|JOY IN THE MORNING|
Ps 30:4-5 -- Sing praises to Yahweh, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is for only a moment, but his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Isa 49:8-26 -- They shall feed along the ways, on all bare heights shall be their pasture; they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall smite them, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be raised up. Lo, these shall come from afar, and lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Syene." Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For Yahweh has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted. But Zion said, "Yahweh has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me." "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Your builders outstrip your destroyers, and those who laid you waste go forth from you. Lift up your eyes round about and see; they all gather, they come to you. As I live, says Yahweh, you shall put them all on as an ornament, you shall bind them on as a bride does. Surely your waste and your desolate places and your devastated land--surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants, and those who swallowed you up will be far away. The children born in the time of your bereavement will yet say in your ears: 'This place is too narrow for me; make room for me to dwell in.' Then you will say in your heart: 'Who has borne me these? I was bereaved and barren, exiled and put away, but who has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; whence then have these come?'" Thus says Yahweh GOD: "Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am Yahweh; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame."
Indeed, it is only a little while and the weeping will cease. Then joy
will come, joy unbounded at the glorious new world. They shall not hunger
nor thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall smite them. The new planetary
mode will bring new meteorological conditions. Now there will be neither
summer nor winter, nor hurricane, nor drought. The lands will spring into
bounty not seen since the days of Adam and Eve. On every lofty mountain
and every high hill there will be brooks running with water. The desert
will truly blossom like the rose. Those children born in the time of bereavement,
during the time of the great judgment of the earth, will yet say in your
ears, "Give us more room!" Then you people of Israel, those of you who
believed and obeyed, will be the wonder of the world. Kings shall carry
you on their shoulders. They shall honor you for your great faith in God,
and your determination to do his will. Never, on all the worlds of space,
did any event unfold as that which you now bring in devotion to God.
Zech 14:6 -- On that day there shall be neither cold nor frost. And there shall be continuous day (it is known to Yahweh), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light. And Yahweh will become king over all the earth; on that day Yahweh will be one and his name one. And it shall be inhabited, for there shall be no more curse; Jerusalem shall dwell in security.
The lack of cold or frost is a result of the
twisting of the planet in its orbit, the stabilization of weather patterns,
and the creation of a great canopy over the planet, Isa 4:5. This is the
mechanism that will bring an abundance of grain and fruitful fields, with
no more deserts or famine.
Ezek 47:7-12 -- As I went back, I saw upon the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said to me, "This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the stagnant waters of the sea, the water will become fresh. . . . Fishermen will stand beside the sea; from Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets; its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing."
Isa 35:1-10 -- The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the rose, it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of Yahweh, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you." Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not pass over it, and fools shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of Yahweh shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
THE MESSIAH PROMISES
We are now in a position to reexamine the Messiah prophecies with clarity and insight. For other discussion refer to my paper on Jesus and Melchizedek, Creator and Messiah.
I shall not engage in an exhaustive examination of all promises. I shall briefly review the more outstanding and prominent ones, those that caused such trouble for more than two thousand years.
Please note that where appropriate I use the
title Messiah instead of anointed used by the versions. Hebrew
people, reading in Hebrew, would quickly recognize this difference.
Psalm 2:1-12 -- Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Yahweh and his Messiah, saying, "Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens laughs; Yahweh has them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, "I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill." I will tell of the decree of Yahweh: He said to me, "You are my son, today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve Yahweh with fear, with trembling kiss his feet, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
The plotting of the nations we can now understand; they are under the inspiration of Gog when he leads the hordes against Israel. This Psalm now takes on a significance that was lost on all prior generations.
Many Psalms are thought to have been composed by the historical David, and are identified as A Psalm of David. Yet, if the name of the Messiah is also David, after his famous forefather, it is probable they were not composed by the historical David, but were presented anonymously through human agents as promises for that future David.
Consider Psalm 18. The early part is a description
of the geological upheavals which will take place at the end of the Millennium,
and the cry of help that goes forth from the future David to his God. He,
the future David, also the incarnate Melchizedek, states how he becomes
victorious over his enemies in that final battle.
Ps 18:49-50 -- For this I will extol thee, O Yahweh, among the nations, and sing praises to thy name. Great triumphs he gives to his king, and shows steadfast love to his Messiah, to David and his descendants for ever.
Here an explicit statement is made that the name of the Messiah is David.
This series of Psalms speaks, time and again,
of the Messiah, and the circumstances under which he lives during the Millennium.
Ps 20:6 -- Now I know that Yahweh will help
his Messiah; he will answer him from his holy heaven, with mighty victories
from his right hand.
Ps 28:8-9 -- Yahweh is the strength of his people, he is the saving refuge of his Messiah. O save thy people, and bless thy heritage; be thou their shepherd, and carry them forever.
Hosea 3:5 -- . . . afterward shall the children
of Israel return, and seek Yahweh their God, and David their king, and
shall come with fear unto Yahweh and to his goodness in the latter days.
Jer 30:21 -- And their Prince shall be of themselves, and their ruler shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is he that hath had boldness to approach unto me, says Yahweh.
Ezek 34:23 -- And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I, Yahweh, will be their God, and my servant David Prince among them; I, Yahweh, have spoken it.
Ezek 37:24 -- And my servant David shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in mine ordinances, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, they, and their children, and their children's children, for ever: and David my servant shall be their Prince for ever.
Now that most famous of Psalms for future forecast
comes into sharp focus.
Ps 110:1-7 -- Yahweh says to my lord: "Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool." Yahweh sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your foes! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day you lead your host upon the holy mountains. From the womb of the morning like dew your youth will come to you. Yahweh has sworn and will not change his mind, "You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." Yahweh is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.
This day of wrath is the same as in Rev 20,
Ezek 38 and 39, Ps 2, Ps 18, and Ps 20. This Psalm continues that description
of the battle to take place when Gog is consumed and the last of all battles
on this planet takes place. David's people will offer themselves freely
when he, the Messiah, the incarnate Melchizedek, will lead his host on
the holy mountains of Israel.
Isa 9:6-7 -- For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will do this.
As Melchizedek he is a "god" come down from heaven to remain with us, and to rule over us. But he will continue in human form, to live as one of us, and to demonstrate God's love for us.
Perhaps he offers up this mortal frame when
he is "cutoff," but we cannot say with certainty what transactions will
take place at the final termination of the Millennium. We do know that
the Melchizedeks can make themselves visible at will.
Page 389 -- The Melchizedeks are the first to act in all emergencies of whatever nature on all worlds where will creatures dwell. They sometimes act as temporary custodians on wayward planets, serving as receivers of a defaulting planetary government. In a planetary crisis these Melchizedek Sons serve in many unique capacities. It is easily possible for such a Son to make himself visible to mortal beings, and sometimes one of this order has even incarnated in the likeness of mortal flesh. Seven times in Nebadon has a Melchizedek served on an evolutionary world in the similitude of mortal flesh, and on numerous occasions these Sons have appeared in the likeness of other orders of universe creatures. They are indeed the versatile and volunteer emergency ministers to all orders of universe intelligences and to all the worlds and systems of worlds.
We have an explanation of the long human life
of the Messiah, when the dew of youth will come to him and to compatriots.
Isa 65:17-25 -- "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of Yahweh, and their children with them. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, says Yahweh."
A SHOOT FROM JESSE
Isa 11:1-16 -- There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of Yahweh shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of Yahweh. And his delight shall be in the fear of Yahweh. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall feed; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea. In that day the root of Jesse shall stand as an ensign to the peoples; him shall the nations seek, and his dwellings shall be glorious. In that day Yahweh will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant which is left of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Ethiopia, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. He will raise an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, and those who harass Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim. But they shall swoop down upon the shoulder of the Philistines in the west, and together they shall plunder the people of the east. They shall put forth their hand against Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites shall obey them. And Yahweh will utterly destroy the tongue of the sea of Egypt; and will wave his hand over the River with his scorching wind, and smite it into seven channels that men may cross dryshod. And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant which is left of his people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt.
Although this promise pertains more rightfully to the world after the Millennium, I place it here to provide a context for other statements about the Messiah which have puzzled and fascinated the generations. A "branch" shall grow out of the root of Jesse.
Judah and Ephraim represent Jews and Gentiles, the branches and wild branches from a common stock described by Paul in Rom 11. This again symbolizes of the whole house of Israel, from a common genetic origin through Abraham. But Ephraim was lost on the pages of history.
We have more exact mention of the "shoot" which
will come forth from Jesse. In several passages he is described as a "Branch."
Jer 23:5 -- Behold, the days are coming, says
Yahweh, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall
reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness
in the land.
Jer 33:15 -- In those days and at that time
I will cause a righteous Branch to spring forth for David; and he shall
execute justice and righteousness in the land.
Zech 3:8 -- Hear now, O Joshua the high priest,
you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men of good omen:
behold, I will bring my servant the Branch.
Zech 6:12 -- . . . and say to him, Thus says Yahweh of hosts, "Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall grow up in his place, and he shall build the temple of Yahweh."
This is the one who will rule in justice and righteousness. He is the one who will "bring" the temple, not necessarily "build" it, and not necessarily the temple described in Ezekiel 40 and 41. This is the temple that will descend from heaven, as mentioned in Rev 21, and The Urantia Papers, page 622.
The fascination is that his name will be "the Branch." How can any person be so named? Obviously, from the context, this must be the Messiah. In Hebrew the word "branch" is Zemach, pronounced with the hard "Ts" sound. The great curiosity is that Zemach or Tsemach is a Russian or Ukraine surname. I was personally acquainted with people by that name. Is it possible the Messiah will be named David Zemach? Certainly this is a highly specific and concrete designation.
We can only speculate.
THE TEACHER SONS
Isa 30:18-29 -- Therefore Yahweh waits to be gracious to you; therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For Yahweh is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. Yea, O people in Zion who dwell at Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your silver-covered graven images and your gold-plated molten images. You will scatter them as unclean things; you will say to them, "Begone!" And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your cattle will graze in large pastures; and the oxen and the asses that till the ground will eat salted provender, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. And upon every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when Yahweh binds up the hurt of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.
Again, we have a mixture of statements which
deal with the Millennium and which describe conditions to appear after
the Millennium. The feature I stress here is the appearance of a "Teacher."
"He" is a spirit being who will instruct our descendants in truth and righteousness.
More explicit detail was revealed to us in The Urantia Papers.
Page 232 -- The Teacher Sons usually remain
on their visitation planets for one thousand years of planetary time. One
Teacher Son presides over the planetary millennial reign and is assisted
by seventy associates of his order. The Daynals do not incarnate or otherwise
so materialize themselves as to be visible to mortal beings; therefore
is contact with the world of visitation maintained through the activities
of the Brilliant Evening Stars, local universe personalities who are associated
with the Trinity Teacher Sons.
Page 598 -- The Teacher Sons come in groups to the spiritualizing worlds. A planetary Teacher Son is assisted and supported by seventy primary Sons, twelve secondary Sons, and three of the highest and most experienced of the supreme order of Daynals. This corps will remain for some time on the world, long enough to effect the transition from the evolutionary ages to the era of light and life--not less than one thousand years of planetary time and often considerably longer. This mission is a Trinity contribution to the antecedent efforts of all the divine personalities who have ministered to an inhabited world.
These statements lead us to believe that the
"Teacher" will appear during the Millennium, and that we will proceed from
there into the first stage of Light and Life. The light of the moon will
be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be as seven suns.
This will come when our Creator binds up the wounds inflicted by his blow,
after all warfare is past. Similar remarks on the great planetary changes
are found in other passages.
Zech 14:7 -- And there shall be continuous
day (it is known to Yahweh), not day and not night, for at evening time
there shall be light.
AFTER THE MILLENNIUM
Many of these promises are for the glorious age to open after the final events of the Millennium. They also describe the increasing length of human life that will appear during the Millennium.
In speaking of a planet that has experienced
more stable history The Urantia Papers tell also of long human life,
a term of life that our remote ancestors possessed before the world degenerated.
Page 599 -- Life during this era is pleasant
and profitable. Degeneracy and the antisocial end products of the long
evolutionary struggle have been virtually obliterated. The length of life
approaches five hundred Urantia years, and the reproductive rate of racial
increase is intelligently controlled. An entirely new order of society
has arrived. There are still great differences among mortals, but the state
of society more nearly approaches the ideals of social brotherhood and
spiritual equality. Representative government is vanishing, and the world
is passing under the rule of individual self-control. The function of government
is chiefly directed to collective tasks of social administration and economic
co-ordination. The golden age is coming on apace; the temporal goal of
the long and intense planetary evolutionary struggle is in sight. The reward
of the ages is soon to be realized; the wisdom of the Gods is about to
Ps 72:1-20 -- Give the king thy justice, O
God, and thy righteousness to the royal son! May he judge thy people with
righteousness, and thy poor with justice! Let the mountains bear prosperity
for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! May he defend the cause
of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the
oppressor! May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon,
throughout all generations! May he be like rain that falls on the mown
grass, like showers that water the earth! In his days may righteousness
flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more! May he have dominion
from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth! May his foes
bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust! May the kings of Tarshish
and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring
gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! For he
delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He
has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From
oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood
in his sight. Long may he live, may gold of Sheba be given to him! May
prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all the
day! May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains
may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may men blossom forth from
the cities like the grass of the field! May his name endure for ever, his
fame continue as long as the sun! May men bless themselves by him, all
nations call him blessed! Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, who alone
does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory
fill the whole earth! Amen and Amen!
In describing the glorious developments of
the new planetary ages The Urantia Papers offer many useful insights.
Page 596 -- The postbestowal Son age may extend from ten thousand to a hundred thousand years. There is no arbitrary time allotted to any of these dispensational eras. This is a time of great ethical and spiritual progress. Under the spiritual influence of these ages, human character undergoes tremendous transformations and experiences phenomenal development. It becomes possible to put the golden rule into practical operation. The teachings of Jesus are really applicable to a mortal world which has had the preliminary training of the prebestowal Sons with their dispensations of character ennoblement and culture augmentation.
During this era the problems of disease and
delinquency are virtually solved. Degeneracy has already been largely eliminated
by selective reproduction. Disease has been practically mastered through
the high resistant qualities of the Adamic strains and by the intelligent
and world-wide application of the discoveries of the physical sciences
of preceding ages. The average length of life, during this period, climbs
well above the equivalent of three hundred years of Urantia time.
Throughout this epoch there is a gradual lessening of governmental supervision. True self-government is beginning to function; fewer and fewer restrictive laws are necessary. The military branches of national resistance are passing away; the era of international harmony is really arriving. There are many nations, mostly determined by land distribution, but only one race, one language, and one religion. Mortal affairs are almost, but not quite, utopian. This truly is a great and glorious age!
This world has untold wonders ahead of it. If only we are willing to make those decisions to take it into those glories.
God looks to all of us for the further prosecution and advancement of his world. Although he could do it without us, that is not his way. He asks each and every one of us if we will become contributors to that glory.
The future belongs to you.
THE MERCY OF GOD
An outstanding feature of the actions of God on this world is his mercy extension to all his divine children. In examination of the various episodes we find an amazing principle, applied equally to all those divine beings who were, or who will be, associated with the administration of this world.
They all will have an opportunity to display their true nature in an episode of mortal life.
Our Creator was, is and always will be both God and man. He acquired this unique attribute because he was born as a babe of the world and lived a mortal life. He is an infinite being, unlimited in time. Therefore, all of his experiences are possessed by him in all time.
Adam and Eve hailed from the celestial worlds. Although they were in physical form, they retained immortal attributes until they defaulted their mission. They then lost their immortality and were reduced to the status of ordinary evolutionary men and women. They thus became eligible to advance on to the mansion worlds and an eternal career through the same path as ordinary human mortals.
Our fallen Planetary Prince will be given one final opportunity as a human mortal. He will be born as a human child and will live at the end of the Millennium. But his nature will again turn him to rebellion and he will receive his final end. But no being in the universe will be able to make claim against our Creator that he did not show mercy.
Melchizedek will be born as a mortal of the realm, just as Jesus and Caligastia were. As David, the mortal, he will rule this world. He will engage Gog in that final earthly battle. And then, when the final adjudication takes place, will become an everlasting Father to us, Prince of Peace.
Could we ask God to be more merciful? Could we design a scheme for greater equity?
I, for one, can only sing praises to my Creator.