A SPECTACLE FOR THE UNIVERSE
“Then said I, (Jesus) Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” Psalms 40:7, 8. “The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable.” Isaiah 42:21. Cf. Matthew 5:17. When in His body of flesh, Jesus asked the Jewish leaders, “Which of you can truthfully accuse Me of one single sin? (They refused to answer Him for they knew He was telling the truth.) And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe Me?” John 8:46. In verse 44 he had told them that they were of their father the devil and his works they were destined to perform. But they only hated Him the more for saying it.
Our little planet is a spectacle for the universe. All of God’s creatures are observing us. When we read that the “people escaped” when the lot fell upon Saul and Jonathan, we should not think only of the people who were in Saul’s army that day. Oh, no. This is a cosmic controversy, friend of mine. Satan zeroed in on the one who was hurting his cause the most by his honesty, purity and faithfulness. And that was Jonathan. And so he let the lot fall upon Saul and Jonathan and then upon Jonathan. It reminds us of the two goats on the Day of Atonement doesn’t it? Yes. And which goat had to die? The innocent One. Do you see how deep and far-reaching and symbolic each story in the Bible is? God put these incidents in His Word for a purpose, for not only planet earth but the whole universe escaped death through Jesus.
God didn’t start the great controversy and He hasn’t kept it going. Sin wasn’t His idea. Satan is responsible for every minute of it. But the Father has had to let Lucifer prove his point, if he could. Notice what the people said to Saul when he suggested that they find out who was responsible for sin in the camp. “Do what seemeth good unto thee.” 1 Samuel 14:40. The people here represent all the unfallen worlds and all the angels who have been watching planet earth since our Father created it. Lucifer charged God with keeping the universe in bondage through the law. Through Saul’s words to the people (the unfallen worlds and angels) we know what Lucifer said. “Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening ….” 1 Samuel 14:24. If Lucifer could keep everyone away from the truth about God long enough, darkness would come and no one would be able to see in the “evening,” who was right and who was wrong. “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” John 12:35.
Jesus told us that He is the light of the world, John 8:12, And His disciple John declared of him, “In Him (Jesus) was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4. Christ was also declared to be the WORD by the same author, John 1:1-3, 14. This Word was made flesh and demonstrated that God’s WORD or HIS LAW was good.
The life of Jesus Christ showed that we could eat “honey” and “be enlightened,” as Jonathan was. Jesus even declared that it was a matter of life or death. “I am that bread of life … Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:48, 53, 54.
DON’T KEEP JESUS OUTSIDE
The word “meat” here means food as we see in other translations. “For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” John 6:55, 56. RSV. God loves to speak to us in symbolic words. For example the name BETHLEHEM, the town where Jesus was born, was an example or symbol in a name as to what the Messiah would do. Bethlehem meant “HOUSE OF BREAD.” God is saying, “come and abide in My house (Jesus) and let Me feed you.” You see when we go to God’s house and find out what a wonderful person the Father is, we want Jesus and the Father to come and eat with us. When they come in we never want Them to leave. Zacchaeus had already “tasted” some of Jesus’ flesh (John 6:53) and was rejoicing. “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusts in Him.” Psalm 34:8. Zacchaeus was “chief among the publicans (tax collectors).” Luke 19:2. He had previously eaten some of Jesus’ words that he had heard from others and now he ran ahead of the throng in Jericho and climbed up into a sycamore (fig) tree so he could see Jesus better since Zacchaeus was short of stature. Climbing the tree was an act of faith and symbolic of the “tree of life” from which he had already been eating, even Christ’s words. It also could represent the crucifixion of self. Now, Jesus asks Zacchaeus if He might come home to His house, “for today I must abide at thy house.” Ibid., verse 5. “Zacchaeus,” Jesus was saying, “I just can’t wait to tell you how much you mean to Me. I must come home and tell you today!” What a wonderful God we have! I hope that you will invite him to come home and have supper with you.
He is standing at the door of your heart, waiting for you to invite Him in to have supper with you, Revelation 3:20. Don’t keep Him waiting outside. Jeremiah found that eating with God was necessary to sustain life. “Your words are what sustain me; they are food to my hungry soul. They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me.” Jer. 15:16. God’s Word is also likened unto a “lamp” in Psalms 119:105 that guides our feet. But God Himself is called a lamp. “For thou art my lamp, O Lord; and the Lord will lighten my darkness.” 2 Samuel 22:29. In the beginning of the creation of this planet God’s “Spirit” moved upon “the face of the waters.” We know that waters represent people, Revelation 17:15, and so the people or beings God moved upon must have been all the unfallen worlds as He created this earth. As they watched, “there was light.” Genesis 1:1-5. God would bring light and truth out of the creation of planet earth. Our Creator did not plan for sin to enter, but he foresaw it and made provision to meet the crisis by coming down to this planet Himself in the very person of His Son, who became the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. I Pet. 5:8 depicts Satan as a lion who is our “devouring adversary.”
It is God’s glory to show both His love and His gentleness and His strength by using lambs and lions. He also is able to overcome Satan’s accusations without ever hurting, embarrassing or taking away Satan’s free choice. Christ is the lion of the earth made new, not of this sinful earth.
Satan destroys himself and in the process provides proof that God is just. Samson even made a riddle out of it. “Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong come something sweet.” Judges 14:14 RSV. Samson’s bride-to-be wept because he would not tell her the riddle.
He finally told her and she betrayed him and told her countrymen who then came to Samson on the seventh day and said, “What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?” Ibid., verse 18. Although he failed to show forth God’s true character, the Lord was still able to bring “honey” out of the lion’s mouth. The life-God message is a very sweet message. “Out of the strong came something sweet.” The truth of God is as sweet as honey to those who love him and know his true character.
After his fiancé (in the east they call a bride-to-be a wife before they actually live together as man and wife) betrayed his secret to her own people, Samson went back home. He was hurt and bitter. Later he came back and the father would not allow Samson to consummate the marriage because he had given his daughter to another man. Samson then destroyed the Philistines’ corn, vineyards and olives. To get even, these heathen Philistines then “burned” Samson’s ex-fiancé and her father with fire. All this happened because of a riddle that these heathen men could not understand or solve. But once it was told to them they turned “the truth of God into a lie.” Romans 1:25. They used the secret to destroy instead of to give life. How many people and religious organizations and churches have used the name of God as a cover for their destructive activities? They think they are doing God service. John 16:2. But their ways are the ways of death. The final apostate church will be done in by those she has been using and they will “burn her with fire” Revelation 17:16, because her father is the devil (John 8:44) the same as the Jews. All of the wicked will have to go through the lake of fire due to their own wickedness and hatred for God and each other. They will be in that condition/situation as long as it takes for them to change. Mark 10:43-49. “Where their worm (sin) does not die, and the fire (of God’s love) is not quenched.” In the case of Saul of Tarsus it only took a few minutes in his own little private Lake of Fire. It took Nebuchadnezzar seven years. Dan. 4. Each person is different.
In contrast to the apostate church, whom Satan uses, God has His true bride He is preparing to marry. She is even now making herself ready by receiving the robe of righteousness Jesus is giving to those who will accept it. This robe is His very own likeness and character which comes only by an intense and diligent study of God’s Word, the Bible. As Jesus is able to program our minds He is weaving our robe of righteousness around us in preparation for our wedding day. Rev. 19:7, 8.
Jesus claims that His church will be perfect, without any defect at all. The universe accepted the Father’s claims for His Son. Jesus Christ, in a “sinful” body of flesh, perfected a character after His Father’s likeness and proved Satan a liar. God’s law of love was written in Christ’s heart and this was the secret of His power and victory over sin and the devil. But, can sinful human beings keep the law too? Satan claims they cannot and therefore the Father has no right to allow them to go up to heaven or to inherit the new earth after the 1,000 years. The universe is again looking on to see if God can perfect His likeness in us just as He did in His own Son, even while He was trapped and encased in a body of flesh like our own. He received the approval of the heavenly council for Jesus. Will He receive it for us too? Will “It is finished” be pronounced in our favor too? Listen to what Paul says:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Eph. 5:23-26. “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” John 15:3. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17.
It was the Word of God that created the world in the beginning, John 1:1-3, Hebrews 1:1-3, Psalms 33:6, and it is by that same creative power of his Word that we are born again into his kingdom of grace now. “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: … I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the world.” 1 John 2:5, 14.
God’s Word in us is His divine power to preserve us until the resurrection. It is, in fact, the spark of life that will respond to the “breath of his mouth” which is the fire of His love, for His word is His law and His law is a fiery law of love. “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” John 20:21, 22.
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out in its fullness on them and it came in the likeness of “cloven tongues.” Acts 2:3. This fire of God is what will bring each believing saint forth from his dusty tomb when Christ returns. This fire of his love is His law written in our hearts as it was written in the heart of Jesus. This fire in our heart is proof that we know Him, whom to know is life eternal, John 17:3, The word “know” has a connotation of the intimacy that is known only in the sacredness of the marriage relationship. “And Adam knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Genesis 4:1. We can see that the word “know” is used here to describe the act of sexual union between Adam and Eve, which was legal and according to God’s law, for God Himself had pronounced them man and wife. It is through this union that new life was brought forth to populate the earth.
How much more significant is the relationship that God wants to have with each of us in the Spirit! He seeks to plant the seed of his Son Jesus in our hearts so we may bring forth fruit (souls) to his kingdom. He wants to conceive His only Son in us so we may be with Him forever. Paul expresses it like this: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” Phil. 3:10. In order for Him to conceive His son in us, the Father must be married to us through His Spirit and the Spirit of His son. What a glorious experience this is. Only those of us who have been through it can really know. But the Father desires for every human heart to truly “know” Him in this same way, so when He calls us on that resurrection morning we will respond and come forth from the grave or we will be translated without seeing death, as was Enoch and Elijah.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.” John 5:25.
When Jesus cried out on the cross, “IT IS FINISHED,” John 14:30, the Bible also says he spoke to His Father. “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said Father, into thy hands I commend My spirit: and having said thus, He gave up the ghost.” Luke 23:46. Jesus had both the power to lay down His life and the power to take it up again. “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.” John 10:18. This was much different than the “forced” sacrifices of the heathen. It may be that Satan really believed that the Father himself would come and kill His only Son to prove the justice of his law. But the Father symbolically died with his Son. It was a voluntary action for both of them. I believe that the universal council saw the sufferings of Jesus and began to realize that the Father’s law was just and right and true after all. They finally realized Satan was not only a liar but a murderer. They saw that Christ’s life and his voluntary death demonstrated the power inherent in the law of God to both give life to those who keep it, but take it from those who break it. The law of gravity is a good illustration of how this works. If you obey the law of gravity you will live but if you brake or defy it you will suffer and possibly forfeit your life. This is an example of how the law of cause and effect works in the natural world. But there is also a law of cause and effect in the spiritual world as well. And it was this law which was demonstrated in the life and death of Jesus Christ.
Christ’s death on the cross demonstrated this principle of life and death, of light and darkness. As the Creator He willingly gave up His life in order to absorb all of the punishment the human race deserves for breaking the moral law of right and wrong. This demonstration had to continue until the heavenly council were all completely convinced that all the charges Lucifer (Satan, the adversary) had made were false. It had to be a unanimous vote. Jesus had to suffer and die the second death the law requires of every sinner. He did this by being completely separated from His Father. The human language does not have the words to fully describe the intensity of His suffering.
That is why the anguished cry of God’s son broke forth from his parched and bleeding lips, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?” Jesus had to experience what every lost soul will experience in that final day as they stand outside of the gates of the New Jerusalem. Even though the gates will never be closed, Revelation 21:25, they will not be able to enter at first, because they have unfitted themselves for such a holy place. They cannot stand the light and the glory of his pure and holy presence until they die that second death…the death of the self life, the ego. That is why there is a great gulf fixed. Like Esau, they cannot find any place for repentance in their hearts. That is, they are sorry for the results of their sins, but not for the sin itself.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” Hebrews 12:14-17.
By Esau’s own choice he “fixed a great gulf,” between himself and the Father, just as the rich man did in the parable, Luke 16:26. Jesus bridged that gulf for us. He went to his death not knowing for a certainty that He would ever be able to come into His Father’s presence again. It was by faith alone that he gave up his life, and went into the grave, believing He truly did have the Father’s eternal spark of life still residing in him by which He would come forth from the grave.
WHAT IF JESUS HAD SINNED?
But, friend of mine, His love for us was so great that He was willing to give up His eternal existence if it meant that we could live. That is a love which all of the eons of eternity will not be able to measure. It is a great mystery we cannot fathom. We are mortal. When we die, our intelligence or mind or whatever you want to call that part of us that is able to think, dies too. The “spirit returns to God,” Eccles. 12:7. This is true, but the spirit is not able to think. It is not the mind. It is not the soul. The soul is a combination of the spirit plus the body. Our breath or spirit is simply that “spark of life,” that God gave to Adam when he created him.
Jesus Christ was with His Father, a Creator Himself. Now, the point is this. If Jesus had failed to perfectly obey his Father’s law in the least particular and a taint of sin had been on Him, would He have been able to return to heaven in either a visible or an invisible form? I don’t think so. We know He did have a body after His resurrection. It was an immortal body, as we shall have, Phil. 3:20, 21. But, what if Christ had sinned even once in his life or in the Garden of Gethsamane, when the test was the greatest? Or what if He had sinned while hanging on the cross by showing anger or self-pity or lashing out at His tormentors? That would have been a sin, and I do not believe that He would have been resurrected. That is the risk He took my friends. There are some things we do not know but I have wondered what would have happened to the spirit of the eternal God in Christ, that could not die, which had become stained and tainted with the foul miasma of sin. What would He have done? Where would He have gone? He would have forever been excluded from heavenly beings and the presence of His Father. Can you think of a greater loss? This truly would have been eternal torment. On this point, I believe that Satan has reversed the truth again. The doctrine of eternal damnation and hell is not what humans will suffer, but what our Lord Jesus Christ would have suffered if He had failed. And would not the unfallen worlds slowly, one by one, have fallen under the terrible shadows of Satan’s delusions? It could have spread like a cancer throughout the universe. This is what Jesus died to prevent. I do not think that we are capable at this time, in this age, to fully understand or appreciate the risk He took in coming to our planet to redeem us.
Dear reader, Christ’s victory is ours. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again: when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously:” 1 Peter 2:21-23.
Have you committed yourself to the Father? Have you entrusted yourself completely into His hands? He is waiting for you to come to Him right now. Listen to this wonderful promise.
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.” Amen. Jude 24.
ESTHER WAS A TYPE OF CHRIST
Queen Esther’s experience comes closest to what Jesus was willing to give up than any other story in the Bible. She had not been called in to see the king for thirty days. There was a law that you could not come into the king’s presence without being called and if you went otherwise, the penalty could be death for the presumptuous offender, unless the king held out his “golden scepter.” Esther 4:11.
Mordecai, her uncle, told her that if she did not attempt to save the Jews that deliverance would come from some other source. This is an amazing concept which some people believe indicates that the Father and His son had a secondary plan of salvation set up to save us even if Christ failed. There is no way to prove this, nor any other indication of it in Scripture, besides Esther 4:14. Esther is a type of Christ though. Her name means “star,” from Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of beauty and fertility. Jesus is the “morning star,” Revelation 22:16. The symbolism reaches its apex of beauty in verse 16. “… and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16.
We know that the king did hold out the golden scepter to Esther and she saved her people. The thirty days, the three days and three nights and the banquet are all no doubt types which have significant meanings and applications. But the most important symbolism we should see is that Jesus was willing to sacrifice Himself for us no matter what the cost. Even if it meant eternal loss and torment forever and ever or external extinction or exclusion of a nature we cannot comprehend, His love was so overwhelming He was willing to go all the way to the cross even in the face of such terrible consequences against Himself. Such obsessive love is beyond our ability to comprehend.
But in addition to this, Jesus was suffering the agony of knowing that His Father was hurting and suffering with Him as all of the sins of the world were laid upon Him. The greatest suffering is mental and emotional suffering. To better understand this let us think of the suffering of Jacob when he was told that his son Joseph had been killed, probably by a wild animal. And think of Joseph’s suffering of knowing that his beloved father was grieving for him without Joseph being able to communicate comforting words of hope and cheer. Joseph never knew if he would ever see his father’s face again. Finally, when he revealed his identity to his 10 brothers, about 20 years later, the first question he asked was, “doth my father yet live?” Genesis 45:3. The love that Joseph had for his father was just as great as the love that Jacob had for Joseph, his beloved son.
JOSEPH WAS A TYPE OF CHRIST
Notice, that Joseph did not expose his brothers, but refrained from contacting His Father all those years He was in Egypt. He knew that any word from him in Egypt would expose His brothers as liars and bring upon them a terrible guilt and remorse that may have caused them to begin fighting among themselves, blaming each other even to the extent of murder. We know that Simeon and Levi were capable of this kind of anger. Genesis 49:5-7. So, he sacrificed his own desire to let his beloved Father know he was ok to protect and safeguard his brothers. This is the same way Jesus treated Lucifer and all of his evil angels who followed him out of heaven, Revelation 12:4. The Father took the blame for all that Lucifer did all through the Old Testament. This is the way He treated Judas as well, never once exposing him. We must remember, however, that when Christ came in the flesh, He could no longer cover up for Lucifer. It was at last time for Lucifer to be exposed as a liar and a murderer, John 8:44. But even this identification was, in and of itself, a tremendous appeal on Christ’s part to His beloved Lucifer, for God never gives up hope, (1 Corinthians 13:7), God never closes anyone’s probation. We each close our own probation, but God can’t quit hoping that we will some day come back. He is the incurable lover.
Now, let us draw a parallel between this human drama of Jacob and Joseph and the Divine suffering of God the Father and God the Son as all the sins of the ages were laid upon Jesus, the Divine, innocent, holy and only Son of His Father. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. And verse 19 states that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.”
True, unselfish, Divine love always concerns itself with the welfare of others. Divine love is unselfish. It always puts itself last and others first. From the first to the last Jesus demonstrated this type of love. He did everything He could to prevent Peter from denying Him and Judas from betraying Him. He even requested that the disciples be allowed to run away when He was captured in the Garden of Gethsemane. He healed Malchus’ ear when Peter cut it off with the sword. He told Peter to put away his sword to prevent Peter from being arrested, perhaps killed by the mob who had come to arrest Him. At His trial He tried to help Pilate. On the way to Calvary He stopped to speak to some women who were weeping for Him to warn them that they should weep for themselves for they would suffer terribly too, if they did not accept His salvation. On the cross He asked His Father to forgive his tormentors, provided a new son for His mother and promised the thief he would be in the kingdom (paradise) with Him.
Never once did Jesus think of Himself or His own welfare but sacrificed Himself to the ultimate limits of human suffering and degradation, so no one could ever again say God was selfish or was unwilling to sacrifice Himself. Is it not logical then that his cries to His Father were not selfish, but cries of concern for His beloved Father’s welfare? They both knew Lucifer was destroying himself and the Jewish nation by crucifying Him. This was what broke the Father’s and Son’s hearts; this terrible weight of sin, the sin of rejecting their love. If Christ had not prayed that they be forgiven, Satan, the avenging angel of justice, might have had the legal right to kill the Jewish leaders right then and there. In fact, it is possible that the guilt of the whole ordeal may have even caused Satan and his angels to self-destruct.
Jesus and His Father were dying for all of their creatures. It had been predicted that a “sword” would pierce through Mary’s heart, Luke 2:35. This same “sword” was piercing the Father’s and Son’s hearts as they suffered an agony that is beyond our comprehension. The Psalmist pictures them requesting that the other be delivered from suffering. “Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling* from the power of the dog.” Psalms 22:20. Sometimes the dog’s bark is almost as bad as his bite. They suffered both the “bark” and “bite” of sin for us. *My only One.
As Jesus entered the garden of Gethsemane (meaning the oil press) His connection with the Father began to be broken up. The Bible says that He “began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith He unto them, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death:” Matthew 26:37, 38. Then He prayed in verse 39, that if possible, the cup of death might pass from Him. This was not a selfish request. In fact, it was very unselfish. First of all, He did not want His Father to have to go through this terrible suffering with Him, for He knew His Father would suffer even more than He would. He knew the sight of His sufferings would cause His Father to “die” too, if only in a symbolical sense. Secondly, He did not want to cause any embarrassment to His Father in case He was not able to bear up under the terrible load of all the sins of the world. If He went through with it and was separated from His Father He did not know if He would ever be able to see His Father again. He knew this would crush His Father’s heart, as much as, if not even more than His own.
Never before had the communication with His Father been interrupted or broken up. This He had never before experienced. As Christ looked down that long passageway or corridor of death He could not, at that time, see any light at the other end of the tunnel. He would have to go into that tunnel by faith alone, not knowing if He would ever come out alive or see His Father again. Luke 22:41-44 tells how he removed Himself “about a stone’s cast,” from Peter, James and John, so they would not have to see Him suffer. An angel came to strengthen Him so He could drink the cup and that is when He began to sweat blood. Who was this angel? Do you realize that there are only two angels who are identified in the Bible? Their names are Michael and Gabriel. I am going to go into this here because it opens up a door that will reveal even greater depths of the sacrifice and suffering of Jesus Christ, which simply means, “The anointed SAVIOR.” First of all, Michael is first mentioned in Daniel 12:1, not only as a “Prince” but as “the great prince,” which stands up for “the children” or the descendants of “thy people” which could only be referring to the children of Israel, which indicates that the 144,000 sealed in Revelation 7 truly are the direct descendants of the tribes of Israel there named and numbered.
Furthermore, Michael is also mentioned two times in the New Testament. And in both instances it is in connection with resurrecting the dead, something only Jesus was able to do as we know from the story of Lazarus in John 11, whom He raised from the dead after he had been in the tomb four days. An incontestable miracle. Only God, the Creator, has power over death. In Jude 9 we are told that Michael is an “archangel,” who came to contend with the devil over the “body” of Moses. Since Moses appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration later on, Matthew 17:1-8, we can safely assume that Michael did indeed raise Moses from the dead after he was buried on Mount Nebo although his body nor his grave site were ever found. Deuteronomy 34:5, 6. For the final proof that Michael and Jesus are one and the same personage, let us read together I Thessalonians 4:16. “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” Once again we see that the Archangel, Michael, is raising the dead. And how does He raise them? With His voice. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” John 5:25. Beloved how did He raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead? “He…took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.” Luke 8:54. In this same manner He called forth Lazarus from the grave. “He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.” John 11:43.
Now, let’s go back to Jesus’ praying in the garden, where he sweats blood, which we will deal with later. Our Lord is praying that the cup of death be removed from Him. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me-but it is not my will, but yours, that must be done.” Luke 22:42. The Amplified reads: “Not My will, but (always) Yours, be done.” The footnote states the Greek is in the “present imperative.” Peterson’s “Message” in contemporary language reads: “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?” At this point I can almost hear the Father saying in Jesus’ mind, “The demonstration is not over…it must go on my beloved Son…I am so sorry.” Surely the Father must have been weeping. And then something happened that we have not fully understood which we must examine here more fully because it will open the door to a much greater revelation of Jesus’ sufferings and what was going on behind the scenes, in another dimension we cannot see. As we know, angels are always with us but we cannot see them but now an angel appears which the disciples can see. “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven strengthening Him.” Who is this “angel?” Remember there are only two angels in the Bible who are named. Michael and Gabriel. And remember that it was Gabriel who worked with Michael in the book of Daniel and who was sent to announce both the birth of the John the Baptist and the Messiah to Zechariah and Mary. So, here we are at the most crucial and critical moment in the history of this planet. So, what angel would the Father send to help His beloved, only Son make it through this crisis? Gabriel, of course.
The “Message” reads “No one helps me in my fight against these beings except Michael, your angel-prince.” The NAS, considered by many scholars to be the most accurate translation says: “Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.” Dan 10:21.
But who is this Gabriel? In order to answer that let’s go to the Scripture that will begin to unlock the mystery surrounding this mighty angel. “But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” Dan. 10:21. There are two points from this text which are extremely important: (1) This mighty angel is telling Daniel that the only being high enough in rank to help me is Michael. The reason for that is Michael and Gabriel are both Archangels. There is no other angel equal in rank to them. They are the highest and most powerful. This means that in power and position or rank Gabriel and Michael are equal. If Michael is Jesus Christ, in His pre-existent state, then what does that tell you about Gabriel? It means that they are both deity. Compare the parallel description Daniel gives of Gabrielle in Dan 10:5, 6 with John’s description of Jesus among the candlesticks in Rev 1:13-16 and you will see they are almost identical, like twins. In Dan 10 the colors are feminine colors.
Before we go to the second point let me explain something that most people don’t know about Gabriel. Gabriel is actually Gabrielle. When you go to Strong’s 1403 & 1404 you will see the name Gabriel also has a feminine form as we note in Strong’s, starting at 1397. And then 1376, 1377 which means lady, mistress, queen. One researcher wrote me saying: “THE ROOT FROM #1397 IS #1403 AND #1404 AND #1376 WHICH LEADS YOU RIGHT BACK TO #1397. A RULE OF HEBREW IS TO TAKE ALL THE ROOT WORDS IN FOCUS OR ELSE YOU WILL MISS THE WHOLE MEANING OF THE WORD. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT GABRIEL IS A (feminine) WOMAN NOT A (masculine) MAN. SHE IS OF AUTHORITY BECAUSE OF HER FATHER, JUST LIKE Y’HOSHUA IS OF AUTHORITY FROM THE FATHER WHO IS G-D THE FATHER BLESSED BE HIS NAME. BARUK HASHEM!”
Now, point (2) is from the word “holdeth.” Strong’s 2388 refers you to #8628 which defines the Hebrew word “taqa” whose prim. root means to clatter, i.e. slap (the hands together),…by impl. to become bondsman by hand clasping (i.e. a hand shake or agreement), also “suretiship.” So, Gabrielle is explaining to Daniel that no one else in all the universe had entered into an agreement or bondsman ship as she and Michael had and were standing alone in fighting against the enemy in order to preserve their Father’s kingdom. This hit me so hard when I first realized what this really meant that I had to stop writing and take a break.
It made me weep when I realized that Michael and Gabrielle were the only ones who understood who Lucifer really was in his true character. The rest of the angelic realm and the unfallen worlds did not see it at that time. And then I realized why Jesus had to come to this earth in a body of flesh to reveal the truth about the Father as well as the real truth about Lucifer. It confirmed this most insightful statement: “Christ did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which He came to do, and with His parting breath he exclaimed, ‘IT IS FINISHED.’ John 19:30. The battle had been won….All heaven triumphed in the SAVIOR’s victory. Satan was defeated, and knew that his kingdom was lost. To the angels and the unfallen worlds the cry, ‘It is finished,’ had a deep significance. It was for them as well as for us that the great work of redemption had been accomplished. They with us share the fruits of Christ’s victory. Not until the death of Christ was the character of Satan clearly revealed to the angels or to the unfallen worlds. The archapostate had so clothed himself with deception that even holy beings had not understood his principles. They had not clearly seen the nature of his rebellion.” Desire of Ages, pg 758.
So, why was it that no one else in the universe could see the sinful “nature” of Satan’s rebellion? Because the Father was always covering up for Lucifer, always taking the blame for whatever He did. There is not one place in the OT where Satan is charged, blamed or given credit for destroying anyone, even though he was continually doing it, as in the case of Job. The Father always assumed the responsibility. That is why Jesus had to come in a body of flesh to reveal the real truth about the Father. He alone, with Gabrielle, understood who Lucifer really was from the very beginning of the Great Controversy, which is exactly what Jesus revealed to the Jews, explaining clearly that Satan was their Father, and that he was a liar and a murderer. “You have the devil for your father and you wish to practice the desires (lusts) of your father; he was a murderer from the beginning and he could not stay in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie he talks naturally; for he is a liar and its father;” John 8:44. Modern Language Version.
“You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother…These things you have done and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you.” Psalm 50:19-21. RSV.
Now, let us come back to the sufferings of Jesus which begin in the Garden of Gethsamane. Not only is the Father suffering with His only Son but Gabrielle is also suffering. Here is a quote from a letter I received from a Jewish scholar regarding Michael and Gabrielle: “Shalom Mike, I agree that Gabrielle is Y’shua’s bride and sister. That is a common belief among the Jews that Gabrielle is female and Michael is male and are twins. I do believe that the Ruach Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) is female and is the glory of G-d.” You can verify this from Song of Solomon 4:9 and 5:1 where Christ in symbolism refers to his beloved as “my sister, my spouse.” The second way you prove this is to look at the counterfeits in every culture. In Egypt you have Osiris and Isis. Webster’s dictionary defines Isis thusly: “The goddess of fertility, sister and wife of Osiris, usually represented with a cow’s horns surrounding a solar (or lunar) disk.”
In the Babylonian culture you have Tammuz and his twin sister and wife Ishtar. “In Ezekiel’s time the Tammuz cult had found entrance into Judah, and Hebrew women were weeping for that god at the temple gates (Ezek. 8:14);” Bible Dictionary, pg 1064. This cult was carried over into Greece and Rome finding its expression in their culture in the myth of Venus and Adonis. Today, Mary is the new Queen.
Next you have Diana, who was the Roman virgin goddess of the moon and of hunting, often depicted with many breasts and sometimes identified with the Greek Artemis who was the twin sister of Apollo. “A goddess worshiped at Ephesus (Acts 19:24, 27, 28, 34, 35), more or less equivalent to Cybele, or to Magna Mater, the Great Mother, one of the many forms of the mother goddess of the Orient.” Bible Dictionary, 77. The point here is that where there are so many counterfeits there has to be a real, a genuine, an original from which these imitations and pretenders sprung. And Michael and Gabrielle are the original. So, that is the daughter. Then who is the Mother God of Israel who “brought them forth?” Song of Solomon 8:5 and Proverbs 8:22-30. Genesis 17:1 identifies her. “The Lord (Yahweh) appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect.” This is “El Shaddai,” THE ALMIGHTY BREASTED ONE, a very clear reference to a female deity. There is much proof in Bible Commentaries and dictionaries and on the Internet for those who wish to do a little research. The Shekinah glory is also a reference used to refer to the feminine face of Yahweh or God.
So, now we have three beings who are identified as suffering with Jesus in the final hours of His mission. His Father, to whom He is praying that the cup be removed, His sister-spouse, Gabrielle, who appears at His side; obviously she was there all the time throughout His entire life, but made herself known so the disciples could see her and then you have the Holy Spirit, the true Queen of Heaven.* Jeremiah 7 and 44 reveal the counterfeit Queen of heaven, whom the apostate Jews worshiped, an obvious counterfeit of El Shaddai. *See Note.
And in the midst of this super natural suffering and agony, Jesus did not know if He would ever see any of His family again or if they were alright. Can you imagine the terrible suffering they were going through, especially Gabrielle? Try and put yourself in their places? How would you feel if it were your own son or brother or husband? He did not even know for sure if He would come up from the grave. If Christ had sinned in any particular, His sacrifice would have been marred or imperfect, and therefore, unacceptable. He would not have been able to come up from the grave on the resurrection morning, for the “wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. “The SAVIOR trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him.” (Isa 63:3) But God (Elohim in the plural, the God family) suffered with His Son. Angels beheld the SAVIOR’s agony. They saw their Lord enclosed by legions of satanic forces, His nature weighed down with a shuddering, mysterious dread. There was silence in heaven. No harp was touched. Could mortals have viewed the amazement of the angelic host (they could not believe what they were seeing Satan do to Jesus) as in silent grief they watched the Father separating His beams of light, love, and glory from His beloved Son, they would better understand how offensive in His sight is sin. The worlds unfallen and the heavenly angels had watched with intense interest as the conflict drew to its close. Satan and his confederacy of evil, the legions of apostasy, watched intently this great crisis in the work of redemption. The powers of good and evil waited to see what answer would come to Christ’s thrice-repeated prayer. Angels (good) had longed to bring relief to the divine sufferer, but this might not be. No way of escape was found for the Son of God. In this awful crisis, when everything was at stake, when the mysterious cup trembled in the hand of the sufferer, the heavens opened, a light shone forth amid the stormy darkness of the crisis hour, and the mighty angel who stands in the God’s presence, occupying the position from which Satan fell, came to the side of Christ. (Gabrielle) The angel came not to take the cup from Christ’s hand, but to strengthen Him to drink it, with the assurance of the Father’s love.” Desire of Ages 693. Jesus was assured that His Father was greater and more powerful than Satan and that if He would be willing to go through to the cross and die that His death would result in the total defeat of Satan and that the kingdom of this world would be given to the saints of the Most High. Daniel 7:13-15. He was reminded of Isaiah 53:11, which says that “He would see the travail of His soul and be satisfied.” The same thing had happened just a few weeks earlier on the Mount of Transfiguration when Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus, Matt. 17, Mark 9, Luke 9. “These men, chosen above every angel around the throne, had come to commune with Jesus concerning the scenes of His suffering, and to comfort Him with the assurance of the sympathy of heaven. THE HOPE OF THE WORLD, THE SALVATION OF EVERY HUMAN BEING, WAS THE BURDEN OF THEIR INTERVIEW.” Desire of Ages, pg 425.
We know that God the Son and God the Father both are immortal. They cannot die. But Jesus took on a body of flesh so that he could demonstrate to us that God in the flesh could endure the temptations of man successfully without sinning. He did this. But, he also took on a body of flesh that we might witness his beautiful character in the flesh. That is, He demonstrated total love at all times even though encumbered with a temple or body of flesh just like we have. Because of this body He was able to “die” for us.
“LET THIS CUP PASS FROM ME”
When God the Son began taking upon Himself all of the sins of the world a terrible thing began to happen. The connection and communication He had always had with His Father began to be broken up. Jesus never had a selfish desire or wish in His life. He was always thinking of others. Therefore, as soon as this separation began, He started pleading with His Father to let the cup pass from Him. He was thinking primarily of the sufferings His Father and no doubt even the angels and the unfallen worlds would go through, much more than even his disciples, as they watched him suffer. He prayed that if the human race could be saved any other way than this, to let the cup pass away. It was not a selfish prayer. He did not want His Father or the God family or any of His creatures to have to endure the sight and sounds this cup of death would bring. What a loving Savior we have. And as I said, He did not want to take the chance of being eternally separated from His family.
But Jesus had to drink the cup so we could live. A demonstration had to be made that would break our hearts and open our eyes. Sin is so terrible that it caused the Father and Son to not be able to help or comfort each other during the most traumatic suffering either of them had ever endured. “For He (God the Father) hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid His face (the Father’s face) from Him Jesus; but when He (Jesus) cried unto him, He (the Father) heard.” Psalms 22:24. We will never know the suffering of the God family, especially, the Father and His Son endured for us that we might turn away from sin and come into the Father’s heart.
Imagine how you would feel if your child were calling to you for help, but you could not respond, even though you wanted to. Neither could you tell your child that you wanted to come to his aid, but you couldn’t. And how would you feel if you knew the greatest suffering the child was going through was his concern for your welfare? But it was impossible to get a message of any kind through. This is what God the Father and His Son endured at the cross. The static of sin was that heavy.
When Christ cried out with a heart that was breaking, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46, He was only saying what He Himself had inspired the Psalmist to write in Psalms 22. But notice what else Christ said that either was not heard by the those at the cross or Jesus only thought these thoughts or said them so low that no one could hear Him. Jesus never had any selfish thoughts. That would have been sin and we know He never sinned. 1 Peter 2:22. He was always thinking of others. And He thought and talked to His Father more than anyone. They were always as One. So, who would He be thinking about most when the sins of the world began to interrupt and break up this communion He always had with the Father? We have always pictured God the Father as turning His back on His only and beloved Son. But that would have been impossible for even a human father to do in his human love. How much more impossible for God the Father to do such a thing, and yet that is the way we have thought of Him. How terrible!
Isaiah 53:3 tells us that “we hid as it were our faces from Him;” Yes, “we” did that to Him, but God the Father didn’t. Jesus knew His Father would never turn away from Him in His hour of need, and so when that wonderful channel of communication began to be cut off by the static of sin, He could hear His Father’s voice filled with grief and suffering and emotion. It was then that He knew His Father was suffering the same thing He was suffering. As He sensed the Presence of His Father being withdrawn from Him, Jesus’ first thoughts were for His Father’s welfare. He did not want His Father to suffer because of what was happening to Him, but obviously His Father was suffering. After many hours on the cross, Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. We have always interpreted this to mean Christ was blaming His Father.
But notice what else the Psalmist predicted Christ would say, at least in His mind to His Father. “Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” Christ is here pictured as suffering such a magnitude of mental, emotional and physical pain that His words are like a roar, which would perhaps be something akin to groaning and writhing in supreme agony. He probably was only able to breath by pushing himself up with His feet since His diaphragm muscles were probably sore and starting to collapse. His breathing and speaking probably sounded like a roar. In other words, Jesus was calling out and groaning out to His Father, “Daddy, you are not helping me like you always have and usually do. Where are you? Are you alright Dad? Is anything wrong? Please answer me and tell me you are ok.” Notice Psalms 22:11. “Be not far from me; for trouble is near; there is none to help.” It is, as if Jesus is saying, “Father, please don’t go away from me now, for I don’t have anyone else to help me. No one understands, no one realizes but you, why this is happening.” But His Father was unable to communicate as usual because the sins that had been placed upon Jesus were crushing both of them with excruciating agony and making it impossible to see or hear or sense each other’s presence.
Can you imagine the mental torture and anguish this must have caused both of them? It is beyond comprehension. And what about his original divine mother El Shaddai? We hear a lot about Mary’s suffering. But what about Jesus’ Heavenly mother? And what about Gabrielle? Satan was right there, of course, to make it just as bad as he possibly could. Satan no doubt told Christ that now that He had taken all the sins of the world upon Himself that He would never be able to see His family again. As we have seen, Psalms 22:24 proves that the Father heard His Son’s cries, but was unable to respond to Him because sin had made the gulf too wide. This is the horribleness of sin. Even though God the Father could not die, He was suffering just as much as if He could die, maybe more, for death is a sweet release. For six terrible hours this agony continued. Jesus did not know how His Father was. The Bible tells us that Jesus was nailed to the cross at the third hour or between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. of the morning before the Sabbath, the 6th day or what we call Friday. Matthew 27:45 tells us that “from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.” This was from noon til 3:00.
This darkness was caused not only by Satan, the ruler of darkness, and all of his demons gathered about the cross to try and make Jesus either sin or give up, but this darkness was an indication that evidently, nature itself was “groaning” (Romans 8:22), and sorrowing, in sympathy with its Creator, weeping and trying to hide, as it were, its face from the awful sight of the ordeal.
But, I believe the Father remained at the cross with His Son, hiding and veiling Himself in the darkness, so He could be just as close to His son as possible. He was suffering the same agony; maybe worse, that Jesus was suffering, for even a human father would suffer more than his son in a similar situation.
If Jesus could not communicate with His Father, how then did He know when to say, “IT IS FINISHED?” The only answer is that when the darkness lifted at the ninth hour (3:00 P.M.), Jesus knew that the heavenly council had voted in His Father’s favor. They were at last convinced that the Father was not guilty of the crimes Satan had charged Him with down through the ages. They were also convinced that the Father was only love and His law was a perfect and eternal law of love that could be kept, for Jesus, in human flesh had kept it to give us an example, that we “should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21; Romans 8:1-3; Hebrews 2:16-18.
Matthew 27:45, 46 tells us that “darkness was over all the land unto the ninth hour,” which would be 3:00 P.M. The word “unto” in this passage and “until” in Mark 15:33 would indicate that at about 3:00 P. M., the lights came back on. The heavenly council were no doubt horrified to see the Father and Son go through so much suffering. They were probably even more horrified to see Satan and all of his devils persecuting God’s dear Son. And finally, when Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me,” the heavenly council surely must have cried out with one voice, “LET THE SUFFERING OF GOD’S DEAR SON CEASE. WE ARE CONVINCED THAT THE FATHER IS INNOCENT.” And that is when a special contingent or army of holy angels came down and surrounded the cross, scattering the darkness caused by the evil angels because when those demon angels saw those angels coming with all their light and glory they knew that the heavenly council had voted a verdict of acquittal for the Father and His Son and the God family, and they left.
And that is why the darkness lifted. Jesus knew at that very moment that His work had been completed. And no doubt Gabrielle whispered in His ear…. “My darling, it is over. You have won. You can go to sleep now. I will see you in the morning.” John 19:28 says, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, (THE LIGHTS HAD COME BACK ON INDICATING A VERDICT OF ACQUITTAL HAD BEEN GIVEN), that the scripture might be fulfilled, (or thus fulfilling the Scripture), saith, I thirst.” The soldiers offered Christ a potion mixed with vinegar or wine and myrrh before He was nailed to the cross at 9:00 A.M. and again just before He died at 3:00 P.M. Matthew 27:34, 48; Mark 15:23. Vinegar is from the Greek word “oxos.” Textual evidence favors the reading “oinos” which is the general word for wine in the NT, instead of oxos, “vinegar.” According to Rabbi Hisda (c. A.D. 309), “When one is led out to execution, he is given a goblet of wine containing a grain of frankincense, in order to benumb his senses” Talmud Sanhedren 43a, Soncino ed., p. 279. This was a merciful act to lessen the sufferings of the victim. Jesus refused this in order to keep his senses at all times so He would know when to say, “IT IS FINISHED.” Neither did He believe in imbibing in fermented wine, according to His instruction to Solomon, Proverbs 20:1, as well as other places in the Scripture. What an example He has set for us in every facet of life. And even though He must have literally been dying from thirst from all the loss of blood and the exhaustion from the beatings and smashes in the face from the soldiers and rabble, and from two floggings (Matt, 27:26 and John 19:1), which may have been 39 each or 78 lashes in all, He still refused a drink so He could remain clearheaded to the end. The physical abuse He went through is beyond belief and the mental suffering was even worse.
Christ knew that the universal council had voted in His Father’s favor. He knew at 3:00 P.M., JST, Jerusalem Standard Time, that the heavenly council had acquitted them of the false charges Satan had brought against Him and His Father. But, He also knew that this meant that the universe had rejected Lucifer completely. That is what Jesus meant when He had said earlier, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” John 12:31, 32. The word “men” is supplied. In other words, by dying on the cross, Jesus would draw “all” the universe to Himself, to either accept Him and thus His Father, or to reject Him. Thus, after six hours on the cross, the heavenly council had seen enough and voted in favor of the Father and His Son … to acquit them … to pronounce them “NOT GUILTY,” of the charges Satan had brought that they are killers, and unworthy of our trust, worship and love. But did Jesus know for absolute certainty that He would come forth from the tomb? Could He see through that dark tunnel of death to the resurrection morning? By faith alone He could but He gave up His life not knowing for sure whether he would come up from the tomb or not. All He knew was that He had finished what He had come to accomplish, which was to vindicate His Father’s name before the universe of angels and unfallen worlds. Now, He could truly say, “IT IS FINISHED.”
Forgetting Himself, He gave up His life and by faith yielded Himself up to His Father and bowed His head and died. How sad His breaking heart must have been to know that the universe had seen the very worst side of Satan. How terrible it must have made him feel to know that this was the only way the universe could learn the truth about His wonderful Father. He had not purposely exposed Satan or the Jewish leaders. In fact, He had reached out to save them, just as He had reached out to save Judas, and in the very act of trying to reach out and save them they had destroyed themselves by rejecting His love. This is what broke His heart. This was the terrible sword of sin and sorrow that pierced His heart and His Father’s heart on the cross. The battle had been won.
But, did Jesus really know if His Father was ok or not? Had the suffering they had gone through done something permanent to His Father so He would never be able to see His face again? When Jesus took all the sins of the world upon Himself it was as if the Father had taken them upon Himself too. Did this cause damage to both of them of some kind that would never be able to be repaired? These thoughts and no doubt many others went through the Savior’s mind. Perhaps even Satan threw them at Him to make His suffering greater and to try and make Him give up.
We do know that upon arising from the tomb Christ told Mary not to “cling” to Him for He had not yet ascended to His Father. Perhaps the first question Jesus asked the angel who rolled away the stone was, “Is my Father ok? Will I be able to see Him and talk to Him again?” What joy must have flooded His soul when the angel assured him that it was His very own Heavenly Father who had sent him to roll away the stone and call Him home again. How very eager Jesus must have been to once again see His Father’s face and hear His wonderful voice. This is no doubt the very reason the angels were so eager to bear the news to earth and swarmed around the cross with their light and glory so the evil angels would leave. As soon as this happened, the lights came back on and Jesus knew that the heavenly council had voted in His Father’s favor and that the entire universe was now safe. He then cried out in victory, “IT IS FINISHED!” John then tells us that “he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30. It was, as if, by an act of His own will that He yielded up His life. In fact, John records that Christ stated, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father,” John 10:18. Perhaps even here Christ and His Father were attempting to shield the Jewish nation as well as Rome from the terrible guilt of murder. When the Jewish leaders refused to admit their crime and continued their efforts to keep the truth from the people and began a cover-up as well as a program of persecution, it was then that they were told that they had indeed “slain,” Acts 2:23 and “killed,” Acts 3:15, the “Prince (or author) of life.” This was no doubt stated so as to bring them to their senses regarding the enormity of their crime. And it had its effect, for Luke tells us in Acts 6:7, “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” But of course, the vast majority of the Jewish leadership and the people refused to believe, even to this very day.
It is most interesting that at the end of the world, at the seventh plague, “a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne,” will say again, “IT IS DONE.” That will be the day the heavenly council will again vote in favor of Christ in the person of His saints. Again the heavenly council will vote, “let the suffering of Christ and His Father cease, for they are suffering again in the person of the saints, whom Satan is trying to destroy from off the face of the earth. We are convinced that God can dwell in man and renew His own image in fallen humanity. Let the suffering cease and bring the exiles home.” May God grant us that wonderful day of deliverance very soon.
“DO NOT CLING TO ME”
After the resurrection, Mary Magdalene fell at His feet or grabbed Him in some way or other and He lovingly said to her, “Do not touch (cling to) Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” John 20:17. This is extremely exciting and significant in that it indicates here that Jesus’ is saying that He has not yet been to see His Father in the throne room above to receive the official stamp of approval for the completion of His Messianic mission. What infinite love we see here as Jesus takes time to comfort Mary in her sorrow and to give her proof that He is alive and that her faith in Him was justified, for she was the only one who truly believed that He was going to die. Did she not anoint Him with the precious ointment before His death? Jesus told them at the time, she hath poured this ointment on My body, “she did it for My burial.” Matt. 26:12.
Later Christ appears to His disciples and eats with them and even asks Thomas to touch His hands as well as His side for confirmation that He is truly alive. John 20:27. In fact, He was with them for “forty days,” before He ascended to heaven again for a longer stay by His Father’s throne. This indicates to me that Christ, who had not been “called” into His Father’s courtroom for over thirty days, went up to see His Father by faith. He believed that He would be accepted. He could not live in His Father’s presence if any taint of sin was upon Him. He went into His Father’s presence and received the well done spoken to Him. The golden scepter of approval or acceptance was held out to Him signifying that our salvation was sealed forever. At the last day the wicked will also come up in the 2nd resurrection. In that great final day of reckoning or judgment (decision) when every soul on the wrong side of the walls of the New Jerusalem (outside) makes his final decision against God’s plan of salvation through Christ, the wicked are going to make an attack against the city.
“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city; but fire came down from heaven and consumed them.” Revelation 20:7-10 RSV.
The Bible tells us, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27 KJV. We know that the word “judgment” means “to decide for or against something.” It does not mean to condemn, although the result of a decision can lead to condemnation. But many decisions lead to justification and life, not death. Jesus said that anyone who ever came to Him would not be cast out. John 6:37. He also said His Father was not going to judge the world, but had committed all judgment (discernment and decision) to the Son. John 5:22. Christ plainly stated that He had not come to judge the world, but to save it. He said that the words that He had spoken, “the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:48.
MAN’S TONGUE WILL DESTROY THE WORLD
Furthermore, the Bible tells us, “by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:37. And to the unfaithful servant who had a wrong concept of God’s character because he thought of God as harsh and unforgiving the Lord said, “Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee.” Luke 19:22. God is going to let each man decide his own destiny by the words of his or her own mouth or tongue. “Ye shall conceive (imagine, think or express in words) chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you.” Isaiah 33:11. James tells us “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and is set on fire of hell.” James 3:6.
Yes, my friend, it is man’s own mouth or tongue that will destroy this old world with a fiery holocaust in this present age…the outer surface of this planet will be destroyed by man himself. And then after the 1,000 years all the weaponry of the ages will once again be in the wicked’s hands as they assault the city to tear the Father and Son off the throne and enthrone themselves. But what a surprise meets them. Psalms 7:6-8 depicts God as arising and returning “on high.” How shocked the wicked will be when they see the Lord go up in the air before their very eyes. The Bible speaks of the judgment taking place in the heavens.
“Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: (he’s going to wake up the dead) a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge (decide for) his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.” Psalms 50:3-6.
God decides who shall come up in the first resurrection to meet Him in the air. This will be the first phase of the Second Coming of Christ, or the Barley Harvest. This will be followed by the Wheat (144,000) and then the Grape, the one third of the human race, Zechariah 13:7-9. I Thessalonians 4:13-18. This decision will be challenged after the 1,000 years by the lost outside of the city as they come up to attempt to attack the city and tear the King and His Son off the throne, see Psalms 2:1-4. God’s righteousness or His right dealing will be “declared” in the heavens and it will come down upon the wicked. This is the fire of His love. “See how much I love you.” Because God never changes, He will be saying, “Oh, how can I give you up? How can I let you go?” Hosea 11:8. Will He not still be holding out His outstretched hand to them, weeping for them? Oh, yes. His love is for ever and ever. “Come to Me so I can heal you,” he cries out to them.
To their shocked and astonished amazement, God is going to offer them to share His throne with him. “You do not have to take it by force. I have died that you might share it with Me and sit down with Me for all eternity.” Listen.
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in MY throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21. And in verses 10 and 20 he tells them that He permits rebuke and chastisement to come upon those He loves, but He wants them to be zealous and repent. He tells them that He is standing outside of the door of their hearts ready to come in if they will only let Him in. But they have closed the door tight. They, with Lucifer, like the older son, will not come in. They are angry and stay outside. They will not go inside of the City and join the celebration of the returned prodigal. They do not consider themselves prodigals, but hardworking sons who deserve to be rewarded with a golden city for all their labors. And if they are not given their due reward, they will take it by force.
Their mind is the mind of Hophni and Phinehas. They wanted to eat their meat or burnt offering before the fat (sin) was burned out first. “And if the man said to him, ‘Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,’ he would say, ‘No, you must give it now; and if not, I WILL TAKE IT BY FORCE.” 1 Samuel 2:15, 16 RSV.
But, here the wicked are surrounding the city and they see that God wants to give the throne to them. They can’t believe it. Satan has deceived them again. They see that their mental attitude toward God has unfitted them to dwell with Him. They hate and despise themselves, and their fellow human beings, especially those who led them into sin and deception and rebellion. But their greatest hatred is for Satan. This is when the “Lake of Fire” will begin. It will be a time of terrible suffering as they begin stewing in the juices of their own anger, remorse, guilt and hatred. This could go on for a very long time…whatever time it takes for them to repent and realize that God still will accept them. They are like the prodigal in the pig pen and until their moment of enlightenment comes that is where they will stay until they realize the gates are still open and they can go in if they are willing to repent.
The symbolism of God the Father giving up his throne for his wayward boy is found in the story of David giving up the throne and leaving the city of Jerusalem for Absalom. This story is found in 2 Samuel chapters 14-18. Joab found a way to have Absalom brought back and later Joab turns against Absalom just as the wicked will turn against Satan. But David represents the Father who weeps when he learns that his son is dead; His head caught in an oak tree, then Joab threw three darts into his heart and killed him. You may see for yourself the symbolism here. Jesus was crucified on a tree for us and the fiery darts of our sinful deeds pierced His sinless, innocent and sacred heart and killed him. If we do not accept His death for us, we will have to die ourselves. May God grant us grace today to repent and accept Jesus death for our reconciliation and his life for our salvation. Romans 5:10.
*Mary, the mother of Jesus, has been exalted today in the Catholic church to the status of the new “Queen of Heaven,” which is false. The true queen of heaven and angel of mercy is a female deity. “The angel of mercy was then folding her wings to step down from the golden throne…” D.A. 578.