God, can only remain in complete accord with the original at every point, in every detail.

The second of the five major warnings in Hebrews, covering Hebrews 3; 4, draws extensively from both types.  Hebrews 3 draws its spiritual lessons from the type beginning with Exodus 12; and Hebrews 4 refers back to the original type in Genesis 1; 2 for its spiritual lessons.

And that is, accordingly, the order in which this book, From Egypt to Canaan, deals with the two types.  The first part of the book (Exodus 1-4) deals with the latter type, beginning in Exodus; and the last part of the book (Exodus 5-8) deals with the former type, opening the book of Genesis.
Chapter One
Saved for a Purpose

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1)

A large portion of Old Testament history is taken up with a basic, fundamental type that one must understand in order to properly understand the second and third warnings in the book of Hebrews.  This type encompasses the whole of the experiences of the Israelites under Moses, and later under Joshua, and deals with the overall scope of the Christian experience in the antitype — from that past day when the blood of the Paschal Lamb was applied (through faith, by belief) to that future day when Christians will either realize or fail to realize the purpose for their salvation, the goal of their calling.

The type begins in Exodus 12 with the death of the firstborn in Egypt and progresses from that point toward the goal of the Israelites’ calling out of Egypt, to be realized in the land of Canaan — a calling that did not begin to be realized until over forty years later, seen in the book of Joshua.

The Israelites were called out from one land to realize an inheritance as God’s firstborn son in another land.  They were called out of Egypt to realize the rights of primogeniture in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The antitype follows the type in exact detail.  It must, for the former is an exact word picture of the latter.  “Egypt” is a type of the world, and the antitype of the death of the paschal lambs and the application of the blood in Exodus 12:1ff is seen in the death of the Passover Lamb and the application of the blood, by faith.

Death and shed blood form the point of beginning.  And those applying the blood (Christians) have been called out from this world to realize an inheritance as God’s firstborn son in another land.  They have been called out from this earth to realize the rights of primogeniture, not in an earthly land as in the type, but in a heavenly land.

In the type though, numerous Israelites, “because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:19), were overthrown in the wilderness, short of the goal of their calling.  They were overthrown short of their earthly calling, as the Christian can be overthrown short of his heavenly calling.

Hebrews chapter three begins by identifying those addressed through referring to their calling:

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling . . . . (Hebrews 3:1a)

The matter that the writer is about to address involves a saved people with a particular calling during the present dispensation (Christians under Christ), and he draws his spiritual lessons from the experiences of another saved people with a particular calling during the previous dispensation (the Israelites under Moses).

That which happened to Israel in the type (in relation to their earthly calling) will also happen to Christians in the antitype (in relation to their heavenly calling).  From a biblical perspective, the second and third warnings in the book of Hebrews for Christians can only turn on this thought from the type.  And one must give heed to that which God intended in the antitype by reference to the type.

Immediately following an account of the race of the faith in which Christians presently find themselves, ending chapter nine in 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 9:24-27), Paul, continuing in chapter ten, calls attention to the experiences of the Israelites under Moses (1 Corinthians 10:1ff). After reiterating a number of experiences of the Israelites following the death of the firstborn in Egypt (1 Corinthians 10:1-5), Paul then states in verse six:

Now these things became our examples . . . [lit., “Now these things happened as types for us”].  (1 Corinthians 10:6)

Also note a similar statement in verse eleven following a reiteration of additional experiences of the Israelites under Moses:

Now all these things happened to them as examples . . . [lit., “Now all these things happened unto them for types”].  (1 Corinthians 10:11)

The word from the Greek text in both instances (translated “examples” and “ensamples” in the KJV) is tupoi and should be translated “types” in the English text.  Our English word “type” is derived from this word (tupos in its singular form), and that is the way in which the word should be understood and translated in 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11.

The experiences of the Israelites under Moses form one overall type made up of numerous individual types.  God, in His sovereign control of all things, allowed certain things to happen to the Israelites relative to their calling in a past dispensation in order that He could have these things to draw upon to teach Christians deep spiritual truths relative to their calling during the present dispensation.

The opening verses of 1 Corinthians 10 form the Lord’s own commentary on the closing verses of the previous chapter.  An individual who does not run the race of the faith after the instructed fashion will fail.  He will be rejected for the “prize.”  As revealed in 1 Corinthians 9:27, he will find himself “disqualified” (KJV: a “castaway”), which is the translation of a Greek word (adokimos), meaning “disapproved,” “rejected.”  He, at the judgment seat of Christ will be disapproved, rejected, for the “prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24), a “crown,” which will prevent the Christian from ascending the throne with Christ in that coming day (1 Corinthians 9:25; cf. Revelation 3:11, 21).

In the verses that immediately follow (1 Corinthians 10:1ff), disapproval of this nature is likened to that which befell an entire generation of Israelites under Moses.  God was “not well pleased” with their actions, and “they “were scattered [KJV: “overthrown”] in the wilderness” (1 Corinthians 10:5).  They, in the words of 1 Corinthians 9:27, were “disqualified” [“disapproved”] and failed to realize the goal of their calling.  And the spiritual lessons drawn from that which happened to these Israelites in the type centers on the thought that the same thing will befall Christians who follow a similar course of action in the antitype.  They will be “disapproved,” “rejected,” and will fail to realize the goal of their calling.

THEREFORE

Revelation in the book of Hebrews is progressive.  The book begins after a two-fold fashion:

1) By calling attention to Christ as the “heir of all things” and to Christians as those who will inherit as “companions” with Him in that coming day (Hebrews 1:2, 9, 14).

2) By quoting seven Old Testament passages that are Messianic in their scope of fulfillment (Hebrews 1:5-13).

The tone of the book is, thus, set at the very beginning.  Revelation in this book surrounds the coming inheritance of Christ and His co-heirs, which will be realized during the Messianic Era.

That which lies in and beyond chapter one has to do with the realization of the rights of the firstborn — rights to one day be exercised by God’s firstborn Son (Jesus) and the firstborn sons (Christians) who will inherit as companions with Him.  The great burden of Hebrews is, as set forth in Hebrews 2:10, that of “bringing many sons to glory” with God’s firstborn Son, Jesus.  And each of the five major warnings is built around this thought.

Inheriting with God’s Son in that coming day is called, “so great salvation” in the first warning (Hebrews 2:3).  It is the greatest thing God could ever design for redeemed man, for it has to do with removing man from this earth and positioning him on the throne in a heavenly realm as a “companion” with God’s Son during that day when the Son comes into a realization of His inheritance.  The first warning, along with background material in chapter one and supplementary material following the warning (Hebrews 1:1-14; 2:5-18), establishes the goal of the Christians’ calling.

Then the second warning comes into view and moves progressively forward from the first by showing how Christians are to properly conduct and govern their lives during the present pilgrim journey in order to move from the point of their salvation to the goal of their calling — that is, in order to move from Egypt (the point of their salvation in the present world) to Canaan (the goal of their calling in a heavenly land, wherein the rights of the firstborn will be realized).  And the warning has to do with the fact that if Christians don’t so govern their lives during the present time, they, in the antitype, as the Israelites in the type, will forfeit the rights of the firstborn.  They, as in the type, will be overthrown short of the goal of their calling.

The second warning begins with the word, “Therefore [KJV: “Wherefore”], calling attention to that which has proceeded.  Verses nine through eighteen of the previous chapter are particularly in view, but these verses rest upon preceding verses.  Thus, when one arrives at chapter three, at the beginning of the second of the five major warnings in the book, the writer starts out by progressively building upon all which has proceeded.

Each of the warnings actually begins after a similar fashion, though different words are used in the Greek text in each instance.  Each begins in the English text with “Therefore” or “Wherefore,” calling attention specifically to that which has preceded (Hebrews 2:1; 3:1; 6:1; 10:19; 12:1).  Several of these different words appear quite a few times throughout Hebrews, pointing to the writer continually building his remarks upon that which has preceded (e.g., Hebrews 2:17; 3:7, 10; 4:1, 6, 11, 14, 16; 7:11, 25; 8:3; 9:1, 18, 23; 10:35; 11:12, 16; 12:12, 28; 13:15).

Thus, when studying the book of Hebrews, one must keep several things in mind:

1) There is one central subject, established in the opening chapter.

2) This central subject is developed in the book mainly by reference to the Old Testament Scriptures in a type-antitype arrangement.

3) Revelation surrounding this central subject moves in a progressive fashion throughout the book.

HOLY BRETHREN

Calling attention to that which has proceeded by beginning his remarks with “Therefore,” the writer of Hebrews then addresses those to whom he is writing first of all as “holy brethren.”

The word “holy” in this passage does not have to do with a quality of life, such as purity, but with being “set apart” for a specific purpose.  Places and things, as well as people, were called “holy,” using the same word in the Greek text that appears here, the word hagios (cf. Matthew 4:5; Acts 7:33; Ephesians 3:5; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; 2 Peter 1:18).

The writer of this book was a Jew who had believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, becoming a new creation “in Christ” (Psalm 147:19-20; Romans 3:2; Hebrews 2:1, 3).

Positionally, “in Christ,” there is no such thing as a distinction between Jew and Gentile, for neither exists within the new creation to allow for such a distinction (Galatians 3:26-29); but actually, here in this present life, such a distinction exists and is recognized by Scripture.

Paul, who wrote passages such as 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:15, all dealing with the new creation “in Christ,” recognized that “in Christ” he had relinquished his national identity and had become a part of the one new man, in which there is “neither Jew nor Greek [Gentile].”  But Paul also recognized that here and now, in the world, an individual from within the one new man is still “a Jew” or “a Gentile.”  Paul, following his conversion, referred to himself as “a Hebrew,” “an Israelite,” and “a Jew” (cf. Acts 22:3; Romans 11:1; 2 Corinthians 11:22; Philippians 3:5).

The expression, “holy brethren,” in the light of passages such as Matthew 25:40 and Acts 2:37 could easily have been used by the writer of Hebrews as a reference to Israelites.  They constitute a “set apart” people, set apart by God for a particular purpose; and they would have been the writer’s brethren according to the flesh.  However, the writer didn’t stop with this expression.  He further identified them with words that could not refer to Israelites, but to Christians alone.

The book of Hebrews was written to a group of individuals who were neither Jews nor Jewish Christians.  It couldn’t have been written to Jews, for the next words that the writer used nullifies that thought; and it couldn’t have been written to Jewish Christians, for no such group of individuals exists.  There are Jews and there are Christians, but there is no such thing in Scripture as individuals who constitute a mixture of the two.

Using the expression “Jewish Christians” is, in effect, saying that within the new creation in Christ some things have been brought over from the old creation in Jacob — a denial that all things become new “in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Viewing matters after this fashion not only results in a non-biblical outlook upon the “one new man” but also in a building up of that “middle wall of partition” which has been “broken down” (Ephesians 2:14-15).

The book of Hebrews was written to one group of individuals and to one group alone.  It was written to Christians, the only group of individuals in existence today who can be identified in connection with a calling from this present world into the heavens.

PARTAKERS OF THE HEAVENLY CALLING

In Old Testament history, Israel was made the repository for both heavenly and earthly promises and blessings.  Abraham was called out from Ur of the Chaldees to be the one through whom these promises and blessings would be realized.  Within the initial promise to Abraham, given in Ur, God had said, “. . . in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3b).  These blessings were to be realized, not through the person of Abraham alone, but through his seed; and the benefactors of these blessings were to be all of the Gentile nations (Genesis 22:18).

The nations of the earth were to be blessed through the seed of Abraham, and these blessings were to emanate from both heavenly and earthly spheres (Genesis 14:19; 22:17).  That is, the descendants of Abraham — through Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons — were to ultimately reside in both heavenly and earthly places; and the Gentile nations of the earth were to be blessed through Abraham’s descendants as his descendants resided in these two places.

Genesis 14:18-19 provides the first mention of heavenly blessings associated with Abraham and his seed, though such was in view within God’s original promise to Abraham in Ur of the Chaldees, as recorded in Genesis 12:1-3.  And this first mention of heavenly promises and blessings appears in a Messianic type.

Melchizedek, one of two central figures forming the Messianic type (Abraham being the other) is also presented in Scripture for the first time in this passage.  The type surrounds that day when Christ will come forth in the antitype of Melchizedek, as the great King-Priest in Jerusalem, with bread and wine (cf. Matthew 26:29), and bless Abraham and his descendants — both heavenly and earthly.

Thus, more than one first-mention principle is established in Genesis 14:18-19, and that which is established in this passage remains constant throughout Scripture.  Heavenly and earthly blessings, which God has for mankind, reside only in Abraham and his seed (something that never changes in Scripture), and these blessings will be realized during that coming day when Christ, the greater Son of Abraham and David, exercises the Melchizedek priesthood.

(Even preceding the Messianic Era, any blessing realized by the Gentile nations comes to pass only because of God’s dealings with these nations through Israel.  This must be recognized as the way matters currently exist, for there can be no blessings apart from Abraham and his seed beyond that point God called Abraham out from Ur of the Chaldees 4,000 years ago.

And there is also a negative side to the matter — blessings withheld and curses bestowed.  For the past 4,000 years, in the realm of blessings and curses, God has dealt with the nations of the earth [and also individuals] on one basis alone, given in Genesis 12:3:  “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.”)

Even though Israel was made the repository for both heavenly and earthly promises and blessings, there came a day in history when the Jewish people forfeited the heavenly promises and blessings given to the nation through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Israel though remained the repository for the promises and blessings associated with her earthly calling, allowing no change to occur in Israel’s relationship to the Gentile nations of the earth, in accord with Genesis 12:3.

This forfeiture of heavenly promises and blessings occurred when Christ was on earth the first time.  He offered to Israel the “kingdom of the heavens,” and the nation spurned the offer.  Not only did the Israelites reject the proffered kingdom, but they also rejected and crucified the One who made the offer.

Immediately prior to the crucifixion of Israel’s Messiah, the kingdom was taken from Israel, in view of that which once belonged to this nation alone being given to an entirely separate and distinct nation, one “bearing the fruits of it” (Matthew 21:33-43).  Once this had been done — once the kingdom of the heavens had been taken from Israel — the Jewish people could no longer be the instrument through which blessings would flow from heavenly places during Messiah’s reign.  Their earthly status in this respect remained unchanged, but their heavenly status in this same respect was gone forever.

The “nation” destined to bring forth fruit relative to heavenly promises and blessings and eventually occupy heavenly places with Christ could not, under any circumstances, be one of the Gentile nations, for God had laid a principle down in His original call to Abraham.  Blessings were to flow through Abraham and his seed alone.  And in this respect, apart from the manner in which God had chosen to bring the matter to pass, there could be no blessings.

And those Semitic nations descending from Abraham through Ishmael, the sons of Keturah, or Esau (looked upon in Scripture as “Gentile” nations) could, under no circumstances, be part of the matter.  According to Scripture the lineage is restricted to the descendants of Abraham through, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons (cf. Genesis 13:15-16; 15:5; 21:12; 26:3-4; 28:12-15).

The nation of Israel had relinquished her right to be the channel through which heavenly promises and blessings would flow out to the Gentile nations; and no Gentile nation on earth could qualify for this right, for not a single one could claim a relationship to Abraham through Isaac and Jacob (including those nations descending from Abraham through Ishmael, the sons of Keturah, or Esau).  Thus, only one thing could be done:  A new nation, separate and distinct from both Israel and the Gentile nations, but one which was of Abraham’s seed from the correct lineage (through Isaac and Jacob), had to be called into existence.

And this is exactly what God did.  He called the one new man “in Christ” into existence — anticipated in Matthew 16:18 — to be the recipient of that which Israel had rejected.  Christ is Abraham’s Seed, through Jacob’s son, Judah (Galatians 3:16; Revelation 5:5); and Christians, by their positional standing “in Christ,” are also “Abraham’s seed,” through the proper lineage.  And because of this positional standing “in Christ,” Christians can be “heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26, 29; cf. Galatians 3:16, 18).

Christians constitute an entirely new “nation” (1 Peter 2:9-10), identified as “Abraham’s seed.”  They are the ones presently afforded the opportunity to bring forth fruit for that portion of the kingdom offered to and taken from Israel.  They are the ones now in a position to inherit with Christ in heavenly places, which is why Galatians 3:29 identifies Christians as “heirs according to the promise.”

Consequently, when a person reads, “partakers of the heavenly calling,” in Hebrews 3:1, only one group of individuals on the face of the earth could possibly be in view.

Following Christ’s pronouncement in Matthew 21:43, Christians alone find themselves in a position to bring forth fruit in relation to the kingdom of the heavens, with the prospect of one day realizing the rights of the firstborn as co-heirs with Christ in heavenly places.

(The word “partakers” in Hebrews 3:1 is the same word in the Greek text [metochoi] previously translated “companions [KJV: ‘fellows’]” in Hebrews 1:9.  It is also the same word later translated “partakers” in Hebrews 3:14.  All three references refer to the same thing — to that day when Christ’s “companions,” His “co-heirs” will occupy their proper position on the throne with Him in heavenly places [cf. Ephesians 1:3, 10-11, 17-21; 2:6-7; 3:9-11].

Thus, those singled out in Hebrews 3:1 are “companionsof the heavenly calling, or, in the light of Ephesians 3:6, they are “fellow heirs” of the heavenly calling.)

CONSIDER … JESUS

Christ’s “companions,” “fellow heirs,” who will one day occupy positions with Him on His throne in a heavenly realm, are exhorted to consider God’s appointed “heir of all things” in a two-fold manner:

1) As Apostle.

2) As High Priest.

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1)

The word “consider” is the translation of a Greek word that means to fix one’s eyes or mind upon, to pay close attention to.  And Christians, after this fashion, are to fix their eyes, their thoughts, upon Jesus, with particularly attention given to two facets of His person and work — His past work as “Apostle” and His present work as “High Priest.”

In the first warning, the same individuals were exhorted to keep their attention fixed upon the things that they had heard — things surrounding Christ and His companions during that coming day when the rights of the firstborn will be realized.  And now, beginning the second warning, they, at the same time, are exhorted to also center their attention upon things concerning Christ that precede but make possible those things mentioned back in chapter one.

The word translated “profession” in Hebrews 3:1 [KJV] could be better translated “confession.”  Christ is “Apostle and High Priest of our confession [not ‘…of our profession’].”

“Profession [‘confession’]” is the translation of homologia in the Greek text, which means “to say the same thing [as another].”  This is the same word used in its verb form in 1 John 1:9, translated “confess.”  Confession of sins, according to the word used in this verse, is saying or acknowledging the same thing that God says about sins (saying or acknowledging that they are wrong and have no place in one’s life).  It is to agree with God concerning sin.

The same thought is in view in Hebrews 3:1 through the use of this word.  The thought is that of Christians agreeing with God concerning the record that He has given of His Son in His Word.  We are to acknowledge that which God has stated in His Word relative to Jesus as “Apostle and High Priest.” 

1)  APOSTLE OF OUR CONFESSION

The word “Apostle” signifies one who has been sent on a special or particular mission.  Christ was God’s Apostle, sent to this earth on a particular mission almost 2,000 years ago (John 3:34; 12:49; 17:4, 8, 18).  He was sent to the Jewish people, who, through birth, were His brethren according to the flesh, to offer to them the kingdom of the heavens.  And He was also sent to the Jewish people to die as the Passover Lamb for the sins of the world (the Passover lamb was given to Israel, and only Israel could slay this lamb; thus, only Israel could slay Christ, the Passover Lamb).

Consequently, when considering Christ as God’s Apostle and His work during the time He occupied this office, a rather wide scope of ministry at His first coming could conceivably be in view.  Contextually though, this would not be the case.  Verses leading into Hebrews 3:1 (cf. Hebrews 1:3; 2:9-10, 14) center on that part of His past work having to do with His sufferings and death on Calvary.

Within the scope of the overall type during the days of Moses and Joshua, this corresponds to that which occurred in Egypt the night of the Passover, recorded in Exodus 12.  The Lamb has died, but the blood must be applied.  The application of the blood, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, is the point of beginning.

Apart from this, fallen man, “dead in trespasses and sins,” would forever remain alienated from God’s purpose for bringing him into existence.  Apart from this point of beginning, wherein man passes “from death to life,” there could be no new creation “in Christ,” “companions” of the heavenly calling.

Redemption through Christ’s finished work is the foundation upon which everything in the book of Hebrews rests, though this is not the central message of the book.  Hebrews deals mainly, not with redemption itself — not with Christ’s work as “Apostle” — but with that which redemption makes possible, the purpose for redemption.

This revealed purpose for redemption provides the central reason why the author, within one portion of Hebrews, where redemption is in view, is careful to state that Christ “took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham [KJV]” (Hebrews 2:16). And Christians, by looking back at Christ’s finished work as Apostle, are to ever keep their eyes fixed upon that which lies out ahead as well, that which His finished work makes possible.

Contextually, redemption in this passage (and other related passages in Hebrews) is with a view to bringing man (after he has been redeemed and is no longer alienated from God) into a realization of promises and blessings that can be possessed only by Abraham and his seed, remaining in line with the central teaching of this book.

Christians, with their thoughts fixed upon those things surrounding the “heir of all things” and His “companions” in that coming day when they ascend the throne together (Hebrews 3:1; cf. Hebrews 1:2ff), are to fix their attention upon Christ in a past sense as well.  They are to ever keep in mind His finished work on Calvary, which makes everything possible.  But they are to view this finished work after the same fashion Christ viewed it.

While undergoing the sufferings surrounding Calvary, Christ had His eyes fixed on “the joy that was set before Him [the day when He and those for whom He was paying redemption’s price would inherit all things together] . . . .” (Hebrews 12:2).  And Christians, by looking back at Christ’s finished work as Apostle, are to ever keep their eyes fixed upon that which lies out ahead as well, that which His finished work makes possible.

2)  HIGH PRIEST OF OUR CONFESSION

As “Apostle,” Christ died for our sins, providing redemption; and as “High Priest,” He ever lives to make intercession for us.  Christ is performing a work today, as in the past; but His work during the present time has nothing to do with redemption.  It has to do strictly with a work on behalf of those whom He has already redeemed.

He, as the Old Testament priests who performed a work in the earthly tabernacle on behalf of the Israelites, is presently performing a work in the heavenly tabernacle (after which the earthly was patterned) on behalf of Christians.  The former ministry was performed on behalf of a redeemed people called out of Egypt to inherit an earthly land, and the latter ministry is being performed for a redeemed people called out from this earth to inherit a heavenly land.

Priests occupy a representative position between God and man, representing God to man and man to God.  Representation of this nature during Moses’ day centered on a sacrificial system in connection with the earthly tabernacle, and during the present time it centers on Christ’s sacrifice in connection with the heavenly tabernacle.  Blood from animals was placed on the mercy seat of the earthly tabernacle, but the blood of Christ has been placed on the mercy seat of the heavenly tabernacle (Hebrews 9:1ff).

In the antitype of Aaron, Christ effects a present cleansing for a redeemed people from the defilement brought about by sin, on the basis of blood.  Christ’s present ministry is performed strictly on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat in heaven, it has to do with the kingdom of priests (the many sons) He is about to bring forth, and it looks out ahead to the coming age.

Christ is performing His present ministry for those whom He has redeemed in order that He might ultimately present the Church to Himself, “not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.”  Only through this present cleansing can Christians have a part with Him (as “companions”) in that coming day (John 13:8; Ephesians 5:27).

CONCLUDING REMARKS:

Fixing our attention upon “the Apostle and High Priest of our confession” is fixing our attention upon:

1) The One who performed a work in the past to effect our salvation.

2) The One who performs a work during the present to bring about the purpose for our salvation.

One is inseparably linked to the other when both are looked upon in their correct perspectives, for both center on and have to do with the same thing, the coming Messianic Era.
Chapter Two
Two Callings, Two Houses

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all his house.

For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house.

For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. (Hebrews 3:1-4)

The thought in the opening verses of Hebrews chapter three turns on a type-antitype comparison between two houses — the house of Moses and the house of Christ.  The former constitutes the type and the latter the antitype.  “Moses” was a type of Christ (Deuteronomy 18:15; Acts 3:22; 7:37), and the work that he performed in relation to his house typifies the work that Christ is presently performing in relation to His house.  And there must be an exact parallel between the two.

The word “house” is used in Scripture to refer to both a material structure and the inhabitants of or the people associated with that material structure, and the thought sometimes merges from one to the other in the same text.

A dual use of “house” after this fashion is seen in 2 Samuel 7:1ff.  David sought to build the Lord a house in which to dwell, seeing that he himself dwelled in “a house of cedar” while the ark (resting within that portion of the tabernacle where God dwelled) was surrounded only by “curtains.”  However, God had other thoughts in mind about the matter; and He instructed Nathan to tell David that rather than David building the Lord a house, the Lord would, instead, take David and build a house out of him (2 Samuel 7:4, 11-13).

That which is meant by “house,” thus, merges from the thought of a material structure to that of the people associated with the structure.

When on earth the first time, Christ referred to both the Jewish people and the temple as a “house” (Matthew 10:6; 21:13).  The thought in Matthew 23:38 — “See! Your house is left to you desolate [left a ‘desert,’ ‘wilderness,’ ‘waste land’]” — was a reference to both the people and the temple (Matthew 23:39; 24:1-2).  The house of Israel was left desolate at the time Christ spoke these words (a reference to their spiritual condition, likened to a desert or waste land, void of water), the temple (along with the city of Jerusalem) was destroyed thirty-seven years later (in 70 A.D.), and the house of Israel has remained desolate since that time.

Antichrist will complete this desolation (beginning in the middle of the Tribulation) by desecrating the rebuilt temple, destroying this temple, destroying the city of Jerusalem, seeking to destroy the Jewish people, and dividing the land presently occupied by the Jews “for gain” (Daniel 9:27; 11:39; Joel 3:2; Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24).  In this respect, “your house” in Matthew 23:38 could be expanded to include the temple, the city of Jerusalem, the land of Israel, and the people of that land.

The house of Moses likewise has to do with both a material structure and the people associated with that structure.  The thought in the opening verses of Hebrews 3 is drawn from Numbers 12.  In verse seven of this chapter, the Lord stated concerning Moses that he had been “faithful in all My house.”  The immediate context, both preceding and following this verse, has to do with “the tabernacle of the congregation.”  Events surrounding the tabernacle furnish the backdrop for the statement concerning Moses’ faithfulness, and there is a shift in the passage from “the tabernacle” to “the congregation” (from a material structure in which the Lord dwelled among His people and in which priestly activity transpired to those who had been separated from Egypt with a view to their becoming “a kingdom of priests” in another land [Exodus 19:6]).

And the thought concerning a tabernacle and the people associated with the tabernacle as both comprising a “house” is the same when it comes to the house of Christ.  There is a tabernacle in the heavens, after which the earthly tabernacle was patterned (Exodus 25:40; Hebrews 8:5).  Christ is today performing His high priestly ministry on behalf of Christians within that tabernacle, and He is presently building a house out of Christians — those separated from this world with a view to their becoming “kings and priests” in another land (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:19-22; Hebrews 9:11ff; Revelation 5:10; cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20).  This is a house separate and distinct from the house of Israel, made up of the new creation “in Christ,” comprising the one new man (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:15).

The warning in Hebrews 3 turns on the thought of the headship of two individuals (Moses and Christ) over two groups of people (Israelites and Christians).  There is a tabernacle in each instance (one earthly, the other heavenly [Numbers 12:7; Hebrews 3:1; 10:19-22]); and the warning involves the people associated with both tabernacles (drawn from the experiences of an earthly people in the type [separated from Egypt in order to realize an earthly inheritance in another land], applicable to the experiences of a heavenly people in the antitype [separated from this earth in order to realize a heavenly inheritance in another land]).

(Moses, though of the Levitical line, did not occupy a priestly position following the erection of the tabernacle and the anointing of his brother, Aaron [Exodus 40:14ff].  Rather, this priestly work was carried out by Aaron, after which the present high priestly work of Christ is patterned.

The positions held by Moses and Aaron are combined in the present position held by Christ.  And Christ’s high priestly ministry would have to be viewed as an integral part of His present headship over His house, as the ministry of Aaron was an integral part of Moses’ past headship over his house.  The two must function together after an inseparable fashion in both type and antitype.)

THE PRIMARY, FUNDAMENTAL TYPE

The Spirit of God moved some forty different men over a period of about fifteen hundred years to record God’s revelation to man after a certain fashion, and Scripture must be interpreted after the fashion in which it was given to man through the Holy Spirit.  According to 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11, all recorded Old Testament history is not only an accurate account of past events but this history is also fraught with types and meaning.

Now these things became our examples [Greek: tupoi, “types”; lit., “Now these things happened as types for us”], to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. (1 Corinthians 10:6)

Now all these things happened to them as examples [Greek: tupoi, “types”;  lit., “Now all these things happened unto them for types”], and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Corinthians 10:11)

The Greek word tupos (pl. tupoi), found in 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11, is the word from which we derive our English word “type.”  The immediate reference surrounding these verses has to do with the experiences of the Israelites under Moses (and, correspondingly, later under Joshua [cf. Hebrews 3:2-19; 4:1-8]).  All these experiences occurred as “types for us.”  However, the thought could not be limited to just this one section of Old Testament history — covering about one-fifth of the entire Old Testament.  The Spirit of God didn’t move men to write this part of the Old Testament one way and the remainder another.  History throughout the other four-fifths could only have been written after the same fashion, which is exactly what internal evidence reveals (cf. Matthew 12:40; Luke 24:26-27; John 3:14-15; Hebrews 11:4ff).

Everything having to do with this earth and man occurred under the sovereign control of the Lord, and all Old Testament history has been recorded to not only provide man with a completely accurate account of certain events in history but also in order that the Lord could, at a later point in time, have these events to draw upon for the express purpose of teaching His people the deep things of God.  Revelation of this nature begins in Genesis 1:1 and continues throughout all of Old Testament history.

There’s nothing quite like the study of biblical typology.  This is where the true meat of the word is to be found, and anyone ignoring the study of Old Testament history within a typical framework is not only refusing to study the Bible after the fashion in which it was written but is also denying to himself (and, in many cases, to others as well [by those in positions to teach]) great spiritual truths that God has for His people.

Scripture as a whole simply cannot be properly understood apart from viewing the Old Testament types.  The book of Hebrews is a good case in point.  This book is built around five major warnings, and all five of these warnings draw heavily from Old Testament typology.  And the central reason this book has been understood so many different ways over the years is because those studying the book have either ignored or not properly understood the Old Testament types dealt with in the book.

All five warnings draw heavily from what could be called, the primary, fundamental type.  This is the type dealt with through five books in the Old Testament — from Exodus 12 through Joshua.  The overall type (comprised of many different individual types) involves the numerous experiences of the Israelites under Moses, and later under Joshua, from the point of the appropriation of the blood of the paschal lambs in Egypt to the point of either their overthrow in the wilderness (between Egypt and Canaan) or their entrance into and conquest of the land of Canaan — the land to which they had been called for a revealed purpose, wherein they could realize the rights of the firstborn.  And a person simply cannot understand the warnings in Hebrews apart from viewing them within the framework of this section of the Old Testament.

Within this overall type, one will find God’s own source material given to instruct His people concerning how to safely and successfully navigate through the course of life as they move from Egypt to Canaan (that is, how to safely and successfully navigate through the course of life as they move from this world to that heavenly land to which they have been called).  And, within this type, one will also find something else.  One will find the basis for the warnings in Hebrews concerning that which will occur if Christians don’t follow the Lord’s instructions in this respect.

That is to say, this primary, fundamental type covers the whole of the Christian experience — from the point of salvation to that future time when Christians either realize or fail to realize the goal of their calling.  Hebrews provides instructions for Christians (drawing from the type) concerning how to govern their lives so that they can be successful in the race of the faith, ultimately realizing the goal of their calling; and Hebrews also warns Christians (drawing from the type) concerning that which will happen if they fail to so govern their lives. 

THE HOUSE OF MOSES

“The house of Moses” was simply the old creation in Jacob (Jacob’s descendants through his twelve sons [Isaiah 43:1]).

Jacob and his family had gone down into Egypt during the days of Joseph, and over a period of four generations, covering slightly more than two hundred years (cf. Genesis 15:13-16; Exodus 12:40-41; Galatians 3:16-17), the descendants of this one family had become a great nation.  And it was this nation (comprised of possibly as many as two million people at the time of the Exodus) over which Moses had been placed for the express purpose of leading the people out of the land of Egypt into the land of Canaan.

Israel was (and remains today) God’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22), and the nation was to be led from Egypt to Canaan in order to realize the rights of the firstborn in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 4:23; cf. Exodus 2:23-25; 3:7-8).

Occupying the position of God’s firstborn son in this land, Israel was not only to rule over all the Gentile nations (the kingly aspect of the birthright) but Israel was also to be the channel through which all the Gentile nations would be blessed (the priestly aspect of the birthright). 

1)  DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN

The type begins with the death of the firstborn in Egypt as recorded in Exodus 12.  The firstborn had to die in Egypt before the nation could realize the rights of the firstborn in the land of Canaan (an individual and national death, brought to pass through the death of the firstborn in the family).

God rejects first things (the earth’s first messiah [Satan], the earth’s first man [Adam], man’s first birth [the natural birth], etc.), and, consequently, the first had to be removed before the second could be established.  This is God’s revealed method for carrying out His plans and purposes (Hebrews 10:9).

In this respect, the firstborn in every household throughout all the land of Egypt (Israelite and Egyptian alike) fell under the sentence of death, a death that had to be carried out.  And in order to bring about the death of the firstborn, the Lord would pass through the land of Egypt at midnight, on a specified day, and slay all the firstborn throughout the land.

However, the Lord made a distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians by providing the Israelites with a means of substitutionary death.  A lamb, previously taken from the flock, could die in the place of, in the stead of, the firstborn in the family — a vicarious death.  And to show that death had already occurred, blood from a slain lamb (“a lamb for a house”) was to be applied to the door posts and lintel of every house in which the firstborn of each family dwelled.

The paschal lambs were to be slain — followed by the application of the blood — on the fourteenth day of the first month of the year “in the evening [‘between the evenings’].”  Then, when the Lord passed through the land of Egypt a few hours later, at midnight, He looked for one thing alone.  He looked for the blood applied to the door posts and lintel of each and every house.

If the blood was there, the Lord knew that death had already occurred.  A lamb from the flock had died in the stead of the firstborn in the family; and, in this respect, in God’s eyes, the matter was viewed as the firstborn in the family having experienced death himself.  And since the death of the firstborn had already occurred, the Lord passed over that house.  The firstborn had died, and God was satisfied.

But, if there was no blood on the door posts and lintel, then the firstborn himself, apart from a substitute, was slain (for the absence of blood showed that the firstborn had not yet died; death had not yet occurred).  The firstborn in the family then experienced death himself, for that which God had previously decreed concerning the firstborn must be carried out.  God must be satisfied.  The first had to be removed before the second could be established.

Though the firstborn within a family is singled out after a particular fashion, all members of that family, and consequently the nation as a whole — Israel, God’s firstborn son — must be included within the larger scope of the type.  All members of the family had a part in taking, slaying, and eating the lamb.  The lamb was “for a house,” not just the firstborn in that house (Exodus 12:3-4).  And every family in the camp of Israel was to take, slay, and eat a lamb after this fashion.  In this respect, all (the entire nation) appropriated the blood, in the same sense that Paul recounts,

Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,

all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

all ate the same spiritual food,

and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)

This was the point of beginning.  The birth of a nation occurred this night in Egypt.  There was death, followed by resurrection to life (cf. Hebrews 11:17-19).  God set aside the first in order to establish the second.  Only by bringing this to pass could God move His people out of Egypt with a view to establishing them in the land of Canaan.

2)  THE RED SEA PASSAGE

The Egyptians though could have no part in the matter surrounding a substitutionary death.  God set aside the first (an individual death, reflecting on a national death) apart from establishing the second, for there was no second to be established.  There was no resurrection to life.  The firstborn died apart from a subsequent resurrection; and Pharaoh and his armed forces were then buried in the Red Sea, where they remained.

While at the same time, Moses and those whom he had led through the sea (who had experienced the death of the firstborn via a substitute, with its corresponding subsequent resurrection to life) stood on the eastern banks of the sea.  They had walked across on “dry ground,” with the sea forming two walls of water, one on their right and the other on their left.  Because of that which had previously occurred in Egypt surrounding the death of the firstborn, the sea (having to do with “death”) had no power over them (cf. Daniel 3:24-28).  Israel on the eastern banks, not Egypt beneath the waters of the sea, was God’s recognized firstborn — the nation in line to realize the rights of primogeniture.

The Red Sea lay between Egypt and the wilderness.  The Israelites could not enter Canaan directly from Egypt even after the first had been set aside and the second established.  They had to first go through the Red Sea, traverse the wilderness, and receive the Magna Charta for the kingdom (God’s rules and regulations governing His people within the theocracy).

God separated His people from Egypt via the Red Sea passage; and once in the wilderness, their thoughts were to be on the land to which they had been called, not upon the land from which they had been separated.  Their eyes were to be focused on the goal of their calling, not on surrounding things in the wilderness or on the things back in Egypt (cf. Hebrews 12:1-2).

This though was often not the case.  Because of the Israelites’ lengthy prior association with Egypt (dwelling in Egypt and partaking of the things of this land for over two centuries), trouble often developed in the camp of Israel throughout the wilderness journey; and this trouble could always, after some fashion, be traced back to what the people had learned in Egypt and brought out of Egypt into the wilderness with them.

At Mt. Sinai, for example, the Israelites fell into a pagan form of idolatry, desiring “gods” like unto the gods of the Egyptians, gods they had previously worshipped in Egypt (Joshua 24:14).  The calf (or ox) was the principle Egyptian god, and Aaron fashioned “a molten calf” for the Israelites while Moses was on the Mount (Exodus 32:1ff).

On another occasion the Israelites grew tired of the manna that God had provided, remembering the fish, melons, and other food that they had previously enjoyed while in Egypt (Numbers 11:4-8).  And at Kadesh-Barnea they climaxed their rebellion against the separation that God had established.  At Kadesh-Barnea, rather than following the leadership of the Lord and entering the land of Canaan under Moses, they, instead, sought to appoint another leader (in Moses’ place) and return to Egypt (Numbers 14:1-4).

According to 1 Corinthians 10:2, the Israelites were “baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.”  The “cloud” was the pillar of a cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night that went before the Israelites — the Shekinah Glory, the visible presence of God among His people (Exodus 13:21-22); and the “sea” was the Red Sea through which the Israelites passed (Exodus 14:22).

“Baptism” is used in Scripture in the sense of identification.  Usually there is an element into which the individual is immersed to either bring about or show this identification (Matthew 3:11), but sometimes this is not the case (Matthew 20:22).  The baptism of the Israelites “in the cloud and in the sea” showed their identification with the Lord (“in the cloud”) as a people separated from Egypt (“in the sea”).  And there was a reason for this identification and corresponding separation, which had to do with their being positioned in the land of Canaan.

They had been buried “by baptism” on the western banks of the sea in Egypt and raised to “walk in newness of life” on the eastern banks in the wilderness (cf. Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).  The firstborn had died.  The first had been set aside and the second established.

There had been a death and subsequent resurrection to life, in which the people were separated from Egypt for a purpose; and, within this new standing, with their eyes fixed on the goal of their calling, God expected His people to govern their lives accordingly.

3)  THE WILDERNESS JOURNEY

The Israelites’ march through the wilderness was not directly to the land of Canaan.  Rather, through God’s prior command to Moses, the march was first to Mt. Sinai (Exodus 3:12; 19:1-2).  God had to first communicate His Word to His people, and this was to be done through Moses at Mt. Sinai.

In the third month after their departure from Egypt, the people of Israel came into the wilderness of Sinai and camped before the Mount.  Moses then went up into the Mount to receive the Word of God, and the first thing that God communicated to Moses concerned the Israelites standing before Him.

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel. (1 Corinthians 10:5-6)

The Israelites were to be “a special treasure,” placed “above all people” as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”  This had to do with their standing as God’s firstborn son; and their occupying this position in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was contingent on obedience.

They had to obey the voice of the Lord and keep His covenant (1 Corinthians 10:5).  Thus, at Mt. Sinai, the Lord, after singling out and identifying the people who had been brought out of Egypt under Moses, communicated His Word to His people through Moses.

Also at Mt. Sinai, in connection with God’s communication of His Word to His people, instructions for the building of the tabernacle and the manner in which the Levitical priests were to carry out their ministry were revealed to Moses.  Subsequently, at Sinai, the tabernacle was constructed and the priesthood established (Exodus 25-40).

Then, immediately after Moses had “finished the work” which God had commanded, the “glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34); and at this point, a theocratic kingdom came into existence in the camp of Israel.

The people of Israel, in possession of the Word of God (rules and regulations governing them within the theocracy) and the Lord dwelling within the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle in their midst (forming a theocracy), were now in a position to march toward the land of Canaan, occupy that land, and realize the rights of the firstborn in that land.

God’s purpose for calling Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees five hundred years earlier, and singling out Shem as the only one of Noah’s three sons with a God nine generations preceding Abraham (in Abraham’s lineage), could now begin to be realized.

4)  AT KADESH-BARNEA

Several months beyond Israel’s departure from the wilderness of Sinai (Numbers 10:11-12), about one and one-half years beyond the nation’s departure from Egypt, the newly established nation, God’s firstborn son, arrived at the borders of the land of Canaan.  The end of an era was at hand.  Heretofore the descendants of Abraham had been considered “strangers” in relation to the land of Canaan (Genesis 15:13; 37:1; 47:9; Exodus 6:3-4).

But the sojourn of the seed of Abraham had ended (Exodus 12:40-41), and the descendants of Abraham were now at the very borders of the land — an established nation under God (the only earthly nation that ever has been or ever will be so placed) — ready to enter in and take possession of the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Moses, as instructed by the Lord, first sent spies into the land to obtain a report concerning the land and its inhabitants.  These spies traversed the land, “from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob,” for forty days and nights.  And at the end of this time they appeared before Moses, Aaron, and the congregation of Israel to give their report (Numbers 13:1-33).

Their report contained both positive and negative aspects.  The land was truly a land flowing with “milk and honey,” but . . .  the inhabitants of the land were strong, they dwelled in walled cities, and the sons of Anak (the Nephilim) dwelled in the land (Numbers 14:26-29, 33).

Then, Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said,

Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it. (Numbers 13:30b)

Within his and Joshua’s thinking concerning the matter, the strength of the land’s inhabitants was not the issue.  Rather, that which God had promised and God’s faithfulness to carry out His promises, through His strength, was the issue with them.   They believed God would be well able to complete His dealings with Israel by and through bringing the people of this nation into a realization of their calling (cf. Numbers 14:8), ultimately effecting the fulfillment of Genesis 12:2-3.

The other ten spies though presented an opposing report, saying,

We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. . . . (Numbers 13:31-33)

These ten spies led the people of Israel to believe that they would be unable to go up against and conquer the inhabitants of the land.  And viewing matters after this fashion, they were in essence saying that God would be unable to complete His dealings with Israel by and through bringing the people comprising this nation into a realization of their calling, resulting in Genesis 12:2-3 remaining unfulfilled.

The people of Israel chose to believe the ten spies with their “evil report,” and it is at this point in Israel’s history that we find a national apostasy, resulting in the nation being overthrown in the wilderness.  Because of that which occurred at Kadesh-Barnea, rather than the people overcoming the inhabitants of the land and realizing their calling, the nation was overcome outside the land before ever engaging the enemy in battle.

The entire accountable generation, twenty years old and above, was caused to wander in the wilderness (for another thirty-eight and one-half years) until that entire generation, save Caleb and Joshua, had died.  Then, the second generation, under Joshua, was led across the Jordan to enter the land, engage the enemy in battle, and ultimately occupy the land. 

THE HOUSE OF CHRIST

That which occurred at Kadesh-Barnea under Moses and that which occurred thirty-eight and one-half years later after the Israelites had crossed the Jordan under Joshua form the two central places from which teachings surrounding the warnings and promises to Christians are drawn in the book of Hebrews.

Everything is identical when dealing with the house of Christ — from the death of the paschal lambs in Egypt to the overthrow of an entire generation (save Caleb and Joshua) following events surrounding the Israelites at Kadesh-Barnea under Moses, or to the subsequent entrance of the second generation into the land under Joshua.

Accordingly, the first matter that must be considered in the antitype is the death of the firstborn.  The firstborn is under the sentence of death and must die; and, as in Moses’ day, a substitute has been provided.  “Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7).  His blood has been shed — blood that must be applied.  And this is accomplished through faith in the One who shed His blood (John 3:16), effecting a passage “from death to life” (John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1, 5).

(There is also a “national” aspect to the death of the firstborn, as in Israel’s case.  Collectively, Christians presently comprise “a holy nation” [1 Peter 2:9], which will, during the coming age, comprise a third firstborn Son [along with Israel and Christ (Hebrews 12:23)].  And, exactly as was the case with both Israel and Christ, the firstborn must die, with a view to resurrection and life, with the latter shown in the antitype of the Red Sea passage of the Israelites under Moses.)

The Red Sea passage under Moses showed that the firstborn had died.  Then, beyond showing that the firstborn had died, the Red Sea passage showed that there had been a separation from the world, and the Israelites had been raised on the eastern banks of the Sea to “walk in newness of life.”

In the antitype, all of these different things are shown through the act of baptism, occurring following the death of the firstborn, following the individual passing “from death to life.”  The individual, through baptism, is identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, raised to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12).

Then comes that which is foreshadowed by the wilderness journey, wherein the person receives the Word of God and, through this Word, moves from immaturity to maturity in the things of God, with a view to entrance into the land whereunto he has been called.  He cannot move from Egypt directly into this land, for he must first be properly equipped to engage and overcome the enemy occupying the land.  And becoming equipped after this fashion occurs in the wilderness.

The individual must first be trained in spiritual matters over a period of time.  Then, and only then, can he be in a position to move forward into the land, engage the enemy, and overcome the enemy (the different Gentile nations infiltrated by the Nephilim in the land of Canaan in the type, and Satan and his angels in that heavenly land in the antitype [cf. Numbers 13:28-33; Ephesians 6:11ff]).

But, as it is in the type, so it is in the antitype.  Most (apparent from the type) will be overthrown in the wilderness.  They will be overthrown on the right side of the blood — eternally saved — but short of the goal of their calling.  They will have failed to follow the Lord’s leadership during the wilderness journey or relative to entering the land to which they had been called.  Rather than overcoming the enemy in the land, they will have been overcome, most before ever engaging the enemy in combat.  And, as a consequence, in that coming day they will be denied positions with Christ in the land, within the theocracy.

And also, as it is in the type, a smaller group will realize the goal of their calling.  They will have possessed “another spirit,” “followed” the Lord, and will ultimately “possess” the land (Numbers 13:30; 14:24).  Properly equipped for battle, they will have moved into the land and overcome the enemy.  These are the ones who will occupy positions in the land, within the theocracy, as co-heirs with Christ.
Chapter Three
Whose House Are We, If . . . .

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,

who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.

For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house.

For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.

And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things that would be spoken afterward,

but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:1-6)

Teachings surrounding the house of Christ are drawn from those surrounding the house of Moses.  The latter constitutes the type and the former the antitype.  And the antitype must be in complete accord with the type in every respect — from the death of the firstborn in Egypt (Exodus 12) to either the overthrow of an entire generation in the wilderness (save Caleb and Joshua) or the entrance of the second generation into the land of Canaan (Numbers 14:29ff; Joshua 1:1ff).

The house of Moses is spoken of as consisting of all who came out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership (cf. Numbers 12:7; Hebrews 3:5). All comprising this house were,

. . . under the cloud, all passed through the sea,

all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

all ate the same spiritual food,

and all drank the same spiritual drink. . . .

But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.  (1 Corinthians 10:1-5)

Those overthrown in the wilderness were cut off from the house of Moses.  They fell as excommunicated pilgrims — on the right side of the blood, but on the wrong side of the goal of their calling.

Then, immediately following these words reiterating the experiences of the Israelites in 1 Corinthians 10:1-5, the Spirit of God moved the Apostle Paul to write,

Now these things became our examples [lit., ‘Now these things happened as types for us’] . . . . (1 Corinthians 10:6; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:11)

“Israel,” under the leadership of Moses, forms the type; and “the Church,” under the leadership of Christ, forms the antitype.  The matter could not be worded in a plainer and more understandable manner.

With these things in mind, it is also clear that if the house of Moses consisted of all who came out of Egypt under his leadership, then the house of Christ must consist of all who have been separated from this world under His leadership.  That is, if the house of Moses consisted of all Israelites, the house of Christ must consist of all Christians.  And such is exactly the case, for there must be this parallel between the type and the antitype.

But, with this in mind, note that Hebrews 3:6 speaks of the house of Christ in a more limited sense than consisting of all Christians.  This verse places a condition on Christians being members of Christ’s house: . . . whose house we [Christians] are if . . . .

(The preceding is somewhat like the way in which the word “Church” [Greek:  ekklesia, meaning “called out”] is used in the New Testament.  In Revelation 2; 3, the word is used of all Christians [called out of the world]; but in Hebrews 12:23, the word is used in a more restrictive sense.  It is used in this verse pertaining to those who, following the adoption, will comprise God’s firstborn son [synonymous with the bride, called out of the body, subsequent to a calling out of the world].)

And the reason Hebrews 3:6 speaks of the house of Christ in a more limited sense is because this verse looks ahead to a time spoken of as “the end,” which could only be the end of the Christians’ present pilgrim journey.

In the type, many coming out of Egypt (with all comprising Moses’ house at that time) did not comprise his house at the end of their pilgrim journey.  An entire generation of Israelites was overthrown in the wilderness, cut off from Moses’ house, prior to the nation entering the land under Joshua and realizing the rights of the firstborn in that land.

The Israelites being cut off from the house of Moses had nothing to do with the previous death of the firstborn that had occurred in Egypt.  The firstborn had died, God was satisfied, and that was the end of the matter.  But being subsequently cut off from the house of Moses had everything to do with entrance into the land of Canaan.  Those cut off from Moses’ house fell as excommunicated pilgrims in the wilderness, on the right side of the blood (eternally saved) but on the wrong side of the goal of their calling (outside the land of Canaan).

And the matter will be exactly the same for those comprising the house of Christ in the antitype.  In both instances, individuals (Israelites, Christians) were/will be cut off from their respective houses (house of Moses, house of Christ) under their respective Heads (Moses, Christ).

As in the type, a cutting off from the house of Christ can have nothing to do with the death of the firstborn.  Christ — the Passover Lamb, the antitype of the paschal lambs slain in Exodus 12 — has “died for our sins . . . .” (1 Corinthians 5:7; 15:3-4).  And any person applying the blood (by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ) is eternally secure, simply because God is satisfied with the finished work of His Son at Calvary.  Nothing can ever nullify that which occurred at the point of belief (Romans 8:38-39), for it is based entirely on Christ’s finished work.

But the person applying the blood can be cut off from the house of Christ in the antitype just as those who were cut off from the house of Moses.  He can fall as an excommunicated pilgrim in the wilderness, on the right side of the blood (eternally saved) but on the wrong side of the goal of his calling (outside the land to which he was called).

In order to be a member of Christ’s house in that coming day, one must, according to Hebrews 3:6, “hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.”  And the spiritual lesson concerning exactly what is meant by this statement must be drawn from the type.

HOLDING FAST

The Greek word translated “hold fast” (katecho) in Hebrews 3:6 refers, contextually, to keeping something constantly in mind or in one’s possession as that person presses toward the goal out ahead.  This word is used two other places in the book of Hebrews — once again in the second warning (Hebrews 3:14), and once more in the fourth warning (Hebrews 10:23).  In each instance the thought is the same, though different facets of the overall subject matter are in view.

The word katecho is used in nautical circles in the sense of “holding one’s course straight.”  Luke, in Acts 27:40, used the word relative to the crew of a ship holding the ship on a straight course in a storm.  The crew discovered a bay along the shore of an island, which they later found to be the island of Malta; and they sought to ground the ship in the bay near the shore in order to escape the stormy sea.  Thus, they held the ship on a straight course headed for the bay and the shore.

The backdrop to Hebrews 3:6 is the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan under Moses (Hebrews 3:2-5, 7ff).  The Israelites had been removed from Egypt for a revealed purpose, which had to do with an inheritance in another land, the land of Canaan.  And as they moved from Egypt to Canaan, they were to keep their eyes fixed on the goal of their calling, which was to be realized in the land of Canaan out ahead, not in the land of Egypt behind them.

And with Christians in the antitype under Christ, the thought is the same.  Christians have been separated from this world for a revealed purpose, which has to do with an inheritance in another land, a heavenly land.  And as they move from this world toward that land, they are to keep their eyes fixed on the goal of their calling, which is to be realized in that heavenly land out ahead, not in the world behind them (note the position that the “world” is to always occupy in relation to all Christian activity when viewed from the perspective of the type).

This overall thought is expressed many different times in various ways throughout Scripture.  The end result of “holding fast” though, no matter how it is expressed, is always the same — ultimately occupying a position as co-heir with Christ in the kingdom, realizing the rights of the firstborn therein.

In Matthew 22:2-14, for example, in the parable of the marriage festival, the matter is approached from a different perspective.  In this parable, proper attire was required for admittance to the festivities surrounding a royal wedding.  A wedding garment was required, and only those clothed in this garment were allowed inside the banquet hall.

But, despite this requirement, a man sought to attend the festivities improperly clothed.  He was not wearing the required attire.  And the King coming in and seeing this man questioned him concerning why he had sought to attend the festivities apart from being properly clothed.

The manner in which the question is worded in the Greek text shows that the man knew he was supposed to be clothed in a wedding garment but had willfully refused to provide himself with one.  The King then instructed His servants to bind the man “hand and foot” and cast him into the darkness outside.

The wedding garment, according to Revelation 19:7-8, is made up of “the righteous acts of the saints” (NKJV).  That is, the wedding garment is constructed of works emanating out of faithfulness (James 2:14-26) — the faithfulness of household servants in the house of Christ as He leads them from this world to that heavenly land.

A Christian under the headship of Christ must exercise faithfulness in seeing that nothing during the present time interferes with his one day attaining the goal set before him.  His every move in life must be in only one direction; he must move toward that heavenly land wherein Christians will realize the rights of the firstborn.  And faithfulness after this fashion will result in the type of works that form the wedding garment.

This same thing is illustrated after another fashion in the parable of the Householder and His servant in Matthew 24:45-51 (cf. Luke 12:42-46).  In this parable, faithfulness is shown by providing other servants in the house with “food (KJV: meat) in due season” (Matthew 24:45), and unfaithfulness is shown through refusing to provide this food/meat (Matthew 24:48).

The word for “food” (“meat”) in Scripture, as distinguished from “milk,” has a peculiar reference to those things pertaining to the Lord’s return and the coming kingdom.  For example, in Hebrews 5:11-14, it has to do with Christ exercising the Melchizedek priesthood, a combined ministry as both Priest and King, reserved for the coming age.  And that which is meant by giving “food (meat) in due season” in the parable of the Householder and His servant is shown by everything in the parable revolving around the Lord’s return, with either reward or chastisement (with the kingdom in view) awaiting household servants.

Then, in the parables of the talents and the pounds (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27) the basic picture is again the same — faithfulness in the Lord’s house during the present time, with a view to one day occupying a position as co-heir with Christ in His kingdom.

In these companion parables, the Householder has gone “into a far country [heaven, into His Father’s presence] to receive for Himself a kingdom [from His Father], and to return [back to earth]” (Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 25:14, 19; Luke 19:12, 15).  During the time of the Householder’s absence — between the time of His departure to receive the kingdom and His return after receiving the kingdom — He has left His household business in charge of His servants.  Those servants acting after a responsible fashion to the charge left to them will be rewarded upon the Householder’s return, but those servants acting after an irresponsible fashion to this charge will suffer loss at this time (Matthew 25:20ff; Luke 19:16ff).

There will be “a just recompense of reward” (KJV) for all servants when the Householder returns (Hebrews 2:2; 11:26).  That is, each servant will receive exactly what he deserves, “according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).  Judgment will be based solely on the actions of servants relative to the charge left them by their Lord.  They will be judged on the basis of whether they acted responsibly or irresponsibly, and each servant will, accordingly, be justly recompensed.

The goal is dwelling in that heavenly land as a co-heir with Christ in the kingdom that He has gone away to receive.  From a biblical standpoint, this is the goal toward which everything in the Christian life must move; and being rewarded for faithfulness or suffering loss for unfaithfulness has to do with the manner in which a servant in the house governs the course of his life as he moves toward this goal.

Accordingly, holding fast in Hebrews 3:6 is responsible action on the part of household servants as they exhibit faithfulness to their household duties during the time of the Householder’s absence.  Having so governed their lives, they will have acted after a fashion that will result in a commendation by their Lord.  They, individually, will be told,

Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. (Matthew 25:21, 23; Luke 19:17-19)

But the opposite will be true for unfaithful servants, those refusing to act after a responsible fashion during the time of the Householder’s absence.  They will not only be rebuked upon the Householder’s return but they will suffer loss; and, accordingly, they will occupy no position of honor and glory with Christ in His kingdom (Matthew 25:24-30; Luke 19:20-26).

Unfaithful servants in that day will hear their Lord say,

You wicked and lazy servant . . . . (Matthew 25:26ff)

And that which will await unfaithful servants in that coming day is clearly revealed:

And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth [an Eastern expression showing deep grief]. (Matthew 25:30)

Introducing the last of the five major warnings in Hebrews (Hebrews 12:1-2) — which specifically warns household servants about the possibility that they can, as Esau, forfeit their birthrights (Hebrews 12:16-17) — the servants are pictured as being in a race during the time of the Householder’s absence.  And they are to run the race after a certain revealed fashion.

They are to run the race with “patience [‘patient endurance’] . . . Looking to Jesus . . . .”

This is a race set over a lengthy course, covering a long period of time; and the runner is to pace himself after a fashion that will allow him to successfully complete the race.

And, during the entire course of the race, he is to focus his attention only in one direction — upon the One who has gone away “to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.”

The literal Greek rendering is “Looking from to Jesus . . . .”  He is to look from all surrounding things — things which could distract him in the race — as he fixes his eyes on “the author and finisher of our [‘the’] faith,” looking out ahead toward the goal.

The thought was expressed by Christ after another fashion in Luke 9:62.  In this section of Scripture, Jesus said,

No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

One’s attention is to always be focused on the goal out ahead.  We’re not to look back to Egypt; nor are we to allow our attention to drift onto surrounding things in the wilderness.  Rather, our attention is to be focused in one direction alone — on the land to which we have been called.

One’s attention is to be focused on one Person alone — on the One who will rule as “King of kings, and Lord of lords” in that land; and it is to be focused on one goal alone — on that of one day being accorded the privilege of ascending the throne with the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” when He rules from the heavens over the earth for 1,000 years.

(For additional information on the preceding, refer to the author’s book, in this site, Run to Win BOOK.) 

THE CONFIDENCE AND REJOICING OF THE HOPE

According to the text, that which we are to “hold fast” under the headship of Christ, in the antitype of the Israelites under the headship of Moses, is “the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope.”

The Israelites under Moses, after having passed through the experience of the death of the firstborn (a substitutionary death, effected through the death of the paschal lambs), had been “baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Corinthians 10:2).  They had been buried on the western banks of the Red Sea in Egypt and raised to “walk in newness of life” on the eastern banks in the wilderness (cf. Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).  And the Israelites had a hope set before them, which centered on the land of Canaan out ahead, not around the land of Egypt which they had left and from which they had forever been separated.

And exactly the same thing can be said relative to Christians under Christ.  Christians have passed through the experience of the death of the firstborn in this world (a substitutionary death, effected through the death of the Passover Lamb), and the next thing that is to occur is the immersion of the individual in the waters of baptism, typified by the Israelites passing through the Red Sea.  The Christian is to be buried “by baptism” and raised to “walk in newness of life,” and the only way to fully understand exactly what is involved is to view the matter from the perspective of the type.

The Christian has been separated from this world (buried on the western banks of the Red Sea in Egypt) and raised in resurrection to life (the first [birth] has been set aside and the second [birth] established) in an entirely new realm (on the eastern banks of the Red Sea in the wilderness).  The person in this new realm has a hope set before him, which centers around a heavenly land (typified by the earthly land of Canaan, wherein the Israelites’ hope lay), not around the world that he has left and from which he has forever been separated (typified by the Israelites’ separation from Egypt).

There is no difference whatsoever in the manner in which the Israelites under Moses were to view their earthly calling and the manner in which Christians under Christ are to presently view their heavenly calling.  The Israelites under Moses and Christians under Christ possessed/possess a hope, and they were/are to view this hope, as expressed in Hebrews 3:6, with confidence and rejoicing.  Problems developed in the house of Moses when the Israelites refused to view their hope after this fashion, and problems presently develop in the house of Christ when Christians refuse to view their hope after the same fashion.

(Note several things in passing relative to the death of the firstborn and baptism.

“Baptism” portrays a burial, followed by resurrection [Romans 6:4]; and only the dead are to be buried, to subsequently be raised.  This sets forth two undeniable truths:

1) The experience surrounding the death of the firstborn in Exodus 12 must be looked upon as having to do with exactly the same people who passed through the Red Sea in Exodus 14.

2) Baptism [Exodus 14] must be looked upon as a separate, subsequent experience to that of the death of the firstborn [Exodus 12].

The entire house of Moses — all of the Israelites — passed through the Red Sea [1 Corinthians 10:2].  Therefore, it is clear that the previous death of the firstborn had to do with the whole house of Israel, not with just one member of a family.  If the death of the firstborn did not have to do with the entire nation, then the entire nation could not be included in the Red Sea passage.  The simple truth of the matter is that the blood in Exodus 12 was shed and applied for God’s firstborn son, the nation itself [Exodus 4:22], though this was expressed after an individual fashion by the slaying of numerous lambs in Israel — “a lamb for a house,” with the firstborn of that household specifically in view [Exodus 12:3].

Then it should be noted that baptism, according to the type, has nothing whatsoever to do with one’s salvation experience.  Salvation occurs within the scope of that seen in Exodus 12, not that seen in Exodus 14.  Salvation is contingent entirely upon applying the blood of the Passover Lamb, not upon any subsequent experience, whether it be baptism, works, etc.  Baptism is to immediately follow one’s salvation experience, depicting the same thing as seen in the Israelites’ passage through the Red Sea; but, according to the type, it can have nothing whatsoever to do with one’s salvation.)

1) The Hope

According to 1 Peter 3:15, Christians are to be “ready to give a defense (KJV: ‘answer’) to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”  This is called, in introductory verses to the book, “a living hope”; and it is made possible through “the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).  Christ lives, and those “in Christ” will live with Him.

Hope in 1 Peter is associated with “an inheritance” (1 Peter 1:4), a future “salvation” (1 Peter 1:5 [“the salvation of your souls”; 1 Peter 1:9]), and “honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7; cf. 1 Peter 4:12-13).  When Christ appears, Christians will appear with Him in glory; and it is different facets of this entire matter — ruling as co-heirs with Christ, realizing the salvation of our souls — that Christians are to always be ready to discuss with anyone who asks “for a reason of the hope that is in you.”

In Hebrews 6:11-12, the “hope” to be held by Christians is laid out in a very simple fashion:  that “through faith and patience [present]” they would be able to “inherit the promises [future].”

Exercising “faith” is simply believing what God has to say about a matter, resulting in the person exercising faith acting accordingly.  Hebrews chapter eleven is the great chapter on faith in relation to the saving of the soul (Hebrews 10:35-39), toward which everything in the preceding part of the book builds:  “By faith Abel . . . By faith Enoch . . . By faith Noah . . . By faith Abraham . . . .”

Then Hebrews chapter twelve, immediately following, forms the capstone to the whole matter.  The fifth and last of the five major warnings comes into view — a direct reference to the rights of the firstborn (all the warnings have to do with these rights, though viewed from different facets of the overall subject) — and Christians are exhorted to run the race set before them after such a fashion that they will one day be accorded the privilege of realizing these rights.

Exercising “patience [lit., ‘patient endurance’]” has to do with the manner in which one runs the race (cf. Hebrews 12:1).  This is a race of the faith (1 Timothy 6:12; Jude 1:3), to be run continuously for the entire duration of the Christian life.  This is a race over the long haul — not one for sprinters, but one for marathon runners (though runners may be called upon to sprint in the race at times).  And Christians are to properly pace themselves so that they will be able to victoriously complete the race.

The inheritance lying out ahead is the object of our hope, and one day realizing that which God has promised is, within the text, to be wrought through patient endurance in the race of the faith.  “Faith” and “patient endurance” are inseparably linked after this fashion with inheriting the promises.

Hebrews 10:23-25 presents a companion thought.  In verse twenty-three Christians are told,

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering . . . . (Hebrews 10:23a)

And the whole idea, contextually, behind Christians assembling together today (Hebrews 10:25) is to “consider one another” and “stir up [one another to] love and to good works,” with this hope in view.  Christians are to assemble together to talk about that which lies out ahead, pray for one another, and exhort one another;  and they are to do this “so much the more,” as they “see the Day approaching [that coming day when the Christians’ hope will be realized]”  (Hebrews 10:24-25).

This is the “blessed hope” in Titus 2:13, which is to be a purifying hope as Christians are exhorted to “live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12).  The “blessed hope” is not Christ’s return per se (particularly not His return for Christians at the end of this present dispensation, as is often taught).  Rather, the “blessed hope” has to do with “the glorious appearing [lit., ‘the appearing of the glory’] of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13), a glory that will not be revealed until Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation.  And this “hope” has to do with the thought of Christians having a part in Christ’s future glory.

Actually, the book of Titus is built around this whole overall teaching.

(Compare. Titus 1:1-2; 3:7 [translate “eternal life” as “life for the age.”  See the author’s book, Salvation of the Soul, pp. 82-86, or in this site, Salvation of the Soul BOOK, beginning with A Present, Living Hope].

Also, the manner in which the Greek text is structured in Titus 2:13, “the blessed hope” and “the appearing of the glory . . . .” are the same thing, with the latter forming a further description of the former.

This same construction is also seen in the remainder of the verse:  “. . . the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”  The phrase “our Savior Jesus Christ” is the same as, further describing, “the great God.”)

2)  With Confidence and Rejoicing

Christians are to hold fast the hope set before them after a revealed two-fold fashion — with confidence and rejoicing.  The word “confidence” is a translation of the Greek word, parresia, meaning “to be bold, courageous, open, or plain” about a matter;  and the word “rejoicing” is the translation of the Greek word, kauchema, meaning “to take pride in something,” resulting in the person having “something to boast about.”

Parresia is used a number of times in the New Testament in the sense of being “open or plain” about matters, with nothing being hidden.  Jesus spoke openly and plainly to His disciples and the people of Israel (Mark 8:32; John 16:29; 18:20), though, because of the nation’s rejection of Him, the day came when He “walked no more openly among the Jews” (John 11:54).  And it was because of this same rejection that Jesus had previously begun to teach through the use of parables (Matthew 13:10-15).

Parresia is also used in the New Testament a number of times in the sense of being “bold or courageous” about matters.  Peter and John, standing before Annas the high priest, and others, exhibited “boldness” as Peter spoke; and those hearing Peter “marvelled,” recognizing that both men exhibited these qualities because “they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:5-13; cf. Acts 4:31).  Then Paul, at the end of his epistle to the Ephesians, requested prayer on his behalf: “that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Acts 6:19).

(Note that the thought of “openness” or “plainness” would also have to be included within the idea conveyed by “boldness” in the preceding passages [cf. 2 Corinthians 3:12; 7:4; see also Philippians 1:20; 1 Timothy 3:13; Hebrews 4:16].) 

Then the word kauchema (translated “rejoicing”), or the verb form of this word (kauchaomai), is also used a number of different times in the New Testament.  The word is translated three different ways in the KJV — “boast,” “glory [used in the sense of ‘boast’ or ‘pride’],” and “rejoice” (cf. Romans 2:23; 4:2; 5:2; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 5:12; 9:3). 

The thought of “rejoicing” (as in Hebrews 3:6; cf. Philippians 1:26; 2:16), rather than being derived from the meaning of kauchema, appears to be derived more from the result of what this word means.  That is, kauchema means “to take pride in something,” resulting in the person having “something to boast about”; and “rejoicing” would emanate out of the person being placed in this position.

Thus, when a Christian is told to be “ready to give a defense (KJV: ‘answer’) to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear,” he is to be open about the matter, he is to exhibit plainness of speech, he is to be bold and courageous as he expresses himself, and he is to take pride in the matter, for he has something to boast about.

He has been extended an invitation to ascend the throne with the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” to rule as co-heir with Him in His kingdom.  He possesses the hope of having a part in that which Scripture calls, “so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3), which is the greatest thing God has ever designed for redeemed man.

And this is what a Christian is to be open and plain about.  He is to tell it exactly like it is, regardless of what others may say or think.  And he is to be bold and courageous as he tells it like it is, knowing that he has something of incalculable value, something he can boast about (cf. Matthew 10:32-33; 2 Timothy 2:10-13).

FIRM TO THE END

Drawing from the type, everything from the death of the firstborn in Egypt throughout every subsequent experience in which the Israelites were led, occurred for a purpose.  And that purpose had to do with the goal of their calling, to be realized in the land of Canaan.

The death of the firstborn, the Red Sea passage, and the wilderness journey with all its experiences occurred with one goal in view.  And the Israelites, within every single experience, were to keep their eyes fixed on this goal.  They were to set their course straight and hold it there, not deviating;  and they were to hold their course, after this fashion, “firm to the end,” allowing them to one day realize the goal of their calling.

And this is exactly what is in view within the Christian experience.  Christians, as the Israelites, possess a hope, which has to do with a realization of the goal of their calling in another land.  They were saved for this purpose; and every experience in life, beginning at the point of salvation, has this one goal in view.

Christians are to set their course straight and hold it there, not deviating; and they are to hold their course, after this fashion, “firm to the end,” allowing them to one day realize the goal of their calling.

(Note, in the preceding respect, the difference between the first-century Church at the time Hebrews was written and the Laodicean church of today, almost twenty centuries later.

Christians comprising the first-century Church possessed a hope, which was known and understood by individuals throughout the churches.  And these Christians met together to encourage and exhort one another concerning this hope.

Christians in the churches today still have this same hope set before them, but how many of them even know this?  How many of them have any understanding at all of this hope?  How many Christians in churches today meet together to encourage and exhort one another concerning this hope?

In the light of existing conditions — after almost twenty centuries of the working of the leaven that the woman placed in the three measures of meal in Matthew 13:33 — the question is self-answering.)
Chapter Four
Companions of Christ, If . . .

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;

but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?

Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?

And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:12-19)

The Israelites departing Egypt under Moses had been called out of one land in order to serve God in a particular capacity in another land.  They had been removed from Egypt in order to realize the rights of the firstborn in the land of Canaan (Exodus 3:7-8; 4:22-23).

They were to enter this land under Moses, overthrow the inhabitants by/through God’s power, and not only rule over all the Gentile nations but be the channel through which God would bless these same nations (as Israel realized kingly and priestly aspects of the birthright).

The Israelites were to be “a special treasure” to the Lord, placed “above all people [all the Gentile nations]” as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6; cf. Numbers 13:26-30; Joshua 3:10; 1 Samuel 17:47).

Israel though, at Kadesh-Barnea, refused to enter into the land, overthrow the inhabitants, and occupy the position for which the nation had been called.  At Kadesh-Barnea the nation fell away;  and, resultantly, during the next thirty-eight and one-half years, God overthrew an entire generation of individuals — all who were twenty years old and above — save Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 14:22-24, 29-34).

The direction that Israel took at Kadesh-Barnea is looked upon in Scripture as apostasy on the part of the nation.  The Greek word for “apostasy [aphistemi, the verb form of the word apostasia, from which we derive our English word, ‘apostasy’]” is used in Hebrews 3:12 in a passage warning Christians (in the antitype) to not let the same thing happen to them that happened to Israel (in the type).

Also, in the book of Jude, a book dealing centrally with apostasy, Israel’s actions at Kadesh-Barnea form the first example that the writer gives to illustrate the subject matter at hand (Jude 1:5).

The word aphistemi in Hebrews 3:12, translated “departing,” has to do with removing oneself from a previously occupied position.  This thought is easy to see from a breakdown of the noun form of this same word, the word apostasiaApostasia is a compound word, comprised of apo (meaning “from”) and stasis (meaning “to stand”).  Thus, the word simply means “to stand away from,” i.e., to occupy a different position than previously occupied.

The Israelites under Moses form one of the best examples of true apostasy to be found anyplace in Scripture.

These Israelites, preceding the events at Kadesh-Barnea, believed that under God they could enter the land of Canaan, overthrow the enemy, and occupy the position for which they had been called.

However, at Kadesh-Barnea, after hearing the report of the spies concerning the strength of the inhabitants of the land and the evil report of ten spies concerning the inability of the Israelites to successfully go up against these people, the people of Israel changed their minds.  They ceased believing that they could enter the land and be victorious over the land’s inhabitants, and their thoughts shifted away from the land set before them back to the land that they had left.

Resultantly, they rejected the leadership of Moses, sought to appoint a new leader, and return to Egypt (Numbers 13:26-14:4).  By this act they removed themselves from — they “stood away from” — the position relative to Moses and the land of Canaan that they had previously occupied.

Apostasy on Israel’s part had nothing to do with the death of the firstborn in Egypt or with the Red Sea passage.  These were past, completed matters that could never again be brought up within the scope of God’s dealings with His people.

The firstborn had died in Egypt, burial in the Sea had occurred, and there had been a resurrection to walk in newness of life on the eastern banks of the Sea, outside Egypt.  And within the scope of this resurrection to walk in newness of life, one central thing was in view — a realization of the nation’s calling as God’s firstborn son within the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Apostasy on Israel’s part had to do strictly with the Israelites’ refusal to enter the land and occupy the position for which they had been called.  It had to do solely with that which lay beyond the death of the firstborn and the Red Sea passage.

And their resulting overthrow in the wilderness likewise had to do with the same thing.  They were overthrown on the eastern side of the Red Sea, on the right side of the blood; but they were overthrown on the wrong side of the goal of their calling.  They were overthrown short of entering the land and realizing the reason that they had been removed from Egypt.

BEWARE, BRETHREN

The spiritual lessons for Christians under Christ in Hebrews 3; 4 are drawn, in their entirety, from that which happened to the Israelites under Moses, and later under Joshua.  The historical account during a past dispensation forms the type, and that which is happening in Christendom during the present dispensation forms the antitype.  And the antitype must follow the type in exact detail.

Those Christians who follow a similar path to that taken by the Israelites who believed the “evil report” of the ten spies relative to the land to which they had been called (an earthly land), will, as these Israelites, be denied entrance into the land to which they have been called (a heavenly land).  Such Christians will, as the Israelites under Moses, be overthrown short of this goal.

On the other hand though, those Christians following the path that the remaining two spies took relative to their calling will, as Caleb and Joshua, be allowed to enter the land.  Christians exhibiting this type of attitude, governing their lives accordingly, will one day realize the goal of their calling.

This is the heart of the warning, and the whole matter is really as simple as it sounds if one has eyes to see that which the Lord has outlined in His Word.

Do you, as one called out and separated from this world for a purpose, want to realize that purpose?  Do you want to be a Caleb or a Joshua and one day enter the land to which you have been called?

Or, on the other hand, are you content to go along with the status quo?  Does your interest lie in a realm other than the land in which you have been called to realize an inheritance, which could only be understood, after some fashion, as an interest in the things back in Egypt, the things of this present world?

The vast majority of Christians, like the vast majority of Israelites, fall within the scope of the latter group.  For one reason or another, their interest is not centered on that heavenly land set before them, wherein the rights of the firstborn will be realized.

And there is really no middle ground in the matter.  In the words of Christ Himself,

He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30).

Most Christians today though haven’t even heard the message.  They don’t know that they have been called to one day occupy positions as co-heirs with the King of kings in a heavenly land.  They are pilgrims in a strange land, living their lives apart from a set goal, the goal of their calling — a goal that, in reality, is unknown to them.

Then there are others who have heard the message and have either ignored or rejected it, affixing their attention elsewhere.  And these are also pilgrims in a strange land, living their lives apart from the same set goal, the goal of their calling — a goal known to them after some fashion.

Only a small minority of Christians have any real understanding and appreciation at all of these things, which is exactly as it was in the camp of Israel during Moses’ day.  Only Caleb and Joshua exhibited any understanding and appreciation at all of the reason why they had been removed from Egypt and led to the borders of the land at Kadesh-Barnea.

Only Caleb and Joshua believed that, under God, they could go into the land, be victorious over the enemy, and realize their calling.  The vast majority had no appreciation of these things, and, consequently, they turned away from the land and set their sights on the things back in Egypt.

With all of this in mind, in one sense of the word, the vast majority of Christians today would seemingly not fit within the framework of the type.

The Israelites under Moses heard the report of the spies concerning the land of Canaan, and they even tasted the actual fruits of the land that the spies had brought back with them.

In the antitype, this would have to be understood in the sense of Christians hearing about the land to which they have been called and even “tasting” (through knowledge of the Word) the fruits of this land.  And this is an experience most Christians today have not had, mainly because of the failure of the pastor-teachers in the churches to fulfill their calling.

This though has not always been the case.  In the early Church, before the leaven that the woman placed in the three measures of meal in Matthew 13:33 began to do its damaging work, “the hope of the gospel [the gospel of the glory of Christ, not the gospel of the grace of God],” was proclaimed “to every creature under heaven” (Colossians 1:23).  There was an exact parallel in those days between type and antitype insofar as all hearing the message was concerned.

However, today, after almost 2,000 years, the leaven has done such a damaging work in Christendom that the message concerning “the hope of the gospel” is all but absent.  And the leaven, according to Matthew 13:33, will work “till it was all” leavened.

That’s why the Lord stated that He would not find “the faith” (an expression peculiarly related to the Word of the Kingdom) on the earth at the time of His return (Luke 18:8).

(For additional information on the preceding, refer to the section on “The Faith” in the author’s book, Salvation by Grace through Faith BOOK, in this site.)

Thus, because of the working of the leaven in Christendom throughout the present dispensation, an exact parallel between this one part of the type — which once existed — really no longer exists.  Rather, today there is a corrupted parallel, brought about by the corruption produced by the leaven.  The Israelites at Kadesh-Barnea heard the report concerning the land, and they tasted the fruits grown therein.  Most Christians today though — and the number is increasing, not decreasing (corresponding to the working of the leaven) — have neither heard the report nor tasted the fruits.

This would really have no bearing though on viewing the entirety of the Christian life within the scope of the experiences of the Israelites in that portion of Scripture extending from Exodus 12 through the book of Joshua.  The message throughout, within the framework of the type, does not change.  The beginning event (the death of the firstborn in Egypt), subsequent events (the Red Sea passage, reception of the Word of God, the wilderness journey), and the goal (the things having to do with the land of Canaan) do not change.

The overall scope of this type is the message that was once proclaimed throughout Christendom.  Today though the leaven has done such a damaging work that not only is this message all but absent in the churches of the land but even the message surrounding the death of the firstborn has become corrupted.  In this respect, though the working of the leaven was/is centered on the Word of the Kingdom, corruption has really entered into the whole scope of the various teachings drawn from the type, for there is an inseparable relationship between the different parts of the whole.

(Concerning this corruption, extending throughout the whole body of biblical teaching in this respect, note, for example, the widely-accepted Lordship Salvation message [a corruption, in this case, inseparably related to the working of the leaven].  Lordship salvation, in reality, is a message that attempts to introduce things beyond the Red Sea passage [things beyond that point where the dead had been raised to walk in newness of life on the eastern banks of the sea] into things surrounding the death of the firstborn back in Egypt, corrupting not only the message surrounding the gospel of the grace of God but, essentially, for all practical purposes, doing away with the message surrounding the gospel of the glory of Christ as well.

For additional information on “Lordship Salvation,” refer to the author’s book, Salvation by Grace through Faith BOOK, Chapter 2.)

Consequently, if things seem somewhat awry in Christendom today when viewing the antitype within the framework of the type, the reason is evident.  We are living in that day when the leaven is not only completing its work but, with this completion, the leaven is doing its most damaging work of the entire dispensation.  The mustard bush — the third parable in Matthew 13, immediately preceding the parable of the leaven — has become a great tree (an unnatural growth), and the birds of the air (ministers of Satan) have found a lodging place in the branches of the great tree (Matthew 13:31-32; cf. Matthew 13:4, 19).

The preceding is where Christians find themselves today, in our supposedly enlightened twenty-first-century Christianity.

1)  LEST . . . .

In Hebrews 3:8-9, 15-16, Israel provoked the Lord in what is called “the day of trial (KJV: temptation) in the wilderness.”  This provocation occurred at times preceding events at Kadesh-Barnea (e.g., the forming of the molten calf at Sinai or the later rejection of the manna that God had provided [Exodus 32:1ff; Numbers 11:4-8]), and God’s judgment fell on each occasion.  But it was not until the nation exhibited a negative attitude toward entrance into the land at Kadesh-Barnea that the whole matter came to a head, resulting in the overthrow of an entire generation.

To tempt an individual is to put that individual to the test to show or prove that the individual is who he declares himself to be; and, accordingly, the individual will always react after a particular fashion, in keeping with his identity.

Note, for example, the temptation of Christ in the wilderness by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11).  Christ was tempted in all points, as man is tempted, though He was not tempted to sin, for He couldn’t be tempted to sin (cf. Hebrews 4:15; James 1:13).  Rather, Christ was tempted by Satan to show once and for all that He was exactly who He declared Himself to be; and, accordingly, He reacted to each presented situation in perfect keeping with His identity, exactly after the fashion that any member of the Godhead would react.

God was tempted after a similar fashion by the Israelites through the provocation (KJV) in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:15).  They provoked Him and, in this manner, put Him to the test.  And He, being God, One who could not countenance sin, could only react in a certain manner.  Sin must be dealt with after a particular fashion, which is exactly what occurred.

The word used for “provoke” in the Greek text means to revolt or to rebel.  The Israelites rebelled against God in different ways during their wilderness journey, putting God to the test on each occasion.  But when they rebelled against God at Kadesh-Barnea relative to entrance into the land set before them (through rejecting the true report concerning the land and subsequently rejecting the leadership of Moses), that was the end of the matter for that entire generation insofar as God was concerned.  They had put God to the test; and He reacted in completely keeping with that which He Himself must do concerning this particular provocation (NKJV: rebellion).

The enormity of Israel’s sin, viewed from an omniscient perspective, was declared by God to necessitate the overthrow of that entire accountable generation.  And an overthrow of this nature is exactly what God brought to pass.

Except for Caleb and Joshua, the entire accountable generation present at Kadesh-Barnea, because of their sin, was rejected by God; and, rather than subsequently being allowed to enter the land of Canaan, they were, instead, overthrown in the wilderness.  During the next thirty-eight and one-half years the Israelites comprising this generation were left to die in the wilderness, short of the objective, short of the goal of their calling.

This was what God thought about the Israelites attitude toward the things surrounding the land of Canaan when He was put to the test, which is exactly what God thinks about any Christian’s attitude toward things surrounding that heavenly land when Christians put Him to a similar test today.

God took a hard line toward the matter in the type, and He will take the same hard line toward the matter in the antitype.  There can be no change in God’s attitude and resulting action from type to antitype.

One must form an exact parallel to the other, for two obvious reasons:

1) The antitype must follow the type in exact detail.

2) There can be no change in the attitude and actions of a member of the Godhead relative to the same provocation (rebellion), though by different individuals (Israelites, past; Christians, present).

God was “grieved” with the generation of Israelites under Moses, and He swore in His wrath that they would “not enter” into His rest (Hebrews 3:10-11, 17-18).  They “could not enter in because of unbelief [unfaithfulness]” (Hebrews 3:18-19).  That is, they could not enter because they had not faithfully followed the Lord’s leadership in the matter.  Rather, they had believed the “evil report” of the ten spies (exhibiting unfaithfulness) instead of the “true report” given by Caleb and Joshua.  They had believed the report which, in reality, stated that God would be unable to complete His purpose for having removed His people from Egypt.

And relative to this whole matter, Christians are warned,

Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)

Christians, as the Israelites, can go in one of two directions in this matter — the same two directions that had been open to the Israelites.  Christians can either believe the “true report” concerning the land or they can believe the “evil report.”  And God’s attitude toward their actions, resulting in action on God’s part (in exactly keeping with the type), will be determined by which report they believe and follow.

(In either the type or the antitype, realizing one’s calling in the land out ahead — the land of Canaan for the Israelites [Hebrews 3:18], or that heavenly land for Christians [Hebrews 4:10-11] — is spoken of as a rest [Hebrews 3:11, 18; 4:1].  This rest is equated in Scripture with realizing one’s inheritance, which is synonymous with realizing one’s calling [cf. Deuteronomy 3:18-20; 12:9-11; Hebrews 4:11].

And within the septenary arrangement of Scripture, this rest, still lying in the future, is spoken of as a “Sabbath rest.”  It will be realized during the seventh day, the seventh Millennium, the earth’s coming Sabbath [Hebrews 4:4-9].)

Christians are warned over and over in the book of Hebrews concerning the goal of their calling.  This is the central subject of the book, it is the central issue within the Christian life, and it should be the issue that occupies the central place in every activity of every Christian at all times.  This overall matter is set forth in the Word of God to be that important in God’s sight.
 
2)  BUT EXHORT ONE ANOTHER DAILY

Right in the middle of the spiritual lessons drawn from the type, the Spirit of God commands Christians,

but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13)

In Hebrews 10:23-25 the same command is restated after a slightly different fashion in connection with Christians assembling together:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Note particularly how this section of Scripture ends.  Christians are to conduct their affairs among one another after the preceding fashion “so much the more” as they “see the Day approaching [that coming day when one’s present hope will be realized].”

Contextually, in Hebrews 10, a central purpose for Christians assembling together (really, the central purpose in the text) — “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together . . . .” (Hebrews 10:25) — is with a view to exhorting one another relative to the hope of our calling (cf. Hebrews 10:23, 25). And to do this, Christians would have to be knowledgeable, after some fashion, concerning this hope.  They would have to talk about and discuss this hope with one another, for there could be no exhortation apart from some type of knowledge of the facts surrounding the Christians’ calling.

In other words, in the light of Hebrews 3:13; 10:23-25, Christians are to assemble together with a view to talking about and discussing among themselves the things surrounding their calling.  They are to talk about that land out ahead (that heavenly land), the enemy therein (Satan and his angels), the necessity of present victory over the enemy (through the spiritual warfare), and the hope set before them — that of one day occupying that land with the “King of kings, and the Lord of lords” as Christ and Christians ascend the throne together (replacing Satan and his angels) and exercise the rights of the firstborn.

And, with these things in view, Christians are to spend time exhorting one another (“daily” in the text [Hebrews 3:13]) relative to the importance of keeping their eyes fixed on the goal out ahead; and they are to carry on an interchange with one another after this fashion so much the more as they “see the Day approaching.”

And that’s exactly where we are today — at a time when Christians should be exhorting one another “so much the more,” for we are living very near the end of the present dispensation, very near the end of man’s allotted six days (6,000 years), immediately prior to the fast-approaching seventh day (the Lord’s Day, the Messianic Era, to last 1,000 years).

But are Christians assembling together today with this purpose in view?  Hardly!  Christians, by large, know little to nothing about this whole matter.  This is not something that they talk about, discuss; nor, much less, is it something which is uppermost in their thoughts, governing their actions.  Consequently, Christians are assembling together today for purposes that completely ignore that which is stated in Hebrews 10:23-25.  That’s how complete the leaven has done its damaging work.

Are conditions going to improve?  Are Christians going to one day wake up?  Not during the present dispensation!  The dispensation will, according to Scripture, end in total apostasy; and that’s exactly the direction in which the Church continues, after a rapid fashion, to move today.  The Church continues to be swept away in a direction that is rapidly carrying it completely away from “the faith” that it held universally during the first century.

Christ’s statement, “till the whole was leavened” (Matthew 13:33), and His companion statement that at the time of His return He would not find “the faith on the earth” (Luke 18:8), must be taken at face value.  Christ, in His omniscience, knowing the future as well as the past and present, stated exactly what would occur within the Church during this dispensation.

After two millennia, at the end of this dispensation, the leavening process would be so complete that, correspondingly, the message surrounding “the faith” would no longer be heard in the churches.  And the Church as a whole would be, as the Laodicean church in Revelation 3:14-21, “. . . wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”

CHRIST’S CO-HEIRS, HIS COMPANIONS

Christians are to “exhort one another daily, while it is called Today,” in order to avoid, at all costs, following a similar course of action to that which the nation of Israel followed at Kadesh-Barnea (cf. Hebrews 3:8, 13).

According to Scripture, Christians will occupy positions with Christ on the throne, as His “companions,” IF…  Christians will hold positions of this nature with Christ in that coming day only IF during the present day they “hold the beginning of [their] confidence steadfast to the end” (Hebrews 3:14).

(The word “companions” rather than “partakers” [KJV] would be the preferred translation of the word used in the Greek text in Hebrews 3:14, the word metochoi.  This is the same word that the writer of Hebrews also used in 
Hebrews 1:9 [translated “fellows”] and in Hebrews 3:1  [translated “partakers,” as in Hebrews 3:14]; and the preferred translation in these two instances as well would be “companions” [ref. Chapter 1 in this book;  also see the author’s book, So Great Salvation BOOK, Chapters 1, 5, in this site].)

Holding “the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,” with a view to being “companions” with Christ in that coming day, must be understood within the framework of the type.  Caleb and Joshua held the beginning of their confidence steadfast to the end; the remainder of the nation however didn’t.

Relative to entering the land, overthrowing the enemy, and occupying the position for which they had been called, Caleb, speaking for Joshua as well, said,

Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.  (Numbers 13:30)

But the remainder of the nation manifested an entirely different attitude and took an entirely different approach toward the matter.  They feared the inhabitants of the land, they wept through the night, they murmured against Moses and Aaron, and they then sought to appoint a new leader (other than Moses) and return to Egypt (Numbers 13:32-14:4).  This is where the difference lay, and, contextually, Hebrews 3:14 must be understood within this framework. 

1)  BEGINNING OF OUR CONFIDENCE

The word “confidence” in verse fourteen is the translation of the Greek word hupostasis (a different word than used in Hebrews 3:6).  Hupostasis is a compound word — hupo, “under”;  and stasis, “to stand.”  Thus, hupostasis literally means, “to stand under,” referring to a foundation.

This word is used three times in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 1:3; 3:14; 11:1), and only two other times in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 9:4; 11:17).

In Hebrews 1:3, the word is translated “person” (KJV), referring to Christ.  The thought expressed by the use of the word has to do with that which the verse goes on to state concerning Christ:  “upholding all things by the word of his power” (KJV).  He is the chief Cornerstone, the Foundation underlying everything (Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6).

And He is before all things [a foundation always has to be laid first], and in Him all things consist [and in Him all things have been placed together (which, of necessity, would have to rest upon the Foundation)].” (Colossians 1:17)

In Hebrews 11:1, hupostasis appears at the very beginning of the chapter to describe how “faith” is used in the chapter:

Faith is the substance [hupostasis, ‘foundation’] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

“Faith” is not simply something placed at the foundation.  In the words of the text, “faith” is the foundation.  Faith is the foundational aspect of all things hoped for; and, “without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Then, continuing the verse, faith is further revealed to be “the evidence [‘a bringing to light’] of things not seen [though these things are seen ‘by faith’ (Hebrews 11:3)].”

Hebrews 11:1 is not a definition of faith, as is often thought.  Rather this verse has to do with that which emanates out of faith.

“Faith” is simply believing that which God has to say about a matter.  The word for “faith” and the word for “believe” are actually the same in the Greek text.  The former is a noun, and the latter is a verb (cf. John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8).  In this respect, Hebrews 11 begins with the statement, “Believing God is…”

Thus, placing Hebrews 3:14 within the framework of the type, along with that which is revealed by the use of hupostasis in Hebrews 1:3; 11:1, that which is meant by “the beginning of our confidence” is easy to see and understand.  The thought has to do with that which stands under everything being dealt with — the foundational aspect to the matter — which in Hebrews 1:3 is seen as “Christ” and in Hebrews 11:1 as “faith.”

In the words of Hebrews 12:2, it is keeping one’s eyes fixed on Jesus (looking “from [anything which would distract] to Jesus”), while believing that which God has stated about the “joy” set before Christ, as He endured the sufferings of Calvary.

It is simply looking to Jesus and believing God, resulting in Christians expressing a confident assurance in that which God has said surrounding the goal of their calling, exactly as expressed in the actions of Caleb and Joshua (they believed God, resulting in a confident assurance that they could go in and, under God, take the land).

In short, Caleb and Joshua went back to the foundational aspect of the matter itself, which is exactly where Christians must go as well.

2)  STEADFAST TO THE END

In the words of the text, Christians are to hold that presented as foundational “steadfast to the end.”  They are to possess an unwavering confident assurance in that which God has said throughout every experience of life, typically, from Egypt to Canaan.  They are to keep their eyes fixed on the goal, believing God, throughout the whole course of the race (cf. Luke 9:62; Hebrews 12:1-2).

The identical wording appears in the Greek text in Hebrews 3:6 relative to the “hope” set before Christians.  In this passage they are to hold this hope (which has to do with “the confession of our hope” [Hebrews 10:23], “the hope that is in you” [1 Peter 3:15]) with confidence and rejoicing “firm [or, ‘steadfast’] to the end.

And in Hebrews 3:14 Christians are to hold that which God has presented as foundational relative to this same hope (being “companions” with Christ in that coming day) “steadfast [or, ‘firm’] to the end.”
Chapter Five
The Sabbath Rest

For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”;

and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”

Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience [born of willful unbelief],

again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.

There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.

For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience [born of willful unbelief]. (Hebrews 4:4-11)

Entrance into the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and occupying their God-ordained position in that land was spoken of in the Old Testament as a “rest” lying before the Israelites (Joshua 1:13; cf. Deuteronomy 12:9; 25:19; Joshua 21:43-45).

The same thing was in view in the seventh and last of the festivals of the Lord in Leviticus chapter twenty-three, the feast of tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-43).  These seven festivals comprise the prophetic calendar of Israel, and the seventh and last festival sets forth a time of rest that will follow the fulfillment of the preceding six festivals, depicting the same rest set forth in Joshua 1:13, foreshadowing that rest presently awaiting Israel during the Messianic Era.

Hebrews chapter four deals with this rest in a type-antitype relationship — the Israelites under Moses and Joshua (Hebrews 4:6, 8), and Christians under Christ (Hebrews 4:1, 11).  And reference is made to the seventh day in which God rested after He had completed His work of restoring the ruined material creation during the preceding six days and bringing man into existence following the completion of His restorative work on the sixth day (Hebrews 4:4; cf. Genesis 1:24-2:3).

Hebrews chapter four deals with this rest within the scope of the septenary arrangement of Scripture, drawing from basic types in Genesis, Numbers, and Joshua.  The matter, within the septenary arrangement of Scripture, has its basis in chapters one and two of Genesis and is projected out into the seventh day — a “rest [Greek: Sabbatismos, a ‘Sabbath rest’]” awaiting “the people of God” (Hebrews 4:4, 9).  And the Spirit of God, projecting the matter out into the seventh day, the seventh millennium, then sounds an exhortation and warning to Christians:

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience [born of willful unbelief]. (Hebrews 4:11; cf. Hebrews 4:1)

GOD’S REST FROM ALL HIS WORKS

Scripture begins with a simple statement concerning the creation of the heavens and the earth:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

This verse is comprised of ten words in the English text but only seven in the original Hebrew, from which the English rendering was translated.  “Seven” is God’s number, showing the completion of that which is in view.  In seven words, twenty-eight letters (four sevens [“four” is the number of creation]), the Spirit of God provides a complete statement revealing a completed divine work — the creation of the heavens and the earth.

Then the following verse, Genesis 1:2, reveals a ruin of the creation and the beginning of God’s restoration of the ruined creation.  The creation itself in verse one and the subsequent ruin revealed in the first part of verse two occurred at unrevealed times in the past, occurring, in both instances, over 6,000 years ago.

The restoration of the ruined creation though occurred at the very beginning of the 6,000 years allotted to man, comprising Man’s Day.  In that respect, the restoration of the ruined creation would be the beginning point of the seven days — the seven thousand years — the septenary structure around which Scripture is built.  This would be the beginning point in the septenary arrangement of Scripture, extending from the restoration of the earth and the creation of man to the end of the Messianic Kingdom.

(This complete, overall subject is extensively dealt with in the next chapter of this book, Chapter 6, “The Septenary Arrangement of Scripture.”)

The earth was originally created as one of evidently innumerable provinces in God’s kingdom (cf. Job 1:6; 2:1; Isaiah 14:13).  Satan, prior to his fallen state (along with numerous angels holding different positions under him), was appointed the Messianic (ruling) angel over the newly created earth (Ezekiel 28:14).

Exactly how long Satan held this position until, as Scripture declares, “iniquity was found” in him (Ezekiel 28:15), is unrevealed.  And exactly how long his kingdom lay in ruins (Genesis 1:2a; Isaiah 14:16-17; Jeremiah 4:23-28), resulting from “iniquity” being found in him, is also unrevealed.  Time in Scripture begins with the restoration of the ruined creation.  That which precedes the restoration occurred during unrevealed time in eternity past.

(Scripture actually has very little to say about that which occurred prior to the beginning of the earth’s restoration from its ruined state [eternity past], as it also has very little to say about that which will occur beyond the end of the Messianic Kingdom [eternity future].

The focus of Scripture is on the seven thousand years lying between events surrounding the restoration of the heavens and the earth and the creation of man on the one hand and the destruction of the same heavens and earth [with a view to a new heavens and earth] at the end of the Messianic Kingdom on the other.

Scripture provides only a glimpse into events outside the scope of the seven thousand years, revealing only essential information for man to possess, allowing him to place events occurring during the seven thousand years in their proper perspective.)

Satan, as provincial ruler over one province in God’s kingdom, became dissatisfied with his position and sought to occupy a higher position, actually the highest of all positions.  Rather than being content to rule under God over one province, Satan sought to be “like the Most High” and rule over all the provinces in the universe (Isaiah 14:13-14).  He sought to occupy the place that God occupied, becoming the Supreme Ruler over all things.

Satan though failed in his attempt; and, as a result, his kingdom was reduced to a ruin, as seen in Genesis 1:2a:

And the earth was [‘became’] without form, and void; and darkness was [‘became’ (word not in Hebrew text, though implied from the first verb)] upon the face of the deep [‘raging waters’]

The earth was reduced to a ruined state, with the light of the sun darkened (cf. Jeremiah 4:23, 28).  Thus, Satan’s sin must have affected the entire solar system with its sun and nine revolving planets.

However, though Satan had disqualified himself as the earth’s ruler and his kingdom had been reduced to a ruined state — submerged in total darkness — he continued to reign.  A principle of biblical government necessitates that an incumbent ruler hold his position until he is actually replaced (cf. 1 Samuel 15:26; 2 Samuel 1:10).

Then, in Genesis 1:2-31 [2b], we read about the beginning of God’s intervention in matters surrounding His original intent for the earth.

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. . . . (Genesis 1:2-3ff [2b])

According to Isaiah 45:18, God had not created the earth to lie in the ruined state in which it lay following Satan’s sin:

. . . He created it [the earth] not in vain [i.e., not ‘without form’ (the same word, tohu, appears in the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:2a, translated ‘without form’)], He formed it [the earth] to be inhabited . . . . (KJV)

But, even though God set about to place the material creation back into a condition wherein its original purpose could be realized, He could not allow Satan to continue as the provincial ruler over this one province in His kingdom.  Thus, immediately following the restoration of the earth with its plant and animal life, God created man.  And the stated reason is clearly given:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion [Hebrews, radah, ‘rule’ (same word translated ‘rule’ in Psalm 110:2)] . . . . (Genesis 1:26)

This is the dominion that Satan possessed.  Thus, man was brought into existence to rule the restored earth in the stead of Satan.

Man though didn’t receive the scepter immediately following his creation.  In fact, man never held the scepter, else he, rather than Satan, would still hold it today (had man held the scepter, it could not have reverted back to Satan’s possession at the time of man’s fall — note the principle of biblical government concerning incumbent rulers).

Rather, immediately following his creation, apart from the scepter being taken from Satan and given to man at this time, man was told,

Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion [Hebrews, radah, ‘rule’] . . . . (Genesis 1:28)

Man would eventually hold the scepter.  But, before man could act in the capacity for which he had been created, Satan, through Eve, brought about his fall (Genesis 3:1-7).  Satan knew why man had been created; and he knew, from experience, that if he could bring about man’s fall, man would no longer be qualified to take the scepter.  Man would be in a fallen state, as Satan, allowing Satan to continue holding the scepter.

When man sinned, the earth once again became in a ruined state.  However, this time the ruin was of such a nature that it allowed man to continue living on the earth in his fallen state, for God’s purpose surrounding His bringing man into existence must ultimately be realized (Romans 11:29).

Thus, though the entire material creation has been brought under a curse because of man’s fall (Genesis 3:17-19), the curse will one day be lifted (Acts 3:21; Romans 8:18-23).  Redemption has been provided, and redeemed man will one day be brought back into the position where he can hold the scepter; and he will hold this scepter on a restored earth.

In the interim though, Satan, because of a divine regal appointment at a time preceding man, continues to reign.

In accord with the original pattern set forth in Genesis chapters one and two, God is going to work six more days to restore both the material creation and man.  God’s original intent for restoring the earth and bringing man into existence must be realized.

A qualified provincial ruler (rather than a disqualified provincial ruler) must ultimately hold the scepter and rule over this one province in God’s kingdom.

Then, also in accord with the original pattern, God is going to rest the seventh day from all His work — the time during which man will hold the scepter.  One of God’s attributes is His immutability.  He does not change (Malachi 3:6).  Consequently, once God has established a pattern revealing His work in a particular realm, no change can ever occur, for the pattern is set perfectly in the beginning.  And with this in mind, when we read in the opening verses of Genesis about the way God restored a ruined creation in the beginning, we can only expect any subsequent ruined creation to be restored after exactly the same fashion.  This is why we find God taking six more days to restore the present ruined creation and ruined man, with a view to a seventh day of rest following the six days of work.

And Peter, in his second epistle — an epistle built around a septenary structure (cf. 2 Peter 1:15-18; 3:3-8) — was very careful to tell those to whom he was writing that the six and seven days in the latter restoration and rest are not days of twenty-four hours each but days of 1,000 years each:

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing [lit., ‘stop allowing this one thing to escape your notice’], that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (2 Peter 3:8)

THE REST SET BEFORE ISRAEL

The rest set before Israel was to be realized following the Israelites’ conquest of Canaan and the nation being established in that land “above all people [above all the Gentile nations],” as “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6; cf. Joshua 1:1-13).

Israel, occupying this position, was to be at rest; and the nations, likewise, in subjection to and being blessed through Israel, were to be at rest as well.

From a naturalistic viewpoint, somewhat of a mystery within the eternal plans and purposes of God enters at this point in Scripture.  The removal of Israel from Egypt to realize what could only be a seventh-day rest within the septenary arrangement of Scripture (Hebrews 4:4-9) was extended to Israel after only two and one-half days (two and one-half millennia) of the necessary six days (six millennia) had elapsed.  That is, the rest set before Israel under Moses (and later under Joshua) was extended to the nation about 2,500 years beyond the creation of Adam, only 2,500 years into the 6,000 years that must come to pass (years that God must use to restore the ruined creation, in accord with the original pattern) before God could rest from His work.

Aside from the preceding, the Sabbath was given to Israel shortly after the nation came out of Egypt, forming a sign of a “perpetual [an ‘everlasting’] covenant.”  The Israelites, by keeping the Sabbath week after week, following six days of work, were to be continually reminded of a future rest awaiting the people of God.

The past rest, following six days of work, foreshadowed a future rest, which, as well, would follow six days of work.  Every time that the Israelites kept the Sabbath, following six days of work, they were acknowledging that which God was about to do, following a corresponding six days of work.

The Sabbath was a “sign,” and a sign portends something beyond itself.  According to Exodus 31:13-17, the Israelites were to look back to the Sabbath in Genesis 2:2-3 (preceded by six days of work) and know that the Sabbath that they were to keep week after week (following six days of work) foreshadowed a future day of rest (following six present days of work).

The Sabbath was to be kept by Israel “throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant”; and the Sabbath constituted a “sign” that reflected back on Genesis 1; 2 but looked to a day beyond the weekly Sabbath itself.

This is the primary reason God was so particular about Israel observing the Sabbath.  The Sabbath pointed to something beyond itself, with the basis for that to which it pointed established after an unchangeable fashion in history.  And at the time God gave the Sabbath to Israel, He thought enough of seeing His plans and purposes pertaining to the material creation and to man one day coming to pass — plans and purposes that will be realized on the seventh day, the coming Sabbath of rest (after six days of work, after 6,000 years of work) — that He set the penalty for any Israelite’s failure to keep the Sabbath as “death” (Exodus 31:14-15).

However, seemingly, under Moses (and later Joshua), God was moving Israel toward a goal that, according to the “sign” of the Sabbath given to Israel during this same time, could not be realized for another three and one-half millennia.  Thus, how could God remove Israel from Egypt to fulfill a purpose, which, according to the very “sign” of the Sabbath, could not be fulfilled at this time?

A somewhat similar set of circumstances can be seen at Christ’s first coming almost 1,500 years later.  Christ offered to Israel the kingdom of the heavens, with the thought in mind that, contingent on Israel’s acceptance of the King and the Kingdom, the Messianic Era would be ushered in at that time (cf. Matthew 23:37; Acts 2:15-21, 37-38; 3:19-21; 7:54-56).

The questions are: (1) How could God deliver His people from Egypt to occupy a position in the land of Canaan which, according to the septenary arrangement of Scripture, it was not possible for them to occupy for another 3,500 years?  or, (2) How could Christ make a bona fide offer of the kingdom to Israel at His first coming that, again, according to the septenary arrangement of Scripture, could not have been established at that time?  The offer was extended at a time 2,000 years prior to the 1,000-year Sabbath of rest.

And to further complicate the matter, note the severity of God’s punishment for Israel’s actions in each instance.  An entire unbelieving generation was overthrown during Moses’ day because of Israel’s refusal to enter the land at Kadesh-Barnea, and the house of Israel was left desolate (a desolation that would last 2,000 years and reach its peak at the end of this time) because of Israel’s rejection of the King and Kingdom at Messiah’s first coming.

Why such dire consequences for Israel’s actions in each instance if we are dealing with things that the nation couldn’t actually enter into and fulfill at either time?

Then there’s the matter of the Old Testament types dealing with the Church to add a further complication.  These types must be fulfilled, which means Israel could not have received the King and the proffered Kingdom at Christ’s first coming.  For, had Israel received the King and the Kingdom, there would have been no need for God to call the Church into existence (the Church was called into existence to be the recipient of that which Israel had rejected, and had Israel not rejected the kingdom of the heavens . . .).

Any biblical response to the preceding questions or thoughts can really only be looked upon after one fashion.  In Isaiah 55:8-9 God states,

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Man looks upon matters from a finite perspective, seeing only the past and present.  God though looks upon the same matters from an infinite perspective, seeing not only the past and present but also the future.  Resultantly, God’s thoughts about matters and His ways of doing things, emanating from the infinite, are not the same as finite man’s thoughts and ways at all.

Thus, for the creature to question why the Creator has carried or presently carries out His plans and purposes after a certain fashion is completely invalid.  Such should never happen.  We’re told how God has carried out His plans and purposes in the past, we’re told how He is presently carrying out these same plans and purposes, and we’re told what will occur in the future (after six days, after six millennia) surrounding His plans and purposes being brought to fruition.

And, from beginning to end, this is not only the sole Word on the matter but it is also the final Word.

The wisdom of this world [man’s wisdom]” is foolishness with God, and “the thoughts of the wise [man’s thoughts]” are vain (1 Corinthians 3:19-20).  It is all finite and not in accord with Isaiah 55:8-9 at all.

That’s why we are called upon to simply believe the record that God has given.  Though there are many things that we cannot understand, we can know that the record was given by One with infinite wisdom and understanding and will always be in perfect accord with that which He has revealed in Isaiah 55:8-9.

This is why Paul told Timothy, “Preach the Word . . . .” (2 Timothy 4:2).  What man has to say or what he thinks about matters is of no moment whatsoever.  In God’s eyes it is no more than foolishness; it is no more than vanity.  But what God’s Word has to say about matters is of infinite, supreme moment.  The whole of the matter is that plain and simple.

THE REST AWAITING THE PEOPLE OF GOD

A Sabbath rest is coming for the people of God.  This is plainly taught in numerous portions of Scripture.  And this rest awaits Israel as well as the Church.

Israel in that day will be placed back in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, on the earth; and the Church in that day will be placed in that promised heavenly land, above the earth.  And there will be a dual reign by Israel’s Messiah from both David’s throne on earth and His Own throne in the heavens above the earth.

Israel, with the nation’s Messiah dwelling on David’s throne in the midst of the Jewish people, will hold the scepter on earth.  Israel, placed under the new covenant, will be “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:6), at long last realizing the reason why the nation was called out of Egypt under Moses almost 3,500 years ago.

And the Church, seated on the throne as consort queen with Christ in the heavens, will likewise hold the scepter.  The new creation “in Christ” — the one new man — will rule from the heavens over the earth as “kings and priests,” “a holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 5:10).  The Church will, in that day, realize the reason God called this new entity into existence almost 2,000 years ago.

In that coming day, following the adoption of Christians (which has to do with the placing of “sons” [Christians] in a firstborn status [Romans 8:14-23]) and the restoration of Israel (presently God’s firstborn son [Exodus 4:22-23; Romans 11:25-26]), God will have three firstborn Sons — Jesus, Israel, and the Church — to exercise rule over the earth (Exodus 4:22; Hebrews 1:6; 12:23; cf. Hebrews 2:10-11).  And in that day, during the seventh millennium, man, along with the material creation, will enter into the long-awaited Sabbath of rest.

1)  ISRAEL TODAY AND IN THAT DAY

There is a type of unrest in the world today unlike anything man has ever previously seen.  And this unrest, from a biblical perspective, can be directly attributed to only one thing:  Israel’s presence in the land (the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), before the time, out of God’s will.  And the working of Satan as he directs his attack against Israel fits into the matter after a particular fashion because of the present position that Israel occupies in relation to the Gentile nations.

Satan, because he knows Israel’s identity — God’s firstborn son, the nation in possession of the rights of primogeniture — has directed his attack against Israel since the time of the nation’s inception in Egypt.  Satan, at all costs, since the days of the Assyrian Pharaoh in Egypt, has unceasingly sought to destroy this nation.  And his most intense and final blow against Israel will occur yet future during the days of another Middle East ruler — Antichrist, who will also be an “Assyrian.”

Thus, Satan’s attack against Israel really remains unchanged whether Israel is in or out of the land (e.g., note conditions during the days of the Third Reich [immediately prior to the existence of an established Jewish nation in the Middle East], present conditions [during the time when a recognized Jewish nation exists], and conditions that will exist during the last half of the Tribulation [following the nation being uprooted from her land and scattered among the Gentile nations once again]).

But, with Israel in the land, out of God’s will, there is a type of unrest among the Gentile nations (nations through which Satan and his angels rule) that does not exist with Israel out of the land, out of God’s will.

An allusion to this national unrest with Israel in the land but out of God’s will is the way that the book of Jonah begins.  Jonah had been called to go to “Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it.”  He was a prophet within the nation that had been called into existence to carry God’s message to the Gentile nations of the world (Isaiah 43:10; Matthew 12:39), and God had called Jonah to carry His message to a particular segment of the Gentiles — those within the city of Nineveh.

However, Jonah refused to heed God’s call and, instead, went in the opposite direction.  Jonah booked passage on board a ship headed for Tarshish.  Nineveh was east, but Jonah headed west.  In this respect, Jonah became a type of the nation of Israel (Jonah, in his experiences, was also a type of Christ in another respect [Matthew 12:39-40]).

Viewing the whole book of Jonah with respect to Israel,

1) Jonah was commissioned to go to the Gentiles (Jonah 1:1-2).

2) Jonah refused to go, ultimately ending up in the sea (Jonah 1:3ff).

3) Jonah later cried out to God in his distress and sufferings, from the sea, from the place of death (Jonah 2:2-9).

4) God then heard his cry, raised him from the dead, removed him from the sea, and placed him back in the land (Jonah 2:10).

5) Jonah, back in the land, was re-commissioned to go to the Gentiles (Jonah 3:1-2).

6) And his re-commission resulted in the salvation of the Gentiles to which he had originally been sent (Jonah 3:3ff).

We are presently living during the latter time of that period typified by Jonah in the sea (part two in the preceding).  Though a remnant is in the land, comprising a present Israeli nation, the majority of Israelites in the world today are still dispersed among the Gentile nations (the “nations” typified by the sea into which Jonah was cast [cf. Daniel 7:2-3; Revelation 13:1; 17:1, 15]).

The time when Israel will cry out in her distress and sufferings (part three in the preceding) will be during the latter half of the coming Tribulation.  This is seen in an earlier type, during the days of Moses (Exodus 2:23-24).  And as then, so in the book of Jonah, and so will it be yet future:

So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them. (Exodus 2:24-25).

With Jonah in the ship out of God’s will, Note Jonah 1:4,

. . . the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.

And the reason:

1) In the type, in time past:  Jonah’s presence in the ship, going in a direction contrary to that which the Lord had called him to go.

2) In the antitype, during the present day and time:  Israel in the land, going in a direction contrary to that which the Lord had called the nation to go, seen in those forming the present nation of Israel.

Thus, the same situation seen in the book of Jonah exists in the world today — a situation that is more intense in the Middle East but exists worldwide.  And a major move among the Gentile nations during the present time is their efforts to bring about peace in the troubled Middle East.

Leaders among the Gentile nations know that Israel is the key nation in any Middle East peace endeavor (and, consequently, world peace as well), though the reason for this is not understood at all.  The one thing that they completely fail to grasp is the fact that the problem that they are attempting to solve is spiritual, in more ways than one — ways that the Gentile nations do not even begin to understand or have any control over whatsoever.

Thus, even if the nations did have an understanding of the problem, they couldn’t resolve it (Hosea 5:13-14).  The nations don’t — they can’t during the present age — act in the spiritual realm.

Thus, though Antichrist, when he appears, will seemingly bring about Middle East peace, appearing to resolve the present intractable problem, the latter end will be worse than the former (for his act will not only run completely contrary to the existing spiritual problem but he will, in the end, seek to utterly destroy Israel).  Middle East conditions, though seemingly appearing to stabilize or improve at times for brief periods, can really go in only one direction under existing circumstances.  They can only continue to deteriorate.

If they didn’t, we would have a theological problem, for Scripture teaches that the current situation can only move in a particular, revealed direction.  That is, the sea could only have continued to increasingly rage so long as Jonah was in the ship out of the Lord’s will, which is exactly the picture today.

True peace in the Middle East, producing rest among the Gentile nations, can result only by bringing about a correct solution to the real problem.  And that can be brought to pass only one way Israel must be uprooted from her land and driven back out among the nations, with repentance following.  This will then be followed by the return of Israel’s Messiah, the national conversion of the nation, and the nation’s subsequent willingness — even apparent eagerness (cf. Isaiah 53:1ff; Jonah 3:1ff) — to then go to the Gentile nations as God’s witness to these nations.

The present unrest among the Gentile nations of the world will reach its climax in the very near future with the return of Israel’s Messiah, the national conversion and restoration of Israel, “all nations” being brought against Jerusalem to battle, and the subsequent treading of the winepress (Zechariah 12:9-14; 14:1-9; Romans 11:26; Revelation 14:14-20; 19:11-21).  Only then can there be rest among the nations.  Only then can the earth’s long-awaited Sabbath be brought to pass (Revelation 20:1ff).

(For additional information on the preceding, refer to the author’s book, in this site, The Time of the End BOOK, Appendixes 1, 2, “The Intractable Middle East Problem,” and “The Death of the High Priest.”)

2)  THE CHURCH TODAY AND IN THAT DAY

Scripture teaches unequivocally that Christians are to “labor [present]” in order to “enter into that rest [future]” (Hebrews 4:11).  This has to do with activity during the six days of work (6,000 years) in view of resting on the Sabbath day (the seventh 1,000-year period).

God’s people are to be busily engaged during time covered by the six days (which, for Christians, would be the last two days of the six — the present dispensation) with activity as outlined in the parables of the talents and pounds (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27).

The Householder has gone away “to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return” (Luke 19:12).  In the interim, in connection with His household servants properly carrying out their assigned household activity during His time of absence, the Householder has promised His servants compensations, rewards upon His return, commensurate with their faithfulness in the house during His time of absence.  And these compensations, rewards will be realized in the kingdom that He has gone away to receive (Matthew 25:19-23; Luke 19:15-29).

Servitude in the house (present), within a Scriptural framework, is always with a view to the kingdom (future).  Thus, faithfulness in the Lord’s house during the present dispensation is to be carried out in an unceasing manner with one goal in view; and works emanating out of faithfulness exhibited after this fashion — having one’s eyes fixed on the goal out ahead (Hebrews 12:1-2) — will result in the proper “just recompense of reward” (Hebrews 2:2; 10:23-26), allowing Christians to enter into the earth’s coming Sabbath rest, not as servants in the house but as co-heirs with Christ in the kingdom.
Chapter Six
The Septenary Arrangement of Scripture

There remains therefore a rest [Sabbath rest] to the people of God.  (Hebrews 4:9)

Hebrews 4:1-11 deals with a rest that will be realized by “the people of God” during the seventh millennium dating from the restoration of the earth and the creation of man in Genesis 1.

Teachings surrounding this rest, textually and contextually, viewed from the standpoint of the way matters are outlined in the book of Hebrews, are based on three portions of Old Testament Scripture:

1) The experiences of the Israelites under Moses, and later under Joshua (Hebrews 3:2-19).

2) Reference back to God’s work and subsequent rest during the seven days of Genesis 1; 2 (Hebrews 4:4).

3) The Sabbath given to Israel, which the nation was to keep week after week following six days of work (Hebrews 4:9).

The experiences of the Israelites under Moses, and later under Joshua, during a past dispensation, form the type; and the experiences of Christians under Christ during the present dispensation, leading into the coming dispensation, form the antitype.

Then, teachings surrounding a rest lying before both the Israelites in the type and Christians in the antitype are drawn from the rest that God entered into following six days of work in Genesis chapters one and two.

And the Sabbath was given to the Jewish people to keep ever before them, throughout their generations, that which was foreshadowed by events in the opening two chapters of Genesis (cf. Exodus 20:8-11; 31:13-17).

Teachings drawn from Genesis chapters one and two form the key to the entire matter, and a correct understanding and interpretation of these opening chapters is not something that should be taken lightly.  Scripture is built upon a structure that is laid down in these two chapters, and an individual’s understanding and interpretation of numerous things throughout the remainder of Scripture will be governed by his understanding and interpretation of this opening section of Scripture.

If one understands these opening verses correctly, he will understand how God has structured His revelation to man, allowing him to grasp numerous things that he could not otherwise understand.  However, if one fails to understand these opening verses correctly, the opposite will be true.  He will not have gone in a correct direction at the beginning, which can only reflect negatively on his understanding of related matters in all future studies.

The preceding, for example, is the reason many individuals fail to see the proper relationship of the Sabbath rest in Hebrews 4:9 to God’s rest following six days of work in Genesis 2:2-3 (cf. Hebrews 4:4).  They attempt to relate this rest to something that Christians enter into during the present day and time, which is a time prior to the seventh day, a time not even in view.  Or, this is the reason many individuals attempt to understand 2 Peter 3:8 in the light of Psalm 90:4, when, contextually, 2 Peter 3:8 must be understood in the light of the septenary structure of Scripture, introduced at the beginning, in Genesis chapters one and two (cf. 2 Peter 1:16-18; 3:3-7).

With these things in mind, material in the next two sections of this chapter will deal with the structure of the Hebrew text in parts of Genesis chapter one — particularly Genesis 1:2 — allowing the septenary structure of this opening section of Scripture to be properly seen and understood from the standpoint of an exact rendering of the text itself.  Then, the remaining section in this chapter will deal with this septenary structure as seen in subsequent parts of Scripture.

One MUST FIRST understand that which is revealed at the beginning.  This is the KEY.  Only then can an individual be in a position to move forward and properly understand the remainder.

“WAS” OR “BECAME”

It would go without saying that there has been a great deal of controversy over the years among theologians and Christians in general concerning exactly how the opening two chapters of Genesis should be understood.  And it would also go without saying that, resultantly, confusion has reigned supreme in Christian circles concerning not only these chapters but the general tenor of the remainder of Scripture as well.

There are actually two major schools of thought surrounding the interpretation of these opening two chapters, though there are a number of variations within that are held by those in each school.

Those in one school (probably the position held by the majority today) view the six days in the first chapter as time revealing and describing God’s creative activity from verse one.

And those in the other school view these six days as time revealing God’s restoration of a ruined creation (creation seen in Genesis 1:1, a ruin of this creation seen in Genesis 1:2a, and God’s restoration of the ruined creation seen in Genesis 1:2b ff).

Then, there is a variation of the second school that is held by quite a few individuals and could be looked upon as a third school of thought.  Those holding to this view see Genesis 1:1 as other than an absolute beginning.  They see this verse as an opening statement dealing with restoration, not creation.  That is, they see the verse dealing, not with God’s creation of the heavens and the earth in an absolute sense (as most view the verse), but with the beginning of God’s restoration (reforming, remolding, refashioning) of a previously perfect creation that had been reduced to a ruin (with the creation of the heavens and the earth per se not seen in these opening verses).

Much of the controversy surrounding these different views is centered in the linguistics of verse two.  Grammarians go back to the Hebrew text and deal with two areas, and good Hebrew grammarians reach different conclusions in both realms:

1) The relationship of the three circumstantial clauses that form verse two to that which is stated in verse one.

2) The meaning of the Hebrew word hayah in verse two (translated “was”).

THE THREE CIRCUMSTANTIAL CLAUSES

The three circumstantial clauses in Genesis 1:2 KJV are simply the three clauses that form the verse:

1)  And the earth was without form, and void;

2)  And darkness was upon the face of the deep.

3)  And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

In the Hebrew text there is what is called a “waw” beginning verse two (a conjunctive or disjunctive particle [actually, a letter in the Hebrew alphabet, the waw, prefixed to a word], usually translated “and” in most English texts).  Some grammarians view this particle prefixed to the word beginning verse two in a conjunctive sense (showing a connection between v. 1 and v. 2), and other grammarians view it in a disjunctive sense (showing a separation between v. 1 and v. 2).

(The other two circumstantial clauses in verse two each begin with a “waw” prefixed to their words as well, which will be discussed later.

The Hebrew text of the Old Testament uses the “waw” more frequently in a conjunctive [“and”] rather than a disjunctive [“but”] sense.  Of the approximately 28,000 usages of this particle, some 25,000 appear to be conjunctive and some 3,000 disjunctive.

Normally the context determines how the particle is to be understood.)

Those viewing the “waw” prefixed to the word beginning Genesis 1:2 in a conjunctive sense would usually see the three circumstantial clauses as inseparably connected with verse one; and those viewing this “waw” in a disjunctive sense would, instead, see a separation between these two verses.

If there is an inseparable connection of the clauses in verse two with verse one (in a conjunctive sense), and verse one describes an absolute beginning in relation to the heavens and the earth (God’s actual creation of the heavens and the earth in the beginning), then verse two would have to describe how God created the earth in the beginning (i.e.,without form, and void”).

Understanding the structure of the Hebrew text after this fashion would necessitate viewing that which is described at the beginning of verse two as the condition of the earth at the conclusion of the action described in verse one.  That is to say, God would have initially created the earth (v. 1) in the condition described in verse two.  Then the six subsequent days would have to be looked upon as time in which God, step by step, performed and completed His creative work introduced in verse one.

The preceding view of the structure of the Hebrew text is the main reason for the position held by some that Genesis 1:1 describes the beginning of God’s restorative work rather than an absolute beginning.  Those holding this view see the three circumstantial clauses in verse two as inseparably connected with verse one.  But they also see that Scripture teaches a subsequent ruin of the earth following God’s creation of the heavens and the earth in the beginning (e.g., cf. Genesis 1:2 and Isaiah 45:18 [the Hebrew word tohu, translated “without form” in Genesis 1:2 is translated “in vain” in Isaiah 45:18; and this verse in Isaiah specifically states that God did not create the earth tohu, i.e., after the fashion in which it is seen in Genesis 1:2]).

Thus, those who see God’s perfect creation undergoing a subsequent ruin but also view the three circumstantial clauses in verse two as inseparably connected with verse one (in a conjunctive sense) are, in a respect, forced into a particular position concerning the interpretation of the opening verses of Genesis.  They are forced into the position of seeing the actual creation of the heavens and the earth, and also the ruin of the heavens and the earth, as occurring at a time prior to Genesis 1:1, events which they would see as not being dealt with per se in the opening verses of Scripture at all.

Then there are those grammarians who see the “waw” prefixed to the word beginning verse two as disjunctive.  These grammarians would understand this Hebrew “waw” in a similar sense to the way in which the Greek word de is used in the New Testament (normally disjunctive), as opposed to the Greek word kai (the word usually used to show a conjunctive sense).  In this respect, the translators of the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) used de to translate the first “waw” in what was apparently meant to be a disjunctive sense beginning Genesis 1:2 (with the conjunctive kai used to translate the remaining two “waws” prefixed to the words beginning the other two circumstantial clauses in the verse).

Using the KJV text to illustrate, the translators of the Septuagint used de and kai to translate the three Hebrew “waws” in this manner:

But [de] the earth was without form, and void; and [kai] darkness was upon the face of the deep.  And [kai] the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And, viewing the verse beginning in a disjunctive sense of the preceding nature, there would be no connection between the first two verses of Genesis.  Rather, a separation would exist instead.  Within this view, one would normally see verse one revealing an absolute beginning, with verse two (along with the verses following) revealing events occurring at later points in time.

(Most individuals holding this linguistic view see verse two as a description of God’s perfect creation [from verse one] being brought into a ruined state, separated from verse one by an unrevealed period of time.  And they would, accordingly, see God’s activity during the six days as activity surrounding the restoration of this ruined creation.

Some individuals holding this linguistic view though still see the six days as time revealing God’s creative activity.  They view verse one as describing a “grand summary declaration that God created the universe in the beginning.”  Then, apart from seeing a connection between v. 1 and v. 2, they view God’s activity during the six days as a revelation concerning how God accomplished that which He had previously stated in verse one.)

THE HEBREW WORD “HAYAH”

The Hebrew word hayah is translated “was” in most English versions of Genesis 1:2 (“And the earth was . . . .”).  The word is found twenty-seven times throughout chapter one and about 3,570 times in the entire Old Testament.

The etymology of the word is somewhat questionable (most look at the probable primary meaning of hayah as “falling” or “to fall”).  Hebrew scholars though see the word used over and over in the Old Testament in the sense of “to be,” “to become,” or “to come to pass.”

And through attempts to trace the etymology of the word, comparing Hebrew with Arabic (a related Semitic language), and seeing how the word is used in the Old Testament, many scholars have come to look upon the word in the sense of a verb of “being” (“to be”).  But scholars also recognize that it is not completely accurate to equate the word with the English verb of being after this fashion.

The word is translated different ways in English versions — e.g., “was” or “were” (Genesis 1:2-3, 5, 7-9, 13, etc.), “be” (Genesis 1:3, 6, 14, 29, etc.), “became [or, ‘to become’]” (Genesis 2:7, 10; 3:22, etc.).  But that’s in English versions.  In the Latin Vulgate there are thirteen instances where hayah has been translated in the sense of “became” in Genesis chapter one alone; and in the Septuagint there are twenty-two such instances in this one chapter (out of the twenty-seven times hayah appears in chapter one).

The first use of hayah in Scripture is in Genesis 1:2 — the verse being discussed.  But going beyond this verse for a moment, note how the word is used elsewhere in chapter one.

Hayah appears twice in Genesis 1:3, translated “be” and “was.”  And translating, “Let light be [or ‘become’]: and light became,” would actually best convey the thought of that which occurred.

Then note Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31.  The word hayah appears two times in the latter part of each verse (both translated in a combined sense in the English text by one word — “were”).  Translating literally from the Hebrew, using “was” in the translation, the text would read, “. . . And there was evening, and there was morning, [comprising] the first day . . . the second day . . . the third day,” etc.

Actually though, “became” would really better convey the thought surrounding that which occurred, for evening and morning came to pass, “became,” comprising each of the six different days.

(Leupold, a Hebrew grammarian from past years, in his commentary on Genesis, appears to capture the overall thought of hayah to mark beginning and/or ending points in each day quite well by translating, “. . . Then came evening, then came morning — the first day . . . the second day . . . the third day,” etc.)

Then note the words, “. . . and it was so,” at the end of Genesis 1:7, 9, 11, 15, 24, 30.  “Was” in each reference is a translation of the word hayah, and it is easy to see that “became” rather than “was” would really provide a better description of that which occurred in each instance, translating, “. . . and it became so” (cf. “Let there be [a translation of hayah] . . . .” [Genesis 1:3, 6, 14]).

Though hayah has been translated “was,” “were,” or “be” throughout the first chapter of Genesis, the word is actually used mainly throughout this chapter in the sense of “be,” “became,” or “had become.”

Attention is called to this fact because numerous individuals look at translating hayah “became [or ‘had become’]” as so rare in the Old Testament that serious consideration should not be given to the thought of translating Genesis 1:2, “And [or ‘But’] the earth became [or ‘had become’] . . . .” 

But the rarity is in the English translations, not in a literal Hebrew rendering or in certain other translations (e.g., in the KJV there are only 17 instances in all of Genesis where hayah has been translated “became [or, ‘become’]” [Genesis 2:7, 10; 3:22; 9:15; 18:18; 19:26; 20:12; 21:20; 24:67; 32:10; 34:16; 37:20; 47:20, 26; 48:19];  but in the Septuagint there are at least 146 instances [and some 1,500 instances in the entire Old Testament]).

THE HEBREW TEXT ALONE

Can linguistic questions surrounding the first two verses of Genesis be resolved from the Hebrew text alone?  Can one determine from the Hebrew text alone whether the “waw” beginning verse two should be understood as conjunctive or disjunctive?  Or, can one determine from the Hebrew text alone how the word hayah should be translated in verse two?  Or, can one determine from the Hebrew structure of verse two alone how the remainder of the first chapter should be understood in an overall sense?

Some Hebrew scholars would answer in the affirmative.  But, because of the different ways in which a number of Hebrew scholars view the matter at hand, using the Hebrew text alone, the issue could only be resolved within their minds and possibly within the minds of others who would follow their same line of reasoning.  And note that the issue would be resolved by different scholars after entirely different fashions, all based on their understanding of the grammatical structure of the Hebrew text.

However, there is another way to approach the matter; and that other way is to see how the whole of Scripture deals with the issue at hand.  If the whole of Scripture can be shown to support one view alone — which it can — then the correct linguistic understanding of Genesis 1:2 and the corresponding correct interpretation of chapter one can easily and unquestionably be demonstrated.

This is not to say that Genesis 1:2 or the first chapter of Genesis as a whole cannot be understood correctly apart from first going to the remainder of Scripture, for that cannot be the case.  God would not have begun His revelation to man after a fashion that man could not have understood apart from subsequent revelation (requiring approx. 1,500 years to complete).  But this is to say that the correct linguistic position for Genesis 1:2 and the correct corresponding interpretation of the entire chapter — which can be shown by going to the remainder of Scripture — is a position that God would have expected man to see as evident when he began reading at this point in Genesis, though man many times has not done so (past) and does not do so (present).

Thus, in this respect, knowledge of the way in which the Hebrew text is structured is really not going to resolve the issue at hand.  And time has been spent in the Hebrew construction of Genesis 1:2 and other related passages, not in an attempt to resolve the issue, but to demonstrate two basic things:

1) There are good, reputable Hebrew scholars who hold varying views on the opening verses of Genesis, which are many times based strictly on their understanding of the structure of the Hebrew text, apart from contextual considerations.

2) Though the linguistics of the Hebrew text (within the different ways scholars understand the linguistics of the text) will support any one of these views, all but one are out of line with the remainder of Scripture and, are consequently wrong.

That is to say, though it may be possible to support different views from the structure of the Hebrew text alone (the way different scholars understand the syntax of the Hebrew text), different views cannot be supported when the remainder of Scripture is taken into consideration — with or without the Hebrew text.  Scripture will support only one view, and that one view is the position alluded to in the opening portion of this chapter.

Scripture will support:

1) “Creation” (an absolute creation [Genesis 1:1]).

2) “Ruin” of the creation (which means that the “waw” prefixed to the word beginning Genesis 1:2 must be understood in a disjunctive sense [“but”], and the Hebrew word hayah must be understood in the sense of “became [or ‘had become’]” [Genesis 1:2a]).

3) “Restoration” of the ruined creation (Genesis 1:2-25 [2b]).

4) “Rest,” following six days of restorative work (Genesis 1:2-2:3 [2b]).  And to illustrate this is not difficult at all.  In fact, the opposite is true It is a very simple matter to illustrate, from other Scripture, exactly how the opening verses of Genesis must be understood.

TOHU WAVOHU

In this respect, first note the words tohu wavohu from the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:2.
The words tohu wavohu are translated “without form and void” in the KJV/NKJV English text (“formless and void,” NASB; “formless and empty,” NIV; “waste and void,” ASV).  These two Hebrew words are used together only two other places throughout all of the Old Testament — in Isaiah 34:11 and Jeremiah 4:23.  And both of these passages present a ruin of that previously seen existing in an orderly state.

In Isaiah 34:11, Edom (Isaiah 34:6) was destined to become tohu wavohu (translated “confusion” and “emptiness” [KJV/NKJV], “desolation” and “emptiness” [NASB]).

And in Jeremiah 4:23-28, there is a comparison of that which had previously occurred relative to the earth in Genesis 1:2a to that which was about to occur relative to the land of Israel.

The land of Israel was about to become tohu wavohu.  That is, as seen in Jeremiah 4:23-28, God was about to do the same thing to the land of Israel (cf. Jeremiah 4:14-22) that He had previously done to the earth in Genesis 1:2a.  And the reason for both of these actions — that which God had done to the earth, and that which He was about to do to the land of Israel — was the same.  Sin had entered (sin on the part of Satan in the former, and sin on the part of the Jewish people in the latter).

And, in complete keeping with this type of understanding of the use of tohu wavohu in Isaiah 34:11 and Jeremiah 4:23, Isaiah 45:18 (where the Hebrew word tohu is used, translated “in vain”) clearly states that God did not create the earth (in Genesis 1:1) in the manner described in Genesis 1:2a.  Isaiah 45:18 states that God “created it [the earth] not in vain [not ‘tohu,’ not ‘without form,’].”

Thus, if Genesis 1:2a is to be understood in the light of related Scripture bearing on the subject (which it must be [cf. Psalm 12:6; Isaiah 8:20; 28:10; 1 Corinthians 2:13]), there can be only one possible interpretation — the ruin of a prior existing creation (from Genesis 1:1), because of sin.  The earth from verse one “became” tohu wavohu.

The ruin seen in both Genesis 1:2a and Jeremiah 4:23, for a purpose, is with a view to eventual restoration.  And the restoration seen in the continuing text of Genesis 1:2 (Genesis 1:2-25 [2b]) and in the overall passage of Jeremiah 4:23ff (Jeremiah 4:27b), as well as in related Scripture (e.g., Isaiah 35:1ff), is also for a purpose.

Then all subsequent Scripture is perfectly in line with this type of understanding of the opening section of Scripture.  The whole of subsequent Scripture is built on a septenary structure, with the foundation established and set in an unchangeable fashion at the beginning, in Genesis 1:1-2:3.

That is to say:

, there was a ruin of the material creation (because of sin), God took six days to restore the ruined The heavens and the earth were createdcreation, and He rested the seventh day.

Man was created on the sixth day, man fell into a state of ruin (because of sin), God is presently taking six days (6,000 years) to restore man, and God will rest the seventh day (the seventh 1,000-year period [cf. 2 Peter 1:15-18; 3:3-8]).

And the latter restoration, patterned after the former restoration, is what the whole of Scripture is about.  The whole of Scripture is about the same thing initially introduced and established in an unchangeable fashion in the opening thirty-four verses of Genesis (Genesis 1:1-2:3).

The whole of Scripture is about the creation of man, his ruin, his restoration over a six-day period (over a 6,000-year period), followed by a seventh day of rest (a seventh 1,000-year period — the Sabbath rest awaiting the people of God [Hebrews 4:9; cf. Hebrews 4:3-4], the Messianic Era).

As previously stated, man would have been expected to understand this opening section of Scripture after the preceding fashion at the time it was written.  And subsequent Scripture simply verifies the correctness of the way man would have been expected to understand this opening section at that time, apart from other revelation.

DAYS IN SCRIPTURE

The structure of God’s revelation to man will be set forth briefly under three headings (“The Sign of the Sabbath,” “The Structure of the Gospel of John,” and “The Structure of 2 Peter), and material discussed under these three headings will relate specifically to how particular sections of Scripture handle the matter at hand.  Then attention will be called to other related Scriptures outside these sections to better present the overall picture from the whole of Scripture.

THE SIGN OF THE SABBATH

The Sabbath was given to Israel as a sign, and the Sabbath was to be observed by the Jewish people “throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant” (Exodus 31:16).  In this respect, God stated concerning the Sabbath,

It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made [restored] the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed. (Exodus 31:17)

When giving the Sabbath to Israel (cf. Exodus 20:11) or referring to the Sabbath rest awaiting the people of God in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 4:4-9), in each instance, for a very good reason, God called attention to that which had occurred in Genesis 1; 2.

There is a latter work of restoration, followed by rest, which is based on a former work of restoration, followed by rest; and the Sabbath was given to the Jewish people to keep this thought ever before them.

That is, though the sign of the Sabbath concerned a present work and future rest, it was based on a past work and rest.  God worked six days to restore a ruined creation in the opening chapter of Genesis; and on the sixth day, along with the completion of His work of restoration, He brought man into existence to rule over the restored material creation (Genesis 1:26-28).  Then God rested on the seventh day.

But a ruin ensued once again.  Man, an entirely new creation in the universe, fell; and, as a result, the restored material creation was brought under a curse (Genesis 3:17), leaving God with two ruined creations: man, and the material creation.

With that in mind, how did God, in the Genesis account, set about to restore these two ruined creations?  The answer is not only clearly revealed but it is also very simple.

According to Scripture, God set about to restore the subsequent ruined creations in exactly the same manner that He had used to restore the former ruined creation in the opening chapter of Genesis.  God set about to restore the two subsequent ruined creations over a six-day period (in keeping with Genesis 1:2-25 [2b]); and, in keeping with Genesis 2:2-3, following His restorative work, God would then rest on the seventh day.

The latter restoration must occur in complete keeping with the former restoration.  A divinely-designed pattern had been set in the former restoration — a pattern set perfectly in the beginning, which, accordingly, could never change.

Thus, the latter restoration must occur over a six-day period.  And this six-day period of restorative work must, as the former, be followed by a day of rest.

From a biblical standpoint, it is not possible for the matter to occur in any other manner.  And the Sabbath, following six days of work, was given to Israel to keep the thought ever before the Jewish people that, in accord with the opening verses of Genesis, God was going to once again rest for one day following six days of work to effect the restoration of that which is presently in a ruined state (both man and the material creation).

The Sabbath was a “sign,” and a sign in Scripture points to something beyond itself.  This “sign,” the Sabbath, points to a seventh-day rest that God will enter into with His people (“the people of God” in Hebrews 4:9) following six previous days of restorative work.

Each day in the former restoration and rest was twenty-four hours in length, but each day in the latter restoration and rest is revealed to be one thousand years in length (2 Peter 1:16-18; 3:3-8; cf. Matthew 16:28-17:5).  Based on the pattern set forth in Genesis chapters one and two, God is going to work for six thousand years during the present restoration and then rest the seventh one-thousand-year period.

Scripture begins by laying the foundational basis for this septenary arrangement of time in the opening verses (Genesis 1:1-2:3).  Then, accordingly, this is something seen or alluded to throughout Scripture (Exodus 31:13-17; Numbers 19:12; Hosea 5:15-6:2; Jonah 1:17; Matthew 17:1; Luke 24:21; John 1:29, 35, 43; 2:1; 5:9; 9:14; 11:6, 7; Hebrews 4:1, 4, 9).  And the matter is then brought to a conclusion in Revelation chapter twenty, where the 1,000-year Messianic Era is mentioned six times (Revelation 20:2-7), immediately prior to the eternal ages that are seen to follow (Revelation 21; 22).

Scripture deals with 7,000 years of time — time extending from the restoration of the earth and the creation of man to the end of the Messianic Kingdom.  Scripture has very little to say about that which occurred prior to these 7,000 years, and it also has very little to say about that which will occur following these 7,000 years.  Scripture is built on this septenary arrangement of time, which is based on the opening two chapters of Genesis; and this is an evident fact that must be recognized if one would correctly understand God’s redemptive plans and purposes that He has revealed in His Word.

THE STRUCTURE OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

The Gospel of John is built around eight signs; and, as in the sign of the Sabbath, the signs in this gospel point to things beyond the signs themselves.

It is the Jew who requires a sign (1 Corinthians 1:22); and these signs, taken from numerous signs that Jesus performed during His earthly ministry, are directed (as was His ministry in that day) to the Jewish people.

Jesus performed signs of this nature for one central purpose:

. . . that you [the Jewish people] may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name [“life” having to do with the subject at hand, the proffered kingdom, not eternal life].  (John 20:30-31; cf. John 2:11; 5:46-47; 6:14, 21; 11:45)

Seven of the eight signs in John’s gospel were performed in connection with particular days, all in perfect keeping with one another, all in perfect keeping with the sign of the Sabbath, and all in perfect keeping with the septenary arrangement of Scripture.  And all of the signs refer, after different fashions, to the same thing.  They all refer to things surrounding Israel’s coming salvation and restoration, which will occur after six days (after 6,000 years), in the seventh day (in the seventh 1,000-year period).

But note the structure of the gospel of John as a whole.  The gospel is not only built around eight signs, which are all in keeping with the septenary arrangement of Scripture, but the complete gospel is built around this structure.  John’s gospel, in the opening two chapters, begins exactly as Genesis begins in the opening two chapters.

The gospel, as Genesis, opens with the words, “In the beginning [lit., ‘In beginning,’ in both Genesis (Hebrew text) and John (Greek text)].”  Then, the gospel of John continues to parallel Genesis.  In the opening two chapters of each, there is a creation, a ruin of the creation, a restoration of the ruined creation over six days, and a seventh day of rest.

Genesis deals with the preceding in relation to the ruined material creation, but the gospel of John deals with the matter in relation to ruined man.

In John chapter one, note “creation” in verse three and a “ruin” and beginning “restoration” in verse five.  Then most of the remainder of the chapter deals with the One who would bring about the restoration of ruined man (John 1:6ff), with this restoration occurring over six days time, followed by events of the seventh day — events foreshadowing those occurring in the coming Sabbath of rest (cf. John 1:29, 35, 43, 2:1ff).

Then, from that point, the remainder of the gospel of John continues to parallel Genesis, with the same subject matter dealt with throughout in both books.  Genesis deals with the subject matter through the use of types, and John deals with the subject matter through the use of signs.

And whether dealing with the types in Genesis or the signs in John, the end of the matter is the same as set forth in the first two chapters of each — that which will occur in the seventh day, the seventh 1,000-year period.

(Note in the preceding respect that the gospel of John should be set at the beginning of the New Testament, the first of the four gospels, as Genesis is set at the beginning of the Old Testament, the first of the five books of Moses.  Genesis tells the reader what the Old Testament is about, and the gospel of John tells the reader what the New Testament is about, with both Testaments relating exactly the same central message.

For additional information on Moses and John, see the author’s books, Bible One - Had You Believed Moses by Arlen Chitwood and Signs in John's Gospel.)

THE STRUCTURE OF 2 PETER

Second Peter parallels Jude in the sense that both deal with the Word of the Kingdom and apostasy after a similar fashion.

Both epistles begin the same way.  The first chapter of 2 Peter is taken up with that which is stated in one verse in Jude (Jude 1:3).  Then the matter of apostasy is dealt with throughout most of the remainder of both epistles.  However, there are things dealt with in chapters one and three of 2 Peter (2 Peter 1; 2), showing the septenary structure of the epistle, which are not dealt with at all in Jude.

Peter exhorts his readers to make their “calling [pertaining to the kingdom] and election [‘selection’ for a position of power and authority in the kingdom] sure” (2 Peter 1:1-15); and Jude states the same thing in Jude 1:3 when he exhorts his readers to “earnestly contend for [‘earnestly strive (Greek: epagonizomai, meaning to earnestly strain every muscle of one’s being) with respect to’] the faith” (cf. 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7-8).  Then the thought of apostasy relative to “the faith” comes into view in both epistles.

However, Peter does something that Jude does not do.  Before beginning his dissertation on apostasy he calls attention to that which occurred on the Mount in Matthew 17:1-8 (2 Peter 1:16-18), which has to do with the Son of Man coming in His kingdom, after six days, on the seventh day (cf. Matthew 16:28-17:1).

Then toward the end of his epistle, Peter, unlike Jude, moves from thoughts surrounding apostasy to thoughts surrounding the existence and subsequent destruction of the heavens and the earth at two different times.

1) At a time following the creation of the heavens and the earth (“the heavens . . . of old,” and “the world that then was [the world existing at the time of ‘the heavens…of old’ (in Genesis 1:1, not during the days of Noah)]” [2 Peter 3:5-6]).

2) At a time following the restoration of the heavens and the earth (“the heavens and the earth that are now,” existing since the restoration in Genesis 1:2-25 {2b} [2 Peter 3:7]).

The destruction of the former is seen in Genesis 1:2a (“But the earth had become without form, and void; and darkness [the sun had ceased to give its light] was upon the face of the deep [‘the raging waters’]”), and the destruction of the latter — a destruction by fire — is seen in succeeding verses in 2 Peter (2 Peter 3:10ff).

Peter then draws the entire matter to a climax by stating that “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).  Understood contextually (2 Peter 3:3-7), the verse is self-explanatory.  The “heavens and the earth, which are now” (2 Peter 3:7) must cover the entire septenary period from chapter one (2 Peter 1:16-18), else 2 Peter 3:8 would be meaningless.  And each day in this period is revealed to be one thousand years in length — six millennia of work, followed by one millennium of rest, based on the opening verses of Genesis.

(Note one thing about the restoration in Genesis 1:2-25 [2b] that should be understood.  This restoration could only have been a complete restoration.  No trace of “the world that then was” [the world preceding the ruin seen in Genesis 1:2a], or the subsequent ruined earth [in Genesis 1:2a], can be seen “in the heavens and the earth, which are now.”

A complete restoration would have removed all traces of anything having to do with “the world that then was” or with that world during that time when it lay in a ruined state.

That is to say, geology today cannot show evidence of any type of pre-existing creation or a ruin of that pre-existing creation, for a complete restoration — the only type of  restoration possible through the divine work seen in Genesis chapter one — would have removed all traces of a pre-existing creation and ruin.

In this respect, all that exists in the present secular world of history and science — e.g., the complete fossil record, the dinosaurs, topographical formations such as the Grand Canyon, etc. — would all have to be placed this side of the restoration seen in Genesis 1:2-25 [2b], within time covered by “the heavens and the earth, which are now.”

That which occurred during and resulted from the Noachian Flood, 1,656 years following the restoration of the earth [Genesis 6-8], along with later topographical changes on the earth during the days of Peleg [born 100 years after the Flood (Genesis 10:25)], must be looked to for an explanation of numerous things of the preceding nature, not to a world lying in ruins in Genesis 1:2a, or to a world existing prior to that time.)

CONCLUDING REMARKS

Viewing the whole of Scripture, the correct interpretation of the opening verses of Genesis can be clearly and unquestionably presented and understood through:

1) The manner in which the Hebrew words from Genesis 1:2a, tohu wavohu, are used elsewhere in Scripture (interpreting Scripture in the light of Scripture [Isaiah 34:11; 45:18; Jeremiah 4:23]).

2) And the typical nature of Old Testament history (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11), which has been set forth in a very evident divinely established septenary arrangement.

And these opening verses, providing the divinely established basis for that which follows, must be understood accordingly.

The Bible is a book of redemption; and only a correct view of the opening verses of Genesis can reflect positively, at the very outset, on God’s redemptive message as a whole — the restoration of a ruined creation, performed in its entirety through divine intervention, for a revealed purpose.

An incorrect view can, on the other hand, only have negative ramifications.  Creation alone, apart from a ruin and restoration of the creation, fails to convey the complete message at the outset of the Word; and Restoration alone (viewing the opening verse as other than an absolute beginning), apart from a record of the preceding creation and ruin, likewise fails to convey the complete message at this opening point in Scripture.

It is as F. W. Grant stated years ago relative to the existing parallel between the creation and ruin of the earth and the subsequent creation and ruin of man:

“The thought of a ruined condition of the earth succeeding its original creation . . . is . . . required by the typical view [that is, the earth’s creation, ruin, and subsequent restoration forms a type of (foreshadows) man’s creation, ruin, and subsequent restoration].”

Accordingly, the opening verses of Genesis cannot deal strictly with Creation; nor can these verses deal strictly with Restoration.  Either view would be out of line with the whole of Scripture, beginning with the central theme of Scripture, the message of redemption.

The only interpretative view that will fit — at all points — within the divinely established septenary arrangement of Scripture (which has it basis in these opening verses) is:

Creation (an absolute beginning, and a perfect creation [Genesis 1:1]).

A Ruin of the Creation (Genesis 1:2a).

A Restoration of the Ruined Creation (Genesis 1:2-25 [2b]).

Rest (in the type — six twenty-four-hour days of restorative work, followed by a twenty-four-hour day of rest; in the antitype — six 1,000-year days of restorative work, followed by a 1,000-year day of rest [Genesis 1:2-2:3 {2b}]).
Chapter Seven
Let Us Therefore Labor . . . .

Let us therefore labor [be diligent] to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience [unbelief].

For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:11-13)

The “rest” lying before Christians is spoken of in different ways in Scripture.  It is a rest typified by the rest that lay before the Israelites under Moses, and later under Joshua (Hebrews 3:2-19; 4:6-8; cf. Deuteronomy 12:9; Joshua 1:13); it is a rest referred to by the sign of the Sabbath (Hebrews 4:9; cf. Exodus 31:13-17); and it is a rest that has its basis in the opening two chapters of Genesis (Hebrews 4:4; cf. Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:11; 31:17).

This is a rest into which one can enter only after he has entered the land to which he has been called (a heavenly land for Christians, typified by an earthly land for Israel).

Further, this is a rest into which one can enter only after the enemy inhabiting the land has been overthrown (Satan and his angels in the heavenly land, typified by the Gentile nations infiltrated by the Nephilim in the earthly land).  And this is a rest into which one can enter only after six days, on the seventh day (that is, after six millennia, on the seventh millennium).

The latter has to do with the sign of the Sabbath, which, in turn, is based on the opening two chapters of Genesis; and this is that rest to which Joshua looked when he spoke of “another day” (Hebrews 4:8; cf. Hebrews 4:4, 9).

Thus, the rest that Christians are to labor to enter into has to do with a future rest that can be realized only during the earth’s coming Sabbath (the seventh millennium); and this rest can be realized only in that heavenly land to which Christians have been called, after the enemy presently inhabiting the land has been overthrown.

We are to labor to enter into rest in that heavenly land,

. . . lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience [unbelief]. (Hebrews 4:11; cf. Hebrews 4:1)

The allusion, of course, is to the experiences of the Israelites under Moses.  They failed to enter into the rest set before them “because of unbelief [‘unfaithfulness’]” (Hebrews 3:18).  And the warning to Christians under Christ is that exactly the same fate can, in like manner, befall them.  They too, through unfaithfulness, can fail to enter into the rest set before them.

In the type, those comprising the house of Moses had been called out of the land of Egypt to inhabit an earthly land removed from Egypt, the land of Canaan.  All activity in the house was for this purpose.  This was the goal in view.

But an entire unfaithful generation was overthrown short of this goal.  Those comprising this generation were cut off from the house of Moses, overthrown in the wilderness on the right side of the blood but on the wrong side of the goal of their calling (Numbers 13:31-33; 14:29-30).

Caleb and Joshua alone, of that generation, were singled out as exercising faith relative to their calling.  And Caleb and Joshua alone were singled out as being allowed to later enter the land, conquer the inhabitants, and realize an inheritance in that land (Numbers 13:30; 14:30; Joshua 14:13-14; 19:49-50).

And in the antitype, the purpose for and end result of activity in the house of Christ can only be the same as the purpose for and end result of activity in the house of Moses.  The antitype demands this, for the antitype must follow the type in exact detail.  Christians have been saved for a purpose, and that purpose has to do with the land set before them.

All activity in which household servants have been called to engage themselves during the present time, after some fashion, has to do with this purpose.  There is a goal in view, and that goal has to do with the heavenly land to which Christians have been called.

A servant in the house of Christ can exhibit either faithfulness or unfaithfulness, as clearly set forth by the actions of those comprising the house of Moses.  And also, as clearly set forth by the actions of those comprising the house of Moses, faithful servants will one day realize the goal of their calling, but not so with unfaithful servants.

Faithful servants will pass through the same experiences in the antitype as did Caleb and Joshua in the type.  They will be allowed to enter the land, victoriously combat the inhabitants (Ephesians 6:12ff), and one day realize an inheritance therein (Ephesians 1:11-23).

Christians exhibiting faithfulness after this fashion will one day realize the rights of the firstborn, inheriting as joint-heirs and ruling as co-heirs with God’s Son (Romans 8:17-18; 2 Timothy 2:10-12; Revelation 3:21).

Unfaithful servants though will be cut off from the house of Christ, as unfaithful Israelites were cut off from the house of Moses (Hebrews 4:1).  They, as the unfaithful Israelites in relation to their earthly calling, will not be allowed to enter that heavenly land and realize an inheritance therein.  They, as the unfaithful Israelites, will be overthrown on the right side of the blood but on the wrong side of the goal of their calling (Matthew 24:48-51; 2 Timothy 2:5, 12b).

If the preceding is not what is meant by the exhortation and warning in Hebrews 4:11, then, from a Scriptural framework, no meaning can really be derived from this verse.  The verse must be understood within a type-antitype framework in the light of its context, which begins with chapter three.  And this section of Scripture leading into Hebrews 4:11 has to do with the Israelites under Moses (type), Christians under Christ (antitype), and a rest lying before both (earthly for those under Moses, heavenly for those under Christ).

Let us [Christians] therefore be diligent to enter that rest [seventh-day rest, Sabbath rest], lest anyone [Christian] fall according to the same example of disobedience [“unfaithfulness” exhibited by the Israelites under Moses, which can also be exhibited by Christians under Christ]. (Hebrews 4:11)

THE WORD OF GOD

The concluding part of the portion of Scripture covering the second of the five major warnings in Hebrews deals with the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12-13) and Christ’s present high priestly ministry (Hebrews 4:14-16).  And there is a natural flow of thought into this section from the lengthy section dealing with parallels between the house of Moses and the house of Christ (Hebrews 3:1-4:11).

Revelation in verses twelve and thirteen, dealing with the Word of God, begins with “For,” showing a direct relationship between that which is about to follow and that which has preceded; and revelation in verses fourteen through sixteen, dealing with Christ’s present high priestly ministry, begins with “Seeing,” again showing a direct relationship between that which is about to follow and that which has preceded.  And viewing these two sections together, they, in one respect, form a capstone to the second warning, much like Hebrews 11 of this book (the chapter on faith) forms a capstone to the entire preceding ten chapters.

The Spirit of God, beginning this section by calling attention to the Word of God, states things about this Word that must be understood in the light of other Scripture; and the first thing stated about this Word provides an explanation concerning how the remaining things stated about this Word can be possible.

1)  THE LIVING WORD

Hebrews 4:12 begins,

For the word of God is living and powerful [effectually works], and sharper than any two-edged sword . . . .

The key word is “living [KJV: ‘quick,’ i.e., ‘alive’],”and the Word of God is alive for one simple reason:  This Word is “God-breathed.”

2 Timothy 3:16 states,

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God . . . .

The words, “given by inspiration of God,” are a translation of one word in the Greek text, the word theopneustos.  This is a compound word made up of Theos (God) and pneuma (spirit, wind, breath).  The word theopneustos thus, literally translated, means “God-breathed”; and, accordingly, 2 Timothy 3:16 should either be translated or understood in the sense, “All Scripture is God-breathed . . . .” (ref. NIV).

Because all Scripture is “God-breathed,” it is living; and for that reason alone this living Word can effectually work to the point of accomplishing things completely outside the natural realm, things that can be explained only through its supernatural origin.

(Note in the preceding respect how the God-breathed Word is inseparably connected with Deity.  In John 1:1-2, 14, the Word is seen to be both God the Father and His Son, manifested in flesh.  And because of this inseparable connection, the manner in which a Christian eats Christ’s flesh and drinks His blood [John 6:53-56] is through an intake of [reading, studying] the God-breathed Word.

And, by comparing Ephesians 5:18-19 with Colossians 3:16, it is easy to see and understand why a person through this process, as well, progressively becomes filled with the Holy Spirit, the One who gave the Word through Jewish prophets.  The Spirit, as the Father and Son, part of an indivisible trinity, is inseparably connected with the Word as well.)

Then, the connection of “God’s breath” with life (the connection between 2 Timothy 3:16 and Hebrews 4:12) is given in Genesis 2:7.  Man, at the time of his creation, was first formed from the dust of the ground as an inanimate, lifeless being.  Then God, through breathing into His lifeless new creation, imparted life.  God “breathed into his [Adam’s] nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

This is the first mention in Scripture of life in relation to man, establishing a first-mention principle that can never change throughout Scripture.  Any time beyond this point in Scripture when one finds life in relation to man, this life must always be effected by means of “the breath of God.”  There must always be a breathing in on God’s part in order for life to exist (cf. Ezekiel 37:1-10; Luke 8:54-55).

And the inverse of that is equally true.  The removal of breath, a breathing out, results in death.  A body “without the spirit [pneuma, ‘breath’] is dead” (James 2:26).

This is possibly best illustrated in Scripture by Luke’s description of that which occurred at the exact moment Christ died.  Luke 23:46 states,

And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.

At the exact moment Christ “breathed out,” life ceased to exist in His physical body.

The Word of God was given to man through man after one revealed fashion:

. . . holy men of God spoke as they were moved [‘borne along’] by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21b)

This is what is meant by the statement, “All Scripture is God-breathed . . . .”  It is the Holy Spirit’s inseparable connection with the Word of God that makes it so.  God, through the instrumentality of the Spirit (the Pneuma; same word that is also used for “breath”), gave His word to man through man.  The Spirit breathed — God breathed — this Word through Jewish prophets.

Thus, this Word, though given through man, is thus not of human origin.  It is of divine origin (Psalm 12:6).  And because of its divine origin — because it is God-breathed, because it is living — this Word can effectually work after a supernatural manner to accomplish that which God has intended for it to accomplish (Isaiah 55:11).

The word translated “powerful” in Hebrews 4:12 is energes in the Greek text, the word from which we derive our English word “energy.”  The Word of God has the divine energy — it can effectually work after a supernatural manner — to divide between the “soul and spirit,” penetrate the “joints and marrow,” and discern the “thoughts and intents of the heart.”

(Ref. the author’s book, in this site, Salvation of the Soul BOOK, Chapters 3, 4, for a more comprehensive treatment of the God-breathed Word.)

2)  BETWEEN THE SOUL AND SPIRIT

The reference in Hebrews 4:12 to a division being effected by the Word of God between man’s soul and spirit is drawn from the opening verses of Genesis (as seen earlier in this chapter relative to the “rest” set before “the people of God” [Hebrews 4:4, 9]).  The Spirit of God moves in Genesis 1:2b, and God speaks in Genesis 1:3.  In relation to man’s salvation, it is at this point in the type that a division is made between his soul and spirit in the antitype.

Genesis 1:2-3 [2b]records the initial act of the Triune Godhead in bringing about the restoration of the ruined material creation, an act in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each participated (note that nothing can come into existence apart from the Son [John 1:3]).

In the foundational type, in the opening verses of Genesis, the Spirit of God moved, God spoke, and light came into existence.

In the antitype, within the framework of man’s salvation experience, the matter is identical.  There must be an act of the Triune Godhead, for this is how God worked to restore a ruined creation in the Genesis account, establishing an unchangeable pattern for a later work.  The Spirit of God moves, God speaks, and light comes into existence.

Everything is based on the Son’s finished work at Calvary.  The Spirit moving and God speaking are both based on that which occurred almost 2,000 years ago.  When the Son cried out from the Cross, “It is finished [lit., ‘It has been finished’]” (John 19:30; cf. Luke 23:46), He meant exactly that; and when the Word of God reveals that we have a salvation of divine origin, based entirely on the Son’s finished work, the Word of God means exactly that as well.

(In the preceding respect, note Christ’s words in John 19:30 and the manner in which Ephesians 2:8 begins:

It is finished [lit., “It has been finished”].  (John 19:30)

For by grace are you saved [lit., “you have been saved”] through faith . . . . (Ephesians 2:8a)

The words, “It has been finished” in John 19:30 and “you have been saved” in Ephesians 2:8 are both translations of one word [though different words] in the Greek text, in the perfect tense — a verb tense that shows action completed in past time, with the results of that action existing during present time in a finished state.

Saved man possesses a salvation, based on a past divine work, which, during present time, exists in a finished state; and this salvation is made possible through a past work of God’s Son that, during present time, exists in a finished state.  In this respect, man’s salvation is just as secure and complete as the finished work upon which it rests.

And the person has been saved “by grace [that which God is able to do entirely apart from human intervention] through faith.”  The only thing man can do is accept that which has already been done on his behalf, through believing on the One who completed the Work that God required.

Then, to bring the preceding to pass, the Spirit of God, based on the Son’s finished work, breathes life into the one who has no life — the one “dead in trespasses and sins” — allowing that individual to pass “from death to life” [John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1, 5].)

When man sinned in Eden, he died spiritually; and when unregenerate man, “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), is made alive today, he is made alive spiritually.  The movement of the Spirit (Genesis 1:2b) and God speaking (Genesis 1:3) in order to restore the ruined creation are simultaneous events.  It is the Spirit using the God-breathed Word to effectually perform a supernatural work in unredeemed man.  It is at this point — through the inbreathing of God — that life is imparted to that which previously had no life.  God breathes into dead man (the Spirit using the God-breathed Word, based on the finished work of the Son), and man is “quickened [‘made alive’]” (Ephesians 2:1, 5).

At this point, light shines “out of darkness” (2 Corinthians 4:6), a division is made between the light and the darkness (Genesis 1:4), and the darkness has no apprehension or comprehension of that which is light (John 1:5; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14).

It is at this point in man’s salvation that the spirit is separated from the soul.  The “spirit” in unsaved man is dead.  It is a part of the totally depraved man, with his “body of . . . death,” in which there dwells “no good thing” (Romans 7:18, 24).  With the movement of the Spirit, using the God-breathed Word, man’s spirit is made alive and, at the same time, separated from his soul.

The “soul” remains within the sphere of darkness, which is why “the natural [Greek: psuchikos, ‘soulical’] man” cannot understand “the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:14).  That which remains in the sphere of darkness can have no apprehension or comprehension of that which has shined out of darkness.  There is a God-established division between the two that cannot be crossed over (cf. Luke 16:26).

God, by this process, delivers the spirit from the level into which it fell, resulting from Adam’s sin.  And because the spirit has been delivered, there can once again be communion with God.  Man can now comprehend spiritual things, and there can now be a progressive, continued work by the Spirit of God within man so that man can ultimately be delivered to the place that God has decreed that he occupy at the end of six days, at the end of six thousand years.

3)  PENETRATING MAN’S COMPLETE BEING

The structure of the Greek text in Hebrews 4:12 would preclude “soul and spirit” being paralleled with “joints and marrow” in the sense of the Word of God establishing a like division between man’s joints and marrow to that established between soul and spirit.  A parallel though does exist between the two (within the perfect structure of the God-breathed Word), but the “joints and marrow” would refer more to the complete man (from his outward parts to his innermost being) and relate to the remainder of the verse rather than be paralleled with the “soul and spirit” of man.

(The “joints” and “marrow” are not actually located next to one another in the sense that they can be divided as we would view a division in the natural realm.  But we are not dealing with the natural; and man’s “soul” and “spirit” need not necessarily be thought of as lying in any closer proximity to one another than man’s “joints” and “marrow” lie, though the Word of God can supernaturally divide between the two.)

Once the Word has separated the spirit from the soul, restoring life, then a parallel can exist between “soul and spirit” and “joints and marrow.”

The marrow is within the bones, and the principle function of the marrow is to produce red corpuscles for the blood.  In turn, the function of the red corpuscles is to take oxygen from the air coming into the lungs and transport it to the various tissues throughout the body.

The marrow produces that which takes oxygen from “the breath of life” and transports it, within the blood, throughout the body.  In this respect, the marrow would be looked upon quite differently than the joints.  The marrow has a direct connection with life, but the same thing cannot be said for the joints connecting the bones that hold the marrow.

Viewing the matter after this fashion is where the parallel can be seen between spirit and marrow and soul and joints.  In redeemed man, the “spirit” and “marrow” are both connected with a life that extends to the complete man (spiritual and physical life respectively), but this is not the case with the “soul” and “joints.”  Life for the latter is dependent on life existing in the former.

This can be easily seen in the physical realm.  Natural life associated with the joints is dependent on life within the marrow of the bones that the joints hold together.

And in the spiritual it is the same (bear in mind that we’re dealing with the spiritual, not the natural.  Man’s “soul” has to do with his natural life, his natural appetites, desires, etc.).  Spiritually, life can exist in connection with the soul (and one day the body) only because the spirit has been made alive and separated from the soul.

The working of this life in relation to the complete man can be seen in the present and future state of the soul, along with the future state of the body.  The soul is in the process of being redeemed (a salvation presently occurring [1 Corinthians 1:18]), and this salvation will be realized in its completeness at a future date (1 Peter 1:9).  And the body will also be redeemed at a future date (Romans 8:23; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:44).

This is a matter that Paul dwelled upon near the outset of his first letter to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 2:10-3:4).  Paul sought to establish within the minds of the Christians in Corinth the difference between “soul” and “spirit,” and he sought to show this difference for the purpose at hand.  The carnal Christians at Corinth were following after the soulical rather than the spiritual; and Paul, at the outset, sought to show these carnal Christians the difference between the two and the importance of their rising above the fleshly appetites of the soul and following the man of spirit.

The importance of this is clearly stated in succeeding verses where Paul dealt with the judgment seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).  Or, as stated in his epistle to those in Rome,

For if you [Christians] live according to the flesh you [Christians] will diebut if by the Spirit you [Christians] put to death the deeds of the body, you [Christians] will live. (Romans 8:13; cf. Romans 8:14-23)

(Note in the type that Hagar was to be submissive to Sarah [Genesis 16:9].  This would be to say, in the antitype, that flesh is to be submissive to spirit [Galatians 4:22-31].  And insofar as the inheritance awaiting Christians is concerned, Scripture clearly states, “Cast out the bondwoman and her son:  for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman” [Galatians 4:30; cf. Genesis 21:10].)

Though a parallel between “soul and spirit” and “joints and marrow” does exist, the structure of the Greek text would, as previously stated, place the emphasis elsewhere.  The Word of God dividing between man’s “joints and marrow” should be thought of in the sense of the Word having the power to pierce into any part of man’s being — from his outward parts to his innermost being (“joints,” outward; “marrow,” inward).  And this Word is the only power that can penetrate man’s complete being, which is exactly what the remainder of the verse goes on to state.
 
4)  EVERYTHING NAKED AND OPENED

Because the Word of God has the power to penetrate man’s complete being, everything is laid bare, laid “naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”  This word penetrates from the outward (joints) to the inward (marrow).  There is nothing that remains unexposed, by the Word, from the all-searching eyes of the One who is this very Word, manifested in flesh (cf. Revelation 3:15-18).

These all-searching eyes form part of John’s description of Christ as he saw Him in the future Day of the Lord as recorded in Revelation 1:13-16.  John was transported into that future day (Revelation 1:10; cf. Revelation 4:1-2) and saw Christ, no longer occupying the office of High Priest, but occupying the office of Judge.  And he not only saw Christ as Judge, but he also saw the Church in Christ’s presence awaiting judgment.

Chapters two and three of the book of Revelation actually relate that future judgment, though material in these two chapters, as well, has to do with a history of Christendom throughout the entire dispensation preceding judgment.

In Revelation 2; 3, each of the seven churches is singled out and dealt with on the same dual basis: works and overcoming.  Each section begins and ends after this same dual fashion (e.g., Revelation 2:2, 7; 2:9, 11; 2:13, 17, etc.).  And any place in Scripture where the future judgment of Christians is presented, these same two subjects always occupy the forefront.  Christians being judged in that future day are always presented as being dealt with on the basis of works with a view to showing whether they overcame or were, instead, overcome.

Chapters two and three though are usually thought of only in a historic sense (presenting seven existing churches in Asia during John’s day, which foreshadow a history of Christendom throughout the present dispensation).  But viewing these two chapters strictly from the standpoint of history removes them not only from the natural flow of events in the book but also from the realm of prophecy.

John was viewing the matter from his vantage point at a future time, beyond the present dispensation.  In the natural flow of events in that future day, John went on to see the Judge from chapter one (with the complete Church [all seven churches] in His presence to be judged) exercising this judgment in chapters two and three.  Then John saw events in chapter four occurring after the judgment had been completed (the twenty-four elders casting their crowns before God’s throne in view of others [Christians having previously been shown qualified at the judgment seat] wearing these crowns during the Millennium.

(For information on the twenty-four elders in Revelation 4, refer to the author’s book, in this site, The Time of the End BOOK, Chapter 7, “Crowns Cast Before God’s Throne.”

Note also in chapters two and three that Christ speaks to the churches as Judge [e.g., cf. Revelation 1:13-16, 20; 2:1, 12, 18], a role that He will not occupy until the present dispensation has drawn to a close.)

Though the natural flow of events in chapters two and three continues from chapter one and has to do with judgment, these two chapters, as previously seen, also present an overall history of Christendom throughout the dispensation.  And this history centers on the result of the proclamation of the Word of the Kingdom within Christendom throughout the dispensation.

In this respect, chapters two and three must be looked upon in a dual sense, having a double fulfillment — a revelation of events dealing with both history and prophecy (the Church on earth during the present dispensation; and the Church in heaven, before the judgment seat, following the present dispensation).  Accordingly, John’s removal from the earth “in the spirit” (Revelation 1:10; 4:1-2) and the “things which are” (Revelation 1:19) would also have to be viewed in this same dual respect.

But, even though a dual fulfillment of these two chapters is seen, the emphasis is on the latter — judgment, in that coming day into which John was transported — presenting a natural flow of events from chapter one.

Christ is presented in Revelation 1:14 as One whose eyes are “as a flame of fire” (One possessing a vision associated with judgment); and in His subsequent dealings with the seven churches (Revelation 2; 3), Christ is presented as the One who sees all and consequently knows all (“I know your works . . . .”).  He has seen their works, and He consequently knows all things surrounding their works;  and that is the basis on which the judgment of Christians will occur when Christ views them in His presence through eyes described “as a flame of fire” (cf. Matthew 16:27; 25:19-30; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

It will be these searching, penetrating eyes of the One with “whom we must give account” that will confront every Christian at the time he appears before the judgment seat of Christ.  It was these eyes that confronted Peter after he had denied the Lord the third time, after the cock had crowed a second time.  

The Lord, apparently being led at that moment past Peter into “the hall of judgment,” turned and looked upon Peter.  And Peter, looking into those eyes, was awakened to the stark reality of that which he had done (Luke 22:61).

The Lord’s look at this time was far more than a brief glance.  The word used in the Greek text (emblepo [an intensified form of blepo, the regular Greek word for “see,” “look”]) points to Christ fixing His eyes upon Peter in an intently searching sense.  Peter, because of his previous actions, came under Christ’s scrutiny, causing him to remember that which had occurred.  And, as a result, he “went out, and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62).

These eyes belong to the One to whom all judgment has been committed — the living Word, acting on the basis of that which the written Word has declared and has revealed.  These are the eyes that will look intently and searchingly upon every Christian, individually, at the judgment seat; and these are the eyes that every Christian, individually, will look into at the same time — eyes described as “a flame of fire.”

THE GLORY OF GOD

The “light” that shined out of darkness” in Genesis 1:3, and shines in our hearts” today, concerns itself not only with the initial act of man’s salvation but also with bringing man from immaturity to maturity.  As expressed in 2 Corinthians 4:6, “. . . to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  And this is the light, providing knowledge, referred to in an immediately preceding verse:  “whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

In the Genesis account, light shined out of darkness on the first day; but the material creation was not completely restored until the sixth day, with man on the scene and in a position to ascend the throne at the end of the sixth day, on the seventh day.

And within the initial act and progressive manner that God used to restore the material creation, one can clearly see the present initial act and progressive manner that God is using to restore man; and this restoration, as in the type, is with a view to man being able to ascend the throne at the end of six days, on the seventh day.

In the Genesis account, after light had shined out of darkness and a division had been established between the light and the darkness on the first day (Genesis 1:2-5 [2b]), a division was then effected between the waters on the second day (Genesis 1:6-8); and the dry land with its vegetation was subsequently made to appear on the third day (Genesis 1:9-13).  But the placing of lights in the heavens (Genesis 1:14-19), the creation of birds that could soar above the earth and marine life that could move throughout the depths of the seas (Genesis 1:20-23), and the creation of great beasts that could roam the earth (Genesis 1:24-25) were restorative and creative acts not brought to pass until the fourth, fifth, and sixth days.

In the antitype, after the movement of the Spirit and the introduction of light has effected the division between spirit and soul on the first day, then God’s work relating to maturity can begin.

In this respect, God’s acts of restoration during the second and third days (a division between the waters, a separation of the dry land from the waters, and the appearance of plant life) refer particularly to the acquisition and understanding of the elementary truths of the Word — redeemed man learning how to make divisions, distinctions, etc.  It is in this manner alone that the new creation “in Christ” is brought into existence and begins a progressive growth from immaturity to maturity.

Then, once the Christian has become established in the elementary truths of the Word, progressive growth can continue.  The Christian can then move on into truths depicted by the fourth, fifth, and sixth days.  He can then view with understanding that which is depicted by the lights in the heavens, begin to soar above the mountains as the eagle, plunge to the depths as the sea creatures, and roam in an unlimited fashion throughout the Word as the great beasts roam the earth.

Then, at the end of his journey from immaturity to maturity, man, at the end of the sixth day, is seen in the type ready to ascend the throne on the seventh day, which is exactly what is about to occur at the end of his journey in the antitype.

For the word of God is living”; and after it has established a division between man’s “soul and spirit,” it can then effectually work within redeemed man — effecting the metamorphosis of Romans 12:2 — in order to bring man, not just out of the condition in which he presently finds himself, but into the position for which he was created:  “Let them have dominion . . . .” (Genesis 1:26, 28).
Chapter Eight
Let Us Therefore Come Boldly

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

The second of the five major warnings in Hebrews begins with the exhortation

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1)

And this second major warning in Hebrews ends with an exhortation surrounding that which was introduced at the beginning:

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens  . . .

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14, 16 [14a])

As “Apostle,” Christ died for our sins; and as “High Priest,” He ever lives to make intercession for us.

Fallen man can be saved today only because of and through/by Christ’s past work as “Apostle,” and this salvation is the foundation upon which everything rests.  But redemption provided through Christ’s past work as Apostle is not the central message of Hebrews.  Hebrews looks beyond this point (beyond Exodus 12 in the type), to that which redemption makes possible — things ultimately having to do with the land of Canaan in the type.

Thus, the thought surrounding “our confession” in Hebrews 3:1 must begin with but move beyond Christ’s finished work at Calvary.  It must look out ahead, to that which redemption makes possible — things centered in Christians ultimately realizing an inheritance in that heavenly land in the antitype.

The word, “confession [KJV: ‘profession’],” is a translation of the Greek word homologia, meaning “to say the same thing [as another].”  Contextually, it would refer to saying the same thing that God has said about His Son as Apostle and High Priest, i.e., agreeing with the record that God has given concerning His Son.

And agreeing with this record, contextually, in Hebrews, would be agreeing with what God has to say about the purpose for His Son’s past work as Apostle and His Son’s present work as High Priest.  Only within this framework can Christ’s ministry — past and present — be viewed in a correct perspective.

A reference to one’s confession surrounding that which is in view in Hebrews chapters three and four is also seen in Hebrews 10:23:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering . . . .

And, comparing this verse with Hebrews 3:1; 4:14, in the light of “the hope” which we are to hold with confidence and rejoicing in Hebrews 3:6, along with the central message of the book, one could come to only one conclusion.  The three verses are actually dealing with different facets of the same central truth.

Hebrews 3:1 views the matter from a dual perspective — Christ’s past, finished work of redemption, and Christ’s present work as High Priest; and Hebrews 4:14 views the matter more from a singular perspective, as does Hebrews 10:23 — that of Christ’s present work as High Priest alone.

Christians are called upon to agree (homologia) with the record that God has given of His Son; and, keeping in mind the central message of Hebrews, whether we view that which Christ’s past work makes possible (His work as Apostle, effecting redemption) or that which Christ’s present work makes possible (His work as High Priest, providing a present cleansing for those whom He has redeemed), the thought must always be the same.  One must always keep his eyes centered on the goal lying out ahead, on the purpose surrounding Christ’s past, finished work at Calvary and on the purpose surrounding Christ’s present, continuous work in the heavenly sanctuary.

And this goal has to do with the third office that Christ will one day occupy — that of King.  The goal has to do with occupying positions as kings and priests with the great King-Priest in that coming day, a goal that allows the flow of thought to continue quite naturally into the third of the five major warnings, wherein one finds the Melchizedek priesthood brought into full view  (Hebrews 5-7).

The goal of our calling is expressed in different ways in Hebrews, clearly revealed to be the same goal in the antitype as that possessed by the Israelites under Moses in the type.  Attaining this goal in that future day is spoken of as synonymous with coming into possession of “the hope” set before us (Hebrews 3:6; 6:11, 18-20), inheriting “the promises” (Hebrews 6:12), or realizing “the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:35-39).

It is coming into possession of “so great salvation,” to be realized by the “many sons” whom Christ will bring “to glory” with Him (Hebrews 1:14; 2:3, 10)It is entering into that “Sabbath rest” awaiting the people of God (Hebrews 4:1-11).

Attaining this goal, expressed in different ways, is what Hebrews is about; and when the book refers to “the Apostle and High Priest of our confession” or exhorts us to “hold fast our confession” (with the “High Priest of our confession” in view), the thought must be in line with the central message of the book.  The thought must have to do with the goal of our calling, expressed over and over many different ways throughout the book.

A PRESENT CLEANSING

Remaining within the typology of the six and seven days referred to in the first part of Hebrews chapter four, the high priestly ministry of Christ, introduced at the end of the chapter (carrying through into chapter 5), has a dual aspect.  There is one type of ministry in view during the six days (more specifically, days two through six), with another type of ministry being brought to pass after six days, on the seventh day.

There is first Christ’s present high priestly ministry, patterned after the order of Aaron, wherein He is a minister in the sanctuary (as was Aaron).  He is presently ministering on behalf of those destined to occupy positions with Him as “kings and priests” during the coming age, and He is ministering on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat in the heavenly sanctuary.

(Note that Christ can minister in the sanctuary in this manner today, though not of the Levitical line, because He is not ministering as High Priest to individuals under the Mosaic Economy.  Rather, He is ministering on behalf of those who form the one new man “in Christ.”

But in that coming day when Israel is brought back into the picture, Christ’s priesthood, of necessity, will have to change.  In that day Christ will be the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek, a priesthood of an entirely different order.)

Christ’s present high priestly ministry is occurring during that period when Christians, as the Israelites under Moses in past time, are moving toward the land to which they have been called; and this is also a ministry occurring during the antitype of days two through six in the typology of Genesis chapter one.

In the antitype of the activity on day one in the Genesis account — by the action of the Spirit, using the God-breathed Word, on the basis of the finished work of the Son — there is a division established between the soul and the spirit.  The spirit is separated from the soul, there is an in-breathing of life, and the individual, by this process, passes “from death to life” (Genesis 1:2-5 [2b]; John 3:3; 5:24; Hebrews 4:12).  And this is brought to pass on the basis of Christ’s past work as Apostle.

Then in the antitype of the activity occurring on days two through six — by a continued work of the triune Godhead — there is a progressive growth from immaturity to maturity.  The indwelling Spirit uses the God-breathed Word to continue and sustain that life previously brought into existence as He effects spiritual growth toward maturity.  And the Son, during this time, occupies the office of High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary to provide a present cleansing for the ones progressively moving, under the leadership of the Spirit, from immaturity to maturity in their spiritual growth.

(Thus, events occurring during the first day point to Christ’s work as Apostle, for it was as Apostle that “Christ died for our sins”;  and the Spirit’s work on this day, in the antitype, occurs on the basis of Christ’s finished work at Calvary alone and has nothing to do with His subsequent work as High Priest.

Christ’s high priestly ministry, patterned after the order of Aaron, comes into view only after the time depicted by events on day one, only after the person has passed “from death to life.”)

That which is depicted by events on days two and three has to do with divisions, distinctions (as that which is depicted by events on day one — the division between soul and spirit, effecting the salvation that we presently possess).  On day two, the waters below the atmosphere were divided from the waters above the atmosphere (the antediluvian world had water both below and above the atmosphere, with the water above the atmosphere coming down at the time of the Flood during Noah’s day [Genesis 1:6-8; cf. Genesis 7:11]).  Then on day three the earth’s land masses began to appear above the water, and vegetation began to appear (Genesis 1:9-13).

(Both in Genesis 1:2 and during the Noachian Flood [Genesis 6-8] water covered the whole face of the earth.  During Noah’s day, God caused land to appear above the water once again through the means seen in Psalm 104:6-9 NASB95 — “The mountains rose, the valleys sank . . . .”  God, at this time began to lower some land masses and raise other land masses [e.g., the Pacific basin, and the western U.S.], allowing the water to run into the basins and dry land to appear on the land masses being raised.

In Genesis 1:6-7 though, God removed vast quantities of the water covering the earth and placed this water above the atmosphere.  This alone may have allowed sufficient land to appear above the water.  We’re not told.  If not, God would have done the same thing which He later did [again?] during Noah’s day, for God works in established patterns.

Note though that God’s activity during Noah’s day was not a restoration of the earth per se.  Had it been, the waters that fell in the form of torrential rain would have been placed back above the atmosphere, along with the curse on the ground being lifted [Genesis 3:17-18].  But all of that awaits a future day, seen in Acts 3:21 — the restoration of all things.)

Events occurring during the first three days in Genesis chapter one would point to elementary things or the basics in one’s spiritual life and growth.  Events occurring during day one would point to a work having to do with the impartation of life.  Then events occurring during days two and three would point to divisions, distinctions as one begins to progressively grow within the framework of the new life brought into existence on the first day.  One would learn to distinguish between the soulical and spiritual, spiritual and carnal (fleshly), Jew, Gentile, and Christian, the dispensations, etc.

Only when one learns the distinctions, divisions depicted by that which was brought to pass on days two and three is he in a position to move on into the things depicted by that which was brought to pass on days four through six.  On these three days, light was restored to the sun and moon (day four, Genesis 1:14-19); sea life and the birds of the air were created (day five, Genesis 1:20-23); and then God created all the living creatures that roam the earth, followed by His creation of man (day six, Genesis 1:24-27).

That which is depicted by the work of the Triune Godhead during these three days points to things beyond elementary truths in the antitype.  After one has passed “from death to life” and has been instructed in the elementary truths (days one through three) — after he has been “born from above” and has grown to a degree in his Christian life — he can then begin to view with understanding deeper spiritual truths of the Word.  He can then begin to view with understanding those things in the Word depicted by events on days four through six.

An individual in this position can then begin to sink deep shafts down into the Word and mine its treasures.  He can look into the Word and understand that which is depicted by the lights in the heavens.  He can in the true sense of the Word, “mount up with wings as eagles . . . run, and not be weary . . . walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31), as he scales the heights; or he can scale the depths of the Word as the sea creatures plunge to the depths of the sea; or he can roam through the Word as the land creatures roam the earth.

In short, the more a person progresses from immaturity to maturity the more he comes into a position where he becomes unlimited in that which he can mine from the God-breathed Word in his possession.  And the whole matter is with a view to man, at the end of six days, at the end of six thousand years, being in a position to realize the purpose for his very existence:  “Let them have dominion . . . .” (Genesis 1:26, 28).

It is only during that period depicted by events during days two through six that Christ exercises His present high priestly ministry, patterned after the order of Aaron.  That which is depicted by events on the seventh day (the seventh one-thousand-year period) necessitates a change in Christ’s high priestly ministry.

In that day, Christ will no longer be a minister of the sanctuary after the order of Aaron.  Rather, in that day Christ will be the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek, which is the direction that the book of Hebrews moves immediately following the conclusion of the second of the five major warnings in Hebrews 4 (ref. Hebrews 5-7).

1)  THE ISRAELITES UNDER MOSES AND JOSHUA

Beginning with Exodus chapter twelve and continuing through the book of Joshua there is one complete type (comprised of innumerable individual types), a complete type previously established and set forth in very concise and precise form in the opening two chapters of Genesis.  These two chapters in Genesis form not only the foundation for the septenary arrangement of Scripture but also the foundation for teachings surrounding the entirety of the Christian life, from birth to the Messianic Kingdom.  And the subsequent portion of Scripture from Exodus chapter twelve through Joshua simply enlarges upon that which was previously set forth at the beginning, in the opening verses of Genesis.

In this respect, events on the day of the Passover in Exodus chapter twelve would parallel events on day one in Genesis chapter one (Genesis 1:2-5 [2b]).  Then, events beyond the Passover in Exodus would parallel events beyond the first day in Genesis (Genesis 1:6ff).

In Exodus, the firstborn, a ruined creation, came under the sentence of death; and God made provision whereby He could remove “the first” and establish “the second” (Hebrews 10:9).  God provided a substitutionary death, with a resurrection to life beyond the Red Sea passage.

A lamb from the flock could die in the stead of the firstborn in the family.  The lamb was to be slain, and blood from the slain lamb was to be applied to the door posts and lintel of the house in which the firstborn lived.  Then, when the Lord passed through the land of Egypt at midnight and saw the blood applied to the door posts and lintel, He knew that the firstborn in that house had already died.  A substitutionary death had occurred, God was satisfied, and the Lord consequently passed over that house.

Beyond that was burial on the western banks of the Red Sea in Egypt and resurrection to “walk in newness of life” on the eastern banks of the Red Sea in the wilderness.  And the entire matter was with a view to the Israelites one day realizing their calling in the land set before them, the land of Canaan.

Then, in the parallel type in Genesis, in the original type, God, on the first day, began the work of bringing a ruined creation out of its ruined state (Genesis 1:2-5 [2b]).  The Spirit of God moved and God spoke, events that could occur only in connection with a work by the Son (John 1:3).  Thus, the Son is seen throughout God’s activity during the six days in Genesis chapter one through activity that could pertain only to Him.

The Spirit moving and God speaking were simultaneous, inseparable events (the Spirit does not move either apart from or contrary to the Word, something very evident when the type is compared with the antitype).

The removal of the earth from its watery grave though was a subsequent event.  There was death, burial in water, and resurrection to newness of life in both the Genesis and Exodus accounts; and this is seen in the antitype through man’s salvation and subsequent baptism today (cf. Genesis 1:2, 9; Exodus 12-14; 1 Corinthians 10:1-2; Colossians 2:12; 2 Peter 3:5-6 [Note also 1 Peter 3:20-21.  The original type, upon which the typology surrounding the Noachian Flood must be viewed, is Genesis 1:2ff]).

(The proper place for “baptism” in relation to “salvation” is thus seen in both the restoration of the earth in Genesis and in the Israelites’ passage through the Red Sea in Exodus.  Within a Scriptural framework, baptism can only be subsequent to — never a part of — salvation.

Also, the removal of the earth from its watery grave — depicting resurrection to life, paralleling resurrection to life on the eastern banks of the Red Sea in Exodus 14 — was an event that occurred on the third day [Exodus 14:9].  In this respect, events occurring on the second and third days, within the framework of depicting the central spiritual truths at hand, should be thought of more in the sense of a unit.  However, another spiritual truth is shown by depicting “resurrection” as occurring on the third day, for that is the day resurrection will occur [cf. Hosea 6:2; Luke 24:21; 1 Corinthians 15:4].

Viewing the matter more in the sense of central spiritual truths though, events occurring on days two and three would simply point to the basics in one’s spiritual life and growth, following the individual’s passage “from death to life” [depicted by events occurring on day one].  They must be viewed after this fashion, for something alluded to by an event on day three actually occurs in the subsequent type in Exodus and in biblical examples of the antitype immediately following that alluded to by events on day one [cf. Exodus 12; 13; 14, Acts 8:26-39; 16:30-34].

Note that events on days four through six should also be viewed after this same fashion — as a unit.  That is, events occurring on day six would not necessarily point to spiritual truths above and beyond those depicted by events on days four and five.  In this respect, the opening chapter of Genesis presents two units within two triads of days that cover the entirety of the Christian life from birth to the Messianic Kingdom.)

In the type, beginning in Exodus chapter fourteen, the high priestly ministry of Aaron came into view following the Red Sea passage and the march of the Israelites to Sinai.  Aaron’s ministry occurred during that time when the people acted upon the Word received through Moses at Sinai and journeyed toward the land set before them.  And within the framework of Genesis chapter one — within the original type — this period would parallel that time depicted by events on days two through six.

The ministry of Aaron though, as previously shown, does not extend over into that future time depicted by events on the seventh day.  It was Joshua who led the Israelites into the land of Canaan (the rest set before them), which would move one beyond the sixth day in the type; and Aaron, as Moses, was removed via death prior to this time.

Christ’s ministry during that future time, in the antitype, will likewise be different.  The “death of the high priest [after the order of Aaron],” in the antitype of Numbers 35:28, will occur.  And in that coming seventh day, Christ, rather than being a minister in the heavenly sanctuary on behalf of His future co-heirs, will be the great King-Priest in Jerusalem, after the order of Melchizedek, with His co-heirs occupying positions on the throne with Him.

(Ref. the author’s book, The Time of the End BOOK, Appendix 2, “The Death of the High Priest.”)

Thus, Hebrews 4:14-16, closing the second of the five major warnings, deals with Christ’s ministry during the antitype of events surrounding days two through six in the first chapter of Genesis or with the antitype of the Israelites during their wilderness journey under Moses (parallel types pointing to one antitype).  Christ is presently exercising the office of High Priest on behalf of Christians during their pilgrim journey, during that time when they are progressing in their spiritual growth from immaturity to maturity.  And this ministry is to provide a present cleansing for the “kings and priests” that Christ is about to bring forth to occupy positions on the throne with Him at the end of the sixth day, on the seventh day.

(Note that a first-mention principle has been established in Genesis 1:2-3 [2b].  The Spirit is seen in these opening verses acting in connection with and in complete accord with all subsequent Scripture.

Man’s salvation in the beginning [seen in the events of day one in the type] occurs through the Spirit using the God-breathed Word to bring about life where life had not previously existed; and man’s spiritual growth toward maturity [seen in the events of days two through six in the type] occurs by the Spirit continuing to use the God-breathed Word to sustain and nourish the life previously brought into existence.)
 
2)  “IF I DO NOT WASH YOU”

Christ’s present ministry and the purpose for this ministry can be seen about as well as anywhere in Scripture in the account of His washing the disciples’ feet in John 13:2-11.  In this account Christ laid aside His garments, took a towel, girded Himself, poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet.  And the heart of the matter is revealed in the interchange of words between Christ and Peter when Christ came to Peter and sought to wash his feet.

Peter, not understanding what was happening, attempted to prevent Christ from washing his feet.  Peter said,

You shall never [a double negative in the Greek text — very emphatic] wash my feet!”  And Christ’s response was, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me [two negatives in the reply, If I do not, then you will not]. (John 13:8)

Peter, still not understanding, but taking Christ at His word that he could have “no part with” Him apart from allowing Christ to wash his feet, went beyond that point and requested that not only his feet but his complete body be bathed (John 13:9).  Peter, in essence, said, “If that’s what it will take to have ‘a part with’ you, then don’t stop with just my feet.  Give me a complete bath.”

Jesus then responded by saying,

He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you [a reference to Judas]. (John 13:10; cf. John 13:11)

Throughout this interchange, there is a play on two Greek words, nipto and louo, both translated the same way in the English text.  When used together like this, nipto refers to washing “a part of that which is in view” (a part of the body in this case — the feet), and louo refers to washing “the whole of that which is in view” (the whole body in this case).  Thus, the English text does not really convey the central crux of this passage.

In verse eight, Christ used the word nipto, indicating that Peter (and the other disciples) could have “a part with” Him only if they availed themselves of the provided “partial washing.”  In verse nine, Peter alluded to the type washing that would be shown by the word louo, not by the word nipto that Christ had used.  This is evident from verse ten, where Christ used both words.  Christ, in response to Peter, said, “He who is bathed [louo] needs only to wash [nipto] his feet . . . .”

Then, the inflection of these two verbs in the Greek text is quite revealing.  The former (louo) appears in a perfect tense, and the latter (nipto) appears in a present tense in the middle voice.  The perfect tense shows action completed in past time, with the results of that action existing in a finished state during present time; and the present tense (indicative mood, middle voice) shows present, continuous action on the part of the individual himself.

In other words, Peter had been washed completely once; and that washing was accomplished in past time, with the results of that washing existing during present time in a finished state.

Then there is a present, continuous washing that involves only parts of that which previously had been washed completely (the individual, following a complete washing, continuously allows Christ to wash the parts becoming defiled through contact with the world).

Christ drew His teachings surrounding the use of louo and nipto from the typology of the tabernacle and its priestly ministry, where this two-fold washing can be clearly seen:

1) In a bathing of the complete body (louo) upon one’s entrance into the priesthood.

2) In the subsequent washing, time after time (in a continuous fashion), of the person’s hands and feet (nipto) at the laver in the courtyard as he exercised his priestly duties (cf. Exodus 29:4; 30:18-21; 40:12-15, 30-32 [the Septuagint uses both louo and nipto in these passages, showing the correct distinction]).

Christians are New Testament priests, who previously experienced a complete washing upon their entrance into the priesthood (at the point of salvation).  However, Christians still reside in a body of death and become defiled through contact with this present world, as the Aaronic priest’s hands and feet became defiled while ministering between the brazen altar and Holy Place.  And Christians, as the Aaronic priests, must stop at the laver (placed in the courtyard of the tabernacle between the brazen altar and Holy Place) and wash those parts that have become defiled.

This is done today through a confession of one’s sins, and cleansing occurs through Christ’s high priestly ministry on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat in the heavenly sanctuary (1 John 1:6-2:2).

And, as Jesus told Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me (John 13:8b).”  All Christians are “in Christ [associated with louo],” but having a part “with Christ [associated with nipto]” is a different matter entirely.  The reference would be to having a part with Him in that coming day (as co-heirs in the kingdom), for that was the subject at hand in John’s gospel.

The Spirit of God presently indwells all Christians to lead them into all truth (during that time depicted by days two through six in Genesis chapter one);  and, during the same period of time, Christ, as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, provides cleansing from the world’s defilement for the ones progressing from immaturity to maturity.

Christians who allow the Holy Spirit to lead them into all truth and, at the same time, allow Christ to wash their feet are the ones in a position to run the race in a victorious manner.  These are the ones who can engage and victoriously combat the enemy presently dwelling in the land to which Christians have been called.  Consequently, these are the ones who can overcome the enemy rather than be overcome by the enemy.

A COMPLETE CLEANSING

Drawing from the typology of Genesis chapter twenty-four, the primary mission of the Holy Spirit in the world today is to acquire a bride for God’s Son.  As Abraham’s servant was sent into the far country (Mesopotamia) to acquire a bride for Abraham’s son, the Holy Spirit has been sent into the far country (this world) to acquire a bride for God’s Son.  And, as Abraham’s servant acquired and removed the bride during his day, the Holy Spirit is presently acquiring and will shortly remove the bride during the present day.

To place the person within the family (from which the bride is removed [see typology of Genesis 24]), the Holy Spirit uses the God-breathed Word and effects a cleansing (louo) on the basis of the Son’s finished work at Calvary.  Then, to bring about the removal of the bride from the family (or, as in the original type in Genesis 2, a removal from the body [Eve, removed from Adam’s body]), the Holy Spirit continues using the God-breathed Word as He effects spiritual growth unto maturity and, at the same time, allows Christ to effect a cleansing (nipto) on the basis of His present work in the heavenly sanctuary.

The past cleansing has to do with Christ’s work as Apostle, with the salvation that we presently possess; and the present cleansing has to do with Christ’s work as High Priest, with the salvation of the soul, the salvation to be revealed at the time of Christ’s return.

Both cleansings are full and complete.  Each involves that part which is defiled — the whole of man (louo), and then parts of the cleansed man subsequently becoming defiled through contact with this present world (nipto).  And the object, the ultimate goal, is given in Ephesians 5:27:

That he [Christ] might present her [the Church] to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (cf. Ephesians 5:25-26)

Redeemed individuals having a part with Christ in that day will possess a redeemed body enswathed in Glory, completely free from any taint of corruption associated with the former creation in Adam.  The Christians’ present position “in Christ,” having to do with man’s redeemed spirit and his spiritual standing before God, will, in that day, have to do with man in his complete being.  In that day, unlike today, 2 Corinthians 5:17 (“. . . old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”) will be equally applicable to any one of the three parts of triune man — body, soul, and spirit.

(Knowledge of this fact will shed light upon the completeness of God’s restoration of the earth in Genesis 1:2-25 [2b].  The earth was not restored after an incomplete fashion, allowing man to view any part of the destruction in Genesis 1:2a or to look back behind this destruction in geology or any of the other sciences.  God’s restoration was complete.  Old things passed away; all things became new.  All traces of the former were wiped out, and that which exists today [the complete fossil record, etc.] must be placed within the framework of the past six thousand years — within the framework of that which became new, though presently under a curse.

The condition of the material creation at the end of the six days of God’s restorative work in Genesis chapter one must, within a type-antitype framework, parallel the condition of redeemed man at the end of God’s restorative work depicted by events during the six days in Genesis.  Divine activity occurs throughout the restoration of both; and God’s work in one must parallel His work in the other after a fashion that necessitates a perfect work in both.)

CONCLUDING REMARKS

The second of the five major warnings in Hebrews chapter four closes with three admonitions, which, in a sense, form one three-fold admonition:

1)  Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest . . . . (Hebrews 4:11)

2)  let us hold fast our confession . . . . (Hebrews 4:14)

3)  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace [with Christ’s present high priestly ministry and the hope set before us (to be realized in that seventh day) in view] . . . . (Hebrews 4:16)

Our eyes are to be fixed on the one goal out ahead; and we have the assurance that, as we move toward this goal, we can, at any time, come boldly into the very presence of the One who made it all possible, obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
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The following Word Document is Safe to open and print:  From Egypt to Canaan BOOK by Arlen L. Chitwood.docx

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Man's Commentaries
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Excerpt from:

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Had Ye Believed Moses, Ch. 1

Had Ye Believed Moses by Arlen Chitwood, Ch. 1, Pg. 2

Man is often quick to check the commentaries, to see what another man has to say about a matter in Scripture.  But going to that which man has to say is checking that which is lifeless in an effort to shed light upon that which is living.  Something of this nature is like trying to set the celestial chronometer by the timepiece in Greenwich.  Neither is done, and the inverse of both must always be the case.

It matters not what man may think about the Word or about that which it has to say.  Man’s thoughts are totally immaterial.  The only thing of any moment whatsoever is the Word’s own testimony about itself or about any matter with which it deals, with the Word understood in the light of itself, under the guidance of the indwelling Spirit.

Note:  My title, not Arlen's.

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Biblical Perfection Numbers:

Three -- divine perfection

Seven -- spiritual perfection

Ten -- ordinal perfection

Twelve -- governmental perfection

When Christ returns to the earth at the end of the Tribulation He will be accompanied by Moses and Elijah, along with a great contingent of angels.  Christians, having been removed from the earth at least seven years earlier — contrary to common belief and teaching — will not be with Christ at this time.

The Son of Man Coming in His Kingdom
By Arlen L. Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

Part I of IV

Significance of that Seen in Matthew 16:28-17:5

“Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him.

Then appeared Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 16:28-17:5).

The scene on the Mount, in Matthew 17:1-5, depicts that stated in the last verse of the preceding chapter — “the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:28). This is not a foreview of or something like Christ’s return in possession of the kingdom at this time (cf. Daniel 7:13-14). Rather, exactly as the text states, some standing there saw “the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” God can deal with time and with events during time in this manner if He so desires.

God can move man back in time, or forward in time (e.g., He moved Ezekiel back in time and John forward in time [Ezekiel 8:1ff; Revelation 1:10ff]). As well, God can change time as we know it if He so desires ( Joshua 10:12-14; Isaiah 38:7-8; Amos 8:9; Matthew 24:22; 2 Peter 3:8). Then God can deal with events occurring during the time in which man has been placed.

The Scene in Matthew 17:1-5

The time when the Son of Man will come in His kingdom is seen to occur “after six days,” which places it in complete accord with all related Scripture — on the seventh day, the seventh 1,000-year period.

This is the way matters are presented, at the very beginning of the Old Testament, in the opening two chapters of Genesis, (Genesis 1; 2) establishing a foundational basis for that about to be revealed.

And, as well, this is the way matters are presented at the beginning of the New Testament, in the opening two chapters of John’s gospel (John 1; 2) again setting forth the same foundational basis previously seen beginning Genesis for that about to be revealed.

(Ref. the author’s pamphlet, “Genesis and John!” in this website, showing why John must be seen as the   gospel beginning the N.T., not Matthew.)

The location used to depict the Son of Man coming in His kingdom was “an high mountain.” “A mountain” is used in Scripture to depict a kingdom. And Christ didn’t select just any mountain to depict that in view. Rather, Christ took three of His disciples up into “an high mountain.”

Note how “a mountain” is used in a metaphorical respect in Isaiah 2:1-4 to depict not only Christ’s kingdom but lesser kingdoms on earth in that coming day — “the mountain of the Lord’s house [Christ’s kingdom] shall be established in the top of the mountains [all the subordinate world kingdoms, referred to in this respect later in the verse through the use of ‘hills’].”

Or, Daniel 2:35, 44-45, as Revelation 11:15, shows the matter after a slightly different fashion. In these sections of Scripture, the kingdom of Christ alone is seen, with all of the lesser world kingdoms seen as forming part of the worldwide kingdom of Christ.

In Daniel 2:35, 44-45, Christ is seen smiting the final form of Gentile world power at the time of His return (which will be a worldwide power under the Beast, Antichrist). And “a great mountain” is used to depict the kingdom of Christ as it will exist following the destruction of that depicted by the image. Then Revelation 11:15 simply states the same thing at the same time, apart from the use of metaphors:

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He will reign       forever and ever,” (Revelation 11:15 NASB95).

Those present on the Mount were Christ, Moses, Elijah, and three of the twelve disciples (Peter, James, and John).

Christ was “transfigured” before the disciples (enswathed in the Glory of God).

Moses and Elijah “appeared in glory” with Christ (evidently enswathed in Glory as well [Luke 9:31]), and “a bright cloud” overshadowed all present on the Mount (which could only be the Glory seen in an overall respect in the kingdom).

Then Peter, James, and John — though not enswathed in Glory, as the Others — were present within the overall scope of the Glory overshadowing everyone.

And Peter recognized this scene to be exactly what was being depicted. He suggested building three “tabernacles,” one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. This would be an allusion to the feast of Tabernacles, the seventh and last of the Jewish festivals, depicting offerings and a time of rest at the termination of that set forth by the previous six festivals (foreshadowing offerings during the earth’s coming Sabbath, the Messianic Era).

(These seven festivals form the prophetic calendar of Israel, having to do with events which will transpire following Christ’s return at the end of the Tribulation, leading into the Messianic Era. Refer to the author’s pamphlet, “The Seven Jewish Festivals by Arlen Chitwood.”)  

Also see in this site: The Seven Jewish Festivals and Israel from Death to Life BOOK.

Jesus, Moses, and Elijah

When Jesus returns to the earth — that is, when the Son of Man comes “in his kingdom” — He will be accompanied by “the armies…in heaven,” seen and identified elsewhere as “angels” (cf. Matthew 24:31; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Revelation 19:14). As well, according to the scene on the Mount in Matthew 17:1-5, Christ will be accompanied at this time by Moses and Elijah.

The matter can’t possibly be viewed after any other fashion. That which has already occurred in the respect depicted in Matthew 17:1-5 cannot be changed. Attempting to see Christ returning at the end of the Tribulation — “the Son of man coming in his kingdom” — apart from seeing Moses and Elijah accompanying Him would be the same as attempting to change something in past history.

The scene in Matthew 17:1-5 is simply future history which has already been depicted (has already occurred in one respect), though it will occur at a yet future date. And it must occur in the future exactly as it occurred in the past.

This will explain why two men were present on the Mount of Olives in Acts chapter one (Acts 1, specifically Acts 1:10) when Christ ascended, for He is to return in exactly the same manner that He went away. Two men were present when He went away, and two men will be present when He returns. And these two men are identified in Matthew 17:1-5.

(Why will these two particular men be with Christ at the time of His return? Aside from the simple fact that this is the way Biblical revelation presents the matter, there are evident, inseparably related reasons why they will be present [refPart III following].)

Peter, James, and John

One thing should be kept in mind about the scene set forth in Matthew 17:1-5. The scene, first and foremost, is Jewish. It is like and akin to the scene at the time of His ascension. Christ ascended with His hands raised, blessing the disciples (Luke 24:50-51). And, returning in the same manner that He went away, He will have His hands raised to bless, not just the disciples, but the entire Jewish nation.

This would be seen in Matthew 17:1-5 by the three disciples not only on the Mount in Christ’s presence but also overshadowed by God’s Glory. As at the ascension, blessings would move beyond them to the entire Jewish nation.

Then something not seen in Matthew 17:1-5, though dealt with in related Scripture, would be those down at the foot of and removed from the mount in all directions — the nations. Blessings will flow out from the Mount through a restored and blessed Jewish nation to those comprising all of the Gentile nations (Genesis 12:3).

The Church and Matthew 17:1-5

Within the scope of the events as they are depicted in Matthew 17:1-5, the Church can be seen only in a secondary respect. The scene presented in these verses has to do with Christ’s return to the earth at the end of the Tribulation. The scene is Jewish, with the nations in view; and Christians will not be with Christ when he returns to the earth at this time to deal with Israel and the nations.

At least two of the types deal with this aspect of the matter.

In Genesis 45:1ff, when Joseph dealt with His brethren in Egypt, at the time he revealed himself to them, his wife (Asenath) was not with him. Rather she was in another part of the palace.

In Exodus 4:19ff, when Moses returned to Egypt to deal with Israel, his wife (Zipporah) only went part way with him. She was not with him in Egypt when he dealt with Israel through their religious leaders.

And Moses’ dealings with these religious leaders was with a view to his subsequent dealing with the leader of the Gentile world power of that day concerning the departure of the Jewish people from Egypt.

When Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation, Christians, exactly as in the two referenced types, will not return to the earth with Him. [Those*] Christians, seen as Christ’s bride in that day, about to become His wife, may, as Zipporah, come part way (possibly remaining in the new Jerusalem in the heavens above the earth [the place from which Christ and His wife will reign during the Millennium]).

Or, as Asenath, the bride could be in another part of the palace when Christ deals with His brethren (again, possibly in the New Jerusalem above the earth).

Many individuals look upon the presence of Moses and Elijah in Matthew 17:1-5 as representing two types of Christians following the rapture — those who had died during the previous 2,000-year dispensation and had been raised from the dead, and those removed from the earth without dying.

Moses had died (Deuteronomy 34:5-8), and it is evident from his appearance with Elijah on the Mount that God had later raised him from the dead (cf. Jude 1:9). And Elijah had been removed from the earth without dying (2 Kings 2:11).

In a secondary respect, one could draw a teaching from Matthew 17:1-5 concerning two types of Christians at the time of the rapture — the dead raised, the living removed without dying — but teachings of this nature drawn from this passage would have nothing to do with the primary interpretation of these five verses.

These verses have to do with “the Son of man coming in his kingdom,” accompanied by Moses, Elijah, and angelic armies (seen in corresponding Scripture).

Christians simply will not be thereMatthew 17:1-5 is Jewish, with the nations in view. And this must be recognized in order to properly understand that which is in view.

[*Added "Those"  = called out of the called as discussed in Part II.]

Part II of IV

Seeing Christ in His Greatest (Regal) Magnificence

“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I must put off this tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

Morever I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty [Gk., superlative; lit., ‘His greatest (regal) magnificence’].

For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And this voice which came from heaven we heard when we were with him in the holy mount” (2 Peter 1:12-18).

Peter wrote his second epistle about 60 A.D., which would have been almost three decades beyond the events on the Mount, seen in Matthew 17:1-5. And these events had been of such a nature that after all these years they were still uppermost in his mind.

At the end of instructions and exhortation pertaining to present Christian living with a view to that which lies out ahead (2 Peter 1:1-9), Peter called attention to the Christians’ “calling and election” (2 Peter 1:10). And, within context, a Christian’s “calling and election” have to do with “exceeding great and precious promises,” to be realized in the coming “kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:4, 12), which Peter goes on to deal with through that which he, James, and John had seen when they were with Christ ”in the holy mount” (2 Peter 1:16-18).

Calling and Election”

Individuals are to give diligence to make their “calling and election sure.” The word “election” could be better translated called out. The words translated “calling” and “election” in this verse are from the same root forms as the cognate words in the Greek text translated “called” and “chosen” in Matthew 22:14, which should literally be translated,

 “For many are called, but few are called out.”

(Both an individual’s calling and out-calling have to do with the same thing. His calling can’t have to do with the Christian’s presently possessed salvation, for he can’t make that anymore “sure” than it already exists.
Salvation by grace through faith has already been made “sure,” based on Christ’s finished work at Calvary.An individual has been saved for a purpose; and that “purpose” would equate to his calling, as “realizing that purpose” would equate to his out-calling.
Both have to do with a future salvation, the salvation of the soul; and both have to do with Christians one day being called out of the called and realizing positions as co-heirs with Christ in His kingdom.)

The word “diligence” in verse ten (2 Peter 1:10) is from the same word also translated “diligence” in verse five (2 Peter 1:5).

With the same intensity that a person is to abundantly supply in his faith virtue…, he is to make his calling and out-calling “sure.” The word “sure” is the translation of a word which means “certain,” “firm,” “secure.” And to make his calling and out-calling “sure,” a Christian would have to be knowledgeable concerning that which is in view (note epignosis [Gk.], “mature knowledge,” in 2 Peter 1:8).

(There can be no such thing as following Biblical guidelines surrounding the purpose for one’s salvation and, at the same time, ignoring one’s calling and out-calling. The entire concept widely promulgated in Christian circles today which states or teaches that the one really important thing is just to be saved has no basis in Scripture whatsoever. Scripture places the emphasis on the purpose for one’s salvation. It is man who has turned this around and placed the emphasis back on salvation itself.)

The entire purpose for the present dispensation is to procure a bride for God’s Son, with a view to the coming age when the Son will reign over the earth with His consort queen (procured during the present dispensation).

God has set aside an entire dispensation lasting 2,000 years for this purpose. He sent His Spirit into the world at the beginning of the dispensation with specific instructions (seen in the type in Genesis 24:3-9). And the work of the Spirit throughout the dispensation, though it includes breathing life into the one who has no life (salvation of the unsaved), is primarily concerned with procuring a bride for God’s Son. And the bride is to be taken from the saved, not from the unsaved (seen in the type in Genesis 24 through the specific instructions which Abraham gave his servant and that which the servant did once he was in Mesopotamia — went to the city where Abraham’s kindred resided, and went to Abraham’s kindred in that city [Genesis 24:3-27]).

The whole of the matter surrounding the reason for the Spirit being sent into the world at the beginning of this dispensation has to do with one’s calling and out-calling. And Christians are to be knowledgeable concerning God’s plans and purposes for the present dispensation, making their calling and out-calling “sure.”

“In the Holy Mount”

Peter, following his exhortation to Christians pertaining to making their calling and out-calling sure (2 Peter 1:10), with a view to an abundant entrance into the kingdom (2 Peter 1:11), then states that he would “not be negligent” to keep those to whom he is writing “always in remembrance of these things.” And Peter was going to do this even though these Christians were already “established in the present truth” (2 Peter 1:12ff).

Peter knew that these Christians already possessed a firm foundation (literal understanding of the Greek text) in the things that he was proclaiming (2 Peter 1:12b). But that was of no moment to Peter. In time past he had seen something which they hadn’t seen; he had witnessed something which they hadn’t witnessed. He knew something from firsthand experience — the importance of keeping the whole overall teaching surrounding that awaiting Christians at the time of Christ’s return before them at all times.

Peter went on to state that he, along with others (James and John), had seen, with their own eyes, that of which he spoke. He had been on the Mount with James and John years earlier and had seen “the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” He had seen, with his own eyes, the Son of Man in “His greatest [regal] magnificence” (2 Peter 1:16).

And God announced at this time, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (2 Peter 1:17).  “Sonship” implies rulership. Only “Sons” can rule in God’s kingdom. That’s the way it has always been, and that’s the way it will always remain.

This announcement by God at this time — at the time when Peter saw the Son of Man coming in His kingdom — is simply an announcement stating which Son God recognized as the One possessing the right to hold the earth’s sceptre.

In this respect, “Satan,” the incumbent ruler, was/ is a rejected son of God (“a son of God” because of creation, as are all angels). Christ though, at the time Satan tested Him for forty days and nights (Matthew 4:1-11), showed that He was the One possessing the right to hold the sceptre, in Satan’s stead. Christ showed that He, as God’s Son, was fully qualified to take the sceptre as the second Man, the last Adam (note Satan’s repeated statement, “If thou be the Son of God…” [Matthew 4:3, 6]).

Where Adam had failed, Christ could not fail. And that which Adam had lost in the fall Christ would redeem [which included both man and the forfeited domain].

(The redemptive terms for man are set forth early in Genesis — death and shed blood — pointing to Christ’s finished work at Calvary.

The redemptive terms for the forfeited domain [the earth] though are set forth in Revelation 5:1ff, a passage drawing principally from two O.T. types dealing with the subject [Ruth 4:1ff; Jeremiah 32:1ff].

For information on the preceding, refer to the author’s books, (Salvation by Grace through Faith by Arlen Chitwood and/or in this site The Time of the End, chapters 8 and 9, The Seven Sealed Scroll and Redemption, Marriage, Regality).

Again, relative to sonship and rulership, note God’s statement concerning Christ following His baptism, immediately before being tested by Satan (Matthew 3:17). It is exactly the same as His statement in Matthew 17:5:

“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Then note Peter’s statement in Matthew 16:16, responding to Christ’s question, concerning Christ’s identity:

“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

It would not have been possible for Peter to have responded in a more accurate and complete manner.

This is why Jesus, in response, said, “Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven”  (Matthew 16:17).

Peter had identified Christ through saying, in effect, “You are the One Who will rule and reign, the Son Whom God recognizes to possess this right.”

It was shortly after the preceding though that Peter was chastised by the Lord because of something which he stated in a completely opposite respect, which came from below, not from above.

The Lord, following the announcement concerning building His Church (Matthew 16:18-19) began revealing to the disciples approaching events pertaining to His death, burial, and resurrection. Peter, only a short time before, having made the statement concerning Christ’s Sonship and reign, couldn’t understand this at all. And, as a result, Peter took the Lord aside and “began to rebuke Him” (Matthew 16:20-21).

Jesus, in response, associated Peter directly with Satan:

“Get thee behind me, Satan…”  (Matthew 16:23)

Peter’s actions shortly before this had emanated from above, from God; now his actions emanated from below, from Satan.

(In reality, these are the only two spheres from which a person’s actions can emanate. A person, in his actions, can either be brought forth “from above” or “from below.” There is no middle ground [Luke 11:23].)

Six days later though the Lord allowed Peter, along with James and John, to have an experience pertaining to his confession concerning Christ’s identity which he would never be able to get away from or forget. And that is the experience recorded in Matthew 17:1-5.

The Lord allowed Peter to see something which would change his outlook on life completely. The Lord allowed Peter to see that toward which all of Scripture moves — “the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

And almost three decades later, having seen Christ in “His greatest [regal] magnificence” had so impacted Peter that he could never get away from it. This is the one event in his life that he referenced to reveal why he was going to keep on hammering away at teachings surrounding Christ’s coming reign, even though the people whom he addressed were already well-grounded in these truths.

Because of the importance of that which Peter knew — Christians keeping their eyes fixed on that which he had personally witnessed — he was going to keep on proclaiming things pertaining to Christ’s coming kingdom to the point that they could never forget it. He was going to proclaim this message to the point that even after he was dead and gone they still couldn’t get away from it.

Part III of IV

Moses and Elijah in That Day (I)

“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

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”  (Malachi 4:4-6).

Different, though similar, expressions are used in Scripture to depict the whole of Scripture e.g., “To the law, and to the testimony” (Isaiah 8:20); “Moses and all the prophets,” “the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms” (Luke 24:27, 44); or “Moses and the prophets” (Luke 16:29, 31).

By placing Moses and Elijah together in the last three verses in the Old Testament, the whole of Scripture is once again in view. The Law was given through Moses, and Elijah was one of the prophets.

The same thing is seen through Moses and Elijah’s appearance together in Matthew 17:1-5 and Acts 1:9-11; also, because of that which is involved, evidently the two unidentified men at the empty tomb in Luke 24:4-7 were also Moses and Elijah.

(For information on the preceding, refer to the author’s pamphlet, “Two Men at the Empty Tomb by Arlen Chitwood.”)  Or in this website:  Two Men at the Empty Tomb.

Then there are a series of events of equal significance concerning these two men which will occur yet future, at two different periods of time.

One has to do with a manifestation of signs by two prophets (the two witnesses) during the Tribulation, along with an evident counter manifestation of signs by the false prophet (Revelation 11; 13). And, comparing Scripture with Scripture, these two prophets could only be identified as Moses and Elijah.

(These two prophets are “the two anointed ones” in Zechariah’s fifth vision [Zechariah 4:1-14, Zechariah 4:14].

Because of the importance of Elijah’s future ministry to Israel, as seen in Malachi 4:5-6, it would appear strange indeed if he were not mentioned someplace in Revelation 6-19a [that section of the book covering the Tribulation]. And, in the light of other Scripture, it would appear equally strange if Elijah appeared unaccompanied by Moses.

And Revelation 11:3-12 is the only place throughout these fourteen chapters of the book where we have two men of this nature appearing to Israel during this time. Also, signs associated with their ministry reflect back on signs performed by Moses and Elijah [Revelation 11:6].) 

Then, following the Tribulation when these two men return with Christ — i.e., when these two men, depicting the complete written Word [which is living], return with this Word manifested in the form of flesh [again, the living Word] — according to Biblical typology, there will be a continuation and conclusion to their preceding ministry during the Tribulation (Exodus 5:1ff; I Kings 17:1ff). That stated concerning Elijah’s ministry in relation to the Jewish people and the theocracy, seen in Isaiah 40:1-5 and Malachi 3:1-4; 4:5-6, must be brought to pass.

Also, inseparably connected with the preceding and inseparably connecting these two men for all time in relation to Israel and the theocracy, there are only two instances in all of the Old Testament (in Moses and the Prophets) where God empowered individuals to perform supernatural “signs.” The first occurred under Moses and his successor Joshua, and the second occurred under Elijah and his successor Elisha.

The first occurred in connection with the Jewish people and the theocracy — the Jewish people leaving Egypt with a view to realizing an inheritance in a theocracy in another land. Thus, a first-mention principle was established at this point in Scripture regarding signs, which can never change. Accordingly, any future manifestation of signs, through individuals empowered to perform these signs, could only have to do with the Jewish people, with the theocracy in view.

Remove either (the Jewish people or the theocracy), and signs of the nature seen in Scripture cannot exist. Both Israel and the kingdom must be in view together for these supernatural signs to exist.

This is why exactly the same thing is seen through a manifestation of signs during Elijah’s and Elisha’s ministries. This was one of the darkest days in Israeli history. Ahab and his wife Jezebel had led the people completely away from God, into Baal worship. The theocracy was in existence, though in a divided kingdom. And the manifested signs had to do with Israel and the kingdom (a call for the people to return to the God of their fathers).

The same thing was seen in the gospel accounts and the Book of Acts during the offer and reoffer of the kingdom to Israel — an unparalleled manifestation of signs.

And the same thing will again be seen during the first half of the Tribulation, through the ministry of the two witnesses, through the ministry of Moses and Elijah to Israel during this period. And the signs will, they must, have to do with Israel and the kingdom during this future time. The kingdom will be in the offing. The time will be at hand when the kingdom will be restored to a repentant and converted nation.

(For additional information on “signs” in the preceding respect, refer to the author’s three pamphlets, “Arlen Chitwood's Signs, Words and Miracles I2 and 3.”  Also Exodus and Revelation in this site adds to the   preceding commentary.)

John and Elijah

Many Bible students have trouble understanding that John only came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” and did not fulfill any of the Old Testament prophecies pertaining to Elijah.

John clearly stated that he wasn’t Elijah (John 1:21). Jesus, on the other hand, said that he was Elijah (Matthew 11:10-14; 17:10-13). But there was an “if” in connection with John being identified as Elijah by Christ in Matthew 11:14 — “if ye will receive…”

“In the Holy Mount”

Peter, following his exhortation to Christians pertaining to making their calling and out-calling sure (2 Peter 1:10), with a view to an abundant entrance into the kingdom (2 Peter 1:11), then states that he would “not be negligent” to keep those to whom he is writing “always in remembrance of these things.” And Peter was going to do this even though these Christians were already “established in the present truth” (2 Peter 1:12ff).

Peter knew that these Christians already possessed a firm foundation (literal understanding of the Greek text) in the things that he was proclaiming (2 Peter 1:12b). But that was of no moment to Peter. In time past he had seen something which they hadn’t seen; he had witnessed something which they hadn’t witnessed. He knew something from firsthand experience — the importance of keeping the whole overall teaching surrounding that awaiting Christians at the time of Christ’s return before them at all times.

Peter went on to state that he, along with others (James and John), had seen, with their own eyes, that of which he spoke. He had been on the Mount with James and John years earlier and had seen “the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” He had seen, with his own eyes, the Son of Man in “His greatest [regal] magnificence” (2 Peter 1:16).

And God announced at this time, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (2 Peter 1:17). “Sonship” implies rulership. Only “Sons” can rule in God’s kingdom. That’s the way it has always been, and that’s the way it will always remain.

This announcement by God at this time — at the time when Peter saw the Son of Man coming in His kingdom — is simply an announcement stating which Son God recognized as the One possessing the right to hold the earth’s sceptre.

In this respect, "Satan," the incumbent ruler, was/is a rejected son of God (“a son of God” because of creation, as are all angels). Christ though, at the time Satan tested Him for forty days and nights (Matthew 4:1-11), showed that He was the One possessing the right to hold the sceptre, in Satan’s stead. Christ showed that He, as God’s Son, was fully qualified to take the sceptre as the second Man, the last Adam (note Satan’s repeated statement, “If thou be the Son of God…” [Matthew 4:3, 6]).

Where Adam had failed, Christ could not fail. And that which Adam had lost in the fall Christ would redeem [which included both man and the forfeited domain].

(The redemptive terms for man are set forth early in Genesis — death and shed blood — pointing to Christ’s finished work at Calvary.

The redemptive terms for the forfeited domain [the earth] though are set forth in Revelation 5:1ff, a passage drawing principally from two O.T. types dealing with the subject [Ruth 4:1ff; Jeremiah 32:1ff].)

(For information on the preceding, refer to the author’s books, Salvation by Grace through Faith by Arlen Chitwoodand/or in this site The Time of the End, chapters 8 and 9, The Seven Sealed Scroll and Redemption, Marriage, Regality.)

Again, relative to sonship and rulership, note God’s statement concerning Christ following His baptism, immediately before being tested by Satan. It is exactly the same as His statement in Matthew 17:5:

“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Then note Peter’s statement in Matthew 16:16, responding to Christ’s question, concerning Christ’s identity:

“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

It would not have been possible for Peter to have responded in a more accurate and complete manner.

This is why Jesus, in response, said, “Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).

Peter had identified Christ through saying, in effect, “You are the One Who will rule and reign, the Son Whom God recognizes to possess this right.”

It was shortly after the preceding though that Peter was chastised by the Lord because of something which he stated in a completely opposite respect, which came from below, not from above.

The Lord, following the announcement concerning building His Church (Matthew 16:18-19) began revealing to the disciples approaching events pertaining to His death, burial, and resurrection. Peter, only a short time before, having made the statement concerning Christ’s Sonship and reign, couldn’t understand this at all. And, as a result, Peter took the Lord aside and “began to rebuke Him” (Matthew 16:20-21).

Jesus, in response, associated Peter directly with Satan:

“Get thee behind me, Satan…”

Peter’s actions shortly before this had emanated from above, from God; now his actions emanated from below, from Satan.

(In reality, these are the only two spheres from which a person’s actions can emanate. A person, in his actions, can either be brought forth “from above” or “from below.” There is no middle ground [Luke 11:23].)

Six days later though the Lord allowed Peter, along with James and John, to have an experience pertaining to his confession concerning Christ’s identity which he would never be able to get away from or forget. And that is the experience recorded in Matthew 17:1-5.

The Lord allowed Peter to see something which would change his outlook on life completely. The Lord allowed Peter to see that toward which all of Scripture moves — “the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

And almost three decades later, having seen Christ in “His greatest [regal] magnificence” had so impacted Peter that he could never get away from it. This is the one event in his life that he referenced to reveal why he was going to keep on hammering away at teachings surrounding Christ’s coming reign, even though the people whom he addressed were already well-grounded in these truths.

Because of the importance of that which Peter knew — Christians keeping their eyes fixed on that which he had personally witnessed — he was going to keep on proclaiming things pertaining to Christ’s coming kingdom to the point that they could never forget it. He was going to proclaim this message to the point that even after he was dead and gone they still couldn’t get away from it.

Part IV of IV

Moses and Elijah in That Day (II)

Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments

Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

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 (Malachi 4:4-6).

As seen in Part III of this document, Moses and Elijah will be very instrumental in events surrounding Christ’s return, both immediately preceding His return (during the Tribulation) and at the time of and immediately following His return. Christ will return, not only accompanied by angels (for particular, revealed reasons), but also accompanied by Moses and Elijah (for particular, revealed reasons as well).

Angels accompanying Christ will be sent out to regather the Jewish people from a worldwide dispersion (Matthew 24:29-31). And they will evidently be instrumental in His numerous dealings with the Jewish people at this time, as angels were instrumental in God’s numerous dealings with His people in the past (cf. Genesis 18:1ff; Exodus 23:20-23; Deuteronomy 33:2; 2 Kings 19:35; Psalm 68:17; 78:25; Daniel 6:22; Acts 7:53; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2)

Moses and Elijah accompanying Christ will be instrumental in events occurring in two realms:

1) The nations, under the Assyrian (the Beast, the Antichrist) ruling the world in that day.

2) Israel, scattered among these same nations.

Moses, as in the type in Exodus, will evidently be instrumental in God’s dealings with the nations at this time. And Elijah, as in the type in I Kings, in line with that prophesied concerning Elijah in Malachi 3:1-3; 4:5-6, can only be seen as instrumental in God’s dealings with the Jewish people at this time.

A Seventy-Five-Day Period

Something often overlooked in Biblical prophecy is a seventy-five-day period seen in the closing three verses of Daniel’s prophecy.

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

But go thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” (Daniel 12:11-13 NASB95).

Numerous events relative to Israel and the nations will occur between the time of Christ’s return and the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom. Little thought is usually given to these events, though the matter is dealt with extensively in Scripture. Too often a somewhat blended picture of central events occurring at this time is seen — Christ’s return, His dealings with Israel (the national conversion, resurrection of O.T. saints, and the restoration of the nation), and the overthrow of Gentile world power.

Scripture though, as previously stated, provides a wealth of information pertaining to the numerous events surrounding Christ’s return. And, within this information, there is a sequence to the order in which these events will occur.

The setting up of “the abomination that maketh desolate,” referred to in Daniel 12:11, is a reference to the actions of the Assyrian breaking his covenant with Israel and desecrating the Holy of Holies of the rebuilt temple. This will occur at the exact mid-point of the seven-year Tribulation (cf. Daniel 8:9-14; 9:26-27; 11:30-32; Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 11:1-2; 12:4-6, 13-16), a period comprised of 2,520 days, or two equal 1,260-day periods (Daniel 7:25; 9:24-27; 12:7; Revelation 11:2-3; 12:6; 13:5).

Daniel 12:11 takes one thirty days beyond the end of the Tribulation, and the next verse (Daniel 12:12) takes one an additional forty-five days beyond the initial thirty, totalling seventy-five days. Then the next verse (Daniel 12:13), the last verse in Daniel, concludes the matter by revealing the time in relation to these seventy-five days when Daniel would be allowed to stand in his “lot” (i.e., be raised from the dead and realize his inheritance in the land [cf. Numbers 26:55; 34:13; 36:2-3; Joshua 14:2; Daniel 12:1-3]).

Thus, the resurrection and restoration of Israel can only be placed toward and at the end of this seventy-five-day period. Numerous events, having to do with both Israel and the nations will occur before this time. Elijah will be instrumental in events having to do with the Jewish people during this time, and Moses will evidently be instrumental in events having to do with the nations during this same time.

Elijah and Israel

The type which one can draw from pertaining to Elijah has to do with his experiences with Ahab (the king in Israel during Elijah’s day, who had married Jezebel, a pagan king’s daughter) and his subsequent experiences with the prophets of Baal and with unbelieving Israel on Mount Carmel.

This was one of the darkest periods in Israeli history. Ahab had led Israel into Baal worship, along with other forms of idolatry; and during his reign the city of Jericho was rebuilt (a curse rested upon anyone rebuilding this city [cf. Joshua 6:26; I Kings 16:34]).

Scripture states that

 “Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him” (I Kings 16:30-34).

This was the situation when Elijah appeared on the scene, beginning a sequence of events — lasting three and one-half years, during which no rain fell throughout the land — which was climaxed by belief in Israel, the prophets of Baal being slain, and rain falling in torrents (I Kings 17:1-18:45; James 5:17-18).

And when Elijah appears to Israel following the Tribulation, it will be after three and one-half years of a rule of the most corrupt and wicked Gentile king that the world will have ever known, one who will seek to destroy Israel from off the face of the earth.

And Elijah, possibly after a similar fashion, will once again bring about that which he brought to pass on Mount Carmel.

He will bring about conditions of a nature which will cause the hearts of the people to turn to the Prophets and the hearts of the Prophets to turn to the people, i.e., bring about belief among the Jewish people where unbelief had previously existed, belief and adherence to that which the Prophets had previously stated (cf. I Kings 18:37-39; Malachi 4:5-6).

Then, in conjunction with the preceding, Elijah is going to bring about a people ready to receive their Messiah when He subsequently reveals Himself to them.

Two complete chapters in the Book of Revelation, extending into part of a third chapter (Rev. 17; 18; 19a), are given over to depicting Israel in the kingdom of Antichrist and that which will happen as a result of Elijah’s ministry immediately following the Tribulation. Israel’s harlotry is seen at an apex and then quickly brought to an end in these chapters. And Scripture elsewhere, having to do with Elijah’s future ministry, tells how this will be done (ref. the author’s pamphlets, The Beast and the Woman by Arlen Chitwood, Part I, Part II and Babylon and Jerusalem by Arlen Chitwood, Part IPart II).

Moses and the Nations

The things having to do with that which will evidently be Moses’ ministry as it pertains to the nations during this same time also occupies several chapters in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 8; 9; 16).

When the sixth seal of the seven-sealed scroll (Revelation 5) is opened in Revelation 6:12, events being depicted will occur near and at the end of the Tribulation. The kingdom of the Assyrian is seen in utter chaos, a decimated kingdom. Then the heavens are opened (exactly as in Revelation 19:11ff, for they are two depictions of the same scene), with God’s Christ coming forth as “King of kings, and Lord of lords,” though described in a different manner in Revelation 6:16 (as One seated “on a throne”).

And those on the earth — from governmental rulers on thrones to individuals in prisons — will seek to distance themselves from the One coming forth. The kingdom of this world will be in shambles at this time, and those on the earth will evidently have some understanding of what the presence of the One coming forth means, for they will seek to hide themselves and say to the “mountains and rocks”:

“Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.

For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:16-17).

The seventh seal has yet to be broken at this point in time, containing the climactic judgments, the seven trumpet and seven vial judgments (which are the same judgments described two different ways, in the same manner that the two depictions of the heavens being opened and Christ coming forth are seen and described in the book two different ways).

(Note that Scripture is quite often structured in the preceding manner, beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation [e.g., the first thirty-four verses of Genesis cover the whole of Scripture in a skeletal framework; then commentary is provided, adding the sinews, flesh, and skin; or, in the Book of Revelation, note that Revelation 1:10-11 and Revelation 4:1-2 describe exactly the same scene; or that Revelation 10:1-7 and Revelation 16:17-21 describe exactly the same end].

Refer to the author’s book, in this site, The Time of the End, where this structure of Scripture, as seen particularly in the Book of Revelation, is discussed different places.)

The judgments under the seventh seal (the seven trumpet and seven vial judgments) have to do with judgments upon the kingdom of the Assyrian of that day, which will already be a decimated kingdom when the seventh seal is broken and these judgments commence. And these judgments parallel the ten plagues which befell the kingdom of the Assyrian in history (Exodus 7-12).

Both seven and ten are complete numbers, showing complete judgment befalling the kingdom of the Assyrian in both history and prophecy.

And the reason why judgment of this nature will befall the kingdom of the Assyrian in prophecy can only be the same as the reason why it befell the kingdom of the Assyrian in history.

The Assyrian in history was not only seeking to destroy the Jewish people but he would not allow them to leave Egypt in order to realize the rights of the firstborn in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And the Assyrian in prophecy will do exactly the same thing relative to the Jewish people scattered worldwide, scattered throughout his kingdom.

(God’s power, of course, could easily have overridden the Assyrian’s power in history, as will be the case with the Assyrian’s power in prophecy as well [that is, God could have simply removed His people/ can one day simply remove His people through Divine power, regardless of the Assyrian’s attitude, with that being the end of the matter].

But that is all beside the point. God has chosen to exhibit His power after another fashion entirely. God has chosen to bring matters to pass His way, through His means, resulting in an even greater manifestation of

Divine power [cf. Exodus 9:15-16; Revelation 17:16-17].)

In history, Moses and Aaron confronted the Assyrian, with one message from God. And, in prophecy, evidently Christ Himself and Moses will confront the Assyrian, with the same singular message:

“Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

And I say unto thee, Let my son go that he may serve me [realizing the rights of the firstborn, in another land]: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn” (Exodus 4:22-23).

In history, the Assyrian’s kingdom was decimated following Moses and Aaron’s appearances before him, with the Assyrian and his armed forces destroyed in the Red Sea following Israel’s removal from Egypt.

And in prophecy, matters will occur exactly the same way.

The Assyrian’s kingdom will be even further decimated (following Christ’s return, with His and evidently Moses’ appearance[s] before him), with his kingdom completely destroyed after Israel has been removed from that which Egypt typifies, from a worldwide dispersion (Isaiah 63:1-4; Ezekiel 38-39; Joel 2:1ff; 3:1ff; Revelation 19:17-21).

(Ref. the author’s book, The Time of the End, Chapters 16-19, in this sitefor information on the completion of God’s judgment upon the kingdom of the future Assyrian after the preceding fashion.)

Bible One - Arlen Chitwood's Coming in His Kingdom, four parts which includes not only the four parts above, but also Two Men at the Empty Tomb which follows. 

To website CONTENTS Page.

 The Whole of Scripture Summarized:
Creation - Ruin - Restoration - Rest
 

Note that even Christ was not raised in a body with a covering of Glory. The Glory did not enswathe His body until forty days later, when a Cloud received Him out of the disciple’s sight, when He was caught up into Glory [Acts 1:9; 1 Timothy 3:16].

Rather He was raised in a spiritual body as opposed to the natural — the same body which had been placed in the tomb but with the life-giving, animating principle being the Spirit rather than the blood.

His blood is presently on the mercy seat in heaven.

Two Men at the Empty Tomb
That Which Scripture Reveals About These Two Men
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher bringing spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
And they entered and found not the body of Jesus.

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold two men stood by them in shining garments” (Luke 24:1-4).

Comparing the four different gospel accounts having to do with events at and surrounding an empty tomb, it is evident that there were at least two men present, and possibly at least two or three angels as well. To render announcements and provide explanations pertaining to Christ’s resurrection, two men are seen in Luke 24:4 and either men or angels are seen in the other three gospel accounts. That seen in the account in Luke pertaining to two men at the empty tomb is the key to understanding the whole panorama of that stated in the gospel accounts surrounding Christ’s resurrection. And that stated in the account not only shows that these two individuals were men (not angels) but reveals their identity as well.

Then, since men are being dealt with in Luke 24:4 (as will be shown), the issue needs to be raised about the possible identity of those referred to as “angels” in Matthew’s account Matthew 28:2-7), further down in Luke’s account (Luke 24:23), and in John’s account (John 20:12), or the “young man” referred to in Mark’s account (Mark 16:5).

Conceivably, only the two men in Luke 24:4 could be in view throughout these accounts — one referred to in Mark’s account, and both referred to as “angels" in the other two gospel accounts.

Aggelos

Aggelos is the word translated “angel” in the New Testament, though “angel” is more of a transliterated form of the word than a translation (there is a Greek word for “angel” [angelos], though it is not used in the N.T.).

Aggelos means “messenger” or “announcer.” And the word, within its basic, primary meaning, would have no more reference to angels than to man, or vice versa. The word would simply refer to a messenger.

Aside from at least six references (Matthew 11:10; Mark. 1:2; Luke 7:24, 27; 9:52; James 2:25 [aggelos translated “messenger” each time, referring to men]), and possibly the cited references surrounding Christ’s resurrection in the gospel accounts, the remaining usages of aggelos would appear to refer to “angels” as God’s messengers. Other words are usually used when referring to messengers in the human realm.

Anthropos, Aner

Anthropos and Aner are the two main words used for and meaning “man” in the Greek New Testament. Anthropos appears over five hundred times and aner over two hundred times. And any distinguishable difference between the two words would be quite minute.

A plural form of aner is the word translated “men” in both Luke 24:4 and Acts 1:10 (two men seen at both the tomb following Christ’s resurrection and on Mt. Olivet at the time of Christ’s ascension).

Aner is never used in the New Testament to refer to other than “men,” unless Luke 24:4 and Acts 1:10 form exceptions, as some Bible students and commentators attempt to teach (though aner is used in this manner in the Septuagint [ref. Genesis 18; 19]).

However, as will be shown, the thought that aner references angels in Luke 24:4 and Acts 1:10 is incorrect. Those seen in both passages are not only clearly revealed to be men, but they are clearly identified as well.

Clearly Revealed to Be Men

To properly understand the full thrust of the way in which the men in Luke 24:4 were arrayed (which is the previously mentioned key to the whole of the matter), it will be necessary to draw some background material from Genesis. And this would have to do with the purpose for man’s creation, fall, and restoration.

Man was created to take the earth’s sceptre from a disqualified provincial ruler (Satan), his fall resulted from this ruler’s attempt to continue on the throne, and his restoration (redemption, beginning with Adam and Eve, continuing today) has to do with man ultimately realizing the purpose for his creation in the beginning. All of this is laid out in the opening thirtyfour verses of Genesis, with the remainder of Scripture simply forming commentary on these opening verses.

In the preceding respect note man’s fall, that which he lost at the time of the fall, and that which must be regained before man can occupy the position for which he was created in the beginning.

When man sinned in the garden in Eden, the complete being of man spirit, soul, and body became in a fallen state. God had commanded Adam concerning the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

After Satan had deceived Eve into eating of the fruit of this tree, she then “gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Immediately following this, “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Genesis 3:1-7).

At the time of the fall, Adam and Eve lost something; and it is clearly stated in Scripture that both immediately recognized this fact. That which they lost could only have been a covering of pristine glory which had previously clothed their bodies, for they, following the fall, found themselves in a twofold condition:

1) Naked.

2) Separated from God.

God is arrayed in a covering of “light,” connected with “honour and majesty.” And man, created in the “image” and “likeness” of God, could only have been arrayed in a similar manner prior to the fall.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art covered with [‘you have put on’] honor and majesty.

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain” (Psalm 104:1-2).

Recognizing the loss of this covering, realizing that they were naked, explains why Adam and Eve immediately sought to clothe themselves following the fall. They tried to replace the covering which had been lost with a work of their own hands, with fig leaf aprons. And then, apparently realizing the utter inadequacy of this covering, they, in their fallen state, sought to hide from God.

God, finding Adam and Eve in this condition, completely rejected the works of their hands. God completely rejected their feeble efforts to atone for their own sin through seeking to replace the covering of pristine glory with fig leaves.

Then, to bring His fallen creature back into a right relationship (although not in complete keeping with their previously unfallen state — something still future even today), God provided a covering consisting of animal skins (Genesis 3:21). This necessitated death and the shedding of blood; and herein lie basic, unchangeable truths concerning the state of fallen man and the means which are necessary to effect his redemption.

Unredeemed man is a fallen creature, alienated from God; and two things are necessary to effect his redemption:

1) Divine intervention.

2) Death and shed blood.

These truths have forever been set forth in the opening chapters of Genesis and can never change.

(Two different words are used for “naked” in the Hebrew text of Genesis 2:25 [before the fall] and Genesis 3:7 [after the fall]. In the latter [Genesis 3:7], the word has to do with absolute nakedness, but not so in the former [Genesis 2:25].

Remaining within the way a person dressed in the East at the time Moses wrote Genesis, and at later times as well, the word used relative to nakedness pertaining to Adam and Eve preceding the fall [Genesis 2:25] could be used to describe a person clothed in a tunic [inner garment] but lacking the mantle or cloak [outer garment]. In the preceding respect, prior to the fall, Adam and Eve were clothed in the Glory of God but had yet to possess the regal, outer garments worn by kings [fulfilling the reason for man’s creation — to rule the earth (Genesis 1:26-28)].

Then, following the fall, no longer clothed in the Glory of God, Adam and Eve were no longer in a position to be further clothed in regal garments, realizing the purpose for their creation. They, apart from the inner garment [the Glory] could not wear the outer garments [royal apparel].

Adam, prior to the fall, never wore regal garments or held the sceptre. In this respect, he never moved beyond the description given in Genesis 2:25 — a “naked” condition, “naked” in relation to the reason for his creation [lacking the outer regal garments].

Thus, if man, now separated from the Glory, is to ever fulfill the purpose for his creation, God must act. Redemption has to occur; and this, of necessity, has to include the complete man — spirit, soul, and body — with a view to not only a restoration of the Glory but to regality beyond this restoration.)

The preceding furnishes the background material to properly understand that revealed in Luke 24:4 concerning the manner in which the two men at the tomb following Christ’s resurrection were arrayed.

First and foremost, they were arrayed in a covering of Glory. The word “shining,” describing their “garments” is the same word in the Greek text (astrapto) which Luke had used earlier in his gospel to describe Christ’s garments at the time He was transfigured in the presence of Peter, James, and John on the Mount — “…his raiment was white and glistening” (Luke 9:29). As well, Moses and Elijah, on the Mount with Christ, had the same type raiment (Luke 9:30-31).

(There is one difference in the word astrapto as seen in both Luke 9:29 [trans. “glistening”] and Luke 24:4 [trans. “shining”]. In Luke 9, relative to Christ, the preposition ek is prefixed to the word. This preposition means, “out from,” and provides an added emphasis on the Glory shining out from Christ.)

The raiment seen on Christ, Moses, and Elijah while on the Mount had to do with a covering of Glory, the covering which Adam and Eve lost at the time of the fall.

The preceding is evident from that depicted by the scene on the Mount — the Son of Man coming in His kingdom, with power and great Glory.

And this is how the two men at the tomb were arrayed as well. They were arrayed in a covering of Glory, something reserved for man, not angels. Only man, among those in God’s creation, has been created in the “image” and “likeness” of God; and man was created in God’s “image” and “likeness,” arrayed in Glory, for a purpose, which is regal.

Angels simply do not occupy a position of this nature in relation to God’s “image” or “likeness.” They are seen associated with God’s Glory but never in a covering of Glory. That is reserved for man alone, which provides the means to know and understand that the two individuals at the empty tomb in Luke 24:4 have to be looked upon, exactly as Scripture states, as “men.”

Clearly Identified

Then, beyond the preceding, these two men can be identified. They can be identified by name as well.

There are only three men in all of human history that could have been clothed in Glory at the time of the events leading into Calvary — Enoch, Moses, and Elijah — for all others had died and have yet (unlike Moses [Jude 1:9]), even today, to be raised from the dead, providing bodies to be clothed (and those raised during Christ’s earthly ministry or following His resurrection cannot be considered; none could have possessed a body enswathed in glory).

(Note that even Christ was not raised in a body with a covering of Glory. The Glory did not enswathe His body until forty days later, when a Cloud received Him out of the disciple’s sight, when He was caught up into Glory [Acts 1:9; 1 Timothy 3:16].

Rather He was raised in a spiritual body as opposed to the natural — the same body which had been placed in the tomb but with the life-giving, animating principle being the Spirit rather than the blood.

His blood is presently on the mercy seat in heaven.)

Nothing is revealed about Enoch in relation to a covering of Glory, just Moses and Elijah. Moses and Elijah were with Christ on the Mount in Matthew 17:1-5. Thus, they also had to be the ones present on the Mount of Olives when Christ ascended. This is plain from the fact that Jesus is going to return exactly as He went away (Acts 1:11). And since He will return with Moses and Elijah, as seen in Matthew 17:1-5, the two men present when He went away can only be identified as Moses and Elijah.

Then, in an inseparable respect, it would only have been natural for Moses and Elijah to have appeared at the empty tomb in this same manner, for Christ was raised on the third day, as He will be raised on the third day yet future (the third 1,000-year period).

And Moses and Elijah will be with Him in that coming day.

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Two Men at the Empty Tomb by Arlen Chitwood.docx

Also in pamphlet form: Lamp Broadcast - Two Men at the Empty Tomb, After Two Days, on the Third Day by Arlen Chitwood.pdf designed for printing on letter size paper, both front and back; then folded into pocket size fit.

(For additional information on Matthew 17:1-5, refer to the author’s book, The Son of Man Coming in His Kingdom in this website and the author’s four pamphlets, “ Coming in His Kingdom".) 

Also the following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Son, The of Man Coming in His Kingdom Parts I, II and III by Arlen L. Chitwood.docx

To website CONTENTS Page.

 Wealth without righteousness leads to unhappiness because riches cannot fulfill us.

The Seven Jewish Festivals
The Prophetic Calendar of Israel
By Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

The seven festivals in Leviticus 23 constitute what could be called, “The Prophetic Calendar of Israel.”

(These seven festivals are Jewish, not Christian. They were given to Israel, through Moses, and have to do with the Jewish people alone.

A secondary application of that seen in these festivals — that foreshadowed by the events, along with the sequence in which these events occurred — can be seen in the history of the Church, but that is neither here nor there. These festivals are Jewish, they have to do first and foremost with the Jewish people, and this must be recognized.)

These seven festivals outline in chronological order a sequence of events about to transpire in the camp of Israel, and are all unfulfilled insofar as Israel is concerned. The fulfillment of Israel’s national Passover (the first of the seven festivals) in the antitype of Exodus 12 is yet future, as are events in the other six festivals.

Events surrounding the Passover must occur first, and this feast of the Lord will not be fulfilled until the end of the Tribulation.

The progression of events in these seven festivals reveal a progression of events which will occur in the camp of Israel when Christ returns as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek to deliver His covenant people:

a) Passover (Leviticus 23:4-5):

This festival has to do with the national conversion of Israel, when the nation looks upon the Pierced One.

The Lamb has already died, the blood has been shed (Exodus 12:6), but Israel has yet to apply the blood (Exodus 12:7).

In this respect, the festival was partially fulfilled almost 2,000 years ago, but the complete fulfillment awaits a future date. Israel today dwells between the statement ending Exodus 12:6 and the statement beginning Exodus 12:7, and this festival can be fulfilled only when the nation acts in accordance with that stated in verse seven:

“…the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it [the paschal lamb, foreshadowing the Paschal Lamb which Israel slew 1,500 years later] in the evening [lit., ‘between the evenings,’ which is part way between noon and 6 PM].

And they shall take of the blood [that which Israel has yet to do]…” (Exodus 12:6b - Exodus 12:7a).

Note in the type that the Passover occurred while Israel was still in Egypt. In the antitype Israel will have her national Passover while the nation is still scattered throughout the Gentile world (“Egypt” is always a type of the world in Scripture). This is the time when “they [the Jewish people] will look upon” their Messiah, and a nation will be “born at once” (Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 66:8).

b) Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6-8):

This festival has to do with the removal of sin from the house (house of Israel) after the Passover. Of what sins is Israel guilty?

Israel is guilty of disobedience over centuries of time, with an apex of this disobedience seen in Israel’s harlotry out among the nations.

Then the Jewish people climaxed their sins by crucifying their Messiah when He appeared to the nation.

And, because of this climactic act, Israel is presently unclean through contact with the dead body of the nation’s Messiah, and will remain unclean for two days (2,000 years). After two days, on the third day (on the third 1,000-year period [after the Tribulation, which will end the two days]), Israel is going to acknowledge her sins in the presence of the very One Whom she crucified (cf. Genesis 44:16). Israel will then put sin out of the house (out of the house of Israel).

c) First Fruits (Leviticus 23:9-14):

This festival has to do with resurrection. Christ was raised from the dead on this day, and Old Testament saints will be raised from the dead at this time, fulfilling this festival. The first fruits of the resurrection of Old Testament saints occurred after Christ was raised (Matthew 27:52-53). The main harvest will follow.

d) Pentecost [Feast of Weeks*] (Leviticus 23:15-22):

Note what began to occur on the day of Pentecost, 33 A.D. (Acts 2:1ff). Joel’s prophecy began to be fulfilled, and this prophecy would have been completely fulfilled had Israel done what Peter told the Jews to do in Acts 2:38 — national repentance, followed by national baptism.

However, Israel did not repent, the nation was subsequently set aside for a dispensation, and any fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy has also been set aside with Israel for a dispensation. Joel’s prophecy cannot be fulfilled today, even in part. But it will be fulfilled immediately after the resurrection of Old Testament saints (Joel 2:27-32).

e) Trumpets (Leviticus 23:23-25):

This festival has to do with the regathering of Israel. Christians await a trumpet calling them into the heavens before the Tribulation; Israel awaits a trumpet calling the nation back into the land after the Tribulation, following Christ’s return (Matthew 24:29-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

f) Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32):

This festival has to do with a cleansing from sin for a people who will have already availed themselves of the blood of the Passover Lamb. Activities on this day have to do with blood on the mercy seat and cleansing from sin (sins previously acknowledged and put out of the house [the house of Israel]), fulfilling the festival of unleavened bread.

Atonement is to be provided for Israel’s sin of crucifying her Messiah (the same blood shed at Calvary, now on the mercy seat). Note the order in Ezekiel 36:24-25 — a regathering before cleansing from sin.

g) Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-44):

This is the last of the festivals and has to do with offerings made unto the Lord and a time of rest at the conclusion of the preceding feasts of the Lord. This points forward to the millennial offerings (Ezekiel 45:15ff; 46:2ff) and a time of rest in the coming age after the conclusion of events surrounding the first six feasts of the Lord.

This festival lasted for seven days — a complete period of time — pointing forward to the complete duration of the Millennium.

Following the return of Christ at the end of the Tribulation, as previously seen, there will be a seventy-five-day period between the end of the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy and the beginning of the Millennium (Daniel 12:11-13). It appears evident that the events set forth in the first six feasts of the Lord, leading up to events in the terminal festival, the feast of Tabernacles, will transpire during this time.

Then the feast of Tabernacles itself will be fulfilled during the ensuing millennial reign.

The Seven Jewish Festivals by Arlen Chitwood

The following Word Document is SAFE to open and printThe Seven Jewish Festivals by Arlen Chitwood.docx Also in pamphlet form: Lamp Broadcast - Prophetic Calendar of Israel, The Seven Jewish Festivals, By Arlen L. Chitwood.pdf designed for printing on letter size paper, both front and back; then folded into pocket size fit.

Also see Israel from Death to Life BOOK in this site.

Described in Leviticus 23, *The Feast of Weeks is the second of the three “solemn feasts” that all Jewish males were required to travel to Jerusalem to attend (Exodus 23:14–17; 34:22–23; Deuteronomy 16:16). This important feast gets its name from the fact that it starts seven full weeks, or exactly 50 days, after the Feast of Firstfruits. Since it takes place exactly 50 days after the previous feast, this feast is also known as “Pentecost” (Acts 2:1), which means “fifty.”

Also see The Trumpet of Pentecost regarding the first Pentecost and Trump, in this site.

To website CONTENTS Page.

Who are the Two Witnesses in the book of Revelation?
By Got Questions

(Note:  Being a student of both Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast and Charles Strong of Bible One I'm convinced the Two Witnesses are Moses and Elijah!)

There are three primary viewpoints on the identity of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:3-12:

(1) Moses and Elijah, (2) Enoch and Elijah, (3) two unknown believers whom God calls to be His                     witnesses in the end times.

(1) Moses and Elijah are seen as possibilities for the two witnesses due to the witnesses' power to turn water into blood (Revelation 11:6), which Moses is known for (Exodus 7), and their power to destroy people with fire (Revelation 11:5), which Elijah is known for (2 Kings 1). Also giving strength to this view is the fact that Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:3-4). Further, Jewish tradition expected Moses and Elijah to return in the future. Malachi 4:5 predicted the return of Elijah, and the Jews believed that God’s promise to raise up a prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18) necessitated his return.

(2) Enoch and Elijah are seen as possibilities for the two witnesses because they are the two individuals whom God has taken to heaven apart from experiencing death (Genesis 5:23; 2 Kings 2:11). The fact that neither Enoch or Elijah have experienced death seems to qualify them to experience death and resurrection, as the two witnesses experience (Revelation 11:7-12). Proponents of this view claim that Hebrews 9:27 (all men die once) disqualifies Moses from being one of the two witnesses, as Moses has died once already (Deuteronomy 34:5). However, there are several others in the Bible who died twice — e.g., Lazarus, Dorcas, and the daughter of the synagogue ruler—so there is really no reason why Moses should be eliminated on this basis.

View (3) essentially argues that Revelation chapter 11 does not attach any famous identity to the two witnesses. If their identities were Moses and Elijah, or Enoch and Elijah, why would Scripture be silent about this? God is perfectly capable of taking two "ordinary" believers and enabling them to perform the same signs and wonders that Moses and Elijah did. There is nothing in Revelation 11 that requires us to assume a "famous" identity for the two witnesses.

Which view is correct?

The possible weakness of (1) is that Moses has already died once, and therefore could not be one of the two witnesses, who die, which would make Moses a contradiction of Hebrews 9:27. Proponents of (1) will argue that all of the people who were miraculously resurrected in the Bible (e.g., Lazarus) later died again. Hebrews 9:27 is viewed, then, as a "general rule," not a universal principle.

There are no clear weaknesses to view (2), as it solves the "die once" problem, and it makes sense that if God took two people to heaven without dying, Enoch and Elijah, it was to prepare them for a special purpose.

There are also no clear weaknesses to view (3).

All three views are valid and plausible interpretations that Christians can have. The identities of the two witnesses is an issue Christians should not be dogmatic about.

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Got Questions - Who are the Two Witnesses in Revelation?

Also see Two Witnesses in The Son of Man Coming in His KingdomPart III, and Two Men at the Empty Tomb in this site .

(The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  Transfiguration, Why did Moses and Elijah appear at the.docx)

To website CONTENTS Page.

We must come to 'good works' by faith, we can't come to 'good works' by self. 

What should we learn from the life of Elijah?
By Got Questions

The Prophet Elijah is one of the most interesting and colorful of all biblical characters, yet his life was so filled with turmoil that today we might say he was up one day and down the next. Because Elijah was at times bold and decisive and at other times fearful and tentative, we have much to learn from him. In the narratives in which Elijah is the central character, we find principles that demonstrate the victory in the life of a believer as well as defeat and recovery. There are ways in which Elijah demonstrated the power of God and an instance where he plumbed the depths of depression.

Elijah, a prophet of God whose name means, “my God is Jehovah,” came from Tishbeh in Gilead, but nothing is known of his family or birth. We first see Elijah in 1 Kings 17:1 where he suddenly appears to challenge Ahab, an evil king who ruled the Northern Kingdom from 874 to 853 B.C. Elijah prophesies a drought to come upon the whole land as consequence for Ahab’s evil choices (1 Kings 17:1-7). Warned by God, Elijah hides near the brook of Cherith where he is fed by ravens. As the drought and famine in the land deepen, Elijah meets with a widow, and through her obedience to Elijah’s request, God provides food enough for Elijah, the woman and her son. Miraculously, her barrel of flour and jar of oil never run out (1 Kings 17:8-16). The lesson for the believer is that, if we walk in fellowship with the LORD and obey Him, we will be open to His will, and when we are in God’s will, He fulfills all of our needs and His mercy to us never runs short.

We next see Elijah as the central character in a face-off with the prophets of the false god Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:17-40). The prophets of Baal call upon their god all day long to rain fire from heaven to no avail. Then Elijah builds an altar of stones, digs a ditch around it, puts the sacrifice on the top of wood and calls for water to be poured over his sacrifice three times. Elijah calls upon God, and God sends fire down from heaven, burns the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones and licks up the water in the ditch. God proved He was more powerful than false gods. It was then that Elijah and the people kill all of the false prophets of Baal. Such supernatural evidences of God’s power are not seen today. However, we have access to the same power as God’s Word works through us and demonstrates the power of His Spirit in our lives (2 Corinthians 4:7). Elijah is an illustration that it is not the vessel but God in the vessel that demonstrates power.

After the great victory over the false prophets, rain once again falls on the land (1 Kings 18:41-46). However, in spite of victory and provisions from the LORD that he receives, Elijah enters a period of wavering faith and depression (1 Kings 19:1-18). Hearing that Ahab’s wife Jezebel has made a vow to kill him, Elijah feels sorry for himself, hides in a cave, and even comes to believe that he alone was left of the prophets of God. He got his eyes off of God and onto the details. It is then that the LORD instructs Elijah to stand on the mountain as the LORD passed by. There is a great wind, an earthquake, and then fire, but God is not in any of those. Then comes a still, small voice in which Elijah hears God and understands Him. When Elijah stopped focusing on the fear of what men could do and his feelings of being alone, God’s voice was heard, and Elijah went on to be taken up to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:1-11).

Just as for Elijah, when the believer focuses on the noise and the tumult of life in this world, we may get our eyes off of the LORD. However, if we listen for His still, small voice and walk in obedience to His Word, we find victory and reward. Each biblical character we study has a lesson for us to use in our walk as believers. Elijah was filled with human frailties yet was used mightily of God.

While he is not the author of every article on Got Questions, for citation purposes, you may reference our CEO, S. Michael Houdmann.

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Got Questions - What should we learn from the life of Elijah?

The following may also be of interest:

Got Questions - Was John the Baptist really Elijah reincarnated?

Got Questions - Why did God take Enoch and Elijah to heaven without them dying?

To website CONTENTS Page.

The nation of Israel is God’s son because of creation,
and God’s firstborn son because of a subsequent adoption.

In the divine realm, the one created (whether an angel or a man) is viewed as a “son.”  In the human realm, the one begotten is viewed as a “son.”  In the former realm, “sons of God” are in view; in the latter realm, “sons of a fallen creature” are in view. 

God's Firstborn Sons
A Study about Sons, Firstborn Sons, Adoption and Inheritance
By Arlen Chitwood of 
Lamp Broadcast

Introduction and Foreword

Introduction

God presently has two firstborn Sons — Christ (Hebrews 1:6) and Israel (Exodus 4:22-23). Christ is God’s firstborn Son through procreation (John 3:16), and Israel is God’s firstborn son through adoption (Romans 9:4). And God is about to bring into existence a third firstborn son through adoption — the Church (Romans 8:14-15, 19, 23).

“Sonship” implies rulership. Only Sons hold regal positions in God’s kingdom — past, present, or future. That’s the way God established matters in the beginning, and that which God has established in this respect never changes.

In the human realm though, something additional was added -- a "firstborn" status.  In the human realm, unlike the angelic realm, an individual has to be a firstborn Son in order to rule and reign in God's kingdom.

Angels alone (sons of God because of creation) have ruled throughout God’s kingdom in time past (both over this earth and elsewhere in the universe). But, with man’s creation — an entirely new order in the universe, an individual created in God’s image, after His likeness — a change in the order of rulers within God’s government was made known. Man was created for regal purposes (Genesis 1:26-28); and, though sin subsequently entered, resulting in a ruined creation (Genesis 3:1ff), God did not and will not change His mind concerning the reason He brought man into existence (Romans 11:29).

The whole of man’s salvation has this high end in view, whether salvation past (the spiritual birth, presently possessed by all Christians) or salvation present and future (the saving of the soul, not presently possessed by Christians but awaiting realization). Man has been, is being, and is about to be saved for a revealed regal purpose.

A new order of “sons” is about to be brought forth (Romans 8:19; cf. Hebrews 2:5). And only then will God’s purpose for man’s creation (in the beginning) and His reason for man’s subsequent salvation (following his ruin) be realized.

Foreword

When referring to firstborn sons in the human realm, only one son can be in view through the natural process of procreation.  But, in the divine realm, the whole of the matter is seen from a different perspective.

Though God possesses only one firstborn Son through procreation (Jesus), as in the human realm (cf. John 3:16; Hebrews 1:6), He can possess other firstborn sons through adoption (i.e., God taking a son and adopting that son into a firstborn status).

And this is exactly what God has done with one son and will do yet future with another son.

The nation of Israel is God’s son because of creation (Isaiah 43:1, 7), and this nation is God’s firstborn son because of a subsequent adoption (Romans 9:4):

Thus says the Lord: Israel is My son [because of creation], My firstborn [because of a subsequent adoption].   (Exodus 4:22b)

Then God is about to bring another firstborn son into existence.  God, through His Spirit, is presently leading Christians from immaturity to maturity through what is seen in Hebrews 12:5-8 as “child-training” (the Greek word, used in both noun and verb forms in this passage, is from a form of a word referring to a young child — thus, the translation, “child-training”).  And this word, contextually, has to do with “instruction” or “teaching,” which is the manner in which the translators of the KJV, NASB, and NIV translated the word in a similar context in 2 Timothy 3:16.

And those Christians who allow “child-training” (or “instruction,” “teaching”) are referred to in a present sense as sons, something possible because of a prior creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; cf. Ephesians 2:10).

Then, the present child-training of sons is with a view to adoption yet future, in order that these sons (through this future adoption) might be placed in the position of firstborn sons, allowing them to exercise the rights of the firstborn (Hebrews 12:16-17, 23).

And the preceding is with a view to God, in that day, having three firstborn Sons (Christ, Israel, and the Church) to occupy positions of power and authority in His kingdom.

Only Sons can rule in God’s kingdom.  And, within the human realm, only firstborn Sons can rule.

Sons rule the earth today (“angels” — sons because of creation), but God is about to remove the present order of sons and give the kingdom to a new order of Sons — three firstborn Sons — from the human realm.

Those forming the nation of Israel, presently God’s firstborn son but also a disobedient son, will, following the nation being brought to the place of repentance, occupy positions of power and authority over the nations from the earthly land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Those forming the Church, following the adoption into a firstborn status (as seen in Hebrews 12:23), will occupy positions of power and authority over the nations from a heavenly sphere, that heavenly sphere presently occupied by Satan and his angels.

And Christ, God’s only begotten firstborn Son, will rule the nations from both spheres of the kingdom.  He will rule from David’s throne in the midst of His people, Israel (God’s firstborn son), on the earth; and He will rule from His own throne with His co-heirs (God’s firstborn son) in the heavens.

The whole of Scripture moves in this direction, beginning in the book of Genesis and ending in the book of Revelation.  And that is what this book, God’s Firstborn Sons BOOK, in this site, is about.

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The following Word Document is SAFE to open and print:  God's Firstborn Sons, Foreword, by Arlen Chitwood.docx

Arlen Chitwood's book God’s Firstborn Sons BOOK  in this site.

See following Christ - God’s Firstborn Son.

To website CONTENTS Page.

God presently has two firstborn Sons [Christ and Israel] and will one day have a third firstborn son [the Church, FOLLOWING the adoption].  And ONLY when God’s third firstborn son has been brought into existence CAN man realize the regal purpose for his creation revealed at the beginning, in Genesis 1:26-28.

Christ - God’s Firstborn Son
From God's Firstborn Sons by Arlen Chitwood of Lamp Broadcast

God presently has two firstborn Sons — Christ (Hebrews 1:6) and Israel (Exodus 4:22-23). Christ is God’s firstborn Son through procreation (John 3:16), and Israel is God’s firstborn son through adoption (Romans 9:4). And God is about to bring into existence a third firstborn son through adoption — the Church (Romans 8:14-15, 19, 23).

CHRIST

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?

But when He again brings [lit., “And when He shall again bring in] the firstborn into the world [“the inhabited  world”], He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” (Hebrews 1:1-6)

God has many “sons.”  Angels, because of their special and individual creation, are viewed as “sons of God” (Genesis 6:4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7).  The first man, the first Adam, for the same reason as seen in the angelic realm — a special and individual creation — was also viewed as God’s “son” (Luke 3:38b).  Adam’s descendants though, following the fall, were not viewed in this same manner.  Rather, they were viewed as sons of Adam, or sons of his progeny.  They were revealed to be sons of a fallen individual, or sons of his descendants (cf. Genesis 5:3ff; 11:10ff; Luke 3:23-38).

(The word “son” only appears once in the Greek text throughout the genealogy in Luke 3:23-38 — at the very beginning, in Luke 3:23a [“the son of Joseph”].  The structure of the Greek text though [a list of articular genitives, beginning in Luke 3:23b] necessitates that the thought of son, though not shown in each succeeding generation, be continued from its introductory usage and understood throughout the genealogy.  This is why translators have shown the word in italics in each generation, following its introductory usage, all   the way back to Adam, “the son of God.”)

In the divine realm, the one created (whether an angel or a man) is viewed as a “son.”  In the human realm, the one begotten is viewed as a “son.”  In the former realm, “sons of God” are in view; in the latter realm, “sons of a fallen creature” are in view. 

Within God’s economy, “sonship” is inseparably connected with regality, in both the angelic and the human realms.  Angels, “sons of God,” were created to have a part in God’s government of the universe.  And man, a “son of God,” was created for exactly the same purpose — to first replace the incumbent ruler of this earth (Satan, a disqualified ruler), and then to subsequently occupy regal positions beyond the earth, in God’s universal kingdom.  “Sonship,” in this respect, implies rulership.

But “sonship” among Adam’s descendants following the fall is another matter, which cannot be connected with regality in this same respect.  Descendants of Adam, following the fall, could no longer be looked upon as “sons of God.”  Rather, they could only be looked upon as sons of a fallen individual, possessing the same fallen nature as their father (cf. Genesis 5:3ff).

Thus, following man’s fall, redemption became necessary if man was to ever realize the purpose for his prior creation.  This was something that God brought to pass immediately following man’s sin, something involving death and shed blood.  And once God had established matters in this respect, no change could ever occur.  Redemption at any subsequent point in Scripture would always be the same — that brought to pass on the basis of death and shed blood.

But redemption itself has nothing to do with “sonship.”  Adam, as Satan, was a “son of God” before his fall; and he remained a “son of God” following the fall.  Adam’s fall wrought no change in his position as God’s son (though he was no longer in a position to exercise that which is portended by sonship — regality).

And, relative to Adam’s descendants, who are not “sons of God,” the converse of matters pertaining to redemption and sonship are equally true.  The redemption of Adam’s descendants does not restore the sonship standing possessed by Adam.  One (redemption, or even the fall itself, necessitating redemption) has nothing to do with the other (with sonship).

“Sonship” results from creation alone, not redemption.  This was something originally established in the angelic realm and then subsequently seen in the human realm in Genesis 1; 2.  And, as the established means for “redemption” never changes throughout Scripture, the established means for bringing into existence “a son of God” never changes throughout Scripture as well.

Thus, in order for God to place Adam’s progeny back into the position for which man was created — to rule and to reign — fallen man must not only be redeemed but creation must again be involved, for only sons of God can rule in God’s kingdom.

That is to say, God must not only redeem fallen man but He must also perform a special creation of a nature that would place man back in the position of “God’s son.”  Apart from this dual act, man would forever be estranged from the reason God brought him into existence.

Then, because of the rights of primogeniture (rights of the firstborn) that God established in the human realm (seen in the position that Christ holds as God’s Son — that of Firstborn, through being begotten by the Father), the one to hold the scepter must be more than just God’s son to realize these established rights.  He, as Christ, must be a firstborn Son of God.

And God accomplished/will accomplish this through the process of adoption (Greek: huiothesia, “son-placing”).  Adoption in Scripture is connected with sons, not with children.  The process has to do with taking one who is already a son (because of creation) and placing that son in a firstborn status (through adoption).

Viewing the entire matter from the beginning, man is saved via the birth from above.  The Spirit breathes life into the one having no life, on the basis of death and shed blood, allowing man to pass “from death to life” (John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1).  This has been God’s only means of salvation for fallen man since the matter was introduced in the opening three chapters of Genesis.

Only then do matters having to do with sonship, or a subsequent firstborn status within sonship, enter into the matter.  Creation must be involved in the former and adoption in the latter.  And neither creation nor adoption enters into matters surrounding the birth from above.  Both are always subsequent to the birth from above.

Creation during the past dispensation had to do with Jacob and his descendants through his twelve sons, for God took Jacob and performed a special creative act — one which, as the Adamic creation preceding the fall, had to do with the physical man and could be passed on from father to son (Isaiah 43:1-10).

Creation during the present dispensation has to do with an individual’s positional standing “in Christ.”  God takes an individual who has been born from above and places him “in Christ,” resulting in an entirely new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) — something that occurs at the time of the birth from above, though subsequent to this birth.  And because this has to do with the spiritual man rather than the physical, these things cannot be passed on from father to son.  Rather, an individual has to himself believe and experience these things personally.

And adoption then follows these two creative acts.  Israel has already been adopted and is presently God’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22-23).  The adoption of Christians though is future (cf. Romans 8:15, 23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5).

Thus, because of “creation,” Christians can presently be viewed as sons (cf. Romans 8:14; Galatians 3:26; 4:6-7; Hebrews 12:5-8 [the Greek word huios, “son,” is used in these passages); but, because the “adoption” is still future, Christians cannot presently be viewed as firstborn sons.

(The preceding briefly introduces this three-part series on “God’s Firstborn Sons,” showing the why and necessity of sonship and adoption with respect to regality.  As previously shown, God presently has two firstborn Sons [Christ and Israel] and will one day have a third firstborn son [the Church, following the adoption].  And only when God’s third firstborn son has been brought into existence can man realize the regal purpose for his creation revealed at the beginning, in Genesis 1:26-28.

Both “creation” with respect to sonship and “adoption” with respect to a firstborn standing, in relation to both Israel and Christians, is dealt with more fully in God’s Firstborn Sons BOOK, Ch. 2 and Ch. 3.  The remainder of chapter 1 will deal with God’s Son from eternity, the One possessing a standing as Firstborn, through birth, providing Him with the rights of primogeniture within the human realm in relation to His position as the second Man, the last Adam.)

God’s Son from Eternity

There has never been a time when Christ was not God’s Son.  He has been God’s Son from eternity, always co-existing and being co-equal with the Father.

But, though there has never been a time when the Son did not exist and occupy the position of God’s Son, being co-equal with the Father, there has been a time when the Son did not occupy the position of Firstborn in the human realm.  God, at a point in time, took His Son and, through birth, placed Him in the position of Firstborn (God’s “only begotten Son”) — a necessary position for His Son to realize the rights of primogeniture as the second Man, the last Adam.

Thus, when dealing with the incarnation, far more is involved than Christ becoming a Man in order to redeem fallen man.  Salvation that fallen man possesses today is only the beginning of the matter.  Salvation is for a revealed purpose, which has to do with man ultimately being placed back in the position for which he was created.  In this respect, the reason for the incarnation covers the whole panorama of the matter — from the new birth to the adoption of sons.

Note what Jesus told Pilate in John 18:37 in response to the question, “Are You a king then? [lit., ‘So you are a King!’ (a statement, or a statement in the form of a question, worded in the Greek text in a manner expecting a ‘Yes’ response)].”  And Jesus responded in complete keeping with that which Pilate had stated.  Rather than as in the KJV — “Thou sayest that I am a king…” — the translation should be more along the lines of “Yes!  You say truly that I am a King” (Ref. Weymouth).  Jesus then went on to say, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world…”

Christ was born King (Matthew 2:2), but He came into the world for purposes surrounding the complete panorama of redemption.  The incarnation was for purposes foreshadowed by God’s work throughout the six days in Genesis 1, and the incarnation has its fulfillment in that foreshadowed by God’s rest on the seventh day in Genesis 2.

Then there will be a further fulfillment beyond that in the eternal ages beyond the seventh day of rest, which Scripture deals with only sparingly.  Man in that day beyond the Messianic Era will exercise power of a universal nature, for this power will emanate from “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1, 3), a throne from which universal rule will emanate.

At the time Jesus appeared before Pilate, shortly after the interchange with Pilate relative to His Kingship, the Jews accused Christ of making Himself  “the Son of God” (John 19:7b; cf. 2 Samuel 7:12-14).  This resulted in Pilate becoming even “more afraid” (John 19:8), for he apparently knew, in complete keeping with his previous conversation with Jesus, the implications involved if Christ were truly God’s Son.

As previously shown, “sonship” implies rulership; and this is clearly seen in the Jewish religious leaders’ next accusation, which immediately followed their statement relative to Christ’s claim to be God’s Son:  “Whoever makes himself a king [i.e., a statement in complete keeping with their previous accusation — Christ had ‘made Himself the Son of God’ (John 19:7)] speaks against Caesar” (John 19:12b).

The picture is similar to that seen in Exodus 4:22-23.  God had instructed Moses to tell Pharaoh, “Israel is My son, My firstborn.”  And Pharaoh was expected to understand from Moses’ statement that God recognized this lowly nation of slaves (the Israelites) in subjection to the most powerful Gentile nation of that day (the Egyptians) as His firstborn son, the nation in possession of the rights of primogeniture, the nation which God recognized as possessing the right to hold the scepter.

In John 18; 19, God’s firstborn Son, Christ, stood before Pilate and was falsely accused by God’s firstborn son, Israel; and Pilate himself became increasingly afraid surrounding the entire matter.  The fear that Pilate exhibited, as seen in the text, could only have been a mild description of how Pilate would possibly have responded had he known the full scope and implications of that which was transpiring on that day, for he was using his power to subjugate one son and to ultimately condemn the other Son.  And both of the Sons being mistreated that day were the Ones possessing the right to hold the scepter, not Pilate.

The Heir of All Things

The book of Hebrews opens by introducing Christ as the One whom God has placed at the center of all things in the outworking of His plans and purposes.  God spoke “in time past to the fathers by the prophets,” but, “in these last days,” God has spoken “to us by His Son.”  In both instances, God is the One doing the speaking.  In the former instance, God spoke in the person of the prophets; in the latter instance, God has spoken in the person of His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2a).

The record then continues with references to the Son, not to the prophets.  The Son is the One whom the Father “has appointed Heir of all things”; and the Son is the One through whom the Father “made the worlds [lit., ‘made the ages’]” (Hebrews 1:2b).  The Father designed the ages around the person and work of the One whom He “has appointed Heir of all things,” with the outworking of that seen in the Son’s heirship occurring within the framework of these designed ages.

Reference is then made to Christ’s person, His finished work at Calvary, His ascension to the Father’s right hand, and His position relative to the angels following His ascension (which was different than His position before His ascension [cf. Hebrews 2:7, 9]).  Then the thought immediately moves back to the subject previously introduced — Christ as the “appointed Heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2-4).  And this second statement surrounding Christ’s heirship is used to introduce seven Messianic quotations from the Old Testament (Hebrews 1:5-13).

The way in which the book opens introduces the subject matter in the book — something seen in the structure of all the books in Scripture, along with Scripture as a whole in the opening verses of Genesis (Genesis 1:1-2:3).  The subject matter in Hebrews, shown through the manner in which the book is introduced, is about that coming day when God’s appointed “Heir of all things” holds the scepter and rules the earth with “a rod of iron” (cf. Psalm 2:9; Revelation 2:26-27).

Through the arrangement of these seven Messianic quotations (a number showing the completion of that which is in view), “heirship” is immediately connected not only with sonship but with a firstborn status as well.  It is God’s Firstborn Son, the appointed “Heir of all things,” whom the Father will one day “again bring into” the inhabited world (Hebrews 1:5-6).

These seven Messianic quotations are introduced in verse five and begin with a quotation from Psalm 2:7:

You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

This verse is quoted three times in the New Testament — once in Acts 13:33) and twice in Hebrews 1:5; 5:5).  And in all three passages, as in Psalm 2:7, the verse is used in Messianic settings.

The reference in each of the four appearances of the verse is to the Father begetting the Son at the time of the incarnation.  This was an absolute necessity if the Son was to be God’s Firstborn, allowing the Son to hold the scepter as the Father’s appointed “Heir of all things.”

Note how all of this is set forth in the Psalm 2.  Though a present application to Psalm 2:1-3 is made in Acts 4:25ff, the reference in these verses is more specifically to events at the end of Man’s Day, progressing into the Messianic Era.

The Gentile nations are seen at this time in “rage” and imagining “a vain thing.”  They are seen allied “together, against the Lord, and against His Anointed” (Psalm 2:1-2).  And in their alliance, they are seen saying, “Let us break their chains…and throw off their fetters [the restraining and authoritative power of the Father and Son in Psalm 2:2]” (Psalm 2:3 NIV).

This is a picture of Gentile world power in a day not far removed from the present day.  The Gentile nations at that time will be as “the sea” in Jonah, raging; they will imagine that which will not be possible — to continue holding the scepter under the present world ruler, Satan (cf. Daniel 10:13-20; Revelation 13:2); and, under Satan’s leadership, they will counsel together concerning how they can stay God’s hand and prevent the fulfillment of that foretold by the prophets centuries before this time.

But all will be in vain.  The One seated in the heavens will laugh, He will scoff at the puny efforts of the Gentile powers, and He will then speak to them in His anger and wrath (Psalm 2:4-5).

This will be followed by that seen in the continuing text of Psalm chapter two:

Yet I have set My King on My holy hill [or, ‘mountain’ (Hebrew: har)] of Zion.

I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.

Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations [Gentiles] for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.

You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:6-9)

The Gentile nations under Satan, in the end time, will be unable to do any more than Satan found that he could do when he sought to exalt his throne at a time in the distant past (Isaiah 14:12-17; cf. Ezekiel 28:14-19).  Satan’s prior efforts proved utterly futile, resulting in God’s wrath; and exactly the same thing will result from the actions of the Gentile nations at the end of Man’s Day.

Satan, seeking to exalt his throne, found himself disqualified to continue holding his appointed position, and his kingdom was reduced to a ruin (Genesis 1:2a).  And, at a time yet future, with the Times of the Gentiles brought to an end, the Gentile nations will find themselves no longer qualified to hold their appointed positions.  At that time, their power and kingdom will be reduced to a ruin (Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45; Joel 3:9-21; Revelation 19:11-21; cf. Isaiah 2:1-5).

Now, note the context on either side of Psalm 2:7.  Immediately before (Psalm 2:6), God is seen placing His King on the holy mountain called Zion; and immediately after (Psalm 2:8-9), God is seen referring to the King’s inheritance and possession.  But the thought of the Father begetting the Son between these two Messianic statements is a reference to an event occurring over 2,000 years in the past, allowing God’s Son to become His Firstborn, making these events possible.

In one frame of reference, God is saying in Psalm 2:7, “You are my Son; today [i.e., for this day, to allow this day to be brought to pass] I have begotten you [at a time in the past, making You more than My Son, making You My Firstborn Son].”

And this would be borne out by the structure of the Greek text in Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5.  In each verse, the word “begotten” appears in the perfect tense, pointing to action completed in past time, with the results of that action continuing into the present and existing in a finished state.

In Acts 13:33, it is an action that precedes Christ’s resurrection, anticipating that day when Christ comes into possession of “the sure mercies [lit., ‘the holy things’] of David [which are regal]” (Acts 13:33-34).  In Hebrews 1:5, it is an action set at the beginning of seven Messianic quotations from the Old Testament.  And in Hebrews 5:5, it is an action anticipating Christ one day exercising the Melchizedek priesthood — as the Great King-Priest in Jerusalem (Hebrews 5:5-10; cf. Psalm 110:1-4).

This is that which Scripture reveals concerning God’s Firstborn Son, Jesus, the One who, in a coming day, will bring to pass that which continually eludes man today — effecting peace in the troubled Middle East, a peace that can only follow that seen in Psalm 2:1-5.

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God’s Firstborn Sons, Christ

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Arlen Chitwood's book God’s Firstborn Sons BOOK  in this site.

To website CONTENTS Page.

There are Jews, Gentiles, and Christians; and that’s the way it must remain,
with each of the three creations looked upon
as separate and distinct from one another.

BOTH believing Jews and believing Gentiles become part OF the one new man “in Christ,” where there IS neither Jew nor Gentile. And together they become “fellow-heirs [in relation to heavenly promises and blessings], and OF the same body [Christ’s body]. . . .” (Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 2:13-15; 3:1-6).

Bible Facts Little Understood by Christians
By Charles Strong of Bible One from The Study of Scripture by Arlen Chitwood

Jew, Gentile, Christian

Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the Church of God.  (1 Corinthians 10:32)

The Word of God divides the human race into three separate and distinct groups of individuals, forming three creations. There are the Jews, the Gentiles, and those comprising the Church of God, the Christians; and these three creations, brought into existence at different times, will exist separate and distinct from one another throughout not only the present dispensation but also during the coming Messianic Era and the endless ages comprising eternity that follow.

Mankind began and remained as only one creation for two millenniums. Then, a second creation was brought into existence after the first two millenniums had run their course, and a third creation followed after two more millenniums.

But within the plans and purposes of God, all three were seen in the beginning, prior to the creation of Adam. In the beginning, when God made and arranged the ages around the preplanned work of His Son within the framework of these ages (Hebrews 1:2), He had these three divisions of the human race in view.

And nothing can ever thwart the plans and purposes of God. Man — ignoring God’s revealed plans and purposes through the three segments into which He has divided mankind — talks about the human race in a global, oneness sense, with time and conditions as we know them today going on and on indefinitely. But God deals with the matter in His Word after a completely different fashion. God deals with the matter through three separate and distinct groups of individuals on a 6,000-year redemptive timetable, with a seventh 1,000-year period lying beyond the 6,000 years (with this seventh millennium to be followed by an unending sequence of ages, comprising eternity).

God established and revealed His timetable, along with His redemptive work within this timetable, at the very beginning of His Word. But the ones to whom God revealed His plans and purposes after this fashion have, for the most part, ignored them. Resultantly, man in this respect, remaining ignorant of God’s plans and purposes — goes about following his own plans and purposes, little realizing that his own plans and purposes will shortly and suddenly be interrupted and be completely done away with (cf. 2 Peter 3:3-8).

When man ignores the revealed Word of God, tragic consequences always follow. Such consequences may not be ushered in immediately. In fact, they seldom are. But consequences of this nature must always ultimately follow unbelief.

There is a God-established law of the harvest — sowing and reaping — which must come to pass. A person always reaps what he sows, a person always reaps more than he sows, and the reaping occurs at a later time than the sowing.

The 6,000-year history of man is replete with examples, but the climactic consequence, climaxing the entire 6,000 years, awaits a future day. The coming “time of Jacob’s trouble” will affect not only Israel but the entire Gentile world (Jeremiah 30:7; Revelation 6:1-17). And during this time — God, through bringing to pass a time of trouble “such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21-22) — will climax His dealings with man during man’s 6,000-year day.

The Gentiles

God began the human race through the creation of one man. Then He put the man to sleep, removed a rib from his side, built a woman from the rib, and presented her back to the man in order to complete the man and to provide a helpmate for the man (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7, 18, 20-25).

Thus, in the beginning there was simply the man, Adam, the woman, Eve, and their progeny that followed. And any thought of a division within mankind had to wait 2,000 years of human history, though certain events during this period did portend the divisions that followed.

1) Saved and Unsaved

A division after a fashion could be looked upon through viewing man as either saved or unsaved during this time, but, this was not the same type division that God later effected through bringing into existence a second creation within mankind, and then a third creation. Rather, viewing a distinction between saved and unsaved individuals during the first 2,000 years of human history would be similar to viewing a distinction between saved and unsaved individuals among the Gentile nations during the coming Tribulation.

The salvation of Gentiles during the coming Tribulation will not separate them from their Gentile heritage in the same sense that it does during the present dispensation (cf. Galatians 3:28). During the present dispensation, when a Gentile (or Jew) is saved, that person becomes part of an entirely new creation, the one new man, the new creationin Christ.” But during the coming Tribulation — which will be the fulfillment of the last seven years of the previous dispensation (ref.