For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon—that He may do His work, His awesome [STRANGE – KJV] work, and bring to pass His act, His unusual [STRANGE – KJV] act (Isaiah 28:21, emphasis added).
As we continue to examine the above verse word by word, we now ask: what happened at Mount Perazim? Why did the Lord “rise up” there? Can we find the same pattern in Mount Perazim as we have seen in the two cases already discussed, the stoning of Stephen and the events at the end of the world?
The story of what happened in Mount Perazim is told in two different places in the Bible. As you read both accounts, please notice the subtle differences which we have highlighted in bold. The first account is found in Second Samuel, chapter five, verses seventeen to twenty-five:
Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.” David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” he called the name of that place Baal Perazim. And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away. Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba [GIBEON] as far as Gezer. (2 Samuel 5:17-21, emphasis added).
The second place where this story is told is in First Chronicles chapter fourteen, verses eight to seventeen:
Now when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went out against them. Then the Philistines went and made a raid on the Valley of Rephaim. And David inquired of God, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” The Lord said to him, “Go up, for I will deliver them into your hand.” they went up to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there. Then David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a breakthrough of water.” they called the name of that place Baal Perazim. And when they left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire. Then the Philistines once again made a raid on the valley. David inquired again of God, and God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; circle around them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” David did as God commanded him, and they drove back the army of the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer. Then the fame of David went out into all lands, and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations (1 Chronicles 14:8-17).
As you read both of these accounts, did you notice that there is no literal mention anywhere in this text of the Lord rising up? But didn’t Isaiah clearly say in chapter twenty-eight, verse twenty-one that “the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim?” Even though it is not written that the Lord rose up on this occasion, we have to accept that the Lord did “rise up” in a very significant way at Mount Perazim because Isaiah said so. How then did the Lord rise up at Mount Perazim?
The evidence of the Lord’s rising up—which we have seen means two things: letting go, giving them up, handing over to the master they have chosen, and standing to sustain His people—is in “the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees.” What is the meaning of this “marching”?
The Hebrew word for “marching” is , and according to Strong’s Concordance it means a “march; (concretely) an (ornamental) ankle chain: – going, ornament of the legs.” The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon states that it is “1) marching 2) armlet, anklet, stepping chains.” And the Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says that these were “stepping chains which were worn by oriental women fastened to the ankle-band of each leg, so that they were forced to walk elegantly with short steps.”
So then, who is “marching” in the tops of the mulberry trees making the sound of “stepping chains”? This is a really important question and we must find its answer. Notice what the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge says about this “marching:”
Some, taking the word , translated “mulberry trees,” as a proper name, render, “when thou shalt hear a sound of going upon the summits of ;” other understanding , “a top,” in the sense of beginning or entrance, read, “when thou a sound of footsteps at the entrance of the grove of mulberry trees;” and others think a rustling among the leaves is intended. The read, “When thou shalt hear the sound of the angels coming to thy assistance, then go out to battle; for an angel is sent from the presence of God, that he may render thy way prosperous.” If there had not been an evident supernatural interference, David might have thought that the ruse de guerre which he had used, was the cause of his victory (Treasury of Scripture Knowledge).
Not all commentaries interpret the mulberry trees as being “the sound of angels coming.” And those who do, like this one, interpret that these angels are God’s angels. But notice what the Biblical Illustrator Commentary states about this event:
What this “sound of going” was exactly we cannot tell. It probably resembled the march of an army in the air. A host of unseen angels may have moved above the mulberry groves, striking terror into the hearts of the barbarians and sending them into precipitate retreat. As they retreated, they fell into the hands of the Israelites (who had swung around to their rear), and were routed with complete discomfiture (Biblical Illustrator Commentary, emphasis added).
“A march of an army in the air. A host of unseen angels… striking terror…sending them into precipitate retreat…complete discomfiture…” Put this picture together with an army of angels chained in the ankles, which when they walk make a jingling sound… What do you think? Do these supernatural beings sound like God’s angels? Are God’s angels chained together at the ankles?
When we look at this description in view of God’s character of agape love, we see that there is something here that simply doesn’t align. What stands out in particular is the terror, the fear these angels produced in the Philistine army. Fear is not in line with God’s principles of love. Fear and terror are intrinsic to Satan and his angels. We have devoted a whole chapter to the topic of fear in our second book, God on Trial: Have We Been Lied To? Is God a Killer? Therefore, we will not take the time here to develop this. We will simply quote a few verses below:
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15, emphasis added).
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love (1 John 4:18).
“God is love.” He is “perfect love.” When we are surrounded by “perfect love” we have no fear. But if God is no longer there, when “perfect love” is removed, then fear and terror comes in. This is exactly what happened as the following verses will show. Notice what God had said:
And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines (2 Samuel 5:24, emphasis added).
God had said that He would “go out” before David. What exactly did this mean? To “go out”— ’ in Hebrew—means to depart, to get away. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon says it means to “go out, come out, exit, go forth, depart, to go forward, proceed to, to come out of.” God was going to leave the Philistines; He was going to “go out” away from them. It is God’s going out that causes destruction, because when He departs, Satan has full access, freedom and power to destroy.
God was going to depart from the Philistines and as God was departing, Satan and his armies were marching in. What a chilling, horrific, terrifying picture!
Why did God depart from the Philistines? The Philistines had completely filled their iniquity, which means they had completely rejected God and His principles and had therefore fully passed over onto Satan’s jurisdiction. How do we know that they filled their iniquity? They filled it by rising up against God’s people, by persecuting and making war against those who were in God’s jurisdiction. We will develop this more as we study the next example given in Isaiah twenty-eight verse twenty-one, when we see what happened at Gibeon.
The scenario we see above is very similar to the stoning of Stephen and the case of the king who exalts himself in the last days. Like these previous examples, here God’s people—in this case David and his army—are being attacked and persecuted by an enemy who has fully rejected God’s agape love principle. And then we see how in the very act of persecuting, they position themselves in a place where God can no longer protect them. They’ve painted themselves in a corner where God has to let them go, hand them over, or deliver them.
Their own choices cause God to deliver them into Satan’s hands, and we eerily read about that army of darkness coming to take possession of their prey. What a terrible, horrible scenario, to be let go completely into the hands of a sadistic, cruel, punitive master! Oh, that the world would wake up to see the fate that awaits it if it doesn’t turn back to the true God of agape love!
David’s words of victory over the Philistines are extremely meaningful and we will take a careful look at them. He said:
The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.
A BREAKTHROUGH OF WATER
The word “breakthrough” in Hebrew is the word which means “to break out, make a breach, burst out” (Strong’s Concordance). The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament states that “ may also describe the breaking of a dike.”
David named the place where he defeated the Philistines . He did so for a very specific reason, which he himself explains: because “the Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” The word is a compound word— Baal and Perazim. Baal was the Canaanite god and the word itself means “master, husband, owner.” Perazim is the plural of the word or . Thus, means “possessor of breaches” or “master of the breaks.” says that means a “rupture, breach of a wall.”
What is the picture God is trying to paint for us here? We believe God is using a metaphor to explain what happens when He departs, what happens when He hands someone over to Satan.
Imagine a dike, a water dam. The wall of the dam holds the waters back and protects the city situated in the valley below. Now imagine that one day there is a rupture in the wall of the dam. Picture the suddenness in which the pressure of the water will gush through that hole, and within seconds it will break down the entire wall. The result will be that the village below in the valley will be completely destroyed. This is the picture God is painting for us in this story. So then how do we interpret this metaphor?
There is a war between God and Satan. This war involves their respective laws which were represented on earth by the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We as human beings can choose which Tree we want to eat from—we do this by choosing which moral law we want to live by. God’s law of agape love is the metaphoric wall that protects us and holds the destroying waters from flooding us.
Satan’s waters are constantly pressuring the wall, trying to bring it down. As long as we hang on to the God of agape love, we are the subjects of His jurisdiction, and Satan has no jurisdiction over us. Our choices either keep us safe behind God’s wall of protection, or they render us unprotected to Satan’s attacks.
If there is a breach, a rupture, a hole in the wall, the waters can quickly come in. If we persistently reject God and fully reject His ways of love, we make a breach on the wall. Satan’s waters are like a huge body, a mass of pressure that is constantly seeking the smallest rupture in the wall in order to break through. Satan is like a roaring lion constantly pressuring God to remove His protection from us.
If we consistently reject God and His principles, then we create a hole in His wall of protection and the waters can come in all at once—like a sudden “breakthrough of water.” The moment a rupture in the wall is made, the waters which had been under immense pressure come rushing in suddenly, in an instant, and those on the other side of the wall are completely destroyed and decimated by it.
The same idea is portrayed through a city that is surrounded by a wall. The purpose of the wall is to protect it from outside enemies. As long as the wall is intact, the enemies and their armies cannot enter the city. But if for any reason part of the wall collapses, then they can come right in and take the city and its captive. The enemies will have complete access to destroy, burn, and take down the dwellers of that city.
This is what happened to the Philistines in Perazim and this is why David named the place . Baal, the harsh taskmaster god who operates by reward and punishment—the sun god—suddenly broke through the Philistines’ wall of protection, and they were completely overtaken by him. It happened suddenly, in an instant, like a break in the water. Notice the Thayer Lexicon’s definition of the word below:
1) breach, gap, bursting forth
1a) bursting forth, outburst
1c) broken wall
1d) outburst (figuratively of God’s wrath)
The same word is used in Psalm 106:23 to describe Moses’ intercession for the people of Israel when they erected the Golden Calf:
He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them (Psalm 106:23, emphasis added).
Moses stood before God “in the breach to turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them.” By sculpting a Golden Calf, the people were returning to Egypt—they were worshipping the Egyptian god Apis, Osiris, the god of fertility, the so-called god of beneficence. Osiris, the beneficent, was the Good god of the Egyptian godhead of Good and Evil. His Evil counterpart was his wife, Isis, the goddess of justice, or rather, vengeance and punishment.
By worshipping the Golden Calf, the children of Israel created a “breach” in their wall of protection, because they were rejecting the true God and choosing Satan as their master. God was about to hand them over to the master of their choice, but Moses prayed and interceded, giving God the right to continue protecting them. God Himself wanted Moses to stand in the “breach” so that He could keep Satan from entering and destroying His people.
This metaphor applies to all of us. A wall of protection surrounds us in this world. Jesus is “the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:9, emphasis added). The enemy is Satan. He wants to get into that metaphoric city and destroy its inhabitants. As long as God’s wall is up and there are no breaches in it, we are safe.
What does the Bible say is the wall?
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks (Isaiah 26:1, emphasis added).
Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise (Isaiah 60:18, emphasis added).
God’s wall of protection around His people is His salvation, which is the gospel, the good news that Jesus came to give and demonstrate. The good news is the character of God, His law of agape love, which is the essence of His being.
How is the breach in the wall made? It is made by rejecting God’s law of agape love which Jesus came to reveal. It is made by choosing our own ways, which are the ways of the flesh, which are the ways of Good and Evil.
Our flesh is in direct opposition to God’s ways. We must die to our flesh if we want to learn to live by God’s way of agape love. We must let go of our violence, of our revenge, of our punitive sense of justice, our malice, our condemnation of others. We must live by agape love, which is unconditional love, without partiality, without force or violence. We must respect each other; we must bless and not curse one another. Disregarding the word of God—departing from His law of love—causes a breach in the wall. The Bible also gives us some specific reasons as to why this breach is formed:
Hear the word of the lord, ye children of Israel: for the lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood touches blood (Hosea 4:1-2).
—to break out—is the root word for the plural form, , which is Perazim. We “break out,” we make a breach in our wall of protection by breaking and going outside of the law of God: “there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.”
No “knowledge of God in the land” refers to transgressions of the first four commandments—to the “ungodly.” Swearing, lying, killing, stealing, committing adultery are consequences of rejecting God and His principles of love and refer to the last six commandments—to “unrighteousness of men.” By doing these we “break out,” “and blood touches blood.”
In Ezekiel twenty-two God gives the prophet a long list of the things the people have done to make a breach in their wall of protection. They also fall under one of these two categories mentioned above:
The city sheds blood in her own midst, that her time may come; and she makes idols within herself to defile herself. You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and have defiled yourself with the idols which you have made… “Look, the princes of Israel: each one has used his power to shed blood in you. In you they have made light of father and mother; in your midst they have oppressed the stranger; in you they have mistreated the fatherless and the widow. You have despised My holy things and profaned My Sabbaths. In you are men who slander to cause bloodshed; in you are those who eat on the mountains; in your midst they commit lewdness. In you men uncover their fathers’ nakedness; in you they violate women who are set apart during their impurity. One commits abomination with his wife; another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; and another in you violates his sister, his father’s daughter. In you they take bribes to shed blood; you take usury and increase; you have made profit from your by extortion, and have forgotten Me,” says the Lord God… The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain. Her prophets plastered them with mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord had not spoken. The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the Ezekiel 22:3-4, 6-12, 25-29, emphasis added).
Isn’t this a rather accurate description of our present-day world? All the things listed above had caused a breach in the wall of God’s protection around the Jews because by doing them the people had rejected God. The same things are causing a breach in our day, and our wall of protection is about to come down, sooner than we think! The above chapter ends with the following words:
I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God (Ezekiel 22:30-31, emphasis added).
God sought a man who would “stand in the gap,” who would stand in the breach as Moses had stood. But there was no one living by God’s principles of righteousness that could intercede for the people. Therefore, God could not go to Satan and say, “I know the people are living in your jurisdiction; their actions show it. But there is a man who is living by my principles and he is interceding for them, and you must honor that request, at least for the time being.” He looked “for a man among them” who would “make a wall”—who would honor God’s law of love, “and stand” in the breach, in the gap of the wall of protection, “on behalf of the land” that it should not be given over to the Destroyer.
When God says that He has “recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” He is not saying that He is punishing them for being evil. After all, God is a forgiving God, a God of grace. What He is saying is that, in view of all we have studied, He is going to have to let them go. He will have to hand them over, deliver them to the Destroyer, because by their actions they have shown that they have chosen the kingdom of the Destroyer over the kingdom of God.
Intercession was the theme of the discussion that took place between Abraham and Jesus under the terebinth trees of Mamre:
And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth right?” the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?” He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.” And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?” He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.” Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?” He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?” He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.” Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place (Genesis 18:17-18, 20–33, emphasis added).
Abraham was an intercessor for Sodom and Gomorrah. What about us: is there someone interceding for the world in our days? What do the Scriptures say? Do we have messengers, like Stephen, who are taking the truth to the people, thus giving them a chance to choose between the Creator and the Destroyer?
After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed (Revelation 7:1-4).
God is holding Satan at bay for the time being. He says: “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” When God’s messengers, those that have received the testimony of Jesus and His law of agape love, are sealed, they will share the eternal gospel spoken of in Revelation chapter fourteen, verse six. The world will then have a chance to hear the good news about God’s eternal character of agape love. But if the world rejects the eternal gospel, then its wall of protection will fall without a doubt.
Destruction will come in speedily, like a sudden flood. Isaiah explains the speed with which the removal of this metaphoric wall of protection brings in destruction:
thus says the Holy One of Israel:
“Because you despise this word,
And trust in oppression and perversity,
And rely on them,
this iniquity shall be to you
Like a breach ready to fall,
A bulge in a high wall,
Whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant
(Isaiah 30:12-14, emphasis added).
Another passage highlights God’s loving concern and care for the human race, which is expressed through His wall of protection, which He erects to protect us “continually:”
Can a woman forget her nursing
And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.
Your sons shall make haste;
Your destroyers and those who laid you waste
Shall go away from you (Isaiah 49:15-16, emphasis added)
God also sends “watchmen” on the walls, to bring the truth about Him to the people, to keep them in the ways of the Lord so that they may be protected from the enemy:
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,
And give Him no rest till He establishes
And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62:6-7, emphasis added).
So then, what really did happen at Perazim? For years, the Philistines were given the light of the gospel. They had ample light and opportunity to join the ranks of God. But they persistently rejected it, and by rising up against God’s people, they finally rejected Him.
By going to war against David, the anointed of God, the Philistines sealed their rejection of the gospel and made a breach in God’s wall of protection. They were left wide open—as the Egyptians had been when they refused to grant freedom to God’s people—vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. By going to war against God’s people, they rejected God, and so their probation came to a close. This was not because God closed the door on them. They closed it themselves. Their iniquity had completely filled to the top, meaning that they had completely accepted Satan’s principle of iniquity and rejected God’s principle of righteousness.
Then the Lord arose as a sign that His intercession for them had come to an end, and as a result, their period of probation had closed. This proved that they had sealed themselves in their rejection of God’s principles. And so, as the rejectors of His grace set themselves up to persecute His followers, He also rose to sustain His persecuted people.
God had sent all the light they needed in order to make a decision for the God of life, but they chose the god of death and his principles of death. the Lord granted their freedom and at the same time, He moved to protect His own people.
The metaphoric city of the Philistines was left wide open to Satan’s attack through the “breach in the wall” and the harsh master they had chosen came in like a flood to punish them swiftly. God gave them up, handed them over, and Satan destroyed them “like a breakthrough of water,” suddenly, in an instant.
Ironically, David was used by Satan to destroy the enemy, as were many others who were in God’s service in the Old Testament. Moses had killed an Egyptian thinking that God would deliver the people from Pharaoh by using destructive methods such as murder. Joshua destroyed a multitude of people once he came into the promised land. Elijah killed four hundred and fifty priests of Baal.
But David could not build God’s temple because he had too much blood on his hands. And “Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end (Hebrews 3:5-6). Moses was faithful to all the truth he had. He viewed himself as a servant, serving a God whom he saw as a violent master. But Jesus saw Himself as a Son, serving a nonviolent God who was a Father, an abba, a “daddy.”
And of Joshua, Paul says that he was not the giver of truth, because Joshua could not give us the truth that brings “rest” unto our souls. In the Book of Hebrews Paul wrote that “if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day” (Hebrews 4:8).
In other words, if Joshua had given us the complete truth about God, then God would not have mentioned that there was another day coming in which we would “rest” from our works of Good and Evil. Joshua was a sinful, fallen human being who was only a type of Jesus, the One who would fully and truly bring us into the antitypical Promised Land, which is that “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13, emphasis added).
David, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, these were all types who were motivated by partial knowledge. They did not have the full knowledge of God’s character. Only Jesus can give us the true rest, because only He can give us the true knowledge of God’s character of non-violence. David, Moses, Joshua, and Elijah were the templates—we who have the knowledge of the Father that Jesus revealed now must fulfill the role of the antitypes. The responsibility rests on our shoulders “upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).
When Peter wanted to erect three tabernacles on the Mount of Transfiguration honoring Moses, Elijah, and Jesus, God immediately interrupted him and said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him! (Matthew 17: 5).”
God was saying to Peter: “Hear Jesus because only Jesus knows My character of agape love. Only He really knows that I’m a loving Father and not a harsh master. Only He really knows that there is no mixture of Good and Evil in My character. Hear His testimony of who I am, and forget Moses’ and Elijah’s testimony in this regard. They did live up to the light they had, and they were indeed types. But they were sinful, fallen human beings, and many of the things they did were not in harmony with My character of agape love; they did them in ignorance. But now you have My Son. Hear Him. You are no longer in ignorance.”
The destruction of the Philistines at Perazim came like “a bulge in a high wall whose breaking comes suddenly,” like a gush of waters rushing through a break in a dam. It happened in an instant.
The same fate awaits any of us who reject the only true God of agape love in our days. Today is the day of salvation. God is calling us to choose Him and His ways of agape love, to choose salvation and not destruction:
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “TODAY, IF YOU WILL HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS IN THE REBELLION, IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, WHERE YOUR FATHERS TESTED ME, TRIED ME, AND SAW MY WORKS FORTY YEARS. I WAS ANGRY WITH THAT GENERATION, AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN MY WAYS.’ I SWORE IN MY WRATH, ‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’ , brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “TODAY,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:7-13, emphasis added).
We must beware lest we go astray in our hearts in not knowing God’s ways. What are His ways? There is only one true place where we can see His ways without any fear of being deceived: Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only true representation of God’s ways.
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” Beware lest you do not believe in the God that is only life, “the living God.” Because if we depart from this living God, who is the only true God, then He will have to hand us over to the god of this world who is eagerly waiting to have us as a subject of his kingdom. It is not God whom we must fear. What we must fear is exchanging Him for the ruler of this world.