Psalm 2 Messianic Prophecies

Sep 19th, 2009 | By | Category: Psalms, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Psalm 2 Messianic Prophecies

This prophetic Psalm focuses primarily on Jesus’ role in the judgment of the nations. It has already had a partial fulfillment in certain aspects.

Psa. 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

Psa. 2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

The introductory question is, “Why do the heathen [the people, the Gentiles] rage, and … imagine a vain thing?” As the Revealer, the Holy Spirit is prophesying, making an observation to those who are spiritually minded.

Verse 1 has a primary application to the First Advent at the time Jesus was about to be crucified. The “heathen” raged when they cried, “Crucify him, crucify him,” at Jesus’ trial before Pontius Pilate (Luke 23:20,21).

Comment: The word “rage” means “to be in tumult or commotion,” “to conspire or plot,” implying something sinister.

Reply: Yes. Verse 1 is a miniature picture of those who were before Pilate’s seat at Jesus’ trial.

The multitude called out in unison, almost like a chant, “Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!” Those in the tumultuous gathering vented their spleen upon the Master. At the behest of the two chief priests, Caiaphas and Annas, the multitude desired the death of Jesus. This time of trouble visited upon Jesus resulted in his crucifixion.

The first two verses engage our attention. “Why do the heathen rage, and … the kings of the earth set themselves, and the [religious] rulers take counsel together, against the LORD [Jehovah], and against his anointed”? Two personalities are brought to our attention. The first is Jehovah, and the second is “his anointed,” who was particularly Jesus because the Hebrew renders the term in the singular. The “kings” were Herod and Pontius Pilate, a procurator and representative of Rome in Judea and Jerusalem, where Jesus’ trial took place. Pilate tried to avoid the responsibility of being involved in Jesus’ judgment, which eventuated in crucifixion.

He saw that because of their envy of Jesus’ popularity, the religious leaders were raising charges to have him executed Roman-style. Upon hearing that much of Jesus’ ministry took place in the Galilee region, Pilate sent him to Herod, who had jurisdiction of that area.

New Testament Scriptures show that the Second Psalm had a partial fulfillment at the time of the First Advent and Jesus’ resurrection. “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” (Acts 13:33). “Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done” (Acts 4:25-28).

Verses 1 and 2 were uttered by the Holy Spirit through the Psalmist David, referring to the statements, actions, and deeds of Pilate, Herod, the religious rulers, and the people who were gathered together early in the morning and shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” before the public was aware of what was happening. The Gospel accounts show that the religious rulers, the two high priests, instigated these shouts, stimulating the crowd that accompanied Jesus to Pilate’s Praetorium to demand his death.

Comment: Matthew 26:3,4 reads, “Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.”

Reply: The religious leaders, who had previously conspired to kill Jesus, voiced their intention in the presence of Pontius Pilate. The first appearance was early in the morning, around 6 a.m.

The conspiring, the taking counsel together, was against Jehovah and “his anointed [primarily Jesus at the First Advent].” From one standpoint, the emphasis is on the singular, that is, on Jesus, the Messiah, the Savior, the Promised One. However, a second application to the feet members of the body of Christ, as a group, is implied.

Psa. 2:3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

The religious “rulers [who] take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed,” were prophetically speaking in verse 3: “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”

The word “saying,” in italics at the end of verse 2, was supplied by the translators, who felt that verse 3 was spoken by the kings, the rulers, and the Sanhedrin. However, if “saying” is omitted, one could reason that verse 3 was prophetically spoken by God, who “sitteth in the heavens,” for a temporary restraint was placed upon Jesus when he was nailed to the Cross, his hands and feet being pinned. But Jesus’ death at the hands of the conspirators resulted in his triumph when he was raised from the dead. The pronoun “their” implies a dual application in the sense that the conspirators put the cords of restraint on Jesus, but the Heavenly Father broke the “bands asunder” and granted victory.

The religious leaders felt that Jesus’ ministry and popularity jeopardized their authority over the people. With thousands following him and rejoicing to hear him speak, they thought putting him to death would settle the issue. Envy was their motive, and of course Satan was manipulating the situation.

Comment: The statement “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” seems to indicate that the religious rulers wanted to break what bound the people to Jesus by killing him. The Scripture comes to mind “Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered” (Zech. 13:7).

Reply: That is why we like to view verse 3 from a dual standpoint. The usual interpretation is that the conspirators were talking, but it works both ways. What was binding to one class was actually, in the final analysis, a victory over the grave to Jehovah and “his anointed.”

Comment: If the conspirators were speaking, what they were saying about Jesus also applied to themselves, for they had bands and cords over the people.

Reply: That is true, but they felt Jesus was threatening their authority. Out of jealousy, some, particularly the chief priests, became so culpable in their willfulness of purpose that it appears they will reap the reward of Second Death. They sinned against the great light that was available through the ministry of Christ.

Psa. 2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

Psa. 2:5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

Again the Holy Spirit is speaking. “He [Jehovah] that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh … [and] have them in derision. Then shall he [Jehovah] speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” The laughing, speaking, and vexing did not take place until later, when Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 69-70 as retribution.

Why was the expression “He that sitteth in the heavens” used? By inference, the great and mighty Creator laughs as though the creatures down here on earth are puny. There is a marked contrast between the two different authorities—those down here and that which exists in the heavens above at the hands of the Creator. To those living at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, it seemed as if evil and wickedness were predominating. Wouldn’t Satan have been delighted at Jesus’ experience on the Cross? And of course Jesus’ tormentors were also delighted. Some even taunted, “If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Matt. 27:40). Thank God, Jesus did not do so to put them in their place!

Q: Did Satan know that Jesus’ death would result in victory and resurrection?

A: We do not think so, for the idea of a sin offering was not really appreciated. The Jews looked on the Messiah as a Deliverer. It was the Apostle Paul who later expounded on the necessity for Christ’s death, for example, in his epistles to the Romans and the Corinthians. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). God used Paul to bring to light the mystery of the suffering Messiah preceding the saving Messiah, the Deliverer. Because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on the disciples, Jesus was limited in some respects as to what he could say. Therefore, they could not comprehend this mystery until the later due time.

By appreciating the Church’s share in the sin offering through Paul’s writings, we look back and see how excruciatingly important it was for Jesus to die for our sins—so much so, in fact, that the appreciation led many of us to consecrate. Seeing the compassion of God manifested in His Son attracted us like a magnet to feel we were bought with a price and, therefore, wanted to consecrate. We saw the need for Jesus’ death because we realized we were laden with sins.

“The Lord shall have them in derision.” The word “Lord” (Hebrew adonai), which is not capitalized, can refer to Jesus in many instances. However, adonai sometimes refers to Jehovah, describing the love or pity aspect—His compassion—as in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We can be very thankful for the mercy and pity side of His character, for God saw that with the power of His Spirit in His Word, He could glorify ordinary, humble, honest people who had faith. Only through the Bible do we know Jesus. Because great power is inherently embedded in the Word, it is a living Bible (Heb. 4:12). We are nothing in and of ourselves; the credit goes to the power of God’s thinking. He passed by the angels as well as people who are more noble than we so that the result would glorify His power and name and, at the same time, humble the proud in heart.

“The Lord shall have [future tense] them in derision.” We may think of “Lord” here as Jehovah, with His name being used in couplet form, but possibly the reference is to Jesus with the future tense applying after his death and resurrection.

“Then shall he [Jehovah] speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.”

Sometimes we speak of the “day of the LORD’S wrath” (Zeph. 1:18). An application in the Time of Trouble seems to center solely on God’s wrath.

Now let us think of the primary application of verse 5, which was during the First Advent of our Lord. The wrath and the vexation occurred in the trouble of AD 69-73. The people had said, “His blood be on us, and on our children,” and their words had a startling application when the trouble fell upon the Jewish polity (Matt. 27:25).

A secondary application will take place down here at this end of the age after the death of the feet members. God’s wrath and sore displeasure will be manifested when He delivers Israel out of Jacob’s Trouble and the hand of Gog and Magog. As Jehovah is displaying His wrath, a visual representation, or hologram, of Jesus nailed to the Cross will be seen by those Jews who are “written in the book” as survivors (Dan. 12:1). Obadiah 21 shows that Jesus and the Church will also be involved in the inauguration of the Kingdom: “And saviours [plural, hence The Christ] shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.” The fallen angels who materialize and try to vent their wrath on (1) the Great Company and (2) the Holy Remnant will be stopped by Jesus and the Church. Incidentally, the Great Company will live further into the Time of Trouble than was formerly thought.

Psa. 2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

Psa. 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

God is speaking in verse 6: “Yet have I [Jehovah] set my king [Jesus] upon my holy hill of Zion.” Then the speaker switches to Jesus: “I [Jesus] will declare the decree: the LORD [Jehovah] hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” Jesus declared the decree of his Father, audibly expressing it in a public manner. The Hebrew word translated “begotten” can refer to either the begettal or the birth of an individual. In this case, the birth is signified; that is, Jesus was brought forth, or raised, from death to this position of authority by his Father. In other words, the statement “This day have I begotten thee” refers to Jesus after his ascension when he appeared before the Heavenly Father. This distinction is important, for his “birth” occurred not when he was raised from death and was down here for 40 days, appearing part-time to his disciples and part-time to the fallen angels, but when he ascended on high. The decree was then made as an official pronouncement in the audience of the holy angels. The Father was saying, “This day have I brought thee forth. You are my particular Son in the highest sense of the word.”

The Book of Hebrews refers to this event. “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” (Heb. 1:5). “So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee” (Heb. 5:5).

Jesus was set as a King back there, and he will also be set as a King at this end of the age—but in a different fashion. First, he will stand up as he did in the boat on the Sea of Galilee and rebuke the antitypical raging waves. Then he will sit down as a King with his Kingdom organized and operating. Jesus was a King at Pentecost, and he has been reigning as a King over his disciples ever since—down through the Gospel Age. Jesus is our King now, for we have surrendered our all to both God and Jesus. In contrast, the “reign” spoken of in the Book of Revelation will be over the world (Rev. 5:10; 11:15; 20:6).

Q: Is God’s statement that He set Jesus upon the holy hill of Zion another way of saying He set Jesus at His right hand of power?

A: Yes. The “holy hill of Zion” is Jerusalem in the natural application. Down through history, Jesus has been identified with that city, just as Rome has been identified with Satan. A peculiarity exists between these two locations. In the spiritual application, the “holy hill of Zion” is the spiritual rulership, the Kingdom, the ruling class, The Christ. The Kingdom is the governmental class who are called to reign over the earth. Before God’s will could be done down here, the Church class had to be called out. Both the King and that calling started with Jesus’ ministry at his First Advent—and officially began at Pentecost.

Verse 8 answers the question more definitively. God was saying to Jesus, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance.” God has not yet given Jesus the go-ahead to smite the image. The future reign over the nations will be a reward for The Christ.

Psa. 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Jesus, who was anointed to be a King, continues to speak, but he was merely repeating what God will say to him: “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine  inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” The translators realized that the anointing was not particularly to a priesthood but was of a King to be a ruler over subjects. Therefore, they preferred to use the word “king” in verse 6 in order to show the type of anointing. Verse 8 is not yet operative, for Jesus has not asked Jehovah for the heathen as his inheritance. The asking is still future and awaits the fulfillment of other circumstances first.

Q: How much did Jesus know when this Psalm was written? Prior to the First Advent, did he know he was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8)? Did he know the proper time to ask for the heathen as his inheritance?

A: At his First Advent, Jesus knew he would be put to death, but he did not know the time to ask for the heathen as his inheritance, as proven by the following Gospel texts. “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36). Also, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32). The angels and the prophets of old desired to look into these things (1 Pet. 1:10-12). The Matthew and Mark citations took place late in Jesus’ ministry of 3 1/2 years, not long before his crucifixion.

Thus Jesus did not know the “day and hour” during his earthly ministry, nor did he know during the 40 days following his resurrection, when he was still down here. Upon his ascension as a spirit being, he was given the divine nature, being made in the likeness of the Heavenly Father. Of course Jesus now knows the timing of events at the end of the Gospel Age—and specifically the correct time to ask for the heathen as his inheritance. The Father wants Jesus to ask formally for that authority—in a legal fashion according to the proper decorum of divine government. However, other things will have to transpire first (see verse 9, for example).

Q: Did Jesus know he would receive a reward for giving his life a ransom for all?

A: Yes, as shown in Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Although Jesus probably did not ask for a reward, he was given assurance, by implication, that the Heavenly Father would honor him for that act.

Psa. 2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

God is speaking to Jesus, who will smite, or break, the image. “Thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold” (Dan. 2:45). The “stone” represents the complete and glorified Church, who will be with Jesus at that time and participate in the smiting. The stone class will be completely cut out of the “mountain” (earth’s quarry), raised up, and then used to dash the image to pieces. The Prophet Daniel saw a vision of one who looked like Messiah approaching God: “I [Daniel] saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days [God], and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:13,14). When Daniel inquired further about the meaning of the vision, the angel replied that the one who looked like Jesus was actually the “saints of the most High [God]” (Dan. 7:18,22,27). Stated another way, the one who looked like the Messiah was The Christ, Head and body members, the “stone” class. Daniel chapter 2 pictures the image from King Nebuchadnezzar’s (earthly) viewpoint, whereas Daniel chapter 7 is God’s standpoint.

If the stone has already smitten the image, the Church would have to be complete, and there would be no more high calling. How could we run for something that has already  happened?

Some say not only that the image has been smitten but that it is being ground to powder, even though, according to the Hebrew, when the image is smitten, it will be entirely broken—and instantly. The smiting will be of quick duration. The main questions are: Has the image been smitten? Is the Christ class finished? No, for there is strong evidence this is not the case. Since Jesus’ reign will be over the nations, the reign cannot begin while Satan is still the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4). Matthew 8:21,22; 10:37 and Luke 9:59-62; 14:26,27,33 show that Jesus has been reigning as King over his Church since Pentecost, the time of its inception. No earthly king could expect the kind of loyalty that is shown by Jesus’ disciples—they give up everything to follow him, loving him more than mother, father, husband, children, etc. In fact, one cannot even be a disciple of Christ without recognizing him as Lord, Master, King, Head, Captain, and elder brother. For Jesus to be King over the world is an entirely different situation because the Church will share with him in that future kingship.

Part of the promise to the church of Thyatira is, “And he that overcometh [in any period of the Gospel Age], and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father” (Rev. 2:26,27). By implication here too, the smiting of the nations cannot take place until all of the saints have made their calling and election sure.

Comment: At the present time and throughout the Gospel Age, Jesus’ primary focus has been the selection and development of the Little Flock, but when the Church is complete, the focus will shift to the world of mankind. At that time, Jesus will ask for the heathen as his inheritance.

Comment: Psalm 149:7-9 also shows the Church’s involvement in the smiting work: “To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.”

Comment: When Jesus reigns as King over the world, Satan will be bound. No other “god” will compete with Jesus.

Reply: In the Question Book, pages 117-118, the Pastor stated that if Christ and the Church are reigning, they are doing a poor job, for evil is prospering. Unfortunately, that statement does not mean anything to the majority of brethren, who say Jesus is and has been reigning. In fact, elders who do not believe the reign has begun are not given a hearty welcome in that office.

Generally speaking, they are accepted only as a brother or sister in Christ. We are living in a rather strange time. It is a blessing to be able to understand, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, what the Scriptures really teach. We cannot take the statements of men and equate them with the Word of God, which is the foundation of our faith. The Pastor is not the foundation of our faith—he did not die on the Cross for us. God sent Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Master.

Comment: The exact quote from the Question Book, given in 1912, is as follows: “Question: Is it scriptural to say that the glorified members of the Church have reigned at any time up to the present? Answer: No! They have not reigned at any time. At least if they have reigned, we have not found it out, and they have made a poor reign of it so far…. The reign of Christ did not in any sense begin in the past…. When the reign of Christ begins, you will find it such a thorough reign that all the members of His Body will have some part in it. So we assume that when our Lord’s Kingdom shall begin its reign, conditions for the whole world will be very much changed. If the reign of Christ should begin today, the saints would be with him.”

Comment:
Revelation 19:14,15 reads, “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp  sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” The  “armies” in heaven are the Church.

Reply:
Yes, there is an abundance of pertinent Scriptures, but if a person has been cultured otherwise, it is very difficult for him to admit his error.

The Scriptures are powerful with regard to the coming trouble that will precede the reign of Christ. That God will gather all nations to Jerusalem to battle is shown, for example, by the following two texts. “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy” (Zeph. 3:8). “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (Zech. 14:2). In addition to an understanding of such prophecies, the emphasis is on character development. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification” (1 Thess. 4:3). The primary thrust is that we are to be made like unto Jesus, the beginner and the finisher of our faith. Jesus, the forerunner of the race, gave us the example.

Q:
Is God’s saying in Zephaniah 3:8, “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey,” the same as His saying to Jesus, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psa. 110:1)? At that point, will Jesus ask for the heathen for his inheritance.

A: Yes. Several pictures are applicable. Since it is God’s determination to gather all nations to Jerusalem to battle, He will manifest His wrath first, even before Jesus. God is primarily the One who will produce the miracles. He will take the authority when His fury rises up in His face (Ezek. 38:18). It is God’s determination to gather the nations; His emphasis is on “I,” “I,” “I” (Zeph. 3:8). Jesus’ role will occur in this same short period of time but in a different slant or direction as a part of the inauguration of the Kingdom. The Church will also be involved.

Events will happen quickly, and the sequence has to be accurate.

Psa. 2:10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

The “kings” and “judges” can be considered from two standpoints: (1) as earthly leaders and rulers and (2) as the Church, who are called to be kings and judges in the heavenly phase of the Kingdom. Some who are in positions of authority will come into the truth when they become knowledgeable. As the common saying goes, “We are not the only pebbles on the beach.” A danger in the Laodicean period is to feel that we alone have the truth, but that may not be the case. Thus we should not be high-minded. The message of Laodicea is slanted to the true Church, to those who have made a consecration to the Lord. Christians can become satisfied and stop in their development, feeling they are mature and fully equipped with all of the armor. In fact, there is even a tendency to neglect the armor.

Psa. 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

Comment: Here is an admonition that we should never forget our place before God.

Reply: In other words, we should not be too confident. We are to remember that we are but dust, and it is only by God’s grace and the robe of Christ’s righteousness that we have a standing (Psa. 103:14). Anything we accomplish is not by our wisdom, strength, prudence, or any other quality but by God’s Spirit (Zech. 4:6).

Verse 11 describes a proper “trembling.” Some misapply 1 John 4:18, “Perfect love casteth out fear,” by saying there is no fear in love. God respects those who tremble at His Word and feel it is more important than anyone else’s word. Psalm 111:10 speaks of proper fear: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Also, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12).

Psa. 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Verse 12 shows the advisability of “kissing” the Son and reminds us of Psalm 82. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. We should each become personally convinced that we have the right perspective, generally speaking, so that when the path divides, we will know we are going the right way. Very few of us can quote all of the pertinent Scriptures, but when a sufficient number convince us that we have the correct meaning, we are ready for another step of information. This Second Psalm pertains to prophecy.

“Kiss the Son, lest he [Jesus] be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his [Jesus’] wrath is kindled but a little.” While it will be the day of God’s wrath, Jesus is like God and has similar emotions. He has the same spirit as the Heavenly Father and clearly sees the necessity for ruling with a rod of iron in the Kingdom, not a rod of wood.

“Blessed are all they that put their trust in him [Jesus].” This portion of verse 12 is slanted more to Jesus’ followers, who have to put on all the armor of character development in preparation for the period of persecution that is coming. The persecution will be a separating influence among the brotherhood, thus manifesting the faithful. Of that time, Jesus said, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matt. 24:24). In other words, all will be deceived by the lying signs and wonders except the “very elect.” Even the Great Company class will be momentarily deceived. As foolish virgins, they will come to their senses later. In the parable, they did get the oil subsequently but not in time for entry into the marriage. The study of prophecy is one of the legs of the stool that we need to be seated on in order to make our calling and election sure. “Despise not prophesyings” (1 Thess. 5:20).

We need the general gist of the proper enlightenment so that we can proceed further. In the meantime, we should not try to be too inventive. The Lord will open our eyes if we are in the right heart condition. We will be equipped for the warfare if we follow the Lord’s instructions.

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