Home » Prophecy » PROPHECY OF OBADIAH

PROPHECY OF OBADIAH

 

three

 

By Lang’o Odhiambo
S.O.T.P. Director/Speaker

Vision of Obadiah

Obadiah 1:1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.

The Hebrews attached great importance to the meaning of proper names-the meaning determined the name–a fact which must be remembered when studying the Scriptures, for often there is a deliberate play upon the meaning of a word. To the Hebrews a name represented not merely a sound, but more particularly a meaning.

The laws of the first mention

Louis Were says “Like the books of the Bible, and the various features of Divine truth, the laws governing the understanding of the Bible are definitely connected and at times interwoven. Thus the law of the first and the last mention is connected with the law of repetition and the law of enlargement. The enlargement comes by the repetition, and the repetition repeats that which is first mentioned–and, naturally, the enlargement and the repetition are found in the last mention, for it is in the last mention that things are enlarged to their fullest sense, and it is there that the last repetition occurs. The laws of Biblical exegesis, like the glorious colours of the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem, blend together in wonderful harmony, revealing the exquisite handiwork and the faultless wisdom of the infinite Creator.,, The Certainty of the 3rd Angel’s Message pg 157

Using this principle we see the enlargement that comes by the repetition in the prophecy of Obadiah, and the repetition repeats that which is first mentioned in the character of Obadiah in the book of 1 Kings–
Meaning of the name Obadiah

Strong’s concordance definition
Serving Jah; Obadjah, the name of thirteen Israelites

From this definition Obadiah means a serving Jah [God] or rather servant of God .The name Obadiah is connected with number 13.There is a supernatural design in the use of numbers both in the works of God and in the word of God and just as a spiritual significance is attached to names thus it is with numbers. By getting the significance attached to number thirteen then we can as well ascertain who Obadiah and his message in the book of Obadiah a type of.

First mention of the number thirteen

Genesis 14:4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

Using the principle of first mention we find that in the first mention of the number thirteen its attached to rebellion. From that we allude that Obadiah is a type of servants of God during a time of rebellion. The message given to prophet Obadiah typifies a message that will be given the servants of God during a time of rebellion.

Obadiah during a time of rebellion.

1 Kings 18:1 And it came to pass [after] many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. 18:2 And Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab. And [there was] a sore famine in Samaria. 18:3And Ahab called Obadiah, which [was] the governor of [his] house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: 18:4 For it was [so], when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

Applying the law of first mention the name of Obadiah is first mentioned in the above text. An inspired connection exists between the character of Obadiah in the book of Kings and the message of the book of Obadiah. From the above text we get that Obadiah feared the LORD greatly. Thus Obadiah is a type of servants of God who believe in the First angles message which says

Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

In verse 1Kings 18:1 we read “the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year,” The works of Obadiah are manifested in the third year this means that Obadiah is a type of those who hold the three angels massage in a time of rebellion.

Ellen White Says “The three angels’ messages are to be combined, giving their threefold light to the world. In the Revelation, John says, “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.”… This represents the giving of the last and threefold message of warning to the world. Revelation 18 points to the time when, as the result of rejecting the threefold warning of Revelation 14:6-12, the church will have fully reached the condition foretold by the second angel, and the people of God still in Babylon will be called upon to separate from her communion. This message is the last that will ever be given to the world; and it will accomplish its work. When those that “believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:12), shall be left to receive strong delusion and to believe a lie, then the light of truth will shine upon all whose hearts are open to receive it, and all the children of the Lord that remain in Babylon will heed the call: “Come out of her, my people” (Revelation 18:4). {Mar 173.6}”

From the prophets quote above its plain that Obadiah represents those who are to give of the last and threefold message of warning to the rebellious world when, the church will have fully reached the condition foretold by the second angel, and the people of God still in Babylon will be called upon to separate from her communion as a result of rejecting the threefold warning of Revelation 14:6-12.This is the burden of the book of Obadiah.

A Loyal Company.

The churches have become as described in the eighteenth chapter of Revelation. Why are the messages of Revelation fourteen given? Because the principles of the churches have become corrupted. . . . [Revelation 14:6-10 quoted.] .Apparently the whole world is guilty of receiving the mark of the beast. But the prophet sees a company who are not worshiping the beast, and who have not received his mark in their foreheads or in their hands. “Here is the patience of the saints,” he declares; “here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (MS 92, 1904). {7BC 979.2}

Obadiah represents those who will not worship the beast, and who will not receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hands, when the decree shall go forth enforcing the counterfeit Sabbath[Sunday].And this message that calls us out of Babylon and warns against false worship is repeated and enlarged in the book of Obadiah as we shall see

In the book Evangelism we read “The change of the Sabbath is the sign or mark of the authority of the Romish church. Those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to observe the false sabbath in the place of the true, are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded. The mark of the beast is the papal sabbath, which has been accepted by the world in the place of the day of God’s appointment. No one has yet received the mark of the beast. The testing time has not yet come. There are true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion. None are condemned until they have had the light and have seen the obligation of the fourth commandment. But when the decree shall go forth enforcing the counterfeit sabbath, and the loud cry of the third angel shall warn men against the worship of the beast and his image, the line will be clearly drawn between the false and the true. Then those who still continue in transgression will receive the mark of the beast. {Ev 234.2}

Character of Obadiah

1Kings 18:4 For it was [so], when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

Haskell says “In every detail, even to this last period of years, the history of Jezebel is a parable of the church history during the time, times, and half a time-the three and one half years of the papal supremacy, the period covered by the message to Thyatira”

The papacy is now rising back to its supremacy that it enjoyed in the dark ages, as prophesied in

Revelation 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

The character of Obadiah should be the character of those who are to see the papal wound healing and also those who will live when the wound will have healed. During that time Obadiah hid the prophets of God by fifty fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) By feeding them with bread and water there was no flesh in their diet. So is it to be with the antitypical Obadiah’s. Health reform to meet the approaching crisis.

Prophet White wrote “The reason why many of us will fall in the time of trouble is because of laxity in temperance and indulgence of appetite. {RH, October 21, 1884 par. 1}

Why Obadiah Hid the prophets by fifty fifty?

Commenting of the Pentecost Haskell says “PENTECOST, so called because it was held fifty days after the waving of first-fruits, 1 it was the last of the annual feasts held in the first half of the year. 2 This feast was called the Feast of Weeks, on account of seven weeks intervening between it and the Passover feast. It was also called the Feast of Harvest, as it came at the close of the harvest. The Feast of Weeks was one of the three principal annual feasts, when all the men of Israel were required to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem {1914 SNH, CIS 116.1} “

What’s the importance of Pentecost?

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

In our time the Holy Spirit will come again

Prophet Ellen White says “We have taught, we have expected, that an angel is to come down from heaven, that the earth will be lightened with his glory. Then we shall behold an ingathering of souls similar to that witnessed on the day of Pentecost. This mighty angel comes bearing no soft, smooth message, but words that are calculated to stir the hearts of men and women to their very depths. . . . Are we, indeed, as human agencies to cooperate with the divine instrumentalities in sounding the message of this mighty angel who is to lighten the earth with His glory? {CTr 306.2}”

By Obadiah hiding the prophets in fifty fifty and by the prophets hiding in fifty fifty indicates that they were a little company that believed in the Pentecost experience. And the antitypical Obadiah’s must also have a Pentecost experience as prophesied in

JOEL 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

As the members of the body of Christ approach the period of their last conflict, “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” they will grow up into Christ, and will partake largely of His Spirit. As the third message swells to a loud cry, and as great power and glory attend the closing work, the faithful people of God will partake of that glory. It is the latter rain which revives and strengthens them to pass through the time of trouble. Their faces will shine with the glory of that light which attends the third angel (RH May 27, 1862). {7BC 984.4}

In the book of Obadiah a similar work attended by the pouring of the latter rain is typified.

Servant[s] of God

From the meaning of the name Obadiah we can also draw lessons on the character of the typical and anti typical Obadiah’s. Obadiah means Serving Jah or rather servant of God. Thus the book of Obadiah is a message of and to servants of God.

Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John:

Servants of God read, and they hear the words of prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand.

Daniel 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, [and] spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come [hither]. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.

Daniel 6:20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: [and] the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

The prophecy of Obadiah is of and to a people who will have the experiences like Daniel Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who are too referred to as servants of God.

In prophets and kings we read “As in the days of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, so in the closing period of earth’s history the Lord will work mightily in behalf of those who stand steadfastly for the right. He who walked with the Hebrew worthies in the fiery furnace will be with His followers wherever they are. His abiding presence will comfort and sustain. In the midst of the time of trouble–trouble such as has not been since there was a nation–His chosen ones will stand unmoved. Satan with all the hosts of evil cannot destroy the weakest of God’s saints. Angels that excel in strength will protect them, and in their behalf Jehovah will reveal Himself as a “God of gods,” able to save to the uttermost those who have put their trust in Him. {PK 513.1}

Message of the book of Obadiah

From the name Obadiah and its meaning we have drawn parallels with other parts of the scripture using the law of first mention. By allowing the prophetic torch to shine on the name Obadiah we have found foundational truths. Now we will get into the message in the book to also draw parallels of foundational truths that have been repeated and enlarge in the book of Obadiah.

Obadiah 1:1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.

The message given to him is concerning Edom.

Applying the law of the first mention, who is Edom?

Genesis 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red [pottage]; for I [am] faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

“Edom means faint”
for I [am] faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

“Esau means Red”
Genesis 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.

Louis were says “In the Scriptural account of the birth of Esau and Jacob we see the significance attached to the giving of names among ancient people of the east. Because the first boy was born “red, all over like an hairy garment, they called his name Esau,” and because the second twin “took hold on Esau’s heel, his name was called Jacob.” Gen. 25:25, 26. The word Jacob means “He taketh by the heel.” The verb is figuratively used to denote the action of deceiving or defrauding, which is expressed also by the English word supplant. In Gen. 27:36, margin, we see how Esau, in lamenting his loss of the birthright at the hand of the shrewd Jacob,’ made a play upon the meaning of the word Jacob: “And he [Esau] said, Is not he rightly named Jacob, that is, Supplanter? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing.” When Jacob’s character was changed God changed his name: “Thy name shall be called no more, Jacob, but Israel, that is, a prince o f God: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Gen. 32:27, 28, margin. Being the first occasion this name is given in the Scriptures, it is the historical basis for the spiritual use of that name in the New Testament when referring to events subsequent to the rejection of the Jewish nation. The name “Israel” now stands for those who, like Jacob, have wrestled with God in prayer until their characters have become changed into the divine similitude”.

Esau a Type.

We read that “Esau passed the crisis of his life without knowing it. What he regarded as a matter worthy of scarcely a thought was the act which revealed the prevailing traits of his character. It showed his choice, showed his true estimate of that which was sacred and which should have been sacredly cherished. He sold his birthright for a small indulgence to meet his present wants, and this determined the after course of his life. To Esau a morsel of meat was more than the service of his Master . Esau represents those who have not tasted of the privileges which are theirs, purchased for them at infinite cost, but have sold their birthright for some gratification of appetite, or for the love of gain (Letter 4, 1898). {1BC 1095.1}

Change of name a type

The change of name from Esau to Edom typifies the millerite time period when protestant churches rejected the light from heaven and there was a change of name from Protestantism to fallen Protestantism.

Describing these changes in early writings we read “As the churches refused to receive the first angel’s message, they rejected the light from heaven and fell from the favor of God. They trusted to their own strength, and by opposing the first message placed themselves where they could not see the light of the second angel’s message. But the beloved of God, who were oppressed, accepted the message, “Babylon is fallen,” and left the churches. Near the close of the second angel’s message, I saw a great light from heaven shining upon the people of God. The rays of this light seemed bright as the sun. And I heard the voices of angels crying, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him!” {EW 238.1}

Characters of Jacob And Esau Contrasted

Prophet White wrote “Jacob and Esau represent two classes: Jacob, the righteous; and Esau, the wicked. Jacob’s distress when he learned that Esau was marching against him with four hundred men, represents the trouble of the righteous as the decree goes forth to put them to death, just before the coming of the Lord. As the wicked gather about them, they will be filled with anguish; for, like Jacob, they can see no escape for their lives. The angel placed himself before Jacob, and he took hold of the angel, and held him, and wrestled with him all night. So also will the righteous, in their time of trouble and anguish, wrestle in prayer with God, as Jacob wrestled with the angel. Jacob in his distress prayed all night for deliverance from the hand of Esau. The righteous in their mental anguish will cry to God day and night for deliverance from the hand of the wicked who surround them.” {1SP 121.1}

Spiritual Edomites

I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus’ work was done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgments of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would then be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob’s trouble. [See Genesis 32.] Then all the saints cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the voice of God. The one hundred and forty-four thousand triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of God. {CET 100.3}

We clearly see that the message of Obadiah is a message concerning Edom whom we have seen typifies those who will rise against the righteous ones during the time of trouble.

Character of Edom in prophecy

Genesis 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac [was] threescore years old when she bare them.

From the phrase “his hand took hold on Esau’s heel” we see the prophecy of Esau’s Character. When a child comes out of the womb the head comes out first then the legs. Since Esau came out first the head of Jacob followed. From that we see that Esau’s leg [heel] was over Jacobs head. By his heel being over his head tell us of also Esau’s Character

Psalm 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up [his] heel against me.

John 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am [he].

In Desire of ages we read “At the feet washing, Christ had given convincing proof that He understood the character of Judas. “Ye are not all clean” (John 13:11),He said. These words convinced the false disciple that Christ read his secret purpose. Now Christ spoke out more plainly. As they were seated at the table He said, looking upon His disciples, “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel against Me.” {DA 653.5}

Church and state craft in the prophecy of Obadiah

The Lord in scriptures told us of the character of antitypical Esau/Edom before it came to pass, that, when it is comes to pass, we may believe that [he is].By Judas lifting up his heel against Christ its manifest that Judas isn’t clean and is a false disciple, this character is found in the life of Edom. Thus we can as well say that Edom is a type of those who are unclean and false disciples. This character finds its fulfillment in

Revelation 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

In the bible handbook we read “The dragon is paganism, beast Catholicism, false prophet is fallen Protestantism. Rev. 16:13. Aside from the people of God, there remain three classes; “the dragon,” the power which sought to destroy the child Jesus, or paganism (Rev. 12:1-5); “the beast,” which persecuted the church during the 1260 years (the period known in history as the Dark Ages); and “the false prophet,” or apostate Protestantism. {1919 SNH, BHB 27.4}

Since we have found Edom is a type of those who are unclean and false disciples, this character well finds its fulfillment in fallen Protestantism, which is unclean by reason of the unclean spirits found in it.

In Great controversy we read “The beast” mentioned in this message, whose worship is enforced by the two-horned beast, is the first, or leopard-like beast of Revelation 13,—the papacy. The “image to the beast” represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas. {GC88 445.2}

What is Edomites/apostate Protestantism dogma?

Prophet Ellen White states “In the last conflict the Sabbath will be the special point of controversy throughout all Christendom. Secular rulers and religious leaders will unite to enforce the observance of the Sunday; and as milder measures fail, the most oppressive laws will be enacted. It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the land ought not to be tolerated. . . . Romanism in the Old World, and apostate Protestantism in the New, will pursue a similar course toward those who honor the divine precepts. {Mar 188.3}

The dogma of Edom/apostate Protestantism is Sunday sacredness. Since the book of Obadiah concerns Edom then the book of Obadiah like other prophets addresses the issue of church and state craft. If the prophecy of Obadiah has that nature of message concerning Edom which is apostate Protestantism and makes up Babylon, then the book of Obadiah also has the everlasting Gospel.

Everlasting Gospel in the prophecy of Obadiah

Revelation 18:6 says “Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double”.

Reward her even as she rewarded you is the judgment that comes upon Babylon and since Edom/apostate Protestantism makes up Babylon she will also receive the same reward according to her deeds. The character of Edom is that “he lifted up his heel to bruise” the seed of Christ .We read in

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Here the seed of Christ lifts up its heel to bruise the seed of the devil. And in Genesis 3:15 is the everlasting Gospel. Also in the prophecy of Obadiah is the everlasting Gospel. The massage that calls us out of Babylon is the everlasting Gospel of the three angels massage

Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

Daniel 11:40-45 in the prophecy of Obadiah

In the prophecy of Obadiah is the three angels’ message since it’s a message concerning Edom and we find in scripture where part of those in Babylon heed to the call to come out of Babylon

Daniel 11:40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
11:41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many [countries] shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, [even] Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. 11:42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

In the prophecy of Obadiah is the message of Daniel 11:40-45.For it is a message concerning Edom,and in Daniel 11:40-45 we find the prophecy of Edom also .