Br. Brendan leads a study discussing different types of the secondary class of Christians called Great Company or Great Multitude. The basis for the name of this class of Christians is taken from Revelation chapter 7, verse 14.
Posts Tagged ‘ Gideon ’
Anyone who can say that they can interpret prophesy to the “t” can’t be trusted. It is interpretation based on scripture–therefore cannot be understood in full until it is a past event.
Samuel continued his last public discourse, which was a review of Israel’s history. When Nahash, the king of the children of Ammon, came against the Israelites, the people said, “Nay; but a king shall reign over us.” Here we get an insight into one of the primary reasons the Israelites audibly expressed their desire to have a king; namely, a king was leading the host that came against them. Perhaps Samuel’s disposition and character were not that of a general, so the people wanted someone who could be out in front leading them in battle. Samuel rebuked the Israelites for desiring a king, for Jehovah was their King. Nevertheless, God acquiesced and set Saul as king over the nation.
The new dimension of faith in verse 6 is that not only do we have to believe God exists, but the next step is to believe that He is the “rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” James was talking about this subject when he said that a living faith does works (James 2:17-22). However, he was not saying that we are justified by works—works are merely a proof of our faith. But even that is not the faith which most pleases God. Works are an evidence of belief, so many sincere Christians do a lot of good things and work hard in trying to obey the royal law of God—they help the poor and the homeless, etc.—but that is not what God is looking for.
Paul’s saying that God is “a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” gives a new slant on the faith of Abel and Enoch. Their faith acted on their belief and brought obedience. Thus sandwiched in between Abel and Enoch, the first two examples, and other Ancient Worthies who are subsequently singled out is the statement of verse 6 that “without faith,” it is impossible to please God because we are to believe not only “that he is” but also “that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”—as Abel, Enoch, and the others did. There is a big difference between just believing there is a God (or believing that Jesus died on the Cross) and faith. To please God, we must consecrate, which is believing into God and believing into Jesus Christ; this diligent seeking is spiritual faith.
In the spiritual application, the “destroying wind” is a figurative “storm” from the north coming down on mystic Babylon. We immediately think of Gog from the land of Magog, and “north” pictures God’s vengeance. In the type, God was behind Nebuchadnezzar to visit punishment on Israel, but now we have a completely different picture with Babylon being the focal point. Against the enemies of the truth in the near future will come God’s judgment.
Upon hearing the repentant cry of Israel the Lord raised up Gideon to lead them away from their idolatry and deliver them from its consequences. At the Lord’s command Gideon destroyed the altar and grove of Baal thus demonstrating that the supposedly mighty Baal was no god, that he was powerless to prevent the desecration of his own altar, that he was powerless against the God of Gideon, the true God of their fathers. As a result there was a great conversion in Israel, a determination to return to the worship of Jehovah and to throw off the yoke of Midian. Gideon was acclaimed their leader.
“Ariel, the city where David dwelt” is Jerusalem. (Bethlehem was the “city of David” at the time Jesus was born.) Depending on the Hebrew pronunciation, “Ariel” means “lion of God” or “mount of God” (Ar is “mount”; El is “God”). The Hebrew word for the altar of Ezekiel’s Temple is ariel in Ezekiel 43:15, “So the altar shall be four cubits; and from the altar and upward shall be four horns.” The lion pictures Justice, one of the four attributes of God. The sacrifices are made acceptable on the altar, the hearth of which represents Justice. The wrath of God is pictured as a lion that devours those who transgress. In the throne of Solomon were lions, which were symbolic of executing judgment. The cover of the Ark of the Covenant was called the “Mercy Seat,” and the seat of mercy is Justice. In other words, Justice is the foundation of God’s throne (Psa. 89:14; 97:2). The seat of justice and judgment was Jerusalem, which was both the “lion [Justice] of God” and the “mount of God.” In the context of verse 1, Jerusalem represents Israel, the entire nation.
“Add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.” One thought is that the message of doom was being pronounced, but more years had to pass before the execution. Another thought is that the clock was running out. While the people perfunctorily performed the sacrifices on the feast days of Passover, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles in the capital of Jerusalem, yet it was just a matter of time until judgment would come. The people were rendering mere duty worship, and the date of judgment was coming nearer and nearer.
The key to understanding who is spoken about in Revelation 13, one must first look to Daniel. This Bible study explores the episode with the Three Hebrews; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and the image on the plain of Dura. The incredible faith they had in God not to betray Him through fear of death at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. When once we understand the symbols of Daniel we can then transfer them to the New Testament, namely the book of Revelation which is a book of symbols. Who is the Beast? Who is the image of the Beast? This study was given 1989
There are about four different lessons you can extract from this one Parable from the book of Judges (chapter 9). When Jotham, the only surviving legitimate son of Gideon, uttered this parable from Mount Gerizim to the people below who made Abimelech to rule over them, to replace the vacuum that happened when Gideon died. Its possible to deduce by this parable that perhaps some of the sons of Gideon were asked (pictured by the Olive and Fig trees and the vine), but they felt they could best serve their brethren differently according to their talents. Their picking of a despicable overly ambitious person, Abimelech, to take the task was to their ultimate ruin. Jotham pronounces a curse on them as well as Abimelech. So what other lessons can we get from this?
What happened to the early Church after Jesus and the Apostles died? What filled that vacuum and ruled over the Lord’s heritage? Can we fall into the same pitfalls today? Can we elect those to oversee in the office of elder, who are not fit? What will be the outcome?
This golden image on the Plain of Dura corresponds to the image of the beast. Both are statues. Some call Daniel the Old Testament Book of Revelation, and others give Ezekiel that title. A lot of pictures and subpictures from both books are reflected in the Book of Revelation. Incidentally, the “gold” suggests divinity—false divinity in this case.