One of the things God used in the Old Testament to prophesy of future events was "allegories," and He did it in the manner expressed in Isaiah 29:9,10. "Precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little and there a little." For instance, in Genesis 22, God used Abraham to represent God, and Isaac to represent Jesus. However, in Genesis 14, He used Melchizedek to represent Jesus, and Abraham to represent someone else. God does it that way so no one will be able to find out what He means, except those to whom He wants to reveal it.
Those Old Testament events are not merely stories. They are comparable to the parables which Jesus told. Matthew said, in 13:34,35, "All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world."
Today I want us to examine the allegory of Abraham and Isaac, and the wells which they dug. At best, the record is vague about Abraham digging wells until you get to the account of the wells which Isaac dug. Perhaps the pivotal verse of this allegory is Gen. 26:18. God said, "Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them."Songs of Solomon 4:12-15 clearly shows that God uses the figure of a well to represent the Church.
During the Grace Age, this allegory must materialize first as the four phases of God's Church, in the 1st century A.D. which became buried in the process of about 1800 years of Christianity, until the beginning of the 20th century, when another four phases of God's church began to be uncovered. The first four phases began with Jesus and the New Covenant. That phase is appropriately represented by the one well which is mentioned in the saga of Abrahams life: Beersheba, "The Well of The Oath." The three Phases which followed came under the leadership of Peter: who brought it unto perfection, James: who preserved it for a time, and Jude, who marked the demise of that glorious manifestation of God on Earth; the Church of The Living God.
Accordingly, there are to be four phases of God's Church at this end of the Grace Age. One major difference this time is that the covenant phase is the last phase, rather than the first. The first phase began with the Arise of Church of God under A. J. Tomlinson, who also initiated the second phase: Church of God of Prophecy. Fourteen years after the death of A. J. Tomlinson, God commissioned Grady R. Kent to raise up the third phase: The Church of God. These three groups have now fulfilled almost all of their portion of prophecy (Acts 3:20,21), Especially Ezek. 21:24-27. Since December of 1980, we have been in the time described in Ezekiel 21:27. "It shall be no more until he come whose right it is."
A. J. Tomlinson began to dig in fulfillment of Isaac's first well on June 13, 1903. But, the allegory had a bad ending. "The herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying,
There was somewhat of a power struggle at the time of A. J. Tomlinson's death, which resulted in Milton A. Tomlinson emerging as the new General Overseer. However, the real struggle was the one to wrest the authority from the man in charge, no matter who he had been, and transfer it to the General Assembly. In 1948, the contenders won their battle. The Church rejected divine leadership and declared the General Assembly to be the highest authority in the Church. By so doing, they declared A. J. Tomlinson's work and theirs, from 1923 and forward, to be in error.
But, prophecy again justified A. J. Tomlinson by God bringing about the fulfillment of Hosea 8:1. God found fault with the Church of God of Prophecy, because they had "resisted His will." (Rom. 9:19-21) Therefore, He raised up a flying prophet against them. As it is written, "Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the House of the Lord,because they have transgressed My covenant, and trespassed against My law."
In 1948, God inspired Guy Klapp to give the Apostle Grady R. Kent a new Cessna 195, airplane. Between then and 1956, Brother Kent's "White Angel Fleet" grew to about one hundred aircraft, and a force of over two hundred pilots. He preached at airports all across America, with great effect. He even took a special squadron to the Caribbean Islands in fulfillment of Isa. 60:9. He was, of a truth, the "Voice of The Bird of The Air" of Eccl. 10:20 and Ezek. 10:1-7.
Later, during the General Assembly in 1956, Milton Tomlinson himself declared, "I am subject to the Assembly." Therefore, because the Princes of the Assembly had once again gained control of "Moses' Seat."The battle for Sitna had been lost, so God raised up the Apostle Grady R. Kent, and anointed him to be "ruler over His household." Thus was Isaac's second well fulfilled, "They strove for that also, and he called the name of it Sitna. And he removed from thence, and digged another well."
On February 13, 1957, Brother Kent, with much sorrow and tears, stepped out and began to dig what would prove to be the third well: Rehoboth, which he called "The Church of God." In the process of about three and a half years, Bishop Kent had ordained The Twelve; thus fulfilling the allegory of Abraham's brother Nahor and his twelve sons .
When "the great earthquake of Good Friday," in 1964, began its violence, Bishop Grady R. Kent fell into a coma. He died four days later, about an hour and a half before the last tremor shook. In his lifetime he had personally fulfilled several prophecies, and The Church of God, had worked with him, to fulfill the dispensation of God which was given to him for them. (Col. 1:25)
Isaac called that third well Rehoboth, because no one strove with him for it. That is basically what happened with The Church of God until God finally took their candlestick away in December of 1980. (Rev. 2:1-5) At Brother Kent's death, his sons thought that one of them should succeed him, but there was never any notable contention, although his sons left the organization. Even at the expulsion of Bishop Kent's successor in the Spring of 1972, there was no contest.
Very soon now, We shall see the fulfillment of the last well: Beersheba, which is the Well of The Covenant. "The messenger of the covenant" shall bring us God's covenant, and under his leadership, God's Elect shall go to perfection, as God said in Mal. 3:1-4. God be praised now and forevermore!