#76 - How Will Christ Return?

03-01-2005



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How Will Christ Return?

Issue #76

March 2005

We are studying the life of David with a particular emphasis upon and scrutiny of his character. David is not only a type of Christ, but he is a type of the overcomers. Overcomers are those who are privileged to be raised in the first resurrection and to rule with Christ over the non-overcomer Christians and over the non-Christians in the millennial kingdom age.

But how does one become an overcomer? That is the purpose of these studies. One becomes an overcomer by the work of the Holy Spirit within us as He develops the character of the Greater David internally in our heart and manifests it externally in our behavior.

I believe that one of the major requirements for one to become an overcomer is to be one who forgives and one who has learned to love and bless his or her enemies. So that no one gets the wrong idea here, let me clarify quickly that by “forgiving,” I do not mean that one becomes a doormat and allows oneself to be continually abused and tormented. I discussed this in much greater detail in the two tapes dealing with my personal testimony on forgiveness. That message is a big part of my life story. That particular pair of tapes or CDs is free for anyone who writes and asks for them. The message is actually titled “Could You Forgive God?”, #259 & 260 on our CD/Tape list.

Forgiveness and loving one’s enemies are two critical prerequisites for overcomers, as I see it. In addition to that, overcomers strive daily to show forth the specific fruits of the spirit which are listed in Galatians 5:22 & 23. Overcomers also manifest numerous other virtuous character traits, a partial listing of which includes: (Please do not just breeze through this list. Read it slowly, pondering the meaning of each, and then do a self-check of your own spiritual progress.)

Discernment, Discretion, Love, Creativity, Enthusiasm, Resourcefulness, Thriftiness, Humility, Orderliness, Gratefulness, Cautiousness, Initiative, Responsibility, Decisiveness, Determination, Loyalty, Attentiveness, Sensitivity, Justice, Compassion, Gentleness, Deference, Meekness, Truthfulness, Tolerance, Obedience, Punctuality, Alertness, Persuasiveness, Forgiveness, Boldness/courage, Virtue, Sincerity, Mercy, Endurance, Availability, Flexibility, Joyfulness, Generosity, Hospitality, Self-control, Reverence, Diligence, Thoroughness, Dependability, Security, Patience, Wisdom, and Faith

In last month’s FMS, “Patriots and Politics, Part 2: Should We Fight Babylon?,” we saw how two Israelites, acting upon their own deceived thinking, decided to “help” God bring David to the throne over all Israel by performing a violent act against the government; namely, they assassinated the king. They thought they were being patriotic in committing this violent deed. And although this did in fact culminate in David being anointed king over all 12 tribes, he nonetheless, had these men executed because it was not a patriotic act; it was an act of lawlessness. We made some rather pointed and strong statements of how this prophetic type is manifesting again in our day, as some Christians and patriots desire to see the yoke of Mystery Babylon thrown off our necks. We warned against lawlessness under the guise of patriotism or “righteousness.”

After the death of Ishbosheth, the tribal leaders of Israel knew they were now very vulnerable to an attack from the Philistines so they undoubtedly came to David with great haste.

2 Samuel 5:1 Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.

2 Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and YHWH said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.

As David had once been a shepherd over literal sheep, so now he is being elevated to a role of one who shepherds an entire nation. But just as Jesus, the greater David, said that the greatest in the kingdom must be the servant of all, so David knew that his elevation to the throne of Israel meant that he was not to serve himself as his predecessor Saul had done, but he was to feed the people and be a captain over them.

This did not mean that he was to literally provide the people’s daily food, for that is tantamount to enslaving them via welfare programs. It means spiritual food. He was to feed them by his example of virtue and character. When the leader sets an example of holy living; the vast majority of the people will follow.

He was also to feed them by providing for the proper functioning of the priesthood, so that they could properly minister to the people. Of course, we know that David ultimately was given the plans for God’s earthly temple to replace the portable Tabernacle which had served them since the days of Moses. Being a shepherd captain over them refers to the guardianship function that a shepherd performed. David was to guard the nation from foreign threats.

3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before YHWH: and they anointed David king over Israel.

This was David’s third anointing. He was first anointed secretly by Samuel the prophet. The only people present were his own family, and it is highly doubtful that even they understood what he was being anointed for.

His second anointing came at the death of King Saul when his home tribe of Judah anointed him king over them. With the second anointing David became king over only a part of Israel, so that one could say that this was an “in-part anointing.” Does that suggest any parallel to you? Now comes the third anointing where David is made king over all Israel. We could say that he now enjoys leadership over the fullness of Israel. I see a parallel between David’s three anointings and the Feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. The Pentecost realm is always referred to as the “in–part anointing,” because we receive only an “earnest,” a down payment, of the Holy Spirit. The parallel between David’s third anointing and the Age and Feast of Tabernacles is set forth below.

4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.

And now the story turns to David’s first actions as king over all Israel. While there may also have been some strategic political advantages in David’s initial actions, those actions also display the character traits of wisdom, decisiveness, determination, boldness and faith. First, he moved the capital from Hebron, which was located in the center of his home tribe’s territory of Judah, to the city later called Jerusalem. This new capital city was located virtually on the border between Benjamin and Judah. This was a wise move; this was wisdom, since it would show that David was not always going to give preference to his home territory. He would be a fair and just ruler for all the tribes.

Incidentally, did you know that our own capital in latter-day Israel in America was originally in Philadelphia?… and then the founders decided to place it right on the border between two states: Virginia and Maryland, and so they carved out the District of Columbia? What a coincidental parallel!

But there was one problem: the future capital city was now inhabited by one of the Canaanite tribes called Jebusites and they considered their walled fortress invulnerable. And so the second thing David did immediately upon ascending the throne was to attack this city then called Jebus. Chapter 5 records how David’s decisiveness and determination to take the city, coupled with his boldness to attack a supposedly invincible city, and undergirded with his faith in God to actually deliver the city—that all these virtues combined to give him the victory.

2 Samuel 5: 6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither.

The Jebusites were one of the seven tribes of the Canaanites, therefore descendants of Noah’s son, Ham. They were among those whom Israel was supposed to have killed or driven out when they came into the Promised Land. As we know, they did not succeed and so these Jebusites were still extant. They occupied a seemingly impregnable, walled city, which would later be called Jerusalem. Previously, at the time of Melchizedek, it had been called Salem.

It seemed impregnable because on three sides, it was so steep as to be almost unclimbable. Anyone attempting to climb it could easily be shot with an arrow or otherwise prevented from even getting close to the wall on top. In fact, it was so impregnable that the Jebusites were taunting David and the Israelites. They were so confident no one could succeed in an attack that the Jebusites stationed their blind and lame men on the walls to handle any invaders. Now whether they literally placed blind and lame men on the walls as defenders or if it was merely a figure of speech in their taunting bears little weight. The point is that in verse 6, the Jebusites are saying “unless you can get past our blind and lame defenders, you can’t take the city.” But quite matter-of-factly, the sacred historian goes right on to tell us that …

7 Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.

Technically and geographically, Zion is only one portion, the southeastern hill of the several hilltops that comprise Jerusalem. At this point in the narrative, the writer backtracks to explain just how David managed to capture this impregnable fortress.

8 And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of [margin: who hate] David’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.

Comparing that to the parallel account in 1 Chronicles 11, we find an important additional fact.

1 Chronicles 11:6 And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.

Remember General Joab? He was David’s nephew and he at first had as much influence over David as General Abner had had over King Ishbosheth. Remember how that after Joab had murdered Abner, David had been too weak of character to have him put to death, which Joab rightly deserved, and it is quite reasonable to assume that David had at least demoted Joab to some lesser rank in his armed forces. Because of this daring and dangerous mission to capture Jebus, Joab now regains his primacy among David’s warriors. But exactly how did they conquer this impregnable fortress?

The answer in verse 8 above, is that they sneaked into the city through the gutter. The Hebrew in this phrase is unclear enough so that there are several possible interpretations of it. Some believe it was an open shaft through which a waterpot could be lowered to obtain water from a pool at the bottom. Others think it was like an underground aqueduct which supplied running water from underground springs. A third option—one which Josephus held to—is that it was another kind of watercourse altogether; that it was in fact a gutter, a big sewer pipe to carry out the wastewater and …well, you know, it would be a rather smelly and dirty place.

There are prophetic implications and interpretations that can be drawn from this incident, no matter which option is the correct translation of the Hebrew. This is talking about David, who represents Christ, going up to the city later called Jerusalem. Recall that this is immediately after David’s third anointing which we have said corresponds to the Age of Tabernacles. In John 7, verse 2 tells us that the time of the feast of Tabernacles was at hand! And in verse 8, Jesus tells his disciples…

John 7:8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.

And now look at verse 10…

10 But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.

Notice the parallel. David conquers Jerusalem by coming in secretly through the gutter. Jesus comes up to the feast of tabernacles in Jerusalem secretly. Now as we are poised on the Age of Tabernacles where we expect the return of Jesus Christ, our Greater King David, could it be that He will come up to New Jerusalem secretly some year during the Feast of Tabernacles. It is something to ponder, my dear brothers and sisters.

Furthermore, who will recognize Him when He comes? Since David represents Christ and His overcomer body, then does this possibly foreshadow something more at the second coming of Christ? Keep in mind that when Christ came the first time, He also came in a most unusual and unexpected venue, didn’t He? There was no room at the inn. So Mary laid Him in a manger. He came out of a very low and humble station, a stable. In all likelihood, in the stable, there might have been piles of manure lying around. That corresponds to David coming into his future capital through the sewer pipes.

Meanwhile, ponder this fact also: that the rulers and recognized religious leaders, by and large, did not recognize Christ. They said, this guy is from Nazareth; he can’t be the Christ. And later, when they really did know deep within themselves that this was indeed the Christ; they still refused to recognize Him in the sense of acknowledging Him as the Messiah. Instead, they grew angry and plotted to kill Him.

Perhaps it will be similar at the second coming. Perhaps the rulers and recognized religious leaders and clergy will not recognize Christ or His body this time either. Perhaps they will say: “Well, we know that Christ is supposed to touch down over there on the mount of Olives in the Israeli state, so he can’t possibly show up for His second coming in America. He has to appear over there first…”

And yes, my friends, I know the Scriptures say that “every eye will see Him.” We believe that. But does that preclude the possibility that His appearing will be progressively seen by certain people first and then by others and then by all the world? Such a scenario does not contradict the Scriptures.

Furthermore, if Christ came the first time emerging out of stable of dung, and David began his reign over all Israel by coming through the dungpipes, then is it possible that the overcomer-body of Christ who will rule with Christ as head, that they will likewise appear in a similar manner? Notice:

1 Samuel 2:8 He raiseth up the poor [Hebrew: one who is low; therefore, humble] out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory.

In the parable in the gospel of Luke, Lazarus was a beggar. The gematrial value of “Lazarus” in Greek is 144. Therefore Lazarus symbolizes the overcomers because in the book of Revelation there are 144,000 overcomers. But note the definition of the Hebrew word translated beggar:

H34 !Ayb.a, 'ebyown {eb-yone'} 1) in want, needy, chiefly poor, needy person 2) subject to oppression and abuse 3) needing help, deliverance from trouble, especially as delivered by God

This verse appears to me to be a prophecy of the overcomers being promoted from obscurity, oppression and abuse in the world (i.e., out of the dunghill) to be seated on thrones of glory and power with Christ. Add to this the marvelous insights that our brother Ron Oja has taught us in this regard; namely, how Christ arises from the metaphorical dung pile which is our carnal heart. (Especially in the five-part audio album No Sign Given But [the crash of the space shuttle] “Columbia” AT album A-114: $23 ppd. CD album A-114: $25.)

We know that the Scripture says He “shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” But is it possible, in view of the types and shadows in the life of David, that in addition to fulfilling the above, He just might appear in a most unexpected way? …again!



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