Explanation of the court case, Part 1
Aug 14, 2015
The court case published yesterday contained statements that were learned and discussed during the days prior to the actual court case. I want to share how some of these issues came to be revealed and understood. In other words, I want to give you some background to explain some of the things mentioned as part of the court case.
The High Mountain
The first thing we recognized is that we had been called to a high mountain (Revelation 21:10), which symbolizes the Kingdom of God with a global perspective. It soon became clear that this was about a court case involving all of creation.
The Council of the Lord
This Council is mentioned in Jeremiah 23:18,
18 But who has stood in the council of the Lord, that he should see and hear his word? Who has given heed to His word and listened?
The context shows the prophet chiding the prophets of his day, who were prophesying peace for Jerusalem when God intended to destroy the city. The Hebrew word for council is cowd (“sode”). It literally means a pillow or cushion to sit on as a person converses with friends. The Lexicon explains this word, saying,
“A sitting together, an assembly, either of friends familiarly conversing, Jer. 6:11; 15:17, or of judges consulting together… a secret.”
The word implies “secret” (i.e., closed meetings) of judges or government officials who are consulting God, then discerning and discussing His answers between themselves.
The Council is made up of both men and angels. Its main purpose is to obtain two witnesses (heaven and earth) to establish all things. Most of the discussion in the Council is to allow men to know the will of heaven, so that they can bear witness on earth that which they have seen and heard.
Jeremiah 23:22 says,
22 But if they had stood in the council, then they would have announced My words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds.
In other words, if the prophets in Jeremiah’s day “had stood in the council,” they could have known the will of God and the fate of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, the prophets relied upon their dreams (or claimed to have dreams and visions), but did not stand in the Council. The result was that they disagreed with Jeremiah, who was obviously familiar with the Council of the Lord, having received his revelation through that Council.
The other prophets preached that God would never destroy Jerusalem, probably arguing that the Jews were God’s chosen people and that God would never disgrace Himself by allowing His temple to be destroyed. We see a similar situation today, as most of the prophets again cannot believe that Jerusalem is Hagar and must be cast out in favor of Sarah and her children (Galatians 4:25-31).
In Ezekiel 13:9 God says,
9 So My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will have no place in the council of My people, nor will they be written in the register of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel, that you may know that I am the Lord.
To be “My people,” one must follow Yahweh, the God of Israel, who was later incarnated as Jesus Christ. “Yahweh has become my Yeshua,” says Isaiah 12:2, 3. Ezekiel was prophesying to genealogical Israelites (“prophets of Israel”), according to Ezekiel 13:2. How is it that these genealogical Israelites would not “be written in the register of the house of Israel,” or “enter the land of Israel”? It is obvious that God did not consider them to be Israelites, even though they could trace their ancestry to the man named Israel.
Psalm 89:6, 7 says,
6 For who in the skies is comparable to the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty is like the Lord, 7 a God greatly feared in the council [cowd] of the holy ones, and awesome above all those who are around Him?
Here it is called “the Council of the holy ones” (or saints, angels). Obviously, the Council of the Lord does not mean that the Lord needs a Council to come to any conclusion. There were Jews in times past who fancied that God consulted the rabbis about what to do in the earth, as if God needed help making good decisions. The truth is that the purpose of the Council is for men to learn the will and mind of God, so that they can speak the truth to the people. Hence, it is not merely the Council of the Lord, but also the Council of the “holy ones.”
In the New Testament we read of the Sanhedrin, which was usually called “The Council.” Mark 15:1 tells us that “the whole Council” met to determine what to do with Jesus. Luke 22:66 calls it “the Council.” In Acts 4:15 Peter and John were taken before the Council. In Acts 6:15 Stephen testified before the Council. In Acts 22:30 Paul appeared before the Council to give testimony of Jesus.
On each of these occasions, the Council determined that Jesus was not the Messiah, in spite of the testimony. The problem was that most of these religious leaders had not stood in the Council of the Lord to learn the truth of this matter. They had consulted among themselves, but they did not have the mind of God. No doubt they fancied themselves as being “holy ones” in the Council of the Lord, and enjoyed that reputation among the people, but they were not registered in the heavenly court as members of the House of Israel. Neither were they qualified (by faith in Christ) to enter the divine court to present earthly cases.
It is self-evident that when Jesus called His twelve disciples, He was training them to be part of the Council of the Lord. For this reason, He told them that they would be judges sitting on twelve thrones over the tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). As Council members, they were expected to hear God’s voice and to consult among themselves to know the mind of God before issuing decrees. In other words, their decrees were to reflect the mind of Christ, and they were called to give voice to His decrees (divine court rulings).
Unfortunately, after the apostles died, their successors became increasingly unqualified in later centuries. Church Councils were held, but they degenerated into the same carnal mindset that had befallen the Sanhedrin in earlier days. Their decrees were no more authoritative in the eyes of God than those of the Sanhedrin before them—insofar as God was concerned. Their decrees only established more traditions of men, which may contain some elements of truth, but which come from a wrong spirit and carnal motive.
The idea of the Council of the Lord has been revived among some writers in recent years, including Dr. Robert Henderson, whose book largely inspired our recent court case. So when we were on our way to Colorado in early August, we came to understand that this was a Council meeting. We were to discern His will, discuss it among ourselves, and when we knew His mind, then we were to present the legal case in the divine court to establish His will.
The Angelic Witness
None of us would claim that we were the only ones who were part of the Council. There are others (though not many in the big picture) who are recognized by the divine court as Council members. According to Dr. Henderson, a formal Council, in ancient times, had to include at least ten people. Eight Council members met with two stand-ins (teens) who represented two other Council members that were not physically present.
Each of our angels, of course, also met with us as part of the angelic (heavenly) portion of the Council. The ministry of our angels became very apparent at one point in our discussion when Peniel suddenly made His presence known and gave us the name “Israel.” Recall that Peniel was the angel that gave Jacob the name Israel in Genesis 32:28, 29, 30. Jacob then named the place after the name of the angel.
This incident was just the second major occasion where Peniel has shown up in a meeting. The first was in October 1995. His work has been evident over the years in many ways, but this was just the second major moment.
Worship in the Divine Court
I was of the opinion that worship was preparation to enter the court, but not part of the court proceedings. I based this on Psalm 100:4, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise.” But the Lord said that worship was actually the introduction to the court proceedings, because it established our submission to the Judge. In other words, whatever the Judge might rule, whether for or against us, we would submit to it gladly. Our heart is to know the truth, not to convince the Judge of our opinions.
To ensure full unity, we also spent a few moments speaking individually (i.e., as couples) to each other, asking forgiveness if we had offended or wronged one another in any way. It was important to present our case in full unity, so that the opposition would find nothing to wedge between us.
We then presented our credentials to the Judge as Council members, and established our authority to present the case for the Restoration of Creation. On October 16, 2014 the authority had been transferred from the kingdoms of men to the saints of the Most High, allowing us to present the case on behalf of all creation.
Prior to last year our authority was limited. On May 30, 1993, the fortieth Jubilee of the Pentecostal Age, we received the first increment of authority when “Saul” died—that is, when the Church under Pentecost began to be replaced by the Church under Tabernacles. Then 7½ years later (November 30, 2000) the authority of “David” was increased to include the entire house of Israel (2 Samuel 5:5).
This gave the overcomers authority over the Church, but not over the nations. We received authority over the nations in 2014 at the end of the “seven times” judgment, according to Daniel 7:22, 27.
On the basis of this transfer of authority, the Council was able to meet in Colorado to plead the case for Creation itself. Our plea was for God to fulfill His promises, vows, and oaths according to the New Covenant that was mediated by Jesus Christ.
Dr. Stephen Jones