Proverbs 22:28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
Deuteronomy 19:14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbor’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the Lord thy God giveth thee to possess it.
The landmarks showed the boundaries of one’s inheritance. Everything he possessed – his treasures, his rights, all that God had given him as an inheritance were encompassed within the landmarks. Removing a neighbor’s landmark was to encroach upon his rights and was regarded as equivalent to theft. Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof. Job 24:2. It was such an intolerable crime that a curse was pronounced upon anyone guilty of removing a landmark. Cursed be he that removeth his neighbor’s landmark. Deuteronomy 27:17.
Now if we considered this only as Hebrew law, then it would have little meaning to us. However, the laws and events of the Old Testament are types and shadows of spiritual truths that have to do with us in this day. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world (ages) are come. I Corinthians 10:11. So their inheritance described by the landmarks represents our inheritance in God. All our spiritual possessions – everything God has given us and has promised to give us is encompassed by our landmarks. Every spiritual principle and experience is involved. It is the antichrist spirit that seeks to remove our landmarks and rob us of what is rightfully ours in God.
Isaiah 10:12-14 I will punish
the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high
13 For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds (landmarks) of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:
14 And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.
The Assyrian represents the antichrist spirit, so these verses are prophetic. They speak of how the antichrist has broken through the bounds of the Church and robbed her of her treasures. Arrogantly he boasts of having removed the landmarks and taken the riches of the people like gathering eggs from hens that make no resistance. Robbed of her precious truths and experiences the Church went through the Dark Ages of ignorance and superstition. The Apostle Paul said in his epistle to the Thessalonians that this “falling away” would take place.
II Thessalonians 2:1-5 Now
we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our
gathering together unto Him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be
troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the
Day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a “falling away” first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
The antichrist robbing the Church of its spiritual treasures took place during the time of the “falling away.” The “falling away” was a process that began with the passing away of the original apostles. Remember that John said, Even now are there many antichrists (I John 2:18). The antichrist spirit had already begun his work in removing the landmarks of the Church. The Dark Ages under the rule of the Roman Catholic system was the result of the “falling away.”
Since the days of the Reformation the Church has been in a period of restoration. Since that time many of the spiritual treasures have been restored. For example, the treasure of salvation by the grace of God, rather than through works, was restored under the ministry of Martin Luther. Nevertheless, much remains to be done.
Paul told the saints at Thessalonica that the Day of Christ was not yet at hand, because there would first be a falling away. The Day of Christ is that time when the Body of Christ is brought to fulfillment and is gathered together under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This is what the Lord is doing at this time, and the antichrist spirit is trying to hinder it as much as possible. The Holy Spirit works through men and so does the antichrist spirit. The “man of sin” (verse 3) is indicative of the carnal mind of man. The carnal mind of Christians gives access to the antichrist spirit to the Church. In this way he removes the landmarks and robs the people of God.
Hosea 5:10 The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out My wrath upon them like water.
It was the leaders of Judah that led the people into idolatry. As it was then, so it is now. The antichrist spirit always prefers to deceive those in authority, because he can then usurp their authority and use it against the Church. That is how he robbed the treasures from the house of God in the Old Testament and in the days of the “falling away.” Being aware of this satanic strategy, Paul warned the churches before his departure. And from Miletus he (Paul) sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them…For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. Acts 20:17-18, 29-31.
What we have discussed so far is also revealed in the books of Kings and Chronicles. Let’s take a look at what is given in Kings.
I Kings 10:17 And he (Solomon) made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
While Solomon’s father, King David, reigned over Israel, he amassed more treasure, probably, than any other potentate of the world. He had not only received the plans for the building of Solomon’s temple, but he made complete preparations for it. The gold, silver, precious stones, etc., in his treasure house would stagger the mind. David is a type of Jesus Christ, who also amassed great treasures that He passes on to the Church.
David’s kingdom was left to his son Solomon. So Solomon inherited all the riches of his father. As David is a type of the Lord Jesus, so Solomon is a type of the Early Church that inherited the Kingdom of Christ. The treasure house of the Lord Jesus was handed down to the Church.
Solomon made three hundred shields of gold and placed them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. The house of the forest of Lebanon was like an armory and received its name because it was built with cedars from Lebanon. These shields are significant; gold is a type of divine nature. The number three hundred signifies divine deliverance: the length of Noah’s ark was three hundred cubits (Genesis 6:15), and the men under Gideon that wrought deliverance for Israel were three hundred in number (Judges 7:7). Shields are used for protection in battle. So these three hundred shields made by Solomon are highly suggestive. Like the landmarks they represented the security and protection of the vast treasures of the Kingdom.
I Kings 14:25-27 And it came to
pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up
26 And he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
27 And king Rehoboam made in their stead brazen shields, and committed them unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the king’s house.
Shishak, king of Egypt, came against Jerusalem and stole the treasures of the Lord’s house, the king’s house, and the shields of gold that were in the house of the forest of Lebanon; that is, he removed the landmarks and robbed the people of God of their treasures. This again, is prophetic of how the antichrist spirit comes against the Church, robbing her of her treasures in God. It was fulfilled by the “falling away” of the Church into the Dark Ages.
The Dark Ages were followed by what is called “the Reformation” of the Church. It is also termed “the Restoration” of the Church. Actually, it is more like a mixture of the two. There has been some restoration, but today’s church is yet to become what God wants it to be.
I Kings 14:27 says that king Rehoboam, son and successor to Solomon and his throne, made shields of brass to replace the shields of gold that were stolen. That is a restoration to some degree, but brass is of far less value than gold.
The spiritual truths and experiences that have been restored to the Church are often like the shields of brass. When we take the promises and provisions of God in the Scriptures and relegate them to something far less in experience, we have replaced the shields of gold with shields of brass.
There is no need to go over each individual treasure and see how it has been reduced to “brass.” One example will be sufficient. The treasure of salvation by grace that belonged to the Early Church was taken away. During the Dark Ages it was believed that salvation had to be earned; sometimes by works, many times by money. A person could receive forgiveness and buy their way into heaven if he had enough money. And as we mentioned before “salvation by grace was restored through the ministry of Martin Luther and others like him. However, even today that precious truth is very often made of brass and not gold.
The fact that one’s sins can be forgiven is certainly a step forward from the Dark Ages. But Jesus’ death on the cross provides for more than forgiveness for sins committed. Many Christians today believe that their sins are forgiven, but do not believe for a change of nature. They feel they can only be delivered from their sin nature after they go to heaven. So like those of the Old Testament they continue to need forgiveness for their wrong doings.
The sin nature is at the root and cause of sins committed. As long as the root nature is not dealt with, one will continue to commit sinful acts. How can we maintain a sinful nature and still profess to be “born again”?
John 3:1-3 There was a man
of the Pharisees, named Nicodemas, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with Him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.
In the original, “born again” is “born from above.” When one is born of God, he receives a new nature. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:6-7. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God…which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh… John 1:12-14. Whoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. I John 3:9.
The Scriptures are quite plain that to be born of God is to have a change of nature; that is, the sinful nature passes away and His divine nature takes its place. Therefore if any man be in Christ (born of Him), he is a new creature (Literally, a new creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. II Corinthians 5:17. We can partake of His nature, if we believe! Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature. II Peter 1:4.
Accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and saying we are “born again” without a change in nature is replacing the gold with brass. At the very most, we can only say that we are being born again. It is a process that takes place over time, not an instantaneous event. Our appropriation of His nature is in direction proportion to the elimination of our sinful nature. We must have a cross experience, too. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. II Corinthians 4:10-11. We must not relegate God’s provision to the forgiveness of sinful acts only, but let it have its perfect work of bringing forth His nature in us.
John 3:3 Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.
When John the Baptist came on the scene, he said, Repent ye: for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 3:2). When Jesus began His ministry, He said, Repent: for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17). When Jesus sent His disciples out, He said to them, As ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 10:7).
Now the message of the Kingdom of God being at hand is either gold or brass, depending upon how we accept it. If it is out in the future so we cannot walk in it now, it is brass. But if it is at hand so we can walk in it now, it is gold. Jesus said, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. One must be born again to see the Kingdom of God. One who is not born again cannot see the Kingdom of God. To see the Kingdom means that it is present, and those who are born again (or, being born again) have access to walk in it. Christians of gold can see the Kingdom; Christians of brass cannot.
Jesus said, My Kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). It is a walk with God! It is a walk in the Spirit! Yet people are constantly trying to make it earthly. If they can’t see it, they place it in the future. They want a sign, something they can see on the natural realm to prove that it is present. But Jesus said, The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation (Luke 17:20).
John 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
He that is “born from above” is above all, because he is walking on a heavenly realm. The earthly are those Christians who have replaced the gold with brass. They speak of the earth, for they are only aware of the natural realm. The promises of God are gold. Let’s not replace them with brass.
Copyright © 1996 by Henry DuBose