Timeless Truths Free Online Library | books, sheet music, midi, and more
Skip over navigation
Remove Not the Ancient Landmarks | Ostis B. Wilson, Jr.

The Landmarks

In Deuteronomy 19:14 we read, “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set.” Again in Deuteronomy 27:17 we read, “Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark.” We read again in Job 24:2, “Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof.” Proverbs 22:28 says, “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” Proverbs 23:10 says again, “Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless.” Verse 11 continues, “For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.” In all these Scriptures we see that the original landmarks which were set in the time of laying out and allotting the land to the children of Israel when they received their inheritance were very important all the way through in maintaining proper identification of each person’s land as the inheritance passed down from one generation to another. None were to remove the landmarks which they of old time had set (Deuteronomy 19:14). The ancient landmarks which had been set by their fathers were not to be removed (Proverbs 22:28). A curse was pronounced upon anyone who tampered with any of the original landmarks (Deuteronomy 27:17). The rightful inheritance of each one of the children of Israel could only be identified by reference to those ancient landmarks.

It is the same in maintaining proper land lines and boundaries now. When a surveyor runs a land line he must locate corner stones and run the lines according to them. I have known them to dig up a considerable area in an effort to locate a corner stone, and if it could not be located, they could not proceed with the survey until one was established. Neither was this done by arbitrary means. The surveyor did not just look around and decide on an arbitrary location as being the most likely or pretty close and run from there. Rather he went to where he could clearly locate a corner stone in each direction from the corner to be established and measured in from those stones and established a corner that tied in with the other established corners in the area. Sometimes they would have to go maybe as much as a mile and perhaps in some cases even farther and measure in from each direction to locate a given corner. But the survey could not proceed until that corner had been definitely established to correspond with the other established corners in the area.

Also, in a survey, the line must be run according to where the original corner stones are found. If there are obstacles in the way and trees and brush, etc., which hinder him from seeing through to the other corner, he does not decide that the line cannot be established in that place and just move it over to another place. Instead he will carefully measure over a certain number of feet from the corner stone at each end of the line to clear the obstacle and set up his flag at that point to shoot to and run the line through from there, but bearing in mind all the time that the line he is shooting is so many feet off from the actual line. This becomes a matter of official record. When this is done and recorded legally the adjacent land owners can just wrangle and fuss all they want to and sue each other in court over the property line, but it will be always settled by the legal record of that surveyor who made the survey and established those corners. Everything in a given area must correspond with everything around it and must be tied in with the general area.

Now let us come down to apply this thought to us and to our spiritual standards, etc. In 1 Corinthians 10:18 we read, “Behold Israel after the flesh.” But why behold Israel after the flesh? Because Israel after the flesh is a type of Israel after the spirit spiritual Israel or the Church of God in this New Testament age of time. Those literal landmarks referred to in the above texts which were so important to the children of Israel in their inheritance, etc. were typical of those ancient landmarks of spiritual truths and standards which have been established by our fathers for the church. In the 5th chapter of Hosea, God was pronouncing judgment against the priests and princes and people of Israel for their rebellion against Him and their idolatry, etc., and said, “The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water.”* (Hosea 5:10) From this we see that God considers a departure from established standards set in the Scriptures and established for saints to go by as removing the ancient landmarks, and His judgment is pronounced against it, and His wrath poured out upon those who do such things. We read, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”* (Revelation 22:18,19) We see here that it is no light thing to tamper with God’s Word and the standards and principles it sets forth, to change them or remove them in any way.

Now, returning to the thought that in a literal land line survey all must be definitely established to correspond with everything around it, and must be tied in with the general area, this is also true in the over-all picture of spiritual things and in establishing true standards for the church to go by. Each individual part of that standard must be scripturally and spiritually established and must tie in with the general over-all standard of teaching of the church. In other words, if we see evil in a particular thing and oppose it as being not compatible with a holy life because of the evil influence of it, then we should oppose all things related to that in principle and every projection of that thing in other forms whereby its evil influence could be projected. As an illustration: if we oppose the movies in general as an element of evil influence, and I am sure that all of us do and the saints have stood against this thing from the time it first came in, then we should also oppose its offspring, the television, which projects that same evil influence from the theater right into our parlors and brings it right home to our children. As one said, “We took the night life off the streets and brought it to our homes.”