Goodnews Christian Ministry

Selected Questions
From Our Readers
1996

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Goodnews Christian Ministry
http://goodnewspirit.com





December 9, 1995

Question

Hi, what happened to your "AN END TIMES TIMELINE" page? I attempted to print it but, it came out superimposed with church history. When I tried to access it again it was not there.

Thanks very much for the work you put into your page -- T


Answer

The URL is futureprophecies.htm. The link can be found on our index page under the heading "More Pages".




February 28, 1996

Question

"I was wondering if you have anything written on the symbolic meaning of Ephraim and Manasseh?" -- BobS.


Answer

Ephraim and Manasseh, the grandchildren of Jacob had a profound impact on the history of the twelve tribes of Israel. By the design of the Holy Spirit, they have taken significant places in the Bible's code of divine prophecy.

Excerpt from 'The Clock of God":

"...the twelve tribes of Israel have been known from the earliest days to have great prophetic significance. It is not just Christians who have come to this awareness. Hebrew scholars have understood that a great prominence surrounded these twelve tribes from the root days of scripture.

When the twelve tribes were first formed out of the sons of Jacob, two grandchildren, Ephraim and Manasseh, were also elevated to tribal status to join their uncles.

This signalled a prophetic preeminence that later compelled the Israelites to place the priesthood and temple in the land belonging to Ephraim as soon as the Hebrew tribes began to populate the 'Promised' Land. But the temple did not remain in Shiloh because the images God had in mind in this code were pointing farther down the road.

Subsequent events have shown us that the prophecies which flow from these two grandchildren of Jacob, were pointing, first, to the two Houses of Israel born out of the Hebrew civil war; and second to their New Testament fulfillment in the schism between Christians and Jews.

Prophecy promised that the eldest of these two grandchildren would be the least, and that the youngest would be elevated to primacy over the other.

This prophecy was first launched when Jacob gave Ephraim the patriarchal blessing instead of his older brother, Manasseh. And when Ephraim achieved early spiritual dominence in the land of Palestine, the prophecy seemed to come true.

But Shiloh was just the start of the images that the Holy Spirit intended should come out of this vital cryptogram. Passing through the code of the schism, Ephraim became Christianity and Manasseh became its older brother, Judaism.

Outnumbering Jews 100 to 1, the youngest became the greatest just as the prophecy forsaw that it would; and the two together have become the focal point for the entire religion of God on earth -- the two grandchildren of Israel (Jacob) absorbing in code form the entire tribal structure in themselves alone. The Bible is filled with similar examples."

Since the twelve Apostles have been constructed on the template of Israel's twelve tribes, two of Christ's Apostles must correspond to Ephraim and Manasseh.

In looking at scripture, we find that there are two that do. In other words, God has followed the template perfectly.

In the case of the twelve tribes of Israel, Levi, was pulled out of landowning status -- the status which designated the twelve geographic areas of Israel, and became the tribe of the priesthood. From this tribe came Moses and his brother Aaron. With Levi's change of status, the twelve became eleven.

Later, after he saved his brothers' lives in the great famine, Joseph was elevated to the patriarchy -- i.e., he was moved up to take a place with Abraham, Issac and Israel (Jacob). This dropped the tribes down to ten.

Joseph's two children (Israel's grandchildren) were appointed by Israel (Jacob) to take Levi's and Joseph's places, bringing the total back to twelve.

In the case of the 12 Apostles, Peter was elevated by Jesus to high priest to assume God's highest mantle of Leviticism, and Judah removed himself by suicide after betraying Christ.

Two more Apostles, those which correspond to Ephraim and Manasseh, were then added.

First came Matthias, who was selected by a choice of lots at a time when the entire Christian church numbered only 120 people (Acts 1:15-26). Because he was first, Matthias corresponds to Manasseh who preceded Ephraim in birth.

The prophecy stated that the second would become the greatest. So just as Ephraim became dominant over Manasseh, so did the second late-appointed Apostle of Christ become dominant over Matthias.

This second Apostle, chosen later by the Holy Spirit, was Paul -- the Apostle to the pagans. Paul, then corresponds to Ephraim in the prophecies.

The prophecy does not end here, however. Leviticism divided the Hebrew priesthood into two parts, one, the high priesthood -- that of Aaron -- and the other, a low priesthood called the Levites.

The Aaronic priesthood was fullfilled in the Petrine priesthood, of which we all are a part through faith. Peter is the first-born of this priesthood. We join with him in that priesthood when we are baptised in the Holy Spirit.

The Levitical priesthood, on the other hand -- i.e., the secondary priesthood -- corresponds to the outer chamber just as it did in Hebrew times, and so is defined in the ordained ministry and in the churches which all these ministries have set up. (i.e, the equation breaks down to faith and theology).

Faith is the high priesthood and theology is the low priesthood. The low priesthood is entirely external and is measured from Popes down to deacons and incorporates all churches from Catholicism to fundamentalism -- perhaps, some say, even Mormonism and beyond.

The high priesthood, however, is completely internal and can only be measured by faith.

One priesthood saves. The others lead toward salvation, but cannot, themselves, save.

Paul, as tentmaker (church-maker), is the director of the Levitical (or theological) part of these two ministries. In the same way that Moses authored most of the Torah in the Old Testament, Paul was the author of the greater part of the New Testament, and this seems to have made him heir to the Mosaic office.

In this role, Paul has moved theology towards faith and made it submissive to faith.

The theological part of the ministry came first because theology is the substance of the Old Testament. Faith was brought by Jesus and is, therefore, the youngest and the greatest.

For this reason, ultimately, Ephraim corresponds to the New Testament and its doctrine of the inner chamber, the cleansing of the soul; and Manasseh to the Old Testament and its ritual and traditions designed to purify the flesh.

In Bible prophecy it is a single code, and all these elements spring from it by the direction of the Holy Spirit because they are all parts of the same subject. They either preview it, or they fulfill it in Christ.




April 11, 1996

Question

"How does Hamas fit into the Bible's prophecies about Jerusalem?" -- DS


Answer

To answer this question, we should first look at the Jewish nation of Israel.

The current Jewish community is divided into two groups. One has its sights set on a reconstruction of Israel's greatest biblical boundaries -- one that stretched in King Solomon's time from Dan to Beersheba. This element of Jewish society is very militant and has persistantly tried to colonize for Israel the captured Arab lands that have fallen into Israeli hands since the new state of Israel was first founded in 1948.

Joining them are other Israeli militants who feel that the Arabs will probably start more wars against Israel unless they are made to suffer the penalties for pursuing these wars. Namely, loss of lands.

A second Jewish contingent is more peaceful. It prefers to remain within the boundaries of the Israel defined by the United Nations mandate. This element of Hebrew society wants to establish a peaceful and neighborly relationship with the Arab community that surrounds the Jewish state.

The Arabs are divided the same way. Although all Arabs want Israel to leave the occupied lands and to return them to Arab control, those that are militant are trying to use force to accomplish this withdrawal while the peaceful Arabs are willing to allow a negotiated return of these areas piece by piece.

Prime minister Rabin was one of the prime architect's of Israel's peace process. He was killed by a militant Jew who opposed the peace and was committed to seeing the occupied lands incorporated into a new expanded Israeli state.

Hamas is a militant wing of the Arab community that is using terrorism to try to force Israel to leave the occupied Arab territory.

An even deeper rift also exists within the muslim community. There are radical militants in Southern Lebanon who want Israel out of the Holy Land completely, not just to return confiscated lands.

These Lebanese enemies of Israel are Shiite muslims who take orders from Iran (the biblical country known as Persia). They are called 'the Party of God', or 'Hezbollah'. They are part of the reason why a negotiated settlement is taking so long to unfold.

Bible prophecy (Daniel) predicts that the Middle East will be divided into a 'north' and a 'south' at the Euphrates river when the final sequence of events occur. This has major implications for today's political boundaries. It means that the muslim world is headed for civil war. The Persians and the Arabs will become enemies.

And it means that Israel must either disappear, or align itself with the Arab community that surrounds it. Since the prophecies show that the reconstruction of Jerusalem is for the completion of the last day sequence, a disappearance of Israel is impossible. A treaty, or mutual defense pact between them is inevitable in order to solidify the southern forces and fulfill Daniel's vision.

We are watching today the embryonic beginnings of that treaty. It started with the friendship pact signed between Israel and Egypt at Camp David during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. This treaty led to the assassination of president Anwar Sadat of Egypt, but the treaty has remained in effect despite the bloodshed.

Now Yitzhak Rabin of Israel has been assassinated, and for much the same reason. Yet the momentum for peace between these two neighbors remains a dominant force in Middle Eastern politics.

That is not to say that it will all come together easily, but the inevitable outcome (the Bible outcome) will not only be peace, which is good, but a mutual defense pact with the Arabs which will place Israel right in the center of a muslim civil war. And that, the Bible seems to tell us will be the critical mass that ignites the final planetary holocaust.

Right now, the peace process is in its infancy and there are major upheavals ahead which will occur before this peace is realized.

Politically, the muslim world surrounding Jerusalem is divided between the Persian Shiites and the more moderate Arabs. While the current news centers around the Palestinian struggles with Israel (Hamas, etc), the more hostile Persian forces are even more committed to destroying the Israeli nation and retaking Jerusalem in a holy Jihad (holy war).

The Persian-oriented militants, the Party of God (Hezbollah) that now occupies southern Lebanon, are extremely hostile not just to Israel but to the entire West -- politically, culturally and economically.

So there are two diverse hostile actions proceding simultaneously in the Middle East, and both involve Israel and both have their focus on the city of Jerusalem.

When we see Israeli warplanes strafing southern Lebanon as we have on the news channels today, we see them fighting against Shiite guerrillas loyal to Iran. When we see Israel involved with Hamas, the group that exploded all the bombs a few weeks ago, we are observing a struggle between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

And when we see Israel struggling against itself, as with the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, we are watching a polarization of Jewish society which will continue throughout the entire tribulation -- right up until the appearance of Michael the Archangel.

For a much deeper review of these events and the circumstances they portend, see 'The Last Days of Babylon'.




April 18, 1996

Question

(Your page about the Chronology interested me very much. Could you possibly supply me with Valid Jewish Reference material where you obtained the date(s) for Adam and Eve? Jewish Calendar.)

Is a Synagogue the only source for this info. It must be written down somewhere! How did you find out this date? From a Rabbi? And is this the only source you use? ­DW

 

Answer


The Hebrew calendar is based on the appearance in the world of Adam and Eve. This date is celebrated every year by the Jewish people during the Feast of the Tabernacles. It falls on the Jewish New Year. Fall of 1996 in the Christian calendar, for instance, in the Jewish calendar will be 5757. In other words, 5757 are considered the number of years which will have passed in the fall of 1996 since the birth of Adam and Eve in Eden. See reputable Jewish Rabbi's (any Jewish synagogue) for more information on this subject.

A part of my information concerning the Jewish calendar and New Year was drawn from Issac Asimov, the famous science fiction writer. A little known fact about Dr. Asimov is that aside from producing frivolous science fiction writings, he was also a serious academic and writer of religious works. In one of these he wrote that Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year) had been calculated in the middle ages by Jewish rabbi's who diligently searched the dates of scripture and decided that the creation began October 7, 3761 B.C. Using a lunar calendar, they assigned this date as 1 Tishri. Since the days of the lunar calendar (which the Jewish dates are assigned to) float around while the solar calendar is fixed, 1 Tishri falls on various solar dates and so can never be 'fixed' in solar terms. The Jewish New Year comes in the fall of each year at the time of the Feast of the Tabernacles, beginning at a specified time either in September or October. This year (1996) will inaugurate the Jewish year 5757 acccording to this calendar. This same date, celebrated by Jews worldwide can be easily found listed in the World Almanac, volumes of which are usually available in supermarkets and bookstores. The Jewish scholars who determined this date worked in Spain, I believe, about the year 1000 (although that is off the top of my head and I cannot be absolutely certain of the date or place). These and other Spanish-Jewish scholars also produced a translation of the Hebrew Old Testament which was instrumental in defining much of the way the Torah would be perceived by Jews from that date up until the middle of our own century. Martin Luther used their work to replace the Greek-based Old Testament that Christians had been using up to 1517 A.D. That is why Jews were able to use the Protestant Christian Bible in their studies for the next 400 years (after the Gutenburg Bible was printed). New Jewish translations of the Hebrew Old Testament, produced this century have made this Spanish work obsolete, causing the Protestant Old Testament to be viewed as unacceptable to the current Jewish community.

My work does not relate to current Jewish thought. Therefore I am not well versed on the history of their work during the diaspora. It is a tenant of the Halakah that the Bible can be re-interpreted at will by Rabbi's. For this reason Jewish theologians are not saddled to a finite perception of scripture the way we Christians are. My field of study is to examine the prophecies of scripture, especially those of the Old Testament, relate them to Jesus Christ, and bring into light major patterns that emerge from this examination. This is the same material the risen Christ shared with Cleopas and his friend on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:13-35). These patterns not only define Christianity, they serve as the template for the end of the world, which Jesus indicated was 'close at hand'. The history of the modern Jewish diaspora is outside the boundaries of this investigation. Tradition is more important to the Rabbinical mindset of the diaspora than the literal instruction of the Bible. Thus Jewish Rabbi's can change their biblical standards to meet modern specifications. The lampstand of ancient Israel, for instance, had 7 lamps on it and all were equal in height. This is the way it is always found in archeological sites and this is the way it is described in the Old Testament. Modern Jewish lampstands (menorrah's) have 9 lamps and I have seen even more than that -- and often the one in the center is higher than the others. These changes are not seen by Jews as a perversion of scripture -- simply a freedom of interpretation and expression. Christians depend on scripture as an absolute because their lives are at stake in it. Since the modern Jew does not believe in resurrection or life after death, the reward of God is all in the here-and-now for them. Their stake in a literal scripture is far less compelling. The reason why I asked you to check with a Jewish Rabbi about the Jewish New Year is because I do not know if new traditions have been developed or are in the process of development which could change the historic attitudes concerning this Jewish holiday. The best source for historic Jewish information is the Talmud. This is a written history maintained by Jewish scholars since before the time of Christ. That work has many fascinating entries that even sidelight the history of the Christian religion. It is this work that describes the infighting and bribery that took place at Jamnia when the Rabbi's were trying to salvage their religion and define which books of the Hebrew Bible would remain after the Jewish army was defeated and the temple was burned down by Titus and the Roman army in 70 A.D. Since it is an on-going work that has spanned the centuries, the Talmud also details the work of the scholars that defined the Jewish New Year. You can find this translated work or excerpts from it in almost any good-sized library.




April 22, 1996

Question

Greetings! I just wanted to ask a few questions...

1) At the 2nd coming of Christ...I was under the belief that all Christians were to die and ascend into heaven in less than the blink of an eye. Is that true??

2) Could you send me a summed up list of the events prior to the 2nd coming?

3) I am rather interested in the 2nd coming and hold a large amout of faith in it. Do you think that I should pay a little less attention to this. Christ said that it would come at an unexpected time and people have been waiting for thousands of years. The hard part is that Christ said to always be ready for it. Do you think that I should divide my studies between that and the majority of the bible?...or what?

P.S. I greatly thank you for your pages on Revelation. They have assisted me greatly and have helped many others. Thank you. ­BT


Answer

In his two letters to the Thessalonians has presented the Christian world with a wealth of New Testament prophecy. A great deal that we now understand about the last days comes from the pages of these two short epistles. Not only do they explain many previously hidden facets of the coming antichrist, they describe the event you have mentioned -- the explosive and shattering reappearance of Jesus Christ and the rise of the living and the dead.

This is the event fundamentalists call 'the rapture'.

"At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord forever." (1 Thes.4:16-1-7).

A trumpet will sound. The archangel (Michael) will call out the command. Instantly lighting up the entire earth in a single moment, Jesus will appear and come down from heaven. Everyone who has died in Christ over the last 2000 years will rise to meet Him. Then those Christians who are still alive on earth will be taken up into the clouds as well. The reign of Christ will last forever (note that Paul indicates no time-limits) and we shall stay with Him, Paul said, for all that eternity.

Perhaps these events will take more than the blink of an eye, but probably not very much longer than that. The living cannot rise until the dead have all ascended. These dead include every Christian who has lived in Christ since the first Pentecost in 30-33 AD.

We do not know who will be chosen, but there are almost 2 billion Christians alive on earth at this very moment. Scientists tell us that about 25% of all the people who have ever lived, are alive on earth today. If such figures are accurate, it would indicate that perhaps 6 billion Christians have died since the time of Christ.

These 8 billion souls are all that fill the net of God. But Jesus showed us in parable that when the final trumpet sounds, the angels will sift through this net and pick between the good and the bad. (Mat. 13:47-48). The angels will do the sorting so it is not up to us to judge in these matters. We have no idea how selective God will be, but Jesus warned us all to enter by the narrow gate. He said that the path is wide that leads to perdition and many would take it. (Mat. 7:13-14).

We know from Paul that the 'narrow gate' is not a legal one. Paul has assured us that it is not theological. But it does seem to be oriented to the Gospel. Jesus said that anyone who kept His commandments (delivered in the four Gospels of the New Testament) would live forever and never die. (John 8:51). And He warned that anyone who did not keep His words would be cut off (like branches) and thrown on the fire. (Mat. 7:21).

"Therefore, everyone who listens to these words and acts on themwill be like a sensible man who built his house on rock." (Mat.7:24-25).

Given the strength of Christ's admonition in this respect, it would seem wise for us all to prepare for the Second Coming by rebuilding our lives on Jesus' commandments.

Jesus indicated that we should give up all our extraneous pursuits in favor of remolding our lives in the image of His Gospel message. And that should be our life goal.

All the other parts of the Bible were made just for these four Books of the New Testament -- to prove that what they say is truthful. The New Testament tells us that the Old Testament is going to pass away.

So we study the Old Testamant only to verify that Christ is truly God -- to make certain that it backs up what Jesus said. So it is most important that we focus on Christ's words and work every moment to put them into practice in every way. All other Bible studies and pursuits are secondary.

The only road into heaven comes from the Gospel -- it comes from remaking ourselves into the image of Christ. So that should be the area we concentrate on.




May 10, 1996

Question


"At the 2nd coming of Christ...I was under the belief that all Christians
were to die and ascend into heaven in less than the blink of an eye. Is
that true?? I am rather interested in the 2nd coming and hold a large amount of faith
in it. Do you think that I should pay a little less attention to this.
Christ said that it would come at an unexpected time and people have been
waiting for thousands of years. The hard part is that Christ said to always
be ready for it. Do you think that I should divide my studies between that
and the majority of the bible?...or what?" -- BT


Answer

Paul, in his two letters to the Thessalonians has presented the Christian world with a wealth of New Testament prophecy. A great deal that we now understand about the last days comes from the pages of these two short epistles. Not only do they explain many previously hidden facets of the coming antichrist, they describe the event you have mentioned -- the explosive and shattering reappearance of Jesus Christ and the rise of the living and the dead.

This is the event fundamentalists call 'the rapture'.

"At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord forever." (1 Thes.4:16-1-7).

A trumpet will sound. The archangel (Michael) will call out the command. Instantly lighting up the entire earth in a single moment, Jesus will appear and come down from heaven. Everyone who has died in Christ over the last 2000 years will rise to meet Him. Then those Christians who are still alive on earth will be taken up into the clouds as well. The reign of Christ will last forever and we shall stay with Him, Paul said, for all that eternity.

Perhaps these events will take more than the blink of an eye, but probably not very much longer than that. The living cannot rise until the dead have all ascended. These dead include every Christian who has lived in Christ since the first Pentecost in 30-33 AD.

We do not know who will be chosen, but there are almost 2 billion Christians alive on earth at this very moment. Scientists tell us that about 25% of all the people who have ever lived, are alive on earth today. If such figures are accurate, it would indicate that perhaps 6 billion Christians have died since the time of Christ.

Adding the 2 billion now living to the 6 billion who have come and gone gives a total of about 8 billion overall.

These 8 billion souls are all that fill the net of God. But Jesus showed us in parable that when the final trumpet sounds, the angels will sift through this net and pick between the good and the bad. (Mat. 13:47-48).

The angels will do the sorting so it is not up to us to judge in these matters. We have no idea how selective God will be, but Jesus warned us all to enter by the narrow gate. He said that the path is wide that leads to perdition and many would take it. (Mat. 7:13-14).

We know from Paul that the 'narrow gate' is not a legal one. Paul has assured us that it is not theological. But it is oriented to the Gospel. Jesus said that anyone who kept His commandments (delivered in the four Gospels of the New Testament) would live forever and never die. (John 8:51). And He warned that anyone who did not keep His words would be cut off (like branches) and thrown on the fire. (Mat. 7:21).

"Therefore, everyone who listens to these words and acts on themwill be like a sensible man who built his house on rock." (Mat.7:24-25).




May 14, 1996

Question

I like your web page and the grace orientation of providing Bible doctrine without charge -- quite different than your Torrance neighbor, Hal Lindsay -- giving simony a bad name. ­D


Answer

Thank you for taking the time to provide me with your words of encouragement. they are very much appreciated.




June 21 1996

Question

"I've got a question for whoever it may concern...I was never baptized, is it possible for me to go heaven? I believe in God and try "to live a good life". Thanks.

p.s. I had to use an anonymous remailer. So, could you put an answer on your web site somewhere? thanks...
Anonymous


Answer

Baptism marks the covenant of God on our bodies in accordance with the directive of scripture. More than that, it unites us physically with the cross of Jesus.

When asked by a man what it takes to go to heaven, Peter answered: "You must repent, and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins..." (Acts 2:38). "Unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (John 3:5).

Through his sacrifice on the cross, Jesus was able to offer atonement to every person on earth for sin. His sacrifice was conducted physically within the Law (according to terms specified by the Law of Moses), and it was done so that the human race could be set free from that Law which binds us all to a fate of death.

Christ's sacrifice did not confer blanket reconciliation on everyone. In order for the sacrifice of Jesus to work, it first has to be legally accepted. That legal acceptance has been decreed by scripture to follow the guidelines of baptism by water.

Jesus did not go to the cross in the soul. He did not experience the crucifixion in the spirit. It was only His physical flesh that died that day in Jerusalem.

The terms of the Law show that we must make our acceptance of the blood He shed for us in the same way that it was offered -- physically. His sacrifice had a physical component and our acceptance has been directed by scripture to have a physical component as well.

The Bible stipulates, one, that forgiveness requires repentance (Chron.7:14), and two, that the covenant has to be marked on our bodies. "My Covenant shall be marked on your bodies as a Covenant in perpetuity." (Gen.17:13).

These are the two conditions which the template of Moses has placed on our reunion with God through Jesus Christ. One spiritual, the other legal.

Our soul is cleansed by our vow to repent through contrition, but it is set free from the flesh by the touch of water which accompanies that vow.

There are actually three baptisms in Christ (Luke 3:16): water, fire and the Holy Spirit -- but only the first (the baptism of water) fulfills the physical requirement that our flesh be touched by the covenant. The other two baptisms are spiritual.

Baptism by water is our legal acceptance of Christ's offer. As such it unites us with the death of Christ. This not only takes us out of the Law, it severs the chains which have bound our soul to our flesh.

It is legal because the mark is administered through the Law -- by the priests and ministers of the church in the form of a sacrament.

The Hebrew tribes tried to make this mark with the blade of circumcision, a sacrament that, at its very best, excluded one-half of the community. God made certain that Christ's offer reach everyone, male and female, by directing that our unholy flesh be cut off with a touch of water.

The water that anoints our body is invisibly cloaked in the blood of Christ. When we are touched in it, His death becomes our own.

In the New Testament, Paul said: "You have been taught that when we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised, we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father's glory, we too might live a new life. "

"If in Christ we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrection. We must also realize that our former selves have been crucified with him to destroy this sinful body and to free us from the slavery of sin."
(Rom.6:1-11).

In the death of our body through baptism our soul is set free -- not just from the body, but also from the Law of sin and death. Freed like this, and cleansed, it can rise again, reborn through spiritual faith -- free from the corrupting influence of the sinful body to which it was formerly attached.

So while it is in faith and spirit that we come to the new life Jesus offered, it is in the flesh that we lose our bondage to the physical Law.

For this reason we can view baptism as the last act of the Law on us. This is why Paul said, "Through the Law I am dead to the Law, so that now I can live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now, not with my own life, but with the life of Christ who lives in me." (Gal.2:19).

By marking us through the Law, God has freed us from bondage to this sinful world and made a way for us to leave it legally, so that, in leaving, we do not have to be fugitives from the law:

"Go away, go away, leave that place, touch nothing unclean. Get out of her, purify yourselves, you who carry the vessels of the Lord. But you are not to hurry away, you are not to leave like fugitives. No the Lord will go in front of you, and the God of Israel will be your rear-guard."
(Is.52:11-12).

All the Apostles were baptised, including Paul; and the New Testament testifies that all the Christians who arose within its pages were similarly baptised. Church history shows that this sacrament has remained a constant throughout the 2000-year span of the Christian millenium.

Baptism is never into a church. It is always into the death of Jesus. No matter which church one is baptised within, the sacrament, itself, transcends all theological boundaries. That is why no one ever has to repeat baptism.

We have received from God the name 'Israel' because we were born into rebellion against God and His rules. The name was given to Jacob from heaven because he wrestled against one of God's angels. (Gen.32:23-30).

Those who want to fight against baptism are continuing to pursue a measure of that rebellion. That is because the essential question is this: 'Why not be baptised?' The only reason for anyone's rebellion against baptism is to try to prove a point.

The devil told the Lord to hurl himself off the parapet of the temple onto the rocks just to prove another point -- that the angels would protect Christ from being harmed. (Matt.4:5+).

Jesus answered the devil's rebellious intellect by telling him that scripture says: "You must not put the Lord your God to the test." (Matt.4:7).


June 18 1996

Question

"Can you explain why Paul the Apostle wrote "For we must all appear
before the judgement seat of Christ...(2 Corinthians 5:10)" and yet
Jesus Christ promised "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my
word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall
not come into judgement, but has passed from death into life.......
(John 5:24)" -- RGS


Answer

At the time of the Great Tribunal, almost everyone who has ever lived on earth must participate in the assembly before the throne of God. However, only those who have refused to live in the manner of Christ will be judged.

Of that time, Jesus said, "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. "

"He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, 'come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.'

"Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, 'Lord, when did we see you...? And the King will answer, 'I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me'. "
(Matt.25:31-46).

None of these will be judged. They will pass from death into life.

But to the those who neglected to do any of these things, judgment and punishment will be the order. (Matt.25:41+)




July 12, 1996

Question

"I have a question about three bible references.

In The Clock of God, "The Millenium" you refer to Ws. 18:22, In "Six
Thousand Years" you refer to Si. 3:22-26 and Si 16:21.

I do not have these books in my bible. What book are these references
from?" - JH


Answer

The quotations you question come from two books in the Greek 'Septuagint' Bible. 'Ws' is short for the Book of Wisdom, and 'Si' for the Book of Sirach, also referred to as Ecclesiasticus.

These are books that were included in the Greek version of the Jewish Old Testament scriptures translated in Alexandria Egypt about 250 B.C. at the instruction of the Jewish Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.

When it first appeared, the Greek translation was held in high esteem by the ruling aristocracy of Jerusalem.

According to the Jewish Talmud, at the time of Christ the Greek and Hebrew scrolls hung side by side in the great Hebrew Temple in Jerusalem. This was for the benefit of millions of Jews of the pre-Christian diaspora who made annual pilgrammages to Jerusalem and spoke only Greek -- the universal language of commerce during those days.

However, the Greek translation of the Old Testament fell out of favor with the Jewish Rabbi's after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and was later banned by them during the biblical revisions of Jamnia.

Since this fall from favor occurred after the Christian era had begun, it had little immediate impact on the early Christian Church which was growing mostly outside Judea. Further, Paul and the other Christian writers were penning all their works in Greek.

Consequently, the early Christian churches all continued to use the Greek Septuagint Bible as their version of the Old Testament. The Greek and to some extent the Roman churches still do.

Martin Luther in the 16th century, trying to make a complete break with his Roman Church (which used a modified Greek Old Testament), abandoned the Greek scripture and chose the Hebrew version instead.

The significance of this switch was the removal of several Greek 'books' from many Protestant Bibles, among them, the two books you mention.

Those Christians who do not recognize these books as being in the status of true scripture usually refer to them as the 'Books of the Apocrapha'.

I use a few of them in my work as references for several reasons:

I have found many quotations in these books to have striking accuracy and to closely parallel similar prophecies in other parts of the Bible.

Over 80% of all Christians on earth recognize these Greek books as true scripture (or modified true scripture). This includes several denominations of Protestants.

They were all written before Jesus was born and therefore serve the theme of this web page -- i.e., thoroughly accurate religious prophecy dating from the deepest archives of Jewish history.




July 24, 1996

Question

I have studied alot about things relating to Jesus' second coming but I have one question which I hope that you may give if possible. The question is: Jesus would come BEFORE or AFTER the beginning of rebuilding third temple. I guess that Jesus would come just BEFORE beginning of third temple because none of us would know the time of Jesus' secret coming. Were Jesus to come AFTER beginning of third temple we would know perfectly Jesus' timely coming to us. Thank you very much for your attention and your service. Hope to receive your reply if possible.

Again many thanks to you and your wonderful works for putting God's Word in your Web pages and may Lord be with you til Jesus comes. ­WK


Answer

Your conclusion agrees with mine. Thanks for the words of encouragement. They are greatly appreciated.




November 4, 1996

Question

"Please give me your view of the flood." - PL


Answer

The flood constitutes a great dividing line in the creation. Not only does it separate Eden from Babylon, it marks the deepest part of the separation between man and God because it defines intense world-wide rebellion followed by divine Judgment.

It portends what is to come.

While God was destroying Eden in the waters of the flood, He directed the angels who were loyal to Him to make war on Satan and on the wicked angels who had sided with Lucifer in his rebellion.

Led by Michael the Archangel, God's holy army successfully defeated the rebels and drove them out of the vault of heaven -- throwing them down to this world.

"And now war broke out in heaven, when Michael with his angels attacked the dragon. the dragon fought back with his angels, but they were defeated and driven out of heaven." (Rev.12:7-9).

Jesus told us that he watched this event happen. "I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven." (Lk.10:17).

Accompanying Satan in his fateful fall were all the angels he had misled (Rv.12:4). These are the dominions and powers of the underworld who promote and foment all the social chaos we see today on earth.

No longer a force in heaven, they concentrate their mayhem on the people of this planet, encouraging jealousy, rage, murder, greed, corruption, sexual perversion, lying, stealing and every other manner of evil seen on earth.

With the flood of Eden, God's judgment had begun. The first creation was destroyed and Satan and his forces were banished forever from heaven.

The flood shows the intensity of God's judgment once He decides to act. The deluge ended the first creation. The entire planet died. All its life was extinguished. Plants, animals, everything.

What ensued in the wake of the flood was a period of '40 days' called by scripture, the time of 'mist and darkness'. (Ez.34:12). It was a black chaos in which all life had been extinguished except for that which existed on the ark, and so it represented God's temporary abandonment of the world.

Only Noah and his family remained alive. They alone, of all the people who lived in Eden had the kind of faith needed for survival against the power of Satan. Because of their faith, they were able to transport a part of that creation on an ark, riding out the raging waters of the first judgment.

"God is going to abandon them till the time when she who is to give birth, gives birth. Then the remnant of his brothers will come back to the sons of Israel". (Micah 5:2-3).

The watery shroud which covered the land was infinite darkness because God had withdrawn His presence. "Yes; I am going to return to my dwelling place until they confess their guilt and seek my face; they will search for me in misery." (Hosea 5:15).

In Eden's place appeared Babylon, the new world which God created out of Eden's wreckage -- a world re-populated not by Adam and Eve's children, but by the sons of Noah. (Gen.9:18-19).

With Satan's defeat, the war in heaven had ended. All that remained was judgment. Yet one detail still remained: the rescue of the people Satan had taken prisoner. That is why God allowed a new world to appear out of the wreckage of the judgment of the flood.

That new world was a rebirth of the old made by Jesus soley for the rescue which He had been commissioned by God to effect: "I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness." (Ez.34:12).

Despite its miraculous rebirth, Babylon is not destined to last either. According to scripture, our world is going to be destroyed and for the very same reason that Eden was destroyed. Babylon is just a temporary replacement of Eden -- made only for our rescue by Jesus. It has no other meaning.

Because of God's infinite goodness, He not only sent Jesus to rescue the children of God taken prisoner by Satan, He also offered reconciliation to those who had lost their lives in Eden's rebellion. That is why scripture tells us that Jesus had to preach twice.

Jonah, speaking for Christ in the influence of the Holy Spirit declared:"I went down into the countries underneath the earth, to the peoples of the past." (Jonah 2:7).

The dividing line that separated those souls from ours was a boundary of both faith and flood. Everyone born in Babylon is descended from Noah, and therefore has come to life in the seed of faith.

The people of Eden were just the opposite. Since they had no faith, God had no power to raise them up to see Christ the way He was able to do with us. Their souls could not be raised to life in this world because of their lack of faith, and for the same reason there is little likelihood that any of them listened to Jesus when his spirit preached to them in their captivity either.




December 14, 1996

Question

I am very happy with what I am discovering as I attempt to follow the advice and guidance I find on your internet site. I was showing some friends, and warning of the future, as referenced in the paragraph starting with 'That sequence seems to have been launched with the Persian Gulf War'. In that paragraph it quotes a prophecy of Daniel that "A western army "crossed the earth without touching the ground" and it crushed the Ram of the East at the Euphrates.

Both my friends and I look forward to reading about this in the Bible. None of us has yet been able to locate the scriptures. Could you, perhaps, help me find them so I can show them. We love to read the scriptures but need your help. It can be very confusing to those, like myself, who do not have a good understanding of what the Bible is trying to say to me. ­AW


Answer

The quotation can be found in the Book of Daniel, chapter 8, verses 5-8.





-In Christ Jesus,
E.C.S.Leavenworth


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