The messages of Jesus Christ glorified to the seven congregations
1 – The congregation of Ephesus:
"To the angel of the congregation in Ephesus write: These are the things that he says who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: ‘I know your deeds, and your labor and endurance, and that you cannot tolerate bad men, and that you put to the test those who say they are apostles, but they are not, and you found them to be liars. You are also showing endurance, and you have persevered for the sake of my name and have not grown weary. Nevertheless, I hold this against you, that you have left the love you had at first.
“‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first. If you do not, I will come to you, and I will remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Still, you do have this in your favor: that you hate the deeds of the sect of Nicolaus, which I also hate. Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations: To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’" (Apocalypse 2:1-7).
The seven congregations were in the west part of the current Anatolia (in Turkey). They were relatively close to each other. The island of Patmos, where the apostle Jean was, the writer of the Apocalypse, was not very far of the city of Ephesus (southwest).
The angel mentioned for each congregation, is obviously a human, in the function of the messenger of God and his Son Jesus Christ. These are the administrators of the Christian congregations (1 Timothy 3:1-7 "overseer"). The seven stars can both represent the overseers (the human angels (messengers)) of the congregations, as they can correspond to the seven lampstands, which symbolize the congregations. The overseers, like the whole of the Christian congregation, are the light in the current spiritual darkness of the world (Matthew 5:14-16). The lampstands were part of the utensils of the Temple Sanctuary, in the Holy part. Thus, the Christian congregation is part of the spiritual Temple Sanctuary of Apocalypse 11:1.
Jesus Christ first commends this congregation for its quality of endurance and vigilance regarding the infiltration, within the Christian congregation, of malicious spiritual individuals. However, he criticizes them for deviating from what makes the foundation of Christian actions, that is to say love (1 Corinthians 13:1-8). This reproach is not trivial, because Jesus Christ says that if this congregation does not change its attitude, it will remove its lampstand or will remove the mention of this congregation. Consequently, the characteristic of love is an important point, for Jesus Christ, which identifies the Christian congregation (John 13:34,35).
However, despite this very severe warning, Jesus Christ commends the congregation a second time for being able to resist the influence of the sect of Nicolaus (unlike the congregation of Pergamum). On the biblical camp, a sect is a spirituality which goes beyond the teaching of the good news, while presenting itself, in a fraudulent way, as a biblical teaching (Galatians 1:8,9).
The tree of life is the right that God will grant to humans to live forever, in heaven, for the 144,000 (Apocalypse 14:1-5), or on the earthly paradise (Apocalypse 21: 3.4). The paradise of God means the garden of God, where was originally the Garden of Eden, and the tree of life of which Adam and Eve were not allowed to consume. Consequently, the tree of life and the paradise of God, seem to be a double allusion to the purpose of God, of granting to each obeying human, the right of everlasting life in the heavenly paradise, or either in earthly paradise (Genesis 2:8; 3:22,23).
2 - The congregation of Smyrna:
"And to the angel of the congregation in Smyrna write: These are the things that he says, ‘the First and the Last,’ who became dead and came to life again: ‘I know your tribulation and poverty—but you are rich—and the blasphemy by those who call themselves Jews and really are not, but they are a synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. Look! The Devil will keep on throwing some of you into prison so that you may be fully put to the test, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Prove yourself faithful even to death, and I will give you the crown of life. Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations: The one who conquers will by no means be harmed by the second death.’ " (Apocalypse 2:8-11).
When Jesus Christ says to the Congregation of Smyrna: "I know your tribulation and poverty—but you are rich", that reminds us of the illustration of the rich man who was storing up treasure. He concluded his illustration in the following way: "So it goes with the man who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:13-21). The spiritual wealth, regarding the congregation of Smyrna, was toward God. It represents the price of the Christian integrity toward God (Job 27:5). The spiritual wealth increasing toward God, is the price of trials that the Christian must endure to have a victorious faith, like the members of the Smyrna Congregation.
Jesus Christ does not make any reproach against this courageous congregation, but he encourages them by showing the extraordinary reward that these Christians will have (men and women), "Prove yourself faithful even to death, and I will give you the crown of life. Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations: The one who conquers will by no means be harmed by the second death". In Matthew 12:20 (which is the fulfillment of a prophecy of Isaiah), it is written: "No bruised reed will he crush, and no smoldering wick will he extinguish, until he brings justice with success" (Matthew). "Look! My servant, whom I support! My chosen one, whom I have approved! I have put my spirit in him; He will bring justice to the nations. He will not cry out or raise his voice, And he will not make his voice heard in the street. No crushed reed will he break, And no smoldering wick will he extinguish. In faithfulness he will bring justice. He will not grow dim or be crushed until he establishes justice in the earth; And the islands keep waiting for his law" (Isaiah 42:1-4).
It is very likely that Jesus Christ glorified applied this text to this congregation which had serious trials. He encouraged this congregation, knowing all the terrible future tribulation that was going to arise and which he mentioned, concluding with the promise of everlasting life that they were going to obtain by being enduring until the end: "But the one who has endured to the end will be saved" (Matthew 24:13).
3 - The congregation of Pergamum:
“To the angel of the congregation in Pergamum write: These are the things that he says who has the sharp, long, two-edged sword: ‘I know where you are dwelling, that is, where the throne of Satan is; and yet you keep holding fast to my name, and you did not deny your faith in me even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was killed by your side, where Satan is dwelling. “‘Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, that you have there those adhering to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. In the same way, you also have those adhering to the teaching of the sect of Nicolaus. So repent. If you do not, I am coming to you quickly, and I will war against them with the long sword of my mouth.
“‘Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations: To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white pebble, and written on the pebble is a new name that no one knows except the one receiving it.’" (Apocalypse 2:12-17).
The Congregation of Pergamum had serious trials, like the Congregation of Smyrna, because Jesus Christ said about the death of one of his disciples. The expression "Antipas, my faithful witness, who was killed by your side, where Satan is dwelling", demonstrates that the death of a single faithful servant, for his faith, is precious at the same time, in the eyes of Jehovah God, the Father and his Son Jesus Christ: "Precious in the eyes of Jehovah Is the death of his loyal ones" (Psalms 116:15).
The problem of the congregation Pergamum was that they allowed the infiltration of libertarian behavior, both in the field of sexual immorality and sectarian teaching. The consequences of Balaam's teaching are written in the narrative of Numbers chapter 25, about the Israelites committing fornication with the Moabites women.
The fornication is sexual practices condemned in the Bible, the Word of God: The adultery, the sexual relations without being married (Man and Woman), the masculine and feminine homosexuality, the bestiality: "Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom” (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). “Let marriage be honorable among all, and let the marriage bed be without defilement, for God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers” (Hebrews 13:4).
We remember that on the biblical camp, a sect is a spirituality which goes beyond the teaching of the good news, while presenting itself, in a fraudulent way, as a biblical teaching (Galatians 1:8,9). Jesus Christ foretold that there would be several centuries of apostasy that would permeate Christianity (Matthew 13:24-30,37-43). The consequence is that the Christian priesthood, and its teaching has been imbued with Babylonian practices and teachings, such as pagan holidays like Christmas, Easter (different from the Jewish Passover), All Saints' Day, or even pagan teachings such as the Marian worship, the idolatrous worship of saints, the trinity, the immortality of the soul, fiery hell, the worship of the cross which thrones in many Christian congregations… All these pagan teachings of Babylonian or Greco-Roman origin, have no place in true worship (John 4:23,24).
While sincere Christians have been ignorant of such a situation for centuries, it is important that we purify the way we worship God and serve Jesus Christ, gradually removing all forms of unwanted spiritual practices in the eyes of God.
4 - The congregation of Thyatira:
"To the angel of the congregation in Thyatira write: These are the things that the Son of God says, the one who has eyes like a fiery flame and whose feet are like fine copper: ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and ministry and endurance, and that your deeds of late are more than those you did at first.
“‘Nevertheless, I do hold this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and misleads my slaves to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. Look! I am about to throw her into a sickbed, and those committing adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with deadly plague, so that all the congregations will know that I am the one who searches the innermost thoughts and hearts, and I will give to you individually according to your deeds.
“‘However, I say to the rest of you who are in Thyatira, all those who do not follow this teaching, those who did not get to know the so-called “deep things of Satan”: I am not putting on you any other burden. Just the same, hold fast to what you have until I come. And to the one who conquers and observes my deeds down to the end, I will give authority over the nations, and he will shepherd the people with an iron rod so that they will be broken to pieces like clay vessels, just as I have received from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations.’" (Apocalypse 2:18-29).
Regarding the Congregation of Thyatira, Jesus Christ is blaming the congregation about the undesirable presence of a woman who behaves like Jezebel. The historical story of her, at the same time violent and immoral, is in the narrative of the two biblical books of the Kings (see 1 Kings 16:32,33; 17:1-3; 18:4,13; 19:1-4, 14; 21:1-16; 2 kings 9:30-37 (her violent death)). Beyond the bad behavior of this woman, mentioned by Jesus Christ, arises the question of the role of women in the Christian congregation.
In 1 Corinthians 14, the apostle Paul insists that Christian meetings should be conducted in order: "For God is a God not of disorder but of peace" (1 Corinthians 14:33). Let everyone speak for the purpose of spiritually building the congregation (1 Corinthians 14:26). This teaching must be understandable for the whole congregation: "Nevertheless, in a congregation I would rather speak five words with my mind, that I might also instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue" (1 Corinthians 14:19).
As part of congregational meetings, in the spiritual sanctuary temple, in the framework of teaching, women are not allowed to speak in any way: "As in all the congregations of the holy ones, let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak. Rather, let them be in subjection, as the Law also says. If they want to learn something, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the congregation" (1 Corinthians 14:33-35). The expression, "As in all the congregations of the holy ones", shows that it is not simply a local decision, or only applying to the congregation of Corinth, but a divine instruction applied to all Christian congregations of holy ones. Moreover, this biblical instruction is repeated in the first letter to Timothy: "Let a woman learn in silence with full submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man, but she is to remain silent" (1 Timothy 2:11,12).
5 - The congregation of Sardis:
"To the angel of the congregation in Sardis write: These are the things that he says who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your deeds, that you have the name that you are alive, but you are dead. Become watchful, and strengthen the things remaining that were ready to die, for I have not found your works fully performed before my God. Therefore, continue mindful of how you have received and how you heard, and go on keeping it, and repent. Certainly unless you wake up, I will come as a thief, and you will not know at all at what hour I will come upon you.
“‘Nevertheless, you do have a few individuals in Sardis who did not defile their garments, and they will walk with me in white ones, because they are worthy. The one who conquers will thus be dressed in white garments, and I will by no means blot out his name from the book of life, but I will acknowledge his name before my Father and before his angels. Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations.’" (Apocalypse 3:1-6).
Regarding the congregation of Sardis, Jesus Christ tells something terrible, this congregation is spiritually dead. What does it mean? In Hebrews 6:1, there is the expression "repentance from dead works". It is logical to think that the dead works represent sinful works, linked to the "old personality", the "works of the flesh" (Ephesians 4:22 (old personality); Galatians 5:19-21 (the works of the flesh)).
"But you did not learn the Christ to be so, provided, indeed, that you heard him and were taught by means of him, just as truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old personality which conforms to your former course of conduct and which is being corrupted according to his deceptive desires; but that you should be made new in the force actuating your mind, and should put on the new personality which was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty" (Ephesians 4:20-24).
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct, idolatry, practice of spiritism, enmities, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, contentions, divisions, sects, envies, drunken bouts, revelries, and things like these. As to these things I am forewarning you, the same way as I did forewarn you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom. On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:19-23).
As written in the letter to the Galatians, "Those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom", or will not have everlasting life. Thus, the spiritual death of a person or the whole of a congregation means that they will not have, everlasting life.
Nevertheless, Jesus Christ adds an encouraging information, concerning some people who kept their integrity in this spiritually dead congregation: "You do have a few individuals in Sardis who did not defile their garments". Which means that if, in this situation, Jesus Christ gives a group diagnosis, that does not prevent that the last judgment will be individual: "So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God" (Romans 14:12). The "white garments" represent the obtaining of everlasting life, either in Heaven, or on the Earth (apocalypse 6:11 "white robe"; 7:9 (the great crowd of people "dressed in white robes")).
6 - The congregation of Philadelphia:
"To the angel of the congregation in Philadelphia write: These are the things he says who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens so that no one will shut and shuts so that no one opens: ‘I know your deeds—look! I have set before you an opened door, which no one can shut. And I know that you have a little power, and you kept my word and did not prove false to my name. Look! I will make those from the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews yet are not, but are lying—look! I will make them come and bow before your feet and make them know that I have loved you. Because you kept the word about my endurance, I will also keep you from the hour of test, which is to come upon the entire inhabited earth, to put to the test those dwelling on the earth. I am coming quickly. Keep holding fast to what you have, so that no one may take your crown.
“‘The one who conquers—I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will by no means go out from it anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem that descends out of heaven from my God, and my own new name. Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations.’" (Apocalypse 3:7-13).
Regarding the Congregation of Philadelphia, it is an accurate name, which means "Brotherly Affection". By reading the encouragement of Jesus Christ to this congregation, it can be said that he expresses his "Brotherly Affection" toward its faithful members.
Who or which congregation would not want to hear such encouraging words at the time of the last judgment, shortly before the great tribulation, like those written in Matthew 25:34, about the future Sheep to the right of the king and judge Jesus Christ: "Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. For I became hungry and you gave me something to eat; I got thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you received me hospitably; naked, and you clothed me. I fell sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to you?’ And in reply the king will say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, To the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:34-40)?
7 - The congregation of Laodicea:
"To the angel of the congregation in Laodicea write: These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or else hot. So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth. Because you say, “I am rich and have acquired riches and do not need anything at all,” but you do not know that you are miserable and pitiful and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may become dressed and that the shame of your nakedness may not be exposed, and eyesalve to rub in your eyes so that you may see.
“‘All those for whom I have affection, I reprove and discipline. So be zealous and repent. Look! I am standing at the door and knocking. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into his house and take the evening meal with him and he with me. To the one who conquers I will grant to sit down with me on my throne, just as I conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations.’" (Apocalypse 3:14-22).
The message to the Congregation of Laodicea is particularly severe. When Jesus Christ criticizes this congregation to be "lukewarm", he specifies what it means by saying: "Because you say: “I am rich and have acquired riches and do not need anything at all”". He reproaches this congregation to be proud, its arrogance and its self-sufficiency. In his first letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul warns against the love of money: "But those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge men into destruction and ruin. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things, and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains" (1 Timothy 6:9,10). And farther on, he shows the need for those who are "rich", not to become proud and arrogant: "Instruct those who are rich in the present system of things not to be arrogant, and to place their hope, not on uncertain riches, but on God, who richly provides us with all the things we enjoy" (1 Timothy 6:17).
What is true on an individual level, can be on the scale of a Christian congregation living in a city or a country rich in economic levels. As in the case of the Congregation of Laodicea, such material wealth can make a whole congregation, proud, arrogant and also with a condescending behavior towards other less fortunate congregations, like the material poverty of the Smyrna Congregation. All the Christian congregations that are in the situation of the Laodicea congregation, would do well to open their eyes to their catastrophic spiritual situation, while the judgment before the great tribulation, approach. They should follow this order of Jesus Christ glorified: "I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may become dressed and that the shame of your nakedness may not be exposed, and eyesalve to rub in your eyes so that you may see".
It is obvious that when the overseers of this congregation received this letter were greatly saddened in their heart. However, Jesus Christ has shown that behind the great severity of this message, there is an affectionate desire that this congregation will change its behavior: "All those for whom I have affection, I take them back and disciplines ". The Apostle Paul has also shown that discipline, at first, can cause sadness, however, if we take it into account, then we will have many blessings: "You need to endure as part of your discipline. God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? But if you have not all shared in receiving this discipline, you are really illegitimate children, and not sons. Furthermore, our human fathers used to discipline us, and we gave them respect. Should we not more readily submit ourselves to the Father of our spiritual life and live? For they disciplined us for a short time according to what seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit so that we may partake of his holiness. True, no discipline seems for the present to be joyous, but it is painful; yet afterward, it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:7-11).
"He also subjected all things under his feet and made him head over all things with regard to the congregation, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills up all things in all"
The centralization of the Christian congregation in Jerusalem?
This title in the form of a question alludes to the whole historical account of the birth and the beginning of the activity of the Christian congregation. According to the entire historical account of Acts, was the activity of the various Christian congregations centralized in Jerusalem, particularly in doctrinal matters? By carefully reading the book of Acts, the reader will find that even the intervention of the glorified Jesus Christ was on several occasions "decentralized" or relocated, in cities other than Jerusalem. However, before presenting these examples of how the glorified Jesus Christ intervened in a very important way in other cities, let us see if the account of Acts chapter 15 shows that the Christian congregation was centralized in Jerusalem.
The beginning of chapter 15 shows that within the Christian congregations, Christians of Jewish origin were infiltrating, who forced the people of the nations who had become Christians to be circumcised: "Now some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers: “Unless you get circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” But after quite a bit of dissension and disputing by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was arranged for Paul, Barʹna·bas, and some of the others to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem regarding this issue" (Acts 15:1,2). Why did they go up to Jerusalem? Because verse 1 shows it, the source of the problem came from individuals who came from "Judea", that is, from a territory under the administration of the apostles in Jerusalem (in Judea). It was the most effective way to respond to those opponents who probably wanted to impress their audience by saying that he was from the Jerusalem area. Therefore, going to the place of origin of the dispute, in Jerusalem in Judea, was an effective way to respond to those people who were stirring up trouble in the Christian congregations.
If the decision taken in Jerusalem was very important, we can see that in another city equally important decisions were taken. This is the city of Antioch (Acts 11 and 13). It was in this city, moreover, that divine providence decided that henceforth the true worshipers of God would be called "Christians": "After he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year they assembled with them in the congregation and taught quite a crowd, and it was first in Antioch that the disciples were by divine providence called Christians" (Acts 11:26). The reader will note that it was not the apostles who decreed this divine title of "Christian", but divine providence...
The administration of the Christian congregation according to the latest instructions of King Yehoshuah Mashiah
These last instructions are in the seven messages to the seven congregations (Revelations chapters 2 and 3). This section will answer the question of whether Christian congregations should have a world headquarters, located in a particular city. Most major religions or Christian communities have made this choice of global centralization, in Rome, Jerusalem, Moscow and many other major cities of the world. The question is, if this is the right way to administer the Christian congregations, as it appears in the message of Jesus Christ, to the seven congregations.
Christ is the head and the supreme holder of the authority in the congregation (1 Corinthians 11:3). Did Jesus Christ suggest that the congregation would currently be administered in a centralized way, as in the days of the apostles? In the book of Acts, there was a Christian congregation centralized around the authority of the apostles and some elders in the city of Jerusalem (Acts 15). However, for day-to-day administration, it was under the authority of the elders of the Christian congregations (Hebrews 13:17). In the first letter to the Corinthians, chapters 11 to 14, the apostle Paul gave specific instructions for the proper administration of the Christian congregation locally.
Does this mean that we must currently retain this way of centralizing the administration of the Christian congregation? For example, while all the Christian congregations are scattered all over the earth, would an international headquarters, in a specific city in the world, be required to administer all of these congregations regarding important doctrinal matters? To do so, let the head of the congregation, the current King Jesus Christ, give an answer.
Jerusalem the starting point for worldwide preaching activity
The reason for the centralization of the Christian congregation was mainly due to the fact that Jesus Christ had designated 12 apostles who constituted, the starting point of the beginning of the Christian congregation, in Jerusalem. According to the narrative of the Acts, particularly after the death of the disciple Stephen, a wave of persecution scattered the Christians to the four corners of the Roman Empire, around the Mediterranean Sea, and even, much later, until Babylon (1 Peter 5:13). The apostles and elders remained in Jerusalem. However, there are two factors that have contributed to the disappearance of this centralization, particularly in the city of Jerusalem. The first is the death of the twelve apostles, who were not supposed, biblically speaking, to have successors to maintain this centralization. The second is the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, in the year 70 Common Era, by the Roman general Titus. So that the Christians no longer had an emblematic city that would have represented this world centralization.
Shortly before his ascension, Jesus Christ gave these instructions to his disciples: "You will receive power when the holy spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the most distant part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Thus, in this last instruction of Christ, Jerusalem is designated as the starting point of a worldwide preaching campaign which would last until his return, that is, shortly before the great tribulation (Matthew 24 and 25). He never designated a city where a Christian world administration would have been centralized. What is interesting to note concerning the Catholic Church which world headquarters is in Rome, the Pope presents himself as the successor of the Apostle Peter. Which clearly implies that this centralization was only justified by the presence of the apostles. The second point is that henceforth the new administration of the many Christian congregations scattered throughout the world has been transmitted to the last living apostle, John, by the message to the seven congregations.
Is the world centrality of the administration of Christian congregations a biblical pattern?
In Revelation chapter 1, the seven congregations are represented by seven lampstands. The angels of the seven congregations are represented by the seven stars in the right hand of Christ. In Revelation 2 and 3, the encouragements but also the reproaches, sometimes very serious, made by Jesus Christ, are written to the seven "angels" of the seven congregations. In that case, the "angels" are not those in heaven who have no sinful tendency. In Revelation 1:1, John wrote that the Revelation has been transmitted to him by an "angel" (ἄγγελος "angelos" (Strong’s Concordanc G32): "Messenger, by implication pastor"). According to the context, this angel was a heavenly messenger. In Revelation 1:20, the same word "angelos" is used to designate, this time, a human "angel" responsible for a Christian congregation. These seven angels therefore represent the stewards, the shepherds, the elders or human messengers responsible, before King Jesus Christ, for the administration of the Christian congregation (The translation of the Bible Chouraqui "messenger"), ("messenger" ("messengers), "human leaders" Expanded Bible (EXB); (GOD'S WORD Translation "messenger")) (1 Timothy 3:1-7).
These "angels" or "messengers" are the intercessors between Jesus Christ and the congregation (Jesus Christ being the only mediator between God and the humanity (1 Timothy 2:5)). In this vision, Jesus Christ stands in the "Holy" of the spiritual temple, the usual place of priests who burned incense. These "angels" or "messengers" are also "priests" for the congregation, under the authority of the high priest Jesus Christ. Moreover, in Malachi 2:7, they are "human messengers" or "angels" of Jehovah: "For the lips of a priest should safeguard knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth, because he is the messenger of Jehovah of armies" (Malachi 2:7). The priests, in the former Israel, had three major functions, burning incense (prayers (Revelation 8: 3,4)), teaching and judgment (Deuteronomy 17:8,10-13; 21,1,2,5 ; Numbers 5:11-31). The elders, the shepherds or the pastors of the congregations have exactly the same priestly functions in the spiritual temple, the Christian congregation: the prayer (James 5:14), the teaching (1 Timothy 3:2 "qualified to teach"), judgment in the congregation (Matthew 18:18).
Before the Great Tribulation, King Jesus Christ will directly ask for accounts to the "angels" of the different congregations scattered around the world. According to Revelation chapters 2 and 3 these overseers of local congregations have a great responsibility (Matthew 25). This is why the disciple James wrote: "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment" (James 3:1).
In the illustrations of the administrators of the "talents" (but also of the "minas"), who will render an account just before the great tribulation, they are these human "angels", of Revelation 1 to 3. However, in that illustration there are only three administrators, probably to illustrate the three main judgment, two are favorable and one is condemnatory. Two administrators have done their job, one better than the other, however both will have the same reward from the master. A third who will not have done his job and will be seriously condemned by the master (Matthew 25:14-30 (talents); Luke 19:12-27 (minas)). Jesus Christ will judge the congregations of a town or village and with their respective administrators. Consequently, the administration of the Christian congregations is described as decentralized. They will have a direct responsibility before Jesus Christ, for the whole congregation of a town, or a village: "Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over you as those who will render an account, so that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to you" (Hebrews 13:17).
24.10 | 07:22
Hi Jane, thank you very much for your encouragement. Thanks to Jehovah God and Jesus Christ who revealed to us the meaning of the Word (1 Corinthians 10:31). Blessings of God to you, Sister in Christ.
23.10 | 22:27
This is the most insightful explanation of scripture o have ever found! God bless you my brothers …. My eyes are devoid of fog!
26.05 | 10:51
12.03 | 10:37
Hi Fatima, as Jesus said to keep on the watch in view of prayers until the end to have the fulfillment of our Christian Hope, to be saved (Mat 24:13,42). Blessings and My Brotherly Greetings in Christ
Regarding the different religious denominations of the Christian congregations, the Bible is clear, the disciple of Christ is quite simply a "Christian", without additional religious denomination: "It was first in Antioch that the disciples were by divine providence called Christians" (Acts 11:26). In his concluding prayer on the evening of the last Passover, Jesus Christ made this request to his Father: "I make request, not concerning these only, but also concerning those putting faith in me through their word, so that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me" (John 17:20,21). All Christian congregations should unite before the great tribulation, doing as possible in the best way, the will of God written in the Bible: "Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will" (Matthew 7:21-23; "She did what she could" (Mark 14:8)).
It is obvious that the world's centrality, national or regional of a set of Christian congregations, is not a biblical pattern, according to the illustrations of Jesus Christ (mentioned above). The biblical model is a local administration of the Christian congregation.
Who is this faithful and discreet slave appointed by King Jesus Christ?
"Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings"
The purpose of this study is to see the different ways of understanding of this enigmatic question of Christ. It is not a question of giving a definitive answer to this question, because in the direct context of this quotation, we understand that it will not be given permanently, only during the "coming" of King Jesus Christ to judge humankind, mentioned in Matthew 25:31, shortly before the great tribulation. To better understand this question and to find specific elements of answers, in the direct context of this prophecy of Christ, regarding the last days, it is advisable to examine his chronological description. It is important to understand that the fragmentation in two chapters (24 and 25) of this prophecy, does not exist in the original Greek text, so they constitute the whole of the response of the question of Matthew 24:3: "Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?".
The first part begins from verse 4 and ends at verse 22. The peculiarity of this part is that it is geographically centered on Jerusalem and the imminence of its destruction. The other peculiarity is that it is fulfilled in two stages. Matthew 24:23-28 is an important transition with the second part. Jesus Christ said that his first presence on earth would only be understood by humans with an insight comparable to the visual acuity of eagles (the chosen ones) (acuity three times greater than that of humans). Matthew 24:29 is truly a break in the description of the last days: "Jesus Christ said that his first presence on earth would only be understood by humans with an insight comparable to the visual acuity of eagles (the chosen ones) (acuity three times greater than that of humans)". This period of human dramatic history is just before the arrival of King Jesus Christ, to judge all of humanity, and particularly the administrators of all Christian congregations.
By the expression "Christian congregations", we must understand all the religions which assume their Christian identity and which will be judged on the basis of a simple criterion: will they have made the will of God (Matthew 7:21-23)? On the basis of Acts 11:26, where it is written that it is by divine providence that the members of the Christian Congregation, are called "Christians", therefore the other additional religious names will have no value in the day of the judgment. Also, in one of his last prayers, shortly before his death, Jesus Christ prayed for the unity of the Christian congregation (read John 17). On this basis, on the day of their judgment, how will he consider the different Christian religious denominations?
This second part is in Matthieu 24:29 to Matthew 25:46. The study of this part is to understand, when this faithful and discreet slave is appointed by the Master, and also to understand when he will be rewarded by him, by appointing him over all his belongings.
This very short period is described by Jesus Christ in a repetitive way, however from different ways and situations. Matthew 24:29-31, describes surrealist historical events, which would be just before the judgment of humanity. Verse 30 "They will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory", is obviously repeated in Matthew 25:31 "When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne". The judgment of humanity is described in the verse (24:31), in this case (a favorable judgment) by a harvest made by the angels, of the chosen ones who will have everlasting life.
Verses 32-35, by the illustration of the fig tree, Jesus Christ explains that during this short period which would very little precede the great tribulation, the attentive observer would understand that the end is very close. To properly prove, depending on the general context of Matthew 24 and 25, that this part is very different from the previous one (Matthew 24:4-22), please compare Matthew 24:32-35 with Matthieu 24:6: "You are going to hear of wars and reports of wars; see that you are not terrified. For these things must take place, but the end is not yet" (in the first part of Matthew 24:4-22). It is also, in this second descriptive part where there is this famous enigmatic sentence regarding the generation that would not pass before the end: "Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur" (Verse 34). Jesus Christ says that when the observers would see these events (From Matthew 24:29), they could consider that the time that remains would be so short, that the generation that would witness them, would not pass before the end.
It is in this part of the description, when Jesus Christ asks this enigmatic question regarding the faithful and discreet slave: "Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings" (Matthew 24: 45-47).
This question is in the context of the second part of Christ description, regarding the last days (Matthew 24:29 at 25:46), which will especially focus on the way of King Jesus Christ to settle his accounts with the administrators of the Christian congregations (Compare with the reading of Apocalypse Chapters 2 and 3 on the seven congregations. This attentive reading will allow to better understand of how this future worldwide judgment of all Christian congregations could happen). With the study of the passage of Matthew 24:45 to Matthew 25:46, we can better understand who could be the faithful and discreet slave (or slaves). All the contextual information above make it possible to understand the moment of the presence of this slave, the moment when he will render an account of his work to King Jesus Christ and the moment of his reward.
Jesus Christ talks about only one slave, that is to say, that it can be only one man? Maybe, particularly if this faithful and discreet slave is the Messenger of Jehovah God who is just before His Day, mentioned in the prophecy of Malachi: "Look! I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me. And suddenly there will come to His temple the true Lord, whom you people are seeking, and the messenger of the covenant in whom you are delighting. Look! He will certainly come,” Jehovah of armies has said" (Malachi 3:1). This messenger was John, the Baptist, at the time of the first presence of Christ on earth (Matthew 11:14). Since the context of the prophecy of Malachi is part of the proximity of the great tribulation, the presence of this messenger of Jehovah should have a second fulfillment, in our days (Malachi 4:5). Just as John the Baptist has been recognized by very few people, it is very likely that this messenger will suffer the same situation: "However, I say to you that Elijah has already come and they did not recognize him but did with him the things they wanted" (Matthew 17:12). According to the Gospels, it does not belong to the person (or a group of Christians) to proclaim himself to be "faithful and discreet", before the favorable judgment of King Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:47).
In the other hand, the faithful and discreet slave can be, at the same time, a group of good administrators of the Christian congregation, this is then, confirmed by the words of Christ, concerning, this time, the evil slave: "But if ever that evil slave should say in his heart, ‘My master is delaying,’ and should start to beat his fellow slaves and should eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, and will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his part with the hypocrites. There is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be" (Matthew 24:48-51). It is interesting to note that Jesus Christ, describes this evil slave as only one man, beating his fellow slaves (in the plural). Which would suggest that the faithful and discreet slave, beaten by the evil slave, can constitute a group of good administrators of the Christian congregation, working as fellow slaves. The evil slave could constitute a group of Christians having lost their faith, behaving badly towards their brothers in faith (Isaiah 66:5). This understanding is reinforced by the three illustrations of Christ in the continuation of the narrative of Matthew 25.
Let us see first, which represent the domestics. The faithful and discreet slave is obviously an administrator of the Christian congregation, under the orders of King Jesus Christ (Revelation 1-3 (the seven stars in the right hand of Christ)). The domestics represent the disciples of Christ (men, women and children) in each respective congregation.
In the three illustrations that will follow, we could consider that Christ illustrates the insight of the faithful and discreet slave, by the five discreet virgins, the two good administrators of the talents and the sheep who have helped the brothers of Christ.
"Then the Kingdom of the heavens may be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were discreet. For the foolish took their lamps but took no oil with them, whereas the discreet took oil in their flasks along with their lamps. While the bridegroom was delaying, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. Right in the middle of the night there was a shout: ‘Here is the bridegroom! Go out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins got up and put their lamps in order. The foolish said to the discreet, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are about to go out.’ The discreet answered, saying: ‘Perhaps there may not be enough for both us and you. Go instead to those who sell it, and buy some for yourselves.’ While they were going off to buy it, the bridegroom came. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.Afterward, the rest of the virgins also came, saying, ‘Sir, Sir, open to us!’ In answer he said, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you" (Matthew 25:1-12).
Matthew 25:1-12, is the illustration of the ten virgins, five foolish, five discreet. These virgins are promised in marriage with Christ. They represent the heavenly congregation of the remnant of the 144,000, which will be 7,000, just before the great tribulation, to join Christ in the heaven (Apocalypse 11:11-13). Without necessarily saying that the whole of the group of the 7,000 Christian disciples (men and women) represents the faithful and discreet slave, however, their spiritual vigilance illustrates that of this faithful and discreet slave. It is very likely, that among these 7,000 disciples called to live with Christ, there are currently excellent administrators of the Christian congregation, excellent faithful and discreet slaves.
"For it is just like a man about to travel abroad who summoned his slaves and entrusted his belongings to them. He gave five talents to one, two to another, and one to still another, to each according to his own ability, and he went abroad. Immediately the one who received the five talents went and did business with them and gained five more. Likewise, the one who received the two gained two more. But the slave who received just one went off and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
“After a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. So the one who had received the five talents came forward and brought five additional talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me; see, I gained five talents more.’ His master said to him: ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Next the one who had received the two talents came forward and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me; see, I gained two talents more.’ His master said to him: ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’
“Finally the slave who had received the one talent came forward and said: ‘Master, I knew you to be a demanding man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not winnow. So I grew afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ In reply his master said to him: ‘Wicked and sluggish slave, you knew, did you, that I reaped where I did not sow and gathered where I did not winnow? Well, then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my coming I would have received it back with interest.
“‘Therefore, take the talent away from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. And throw the good-for-nothing slave out into the darkness outside. There is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be.’" (Matthew 25:14-30).
Matthieu 25:14-30, is the illustration of the three talent administrators (1 talent of silver (or gold) is about twenty kilos). Two have done their job correctly, making business, they have been faithful and discreet slaves (Matthew 25:19-23). The third did not do his job. He behaved as a bad slave (Matthew 25:24-30).
"When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right: ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. For I became hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you received me hospitably; naked and you clothed me. I fell sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ In reply the King will say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left: ‘Go away from me, you who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I became hungry, but you gave me nothing to eat; and I was thirsty, but you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger, but you did not receive me hospitably; naked, but you did not clothe me; sick and in prison, but you did not look after me.’ Then they too will answer with the words: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying: ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of these least ones, you did not do it to me.’ These will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life" (Matthew 25:31-46).
Finally, Matthew 25:31-46, is the illustration of sheep and goats. The sheep represent people, or Christians who have helped the brothers of Christ, while the goats are those who have not helped the brothers of Christ. The expression "brothers" of Christ can be understood in two ways. The brothers of Christ can represent those who are part of the wise virgins who will join Christ in the heavens, shortly before the great tribulation. They are called the holy ones or chosen ones (heavenly): "For God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name, in that you have ministered to the holy ones and continue ministering" (Hebrews 6:10). The second complementary way to understand this expression is that the brothers of Christ represent the faithful disciples of Christ. Here, what he said to a certain circumstance: "As an answer he said to the one telling him: “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And extending his hand toward his disciples, he said: “Look! My mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”" (Matthew 12:48-50).
Moreover, in the illustration, we can understand that the actions which will be rewarded by Jesus Christ, actions of assistance to the person, to feed, to give drink, dress, to manifest hospitality, to take care of the sick, to visit prisoners due to persecution. This illustrates in detail the characteristics of the real disciples: "By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves" (John 13:35). So obviously, all the sheep does not represent the faithful and discreet slave. It is obvious that among them, there are excellent administrators who care about both spiritual welfares, but also, if necessary, to help those who need it, in physical necessity, like faithful and discreet slaves.
Was the faithful and discreet slave, identified and rewarded by King Jesus Christ,
in 1914 or shortly after this date (1918 or 1919)?
The question arises for several reasons. The first reason is biblical. Indeed, in Matthew 25:31, it is written: "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne". However, according to the biblical chronological calculations (made by Christians, students of the Bible, during the end of the 19th century), based on the prophecy of Daniel (see the page "Prophecy of Daniel", of the present site), the Kingship of Jesus Christ began in 1914. In Matthew 25:19, it is written about the return of the master to settle accounts with the administrators of the talents, also seems to be referring to this same passage, of Matthew 25:31. However, this last text, mentioned, according to the context, does not refer to the beginning of the Kingship, of Jesus Christ (Apocalypse 11:15), but rather to his function of king who will judge the whole of humanity.
The second reason to ask this question is that some Christians think that Matthew 25:19, the return of the master to settle accounts with the administrators of the Christian congregations, occurred in 1914. After a period of judgment, he would have found a group of Christians, as fulfilling the criteria of loyalty and wisdom, of the faithful and discreet slave. After that, he would have established this same group of Christians on all his belongings, that is to say, the worldwide Christian Congregation (Matthew 24:45-47). The important question is not so much to focus on this interpretation itself, but rather on the expressions used by Christ to know when the slave would be rewarded, and what would represent the whole of the belongings of the master.
At the beginning of this study, regarding the question of the identity of the faithful and discreet slave, it was insisted on the context which surrounds this question: in what stage of the description of Christ, he asked this question (namely In the first part (Matthew 24:4-22), that is to say towards the period beginning 1914, or the second part (Matthew 24:29 at 25:46), that is to say the short the period just before the great tribulation). Obviously, this question is in the second part of his description (Matthew 24:29 at 25:46 (24: 45-47)). How does it help us to understand when the slave would be formally identified by King Jesus Christ and he would be rewarded? If Jesus Christ had asked such a question in the conclusion of his first part, also before Matthew's famous transition (24:23-28), then it would have been actually logical to think that the faithful and discreet slave, would have been identified and rewarded by King Jesus Christ shortly after 1914, and that he would have established him over all his congregation, as all of his belongings. However, according to the context, this is not the case: this identification of the good slave would be during the judgment just before the great tribulation (Matthew 24:45 to 25:46).
On the other hand, the question arises of what represents all the belongings of the master, on which the faithful and discreet slave would be established: is it only the Christian congregation, or all of the nations? It is Jesus Christ himself who answers this question: "All the nations will be gathered before him" (Matthew 25:32). The current King Jesus Christ owns the set of nations, both the living and the dead (which will be resurrected later). This is confirmed by Psalms 2 and 110: "Ask of me, and I will give nations as your inheritance And the ends of the earth as your possession" (Psalms 2:8). Particularly, since 1914, King Jesus Christ has owned the nations (even hostiles (see Psalms 2)). It is logical to think that he was not going to establish the faithful and discreet slave over all his belongings, shortly after 1914, in the context of the current hostility of the nations, mentioned in Psalms 2 and 110.
When the faithful and discreet slave will be rewarded by the master?
According to the illustrations of the five wise virgins, the talents and sheep and goats, it will be rewarded shortly before the great tribulation, when King Jesus Christ will note the good work of the faithful and discreet slave. In what sense, the faithful and discreet slave will be established over all his belongings? The master's belongings represent the whole of humanity which will live in the earthly paradise, both the living and the dead ones which will be resurrected (Matthew 19:28 "The twelve tribes of Israel"). Those who will be established over all the belongings of the master are, the 144000 (Apocalypse 14:1-5). Those who will be established over all the belongings of the master are the earthly princes (Isaiah 32:1,2). Those who will be established over all the belongings of the master are the earthly priests, the sons of Zadok (Ezekiel 43:19).
The administration BEFORE and AFTER the Great Tribulation
The collapse of this system of things, will represent, for to quickly summarize the DAY AFTER situation of the Great Storm: The Return to “The Stone Age”. In fact, this generic expression of “Stone Age” is summarizing this sudden disappearance of this worldwide human technological system and this worldwide human technological administration… The People of God must be prepared now, to this sudden Return to the “Stone Age”. For this, it must be quickly taken important decisions to be ready to administrate the “DAY BEFORE” and the “DAY AFTER” the Great Tribulation. These new worldwide situations will be, in fact, a visible and invisible new dimension of realities on Earth. According Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, Jehovah is preparing a Great Storm, the Great Tribulation. It is now the time to be spiritually and mentally prepared to really enter into another strange new dimension of spiritual realities (Hebrews 11:1-3; 1 Peter 4:12).
For to summarize, the best way of this worldwide preparation must be quickly done with the Actual Internet Network System for to install the scattered new system of biblical administration as Human Network Administration based on the Bible (Particularly in the Administration of the Time of Moses: “Remember the Law of my servant Moses, the regulations and judgments that I commanded at Hoʹreb for all Israel to obey” (Malachi 4:4 compare with Hebrews 10:1). We’ll use the Law for to know the Mind of Jehovah, and the Mind of Jesus Christ, for to know how to organize this future Only Human Network Administration, Christians organized in local communities, interconnected in regional communities with the coordination of Chiefs (Princes), Elders (Priests) and Ministerial Servants (Levites). The following biblical administrative presentation will be based on first, biblical spiritual administration, and after in the biblical logistical administration of physical human necessities based on the Law of Moses.
In concrete, the Authority in Connection what is visible, like the visible administration of a Group of People, this Authority is Pyramidal, That is, Only One Chief (Prince) administrating a group of People like nation. In that case, according the Former Nation of Israel, Moses, Joshua and the others Judges, and after the Kings, in that case, Jehovah decided that there would be Only One Leader over the Nations of Millions of People. But under the authority of this main Leader, there were others Chiefs or princes, that could have another chiefs or princes under these “second” chiefs, as a pyramidal system of authority to administrate the visible part of the People of God.
A biblical human pyramidal administration
The council of Jethro, and after what Moses did, is the concrete illustration of this Pyramidal Authority (Exodus 18):
“Moses immediately listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses chose capable men out of all Israel and appointed them heads over the people, as chiefs of thousands, chiefs of hundreds, chiefs of fifties, and chiefs of tens. 26 So they judged the people when cases arose. A difficult case they would bring to Moses, but every minor case they would judge. 27 After that Moses saw his father-in-law off, and he went his way to his land” (Exodus 18:23-27).
It was a pyramidal system of authority of the Chief (Prince) Moses (at that time). In concrete, in that time, the census was made on the basis of valid men who were able to have an active part in the administration of the nation. In that case, the women and the children (under 20 years old for the boys) weren’t part of this active administration of the Nation of Israel (according important decisions). The expression “600 000 Men on foot, besides children” in Exodus 12:37, the men were at least 20 years old and at the most, they were 60 years old (Compare Leviticus 27:3 with verse 7, and also with 1 Timothy 5:9 “sixty years old” according widows in Christians congregations).
The administration of the communities of Brothers and Sisters and Children
It is important to say that these communities are not the same as the “congregations” organized to worship Jehovah through the Elders (Priests) and the Ministerial Servants. The administration of these communities has the main purpose to cope with basic human necessities of food, dressing and food, under the leadership of chieftains or princes (that are not the Elders (Priests) of the Congregation).
Returning to the biblical text of Exodus 18:23-27 the basic community of Brothers and Sisters and Children must be organized on the first base of 10 valid Men (Brothers). One Man will be “Chief” on this group of 10 Valid Men. This “Chief of 10” will coordinate the administration inside this little community. Every group of 10 will have Women and Children and Old Brothers and Sisters (THE DAY BEFORE). That means that a group of 10 Valid Men could include more than 30, 40, 50 or maybe more people in this little community of 10.
According the system installed by Moses, 5 groups of 10 would have to be directly coordinated by a “Chief” of 50. This Chief of 50 will administrate and coordinate the necessities of these 5 little communities of 10, visiting them and making the link between them for to coordinate the different spiritual and material necessities. There will be 2 chiefs of 50, under the rule of 1 chief of 100 who will make the link between the two groups of 50. This Chief of 100, will be informed according some problems of administration, and will help these two chiefs of 50. This Chief of 100 will also give important information, given to him by the chief of 1000. The group of 10 chiefs of 100 will be under the rule of one chief of 1000.
But the important question is: How to determine the necessity of chiefs of 50, chiefs of 100, chiefs of 1000, and chiefs of 10000? Here is the important point regarding the “demographic” administration, instead of geographical administration: The Former People of God were organized on this demographic base of 600 000 Valid Men. And it was on this base that the administration of the Pyramidal authority was made. That is, the first administration, in the period of 7 months, will be based on the effective number of survivors of the Great Tribulation.
According the prophecy of Ezekiel, the authority of these chiefs won’t be mixed or won’t interfere with the authority of the priests (elders in the congregation) because there are two different authorities, and two different administrations. Also, the basic group of 10, won’t be (necessarily) the same as the congregation(s) itself that could be more important than a group of 10, with maybe two groups of 10. Or maybe less important than of group of 10, maybe a half group of 10 and so on… This good administration, between these two kinds of administrations (material and spiritual), will be based on the good agreement between the chief(s) and the priest(s), with the blessing of God and the blessing of Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 40-48). If Jehovah gives information in advance, it is because it must be used with the aim of taking the best decisions with anticipation, like Joseph with Pharaoh. The following letter will present some points for how to organize the group of 10, “Before” the Great Tribulation and “After” the Great Tribulation, By trying to be the most realistic as possible, the most specific as possible and the most practical as possible in the anticipation of the future collapse of this system of things: “The shrewd person sees the danger and conceals himself” (Proverbs 27:12). But what will be the concrete situation AFTER the Great Tribulation, according the prophecy of Ezekiel?
The administration of the local needs of the communities of 10
Another important decision is the sharing of the responsibilities among the Group of 10 Men. For example (these examples are only suggestions of distribution of responsibilities which have not at all a compulsory character (and can be completed), but which illustrate only how to administrate the local needs of the communities of 10):
What will unite these communities of Brothers and Sister is the brotherly love: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves” (John 13:35).
The cleaning of the Earth of 7 months
The Town of Hamonah
“And there will also be a city there named Ha•moʹnah. And they will cleanse the land”
The important idea of Ezekiel 39 is that all the actual towns and villages, all around the World, will be burnt by fire as Sodom and Gomorrah. And the Whole Actual Towns and Villages is the Territory of Magog, that will be burnt by fire After the Great Tribulation, within the period of the “seven months”. And, in fact the Town of Hamonah represents the Worldwide Actual Towns and Villages that will be burnt by fire, they won’t be reconstructed and they will represent in the future earthly paradise, the Visible Memorial of the Victory of Jehovah God over Gog of Magog. The important question is: How does the context of the prophecy of Ezekiel support this biblical interpretation?
“On that day I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, in the valley of those who travel east of the sea, and it will block the path of those passing through. That is where they will bury Gog and all his hordes, and they will call it the Valley of Hamon-Gog” (Ezekiel 39:11).
“I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, in the valley of those who travel east of the sea”: What is the symbolic meaning of this burial place? This burial place is “in the east part of the sea” that is the east of Salt Sea? Why this geographical part of burial place? It is in fact the place Of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other towns which were destructed by fire (compare with Revelation 8:8,9, which is the symbolic representation of the past destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah)… This burial place is exactly the same place described in Ezekiel 47:11: “It will have swampy places and marshy places, and these will not be healed. They will be abandoned to salt”. This future burial place will be “Hamon-Gog”, “abandoned to salt” place, named “Hamonah”… The burial process of the bones of the victims of the Great Tribulation is described in the Prophecy of Ezekiel 39:12-16.
As it has been understood, the worldwide Hamonah will be in fact the future cemeteries towns and villages burnt as Sodom and Gomorrah (Ezekiel 47:11). The victims of the Great Tribulation of those towns and villages will be let on place. All the victims of the Great Tribulation in the country side won’t bury in place, but rather in the closest “Hamonah” or “Hamon-Gog”, that is the closest cemetery town or cemetery village.
According the victims of the Great Tribulation in houses in the countryside, the process of cleaning will be this: “And it must occur that if ten men should be left remaining in one house, they must also die. 10 And his father’s brother will have to carry them forth one by one, and will be burning them one by one, in order to bring out [the] bones from the house. And he will have to say to whoever is in the innermost parts of the house, ‘Are there any more with you?’ And he will certainly say, ‘Nobody!’ And he will have to say, ‘Keep silence! For it is not the occasion for making any mention of the name of Jehovah.’”
11 “‘For here is Jehovah commanding, and he will certainly strike down the great house into rubble and the small house into debris” (Amos 6:9-11).
The dead bodies or the bones will take out of the house by the closest member of the family (if there is) and they will be burnt outside of the house. After the house will be destroyed and no house will constructed in this place of destruction. This administration of cleaning the Earth about 7 months will normally be under the leadership of the Priests (Elders of the Congregation) (See Leviticus 14:33-53, “the Law of the leprosy in a house”).
This cleaning of the earth will prepare the coming of the New Jerusalem on Earth in term of direct administration of the Earth by 144000 kings and priests: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).