SONGS IN THE NIGHT

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       SONGS IN THE NIGHT
              Potent capsules of consolation for believers who are severely tested


                        As the essence of a rose is not released until the
                        flower is pressed, the believer is a storehouse of
                       songs which cannot be sung, without the crushing
                         of tribulation. Wrought in the darkest hours of
                          agony, they are golden melodies of harmony
                              with the essence and will of Jehovah.


                                        PREFACE
During the writer’s first twenty-five years of walking with Jesus, he had subconsciously relegated
all the accounts in Scripture; of trials of affliction, deprivation and persecution, to be the sad
experiences restricted to Old Testament figures and New Testament believers of the first several
centuries. Shuddering at the thought that he should personally experience such tragic circum-
stances, he was comforted by the delusion that the chosen of the present day were not subject to
be put to the test for the sake of Jesus in such drastic ways. To him, a “trial” in the present day was
little more than the occasional irritant and set-back that a believer would experience during the
common “ups and downs” of every day living. To him, “severe trials” were occasioned by such
developments as natural disasters and unexpected deaths of those whose lives had impact and
meaning; but such experiences were always alleviated by church groups, benevolent community
action and the insurance of government programs. Indeed, the writer had supposed that all of the
actual privation and isolation that yet persisted elsewhere in the world was being met by a vast
number of relief efforts and organizations, such as the Red Cross. The intensity of suffering shown
in the Bible had been largely defeated, so he thought. In his mind, such hardships were reserved
for the convenient contrivance of a “Great Tribulation” in the future; but believers of the present
would escape even that, with the preceding event of a “secret rapture”.
As a consequence of his delusions, the writer’s affections and aspirations naturally gravitated to-
wards the modern gospel of health and wealth. Despite all the teaching received to the contrary,
his flesh countered with the notion that proof of God’s favor rested upon those who enjoyed both.
The writer spent the remaining years of his life with neither. Until he was immersed in a protracted
trial of great loss and absolutely no human comfort, he had an aversion to all the subjects of Holy
Scripture about which he had been commissioned to write. Whereas the testimonies of those who
were either diseased, poor or down-trodden held little relevance and value for him, he thus became
a defender and advocate of believers who are afflicted, impoverished and despised; himself, no
longer enjoying either good health or material possessions and truly discovering the superior
experience of being drawn by Jesus outside of the camp of the established religious community,
bearing His defamation (exÇ t‘s parembol‘s, ton oneidismon autou pherontes - Heb 13:13). If
he had not been abandoned by everyone he has ever known and had not suffered the loss of every-
thing he has ever owned; had not been disabled and consequently living with literally half of a
diseased natural heart, had not suffered grievous consequences of many false charges and had not
existed in a state of absolute isolation and deprivation for a considerable length of time, this
project and others by his hand could not have been written.

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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Works which are actually commissioned of Jehovah are begun and accomplished under His terms.
The God whose grace is satisfactory for all that He would reveal through one of His subjects would
not allow for the writer to comment authoritatively about the stake in the flesh, without one
actually having been driven into the heart of his pride; about the misery of tribulation, without
himself enduring the experience of particularly severe trials or about songs in the night, without
Him having squeezed an exceeding abundance of them from his beleaguered spirit. In honor of
their greater acquaintance with the heart of Jesus Christ, the expository comments are made delib-
erately to the limited readership of an exclusive company: The few who are chosen are distin-
guished from the many who are called, by their endurance in the refining trials to which they have
been assigned. More important than himself knowing whereof he speaks is the genuine consolation
imparted to sorely tried believers, from a brother who intimately understands their plight and truly
shares in the oppressive pressures of actual trial.
The contents of this book consist of a cohesive collection of essays, written while in the depths of
what King David described as a horrible pit. The writer thought of the essays as “potent capsules”,
owing to the fact that superfluous language of sentimentality and warm expressions of human
sympathy were consciously suppressed. In a diligent quest for the supernatural comfort and the
encouragement which emerges from unvarnished elucidation, expressions contained in Holy Scrip-
ture are presented starkly and candidly, allowing believers who are under the most severe and
tragic of circumstances to thereby discover genuine consolation in a minimum of time. The writer’s
prayer was that this effort will reach many of them and that they will find cheering reason and
purpose for their agony, in capsules that speak directly to the heart and soothe the soul with the
balm of Gilead.

                         THE STRICT TRANSLATION
The original manuscripts for this work were written only with the aid of a severely tattered KJV
and a borrowed Strong’s Concordance. The writer had since become extremely interested in the
Greek language and, although he never considered himself a “Greek scholar”, he went far beyond
the memorization of the Greek alphabet, to the conjugation of many verbs and to an appreciation
of the manner in which that language is expressed. The purpose in the profuse use of the Greek is
to furnish the intended meaning, not only of the words themselves, but also of the manner in which
the words are written. When providing a literal translation, there are the three methods; of a dif-
ficult exact translation (which would be unintelligible to most English readers); of an easy-to-read
liberal translation (accentuating thought meanings, rather than word meanings) and of what the
writer called The Strict Translation (accentuating word meanings and allowing for Greek idioms
at the expense of proper English grammar).
The Textus Receptus
As copies of the original Greek manuscripts became worn, it was the practice of the Byzantinium
Tradition to recopy. Although untrustworthy copies were laid aside (older is not necessarily
better), they are seen today in the inferior bodies of manuscripts known as the Textus Vaticanus
and the Textus Sinaiticus. It must be remembered, that over 90% of the more than 5000 manu-
scripts and lectionaries in Greek presently in existence all serve as evidence to the copies known
as the Textus Receptus. The Strict Translation rendered in this work is faithful to the Textus Recep-
tus, used in the King James Version. Admittedly, some portions of the translation are rather
difficult to read, especially the portions which are loaded with expressions which are idiomatic to
the Greek language and the many instances in which rules of English grammar are necessarily
violated. However, the reader will be richly rewarded, according to the patience and effort exerted
in bearing with the product. While the writer could not promise that the translation would contain
no errors, he did assure the earnest student that it contains far less errors than the KJV.




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                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

With regard to the transliteration (assigning letters of the Greek alphabet to their corresponding
English equivalents), there are no English counterparts for such letters as 0 (eta), T (omega) and
“rough-breathers” (vowels with the distinctive mark above them) such as , ß and etc. The 0 is
therefore indicated by “‘ ” and the T is indicated by “Ç ”. The “rough-breathers” are all preceded
by “h”. For example, .T0 is transliterated “zǑ ”and (4@H is transliterated “hagios”. The reader
is heartily encouraged to compare the word meanings with those shown in Strong’s Concordance
or any Greek lexicon. Although physical beauty is a matter of proportion, the unpleasant appear-
ance of Jesus (Isa 53:2) affirms the fact that spiritual beauty is often derived from that which is
ugly to natural sight.

The Septuagint
Despite the fact that details of its origin are shrouded in the depths of antiquity, the fact alone, that
Jesus and at least two other Apostles (together with nearly all of the “church fathers” of the first
and second centuries) had quoted from it, stands as proof of its authority and Divine sanction. The
Greek language is the medium through which Jehovah had revealed Himself to races outside of
the nation of Israel and by which the various races would translate Holy Scripture into their own
languages. As certain that the supplanting of the Grecian Empire of Alexander the Great by the
Roman Empire of Cæsar had been foretold through the prophet Daniel (Dan 7:6-7), it was by de-
cree of Jehovah that the Hellenists had left an enduring language and culture by which the com-
merce of the Roman Empire would thrive. Indeed, the longevity of the Roman Empire had been
built upon the three hemispheric regimes which had preceded it.
Those who insist that the Hebrew tongue is the sole fountain by which Jehovah speaks to the
chosen from all the other races are forced to confess an underlying belief that the scope and
importance of the Greek language was an unfortunate miscalculation on the part of Jehovah, serv-
ing to forever taint and darken the Scriptures of the New Testament. To them, the fact that Jesus
Himself had quoted directly from the Septuagint (as in Matt 13:13-14) and that all the races outside
of the Judæan commonwealth during the first three centuries were largely ignorant of the Hebrew
language represents a lamentable case of “muddied waters”. Meanwhile, we maintain that the parts
of the Septuagint which have greatest differences from the Hebrew are the parts which hold great-
est relevance to the race of Israel; that the parts of the Septuagint which have closest accord with
the Hebrew are the parts which have greatest relevance to chosen of the world-at-large. The chosen
of the present day are therefore obliged to follow in the steps of the first and second century fore-
fathers and use the translation which has been blessed by Jehovah for their use. Within this work,
quotations from the Septuagint are indicated with the appellative of convention: “LXX”.

Exclusive Bibliography
the eight books consulted by the author

King James Version of the Bible
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible                  James Strong, LLD, STD
Interlinear Greek-English New Testament                       Jay P Green, Sr
The Complete Word Study Dictionary - New Testament            Spiros Zodhiates, ThD
The Septuagint with Apocrypha                                 Sir Lancelot C L Brenton
The Septuagint in Context                                     Natalio Fernandez Marcos
Vine’s Expository Dictionary                                  W E Vine
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary




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    SONGS IN THE NIGHT
     Potent capsules of consolation for believers who are severely tested



                       CONTENTS
                   Each “capsule” also provides an exposition
                     and comm entary of the verses indicated

                                                                Page
       THE ANATOMY OF TRIAL                                      5
               (Matt 14:28-32)
       THE STA KE IN TH E FLESH                                  8
               (II Cor 12:7-10)
       THE PRODUCT OF TRIAL                                     13
               (Jas 1:2-4)
       THE LONESOME W ASTELAND                                  16
               (Rev 17:3 & Matt 25:35-36)
       THE HOUSE OF SORROW                                      19
               (Eccl 7:2-5)
       THE NECESSITY OF OPPRESSIVE PRESSURE                     22
               (Acts 14:21-22)
       DELIVERANCE FROM TRIAL                                   25
               (I Cor 10:13)
       WAITING & DELIVERANCE                                    27
               (Psalm 40:1-3)
       THE EXAMPLE OF JOB                                       31
               (Jas 5:11)
       THE FRUIT OF ENDURANCE                                   33
               (Rom 5:3-5)
       PROOF OF GOD’S LOVE                                      36
               (Heb 12:5-11)
       ABILITY TO COMFORT                                       42
               (II Cor 1:3-7)
       THE FIERY TRIAL                                          46
               (I Pet 4:12-13 - with 1:5-7 & 5:9-10)
       TRIALS IN PERSPECTIVE                                    49
               (Rom 8:16-18 & II Cor 4:17-18)
       PUNISHING TRIALS                                         53
               (I Pet 4:17-19)
       TH E W ILL T O D IE                                      58
               (Phil 1:21-23 & II Cor 5:8-9)
       SONGS IN THE NIGHT                                       61
               (Psalm 42:8)
       THE SM YRNAN BELIEVER                                    63
               (Rev 2:9-10)
       YOUR EBENEZERS                                           69
               (I Sam 7:12)
       THE MONUM ENTAL MEMORIAL                                 71
               (Josh 4:1-20)
       FAILING A TRIAL OF FAITH                                 72
               (Luke 22:31-32)



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                      THE ANATOMY OF TRIAL
                                           (Matt 14:28-32)

                           Peter said, Ruler, if you are not, bid me to
                                go towards you upon the waters.
                          ho Petros eipe K urie, ei ou ei, keleuson me pros se
                                         elthein epi ta hudata.
                                             Matt 14:28
Weary from making very little progress against a raging contrary tempest and tossing waves for
more than six hours during the darkness of night, the Apostles were struck with horror at the sight
of Jesus walking upon the water in the midst of a storm. Observing Him to draw near to the ship
and to walk alongside during the early morning before dawn, behaving as if He would have walked
past nonchalantly, unimpeded and unaffected as they were by the wind and the waves, they had
imagined that He was a menacing apparition (Matt 14:25-26, Mark 6:48-49 & John 6:19). Courage
was immediately taken, upon hearing the voice of the Shepherd, and the phantasm (phantasma)
that they had supposed Him to be in their panic and terror became their familiar Lord and Master;
Supreme Deity Himself in the body of human flesh, standing upon the water and speaking to them
(Matt 14:27, Mark 6:50 & John 6:20). At least one of them was not entirely convinced, however,
and expressed his doubt by the challenge, Ruler, if you are not (a phantasm), bid me to go to-
wards you upon the waters. The challenge of the Apostle Peter reveals his design for Jesus to
give him also the capability of walking upon water, supposing that if He were to grant him such
power, remaining doubts would then vanish. The Apostle would learn, however, that apart from
persuasion (one) is unable to be well agreeable, for it is necessary (for) the (one) having been
coming forward to the Supreme Deity to be persuaded, that it is He and He comes to be a
remunerator to the (ones) searching Him out (Choris de pisteÇs adunaton euarest‘sai, pisteusai
gar dei ton proserchomenon tÇ TheÇ , hoti esti kai tois ekz‘tousin auton misthapodot‘s ginetai - Heb
11:6). The flawed premise of Peter’s proposition was that, in that particular moment, he was not
persuaded, that it is He. Jesus would presently demonstrate the flaw, in a manner that Peter would
never forget, by bidding him to proceed upon such a flawed premise. In so doing, Jesus would por-
tray the anatomy of trial, for the edification of all true believers in every succeeding century.

                           Indeed the (One) said, Come. And having
                          descended from the sailing vessel, Peter had
                            trodden around upon the waters, to go
                                        towards Jesus.
                          Ho de eip en, Elthe. Kai katebas apo tou ploiou ho
                          Petros periepat‘ sen epi ta hudata, elthein pros ton
                                                 I‘ soun.
                                             Matt 14:29
As Jesus bids each of the chosen at the outset of their individual trials, each of them possessing
faith as imperfect as Peter’s, the One said, Come. The chief goal and end for which all trials are
imposed upon believers is greater intimacy with the Father. When they falter and their feebleness
causes them to fail, His strength alone shall overrule and prevail: All will assuredly come and
experience greater reliance upon Jesus. He will forsake none to whom He bids, Come, though they
shall certainly falter and fail in their efforts. It is only by means of His power and their experience
of that reality, however, that each of them arrive at the chief goal and end to which they are bidden.
It is upon the wind-driven and disturbed sea of humanity that believers are bidden to walk towards
Him, to go towards Jesus. The contrary wind is representative of the obstinate resistance powered
by the (one) being chief of the authoritative privilege of the air (ton archonta t‘s exousias tou
aeros - Eph 2:2). The waves are symbolic of developments upon the restless sea of humanity,
formed and driven by the winds of change; mounting and then dissipating, causing those within
the Kingdom upon Earth to be temporarily rocked and tossed.


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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT


Peter’s performance is demonstrative of the performance of all believers, as he begins this simple
trial of faith, by having trodden around upon the waters. At the outset of each trial, far more ardu-
ous and complex than Peter’s here, believers who are undergoing trial (being tested and put to
proof) thus proceed upon the troubled waters of their own oppressive difficulties and distressing
circumstances; having attentively considered into Jesus the chief Leader and Completer of
the persuasion (aphorÇntes eis ton t‘s pisteÇs arch‘gon kai teleiÇt‘n I‘soun - Heb 12:2), some with
firm and resolute determination and others with weaker resolve, fraught with uncertainty and
indecisiveness. Those who are thrust upon the waters of tumult and danger, as the result of punish-
ment, however, invariably begin their experience without having attentively considered into
Jesus. Although the commencement of trial is thus different in those being punished, as opposed
to those who are relatively blameless, the object and results of trial are nevertheless the same. Both
those who are being punished and those who are relatively blameless immediately sink. Through
trial in both cases, Supreme Deity achieves a desired degree within each believer, of intimacy,
endurance, refinement and purity.

                          Indeed looking at the forceful wind he was
                         frightened, and having begun to be plunging
                         down called out, laying forth, Ruler, deliver
                                             me!
                         BlepÇ n de ton anemon ischuron ephob‘ t h‘ , kai arxa-
                             menos katapon tizesthai ekrax e, legÇ n , Kurie,
                                               sÇ son me.
                                             Matt 14:30
Peter’s determination vanished with the intimidation he experienced at the fierceness of the wind.
The result is the same in the strongest of believers, succumbing to a sense of inferiority and inabil-
ity, in the mounting face of threatening circumstances. As Peter had removed his concentration
from the strength derived in having attentively considered into Jesus and began to anxiously
regard the power of the violent wind instead, all believers eventually begin to panic and to lose
confidence in the ability of Jesus to bring them across their troubled waters. In circumstances
which seem to dwarf any hope for well being, which appear to negate any tangible benefit of being
persuaded into Jesus, the supernatural properties in both substance of confident expectation and
evidence of what cannot be naturally perceived apparently begin to erode. Those who boast of a
faith exceeding Peter’s are deluded and presumptuous and have never really been tried. Whether
a believer enters upon the disturbed water of difficulty, purely as a consequence of the Father’s
determination to refine him or as the consequence of the Father’s determination to punish him for
recalcitrant adherence to a particular sin, the necessary experience is the same in both cases (with
the believer beginning to be plunging down) and Jesus’ desire for undivided attention and absolute
dependence upon Him is thereby perfected. There is a particular point in every genuine trial, at
which Jesus achieves such focus of consciousness and receptivity within all believers, where He
informs them, My grace avails to you, for my ability is completed in feebleness (arkei soi h‘
charis mou, h‘ gar dunamis mou en astheneia kai teleioutai - II Cor 12:9). That point arrives when
the believer’s soul is overwhelmed and completely filled with alarm and urgency, forsaking all
confidence in self and in others, begging the living Christ, Ruler, deliver me!
Someone far more powerful than a respected leader of men was needed here by Peter. With regard
to the natural elements terrifying him, Peter thus conveys his acknowledgment of Jesus having
power and authority, not only over a small band of men and not only over all men upon the planet,
but also over the wind and the waves (Matt 8:26, Mark 5:39 & Luke 8:24). Nay, Peter expressed
his perception then of Jehovah Himself, who alone has power and authority over space and time
and over all the elements, events and destinies therein. Only such a Ruler could possibly be his
Deliverer. True believers can settle for nothing less, while being overwhelmed by that which is
humanly and naturally insurmountable.

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                                        SONGS IN THE NIGHT

                                Ruler & Supreme Authority
Translators generally treat Kurios as the nominative case (subject form) and Kurie as the vocative case
(person spoken to) for the title, Lord . However, in the New Testament Scriptures (particularly the writings
of the Apostle John), the titles actually allude to separate meanings. When used in addressing men, the title,
Ruler (Kurie) conveys the meaning of either a property owner or a man who directs and controls the behavior
of others. Although it is certain that Peter’s understanding of Jesus, while he rapidly sank into a profound
sense of helplessness and doom , was of “one having pow er and authority over others”, much more is meant
by his use of Kurie. When used of Jehovah, it conveys the meaning of “Supreme Po tentate” and “One who
wields omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence”. The title, Supreme A uthority (Kurios) is used only
of Supreme Deity, emph asizing the attribute of om niscienc e, in His flawless application of perfect know-
ledge. It is a virtual sym bol, representing Origin and Source from whom all citations are drawn. Whereas the
title, the Alpha and the Omega, relates to the totality of knowledge , the Supre m e Au thority relates to the
com manding use of all knowledge.


                            Indeed Jesus having directly extended the
                              hand seized him and lays forth to him,
                            Puny truster! Into what have you doubted?
                            EutheÇ s de ho I‘ sous ekteinas t‘ n cheira epelabeto
                             autou kai legei autÇ , Oligopiste, eis ti edistasas;
                                                Matt 14:31
While unbelievers drown in bitterness and hardening of the heart as a result of severe adversity,
true believers are caused to desperately grasp at Jesus for deliverance. It is at that point of wits’
end and extreme anxiety, when every thought and hope is arrested by Jesus, when the essence of
the believer’s spirit unifies with all parts of his soul in the importunate and urgent cry, Ruler,
deliver me!, that the hand of the Deliverer is directly extended. According to the Apostle Paul,
You have not taken a testing if not human. Indeed the Supreme Deity (is) trustworthy, He
who permits you not to be tested (tried) above that which you are able, but He makes also the
exit together with the testing, of the (one) to be able to bear under (Peirasmos humas ouk eil-
‘phen ei m‘ anthrÇpinos. Pistos de ho Theos, hos ouk easei humas peirasth‘nai huper ho dunasthe,
alla poi‘sei sun tÇ peirasmÇ kai t‘n ekbasis, tou dunasthai hupenegkein - I Cor 10:13). The term,
a testing, is translated from peirasmos, which is used in New Testament Scripture to indicate
“putting to proof” and “testing by adversity”: It is accurately understood by believers to mean
“trial”. The words, to be tested, are therefore accurately understood to mean “to be tried”.
The fact that Jesus... seized him is recorded, not simply to furnish greater description of the event,
to show gracious response to an urgent cry, but to call attention to the fact that deliverance was not
dependent upon Peter’s efforts. As certain that Peter could not reach Jesus, deliverance was not
dependent upon his ability to clutch Him: It was dependent solely upon Jesus’ effort, having seized
the Apostle (literally, “took upon” - epelabeto). Every tried believer is thus seized and sustained
by the Ruler of all events and circumstances, during their moments of greatest weakness. They are
given grace, enabling them to bear under the weight of the trial. The expression, puny truster,
was used by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, with reference to the man who worries about
provision for tomorrow, while his bowl is being filled with provision for today (Matt 6:30). It is
used by Him here, with reference to the man who panics in the very presence of the One who
sustains him. This phrase is cast here upon all sorely tested believers, when their endurance begins
to flag, while being upheld by the hand of Jesus and finding in Him our escape and ability, an
aid in oppressive pressures (h‘mÇn kataphug‘ kai dunamis, bo‘thos en thlipsesi - Psalm 46:1).
The question, into what have you doubted?, is calculated not only to cause the believer to con-
sider the point at which his endurance had diminished, but also to capture the reason for the unwar-
ranted doubt. The believer thus discovers the fact of Jesus’ ability dwarfing all that threatens to
overcome him and the lack of viable reason for regard to anything, but the design of the chief
Leader and Completer of the persuasion, the Exemplar and Builder of endurance (Heb 12:1-3).

                                                                                                            7
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT
                         And of them going on into the boat, the wind
                                         had ceased.
                       Kai embantÇ n autÇ n eis to ploion, ekopasen ho anem os.
                                            Matt 14:32
Notice, that the wind did not cease at the moment that Jesus had extended His hand and seized
him. Held by the strength of Jesus, Peter was brought back to the comfort of the ship, while the
violent wind continued to blow and while the consequent billowing waves continued to toss.
Hence, the trial of a believer does not end when that point arrives in which Jesus achieves undivid-
ed attention and absolute dependence. The built-in exit of a trial does not arrive until Jesus and the
believer are into the boat together. His hand is extended and His seizure is made as a means to the
exit, but His actions do not represent the exit itself. The hand and seizure are accomplished for the
purpose of enabling you to bear under, not for the purpose of relieving you of all the circum-
stances. Once a jealous God achieves such focus of consciousness and receptivity within one of
His beloved subjects, He is not anxious for the intimacy to diminish and will continue to enjoy the
clinging and the fellowship, until a closer walk is perfected and until the believer’s endurance is
fortified. When Peter was made to feel as safe with Jesus outside of the ship as he would be with
Jesus within, they entered into the ship together and then the wind had ceased. Henceforth, Peter
enjoyed a more intimate union with His Deliverer than he had before the trial began. The anatomy
of trial is thus seen, in the details of Peter sinking and crying for deliverance, in the immediate
response of the One who initiated the trial and in the aid given by Him until He had brought the
trial to an end. The trial does not end when a believer thinks that no more can possibly be endured,
but when the designs of Jesus are achieved. When the desired degree of intimacy, endurance and
refinement is fully realized, the gracious wisdom of Supreme Deity is vindicated.


                     THE STAKE IN THE FLESH
                                          (II Cor 12:7-10)

                            ...a stake in the flesh was given to me;
                          a Satan messenger, in order that he would
                               beat me, in order that I would not
                                        be made haughty.
                         edoth‘ moi skolops t‘ sarki, aggelos Satan, hina me
                                 kolaphiz‘ , hina m‘ huperairÇ mai.
                                            II Cor 12:7
Whether the Apostle Paul is referring here to the severe and repulsive ailment of his eyes (Gal
4:14-15) or to the formidable opposition which had developed within the church at Corinth (II Cor
11:1-15), he alludes to an unrelenting trial of humiliation and suffering which effectively served
to keep his pride in check; so that he would not be made haughty. As certain that insolence leads
before complete crushing; indeed imprudence before a ruin (pro suntrib‘s h‘geitai hubris, pro
de ptÇmatos kakophrosun‘ - Prov 16:18 LXX), the various ways by which the Supreme Deity
prevents arrogance and conceit from infesting one of His subjects are not pleasant to the flesh. The
expression, a stake in the flesh, is a metaphoric description of pain accompanied by embarrass-
ment; a figurative spear (skolops), which is intended to impale and disable within the believer a
particularly offensive aspect of remaining natural corruption and depravity (the flesh). If the
Apostle had intended to refer to a thorn, a figurative prickly point, causing discomfort and irrita-
tion, he would have used the word, akantha. By saying that the stake itself was a Satan messen-
ger, Paul reveals both the origin and malevolent intent of the instrument which brings unabated
humiliation and suffering. Indeed, the stake of vexing torment was delivered and maintained by
a spirit being (a demon) in the service of Satan, the one being chief of the authoritative privi-
lege of the air (ton archonta t‘s exousias tou aeros - Eph 2:2).


8
                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

In much the same manner, therefore, that Satan had gained permission from Jehovah to bring dis-
tress and anguish upon Job and then violently hit Job with harmful ulcers from feet until the
head (epaise ton IÇb helkei pon‘rÇ apo podÇn heÇs kephal‘s - Job 2:7 LXX), the Adversary had
gained permission to send a demonic entity with the ailment represented by the stake. With the
intent included of conforming His people to His personified Expression and of maximizing their
service to Him, Supreme Deity thus superintends the activities of mischievous diabolical forces
and marvelously proclaims, the (One) making peace, and creating badness. I, Supreme Auth-
ority the Supreme Deity (am) the (One) making all these (things - ho poiÇn eir‘n‘n, kai ktizÇn
kaka, EgÇ Kurios ho Theos, ho poiÇn panta tauta - Isaiah 45:7 LXX). With the words, in order
that he would beat me, Paul intends neither to describe a sense of being slapped or shoved nor
to depict a condition of passing harassment. The words, he would beat (kolaphiz‘ ), are translated
from the third person singular subjunctive indefinite tense expression of the verb, kolaphizÇ , which
conveys the idea of hitting repeatedly with the fist. The same word is used in the description of the
abuse that Jesus had suffered at the hands of the Roman soldiers (Matt 26:67). It is used figura-
tively here to convey the meaning of debilitating punishment; the enfeebling infliction of injury
by means of humiliation and suffering. Paul is therefore not describing a mere recurrent discomfort
or an occasional irritation, but a profoundly oppressive hardship; an incessant calamitous malady.
As a well-taught and highly respected Pharisee (Phil 3:5-6), the guiding sin of Paul’s life was
pride, one of the six sins which are hated most by Jehovah (Prov 6:16-19). The flames of such
pride, which would have otherwise been fanned by the fact of his extraordinarily powerful work
as a specialized Apostle to the Gentiles, having experienced the eternal Abode (verses 2-4), were
thus extinguished by Supreme Deity and his natural arrogance was dramatically diminished accord-
ingly. Assuredly, similar stakes are driven into the flesh of believers who persistently exhibit any
of the fourteen defilements disclosed by Jesus (Matt 15:18-19 & Mark 7:21-22). Such stakes are
not restricted to physical ailments, but exist also as any of a number of mental and emotional
maladies; ranging from unwarranted vicious opposition within a church to being encumbered with
the onerous nature of a scarlet letter as a resounding result of false accusation. Mind you, the stake
itself is “a Satan messenger” and is highly personalized under the exacting supervision of Jeho-
vah. The severity is commensurate with the magnitude and persistence of the offending defilement.
Since the stake in the flesh accompanied Paul throughout all his many trials, it is a trial given to
some believers, in addition to all their other trials and thus insures their poverty of spirit (Matt 5:3)
and the greater glory of Christ Jesus.

                              I have called the Supreme Authority
                              by the side thrice over this, in order
                                that it would stand away from me.
                             Huper toutou tris ton Kurion parekalesa hina ,
                                          apost‘ apo emou.
                                             II Cor 12:8
The Apostle Paul had earnestly implored the Supreme Authority for relief of the affliction on three
occasions (thrice), evidently thinking that the sin which provoked Him and triggered the trial had
been eliminated or that the affliction was minimizing the effectiveness of his ministry. He would
have certainly prayed continuously, that the effects of the stake should be either removed or dimin-
ished (would stand away), but the Apostle was advanced in the faith and evidently understood the
purpose for the trial; that his arrogance should be contained. The fact that he entreated thrice,
therefore, is indication of the vexing and wearying effect that the afflicting stake had upon him.
It is interesting to note that Paul did not address Jehovah as either Supreme Deity (Theos), All-
ruling Sovereign (Pantokrator) or Ruler (Kurie), but as Supreme Authority (see Ruler & Sup-
reme Authority - page 7 ). He thus appealed to Jehovah’s fathomless wisdom, His application of
omniscience. Conscious of Him being the Fount of all knowledge, therefore, Paul had expressed
fervent hope that His wisdom would dictate dissipation of the suffering inflicted by the “stake”.

                                                                                                       9
                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

As an infection and fever would subside when the cause is eliminated, Paul knew that the hardship
would be alleviated if the diabolic source which stoked it could be vanquished. The wisdom of the
Supreme Authority, however, dictated that the stake should remain; not once or twice, but thrice
(tris). Since the defiling sin yet lurked in his flesh, straining to spring forth, Paul was reminded that
affliction actually served to maximize the effectiveness of his ministry, by the constant punishment
of that which would otherwise contaminate and erode. The believers who are similarly given a
stake in the flesh would likewise have the propensity to complain and to seek deliverance, despite
their awareness of the truth; Indeed we fully know that every (thing) works together into ben-
efit for the (ones) loving the Supreme Deity, for the (ones) being called according to His pur-
pose (Oidamen de hoti tois agapÇsi to Theon panta sunergei eis agathon, tois kata prothesin kl‘tois
ousin - Rom 8:28).
Those who smugly suppose that the ones being punished are the least in the Kingdom, cannot
suppose themselves to be greater than the Apostle Paul: Those who are not punished and have
never experienced genuine trial need not to suppose that they are under Jehovah’s favor (see
PROOF OF GOD’S LOVE - page 35) . Consider, that one of the greatest of all the Apostles had
borne the stake in the flesh throughout his entire ministry, that the stake is withheld from all who
are not called upon to impact greatly upon the Kingdom. If the stake is one of the afflictions of the
Gospel that you must bear, you are thus placed in notable and exalted company and being tapped
for crucial service by the One who was dishonored and omitted by the side of the sons of the
men; a Man being in strokes, and perceiving to bear debilitation (atimon kai ekleipon para tous
huious tÇn anthrÇpÇn, anthrÇpos en pl‘g‘ Çn, kai eidÇs pherein malakian - Isa 53:3 LXX). The
extended Hand of grace will assuredly seize you when you begin to plunge downward in weariness
and despair and will certainly bear you up until you have finished the labor to which you have been
appointed. You ought rather then to vaunt in your feebleness, knowing that you are being singular-
ly equipped for the noblest of all employment (II Cor 1:5-7).

                             And He uttered to me, My grace avails
                               to you, for my ability is completed in
                             feebleness. Accordingly with great plea-
                               sure I will rather vaunt in my feeble-
                              nesses, in order that the ability of the
                                    Christ would tent upon me,
                            Kai eir‘ ke mo i, arkei so i h‘ charis mo u, h‘ gar
                             dunamis mou en astheneia teleioutai. H‘ dista
                           oun mallon kauch‘ somai en tais astheneiais mo u,
                                 hina episk‘ nÇ s‘ ep’ eme h‘ dunamis
                                                tou Christou,
                                              II Cor 12:9
The unearthly response of Supreme Authority, of the One who infallibly applies perfect knowledge
and carries out indisputable logic, was a thorough acquaintance of both the beleaguered feelings
of the Paul and of the means by which he would be bear under the affliction. The answer to his
repeated petitions, to be delivered from the stake in his flesh, was that Jehovah’s unmerited favor
and undeserved kindness is more than sufficient and satisfactory for him; it is advantageous and
of use to him (it avails to him). The fact that the grace of Supreme Authority is advantageous and
of use to all who suffer the hardship of the stake is revealed in the fact that His ability is com-
pleted, not in human vitality and strength, but in a believer’s feebleness. The word from which
feebleness is translated (astheneia) conveys not only the meaning of “weakness”, but also of
“strengthlessness caused by malady”. The attitude and comportment of Paul is therefore seen in
his motivation to vaunt. It was to a greater degree (rather) than his suffering, that he experienced
the great pleasure of the ability of Supreme Authority being completed in him by means of what
is represented in the debilitating stake. The root of such boasting and revelry is revealed in the fact
that the ability of the Christ encamps upon (tents upon) those who are thus afflicted.

10
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Since salvation through faith is owing strictly to the grace of Supreme Deity, faith itself being a
supernatural gift (Acts 18:27, Eph 2:8 & Phil 1:29), the duration and quality of service to Him is
also owing strictly to His grace. He who is being active in you also to determine and to be active
on behalf of His delight (ho energÇn en humin kai to thelein kai to energein huper t‘s eudokias -
Phil 2:13) establishes the means by which the service is accomplished, by which the predeter-
mined duration and intended quality is achieved and maintained. Both the call to service and the
means by which the service is accomplished are owing purely to His grace. Against a believer’s
natural presumption that effective service is rendered satisfactory, either by good physical health
or by acclaim of the general public, Supreme Authority raises the insurmountable objection that
service is rendered acceptable only by the operations of His grace. The operations of grace will not
only prevent a guiding sin from producing distraction and interruption, but will also magnify the
ability of the Christ in the prepared ground of a believer’s resultant strengthlessness and conse-
quent profoundly diminished sense of self-importance. A closer examination is warranted of the
fact that Supreme Authority’s ability is completed in feebleness; of the fact that His ability is fully
realized in a believer’s strengthlessness caused by malady. It was not until Jehovah had reduced
Gideon’s army, from over thirty thousand to only three hundred, that He gave victory to Israel over
the Midianites, lest at any time Israel would vaunt upon me, laying forth, My (own) hand had
delivered me (m‘ pote kauch‘st‘tai Isra‘l ep’ eme, legÇn h‘ cheir mou esÇse me - Judges 7:2-7).
As service to Him in vanquishing the Midianites was accomplished by His weakening and dimin-
ishment of Israel, service to Him by a believer is likewise carried out. The believer is thus shown
that effective service to Supreme Authority is wrought in him by no earthly or natural advantage,
but by Jehovah alone. Therefore, with guiding sin and natural ability diminished within a believer,
through the feebleness caused by the stake, the ability of Supreme Authority is completed.
In the same missive, Paul had stated earlier, Indeed we hold this deposit in earthen implements,
in order that the exceeding prominence of the ability would be of the Supreme Deity, and not
out of us (Echomen de ton th‘sauron touton en ostrakinois skeuesin, hina h‘ huperbol‘ t‘s duna-
meÇs ‘ tou Theou, kai m‘ ex h‘mÇn - II Cor 4:7). Knowing that the exceeding prominence (the
surpassing greatness) of the ability to serve Supreme Deity is solely from Him and not from our-
selves, it is with great pleasure (h‘dista) that a believer ought to vaunt; rather than to complain,
in the stake’s enfeebling infliction of injury. Without such debilitation, such diminishment of your
guiding sin and consequent establishment of strengthlessness which is worthy of Jehovah’s use,
the ability of the Christ would be withheld. The vaunt then is in the fact that we are being crowd-
ed (ones) in every (way), but not being (ones) confined; being arrested (ones), but not (ones)
being arrested-out; being pursued (ones), but not (ones) being left behind; being (ones)
thrown down, but not being (ones) obliterated. On every occasion having borne around the
death of the Supreme Authority Jesus in the body, in order that also the life of Jesus would
be caused to shine in our body (En panti thlibomenoi, all’ ou stenochÇroumenoi, aporoumenoi,
all’ ouk exaporoumenoi, diÇkomenoi, all’ ouk egkataleipomenoi, kataballomenoi, all’ ouk apollu-
menoi. Pantote t‘n nekrÇsin tou Kuriou I‘sou en tÇ sÇmati peripherontes, hina kai h‘ zǑ tou I‘sou
en tÇ sÇmati h‘mÇn phanerÇth‘ - II Cor 4:8-10).
There can be no doubt that the life of Jesus is especially radiant in the beleaguered body of a
believer who is afflicted with a stake in the flesh. In fact, the ability of Jesus virtually tents upon
both the body and spirit of such a believer, giving fullest possible meaning to the words, I have
force in everything in the (One) enabling me, Christ (panta ischuÇ en tÇ endunamounti me
ChristÇ - Phil 4:13). The vaunt is a self-abasing and self-deprecatory portrayal of the fact that
growth in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ is made possible only by being reduced and
humbled by Him. The boast, dear believer, is rooted neither in self-worth nor in a lofty estimation
of your own abilities, but in the fact that sin in the flesh is being supernaturally suppressed; in the
fact that Supreme Authority is operating in your dethroned and weakened sense of self, getting
your remaining natural corruption and depravity out of His way.

                                                                                                    11
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT
                            through which thing I delight in feeble-
                            nesses, in insolent treatment, in compel-
                             lings, in persecutions, in extreme con-
                          straints, on behalf of Christ. For whenever
                           I am enfeebled, at that time I am capable.
                         dio eudokÇ en astheneiais, en hubresin, en anagkais,
                            en diÇ gmois, en stenochÇ riais, huper Christou.
                                Hotan gar asthenÇ , tote du nato s eimi.
                                           II Cor 12:10
In view of the manner in which Supreme Authority operates by means of the stake in the flesh,
resulting in the force of the Christ tenting over upon him (through which thing), the Apostle Paul
delights, not only in the strengthlessness caused by maladies (astheneiais), but also in the abuse
of insulting and contemptuous effrontery (hubresin), in the hardship of being over-powered and
forced to act against his wishes (anagkais), in being pursued and harassed (diÇgmois) and in being
hemmed-in and confined (stenochÇriais). The Apostle bore his stake through the most severe of
trials, nurturing the attitude of embracing his apparent handicap with approbation. It is in behalf
of Christ, that a select few should experience such trials while bearing such a seeming disad-
vantage. The resultant beating-down and weakening of the flesh not only builds the spirit of the
new man, but serves as the sacred ground upon which the ability of the Christ encamps and is
exerted. Speaking of such things (oppressive pressure, narrowness of space, pursuit, scarcity of
food, nakedness, danger and knife), Paul would write to the believers at Rome, But in all these
(things) we should conquer-over through the (One) having loved us (All’ en toutois pasin
hupernikÇmen dia tou agap‘santos h‘mas - Rom 8:37).
There is therefore every reason for a believer under such circumstances and in such select company
to take courage and to delight. With the confession, whenever I am enfeebled, at that time I am
capable, Paul indicates that the capability to serve greatly and to endure the severest of trials is
proportionate to the degree that the stake enfeebles the believer. The stake in the flesh is, but one
of the manifold adversities in which the believer is counseled to reckon all in cheerfulness (pasan
charan h‘g‘sasthe - Jas 1:2). While all other trials are temporary in nature, however, the stake in
the flesh is permanent. Since it severely binds the power of guiding sin, prevents an otherwise
recurring defilement from surfacing, it is indeed a great mercy and serves as a perpetual builder
of reliance in the fact that the (One) having commenced on a beneficial work in you completes
upon it until (the) day of Jesus Christ (pepoithÇs... hoti ho enarxamenos en humin ergon agathon
epitelesei achris h‘meras I‘sou Christou - Phil 1:6). Since the elimination of sin and control of a
body which is rampant with remaining corruption is the chief concern of a true believer, anything
given by God to that end is certainly a mercy and work of grace. The believer ought therefore to
feel justifiably honored and privileged to be given a stake in the flesh (a Satan messenger). With
malignant hostility towards all that is holy, the Adversary thus helplessly and unwittingly plays
into the hand of the sovereign Monarch: The misery and harm which the Devil intends thus
contributes to holiness in the believer, for the greater glory of the One who superintends.




12
                     THE PRODUCT OF TRIAL
                                              (Jas 1:2-4)

                           Reckon all in cheerfulness, my brothers,
                           whenever you would fall surrounded in
                                       various testings,
                            Pasan charan h‘ g‘ sasthe, adelphoi mo u, hotan
                                   peirasmois peripes‘ te poikilois,
                                               Jas 1:2
The text is addressed by James, one of the four half-brothers of Jesus (Matt 13:55 & Mark 6:3),
not to the world-at-large, but exclusively to those who are the called according to the redemptive
purpose of Jehovah (my brothers). Considering the fact that Jesus did not pray for the welfare and
comfort of the world-at-large, but only for the chosen (John 17:9), the golden results of trial are
reserved for those within whom genuine repentance is being wrought. The rest of the world re-
ceives nothing from adversity and affliction, but a foretaste of Hell. Since it is unnatural to reckon
all in cheerfulness... whenever you would fall surrounded in various testings, the reckoning
of that which is grievously adverse to be a delightful enhancement of well being serves to set the
believer apart from the rest of the world. While the those of the world-at-large, the children of
rage, naturally react to tribulation and affliction with murmuring and despondency, the child of
God ought to be profoundly honored to identify in some measure with the torments that Jesus took
upon Himself for the sake of the chosen. The true child of God thereby joins in mystical fellowship
with those who say, we should be vaunting in the oppressive pressures (kauchÇmetha en tois
thlipsesin - Rom 5:3), and are imitators of the (ones) being allotted the promises through per-
suasion and patience (mim‘tai de tÇn dia pisteÇs kai makrothumias kl‘ronomountÇn tas epag-
gelias - Heb 6:12). The Apostle Peter, no stranger himself to agonizing tests of his faith, advises
all who are struggling through the misery of hardship, according as you share with the suffer-
ings of the Christ, be cheerful (katho koinÇneite tois tou Christou path‘mai, chairete - I Pet
4:13). The exhortations of the Holy Spirit, to reckon all in cheerfulness, to vaunt in the oppres-
sive pressures and to be cheerful, however, are not expressions of mere superficial encouragement
to “keep your chin up” and “hang in there”. Worthless expressions of sympathy and sentiment
represent only what a godless world has to offer in the name of compassion.
The true believer discovers the golden reason and purpose, to lead oneself to reckoning (h‘g‘-
sasthe) every agonizing detail (pasan) to be incitation for gladness (charan), while sustaining the
most debilitating of afflictions and the most demoralizing of oppressive pressures. Such reason and
purpose begins with realizing the profound honor and privilege of a share in the sufferings of the
Deliverer and extends to growing in bestowed grace and in knowledge of our Supreme Auth-
ority and Deliverer Jesus Christ (en chariti kai gnÇsei tou Kuriou h‘mÇn kai sÇt‘ros I‘sou
Christou - II Pet 3:18). Since true believers would forfeit anything and everything, would sell their
souls, in exchange for assurance that they are in fact numbered among those for whom Jesus had
paid the ransom, they are willing to enter into the only place where such assurance can be unequiv-
ocally realized... the furnace of indigence (kaminon ptÇcheias.- Isa 48:10). There, in the refining
furnace, is where they seize upon their priceless Prize; the indescribable Gift (anekdi‘g‘tÇ autou
dÇrea - II Cor 9:15). Undeniable proof of salvation is found in the means by which the Father
brings the true believer into closest union with Himself. The believer therein has reason and pur-
pose, denied to religious reprobates and to all the world-at-large, to reckon all in cheerfulness,
to vaunt in the oppressive pressures and to be cheerful, according as you share with the
sufferings of the Christ.
Delight and gladness, rather than dejection and demoralization, is to be given full play in the Spirit
during occasions when you are in the midst of manifold adversities (whenever you would fall sur-
rounded in various testings). The words, you would fall surrounded, are translated from peri-
pes‘te, which is a compound of peri (“around”) and the past subjunctive indefinite action tense of

                                                                                                   13
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

the verb, piptÇ (“to fall”). Under the supervision of Supreme Deity, believers fall into many differ-
ent kinds of tests by adversity (various testings), as certain that He is having activated everything
according to the resolve of His determination (ta panta energountes kata t‘n boul‘n tou
thel‘matos autou - Eph 1:11). The words, having activated (energountes), are translated from a
conjugation of the verb, energeÇ (whence comes the English “energy”), conveying the meaning of
producing an effect, causing to be operative (Mark 6:14, Rom 7:5, I Cor 12:6, II Cor 1:6, Gal 2:8).
The word, resolve, is translated from boul‘n, which conveys the meaning of an inviolable decree;
the unalterable resolution made from determination (Luke 7:30, Acts 2:23, 4:28 & Heb 6:17).
What separates those who are chosen from the reprobates, with regard to falling into all kinds of
adversities, however, is the precious truth that every (thing) works together into benefit for the
(ones) loving the Supreme Deity, for the (ones) being called according to His purpose (hoti
tois agapÇsi to Theon panta sunergei eis agathon, tois kata prothesin kl‘tois ousin - Rom 8:28).
Although it seems at times to the believer that he is in the midst of a minefield and surrounded by
cluster bombs, which are designed to permanently injure or to kill those who are not objects of His
affection, the One directing all the “bombs” has noble and beneficent results in view for each of
His chosen. The intention of maiming and killing is reserved for the enemies of the Supreme Deity
(Psalm 37:12-13 & Prov 16:4). For the religious reprobates, the “bombing” of them with adversity
is to remove from them what little genuine piety and understanding of the truth that they may
actually possess (Matt 13:12, Mark 4:25 & Luke 8:18). The true believer is assured, however, that
the furnace shall remove only the dross; the gold itself shall be refined.
The trials are diverse and incongruous, numerous and seemingly unrelated (poikilois). They are
designed to be overwhelming, with no human or natural means of alleviation or escape. As such,
they force a believer to engage in the most intimate and passionate contact with the Father, causing
the believer to yield absolute dependence and reliance upon Him. The word, testings, is translated
here from peirasmois, which carries the meaning of “occasions of putting to proof”. Accurately
understood by believers as trials, it unequivocally presents the idea of “testings by adversity”. The
word is not descriptive of life’s normal “ups and downs” or of common inconveniences and dis-
couraging nuisances, but of severe hardships and profound life-altering agony and privation. Such
adversities, which put the profession of a believer to absolute proof, range from affliction to
persecution and from the loss of all things to isolation from all who had been near and dear. A
single calamity or malady can spawn many tribulations (circumstances of oppressive pressure),
as certain that a single pebble dropped in placid water will produce many ever-widening ripples.
The tragedy of a calamity or malady does not occur for the purpose of being overcome or van-
quished by the believer, but for the purpose of overcoming and vanquishing the believer; to send
the believer into the arms of Jehovah for deliverance. If your circumstances can be humanly or
naturally lessened or overcome, they do not qualify as the testings of which James is writing.
Genuine trials of faith cannot be won, only endured. Trials are brought to an end, only when the
serenity of endurance is achieved and fully realized.

                           having known that the proving of your
                           persuasion fully achieves endurance. In-
                           deed the endurance must hold complete
                            work, in order that you would be com-
                          plete (ones) and entire (ones), being (ones)
                               left behind in not a single thing.
                           gin Ç skontes hoti to dokimion humÇ n t‘ s pisteÇ s
                             katergazetai hupomon‘ n. H‘ de hupomon‘
                            ergon teleion echetÇ , hina ‘ te teleioi kai holo-
                                      kl‘ roi, en m‘ deni leipomenoi.
                                               Jas 1:3-4



14
                                        SONGS IN THE NIGHT

In this passage, James echoes what is written by the Apostle Paul (having perceived that the
oppressive pressure fully achieves endurance - eidotes hoti h‘ thlipsis hupomon‘n katergazetai:
Rom 5:4) and what is written by the Apostle Peter (Himself having suffered a small (while)
thoroughly equips you, sets fast, invigorates, establishes - oligon pathontas autos katartisai
humas, st‘rizai, sthenÇsai, themeliÇsai: I Pet 5:10). The words, complete ones, are translated
from teleioi, which does not have reference to moral excellence (“sinless perfection”), but conveys
the meaning of “full maturation” and “entire development” (Mark 5:48, Rom 12:2, I Cor 2:6, Eph
4:13, Heb 9:11, Jas 1:25). The words, fully achieves (katergazetai), also rendered, completely
works, are translated from the second person singular present tense expression of katergazomai,
a compound of kata (an intensive) and ergazomai (“to toil”); conveying the idea of carrying out
a task until finished (Rom 2:9, I Cor 5:3, II Cor 12:12, Eph 6:13, Phil 2:12, Jas 1:3, I Pet 4:3).

With respect to spiritual growth and maturity, endurance itself is reward, but it is not perfected by
Jehovah in a believer without additional rewards. Nay, endurance is both reward and rewarding;
the veritable key which unlocks the treasure trove of spiritual advancement in grace, supplying
tried and true character and unshakable expect-ation (Rom 5:4-5). Without endurance, the believer
cannot be complete and entire, left behind in not a single thing. In view of the end intended by
Jehovah, with regard to Job and in reference to His regard for a tried and true believer, being
moved with much mercy and compassion (polusplagchos... kai oiktermÇn), James would later
write in his missive, we esteem blessed the (ones) having remained under (makarizomen tous
hupomenontas - Jas 5:11). The believer must first experience, however, the reality that the trying
of faith fully achieves endurance. Since endurance is the decisive gem within all trials, it warrants
prayerful examination.

                                              Endurance
The word , endurance, is translated from hupomon‘ , which is a com pound of hupo (“under, beneath”) and
mon‘ (“staying, abiding”): It is accurately understood as either “staying under” or “abiding beneath”. The
quality of endurance is not simply one of acquiescence and resignation, but of maximum dependency upon
the Father. When a believer can remain under a trial, wholly depending upon Him to survive it and applaud-
ing His purpose in orchestrating it, genuine endurance is achieved and deliverance is near. The com plete
work of endurance is a process of sturdy construction and maturation, rende ring the believer as being one
who is left behind in not a single thing (as having no deficiency whatso ever), with regard no t only to access
to the Father and intimate fellowship with Him, but also to instructing and inspiring others. The Ap ostle Paul
characterizes the believer who attains to such a state of repletion and usefulness as having achieved proof
(dokim‘ n - Rom 5:4). The Apostle Peter describes such a believer, having been thoroughly equipped, as
being set fast, invigorated and established (I Pet 5:10). There is no other way that Jehovah will make a
believer to be complete and entire, tried and true, equipped and set fast, invigorated and established; than by
means of endurance through trials.


Nothing is more assuring and stabilizing to a believer than the perfecting of endurance within his
spirit during trial: It is a gift that replicates and multiplies. Nay, true contentment is impossible
without it. Since endurance is irrevocable and cannot diminish (Rom 11:29), the serenity and con-
tentment fostered is nurtured and enjoyed during the trial and after, from one trial to another and
from one season of ease and refreshment to the next. The voice of God-given and God-pleasing
endurance is heard clearly in the words of the Apostle Paul, I have learned, in whatever state
I am, to be self-complacent. I fully know also to be made low; I fully know also to super-
abound. In every thing and in all states I am taught also to fodder and to famish, also to
superabound and to have need (EgÇ gar emathon, en hois eimi, autark‘s einai. Oida kai tapeir-
ousthai, oida kai perisseuein. En panti kai en pasi memu‘mai kai chortazenthai kai peinan, kai
perisseuein kai hustereisthai - Phil 4:11-12).



                                                                                                            15
                                    SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Besides serenity and contentment, another gift which is fostered by endurance is authentic
empathy and the priceless ability to give genuine comfort. According to the Apostle Paul, we are
called by the side of Supreme Deity upon all of our oppressive pressures, to be enabling us to
call by the side the (ones) in all oppressive pressures, through the consolation of which we
ourselves are called by the side on behalf of the Supreme Deity (epi pas‘ t‘ thlipsei h‘mÇn,
eis to dunasthai h‘mas parakalein tous en pas‘ thlipsei, dia t‘s parakl‘seÇs h‘s parakaloumetha
autoi hupo tou Theou - II Cor 1:4). It is impossible to completely realize the new commandment,
to love fellow believers as Jesus loves each of them (John 13:34), without such empathy and
ability to give actual consolation. Such a gift exudes exclusively from the radiance of endurance
which is wrought by trial. The sacred language of grief and sorrow is such that the heart of one
who is suffering cannot understand and receive either support or comfort from any, except those
who are in possession of endurance. Supreme Deity thus employs one believer to aid another and
He thus speaks through the heart of one to the heart of the other.
Endurance is the means by which a believer unifies with the man being in strokes who is per-
ceiving to bear debilitation (anthrÇpos en pl‘g‘ ... eidÇs pherein malakian Isa 53:3). The deepest
desire of any true believer is to know of Him, and the capability of His resurrection, and the
partnership of His sufferings, having been made conformable to His death (gnÇsai auton, kai
t‘n dunamin t‘s anastaseÇs autou, kai t‘n koinÇnian tÇn path‘matÇn autou, summorphoumenos tÇ
thanatÇ autou - Phil 3:10). Such fellowship is enjoyed exclusively through endurance which is
wrought by trial. It is axiomatic, that just as the sufferings of the Christ superabound into us,
in this way through Christ also the consolation superabounds of us (kathÇs perisseuei ta path‘-
mata tou Christou eis h‘mas, houtÇ dia Christou perisseuei kai h‘ parakl‘sis h‘mÇn - II Cor 1:5).
The value of a believer in the service of Christ Jesus is measured by the depth of endurance
wrought by trial, which reveals the extent of growth in the bestowed grace and knowledge. In your
misery and distress, then, reckon it all to be delightful that you are surrounded in various trials:
Your circumstances are proof of His favor and His hand is upon you for great honor and blessing.
As certain that the sword is sharpened by the abrasiveness of a whetting stone, you are being pre-
pared for crucial service in His Kingdom. Indeed, suffering believer, you are being refined in the
furnace of affliction and schooled in the house of sorrow for the noblest employment on Earth.


               THE LONESOME WASTELAND
                                    (Rev 17:3 & Matt 25:35-36)

                          And he bore me off in Spirit into a desert...
                             Kai a p‘ negke me eis er‘ mon en Pneumati...
                                              Rev 17:3
The Apostle John was taken in Spirit to a lonesome wasteland, away from the scene of the final
judgments, by one of the seven messengers who pours forth the hard-breathing passion of Sup-
reme Deity upon every aspect of depraved humanity. The purpose of this particular excursion was
to reveal the secret concerning the Great Harlot and the Dangerous Animal upon which she is lift-
ed into prominence. The word from which “desert” is translated (er‘mon) actually means “lone-
some” and is used for the purpose of distinctly conveying the idea of solitude. Appearing through-
out the New Testament Scriptures to imply “a waste” or “desolation”, er‘mon is the corresponding
equivalent of the Hebrew, midbâr, meaning “pasture”, and implying “wasteland”; but also render-
ed by many English translations as either wilderness or desert. Whether the Apostle was carried
by the messenger to a literal geographic location within the natural realm or to a venue from within
the spiritual sphere, he was taken thither for the solitude necessary to receive a revelation of
momentous import. The most astounding messages are received from the Father and the most
intimate contact is made with Him, in an environment which is bleak and dismal.

16
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Whether your experience in the bleak and dismal lonesome wasteland consists of an actual sojourn
to a natural desert, of circumstances of penury and destitution, of being an outcast stranger among
those who regard you with indifference, of being debilitated by disease or injury or of being im-
prisoned; if you have been borne there in Spirit, it is for the procurement of great blessing in one
of the richest experiences that you will ever enjoy with your Deliverer in this life. Nay, those who
are taken thither in Spirit ascend to richest communion with the Father, where they not only ex-
perience crucial and defining moments, but also where He gives them their most profound revel-
ations of Jesus Christ. The lonesome wasteland not only represents the threshing floor for removal
of sin and preparation for specialized service, but also represents the Holy of Holies in your walk
with Jehovah; the state of most profound reverence and gravity, between the outstretched wings
of the two Cherubim, where you are enabled to hear that delicate whispering voice (I Kings 19:12)
with greatest clarity.
Since it was the Spirit, who is ever engaged in the pursuit of glorifying the Father in Christ Jesus,
who ejected Jesus from the propitious atmosphere of the inauguration of His earthly ministry and
drove Him into the bleakness of the lonesome wasteland for the hardships of His ordeal, rest as-
sured that it is the Spirit who thrusts your stricken soul onto this hallowed threshing floor. As your
Deliverer walked away when the ordeal was finished, with bold purpose and messengers minister-
ing comfort to Him, so shall you. You, who would enter into His sufferings to gain a more intim-
ate acquaintance with the power of His death and resurrection, can assuredly expect to subsequent-
ly enter into His reassurance and joy. It matters not what occasioned your ejection into this place
of forlorn desolation; whether criminal transgression or a relatively blameless life, the result shall
be the same; but more importantly, the reason that you are here stems from the everlasting love
with which the Father has drawn you to Jesus (Jer 31:3 & John 6:37-44).
As it was in the lonesome wasteland where Jehovah had gathered ancient Israel to establish His
covenant with them, it was in the lonesome wasteland where He nourished and instructed the
prophet Elijah. It is no accident that the personified symbols of the Law and the prophets, Moses
and Elijah, who themselves together met with the Fulfillment of what they represented upon the
Mount of Transfiguration, should both be tried and true veterans of the lonesome wasteland. Ac-
cordingly, it was in the lonesome wasteland, that John the Baptist received his training and sing-
ular calling. It was to the lonesome wasteland that Jesus frequently withdrew, for intimate and
undistracted communion with the Father. While it is certain that a select company has been forced
to pitch in this stark place of austerity, you ought not feel that your name should not be mentioned
with theirs in the same breath, that their noble reasons and purposes for having been here places
you in a different league (Heb 10:14). Where else would the Great Shepherd leave the ninety and
nine, in search of the one who strays, but in the lonesome wasteland (Luke 15:4)?
Those who profess to know Jesus would do well to sojourn in this place of isolation and privation
for a brief visit, to observe and to receive instruction. It is from your eyes that He gazes upon the
merciless and the sanctimonious who would cast a narrow glance at you, with smug presumption
that you are being justly punished by Him for some transgression they suppose that they would
never commit. It is in the lonesome wasteland, that they would unwittingly encounter Him in those
who are undergoing circumstances of severe poverty; in those who are surrounded by others who
are detached, aloof and disinterested; in those who are enfeebled by loss of health or limbs and in
those who are languishing in a jail or prison. It is most certainly in the lonesome wasteland where
Jesus is encountered, not only within the likes of Moses, Elijah and John the Baptist, but also in
the likes of those who are of the least (alachistÇn) of the sheep that He gathers on His right (Matt
25:40). As certain that the purpose of trial is for the removal of sin, as well as for the refinement
of faith (one cannot be without the other), many are brought to the lonesome wasteland to experi-
ence such humiliation and hardship, because of the chastening hand of the One who loves them
and dwells within each of them. Yea, those who are of the least are not only among the lowliest
in terms of station and perceived usefulness, but also in terms of guilt and shame.

                                                                                                   17
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Are you literally famished with hunger and dehydrated for lack of water? Rest assured that you
will encounter someone, among the many who are giving you a wide berth, who will unwittingly
give to Jesus to eat and furnish Him with refreshing drink. Are you a stranger and being treated
as an outcast in an environment of indifference? Among all those who are avoiding you, someone
will be animated to unknowingly offer warmth and hospitality to the Lord of Glory. Are you lack-
ing vital clothing and necessities? There can be no doubt that someone will be moved to ignorantly
clothe and provide for the One who owns everything. Are you debilitated by disease or injury?
Someone shall certainly be prompted to aid the Healer Himself and to provide some measure of
support. Are you in prison? Someone shall surely be sent, unaware that they are actually visiting
and cheering their Judge. To those, He will say, I famished, and you gave to me to eat; I thirst-
ed, and you furnished me drink. I was an alien, and you collected me; nude, and you threw
(clothes) around me. I was enfeebled, and you have peered upon me; I was in prison, and you
went towards me (Epeinasa gar, kai edÇkate moi phagein, edips‘sa, kai epotisate me. Xenos ‘m‘n,
kai sun‘gagete me, gumnos, kai periebalete me.  sthen‘sa, kai epeskepsasthe me, en phulak‘ ‘m‘n,
kai ‘lthete pros me - Matt 25:35-36). As certain that faith itself is pampered and fattened in the
lonesome wasteland (Rev 12:6 & 14) and as certain that Jehovah had sent ravens to feed Elijah
in the lonesome wasteland (I Kings 17:4-6), He who miraculously provided mannah for the ancient
Israelites in the lonesome wasteland will preserve and sustain not only your spirit, but also your
body. As certain that the Judge will say to all whom you encounter, whatever you did to the least
one of these of my brothers, you did to me (hosan epoi‘sate heni toutÇn tÇn adelphÇn mou tÇn
alachistÇn, emoi epoi‘sate. - Matt 25:40), your treatment at the hands of those who become aware
of your plight will be used in the ultimate disclosure of their true colors, by the One dwelling
within you and gazing upon them from behind your eyes.
Meeting the Father between the outstretched wings of the Cherubim here in the lonesome waste-
land and experiencing a measure of the wounds and the humiliation of your Sacrifice upon the
Mercy Seat, you will learn of several liberating effects as a matter of course. You will learn that
there are no materialists who walk forth from the lonesome wasteland. Nay, you will be cured of
all dependence upon possessions for peace and well being, finding tranquility and happiness only
in your Sacrifice. You will learn that there are none who walk forth from the lonesome wasteland
who rely upon the arm of the flesh. Nay, you will be thoroughly trained to depend entirely upon
the Father for daily provision, to be perfectly content with and desirous of nothing more than what
He wisely gives you. You will not seek the restoration of property lost nor shall you depend upon
earthly friendships for your welfare. Sufficient for you shall be the improved fellowship with the
Father and the vision that He gives you for powerful service in His cause. You will also learn that
all who walk forth from the lonesome wasteland have been liberated from guiding and besetting
sins. Nay, you will be well versed in the inexorable mutual dependence of purification and refine-
ment of faith. You will discover that the extent of your liberation from the natural realm (your
flesh, the world and Satan) shall be proportionate to your dependence upon the Father in the spirit-
ual sphere. You will therefore discover, finally, the reason that the most despised and down-trod-
den of those who have been thrust into the lonesome wasteland are the most grateful and cheerful
of the lot.
When you walk forth from this lonesome wasteland, understand that the radiance of this golden
experience is subject to diminish with time and distance, as certain that you exist in a tattered tent
which is rampant with remaining corruption. You will therefore remain here in a state of illumin-
ation, struggling under the hardships of both haughty contempt and oppressive pressures, for as
long as it takes for the experience to be permanently emblazoned into your memory. You will thus
consult it constantly with the Father during times of ease and during occasions of doubt. It was
concerning the other side of such an experience in the lonesome wasteland, that Apollos wrote,
Indeed you are reminded of the days previously, in which having been illuminated you
abided under a struggle of many sufferings, that truly. Also having been exposed as a spec-


18
                                    SONGS IN THE NIGHT

tacle in both defamations and oppressive pressures, that indeed; having come to be sharers
of the ones having been overturned in this way. For also you felt sympathy with my bands
and with cheerfulness you allowed the pillaging of your possessions, knowing in yourselves
to hold superior and abiding property in Heaven (Anamimn‘skesthe de tas proteron h‘meras,
en hais phÇtisthentes poll‘n athl‘sin hupemeinate path‘matÇn, touto men. Oneidismois te kai thlip-
sesi theatrizomenoi, touto de, koinÇnoi tÇn houtÇs anastrephomenÇn gen‘thentes. Kai gar tois des-
mois mou sunepath‘sate, kai t‘n harpag‘n tÇn huparchontÇn humÇn meta charas prosedexasthe,
ginÇskontes echein en heautois kreittona huparxin en ouranois kai menousan - Heb 10:32-34). The
radiance of their experience of having been illuminated during their sojourn in the lonesome
wasteland is rekindled and fanned by the ability to call to mind again (anamimn‘skesthe) their
endurance upon the threshing floor of having been exposed as a spectacle in both defamations
and oppressive pressures. Perspective is thereby maintained and you will yourself know how, as
they had learned, to treat those who you will see under a struggle of many sufferings here in the
lonesome wasteland; having been yourself overturned in this way and having come to be yourself
a sharer, giving access to your possessions with calm delight and knowing in yourself to hold
superior and abiding property in Heaven (Matt 6:20-21).
There is much to be learned here about the Savior, about yourself and about others, besides the
grace of giving and sharing; but a premium has been placed upon the fact that the Hebrews to
whom Apollos wrote had treated him in his bands as they themselves had preferred to be treated
while being incarcerated (Heb 13:3). There can be no doubt, therefore, that you will be called upon
to give Jesus to eat and to furnish Him with drink and to offer warmth and hospitality to the Lord
of Glory, only to discover that there are some having unwittingly hosted messengers (elathon
tines xenisantes aggelous - Heb 13:2). Indeed, you will be called upon to provide clothing and
necessities for the One who owns everything, to aid and comfort the Great Physician when He is
afflicted upon the sick bed and to visit and cheer the Judge while He languishes in prison as
societal dredge. To the end that we are granted the ability to call by the side the (ones) in all
oppressive pressures, through the consolation of which we ourselves are called by the side
on behalf of the Supreme Deity (parakalein tous en pas‘ thlipsei, dia t‘s parakl‘seÇs h‘s para-
kaloumetha autoi hupo tou Theou - II Cor 1:4), we do not walk forth from the lonesome wasteland
until the experience is indelibly etched into our memories. We do not walk forth from the lone-
some wasteland until He who freely sacrificed perfects in us the nature to sacrifice freely. Passing
muster in the Father’s army of the compassionate ones, we then walk forth liberated from depend-
ency upon possessions and upon the arm of the flesh, taking only the intimacy that the Father
achieved therewith and all that He teaches thereby.


                   THE HOUSE OF SORROW
                                            (Eccl 7:2-5)


                          A good name is better than precious oint-
                          ment; and the day of death than the day
                                      of one’s birth.
                                      Eccl 7:2 - KJV
                          A beneficial name (is) over beneficial olive
                            oil, and (the) day of the death (is) over
                                        (the) day of birth.
                          Agathon onoma huper elaion agathon, kai h‘ mera
                               tou thanatou huper h‘ meran genn‘ seÇ s.
                                         Eccl 7:2 - LXX
With Hebrew prose, in the style of Proverbs, Solomon here equates honor and authority (shem)
with the day of one’s death and he equates the refreshment of anointing oil with the day of one’s

                                                                                                 19
                                       SONGS IN THE NIGHT

birth. As the permanence of honor and authority is preferable to the transitory effects of good
grease from olives (tôwb shemen), wisdom dictates that anticipation of one’s death is to be prefer-
red to the celebration of one’s birth. What is taught here is not a fleeting attitude to be assumed
through occasional meditation, but a principle of living which can only be learned and perfected
through trial. The true believer is not to live, drawing upon the joy of being alive, but in constant
consideration of his rapidly approaching death. Whereas the joy of being alive fosters a festive
spirit which is subject to be often disappointed and overwhelmed by the miserable circumstances
that emanate frequently from the tragedy of existence, constant consideration of one’s death sus-
tains the desired spirit of reverence and gravity, which cannot be altered or diminished by adver-
sity and tribulation. A spirit of reverence and gravity cannot be shaken or decreased, regardless
of a hardship’s swift or gradual manner of onset; it can only be deepened.

                           It is better to go to the house of mourning
                           than to go the house of feasting: for that is
                           the end of all men; and the living will take
                                             it to heart.
                                           Eccl 7:3 - KJV
                           (It is) beneficial to be traveled into a house
                           of sorrow than to be traveled into (a house)
                           of a carousal, according to which thing that
                           (is the) completion of all men, and the (one)
                        living will give beneficial (matters) into his heart.
                          Agathon poreuth‘ nai eis oikon penthous ‘ hoti poreu-
                         th‘ nai eis potou, kathoti touto telos pantos anth rÇ pou,
                               kai ho zÇ n dÇ sei agathon eis kardian autou.
                                            Eccl 7:3 - LXX
The superiority of living in continuous lamentation (êbel) over incessant celebration and merri-
ment (mishteh) is unequivocally revealed in the insurmountable reality, that death and lamentation
represent the termination and conclusion (çôwph) of the lives of all men. Whereas true believers
suffer death and lamentation throughout this life, with the promise of celebration forever there-
after (Matt 5:3-4); reprobates exist for celebration and merriment throughout this life, with the in-
escapable certainty of death and lamentation forever thereafter. The termination and conclusion
(death and lamentation) is suffered during this life by true believers and after this life by repro-
bates. As certain as it is, that to live in Christ is to die in the flesh (Rom 8:36 & I Cor 15:31), tried
and true believers are here implied to be those who are involved with dying, as opposed to the
spiritually dead and to the untried who are involved with living. Since the living are forced to take
the lamentations of the dying, the reverent and grave words and deeds of those who reside in the
house of sorrow, to the center of their feelings, desires and intellect (lêb); true believers are thus
shown to be an anchoring and stabilizing force of reason and perspective in a world which is spin-
ning into dimensions of delusion and presumption. Those who are dying, existing in continuous
lamentation, realize that a heart of wisdom is gained only by means of being taught to number our
days (Psalm 90:12): They die constantly, only to live.

                           Vexation is better than laughter: for by the
                            sadness of the countenance the heart is
                                          made better.
                                         Eccl 7:3 - KJV
                           Hard-breathing passion (is) over laughing,
                             since a heart will be made beneficial
                                  in badness of countenance.
                              Agathon thum os huper gelÇ ta, hoti en kakia
                                   prosÇ pou agathunth‘ setai kardia.
                                                 Eccl 7:4

20
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT


From the established fact that the certainty of death decides the superior manner of existence to
be one of lamentation, Solomon derives the truth that vexation is superior to merry laughter (se
chôwq). As certain that death represents a disturbing and perplexing problem for those who live
only for this life, a life of troubles and consternation (an existence of vexation) serves to prepare
those who live for the life beyond natural death. The words, hard-breathing passion, are trans-
lated from thumos, which does not mean either “anger” or “indignation” per se, but conveys the
idea of the impassioned resolve of hyper-motivation; the spirited determination to overcome all
obstacles in the way of an intended goal (Luke 4:28, Acts 19:28, Rom 2:8, II Cor 12:20, Gal 5:20,
Col 3:8, Heb 11:27, Rev 12:12). It is by means of marring badness (rôa) in the configuration
(pânîym) of one’s feelings, desires and intellect (lêb), that the very center of one’s feelings,
desires and intellect (the heart) is amended and benefitted (yâtâb). Marring badness (adversity
that injures and leaves scars) is produced in the tribulations brought by trial, the injurious and
consuming circumstances that bring the desperate believer into a most passionate and abiding
intimacy with the Father. Such circumstances are vital and requisite, in the perfecting of perpetual
gravity and sobriety in the believer. With an amending and benefitting center (a heart being made
beneficial), produced by the marring badness (by the badness) in the configuration of his feelings,
desires and intellect (of the countenance), the believer dwells in the house of sorrow. There, he
learns of the firmly entrenched and pervasive nature of sin and he becomes a student of depraved
human nature, mourning the corruption which is rampant in his flesh, realizing a state of ever
deepening repentance. There, with a spirit of profound heaviness, he learns at the feet of the man
being in strokes who is perceiving to bear debilitation (anthrÇpos en pl‘g‘ ... eidÇs pherein
malakian - Isa 53:3).

                      The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning;
                        but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
                                       Eccl 7:4 - KJV
                    (The) heart of wise (ones is) in (the) house of sorrow,
                     and (the) heart of mindless (ones is) in (the) house
                                         of joyfulness.
                       Kardia sophÇ n en oikÇ penthous, kai kardia aphronÇ n en
                                          oikÇ euphrosun‘ s.
                                          Eccl 7:5 - LXX
The center of a true believer’s feelings, desires and intellect (lêb) is found to be in the condition
of persistent lamentation (in the house of sorrow), contrasted here with a life of constant glee
(sîmchah), in the house of joyfulness, which is pursued by the silly and foolish (ke cîyl). Solomon
therewith supplies the logical conclusion of what he had advanced at the outset (verse 1), that true
wisdom guides those who are dying, only to live; and that foolishness guides those who are living,
only to die. In view of the fact that we were all conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity (Psalm
51:3), born for distress (Job 5:7) as natural liars (Psalm 58:3) and are of few days and full of tur-
moil (Job 14:1), who but the mindless ones would be filled with glee and celebrate their day of
birth? Only two birthdays are recorded in the Bible and, on both occasions, someone was murdered
(Gen 40:20-22 & Matt 14:6-10). The wise ones appropriately lament in the tragedy of life, under-
standing the purpose for their trials and eagerly anticipating the day of death. Being wise, in the
context of Solomon’s discourse here, is being filled with continuous grief and sorrow in the
necessity of your daily struggle against the sins of your flesh, against the seductive attractions of
the world and against the stratagems of Satan. In the house of sorrow, believers are conferred
honor and authority by the imputation of Jesus’ righteousness. In the house of sorrow, they em-
brace the promise of Jesus with the confident expectation, that He will give to them glory in place
of ashes, oil of joyfulness to the (ones) sorrowing, a robe of glory in place of a spirit of heavi-
ness (doxan anti spodou, aleimma euphrosun‘s tois penthousi, katastol‘n dox‘s anti pneumatos
ak‘dias - Isa 61:3).

                                                                                                  21
       NECESSITY OF OPPRESSIVE PRESSURE
                                            (Acts 14:21-22)

                           ...they returned into Lystra and Iconium
                         and Antioch, having set-fast upon the spirits
                          of the disciples, having called them by the
                          side to abide on with the persuasion, and
                          that it is necessary for us to enter into the
                            Kingdom of the Supreme Deity through
                                   many oppressive pressures.
                        ...hupestrepsan eis t‘ n Lustran kai Ikoniou kai Antioch-
                        eian, epist‘ rizontes tas psuchas tÇ n math‘ tÇ n, parakal-
                       ountes emmenein t‘ pistei, kai hoti dia pollÇ n thlipseÇ n
                            dei h‘ mas eiselthein eis t‘ n basileian tou Theou.
                                            Acts 14:21-22
The Holy Spirit does not intend for these words to be a discouraging warning, either for the be-
leaguered soul whose faith is being vigorously exercised to yield the gem of endurance (Jas 1:2-3)
or for the smarting soul whose repeated sins have brought the rod of correction to yield the concil-
iatory fruit... of justice (karpon eir‘nikon... dikaiosun‘s - Heb 12:5-11). Since these words are
directed only to believers, they cannot be placed in the same category as those spoken by Jesus to
unbelievers, to count the cost before making a profession of faith (Luke 14:25-35). On the cont-
rary, these words expressly indicate the content of the message by which the Apostle Paul and Bar-
nabus had set-fast upon the spirits of believers in each of the villages through which they had
returned, having called them by the side to persevere in the faith. Although there can be no doubt
that the Apostle’s experience in Lystra, less than two weeks previous, of being stoned, dragged
out of the town and left for dead, was yet fresh in his mind, the words do not refer to that event
alone; since their meaning cannot be restricted to physical danger and threat of violence. Jesus
taught, narrow the gateway, and being crowded the way, the (one) having led-off into the liv-
ing, and few are the (ones) having found it (sten‘ h‘ pul‘ , kai tethlimmen‘ h‘ hodos h‘
apagousa eis t‘n zǑn, kai oligoi eisin hoi heuriskontes aut‘n - Matt 7:14). He also assured that
a believer must agonize to enter through the narrow portal, because many (ones), I lay forth
to you, will search to enter, and they will not have force (AgÇnizesthe eiselthein dia t‘s sten‘s
thuras, hoti polloi, legÇ humin, z‘t‘sousin eiselthein, kai ouk ischusousin - Luke 13:24). Indeed,
the Kingdom of Heaven is forced (crowded into), and forcers seize it (h‘ basileia tÇn ouranÇn
biazetai, kai biastai harpazousin aut‘n - Matt 11:12). Neither Jesus nor Paul spoke of agony and
suffering under oppressive pressure, as being prerequisite for salvation, since Jesus alone paid the
price, in terms of blood, sweat and tears, for the salvation of all the chosen (Heb 10:14). Further-
more, the sense of which the term, Kingdom of the Supreme Deity, is used in this passage has
reference to the fulfilled Kingdom in Heaven. The very moment that a person first believes, he
immediately enters the unfulfilled Kingdom which is developing on Earth (Luke 17:21). Paul
therefore speaks of the necessity of enduring many oppressive pressures in the natural realm, the
present life, as a refining process of preparation for the fulfilled Kingdom in Heaven.
Notice the words, it is necessary (dei); denoting a binding necessity. Varying degrees of adversity,
of oppressive pressure, are therefore prerequisite for all who have entered into the unfulfilled and
developing Kingdom on Earth by virtue of belief. As certain that a person who has never been pun-
ished by Supreme Deity is a person whose profession of faith must be held in doubt and brought
into question (Heb 12:8); a person who has never experienced significant adversity, who has never
agonized under the burden of severe pressure, who has never suffered the stifling constraint of op-
pressive circumstances, is a person who is not engaged in the pursuit of entering into the King-
dom of the Supreme Deity. As certain that the absence of punishment by the Supreme Deity is
neither an assurance of His favor nor an indication of a person’s obedience, a life free of adversity
is a life devoid of the exercise of faith.

22
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

There can be no wonder then, that the half-brother of Jesus should advise suffering believers,
Reckon all in cheerfulness, my brothers, whenever you would fall surrounded in various
testings (Pasan charan h‘g‘sasthe, adelphoi mou, hotan peirasmois peripes‘te poikilois - Jas 1:2)
or that the Apostle Peter should say, Loved (ones), be not surprised by the fire ignited in you,
coming to be towards a testing to you, coming together to you in the manner of a surprise,
but according as you share with the sufferings of the Christ, be cheerful... (,Agap‘toi, m‘
xenizesthe t‘ en humin purÇsei pros peirasmon humin ginomen‘ , hÇs xenou humin sumbainontos,,
alla katho koinÇneite tois tou Christou path‘mai, chairete... - I Pet 4:12-13). Since trial is proof
of the Jehovah’s favor, the means by which a believer is made a partaker of Christ’s sufferings and
through which he is brought into the fulfilled Kingdom in Heaven (Rev 7:14), it represents nothing
less than a distinguishing badge of honor.
The word from which “oppressive pressures” is rendered (thlipseÇn) has been mistranslated in
many English versions, as tribulations (oppressive circumstances resulting from persecution). The
word, thlipseÇn, itself is derived from the process of crushing and squeezing grapes or olives, for
the extraction of juice: It conveys the meaning of “oppressive pressures caused by anguish and
trouble”and used in describing the distress of wrenching and constricting circumstances. It is used
in New Testament Scripture with the synonymous terms; trial (peirasmos - I Cor 10:13 & Jas 1:2)
and proof (dokimion - Jas 1:3 & I John 4:1), either as a consequence of trial or as an emblem of
trial itself. In this passage, it is used in both senses. Since occasions of distress and misery, of
wrenching and constricting circumstances, are commonly experienced by believers and unbeliev-
ers alike, Paul asseverates that entrance into the fulfilled Kingdom is through many oppressive
pressures. Contrary to accusations emanating from Satan’s domain and to the conclusions drawn
by natural reasoning, many oppressive pressures do not represent an indicator of Jehovah’s hostil-
ity towards a believer, but of His favor. The greater the intensity and the greater number of
occasions of oppressive pressure, the greater the assurance of Jehovah’s favor that the believer can
justifiably claim and realize to be absolutely true. Oppressive pressure is the means by which a
believer is drawn into the most intimate union with the Father, as it is the means by which the
believer experientially identifies with the sufferings and the defamation of Jesus. Since each trial
represents a distinguishing badge of honor, a believer who has endured many trials (many oppres-
sive pressures) can be reckoned to be a highly decorated soldier with many campaign ribbons.
With the assurance that the believer who is being tried (or punished) is a person who is being
favored and honored, the words of the Apostle Paul thus serve indeed, not only to be fortifying and
reinforcing (epist‘rizontes - setting fast upon) the spirit of a believer, but also to be calling... by
the side (parakalountes) of the Apostle, for the purpose of enhancing perseverance (emmenein -
to abide-on) in the faith. It is the message itself, of the binding necessity in entering the fulfilled
Kingdom of the Supreme Deity through many oppressive pressures, that serves to embolden and
solidify the spirit; to fortify and reinforce the propelling essence of the will and emotions within
the believer. The news itself is supernaturally applied by the Spirit to “gird the grit”, as it were,
within the believer; to thoroughly equip the believer for the undertaking of all the necessary ad-
verse ordeals. The message therefore calls the believer by the side of Paul and Barnabus, to experi-
ence the manner in which the perseverance of those two had been enhanced by the reality of many
oppressive pressures. Although the news borne by the message is frightening and highly repugnant
to the old man of the flesh, the new man is exhilarated to know Him, and the ability of His res-
urrection, and the partnership of His sufferings, having been made conformable to His death
(tou gnÇsai auton, kai t‘n dunamin t‘s anastaseÇs autou, kai t‘n koinÇnian tÇn path‘matÇn autou,
summorphoumenos tÇ thanatÇ autou - Phil 3:10).

Notice, that the word, persuasion (pistei), is preceded by the article, the (t‘ ). By speaking of the
persuasion (“the faith”), Paul speaks of the system of Gospel truth, as differentiated from individ-
ual belief, trust and conviction. The persuasion, which was once and for all given to believers

                                                                                                    23
                                    SONGS IN THE NIGHT

(Jude :3), radiates in what are known presently as “the Doctrines of Grace”; the foundation for
proper understanding of every aspect of the Bible and the reservoir whence individual expressions
of persuasion are drawn. The greater the knowledge and perseverance in the persuasion, the
stronger and bolder shall be the individual exhibitions of persuasion. Since Jehovah places the
highest premium upon persuasion, delivering and quickening the spirit of each of the chosen with
His gift of persuasion, being gratified only with deeds of persuasion that He gives, the oppressive
pressure of trial can be nothing less than an exhibition of His favor. The quality of deeds of per-
suasion (works of faith) is proportionate to a believer’s perseverance in the persuasion, a be-
liever’s endurance and steadfastness in the systematized expression of Gospel truth. The enhance-
ment of such perseverance can be gained only through many oppressive pressures, the pursuit of
agonizing through the narrow portal and crowded way.
Whenever a presumptuous human agent of Satan demands that you render an expression con-
cerning the confident expectation in you (aitounti humas logon peri t‘s en humin elpidas), do
not be intimidated by a smug and pompous show of virtue and piety, but with mildness and of
fright (meta prautetos kai phobou - I Pet 3:15-16), point to your badge of honor. Indeed, with the
gentleness and reverential awe that you are discovering within yourself through trial, exhibit your
decoration of courage in the war against the lusts of the old man, the trappings of the world and
the devices of Satan. Explain the intimacy into which the Father brought you to Himself by means
of many oppressive pressures in your trials and the unearthly manner by which He finally deliver-
ed you. The next time that your doubting old man brings your salvation into question, examine
your badge of honor and remember, that irrevocable are the gratuities and the calling of the
Supreme Deity (ametamel‘ta gar ta charismata kai h‘ kl‘sis tou Theou - Rom 11:29), that
neither death nor life, neither messengers nor origins, neither abilities nor things placed in
hand nor things being intended, neither elevation nor profundity nor some other creation
will be able to put space between us from love of the Supreme Deity in Christ Jesus our Sup-
reme Authority (oute thanatos oute zǑ oute aggeloi oute archai oute dunameis oute enestÇta oute
mellonta oute hupsÇma oute bathos oute tis ktisis hetera dun‘setai h‘mas chÇrisai apo agap‘s tou
Theou t‘s en ChristÇ I‘sou tÇ KuriÇ h‘mÇn - Rom 8:38-39). If you had not been predetermined
to be conformed to the likeness of His Son (proÇrise summorphous t‘s eikonos tou huiou autou -
Rom 8:29), you would not be wearing that badge of honor and neither would you be concerned
about a withdrawal of His love and mercy.
Consider the fact, that He who delivered you from all your past oppressive pressures cannot fail
to deliver you from your present misery, and remember, Many are the afflictions of the right-
eous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all (Psalm 34:19). You certainly do not feel that
you are righteous, while sin is being exposed in your life for removal, but you are righteous by
that which has been imputed to you in Jesus’ death and resurrection (II Cor 5:21). As certain that
you will be delivered from your present trial, that you are being progressively conformed to the
likeness of Jesus and as certain that it is through many oppressive pressures, that we are entering
into the Heavenly Kingdom of the Supreme Deity, there shall be additional trials in your future.
It is not sufficient for Jehovah, that His beloved soldier should bear only a single badge of honor,
but that you should be decorated with as many as is required for you to beam forth in the manner
of the Sun in the Kingdom of your Father (eklampsousin hÇs ho helios en t‘ basilaia tou patros
autÇn - Matt 13:43). By the side of Paul and Barnabus (“son of consolation”) you must go; after
the example of the Apostle and his assistant you must follow, for the message which is set-fast
upon your spirit and for the experience which is causing you to abide-on in the persuasion ( to
enhance your perseverance in the faith). Those who have gone before you and those who shall
come after you altogether compose a vast cloud of witnesses, so that through endurance we
should run the contest having been laid before us, considering attentively into Jesus the Chief
Leader and Completer of the persuasion (Di’ hupomon‘ trechÇmen ton prokeimenon h‘min
agÇna, aphorÇntes eis ton t‘s pisteÇs arch‘gon kai teleiÇt‘n I‘soun - Heb 12:2).

24
                  DELIVERANCE FROM TRIAL
                                             (I Cor 10:13)

                         You have not taken a testing if not human.
                         Indeed the Supreme Deity (is) trustworthy,
                         He who permits you not to be tested above
                         that which you are able, but He makes also
                           the exit together with the testing, of the
                                (one) to be able to bear under.
                          Peirasmos humas ouk eil‘ phen ei m‘ anth rÇ pinos.
                            Pistos de ho Theos, hos ou k easei hu mas peiras-
                          th‘ nai huper ho dunasthe, alla poi‘ sei sun tÇ peir-
                           asmÇ kai t‘ n ekba sis, tou d una sthai h upenegkein.
                                             I Cor 10:13
Many suffering believers have consulted this passage in their weariness, with the hope of discover-
ing a “safety valve”; an indication that their trial would be miraculously halted when the associated
agony and distressing circumstances are perceived to be no longer tolerable. Although no such
expectation is encouraged from the Greek text whence these words have been mistranslated in the
King James Version, the fact of Jehovah’s immediate and abiding aid is given prominence by the
Apostle Paul; as comforting and encouraging truth upon which a sorely tried believer can fully
rely, until deliverance is ultimately realized. No, there is no “way to escape” when you are at wits’
end, but you are consoled by the precious knowledge that there is a built-in exit.
By the phrase, you have not taken a testing if not human, the Apostle assures those who are
overwhelmed by inescapable circumstances of the absolute certainty, that no testing by adversity
(peirasmos) is outside the realm of purely human experience. There is no suffering to captivate
believers, which has not already been sustained in greater or lesser measure by human beings from
every quarter; no disease or tragic circumstance which is more severe than any that have already
been experienced by others. The believer is therefore bidden, be not surprised by the fire ignited
in you, coming to be towards a testing to you, coming together to you in the manner of a
surprise (,Agap‘toi, m‘ xenizesthe t‘ en humin purÇsei pros peirasmon humin ginomen‘ , hÇs
xenou humin sumbainontos - see THE FIERY TRIAL - page 45), but rather to consider that the
same (degree) of the sufferings is to be completed upon your brotherhood in the cosmos (ta
auta tÇn path‘matÇn t‘ en kosmÇ humÇn adelphot‘ti epiteleisthai - I Pet 5:9). For then truly we
also, holding so vast a cloud of witnesses as this (all who have endured severe trials of their
faith) having been laid all around for us, being (ones) putting away every bulging mass (all
distractions which hinder spiritual growth) and the sin well-standing around (sin which
competes and gets in the way); through endurance we would run the contest having been laid
before us, having attentively considered into Jesus the Chief Leader and Completer of the
persuasion whom, in place of the cheer being laid outstretched before Him endured a stake,
having thought against shame, has sat down in the right of the Throne of the Supreme Deity.
For reckon-up the (One) having endured of such on behalf of the sinful (ones) into expres-
sions against Him, in order that you are not being (ones) loosened, toiling in your spirits
(Toigaroun kai h‘meis, tosouton echontes perikeimenon h‘min nephos marturÇn, ogkon
apothemenoi panta kai t‘n euperistaton hamartian. Di’ hupomon‘ trechÇmen ton prokeimenon
h‘min agÇna, aphorÇntes eis ton t‘s pisteÇs arch‘gon kai teleiÇt‘n I‘soun, hos, anti t‘s prokeimen‘s
autÇ charas hupemeine stauron, aischun‘s kataphron‘sas, en dexia te tou thronou tou Theou
ekathisen. Analogisasthe gar ton toiaut‘n hupomemen‘kota hupo tÇn hamartÇlÇn eis auton
antilogian, hina m‘ kam‘te tais psuchais humÇn ekluomenoi- Heb 12:1-3).
By the phrase, the Supreme Deity (is) trustworthy, He who permits you not to be tested above
that which you are able, Paul bids the suffering believer to rely and depend upon Jehovah’s ben-
eficent intentions, in the assurance that He will allow neither unprecedented misery nor an ordeal
that the believer cannot survive. The believer can be fully confident that an immutable Monarch

                                                                                                  25
                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

will never allow anything to diminish from His eternal decree, that everyone of His chosen shall
be holy and without blemish before Him (Eph 1:4). To that golden end, He maneuvers them and
manipulates virtually everything, particularly trials, for their ultimate benefit and advantage (Rom
8:28-30). He who had shortened the great oppressive pressure of Jerusalem during the Roman
siege of 67 AD for the sake of the chosen (Matt 24:22), is meticulous to restrict a believer’s trial
to no more than the desired end and He fully knows to be drawing well-reverent (ones) out of
testings (Oide Kurios eusebeis ek peirasmÇn rhuethai - II Pet 2:9). It therefore behooves a believer
to endure the trial into which he is held captive, without murmuring.
With the phrase, He makes also the exit together with the testing, of the (one) to be able to
bear under, Paul indicates that a believer can be greatly encouraged with the truth that every trial
has a built-in exit (ekbasin), an occasion and means by which the tried believer will be stepping
(basin) out (ek). As the trials themselves are each predestined, so is each trial’s egress (the time
and manner of conclusion). Nothing about the trial is uncertain and nothing is left to “chance”.
Since the time and manner of egress is fixed by eternal decree, no trial shall ever be extended
beyond its exit and no trial shall fall short of its exit (its predetermined time and manner of con-
clusion). The word, “escape”, appearing in the KJV, is such a grossly misleading error, as to cause
much undue expectation and grievous disappointment in many weary and heartbroken believers.
The words, of the (one) to be able to bear under, convey the unmistakable meaning of “giving
you the might to endure”. It is together, that both the trial and the exit have been insured by Sup-
reme Authority, concerning the strength required to bear the experience. That information alone,
of the certainty of a fixed time and manner of conclusion, is meant by Paul to warm the heart.
Knowing that the exit is as certain and real as the trial being experienced, that the trial will not tax
beyond human capability, the believer is thus cheered and assured. At the occasion of stepping-out
(the exit), endurance will be established and an aspect of refinement will be perfected.
Since a messenger of Supreme Authority encamps around the (ones) being frightened of
Him, and he rescues them (Parembalei aggelos Kuriou kuklÇ tÇn phoboumenÇn auton, kai rhu-
setai autous - Psalm 34:7), the Supreme Authority Himself is assuredly our escape (refuge) and
ability (security), an aid vehemently to us in the weighty oppressive pressures (Ho Theos
h‘mÇn kataphug‘ kai dunamis, bo‘thos en thlipsesi, tais heurosais h‘mas sphodra - Psalm 46:1).
As certain that many are the oppressive pressures (Pollai hai thlipseis) to be experienced by
those to whom the righteousness of Jesus has been imputed, He delivers each one out of all of
them (ek pasÇn autÇn - Psalm 34:19). Although the testimony of the stricken believer is, This
beggar called aloud, and the Supreme Authority had listened to him, and He had delivered
him out of all of his oppressive pressures (Houtos ho ptÇchos ekekraze, kai ho Kurios eis‘kousen
autou, kai ek pasÇn tÇn thlipseÇn autou esÇsen auton - Psalm 34:6), the same tried and true
believer also testifies that deliverance neither comes instantly nor comes before all the intended
elements of a trial have been completed. He advises all brethren in oppressive pressure, Abide
under the Supreme Authority, in manliness, and He will be invigorating your heart; yes,
abide under the Supreme Authority! (Hupomeinon ton Kurion, andrizou, kai krataiousthÇ h‘
kardia sou, kai hupomeinon ton Kurion - Psalm 27:14). Although the certainty of a fixed time and
manner of conclusion, the ekbasin, does indeed invigorate the believer’s spirit and enhances the
believer’s ability to undergo the remainder of the trial, Jehovah does not leave the beleaguered soul
with the promise of ultimate deliverance alone, as the means by which he copes and endures.
Indeed the (ones) having been abiding under the Supreme Deity; they will renew vigor, they
will put forth new feathers in the manner of eagles, they are to run and they will not feel fat-
igue, they are to walk and they will not pine (Hoi de hupomenontes ton Theon, allaxousin ischun,
pterophn‘sousin hÇs aetoi, dramountai kai ou kopiasousi, badiountai kai ou peinasousin - Isaiah
40:31). As the abiding Shelter and Security, there is never a moment during a believer’s trial that
Supreme Authority is not coming forth vehemently to aid and to insure that the believer is brought
to the exit.

26
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Indeed, the power to abide under (to “wait”), although offensive and objectionable to the flesh,
is itself a gift of Jehovah. In greater or lesser degrees, every trial is an arduous walk in the midst
of (the) shadow of death (en mesÇ skias thanatou - Psalm 23:4) and no believer can possibly
know what David means by the Great Shepherd preparing a table in the face of me, out of the
presence of the (ones) oppressively pressuring me (enÇpion mou trapezan, exenantias tÇn
thlibontÇn me - Psalm 23:5), until the believer experiences the serenity wrought by complete trust
in Him, while being surrounded and apparently vulnerable to those who desire to maim and kill.
It matters not whether the trial consists of debilitating sickness or tragic loss, of persecution or
oppressive pressure, every trial has a golden purpose and an end. It is during trial, however, that
a jealous God enjoys the most intimate and passionate fellowship with the person to whom He has
bestowed persuasion. It is during trial, not after, that persuasion is vigorously exercised and
increased. It is during trial, that He says, Be not of fright, for I am with you. Stray not, for I
am your Supreme Deity, the (One) having invigorated you, the (One) having been aiding to
you, and I had been securing you by my righteous right (M‘ phobou, meta sou gar eimi. M‘
planÇ , egÇ gar eimi ho Theos sou, ho enischusas se, kai ebo‘th‘sa soi, kai ‘sphalisam‘n se t‘
dexia t‘ dikaia mou - Isaiah 41:10).


                  WAITING & DELIVERANCE
                                           (Psalm 40:1-3)

                            I waited patiently for the Lord; and he
                              inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
                                        Psalm 40:1 - KJV
                            Abiding under, I had abided under the
                             Supreme Authority, and He held (the
                            mind) towards me, and favorably heard
                                         my petition.
                           HupomenÇ n hupemeina ton Kurion, kai prosesche
                                moi, kai eis‘ kouse t‘ s de‘ seÇ s mou.
                                        Psalm 40:1 - LXX
The words, abiding under, I had abided under, convey the idea of expectation which mounts
over a period of time and feeds upon resisting circumstances. Within a situation of ongoing and
relentless opposition to seeking the Lord for relief, David had exhibited incessant and dauntless
anticipation; an enduring expectation of deliverance. Although the words, He held (the mind)
towards me, and favorably heard my petition, appear after the words, abiding under, I had
abided under the Supreme Authority, by no means does the Psalmist suggest that he was left
to flounder for awhile, until he received indication that he was being heard or that being heard by
the Lord was dependent upon his display of enduring expectation. This is not an expression of one
event following another in succession and sequence, but an expression of concurrent and simul-
taneous action. Such an expression is indicative of an intense and persevering expectancy during
a severe trial in which Jehovah was held (the mind) towards (Hebrew - nâtâh) David and was
hearing his impassioned petition. Both the expectancy and the hearing are occurring at the same
time, with the expectancy being a comfort while the beleaguered believer is being heard and with
the expectancy dependent upon being heard for its quality of mounting endurance. David had
reached a point in his trial wherein he began to rest in the Lord (Psalm 37:7) and cease from all
anxiety and resistance, enduring the horror and peril with a confident reliance upon the One whom
he fully expected would rescue him. Much is made elsewhere in the Psalms about this enduring
expectation (“abided, abiding under”), the casting aside of impatience and anxiety in preference
and applause for Jehovah’s timing and wise purposes.



                                                                                                   27
                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

In one particular Psalm, David asseverates emphatically, Abide under the Supreme Authority,
in manliness, and He will be invigorating your heart; yes, abide under the Supreme Author-
ity! (Hupomeinon ton Kurion, andrizou, kai krataiousthÇ h‘ kardia sou, kai hupomeinon ton Kurion
- Psalm 27:14). Such abiding under (such enduring expectation) does not signify the stretching
of faith to its limit, but imports the fact that a superior state of faith has been perfected; enabling
the believer to enjoy the sweetest and most intimate fellowship with the Father under the worst of
circumstances. With respect to a believer’s trial, the prophet Jeremiah therefore wrote, (It is) bene-
ficial both (that) he abides under and keeps still into the deliverance of Supreme Authority
(agathon, kai hupomenei, kai h‘suchasei eis to sÇt‘rion Kuriou - Lam 3:26).

The words, He held (the mind) towards, are translated literally from the verb, prosechÇ , a com-
pound of pros (“towards”) and echÇ (“to hold”). With “the mind” being implied, the word conveys
the meaning of both “applying the mind” and “paying careful consideration” (Matt 10:15, Luke
12:1, I Tim 3:8, Heb 7:13 & II Pet 1:19). Certainly, the fact of Jehovah being drawn towards
(holding the mind towards) a believer implies the truth of Him coming forth vehemently to aid
(being a very present help) during the afflictions and oppressive pressures of trial (Psalm 46:1),
of the Hand of grace which is directly extended (Matt 14:31), but a much larger sense is here being
conveyed. Were it not for Jehovah holding the mind towards a believer, the believer would be
powerless to experience an enduring expectation; the quiet and dauntless waiting which is hall-
mark to a matured believer undergoing tests by adversity. Holding the mind towards the believer,
marking him with favor to refine him, the Father orchestrates every detail of the trial. Holding the
mind towards the believer, insuring that he is borne with the possession of intrepid courage, the
Father fills him with an enduring expectation. Holding the mind towards the believer, assuring him
that He is aware of every pang of torment and every yearning thought for deliverance, the Father
hears the cry of the one so marked with favor.

With the phrase, He... favorably heard my petition, much more is meant than the ultimate sense
alone of answered prayer. The petition itself is not an audible expression of exasperation and pain
made at wits’ end, a single plea of urgency and desperation before the onset of despondency, but
the continuous yearning and the many burdening concerns within the heart of a believer during the
entire trial. The duration of the petition may therefore be days, months or years, dependent upon
the length and nature of the trial. As certain that every tear of the believer is precious to Jehovah
(Psalm 56:8 & Luke 7:44), He continuously pays utmost attention to every detail of the petition;
not only with pity, empathy and compassion, but also with resolve to soothe and with determina-
tion to deliver according to His wisdom and timing. The word, heard, itself means much more
than perception by the ear, an awareness of stimuli upon the auditory senses: It conveys here and
elsewhere in Scripture, a responsive action, an incitation of power. The power of God is incited
indeed, by the petition of a suffering believer.

                            He brought me up also out of a horrible
                            pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet
                             upon a rock, and established my steps.
                                         Psalm 40:2 - KJV
                             And He led me out of a pit of wretched-
                            ness, and from miry clay, and had estab-
                            lished my feet upon a rock, and directed
                                            my steps.
                           Kai an‘ gage me ek lakkou talaipÇ rias apo p‘ lou
                           iluos, kai est‘ sen epi petran pod as m ou, kai kat-
                                       euthune ta dia b‘ mata mou.
                                         Psalm 40:2 - LXX



28
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Ere addressing the deliverance of a believer, attention must be given to the fact that an enduring
expectation (abiding under) was experienced by David while he was in the frightening circum-
stances represented by both a pit of wretchedness and the miry clay. Waiting does not cause the
pit to be less noisy and violent or the associated clay to be less treacherous and destabilizing: I had
been stuck into mire of depth, and there is no support. I came into the profundity of the sea,
and a storm plunged me down. Having fatigued of calling loud, my throat had become
hoarse; my eyes are smeared-out from my expectation upon my Supreme Deity (Enepag‘n eis
ilun buthou, kai ouk estin hupostasis.  lthon eis ta bath‘ t‘s thalass‘s, kai kataigis katepontise me.
Ekopisasa krazÇn, ebragchiasen ho larugx mou, exelipon hoi ophthalmoi mou apo tou elpizein me
epi ton Theon mou - Psalm 69:2-3). David was not confined in a literal hole nor did his feet sink
in actual gurgling muck (Psalm 69:14): His description is figurative, not only of his own personal
trial, but also of the trials of all true believers. They are caused to suffer, while they are made to
wait (forced to exhibit an enduring expectation).

By, pit of wretchedness, David produces the imagery of an uproarious and destructive pit hole
(Hebrew - shâ ôwn bôwr); a situation of confinement which is not only filled with constant noise
and commotion, but also rife with ruining and killing. By, miry clay, he produces the imagery of
effervescing sticky mud (Hebrew - yâven tîyt). Although an uproarious and destructive pit hole
is representative of either a cistern, dungeon or prison, the imagery is meant also to portray the
restrictive, isolating and apparently dangerous elements of severe trials. The effervescing (gurgling
and hissing) sticky mud is meant to portray calamitous and exasperating circumstances within the
destructive pit hole, a constant undermining of stability and persistent threat of violent confronta-
tion. In such an environment, the believer is compelled to abandon any hope for a human or natural
means of escape. The believer is thus quite literally stuck in an ongoing hellish environment which
is self-perpetuating, existing before his arrival and persisting after his departure. In the midst of
noisy commotion and violent outbreaks, the believer is constrained to relinquish all dependence
upon the arm of the flesh and he commences instead to learn the stabilizing discipline of an endur-
ing expectation (of abiding under). The circumstances are continuously threatening, against which
only communion with the Father supplies comfort and assurance. Since very few believers are ever
thrust by Jehovah into an actual arena of such horror, the Spirit brings it to your consideration; for
you to compare your particular circumstances of adversity and receive consolation accordingly.
Since you do not wish for your faith to be so sorely tried, for the sin of your remaining corruption
to be so severely punished, you are filled with gratitude that the Father has not given you so great
a test in order to refine and purify you. The encouragement intended by David, with his testimony
of endurance under the worst of circumstances, therewith emboldens you to endure under your
circumstances. In varying degrees, every aspect of your trial is perfectly described by every aspect
of the trial which was endured by David (and there is good reason for the writer of this work to
know so much about it).
By the words, He led me out, David refers to the supernatural process whereby Jehovah alone had
caused him to ascend (Hebrew - âlâh) out of the environment and away from the circumstances.
The allusion made to Supreme Deity resurrecting Himself and achieving His exodus from the nat-
ural realm is not incidental, but is deliberate. The fact that He caused Himself to ascend out of His
own ordeal on Earth is demonstrative proof of His intention to assuredly cause you to ascend out
of yours. In David’s case, whether the deliverance was gradual or instantaneous, it was clearly
outside his own ability and owing strictly to the Spirit’s mysterious operations, else he would not
have testified, He led me out. At the signal time of Jehovah’s appointing, a believer is carried by
Him out of the pit of wretchedness of severe trial and he discovers that his feet are no longer sunk
in the effervescing sticky mud of calamity and danger, but are placed upon stability and certainty
(represented here by a rock).



                                                                                                    29
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

As Jehovah alone carries the believer out of trial and places his feet (his comings and goings) in
stable and propitious circumstances, He alone causes the believer’s steps (his thoughts and deeds)
to be firm (Hebrew - kûwn), no longer subject to the undermining of treachery and threat. Deliver-
ance from trial is in itself a resurrection and the achievement of Jehovah furnishes the believer
with the discovery of yet another aspect of perpetual newness. The spiritual walk (also known as
the process of sanctification) is a series of deaths and resurrections; originating with the bestowal
of belief, continuing with the repeated exercises of belief through trials and culminating with the
believer’s separation from the natural body. Through trial, the believer grows more intimately
acquainted with Jesus and experiences the partnership of His sufferings (t‘n koinÇnian tÇn
path‘matÇn autou): Through deliverance from trial, the believer experiences a measure of the
capability of His resurrection (t‘n dunamin t‘s anastaseÇs autou - Phil 3:10). The believer is
not restored to his former state before the trial, being tried and true, but is brought permanently
to a quality of spiritual existence which is vastly superior to his former state.

                          And He hath put a new song in my mouth,
                          praise to our God: many shall take heed,
                            and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.
                                      Psalm 40:3 - KJV
                             And He placed a fresh song into my
                            mouth; a hymn to our Supreme Deity.
                            Many will see and they will be frighten-
                             ed, and they will confidently expect
                               upon (the) Supreme Authority.
                            Kai enebalen eis to stom a m ou a sthm a kainon ,
                            humnon tÇ TheÇ h‘ mÇ n. Opsontai pollo i kai
                               phob‘ b‘ sontai, kai elpiousin epi Kurion.
                                         Psalm 40:3 - LXX
The figurative fresh song which is placed in the believer’s mouth after trial is defined here by
David as a fresh expression of a hymn to our Supreme Deity. It is certain that, after each trial and
upon every momentous experience with Jehovah, David was inspired to write a new Psalm, but
the words here neither signify his usual practice nor do they serve to instruct believers to compose
hymns after each trial. A fresh song is a spiritual melody of gratitude and contentment which is
manifested in a believer’s words and deeds, a joyous harmony of the believer’s heart with the
essence and will of the Father. Many who will see such melody as the language and comportment
of a tried and true believer are caused by the Spirit to be humbled with reverential awe and to
depend upon the Deliverer, Jesus Christ. Notice, that the fresh song does not originate in the
believer, but from the Author of all beneficial acts of giving and every complete bestowment
(pasa dosis agath‘ kai pan dor‘ma teleion - Jas 1:17). Only He can place such spiritual melody
in the mouth of a believer and, as certain that irrevocable are the gratuities and the calling of
the Supreme Deity (ametamel‘ta gar ta charismata kai h‘ kl‘sis tou Theou - Rom 11:29), the
fresh song remains fresh and cannot fade or diminish with time. It is an eternal work of grace,
wrought in the heart of a believer through the agony of trial (by means of the furnace of affliction)
and placed in the mouth at deliverance. Perpetually fresh and never losing its original vitality, the
fresh song of a hymn to our Supreme Deity, of words and deeds which exemplify approbation
and commendations of Jehovah’s holiness, is employed by the Spirit to instill reverence in others,
causing many of the chosen who are yet in unbelief to trust Jesus and causing many of the chosen
who have been given belief to deepen their persuasion. Only through the refinement and purifica-
tion wrought by Jehovah in trial, can the fresh song be sung and be so efficacious. The most
effective agents of expansion and comfort in the spiritual Kingdom on Earth, therefore, are those
who have been most often and most sorely tried. The seed of every fresh song germinates in the
fertile ground of an enduring expectation (an abiding under).

30
                       THE EXAMPLE OF JOB
                                              (Jas 5:11)

                        Behold! we esteem blessed the (ones) having
                         persevered. You heard the endurance of
                         Job, and you perceive the completion of
                      Supreme Authority, that the Supreme Authority
                          is moved with much mercy and pitying.
                          Idou, ma karizom en tous h upomenontas. T‘ n hupo-
                           mon‘ n IÇ b ‘ kousate, kai to telos Kuriou eidete,
                           hoti polusplagchos estin ho Kurios kai oiktirmÇ n.
                                              Jas 5:11
Against the sin of murmuring when they are tasked with undergoing trial (verse 9), James had
mentioned the prophets (tous proph‘tas), as an example (hupodeigma) of suffering hardship over
a period of time without complaint (kakopatheisas... kai t‘s makrothumias - verse 10). In that
context, the half-brother of Jesus begins this passage with, Behold! (Idou), an exclamation of sur-
prise; calling attention to a matter that common believers would consider to be extraordinary and
fascinating: The very high honor, which is to be realized by the least and lowliest of all believers
who endure trial without murmuring, of being elevated in Jehovah’s esteem to the same lofty and
exalted realm as the prophets! Presented together with the Old Testament prophets here, as hav-
ing been beatified, are all believers who endure trial without grumbling.
Such believers, having been promoted in Jehovah’s sense of value and in His regard for faithful-
ness to His wisdom, are not only accorded the promise of ultimate happiness and bliss (beatific-
ation) when they are seized from the natural realm, but are also given the assurance of a generous
measure of compensation during their remaining life in the flesh. While it is certainly sufficient
that tried and true believers, as those who share with the sufferings of the Christ, will assuredly
in cheerfulness be (ones) jumping much for joy in the disclosure of His glory (koinÇneite tois
tou Christou path‘mai... en t‘ apokalupsei t‘s dox‘s autou char‘te agalliÇmenoi - I Pet 4:13), this
particular promise includes provisional consolation and relief in the present life. This is nothing
less than an enhancing elucidation of the principle taught by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount,
concerning a believer’s priority of concerns: Indeed search firstly for the kingdom of the Sup-
reme Deity and His justice, and every one of these (what you shall eat, what you shall drink and
your ability to clothe yourself) will be placed before you (Z‘teite de prÇton t‘n basileian tou
Theou kai t‘n dikaiosun‘n autou, kai tauta panta prosteth‘setai humin - Matt 6:31-33 & Luke
12:29-31).
Since the principle is true in the case of believers when they are enjoying seasons of relative ease,
it is heightened dramatically in the case of believers who suffer grievous loss during severe trial.
The chief concern of Jehovah for the believer, to administer spiritual life in mounting abundance,
does not negate His allowance for earthly necessities and comforts. He first achieves a proper per-
spective within the heart and mind of a believer, however, concerning the primary issues of spirit-
ual life and the secondary matters of earthly cares. Such perspective is best realized in a believer
who has been tried severely. The richness of the subsequent temporal reward is proportionate to
the quality of the perspective having been realized. This particular “double beatification” (the
promises of happiness and bliss, not only in eternity, but also in the present life), is extended
exclusively to the ones having persevered. Recall that the definition of endurance (hupomon‘ )
is “to stay under” and “to abide beneath” (see Endurance - page 15). A synonymous word, used
here by James, is hupomenontas (“having remained under”). To remain under (to persevere) is
to endure the severest hardship, without complaint and without calling the wisdom of Jehovah into
question.


                                                                                                  31
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Endurance is the decisive pearl of every trial, the precious gold which is refined in the furnace of
affliction, the sweet gentleness that results from an extended stay in the house of sorrow: For you
hold endurance a requirement, in order that having done the determination of the Supreme
Deity you would obtain the promise (Hupomon‘s gar echete chreian, hina to thel‘ma tou Theou
poi‘santes komis‘sthe t‘n epaggelian - Heb 10:36). The meaning which is addressed in this pas-
sage by James cannot be anything short of the truth, that Supreme Authority (is) beneficial to
the (ones) abiding under Him (Agathos Kurios tois hupomenousin auton - Lam 3:25); yea, bount-
iful and kindly (Hebrew - tôwb) to those who experience enduring expectation (who abide under)
in the testing by adversity. The phrase, You heard the endurance of Job, calls to the readers’
minds all that they had been taught concerning the extent to which Job had abided beneath a
particularly severe trial. Despite the loss of his children, his house, his livelihood and his health,
he did not accuse Jehovah of wrongdoing (Job 1:22). Marauding Sabeans had stolen his oxen and
asses, while slaying many of his slaves with the edge of the sword (Job 1:15). Fire had destroyed
his sheep and more of his slaves (Job 1:16). Three bands of raiding Chaldeans had robbed him of
his camels and killed the remainder of his slaves (Job 1:17). A raging tempest had caused the col-
lapse of his eldest son’s house, killing all seven of his sons and his three daughters (Job 1:19).
Finally, Job was violently hit... with harmful ulcers from (the) feet until the head (epaise...
helkei pon‘rÇ apo podÇn heÇs kephal‘s (Job 2:7). Indeed, having neither shelter nor the where-
withal to sustain himself, his loss of everyone and everything belonging to him was crowned with
a hideous and painful disease that infected every part of his body. Underscored by the permanent
removal of his sons and daughters, he was left with absolutely no indication that any part of his
wealth could ever be recuperated or that the miserable disease would ever be lessened.
Job’s losses did not occur all at once, but took place in sequence; a series of devastating blows,
an extended trial that grew worse with each day, designed to obliterate all confidence and to snuff
any flickering flame of hope. Why would Jehovah allow such excruciating horror to befall such
an exemplary man as Job? If the reason had been no more than a simple contest with Satan, it
would then be an unconscionably sick game being played by a cruel tyrant in his idleness. Jeho-
vah’s assessment of Job, as truthful, blameless, just, reverent of Supreme Deity, having been
hold-off from every harmful matter (al‘thinos, amemptos, dikaios, theoseb‘s, apechomenos apo
pantos pon‘rou pragmatos - Job 1:1, 8 & 2:3), reveals the general complexion of Job’s character,
as seen in the eyes of others. He was regarded by men as one who loved the Supreme Deity and
both his fair dealings and avoidance of mischief unequivocally attested to that fact. Jehovah had
much more in mind, however, than simply showing Satan that Job’s love and devotion to Him
would not change with a dramatic reversal of circumstances, that Job’s will to be just and honor-
able would not be affected by the loss of everyone and everything.
The depth and resistant nature of sin in the flesh is such that severe measures must be taken for
either its suppression or its outright extrication. In Job’s knowledge of himself and awareness of
his reputation, he had meticulously nurtured several defiling qualities of pride which were offen-
sive and intolerable to the One who held him in otherwise highest esteem. Job was not only self-
righteous (Job 32:1-2), but the sins stemming from the exalted opinion that he held of himself had
rendered him with hostile neglect for the value of suffering (Job 35:10). Since the challenge to
Satan is given notice only in the first two chapters of the book of Job and the sins of Job are
brought to light in the 39 chapters that follow (chapters 3-41); the primary purpose of Job’s trial
is deduced to be one of refinement and purification. The contest with Satan was, but a conse-
quence. The severity was proportionate to the force required in extricating the sins of Job’s pride.
The final chapter (chapter 42) is devoted to Job’s repentance and the wonderful conclusion of his
trial (the completion of Supreme Authority).




32
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

With the phrase, you perceive the completion of Supreme Authority, James elicits the dis-
cerning observation of his readers to the gracious manner in which Jehovah had infallibly applied
perfect knowledge in bringing the trial to its conclusion. With regard to revelations concerning the
trials themselves, the Spirit refers to the Godhead as neither Supreme Deity (“God”) nor All-ruling
Sovereign (“Almighty”), but Supreme Authority (“Lord”). With respect to the allowance for
individual trials, to the supervision of every detail of all trials and to the deliverance of believers
from all trials, the prominent function is neither one of omnipresence (Theos - Supreme Deity) nor
one of omnipotence (Pantokrator - All-ruling Sovereign), but one of omniscience (Kurios - Sup-
reme Authority). Since it is His impeccable application of perfect knowledge (His wisdom) that
places a believer into trial and superimposes upon every element within the trial, it is His vindic-
ated wisdom (the action of His attribute of omniscience) that dictates the time and manner in
which a believer departs from trial (see Ruler & Supreme Authority - page 6). In this context,
therefore, James accurately identifies Him as Supreme Authority. In fact, the description of Sup-
reme Authority is how Elihu introduced Him in the angry rebuttal to what was said by Job, Eli-
phaz, Bildad and Zophar (Job 32:1-37:24) and the Supreme Authority is how the preincarnate
Christ had conducted Himself in the issuance of eighty-seven questions for which Job had insuf-
ficient knowledge to answer (Job 38:1-40:9). The action of His omniscience (His conduct in the
role of Supreme Authority), however, does not impact upon a believer without a lavish display of
compassion and pity at the conclusion of a trial.
Since the Supreme Authority gave two-fold; whatever was from the front of Job into two-
fold more (EdÇke de ho Kurios dipla, hosa ‘n emprosthen IÇb eis diplasiasmon - Job 42:10), a
tried believer needs only to compare his own misery with the extent of Job’s suffering. Although
an enduring believer who has suffered loss ought not to expect that the amount of possessions and
wealth which was lost will afterward be doubled, the promise is clear that a generous measure of
compensation will be provided, according to the riches of God’s grace and commensurate to the
believer’s loss and faithfulness. If endurance has been perfected in your spirit and if you sincerely
applaud all that the Father has done in His wisdom through trial, your expectations will assuredly
be exceeded. Referring to Jehovah’s bountiful treatment of Job, in the restoration and doubling
of all that he had, James assures all believers in the succeeding centuries that the Supreme Author-
ity is moved with much mercy and pitying toward the ones who endure trial without complaint.
With the example of Job, a suffering believer is thus given incentive, additional to being ranked
with the prophets, to quietly wait for his deliverance (Lam 3:26).


                  THE FRUIT OF ENDURANCE
                                             (Rom 5:3-5)

                            Indeed not merely (that), but we should
                            also be vaunting in the oppressive pres-
                            sures, having perceived that the oppres-
                            sive pressure fully achieves endurance;
                             Ou monon de, alla kai kauchÇ metha en tois
                            thlipsesin, eidotes hoti h‘ thlipsis hupomon‘ n
                                              katergazeta i,
                                              Rom 5:3
The phrase, Indeed not merely, has reference to the preceding verse, expressing the believer’s
possession of justification and assurance, as being ground to be vaunting in the oppressive pres-
sures. The believer’s reality thus does not end with being established and rejoicing in the confident
expectation of the glory of the Supreme Deity, having been justified and given consequent access
to the Father by faith through Jesus Christ (verses 1 & 2). The believer’s reality extends to the odd

                                                                                                    33
                                         SONGS IN THE NIGHT

and unearthly ability to be vaunting in the oppressive pressures. In the mysterious ability to vaunt
while suffering the wearying struggles and agonizing afflictions that are brought to bear by oppres-
sive pressures, one fact of the believer’s reality thus affirms the truth of the other; the joyous
boasting infallibly authenticates the work of justification and assurance within the believer. Nay,
the ability to vaunt in weariness and agony is proof of having been justified by the blood of the
Christ and having been conferred with the consequent assurance of salvation.
The boasting to which the Apostle refers here and elsewhere in his epistles is calculated to express
the opposite of eliciting sympathy. Instead of bemoaning grievous circumstances which are allow-
ed by Supreme Deity to try the faith and to build endurance, the mature believer will exhibit the
opposite of what is naturally expected: He will exhibit good cheer in the face of a tragedy. He will
be supernaturally encouraged by the most demoralizing of circumstances and he shall boast, rather
than whimper. Such joyous boasting, the authentication of justification and assurance, cheerfully
anticipates the fact that the oppressive pressure fully achieves endurance. Accordingly, James
advises, Reckon all in cheerfulness, my brothers, whenever you would fall surrounded in var-
ious testings (Pasan charan h‘g‘sasthe, adelphoi mou, hotan peirasmois peripes‘te poikilois - Jas
1:2) and Peter exhorts, according as you share with the sufferings of the Christ, be cheerful
(alla katho koinÇneite tois tou Christou path‘mai, chairete - I Pet 4:13).
The believer who cheerfully suffers and would be vaunting in oppressive pressures finds himself
in the company of those for whom Jesus regards with greatest of favor and keenest of watchcare,
Himself dwelling richly in each one of them. Treatment of such believers by others who profess
to share in the same faith is observed by the heart of Christ as the decisive factor of whether they
are truly among the sheep or actually numbered with the goats. Those who suffer in oppressive
pressures are exemplified by Jesus as believers who are caused to be destitute; without ample food
and drink; homeless; without friends or clothing; incapacitated from injury or shut-in by illness;
confined and languishing in a jail or prison (Matt 25:35-36). They are caused to suffer in at least
one of those conditions at least once during their walk with Jesus in this life (some suffer in many
of those conditions throughout their entire lives). Mysteriously, the most cheerful and content
among such suffering believers are those who are the most deprived and most despised: They
understand the truth that, without the essential experience of oppressive pressure, there can be no
prerequisite development of endurance and that cheerfulness and contentment are manifestations
of endurance wrought in the furnace of affliction. Indeed, oppressive pressure fully achieves
endurance.

                                        Oppressive pressure
The word from which “oppressive pressure” is translated (thlipsis) has been mistranslated in many English
versions, as tribulation (oppressive circumstances re sulting from persecution). The word, thlipsis, itself is
derived from the process of crushing and squeezing grapes or olives, for the extraction of juice: It conveys
the meaning of “great emotional weight and mental pressure caused by anguish and trouble”and is used by
Jesus and the Ap ostles to describe the burd en of d istress and constraint in the wrenching and constricting
circumstances of anguish and trouble. It is used synonymously in New Testament Scripture with trial (peiras-
mos - I Cor 10:13 & Jas 1:2) and proof (dokimion - Jas 1:3 & I John 4:1), either as a consequence of trial or
as an emblem of trial itself. As when the rose is crushed and its essence is thereby released, the true believer
is a virtual treasure chest of affection and praise for Supreme Deity which cannot be opene d; a storehou se
of songs which cann ot be sung, without the crushing of oppressive pressure.


The words, fully achieves (katergazetai), also rendered, thoroughly works, are translated from
the second person singular present tense expression of the verb, katergazomai, a compound of kata
(an intensive) and ergazomai (“to toil”); conveying the idea of carrying out a task until finished
(Rom 4:15, I Cor 5:3, II Cor 4:17, Eph 6:13, Phil 2:12, I Pet 4:3). The expression is used by James

34
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

in describing the refined product of trial; the equipping to completion of endurance: having
known that the proving of your persuasion fully achieves endurance (ginÇskontes hoti to doki-
mion humÇn t‘s pisteÇs katergazetai hupomon‘n - Jas 1:3). According to grammatical idiom which
is not exclusive to the Greek language, the verb itself (fully achieves) is omitted, being implied
in the verse following; where it is integral to a golden chain of spiritual advancement which origin-
ates in oppressive pressure. Endurance is the first and essential product to be thoroughly accomp-
lished by oppressive pressure, without which the other two are rendered incomplete or aborted.
The word, endurance, is used in New Testament Scripture to describe the stamina which is
wrought in the believer through the testing of persuasion (trial), to describe a believer’s persev-
erance, without murmuring and without exhibiting any form of dejection, under the crushing pres-
sure of adversity (see Endurance - page 15). Endurance is the prized pearl which is developed and
nurtured in trials of faith, the gem of greatest value in a believer’s spiritual development, enabling
him to partake in the sufferings of the Christ and to enjoy full fellowship with the Father.
                            indeed the endurance proof; indeed the
                                 proof confident expectation;
                           h‘ de hupomon‘ dokim‘ n, h‘ de dokim‘ elpida,
                                              Rom 5:4
Originating with oppressive pressure (preceding verse), the Apostle Paul here describes a golden
chain of products. The verb, katergazetai (fully achieves), is implied between the words, endur-
ance proof, and between the words, proof confident: indeed the endurance fully achieves proof,
indeed proof fully achieves confident expectation. The word, proof (dokim‘ ) is used in indicating
character which is tried and true, integrity that has been exercised and proven. While the Apostle
Peter describes such a quality as rendering the believer to be set-fast and invigorated (I Pet 5:10),
James describes the perfecting work of endurance as rendering the believer to be complete and
entire (Jas 1:3). He who is tried and true, set-fast and invigorated, complete and entire, is the be-
liever in whom the priceless quality of endurance has been wrought and perfected. Indeed, the
endurance fully achieves proof. The words, confident expectation (elpida), are far removed
from the definition of the modern English word (hope), which is used in many English translations
and is largely understood to convey uncertainty and lack of absolute assurance. Since a faith which
lacks confident expectation (having only “hope”) is a faith which is neither tried nor true, con-
fident expectation is fully achieved in character which is tried and true (in proof). Since nothing
is more crucial to the believer than irrefutable proof and irrevocable assurance that he is saved,
endurance ought accordingly to be regarded and sought as the vital product that it is; leading to
proof, which in turn leads to confident expectation. As endurance serves to fully develop and re-
fine proof, proof itself serves to fully develop and refine confident expectation (bold and unshak-
able assurance). Indeed, the proof fully achieves confident expectation.

                           indeed the confident expectation shames
                          not down, because the love of the Supreme
                          Deity is poured forth in our hearts through
                             the Holy Spirit, the (One) given to us.
                           h‘ de elpis ou kataischunei, hoti h‘ agap‘ tou
                          Theou ekkechutai en tais kardiais h‘ mÇ n dia Pneu-
                                 matos Hagiou tou doth entos h‘ min.
                                              Rom 5:5
The crowning product of the golden chain of spiritual advancement, confident expectation, is des-
cribed by the Apostle Paul as a finishing quality, serving to perpetually set-fast and invigorate a
tried and true believer (I Pet 5:10). According to James, those who are complete and entire (tried
and true) are those being (ones) left behind in not a single thing (en m‘deni leipomenoi. - Jas
1:4). Confident expectation (the state in which there is not a single thing... left behind, not

                                                                                                   35
                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

anything remaining to impede continuous and joyful fellowship with the Father) is therefore the
goal of sanctification and crown of holiness. The words, shames... down (kataischunei), are trans-
lated literally from the present tense conjugation of the verb, kataischunÇ , a compound formed by
kata (“down”) and aischunÇ (“to shame”); conveying the idea of confounding and dishonoring
(Luke 13:17, Rom 9:33, I Cor 1:22, II Cor 7:14, I Pet 2:6 & II Pet 3:16). By the phrase, confident
expectation shames not down, the Apostle therewith assures the believer that his confident
expectation, obtained by the thorough accomplishment of proof, cannot be confounded or dishon-
ored by a holy, immutable and absolutely dependable God.
Since the Holy Spirit is described by Jesus as living water (John 4:10), it is appropriate that Paul
should refer to the Spirit as the One through whom the love of the Supreme Deity is poured
forth in our hearts. Within a true believer, the Holy Spirit is indeed a water fount leaping into
perpetual living (p‘g‘ hudatos hallomenou eis zǑn aiÇnion - John 4:14). Out of the heart of a
believer bursts currents of living water (potamoi ek t‘s koilias autou rheussusin hudatos zÇntos -
John 7:38). The Holy Spirit is represented by Paul here, not only as the ability of the Supreme
Deity to apply love Himself and to the chosen, but also as the cause of a believer’s love for Him.
It must be noted, that love for Jehovah does not originate within the believer, but is poured forth
in the heart of a believer through the Holy Spirit: Indeed, we love Him, because He has firstly
loved us (H‘meis agapÇmen auton, hoti autos prÇtos ‘gap‘sen h‘mas - I John 4:19). The entire
final phrase, beginning with the word, because (meaning, “since”), serves to explain the believer’s
ability to endure trials of oppressive pressure. Were it not for the love and paying of homage to
Supreme Deity poured forth in the heart of a believer through the giving of the Holy Spirit, endur-
ance would be impossible and the consequent benefits of proof and confident expectation would
be necessarily withheld. It is by means of the Holy Spirit that Jehovah (the Supreme Deity) applies
all the redemptive work of Jesus; calling the chosen forth, giving each of them saving repentance
and belief, exercising and testing their faith, giving them endurance and perfect-ing their holiness
(completing their sanctification).
In addition to tried and true character and confident expectation, the fruit of endurance includes
serenity and contentment (Phil 4:11-12), empathic ability to comfort (II Cor 1:4) and genuine piety
(II Pet 1:6). In the Old Testament, the terms used in describing endurance itself include “waiting”
(abiding under) and “strength” (vigor). The Old Testament terms for the fruit of endurance (the
product of “waiting” and exercising “strength”) include “fresh songs” and “songs in the night”.
As the virtual pearl of faith, the thread of endurance is thus woven throughout the entire Bible and
is most clearly seen and best understood in the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ. All believers
ought therefore to reckon all in cheerfulness... whenever you would fall surrounded in various
testings and to be cheerful; to the extent that you share with the sufferings of the Christ.


                     PROOF OF GOD’S LOVE
                                              (Heb 12:5-11)

                            And you would be utterly oblivious of
                          the calling by the side, which same is thor-
                          oughly laid forth to you in the manner of
                          sons, “My son, disesteem not the discipline
                         of Supreme Authority. Having been admon-
                             ished, indeed relax not under Him.”
                        Kai eklel‘ sthe t‘ s para kl‘ seÇ s, h‘ tis humin hÇ s huiois
                         dialegetai, Huie mou, m‘ oligÇ rei paideias Kuriou,
                               m‘ de ekluou hup’ autou elegchomenos.
                                                Heb 12:5


36
                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Having extolled the endurance featured in the trials of faith of those who were prominent in the
history of Israel (11:1-59) and having cited Jesus as the ultimate example of faith’s endurance
(12:1-4), Apollos here gently rebukes his Hebrew readers for losing sight of the fact that Supreme
Authority administers loving punishment and discipline to His people; saying that his readers were
behaving as if a well-known Proverb had been hidden from them. They did not passively and un-
intentionally lose the memory of the Proverb (as the KJV indicates), but deliberately concealed
it from their consideration; suppressed it from their minds, as if it contained a threat to their well
being. The flesh thus reacts to anything which causes initial discomfort, regardless of long-term
benefits. The words, calling by the side, are translated from parakl‘seÇs, which conveys far more
meaning than a mere exhortation. Whereas an exhortation is nothing more than an attempt to incite
or to strongly urge, calling by the side has the warm import of a friend bringing you into his arms
for consolation or of a parent placing the child upon the lap for encouragement and comfort. While
parakl‘seÇs is a verb conveying such beneficent intimacy, Parakl‘tos is a title reserved for Jesus
Christ (I John 2:1) and the Holy Spirit (John 14:16 & 15:26). The title is the ultimate expression
of the verb; One who calls by the side for the purpose of intimate consolation and encouragement.
By placing the uncomplaining endurance of punishment and discipline in the same context as
trials, Apollos thus eliminates any difference between Supreme Authority’s punishment of provok-
ingly errant believers and the trials given to the most obedient believers. With regard to believers,
to the extent that He punishes, He displays the depth of His love and favor. It is neither wrong for
those who are undergoing trial to say that they are being disciplined nor wrong for the ones being
punished to say that they are undergoing trial, since both punishment and trial are loving expres-
sions of Jehovah’s determination to make each of His people holy. As opposed to his readers
having looked upon punishment and discipline as strictly an unpleasant experience, having little
value beyond a display of Jehovah’s anger, Apollos quotes from Proverbs 3:11, in his encourage-
ment of the Hebrew readers, in the manner of sons, to whom the Proverb is laid forth directly.
Since trial (testing by adversity) is essentially a process of discipline, both punishment of Jeho-
vah’s people and trials of their faith are identical; having the same cleansing ingredients and ren-
dering the same refining outcome. Although the deportment of Job was not particularly provoking
to Jehovah, the trial was nevertheless a punishing process of discipline; serving to cleanse him of
the offensive impurity of self-righteousness and resulting in the reconciling action of repentance.
Believers therefore are to look upon the disciplinary correction of Supreme Authority, not with
disesteem, but with highest esteem; being aware that they are therewith singled-out and drawn by
Him into intense fellowship. With regard to revelations concerning the trials of believers, the Spirit
refers here to the Godhead as neither Supreme Deity (“God”) nor as All-ruling Sovereign (“Al-
mighty”), but as Supreme Authority (“Lord”). With respect to the allowance for individual trials,
to the supervision of every detail of all trials and to the deliverance of believers from all trials, the
prominent function is neither omnipresence (Theos - Supreme Deity) nor omnipotence (Panto-
kratÇr - All-ruling Sovereign), but omniscience (Kurios - Supreme Authority). Since it is His
impeccable application of perfect knowledge (His wisdom and prudence) that places a believer
into trial and superimposes upon every element within the trial, He is thus recognized here as Sup-
reme Authority (see Ruler & Supreme Authority - page 7). As the wisdom of a loving parent
prompts the calling by the side of the child, the wisdom of Supreme Authority thus calls each
believer by the side for encouragement concerning the discipline administered in the trial of faith.

                             For whom Supreme Authority loves, He
                             trains; indeed He flogs every son whom
                                      He receives by the side.
                              Hon gar agapa Kurios paid euei, mastigoi de
                                    panta huion hon paradechetai.
                                               Heb 12:6

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                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

The words, He trains (paideuei), are translated literally from the first person singular present tense
expression of the verb, paideuÇ (“to train”), containing the word, child (paidion); which conveys
the idea of educating and disciplining a child (Acts 7:22, I Cor 11:32, II Cor 6:9, I Tim 1:20, II
Tim 2:25, Titus 2:12, Rev 3:19). With the words, indeed He flogs, severity is added here to a
quote from Proverbs 3:12. Since the occasion of the condemnation is to be commencing from
the house of the Supreme Deity (ho kairos tou arxasthai to krima apo tou oikou to Theou - I Pet
4:17), it is appropriate that His loving discipline should be exercised upon each of the chosen. For
Jehovah to neglect the discipline of each of His people would be for Him to set aside His essence
and to cheapen the redemption and atonement wrought by Jesus Christ. Each of His people must
gain an undiminishing appreciation for His absolute intolerance for sin and for His necessity to
remain faithful to His own nature, in the punishment of all sin. The parental love of Jehovah for
each believer therefore necessitates training (paideuÇn), a process of discipline, here buttressed
by the harsh imagery of beating with a rod or whip (mastigoÇn). The believers who are susceptible
and liable for the most palpable and tangible exercises of such holy love are those who are the
most recalcitrant and spiritually drowsy of the Laodicean epoch (the final years of the age), to
whom Jesus reminds, As many as in the case that I am fond of, I admonish and I train (EgÇ
hosous ean philÇ elegchÇ kai paideuÇ - Rev 3:19). To be without Supreme Authority’s reproof
and punishment in some measure, is to be affiliated with those for whom the debt of sin was not
paid by Jesus. The phrase, receives by the side, is translated from paradechetai, which corres-
ponds to the Hebrew râtsâh, carrying the meaning, “to be pleased with” (with respect to satisfied
debt). The word itself, paradechetai, is derived from a compound of para (“by the side”) and dech-
omai (“to receive with delight”). Since the process of sanctification is continuous, such discipline
is neither an introductory rite of initiation nor a single event reserved for only a few, but is repeat-
ed in the various trials experienced by all true believers. Since there is never a time in which a
believer is not reckoned to be by the side of Supreme Authority and receiving the benefits of His
wisdom, there is never an occasion in which he is not subject to His beating with a rod.

                             If you endure discipline, the Supreme
                             Deity bears towards in the manner of
                             sons to you. For who is a son whom a
                                       father trains not?
                               Ei paid eian hupomenete, hÇ s huiois humin
                             prospheretai ho Theos. Tis gar estin huios hon
                                            ou p aideuei pat‘ r;
                                              Heb 12:7
The nature of unregenerate souls is such, as to render them incapable of enduring the discipline
of Supreme Authority: Their detestation of Him and resistance to exposure of their sins is only sol-
idified by the very thought of His discipline (John 3:19 & Rom 8:7). Those who endure the discip-
linary correction of Supreme Authority, however, do so from a new nature which is opposed to the
resistance of their flesh (Rom 7:13-25 & Gal 5:17). To them, the Supreme Deity bears toward in
the manner of sons: He carries beneficent intent towards each of them, as an earthly father would
bring necessary training to his sons for their welfare and advantage. The sternness portrayed stems
from a determination to surmount foolishness and to promote maturity. For the sake of
demonstration, continuing to quote directly from the Septuagint, Apollos asks, For who is a son
whom a father trains not? The rhetorical question is calculated to call to mind the Proverb, He
who spares the staff, detests his son, Indeed the (one) loving, carefully trains (Hos pheidetai
t‘s bakt‘rias, misei ton huion autou. Ho de agapÇn, epimelÇs paideuei - Prov 13:24). In the man-
ner that an earthly parent who truly loves his child will not delay in applying the rod as a means
of correction (Mindlessness attaches to (the) heart (of) a youthful (one); indeed a rod and dis-
cipline (are then) a distance away from him: Anoia ex‘ptai kardias neon, rhabdos de kai paideia
makron ap’ autou - Prov 22:15), the Supreme Deity will assuredly flog His children; driving out

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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

the foolishness of sin and instilling the discipline of holiness, the conciliatory fruit of righteous-
ness (verse 11). In the manner that children thereby yield obedience to their earthly fathers,
understanding their parent’s righteous concern and love for their souls, the children of Supreme
Deity thus respond to His discipline, in the opposite manner of those who are unregenerate. Notice,
that the title has switched from Supreme Authority (preceding verses), which emphasized the
application of perfect knowledge, to Supreme Deity, emphasizing here His ubiquitous presence.
As opposed to an earthly father, who can only be in one place at any time, whose gaze cannot dis-
cover that which has been concealed, the title, Supreme Deity, is used here with reference to His
universal presence, beholding every sin everywhere. Whereas the Supreme Authority (“the Lord”)
relates to His omniscience and the All-ruling Sovereign (“the Almighty”) relates to His omnipot-
ence, the Supreme Deity (“God”) relates to His omnipresence, the antidote of sin’s efforts to
escape detection and condemning examination.

                           Indeed if you are apart from discipline, of
                           which all have come to be partakers, then
                             you are spurious (ones) and not sons.
                           Ei de chÇ ris este pa ideias, h‘ s metochi gegonasi
                                pantes, ara noth oi este kai ou ch huioi.
                                               Heb 12:8
The absence of disciplinary correction in the life of a religious person is neither an affirmation of
obedience nor an indication of Supreme Deity’s favor, The word, all (pantes), having reference
in the context of every son whom He receives by the side (verse 6), signifies that every person
purchased by the blood of Jesus is a partaker of the discipline which is metaphorically represented
by beating with a rod or whip. The word, then (from the inferential particle, ara), can also be
translated, therefore; conveying the idea that the conclusion to a matter is being called for (Matt
18:1, Mark 11:13, Acts 12:18, Rom 8:1, I Cor 7:12, II Cor 5:14, Gal 3:7, Heb 12:8). Those who
are spurious ones (as opposed to those who are actual sons) do not receive discipline on Earth for
the sake of purification: Affliction and misery only serve to harden their hearts and to alienate their
affections from Supreme Deity, to reveal their true colors and to separate them from pretentious
love for Him. One who is spurious is representative here of the religious moralist, exemplified in
Scripture by the Pharisee, who affects piety and masquerades as one who shares in repentance.
Such people are exposed for what they truly are, if not by the bitterness wrought in their hearts
through severe hardship, then by the absence of trial and punishment in their lives. In the effort
to be making your calling and selection stable (bebaian humÇn t‘n kl‘sin kai eklog‘n poiesthai -
II Pet 1:10), it behooves the professing believer to consider whether he is a partaker with all the
actual sons in the refining punishment or is apart from discipline. The believer is therefore exhort-
ed by the Apostle Paul to be one having completed upon sanctification in fright of Supreme
Deity (epitelountes hagiÇsun‘n en phobÇ Theou - II Cor 7:1). The message here is thus one of
strongest encouragement for the beleaguered soul being brought into intimate fellowship with the
Father by means of being beaten with His rod.

                           Moreover, of the (ones) of the flesh, our
                           fathers, truly we held (as) trainers, and
                          we were rendering respect. Will we not be
                          subordinated to a much greater degree to
                             the Patriarch of the spirits, and we
                                           will live?
                          Eita tous men t‘ s sarko s, h‘ mÇ n pateras, eichomen
                            paid eutas , kai enetrepometha. Ou pollÇ mallon
                               hupotag‘ sometha tÇ patri tÇ n pneumatÇ n,
                                               kai z‘ somen;
                                               Heb 12:9

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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Discipline at the hands of the ones of the flesh is contrasted here with discipline exacted by the
Patriarch of the spirits (tÇ patri tÇn pneumatÇn). While training and discipline by human fathers
during childhood yields respect and preparation for adulthood, it does not deliver from the reality
of biological death. On the other hand, the training and discipline administered to the chosen by
Supreme Deity yields both preparation for life after death and proof of eternal life in the present.
While the scope of the former is restricted to the present life in the natural realm, the scope of the
latter extends beyond the present life into the spiritual sphere. For the purpose of believers experi-
entially identifying with Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, He said, I came in order that they
would hold life, and would hold superabundantly (EgÇ ‘lthon hina zǑn echÇsi, kai perisson
echÇsin - John 10:10). Such experiential identification cannot be realized, apart from the training
and punishment received by means of trials. With regard to disciplinary correction (training and
punishment through trials), therefore, the believer is enjoined to a much greater degree to be
subordinated to the Parent of all creation, the One who is the likeness of the Supreme Deity the
invisible (One), Firstborn of all Creation (hos estin eikÇn tou Theou to aoratou, prÇtotokos pas‘s
ktiseÇs - Col 1:15). Although the metaphorical beating with a rod at His hands is far more severe
than a literal beating with an actual rod by human fathers, the superior results are such that
reverent submission ought to be immediate. The believer shall discover the discipline to be more
tolerable, if not shorter, when the resistance of flesh is subjugated.
                            For the (ones) truly trained towards a
                           small day according to their supposition.
                            Indeed the (One) upon the bearing to-
                            gether into the (one) to partake of His
                                            holiness.
                           Hoi men gar pros oliga s h‘ meras kata to dokoun
                           autois epaideuon. Ho de epi to sumpheron, eis to
                                   metalabein t‘ s hagiot‘ tos autou.
                                             Heb 12:10
The word, For, referring to the thought preceding (verse 9), denotes the reason in being subord-
inated to a much greater degree to Supreme Deity than to the level of respect yielded as children
being corrected by earthly fathers. While the fathers trained towards a small day according to
their supposition, the Supreme Deity disciplines upon the matters bearing together into the one
to partake of His holiness. The phrase, towards a small day (pros oligas h‘meras), is a euphem-
ism which describes the limited view and goal of a lifetime in the natural realm. Despite a parent’s
best efforts to insure their children’s health and prosperity when they mature into adulthood, a
mortal born of a female (has) a brief life, and (is) replete of violent abhorrence, or very much
in the manner that a blossom is bloomed, he had fallen out; indeed very much in the manner
of a shadow, he also would not stand (Brotos gar genn‘tos gunaikos, oligobios, kai pl‘r‘s org‘s,
‘ hÇsper anthos anth‘san exepesen, apedra de hÇsper skia kai ou m‘ st‘ - Job 14:1-2). Aside from
redemption and the consequent process of sanctification, all efforts to surmount the tragedy of
existence in the cosmos are nothing more than exercises in futility. The word, supposition
(dokoun), conveys the meaning of uncertain hypothetical ideals and wishes. Arising from desires
of convenience or concern for an ultimate good which is apparent and illusory, supposition is
behind everything that the most loving of natural parents can do for their children in a volatile
world of turmoil and uncertainty.
The expression, bearing together (sumpheron), is translated literally from the verb, sumpherÇ , a
compound of sum (“together with”) and pherÇ (“to bear or carry”); conveying the idea of circum-
stances which yield maximum benefit and advantage (Matt 5:29, John 11:50, Acts 19:19, I Cor
7:35, II Cor 8:10 & Heb 12:10). The phrase, upon the bearing together, is therefore an interesting
figure of speech, denoting the surface on which the Father brings His children into Himself and
Himself into each of them (John 14:23). Allusion is therewith made to the oppressive pressures

40
                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT
of trial. The disciplinary actions of Supreme Deity are therefore portrayed to be upon the bearing
together, on the threshing floor of His determination to conform each believer to the likeness of
His Son (eikonos tou huiou autou - Rom 8:29). Thereby, each are caused to partake of His
holiness. The word, into (eis), conveys the meaning, “for the purpose of”. Note, that the only
expression which can fully describe the meaning of the phrase, “into the one to partake of His
holiness”, is that of being conformed to the likeness of His Son. Being conformed to the likeness
of Jesus Christ upon the bearing together is shown clearly in the words, Pursue peace with
everyone, and the sanctification, apart from which not one will see the Supreme Authority
(Eir‘n‘n diÇkete meta pantÇn, kai ton hagiasmon, hou chÇris oudeis opsetai ton Kurion - verse 14).
As certain that the ultimate objective of the Holy Spirit in all His operations is to insure the greater
glory of the Father in Christ Jesus, the objective in every trial and punishment is to render the
believer in greater conformity to the likeness of Jesus. The degree to which a believer desires
conformity to Jesus is the depth to which the believer enjoys intimacy and fellowship with the
Father (John 14:6).

                              Indeed all discipline truly towards the
                             time being, you suppose not to be cheer-
                            fulness, but sadness. Indeed eventually it
                            would give-off conciliatory fruit of right-
                               eousness to the (ones) being exercised
                                             through it.
                          Pasa de paideia pros men to paron ou dokei charas
                          einai, alla lup‘ s. Husteron de karpon eir‘ nikon tois
                           di’ aut‘ s gegumnasmenois apodidÇ si dikaiosun‘ s.
                                               Heb 12:11
In view of the fact that the experience itself, of Supreme Deity’s discipline and punishment
(paideia), is at times tantamount to being beaten with a rod or whip (verse 6) and cannot naturally
be accounted as cheerfulness, but sadness at the time that it is being administered, the thoughts
and expectations of the stricken believer are directed towards the conciliatory fruit of righteous-
ness, which is yielded afterwards. The word, righteousness (dikaiosun‘s), denoting equity of char-
acter, is the same word used by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 6:33). Such equity of tried
and true character, exemplifying the heart of Jesus, leads all other qualities for which a believer
ought to strive and agonize. In view of the fact that the imputation of Jesus’ equity of character,
His righteousness, is prerequisite for salvation (Matt 5:20), the true believer ought to cheerfully
submit to the process whereby a practical measure of His equity of character is wrought while he
yet lives in the flesh. Since this righteousness is unnatural (human beings are not born with any
measure of it and they are unable to develop it), it is a miraculous product wrought exclusively in
Jehovah’s discipline by punishment. The reason that righteousness is described as conciliatory
fruit is realized not only in the fact that it fosters gentleness toward all human beings and in the
fact that it engenders contentment with one’s own earthly lot, but also in the fact that it signifies
the satisfaction of Jehovah’s need to punish sin and in the fact that it provides personal assurance
of one’s salvation.
The words, ones being trained, are translated from gegumnasmenois, which literally means “being
ones practicing nude” (with reference to preparation for strenuous games of endurance). It repre-
sents the removal of anything that would impede stamina and speed; yea, we should put away
every bulging mass and the sin well-standing around; through endurance we should run the
arena having been laid before us (ogkon apothemenoi panta kai t‘n euperistaton hamartian. Di’
hupomon‘ trechÇmen ton prokeimenon h‘min agÇna - verse 2). The word, from which the English
gymnasium is derived, denotes an activity which is repeated, each time increasing the capability
and success of performance. Hence, trials and punishments of varying severity and duration can
be expected throughout the earthly life of a true believer. They are actually loving expressions of

                                                                                                     41
                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Jehovah’s meticulous care, not only for the general attitude and deportment of the believer, but
also for every thought, word and deed. The believer is therewith encouraged to exude cheerfulness
in his spirit (the new man) by an experience which produces sadness to the flesh (the old man).
The result, righteousness, can neither be manufactured nor maintained by the flesh; but is received
joyously by the new man, whose noble struggle is to agonize in the beautiful arena of the per-
suasion (agÇnizou ton kalon agÇna t‘s pisteÇs - I Tim 6:12), to deaden your body parts accord-
ingly, the (ones) upon the land (nekrÇsate oun ta mel‘ humÇn ta epi t‘s g‘s - Col 3:5), to pursue
upon the award of the upward calling of the Supreme Deity in Christ Jesus (diÇkÇ epi to
brabeion t‘s anÇ kl‘seÇs tou Theou en ChristÇ I‘sou - Phil 3:14). Opposite of being an expression
of an action designed by Jehovah to alienate you from His fellowship, discipline by punishment
is proof of His love and favor and is calculated to bring you into greater intimacy with Him.


                        ABILITY TO COMFORT
                                             (II Cor 1:3-7)

                            Well-expressed (is) the Supreme Deity
                            and Father of our Supreme Authority
                            Jesus Christ, the Father of the (ones)
                                pitying and Supreme Deity of
                                       all consolation.
                            Eulog‘ tos ho Theos kai pat‘ r tou Kuriou h‘ mÇ n
                           I‘ sou Christou, ho pat‘ r tÇ n oiktirmÇ n kai Theos
                                            pas‘ s parakl‘ seÇ s.
                                              II Cor 1:3
Since all authoritative privilege was given to Jesus (Edoth‘ moi pasa exousia - Matt 28:18), the
Apostle Paul appropriately identifies the singularly anointed Prophet, Priest and King (the Christ)
in this benediction as our Supreme Authority (see Ruler & Supreme Authority - page 7). By
virtue of His omniscience, Jesus is the One by whom and through whom and to whom every eternal
decree is carried out: He presides over literally every detail of every thing (Rom 11:36). The fact
that the Apostle here identifies the Father, as the Supreme Deity, does not restrict the attribute of
omnipresence to that particular office of the Godhead, since Scripture declares that Jesus Himself
is Supreme Deity... made visible in flesh (Theo ephanerÇth‘ en sarki - I Tim 3:16). The
intention of Paul is to differentiate the offices of the Godhead purely for the sake of glorifying the
Father in Christ Jesus, exalting omnipresence in the application of omniscience, not to suggest that
the Father and Jesus are not a unity of both will and substance (John 1:14, 5:17, 17:3-5 & Heb 1:2-
3). By the word, well-expressed (eulog‘tos), Paul means to commend the Father for sending Jesus,
to express gratitude for Jehovah’s ability to bestow compassion and consolation upon sinful human
beings. Since the Son is the Fount of compassion and all consolation, the Father is thus praised as
the Father of the (ones) pitying and Supreme Deity of all consolation.
The verb, oiktirmÇn (pitying), is derived from oiktirmos (“pity; sympathetic disgust”). In the Greek
sense of the definition, oiktirmos (pity) is not as strong as eleos (compassion): Whereas eleos
involves intent to give solace and aid, oiktirmos involves inclination to give solace or aid (Luke
6:36, Rom 12:1, II Cor 1:3, Phil 2:1, Col 3:12 & Heb 10:28). Writing to a church in which many
of the believers were suffering severe trials (ranging from loss of all possessions to profound
afflictions of health), Paul thus begins his second epistle to them, with the comforting theme of
compassion and consolation; found only in Jesus Christ and reserved for His people. With the
term, the (ones) pitying, Paul refers to the seasoned and mature believers, the tried and true of
many trials, who are in possession of endurance and of the consequent ability to administer genu-
ine comfort.

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                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Therewith, drawing attention to agents through whom the ubiquitous Celebrity administers all
manner of consolation, he introduces the subject of the following four verses. By the term, all
consolation (pas‘s parakl‘seÇs), Paul does not refer to the spectrum of sentiment and deeds which
attempt to promote ease and to alleviate hardship, but to every form of empathy and encourage-
ment which serves to enhance the strength and stamina necessary to endure severe privation and
grievous suffering. Since the quality of endurance in the trial of a believer’s faith is of great con-
cern to Jehovah (Rom 5:3-4 & Jas 1:3-4), since the Supreme Authority is moved with much
mercy and pitying (polusplagchos estin ho Kurios kai oiktirmÇn - Jas 5:11) upon those who are
sorely tried, He is meticulous to provide the mercy and comfort necessary to nurture and sustain
it. An irresistible incentive for the believer’s desire to acquire endurance is to be numbered among
the Father’s army of the ones pitying.
                           The (One) calling us by the side upon all
                          of our oppressive pressures, into the (One)
                            to be enabling us to call by the side the
                          (ones) in all oppressive pressures, through
                           the consolation of which we ourselves are
                         called by the side under the Supreme Deity.
                           Ho parakalÇ n h‘ mas epi pas‘ t‘ thlipsei h‘ mÇ n,
                           eis to duna sthai h‘ mas parakalein tous en pas‘
                           thlipsei, dia t‘ s parakl‘ seÇ s h‘ s parakaloumetha
                                          autoi hupo tou Theou.
                                              II Cor 1:4
Very simply, the tried and true believer is given the capability to administer genuine encourage-
ment and consolation from the Supreme Deity of all consolation (preceding verse), from within
the oppressive pressures of their own trials. The capability itself is the product of endurance, a
supernatural reward of the rewarding gem of trial (see THE FRUIT OF ENDURANCE - page
33). The word from which “oppressive pressures” is translated (thlipsei) is rendered “tribula-
tions” in most English translations. The imagery of the word, derived from the process of extract-
ing juice from olives or grapes through crushing, is intended to describe the debilitating physical,
mental and emotional effects of severe circumstantial constraints. As the essence of fruit is releas-
ed through a process of crushing, so is the most exquisite of a believer’s prayers and supplications
yielded through the agony of oppressive pressure: They are the harvest of Jehovah and are His
cherished and sacred property. The utterances from the heart, extracted through oppressive pres-
sure, are to Him as the sweet savor of the most satisfying incense (Rev 8:3-4). The tears squeezed
from oppressive pressures are particularly precious to Him (II Kings 20:5 & Psalm 56:8) and do
not flow without the golden promise, The (ones) having scattered seed in tears, they will reap
in exultation (Hoi speirontes en dakrusin, en agalliasei theriousi - Psalm 126:5).
Efforts made by either the world or immature believers to encourage and console fall short of com-
forting the true believer who agonizes in the misery of oppressive pressure. Those who are not
tried and true cannot fathom the pain of exposed sin, as in the case of Job’s friends, and do not
have the balm necessary to soothe the wound left in the wake of sin’s removal. Full comprehension
of the process is withheld from them and they can speak only the carnal and limited language of
human nature. He who said, Blessed (are) the ones having grieved, since they will be consoled
(Makarioi hoi penthountes, hoti autoi parakl‘th‘sontai - Matt 5:4), sends an agent from His army
of the ones pitying, one whom He has likewise wounded and has called by the side for consola-
tion, to give genuine encouragement to the believer who suffers; in a sacred language understood
by his heart. You who now suffer and would care to console others, understand well, that it is
through the consolation that we ourselves are called by the side under the Supreme Deity, that
we are granted the capability of encouraging and consoling others who are agonizing in all oppres-
sive pressures.

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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

It is solely by the consolation received from the Father during our own oppressive pressures, that
we can truly minister consoling encouragement to others who are experiencing the throes of oppre-
sive pressures. The parakl‘seÇs must originate from Supreme Deity, in order to flow from the heart
having been tried to the heart being tried, from the one having endured to the other who is endur-
ing; since the holy balm is within the sacred fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. The word from
which consolation is translated (parakl‘seÇs) itself literally means “calling by the side”, conveying
the import of a parent placing a child upon the lap for a session of hugging or of a friend enfolding
another in his arms, in protective embrace. While the word, parakl‘seÇs, conveys the meaning of
such warmth and beneficent intimacy, Parakl‘tos is a title reserved for Jesus (I John 2:1) and for
the Holy Spirit (John 14:16 & 15:26). The title thus becomes the word’s ultimate expression; “An
Advocate who calls by the side” (for the purpose of intimate comfort and encouragement). Notice,
that the purpose of Supreme Deity, in calling us by the side upon all our oppressive pressures,
extends beyond the perfecting of our endurance to the capability of encouraging others in all
oppressive pressures. The gem of endurance therefore produces not only tried and true character
(proof) which leads to confident expectation (Rom 5:4), but also the authentic empathy and price-
less ability to render genuine encouragement. The word, all, is translated from pas‘ , which means
“all forms”. The tried and true believer therefore is given capability of ministering genuine
encouragement and consolation for all forms (every type) of oppressive pressure.

                          Because just as the sufferings of the Christ
                          superabound into us, in this way through
                            Christ the consolation superabounds
                                           also of us.
                           Hoti kathÇ s perisseuei ta path‘ mata tou Christou
                           eis h‘ mas, houtÇ dia Christou perisseuei kai h‘
                                           parakl‘ sis h‘ mÇ n.
                                              II Cor 1:5
The words, because just as, call for a deduction to be drawn. It is therefore deduced through the
experience of trial and the perfecting of endurance therein, that the sufferings of the Christ
superabound (overflow) into us. From that deduction, the inference is made, that in this way
through Christ the consolation super-abounds also of us. Indeed, to know Him, and the abil-
ity of His resurrection, and the partnership of His sufferings, having been made conformable
to His death (tou gnÇsai auton, kai t‘n dunamin t‘s anastaseÇs autou, kai t‘n koinÇnian tÇn path‘-
matÇn autou, summorphoumenos tÇ thanatÇ autou - Phil 3:10), is to acquire capability to console
which is far greater in might than any form of oppressive pressure suffered by oneself or by
another. The promise of the capability to console others (enabling us to call by the side the ones
in all oppressive pressures - preceding verse) is therefore itself a surmounting comfort of inspira-
tion, an unrelenting encouragement for the true believer to endure any trial. As the sufferings of
the Christ overflow into a believer, the believer’s capability to minister genuine consolation to
others also overflows (excels with surplus).
It is axiomatic that the extent to which a believer bears the sufferings of the Christ during
oppressive pressure is the limit to which the believer realizes capability to console others in their
oppressive pressures. The particular word used here by the Apostle Paul (from perisseuÇ ) answers
to the signature of Jehovah which is plainly seen in all His blessings, to be excessive and spilling
over (Psalm 23:5 & Mal 3:10). The tried and true believer is thus given supernatural capability to
console, which overflows and excels with surplus; not only meeting, but exceeding, the need of
comforting encouragement in any trial. The overflow is perceived to occur through the tried and
true believer only in the sense that Jesus dwells within him: through Christ the consolation
super-abounds also of us.



44
                                       SONGS IN THE NIGHT
                           Indeed if we too are pressed, (it is) on be-
                           half of your consolation and deliverance,
                          being made active in endurance of the same
                          hardships of which we also suffer. If we too
                         are called by the side, (it is) on behalf of your
                                  consolation and deliverance.
                          Eite de th libometha, huper t‘ s humÇ n parakl‘ seÇ s kai
                       sÇ t‘ rias, t‘ s energoumen‘ s en hupomon‘ tÇ n autÇ n path‘ -
                        matÇ n hÇ n kai h‘ meis paschomen. Eite parakaloumetha,
                                  huper t‘ s humÇ n parakl‘ seÇ s kai sÇ t‘ rias.
                                               II Cor 1:6
The fact of being pressed (crowded with adversities and oppressed under the weight of afflictions)
supplies the energy (energoumen‘s) necessary for the seasoned believer to give the comforting
encouragement required for the endurance of others. While empathy causes the seasoned believer
to earnestly desire deliverance for others who are being sorely tried, it is towards that end, after
endurance has been perfected, that the seasoned believer consoles with encouragement. Both the
immediate consolation and the ultimate deliverance are being made active in endurance of the
same hardships which we also suffer. As the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ brings for-
giveness and eternal life to all the chosen (Heb 10:14), the afflictions of a true believer (corre-
sponding to His death) and the encouragements (corresponding to His resurrection) translate to
the consolation and deliverance of others in their trials. Trial is the experience of death with Christ
(II Cor 4:7-11 & I Pet 4:12-13) and deliverance is an experience of resurrection with Him (Psalm
40:2 & Rom 6:3-6). A believer’s own experiences received from the Father during trial are there-
fore made effective in aiding others to endure the same afflictions. As the consolation of Supreme
Deity enhanced the endurance of a seasoned believer and carried him forward to deliverance in
his own trials, he becomes an agent of the Father (a soldier in His army of pitying ones) with
enhancing the endurance of other believers and with bringing them forward to deliverance in their
trials. The seasoned believer is thus himself encouraged (called by the side), both by the assurance
that he is being employed by the Father and by the certainty of the immediate consol-ation and
ultimate deliverance being extended to others.

                             And our confident expectation is stable
                             on your behalf, having perceived that
                             very much in the manner that you are
                             (ones) sharing of the hardships, in this
                                   way also of the consolation.
                           Kai h‘ elpis h‘ mÇ n bebaia huper humÇ n, eidotes
                           hoti hÇ sper koinÇ noi este tÇ n path‘ matÇ n houtÇ
                                           kai t‘ s parakl‘ seÇ s.
                                               II Cor 1:7
With regard to the certainty being conveyed, of agency in Jehovah’s cause of consolation, the
Apostle Paul concludes the matter; expressing the fact of his unshakable confidence in those being
schooled in the spiritual art of compassionate consolation. Suffering believers are here assured by
the seasoned believer that they are secure and walking upon firm ground. The fact that they are
sharers of the hardships, serving as proof that they share also of the consolation, is the firm basis
for their stability. Distressed as they may be by upsetting circumstances and turbulent develop-
ments, the suffering believers are informed of their stability and are therewith encouraged to enjoy
the serenity required to endure. The consolation is derived from the fact that the very circum-
stances and developments which apparently threaten their stability are actually bringing proof of
their stability. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is that of an abiding Consoler (Parakl‘tos),
there can be no higher honor in the service of Jesus on Earth than to be a royal agent in the consol-
ation (parakl‘sis) of other believers, a seasoned soldier in the Father’s army of the ones pitying.

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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Irresistible incentive, of being in specialized unction with the Spirit, is therefore given to the
suffering believer, to endure his trial with unearthly cheerfulness and courageous expectation.
With the prospect of such magnificent service to the King, nothing could be more incongruent and
indecorous than to wallow in self-pity and nothing could exhibit greater ingratitude than to embark
upon a course of pointless murmuring. Bear your cross with great anticipation, dearest tormented
believer, and take it the rest of the way to the appointed time and place for your deliverance, where
you shall certainly realize noble service to the Father of the ones pitying and Supreme Deity of
all consolation.


                             THE FIERY TRIAL
                                  (I Pet 4:12-13 with 1:5-7 & 5:9-10)

                           Loved (ones), be not surprised by the fire
                            ignited in you, coming to be towards a
                           testing to you, coming together to you in
                                   the manner of a surprise,
                            Agap‘ toi, m‘ xenizesthe t‘ en humin purÇ sei
                            pros peirasmon humin ginomen‘ , hÇ s xenou
                                        humin sumbainontos,
                                             I Pet 4:12
With the affectionate term, loved ones, the Apostle Peter refers here to readers who were scattered
and in exile during the persecutions under Nero (circa 65 AD) throughout the provinces of the
country which is now known as Turkey (1:1). However, the Holy Spirit applies the term not only
to those particular believers, but also to all the believers throughout all the succeeding centuries
who discover the forlorn isolation and sense of rejection which is inherent to a fiery trial. They
are loved ones in the Christ and are reminded in the same epistle of the fact that they are select
ones... according to foreknowledge of Supreme Deity the Father (eklektois... kata prognÇsin
Theou patros - 1:1 & 2), chosen in conformity with the everlasting love that Jehovah had set upon
each of them before the world was made (Jer 31:3 & Eph 1:4). Having addressed issues of
deportment amongst unbelievers (verses 1-7) and behavior toward other believers (verses 8-11),
it is signif-icant that the Apostle should begin the subject of a particularly severe trial with a
reassurance of Jehovah’s love. With the words, be not surprised by the fire ignited in you,
coming to be towards a testing to you, Peter advises believers not to assess the elements that
compose a trial of their persuasion (the fire ignited... towards a testing) as though they were being
forced to accommodate strangers, as if people they had never met were intruding upon their
hospitality and poaching in their premises (xenizesthe). He thus expresses disdain for timidity and
trepidation, while encouraging believers to proceed through trial with bold confidence.
You greatly rejoice in the anticipation of an undiminishing and unsoiled and unfading inherit-
ance (kl‘ronomian aphtharton kai amianton kai amaranton), despite the fact that for small (while)
just now, if it is necessary, having grieved in various testings (oligon arti, ei deon esti, lup‘-
thentes en poikilois peirasmois - I Pet 1:4-6). However, having perceived the same (degree) of
the sufferings is to be completed upon your brotherhood in the cosmos (eidotes ta auta tÇn
path‘matÇn t‘ en kosmÇ humÇn adelphot‘ti epiteleisthai - I Pet 5:9), that similar struggles must
also be carried out upon other believers who are scattered throughout the world; who are without
the solace of immediate human aid, you therefore cannot justifiably feel as though your adverse
circumstances are converging upon you (coming together to you) as though you areforced into an
experience which is unusual and unexpected (in the manner of a surprise). The words, is to be
completed upon (epiteleisthai), are translated literally from a conjugation of the verb, epiteleÇ , a
compound of epi (“upon” - denoting intensification) and teleÇ (“to complete”); conveying the idea

46
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

of ongoing action of accomplishment towards the achievement of perfection (Luke 13:32, Rom
15:28, II Cor 7:1, 8:6, Gal 3:3, Phil 1:6, Heb 8:5 & LXX: I Sam 3:12, Zech 4:9). Since, no novel
event has overtaken you which is alien to the experience of other true believers, you need not
wallow in the muck of bewilderment (I Cor 10:13).
The words, fire ignited (purÇsei) and testing (peirasmon), together form the portrayal of facing
a large disastrous fire; a fiery trial. The imagery depicts an occasion (lasting for either days,
months or years) of tremendous destruction and tragedy sustained by the true believer, a “trial
composed of trials” which altogether serve to both severely punish and dramatically refine. Since
our Supreme Deity is an utterly consuming fire (ho Theos h‘mÇn pur katanaliskon - Heb
12:29), overwhelming flames from a number of sources are appropriately used in Peter’s imagery
to con-vey the idea of both cleansing and cultivation. The word, testing (rendered, “temptation”,
by the KJV) does not carry the meaning of “enticing to sin”, but of putting to proof. It is used in
the New Testament Scriptures to indicate “testing by adversity” and is accurately understood by
believers to bear the meaning of “trial”. A believer’s persuasion (faith) is put to proof in a
figurative con-flagration which leaves him with tremendous loss and in isolation. Although all
trials are carefully orchestrated by Jehovah for the purpose of purification, a fiery trial stands out
as one which brings wholesale improvement to a believer’s soul and singular removal of a
believer’s spiritual blemish-es and deficiencies: It is a life-altering experience. Indeed, it renders
what may be justifiably called an extreme spiritual make-over. Peter thus speaks here of a supreme
spiritual furnace, into which a believer’s conduct of faith is significantly put to proof and cleansed
of impurity; a trial which is greater in ferocity than all others of his life; unusual for the believer
himself, but common as a singular experience to all believers.
In the disinfecting and refining flames of your trial, you are told personally by the One who has
loved you with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3) and had chosen you before time began (II Tim 1:9),
I had lifted you out of a furnace of indigence (exelam‘n de se ek kaminon ptÇcheias - Isaiah
48:10 LXX). Supreme Authority Himself discovers nothing by these tests, since nothing can be
revealed to the Revealer who is omniscient: Such fiery tests reveal to the believer not only the
level of endurance and maturity to which he has progressed in grace, but also the sin of which the
Father is determined to remove from his soul. After this, the fiercest trial that your soul will ever
know, you will join heartily with others who have been so cleansed and purified, with the confes-
sion, ...you, the Supreme Deity, have proven us; you have ignited us in the manner that the
silver is fired. You led us into the trap; you were placing oppressive pressures upon our
back, having mounted men upon our heads. We passed through fire and water, and you led
us out into (a place) of relief (Hoti edokimasas h‘mas, ho Theos, epurÇsas h‘mas hÇs puroutai to
argurion. Eis‘gages h‘mas eis t‘n pagida, ethou thlipseis epi ton nÇton h‘mÇn, epebibasas
anthrÇpous epi tas kephalas h‘mÇn. Di‘lthomen dia puros kai hudatos, kai ex‘gages h‘mas eis
anapsuch‘n - Psalm 66:10-12 LXX).
The place of relief is representative, neither of restoration of temporal well being nor of a pleasant
geographical location upon the planet, but of a refined state of existence which prefigures and
foreshadows the eternal existence in a spiritual land of consummate union of Jehovah within each
of His chosen subjects. Indeed we should anticipate a fresh sky and a fresh land according to
His promise, in which justice resides (Kainous de ouranous kai g‘n kain‘n kata to epaggelma
autou prosdokÇmen, en hois dikaiosun‘ katoikei - II Pet 3:13). Such a fierce trial was not a figura-
tive experience for three young men of Israel who were thrust into (the) midst of the burning
furnace being (ones) bound (eis meson t‘s kaminou t‘s kaiomen‘s peped‘menoi - Daniel 3:23
LXX). There was seen, however, four men in the furnace, walking about having been loosed
(andras tessaras lelumenous) within the intense inferno. The fourth man was correctly observed
by Nebuchadnezzar to be similar to (the) Son of Supreme Deity (homoia huiÇ Theou - Daniel
3:24 LXX). As certain that those three Hebrews had met with the preincarnate Christ in the midst

                                                                                                    47
                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

of an actual furnace of fire, your most intimate experiences with Him shall be within the figurative
furnace of your affliction. The greater the trial and the more seemingly hopeless the circumstances,
the more dramatic shall be your meeting with Jesus in the flames. You have been singled-out to
be brought closer to Him and the degree of intimacy shall be determined by the severity of the
circumstances. You have warrant, dearest suffering believer, to be very greatly encouraged!
                              but according as you share with the
                              sufferings of the Christ, be cheerful,
                             in order that also you would cheer be-
                                ing (ones) jumping for joy in the
                                     disclosure of His glory.
                               alla katho koinÇ neite tois tou Christou path-
                             ‘ masi, chairete, hina kai en t‘ apokalupsei t‘ s
                                    dox‘ s autou char‘ te agalliÇ menoi.
                                               I Pet 4:13
Rather than the experience of jumping much for joy at an occasion in the future, the passage is
concerned with the “here and now”. The Apostle Peter correlates a share with the sufferings of
the Christ with the resultant disclosure of His glory, thereby qualifying the calm delight (the
cheerfulness) that a believer ought to experience by means of trial. The disclosure (unveiling) of
Jesus’ glory, found only in sharing with His sufferings, is said by Peter to cause the spirit of a tried
believer not only to be delighted, but also to be jumping much for joy. The unmistakable fruit
within the believer of such discovery in trial are the qualities of being equipped, being set-fast, be-
ing invigorated and being established. Since there is no greater privilege for a believer on Earth
than to share in Christ’s sufferings, the believer ought to be cheerful at the thought of meeting
Him in the furnace of affliction and ought, in good cheer, to be jumping much for joy in
anticipation of the disclosure of His glory to be realized therein. The words, being ones jumping
for joy (agalliÇmenoi), are translated from a conjugation of the verb, agalliaÇ , which is a
compound of agan (“much”) and hallomai (“to jump”); figuratively conveying the meaning of
cheer which cannot be contained (Luke 10:21, John 5:35, 8:56, Acts 2:26, 16:34, I Pet 1:8).
It is only by means of having suffered a small (while), as Jesus did, that the Supreme Deity of
all bestowed grace... will make you utterly suitable, will set fast, will invigorate, will consol-
idate (Ho de Theos pas‘s charitos ...oligon pathontas autos katartisai humas, st‘rizai, sthenÇsai,
themeliÇsai - I Pet 5:10). Both “will make... utterly suitable” and “set fast”correspond to the
meaning of the Apostle Paul, by “character which is tried and true” (see THE FRUIT OF
ENDURANCE - page 33) and to the meaning of the Evangelist James, by the qualities of “com-
plete and entire” (see THE PRODUCT OF TRIAL - page 13). The words, will make... utterly
suitable (katartisai), are translated literally from the second person singular future tense of the
verb, katartizÇ , a compound of kata (denoting intensification) and artizÇ (“to make suitable”);
conveying the idea of bringing into fitness for an assigned task or for a decreed purpose (Matt
4:21, 21:16, Luke 6:40, Rom 9:22, I Cor 1:10, II Cor 13:11, Gal 6:1, I Thes 3:10, Heb 10:5, 11:3,
13:21). Mark well, that it is only after having suffered a small while (endured without murmur-
ing), that the disclosure of His glory becomes most evident and that these priceless qualities are
accordingly seen to develop within you. When the believer has abided under the oppressive
pressures of a fiery trial with Jesus and has learned both to be dependent solely upon His support
and to be content with His purposes, the believer then discovers within himself the unmistakable
fruit of a sound adjustment and an unshakable confirmation; both the proof of character which is
tried and true and the evidence of being complete and entire.




48
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

While the word, sthenÇsai (will invigorate), conveys the idea of filling with vitality and the word,
themeliÇsai ( will establish), conveys the idea of consolidating upon a foundation, both words
correspond to the meaning of the Apostle Paul’s expression of confident expectation (Rom 5:5)
and to James’ expression of not in a single thing being one left behind (Jas 1:3). Thus, being
invigorated and established (filled with vitality and consolidated upon a foundation), possessing
confident expectation and lacking in no vital quality, you shall discover that your proof of the
persuasion, much more valuable than gold; being (something) obliterated, indeed of being
proven through fire, would be found into applause and value and glory in disclosure of Jesus
Christ (to dokimon humÇn t‘s pisteÇs, polu timiÇteron chrusiou tou apollumenou, dia puros de
dokimazomenou, heureth‘ eis epainon kai timÇn kai doxan en apokalupsei I‘sou Christou - I Pet
1:7). The word, disclosure, is translated from apokalupsei and is rendered elsewhere in New
Testament Scripture by the KJV as appearing (I Pet 1:7), coming (I Cor 1:7), lighten (Luke 2:32),
manifestation (Rom 8:9), be revealed (II Thes 1:7 & present verse) and revelation (nine
occasions). The word is a compound of apo (“off, away, from”) and kaluptÇ (“to cover up, hide”),
which conveys the import of revealing or unveiling that which is hidden. The modern word,
apocalypse, bearing no resemblance to apokalupsei (from which the English word is derived),
conveys the meaning of any violent occurrence which pertains to the end of the world.
The testing of your faith, yielding the unmistakable fruit of experiential acquaintance therein with
the disclosure of Jesus Christ, is thus certain to be found into applause and value and glory. The
phrase, much more valuable than gold, being (something) obliterated, conveys the idea of a test
which vastly exceeds the worth of the most precious of metals, which is itself doomed to be
destroyed along with the rest of the natural universe (II Pet 3:10). As the highest acclaim for pure
gold is expressed (with applause and value and glory) after being tested through the intense heat
of actual fire, Peter uses figurative language by the phrase, indeed of being proven through fire,
in his description of a believer passing through the flames of a fiery trial. The believer whose
tested persuasion bears the fruit of Jesus’ disclosure enjoys the highest acclaim of Jehovah, being
found in His eyes into applause and value and glory. All of your past trials have served to build
the stamina for you to courageously endure the fiery trial, the defining time of your service to the
Deliverer while on Earth. Certainly, a measure of temporal compensation shall be realized after
your fiery trial (Jas 5:11) and, without doubt, the fiery trial shall render you in a much happier and
more capable state of service in this life (Psalm 40:2-3 & II Cor 1:4), but you must realize that the
quality of your happiness and the extent of your capability shall be determined by the disclosure
of His glory, received in the midst of the fiery trial. Remove your eyes and yearning from relief
and deliverance and fasten your entire being, instead, upon His ability to sustain you and upon the
vital disclosures that He will give of His glory, which cannot be received outside of the fiery trial.


                     TRIALS IN PERSPECTIVE
                                  (Rom 8:16-18 & II Cor 4:17-18)

                         The Spirit Himself jointly testifies with our
                        spirit, that we are children of Supreme Deity.
                         Indeed if children, also heirs; truly heirs of
                         Supreme Deity, indeed co-heirs of Christ, if
                           at all we suffer jointly, in order that we
                                would also be glorified together.
                           Auto to Pneum a sum ma rturei tÇ pneumati h‘ mÇ n,
                         hoti esmen tekna Theou. Ei de tekna, kai kl‘ ronomoi,
                          kl‘ ronomoi men Theou, sugkl‘ ronomoi de Christou,
                              eiper sumpaschon, hina k ai sund oxasthÇ men.
                                            Rom 8:16-17

                                                                                                   49
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

The basis for the statement, that we are children of Supreme Deity, is readily seen within the final
clause of the passage; if at all we suffer jointly. You, dearest suffering believer, are in the exclu-
sive company of those who have unequivocal assurance, by the Spirit Himself, of their salvation.
Upon the condition that we agonize with Jesus and are thereby prepared and made worthy of being
exalted with Him (in order that we would also be glorified together), then the Holy Spirit testifies
with our spirit that we certainly are children of Supreme Deity and therewith confirms the valid-
ity of our adoption (verse 15 & Gal 4:5-7). Being actual adopted children of Supreme Deity, we
are truly heirs of Supreme Deity, indeed co-heirs of Christ. The entire matter of the Spirit’s testi-
mony, granting the unassailable assurance of salvation and consequent validation of adoption, rests
upon your spirit having suffered with Christ Jesus. What the Apostle Paul means here by the vital
necessity that we suffer jointly is much deeper than the experience of insults and abuse during
persecution: Gross indignities and hostility directed at Jesus during His earthly ministry did not
alone secure atonement for the chosen, but His death. The result with each trial and punishment
of a believer consists of both the slaying of certain sins and the subsequent rising up in newness
of life (6:3-6). Repentance is not an isolated event which is restricted to the occasion that a person
first believes, but is a continuous reality throughout a believer’s walk with the Christ. Sanctifica-
tion therefore is not instantaneous, but an ongoing process.
Thus, each trial represents a sentence of death with Christ and each deliverance from trial repre-
sents an experience of the power of His resurrection. The Spirit does not testify with the spirits
who are free of heartbreaking tragedy and loss, who are apart from discipline. The professions of
faith from such spirits are not based upon the Spirit’s assurance, but only upon delusional pre-
sumptions. As certain that all the (ones) having determined to live well-reverently in Christ
Jesus will be pursued (pantes de hoi thelontes eusebÇs zÇn en ChristÇ I‘sou diÇch-th‘sontai - II
Tim 3:12), it is necessary (for) us to enter into the Kingdom of the Supreme Deity through
many oppressive pressures (dia pollÇn thlipseÇn dei h‘mas eiselthein eis t‘n basil-eian tou Theou -
Acts 14:22). Since Jesus is appointed to be Heir of all things (Matt 28:18 & Heb 1:2), every adopt-
ed son shall inherit by His grace all that He has inherited by right of being the Firstborn (Matt
25:21-23 & Eph 1:5 -12). By virtue of Jesus’ death and resurrection, of suffering with Him, believ-
ers are assured the fulfilled Kingdom in Heaven and perpetual life therein. Such inheritance means
uninterrupted happiness in a setting of never-ending newness; wherein every thought, word and
deed is in perfect accord with the pleasure of Jehovah’s will and with the beauty of His holiness.

                             For I reckon that the hardships of the
                           occasion now not worthy (as comparison)
                            towards the glory about to be disclosed
                                            into us.
                            Logizomai gar hoti ouk axia ta path‘ mata tou
                             nun kairou pros t‘ n doxan apokaluphth‘ nai
                                              eis h‘ mas.
                                             Rom 8:18
The word, for, refers to the self-evident comparison which is generated in the preceding statement,
of those who are guilty sharing in the sufferings of the One who is innocent. Though such identi-
fication is necessary to enhance the sense of shame and to deepen the experience of repentance,
the believer’s share of suffering could never rise to the level necessary to atone. Only innocent
blood which is reckoned to be guilty can atone for the sins of those who are guilty (II Cor 5:21 &
I Pet 3:18). Drawing upon the comparison, the Apostle Paul begins to place all the trials of every
believer into proper perspective. He applies logic (logizomai) in determining that the sufferings
of believers, although vital to their assurance of salvation, are not suitable (ouk axia) to be placed
in the same sphere of what has been earned for them through the sufferings of Jesus; are lacking
in intrinsic righteousness to rise to the level of the glory about to be disclosed into us.

50
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

When considering precisely what the Apostle means by “the glory about to be disclosed into us”,
meditate upon the following prophetic conclusion drawn by Jesus and enjoy all that the imagery
suggests: At that time the just (ones) will beam forth in the manner of the Sun in the King-
dom of their Father. The (one) holding ears to hear must hear (Tote hoi dikaioi eklampsousin
hÇs ho helios en t‘ basilaia tou patros autÇn. Ho echÇn Çta akouein akouetÇ - Matt 13:43). Know-
ing that we hold not in this same spot an abiding town, but we search upon the (one) being
intended (Ou gar echomen hÇde menousan polin, alla t‘n mellousan epiz‘toumen - Heb 13:14) and
that our community in Heaven is at hand, out of which also we are awaiting a Deliverer, Sup-
reme Authority Jesus Christ (H‘mÇn gar to politeuma en ouranois huparchei, ex hou kai SÇt‘ra
apekdechometha, Kurion I‘soun Christon - Phil 3:20), you are cordially invited to mind the (mat-
ters) upward, not the (matters) upon the land (Ta anÇ phroneite, m‘ ta epi t‘s g‘s - Col 3:2).
Regardless of whether your trials are particularly fiery or if you must bear a stake in the flesh in
addition to your trials, the trials themselves shall be forgotten in the magnificence of radiant Hea-
venly splendor and only the holiness acquired by means of trial shall be brought forward thither.
Since memories of suffering in this life will have no purpose in Glory, you are therefore bidden
to set your sights beyond the agony of your present trial and to contemplate, instead, the riches that
are certainly awaiting you beyond the tragic misery of this life. To the degree that you accomplish
such vision, precious endurance shall be enhanced, enabling you to proceed with the desired
cheerfulness and valor. By, the glory about to be disclosed into us, the man who was himself
seized into Paradise where he heard messages which a human being is not permitted to utter (II Cor
12:2-4) indeed alludes to the eternal event which shall begin when Jesus transfigures the body
of our humiliation, to come to be into His; conformed to the body of His glory, according to
the activity of the (power) to be enabling Him also to subordinate every (thing) to Himself
(metasch‘matisei to sÇma t‘s tapeinÇseÇs h‘mÇn, eis to genesthai auto, summorphon tÇ sÇmati t‘s
dox‘s autou, kata t‘n energeian tou dunasthai auton kai hupotaxai heautÇ ta panta - Phil 3:21).

                              For the momentary triviality of our
                             oppressive pressures fully achieves for
                             us a perpetual weight of glory beyond
                                          all measure,
                            To gar parautika elaphron t‘ s thlipseÇ s h‘ mÇ n
                            kath’ huperbol‘ n eis huperbol‘ n aioniÇ n baros
                                      dox‘ s katergazetai h‘ min,
                                             II Cor 4:17
Against the radiance of the glory to be disclosed, the Apostle Paul informed the believers at Rome
that the sufferings of the present life were not worthy for comparison (Rom 5:16-18). Here, against
an eternal reward of a weight which exceeds measurement, he informs the believers of Corinth that
the most severe and consequential of trials are altogether momentary and nothing more than a
weightless trifle. Since his highly disciplined thoughts cannot represent the reckless rambling of
a madman, he intends neither to insult the agony experienced by beleaguered believers nor to
denigrate the awful burdens being brought to bear upon them. With a deliberate oxymoron, the
words, triviality and oppressive pressures, do little justice and much of the truth (as well as Paul’s
piquant personality) is filtered-out. The word, triviality, translated from elaphron, conveys the idea
of that which is faint or easy, and the words, oppressive pressures, translated from thlipseÇs,
means “debilitating crushing” (see Oppressive pressure - page 34): Both expressions together
represent the effects of opposing extremes of weight. With an intentional contradiction, Paul thus
makes a point in a fashion which is at once striking and then endlessly resounding in the mind.
Although oppressive pressures are certainly debilitating, crushing and painfully real, neither
momentary nor trivial, when one views the experience from an eternal perspective, however, it is
nearly nonexistent; barely within the threshold of observation and apparent consequence.

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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

The most remarkable observation of Paul, however, is that a matter so tiny and seemingly irrele-
vant should fully achieve (katergazetai) a load and abundance of glory which dwarfs the greatest
of human measurement; a perpetual weight of glory beyond all measure. The words, fully
achieves (katergazetai), also rendered, thoroughly works, are translated from the second person
singular present tense, passive indicative action, expression of katergazomai, a compound of kata
(an intensive) and ergazomai (“to toil”); conveying the idea of carrying out a task until finished
(Rom 7:8, I Cor 5:3, II Cor 12:12, Eph 6:13, Phil 2:12, Jas 1:3, I Pet 4:3). The word alone,
huperbol‘n, whence the English hyperbole is derived, is a compound of huper (“above”) and bol‘n
(“a throw” - a measured distance); denoting excess of dimension, extravagant protraction and
highest possible magnitude (Rom 7:13, I Cor 12:31, II Cor 1:8, 4:7, 12:7, Gal 1:13). Interestingly,
kath’ huperbol‘n eis huperbol‘n (beyond all measure) is literally translated, “according to throw-
ing above into throwing above”. By such a load and abundance of infinite dimensions, the Apostle
alludes to the holiness into which the believer grows with each trial and, ultimately, to the lovely
mansion which will replace the believer’s ragged tent. The holiness accumulated and experienced
in human flesh does not end with the inheritance of the incorruptible body, however, but extends
to the inheritance of all things in the Heavenly Kingdom. By exercising your mind on such things
in prayerful meditation, your vision will begin to exceed and surpass the present reality and the
most excrutiating and miserable of trials shall be placed into proper perspective.

                           not taking our aim at the (matters) being
                           observed, but the (matters) not being ob-
                           served, for the (matters) being observed
                           are towards an occasion, indeed not the
                             (matters) being observed perpetually.
                           m‘ skopountÇ n h‘ mÇ n ta blepomena, alla ta m‘
                            blepomena, ta gar blepomena proskaira, ta de
                                       m‘ blepomena aiÇ nia.
                                            II Cor 4:18
As certain that genuine persuasion is the assurance and realization of matters for which there is
confident expectation and the virtual proof of matters not observed (Heb 11:1), contemplation of
Heaven enhances endurance and places a believer’s trial into accurate and appropriate perspective.
As certain that things which can be seen by the natural eye were not made from anything which
is visible, our standpoint of observation gazes out from that which is intrinsically impure and in-
ferior into that which is pure and superior. Without spiritual sight, an attempt to accomplish what
the Apostle Paul is advising here would be tantamount to an effort of gazing at the stars from the
bottom of a murky and turbulent river. To the unregenerate person, bound by limitations of natural
sight and mentality, the Apostle’s words cannot represent anything more than a tantalizing play
upon the word, blepomena (being observed), used four times in the statement. To such a person,
the statement is an incomprehensible riddle, about considering what is not seen and not consider-
ing what is seen, and is therefore deemed as having little practical value in the conduct of daily
living. With the new man and spiritual perception, however, the suffering believer is here advised
to expand his consciousness and awareness and to project his affections and expectations beyond
time and space, to the realms of infinite peace and perpetual felicity, where reality dictates that he
shall forever exist with Jesus and all the redeemed.
In the midst of the fiercest of adversity, you are thus able to go from the visible into the invisible
and proceed with Jesus from the present into the infinite future, where Paul heard inexpressible
messages. The Father of the ones pitying and Supreme Deity of all consolation bids you, for the
sake of your endurance, to proceed thither, where He promises all spiritual praise in the Heaven-
ly (realms) in Christ (pas‘ eulogia pneumatik‘ en tois epouraniois en ChristÇ - Eph 1:3). Far
from being a euphoric escape from reality, it is a refreshing and invigorating sojourn in the greater


52
                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT
reality. There, you will find ability to endure in the vast reservoir of encouragement and consola-
tion to be tapped. You are advised therefore to keep your sight (maintain your aim) upon the mat-
ters not being observed (which are the matters being observed perpetually).Your trial represents
the Holy Place within the Temple of your life on Earth with Jesus. Your time with Him in the
Heavenly realms during the trial represents precious moments spent in the Holy of Holies,
communing with Him upon the mercy seat between the outstretched wings of the two golden
Cherubim. There, in hearing that delicate whispering voice (I Kings 19:12), you will not only
receive strength to endure the trial into applause and value and glory in disclosure of Jesus
Christ (eis epainon kai timÇn kai doxan en apokalupsei I‘sou Christou - I Pet 1:7), but also the
blessed assurance for which all the redeemed seek earnestly. Since no greater proof of your
redemption exists, the Holy Spirit will assuredly not do less than to testify with your spirit that you
are indeed a child of Supreme Deity (Rom 8:16).
Communion with Jesus during trial thus affords the most profound disclosures of His glory and
the greatest blessings you will ever receive within your earthen tabernacle during this life. The
condition that you must possess, of suffering with Him in the agony of trial, is that of being a saved
sinner: Only one Person ever entered into trial on this Earth in a state of innocence. Recognize that
you are not suffering as a pure and innocent victim and confess the sins against which your trial
has been brought to bear. The primary purpose of the trial is to eliminate sin and to render you in
greater conformity with your Deliverer. Under no other terms are we permitted to enter the Holy
of Holies, to be acquainted with the sufferings of the Christ and to see trials in perspective.


                            PUNISHING TRIALS
                                  the occasion of the condemnation
                                           (I Pet 4:17-19)

                        Because the occasion of the condemnation is to
                        be commencing from the house of the Supreme
                       Deity. Indeed if firstly from us, what (will be) the
                          end of the (ones) being unconvinced by the
                             Good Message of the Supreme Deity?
                          Hoti ho kairos tou arxasthai to krima apo tou oikou
                          tou Theou. Ei de prÇ ton ap’ h‘ mÇ n, Ti to telos tÇ n
                                 apeithountÇ n tÇ tou Theou euaggeliÇ ;
                                               I Pet 4:17
Whereas the most rewarding of fiery trials occur as the result of persecution, as a consequence of
a believer’s profession of faith (verses 14 & 16), fiery trials of disciplinary punishment occur as
the result of offenses committed by the believer (verse 15). The fact of the matter is, if we thor-
oughly distinguished ourselves (if we engaged in earnest self-examination, self-condemnation
and self-punishment), we would not ever be decided. Indeed being (ones) decided, we are
trained under Supreme Authority, in order that we would not be decided against together
with the cosmos (Ei gar heautous diekrinomen, ouk an ekrinometha. Krinomenoi de, hupo Kuriou
paideuometha, hina m‘ sun tÇ kosmÇ katakrithÇmen - I Cor 11:31-32). When godly sorrow is not
experienced by the believer and his conscience is not smitten with shame and conviction, he can
be certain that Supreme Deity will bring a consuming fiery trial of punishing discipline into his
life. The words, being ones decided (krinomenoi), are translated from a conjugation of the verb,
krinÇ (“to judicially distinguish”); conveying the idea of applying the full spectrum of justice
(examination, condemnation and sentencing). The words, we are trained (paideuometha), contain-
ing the word, child (paidion), are translated literally from a conjugation of the verb, paideuÇ (“to
train”), which conveys the idea of educating and disciplining a child (Acts 7:22, 22:3, II Cor 6:9,
I Tim 1:20, II Tim 2:25, Titus 2:12, Heb 12:6, Rev 3:19).

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                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Offending believers who are brought into examination, condemnation and sentencing by means
of trial are thus educated and disciplined as children who are loved and chastened by an angry
Parent. The words, we would... be decided against (katakrithÇmen), are translated literally from
the first person plural past tense, subjunctive indefinite action tense of the verb, katakrinÇ , a
compound of kata (“against”) and krinÇ (“to judicially decide, distinguish”); conveying the idea
of convicting of a crime and pronouncing sentence (Matt 20:18, Mark 14:64, John 8:10, Rom 8:3,
14:23, Heb 11:7, II Pet 2:6). In either case, of trial as the result of persecution or of trial as the
result of offense, the trial is nevertheless fiery and calculated to yield conciliatory fruit of right-
eousness to the (ones) being exercised through it (karpon eir‘nikon tois di’ aut‘s gegumnas-
menois apodidÇsi dikaiosun‘s - Heb 12:11), rendering the believer in pursuit of the sanctification
(ton hagiasmon - Heb 12:14). The passage begins with the word, because (hoti), which refers to
the preceding comparison; of believers who suffer as a result of persecution, in contrast with those
who suffer as a result of disgrace (as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil doer, or as a troublesome
meddler). Concerning those who would abuse and distort the grace of Jehovah, by withholding
forgiveness from those who repent, delivering such penitent offenders to the torturers until they
pay all that is perceived to be due, Jesus warns believers, In this way also my Father the Hea-
venly (One) will do to you, in the case that each of you would not forgive his brother from
your heart his side-slips (HoutÇ kai pat‘r mou ho epouranios poi‘sei humin, ean m‘ aph‘te
hekastos tÇ adelphÇ autou apo tÇn kardiÇn humÇn ta paraptÇmata autÇn - Matt 18:35). Accord-
ingly, the Apostle Peter does not project the occasion of the condemnation into the future, but
solemnly assures every believer that the occasion for the function of justice which examines and
convicts (the condemnation), which commences from the house of the Supreme Deity, has
already begun (see The Rostrum of the Christ - next page).

                          The Occasion of the Condemnation
                                 the und erpinning func tion of all trials
By, the occasion (ho kairos), the Apostle indicates an ongoing process of indefinite duration, in
terms of an appropriate season. The life-long process of sanctification is replete with trials which
occur as the result of either persecution or a believer’s offense, as certain as the (One) having
been commencing on a beneficial work in you will complete upon (it) until the day of Jesus
Christ (ho enarxamenos en humin ergon agathon epitelesei achris h‘meras I‘sou Christou - Phil
1:6). Condemnation begins with believers in this life and ends with unbelievers at a great white
tribunal after the annihilation of the natural universe, culminating in the ultimate realization of the
entire spectrum of justice (not only condemnation, but also sentencing and punishment). Three
separate functions of judicial action are all rendered by most English translations without distinc-
tion, as judgment. Whereas krima (literally, “decision”) is used for the function of condemnation,
(comprehensive of examination and conviction); krisis (meaning, “justice”) is used for the function
of sentencing and retributive punishment. The word, krinÇ (meaning, “to distinguish”), is used for
the entire spectrum of judicial action (examination, condemnation and sentencing). Here, with
krima, Peter refers to condemnation and to its role of examination and conviction. The agelong
occasion for the function of justice that examines and convicts (the condemnation) is explained
by him to be commencing from the house of the Supreme Deity. By the term, house of the Sup-
reme Deity, Peter does not restrict the meaning to a local church, but alludes to the household
of the persuasion (tous oikeious t‘s pisteÇs - Gal 6:10); all believers in the natural realm at any
given time (Eph 2:19). The condemnation is not a function delegated to believers to be carried-out
upon the world-at-large, but a function of the Holy Spirit which is carried-out first upon believers,
before it is carried-out upon the cosmos.




54
                                          SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Grave attention is called to the severity of the condemnation, with the rhetorical question, “Indeed
if firstly from us, what will be the end of the ones being unconvinced by the Good Message of
the Supreme Deity?” In view of the dramatic loss and intense misery that the condemnation often
exacts upon believers through temporary trials in this life, Peter leaves to the imagination a terrify-
ing picture of the perpetual end (the outcome and result) that the condemnation will assuredly
exact upon the ones being unconvinced (the ones from whom the gift of persuasion has been with-
held). Whereas the Good Message is perceived by the ones being unconvinced to be actually a bad
message, since it now announces by the side to all men in every direction to repent (ta nun
paraggelei tois anthrÇpois pasi pantachou metanoein - Acts 17:30, it is mentioned here to empha-
size the accountability and responsibility of both the implements of violent abhorrence being
thoroughly equipped into ruin (skeu‘ org‘s kat‘rtismena eis apÇleian) and the implements of
compassion, all which He has fitted-up in advance into glory (skeu‘ eleous, ha pro‘toimasen
eis doxan - Rom 9:22-24).


                                 The Rostrum of the Christ
   Since the occasion of the condemnation which is to be commencing from the house of the Supreme Deity
     is not deferred, but is an ever-present reality for each true believer, they face no “future judgment Seat”,
                                      but trials of refinement in the present life.

Since only the spiritually dead shall appear before the White Throne tribunal at the end of their
lives in the natural realm, many religionists imagine a separate future judgment for believers,
labeling it, “The Judgment Seat of Christ”. Since the Christ shall have no need to purify those who
are in Heaven (they will have already been delivered and purified), but actively saves and purifies
in the natural realm, believers are subject to be brought before His Rostrum in this life. According
to the Apostle Paul, we will all stand by the side of the Rostrum of the Christ (Pantes gar
parast‘sometha tÇ b‘mati tou Christon - Rom 14:10) and, as certain that every knee will bend to
Him and all tongues will assent to the Supreme Deity (Isa 45:23), so accordingly then each of us
will give expression concerning himself to the Supreme Deity (Ara oun hekastos h‘mÇn peri
heautou logon dÇsei tÇ TheÇ - Rom 14:12). The Rostrum was an elevated seat found in town
squares, where the Roman magistrates sat each day to administer justice (John 19:13). Although
purely spiritual, the Rostrum of the Christ is a similarly continuous function of the present (not
a one-time event of the future). The believer will give expression concerning himself to the Sup-
reme Deity each day of the present life, standing by the side of the Rostrum of the Christ where
his actions are continuously subject to being discerned and tested.

Speaking of refining tests being brought to bear upon a believer’s labor in this life, eliminating that
which is worthless and spiritually combustible (allegorized as timber, grass, straw) and purifying
that which is beneficial and spiritually incombustible (allegorized as gold, silver, valuable stones),
the Apostle Paul wrote, the labor of each will be coming to be evident. For the day will make
plain, because it is disclosed in fire. And the fire will prove the labor of each of what kind it
is. If the labor of someone abides, that which he has constructed upon, he will take pay for
service. If the labor of someone will be burning down, he will be diminished, indeed he will
be delivered. Indeed in this way in the manner through fire (Ei de tis epoikodomei epi ton them-
elion touton chruson, arguron, lithous timious, xula, chorton, kalam‘n, hekastou to ergon phaneron
gen‘setai, h‘ gar h‘mera d‘lÇsei, hoti en puri apokaluptetai. Kai hekastou to ergon hopoion esti
to pur dokimasei. Ei tinos to ergon menei ho epÇkodom‘se, misthon l‘psetai. Ei tinos to ergon
kataka‘setai, z‘miÇth‘setai. Autos de sÇth‘setai, houtÇ de hÇs dia puros - I Cor 3:12-15). By the
term, the day, the Apostle does not refer to a “Judgment Day” of the future, but to the light which
is presently being cast by the Daystar, the exquisite discernment which will make plain all labor
and reveals what kind it is.


                                                                                                                    55
                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

When that which is combustible and worthless will be burning down, the resultant injury is indeed
a deliverance; as certain that the Surgeon must open-up and cut-away in order to promote healing.
It is through fire (by means of refining tests) in this life that the labor of each believer is thus
made to be acceptable. With reference to his passion for pleasing the Supreme Deity while he yet
existed in the body, before he is taken to be with Him, Paul described the same principle when
he wrote, For it is necessary all of the (deeds) to be made plain in front of the Rostrum of the
Christ, in order that each (deed) through the body would be provided for, toward all which
he had practiced, whether beneficial, whether worthless (Tous gar pantas h‘mas phanerÇth‘nai
dei emprosthen tou b‘matos tou Christou, hina komis‘tai hekastos ta dia tou sÇmatos, pros ha
epraxen, eite agathon, eite kakon - II Cor 5:10). It is toward all which he had practiced (pertain-
ing to every thing that he had repeatedly performed) that Jesus provides for each of the deeds;
refining and enhancing that which is beneficial, while reproving and correcting that which is
worthless. With regard to the state of being beyond this life, the one being persuaded shall enter
a resurrection of life, while the one not being persuaded shall enter a resurrection of justice
(John 5:29).


Although Jehovah’s punishment of believers is certainly mingled with mercy and is administered
as any other trial of faith, it does not fall short of its objective to refine and purify. From loss of
livelihood to loss of limbs, from grievous heartbreak to near fatal heart attacks, the effect of the
condemnation in a fiery trial will leave an indelible impression upon the psyche of a believer, of
Jehovah’s intolerance for sin and of His unfailing determination to make the subjects of His king-
dom to be holy. Believers become intimately familiar with the meaning of the statement, (It is) a
frightening (matter) to fall into the hands of the Living Supreme Deity (phoberon empesein eis
cheiras Theou zÇntos - Heb 10:31).

                             And if the just (one) is delivered with
                             difficulty, where is the irreverent and
                                     sinful (one) to appear?
                             Kai ei ho dika ios mo lis sÇ zetai, ho aseb‘ s kai
                                       hamartÇ los pou phaneitai.
                                                I Pet 4:18
This passage represents a veritable superimposition of Jeremiah 25:29 upon the Septuagint version
of Proverbs 11:31, showing that Jehovah’s people cannot exist without punishment in a world
where the ones being unconvinced, here given the additional appellations of irreverent (aseb‘s)
and sinful (hamartÇlos), are doomed for eternal torture. The question, complementing the preced-
ing question, emanates from the fact of a severe condemnation which begins among believers and
from the reality that such justice is exacted in a manner that delivers offending believers by means
of the difficulty of agony and loss. Certainly, all believers are delivered from the guilt and bond-
age of sin with difficulty of varying degrees, but the context of Peter’s written discourse here deals
with those who enter into the conflagration of a fiery trial (verse 12). Except in principle, he is not
addressing the general salvation of all believers, but the deliverance of those who have been thus
positively affected by the condemnation. With the term, the just one, Peter does not describe a
perfected person, but a justified sinner (Rom 3:26); one upon whom the righteousness of Jesus has
been imputed (II Cor 5:21).
Since justified sinners are subject to undergo such severity of the condemnation, as to be deliver-
ed with difficulty, Peter leaves to incalculable estimation the horror of everlasting misery and ruin
which awaits sinners who are not justified. Mercy is seen in the fact that the fiery trial is given to
a justified sinner (a just one) for his benefit and advantage. Since justified sinners cannot lose their
salvation and since Jehovah cannot compromise His essence of holiness, He relentlessly admin-

56
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

isters what is necessary to bring them into compliance and to gain a deeper measure of their devo-
tion. Whereas the justified sinners will beam forth in the manner of the Sun in the Kingdom
of their Father (eklampsousin hÇs ho helios en t‘ basilaia tou patros autÇn - Matt 13:43), those
who are left to be irreverent and wicked will have no place to appear, but will be thrown into the
Furnace of the Fire: The lamentation and the grating of the teeth will be there (eis t‘n kamin-
on tou puros. Ekei estai ho klauthmos kai ho brugmas tÇn odontÇn - Matt 13:50).

                             So too also the (ones) having suffered
                             according to the determination of the
                            Supreme Deity in the manner that the
                            souls of themselves would be placed by
                              the side of a trustworthy Creator in
                                        making beneficial.
                             HÇ ste kai hoi paschontes kata to thel‘ ma tou
                             Theou hÇ s pistÇ Ktist‘ paratithesthÇ san tas
                                    psuch as heautÇ n en agathopoiia.
                                              I Pet 4:19
The words, so too also, have reference to the believer being delivered (preceding verse). In view
of the absolute necessity for the condemnation, which temporarily punishes believers and serves
to deliver each of them with necessary difficulty, while simultaneously consigning unbelievers to
eternal retributive punishment, the Apostle Peter thus draws an encouraging conclusion for the
ones having suffered (the believers having grieved in various testings - lup‘thentes en poikilois
peirasmois: I Pet 1:5-6) and being proven through fire (dia puros de dokimazomenou - I Pet 1:7).
Whether a believer will experience suffering as a result of persecution or as a result of punish-
ment, the trials themselves each represent an unfathomable mercy; revealing Jehovah’s claim upon
each believer as property purchased with His own blood and Jehovah’s determination to refine and
purify His property. It is an imperative exercise of persuasion (faith) within believers, that the
souls of themselves would be placed by the side, while Jehovah carries out the ongoing campaign
of the condemnation. The words, would be placed by the side, are all translated from the
compound of para (“by the side”) and tithesthÇsan (“would be put in place”). The exertion of the
holy determination of the Supreme Deity not only brings offending believers into compliance
(puts them in place), but also lifts them into adopting His attitude towards sin (by the side). It is
in the case that we would confess our sins (when we express the same as Him towards sin), He
is trustworthy and just in order that He would forgive our sins, and would wash us from all
injustice (Ean homologÇmen tas hamartias h‘mÇn, pistos esti kai dikalos hina aph‘ h‘min tas
hamartias, kai katharis‘ h‘mas apo pas‘s adikias - I John 1:9). Indeed, through suffering, we
are both refined and brought to His point of view. The purpose of Peter’s use of the title, Supreme
Deity, which brings the attribute of omnipresence into prominence, is to emphasize the fact of the
ubiquitous Celebrity being everywhere at once and beholding every sin.
The word, trustworthy, is translated from piste, which conveys the idea of loyalty which has been
tested and found to be unwavering (Matt 25:21, I Cor 7:25, Col 4:9, I Tim 1:12, II Tim 2:2, Rev
19:11). The fact that Jehovah works all things together for the believer’s benefit is qualified by the
proclamation here of Him as Creator. Although Peter could have as well used the titles of either
“Savior” or “Preserver”, his subject brings into view the perfect right of the sovereign Monarch
to operate in accordance with His essence of holiness. The Potter who holds authoritative privi-
lege, out of the same bulk truly to make an implement that which is into value, indeed that
which is into infamy (exousian ho keramenus tou p‘lou, ek tou autou phruamatos poi‘sai ho men
eis tim‘n skeuos, ho de eis atimian - Rom 9:21) also holds authoritative privilege to make known
the wealth of His glory upon implements of compassion, all which He has fitted-up in ad-
vance into glory (gnoris‘ ton plouton t‘s dox‘s autou epi skeu‘ eleous, ha pro‘toimasen eis

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                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

doxan - Rom 9:24), in a manner consistent with His holiness. Peter thus appropriately concludes
his address of fiery trials and Jehovah’s rightful authority to use them for a believer’s benefit, with
the proclamation of Him as a trustworthy Creator.
With the words, making beneficial (agathopoiia), attention is emphatically drawn to the fact that
a believer enters into every aspect of the fiery trial for benefit and ultimate advantage and ought
to be fully knowing that every (thing) works together into benefit for the (ones) loving the
Supreme Deity, for the (ones) being called according to His purpose (hoti tois agapÇsi to Theon
panta sunergei eis agathon, tois kata prothesin kl‘tois ousin. - Rom 8:28). Through the imposition
of his fiery trial, in accordance with the determination of the Supreme Deity, a sufferer ought then
to be believing, depending and relying upon the absolute certainty that the Creator is placing him
into an improved and favorable position. While furnishing the believer with the foundation upon
which the drama of fiery trial unfolds, the Apostle therewith also provides vital and assuring in-
gredients for endurance. While the ongoing process of the condemnation makes no attempt to
reform the implements of violent abhorrence having been thoroughly equipped into destruction,
but only insures retributive punishment for them in eternity; it serves to discipline the implements
of compassion, all which He has fitted-up in advance into glory.


                               THE WILL TO DIE
                                    (Phil 1:21-23 & II Cor 5:8-9)

                             For to me, the (one) to live, (is) Christ;
                                and the (one) to die-off (is) gain.
                              Emoi gar to z‘ n, Christos, kai to apothanein
                                                 kerdos.
                                               Phil 1:21
These words were written by the Apostle Paul in the context of magnifying the Christ, either
through his deliverance from prison (verse 19) or through Cæsar’s verdict of death (verse 20). The
devotion of energy and captivation of thoughts to the cause of Jesus, in terms of volume and in-
tensity, is proportionate to the number and severity of trials having been endured. The believer
whose faith has been tried and proven through many trials, who bears not only the afflictions of
the Gospel, but also a stake in the flesh (II Cor 12:7), is able to embrace these words of the Apostle
as his own; as if the words had arisen within his own heart and had been written by his own hand.
All other believers exist in various phases of spiritual growth, struggling through diverse stages
of distraction and division within themselves, possessing a deepening love for the Christ, but also
being yet moored to the many trappings of the world and to the precarious compromises of self-
justifying flesh. Such believers are not yet really willing to die and do not spend considerable por-
tions of each day in contemplation of the prospect of death, clinging yet to an affection for the
sensual pleasures of living in the flesh. According to the limitations of their spiritual immaturity,
they profess the truth, that to live is Christ; but also believe that to die-off is loss. Until additional
trials eventually remove persistent delusional excuses that flourish in their flesh, fear of death will
always contradict and militate against their profession.
With the sole exception of being seized alive and instantly transformed by Jesus at His glorious
return, nothing is more pleasing to the seasoned and mature believer than the thought of natural
death; his exodus from the tragedy of this miserable life and the deliverance from the sinfulness
of his flesh. He can thereby serve Jehovah in sinless perfection, with absolute confidence that
every thought, word and deed shall glorify the Father in Jesus. Certainly, to serve Christ blame-
lessly in the flesh is the duty and rational service of all true believers, but to be present with Him
out of the body is reckoned to be gain in every sense. In his second missive to the church at

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                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Corinth, the Apostle wrote, we indeed exercise courage, and we delight to a greater degree to
go abroad out of the body, and to be in-country towards the Supreme Authority (Tharrhou-
men de, kai eudokomen mallon ekd‘m‘sai ek tou sÇmatos, kai end‘m‘sai pros ton Kurion - II Cor
5:8). Comparing the superiority of a stately mansion to a tattered tent (verses 1-4), he expresses
the inevitable preference and attraction for all that exists beyond the present life. He is incited and
stimulated by the attraction of natural death and his outlook is elevated by the anticipation of the
prospect. Paul’s meaning of “in-country” is the eternal Abode and abiding town where all believ-
ers have their citizenship.
For as long as we exist in the earthen body (the tent), we remain abroad and away from the direct
glorified presence of the One who infallibly applies omniscience (the Supreme Authority). To be
towards the Supreme Authority is to be in-country and to realize proximity to His glorified
presence in the fulfilled Kingdom, while existing in a veritable mansion (John 14:1-3). Jesus is
addressed here, neither as “Supreme Deity” nor as “All-ruling Sovereign”, but as “Supreme Auth-
ority”; since the attribute to be emphasized is neither omnipresence nor omnipotence, but omni-
science. Being the One to whom all authoritative privilege was given... in Heaven and upon
land (edoth‘ moi pasa exousia en ouranÇ kai epi g‘s - Matt 28:18), who applies perfect know-
ledge, Christ is the personified force of Supreme Deity and (the) wisdom of Supreme Deity
(Christon Theou dunamin kai Theou sophian - I Cor 1:24). Indeed, the Supreme Authority is none
other than the revealing Expression, without whom neither the Father nor the Spirit can realize
manifest-ation (John 1:1-3). The believer who has been seasoned and matured in the trials and
discipline conducted by the Supreme Authority yearns unceasingly for the ultimate union with
Him abroad and in-country.
Referring to human bodies of flesh as mere tents (skenei), Paul had written the peculiar statement,
that they groan being (ones) weighted, upon which we determine not to be unclothed, but to
be clothed-upon in order that mortality would be drunk-down on behalf of the life (Ei ge
endusamenoi ou gumnoi heureth‘sometha. Kai gar hoi ontes en tÇ sk‘nei stenazomen baroumenoi,
eph’ hÇ ou thelomen ekdusasthai, all’ ependusasthai, hina katapoth‘ to thn‘ton hupo t‘s zǑs - II
Cor 5:3-4). Regarding raiment, symbolizing here the encasement in which the human spirit
resides, to remove a garment (to come out of the tent) is to be unclothed (literally, to be sinking-
out) and to be adorned with a garment is to be clothed-upon (literally, to be sinking-in). Living
for the Christ while in the flesh, the mature believer breathes and sighs with weariness and grief
(being ones weighted ), carrying the burden of limitations imposed by a wretched body of sinful
flesh, longing for his spirit to be released and liberated to his Maker (Eccl 12:6-7). He does not
simply wish to be unshackled (unclothed), but desires to exist in the mansion promised to him
(clothed-upon), so that the temporary existence of limitations will be swallowed (in order that
mortality would be drunk-down) in the permanent existence of no limitation (on behalf of the
life), that the imperfect service in the flesh will be replaced forever by flawless execution.

                           Indeed if the (one is) to live in flesh, to me
                           that (is) fruit of labor; and I make known
                                    not what I take for myself.
                           Ei de to z‘ n en sarki, touto moi ka rpos ergou, kai
                                         ti hair‘ somai ou gnorizÇ .
                                               Phil 1:22
The Apostle Paul thus speaks of living awhile longer in a natural body, as simply a means of real-
izing the yield of additional spiritual exertion in the natural realm. Fraught with constraints and
limitations, such realization is consolation for service to Christ while in the flesh and is not, by any
means, either preferable or more rewarding that the gain of natural death. Having said, that to live
is Christ, the Apostle thus expresses fruit of labor, as willingness to expend spiritual energy in

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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

a body of flesh for the cause of Jesus on Earth. Although rich with purpose and not without
ultimate reward, the prospect of continuing in this life (to live in flesh) is a dreary anticipation,
compared with the benefits and advantages to be realized in natural death. The words, I make
known not what I take for myself, are grossly mistranslated in the KJV as, “yet what I choose,
I know not”. Paul was neither confronted with a choice nor ignorant of his own preference. Since
he was not torn between a desire to live in the flesh and the desire to depart from the flesh, he
expresses the fact that he is not at liberty to decide how best to serve the Christ. Since his desire
to please Jehovah exceeded all desire for departing from the flesh, he dared not to make his prefer-
ence for dying to be contrary to the Father’s will, that he should remain in the flesh awhile longer.
Concerning his preference for being out of the body and in our country towards the Supreme
Authority, Paul had written to the church at Corinth, through which thing also we aspire,
whether having (existed) in-country, whether having (existed) abroad, to be (ones) well agree-
able to Him (Dio kai philotimoumetha, eite end‘mountes, eite ekd‘mountes, euarestoi autÇ einai -
II Cor 5:9). He thus confesses to subjugating his esteem for that which is worthy of preference,
existence in Paradise (in our country) or remaining in the natural realm (out of our country), to
his esteem for what is well agreeable to Supreme Authority. Eagerness to perform acceptably for
the Christ counters an unhealthy obsession to depart from this life. A matured believer’s prefer-
ence for death is both offset and tempered by his willingness to go wherever and however Supreme
Authority directs. The preference for death nevertheless remains and positively serves to com-
pound the believer’s disgust for the flesh and the sin that flourishes therein.

                            For I am held together out of the two,
                             holding the strong yearning into the
                              (one) to loosen-up and to be with
                             Christ; an improvement to a much
                                        greater degree.
                             Sunechoum ai gar ek tÇ n duo , t‘ n epithumian
                             echÇ n eis to analusai kai sun ChristÇ einai,
                                         pollÇ mallon kreisson.
                                              Phil 1:23
The words, I am held together (sunechoumai), are translated literally from the first person present
tense, passive indicative action, expression of the verb, sunechÇ , a compound of sun (“together”)
and echÇ (“to hold”); conveying either the idea of being compelled to do only one thing or the idea
of being compressed and rendered immobile (Matt 4:24, Luke 8:37, 22:63, Acts 18:5, II Cor 5:14).
The idea presented in the KJV, of being “in a strait betwixt” cannot be found in the Greek text.
The Apostle Paul speaks instead of an irony and apparent paradox, the conflicting desires of
remaining on Earth (to live) and of going to Paradise (to die-off) pressing out together into the
passion which he held, to realize the ultimate reality. The words, strong yearning (epithumian),
translated from a compound of epi (“upon”) and thumoÇ (“passion”), cannot be translated as a
mere “desire” or “wish”, but can only be understood as relentless and fervent pursuit. For the
mature believer whose faith has been seasoned by the endurance of many trials, both life and death
are together compressed into a unified strong yearning; a singularity of intense longing for the
direct presence of the One who is altogether Lovely. The words, to loosen-up (analusai), are trans-
lated literally from a conjugation of the verb, analuÇ , a compound of ana (“up”) and luÇ (“to
loosen”), used by the ancient Greeks to indicate loosing the anchor of a ship in order to sail from
port. While the word is used here by the Apostle Paul to indicate loosing a soul from its mooring
to the cosmos; death, it was used by Jesus to indicate the loosing of Himself from preparation of
the glorified Kingdom (Luke 12:36).




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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

The words, an improvement to a much greater degree, do not constitute a redundancy, but serve
to underscore what the Apostle meant by gain (verse 21). The compression of which Paul writes
causes the surpassing passion for exodus to intensify in buoyant strength of disproportionate
resistance. The more that a believer grows in grace and in intimate acquaintance with the suffer-
ings of the Christ through the oppressive pressures of trial, the more clearly he will see that all
believers are, but aliens and residents alongside upon the land (xenoi kai parepid‘moi eisin epi
t‘s g‘s - Heb 11:13), having not in this same spot an abiding town (ou... hÇde menousan polin -
Heb 13:14), and the more he will embrace the words of the Apostle as his own, that the passion
to die and be with Jesus is an improvement to a much greater degree than any desire to remain
in this life. The yearnings of such a matured believer’s heart are portrayed in the words of Asaph:
For who is at hand to me in Heaven (if not you)? And by the side of you, who have I deter-
mined upon the land? (Ti gar moi huparchei en tÇ ouranÇ , kai para sou ti ‘thel‘ma epi t‘s g‘s -
Psalm 73:25) The will to die is not an anomaly of grace which is restricted to the courageous
martyrs of history, but is hallmark to the faith and composure of all seasoned believers; a distin-
guishing quality of spiritual maturity.

Many perfecting trials will bring the believer to the ideal confession; For even now I am poured-
out, and the occasion of my loosening-up stands upon. I have contended in the beautiful con-
test; I have completed the race, I have guarded the persuasion. Remaining; the Wreath of
the Righteousness is reserved to me, which the Supreme Authority, the just Judge, will give
away to me in that day. Indeed not merely to me, but also to all the (ones who) have loved the
manifestation of Him (EgÇ gar ‘d‘ spendomai, kai ho kairos t‘s em‘s analuseÇs ephest‘ke. Ton
agÇma ton kalon ‘gÇmismai, ton dromon teteleka, t‘n pistin tet‘r‘ka. Loipon, apokeitai moi ho t‘s
dikaiosun‘s stephanos, hon apodÇsei moi ho Kurios en ekein‘ t‘ h‘mera, ho dikaios krit‘s. Ou
monon de emoi, alla kai pasi tois ‘gap‘kosi t‘n epi-phaneian autou - II Tim 4:6-8). These words
of Paul to Timothy are not recorded to be considered as simply a matter of interest for believers,
so that they might register awe at the boldness and confidence of a particularly holy man towards
the end of his life. Rather, they are recorded as a matter of identification, so that tried and true
believers might measure their spiritual progress against a worthy standard. Those who honestly
feel that they are alienated from the affections and activities of the world, who truly perceive them-
selves as aliens and residents alongside upon a planet that offers them little comfort in their
plight, will study the confession of Paul for the purpose of comparing their own passions.


                         SONGS IN THE NIGHT
                                             (Psalm 42:8)

                          The Lord will command His lovingkindness
                            in the daytime, and in the night His song
                           shall be with me, my prayer unto the God
                                           of my life.
                                        Psalm 42:8 - KJV
                          (In the) day Supreme Authority will enjoin
                          His compassion, and (in the) night His song
                           will be with me. By the side to me (is) the
                            prayer to the Supreme Deity of my life.
                         H‘ meras enteleitai Kurios to eleos au tou, kai nu ktos
                         d‘ lÇ sei. Par’ emoi proseuch‘ tÇ TheÇ t‘ s zǑ s mou.
                                         Psalm 42:8 - LXX




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                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

The believer realizes his enjoyment of the Lord by means of His compassion during times of ease
and pleasant circumstances and by means of His song during times of adversity. The times of
refreshment and prosperity (the day) and the times of hardship and loss (the night) are here given
appropriate figurative representation from the perspective of a believer’s perception of events. The
word appearing in the KJV, lovingkindness, is endearing and bears a particular sweetness associ-
ated with the compassion of Jehovah. However, the word is not found anywhere in the original
manuscripts, but is, in every case, a minor mistranslation of the Hebrew, checed, which means
simply “compassion”. Although the compassion of Jehovah towards a believer certainly is loving
and certainly does not cease during times of adversity, the tokens by which the believer is able to
readily discern His compassion are more difficult (if not impossible) for him to perceive while he
is experiencing trial. The compassion of Jehovah is most evident from a believer’s earthbound
perspective during times of refreshment, when the believer is at ease in pleasant circumstances.
During such times, God sends abundant evidence of His compassion by means of injunction
(enteleitai): It is therefore by decree that His kindness is less pronounced to the senses of a believer
during times of adversity (Song 5:5-8). The darkness of adversity and seeming absence of the
Father’s kindness are both ingredients which constitute classic trial of a believer’s faith. They are
sent by decree of Jehovah, to draw the believer into deeper intimacy with Himself.
By means of trial, the believer is made to clutch most desperately for the Savior and is forced into
greatest reliance and dependence upon Him. The Father derives greatest pleasure in such intimacy,
since it squeezes forth the song from the believer which originated in Himself. The sweet song that
He gives a believer in the throes of his agony represents the believer’s acquaintance with the
sufferings of the Christ. The sweetest song in the darkest of all nights continues to be heard in the
passion of Jesus to become both the substitutionary Lamb and the justifying Scapegoat for His
chosen. Originating in the heart of the Christ, it is heard in the sufferings of all believers in every
one of their trials. The fact that songs in the night are the exclusive experiences of trial, that they
are indeed in the night (given only during times of adversity) and can neither be sought nor given
in the day (during times of refreshment and ease), is irrefutably substantiated by the context of
each case in Scripture where they are mentioned (Job 35:9-10 & Psalm 77:1-6). It was when Asaph
was undergoing severe trial, overwhelmed in spirit and so troubled that he could not speak (Psalm
77:1-4), that he considered past deliverances and said, I call to remembrance my song in the
night (Psalm 77:5-6). The word, song, is intended by the psalmist to be figurative of praise in both
word and deed, of sincerest expression of gratitude which is manifested in countenance and
behavior.
To make melody in your heart (Eph 5:19) is to experience the harmonious union of your spirit
with the cause and purpose of Jesus Christ. To make such melody in the night, however, is to
exhibit the pearl of endurance, the radiant product of vigorously exercised faith. Notice, that the
passage assigns the song’s origin to be the Lord (His song will be with me). Elihu also revealed
the supernatural character and origin of songs in the night, when he angrily compared Job to unbe-
lievers who are unable to offer praise during oppression, whose natural depravity prevents them
from asking, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night? (Job 35:10) The songs
are given by the Father exclusively to the chosen, beginning at the moment in which they first
believe and throughout their entire walk on Earth with Him, but are not released and enjoyed by
Him until the moments during which a believer is crushed by the pressure of tribulation.
The state of endurance achieved, pliant and cheerful submission and applause for His purposes,
is His song, in the sense also that the song itself represents the greatest of comfort during the dark-
est moments of the believer’s spiritual night: It comes through the believer from Jehovah during
moments of greatest need. The believer is thus a rich storehouse of sweetest melody which cannot
be sung without the mashing and grinding of oppressive pressure. Within the believer’s experience
of worst misery, he will thus discover God’s deposit of an infinite reservoir of greatest consolation

62
                                        SONGS IN THE NIGHT

and maximum assurance. Supernatural aid does not come when the need arises, but is already
present; awaiting the need. In the darkest hours of a believer’s night, therefore, his need does not
await the aid. By the words, with me, the psalmist expresses the fact that the song in the night is
indeed an abiding comfort of the Spirit. It is proof of His presence, at a crucial time when all
apparent evidence of His kindness has been removed. The fact that it is released from the heart of
a believer, after being placed therein by God, is cheering assurance of His continuous affection
and unwavering devotion to the believer’s welfare and preservation; yea, His kindness which is
loving. The song in the night is thus another expression for the discovery of Christ’s revelation in
the furnace of affliction and for the experience of His greatest comfort in the house of sorrow. In
the Temple of a believer’s life with Jesus on Earth and within the Holy Place represented by trial,
the song in the night thus represents communion with Him in the Holy of Holies.
The psalmist qualifies the song in the night, as the prayer to the Supreme Deity of my life. The
song is representative of prayer, in the sense that it is a state in which the believer is in conscious
and continuous approbation of Jehovah’s eternal decrees. Since literal prayer itself is an earnest
seeking on the part of a believer to conform to the will of Jehovah, the song in the night is a prayer
composed of prayers; a litany of many prayers which affirm conformity to His pleasure. As a
litany of many prayers, the song is intensely personal, ranging from the sweetest and most intimate
revelations of His affection during golden meditations to lavishly rich discoveries in the study of
His Word. By the term, Supreme Deity of my life, the psalmist alludes to the motive of the Father
in bringing the occasions of dark adversity and seeming absence of His kindness into the experi-
ence of a believer. The enrichment of spiritual life while existing in the flesh, useful in effective
service in the Kingdom on Earth, is preparation for the life after natural death. Sanctification dur-
ing this life, while the believer’s spirit resides in vile flesh, occurs solely for the purpose of prepar-
ing the believer for eternal fellowship and perfect service in Heaven. Improved service on Earth
is incidental and a matter of course to the preparation of the believer for the ultimate reality.

As it was with life in mind that Jesus yielded to death, it is for the sake of enrichment of life in the
spirit that a believer yields to the agony of trial. Eventual deliverance from the trial bespeaks the
certainty of resurrection, when all songs in the night shall cease forever. After the trials are for-
gotten and the night of this life has passed, however, the memory and value of the songs shall
vividly continue, enriching the experience of Jehovah’s compassion in the day and adding joy to
the everlasting experience of the eternal day (Rev 21:22-25).


                      THE SMYRNAN BELIEVER
                                                (Rev 2:9-10)


            About fifty miles to the north of Ephesus, also located on the eastern shore of the
            Ægean Sea, Smyrna was known as the crown of Asia for its pro sperity and beauty.
            W ith a temple which was built in honor of Tiberius Cæsar, the city was one of the
            centers of the imperial emperor worship cult. The fact that the church in Smyrna
            would be represe ntative of many severely persecuted churches throughout the
            spiritual Kingdom at any given time in the succeeding centuries necessitated the
            scroll being sent to it under the circumstances of the time. The fact that the church
            also represented the general condition of the spiritual Kingdom under particularly
            severe sieges of persecution during the second epoch of centuries (until the reign
            of emperor Diocletian had ended in 312 AD ) is illustrated by the fac t that the scroll
            was sen t secondly to that location (Rev 1:11).




                                                                                                       63
                                        SONGS IN THE NIGHT

By the symb ol, into Smyrna (Rev 1:11), representation is made of the scroll, addressed to all seven of the
churches, being read in its entirety secondly by the church lo cated in Smyrna; of m atters directed separately
to each of the six other churches being pertinent also to the believers of Smyrna. Hence, it is representative
of matters directed separately to each of the six other epochs being pertinent also to the Smyrnan Epo ch. The
meaning of the city’s name, “myrrh”, symbolizes here the bride of Christ (the total election of grace) coming
forth from the lonely wasteland as columns o f incense, perfumed w ith myrrh... (Song 3:6). The church at
Smyrna represents the prevalent characteristics of the Kingdo m on Earth during the early centuries (roughly,
from 200 until 500 AD), featuring the gradual diminishment of fierce governmental persecution which gave
way to a great apostasy (II Thes 2:-12, I Tim 4:1-3 & II Tim 4:1-4). Although the condition of the Kingdom
ranged from the cold orthodoxy characterized in the original church of E phesus to the spirit of compromise
which pervaded the church of Pergamos, such departures from the general complexion were few and restrict-
ed to the periphery of the emerging “H oly Roman Empire”. During this epoch, when the second Dangerous
Animal arose from the decomposition of the Roman Emp ire, true believers did not de fect, but tenacio usly
maintained spiritual purity (2:8-11).

                            I fully know your labor and the oppressive
                             pressure and the beggary (indeed you are
                             wealthy), and the vilification of the (ones)
                             laying forth of themselves to be Judæan,
                               and they are not, but an assemblage of
                                            the Accuser.
                             Oida sou ta erga kai t‘ n thlipsin kai t‘ n ptÇ cheian
                             (plousios de ei), kai t‘ n blasph‘ mian tÇ n legontÇ n
                              Ioudaiou s einai heautous, kai ouk eisin, all suna-
                                               gÇ g‘ tou Satana.
                                                   Rev 2:9
The One who refers to Himself as the Creator and Redeemer (Rev 2:1) here informs the mes-
senger of the Smyrnan church (the reading minister) of His approving familiarity with the
church’s efforts. The energy of Smyrnan believers is commendably directed to the endurance of
severest hardship, indigence and slander brought against the membership chiefly by the religious
elite of their locality. The genius of prophecy is such that every word spoken by Jesus to the
Smyrnan church has as much meaning and relevance for an individual believer of the present
Laodicean epoch as was true for each believer of that particular assembly at the turn of the first
century. In words which addressed a church that suffered at the hands of an imperial cult of
emperor worshipers and at the hands of a local Judæan settlement, an isolated and impoverished
believer of the present day will find a personalized message which is directed exclusively to his
heart by the Holy Spirit.
The significance is not in who the persecutors of the Smyrnan church were, but in what they repre-
sented. In the present day, the forces against many true believers continue to be a combination of
malice from the controlling secular world and hostility from an established religious community.
The oppressive pressure, the beggary, and the vilification suffered by the believers there and then
continue to be the same suffered by Smyrnan believers who are scattered throughout the world in
the present day. The message is restricted neither to the past nor to the future, but has found its
mark in your heart here and now. By the symbol, I fully know your labor, representation is made
of Jesus’ omniscience, revealing thorough knowledge and appreciation of the efforts and activities
of Smyrnan believers. The symbol, I fully know... the oppressive pressure, is representative of
Jesus’ omniscience, revealing thorough knowledge and appreciation of the refining trials being
experienced by Smyrnan believers. His intimate acquaintance with their afflictions, anguish, bur-
dens and troubles is the result not only of the fact of His own experience in human flesh, but also
of the fact that He arranges for each of their sufferings, for the sake of the sweet essence of fellow-
ship that He extracts therefrom (Rom 5:3-5, Jas 1:2-4 & I Pet 4:12-13).



64
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

The symbol, I fully know ...the beggary, is representative of Jesus’ omniscience, revealing
thorough knowledge and appreciation of the indigence and penury being endured by Smyrnan
believers. Whereas health and wealth are perceived by the religious elite as indications of Jeho-
vah’s favor, Jesus here assures all believers that the opposite is true. Both oppressive pressure
(thlipsin) and beggary (ptÇcheian) are together hallmark to those who become spiritually wealthy.
Speaking of the grace of the Supreme Deity being given in the churches of Macedonia (t‘n
charin tou Theou t‘n dedomen‘n en tais ekkl‘siais t‘s Makedonias), the Apostle Paul wrote, that
being put to proof in much oppressive pressure, the superabundance of their cheerfulness
has superabounded into the wealth of their sincerity, according to the profundity of their
beggary (hoti en poll‘ dokim‘ thlipseÇs, h‘ perisseia t‘s charas autÇn kai h‘ kata bathous
ptÇcheia autÇn eperisseusen eis to ploutos t‘s haplot‘tos autÇn - II Cor 8:1-2).
The parenthetical symbol, indeed you are wealthy, is representative of the vast deposit of spirit-
ual richness which arises only from earthly poverty. Smyrnan believers are those who do not lay
up for themselves a treasury upon the land (th‘saurous epi t‘s g‘s), knowing that of where your
treasury is, there also your heart will be (hopou gar estin ho th‘sauros humÇn, ekei estai kai
h‘ kardia humÇn - Matt 6:19-21). Jesus had no words of comfort for the rich young ruler who was
sorrowful after learning the difficulty of those in possession of earthly riches to enter the spiritual
Kingdom, when He solemnly said, For with less toil a camel is to enter through an orifice of
a needle, than a wealthy one is to enter into the Kingdom of the Supreme Deity (EukopÇteron
gar esti kam‘lon dia trumalias rhaphidos eiselthein, ‘ plousion eis t‘n basileian tou Theou eisel-
thein.- Luke 18:23-25). To the complacent and self-assured believer of the present Laodicean
epoch, steeped in earthly comforts, presuming to possess spiritual wealth, He says, you are the
wretched (one) and pitiable and a cringing beggar and blind and nude (su ei ho talaipÇros kai
eleeinos kai ptÇchos kai tuphlos kai gumnos. - Rev 3:17). He who owned nothing upon this planet
views narrowly with disdain the smug religious elite who dare to sneer upon true believers who
are thus beleaguered.
The half-brother of Jesus asks the rhetorical question, Has the Supreme Deity not selected out
of the beggars of this cosmos, (to be) of wealth in persuasion, and of inheritance of the King-
dom which He has promised to the ones loving Him? (Akousate, adelphoi mou agap‘toi, ouch
ho Theos exelexato tous ptÇchous tou kosmou toutou, plousious en pistei, kai kl‘ronomous t‘s
basileias h‘s ep‘ggeilato tois agapÇsin auton - Jas 2:5). By the symbol, I fully know... the vilific-
ation of the ones laying forth of themselves to be Judæan, representation is made of Jesus’
omniscience, revealing thorough knowledge and appreciation of slander and defamation emanating
from the religious elite who profess also to be born from above. Holy Scripture is replete with
condemnation of the members of the religious establishment who vilify true believers (John 16:1-
3, I Tim 1:20, II Tim 3:2, I Pet 4:4 & Jude :8). By the symbol, Judæan, representation is made
here of fellow believers. Although the actual church of Smyrna suffered damaging vilification at
the hands of the Judæan settlement in that city, such character assassination and assaults upon
reputation would be common upon Smyrnan believers throughout the centuries ahead, at the hands
of the religious elite, represented here by the symbol, the ones laying forth of themselves. The
symbol, they are not, is representative of the deluded and presumptuous, both the moralist and
the licentious, whose imagined faith amounts to little more than vain superstition (Matt 7:21-23).
The principle is seen in words which were applicable to the actual Judæans of that original city
who contributed to the economic disinheritance and social disenfranchisement of the church in
Smyrna: For not all the ones out of Israel, (are) these Israel, nor because they are seed of
Abraham, are they all children, but “In Isaac a seed will be called to you”. That is, children
not of the flesh, these (are) children of the Supreme Deity; but the children of the promise
are reckoned into a seed (Ou gar pantes hoi ex Isra‘l, houtoi Isra‘l, Oud’ hoti eisin sperma Abra-


                                                                                                    65
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

am, pantes tekna, all’ ‘En Isaak kl‘th‘tsetai soi sperma’, Tout’ estin, ou ta tekna t‘s sarkos, tauta
tekna tou Theou, alla ta tekna t‘s epaggelias logizetai eis sperma - Rom 9:6-8). Against the
presumption of salvation by virtue of racial pedigree, the Apostle Paul thus informed the Judæans
of his day that salvation was by virtue of faith in Jesus alone. The spiritualization of the statement
intended and of the principle established can be seen in Paul’s allegory of Sarah and Hagar, where
he wrote, Indeed we, brothers, according to Isaac, we are the children of promise, and just
as at that time the (one) procreated according to flesh pursued the (one) according to Spirit,
in this way also now (H‘meis de, adelphoi, kata Isaak, epaggelias tekna esmen, all’ hÇsper tote ho
kata sarka genn‘theis ediÇke ton kata Pneuma, houtÇ kai nun - Gal 4:29-31). True believers,
down-trodden and without apparent resources, shall likewise be pursued by the usurping and pre-
sumptuous religious elite who are ignorantly esteemed by the world-at-large to be the repre-
sentatives of their faith, but who are actually an assemblage of the Accuser.
Although the six other churches reveal exceptions to the representation of the original church in
Smyrna, the Kingdom was such during the second epoch (roughly, from 200 to 500 AD) that true
believers were severely persecuted and impoverished. Smyrnan churches and believers of the
seventh and final epoch, the Laodicean, exist not only in former Iron Curtain countries and in
countries where only a national religion is recognized and tolerated. Smyrnan churches and
believers of the present day are persecuted not only by governments under which they suffer
oppressive pressure and beggary, but also by the various denominations and cults who profess faith
in Jesus (the ones laying forth of themselves to be Judæan). While Smyrnan believers suffer
economic hardship, they also endure the campaigns of innuendo and misrepresentation at the
hands of the religious elite, whom Jesus describes as an assemblage of the Accuser. The symbol,
they are... an assemblage of the Accuser, is representative of the deluded and the presumptuous
being assembled in their various congregations, not by Jesus, but by the Accuser (tou Satanas).
The symbol, E"J”< (Satan), corresponding to the Hebrew +:› (an opponent), is representative
of a name, which means “Adversary”.
The symbol used here, however, E"J"<”H (Satanas), corresponding to the Hebrew +•• (to
attack), is representative of an activity or occupancy, which means “Accuser”. The accuser of the
brothers is most effective in his profession, by influencing and manipulating those whose faith in
Jesus is only imaginary, those who actually pay homage to another Jesus (allon I‘soun) and really
propagate a different good message (euaggelion heteron - II Cor 11:4). By reading and parroting
the writings of the true believers and by delusionally owning as their own the experiences of true
believers, some of those who are from the assemblage of the Accuser are thus caused by Jesus in
order that they will arrive and they would pay hom-age in the face of your feet, and knowing
that I loved you (hina h‘xousi kai proskun‘sÇsin enÇpion tÇn podÇn sou, kai gnÇsin hoti egÇ
‘gap‘sa se - Rev 3:9).

                            Be not frightened of a single one of all
                            which you are about to suffer. Behold!
                             the Traducer intends to throw some
                            out of you into a prison, in order that
                            you would be tested, and you will hold
                            oppressive pressure ten days. Come to
                            be trustworthy until death, and I will
                              give to you the Wreath of the Life.
                           M‘ den phobou ha melleis paschein. Idou, mellei
                           balein ex humÇ n ho dia bolos eis phulak‘ n, hina
                            peirasth‘ te, kai he xete thlipsin h‘ merÇ n deka .
                              Ginou pistos a chri thana tou, kai dÇ sÇ soi
                                          ton stephanon t‘ s zǑ s
                                               Rev 2:10

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                                    SONGS IN THE NIGHT


Jesus here advises all who are represented in the Smyrnan church of an additional vexing devel-
opment, a singularly agonizing trial in which the Traducer is allowed to engineer and orchestrate
the imprisonment of some of them. The symbol, be not frightened of a single one (m‘den
phobou), is not representative of mere encouragement, but of the supernatural paradox of security
and serenity in the face of fierce and threatening circumstances. Akin to the symbol, be not of
fright (m‘ phobou), which represents a bestowal of assurance; alleviating the fear of condemn-
ation and punishment (Rev 1:17), this symbol also represents a Divine bestowal of comforting
assurance, employed by Jesus here to dispel fear of separation from His direct and protective
presence. The symbol, all which you are about to suffer, is representative of adverse develop-
ments which are exclusive to the Smyrnan believer of any epoch. The symbol, Behold!, derived
from an exclamation of surprise (idou), is representative of a call for urgent attention to an
extraordinary development or matter. Here, it points to a development which is much more sinister
than the harsh and austere circumstances of which the Smyrnan believers have already become
accustomed.
From the standpoint of history, the prophetic symbol points to the centuries which had immed-
iately followed, the Smyrnan epoch, during which wide-scale governmental persecution of
believers was most concentrated. From the standpoint of the Smyrnan experience, however, the
symbol points to an occurrence which is inevitable and unavoidable; exclusive to believers who
are represented by those who comprise this particular church. By the symbol, the Traducer
intends to throw, representation is made of the Accuser being allowed to realize his ambition to
overwhelm and to manipulate against the will of Smyrnan believers. The symbol has reference
here to a particular scheme of the Accuser, whereby he intends to displace and separate, to isolate
by means of shame and disrepute. The symbol, Traducer (Diabolos), is representative here of the
Accuser in his eagerness and swiftness, either to malign with falsehood or to prosecute with the
truth (Jude :9). As a designation alone, it is only one of many names given in Holy Scripture for
the Adversary (Rev 12:9 & 20:2). The symbol, some out of you into a prison, is representative
of a portion from among the Smyrnan believers being tasked to experience isolation and severe
deprivation. As Jesus had informed Peter in particular, behold! the Accuser demanded you for
trial, to sift you in the manner of the grain. Indeed I have petitioned concerning you, in order
that your persuasion would not leave out (idou, ho Satanas ex‘t‘sato humas, tou siniasai hÇs
to siton. EgÇ de ede‘then peri sou, hina m‘ ekleip‘ h‘ pistis sou - Luke 22:31-32), He likewise
informs Smyrnan believers in particular of a singular ordeal during which the Accuser would be
allowed to sift them. Dependent upon the context, the word from which the symbol, a prison, is
translated (phulak‘n), carries the meaning of either a protective watch (secured ward) or an incar-
cerating hold (prison). Here, the word relates to an environment of confinement and deprivation.
While the symbol, in order that you would be tested, is representative secondarily of the Ac-
cuser’s intent to probe a believer’s persuasion for weakness, it is representative primarily of Jeho-
vah’s determination for a believer’s endurance and proof to be affirmed through the exercise of
persuasion (Rom 5:3-5 & Jas 1:2-4). The symbol, you will hold oppressive pressure ten days,
is representative of the Smyrnan believer possessing a brief, but intense trial which is calculated
to produce the necessary fruit for higher service in the Kingdom. The example of such a trial is
seen in case of the Exemplar, when He was driven by the Spirit into the Judæan desert immed-
iately after His ritual baptism, where He endured forty days of deprivation and hardship; the
initiation ordeal for His earthly ministry. While the number, ten, is symbolic of ordinal perfection,
it is also used in Scripture as the number by which others are multiplied and is therefore symbolic
of little in quantity. Here, the symbol is representative of both; of a brief duration of time, suf-
ficient to yield a quality necessary for a particular ministry to which the believer has been ordain-
ed.


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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

The term, oppressive pressure (thlipsin), is rendered elsewhere in New Testament Scripture by
the KJV as either affliction (Mark 4:17 & II Cor 2:4), anguish (John 16:21), persecution (Acts
11:19), trouble (I Cor 7:28 & II Cor 1:8) or tribulation (13 times). The word, thlipsin, itself is
derived from the crushing process of extracting juice from olives or grapes and conveys the sense
of distress and agonizing constraint. The symbol, days, is representative of separate seasons or
periods of time, each featuring a distinct event or development. The symbol, come to be trust-
worthy until death, is representative of the command to render loyalty and endurance throughout
existence in the natural realm. The symbol, trustworthy, itself is representative of tried and true
loyalty, together with perfected endurance; while the symbol, death, is representative here of
separation from the human events in the natural realm. While the symbol, oppressive pressure
ten days, is comprehensive of all Smyrnan believers, whether they are among those who are
imprisoned or among those who will experience distress and agonizing constraint as a result of
their brothers being imprisoned, the scope of their trustworthiness extends beyond the singular
trial, to the moment of natural death. The trial itself would refine and affirm the trustworthiness
already wrought within each of them, making the Wreath of the Life to be particularly meaningful
to Smyrnan believers, above the six other types of believers.
The combined symbols, come to be..., and I will give, represent reward for a mere exhibition of
the virtue that Jesus alone had wrought within each of them. As grace dictates that persuasion,
which cannot be developed in any of the chosen of themselves, must be developed by Jesus as a
gift (Eph 2:8-10), grace dictates that all virtues of obedience must also be developed by Him (Phil
2:12-13 & II Tim 2:25). Jesus thus crowns His own work. The symbol, the Wreath of the Life,
is representative of eternal reward for the trustworthiness and endurance rendered in the natural
realm. As Jesus had departed from the natural realm with a wreath (stephanon) of thorns, the
chosen each depart from the natural realm receiving the Wreath (stephanon) of the Life. The half-
brother of Jesus, himself no stranger to trials of agony, wrote, Blessed (the) man, he who
perseveres a testing, because having come to be proven he will take the Wreath of the Life,
which the Supreme Authority has promised to the (ones) loving Him (Makarios an‘r hos
hupomenei peirasmon, hoti dokimos genomenos l‘psetai ton stephanon t‘s zǑs, hon ep‘ggeilato ho
Kurios tois agapÇsin auton. - Jas 1:12). Having no reference to the royal diadem of a king, but to
the wreath which is worn by victorious athletes (I Cor 9:24-27, Phil 3:14 & Heb 12:1-2), the
symbol is a reflection of Jesus’ promise, Indeed the (one) having persevered into completion,
this (one) will be delivered (Ho de hupomeinas eis telos, houtos sÇth‘setai. - Matt 10:22).
Smyrnan believers of the present Laodicean epoch are not restricted to churches which are located
in foreign countries, under intolerant governmental policies. Some believers become Smyrnan
when the golden lampstand is removed from a recalcitrant Ephesine church and they find them-
selves forlorn and isolated. Since the genius of prophecy renders every word of this vision to be
applicable to every believer of all seven epochs, it is reasonable to expect that Jehovah will cause
certain of His chosen to become Smyrnan by various means and that such beleaguered believers
are scattered throughout every country in the entire world at the present time (Matt 25:31-40). The
Smyrnan believer is thus one who becomes isolated and indigent, persecuted by a secular authority
and maligned by the religious elite. He is tasked additionally to endure a short, but very intense
trial of distress and agonizing constraint, which may include the privation and severely restrictive
environment of incarceration. The result of the crowning trial of all his trials shall be his elevation
to higher and specialized service in the cause of Christ, to include the vital ability to bestow genu-
ine consolation and encouragement upon others who enter into the oppressive pressures of trial
(I Cor 1:3-6).




68
                              YOUR EBENEZERS
                                             (I Sam 7:12)

                         Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between
                          Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it
                          Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord
                                          helped us.
                                      I Sam 7:12 - KJV
                              And Samuel took one stone, and had
                            caused it to stand between the midst of
                           Massephath and between the midst of the
                           former (town), and he called the name of
                           it “Ebenezer”, a stone of the helper, and
                           said, Supreme Authority had aided to us
                                      until this (occasion).
                           Kai elabe Samou‘ l lithon hena, kai est‘ sen auton
                           anameson Mass‘ phath kai anameson t‘ s palaias,
                           kai ekalese to onoma autou Abenezer, lithos tou
                            bo‘ thou, kai eipen, HeÇ s entautha ebo ‘ th‘ sen
                                             h‘ min Kurios.
                                         I Sam 7:12 - LXX
After being soundly defeated by the Philistines twice at the location of Ebenezer, the wayward
Israelites were led to repentance through Samuel and had renounced their superstitious attachment,
not only to the images of Canaanite gods and goddesses (I Sam 7:3-6), but also to the Ark of the
Covenant (I Sam 4:1-11). Jehovah then gave them resounding victory over the Philistines at Miz-
peh, after which Samuel had ceremoniously set up the memorial. The Ebenezer (meaning, “a stone
of the helper” - LXX), named after the location in which they pitched during their two battle
defeats, was quite literally a stone. In recognition of the might of Jehovah’s grace alone as their
reason for victory in a crucial military campaign, the stone possessed the significance of a mean-
ingful memento and record to the ancient Israelites; a comforting and directing milestone to which
they could refer during times of uncertainty and distress.

To you, the true spiritual Israelite, however, the Ebenezer is not a literal stone, but a hallowed and
cherished memory, serving the same purpose of assurance. Unlike the single grand memorial
which is to be set up at the very end of a trial, composed of the Ebenezer stones collected from the
bottom of the Jordan (Josh 4:1-21), there may be several Ebenezers to be set up during a believer’s
trial of faith. They are to be justifiably reckoned as supernatural tokens bestowed exclusively upon
you, proving that He who took you thus far shall certainly take you all the rest of the way. As Eli-
phaz correctly reminded Job, He has lifted you out of six constraints; indeed, no, in the sev-
enth, badness will not touch you (Hexakis ex anagkÇn se exeleitai, en de tÇ hebdomÇ ou m‘ hap-
s‘tai - Job 5:19). The logic for the true believer is as irresistibly reassuring as it is inescapable:
Shall He who gave you all your Ebenezers, each symbolizing His gaining of your trust and His
building of your endurance, abandon you at last? Against weariness and despondency, a sorely
tested and beleaguered pilgrim like you once wrote:
                           His love in times past forbids me to think,
                           “He’ll leave me at last in trouble to sink”.
                            Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review
                     confirms His good pleasure to help me clear through.
An Ebenezer does not hasten the end of a trial, but serves as an aid of grace in vital support of the
endurance that the Spirit is achieving in you. In no sense are Ebenezers less important than the
monumental memorials of each trial, for such grand memorials are themselves built by the
Ebenezers collected from the bottom of the Jordan. They are foundational and therefore to be cher-

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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

ished with the most solemn of gratitude, to be recorded ceremoniously and to be indelibly commit-
ted to memory. Since all of them are inexorably connected to separate instances of repentance and
meant by the Spirit to bring you into greater appreciation for the redemptive and sanctifying work
of Jesus, trials ought never to be endured without collecting them.
It is no foolish question for the tried believer to ask what precisely ought to be perpetuated as a
true Ebenezer. Understand first, that the trial of faith is not so much a series of devastating blows
as it is a procession of victories over sin. In a variety of ways, one sin after another is exposed and
the believer is brought to repentance with each. Victory is obtained when the believer adopts the
perspective and attitude of Jehovah towards each sin. With each victory, a spiritual Ebenezer ought
to be set up. As certain that each day of your misery is actually accomplished also with a multitude
of tender mercies and tokens of Jehovah’s lovingkindness, although truly difficult to sense in the
midst of grief and perplexity, He manifests a particular indication here and there, which is peculiar
and unmistakably bearing upon the quest in your humbled heart for assurance and comfort, for
evidence that you’ve adopted the desired attitude and perspective towards the specific sin having
been exposed. Such an indication is neither vague nor generalized, but specifically tailored to your
personality and circumstances, showing that He approves of your changed outlook. Thereon, the
particular sin will be attacked and bludgeoned at every turn with a mounting intolerance. Whether
the indication will be derived from a particular incident or mere thought, it will assuredly be
connected with a portion of God’s Word to which the Spirit has directed you. There! It is proof
that God has brought you hitherto and represents the unfailing promise that He will bring you
safely the rest of the way. It is a genuine Ebenezer, a comforting and directing milestone to which
you are bidden to review as often as you wish, not only for the sake of your encouragement and
endurance, but also for the sake of the honor and glory of Christ Jesus.
Since nothing soothes and cheers during the most severe of trials than a review of Ebenezers, be
always attentive for yet others. The ancient Israelites did not collect only one stone from the
bottom of the Jordan, but twelve. Since the Ebenezers to be collected in your current trial will cer-
tainly serve to fortify you in the future, your spirit finds warmest fellowship with the sojourner
who wrote:

                               He who hath helped thee hitherto
                              will help thee all thy journey through
                                and give thee daily cause to raise
                                   new Ebenezers to His praise.
As certain that the trial of your faith is a procession of victories, the experience ought then to be
a collection of your Ebenezers. Altogether, they reflect the honor and glory of the One who is able
to deliver into the entirety the ones having been coming towards the Supreme Deity through
Him, on every occasion living into the (purpose) to adjure in behalf of them (sÇzein eis to
panteles dunatai tous proserchomenous di’ autou tÇ TheÇ , pantote zÇn eis to entugchanein huper
autÇn - Heb 7:25). The words, to adjure (entugchanein), are translated from a conjugation of the
verb, entugchanÇ , a compound of en (“in”) and tugchanÇ (“to affect”, “to hit or land upon” - as
a goal to be attained); together conveying the idea, not of intercession or pleading, but of present-
ing inducement for action (Acts 25:24, Rom 8:27, 11:22).




70
              THE MONUMENTAL MEMORIAL
                                            (Josh 4:1-20)

Take you hence out of the midst of the                         And you will take up twelve ready
Jordan... twelve stones, and ye shall                       stones out of the midst of the Jordan,
carry them over with you.                                    and of every single one of these, you
Joshua 4:3 - KJV                                                  having provided them through,
                                                              Kai anelesthe ek mesou tou Iordanou hetoi-
                                                              mous dÇ deka lithous, kai toutous diakomis-
                                                                                antes ham a humin a utois,
                                                                                 Joshua 4:3 - LXX
                                                              And of these twelve stones, of which
And those twelve stones, which they                           they took out of the Jordan, Joshua
took out of the Jordan, did Joshua set                             had caused to stand in Galgala.
up in Gilgal.                                               Kai tous dÇ deka lithous toutou s, hous elaben
Joshua 4:20 - KJV                                            ek tou Iordanou, est‘ sen I‘ sous en Galgalois.
                                                                                    Joshua 4:20 - LXX
Not to be confused with the great stones which were not collected from the Jordan, previously
commanded by Moses to be set up for an altar upon mount Ebal (Deut 27:2-8 & Josh 8:30-35);
these twelve stones, commanded by Joshua to be collected from the midst of the Jordan, were not
meant to be set up as an altar, but to be set up strictly as a memorial (Josh 4:7). The miraculous
crossing of the river while at flood stage on dry ground (Josh 3:17 & 4:18) itself emblematically
commemorated the forty year ordeal through the desert (the lonesome wasteland) in which the
nation was cleansed and refined by means of the combination of severest disciplinary measures
and the greatest of encouraging blessings. The entire journey of four decades was thus stunningly
portrayed in the single day that it took for the nation to be led by God across the final obstacle. To
these ancient Israelites, whose capricious parents died in the desert, each of the twelve stones
represented one of their clans, signifying that God had brought the entire nation through the ordeal
and into the promised land as a unified whole. To the true spiritual Israelite, however, each of the
twelve stones represents an Ebenezer collected during the nation’s trial. Such a spirit is readily
mindful of the twelve paramount occasions of the nation’s forty years in the desert, wherein the
Lord had provided for the elements of classic Ebenezers.
The twelve occasions are comprised of the parting of the Red Sea, the bitter waters of Marah made
sweet, the manna from the sky, the water from out of a rock at Massah and Meribah, the victory
over Amalek under the held up hands of Moses, the Decalogue written by the finger of God upon
two tablets of stone at mount Sinai, the Lord’s angel being sent to lead them, the glory of the Lord
filling the tabernacle, the guiding of the nation with a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, the
healing of Miriam’s leprosy, the budding of Aaron’s staff and the peculiar method of deliverance
from the fiery serpents. With the means of the exodus itself having been miraculously achieved
in Egypt, these twelve events had all been wrought during the arduous trial in the lonesome waste-
land. As certain that God’s vanquishing of the Philistines would inspire Samuel to set up the Eben-
ezer, each of those twelve miracles were crucial to the nation’s survival in the desert and are there-
fore qualified to be represented in the twelve stones which were collected from the Jordan and set
up into a monumental memorial in the promised land.
As a monument of actual stones was set up to memorialize the entire ordeal in Galgala (which
means, “lifting-off”, because Jehovah had lifted-off the defamation of Egypt from you (apheilon
ton oneidismon Aiguptou aph’ humÇn - Josh 5:9), a corresponding spiritual monument of Ebenez-
ers ought to be set up immediately upon deliverance from your trial; in order to always remember
the individual refinements made by God during your misery and distress. As Egypt is meant here
to symbolize worldly affections and an environment which is conducive to the lusts of the flesh,
trial serves to lift-off the hypocrisy inherent to a believer who desires to emulate the Father, yet
remains moored to the customs and practices of the cosmos. The word, defamation, is translated

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                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT
from oneidismon, which does not contain the English definition (“to accuse falsely” or “to damage
good reputation”), but conveys the idea of censure for not living up to an honorable reputation
(Matt 5:11, 27:44, Mark 15:32, Luke 6:22, I Tim 4:10, Jas 1:5 & I Pet 4:14). Through trial, all that
separates you from greater intimacy with the Father is removed. Upon deliverance from trial, a
believer would therefore be grossly remiss, to think that the setting up of the spiritual monument
would not be in order. With an eye to that monumental memorial during the course of your trial,
you ought to be collecting your cherished Ebenezers with anticipation and thanksgiving.
As certain that the crossing of the river Jordan symbolized the forty year trial of ancient Israel, you
are in the midst of your own Jordan and are likewise crossing over dry shod. As certain that the
water being descended from above stood (from the higher terrain to the north) stood in one
fixed heap (est‘ ta hudata ta katabainonta anÇthen, est‘ p‘gma hen - Joshua 3:16) ...until all the
people entirely completed, going through the Jordan (heÇs sunetelese pas ho laos diabainÇn
ton Iordan‘n - Joshua 3:17), the Lord has miraculously paved the way for you and has meticulous-
ly choreographed every inch and every moment of your trial. The only thoughts in your mind about
the end of the trial ought to be emanating from the Ebenezers being collected now, with which you
will set up the monumental memorial. The questions in your mind ought not to be dealing with
when and how the trial will come to an end, as constricting and agonizing as your hardship certain-
ly is, but with how much glory the monumental memorial shall bring to the One who is taking you
across. Rest assured, the glory cannot be measured in terms of the size and duration of the miracles
and mercies wrought by Him to insure safe passage, but only in terms of the distance He is placing
between you and your former affections, between you and the attachment you enjoyed with the
old nature before the trial.
Miracles wrought by Jesus would be eternally useless, serving only as temporary favors in this life
(John 2:23-24 & 12:37-40), without the purpose of sanctifying you and rendering you in pursuit
of holiness (Heb 12:11-14). A trial that passes without the setting up of a monumental memorial
to perpetuate the memories of such miracles will leave you with little fortification for the next
trial. A monumental memorial composed of anything less than Ebenezers has little lasting value
and will surely fade from memory. Ebenezers which are set up only for the encouragement they
brought, but not for any change in attitude towards sin, are shallow and cannot be reliably used
in future trials. It was only when repentance had been wrought in the descendants of the Israelites
who crossed the Jordan (I Sam 7:3-6) that the Lord gave victory to them (I Sam 7:7-11) and that
Samuel had subsequently set up the Ebenezer (I Sam 7:12). As certain that Ebenezers are the very
stones with which monumental memorials are set up, your attention ought to be focused upon
collecting them as you are being led by Jehovah across the Jordan.


                   FAILING A TRIAL OF FAITH
                                            (Luke 22:31-32)

                             Indeed the Supreme Authority said,
                              Simon, Simon, behold! the Accuser
                            had been demanding you, to sift you in
                            the manner of the grain. Indeed I was
                           petitioning concerning you, in order that
                             your persuasion would not leave-out.
                           And at what time you have turned-upon
                                     set-fast your brothers.
                               Eipe de ho Kurios, SimÇ n SimÇ n, idou, ho
                             Satanas ex‘ t‘ sato hu ma s, tou sin iasai hÇ s to
                             siton. EgÇ de ede‘ th‘ n peri sou, hina m‘ ek-
                              leip‘ h‘ pistis sou . Kai su pote epistrepsas
                                      st‘ rison tous adelphous sou.
                                            Luke 22:31-32

72
                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT
These words were spoken by Jesus against the repeated assertions of the Apostle Peter, that he
would sacrifice his life for Him. The response of the One who infallibly applies perfect knowledge
(the Supreme Authority) is to assault Peter’s vaunting self-exaltation and pride, with the pre-
diction that he would do the very opposite of what he had so boldly asserted. Although Peter
would discover reason to doubt his own love for Jesus, he would never doubt Jesus’ love for him.
Although his persuasion would not leave-out, he would leave-out his persuasion! Through failure
in a test of his faith, Peter would be weaned of self-dependency and learn to depend solely upon
Jesus for exhibitions of loyalty, valor and love. Notice, that Jesus does not call him either by
“Simon Peter” or by “Peter”, but by his former name and that Jesus calls him by his former name
twice. Jesus does not call him here by the name that He gave him, which signified the kind of man
that He would ultimately make him to be, but by his original common name, signifying behavior
which was consonant with who and what he was in his unregenerate state. In Scripture, the
doubling of a name signifies grace and favor (Gen 22:11 & Ex 3:4), but here it also has reference
to the meaning of the name (“Heard”). Saying, Simon, Simon, behold!, although calling him by
the former name with derision, Jesus thus couches His disgust with paternal affection. Saying,
Simon, Simon, behold!, Jesus introduces a matter that Peter’s obstinate spirit can yet hear and
see. The expression, behold!, is otherwise an exclamation, calling for urgent attention to a matter
which is extraordinary.
Saying, the Accuser had been demanding you, Jesus apprises Peter of the fact that Satan had
specifically demanded him for a testing of his faith. Satan had similarly challenged Jehovah con-
cerning the faith of Job (Job 1:6-12 & 2:1-6), thus showing that the Adversary’s demands and
challenges amount to little more than requests for permission. The title, E"J”< (Satan), corre-
sponding to the Hebrew +:› (“an opponent”), is representative of a name which means “Advers-
ary”. The title used here, however, E"J"<”H (Satanas), corresponding to the Hebrew +•• (“to
attack”), is representative of an activity or occupancy which means “Accuser”. Arising from the
fact that the Accuser is the Complainant of our brothers... day and night in the face of our
Supreme Deity (ho kat‘goros tÇn adelphÇn h‘mÇn... enÇpion tou Theou h‘mÇn h‘meras kai nuktos
- Rev 12:10), he had been demanding (ex‘t‘sato) the leader of the Apostles whose love for Jesus
was actually less than what he had supposed. Peter would soon discover that His love for Jesus,
although intense and abiding, was not greater than all the others (John 21:15). The words, to sift
you in the manner of the grain, described specifically the manner in which Satan sought to put
Peter to the test. By forcing Peter through a mental and emotional strainer, separating his self-
confidence and arrogance (chaff) from what Jesus was making of him (wheat), Satan hoped to
prove that there would be nothing of any substance remaining.
Contrary to what Satan was determined to prove with such a trial, Jesus assures Peter, Indeed I
was petitioning concerning you. Although He was Jehovah’s creation of Himself in flesh, He was
never a personality apart from the Godhead, abiding always as the Expression. His petitions as
a perfect human being therefore received immediate agreement and approbation. There are many
questions to be asked of those who boast of having endured a test of their faith without wavering
and without behaving as a common infidel. Did Peter give glory to Jesus during the trial of his
faith, or did he deny even knowing Him? Did he not seek to identify with the world-at-large and
be reckoned as one of them? Have those who boast of an experience which is more successful than
Peter’s really undergone a trial of their faith, or are they deluded and expressing little more than
presumptuous religiosity? With the words, in order that your persuasion would not leave-out,
Jesus indicates the chief concern of His petition. Persuasion is His gift to each of the chosen, with
which they are born from above and enter the spiritual kingdom. Since each of the chosen are
relying in the fact that the One having commenced on a beneficial work in them completes
upon it until the day of Jesus Christ (pepoithÇs... hoti ho enarxamenos en humin ergon agathon
epitelesei achris h‘meras I‘sou Christou - Phil 1:6), Jehovah is honor-bound to insure that a
believer’s persuasion would not leave-out (m‘ ekleip‘ ), but bear-up and be strengthened in the

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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT
most severe of trials. As He had approved of Satan’s testing of Job, Jesus thus approves of Satan’s
testing of Peter, gaining the power of the Godhead to support the endurance of Peter’s persuasion.
As certain that all true believers shall fare no better than Peter, they are assured of precisely the
same concern of Jesus and consequent support of the Holy Spirit.
With the words, at what time you have turned-upon set-fast your brothers, Jesus indicates that
Peter will be restored as surely as he will fail. During the worst moments of the trial, God-given
persuasion will remain within him, but he will behave as an unregenerate man. While in posses-
sion of love in his heart for Jesus, he will call down curses and swear that he knows nothing about
Him. Unbearable shame and remorse will set-in and he will afterward be turned-upon. If such a
miserable trial and disgusting behavior would leave him to languish in a weakened condition after-
ward, he would not have wherewith to set-fast his brothers. The words, you have turned-upon,
are translated literally from epistrepsas, which is a compound of epi (“upon”) and strephÇ (“to turn
around”). As certain that each trial is a refinement, representing a death to something old and
worthless and a resurrection into something fresh and beneficial, a true believer such as Peter will
assuredly turn around upon its conclusion, rising as one who is more powerful and useful than
ever before. After he is sifted, Peter will turn around upon the refined spirit, minus the chaff of
self-confidence and arrogance. As certain that Jesus reminded him of the deficient extent of his
love in his failure in his trial of faith (John 21:15-19), the heart-break is calculated to fuel unwav-
ering resolve which is grounded solely in the grace of Jesus (II Cor 12:9).
The word, set-fast (st‘rison), carries the idea of “making firm” and “solidifying”. Indeed, Peter
will soon discover that the proving of your persuasion fully achieves endurance. Indeed the
endurance must hold complete work, in order that you would be complete (ones) and entire
(ones), being (ones) left behind in not a single thing (hoti to dokimion humÇn t‘s pisteÇs kate-
rgazetai hupomon‘n. H‘ de hupomon‘ ergon teleion echetÇ , hina ‘te teleioi kai holokl‘roi, en m‘-
deni leipomenoi (Jas 1:3-4). The experience of James is echoed by the Apostle Paul (having per-
ceived that the oppressive pressure fully achieves endurance - eidotes hoti h‘ thlipsis hupomon-
‘n katergazetai: Rom 5:4) and what would later be written by the Apostle Peter himself (Himself
having suffered a small (while), will thoroughly equip you, will set fast, will invigorate, will
establish - oligon pathontas autos katartisai humas, st‘rizai, sthenÇsai, themeliÇsai: I Pet 5:10).
The experience of himself having been set-fast through severe trials, would serve Peter, not only
in setting-fast brothers of whom he knew during the first century, but also in setting-fast millions
of brothers through the centuries since.
Several conclusions are to be drawn from the prediction of Jesus, the failure of Peter in the trial
of his faith and the usefulness of Peter in the kingdom afterward. To the degree that one is filled
with such arrogance and self-confidence or to the magnitude of leadership for which one has been
earmarked, he will become personally acquainted with Peter’s experience. Only those who have
been brought low in trials are able to convey consolation and speak authoritatively to those who
have not. In the cause of survival, frightened men naturally resort to pragmatic schemes. After
deceiving Ahimelech the priest and causing him to be murdered, was David not vehemently
frightened in the presence of Anchus king of Gath (ephob‘th‘ sphodra apo prosÇpou Agchous
basileÇs Geth - I Sam 21:12)? Is it not recorded that David made his countenance different, and
had been pretending in that day, and had drummed upon the portals of the town, and he was
bearing aside in his hands, and he fell upon the portals of the gate, and his saliva flowed-
down upon his beard (‘lloiÇse to prosÇpon autou enÇpion autou, kai prosepoi‘sato en t‘ h‘mera
ekein‘ , kai etumpanizen epi tais thurais t‘s poleÇs, kai parephereto en tais chersin autou, kai
epipten epi tas thuras t‘s pul‘s, kai ta sielma autou katerrhei epi ton pÇgÇna autou - I Sam 21:13)?
When David was delivered out of a particularly severe trial, described as a pit of wretchedness,
the Lord not only set his feet upon a rock, established his steps and put a fresh song in his mouth,
but also insured that many would hear the testimony of his trial and deliverance and would accord-
ingly place their trust in Him (Psalm 40:1-3).

74
                     THE LAODICEAN BELIEVER
                                                (Rev 3:14-22)


            Located abo ut fifty miles to the southeast of Philadelphia in the cou ntry of Asia
            Minor (known in the present day as Turkey), Laodicea was a center o f prosp erity
            and commerce. Jesus draws from the city’s three major industries (banking, wool
            and medicinal eye salve) in delivering His message to the believers who are repre-
            sented by the church therein. The city’s water supply was furnished via under-
            ground aqueduct from the hot springs of nearby Hierop olis and from the cold
            mou ntain streams of nearby Colossae. By the time that the water arrived at Lao-
            dicea and b ecam e mixed, however, it had b ecome b oth tep id and d irty. The fact that
            the church in Laodicea would be representative of churches who are lulled into a
            spiritual stupor by ease and prosperity throughout the spiritual Kingdom at any
            given time in the succeeding centuries necessitated the scroll being sent to it under
            the circumstances of the time. The fact that the church also represented the general
            condition of the spiritual Kingdo m during the se venth and final epoch of centuries
            (when a profound spiritual decline would occur) is illustrated by the fact that the
            scroll was sent seven thly and finally to that location (Rev 1:11).



                               And to the messenger of the Laodicean
                               church write, Indeed this lays forth the
                               Amen, the Martyr the trustworthy and
                              truthful (One), the Origin of the creation
                                        of the Supreme Deity.
                              Kai tÇ aggelÇ t‘ s ekkl‘ sias LaodikeÇ n grapson,
                               Tade legei ho am‘ n , ho m artus ho p istos kai
                                al‘ thinos, h‘ arch‘ t‘ s ktiseÇ s tou Theou.
                                                  Rev 3:14
By the symb ol, into Laodicea (Rev 1:11), representation is made of the scroll, ad dressed to all seven of the
churches, being read in its entirety lastly by the church located in Laod icea, of matters d irected separately
to each of the six other churches being pertinent also to the believers of Laodicea. Hence, it is representative
of matters directed separately to each of the six other epochs being pertinent also to the Laodicean Epoch.
The meaning of the city’s nam e, “people of justice”, is symbolic here of each of the redeemed bearing the
righteousness of Jesus. Although such righteousness is imputed in the earthly Kingdom; when they are seized
from the natural realm, the just (ones) will beam forth in the manner of the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father
(hoi dikaioi eklampsousin hÇ s ho helios en t‘ basilaia tou patros autÇ n - M att 13:43).

The church of Laodicea rep resents the prevalent characteristics of the Kingdom on E arth during the modern
era, the final epoch before the return of the glorified Christ to the natural realm (from about the year 1700
until the present); in which believers are becoming affected by the materialism and pleasures of societies
which are generally prosperous and at ease (Luke 21:34-36 , I Thes 1:13-2:11, II Thes 1:7-10 & II T im 3:1-9).
During this era, in which the Reformation of the previous epoch has been shown to be an abject failure, in
which rationalism is rampant, believers have become cold and indifferent to the truth. As with all the six pre-
ceding epochs, the experience of all believers is not restricted to the predominant pattern seen in the repre-
sentative church at Laodicea (in former Iron Curtain countries, for example, there are yet believers after the
pattern of the original church of Smyrna): They are the rare and dwind ling exceptions, how ever, to the overall
pattern of spiritless complacency which is mounting with each day . The answer to the enigmatic and rhetor-
ical question of Jesus is seen with greater clarity as the end of the age draws nigh: M oreover the Son of man
having come will therefore He find the persuasion upon the land? (Pl‘ n ho h uios to u an thrÇ pou elthÇ n
ara heur‘ sei t‘ n pistin epi t‘ s g‘ s - Luke 18:8 ).

The symbol, to the messenger... write, is representative of permanently inscribing information
directed to the one reading, for the purpose of intelligently relaying and explaining to the ones
hearing (Rev1:3), of establishing a permanent record for use primarily by one who leads (either
a pastor or one who assists him). The symbol, messenger, is representative here of the elder who

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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

is responsible for the scroll being read aloud to congregants, who is himself capable through
earnest study, of instructing others. The symbol, write, is representative of a vital command for
the sake of posterity, the establishment of the vehicle in which information shall be disseminated
to all the chosen throughout the age (Ex 34:27 & Jer 30:2). The fact that the symbol is used twelve
times in the Revelation is itself symbolic of the truth that all the information is addressed exclu-
sively to those who compose the mystical clans of spiritual Israel (see 7:4 & 12:1 commentary).
The symbol, of the Laodicean church, is representative of both assemblies and individual believ-
ers who bear the characteristics of the church to whom the scroll was originally sent. Note, that
Jesus did not here address “the church in Laodicea”, which would relate to the residence of the
members being within that city, but the Laodicean church; indicating individuals who resemble
those within that church. Jesus would not have made such a distinction, if His words were not
carefully selected and if the matter did not bear prophetic importance. Although there have been
Laodicean churches in every epoch, such churches and believers are hallmark to the present
Laodicean epoch.
The symbol, indeed this lays forth, is representative of specific information following, spoken
by Jesus and recorded by the Apostle John, which is complementary to what has already been
presented in the vision. The word, indeed, translated from the Greek, de, is a particle which intro-
duces a contrast to the thought preceding. The contrast may either be adversative (expressing
antithesis or opposition) or, as here, copulative (expressing elucidation or enhancement). The
word, this, relates here to the matters of condemnation (verses 15-17), instruction (verse 18), a
warning (verse 19), an exhortation (verse 20), the promise (verse 21) and the general directive
(verse 21). The one reading is to relay to the ones hearing those matters pertaining to his epoch
and to their particular circumstances, mindful of the fact that he is a messenger representing the
Amen, the martyr, the trustworthy and truthful One and the Origin of the creation of the Sup-
reme Deity. As opposed to the informality of the word, says (epei), which conveys the recording
of casual statements or remarks; the words, lays forth (legei), convey the issuance of a set dis-
course being formally presented. The matters immediately following are therefore symbolized as
those having great significance to the glorified Christ.
The symbol, the Amen (ho am‘n), is representative of the personified solemn affirmation of
everything revealed in both the natural realm and spiritual sphere. Jesus thus uses a solemn af-
firmation of truth, meaning either “be it so” or “so be it”, as a title for Himself; depicting who and
what He is. He is not only the sole Revealer of all that can be perceived, but also the solemn
Affirmation of all that has been revealed. Since Jesus held thereupon to swear according to not
one greater, swore accordingly of Himself (epei kat’ oudenos eiche meizonos omosai, Çmose
kath heautou - Heb 6:13) and He thus becomes His own oath of veracity. The symbol, the Martyr
(ho martus), is representative not only of one whose evidentiary testimony proceeds from experi-
ence which has been tried and proven, but also of one whose loyalty is proven by the ultimate sacr-
ifice of physical life. The symbol, the trustworthy and truthful One (ho pistos kai al‘thinos),
is representative of One whose proven loyalty and impeccable veracity is used as Surety in the
sacrifice of Himself for the otherwise insurmountable debt of the chosen. The symbol, trust-
worthy, itself is representative not only of one whose loyalty has been tried in the furnace of
affliction, but also of proven immutability and sovereignty. The symbol, truthful, is representative
not only of veracity which is impeccable, but also of the standard against which all facts are
measured.
The symbol, the Origin of the creation of the Supreme Deity, is representative not only of the
initiating Source and Commencement of space and time, but also of the Object for whom space
and time was fabricated. As the preincarnate Expression, Jesus is revealed as being in origin and
as Origin Himself (Rev 1:8), as being towards the Supreme Deity and as being Himself Sup-
reme Deity (En arch‘ ‘n ho logos, kai ho logos ‘n pros ton Theon, kai Theos ‘n ho logos - John


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                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

1:1). The symbol, Supreme Deity, is representative of the ubiquitous Celebrity, of Jehovah in His
attribute of omnipresence. Being in origin, He is Himself Origin; not only the Source and Com-
mencement of the creation, but also supreme in importance and object of all adoration and praise
(Col 1:15-19). The symbol, creation (ktiseÇs), is itself representative of that from which space and
time and all events therein are derived. With the two symbols, the origin and the fabrication, He
who is omnipresent with regard to space, as well as to time, therewith presents Himself as the One
in whom we live and we stir and we exist (zÇmen kai kinoumetha kai esmen - Acts 17:28).

                         I fully know your labor, that you are neither
                          cold nor hot. Oh, that you would be cold or
                            hot! Since you are tepid in this way and
                           neither cold nor hot, I intend to vomit you
                                        out of my mouth.
                          Oida sou ta erga, hoti ou te psuch ros ei oute zestos.
                         Ophelon psuc hros ei‘ s ‘ zestos. HoutÇ s hoti chliaros
                          ei kai oute psuchros oute zestos, mellÇ se em asai
                                         ek tou stomatos mou.
                                             Rev 3:15-16
By the symbol, I fully know your labor, representation is made of Jesus’ omniscience, reveal-ing
thorough knowledge and appreciation of every action in which each Laodicean believer is
engaged. The symbol capsulizes the truth that there is not a non-apparent formation in His
face; indeed every (thing) nude and being seized by the throat to His eyes (ouk esti ktisis
aphan‘s enÇpion autou, panta de gumna kai tetrach‘lismena tois ophthalmou autou - Heb 4:13).
The symbol, that you are neither cold nor hot, is representative of lackadaisical performance,
being the particular labor of which Jesus is completely aware. The symbol, neither cold nor hot,
is itself representative of a spiritual condition in which a believer is neither entirely asleep nor
wide awake. While cold (psuchros) is symbolic here of the spiritual slumber for which Jesus
threatens to castigate Sardisene believers (3:1), hot (zestos) is symbolic of the lively zeal for which
He commends Philadelphia believers (3:8). The symbol, Oh, that you would be cold or hot!, is
representative of Jesus’ disgust for deportment and consequent service which is lacking definition
and firm commitment.
Such service, resembling the pomp and pageantry practiced by religious reprobates (those who are
spiritually dead), renders such believers in the condition of having held a formation of well-
reverence; indeed the ability of it being (ones) contradicted (Echontes morphÇsin eusebeias,
t‘n de dunamin aut‘s ‘rn‘menoi - II Tim 3:5). The symbol, since you are tepid in this way, is
representative of a spirit which is dull and languid, as being the reason for service which is lacking
definition; neither entirely dead nor vibrant with life. Jesus thus compares the spirit of such
believers to the dirty and lukewarm water supply of Laodicea, which was notorious and proverbial
at the time. Neither cold nor hot, symbolic of service and paying of homage which is neither
entirely asleep nor wide awake, is repeated here for the second time not only for the sake of
emphasis, but also for the sake of evidentiary testimony. As a church would cast a believer from
its midst until godly sorrow is effected and repentance becomes evident, such evidentiary
testimony serves notice to the offenders. The symbol, I intend to vomit you out of my mouth,
is representative of both the extent to which Jesus is provoked and the manner in which His
loathing aversion is aroused. After the manner that the dirty and tepid water of the city produced
nausea in those who drank it, lukewarm service and half-hearted paying of homage repulses and
sickens Jesus. By the threat of vomiting them out of His mouth, Jesus portrays necessity of casting
such believers from His fellowship, as they themselves would spit the dirty and tepid water of Lao-
dicea from their mouths. Since the casting of such believers from Him is demanded by His essence
and nature and since they cannot lose their salvation, such believers who so offend Him by luke-
warm performance thus subject themselves to His chastening hand (see verse 19 commentary).


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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT
                           Because you lay forth that “I am wealthy
                           and have been made wealthy and I hold
                            requirement of nothing”, and not fully
                           know that you are the miserable one and
                           pitiable and a cringing beggar and blind
                                           and nude.
                          .Hoti legeis hoti plousio s eimi, kai peplout‘ ka kai
                          oudenos chreian echÇ , kai ou k oidas ho ti su ei ho
                           talaipÇ ros kai eleeinos kai ptÇ cho s kai tuphlos
                                              kai gum nos.
                                               Rev 3:17
In preparation for crucial instructions which must be heeded to prevent severe trial by His
chastening hand (following verse), Jesus here compares the presumption and delusion of the
Laodicean believers with the reality of their actual condition, which renders the ingestion of their
service into His Kingdom as repulsive to Him as the swallowing of dirty and tepid water is to them
(preceding verse). The symbol, because you lay forth, is representative of the presumption and
delusion of Laodicean believers, as being the reason that their paying of homage and service is
provoking and repugnant to Jesus and as being the reason that He is exposing them not only to the
reality of what they actually are, but also to the threat of His chastening hand. Such believers were
not only populating the Laodicean church of the Ephesus epoch and were not only present in each
of the succeeding epochs, but are particularly pervasive in the present Laodicean epoch. It was
with such believers and with the Laodicean epoch in mind, that Jesus asked the rhetorical question,
Moreover the Son of man having come will therefore He find the persuasion upon the land?
(Pl‘n ho huios tou anthrÇpou elthÇn ara heur‘sei t‘n pistin epi t‘s g‘s - Luke 18:8).
The symbol, “I am wealthy and have been made wealthy”, is representative of a Laodicean
believer’s imagined treasury of spiritual possessions and their false impression of growing in the
grace and knowledge of Jesus . Certainly, the symbol can be applied to those of the present epoch
who are distracted by the accumulation of material possessions in the natural realm and are
preoccupied with the pursuit of mammon (Matt 6 :24), but the context here demands application
to those behaving in a manner similar to harmful men and imposters who beat forward upon
the aggravated harm, having caused to roam and being ones caused to roam (Pon‘roi de
anthrÇpoi kai go‘tes prokopsousin epi to cheiron, planÇntes kai planÇmenoi - II Tim 3:13), to
delusional religious reprobates who boast of doing many wonderful deeds in the name of Jesus
(Matt 7:21-23). Testimonial to the spiritual decline of the present epoch is not only the dearth of
reverent literature and serious expositions upon the shelves of religious bookstores, but also the
lack of interest in anything, but cliché-driven superficiality. The desires and behavior of true
believers in this final epoch are reflections of the shallow religiosity of those who worship the
popular “Jesus” of counterfeit invention and who adhere to the “gospel” manufactured by the
Great Harlot and her prostitute daughters (Rev 17:4 & 5). Many such people are sincere in the
belief that they are receiving rich blessings from Jehovah and are vainly self-persuaded that they
have appropriated for themselves an ear to hear (Rev 2:7). The symbol, “I hold requirement of
nothing”, is representative of a Laodicean believer’s imagined spiritual fullness, possessing and
wielding such a degree of essential necessity as to rule-out the possibility of anything to be added.
Being at the height and epitome of presumed sufficiency, such a believer has rendered himself to
be virtually unteachable; aside from direct intervention of Jesus, by means of either warning or
chastening punishment. Such delusion invariably produces the complacency that Jesus character-
izes as neither cold nor hot (preceding verse). The symbol, not fully know, is representative here
of such degree of presumption and delusion as to negate complete acquaintance with reality. The
symbol applies to believers who have rendered themselves to be unaware of their condition, obliv-
ious to the fact that they are the opposite of what they sincerely perceive themselves to be. Having
shown how Laodicean perceive themselves, with alarming and disarming accuracy, the One
holding the keen twice-mouthed sabre (Rev 2:12) shall presently show how He perceives them.

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                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

The symbol, that you are the wretched one, is representative of pitiable in-adequacy and cause
for discomfort in others, as being the first of five reasons that such a be-liever shall either heed His
words immediately or undergo chastening punishment. Deluded with the supposition that he is a
blessing to others and to the Kingdom, such a believer does not fully know that he himself is the
miserable one in the sight of Jesus. The symbol, that you are... pitiable, is representative of the
fact that such a believer arouses within Jesus a mixture of pity and contempt, as being the second
of five reasons that such a believer shall either heed His words immediately or be tried with
oppressive pressures until he arrives at the desired level of refinement and purity. Deluded with
the supposition that he is gaining expressions of Jehovah’s approval and acclaim, such a believer
does not fully know that he is moving Him with exasperated disgust, as an errant and undisciplined
child would move a loving parent to a display of indignation and disapproval. The symbol, that
you are... a cringing beggar, is representative of wallowing as a pauper in a spiritual state of
absolute mendicancy, as being the third of five reasons that such a believer shall either heed the
words of Jesus immediately or experience the agony of chasten-ing punishment. Deluded with the
conjecture that he is abounding with possessions of sanctification and spiritual growth, such a
believer does not fully know that he is seen by Jesus to be actually begging before the various
shrines of the Great Harlot and her prostitute daughters. The symbol, that you are... blind, is rep-
resentative of the refusal of such a believer to exercise spiritual sight, as being the fourth of five
reasons that he shall either heed the words of Jesus or face chastening punishment. Deluded with
the speculation that he is seeing with spiritual eyes and therewith applying godly discernment,
such a believer does not fully know that he is not faring better in his service to Jesus than those
to whom spiritual sight has been denied (John 9:29-41 & 12:40).
The symbol, that you are... nude, is representative of such a believer being willfully ignorant of
his desperate need to be clothed upon by Jesus’ righteousness alone, as being the fifth of five
reasons that he shall either heed His words immediately or be subjected to chastening punishment.
Deluded with the false belief that his tepid walk is sufficient to exemplify and radiate the right-
eousness which has been imputed to him, such a believer does not fully know that he appears
indistinguishable from the religious reprobate. Zeal for an external display of religiosity, akin to
the Pharisees, leaves such a believer provokingly deficient with respect to paying of homage to the
Father in Spirit and truth. The deplorable condition is not restricted to those who attempt to justify
licentiousness, but is inclusive of those who mask their deficiency of genuine sanctification with
the veneer of a misguided sense of morality.

                           I counsel jointly to you to purchase by my
                           side gold having been kindled out of fire,
                            in order that you would be wealthy; and
                            white garments, in order that you would
                           throw around and the shame of your nud-
                            ity would not appear; and I will rub-in a
                                poultice to your eyes, in order that
                                          you would look.
                           SumbouleuÇ soi agorasai par’ emou chrusion pe-
                           purÇ menon ek puros, hina plout‘ s‘ s, kai himatia
                           leuka, hin a peribal‘ , kai m‘ phanerÇ th‘ , h‘ ais-
                          chun‘ t‘ s gumnot‘ tos sou, kai kollourion egchrison
                                  tous ophthalmous sou, hina blep‘ s.
                                               Rev 3:18
Having compared the presumption and delusion of the Laodicean believers with the reality of their
actual condition (preceding verse), Jesus here gives crucial instructions which must be heeded in
order to prevent severe trial by His chastening hand (following verse). The symbol, I counsel
jointly to you, is representative of recommendation which is shared by the messenger who is
dispatched by Jesus to testify to you these matters (Rev 22:16 ). It is appropriate that one of the


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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

seven messengers... the ones holding the seven bowls having filled of the seven final strokes
(Rev 21:9) should here be used for the purpose of corroborating Jesus’ advice against severe
punishment. Each of the three requisite qualities (gold having been kindled out of the fire, white
garments and a poultice) cannot be obtained without sacrifice and trial. The joint counsel of Jesus
and His messenger therefore tasks Laodicean believers to seek the rigors of refining trials in order
to avoid the hardships of a trial of punishment (following verse).
Notice, that Jesus rubs the poultice into the eyes after the purchase of the gold and white gar-
ments. The symbol, to purchase by my side, is representative of sacrifice made to Jesus in order
to obtain vital aspects of His character. The word, purchase (literally, “go to the market”), itself
is symbolic of sacrifice, of giving up something considered valuable in exchange for something
which is esteemed to be of greater value. In the manner that a man sells all that he has in order to
purchase a field in which priceless treasure is hidden, believers are advised, Buy the truth and
sell it not (Prov 23:23). The symbol, gold, is representative of anything originating from Jehovah
and cannot be reproduced by human effort. The symbol, having been kindled out of fire, is
representative of gifts of Jehovah which are wrought in the flames of trial. The combination of the
two symbols, gold having been kindled out of fire, is therefore representative here of attributes
of character which can only be acquired in the furnace of affliction (Acts 14:22, Rom 5:3-5 & Jas
1:2-4). The symbol, in order that you would be wealthy, is representative of prerequisite neces-
sary for a vast treasury of spiritual riches. The purchase of the three requisite qualities (gold hav-
ing been kindled out of the fire, white garments and a poultice) is indeed prerequisite for the
acquisition of such a deposit. Without the obligatory attributes of character which can only be
obtained in the furnace of affliction, such a vast treasury is impossible. Without such a vast
treasury, by which a believer abounds with the possessions of grace, the believer is subject to
Laodicean presumption and delusion.
The symbol, to purchase... white garments in order that you would throw around, is repre-
sentative of the sacrifice required in order to visibly wear the righteousness of Jesus. To throw
around (from periballÇ ) is to cast a covering robe about you. The symbol, in order that... the
shame of your nudity would not appear, is representative of prerequisite necessary to conceal
the disgrace of rampant remaining corruption and to maintain an evident distinction from those
who are unregenerate. The symbol, I will rub-in a poultice (kollourion egchrison) to your eyes,
is representative not only of the essential union of Jesus with flesh (a paste, made by dust and spit
from His mouth) to effect the miracle of sight (John 9:6), but also of the believer’s responsibility
to exercise the spiritual sight which had already been given (Matt 16:8-12). The symbol, in order
that you would look, is representative of the obligation necessary (the purchase of the gold and
the white garments) for the activation and exercise of spiritual vision.

                           As many as in the case that I am fond of,
                           I admonish and I train; have zeal accord-
                                      ingly and repent.
                         EgÇ hosous ean philÇ elegchÇ kai paideuÇ , z‘ lÇ son
                                       oun kai metano‘ son.
                                              Rev 3:19
Against the threat of chastening punishment, Jesus thus promotes the necessity for Laodicean
believers to seek true spiritual growth through sacrifice and trial. With the symbol, as many as in
the case that I am fond of, representation is made of a limited number of people (those who were
selected before the foundation of the cosmos) for whom Jesus possesses intimate affection as a
Friend. The word from which the term, as many as, is translated (hosous) conveys the idea of “no
more, no less” (Acts 13:48). The symbol alludes to an exclusive number from humanity for whom
the love of the Supreme Deity is manifested in His punishment of them (Heb 12:5-10). Those for
whom Jesus possesses affection, therefore, can expect proof of His fondness through stern reproof

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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT

and through being disciplined as children. The symbol, I admonish and train-up, is representative
of convicting rebuke and chastening punishment by Jesus as Parent. The verb from which the
words, I train, are translated (paideuÇ ), carries the idea of disciplining a child. The rebuke and
punishment in view here, however, is commensurate with the resistance of Laodicean believers
to the sacrifice and trials necessary for the eradication of presumption and delusion (preceding
verse). The symbol, have zeal accordingly, is representative of exhortation to exude favor and
preference for sacrifice and trials of refinement, against the severity of reproof and punishment.
Derived from the word, hot (zestos), the words, have zeal (z‘lÇson), carry the idea of “warmth of
feeling” or “feverish passion”. By the symbol, repent (metano‘son), representation is made of
changing one’s outlook and attitude, from that which elicits the criticism of Jesus and provokes
His anger to that which inspires behavior commanded by Him (2:5, 2:16 & 3:3). The symbol is
indicative here of transformation of mind and heart, from presumption and delusion to poverty of
spirit and mourning for sin (Matt 5:3-6): It is not indicative of transformation from sinfulness to
perfection in the flesh. By one way or another, either by means of sacrifice and trials of refinement
or by means of stern rebuke and trials of punishment, Laodicean believers are brought by Jesus
to behavior which is consonant with His desires. While He expects the dead to be cold, He de-
mands that the living should be hot.

                          Behold! I stand upon the portal and I rap.
                           In the case that someone would hear my
                           pronouncement, and would open-up the
                            portal, I will be entering towards him,
                          and I will dine with him, and he with me.
                            Idou, hest‘ ka epi t‘ n thuran kai krouÇ . Ean tis
                           akous‘ t‘ s phÇ n‘ s mou, kai anoix‘ t‘ n thuran,
                          eiseleusomai pros auto n, kai deipn‘ sÇ met a utou ,
                                          kai autos met emou.
                                              Rev 3:20
As incentive for the Laodicean believer to favor and prefer sacrifice and trials of refinement
against stern rebuke and trials of punishment, Jesus here states the case in terms of Himself rap-
ping at the figurative door of such a church. The word, Behold! (Idou), an expression of surprise,
is a recurrent symbol in this vision, representing an urgent call for attention to the nature of a
matter or development which is either extraordinary or imminently sudden. Here, the symbol refers
to the presumption of Laodicean believers that Jesus is within their assembly. Against their smug
delusional notions that He is amongst them favorably, He thus portrays the surprise that He is
outside of their fellowship. The symbol, I stand-by upon the portal and I rap, is representative
of Jesus existing at the entrance of hypocrisy, as the Way and the Truth and the Life (h‘ hodos
kai h‘ al‘theia kai h‘ zǑ - John 14:6), and disclosing to Laodicean believers their perilous dis-
tance from vital communion with the Father. By the symbol, rap, representation is made of Jesus’
exhortation to purchase... gold having been kindled out of the fire, white garments and a poultice
for the eyes (verse 18); of the disclosure of the reality that such a believer is the wretched one and
pitiable and a cringing beggar and blind and nude (verse 17).
The symbol, in the case that someone would hear my pronouncement, is representative of the
purpose of Jesus standing-by upon the portal and rapping, for the awakened among Laodicean
believers who comprehend His authoritative declaration. The symbol, hear, is representative of
the responsibility exercised by a believer to understand spiritual instruction. It is an imperative,
symbolized in this vision, that the one holding an ear must hear what the Spirit lays forth to
the churches (Rev 2:7). The symbol, pronouncement, is representative in this vision of an auth-
oritative declaration and always pertains to matters of urgency and ascendant importance. The
believer who would hear the pronouncement of Jesus, relative to his state of presumption and
delusion, thus portrays the fact of repenting and begins to exhibit warmth of feeling accordingly
(see preceding verse commentary).

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                                     SONGS IN THE NIGHT
Since the context supports only a church composed of errant believers, Jesus does not in any sense
stand-by the door of an unregenerate person’s heart for the purpose of seeking entrance therein.
Since the people to whom He speaks in this vision are all believers, the depiction in this passage
is not of Jesus attempting to save the unregenerate, but to correct those who are already saved. He
is unequivocally rapping at the entrance of a church and the concept of a “heart” is seen neither
by word nor by inference anywhere in the context. The symbol, in the case that someone... would
open-up the portal, is representative of the hypothetical event in which an awakened believer
within the Laodicean church comprehends the authoritative declaration of Jesus and thereby seeks
to repair broken fellowship with Him. While those who fail in their responsibility to exercise
spiritual comprehension (fail to hear) face stern rebuke and trials of punishment, those who think
differently and exhibit zeal (who would open-up the portal) indicate willingness to sacrifice and
to undergo the necessity of trials of refinement. In either case, the result shall be the same and
Jesus shall not fail in His determination to enjoy intimate fellowship, on His terms, with every
slave purchased by His sacrifice. His demand for paying homage in Spirit and truth shall brook
neither presumption nor delusion.
The symbol, I will enter towards him, is representative of Jesus entering the figurative portal of
the Laodicean church via the obedience of a single believer. He thus commences with the re-
formation of many other Laodicean believers by effecting exemplary obedience in one of their
number. The symbol, towards him, is representative of intimate communion which translates as
a partnership. Thus, by means of partnership with one believer, Jesus impacts positively upon the
character and deportment of many other believers. The symbol, I will dine with him, is represent-
ative of honor which is conferred upon one who is particularly favored. The symbol, will dine
(deipn‘sÇ ); literally, “will eat the chief meal with”, is derived from the principal meal of each day
(the evening supper) and is representative here of sharing the most exquisite of spiritual nourish-
ment. Only the best of friends or highly esteemed visitors are accorded an invitation to the chief
meal, to partake of the host’s finest. When Jesus advised the disciples, Your loins should be ones
being girded around, and the lamps being kindled, He advised all believers of every century to
be similar (ones) to men being ones receiving toward their supreme authority, at what time
he loosens-up out of the wedding, in order that being come and having rapped they would
open-up directly to him. Blessed (are) those slaves, of whom the Supreme Authority having
come will find having kept awake. Amen I lay forth to you that He will gird around and
cause them to recline, and having come by the side He will attend to them (EstÇsan humÇn hai
osphues periezÇsmenai, kai hoi luchnoi kaiomenoi. Kai humeis homoioi anthrÇpois prosdexomenois
ton Kurion heautÇn, pote analusei ek tÇn gamÇn, hina elthontos kai krousantos eutheÇs anoizÇsin
autÇ . Makarioi hoi douloi ekeinoi, hous elthÇn ho kurios heur‘sei gr‘gorountas. Am‘n legÇ humin
hoti perizÇsetai kai anaklinei autous, kai parelthÇn diakon‘sei autois - Luke 12:35-37).
Great incentive is thus given to Laodicean believers to forego trials of punishment, in favor of sac-
rifice and trials of refinement. By the symbol, he with me, representation is made of a distin-
guished position at the dinner of the wedding of the Pet Lamb (Rev 19:7 & 9), for the Laodicean
believer who heeds the exhortation to sacrifice and to seek refining trials in order to vanquish
presumption and delusion. The dinner of which Jesus speaks is therefore the victory banquet for
which the white pebble is required (Rev 2:17), a festive event which is not reserved for the future,
but begins here and now. The intensified fellowship with Him, beginning in this life, is thus as
certain as sacrifice and refining trials are inevitable; the crowning result of the removal of that
which renders tepid service to Him.




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                                      SONGS IN THE NIGHT

                           The (one) conquering, I will give to him to
                            sit-down with me in my Throne. In that
                            manner I also have conquered and have
                           sat-down with my Father in His Throne.
                           The (one) holding an ear must hear what
                               the Spirit lays forth to the churches.
                             Ho nikÇ n, dÇ sÇ autÇ kathisai met emou en tÇ
                           thronÇ mou. HÇ s kagÇ enik‘ sa kai ekathisa meta
                           tou patros mou en tÇ thronÇ autou. Ho echÇ n ous
                               akousatÇ ti to Pneuma legei tais ekkl‘ sias.
                                             Rev 3:21-22
The symbol, the one conquering, is representative of both the legal state of each believer before
Jehovah (being justified through persuasion into Jesus Christ) and the ultimate state of each
believer, being glorified in Sacred Jerusalem (Rev 21:7); as evidenced by an earnest struggle
against sin in the natural realm. Every one having been generated out of the Supreme Deity
conquers the cosmos. And this is the conquest, having conquered the cosmos, our persuasion.
Who is the one conquering the cosmos, if not the one being persuaded that Jesus is the Son
of the Supreme Deity? (Pan to gegenn‘menon ek tou Theou nika ton kosmon, kai haut‘ estin h‘
nik‘ h‘ nik‘sasa ton kosmon, h‘ pistis h‘mon. Tis estin ho nikÇn ton kosmon, ei m‘ ho pisteuÇn hoti
I‘sous estin huios tou Theou - I John 5:4-5). The means of success, the conquest, by which the
cosmos (all that is unholy in the natural realm) is conquered is shown to be the persuasion given
by Supreme Deity that Jesus is His Son. Persuasion (faith, belief, trust) which is exercised in the
oppressive pressures of trial is persuasion which gains the endurance necessary to conquer (Rom
5:3-5 & Jas 1:2-4). The Laodicean believer is therefore enjoined here to subdue his natural tend-
ency to become complacent and presumptuous.
The words, the one conquering (ho nikÇn), convey the meaning of a believer who is subduing and
overcoming. As a symbol, it is representative of a believer’s suppression of his natural disposition
to forget his love the first (2:5), his vanquishing of the natural tendency within himself to murmur
in the face of oppressive pressures (2:10), his subduing of the proclivity within himself to tolerate
practices that compromise truth with paganism (2:17), his victory over the propensity within
himself to allow for corruption in fellow believers (2:26), his suppression of the inclination within
himself to ignore the spiritual needs of his brothers (verse 2), his triumphing over the tendency
within himself to become careless and spiritually drowsy (verse 11) and his defeat of the natural
disposition to become delusional and lukewarm (verse 21). Since there is no such thing as a
believer who shall be an ultimate failure in his pursuit of conquest over the remaining corruption
of his flesh, but that all believers are assured of ultimately conquering, they are also assured of
many gifts which are described within the expression of a golden promise. The symbol, I will give
to him to sit-down with me in my Throne, is representative of Jesus’ gift of grace, that one
whom He causes to conquer inherits a position in His Throne. Rather than reward for merit on the
part of the recipient, the position of rulership is a gift of grace, requiring effort on the part of the
Giver to insure receipt and keeping. He thus presents such rulership (with me in my Throne) as
He presents each one of the gifts within the seven-portioned golden promise. As the Apostles
continue to figuratively sit upon twelve thrones, deciding matters within the twelve clans of Israel
(Matt 19:28 & Luke 22:30), all believers sit with Jesus in His Throne (Rev 20:4). In the sense that
believers and Jesus mutually dwell in each other (John 15:5), believers sit with Jesus in His
Throne; adopting His eternal decrees as their own desires and thereby sharing in His sovereign
rulership.




                                                                                                     83
                                          SONGS IN THE NIGHT

                                       The Golden Promise
A portion of a single promise, associated with the symbol, to the one conquering, is thus presented to believ-
ers of each of the seven representative churches. The promise does not po int to a possible future event, but
to a fact which has already been established and is presently being realized. Altogether, the seven portions
convey to each believer of all seven churches (every member of the Kingdom on the Earth at any given time)
the complete promise of eating out of the Timb er of Life (2:7), of not being ensnared by the second d eath
(2:11), of eating from the manna being concealed and receiving a fresh name (2:17), of exercising auth-
oritative privilege upon the races (2:26), of being given the M orning Star (2:28), of being clothed in white
garm ents (3:5), of being made a pillar in the m ystical T emp le (3:21) and of sitting w ith Jesus upon His
Throne (present verse). Although the promise appears to be stated as the result of a condition which must first
be met, the c ondition itself is actually a description of an enduring, tried and true believer; one who has been
predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus (Rom 8:29, Eph 1:4 & Phil 1:6). Sinc e the effort of a
believer is dependent upon the faith and strength that only Supreme D eity can furnish (Phil 2:13), grace can
never be a debtor to a man’s efforts. The qualifying condition has be en me t in the death and resurrection of
Jesus (II Co r 5:21 & H eb 10:14 ). The efforts of a be liever can neither add to no r take fro m H is perfect work.
As with their births from above, the accep table efforts of all believers are purely the result of sovereign grace.


The symbol, in that manner I also have conquered, is representative of a believer’s intimate and
vital identification with Jesus’ death and resurrection by which He vanquished all claim of sin upon
them (John 16:13 & Col 2:12-15). The truth that Jesus overcame all the unholy influences of the
flesh, the world and Satan dictates the reality that believers have also overcome those influences.
They have overcome, judicially, in Him (Heb 10:14), although they are yet overcoming,
empirically, in the flesh (Rom 6:1-8). They are therefore seen in this vision, both in the natural
realm and in the spiritual sphere, to be triumphing out of the pervasive influence of the system of
Antichrist (Rev 15:2). The symbol, have sat-down with my Father in His Throne, is represent-
ative of Jesus’ rulership in Glory being precipitated by His death and resurrection in the natural
realm. Accordingly, the believer’s participation and identification with His death and resurrection,
realized through the gifts of repentance and persuasion, precipitates their ascension to His Throne.
The truth that Jesus now sits in the Throne of the Father (Rom 8:34, Eph 1:20, Col 3:1, Heb 1:3,
8:1, 10:12 & 12:2) dictates the reality that believers also sit on the Throne with Him. His Throne
and the Father’s Throne are one and the same (Rev 4:3). While, the one holding an ear must
hear, is symbolic of understanding being restricted to those in whom spiritual comprehension is
granted, what the Spirit lays forth to the churches, is symbolic of the Holy Spirit’s application
of Jesus’ words to every believer of all seven epochs (Rev 2:7).




                                                     E
                                            DESERT SUN
                                     A spiritual ministry of sovereign grace




84
                                          SONGS IN THE NIGHT

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