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Zechariah 3 reveals the power of relationship with God March 28, 2008

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Two days ago I wrote about the parallels between the Zechariah 3 and Jude 1: 9, 10. Today I would like to discuss several other truths revealed in Zechariah’s vision:

1. The Lord forgave the sins of the High Priest

Similar to the vision of Isaiah 6, the Lord forgave the sins of the High Priest, and that of the nation of Israel by extension.  He also clothed the Priest in clean garments. This was very symbolic since the High Priest was the higest spiritual authority in Israel, standing in the presence of God on behalf of the people.

He was the one who interceded for the people. However, the High Priest had lost this authority on behalf of the people during the years of captivity, since he himself was encompassed with infirmities, as symbolized by his dirty clothing.  He was unable to bring the people out of captivity by the authority of his position on earth. The true intercessors were the prophets such as Daniel, Zechariah and others like him.

This revelation in Zechariah 3 is important for the church today. The people of God need leaders who are clean and not dabbling in sin. Unclean leaders lose their ability to deliver anyone from bondage. The people of God need leaders who are true intercessors and not just figure heads in the church.

2. Zechariah reveals that prophets participate in the restoration of nations

 (Zechariah 3: 5). The prophet of God took the initiative to ask the angels around to put a crown on the high Priest’s head:

And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by

Who gave the Prophet the authority to take the initiative? He knew that the anointing on the priests was the crown of the anointing oil of God (Lev 21: 12) was on the Priest and that this was a fitting part of his restoration. This was done with the approval of the Angel of the Lord (the Lord Himself).  

This action and approval reveal the favor and authority which the Prophet held in the heavenlies. God promised the restoration of this favor and authority to the High Priest. This depended on him keeping the ways of the Lord. GOd told him that he would be  given “…places to walk among these that stand by” (Zech 3: 7).

Who were those standing by? Satan was one and angels of the Lord also stood by. The angels obeyed Zechariah’s request without hesitation, knowing that he held favor and was a participant in the deliverance of the nation from captivity.

Do you get response when you rebuke the enemy? Do angels respond to your requests? Are you a friend of God’s? Do you have power with God? If your focus is on holding positions in the church and not on relationship with God, then you may very well be in a position similar to that of the High Priest – clothed with garments of sin, bound by the enemy and unable to loose anyone from his captivity.

Do you need a Zechariah in your life? Better yet, you need to stand with God to loose captives. This place of power comes from relationship – knowing God’s face and not just His power.

Let’s seek His face and obtain the favor that comes to those who diligently seek Him. I pray that God will bless you as you seek  Him.

Parallels between the angel of the Lord in Zechariah 3 and Jude March 26, 2008

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I was shown a very fascinating parallel between the revelation given to Zechariah in chapter 3 and Jude 1: 9,10. I discussed the latter in the post

https://thelordsangels.wordpress.com/2008/03/12/apostle-jude-shows-that-chief-prince-michael-contends-for-the-faith/

The vision that Prophet Zechariah saw is a startling revelation about the role that God plays in the defense of the Jews and of His people by extension. I would like to propose that the angel of the Lord seen in the vision is Prince Michael, given previous  revelations of His role as the Defender of the Jewish people.  Here are some important truths related to the vision:

1. The context of the vision (Zech 1 and 2)

Zechariah was a captive in Babylon during the 70 years of the Jewish captivity. God had shown  him (chapters 1 and 2), that he was tell the Jews to return to Him. He also saw the angel of the Lord (Zech 1: 12-18) interceding for the Jews’ release from the captivity. The Lord promised in return to release His people and to restore Jerusalem, particularly the house of worship. This vision seemed to have occured close to the end of the period of captivity.

2. The participants of the vision of Chap 3

The participants were Joshua the High Priest, the angel of the Lord (later identified as the Lord in Zech 3: 2 and most likely Prince Michael), Satan, Prophet Zechariah and other heavenly inhabitants.

3. The location of the vision

Based on the scenario, I believe that the vision took place in the tabernacle in heaven, corresponding to the Holy of Holies on earth. This was a siginficant event in the lives of the Jews since the High  Priest was involved. He entered once a year into the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle in order to offer sacrifices for himself and the people. This was symbolized by Joshua’s position in the vision, since he stood before the Lord.

Satan  is also a key participant in the vision, standing at the right hand of the High Priest to oppose the Lord’s plan to restore the worship  of God in the earth through the restoration of the Jews. He takes a position at the right hand, a symbol of power and authority.  He is a resister, but the Lord again shows us how to resist the devil so that he will flee:

And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him

And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

Satan functions in the role of an accuser, since the Lord responded to his opposition by standing on His word, reminding the devil that the Jews were His chosen people and telling him that they had been forgiven. He also demonstrated the restoration of the High Priest for reinforcement. This scenario is parallel with Job 1 and 2  in which satan appeared before God in a similar role to accuse and harm Job.

4. The Lord appears in the vision as the angel of the Lord

I wrote previously the Lord appears in scripture as the angel of the Lord and this is clearly seen in Zech 3.  It is revealed by the key role that the angel of the Lord plays in the resistance of the devil andtje  restoration of the Jews and the High Priest. He may also be the angel of the Lord who Zechariah saw standing in the myrtle trees, being the same one who interceded to the Lord for the restoration of the Jews (Zech 1: 8- 17).

This is revealed in a rather convoluted manner in Zechariah chapter 1:

  • Zechariah saw a man riding on a red horse who stood among  the myrtle trees. He was accompanied by other angels in the armies of the Lord (Zech 1: 8).
  • He is identified as the angel of the Lord who rides through the earth to determine the condition of the inhabitants. This confirms that God Himself visits the earth in fact finding missions in much the same way that He did when investigating the  sins of Sodom and Gomorrah (Zech 1:  10, 11).
  • The angel of the Lord interceded for Jerusalem (Zech 1: 12). I believe that  He was Prince Michael, the Great Prince of the Jews?
  • He spoke to another member of the God family who responded with good and comfortable words, soothing His cries for the people who He loves (Zech 1: 13).
  • The angel of the Lord, the Lord Himself, then gave Zechariah the command to prophesy to the Jews about their restoration (Zech 1: 14-17).
  • The Lord is revealed in the vision as the Lord of Hosts, more than capable of resisting the attacks and opposition of the devil to His prophetic word (Zech 1: 8, 3: 7)

5. The Lord’s role in restoration of the Jews

The Lord completed the promise of restoration by demonstrating it to the devil:

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.

And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. 

He also told the High Priest that a three fold blessing would come with repentance- He would judge/rule His house, keep His courts, and  walk in a position of influence among these that stand by (Zech 3: 7).

Conclusion

God is forever faithful to His word. His people have been called with a high calling and can go into captivity when they forsake Him.  Those who stand in His presence on the behalf of His people have a serious charge to remain unspotted from sin. God considers the care of His house to be one of utmost importance as revealed in Zech 3: 7.

He is Lord of the whole earth. No weapon formed against us will prosper if we walk in His ways. I hope that you were encouraged today. Blessings. 

Who are the two seraphims in Isaiah’s vision? March 20, 2008

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I love to read Isaiah’s vision of chapter 6, but I was shown some truths related to the seraphims that I had never seen before:

  1. Isaiah wrote about the seraphims as if they were previously known to the reader

Isaiah referred to the seraphims using the pronoun THE. According to factmonster.com, this pronoun is “used, especially before a noun, with a specifying or particularizing effect, as opposed to the indefinite or generalizing force of the indefinite article a or an”.

Here is the supporting evidence from Isaiah 6: 2 and 6:

Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

This is an important distinction which was adhered to in previous writings to distinguish between the two cherubims above the ark and those engraved into the vail and the walls of Moses’ and Solomon’s temple (Ex 36: 35; 1 Kings 6: 32). The latter were referred to in a more  general manner.

2. Who are therefore these  seraphims?

I believe that these seraphims to whom Isaiah’s referred distinctly were the cherubims who covered the ark. In other words, I believe that they are the  Two Anointed Ones who stand in the Presence of God since Isaiah’s writings referred to them as the seraphims

3.  Evidence from the general patterns in scripture

1. The location of the cherubims

There are some patterns in scripture which cause me to believe that these two seraphims are Princes Michael and Gabriel. This is supported by the pattern in Moses’ and Solomon’s tabernacles. The cherubims faced each other centrally, looking at each other and the Mercy Seat which rested on the Ark. Their wings spread over and covered the ark (Ex 25: 20).

Isaiah saw the Lord “sitting upon a throne” with the seraphims standing above it (Isa 6: 1, 2). This is consistent with the pattern in Moses’ and Solomon’s temple.

2. The place from which God spoke

Secondly, God told Moses that He would speak with him “from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony” (Ex 25: 22). This verse  implies  that God would speak to Moses from two locations – above the Mercy Seat (Jesus) and through the two cherubims. Here are supporting evidences: 

Numbers 7: 9 said that when Moses went into the sanctuary, that “… he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims”.

Isaiah heard the two seraphims speaking to him in the vision of chapter 6.

We also know in other scriptural examples that the cherubims are not silent and uninvolved, but speak to humans as well.  Zechariah’s visions show that these seraphims are the two anointed ones (Zech 4) and that Prince Michael resists the devil on the behalf of  God’s people (Zech 3). Their involvement in human affairs are also revealed in Daniel’s visions, as well as Prince Gabriel’s appearances to Priest Zacharias and Mary. 

3. The significant role of the seraphims in Isaiah’s visions

The seraphims are revealed as worshippers (Isa 6: 3). Their great might, power and anointing caused the posts of the temple door to move as they cried “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isa 6: 3).

Even more significant is the fact that the seraphims played a role in the forgiveness of Isaiah’s sins. Following the Prophet’s confession, one of the seraphims voluntarily flew to him, placed a coal on his lips and purged him. This shows that God has power in heaven to forgive sins  when they are confessed (1 Jn 1: 9).  The scribes became offended when Jesus later used His authority to do so on earth:

And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?

But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house (Lk 5: 21, 24).  

4. Isaiah also heard the voice of the Lord asking for a messenger to go for us

Following his cleansing, Isaiah said that the Lord asked for a messenger speak His word. The Lord referred to the One who sat on the throne. The Lord’s style of speaking, progressing from the use of the singular to plural pronoun,  indicates that the Lord was speaking on the behalf of the heavenly persons in the vision:

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isa 6: 8).

5. Conclusion

God reveals Himself in different forms in scripture. If seek Him we will receive the revelation of His truth.  I am not sure why God revealed Himself to Isaiah in this way when King Uzziah died. Isaiah was  a notable Prophet and one generally would believe that Prophets know God in this way. This is not always the case. Is it possible that one can possess the gift of prophecy without really seeing the Lord in the way that He desires to reveal Himself?

This is indeed a troubling thought. Gifts do not take the believer into the presence of God. The one who sees God is the one who seeks Him. Let us keep this in mind as we pursue this race. Blessings and have a great day.

The Archangels are referred to as government, dignities and dominion by Apostles Jude and Peter March 18, 2008

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I found it fascinating that Apostles Peter and Jude wrote almost similar letters to the believers in Jude 1 and 2 Peter 2. Did they have a discussion with one another or did  God reveal to them the same content? Whatever the truth, the repetition of this content is intended to emphasize the truth.

1. The first parallel relates to the fate of the fallen angels

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment (2 Pet 2: 4).

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day (Jude 1: 6).

Like Jude, Apostle Peter spoke of the false teachers who were reserved for swift destruction because of their damnable heresies and  pernicious ways.

Again, the angels that sinned were not spared because of their damnable heresies (doctrines of devils) and pernicious ways. Peter also used conjunctions in verses 5-7 to link the sins of the fallen angels with those of the people of Noah’s day and those of Sodom and Gomorrah.

2. The second parallel relates to the rank of the Chief Princes

Apostles Peter and Jude spoke of  other groups of people (apart from the false teachers) for whom particular judgement is reserved. Two of these outstanding and infamous groups of people in scripture whose damnable heresies and pernicious ways caused them to be destroyed were the people in the days of Noah and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah (2 Pet 2: 4-10). Like Jude, Peter particularly emphasized those people of Sodom and Gomorrah who spoke evil of the Lord.

 Jude and Peter both spoke of the habit held by devils and their followers in despising and speaking evil of government (rulership), dignities and dominion. The context in Peter referred to the men of Sodom and their disrespect for God, while Jude spoke also  of them as well as the devil’s disrespect.

While Peter did not name the dignities and government to whom he referred, the parallel scripture in Jude clearly referred to Chief Prince Michael.

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities (2 Pet 2: 6,7).

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire

Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee (Jude 1: 6-9).

3. The Chief Princes are in authority over the devil

In the context of 2 Peter 2: 1-10, Peter said that angels who are greater in might and power do not bring railing accusations about the sinners and devils of whom he wrote. We know that the angels who went to destroy Sodom responded to the railings of the people by blinding them then later destroying the city. We also know that  Chief Prince Michael contended with the devil for Moses’ body by rebuking him in the name of the Lord.

If we draw from Prince Michael’s rebuke of the devil and Peter’s statement that angels are dignities and government we would realize that the angels greater in might and power than the devil himself refer to those who stand in the presence of God. 

These Angels are not just  messengers and warriors, but Great Princes, Government, Dignities and Dominion. The word government occurs four times in the scriptures – Isa 9: 6,7, Isa 22: 21 and 2 Peter 2: 10.  The original language refers to  rulership and one who possesses dominion in the Old and New Testaments respectively. 

As I end, I hope that this post will help to remind us that we are not at the whims and fancies of the devil, but that he is subject to greater authority. In Christ, we also have been given this authority. Have a great day and God bless.

Apostle Jude shows that Archangel Michael contends for the faith. March 12, 2008

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I used the previous post to show how Apostle Jude used a series of conjunctions and similarities to show that any one who disbelieved the truth would experience this condemnation, of  everlasting chains, darkness and eternal fire. This was the vengeance given to the Jews who died in the wilderness, the angels that fell and the men of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was the fate reserved for the false and ungodly teachers of his day as well as anyone who would disobey the truth, deny God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

These groups sinned also by despising dominion and speaking evil of dignities or of the Lord in the same way that the men of Sodom disrespected the Lord when He visited their city to determine the nature of the sins (Gen 18 and 19).

 I also said in the last post that Prince Michael was introduced in Jude 1: 9 with the words:

“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee”

The use of the conjunction “YET”  at the beginning of the verse is  a direct relationship to all that was said before about false and ungodly teachers and particularly their attitude to the Lord.

1. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN VERSES 8 AND 9/INFERENCES THAT WE CAN MAKE

Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

These scriptures reveal the fierceness of the wrestling between Chief Prince Michael and the devil for Moses’ body. The devil must have called the Lord all sorts of names, accusing and railing against Him, making false claims about his right to Moses’ body. Yet Prince Michael did not respond in kind as He exerted His authority over the devil by rebuking the enemy in the name of the Lord.

The Lord asked me why was the devil contending for Moses’ body. As I pondered, several possible reasons came to me. First, the devil is a liar,  thief and accuser of the brethren. He must have said that had Moses lost his right to inherit heaven because he struck the rock rather than speaking to it. Remember that he did so out of anger and that the Lord had told him that he would not inherit the Promised Land? Secondly, Moses was the greatest Prophet of his time. His power was comparable to that of the Lord Jesus and he talked with God face to face.

Moses had told the Jews “The LORD … God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken” (Deut 18: 15).I do not know if the miracles that he had done were comparable to any other Prophet in scripture. I believe that  the devil wanted his body in revenge for the great warfare he waged and embarrassment suffered by the kingdom of hell.

Is there significance in the Prince’s rebuke to the devil? Yes, there is. All power is given to Him in heaven and earth and God had declared before the foundation of the earth that every knee would bow and every tongue would confess to Him:

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (Isa 45: 23).

 No weapon formed against God will prosper (Isa 54: 17).  The psalmist had prophetically said that God would not allow Jesus  to go to hell (Ps 16: 10, Acts 2: 31). While speaking about Jesus, scriptures also revealed that God claimed all of His sleeping saints and took them into His presence. Did  He not reveal to Moses that He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Ex 3: 6). Jesus later taught the Jews that God is the God of the Living and not the dead. In God’s vocabulary, saints sleep while the dead are in hell (Mt 22: 32; 1 Cor 15: 51). Did not Jesus in the transfiguration reveal that Prophets Moses and Elijah were alive in Paradise? (Mt 17: 1-3). Did not the rich man see Abraham alive rather than in the place of torment? (Lk 16).

Based on Jude 1: 8,9, we know from scripture that there is continuous contention between God and man since humans disrespect God and continually refuse to walk in His ways. For example, God was in continuous contention with the Jews of Moses’ day. He had to repeatedly destroy many of them for their licentiousness (remember how Moses found them naked and involved in idolatry after returning with the Commandments?).

How about the contention between God and the angels that fell as  satan tried to become God, inciting angels to riot? War resulted in heaven and Chief Prince Michael tossed the devil out as fast as lightning (Isa 14; Ezekiel 28; Rev 12: 7-10; Lk 10: 18).

The Lord’s temptation in the wilderness is another  example of how the devil rails against and disrespects God. Jesus contended with the devil in that situation by rebuking him with the word of God.

Prince Michael is revealed in scripture as the Great Contender against the devil.  Apostle Paul talked about the “terror of the Lord” (2 Cor 5: 11) and we know that He never loses a battle. As captain of the Lord’s host, Prince Michael used His authority against the devil when contending for Moses’ body. He said instead, “The Lord rebuke thee”. The principle here is that there are three that agree in heaven under one name LORD. Every word of the Lord is established in the mouths of two or more witnesses.  What God says is forever settled in the heaven (Ps 119: 89). Did not Jesus use the same approach when rebuking the enemy as he used Peter to deter Him from going to the cross?:

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men (Mt 16: 23)

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve (Lk 4: 8).

2. THE BELIEVER’S CONTENTION

Jude began by saying that the saints should earnestly contend with false teachers in order to uphold the truth of the faith. He links the nature of our contention with that of Prince Michael’s by using the same word to describe the warfare for Moses’ body.

The Prince contended based on His authority over the devil and knowledge of the word. Moses did not belong in hell since he was the servant of the Lord. Satan is revealed here as a thief of God’s property. God never lets the enemy escape with his devices.  We are to follow Prince Michael’s lead in the warfare. He taught us how to war and showed us that the gates of hell shall never prevail against the church.

Blessings, until.

Archangel Michael in the book of Jude March 12, 2008

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I thought that it was important to share some understanding that I received about Chief Prince Michael based on writings of Apostle Jude.  Jude’s main teaching in the letter relates to the defense of the faith against false teachings. The reference to the Prince is found in Jude 1: 9:

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee

I love the book of Jude and used to read it repeatedly, but was shown some truths that enlarged my understanding about the Prince and the faith our Lord Jesus Christ. An examination of  Jude 1: 9 reveals the following about Prince Michael:

A. PRINCE MICHAEL’S PERSONAL DATA

  • His rank – archangel
  • He contends with the devil. This is consistent with Daniel 10, Daniel 12: 1, Zechariah 3 and Rev 12.
  • He does not rail against the devil, but rebukes him in the name of the Lord.

B. MISSING UNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT PRINCE MICHAEL REVEALED IN THE BOOK OF JUDE

  • The conjunction “YET” is used to introduce Prince Michael in Jude 1: 9. A conjunction is a word that links words and phrases together, in order to express a relationship between them.  Other conjunctions include the words and, or, but, because, when and unless.
  • Therefore, Jude 1: 9 can only be fully understood in the context of the preceding and subsequent verses.  

C.THE INTRODUCTION OF THE FACTS IN JUDE 1: 1-8?

  • Apostle Jude introduced himself  and greeted the brethren (Jude 1: 1,2).
  • The critical point, however, is that Jude exhorted the believers to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1: 3b). To contend for something is to assert or to maintain earnestly on the issue without giving up; to wrestle, to battle, to fight. 
  • Apostle Jude exhorted the brethren that they were to contend against the teachings of false teachers, prophets  and apostles who had crept secretly into the church in order to deny the truth – who taught the believers to be lascivious or lustful, wanton, shameless and insolent.  Their doctrine was the denial of God and of Jesus Christ. I spoke of this when writing about false apostles.
  • Jude said that these ungodly teachers were “ordained to this condemnation before speaking about the nature of the condemnation. What was the condemnation? He used the writing style of placing the outcome before the event in order to lead his readers on and to emphasize the truth that unbelievers (especially those who  pervert the truth) are reserved unto a particular condemnation, which is initially revealed in Jude 1:5-7.

D. THE SIMILARITY BETWEEN FIVE GROUPS OF UNBELIEVERS IN JUDE 1: 5-8 WHO ALSO EXPERIENCED THIS CONDEMNATION

In these verses, Apostle Jude skilfully used several stylistic devices to show that the false teachers would go to hell as well as any one who did not obey the truth.

  • The Jews who wandered in the wilderness and were destroyed due to unbelief was another group that went to hell. Jude showed this by the statement, “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not”.   By using the phrase, I will therefore put you in remembrance”, Jude warns the believers that He is actually warning them that they would be destroyed if they did not believe and obey the truth.
  • Apostle Jude then used another conjunction in verse 6 to explain that the Jews who were destroyed share the same fate as the disobedient angels who were also destroyed for failing to obey the truth. This truth was explained by the use of the conjunction AND at the beginning of  verse 6, which linked these two groups of unbelievers together:

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day”.

Jude’s teaching reveals to us that anyone who disobeys the truth will share the same fate as the demons that are bound in hell.

  • The Apostle then showed in Jude 1: 7, that the souls incinerated  in Sodom and Gomorrah also experienced this condemnation, since they were destroyed as an example to all men and are now suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1: 7):

Even asSodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire”. 

E. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF JUDE 1: 7?

  • We know from scriptures that homosexuality was the chief  sin of Sodom and Gomorrah and this was appallingly revealed in Genesis 19.  The words “even as” at  the beginning of Jude 1: 7 were intended to show the comparison between the sins of the false teachers, unbelieving Jews who died in the wilderness and the angels that fell.
  • While this sin is not the only cause for this condemnation, scriptures show that this sin is so abominable to God that He actually came down to visit the cities of Sodom and experienced first hand the abominable behavior of the men living there (Gen 19).

 F. DISRESPECT FOR GOD IS ANOTHER REASON FOR THIS CONDEMNATION

Having already taught us about the kinds of sins that incur special vengeance from God, Jude introduces another in Jude 1:8:

Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.”

Here are two translations:

Yet these false teachers, who claim authority from their dreams, live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at the power of the glorious ones (New Living Translation).

In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings (NIV).

G. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

  • Jude showed the similarity between the men of Sodom and Gomorrah and the false teachers of his day in Jude 1: 8.  Their sins of sexual immorality were induced by dreams. They followed the example of the men of Sodom who gave themselves over to fornication and went after strange flesh. They were like the Canaanites of Moses’ day who engaged in all kinds of sexual perversion (Lev 19, 20).
  •  The men of Sodom despised God when they surrounded Lot’s house as the Lord lodged there. I believe that God had really planned to destroy the city soon after His arrival rather than the next day, but was detained by Lot’s hospitality and invitation to shelter in his home.

I am about to write immediately about  verse 9, and invite you to read the subsequent post. Blessings

Archangel Michael in scriptures March 10, 2008

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We’ve established that Chief Prince Gabriel is one of the Anointed Ones standing in the presence of the God of the whole earth based on His statement to Priest Zacharias in Luke 1: 19. 

We were first introduced to the Two Anointed Ones in Exodus 25 when God told Moses to put two identical cherubims over the mercy seat in the tabernacle in the wilderness (Ex 25). They were also revealed to Prophet Zechariah in chapter 4 of his prophecy.

1. USING THE LAW OF PROMINECE TO SHOW THAT PRINCE MICHAEL IS THE OTHER ANGEL STANDING IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

In the Law of Prominence, only two angels’ names are mentioned in scripture while the names of other angels either remain secret or are withheld.  Prince Michael is revealed in scriptures to be a Great Prince, Defender of the Jews and a Great General who fights against the devil. These designations clearly reveal His authority. His name means “who is like God”.

Here are the references:

  • Daniel 10: 13 – Chief Prince Gabriel referred to Prince Michael one of the Chief Princes of heaven.
  • Daniel 10: 21 – Chief Prince Gabriel told Daniel that Michael was his  Prince  (or angel). Additionally, He told Daniel that He and Michael were the only angels in heaven having access to secrets of the end times. This statement immediately points us to their unity and difference from other angels:

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).

  • Daniel 12: 1 – Chief Prince Gabriel also referred to Michael as  the Great Prince who defends the Jews.
  • Jude 1: 9 – Apostle Jude referred to Michael as the Archangel or Chief of the Angels, a confirmation of Old Testament scriptures.
  • Revelation 12: 7 – Apostle John saw Chief Prince/General Michael war against the dragon as, satan (also known as the Prince of the devils/Beelzebub) and cast him out of heaven.

2. ESTABLISHING PRINCE MICHAEL’S IMPORTANCE BASED ON  PRINCE GABRIEL’S TESTIMONY

The testimony of an authoritative source is used to establish validity of a claim in many settings.  Chief Prince Gabriel introduced us to Prince Michael and also gave us three important descriptions of this Prince. The context each of these descriptions is very significant and we will attempt to explore them further.

We were told by Prince Gabriel  that He was one of the Anointed Ones standing in the Presence of the Lord of the whole earth (LK 1: 19). Based on the revelation of Daniel 10: 21 that Princes Michael and Gabriel were privy to secrets known to no other angel, we can infer that Michael is the other Anointed One in this exalted place.

Chief Prince Gabriel functioned mainly in the role of Teacher and Revealer of Secrets known to no other angel. In fact, the Lord just drew to my attention that there are other secrets related to the gospel and to our salvation that angels desire to know. This was revealed to us by Apostle Peter:

 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into (1 Pet 1: 12).

3. PRINCES  MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURES IN RELATION TO THE INVISIBLE REALM

The Princes mentioned in scriptures are:

  • Michael – as previously explained
  • Jesus- Prince of Princess (Dan 8: 25); Messiah the Prince – Dan 9: 25; Prince of Peace – Isa 9: 6
  • Prince of the kingdom of Persia – Dan 10: 13
  • Prince of Grecia – Dan 10: 13
  • Beelzebub, prince of the devils (satan) as acknowledged by the Pharisees and by Jesus –  Mt 12: 24, 27

NB. Based on Zechariah 3, I wonder what direct role satan played in the demonic rulership over Babylon while the Jews were in captivity. This passage shows that he resisted the intercession of the High Priest for the release of the captives.

4. Prince Michael stands against satan on behalf of the Jews

This is a very important truth that I need to reiterate since it has implications in the future. This was revealed:

  • as He stood for Daniel when the warfare against the Prophet became intense (Dan 10)
  • through  Prince Gabriel’s  confirmation of Prince Michael’s role as the Prophet’s defender (Dan 10: 21)
  • on  the angel’s revelation (Dan 12: 1)
  • in Prince Michael’s contention for the body of Moses (Jude 1: 9).
  • in His warfare for the Jews (Zechariah 3).

5.  USING THE LAW OF EQUIVALENCY TO SHOW THAT CHIEF PRINCE MICHAEL IS THE OTHER ANGEL 

This has been done to some extent. An equivalent is an equal to something else. Here are the proofs in scriptures:

  • Prince Gabriel revealed Himself as one of the Anointed Ones standing in the Presence of God and also revealed that He and Prince Michael were equal in the possession of secrets related to the  visions of the end times (Dan 10: 21).
  • Jesus is the only other Prince who knows the secrets of the end times. He told the disciples that, “… of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Mt 24: 36).  My claim is not contradicatory,  since Jesus’ name is also called, Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isa 9: 6).
  • As Captain of His hosts, Chief Prince  Michael fought against the devil and his angels and cast him out of heaven (Rev 12: 7). Jesus chuckled as He described this event to the disciples – “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Lk 10: 18). If you know Michael, you will know that He just cannot tolerate the devil

His authority  is revealed in the war,  since as a General, He fought and prevailed against the general or prince of the hosts of hell.  

  • The Law of Repitition is also used in scriptures to enforce Prince Michael’s authority in spiritual warfare and in the heavenlies. Apostle Jude saw Him earnestly contending with the devil for the body of Moses. He is the Great Prince who confronts the prince of the devils. 
  • Based on comparative scriptures in Zechariah 3, I believe that Prince Michael could have been the Prince who resisted the devils accusations against the Jews as Joshua interceded for their release from captivity.
  • As the warrior for the Jews, He used the phrase “The Lord rebuke thee” to prevail against the devil (Zech 3: 2; Jude 1: 9).

 Blessings! I hope to examine the parallel scriptures to explain more about the two Anointed Ones.

Using the Law of Prominence in establishing the two angels’ identities March 9, 2008

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The identity of the two angels “who stand in the presence of God” was clearly established in scripture directly and indirectly. We learnt that one of these angels is Chief Prince Gabriel and that the other is Chief Prince Michael.  We know that  Chief Prince Gabriel is one of these based on His direct statement to Zacharias that “… I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God…” (Lk 1: 19).

I began to use the Law of Prominence to show from scripture that  Chief Princes Gabriel and Michael are these angels. To date, we learnt that this was established in the naming/identification  of these  two in scriptures as well as the revelation of these angels for very high level missions.

1. THE LAW OF PROMINENCE IN MARY’S EXPERIENCE

It is impossible to speak about  Chief Prince Michael’s  and Gabriel’s prominence in heaven/scripture without showing how this was revealed in Mary’s experience, which is found in Luke 1: 26-38. This is a continuation of the same text in which Chief Prince Gabriel announced the birth of John to his father Priest Zacharias.

a. The angel’s identity was immediately revealed to the reader

Having previously established the name of the angel in Zachariah’s account, Chief Prince Gabriel’s identity was immediately revealed without hesitation to the reader :

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth (Lk 1: 26).

b. Explore Chief Prince Gabriel’s reaction to Priest Zacharias’ questioning

Chief Prince Gabriel had stricken Priest Zacharias with dumbness because he had disbelieved the message about the birth of Jesus.  In fact, after rereading Zacharias’ account, I just discovered several startling truths in Lk 1:

  • Zacharias knew that an angel had appeared to him based on the mysteriousness of the event.
  • he had become fearful
  • Chief Prince Gabriel responded to his fright by calming him and announcing the birth of John
  • Chief Prince Gabriel only announced His name when Zacharias asked for proof of the message:

 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season (Lk 1: 18-20).

  • It seems to me that the announcement of His name was given in the manner that one would respond to another who is overly disbelieving.  The proof of the message was in the angel’s identity. Zacharias already knew of this angel’s importance from Daniel’s prophecies.
  • Did Zacharias become annoying in his unbelief? It seemed to me that Chief Prince Gabriel became annoyed based on the nature of His response – I am the same angel standing on the side of the ark in the holy of holies. I am Gabriel who was seen by Prophet Zecharias.
  • Is it coincidental that both Prophet Zechariah and Priest Zechariah were priests?
  • Is it coincidental that the names  Zechariah and  Zacharias   mean “Jehovah remembers”.
  • What message is God sending to us by the linking of these two priests in scripture through this divine connection and revelation?
  • Chief Prince Gabriel did not intend to strike Priest Zacharias with dumbness, but did so based on the response. This action appears to be situational.

c. Compare Chief Prince Gabriel’s  reaction to Mary

  1. She was greeted as one who was greatly beloved by God, on the same scale as Prophet Daniel –  Hail, Mary, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women (Lk 1: 28).
  2. The manner of Mary’s response about the possibility of a pregnancy was not irritating to Chief Prince Gabriel (Lk 1: 34). It seemed that she was wondering and amazed about the birth of a child to a virgin.   Zacharias should have known that this messenger was of a high level in the heavens based on His position at the altar as well as the nature of the prophecy. After all, he was a priest.    
  3. The angel gave her the “technology” of the birth in order to give her understanding of the secret in much the same way that He had instructed Daniel. He told Mary that, ” the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Lk 1: 35).
  4. Mary must have been a woman after the order of Prophet Daniel. I infer this based on the salutation and the fact that she and not another virgin was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. With this said, scriptures did not need to say much about her and Joseph.

d. Chief Prince Gabriel made a divine connection between three impossible births

I found great significance in the fact that Chief Prince Gabriel connected the humanly impossible births of John and Jesus with a phrase that connected me back to another miraculous birth in the Old Testament. He told Mary that “…with God nothing shall be impossible” (Lk 1: 37)

This statement of God’s divine power had also been used to describe Isaac’s birth to Sarah who was told Is any thing too hard for the LORD? (Gen 18: 14).

Next time I hope to use the Law of Equivalency to establish that Chief Prince Michael is the other angel standing in the Presence of God. Here is one of the clues:

  • Daniel 10: 21. 

The Law of Prominence in establishing these angels’ identities March 7, 2008

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We’ve been exploring the scriptures in order  to discover the identities of the two angels  revealed in Moses’ and Solomon’s tabernacle and Zechariah’s vision?

We know already that Chief Prince Gabriel is one of these based on His response to Zecharias in Luke 1: 19: “… I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God…”

Based on THE LAW OF PROMINENCE, I want to establish that Chief Prince Michael is the other angel represented in this manner in scriptures.  Using this Law of Prominence, we see that there are only TWO angels whose names are revealed in scriptures. They are Chief Prince Gabriel and Chief Prince Michael. Is this important? Yes. There is purpose related to this divine revelation since scriptures teach us that God has an innumerable company of angels (Heb 12: 22). Furthermore, angels appeared repeatedly to people in scriptures and generally remained unnamed.

1. THE LAW OF PROMINENCE REVEALED IN ZACHARIAS’ EXPERIENCE

a. The angel revealed His identity in order to establish the priority of the message

Chief Prince Gabriel came to announce the birth of John to Zacharias and Elizabeth. He  revealed His name, designation and importance  when He said,  “… I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God…” 

Why did He do so? This was an important, high level diplomatic mission (if I may say so) related to an event that would change history and fulfill prophecy made to Abraham and the Jews. John the Baptist played a key role in these historical events since he was prophetically revealed to be the voice of One crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord (Isa 40: 3).  

Please note something of significance that was just drawn to me out of Priest Zacharias’ experience. He was a holy man, on his course of duty, burning incense as part of his role, when Chief Prince Gabriel appeared to him. Additionally, the people were outside praying to God (LK 1: 6-10). We must also pay attention to the scriptures which teach us that Priest Zacharias and his wife were righteous people (Lk 1: 6). The conditions and the timing  were therefore ideal for God to appear. Revelation 8: 3 and 4 teach us that in the tabernacle in heaven, the incense would carry the prayers of the people to  God.

A righteous life and sacrifices of praise are ideal conditions for entering the Presence of God (Ps 100: 4) and for inviting Him into ours (Ps 22: 3).

b. Secondly, the writer did not identify the angel.

Since angels generally appeared to Jews without naming themselves, as in Manoah’s experience (Judges 13), Luke  initially reported that an angelof the Lord appeared to the priest.  Priest Zacharias was troubled as the appearance of an angel in the worship (visibly) was unknown to him (Lk 1: 11).

c. Thirdly, the angel took up one of  the positions that He normally held in heaven

It is not accidental that the angel stood “on the right side of the altar of incense” (Lk 1: 11).  He was confirming the message about His identity  –  “… I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God…” (Lk 1: 19).  He revealed to us that God delighted in the praises of the people and that God does reveal Himself under these conditions.

2. CONTRAST – THE LAW OF PROMINENCE IN MANOAH’S EXPERIENCE

An angel of the Lord appeared to first to Manoah’s wife  in order to announce the birth of Samson and his role in the deliverance of Israel.  Unbelieving her message, Manoah asked God to send back the messenger so that he could confirm the message. Not knowing that he was an angel, Manoah asked him to remain so that they could offer a  sacrifice of thanks to God:

And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD. 

And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?

And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? (Judges 13: 16-18).

We must pay attention to the fact that the angel said that his name was secret to them and also that he did not give it to Manoah’s wife when he first appeared to her (Judges 13: 6).  The angel may have minimized the importance of his name because it was not critical to the message. Secondly, any honor given must be given to God who sent him and not to the angel himself. 

More on the Law of Prominence in establishing the angels’ identities in upcoming posts. Blessings.

More on the angels who stand in the presence of God March 6, 2008

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Who are the angels that are revealed in Moses’ and Solomon’s tabernacle and Zechariah’s vision?

The question was answered in Luke 1: 19 by the Angel Gabriel, who appeared to Zecharias and told him, “… I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God…”

David in the Psalms also revealed the relationship between these angels when he said that he had overheard a conversation in the heavenlies:
 

The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool (Ps 110: 1).

Here are some important truths:

  1. This Psalm reveals the UNITY of the Godhead and the confirms that there is more than one person in this DYNASTY called GOD. 
  2. This is revealed in Psalm 110 when the Prophet David also showed that the Lord stands at the right hand of the Lord:
    The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath (Psalm 110: 5). We saw the Lord fighting for the Lord in Daniel 10 when Prince Michael came to aid Prince Gabriel in the war over Babylon
  3. New Testament scriptures revealed that Jesus was the Lord who was given the promises of Psalm 110. Here are the promises:

a. that his enemies would become His footstool. This was fulfilled in His death when He conquered the hosts of hell in the form of a man, became the head of the church with all things under His feet

b. He is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. I have written on this prophecy at this and other posts

http://pppministries.wordpress.com/category/melchizedek/

My mind is exploding now because Ps 110 is so rich. I invite you to explore its relationship to Mark 12: 35-37; Heb 1 and other chapters on Melchizedek, Ps 2 and other scriptures.

Blessings and more to come!

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