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The Story

as perceived by Fred Bischoff

with Bible Endnotes

 

1  October 2011

Before the beginning-

 

For all eternity, past and future, God is love.[1] Since this love is other-centered, not self-centered,[2] He was never only self.[3] He is Master of space and time. They have always served Him as His dwelling place through which He can pass at will.[4] Since He is the Creator, all created things had beginnings.[5] At some point He brought them into existence, placing them in His space and time also as dwellers, but subject to them, not masters as He. Having beginnings, His creation could not have been His focus from eternity. Before the existence of these created things, the Others His life was centered on, were equal to Him. We are told, by way of describing Them in terms we can grasp, that there were always Father, Son, and Spirit.[6] These titles describe the amazing functions They each have chosen, but do not depict Their nature. That peculiar quality of being which explains their constitution or existence has not been revealed. But in terms of character and relationship, it has been shown that they are equal, are one, and are love.[7] This equality and oneness means They are united in this relationship in a way we cannot fully grasp. They speak, with no contradiction, of both "I" and "We", of "Me" and "Us", of "My" and "Our." The unity of Their relationship includes being one in thought, purpose, and mission.[8] And in the midst of all this oneness, for this love to be genuinely Other-centered in this primary of all relationships, these three self-existent but not self-focused Ones are separate Beings, individually distinct.[9] These Three are God. And being the Creator of all, the source of all that is love, the first, the beginning, They are called the Godhead.[10]

 

Relating to the created-

 

Of these Three, the One who has ever been the special connection to the created ones is the Son. Though They all are Creator, He has been the main agent of creation.[11] As He relates to everything created, He reveals another aspect of the other-centered love. God is humble, that is, He willingly goes down to the lesser ones to give and to fellowship.[12] From the record, the first going down was to those shining intelligences created to serve closest to God. Thus He became Michael, the One who is like God, to the angels. His position was the archangel, the first among them.[13] Also, since the Son is the One of the Godhead who is Their expression, especially to all intelligent creatures, He is called the Word.[14] As Their chosen One for purposes also related to extreme creature needs, He also came to be called Messiah or Christ.[15] Because of our current condition, we have a hard time seeing that such humility is true greatness, and that such a humble One who came down the farthest is actually the Highest of all.[16]

 

The universal standard-

 

Since God is love, all that He makes is an expression of love, and is intended to reveal love.[17] Thus nothing was designed to live for itself. Especially the intelligent beings were created for other-centered love to be the core motivation of their existence.[18] He desired these other beings to have the ability ever to learn and thus grow in experience and knowledge of love.[19] His method of encouraging this development is two-fold. One is the very reaching out of love to the other, which involved reaching down if to a lesser.[20] And inherent in this reaching out is the principle of treating the other as he can be, not as he is. This principle is called faith.[21] From the evidences given, faith grasps the unseen realities and potentials, and chooses them as the framework of action in relating to God and others, in dependent trust and enabling confidence. These amazingly simple ways of relating are how His universe operates, love believing all things, and faith working by love.[22] This standard of doing the daily business of His vast realms is so essential, so valuable, it is called by a term that has great value to us. It is the gold.[23] And as this is the only way to live, the truth of how He Himself functions, when Messiah came down to us to reveal this core quality of God, He called Himself the way, the truth, and the life.[24]

 

Unexplainable foreign element-

 

Into this peaceful realm of love and faith one day a mysterious and unexplainable sentiment arose. It was harbored first in the heart of the highest created being, the one closest to God, the one whose name was the Shining One, Light Bearer, Lucifer.[25] As he observed Michael, the one who is like God, going freely up into the circle of light where God abides, he began to entertain the thought that to be like God means to go up, and he began to desire that, envying Michael's position.[26] When he was shown that Michael was not an angel who had gone up, but God who had come down, he refused the revelation, and pursued his unreasonable, insane course.[27] His assertion that the way to live is to put one's self up, to be self-centered, made him the father of the lie.[28] And the great controversy began.[29] Because the core quality of God's character and government was under attack, resulting in confusion, He found it necessary to explain love's actions and dimensions. It was shown that Lucifer was rejecting this law, the description of how God made things to function, the foundation of His government, and the very transcript of His character.[30] This contrary way of living was called iniquity.[31] God was not self-centered, nor could He respond to these claims by any means other than those consistent with His character of giving. So His faith and love began to be tested in ways they never had before.[32] The gold entered the fire.[33] What would be the result? From the earliest time of the battle, God realized that the end would be on one side the giving of life, and on the other, the taking of life. So the Son was slain from the foundation of the world and Lucifer was a murderer from the beginning.[34]

 

A new expression of love-

 

After this controversy began, our world was created as another expression of God's love and power. He spoke and it was done.[35] And He said, "Let Us make man in Our image," and They did, first the man, Adam, and then the woman, Eve. Male and female together were to reflect what He is like, other-centeredness making one of more than one.[36] Out of that blessed oneness, others would come, to multiply the representations of this glorious image, each living for the others.[37] Thus they were given dominion over the earth and all in it, to care for it as He was caring for them.[38] Since this nurturing could not imagine the taking of life, they were to live by eating the fruit of the plants, partaking of the life God had placed in them.[39] Weekly, in commemoration of their first full day with Him, they were to rest on His sanctified day, content in this blessed reminder of who He was and what He had done in reaching out for them.[40] The rest of the time they were active in caring for others, including the garden in which He placed them, Eden, the place of other-centered pleasure.[41] Anywhere and anytime, they could find Him who is Master of space and time. But to meet them where they were as subjects of space and time, and to give a window into His reality in the same dimensions, He chose a special place and day in which to meet them. He knew that otherwise it would be more likely for them to lose touch with Him. In the impersonal thought that He is everywhere, it would not be far for them to go to think the non-personal thought that He was nowhere. He is, as we have seen, above all a personal God. And so His other-centeredness demands that He meet them in a special and tangible way.[42]

 

A barrier against the lie-

 

But in this blessed place there was one reminder of the lie. In His wisdom God picked a tree, apparently near the tree of life in the midst of the garden, and called it the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.[43] All He had made was good, yes, very good, including the man and woman.[44] Thus they knew good from the moment of their creation. But He did not want them to know evil. The lie had pierced His heart already, and He wished to save them from such knowledge. He knew that if they partook, it would tear up and desolate all of the foundation realities He had built into their existence. So He warned them to avoid that experience of putting good and evil together by making this tree a sign of it, and placing its fruit off limits to them, a symbol of the deadliness of such a quest. For if, in their freedom of love, they would choose this counterfeit love, His image in them would be destroyed, their oneness as male and female would be ended, their dominion lost, their diet perverted into life-taking ventures, their rest in Him wrested from them, and their pleasant activity warped into tiring labor. And with this loss of love, they would die.[45]

 

The earth joins the controversy-

 

One day Eve encountered Lucifer in one of his disguises, as a serpent, at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Using his wisdom perverted into the service of self-seeking, he questioned God's restriction on the tree.[46] Eve repeated God's instruction given to Adam before her creation.[47] By a subtle response Lucifer in his dark, new roles of adversary (Satan) and accuser (Devil) denied first the consequence (death) of selfishness, and then the wrongfulness of such a quest itself.[48] In essence he said, "It will not kill, for it is not evil." He asserted that such a choice would make them like God Himself, implying that He was like that. Thus with craftiness he spun the lie for Eve, and she believed it. Being deceived, she took from the forbidden tree and ate. Moreover, she gave some of the fruit to Adam, who did not believe the lie, but ate anyway, joining Eve, leaving God, and yielding dominion of the world to Satan.[49] Adam and Eve by their ways of turning to self-centeredness illustrate for the rest of time the two ways of following the lie, receiving its mark in your forehead (being deceived, believing the lie, and doing it) or in your hand (not being deceived, but doing it anyway).[50] So sin and rebellion came to earth. By their fateful choice to join Satan against God, in living the lie, they broke the circle of self-sacrificing love on earth. Enamored with something else they took for love, they entered the realm of death.[51] The self-focus, by adulterating God's perfect creation, began its baneful course. Immediately they became aware of nakedness and fear.[52] In their newfound self-sufficiency, they suddenly felt insecure, and sought self-made remedies that were wholly inadequate. Both solutions were sought from trees, the wood of which has since come to symbolize the frailness of our fallen humanity. They used leaves to clothe themselves, and trees to hide themselves.[53] But from whom were they hiding?

 

Love's pursuit of lost lovers-

 

It was God, in His other-centered seeking and all-knowing wisdom, who came searching for the missing pair.[54] He who knew where they were and what they had done, confronted them with questions borne of heart-broken love. In this first encounter with His sin-infected humans, we see evidences of all the elements He will use in curing the problem, elements of that process that alone will provide eternal security. In the overall, essential setting of His humble pursuit of sinners to bring them all they would need for restoration (mercy), we find here an open review of the record,[55] a case-by-case verdict and sentence,[56] and an execution of the sentence (justice).[57] But the openness of such judgment would require time. So He drew out His cowering creatures. First Adam and then Eve manifested their new nature by adversely accusing others as being the cause of their fall.[58] The consequence of abandoning the principle of self-giving led them to the taking of the fruit, and the condemnation of others. God, in His unchanging character of self-sacrifice gave them a hope that justified their continued existence. The future would contain consequences of self-seeking that they could not then fathom, but He gave above all a promise, the miracle of unrelenting enmity between the author of the lie and the ensnared human race. And at the heart of the cryptic, prophetic promise of mercy and justice was Someone, said to be the Seed of the woman, who would crush the head of the lying serpent. But this crushing would wound the Seed.[59] Embedded in this wondrous hope was the ultimate giving of self, for that crushing victory would be won, not by taking but by giving. God affirmed this by replacing their leaf covering with a blood covering, the skins of the first animals to die, to reveal the cost of sin, and the promise of substitution.[60]

 

Tragic fruit of living the lie-

 

Rapidly the consequences of the alluring but deadly principle of the lie became evident. Out of their miraculously remaining but strained oneness, Adam and Eve were given their firstborn "possession," Cain. Eve said, "I have gotten a man from God."[61] She recognized God's gift, but her son grew up to reject such dependent acknowledgment of the greatest of all Givers. A second son came and was perhaps prophetically seen to be "vaporous breath," Abel.[62] After Adam and Even had chosen to follow the lie, God had committed to the race the symbolic service of animal sacrifice, to remind the humans of their taking life through the principle of self-seeking, and to foreshadow the giving of life by Another to the lost race, who would come to them, for them, as them, at infinite cost to Himself. Cain in his possessiveness rejected such a ceremony to express humility and faith in the Other's giving of life, and in his attempted worship instead gave what amounted to a thank offering.[63] Abel in the tenuous vanity of his sinful humanity apparently sensed his need, and in faith offered the blood sacrifice with his offering.[64] God affirmed Abel's faith and rejected Cain's unbelief.[65] Cain lived out his refusal of self-giving love by taking in anger the life of his brother.[66] This first human death brought home to Adam and Eve, in the strongest way they had yet experienced, the consequence of their initial choices to live for self.

 

Elements of the conflict-

 

Thus at the very beginning of The Story on this earth, the key elements of the battle that still exists were laid out in the events recorded:

1. The other-centered One creating a perfect creation in His image, which in the paradigm of freely-given love required the freedom of choice within the context of informed options.

2. The unexplainable choice being made, both by deceived unbelief and by open unbelief, to accept the lie about God and His image, and to live for self, even in the face of evidences of the truth (especially the word of truth).

3. The immediate results appearing of vulnerability, vain attempts at solutions, insecurity, and fear.

4. The unchanging other-centered One pursuing the estranged in concern (to restore), in inquiry and judgment (to educate), in faith (to convey evidence of what could be), and in hope (to promise a lasting solution).

5. The core essence of love thus showing itself in the humbling of self to condemn sin while justifying and reclaiming the sinner.

6. The core essence of sin revealing itself at the same time in the guilty ones by the spirit of exaltation in self-justification which always includes the inherent condemnation of others, ultimately the maligning of God Himself.

7. The true worship of God and the false worship of the creature self, leading to the laying down of life by the faithful, and the taking of life by the unfaithful, working out the principles of self-giving and self-seeking.

 

The early harvest-

 

The account is brief but sad. The development of the lie in the long-lived ancients was such that within a few generations it had reached maturity. Self-seeking had developed into a fearful degree of violence and evil.[67] God in a most singular way decided to bring judgment, to recall the gift of life He had given in trust to His creatures, which they had dedicated to Lucifer in principle if not in conscious allegiance.[68] He chose a man of faith and his family to present the final message of mercy and prepare a method of survival.[69] As Noah proclaimed the divine verdict and sentence, and the coming execution of judgment, he also must have reviewed the record of what had led to such serious intervention. In an amazing display of how ripe the rejection of selfless love had become, in the end not one outside Noah's family believed the warning, repented, and accepted the remedy.[70] The global destruction that came, and the preparation to avoid it that God provided, have ever since been types of what will come at the end of the controversy.[71]  But they were only types, as the full development had not yet come. However, God in giving Noah and his descendants the long-range remedy for sin, made promises that still apply to our day, and will forever. An everlasting covenant, embodying a blending of mercy and justice in a beautiful spectrum represented in the rainbow, was clearly explained, an expansion of the first promise given at the fall.[72] The lesson of Noah's experience is a message of righteousness by faith, of living the self-sacrificing life based on the evidences God has given of that being the only way of life. For humanity in its sinfulness, this way is entered by repentance. The call is to turn from self-seeking in response to a revelation of God Himself, and accept His mode of living, as well as His instructions for the present time. For the individual and the human race, there is no other option for survival.

 

The earthly father of the faithful-

 

Noah's descendants reproduced the mistakes of unbelief, and developed new systems of creature worship. The center of Babel (the gate of god, Babylon) became a prototype of all human-centered religions and kingdoms with its self-dependence, false philosophies, erroneous doctrines, amalgamations of truth and error, and abuses.[73] God scattered them, and then out of this maze of confusion called a man of faith,[74] as He began to form a cradle into which could come the greatest revelation of self-sacrificing love the universe will ever see. Abraham's growing walk of faith out of Babylon blazed a trail for people of faith of all lands and all succeeding generations.[75] Step by faltering step he learned to see things from God's perspective, to believe what God believes.[76] In his line of God-dependent descendents would flow the blessing that God had for the entire world, the cure for the curse of self-seeking.[77] God embodied His re-creative faith within the promises He gave to Abraham, who in responsive faith received and believed them in greater and greater dependence.[78] To Abraham's posterity were given the written oracles of God, the great record of God's faith and love from the beginning.[79] This story documented for the race their God-given identity that had been under attack since the intrusion of the lie into this world.[80] Transmitted verbally for generations, but now inscribed in sacred writings by Moses, the unbroken line of the truth would last through the duration of the battle. Woven into this record was the sanctuary built under God's direction upon the deliverance of Abraham's descendents from Egypt (after 400 years of slavery).[81] This sanctuary was given to embody the ways in which self-sacrificing love would itself be the cleansing solution for self-seeking, the restoration of holiness by its removing of iniquity. In the heart of that sanctuary was the visible presence of God, resting above the mercy seat of pure gold, itself above the stones on which God Himself had inscribed the code of self-sacrificing love.[82] Thus justice and mercy were shown as the foundation of His throne of faith and love.[83] All of these lines of faith, in heritage and revelation, were to lead to a visit by the living Word, born into the human family as one of us, to be anew the expression of faith and love from the other-centered Godhead to the fallen race.

 

Glory and desolation-

 

Abraham's family further revealed the victory that faith brings, from the child of promise (the son of faith, Isaac)[84] through the overcoming grandson (Israel, the one who prevailed with God-dependence after battling self, the deceitful Jacob).[85] But these and their descendents showed in great detail the battle between other-centeredness and self-centeredness. The story recounts individuals whose lives testified to the truth in blazing glory and others who embodied the lie in all its horror. At times the same person showed both as they wavered between faith and unbelief within their own lifetime.[86] From their earliest experiences as a nation, these children of Israel exemplified that controversy. Their persistent, inborn tendency to worship the creature, unrestrained by lack of living faith, brought into their midst the abominations of the faithless.[87] The sanctuary itself became desolated with these godless practices.[88] Following the spiritual desolation, their families, cities, and land were physically desolated, including the sanctuary and its city, Jerusalem. The people were taken back to Babylon.[89] But in the midst of it all, the word of God was heard through the voice and pen of the poets and prophets,[90] calling people back to the truth, and testifying of the coming Prince of peace, the anointed One who would again connect heaven and earth, cleanse the sanctuary, and announce the kingdom based on other-centered love.[91] In particular this fulfillment of the everlasting covenant was revealed to Daniel, even down to the dates when key events in this plan would occur.[92] There was revealed to him the amazing overview of world history from his day down through the major kingdoms of the world, all of which eventually would come to their end, to God's everlasting kingdom.[93] Embodied in both the visions and the stories surrounding the coming of the visions was the core battle between self-limiting self-exaltation, and self-sacrificing love, which is the guarantee God's kingdom will last forever, being but the expression of the character of the great King. Daniel's life spanned the fall of both Jerusalem and Babylon, and he grasped what led to both.[94] We see this as he figuratively opened the books and literally explained the verdict and sentence just before the execution of the divine judgment against the last king of Babylon.[95] In the midst of the global pictures given him of the flow and outcome of the controversy, we find embedded Daniel's personal concerns for his people and his city, which form not only the setting for the coming of the great Prince but also a type for the global conflict itself.[96]

 

The ultimate going-down-

 

At last the time came, and the greatest of all prophets was raised up to herald the coming of the Word.[97] John the Baptist announced the coming kingdom and King, laying the ax to the root of the tree of self-seeking, and calling for repentance.[98] "In the fullness of the time" Messiah came as one of us, "born of a woman, born under the law," coming to where we are to recover us, "to redeem them that were under the law."[99] He was anointed by the Spirit from birth to reveal the love of the Father, and was united with our human nature to show the curse of sin.[100] But He came in such amazing humiliation, such condescension that He Himself needed the witness of the written word and the sanctuary to know who He was and why He had come.[101] Thus He as one of us walked by faith.[102] With unprecedented clarity the truth was proclaimed and by contrast the lie was shown for what it was.[103] He went around announcing the kingdom, and describing it in His teachings and personal embodiment of the truth.[104] But the essence of His mission was poorly appreciated, even by those who had forsaken all at His call to follow Him,[105] as they struggled with the self-exalting lie of greatness.[106] The battle over faith and identity had never been so intensely fought.[107] In His final appeal to His people, He like Daniel and the prophets of old reviewed their history in the setting of revealing their deep spiritual needs.[108] But His testimony was rejected, the sanctuary left desolate.[109] His self-sacrificing love proved so threatening to the elite in their self-seeking (particularly the religious elite) that they conspired to do away with Him, repeating Cain's fateful choice.[110] But no man took His life. In the ultimate act of self-sacrifice, He laid it down as He willingly entered into the full identification with sinners.[111] Fulfilling the sanctuary types, and beginning to unfold that to which the festivals pointed in their order, He was the Lamb of God who was taking away the sin of the world.[112] As He lived out the faith that works by love, He Himself was a revelation of the righteousness of God, the mercy seat where law and blood met, the unalterable standard affirmed in, and anointed by a poured-out life.[113] His self-emptying that before had been seen in His servant role of Michael and had taken Him down through the form of man, now lowered Him to the position of sacrificial animal, "even the death of the cross."[114] His victory over sin, self-centeredness, which was seen through His daily cross, was carried clear to His death on Calvary's cross.[115] He overcame by giving, not taking, by submitting, not rising against.[116] The lie and the father of it had both been unmasked.[117] But who saw it? The unseen watchers were convinced, but this world still needed to see a paradigm shift, starting with His own disciples.

 

The truth affirmed-

 

The victory He won was not left hidden in the apparent defeat of His ultimate humiliation. The validity of His justifying by going down, rather than condemning by exalting Himself, was affirmed by His being called forth from the grave.[118] His death had been the greatest condemnation that self-exaltation could ever suffer. And His resurrection was no mere reversal of fortunes, but the beginning harvest for Him of the other-centered exaltation He reveals.[119] Putting the Other and others first has the consequence of drawing them all to you.[120] In God's order they then pursue the goal of putting you first, closing the circle of beneficence. So the resurrection began His exaltation, which is still in progress, and to which we will all contribute (most, alas, unwillingly).[121] As He unfolded to His dazed and fearful disciples these principles and the prophecies that for centuries had pointed to their fulfillment in Him, their world was transformed as with new eyes they viewed their Lord and grasped more deeply who He was and what He had accomplished in spite of and often against their lack of cooperation.[122] They could now, in the most profound way that they had yet experienced, forsake all and follow Him.[123] As they came to understand the cross, and entered into its reality in their hearts and lives, it brought a purity of worship and unity of spirit that had so far eluded these closest of His followers.[124]

 

More witnesses to the truth-

 

Messiah's exaltation included His returning to the Father, a departure He had explained at length to His disciples.[125] He had promised to send the Spirit in His place, who could be with each forever, without the limitations that even glorified humanity has.[126] The remaining disciples were told to wait for this Gift who would bring them power and all other gifts that they would need.[127] The timing of this coming matched the final of the spring festivals given to Abraham's descendents in the sanctuary system[128] (the previous ones having already been fulfilled at Messiah's death and resurrection).[129] The Spirit's coming also marked the heavenly fulfillment of the symbols of the dedication of the sanctuary and the High Priest, who had arrived at that cosmic center with the benefits of His poured-out life, validating the role of Mediator He has assumed from the beginning of sin.[130] The impartation of the Spirit did not change the disciples' basic understanding of scripture. That had been done when the resurrected Messiah had met with them.[131] The Spirit did not bring a unity that they had lacked. Their acceptance of the cross had cleansed from them the spirit of self-exaltation that prevents unity, so they were already in one place in one accord.[132] What the Spirit's coming did was to amplify supernaturally their witness to the truth of the Messiah, His kingdom and authority, and the foundation of those in self-sacrificing love.[133] The impact was explosive, as the news spread far and wide. But the battle also escalated between self-exaltation with its insistence on controlling others, and this opposite, eternal principle that brings amazing freedom. The suffering for righteousness' sake just accelerated the spread of this truth that changed lives and began even to mold societies.[134] One of the greatest persecutors was even converted, and became the most prolific expounder of the faith that works by love.[135] The written records left by these witnesses were added to those of the chroniclers, prophets, and poets of old, giving a united account of a God unknown to many, a God who is love.[136] With unprecedented clarity, as the shadows gave way to the full light of Messiah's visit, these latest of God's messengers wrote in practical earnestness, calling all to God's rest, rest in Messiah's finished work, rest from self-dependence, rest upon the foundations laid for recovery of the lie-infected human race.[137] Into the far corners of the globe the truth spread, at this point not to end the battle, but to prepare people for the next, most difficult phase.[138]

 

The greatest assault on the truth-

 

Messiah and His disciples embodied the principle, "he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."[139] The rejection of this message and the messengers by the remnant of Abraham's descendants caused their spiritual desolation,[140] followed by the second destruction of Jerusalem,[141] all cryptically foretold in the pictures given to Daniel.[142] And these events, in which the Eternal Word gave witness to His select people in a small locality in Palestine, foreshadowed the same process that would occur globally. As the message began to spread to the world, there arose another Judas, the son of perdition, a system combining religious and political forces.[143] It was part of the inner circle, which like Judas refused to be cleansed of the principle of self-exaltation.[144] Keeping some of the forms of Messiah's religion, but incorporating the essence, concepts, and forms of proud paganism, it became the greatest expression of a desolating power, at least in terms of deceit, arrogance, persecution, and longevity. It carried the fulfillment of Daniel's fourth kingdom to a new high.[145] So horrendous was this power that it was described at length not only in Daniel's visions but also in the amazing overview given to the disciple of Messiah who wrote the most about self-sacrificing love.[146] John was shown it as the continuation of the spirit of Babylon at its worst.[147] The severity of the situation occasioned within the prophecies multiple, time-agonized cries of "How long?",[148] breathtaking descriptions of the horrendous destruction "till...",[149] and corresponding, amazing sets of time prophecies, the greatest the world would ever be given.[150] Most who were confronted by this power were captured by the deception or crushed by its coercive force, but the foundation laid down by Messiah and His disciples survived this worst of all assaults, as a remnant continued to receive a love of the truth, and rejected this latest and greatest version of the lie.[151] They were thus enabled to keep the commandments of God (the codifying of self-sacrificing love seen most clearly in the tables given to Moses) and have the testimony of Jesus (the witness that He Himself has given, in person and through His messengers, of the covenant of selfless love).[152]

 

The beginning of the end-

 

In God's providence the seeds of the truth eventually burst into new life, growing for the final showdown.[153] For three hundreds years at least they developed against great odds. And on God's predicted timetable, about the time this long-lived lie system received a near-fatal blow, they finally flowered into an unprecedented exhibition of civil and religious liberty.[154] The special place He created to harbor and spread the end-time messages was the nation with the greatest development of those God-given liberties. These events were preparing the way for the reception and proclamation of the final messages against the kingdoms based on the lie, and in favor of God's everlasting kingdom.[155] At the same time a counterfeit flowering of license masquerading as liberty sprung up and grew alongside,[156] a never-before-seen tare that would confuse most, and lead to such moral corruption that, looking for solutions, people would think the system that had amalgamated Messiah's religion with paganism was desirable once again.[157] It was in this context that God began to send the last messages of mercy, as He called messenger after messenger, and opened understanding of the prophecies given to Daniel and John.[158] In receiving the light from God, people began to see in these amazing developments the fulfillment of those very prophecies, as related to the end.[159] In an experience parallel that of the early disciples of Messiah, the understandings and expectations were not all correct from the beginning, but the messages were God-ordained.[160] In sending these end-time calls, God has begun the final judgment, following the pattern He had used since lovingly confronting the first sinful humans.[161] He is repeating the process He used globally in the days of Noah and locally in the days of Lot.[162] Especially we see parallels to what happened on the local scale in the days of Messiah's first visit to earth.[163] The message is to go globally for a last time,[164] opening the books (the story of the everlasting gospel from creation to present),[165] explaining the verdict (what it is that has caused the final spiritual fall, which foreshadows the coming physical fall),[166] and describing the sentence (how the ultimate and horrendous global execution of judgment can only be grasped by what happens when incurable self-seeking encounters the unveiled presence of Him who is self-sacrificing love).[167] Therefore the cross is presented in unprecedented glory, showing the meeting of mercy and justice, in the wrath of God against sin, the passionate hatred the self-giving One has, in His pure other-centeredness, against all the desolation self-seeking has caused His creation. This process is an intensely practical preparation for a never-before-experienced transition from earthly kingdoms to God's everlasting kingdom.[168] And again the sanctuary types reveal the bigger picture, as the fall festivals in their order began to meet their fulfillment,[169] including the ministry depicted as occurring in the Holy of Holies, as the blood from the courtyard is brought within the veil.[170] But sensing his end nearing, the father of the lie is releasing his final effort to bring as many as he can to believe it, by rejecting the truth and the evidences for it, through the emotional and pseudo-intellectual appeal of self-love.[171]

 

Our day:  the final appeal of genuine love-

 

It is here and now that we find ourselves in this, The Story of stories. God has imparted unprecedented prosperity, technical knowledge, and peace to enable this final mission. Most do not discern the reasons these have been given, and are using them instead for self-serving ends.[172] As God has sent the word out, some have accepted, but the majority have rejected.[173] With many the rejection has not been merely passive. The attacks on the messages and messengers have been unrelenting from without and within. These messages have served to shake and sift the human race, especially those openly claiming to be God's followers.[174] Their hesitancy to accept the messages and become messengers has actually delayed His plan far beyond the final time prophecy, given by Daniel.[175] But there is no other way to bring things to a conclusion. By His opening the books and declaring the verdict and sentence, before the final execution surrounding the return of Messiah, He is calling each individual to avoid the fruit of self-centeredness, especially in its most deceptive of forms, when it is wrapped in a religious garb, in false worship.[176] He is inviting each back to the intimate fellowship with Him of self-giving. Each of these final messages from the heart of infinite love is a call of the everlasting gospel, a call to the everlasting covenant.[177] The choice is between worship of the Creator in all His beauty of humble love, and worship of the creature in all the allure of self-love.[178] Side by side, in families, in churches, in nations, in all areas of life, particularly in the forms of worship, the final maturing of the two principles is developing. This spiritual battle, waged for millennia, is building to its final crescendo. If ever we needed the armor and weapons for this last warfare, it is now.[179] In particular, the delay is making us vulnerable to counterfeit spirits. As always from the beginning in Eden, the deceptiveness of self-seeking is capturing the majority, but this is only serving to highlight by contrast the glory of self-sacrificing love, as the cross is proclaimed in word and life in ever-increasing clarity and power in those who are responding to God's faith with faith, and to God's love with love.[180] It is these alone that are valuing the awesome privilege to be His witnesses in the hour of His judgment, by receiving a love of the truth, and by keeping His commandments and His faith.[181] They are hastening the day when the controversy will be over, when it will be seen that He is true, when every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He who humbled Himself the most is indeed Lord of all.[182] Then all will see that The Story has been His story[183] from the first.

 

 

The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of "the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal." It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God's throne. (Rom. 16:25, R. V.; DA22)


 

 

Endnotes (Scripture is taken from the KJV.)



[1] 1John 4:8 8 "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

Mal. 3:6 "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."

Ps. 90:1, 2 "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."

[2] The other-centeredness of this love is evident from the following line of texts. God's love is the prototype:  1John 4:19 "We love him, because He first loved us." This love led Him to give Himself. The One who is God known as Son (Christ Jesus, Ha'Mashiya Yahu'shuah) expressed this most clearly:  Gal. 2:20 "...The Son of God ... loved me, and gave Himself for me."

Eph. 5:25 "Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it...."

1Tim. 2:5, 6 "... The man Christ Jesus ... gave Himself a ransom for all...."

(Check out the other "gave Himself" texts!)

God loves others as Himself, and that love motivates Him to give Himself. This is what makes this expression of love the second of the great commandments: 

Matt. 22:39 "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." We love others as ourselves by giving ourselves. This is precisely how Jesus instructed His disciples to love: 

John 15:12 "This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."

To say we must first love ourselves before we can love others is a heresy, and an expression that reflects the perilous times in which we live:  2Tim. 3:1, 2 "... In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves...."

[3] The plurality of God is plainly stated in the first chapter in the Bible:  Gen. 1:26 "And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness."

[4] Space:  Psa 139:7, 8  "Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there."

Acts 17:27 "... They should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us...."

Time:  (Challenging the false gods) Isa. 41:22, 23 "Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together."

Isa. 42:8, 9 "I am the LORD: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them."

Isa. 45:11 "Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands command ye Me."

Isa. 46:9, 10 "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure...."

John 14:29 "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe."

[5] Isa. 40:26 "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth."

John 1:3 "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made."

Col. 1:16, 17 "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:  and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.

[6] Isa. 9:6 "The mighty God, The everlasting Father."

Heb. 1:8 "Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever"

Heb. 9:14 "the eternal Spirit"

[7] Be aware that glory and name in Scripture primarily mean character.

John 14:9 "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?"

John 10:30 "I and my Father are one."

Joh 5:37 "And the Father Himself, which hath sent Me, hath borne witness of Me."

John 15:26 "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me...."

[8] Mt 28:19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost...."

[9] Mt 27:46 "Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Me?"

John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost [Spirit], whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things...."

John 16:7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you."

[10] Acts 17:29 "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device."

Rom. 1:20 "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse...."

Col. 2:9 "For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."

[11] Heb. 1:1-3 "God ... hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds..., being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power...."

Col. 1:16 "For by Him [the Son, vs. 13] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible...."

[12] Phil. 2:6, 7 "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery [something to be grasped] to be equal with God:  but made Himself of no reputation...."

[13] This position was not explicitly described at this point in The Story, but can be seen from later portions of it. This role is alluded to in Phil. 2:7 where it stated He "took upon Him the form of a servant." The angels refer to themselves as "fellowservants" and refuse worship, saying "worship God" (Rev. 22:8, 9). The name Michael for the Son is first used by the angel (apparently Gabriel; see Dan. 8:16; 9:21; 10:11) who gave Daniel his last vision. There Michael is called (in His humility) "one of the chief princes" (10:13), "your prince" (10:21), and "the great prince" (12:1). This same term in the Hebrew translated "prince" here, is used in Josh. 5:14, 15 as "captain" in the phrase "Captain of the host of the LORD" (clearly the archangel), who received worship from Joshua. The devil wants Christ to worship him (Matt. 4:9). The Father commands the angels to worship the incarnate Christ (Heb. 1:6). In addition, as prince, captain, or chief of the heavenly angels, the Son is described as Michael fighting the war with Satan and his angels in heaven (Rev. 12:7), apparently referring to the very beginning of the controversy between this fallen angel and God. Christ refers to Himself as "the bright and morning star" (Rev. 22:16). The title "star" is used elsewhere to describe angels. (See Rev. 1:20; Job 38:7). The only other use for Michael as the Son is in the context of the resurrection. After Moses' death, Michael the archangel is pictured as contending and disputing respectfully with the devil over Moses' body. This would obviously be an issue with the devil, for until Moses, death had reigned (Rom. 5:14). He would not allow someone to be removed from his domain of death without opposing it. But it is the voice of this archangel, also called "the trump of God," at which the dead arise at the second coming of Messiah (1Thes. 4:16). And whose voice can accomplish such a victory, to open the prison house of the devil? None other than He who voice is like a trumpet (same Greek word), that the apostle John identified as the Son (Rev. 1:10-13). In fact, Messiah said Himself that it is "the voice of the Son of God" who is also "the Son of man" at which all the dead will be raised (John 5:25-29). Let us not let the humility of the Son lead us to miss who Michael the archangel truly is.

[14] John 1:1, 14 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

1John 1:1, 3 "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life ... declare we unto you...." (Compare Rev. 19:11-16.)

[15] All occurrences of "Messiah" in the Old Testament:

Dan. 9:25 "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."

Dan. 9:26 "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself...."

A key occurrence of "Christ" in the New Testament:

Matt. 16:16 "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."

[16] Lu 22:26 "...He that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve."

[17] Matt. 22:37-40 "...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

1Jo 3:14, 16 "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

[18] 1Cor. 13: 13 "And now abideth faith, hope, charity [love], these three; but the greatest of these is charity [love]."

2Cor. 5:14 14 "For the love of Christ constraineth us...."

1Jo 4:11 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."

[19] Eph 4:15 "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."

[20] 1Cor. 13:5 Love "seeketh not her own."

Phil 2:2-5 "Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

[21] Heb. 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

[22] 1Cor. 13:7 Love "believeth all things."

Gal. 5:6 "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

[23] Rev. 3:18 "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich...."

1Pet. 1:7 "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."

2Cor. 8:8 "I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love."

Jas. 1:12 "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."

1Tim. 1:14 "And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."

[24] John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."

[25] Ezekiel 28:14, 15 "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."

Isaiah 14:12 "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"

[26] Isaiah 14:13, 14 "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

[27] Heb. 1: 5 "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?"

[28] John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh the lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

Lucifer is pictured going from place to place in heaven attempting to sell his new idea. "Merchandise" and "traffick" in the following verses are the same Hebrew word:

Eze. 28:16 "By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire."

Eze. 28:18 "Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee."

[29] Rev. 12: 7 "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels."

[30] Psa. 89:14 "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face."

Psa. 97:2 "Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne."

Psa. 119:142 "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth."

[31] Eze. 28: 15 "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."

Eze. 33:18 "When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby."

[32] 1Tim. 1:14 "And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."

[33] Rev. 3:18 "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire...."

[34] Rev. 13:8 "...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning....

[35] Psa. 33:9 "For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast."

[36] Gen. 1:26, 27 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

Gen. 2:7 "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

21-24 "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

[37] Gen. 1:28 "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it...."

[38] Gen. 1:28 "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ... Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

[39] Gen. 1:29 "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."

[40] Gen. 2:2, 3 "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."

[41] Gen. 2:8 "And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed."

15 "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it."

[42] Allusion to what had gone before:  Gen. 3:8 "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day...."

[43] Gen. 2:9 "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

[44] Gen. 1:31 "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

[45] Gen. 2:17 "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

[46] Gen. 3:1 "And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

[47] Gen. 3:2, 3 "And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."

[48] Gen. 3:4, 5 "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

[49] Gen. 3: 6 "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

That this choice of Adam yielded sovereignty of the earth to the devil is made plain by Satan's appearing from earth at a gathering of "the sons of God" (Job 1:6, 7), and by his words to Christ that the power and glory of "all the kingdoms of the world" had been "delivered unto me." (Luke 4:5, 6).

[50] 1Tim. 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Rev. 14:9 "receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand"

[51] Rom. 5:12 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin...."

[52] Gen. 3:7 "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked...."

Gen. 3:10 "... I was afraid, because I was naked."

[53] Gen. 3:7, 8 "... and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.... Adam and his wife hid themselves ... amongst the trees of the garden."

[54] Gen. 3:8 "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam...."

[55] Gen. 3:9, 11, 13 "And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? ... And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?... And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done?"

[56] Gen. 3:14, 16, 17 "And the LORD God said unto the serpent.... Unto the woman he said, .... And unto Adam he said...."

[57] Gen. 3:23, 24 "Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

[58] Gen. 3:12, 13 "And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.... And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat."

[59] Gen. 3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

[60] Gen. 3:21 "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them."

[61] Gen. 4:1 "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD."

[62] Gen. 4:2 "And she again bare his brother Abel."

[63]  Gen. 4:3 "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD."

[64] Gen. 4:4 "And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof."

[65] Gen. 4:4, 5 "And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:  but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect."

[66] Gen. 4:5, 8 "And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell." "And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."

[67] Gen. 6:5, 11, 12 "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.... The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth."

[68] Gen. 6:6, 7, 17 "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.... And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die."

[69] Gen. 6:8, 13, 14 "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.... And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch."

Heb 11:7 "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."

2Pet. 2:5 God "spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly."

[70] 1 Pet. 3:20 "Once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."

Gen. 7:13 "In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark."

[71] Matt. 24:37-39 "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

[72] Gen. 6:18 "But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee."

Gen. 9:9-17 "And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:  I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:  and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth."

[73] Gen. 10: 8-10 "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel...."

Gen. 11:4-9 "And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."

Isa. 21:9 "Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground."

Re 14:8 "And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."

Re 18:2 "And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."

[74] Gen. 12:1 "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee." [Abram's name was changed to Abraham in Gen. 17:5]

Heb. 11:8 "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went."

[75] Rev. 18:2, 4 "And he [the angel] cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.... And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

[76] Gen. 15:5, 6 "And he [the LORD] brought him [Abram] forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness."

[77] Gen. 12:3 "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

Gal. 3:8, 9, 14 "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

[78] Heb. 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Acts 26:6 "And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers."

Rom. 3:3, 4 "For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."

Rom. 4:13 "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith."

Gal. 3:16 "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."

[79] Rom. 3:1-4 "What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid...."

Gal. 5:6 "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

[80] Deut. 32:7 "Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee."

[81] Exod. 25:8 "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them."

[82] Exod. 25: 17-22 "And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel."

[83] Psa. 89:14 "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face."

1Tim. 1:14 "And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."

[84] Rom. 9:7, 8 "Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed."

Rom. 4:13 "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith."

Gal. 3:22 "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe."

[85] Gen. 32:24-28 "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."

[86] Gal. 4: 22 "For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise."

[87] 1 Kings 11: 4-8 "For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods."

[88] 2Chron. 36:14 "Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem."

Ezek. 8: 13-17 "He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose."

[89] Jer. 25:11 "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years."

2 Chron. 36:16-20 "They mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon."

[90] 2 Chron. 36:15 "And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place."

[91] Isa. 9:6, 7 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."

[92] Dan. 9:25-27 "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself.... And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease."

Dan. 8:14 "And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

[93] Dan. 7:17, 18 "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever."

Dan. 2:44 "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."

[94] Dan. 1:1, 2 "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand...."

Dan. 9:5, 6, 10-13 "We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:  neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth."

[95] Dan. 5:18-26 "O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour.... But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:  ...till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; ... and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.... God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it...."

Dan. 5:30 "In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain."

[96] Dan. 9:16-19 "O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name."

[97] John 1:14, 15 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of Him, and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me."

[98] Matt. 3:1-3, 8-10 "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.... Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:  and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."

[99] Gal. 4:4, 5 "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."

[100] Luke 1:35 "And the angel answered and said unto her, 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."

John 3:34 "For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him."

John 15:9 "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love."

Gal. 3:13 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us...."

[101] Luke 2: 46, 49 "And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.... And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"

Luke 2:52 "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."

John 7:14-16 "Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned. Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me."

Matt. 21:13 "And [Jesus] said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves."

[102] John 6:57 "... The living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father...."

[103] John 18:37 "Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."

John 8:42-46 "Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh the lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?"

[104] Matt. 4:17 "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Matt. 4:23 "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people."

Matt. 13:24 "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field."

[105] Luke 5:11 "And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Him."

Mt 19:27 "Then answered Peter and said unto Him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?"

[106] Luke 9:46 "Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest."

Luke 22:24 "And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest."

[107] Matt. 4:3 "And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread."

Matt. 4:6 "And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone."

John 8:25 "Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning."

John 10:24 "Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly."

Matt. 27:40 "And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross."

Luke 23:37 "And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself."

Luke 23:39 "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us."

[108] Matt. 23:29-32 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers."

[109] Matt. 23:34-39 "Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:  that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."

[110] Mark 3:6 "And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him."

Mr 11:18 "And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine."

John 7:19 "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?"

John 8:37 "I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you."

John 8:40 "But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham."

John 11:47-50, 53 "Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.... Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death."

[111] John 10:17, 18 "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 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."

[112] John 1:29 "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

John 1:36 "And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!"

Luke 22:15 "And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer."

1Cor. 5:7 "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."

Eph. 5:2 "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."

Heb. 7:27 "Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself."

Heb. 9:25, 26 "Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."

[113] Rom. 3:21-26 "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." [lit., "the justifier of the one out of the faith of Jesus"]

[114] Phil. 2:5-8 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

[115] Luke 9:23 "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."

Rom. 8:3, 4 "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

[116] Gal. 1:4 "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father."

Gal 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

Eph. 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."

1Tim. 2:6 "Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."

Tit. 2:14 "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

[117] John 12:31 "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out."

Col. 2:15 "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it [the cross]."

[118] Rom. 4:23-25 "Now it was not written for his [Abraham's] sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."

[119] Matt. 20:28 "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

Acts 2:24 "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it."

[120] John 12:32, 33 "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."

Acts 17:31 "Because he [God] hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance [lit., faith] unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."

[121] Rom. 1:3, 4 "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."

Eph. 1:17-23 "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:  the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

Phil. 2:8-11 "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

[122] Luke 24:25-27 "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:  ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."

John 20:19 "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you."

Luke 24:44-46 "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day...."

[123] Luke 24:47, 48 "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. "

John 21:20-22 "Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me."

[124] Luke 24:52, 53 "And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:  and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God."

Acts 1:14 "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren."

Acts 2:1 "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."

[125] John 14:1-4 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know."

John 14:12 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."

John 14:28 "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I."

John 16:16 "A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father."

John 16:28 "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father."

[126] John 14:16, 17 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

John 15:26 "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."

John 16:5-7 "But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."

[127] Luke 24:49 "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."

Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

[128] Lev. 23:5-11, 15, 16 "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:  and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it." "And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:  even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD."

Acts 2:1 "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."

Deut. 16:16 "Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty."

[129] John 13:1 "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end."

Luke 22:7 "Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed."

1Cor. 5:7 "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."

1Cor. 15:20 "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."

[130] Lev. 8:10-12 "And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them. And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him."

Lev. 9:23, 24 "And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces."

Heb. 9:18 "Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood."

Heb. 9:11, 12 "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."

Heb. 10:19, 20 "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh."

[131] Luke 24:45 "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures."

[132] Acts 2:1 "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."

[133] Acts 2:4-6, 41 "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language." "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

Acts 4:31 "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."

[134] Acts 8:1 "And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles."

Acts 17:6 "And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also."

[135] Acts 9:10-16 "And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:  and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:  for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake."

2 Cor. 12:7 "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure."

Gal. 5:6 "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

[136] 2 Pet. 3:15, 16 "And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."

Acts 17:22, 23 "Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."

1 John 4:14-16 "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."

[137] John 1:4-9 "In him [the Word, Jesus Christ] was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

John 12:46 "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness."

2 Cor. 4:6 "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

2 Tim. 1:9, 10 "[God] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."

2Pet. 1:19 "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts."

1John 1:5 "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."

Heb 4:1 "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it."

Heb 4:3 "For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world."

Heb 4:10, 11 "For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."

John 19:30 "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."

Luke 18:9 "And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others."

Heb. 6:1, 2 "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."

[138] Col. 1:21-23 "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:  if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister."

2 Thes. 2:1-3 "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."

[139] Matt. 23: 9-12 "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."

Phil. 2:8 "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

Phil. 4:12 "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

James 4:10 "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."

1Pet. 5:6 "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time."

[140] Matt. 23:29-38 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:  that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."

Acts 7:51-58 "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:  who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul."

[141]  Matt. 24:1 "And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

Luke 21:20 "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."

[142] Dan. 9:24-27 "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

[143] 2 Thes. 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."

John 17:12 "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled."

Matt. 26: 14-16 "Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him."

Mark 3:6 "And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him."

John 11:57 "Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him."

John 18:3 "Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons."

[144] 2 Thes. 2:4 "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."

[145] Dan. 7:19-21 "Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them."

Dan. 7:25 "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."

Dan. 8:11 "Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down."

Dan. 8:25 "And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes...."

Dan. 11:35, 36 "And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all."

[146] Rev. 13:5-7 "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."

 

[147] Rev. 16:13, 14, 19 "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty....  And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath."

[148] Dan. 8:13 "Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?"

Dan. 12:6 "And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?"

Rev. 6:10 "And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?"

[149] Dan. 7:9 "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire."

Dan. 7:11 "I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame."

Dan. 7:22 "Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom."

[150] Dan. 7:25 "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."

Dan. 8:14 "And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

Dan. 12:7 "And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished."

Dan. 12:11, 12 "And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days."

[151] 2 Thes. 2:7-13 "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let ["he who now restraineth will restrain"], until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie:  that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth."

[152] Rev. 12:17 "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

Rev. 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

[153] Dan. 11:33-35 "And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen [helped] with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed."

Rev. 12:16 "And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth."

[154] Rev. 13:3 "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast."

Rev. 13:11 "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb...."

Mark 12:17 "And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him."

[155] Dan. 4:3 "How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation."

Dan. 7:27 "And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."

[156] Rev. 11: 7, 8 "And when they [two witnesses] shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."

[157] Rev. 13: 3, 4 "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"

Rev. 13:12, 14 "And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.... And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live."

[158] Rev. 14: 6, 7 "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."

Rev. 14:8 "And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."

Matt. 25:1-6 "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:  but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him."

Rev. 14:9-12 "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

Rev. 3: 14-22 "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

Rev. 18:1-4 "And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

[159] Dan. 8:17 "So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision."

Dan. 8:19 "And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be."

Dan. 12:4 "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

Dan. 12:9 "And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."

[160] Matt. 16:22 "Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee."

Luke 24: 21, 25, 26, 44-46 "But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done." "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:  ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?" "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day."

Matt. 10:7 "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Acts 1:6 "When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"

[161] See footnotes 55-57.

[162] Luke 17:26-30 "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."

[163] Luke 21: 20-28 "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."

[164] Matt. 24:12-14 "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

[165] Rev. 14:6, 7 "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."

[166] Rev. 14:8 "And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."

[167] Rev. 14:9-12 "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

[168] Rev. 11:15-19 "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail."

[169] Lev. 23:24, 27, 34 "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation." "Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD." "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD."

[170] Lev. 16:14, 15 "And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat."

[171] 2 Thes. 2:9-12 "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

Rev. 13:13-15 "And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."

2 Tim. 3:1, 2 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves...."

[172] Matt. 24:12 "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."

[173] Matt. 7:14 "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

[174] Matt. 25:1-3, 11, 12 "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them." "Afterward came also the [foolish] virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not."

Matt. 7:21-23 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

[175] Dan. 8:14 "And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

[176] Matt. 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

Matt. 24:11 "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."

Matt. 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

2 Pet. 2:1 "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

1 John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

Rev. 16:13 "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet."

[177] Rev. 14:6 "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people."

Heb. 13:20, 21 "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

[178] Rom. 1:25 "Who changed the truth of God into the lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

[179] Eph. 6:10-18 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."

[180] 1 John 4:19 "We love him, because he first loved us."

[181] Rev. 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

[182] Phil. 2:5-11 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

[183] The word "history" is derived from the Greek verb "historeo" which has the meaning of "to enquire into, examine, investigate, to gain knowledge of by visiting, of some distinguished person, to become personally acquainted with, know face to face." The only use of this Greek verb in Scripture is this verse in Galatians 1:18. "Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days." Based on this definition and use, we will conclude with this benediction:

May we gain knowledge by visiting the One Peter revealed to Paul, "The Christ, the Son of the Living God," the Rock on which all rests. May we become personally acquainted with Him, and know Him face to face, so when He comes, we will recognize Him and He, us. May this our enquiry, our examination, our investigation have allowed His story, His opening of His books, to have accomplished all this for us!

 

Yahweh our God, other lords besides You have had dominion over us;

but by You only will we make mention of Your name. (Isa. 26:13; WEB)

 

To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. (Rom. 16:27)

 

Soli Deo Gloria!