By Dr. Wesley A. Swift - 4-3-66
A great many institutions are beginning to come together, and to celebrate together. There is two times of the year when they come together. One is at Easter, and one is at Christmas. A great number of these institutions of course do not believe that Jesus is the Christ. But they do acknowledge that HE rose from the dead. So we have a witness that is with us today that these things are true. We would thus go back into the background of history and pick up some of the trends of things that transpired. The thing that makes Palm Sunday so great in the declaration of Christendom. For in this declaration we have a foundational truth.
As you go back into the declaration in the Gospel of St. Mark--'When they came nigh unto Jerusalem and unto Bethany, at the Mount of Olives HE sent forth two of his disciples, saying, go over into the village that is against you and as soon as you have entered in, you shall find a colt upon where never a man sat. Loose him and bring him. If any man say, why do you do this, then say that the LORD hath need of him.
And straightway he will send him hither. And he went and therefore found a colt tied by the door. And certain men who stood there said what need ye of this colt. And he said, Jesus hath need of it. And certain of them commanded, and they let them go.
The reason why this declaration had been given by Christ was because in the writings of Zechariah in the 9th chapter, 9th verse:--- "Rejoice greatly oh, Daughter of Zion; Shout o, daughter of Jerusalem; behold thy King cometh to thee. He is just and having salvation, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
Before we enter into Jerusalem, we will go back into the background of the events of this time. For in the land of Galilee was an ancient order known as the Essene. And the Essene were from the days of David down thru Solomon until the time of the coming of Christ had been looking for the establishment of the kingdom of Christ forever. And under the administration and reign of Messiah. They were made up of Savants, and wisemen, and was made of military geniuses and of men who were determined that their land was not going to be held by these pagan forces. They themselves contained the true priesthood, or rather contained within them a true priesthood. And particularly all of those in control of the temple at the time of Jesus were pagans. They had signed a false affidavit, saying that they believed the message of the scriptures, and had secured for themselves positions of authority. And they had manipulated this authority in a very strange way.
And among those in the company that made up the Essenes was he, known as Captain Barabbas. He was the son of a soldier who went back in history to the time of Rehoboam, who had lost the kingdom. And in this instance those who had gone out of Israel with Jeroboam had carried forward the destiny of Israel. Barabbas was of the royal military line which had conducted itself by this standard and by this hope.
So it was that in the days of Jesus, that Barabbas had taught the soldiers in this army of the Messiah. And they called it the army of YAHWEH and they hoped that sooner or later they would have their opportunity of bringing in the kingdom. In fact this faith was so great that these men were gathering everywhere, secretly, assembling and waiting for Messiah. It had happened in some years before this that a son had been born to Elisabeth and Zacharias, and he was the high priest at the time of the birth of Christ, and he was in one of the temples that existed in Bethlehem.
Now; you will remember that the child that was born to Elizabeth was an unusual child. He started as a child to tell many strange things. The Essene company raised this child for the parents knew that the Herodians were calling for the death of all of the children born in Bethlehem at that time. That his life would not be safe if he stayed at the temple. So this child was raised into his manhood by this Essene company. These Essenes came and went from their homes in Jerusalem. And many of them stayed out in the caves outside of Jerusalem, which existed between Galilee and Jerusalem. And the instance of this then this young man told them of the coming of Messiah. Told them that the Messiah had been born in earth, and they could depend upon this word. Of course the Essene company knew all about this birth of the Christ, and they watched and they waited to be sure. And Joseph of Arimathea, who was the uncle of Christ, the uncle of Mary, was one of the leaders and creators of this movement in his own time. He had great wealth, and was a member yet of the Sanhedrin, and thru out the course of his time he had give a great portion of his wealth to the development of this time. And in the teaching of this young man who Jesus said concerning this,--that never was there one born of woman greater than this one --John the Baptist. And HE said: this was Elijah who was prophesied to come. For HE had said that he would send Elijah before the coming of Messiah, or of the LORD. So by this declaration, this one who was to pave the way of the King was none other than the spirit of Elijah, here in John the Baptist. Never had there been one born before this or since who came with such a unique message, and had such a unique ministry. So therefore there was this expectation inside of Israel that this Messiah would take the kingdom. That HE would proclaim himself king. That they would possess the kingdom, and they would then drive out Rome and drive out the false pagan priests inside of the temple. And by their own declaration they were guilty for every work that was against the kingdom of God.
So always there was a problem that faced this one who was most concerned with all of the paganism which had taken over in Jerusalem. And Joseph of Arimathea was also one of the gathering who were against this evil priesthood and they talked about a Chalice. So what did they mean by this Chalice? John the Baptist had told them that Christ would not take the Crown but he would take the Chalice. So what was this Chalice? The Essene company held the crown which had been worn by David. And they had decorated it and they had improved upon it until it was one of the most beautiful crowns. And this crown was hidden away and they were ready to offer it unto Christ. They in their minds could not fathom that he would not take the crown so they were working with this in mind continually. And during the ministry of Jesus they were always working to make this a tremendous spectacle. And then they would crown Christ King. Joseph of Arimathea thought much upon this subject.
He sent to Corinth where he had been trading with his ships, this great fleet of Joseph of Arimathea. He in fact owned the tin mines of Cornwall in Britain. His ships traded between Britain and the isles of the Mediterranean, and this included the homeland of Palestine. And so he secured from Corinth one known as Demetrius, a skilled craftsmen, one of the greatest engravers of his time. He brought him back to Palestine and placed him in his own home. And there so many times as Jesus walked into the house of his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, Jesus would sit there often in the banquet room with his disciples. And here they talked and discussed so many things that were important concerning the kingdom. And all of the time this silversmith was engraving upon the Chalice the features of Christ and his disciples.
Who were those who made up this company who served Jesus? But there is something rather unique here, for he was unable to engrave the face of Judas of Iscariot here. Each time he tried he failed so he settle with having the face of Judas turned away. The disciples did not realize that this man was engraving the Chalice but Jesus of course knew. And he also knew what the Chalice was for. For HE knew what HE was going to accept.
So in the days of Joseph of Arimathea there had been extensive preparations for this crowning of the Messiah as KING. And the true pharisees were coming more and more to the realization that Christ was the embodiment of truth, that this was Messiah and Very God.
So the Disciples had spread the word, and they were seeking constantly to bring Christ to the throne of the kingdom, yet because of what John the Baptist had told them they were somewhat dubious as to whether he would take the Crown.
However the excitement had been raised in the land, and the time was coming close. Inside the temple those pagans had been disturbed for Christ had once challenged their trading on the steps of the Temple, saying that this made the temple the house of thieves. With this declaration then one of the mothers of some of the disciples came and she said: LORD when thy come into thy kingdom will you have one of my sons to sit upon your left side, and one to sit upon your right side? This was showing that they expected the kingdom to be set in place, and Jesus knew that they were planning this, and it was going on behind the scenes.
So it was that we find these unique times that Psalm Sunday is recording. So Jesus knew that they were planning this event in Jerusalem. And now he gave the orders to go and ask for this horse that he planned to ride upon, this is called an ass in the scriptures. But they were to find a colt for him to ride upon. One that no man had ever sat upon before. So the disciples were rejoicing that Christ was about to take the throne. Little did they realize that it was the Chalice which was the important thing for this day. That this Chalice was of significance and a vital and important part of what would next take place. So they went and they took the animal saying that Jesus, YAHSHUA, the Savior hath need of it. Thus no one stopped them from taking this horse and this in itself was a unique thing. For this was a colt that no man had as yet ridden upon. So this was also a unique pattern, that he could ride this colt that was brought to HIM.
As they came then into Jerusalem, with Jesus riding upon this colt, his foal of an ass, with their garments thrown upon it, since they had no saddle. Still the disciples knew that this was the advent of the king. And as they approached the city. The preparations were not too great for the time, but they gave evidence that people had been preparing for a long time. Because people lined the streets from every portion of Palestine. They came in great droves, and they were shouting for Christ to receive the kingdom, and to be crowned King.
We may well say that he was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. They talk about how he had no followers but his disciples. But the fact remained that people thru out Galilee, and Capernaum and thru out Jerusalem that wanted his crowned king. In fact they were the great majority as this operation came into being. People went out from the city to meet the King, and children cried as well as did the adults: "Hosannah, Hosannah in the highest to the King of Kings."--Hosannah unto he who comes in the name of the house of David, as well as in the name of God the Father. And so we see this declaration in the book of Matthew. For actually they said: Blessed is He who comes in the name of YAHWEH. "Hosannah in the highest.”
So by this declaration they had confirmed again one passage of the scripture, which was most unique. They had proven without a doubt that they recognized that this was the Christ. And He did come in the mighty name of the Eternal God. Thus, they cried out in their excitement.
Then when HE entered the gates of the city then suddenly there was something else that would transpire. For Barabbas and his hosts were there, in their glory. Hosts that had been declared for the hosts of YAHWEH, the Hosts for Messiah. Joseph of Arimathea had helped and the men wore beautiful robes. These were beautiful blue robes with the sign of the golden crossed fish upon them, showing that they were the soldiers of Messiah. They carried the fine blades made in Damascus. The Romans had had much to do with Barabbas for he had raided their caravans, and the caravans of the Priesthood who were not the true priesthood. They were Canaanites and Amalakite and the children of the serpent. They were the people who were denounced by Christ. So with all of the outcome, and the troubles of the times, then Barabbas, Captain of the hosts of Messiah, had successfully raised an army, for that day in the city of Jerusalem. Suddenly they took off the dust coverings that they were wearing and exposed those beautiful blue tunics they were wearing. And now there they stood in those blue tunics with their swords upraised, and they cried: Crown YAHSHUA--Jesus the Christ, crown HIM King. And after coming into the city then Jesus went down in the direction of the Temple. And as they approached the Temple this was the terminal event. And now Joseph of Arimathea, and the wise men who had been watching Jesus were now approaching. And there upon a beautiful pillow covered with the royal symbols was the Crown of the throne, and also there was the chalice. And they brought forth this Crown and this Chalice. And altho they realized that HE might not take the crown still they offered it to HIM. And a they offered the Crown to the Christ then the true leaders of Israel came forth, from the Essene company. This was a mighty host and they shouted for Yahweh, as YAHSHUA to be their King.
Jesus stood their looking out upon them and then HE raised His hand. And he saw Judas of Iscariot standing there saying:--'Take the Crown', 'take the crown'. For Judas was thinking of the money bags that he carried. And for a moment the thoughts of the money turned his head from the task which he had been assigned. Jesus then said:--'Yes, it is my right to take this Crown. This is my crown and belongs to my father David. It is my right to take this crown and rule, but I shall not at this time take the crown and RULE THEE IN BONDAGE. I can only serve thee best if I serve thee free, there fore I shall assume this Cup.’
The Chalice was beautiful, in wrought silver. It was the finest work of a silversmith at this time. And inside the Chalice was a small cup. This cup is also known as the Holy Grail. It is the same cup looked for by King Applestain, and King Arthur and his knights. They looked and they believed that they would find this holy grail. It was used twice in his ministry following the acceptance by Jesus of this Chalice. It was used as the cup at the last supper, as Jesus passed it to his disciples so that they might drink with HIM. The second time it was used in the Garden for here in that Garden He drank this cup of clear water to the last drop. And with this cup of clear water he assumed the transgressions of the world. Therefore by assuming his responsibility he had taken upon Himself by his own volition and by the Magnitude of His own Grace, the fullness of transgression.
And yet in all of the transgressions there was not one transgression against HIM. For HE who was without spot or blemish, he was the one who could do this.
Thus, Jesus standing there this memorable day said: 'Yes, I could take this crown but I would not rule you free. Therefore I shall take this Chalice for it is the symbol of this cup that I must take.’ He said: you do not remember what I have said. The kingdom of God does suffer violence and the violence takes it by storm. But My kingdom is hence. If my kingdom were of this world (order), and not hence then I would give the kingdom to you and the Jews would not hold the kingdom. But the day shall come when I shall take the crown and the Jews shall no longer hold the kingdom.
And in this instance they cried aloud:--"Take the crown, take the crown.” For the people still did not understand for the majority of them were awaiting a Messiah who would take the kingdom out of the hands of the Jews. Little did they realize that they were bound and must be set free of the power that controlled them.
From the steps of the Temple the pagan priests gnashed their teeth. And they looked down upon this group that had gathered together such a force. And as they looked down upon these soldiers they trembled. And altho they had their own company of soldiers they were not at this time on hand. So the Priests were angry at the people but they still stayed far up the steps of the temple.
Then Jesus having identified with the Chalice, he then turned and handed the Chalice to John. And then he told the people to go to their homes and to await the day when He should take this Chalice, and have accomplished this work that I have come to do. And so again HE the King of Kings rightly, entering Jerusalem, and fulfilling that passage--'Behold your king cometh, riding upon the colt, a foal of an ass.
Thus this was only a declaration prophetically that the King had Come. Then Jesus turned and building himself a cat of nine tails, he then turned and strowed up the steps of the Temple. And he scattered the tables of the money changers and he went into the temple and cast out all that bought and sold in the temple. Thus he overturned the seats of the money changers and those who sold the doves for sacrifice. And HE said unto them:--'My house shall be called a house of Prayer, and ye have made it a den of thieves.' and thus he denounced the Priests and the merchandisers in His House.
New churches of today in recognizing the message of Palm Sunday. And in recognizing the vastness of the scripts that were involved in the development of these passages, and of these factors will see that the thing which Jesus did, in having taken the Chalice and plunged again into the cleansing of the Temple, will recognize that the temple stood for evil at this time. And remember also that in other places he has given a symbol of also what he considered for this temple. For HE said concerning the Fig tree --'Never shall it bring forth fruit forever.'
And the Disciples knew what this meant for the Fig leaf was the symbol of the keepers of the Temple. And of the Masters of deceit. And by this strange operation then they had come by this fig tree which Christ had cursed, and there was no more life there upon it. And the Priests of the Temple knew that he had spake this thing against them. And then they plotted more thoroughly as to how to put Him to death. And so in each one of these instances we have a very clear picture, of Christ and the true Priesthood, and the true followers of the Most High. Not found in the priesthood and company but were found in the company of the community.
And we find today that this may also be true in the general sense because it is not today in the great cathedrals or in the gathering of the general conferences that the household of God is to be found.
It is to be found among those who look for his appearing and are waiting for the day when Christ shall take the throne as King. And shall establish his kingdom even for ever.
And so by this declaration again, we see within this chalice that this was the one great hope of mankind. And so by this Chalice again we have found again this avenue that by taking upon Himself the processes of our guilt, then we are free.
This Chalice was found as they were digging out some of the churches in Antioch. And in one major church in Antioch they found this ancient Chalice. It had been carried by Joseph of Arimathea over to the church in Antioch. It had been placed first in Egypt in that church under Mark and then taken from Egypt over to Antioch. And when the power of Mohammed came in then the churches were more or less laid to waste and then inside of the treasure chamber, where they kept the sacred articles they found this Chalice. And the beautiful thing about it is, that when looking at this Chalice you would recognize the face of Jesus. Proving to us that once again the spirit of God has given unto us an accurate remembrance of the face of Jesus. And that the face of Jesus, no matter where, or what land, is still recognizable.
We may say that altho the majority of our paintings or craftsmen have been mostly from Italy, or Germany, and yet as we look back over these images of Christ, still no matter which land, still one recognizes that face. Upon the silver Chalice there was no coloring but there was the skilled work of the engraver who had wrought the full countenance of Christ. And so we might say that wood carvings, and work of the engravers are to be supported by the engraving of the Chalice. And we have the evidence of it today. Thus this Chalice was restored to Christendom and it has been housed in the Metropolitan museum of Art. And it has also for a time rested in the beautiful orthodox church of San Sophia, in this city, and it has been on display. Then it was returned to its natural spot in New York. It is a rather unique situation that it is this nation that here in the latter days, at the climax of the hour, chosen to preserve the great artifact of the Christian Church.
And by this testimony we turn to that story of Yesterday. And we turn to the story of Barabbas, and we turn to the sale of Barabbas by Judas of Iscariot who told the Romans as to where Barabbas would go and where he would be found. So the soldiers swooped down and seized Barabbas this Captain of the hosts of YAHWEH. And by this token he was thrown in jail and thus the story goes that there was a man named Barabbas, a thief and a robber. But this was the result of the work of Jewry and of Rome. And of course when Pontius Pilate found no fault with Jesus, saying: 'this man is not guilty.' And he would have set him free. But knowing again the actions of the Jews he said: --here is a man who has stolen your goods, and has waged war against you. So who would you have me release unto you Christ or Barabbas? He did not think that in this case the people gathered would call for the blood of Jesus. But these forces surrounded by those who controlled the temple called for the Blood of Christ. Not quite believing then Pilate ask again ----who would you rather I released unto you--Barabbas or Christ? And the people cried release unto us Barabbas. So Barabbas was saved by Christ, who took his place.
And free again then Barabbas dashed to his troops still anticipating that, in a miracle that would happen then Christ would take the throne. But this was not to be, and they did not know when he would take the throne and they looked for it every day. But it was not to happen. Even after HIS Resurrection still the people looked for HIM to show up and take the throne.
The armies of Barabbas all three thousand of them were eventually slain, as they worked to defend Christians in that old land after the Resurrection. They died defending Christian against the Jews, and the power they used to influence Rome. As the armies of Messiah disappeared they had gone to their Glory. But they shall come back. And as they come back they shall stand with the armies of Israel as the triumphant army of all times. There fore we shall behold again in the magnitude of Christ, in the reentry into human affairs of the great honor guard of Barabbas with their symbol of the Crossed fish. And the emblem of the King of Kings, and the LORD of Lords.
So today as we recognize these factors, we can say:--'Blessed is he that came in the name of YAHWEH. For this One was the very God.
No wonder that Mary was told that he shall come in the name of YAHSHUA for HE shall save his people from their sins. Thus again he came with this declaration and we have him identified with the Eternal Father. And in speaking to his disciples HE said: 'Ye who have seen me have seen the Father, for I and the Father are ONE.'
As we think upon these facts, we look forward to the week that is ahead, to the coming of Good FRIDAY and the coming then of Resurrection Day. Because this completes the story of the church and its history. And it is vital and important for you to know. So let us remember this in our meditation.
End of message.