Chapter 5: The 10,000 Saints and God’s Law
Deuteronomy speaks of 10,000 saints, or “ten thousands of saints,” coming from Mount Paran, located in Petra, Jordan. It is speaking of God’s people in a place of safety in the end time.
“And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said, The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them” (Deuteronomy 33:1-2).
The expression “ten thousands” is from the Hebrew rebabah. Twelve out of 15 times in the Old Testament it means 10,000. A reference for one other instance also says 10,000. The word can also mean a myriad, or a large or indefinite number, but that wouldn’t very well describe the little flock of God, nor even all of the firstfruits. This is specifically talking about 10,000 saints that Christ brings from Paran at His Second Coming.
Fire of Law
Notice that when God came with these saints, from His right hand went a fiery law for them. These people are directly connected to God’s law—the “fire of law,” as it says in Hebrew. This world is soon going to be on fire for God’s law.
Now, if you have a fire of law with which to set the world on fire, you need a government to administer that law.
So here you have 10,000 saints who will be used by God, with the other firstfruits who are raised up. These people come from Paran, and they become God’s government to set the world on fire with law.
Naturally, God wants us to set our lives on fire with His law and government, because that’s what we will do in this world very soon. The 10,000 saints will be a part of the government that will teach God’s law to the world and build this Earth the way it should be built. Is there a real fire in us for God’s law?
Verse 3 states, “Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.” God loved these saints, and they sat down at His feet to receive of His words. He directed them, and He had them in His hands. These people were really directed by Jesus Christ.
Consider how soon God will need these people to administer that government. We see so much prophecy being fulfilled today.
The book of Habakkuk comments on this same prophecy: “A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth. O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:1-2). “In the midst of the years,” or at the crisis years of the end of this age, God’s work needs to be revived. We’ve lived through this part of the prophecy.
“God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise” (verse 3). This is the same story as the one in Deuteronomy. This Earth is about to be filled with God’s praise, and it will be those 10,000 people and all of the firstfruits doing it. How? By administering God’s law to this world. This is what we’re preparing for. Without law, everything falls apart. God’s fire of law is needed to fill this Earth with praise.
God Is Counting
Jude talks about the same thing: “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jude 13). Here are demons “foaming out their own shame”—wandering stars. What did they wander from? God’s law. The Hebrew expression Kadesh-barnea (i.e. Deuteronomy 9:23) refers to the Israelites also being wandering sons. They wandered away from God’s law. And God says that in this end time, most of His people, His sons, are wandering away from the law. What a contrast to those 10,000 who are growing and developing, who are so excited and moved about law they will set this world on fire with it! They are sons who keep their Father’s law.
“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints” (Jude 14). Jude must have gotten this information directly from Jesus Christ, because Enoch prophesying about this is not discussed in the Old Testament. But Jude says that Enoch was one of the righteous people after Adam and before the Flood, and he kept God’s law. He prophesied about these 10,000. There is that expression again: Even in the Greek it means myriads or 10,000 or ten thousands. But because it is a parallel to Deuteronomy, it should be the same as it is there. Thayer’s even says 10,000.
God is counting. He is well aware of His sons and that law. That 10,000 figure is miniscule when you consider the number that God has called today. That’s another indication that all the Laodiceans are going to have to die. Fifty percent of them will be resurrected from that death, but they’re going to lose a lot of their splendor and their headquarters position because of their attitude toward the fiery law. What separates the 10,000 from all the other thousands that were in God’s Church in this end time—these sons who are wandering around and don’t know how to teach God’s fire of law? The law is what separates us. The 10,000 keep and teach from the fiery law and use God’s government to enforce it. The unrepentant Laodiceans do not.
“The Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” That word cometh actually means came. God sees this as already having happened. That’s the kind of vision God has and the kind that you and I need as well.
Later Jude admonishes us, “Keep yourselves in the love of God …” (verse 21). Of course that refers to the law of God as well, which is His love (1 John 5:3).
Get the Government Right
Being on fire for the law is essential for a minister. “For the priest’s [should be priests’] lips should keep knowledge …” (Malachi 2:7). Ministers represent the government of God! God expects them to keep, or guard, His truth—His LAW! Now, in this Laodicean era, most of them don’t. Instead, they cause people to stumble at the law (verse 8).
The Laodicean groups reject God’s government. They reason around the proof Mr. Armstrong established about the necessity for one-man rule. They have “New Testament government,” or some other version of government. They share authority and “love each other” as they divide and splinter and fracture. But they’re free!—meaning, free to bow their knee to Baal. These types of government they’re experimenting with cause all kinds of stumbling at the law.
If we don’t understand the government as Mr. Armstrong taught it, we simply will not be in that 10,000. Christ is going to return, and we will have to set the world on fire with God’s law and implement it with His government. This is not an oppressive form of rule. It is the freedom that we all should fervently desire.
There are severe consequences for failing in this way: “Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law” (verse 9). They didn’t have God’s government right, and they weren’t teaching God’s law. So God says, I will make you base and contemptible.
When you look at the lives of some of the Laodicean ministers, and what they are getting into, you begin to see what God is talking about. These men are being humiliated before everybody. Get away from the law and you become enslaved. You become base and contemptible—especially those in God’s Church, because Satan is turned loose on them. What kind of a life is that? No freedom, certainly. Nothing but shame. But God said it would happen.
You can have Satan’s freedom if you want it—or you can have God’s if you want it. God won’t force us. But once you find true freedom, you had better be willing to fight for it, or you will lose it. Realize how precious it is, and praise God and thank Him that we’re the only little group of people on Earth today who are free.
There are three verses in Malachi that show that these ministers are dead wrong. “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments” (Malachi 4:4). You 10,000, remember this law. God gave it to Moses. He wrote it with His own finger. It’s not Moses’s law, but it was given to him. Now the fact that we have judgments in God’s Church shows there is government today and in every era, because you must make judgments about the law and the statutes. Some leader has to make judgments. Moses did it in the Old Testament. Was there anybody to compare with Moses? Was Korah on the same level as Moses? Well, he thought he was—until an earthquake swallowed him.
But notice, there is New Testament prophecy here as well, speaking of the time just before the Day of the Lord. “Behold, I [God] will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (verses 5-6). What “curse”? God is talking about eternal death. If they don’t get in line with what my Elijah teaches, they will die for all eternity, God says. No one else had that authority, did they? Who compared to Elijah? Who was on the same level as Elijah? Which committee shared his power? Well, they tried, but didn’t last long. No evangelist shared that power.
Moses, referred to in verse 4, administered the law in the Old Testament. In these end times, an Elijah came along and did just like Moses—he administered the law. When people fight God’s one-man government, they’re fighting these verses, and they’re fighting God, and they have to lose
The 10,000 are not that way. They choose the way to freedom and unity, the way to do a work for God! They are on fire for this law, thrilled to pieces to go out to this whole Earth with Jesus Christ and bring praise to God. They will do it through God’s law because there is no other way. They will administer it and enforce it with a rod of iron.
Mr. Armstrong was a type of Elijah, so there has to be a type of Malachi somewhere, delivering a message of Malachi after Elijah is gone. And he must teach the government of God, since he teaches about Elijah and continues the Elijah work. He would be one of the 10,000, so he must be on fire for God’s law, because that’s what His government is all about.
To illustrate what I’m talking about, read what one Laodicean evangelist said: “Mr. Armstrong was a wonderful man of God, as you know. … God used him more powerfully, so far as we know, than any man in doing the work in the last 1900 years, and that’s certainly something very, very honorable. So what we need to understand, though, in spite of that, the fact that a number of us got together, that is other evangelists in Pasadena, a few years ago, maybe just a year or two, frankly, before Mr. Armstrong died, and we weren’t trying to put him down or hurt him. We were just thinking. We saw he was near the end of his life and kind of wondered. And so one of the fellows actually was in the media area and talked to others who worked with this kind of thing and were keeping statistics and thinking about it, and we came to the conclusion as best we could put it, that only about 15-25 percent of the American people ever heard the name of Herbert Armstrong or at least heard it so they would remember it.”
I have a feeling Mr. Armstrong never did know about this survey. I don’t know how accurate this is; I’ll just take his word for it that it is accurate. He went over to Britain and he found out only about one out of 100 people had heard of Mr. Armstrong. In other parts of Europe it was one out of 1000. Over in Germany and Italy and Belgium it was even less.
He concluded, “I think that this should help us to understand. So think about this, brethren. Millions of these people, even of that generation, of the generation of those of us who are older, need a real witness.“ Essentially, he is saying that Mr. Armstrong must not have been the man who preached the gospel around the world for all of them as a witness. But what they need now is a real witness
Now—should we compare what this man is doing today with Mr. Armstrong? Do you want to compare what he’s doing two years from now with what Mr. Armstrong did? For that matter, do you want to compare what he is doing with what we are doing?
Here is what he’s really getting at. He said, “We may be thrown in jail and some of us may have to appear before an appeals court or U.S. Supreme Court or before a congressional committee because we’ve been preaching about a coming government. They’d say, ‘You people are talking about our nation. You’re the bad guys.’ You remember, just like Elijah?” Here he begins to speak about what the real Elijah did. “The Elijah was telling about Israel going to be punished by God and the king was upset and he said, are you he who troubles Israel?”
Now that’s an interesting statement, because he’s implying that Mr. Armstrong was not the Elijah, but rather that he himself is! That’s his motive in talking like this. This world needs a real witness, he says. You can think about that little survey and say, Mr. Armstrong really didn’t do very much, did he? But Isaiah 40 prophesied that he would be “a voice crying in the wilderness.” In other words, people wouldn’t really pay attention. And Matthew 17:10-11 says that Elijah would come and restore all things. This evangelist never talks about that.
This is not a small sin. We need to be aware of how Satan works. He is trying to shift our focus away from what the Bible says and onto a little poll.
But there are 10,000 saints who will come back with Jesus Christ, who will work under Mr. Armstrong and set this world on fire with God’s law! They will fill the world with it. And these men who keep trying to change things around must open their eyes—or they will die forever!
Know Who You Are!
The 10,000 saints love Malachi’s Message, because it is God’s revelation, and it is all about law. (Request a free copy if you don’t have one.) Those saints cling earnestly to such truth, and that is what distinguishes them from all the rest. There aren’t many of us left! If Satan destroys Malachi’s Message, he destroys God’s Church
Malachi’s Message is about law. The first thunder is about lawlessness—the Laodicean era. The next is “Following Elijah” and the law. The next is about the “End-Time Joshua” and his lawlessness. The next concerns the “Man of Sin” and his lawlessness. The next is “Prophesy Not,” which describes how the work of God was destroyed because the law and government were destroyed. The next chapter is about “Church Division” over law and government, and about a small group of people who cling to the law. And the last thunder is “Malachi’s Message.”
We must cling to that law and government, or we will be destroyed.
Here is one big difference between this evangelist and me: If he were to write a message like this, he would have to go to the council of elders in his church and they would say, no, you can’t give that message. I don’t go to a council. I get the message from Jesus Christ, and if I don’t write it, that’s what will get me in trouble. That’s the way God’s government works—the same government God gave to Elijah.
God is going to have 10,000 people coming from the place of safety who are on fire for His law and know how to administer His government. This is about ruling the world. It’s about teaching Israel and the Gentiles how to live and how to be free with the law of God. Only a small remnant understand this truth. But as long as you have Jesus Christ with you, it doesn’t matter! We could have two people or one person, and you still have a majority as long as Christ is with you. We must see that.
How deeply do God’s people know who we are and why we are here and what we are doing? Christ says, when I come back, these people will go out and fill the Earth with praise for God
How this world needs that! When I look at what is happening in this world, I think, Oh, God, help us to get past this! Thy Kingdom come!
Let’s strive mightily to get the work done and to learn about this fire of law and build a fire in ourselves—a fire for God’s law and government, so that we can go out very soon with Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, as His bride! To fill the Earth with praise, and build a fire in this world for God’s law and for God’s government!