That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these publications are, as a Christian service, provided without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.
CHARIOTS OF FIRE
EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY
LOIS I. RODEN
Copyright, July 4,1983
Printed by Mike's Print Shop
C H A R I O T S O F F I R E
T H E A R K O F T H E C O V E N A N T
"The return of the Ark [to Jerusalem) would stagger the world; may change the belief of millions of people of all nations for the better; be the greatest blow skeptics ever received; and perhaps be the greatest modern proof of the authenticity of Holy Writ."-Antonia F. Futterer, an excerpt from Palestine Speaks, 1931, pp. 536-537, as quoted in Biblical Archaeology Review, May-June, 1983, p. 67.
"ARK, of the covenant or of the testimony; Heb. 'aron ha-berith, chest of the covenant. The word 'aron is used of the coffin (mummy-case) of Joseph (Gen. 50:26); elsewhere of the chest containing the tables of the law, resting in the tabernacle or in the temple. God directed Moses (Exod. 25:10-22, Deut. 10:2-5) to make it of shittim (acacia) wood, of precise dimensions, and to overlay it with pure gold within and without, with a crown of gold about it. There were to be rings of gold at the corners, and staves covered with gold to put through the rings to carry the ark. Within was to be placed 'the testimony which I shall give thee.' A mercy seat of gold, with two winged cherubim of gold, was to be placed on top of the ark. There God promised to meet and talk with Moses. The ark was made after the golden calf was destroyed (Deut. 10:1, 'At that time'), and was set up in the tabernacle (Exod. 40:20).
"The ark went before Israel in the wilderness journeys 'to search out a resting place for them' (Num. 10:33). The ark was instrumental in the crossing of Jordan on dry land under Joshua (Josh. 3), and in the capture of Jericho (Josh. 4:7-11). Joshua prayed before the ark after the defeat at Ai (Josh. 7:6) and after the subsequent victory, at Mt. Ebal, the ark being present (Josh. 8:33). In the days of Eli the ark was in the tabernacle at Shiloh (1 Sam. 3:3). It was taken into battle against the Philistines, and captured by them. 'The glory is departed from Israel, for the ark of God is taken' (1 Sam. 4:3-22). It was held by the Philistines until a plague convinced them that the ark was too dangerous to keep, and it was ceremoniously sent back (1 Sam. 5:1-6:15) to Beth-shemesh. The men of this place also suffered a plague for looking into the ark, and it was removed to Kirjath-jearim (1 Sam. 6:19-21). Here it was treated with due respect, being kept in the house of Abinadab under the care of his son Eleazar (1 Sam. 7:1,2).
"David brought the ark to Jerusalem, after some misadventures (11 Sam. 6; 1 Chron 13 and 15). When Uriah said to David, 'The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents' (11 Sam. 11:11), he may have meant that the ark had been taken away by the army into the field, or merely that the ark was in a tent (the tabernacle) just as the armies of Israel and Judah were in tents. At the time of Absalom's rebellion, Zadok and the levites carried the ark out of Jerusalem, but David had them take it back (11 Sam. 15:24-29). The priests brought the ark into Solomon's temple (1 Kings 8:3-9). There was nothing in it at this time 'save the two
tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb.'
"Before the ark was made, Moses directed that a pot of manna be laid up before the Lord (Exod. 16:32-34) and Hebrews 9:4 says that 'the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant' were 'in' the ark (at some time; not necessarily throughout its existence). Jeremiah, writing after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, prophesies that in time to come the ark will no longer be of significance for worship (Jer. 3:16). Psalm 132:8 speaks of the ark poetically as representing the strength of the Lord, whether the ark was in existence at the time this psalm was written or not. Hebrews 9 uses the tabernacle and all its furnishings, including the ark, in explaining by analogy salvation by the high-priesthood of Christ. After the destruction of the first temple, there is no evidence as to what happened to the ark, but only highly speculative tradition and conjecture. Synagogues, from our earliest knowledge of them to the present, have had arks in the side wall toward Jerusalem: therein the scrolls of the Law are stored behind a curtain." – Selected.
T H E C H A R I O T O F T H E C H E R U B I M S
1 Chron. 28:18
"S E R A P H I M
"Isaiah sees a vision of the LORD seated on a high and lofty throne, with six-winged seraphs hovering around him.
"The six-winged seraphim have been traditionally identified as flaming angels, but this rests solely on a fanciful association of the word with the Hebrew s-r-ph, 'burn.' In Isaiah 14:29, the winged seraph is described as the offspring of an adder; and in Numbers 21:6,8 and Deuteronomy 8:15 'seraph-serpents' are said to inhabit the wilderness, just as Herodotus speaks of fiery serpents which dwell there."–Selected.
The scriptures afford no other Hebrew root word for the "seraphim" (plural form) of Isaiah 6. In the singular form, seraphim is the same as the "saraph" (serpent) of:
(1) Num. 21:5-9: "And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
(2) Isa. 14:29: "Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent."
"Fiery flying serpent"- a species which springs like a dart of lightening from trees on its prey.
(3) Isa. 30:6: "The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them."
This symbolic prophecy depicts the kings of Judah ("young and old lion") as serpents sending their ambassadors down to Egypt (symbol of the world) with presents, for help against Assyria (symbol of Israel's enemies) against the counsel of the Lord, “to a people that shall not profit them."
Both seraphim (plural) and saraph–serpent–(singular) are from the same Semitic root word. It is certain that the seraphim are celestial beings with near human characteristics–face, body, feet, hands–who act with serpentine, lightening–like swiftness to do God's every bidding with reverence and holy awe, without selfish purpose. They are personifications of their Creators, the highest order of the angelic creation; moral beings who represent God (Heb.–Elohim–plural) in the execution of their purposes of holiness in the universe in a ministry connected with the atonement and eradication of sin "as a consuming fire" –hence, brazen or fiery serpents.
"Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the ROD of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the SERPENT'S ROOT shall come forth a COCKATRICE and his fruit shall be a FIERY FLYING SERPENT." Isa. 14:29.
The earthly descendants of Jesse (Isa. 11:1), the house of David and the other kings of Judah, were likened unto "serpents," the chief of whom was David who slew Goliath, champion of the Philistines.
The Philistines looked upon Uzziah, king of Judah (2 Chron. 26:1,6), "as a biting serpent" whose yoke was heavy upon them. In chapter 14, Isaiah refers to him as the ROD who smote the Philistines, and to King Ahaz, his grandson, as the ROD that was broken (2 Chron. 28:8) when the Philistines took back a part of Judah the year Ahaz died (726 B.C.).
But a comforting message was brought to Judah by Isaiah that yet another ROD, "serpent," more deadly, would overtake Philistia, even King Hezekiah, his son. "He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city." 2 Ki. 18:8. "Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel." 2 Chron. 32:32.
These prophecies (Isaiah 14 and 30) to the children of Israel and Judah particularly represent the dealings of heavenly agencies with the history of the people chosen to represent God on the earth in the period of their reigning kings and of their captivity to the heathen nations. Because of their disregard for God's theocratic form of government through the prophetic office, The Spirit of Prophecy in the leadership, they were made slaves to the gentiles.
The prophecy of Isaiah 6 was given to encourage the kings of Judah to cultivate a higher relationship between themselves and God-like that of the seraphim around the heavenly throne–perfect unity with the will of God and constantly in the Divine Presence of the Shekinah Glory, never more captives of sin and sinners.
Therefore, the restoration of mankind projected in Isaiah's vision was likened to the "face to face" relationship between the Creators of the universe and Their created beings, Adam and Eve, the first King and Queen of Their earthly kingdom. That is, Isaiah saw the final restoration of the "IMAGE OF GOD" in humanity as was revealed in Genesis 1:26,27; 5:1,2. He also saw their translation to Paradise in
the Merkabah Chariot, God's Travelling Throne (Ps. 68:17) by the Heavenly Host Whose lineage is not reckoned in the earth as were the kings of Judah and Israel who failed to deliver the people of God from their enemies and set up a righteous theocratic government (Hos. 12:13) on earth.
"A S I G N A L F I R E"
Literally speaking, the "smoke" from the north (lsa. 14:31) refers to "a signal fire" by which an army is called together. Spiritually speaking, the pillar of cloud and fire was to ancient Israel "as a signal fire" from the north, the throne of the Almighty, to assemble the people for a forward march out of Egypt under the wings of the Shekinah Glory (cloud), a "smoke from the north" (Ex. 13:21; Neh. 9:19). The Messiah was with the Shekinah Glory in a cloud by day and a fire by night. Both, though unseen, were constantly at work to guide and deliver the people from Egyptian bondage.
As the Almighty used Moses and the rod of power in the prophetic office to deliver ancient Israel as symbolized by the pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day (a signal fire), just so, shall their descendants be preserved and delivered in the final restoration of the land to them. "Surely the Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7. "And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved." Hosea 12:13.
The prophecies of Isaiah 14 find their anti-typical fulfillment in the last days–our time–when the Israel of God return to the land promised to Abraham our father.
"What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation [Philistia] ?
"THAT THE LORD HATH FOUNDED ZION [THE BRANCH, SHE, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS–Jer. 33:15,16–0UR MOTHER], AND THE POOR OF HIS PEOPLE SHALL TRUST IN IT [IN HER]." Isa. 14:32.
Ex. 13:19-22; 14:19,20,24
D I V I N E R I G H T
In the beginning God established Their righteous earthly kingdom with a perfect man, Adam, and a perfect woman, Eve. They were the first King and Queen of a perfect kingdom on earth, a type of the kingdom to be restored in the latter days as seen by all the holy prophets. They had no earthly lineage. Theirs was in heaven. They were two branches of heaven, "And God said, Let US make man in our IMAGE AFTER OUR LIKENESS: and let THEM HAVE DOMINION ...and God said unto THEM, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion" (Gen. 1:26,28)–two Adams, male and female in the IMAGE OF GOD were given rulership over God's creation and commissioned to fill the earth with righteous offspring to extend the boundaries of Eden to cover the whole earth.
Because of sin the Divine plan was interrupted and an alternate provision was made (Gen. 3:15). The seed of the woman, a deliverer, a king from the lineage of David was to come to restore the Divine Image in humanity through a new birthing process of Divine right by the power of the Spirit of God.
Through Divine right given to Adam and Eve as King and Queen over the earth, their descendants inherited the system of God's rulership through the prophetic office to guide in civil rule of the people.
When this system of rulership was disregarded the people fell into idolatry and lost their rulership and were subjugated to heathen rule.
Through men of God, Adam, Enoch, Noah, and a multitude of others, God has attempted to restore the people to the perfection of Eden but each generation has fallen by the way through disobedience to Divine authority. Now, in the end of the world, a final effort is being made to reconcile mankind with their Creators that, finally, the kingdom of God may come on earth and Their will be done as it is in heaven.
To accomplish the Divine will God sends an antitypical Adam and Eve–two Elijahs, two Branches–with a message of comfort that God is coming to earth in The Divine Chariot, a travelling throne, the Merkabah, to judge between the righteous and the wicked and to translate the remnant who shall be left.
The symbolic prophecy of Adam and Eve's creation in the Image of God pictured TWO persons, "as God," perfect–BRANCHES of the Heavenly Family–a son and daughter of God. They prefigured two Messiahs "to come"–The Branch HE and The Branch SHE of Jeremiah 23:5,6; 33:15,16. Adam's creation from the earth pictured God as ONE person, male and female (Gen. 1:26).
By an operation of the Spirit Adam slept (Gen. 2:21)–a symbol of the death of the Messiah to come–and ANOTHER ADAM was brought forth from his side whom he called Eve, the "Mother of all living" (Gen. 3:20). BUT....
GOD CALLED HER NAME ADAM (Gen. 5:1,2). She symbolized another Adam (female) to come, like herself, who would be a personal, earthly representative of God, the Holy Spirit, in Whose Image she was made.
In order of creation, Eve was literally the "second Adam," showing that at least TWO persons of the Godhead said, "Let US make man in OUR image... male and female" (Gen. 1:26,27).
In his day, John the Baptist saw two persons represented in the One Whom he baptized in the River Jordan–the Messiah and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove (Matt. 3:16)–the SECOND Adam (1 Cor. 15:45), masculine, and the SECOND Eve, female, the Holy Spirit. This second Adam (the Messiah) promised to send "another" second Adam in His name (same name), even another Comforter, the Holy Spirit–feminine–(John 14:16) Who should reveal ALL TRUTH about the Godhead.
On the day of Pentecost She came to enlighten the minds of the disciples about ALL the sayings of the Messiah and gave them wonderful power to proclaim it to the ends of the earth unto this day.
Isaiah 11:1-4 is a prophecy of the Messiah Whose new name is The Branch and Who shall come in the latter days to build the temple in Jerusalem (Zech. 6:12). Revelation 3:12 and 2:17 shows the Messiah has a NEW TITLE in the time of the end.
Two Branches of Heaven – ADAM and EVE – Two Adams
"Male and female created he them...
G O D' S M A R V E L O U S W O R K
"And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
"For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
"And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:
"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left....
"And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter when the towers fall...
"Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:
"And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
"YE SHALL HAVE A SONG, AS IN THE NIGHT WHEN A HOLY SOLEMNITY IS KEPT; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the mighty One of Israel.
"AND THE LORD SHALL CAUSE HIS GLORIOUS VOICE TO BE HEARD, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and WITH THE FLAME OF A DEVOURING FIRE, WITH SCATTERING, AND TEMPEST, AND HAILSTONES.
"For through the VOICE OF THE LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.
"And in every place where the GROUNDED STAFF shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it [the decreed or appointed avenging ROD of God].
"For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; THE BREATH OF THE LORD [Isa. 11:4], LIKE A STREAM OF BRIMSTONE, DOTH KINDLE IT." Isa. 30:18-21,25,27-33.
"Ellen Gould White was born near Portland, Maine, in 1827. Notwithstanding her lack of formal education, she became a persuasive Christian speaker. Concerning her literary achievements, Horace John Shaw, M.S.M., wrote in 1959: 'This remarkable woman, though almost entirely self-educated, has written and published more books and in more languages, which circulate to a greater extent, than the written works of any woman in history.'
"In the days when doctors were still blood-letting and performing surgery with unwashed hands, and in an era of medical ignorance bordering on barbarism, Mrs. White spoke out as a reformer in the field of hygiene, nutrition and healthful living. She founded a medical school that now, as Loma Linda University, enjoys an enviable reputation among the best medical institutions of America. Today there are medical men in every land who acclaim her writings as the most up-to-date guide to health.
"Although she also wrote extensively and with great perspicacity on education, temperance, sacred biography and practical religion, Ellen G. White's most arresting literature deals with the future of the United States. Her pen foretold with great accuracy the present breakdown of law, order and moral stability in U.S. society. It traces the causes behind the crisis which now faces the nation. With proven prophetic insight, it shows exactly where America is heading. Many who have read what this humble woman left on record from the last century have felt constrained to regard her as a modern-day prophet."–A Prophet Speaks to America, p. 3.
"THE FEMININE IMAGE OF GOD IS ACTUALLY DEVELOPED AND EXPANDED BY ELLEN WHITE IN HER WRITINGS." – Kit Watts, [periodicals librarian, Andrews University], Insight, p. 6, June 14, 1983.
The following are selections from "E.G. White Comments on Isaiah 6":
"Isaiah's Experience Represents Last-Day Church... The vision given to Isaiah represents the condition of God's people in the last days. They are privileged to see by faith the work that is going forward in the heavenly sanctuary... But if they, like Isaiah, will receive the impression the Lord designs shall be made upon the heart, if they will humble their souls before God, there is hope for them....
"Isaiah had a wonderful view of God's glory. He saw the manifestation of God's power, and after beholding His majesty, a message came to him to go and do a certain work. He felt wholly unworthy for the work ...when the glory of the Lord of hosts was revealed to him, when he beheld the inexpressible majesty of God, he said, 'I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts....
"Shekinah Glory Revealed to Isaiah ...This was the Shekinah, the visible pavilion of Jehovah.
"It was this glory that was revealed to Isaiah, when he says, 'In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.' [Isa. 6:1-8 quoted]....
"The curtains of the innermost sanctuary were drawn aside, and a throne high and lifted up, towering as it were to the very heavens, was revealed to his gaze. An indescribable glory emanated from a personage on the throne, and His train filled the temple, as His glory will finally fill the earth. Cherubim were on either side of the mercy-seat, as guards round the great king, and they glowed with the glory that enshrouded them from the presence of God....
"While he listened to the song of the angels, as they cried, 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory,' the glory, the infinite power, and the unsurpassed majesty of the Lord passed before his vision, and was impressed upon his soul. In the light of this matchless radiance that made manifest all he could bear in the revelation of the divine character, his own inward defilement stood out before him with startling clearness. His very words seemed vile to him....
"...he said, 'Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar; and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged...'
"Angels Fully Satisfied to Glorify God. – The seraphim before the throne are so filled with reverential awe in beholding the glory of God that they do not for an instant look upon themselves with self-complacency, or in admiration of themselves or one another. Their praise and glory are for the Lord of Hosts, who is high and lifted up, and the glory of whose train fills the temple. As they see the future, when the whole earth shall be filled with His glory, the triumphant song of praise is echoed from one to another in melodious chant, 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts.' ....In bearing His image, in doing His service and worshiping Him,
their highest ambition is fully reached...
"Let every soul who claims to be a son or a daughter of God examine himself in the light of heaven; let him consider the polluted lips that make him 'undone.' They are the medium of communication. [Matt. 12:34,35 quoted.] Then let them not be used in bringing from the treasure of the heart words that will dishonor God and discourage those around you, but use them for the praise and glory of God, who has formed them for this purpose....
"How many words are spoken in lightness and foolishness, in jesting and joking! This would not be so did the followers of Christ realize the truth of the words, 'Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.'
"Harsh and unkind words, words of censure and criticism of God's work and His messengers, are indulged in by those who profess to be His children. When these careless souls discern the greatness of God's character, they will not mingle their spirit and attributes with His service. When our eyes look by faith into the sanctuary, and take in the reality, the importance and holiness of the work there being done, everything of a selfish nature will be abhorred by us. Sin will appear as it is, – the transgression of God's holy law...
"Isaiah had a message from the God of heaven to give to the backsliding people of Israel, and he gave them this message. He knew what elements he had to deal with; he knew the stubbornness and perversity of the heart, and how hard it would be to make any impression upon them. As he stood in the portico of the temple, the Lord revealed Himself to him. The veil of the temple was withdrawn, the door lifted, and he had a view of the holy of holies within the veil. He saw the God of Israel before the throne high and lifted up, and the train of His glory filled the temple... And there was seen the hand that took the live coal from off the altar, and touched his lips, and bade him be clean. Then he was ready to go with the message, and he said, 'Send me'; for he knew that the Spirit of God would be with the message.
"To those who are engaged in the work of God, in the conversion of souls, it would seem as though it was impossible to reach the obdurate heart. This is how Isaiah felt, but when he saw that there was a God above the cherubim, and that they were ready to work with God, he was ready to carry the message....
"The live coal is symbolical of purification. If it touches the lips, no impure word will fall from them. The live coal also symbolizes the potency of the efforts of the servants of the Lord. God hates all coldness, all commonness, all cheap efforts. Those who labor acceptably in His cause, must be men who pray fervently, and whose works are wrought in God; and they will never have cause to be ashamed of their record." [Brackets theirs.]
(To be continued in Part 3)