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THE FOUR HORNS
"The significance of the Jewish economy is not yet fully comprehended. TRUTHS VAST and PROFOUND are shadowed forth in its rites and symbols. The gospel is the key that unlocks its mysteries. Through a knowledge of the plan of redemption, its truths are opened to our understanding. Far more than we do, it is our privilege to understand these wonderful themes. We are to comprehend THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD." Christ's Object Lessons, p. 133.
Two of the symbols the Israelites were commanded to use in their worship were two altars, upon which there were horns on each of their four corners. One was called, "the altar of sweet incense." The other was called, "the altar of burnt offering." The altar of sweet incense, overlaid with gold, stood inside of the first apartment of the Sanctuary, in front of the veil which divided the first apartment from the second one. The altar of burnt offering, overlaid with bronze ("brass" – KJV) stood in the court of the Sanctuary, at the door of the Sanctuary.
THE ALTAR OF SWEET INCENSE
"Thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it. A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: The horns thereof shall be of the same. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about." Exodus 30:1-3.
"Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of [the altar of sweet incense] once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD." Exodus 30:10.
"The priest shall put some of the blood UPON THE HORNS of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation." Leviticus 4:7.
THE ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERING
"And he made the altar of burnt offering of shittim wood: five cubits was the length thereof, and five cubits the breadth thereof; it was foursquare; and three cubits the height thereof. And he made the HORNS thereof on the FOUR CORNERS of it; the horns thereof were of the same: and he overlaid it with brass." Exodus 38:1-2.
"And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it UPON THE HORNS of the altar round about." Leviticus 16:18.
THE INTERCESSION OF THE FOUR HORNS
The placing of the blood upon the four horns of the altars was designed to teach an important lesson in regard to the atonement for sin, and the Day of Atonement. It is through the blood of the sin offering that the sin was transferred from the sinner to the sanctuary. Why is the blood of the sin offerings transferred specifically to the four horns? What does a horn symbolize? Why are there four horns?
"He said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, the God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the HORN of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my SAVIOUR thou savest me from violence." 2 Samuel 22:2-3.
Therein David referred to the LORD as a "horn," "the horn of his salvation" – his "Saviour."
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an HORN of salvation for us in the house of his servant David... For unto you is born this day in the city of David a SAVIOUR, which is CHRIST THE LORD." Luke 1:68-69; 2:11.
Zacharias prophesied and likened Christ, the Saviour, to a "HORN of salvation." There is yet another symbolical meaning of horns:
"The ten HORNS out of this kingdom are ten KINGS that shall arise." Daniel 7:24.
"The ram which thou sawest having two HORNS are the KINGS of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great HORN that is between his eyes is the first KING." Daniel 8:20-21.
Thus we see that horns also represent kings – rulers. Applying the Bible's own explanation of the symbolic meaning of horns to the HORNS on the altars of the sanctuary, we see that they refer to God in the sense of His Kingship or Rulership, and His intercessory work for us as our Saviour. So again, why are there FOUR horns on each of the altars? Why is there a plurality of Horns? It is written
"I am the LORD [YHWH] thy God [Elohim – plural], the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour. I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee." Isaiah 43:3.
Therein our Saviour is identified by name, YHWH, and the title, Elohim (plural – Gods). But,
"They forgat God [El – singular] their Saviour, which had done great things in Egypt." Psalm 106:21.
So far we have seen that our Saviour has been identified as YHWH, and in the singular and the plural number. This mystery can only be understood by looking at other Scriptures.
"Verily thou art a God [El] that hidest thyself, O God [Elohim] of Israel, the Saviour." Isaiah 45:15.
It is well accepted that God, the Father, is our Saviour, for all salvation only comes forth by His will. Yet it is also written,
"We have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." 1 John 4:14,
Thus we see through the language of the Scriptures and the testimony therein that the work of the "horn of ... salvation," the Saviour, is the work of a Family. According to Zacharias' testimony, we know that one horn represents Christ, the Lord, the Son. We may understand that another represents the Father, who saves us by giving His only begotten Son. And it is not hard to see that another one symbolizes the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised to send to be with us forever, and by whose intercession we are saved (Romans 8:26, 27). That makes a total of three heavenly Horns (Rulers – Saviours), but the symbolism which God created on the altars of the sanctuary reveals that there are four heavenly Rulers (Horns – Saviours).
In Christ's day, the revelation of the Son of God came as a stone of stumbling and rock of offense to the nation of Israel (Isaiah 8:14; 1 Peter 2:8). Even though the Scriptures told of the Son of God (Psalm 2, for example), the revelation and reality of that fact in the Person of Jesus Christ was an unwelcome surprise to many. In our day, the revelation of the Person represented by the fourth horn on the altars of the Sanctuary is surprising many as well, for Adventism, and Christianity in general, today, only know of "the Trinity," though their definition of that term varies greatly. Let us, therefore, search for the "hidden manna" (Revelation 2:17) of this symbolism that we may discover Who else is working for our atonement as represented by the fourth horn (Ruler, Saviour) on the altars.
"The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a GLORIOUS STAR containing Jesus' new name." Early Writings, p. 15.
Part of the sealing truth that is to come to the people of God is termed "a glorious star containing Jesus' new name." We know that to be sealed in our foreheads is to be settled into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually (MS 173, 1902, 4BC 1161). To have something written on our foreheads is to have received, believed, and have acted on a message from God. Therefore, in this vision of the 144,000, God reveals that He will send a manifold message to the remnant people which will bring them the seal of the glorious star containing Jesus' new name. Those who have faith in that sealing message will have "a glorious star containing Jesus' new name" written on their forehead. This leads us to the question - what does a "star" represent?
"And he [Joseph] dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the SUN and the MOON and the eleven STARS made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I [the sun] and thy MOTHER [the moon] and thy BRETHREN [the STARS] indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" Genesis 37:9-10.
Therein stars are representative of children.
"And his [the dragon's, Satan's] tail drew the third part of the STARS of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as. soon as it was born." Revelation 12:4.
Therein stars are representative of angels.
"The mystery of the seven STARS which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven STARS are the ANGELS of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches." Revelation 1:20.
"God's MINISTERS are symbolized by the seven STARS, which He who is the first and the last has under His special care and protection." Gospel Workers, p. 13.
The seven stars are said to be ministers because angels are said to be ministers (Hebrews 1:13, 14).
"I JESUS have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning STAR." Revelation 22:16.
Jesus is also a Child and a minister (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45, Romans 15:8).
In Bible symbolism a star may represent:
(1) A child (Gen. 37:9,10)
So, the sealing truth to be settled into, both intellectually and spiritually, is that contained in a message about a GLORIOUS STAR which represents a glorious CHILD who is a MINISTER, a MESSENGER from heaven (an ANGEL), and who has the new name of Jesus.
"The King's [the Father's] DAUGHTER (Star) is all glorious within [for She contains Jesus' new name]: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the King [Jesus] in raiment of needlework: the [wise] virgins [the 144,000] her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee." Psalms 45:13-14.
There are two Kings revealed in these verses. One, the Father of the Daughter, and the other, the Bridegroom of the Daughter. Of the Daughter, the Bridegroom says,
"My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one [Daughter] of her Mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her." Song of Solomon 6:9.
"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but WHATSOEVER HE SHALL HEAR, THAT SHALL HE SPEAK [as One who communicates a message from God – as an Angel, the Angel of the Lord]: and He will show you things to come." John 16:13.
A MINISTER WITH THE NEW NAME OF JESUS
"But the Comforter, which is THE HOLY GHOST, whom the Father will send IN MY [new] NAME, [S]he shall TEACH you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26.
We have spoken of the Holy Ghost in the feminine gender because that is the way the words are in the Hebrew or Aramaic words which Jesus was speaking. There are many places in the Hebrew Scriptures where YHWH, the Saviour, the Horn of salvation, the Ruler of all, is recorded to have spoken in the feminine gender. To wit,
"I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no Saviour." Isaiah 43:11.
Therein the words "I, even I" are translated from the Hebrew words "Anochi, Anochi." Anochi is the feminine form of "I am," as Ani is the masculine form. YHWH Elohim is recorded as using both genderal forms. For more on this matter, and on the seemingly interchangeable use of the words Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost.please see our publication, The Real Ghost Story.
So, we find that the Holy Ghost, the King's Daughter, fits the Bible's interpretation of the glorious Star, and is whom the fourth Horn on the altars represents. The seal of the glorious Star containing Jesus' new name is the truth of the Daughter of God and Her work and message in conjunction with the new phase of Christ's work and message which is signified by His "new name."
Since She is represented as an Angel, then She must have a message from heaven for those upon the earth, and to receive Her message is to follow Her. The virgins who follow Her will be brought to the King. And since She is sent in the new name of Jesus, we understand that Her message will be under the name of The Branch, for that is Jesus' new name (Zechariah 6:12; Great Controversy, p. 415), the name which He has at the present time as Intercessor and King. Since, the 144,000 are all sealed and perfectly united and the last seal upon their foreheads is the glorious star containing Jesus' new name, it is easy to see that the complete Branch message is the last sealing truth to perfect the 144,000. Therefore, the Daughter of God, symbolized by one of the four horns on the altars, is having the blood of the sin offering placed upon Her in this day of final atonement, and is calling all virgins (those who profess a pure faith) to follow Her (in freshly revealed truth) that they may be brought before the King (at the wedding feast).
"...in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, THE MYSTERY OF GOD [the Godhead - our heavenly Family] SHOULD BE FINISHED [understood]..." Revelation 10:7.
LIVING WATERS BRANCH