May 2005
Article 54, Part Four


      8 “Then all the gifted artisans among them who worked on the tabernacle made ten curtains woven of fine linen, and of blue, purple, and scarlet thread; with artistic designs of cherubim they made them.
      9 “The length of each curctain was twenty-eight cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits; the curtains were all the same size.
      10 “And he coupled five curtains to one another, and the other five curtains he coupled to one another.
      11 “He made loops of blue yarn on the edge of the curtain on the selvedge of one set; likewise he did on the outer edge of the other curtain of the second set.
      12 “Fifty loops he made on one curtain, and fifty loops he made on the edge of the curtain on the end of the second set; the loops held one curtain to another.
      13 “And he made fifty clasps of gold, and coupled the curtains to one another with the clasps, that it might be one tabernacle,”
Exo 36:8-13.
      7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.
      8 “And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints,”
Rev 19:7-8.
      We have no righteousness acceptable to God, for all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags before God, Isa 64:6. God’s righteousness (His divine nature) is being increasingly credited to us by justification with each scriptural act of faith-obedience toward God, Rom 3, 4, 5; Jn 10-:10; 2Co 9:10; 1Ti 6:11.
      21 “And now apart from Law hath the righteousness of God been manifested, testified to by the Law and the prophets,
      22 “And the righteousness of God is through the faith of Jesus Christ to all, and upon all those believing, – for there is no difference,”
Rom 3:21-22. YLT.
      This first covering over the tabernacle was made of fine linen, which represented the righteousness of God. We have no righteousness at all, but the righteousness of God (God’s divine nature), is credited to us in the body of Christ. With each act of proper faith-obedience, God credits more of the entire range of His divine attributes to the believing person, as indicated in the following passages:
      10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly,” Jn 10:10; 2Co 9:10; Mt 26:29.
      10 “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,” 2Co 9:10.
      29 "For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away,” Mt 25:29.


      14 “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Heb 1:14.
      11 “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,” Rev 5:11.
      Hebrews chapter one states that the angels are ministering spirits, ministering to the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and to the heirs of the firstborn sonship (birthright) salvation. The firstborn sons will be joint heirs with Christ, and will thereby jointly inherit all of God’s creation together with Christ, Rom 4:13; 8:17,32; 1Co 3:21-23. This, first of all, includes inheriting all of God’s divine attributes together with Christ. Of course, the more faithful we are, the more immeasurably glorious and abundant that inheritance will be, Mt 25:14-30; Lk 19:11-26; 1Co 5:10; Rev 22:12.
      The angels are currently the highest, most powerful, and most intelligent beings in the whole of God’s creation. However, the angels do not possess the divine nature, and therefore are predestined to be ministers to the firstborn sons. Obviously, God created them for this purpose, sufficiently informed them of this ministry, and they delightfully chose to obey God’s will. Indeed, they are still diligently and joyfully searching the Scriptures for a better understanding of this grand and glorious ministry.
      10 “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
      11 “Searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ Who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
      12 “To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they (the prophets) were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven - things which angels desire to look into.”
1Pe 1:10-12.
      The angels very specially desired to look into these things because this is their eternal ministry before God and all the firstborn sons in their divine firstborn status. We are in the first stage of this ministry, as the angels even now are ministering to us as we struggle to overcome our sinful nature and the constant thrusts of Satan and fallen angels against us.


      9 “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him," 1Co 2:9.
      20 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Eph 3:20.
      Daniel chapter ten provides significant information about conflicts between the righteous angels and fallen angels. In the beginning of man’s existence, God gave Adam authority over all creation, Gen 1:26-30; Ps 8:3-6. But when Adam obeyed Satan’s temptation, Adam and all that he had became Satan’s property, and Satan became “god” over all creation, 2Co 4:4; Eph 2:2; 6:12. Of course, God is still Satan’s God, and permitted all this to happen, in order that He may demonstrate His infinite attributes of love, mercy, forbearance, forgiveness, justice, etc:
      22 “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
      23 “And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared before hand for glory,”
Rom 9:22-23.
      18 “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
      19 “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
      20 “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
      21 “Who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God,”
1Pe 2:18-21.
      14 “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Heb 1:14.
      Christ has already paid the terrible yet glorious redemption price. And this includes, as stated above, the redemption of all creation, which initially was given to Adam and His faith descendants, 1Co 15:1-4,44-50. The time of complete redemption will be two-fold: 1) when Christ returns (1Th 4:13-18), and 2) the end of the Millennium, Rev 22.
      The angels are powerful, glorious, holy, and wise, perhaps beyond human imagination and description. Yet the glorified saints will be even more so in every way, with the ever super-human angels as their ministers. Consider the following factors, as Daniel describes one dramatic occasion:


      4 “Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris,
      5 “I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz!
      6 “His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.
      7 “And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
      8 “Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength.
      9 “Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.
      10 “Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands.
      11 “And he said to me, ‘O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.’ While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.
      12 “Then he said to me, ‘Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words,’” Dan 10:4-12.



      12 “Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
      13 “And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: ‘I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.
      14 "’Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
      15 "’Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you,’"
Gen 28:12-15.
      In this passage, Jacob is fleeing from his older twin brother, from whom Jacob had (with his mother) stolen the very treasured and priceless birthright. This birthright is treasured throughout the Scriptures, because it included all the covenant promises God has made to those who qualify for the firstborn sonship of Christ. God created this birthright through the virgin birth, life, death, burial, and new birth resurrection of Christ, Col 1:15-19; Rom 8:28-30.
      God caused Jacob to dream that night of a ladder reaching from earth to heaven. Christ was standing at the top of the ladder, while many angels were descending the ladder to earth, and ascending the ladder into heaven. God is always (often through His angels) giving us encouragements in the right activities. On the other hand, God is permitting Satan to distract us and lure us away into destructive activities. However, God’s grace (His provision of help) is always more than sufficient, Eph 3:20.
      Jacob calls this location “the house of God,” and makes it a landmark of God’s covenant assurance of His abiding presence, good will, and protection. Jacob was overwhelmed with gratitude, and made a solemn vow to obey and worship God. Then Jacob proceeded on his flight to Laban, his mother’s brother.


      11 "Then the Angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying, 'Jacob.' And I said, 'Here I am.'
      12 "And He said, 'Lift your eyes now and see, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you.
      13 “'I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me. Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family,'"
Gen 31:11-13.
      Jacob was often assured that the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the angels are always keeping watch for the good and for the evil. God put Jacob through many unpleasant experiences of covenant training toward a divine firstborn sonship. Jacob left home as one individual, or a small troop of five or ten, but returned with a host of family, servants, and herds of animals.
      But Jacob remembered his brother, and was greatly afraid for his own life. However, God and the angels faithfully kept up their vigil both day and night. And a host of mighty angels were dispatched to welcome him home and comfort him in his fear, Gen 32. Even the Son of God came in the form of a man and wrestled with Jacob and blessed him (Gen 31:24-30), which would appear to be sufficient. But we are human and humans do fear. And rightly so, as we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, 2Co 5:11; Ph 2:12.


      1 “Now as Jacob went on his way, the angels of God met him.
      2 “And Jacob said when he saw them, ‘This is God's camp.’ So he named that place Mahanaim.”
Gen 32:1-2.
      Here is another amazing example of God’s very alert and abounding love and care for His covenant people. It is clear that Jacob had a worshipful disposition and treasured the things of the Lord dearly. That is why the Lord said, “Jacob I have loved, and Esau I have hated,” Rom 9:13; Mal 1:2-3.
      9 “Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
      10 “No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
      11 “For He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You in all Your ways.
      12 “In their hands they shall bear You up, Lest You dash Your foot against a stone,”
Ps 91:9-12.


      15 “And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’
      16 “So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’
      17 “And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha,”
2Ki 6:15-17.
      Here is another tremendous event expressing the constant superior guardianship of God’s righteous angels over the covenant people. When the Lord’s people are worshipful and obedient to the will of God, this is always the case. Although there are times when it appears not to be so, because we are too often unable to see, as was the case with Elisha’s helper.


      10 “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened,” Dan 7:10.
      11 “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,” Rev 5:11.
      10 "Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven,” Mt 18:10.
      Being in the immediate presence of God, appearing before Him, and looking into His face appears to be the greatest honor and joy of the angels. Surely that will also be true, and indeed much more so, with all the firstborn sons of God. Only those who qualify to be firstborn sons will be conformed completely into the image and likeness of God. The firstborn sons will receive the divine new birth when Christ returns. They will have even greater freedom to enter into God’s presence, and will constantly have unrestrained fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
      15 “As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness,” Ps 17:15.
      18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord,” 2Co 3:18.
      7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.
      8 “And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints,”
Rev 19:7-8.
      The saints have no righteousness of their own, Isa 64:6. The righteousness of God is credited to them in this life in progressive justification. Indeed, Abraham was saved many years before Gen 15:6. He was also justified many years later when he offered up Isaac, Ja 2:21-24. We are credited with the righteousness of God in the body of Christ, 1Co 5:21. But those who become unfaithful are cut off from the body of Christ, and thereby lose the righteousness of God that is being credited to them in the body of Christ, Eze 3:20; 18:24; 33:12-13.
      The first curtain over the tabernacle was made of fine white linen, with the appearance of angels embroidered on it. In this way, the angels are represented as being fully absorbed in love, worship, and obedience to God. They are fully aware and completely devoted to their roll as ministers to the firstborn sons of God, Heb 1:14; 2:5-18.