There are things physical that are collateral with things spiritual in the vast wisdom of God in the Scriptures. The Greek word used is “πολυποίκιλος“polupoikilos, which simply means diverse, multifarious, variegated.
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
This wisdom was manifest from the simplest to the most intricate forms of creation!
O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
Physicists may in one way or the other appreciate and understand such wisdom from the physical side of creation but unfortunately most of them do not consider the spiritual.
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
To understand the things spiritual we must understand the collateral physical of it.
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
The intent of the Lord Jesus Christ in teaching or explaining things physical is for people to realize the spiritual side of it. Just like in the case of food, there is a saying devised through human experience that goes, “The nearest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” This may sound true, but spiritual food, in the dimension of expressed or written words, goes directly to the heart – unlike physical food.
Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
The verse above speaks of the route of physical food: to the mouth, into the belly and out.
Conversely, the spiritual does not enter through the mouth but through the ear!
For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.
And goes directly to the heart.
The route then of spiritual food is: through the ear to the heart.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Thus, the physical collateral has its spiritual primary – truth and its inherent wisdom.
To exemplify, nature has it that in the physical realm the sources of light that illuminate the earth shine from the east. Both the sun and the moon shine from the east!
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
From the east also, in parallel manner as the rising of the sun will the spiritual primary rise – the sun of righteousness and truth!
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
Hence, the incense prophesied in the Malachi verse is not the physical incense of the Catholic Church. It refers to something of a higher dimension being offered to the name of God in the prophecy – the prayers and praises of the people of God.
And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints;
Likewise, the saints offering incense or prayers are not saints of the Catholic Church but members of the Church of God.
I CORINTHIANS 1:1-2
1Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
2Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
Thus, the true preaching of salvation will originate from the east and going forward to the west, never from the west to the east – as the Lord has declared in these several passages.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
These are because the people of God will exist at the time of the end according to the prophecy. And it is among these people – from the east – where the wise will come from.
DANIEL 12:4, 9-10
4But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
9And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
The wise who will understand the prophecy will be instrumental in turning many to righteousness which group will form the people of God at the time of the end! These wise men will originate from the east; because they will shine as the “brightness of the firmament.”
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.
Remember that the lights that illuminate the earth shine from the east!
Earlier, we said understanding the physical requires a reckoning with the spiritual because God’s wisdom is vast. We cannot emphasize this enough.
In the past passages as in this verse of Daniel’s book, we note that the physical collateral (wise men) and the spiritual primary (sun of righteousness) reflect upon each other as sureties or warrants. Where one is, the other is sure to be present.
For this we are ever grateful to God Almighty, because He had willed that this group be formed from the east exactly at the time of the end as prophesied by the Bible! AMEN!