Goodnews Christian Ministry
July 17, 2003
Other than observing the Sabbath, which I also believe. Do you observe Easter and Christmas? Also, from my reading Jesus had risen at the end of the weekly Sabbath. So, when they got there in the morning on the first day of the week he was already gone because of the three day and three nights Also, in regards to the Trinity, I believe in the three but that they are separate and that God is mightier. Jesus is Gods spoken word. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is just to much to grasp. I'd appreciate a response. CF
Thank you for your questions. They are theological in nature and that is not in the domain of this web page. My expertise is in biblical prophecy, not theology, so whatever I might say on any of these issues is without ecclesiastical authority. You need to check with church authorities for that.
All three of your questions relate to prophecies in the Bible, however, so I will quickly go over some of these with you.
First, Easter and Christmas.
Jesus said He did not come to terminate the Law but to fulfill it. He said that the Law would remain until the end, i.e., until it was completely fufilled. The continued unfolding of prophecy shows that we are still operating on that continuum. This will continue until all the prophecies are entirely fulfilled.
The Law to the Jews, of course, is the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament. The Torah details the structure of the Hebrew religion. When Jesus came, He did not erase that structure, but built God's Church on top of it by superimposing the Father's rules over the top of what Paul called, the 'Guardian's' rules. The Bible tells us that the Mosaic law was the Guardian.
Old Testament prophecy predicted that the Guardian would be replaced by the True Father who would be brought to us by a person the Israeli's termed the "Messiah". The Hebrew religion was built entirely upon the expectation of His coming. The Israeli's expected an intercessor, a mere mortal to come. What arrived, however, came down from heaven more than that, the One who arrived here had been in heaven since before the world was ever made. He was God in the form of flesh. That reality erased the need for an intercessor. Jesus was the Messiah and with Him was the true Father.
Arriving as predicted, He systematically superimposed God's Word on top of the Guardian's words. All the Jewish feast days, for instance, are replicated almost precisely in place, their days restructured to reflect the terms of the True Father. Spiritually there are no special days because the calendar relates only to the physical world,. But since God's Church has to operate in this physical sphere for awhile, the days have been upgraded as signs to the world that reflect the true Father.
Examine each of the days designated as holy by the Torah and you will find the same pattern of reconstitution.
Easter, for instance, is built on the Jewish feast of Passover. Passover stood for the Hebrew exodus from Egypt to a land of "Promise". Easter relates entirely to the resurrection which is our spiritual flight from this world to the kingdom of God in heaven. The kingdom of God is the true land of Promise. Journeying there is the true Exodus. The body will die, but we will raised up by God to live forever. Were we not to commemorate Easter, the symbolism of the resurrection would be entirely missing from the religion and Passover would lose its real meaning.
Christmas has the same purpose, i.e., it is a Jewish feast restructured into Christ. It is built on the Jewish feast of Hannukah, the 'Festival of Lights'. The Jews instituted this holy day to honor the cleansing of the Temple. This is exactly what Jesus did. He drove out the evil-doers who were miss-managing the religion, i.e., those who were polluting it with error and wickedness, and replaced them with God's own management. He changed the management to reflect the True Father, and that is what purified and reconstituted the religion. The new management is the Word of Jesus.
Christmas: Jesus' "birthday" is the birthday of this world into the True Father. John termed it a 'born-again' birthday experience. Christ's arrival on earth brought mankind this divine opportunity to be reconstituted and purified in God's holiness. Hence, his arrival date is commemorated. We don't know exactly what day Jesus was actually born on, but we do know from the Old Testament what day symbolically honors and perpetuates the memory of the Temple's purification. Why the 25th of December? Again, it is day in place of day. The Jewish feast of Hannukah celebrating the Temple's re-purification takes place in the middle of winter on the 25th day of Chislev. In the solar calendar, the 25th day of December superimposes right on top of this Jewish date.
Prophecy tells us that the reason for the change of the calendar itself from lunar to solar is closely related to all this as well. In other words, it, too, is a sign of the religion of the Father superimposed on top of that of the Guardian. The moon, like the Guardian, is the reflected light of the sun. The sun, like the Son of God, puts out its own light. Paul tells us that the Guardian is a reflection of the things of God. Jesus, the Son, IS God. Prophecy shows this as a sign to the world. In fact, that is what prophecy is all about: signs to the world that Jesus is truly the Son of God and that everything He said will come true exactly as stated.
Your third question has to do with the nature of the Trinity.
In the earliest days of the Christian Church there was a religious preacher who went about teaching something similar to what you say, that the Father is above the Son and the Spirit. His name was Arius and so his proposal is termed 'Arianism'. Moved by the Spirit, the disciples immediately convened a Church Council that dismissed this teaching as "heresy". They called it heresy not only because it contradicts scripture, but because it implies that only God is necessary to salvation, not Jesus. That, in turn, implies that there may be many roads to salvation. That is a philosophy we hear more and more these days.
The Bible, however, tells us that God has put everything into the hands of the Son. Nobody gets saved outside of Jesus. Scripture states that as an absolute. The Bible tells us that Jesus is to be the King of the new Creation - He is to be King of the Kingdom of God. Jesus said that everything the Father has belongs to Him. The Book of Revelation (Rv.21:22) tells us that in the kingdom of God, i.e., in the new Jerusalem in heaven, there will be no temple because God and Jesus are, themselves, that Temple. In other words, the two are equal (identical) in terms of worship. Add the Holy Spirit and you have the Trinity.
About 600 years later (600 years after the church denounced Arianism) Mohammed was born in what is now Saudi Arabia. He founded a religious sect called the Muslims, and taught a form of Arianism that was not based on Jesus. Muslim belief states that God is highest and everyone in heaven is beneath Him: i.e., Jesus at the bottom, Mohammed who Muslims see as higher than Jesus, and, finally, a coming 'Messiah' who they say will be highest of all, just below God. He is the one the Muslims call 'Al Mahdi'.
If Jesus is seen as equal to God this teaching is thwarted. There can be no 'Al Mahdi'. Nor can Mohammed be higher or more authoritative than Jesus. If Jesus is lower than God, room for others becomes a philosophical possibility, and to many, a philosophical certainty. The end result is that the people listening to the arguments get fooled. Prophecy labels this deception "Wormwood", and tells us that in the future this subterfuge will actually come to pass, and the resultant confusion will close the portals to salvation because Jesus will no longer be seen by the world as the absolute of God. That returns the darkness. The whole world will be led astray. Paul called this falling away, 'the Great Revolt'. It is in progress now.
There are numerous prophecies in scripture relating to the Trinity. Few express it better than the Apostle John. He wrote in the first chapter of his Gospel that:
1. The Word is God,
2. The Word was made flesh,
3. The Word is a light that came into the darkness to dwell inside each of us in order to bring the light of life into the hearts of the people.
The Trinity of God is perfectly described in this explanation of the Trinity of the Word. To diminish Christ in any way is to downgrade that Word because we only know that Word from the lips of Jesus.
(Am I correct in assuming that) you have interpreted the WTC disaster as the opening shot of the destruction of Babylon (and that) you have interpreted Babylon as the reincarnate of the pagan Roman Empire(? ) WT
It was not the World Trade Center disaster, but Jesus that delivered the pagan world a mortal wound. He accomplished this when He walked the earth in Galilee, preaching. Christ's Word is the sword that inflicted that fatal wound on Babylon. It was Jesus that constituted the "opening shot", as you say, in the destruction of Babylon. In fact, Babylon was doomed the day Jesus arrived on earth on that very first Christmas morning.
Babylon represents paganism per se. That is a spiritual concept and it has nothing to do with a reincarnate Roman Empire.
In the modern vernacular, paganism means secularism. In terms of God, the two words are interchangeable. I see Babylon as the entire pagan world, not just a single nation. Certainly not just Rome. In fact, Babylon, more precisely put, is worldly evil itself. Everyone who is opposed to the principles of Jesus Christ is a part of Babylon.
In the Bible, there are only two spiritual cities, Jerusalem and Babylon. Whatever is not Jerusalem is Babylon.
Both forces exist in every nation. Christianity and paganism operate everywhere side by side. What marks the reincarnation of Babylon is the change in balance between these two spiritual forces. Where paganism (secularism) is the dominate philosophy, Babylon can be said to exist. Where Jesus is the dominant philosophy, Babylon is out of power.
When the Christian "conscience" is alive and operative in a community, Babylon does not exist there. If the physical world serves Christ, and allows His preaching to take place unimpeded, then it cannot image Babylon. But if the physical world renounces Christ and turns to wickedness, or, more important, tries to thwart the preaching of Christ, its "Babylonian" image is re-born.
It really boils down to government approval and acknowledgement of the divinity of Jesus. If Jesus is freely preached and that preaching is approved by the governing authorities, God's work can be accomplished perfectly. Not by force, but by choice. Forcing people to obey Jesus is wrong and it is unnecessary. The Judgement will determine the saved. What is important is that everyone be given a full opportunity to hear the message of salvation. When the ruling authorities try to block Christ's message by directive or by disdaining it, they resurrect Babylon from the deathbed to which the Word of Jesus relegated it.
That is why Supreme Court decisions over the last 40 years are so important. Not only have they directed the ruling authorities to ignore Christ in favor of secular principles; these decisions, stemming as they do from the highest and most honored officials in the land, have promoted the unstated implication that there is something inherently flawed in the Christian message. In other words, they blaspheme the Holy Spirit by implication. This disdainment of the honor of the Bible cannot help but impact public opinion and lead astray many people that would otherwise choose God. That is not theoretical. We have already witnessed the enormous negative impact on our country of that very implication. Worse, in the public theatre these judges have blocked even the mere mention of the names of God and Christ by official directive. That is a direct assault on God in favor of a secular Constitution. Is this not the resurrection of Babylon?
In fact, is this not governmental madness? Who is so foolish to think that such a blatant national rejection of God and Christ would not carry with it ominous repercussions? What nation can stand up to God and order Him to get out out of its public places, its schools, its courts, its institutions, it's squares, its promenades and parks and expect prosperity in return? We see from the governmental pulpit unnatural sex promoted in the schools and laws, pornography defended, and God outlawed. Satan couldn't write a better prescription for calamity.
We talk of the "resurrection" of Babylon because it appeared to die in the fourth century A.D. when the world embraced Christianity as it's dominant religion. In that embrace, Babylon seemed mortally wounded as far as this world was concerned. Any national reappearance of paganism on the world stage, then, would constitute a re-birth of Babylon. The Soviet Union was a striking example of this re-birth. Once they stood alone, but no longer.
Scripture prophesies that the fatal wound Jesus delivered to Babylon will appear to heal in the last days. That simply means that the world will reject the words of Jesus Christ, renounce its Christian heritage and turn to wickedness. As it does, the image of Babylon will re-emerge among the nations. That will destroy the shield of God's grace it will destroy the divine protective shield that keeps the nations and its people safe from catastrophe. In this sense, the destruction of Babylon actually stems from wickedness.
As far as the WTC (World Trade Center) disaster is concerned, it was a flashing red light to the world. The WTC event, like Pearl Harbor before it, signaled the beginning of a war between east and west. However, the significance of the New York attack was more profound because it brought biblical prophecy into the equation. It was a sign from God. It announced the arrival on the world stage of the 'Fourth Persian Empire', the fearsome iron-toothed beast foreseen by Daniel (Dan.7:7).
Daniel's prophecies indicate that at the end of time (as the mortal wound heals), a fourth "Persian" empire will emerge. It's first attacks against the west will be thwarted. But only twice.
With the 9/11 assault, prophetic notice was served on the world that wickedness had damaged the shield of grace to such an extent that a different outcome could soon be expected. According to the scripture of Daniel, this second "Gulf War" will be the last western victory. Unless the world repents and reinstitutes Christ as the compass guiding its national affairs, the outcome of future eastern invasions will be different, bringing the kind of catastrophe to the world that wickedness guarantees.
It is in this sense that 9/11 is a foretaste of the world destruction foreseen by prophecy. The burning of New York and the burning of Babylon in the Book of Revelation (Rev.18:8-19) mimicked one another so closely, they could be seen as bookends of the same prophecy.
It is not just the attack that defines this coming destruction, but, more importantly, the nature of the people launching it. No "Fourth Persian Empire" was visible in the case of Japan. In the case of the WTC attack, however, the visibility of such an empire is overwhelming. Moreover, we have watched that empire grow exponentially in all directions, just as Daniel predicted it would (Dan.8:4) and, concomitant with that growth, an appetite for warmongering has lately emerged from within it.
I believe you also indicated that the Edict of Milan given by Constantine on 313 AD marked the beginning of the end of the pagan Roman Empire; a comparable event to 9/11 for the purpose of establishing a date for the first occurrence(? ) WT
The WTC disaster is a stop sign. Destruction can only procede from 9/11 if the world fails to heed the warning it represents. It is the "Great Revolt" (2Thes.2:3) which Paul foresaw that actually powers the re-birth of Babylon. The international revolt against Christian rule in the world represents the polar opposite of those early church decrees, not 9/11.
Obviously, Constantine and his Edict of Milan were important to Christianity, but the decrees that made Christianity the state religion of the world were issued several decades later in simultaneous pronouncements by Theodosus in the west, and Galerius in the east. Theodosus ruled the world from Rome; Galerius ruled the world from Constantinople. Reigning together they locked east and west into a single empire. Issuing simultaneous decrees, they bound the whole world to the worship of Jesus Christ. Theirs were the decrees that actually put an end to pagan rule in the world. Their edicts stretched far beyond the Roman empire, and they still impact the world today.
In the wake of those edicts, paganism appeared to die on earth. But a quiet revolt lay hidden (according to Paul in 2 Thess.2:1-12) which he predicted would later blossom into full scale and open revolt at the end of time. Prophecy shows that the revolt itself is spiritual, but associated with that revolt will be political upheaval. That upheaval will appear to be driven by the east's hatred for the west. But it is actually godlessness that has given birth to all the physical chaos we see building.
The destruction stems entirely from the collapse of the shield of grace associated with increasing wickedness. What was so important about 9/11 is that it brought the world face to face with the prophecies of the Bible. The WTC disaster announced to the world the close proximity of the tribulation, but it did not cause it.
Both the revolt (a falling away into spiritual wickedness) and the political upheaval associated with it have now started. The events of 9/11 signalled a pivotal moment between east and west politically. The attack of 9/11 produced a war between east and west that set the boundaries between earth's two rival powers at the Euphrates River. That is the exact location predicted by the Bible in its documentation of the warfare of the last days.
The fall into spiritual wickedness by the people of the world who used to worship Christ is the hidden engine that secretly powers the political chaos. If that fall is not stemmed, Daniel tells us the chaos will crescendo, nations will be conquered, and, at the conclusion of this turmoil, a "beast" of Satan will appear and wrest control of the political armies of the east, taking them out of the hands of their leaders and generals. He will rise out of Parthia (the Middle East), not Rome. Probably somewhere near the Black Sea. After he takes power, he will change the focus of the warfare from political to spiritual. He will target specifically Christians and Jews and try to erase their existance from the earth. In his fury, he will launch an enormous number of missles, attempting to destroy the entire world as well. In short, he will be a madman. Prophecy indicates that he will announce to the world that he is Nero reincarnated. Just as he is preparing to assault Israel with a massive army, God will intervene, and Jesus will return.
(As I read it) you have interpreted the two Gulf wars as the second occurrence of the Ram and He Goat battle between Persia and Grecia. Alexander the Great had successfully conquered Persia by 330 BC. In our time these two events have happened within the space of two years. Historically, these two events are separated by more than six hundred years. Also, they are occurrences of two different covenants. It makes no sense (to me) that these two recent events of such apparent scriptural importance and interdependence would originate from two different historical/scriptural patterns and two different covenants. How do you account for the discrepancy of nearly 650 years? WT
These questions relate to Daniel 8:3-7:
"I raised my eyes to look round me, and I saw a ram standing in front of the river. It had two horns; both were tall, but one taller that the other, and the one that rose the higher was the second. I saw the ram thrust westwards, northwards and southwards. No animal could stand up to it, nothing could escape it. It did as it pleased and grew very powerful." (Dan.8:3-4)
"This is what I observed: a he-goat came from the west, having covered the entire earth but without touching the ground, and between its eyes the goat had one majestic horn. It advanced towards the ram with the two horns...and charged at it with all the fury of its might. I saw it reach the ram, and it was so enraged with the ram, it knocked it down, breaking both its horns and the ram had not the strength to resist; it felled it to the ground and trampled it underfoot; no one was there to save the ram." -Dan.8:5-7.
The prophecies actually say nothing about "650 years". The Book of Daniel is not a history book. It is a book of prophecies, pure and simple. In the Bible, Daniel's book is not placed with the histories, it is placed in the middle of the prophets. I believe that Daniel, writing in 164 B.C. was inspired to witness circumstances of the 20th and 21st centuries. In fact, Jesus, coming to him in a vision, told Daniel as much (Dn.12:9).
If Daniel were writing a history book, his history would be more accurate. As it is, although what he wrote is reminiscent of history, and at first glance seems to overlay it, all scholars reading it will tell you that it is wholly innaccurate as far as what actually happened is concerned. That is an indication he was writing something different. Especially as a prophet. History repeats itself, but never exactly. Daniel was writing about the future. The Bible tells us that all the works of God go in pairs by opposites, so that future will almost always have likenesses that preceded it.
As proof of that, Jesus sent us back to Daniel to witness his prophecy about the "Desolating Sacrilege" so that we might see in Daniel's words another event of the future. Daniel used a set of historical mirrors in that instance as well.
Certainly Jesus knew what He was talking about, so there is impeccable precedence in viewing Daniel's words in this way.
Alexander the Great died in 332 B.C., soon afer conquering the Persian empire. Daniel wrote his scripture around 164 B.C. His words are built on a pattern of events that bear a relationship to Alexander's, but embody significant variations. If we accept Daniel as a prophet, we can expect events similar to, but not exactly like, those of 330 B.C. to re-appear again in the last days. And that is what Daniel's vision is telling us.
The two Gulf Wars were separated by at least 10 years, not 2 years: 1991 & 2003 (or 2001 according to President Bush, who lumps into a single war, 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq and whatever else might follow). Jesus told us that time would be speeded up in the last days. The future will be fast-paced. There will be no time for 600 or 700 year periods associated with the days of the End to play out.
Over the course of the history of Christianity, however you can find a period, even longer than 600 years. Not in terms of the two "horns" Daniel foresaw unsuccessfully attempting to fignt the west , but in the growth of the ram itself (i.e., in the growth of the 'Fourth Persian Empire' and its forebearers). In the Middle East all you need do is follow the explosive growth of the burgeoning Muslim faith between 600 A.D. and 1991 A.D. to see all four of these empires. Daniel said he saw the ram of the east (the 'Fourth Persian Empire) "thrust westwards, northwards and southwards." He said that "No animal could stand up to it, nothing could escape it. It did as it pleased and grew very powerful." (Dan.8:4).
The geography of Media and Persia seems critical to Daniel's entire prophecy. Both Gulf Wars, locked as they are to the Persian Gulf fulfill that requirement. The second of those two Gulf wars set the prescribed boundary, i.e., western outposts at the Euphrates which scripture predicts. If Daniel is a prophet, these outposts and western victory there combine to offer very strong proof that the second Gulf War is the 'second horn' of Daniel's vision. A similar argument can be made for the first Gulf War as the first of those two 'horns'. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor would also be a candidate, but not a strong one because Japan had no affiliation with either the Medes or with Persia.
If you feel that Old Testament prophecies have no bearing on New Testament events, then we simply disagree. Hopefully you are correct and no correlation exists. That would be more comfortable. Paul, the Book of Revelation, Zechariah, Ezekiel, Joel and Daniel all present images of the last days that are extremely uncomfortable, however.
Daniel shows us two western victories in the initial stages of the fight between east and west, and he predicts Jesus victorious in the end. But between those two events he foresees global destruction on a scale here-to-fore unknown. In effect, he sees a world paying severe penalties for disregarding the Bible and failing miserably to heed the warnings of the prophets.
I have 3 questions which I hope you will be able to answer that will help to clarify my studies:
1. What or whom do the 7 churches represent?
2. Why did God refer to himself a different name and description for each church? For eg: To Ephesus he was "the one who hold the 7 stars and stood by 7 lamp posts, while to Smyrena he was the first and last.
3. What is the significance of these descriptions? TF
Seven is a whole-world number. On earth, there are seven seas and seven continents. They make up the whole world. In the symbolism of scripture, seven stands for completeness or wholeness. It means totality. The seven churches represent the totality of Christian faiths on earth. As you can see, there are more than seven. That shows the number is symbolic.
When God instructed Moses in the Torah to make the holy lampstand for the Temple, he was told to make it with seven arms for seven lamps, all made out of the same beaten gold, with each arm exactly the same height. (Exodus 25:31-40). This lampstand is called the 'Menorah'. It is a prophetic structure that represents and predicts the seven churches, and that is what the reference in the Book of Revelation to the seven lampposts reflects (Rev. 1:20).
Scripture tells us that Moses was instructed to make these items according to the 'pattern' he was shown on the mountain. The Book of Hebrews says that Moses was told it was a 'pattern' because it was a copy of the heavenly realities. That is why we see those lamps now in the form of churches instead of lampstands. The lampstand was the copy; the Church is the reality the copy was meant to portray. The lampstand is the symbol of Christ's Church. The seven arms and seven lamps that top those arms are the seven Christian faiths and that is represented in John's vision of the seven golden lampstands. Again, the number is symbolic.
The seven stars are the seven angels assigned to these Christian faiths to oversee them and guide them in the truth of Jesus. The fact that the arms of the lampstand are all the same height shows that God has no favorite church. To Him all are the same and none is better than the others. All are commanded to obey the Gospel.
The descriptions of God in the passages addressed to the seven churches are different representations of Christ's power and majesty. He it is who holds the seven angels of the seven churches in his right hand and He it is who lives surrounded by the seven churches. These words describe the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who God has made our King, the King of the new creation in heaven. The First and the Last is the Alpha and Omega, the title of God. The fact that scripture here says he was dead and has come back to life again shows clearly the divinity of Jesus. It shows that these designations apply to the crucified and resurrected Lord and that these titles, which are the titles of God, Himself, have all been bestowed by God on Jesus. The double-edged sword is Christ's Word. Holy and faithful, God has given Jesus the key of David, so that whatever He opens will stay open for eternity, and whatever He closes will stay closed for eternity. This means there is no way to heaven outside of Christ. God has given Him complete control of the gate of the sheepfold.
Theologians are particularly interested in passages of scripture such as these that are imbedded in the prophecies. The Holy Spirit speaks to us in prophecy. Jesus told His disciples that He had many more things to tell them, but that it was too much for them then, while He was with them. He said that the Holy Spirit would come and lead them to the complete truth after He had gone (John 16:1215). That is why Church theologians study prophecies like the ones you asked about so keenly. It is passages like these, unquestionably inspired from heaven, by which the Holy Spirit has been able to bring the Church into a complete understanding of the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Incidentally, do not confuse the modern 9-armed lamp used in Jewish Hanukkah rituals these days with the biblical Menorah used by the Hebrews in ancient times. This is a different lampstand entirely. It is not based on the scriptural pattern God gave to Moses in Exodus 25:31-40.
This modern lampstand, called a "Hanukiah", is markedly different. It has 9 arms, one of which is taller than the others (the one in the center is highest). The 9-armed lamp is a representation of Hanukkah, the feast of Lights. It stands for the lamps of "Dedication" which are lit during the ceremonies of the Feast of Lights and which are displayed in the temples and also in private homes during the holiday period. It holds 8 candles, one for each of the holiday's nights and a ninth helper candle in the center called a "shamash" that stands apart and lights the others.
Mel Gibson's planned release this coming Easter of the movie he produced chronicling the crucifixion of Jesus is raising loud screams for Barrabbas in the press. A particularly scurrilous shout, dripping with fierce hatred was issued in yesterday's Los Angeles Times. One has to wonder why a movie none of these critics has even seen is propelling them to mount such a frenzied attack against the Lord. Appearing in simultaneous orchestration across the nation, this call is being raised in chorus throughout the American press. No other Christian movie Hollywood has ever made has spawned such fear and hatred among non-Christians. They don't want this movie.
If history itself is to be a victim of political correctness, what then of the holocaust?
This is definitely a film to see.
I was told that God's real name is "Yahweh" and that is the name we should be using for him. Would you please tell me if you think this is true or not? KI
God's real name is "Jesus Christ".
The word "Yahweh" means "He is".
It comes from the ancient Hebrew root: "Yah" which stems from the archaic word, "to be".
These are terms derived from the divine name of God as revealed by Him to Moses in Exodus 3:14+: "I Am", or "I Am He":
"Then Moses, speaking to God, said to Him, 'I should go, then, to the sons of Israel and say to them, "The God of your fathers has sent me to you?". But what if they ask me God's name, what am I to tell them then?" And God said to Moses, 'I Am who I Am'. "
This', God added, 'is what you must say to the sons of Israel: "I Am has sent me to you".
And God also said to Moses, 'You are to say to the sons of Israel: "Yahweh" (i.e., 'He is'), "who is the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you". This is my name for all time; by this name I shall be invoked for all generations to come." (Ex.3:13-15).
Bible scholars have defined two ancient traditions in the formative area of the earliest scriptures, "Yahwistic" and "Priestly". Out of this division has appeared two different interpretations relating to God's name.
In the first interpretation, the name "Yahweh" ('He is') is used to indicate that no one can define God. According to Hebrew philosophy knowing the name of something gave a person power over it. That meant that if a person knew God's name, he would be able to call on him and be certain of a hearing. To the Hebrew mind, this would make God a slave to man. Iin other words, an impossibility. So the formula "Ehyeh asher ehyeh ("I am who I am', 'I am what I am') when used by man, becomes "Yahweh", 'He is'.
Theologically, this produces a name that does not define God but still reveals His love for His people. It images the transcendence of God.
The second tradition, follows the Septuagint and interprets the Hebrew "Ehyeh asher ehyeh" as meaning 'I am the One who is'. I am who am'. The name 'Yahweh' ('He is') in this sense does not address the absolute nature of God's essence, but speaks to His eternal existance, a condition not attainable by earthly gods.
These differences seem subtle to the ordinary reader, but to theologians the chasm between them is vast.
I have shown many times in my writings that prophecy in scripture invariably argues that when two different views of the same subject are presented in the Bible, both are correct. It is up to us to dovetail them into a unified model. They are not contradictions, but two different, yet equally correct, viewing platforms. That applies here as well.
When Jesus came, He gave God a name. Doing so, He spoke right into Semitic thought, giving man power over God in such a way that man could call on Him and be certain of a hearing. He also defined the limits of that power in terms of "faith". The more faith a person had, the greater their power to invoke this unheard-of capacity.
Theologians have long argued that the true God would never make himself man's slave, and that is why they feel He could never reveal a name expressive of his essence.
But He did.
How do we know this is true?
Jesus has a name and Jesus told us He was God:
"The Jews then said to Jesus, 'You are not fifty yet, and you have seen Abraham!' Jesus replied: "I tell you most solemnly, before Abraham ever was, I Am'. (John 8:57-58)
This defines Jesus' position in the Trinity. He is God in the flesh. And He has a definite name; He came in definite form. Because the Trinity is one God, Jesus has given it, in its entirety, a finite name.
"Jesus went on:
'You are from below; I am from above.
You are of this world; I am not of this world.
I have told you already: You will die in your sins.
Yes, if you do not believe that I am He,
you will die in your sins.'"
"So they said to him, 'Who are you?'
Jesus answered: 'What I have told you from the outset." (John 8:23-24).
In other words, 'I am who I have told you I am'.
We are saved by an infinite God who has made Himself finite in order to give us power to escape our captivity to sin. He has given us power to follow Him by the exact path He defined, and thus gain eternal salvation.
The name of God that gives us that power is "Jesus Christ". We had no power to call on God and be certain of a hearing in the name "Yahweh" (He is), but in knowing His name in its true essence (i.e., Jesus) our power is enormous and limited only by the boundaries of faith.
Do you think there is any symbolism to Mars coming so close right now? GT
Yes. It is a sign of the tribulation.
The word "Mars" means war. Mars is named for the ancient world's god of war. The Book of Revelation describes the beast of the last days as the prince of war. The prophet Ezekiel named him "Gog, prince of Magog". The Book of Revelation says that this "Gog" will rise up to mobilize the entire world for war, sparking the tribulation. These are the days for that to happen.
"When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive all the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, and mobilise them for war. His armies will be as many as the sands of the sea; they will come swarming over the entire country..." (Rev. 20:7-8).
Jesus said that when these days arrive there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars. Mars is certainly that. According to astronomers, the planet named for war is making its closest pass to earth in 60,000 years right now. It is shining bright red in the sky these very nights, heralding the kind of days that lie directly ahead.
How can you say that the 'Third Day' began January 1, 2001 when the Church itself didn't even begin until Pentecost in 30 A.D.? By my calculations, the 'Third Day' won't begin for another 27 years. AL
You are certainly correct about the age of the Church; but not about the date of the beginning of the three days of God. Those date from Bethlehem. At least they are supposed to, but scholars now think that Jesus was born in the B.C. Even so, the Holy Spirit has given us a Christian calendar that dates from 1 A.D.
There is an unknown reason for this.
In Websters Collegiate dictionary, B.C. stands for "before Christ", and A.D. for "anno Domini". It is in these designations that the three days of God reside.
The two-day age of the Church is close, but different because it dates from Pentecost. It overlaps because it began later. That is why the "Son" is still shining even into the beginning of the "Third Day". Rest assured, though, the prophecy of Joshua will still hold true, because it relates to the age of the Church, not to the "Third Day".
It seems that many Christian churches are increasingly in favour of war. I have also noticed a great increase in Christian churches focusing on material wealth (and their belief that God wants them to be wealthy, ie, Prayer of Jabez). Is this foretold? How is the true church of Christ to overcome this? What do you think?
PS Your belief that the 24 elders may be older than Jesus is erronous. When Jesus said "I Am", he was stating that he was from everlasting to everlasting, not created, but self existing (see Vine's Expository Dictionary for a full explanation).MDL
I will answer your second comment first, because it is more important. You are absolutely correct. Jesus is just as you say. He is true God from beginning to end; the Alpha and Omega. He is the Word made flesh, begotten, but not made, one in being with the Father and through Him all things were truly made. This is so important, I have changed the passage, old as it is, to reflect this fact.
Jesus existed before the 24 elders. But for all the ages before this present one, His existance was a deeply guarded secret. The prophecies indicate that He was hidden in the hands of His Father, unknown not only to the world but to all the heavenly host as well (including Satan). Had Satan known who it was he was dealing with, he would not have tried to tempt him. That is why it is written in the Hebrew scripture:
"Verily, thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour" (Is. 45:15).
Though self-existing forever, no one in heaven or on earth expected Him. The surprise was universal. God brought Him into the presence of the ancient elders exactly in the same way as He was revealed to us. Perhaps that is why Isaiah's prophecy expresses Him in terms that imply He is younger; though in fact, He is their elder and their master (Is.24:23). They are His elders, obviously, not because they are older, but because they belong to Him.
The entire Bible is hinged to the timing of the revelation of Christ's existance. The prophecies show us these things in relation to that timing. The people expected Moses, i.e., an intermediary between man and God, to return as Messiah. The prophets, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, bore witness to a different kind of Messiah, but their words were mysterious and undecipherable to the people of their time, and Peter tells us not even they, themselves, knew what they were writing about (1 Peter 1:10-12).
Peter said that even the angels longed to catch a glimpse of these things, proving that Jesus came as a complete surprise to them as well. The prophecy concerning the 24 elders in the Book of Isaiah bears witness that this surprise reached all the way back to the very core of the heavenly heirarchy.
"Then angrily God addresses them. In a rage he strikes them with panic, 'This is my king, installed by me in Zion, my holy mountain'. Let me proclaim God's decree; he has told me, 'You are my son, today I have become your father. Ask and I will give you the nations for your heritage, the ends of the earth for your domain. With iron sceptre you will break them, shatter them like potter's ware'. So now, you kings, learn wisdom, earthly rulers, be warned: serve the Lord, fear him, tremble and kiss his feet, or he will be angry and you will perish, for his anger is very quick to blaze. Happy all who take shelter in him." (Ps. 2:5-12).
"...why keep your right hand hidden?" (Psalm 74:11).
"Truly God is hidden with you, the God of Israel, the saviour...you will never be disgraced or humiliated forver and ever." (Is.45:15-17).
In Bethlehem God revealed His awesome secret, His right hand, which is Jesus, hidden since the foundation of creation. But it was not until well after Christ's crucifixion that the full magnitude of the secret (the fact of the Trinity) was made known by the Holy Spirit.
It is in this unfolding knowledge that the opening sentences of the Book of Genesis yield their true meaning. The Holy Spirit tells us that God separated the waters of creation, dividing them into two parts. One of these (the upper waters) He hid away. Out of the other (the lower part), He made this present creation. And between the two waters, God made heaven (Gen. 1:6-10).
The creation made in the lower waters has been contaminated by Satan. For that reason it is heading for ruin.
Unknown to Satan or anyone else, God's hidden waters (the upper part created in the division at the beginning), and the hidden Christ who rules them with God have turned out to be God's invisible instrument for our salvation. Paul called these upper waters the "third heaven" (2 Cor.12:2-4). That is where God's new kingdom is being built. Jesus came to lead us there by a path of righteousness. All who take that path will be saved. Those who do not take it will perish with this part of creation i.e., with the contaminated lower waters that is doomed .
"Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind." (Jn.18:36)
"I will speak to you in parables and expound things hidden since the foundation of the world'." (Mat.13:35; Ps.78:2).
"...for the Most High knows all the knowledge there is, and has observed the signs of the times. He declares what is past and what will be, and uncovers the traces of hidden things. Not a thought escapes him, not a single word is hidden from him. He has imposed an order on the magnificent works of his wisdom, he is from everlasting to everlasting, nothing can be added to him, nothing taken away, he needs no one's advice. How desirable are all of his works, how dazzling to the eye! They all live and last forever, whatever the circumstances, all who obey him." (Sir.42:18-24).
As far as your first question is concerned
"It seems that many Christian churches are increasingly in favour of war. I have also noticed a great increase in Christian churches focusing on material wealth (and their belief that God wants them to be wealthy, ie, Prayer of Jabez). Is this foretold? How is the true church of Christ to overcome this? ",
Paul told Timothy:
"This is what you are to teach them to believe and persuade them to do. Anyone who teaches anything different, and does not keep to the sound teaching which is that of our Lord Jesus Christ...is simply ignorant and must be full of self-conceit with a craze for questioning everything and arguing about words. All that can come of this is jealousy, contention, abuse and wicked mistrust of one another; and unending disputes by people who are neither rational nor informed and imagine that religion is a way of making a profit.
Religion, of course does bring large profits, but only to those who are content with what they have (here). We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it; but as long as we have food and clothing, let us be content with that. People who long to be rich are a prey to temptation; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and dangerous ambitions which eventually plunge them into ruin and destruction. 'The love of money is the root of all evils' and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith, and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds." (1 Tim. 6:3-10).
"You may be quite sure that in the last days there are going to be some difficult times. People...will be treacherous and reckless and demented by pride, preferring their own pleasure to God. They will keep up the outward appearance of religion but will have rejected the inner power of it. Have nothing to do with people like that." (2 tim. 3:1-2; 4-5).
"The time is sure to come when, far from being content with sound teaching, people will be avid for the latest novelty and collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then, instead of listening to the truth, they will turn to myths. Be careful always to choose the right course; be brave under trials; make the preaching of the Good News your life's work in selfless dedication to the service of God." (2 Tim.4:3-5).
Fervor for war and the pursuit of money are two of the most profound myths of the world Satan has concocted to steal the faithful from the way of God.
"When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to DECEIVE all the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, and mobilize them for war". (Rev.20:7-8).
The reason Jesus is called the 'Prince of Peace' is because He commands peacefulness in all situations. There is not a shadow of anger or war in any word from heaven that He has commanded us to obey. On the contrary, He said that anyone who takes up the sword will die by the sword. Violence gives birth only to violence.
How does the Church overcome this?
We have the misfortune to be living on the precipice of the tribulation. The sign of the pagan god of war is close in the sky. What has been predicted will come to pass. The people of Satan have served notice on us that they want their world back. They have allowed Christ to rule here for 2000 years, but now they want Him out of power. It is their world, just as Jesus said it was, and they have chosen to change the management.
The crosses are therefore coming down, yes. But God has declared that this is not to be the death of the Church, it is, rather, the travail of childbirth. The time has come for the transition. God's offer of salvation has been accepted by those destined to accept it. The rest have refused it, and we now see the offer being withdrawn. Just past these tumultuous times God will rule in favor of His children and the transfer will be complete (see Daniel 7:9-18).
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband." (Rv.21:1-2).
"Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, 'You see this city? Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them; they shall be his people, and he will be their God; his name is 'God-with-them'. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone. Now I am making the whole of creation new' he said." (Rv.21:3-4).
"Happy are those who will have washed their robes clean, so that they will have the right to feed on the tree of life and can come through the gates into the city. These others must stay outside...everyone of false speech and false life." (Rev.22:14-15).
September 26, 2003
Concerning the recent removal of the replica of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama government building:
The Ten Commandments written with the finger of God were placed in the Ark of the covenant. Were they ever publicly displayed? If not, is it possible that public display of a likeness of the Ten Commandments actually violates the first and second commandments? WT
1. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not make for yourself a graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."
The Jews did not consider the Ten Commandments or the stones on which they were written "graven images". Nor do they consider the Wailing Wall a graven image today, another object of Jewish veneration.
They considered the tablets enormously holy. The same with the Ark in which they were placed. The Ark was a man-made ('graven' if you would like to call it that because it was carved) structure built of gold and acacia wood. Once inside the Ark, the tablets were never removed, not because they were "graven images", but because they were considered too holy for the common eye to behold. This ban not only included all Israeli citizens, it extended even to the Jewish priesthood. Only one person on earth, the high priest, was permitted to see the Ark, and then only once a year (on Yom Kippur).
Holy Land archeology from the past 3000 years has uncovered hundreds of seven-armed Menorrah's along with their carved images on the remnants of buildings and synagogues. The fact that the Menorrah was one of the holiest objects in the inner sanctuary of the Hebrew temple did not deter the distrbution and veneration of its likeness throughout the homes and landscape of the ancient Judean people.
The intent of God's directive is that we should not worship 'physical objects'. Instead we should worship God Himself, who is spirit. Jesus said we must worship in 'spirit and truth'. In that truth we have constructed symbols, not graven images. The cross is one. It is described in the prophecies as the "standard" that must be displayed across the world as a symbol of Christ wherever the Gospel (the sound of the trumpet) is preached.
"Display the standard throughout the world, sound the trumpet among the nations! Prepare nations to make war on her; summon kingdoms against her..." (Jer.51:27).
"Against the walls of Babylon display the standard! Strengthen the guard! Post the sentries! (Jer.51:12).
"How long must I see the standard and hear the trumpet call?" This is because my people are stupid, they do not know me, they are slow-witted children, they have no understanding: they are clever enough at doing wrong, but do not know how to do right." (Jer.4:16-22).
Like the cross, the Jewish structures are symbols of spiritual worship. Christians do not worship the cross anymore than Jewish citizens do the likenesses of the inscribed Ten Commandments. Crosses and the Commandments are meant to be symbols of the spiritual worship these objects imply. It is the words on the tablets that are worshipped. It is Jesus dying on the cross for our sins that is worshipped.
If symbols like these were satanic, the enemies of God would not be rushing so fast to destroy them. It is the words on those objects and their implication that these opponents are trying to erase from society. The words convict them of sin. Spirit and truth convicts them of sin.
The commandment speaks of "likenesses of anything on earth". Many of our Bibles are engraved and all come in the image and likeness of books. But in their words resides God's Spirit and truth. It would be illogical to think that because a sculptor carved Christ's commandments on a wall that it would make God's words unclean.
No, the images addressed by this commandment are the statues and figures used in pagan worship, and more appropriate to this age, Porche's, swimming pools, stock markets, Cadillacs, mansions, flashy expensive jewelry, pornographic images, weapons, etc., i.e., all the objects of worship dedicated to the kind of "gods" of this world that separate us from worshipping the True God and His heaven-sent commandments.
The man who decried the tearing down of the Ten Commandment statue was addressing the decay in America of God-focused government. He saw it as the metaphoric equivalent of the tearing down of a church (another graven structure), and tried to show the world the two were equivalent because both are constructed in the Word of God, and both were built to spread that word to the eyes and ears of mankind.
Our government is steadily purging all religious icons and language at the demand of our nations increasingly secular society. Some Christian ministries are advocating political activism as a means of reversing this trend. Is this approach scripturally advisable? Are God fearing Christians powerless to reverse the spiritual decay that is systematically destroying our nation? WT
Christ came down from heaven, according to scripture, to offer the world God's pardon from the death-sentence of sin. He did not try to force obedience. Free will is essential to the choice. It is entirely up to the populations of the earth to accept or reject the offer.
Jesus said the time of the offer would be short. We are now witnessing just how short that time was. The prophets have all testified that the world would, at first, embrace the offer, but later, filled with the love of the things of this world, change their minds and discard God's offer of peace and reconciliation.
So, if it is not God's will to force the world to His terms, how can we overrule that decision? Of what use to God would be a church filled with people enslaved there by political dictate? Man cannot legislate the kind of faith God demands of us. Political activism cannot restore a harvest that has gone to gleaning. God instituted preaching as the warning. That is the only kind of activism that works for God. It is the sound of the trumpet clarioning among the nations:
"Display the standard throughout the world, sound the trumpet among the nations! (Jer.51:27).
The tribulation comes because the world rejects God's offer. In the face of that rejection,, the offer is withdrawn and in that withdrawel, the predicted cataclysm grace has held at bay will come cascading down in accordance with the prophecies. What we see today is a world in the process of that rejection. Their ears have grown deaf to the sound of the trumpet.
Do you believe in the rapture? -JH
Webster's dictionary tells us that the meaning of the word rapture is "intense pleasure".
Everyone wants eternal life and all Christians live in great anticipation of the day when Christ returns as promised and chooses those who are to receive it. The pleasure of being chosen will exceed anything any of us have ever known on earth. That choice will come at a single moment in time when Christ returns and we are lifted up to be with Him as scripture promises.
What is written in prophecy about tithing? -NI
The following quotation comes from the Book of the prophet Malachi:
"No; I the Lord do not change; and you, sons of Jacob, you are not ruined yet! since the days of your ancestors you have evaded my statutes and not observed them. Return to me and I will return to you, says the Lord God. You ask, 'How are we to return? Can a man cheat God?' Yet you are cheating me. You ask, 'How are we cheating you?' In the matter of tithes and dues. The curse lies on you because you, yes you the whole nation, are cheating me. Bring the full tithes and dues to the storehouse so that there may be food in my house, and then see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you and pour out blessing for you in abundance. For your sake I will lay a strict injunction on the locust not to destroy the fruits of your soil nor make the vine in your fields barren, says the Lord God Almighty. All the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delights, says the Lord God."
Man thinks in terms of money as far as tithes and dues are concerned, but not God. The Bible uses the terms of money only as symbols. Actually, the 'tithes and dues' of God are the spiritual obligations demanded of us by the commandments.
As far as the financial tax is concerned, Jesus said the sons are exempt (Matt.17:24-27). How can they be exempt from a necessity? They are exempt from money, but not from the spiritual tithes and dues that clothe the bride. These must be brought to the altar in great abundance. What is exalted by God are the true riches of justice, mercy and good faith. It is these that clothe the bride and so it is out of these true riches that we must offer our gifts before the altar of the Lord.
"Bring the full tithes and dues to the storehouse"
"His bride is ready, and she has been able to dress herself in dazzling white linen, because her linen is made of the good deeds of the saints'. (Rev. 19:8-9)
These "deeds" are the tithes and dues requested of us by Jesus: Acts of mercy, justice, compassion and good faith.
The confusion between works and faith that has haunted Christianity from its earliest days actually revolves around the issue of these spiritual tithes and dues. Every time we obey one of the Lord's commandments, we make a spriitual offering to God.
Jesus taught that money is a man-made god. A graven image. When He said, "What is exalted by men is an abomination in the sight of God", scripture tells us that Jesus was speaking of the abominations of money and the love of money (Luke 16:14-15). Obviously a Caesarean drachma such as this is not the gift God seeks from us.
October 6, 2003
Is there a spiritual meaning to the temple prostitutes in the Bible? -NI
The spiritual meaning likely revolves around church leaders and priests who filch the temple treasury for their own personal use. These are the ones who have sold their souls through missappropriation, embezzlement and misuse of funds dedicated to the spiritual construction of Christ's temple. Money always elicits this temptation, and religious prostitutes such as these have been present since the beginning.
I have been reading much of your website for 2 years now. Why are so certain that the destruction of this world is so imminent? How (or what kind of time frame) do you describe imminent (a year, decade, century??) MS
Jesus warned his disciples that a "destruction" of this world was coming and that the time for it was "close at hand". He gave a description of events that must come to pass first, and references to other prophecies in scripture regarding this event. All those prophecies have begun to dovetail in current times. We have listed them in great detail on our web page.
They include the rebuilding of Jerusalem (an event that began 1948 years after the official birth of Christ); Joshua's prophecy that God would hold the "sun" in the sky, making one day into almost two (a day to God is like a thousand years on earth according to scripture); Christ's prediction that just before the end arrived, the "Daylight" of Christ would be replaced by darkness (the "Son of God" would set), an event Paul said would be preceded by a "Great Revolt" among the citizens of the world against Christ's preaching (i.e., a secular revolt); Jeremiah's prediction that the king of Sheshak (Iraq) would be the last to drink from the cup of the Gospel in its sweep around the earth; the presence of armies predicted to surround Jerusalem just before it's end; Revelation's images that conjure up hydrogen bombs, helicopter gunships and on and on. Great events still lie on the horizon, like the swarms of powerful earthquakes, the violent attack against Christians and their churches, the roaring seas and celestial phenomena, but the handwriting of Daniel's vision is clearly on the wall, the final destruction of "Babylon" is imminent.
In 2001 A.D., the world passed into the third millenium (the third "day") of Christ. Scripture states that we are to "wash and clean" (baptism & repentance) for two days and on the third day see God face to face. That prophecy narrows the time down to the next thousand years. The "seventh day" (the day of rest when the Torah of scripture says everything that belongs to God must be returned to him) is less than 300 years away in the Hebrew calendar. That narrows it further. But Jesus said the time would be shortened. More narrowing. Current events have their own timetable. In 1947 the scientists that comprise the Atomic Energy Commission detailed a "doomsday clock" whose minute hand was only scant millimeters away from midnight.
Adolph Hitler, the seventh head of the beast of Revelation has come and gone, his time just as short as predicted. That leaves only the last, the beast of 666 left.
No one knows the time or hour, but each prophecy fulfilled brings it closer. The world's end is a catastrophic contemplation to the people of Babylon, but it fulfills God's unfolding plan against wickedness. We talk here about the last day as a warning to those who still have not repented so that they not tarry in their conversion and be lost, but the reality of the end of the world is victory over Satan. It is the beginning. It ushers in the Kingdom of God, the new everlasting creation composed entirely in righteousness. It is not an event of anguish, except as childbirth. It is a cause for enormous celebration (Rev.19:1-10).
WILL THE ANTICHRIST BE JEWISH? J
We have begun to live in the age of the salvation of the Jews. Their time of blindness has almost ended.
There was divine symbolism involved in the Jewish rejection of Christ. Paul revealed that the secret meaning why the Jewish leaders became locked into an antagonism to Jesus was because God struck them with a blindness for the purpose of the salvation of the pagans.
Over the last 2000 years, that goal has been accomplished. Great numbers of pagans have been saved.
Now, as pagan salvation ebbs into disbelief that blindness is about to be reversed in accordance with the prophecies. Jerusalem is being rebuilt as promised.
It was God's intent that the entire world be given the opportunity to escape the coming wrath and be saved into eternal life. The blindness of the Jews gave God the opportunity to graft the pagans into Christ's offer. Their blindness was for good purpose, not for evil.
Some Christians have turned it into evil through hatred, bigotry and racism, but that was never the will of God. Those who have pursued this course will have to answer for it at the Day of Judgment.
The term "Antichrist" is not generic. It applies to a specific individual who prophecy says will rise up at the end of time and try to destroy both the world and God's people. The Bible teaches that God's people are the two Houses of Israel. In other words, Christians and Jews together.
The prophecies describe an Antichrist who comes from the "far north", aligns himself with a nation symbolically called "Persia" and leads an enormous eastern ("Parthian") army circuitously toward Jerusalem in pursuit of the ultimate destruction of everything Israel. In the process, scripture tells us, he will set on fire most of the earth, burning down all of its cities.
At the time of Christ, those antagonistic to God's purpose were Jewish leaders. At the time of the end, however, those antagonistic to God will belong to the world. They will be pagan and Daniel says many will worship foreign gods. The Antichrist who leads them will reflect this nature (just as Nero did Babylon). He will be neither Christian nor Jew.
I had but one small question. I wanted to know why did you quote a verse from the Apocrypha book 2 Maccabees (sp?)?. From what I have learned, the Apocrypha is not on the same level as the canonized books of the Word.
I happened to be reading your discussion of the 3rd Vision of Fatima Revealed and saw that you referenced a vision of Daniel in 2 Maccabees. I have yet to read the Apocrypha (hope to very soon), however like I said before, I was taught that the books of it were not inspired by the Holy Spirit and fell below the Spiritual level of the 66 Books of the Bible. TA
Ours is a website about biblical era prophecy, not theology. The books in question were written over 100 years before Jesus was born. They prophesied Jesus and were considered holy writings by the Jewish elders of the time. It was not until 60 years after Jesus was crucified that the surviving Jewish leaders forbid works written in Greek as scripture. When they did, they outlawed the Greek Bible, declaring every work written originally in Greek to be false. Their unstated aim was the New Testament. The entire New Testament is Greek. Not a single book in it was ever written originally in Hebrew. The Jewish ruling nullifies the New Testament. It renders all of its documents invalid as scripture. That was the purpose of the ruling: to counter Peter and Paul.
The Greek Old Testament, at least 150 years old when Jesus was born, was the Bible of the Apostles. It had been produced by Jewish scholars for use by the Jews of the dispersion, i.e., those living in cities all across the world outside of Judea. Greek was the one unified language all these widely dispersed Jewish communities across the world could understand during biblical times. Koine Greek was the universal language of world commerce.
The fact that a later Jewish leadership fighting for national survival in the wake of Roman slaughter and Christian preaching decided, decades after the crucifixion to outlaw Greek writings did not, in any way, suddenly render the prophecies in those books invalid. We know they are valid because they prophesied Jesus with astonishing accuracy more than a century before He was born. Many of those prophecies are recounted on our web page.
As far as their being a part of the Bible is concerned, these books are a true part of the Old Testament scripture for over 75% of all Christians on earth. This includes all Anglican, Roman Catholic, Coptic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Only in the Protestant church are these books rejected as scripture. However, even among most Protestant leaders, the "apocryphal" books are considered very holy and inspired writings. It is only a very few churches that consider them wicked (for what reason I don't know).
With so many Christians on earth accepting these books as true scripture, and owing to the overwhelming accuracy of the prophecies of Jesus contained in them, we find it acceptable to include them as references to the biblical era's predictions of the coming Christ.
We quote from the Greek Bible because that is the Old Testament used by the Apostles. Our quotations are not didactic. They are there simply to expedite the reading, so that the reader doesn't' have to look up every quotation listed while they are reading. The quotations are generic. Every Christian knows to check each one of these references out in his or her own Bible for the exact reading their Bible offers.
The two books of the Maccabees are the only Jewish sources that recount the circumstances and events surrounding the creation of Hannukah. Because of this, Jewish leadership holds these two volumes in very high esteem. Without them, there would be no such holiday; no understanding of it. Certainly not in any way that it is known today.
As far as inspiration itself is concerned, most Christians consider the words of Billy Graham inspired by the Holy Spirit but his writings and sermons are not scripture. Inspiration of and by the Holy Spirit is, hopefully, an ongoing phenomenon.
The following is in answer to many questions I have received from readers regarding Jacob, Israel, the Twelve Tribes and the Levites.
There tends to be great confusion regarding the Twelve Tribes of Israel. One reason for this is that Israel had two names. His earlier name was 'Jacob'. God renamed Jacob, 'Israel' after he had fought with God's angel. So just remember, Israel and Jacob are the same man.
Another point of confusion stems from the fact that the names of the twelve sons of Jacob does not match exactly the names given to the Twelve Tribes. The name of Levi and Joseph are missing from the tribes. The names of Ephraim and Manesseh have been added in their place.
The Levites came from Levi, a son of Israel, but the entire descendancy was elevated by Moses out of tribal status to become, instead of a tribe, a priestly caste that owned no land. Because the priesthood did not marry, the caste was perpetuated by a Mosaic ruling that the first-born of each of the other tribes be dedicated to Levitical service.
Levi was not the only son of Israel to be removed from tribal status. Joseph was lifted out another way. Because he saved his brothers from starvation by giving them access to the grain of Egypt, his father, Israel, elevated him to the status of Patriarch, making him the equal of Abraham, Issac and himself (Jacob/Israel).
Those two moves would have left only 10 tribes, but Israel brought the number back to 12 by adopting Joseph's two sons (i.e., his two grandsons, Ephraim and Manesseh) as his own sons (see graph and map).
According to scripture, the Levites backed Moses at the time of the people's revolt in the desert (see Ex.32:29). It was for this reason that Moses elevated the entire tribe to serve and guard the "Tabernacle of the Testimony". There was no Temple during the 40-year exodus from Egypt. Therefore, no blood sacrifices were offered during this entire journey. The Israelites gathered themselves around a sacred tent in which were contained holy vessels surrounding the Ark of the Covenant which was built to house the two stone tablets on which God had inscribed the Ten Commandments. That was the center of their worship services to the one God. Temple worship came later, after they had entered the Promised Land. But Jesus and the prophets preached that the ancient way, the way of the desert trek, was closer to the truth of God. The Israelites were cautioned to return to those ancient ways.
Jesus gave them the path. The Testimony of God is the Gospel. That is the voice of the one God on earth. The Tabernacle in which it is contained is the Bible. When He consecrated the Levites as a priestly caste, God told Moses:
"Do not, however, take any census of the Levites, or register them among the sons of Israel. You yourself must enrol the Levites to serve the Tabernacle of the Testimony and to look after its furnishing and its belongings. The Levites are to pitch their tents around the Tabernacle of the Testimony, In this way the wrath will be kept from falling on the whole community of the sons of Israel. The Levites are to be in charge of the tabernacle of the testimony. (Numbers 1:48-54).
This directive forms the template upon which the Christian religion is built. The successors to the Levites are the ministers of the churches. Their priesthood stems from Christ through Peter and they operate under the caution that they stay very close to the Tabernacle of the Testimony (i.e., the words of the Bible). The "wrath" that will fall on the entire community of Christianity if they do not, is the "tribulation". That is why every knowledgable minister insists that Christ's word be followed to the letter. This Mosaic prophecy demands it.
That course may be changing. Under pressure by civic leaders and others some have begun to interpret scripture in a more rabbinical way, i.e., according to the nature of the times they live in, rejecting the didactic in favor of a fluid interpretation that flags according to the caprice of the times. Whether or not this will produce a community "wrath" remains a matter of conjecture but most Christian leaders have up to now rejected this temptation and chosen the stricter path.
Would like to hear your thoughts on Revelation ch. 13 . Also will you ever write a piece on Revelation itself ? MJ
Chapter 13 in the Book of Revelation is central to all expectations Christians have with respect to the terrible events of the last days. Enrobed in symbolic images reminiscent of Sinbad, the chapter opens with a description of a beast with seven heads rising up out of the sea in association with 10 coroneted horns. In a later chapter (Rev.17:1-18), an angel comes to John to explain the meaning of this vision.
The beast that came up out of the sea is Satan. The Prostitute which rides on his back is Babylon, a world-ruling empire that operates in opposition to the ways of God. The seven heads of this beast are 7 world rulers specifically focused on destroying the House of Israel.
The seven heads are also shown to be the seven hills upon which the woman sits (Rev.17:9). This prophecy forsees that the world is composed of 7 continents that rise up out of the 7 seas of the planet (the "abundant waters" beside which the prostitute rules). The seven hills of Rome define its capitol city, an urban center that describes itself as the "eternal" city, an eponym competitive to Jerusalem.
The angel told John (circa 95 A.D.) that the beast that came up out of the sea (Satan) "once was, now is not but will come again, but only to go to his destruction". We read later that Michael the archangel chained Satan in the Abyss where he was to remain until the last days arrived. At that point he would be released for a short time. Finally free, the Bible tells us Satan will set out to mobilize all the nations of the world for war (Rev.20:7-9). His release will be seen as "miraculous" to those whose names have not been written in God's Book of Life (Rev.17:8).
The angel explained to John that of the seven emperors symbolized by the seven heads, five had already gone, one was here "now" (95 A.D.) and one (whose reign would be short) was yet to come (Rev.17:10). After the short reign of the seventh head has come and gone, an eighth is destined to appear. The 8th will be the beast who "once was and now is not". He is slated to be a reincarnation of one of the previous seven (Rev.17:11).
The seven nations on earth who have specifically targeted the House of Israel are Egypt, Assyria, Greece, Babylon, Persia, Rome and Germany. Rome was the sixth head, i.e., the one that was "there now" when the angel talked with John. Germany under Hitler (who murdered 9 million members of the House of Israel) was the seventh head. His short reign has come and gone.
According to the angel in the Book of Revelation, "The ten horns are ten kings who have not yet been given their royal power but will have royal authority only for a single hour and in association with the beast." (Rev.17:12). In other words, they will rise up in association with the 8th head at the time of the end. They will all be of one mind, to serve the beast and they will go to war together against Christ and all who follow Him. This beast (the 8th head) is the horn the prophet Daniel saw making war on the saints and proving the stronger until the coming of God who brought the Judgment. (Dan.7:21).
"The angel continued, 'The waters you saw, beside which the prostitute was sitting, are all the peoples, the populations, the nations and the languages." i.e, the whole world. (See Rev.17:15).
"The prostitute is the great city which has authority over all the rulers on earth." (Rev.17:18). That city and the 6th head of the beast carry the same name: "Rome". When we follow the history of Rome from the time of Christ till now, it shows us a mortally wounded prostitute and, risen up in her place, the western world, a multi-nation system of empires wedded to Christian values. The western world currently rules the planet and is opposed by an eastern world recently stirred awake by world war and the rebirth of Israel.
The ten kings and the 8th head which rules them will turn against the prostitute, strip her naked, eat her flesh and burn everything that remains in fire (Rev.17:16). In other words, just before the world itself is detroyed, the western world will be brought to ruin. Daniel, interpreting the writing on the wall of Babylon (Dan.5:5-31) shows us how. (Dan.7:1-12:13).
The Book of Revelation gives us an overview of the prophecies. To see these events in greater detail we need to turn to the Book of Daniel. Daniel's book chronicles only the events surrounding the last days. It defines the tribulation (Dan.8:17).
Daniel shows us that satan's rise from the abyss will come in association with hostilities that develop in the eastern world. Daniel describes four kingdoms spawned out of Persia with a single aim, to counter the preaching of Jesus Christ. Three of these eastern kingdoms have come and gone. Their militant incursions into Christian areas have been significant, locking out a third of the earth from the Gospel's message (see our volume, "The Last Days of Babylon", Chapter 7, 'The Four Empires of Persia'). The last one, the fourth, will bring the beast, (the 8th head) and, with him, the ten kings who are destined to rise up as his associates.
It is in the rise to power of the east that the second beast makes his appearance (Rev. 13:11). That beast is the person the Book of Revelation calls the "false prophet". It says that he will "come in the appearance of a lamb but make a noise like a dragon", i.e., he will come into view promoting religion but will do so, armed for battle and wielding the swords of war. In his promotion of militancy, he will be instrumental in decieving the world to participate in Satan's mobilization of the planet for war. Paul calls him the 'power of deception' that deludes the world and makes them believe what is untrue in order that all who refused to believe in the truth and chose wickedness instead, be condemned". (2 Thess.2:9-12).
Among his signs and portents, he will bring fire down from heaven onto the earth in the sight of the people. Perhaps in overt warfare but, also possibly in acts of terrorism. The word 'dragon', itself shows the eastern character of this creature. (Rev.13:13).
The triune nature of Satan, his beast and false prophet form the "antichrist", a reverse image of the holy Trinity. This surprising relationship is confirmed by the Book of Revelation's disclosure that the 8th head of the beast is the same as the beast that arises from the sea. i.e. he is one with Satan (Satan made flesh). (Rev. 17:11).
In Daniel's vision, Jesus came to him (Dan.10) and told him that both He (Jesus) and Michael the Archangel were battling the king of Persia and that after they were done with him, the king of Javan would be next. (Dan.10:20-21). Jesus was speaking about the time of the end. (Dan.8:17).
Combining that statement about Persia and Javan with the Parthian prophecy which swept through the Christian world just after the death of Nero (a prophecy evisioning the beast's reincarnation at the head of Parthian troops, and marching west to re-conquer Rome) we are presented with an image of a new and frightening kind of Javan, one re-born suddenly in the last days, a warmongering empire coming down from the far north and aligned with the kings of the east but fully pagan, an empire that Christ and Michael the Archangel would certainly be fighting.
We must expect this. The prophecies show a re-birth of Rome, a violent war on Christians, the toppling of the Vatican and a beast crowning himself inside its corridors moments before he burns down the world and prepares to launch his final assault on Israel.
"The beast even challenged the power of that army's Prince.
It abolished the Perpetual Sacrifice
and overthrew the foundation of his sanctuary,"
and the army too;
it put iniquity on the sacrifice and flung truth to the ground.
The horn was active and successful." (Dan.8:10-12)
In this prophecy we can see the overthrow of the Vatican, the abolition of the Communion sacrifice, the "iniquity" or desecrating sacrilege raised above the altar, the war on Christians and the proclamation forbidding not just the preaching of the Bible, but even its existance anywhere in the beast's empire. It is a very sobering vision.
Scripture's prophecies describe the mortal wound healing, the reincarnation of a beast that once was and comes again. They describe Rome at the center of a new Roman empire, one steeped in emperor-worship and committed to destroy everything Christian, and focused on the annihilation of Israel.
Finally, we have Christ's statement to Daniel showing an eastern evolution that dissolves through endless warfare into support for a madman, a demagogue from the far north that proclaims himself a god and the equal of God. (Dan.11:37-39; Ez.38 & 39).
Fortunately it is still "daylight". Christ is still being preached across the earth, and the 8th head of the beast has not yet appeared. There is still time for repentance, but activities all around us suggest we not tarry in our conversions. For now the mark of God in baptism has the upper hand. As long as we live in faithfulness to the pledge of that seal, we need not fear the mark of this world which Satan brands on his own followers.
For more on this, please refer to "The Last Days of Babylon". Each chapter in this book is dedicated to a particular facet of the descriptions and accounts cited above in relation to the Bible. We have also written three papers on the Book of Revelation. With regard to your question, see The Book of Revelation, Part 2.
In biblicial times how did the people tell one prophet from another? K
As far as the selection of prophets for inclusion in the Bible is concerned, the prophets designated were chosen by the Holy Spirit.
There were many seers in Israel recognized by the Hebrew authorities as prophets whose writings and visions never reached the Bible. The Hebrew Bible, for instance rejects visions ascribed even to the later prophets recognized by the Greek Bible. The point of contention being that one spoke Greek and the other insisting that God only spoke Hebrew. (Christianity later proved that wrong because the entire New Testament was composed in Greek). But aside from that there were hundreds of early prophets not included in either Bible. Elijah talks about the "brotherhood of prophets", so there must have been quite a few. Each town had its own chapter of this brotherhood (1 Kings 2:3-7).
They were well known in the community. The office of prophecy was one of the three branches of the Hebrew government. Besides predicting the future, it acted in many ways like our Supreme Court in that it operated as a safeguard to the meaning of scripture in the way our justices do the American Constitution.
The lesser prophets were called the "sons of the prophets". Lacking inspiration, they were able to see only the outward human circumstances not the spiritual reality behind them. There were a large number of these in Israel. Among them were all the false prophets. Elijah challenged 450 of these (worshippers of Baal and who had been brought in by Jezebel) to a contest of gods on Mt. Carmel. (1 Kings 18:20-40).
The prophetic spirit is not inherited, it is a gift of God. In all cases, only those singled out by God through vision or dream were allowed to be selected to this unique brotherhood. Elisha, in choosing himself, seemed for awhile to have been the single exception to this rule, but God allowed him to witness Elijah taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot by whirlwind. The fact that he had seen what is invisible to human eyes made him eligible for the office.
The primary mechanism used by the Holy Spirit to guide inclusion as scripture revolved around the people's perception of divine guidance. Supernatural actions and prophecies that believers felt later proved true received the greater support, and the Essene writings show that around such prophets a following developed that promoted and diligently copied their work over the centuries until finally the prophet's stock was so high, inclusion was automatic. Every major prophet had his own following of perpetual disciples, likely members themselves of the "brotherhood".
It is interesting to note that common threads in terms of words, phrases and symbolism often fan out among them all. The prophets built on one another. That is important because it allows us to see similar visions from different angles. This is triangulation and the depth of understanding we gain from that increased perception has been enormous. Those in charge of choosing must have been aware of at least a hint of this commonality, even though, as Peter said, they did not understand what the prophets were really talking about. Their visions were for us and not for themselves, so the prophets themselves didn't even know. That is because as true prophecy, their words represented inspiration, not composition.
In the end, God knew which ones He had inspired. Perhaps He chose those that heard Him in the clearest terms, certainly those who wrote in a way that far-surpassed their own perception. In any case, each appeared at pivotal moments in Israel's history and the greater ones all had close ties to the kings (not only Israel's, but also, in Daniel's case, Babylon and Persia).
What we know for certain is that God was showing them Jesus Christ, and through their words, He showed us Jesus Christ; and the Israelite priests who codified all these writings had no clue. As a result, we have received from God a stone-set document whose meaning surprised, shocked and saved the world when the prophets' mysterious words were finally explained.
What is your opinion do you think the world will end before 2005? -JJ
Not according to the Gospel of Luke. All the signs we have been witnessing so far are what he calls the "beginning" of the end. We are living now in the time of the "wars and rumors of wars". The "end" of the end comes later, after the tribulation:
"And they put this question to him: 'Master,,' they said 'when will this happen, and what sign will there be that this is about to take place?'
'Take care not to be deceived, 'he said 'because many will come using my name and saying "I am he" and, "The time is near at hand". Refuse to join them. And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened, for this is something that must happen but the end is not so soon".
"Then he said to them 'nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines here and there; there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. But before all this happens, men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors because of my name and that will be your opportunity to bear witness."
"Keep this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your deence, because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom tht none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your lives."
"When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you must realize that she will soon be laid desolate. Then those in Judea must escape to the mountains, those inside the city must leave it, and those in country districts must not take refuge in it. For this is the time of vengeance when all that scripture says must be fulfilled. Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come! For great misery will descend on the land and wrath on this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive to every pagan country; and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the pagans until the age of the pagans is completely over."
"There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony bewildered by the clamor of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. and then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power aned great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand".(Luke 21:7-28).
This list is not chronological. But in it we can see that the tribulation comes in two parts. First the deportation of the House of Israel from Jerusalem, and finally the terminal holocaust at the end, accompanied by fearful signs in the heavens and on earth, signs far beyond anything ever witnessed before. Jesus said that "the time will come when not a stone will be left on a stone" as far as the Jerusalem temple is concerned (Luke 21:6). A wall of that temple complex has not yet fallen. It still stands today. It is currently the holiest site in all of Judaism.
In other words, we have seen many of these things take place, but many others have yet to occur. One thing is certain, however, everyone on earth will experience the end of this world. Everyone who dies, everyone who has ever died, has experienced the end of the world:
"Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:34-36).
What do you read in the Bible about Iraq. How long is the war in Iraq is going to last and we can bring our troops home?
Scripture describes an occupying military presence in Iraq very much like our own in terms of outposts manned there (Jer. 46:2). Jeremiah sets this occupation near the time of the end when God has reached the decision to "strike the whole earth and bring down disaster on all mankind" (Jer.45:4-5). The vision is couched in the veil of Egypt.
Many of these troops "there in the north by the river Euphrates" (Jer.46:6) do not come home.
If this prophecy applies to our current military occupation in Iraq, we are at the doorstep of one of the most pivotal events in the visionary chronicles of the Bible. It involves enormous warfare, victory by the East, the annihilation of the settlers in Israel and the overrunning of Jerusalem. It is even preceded by an assassination (Jer.44:29-30). It is truly the lid on Pandora's box as far as the last days is concerned. It opens the door to the tribulation.
Hopefully these circumstances are not immediately at hand, but the prophecy does seem to indicate that our occupation in Iraq will continue until this catastrophe comes to pass. In the happy event that our troops are withdrawn and returned to America first, we can all breathe a great sigh of relief that we have been given a reprieve and that Jeremiah's vision applies to some other future time when similar circumstances again present themselves on history's stage.
Is Jesus considered a prophet? NH
If Jesus were but a prophet, He would be the 'Albert Einstein' of spiritual understanding. Instead of a mathmatical law, He showed us the philosophical constant of the universe. But Jesus is far more than a prophet. He is God made flesh. His philosophy is a constant because it is in His words that Creation, itself, was made.
Solar storms, visible auroras in the sky, California wildfires, more tension in Iraq. What are your gut feelings about some of these events in relation to end times prophecy? RH
Beginning May 29, 2003, magnetic storms storms on the surface of the sun began hurling large solar flares into space toward the earth. The intensity of the insuing solar fireballs has increased, with the largest coming in early November. Monitering these fiery stellar volcano's scientists determined them to be among the most violent and massive flares ever witnessed. Some have produced a category R5 (extreme) radio blackout on earth: "all shortwave communications through the sunlit hemisphere of the earth experienced complete blackout conditions." (NOAA Space Environment Center, Boulder, Colorado).
Jesus said of the last days that "there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony bewildered by the clamor of the ocean and its waves..." (Luke 21:25).
Certainly these flares, men driving automobiles across the surface of the moon and photographs of exploding stars and galaxies are "signs" beyond any ever imagined by the people of ancient Galilee, but I am sure we are destined to see even greater signs than even these before the final day dawns. They do fit the description, though.
November 11, 2003
Hebrews 8:-12 and Jer 31:31- 35
These scriptures state who the New covenant was to be for. You seemingly have changed scripture in some of your writings when you say that (Lost Israel) the ten tribes or the House of Israel are now the pagan peoples of the world. Do you not believe God can find or does not know where these people are? These covenants were made to the House of Israel It even gives the signs for these people. RM
The lost tribes of Israel are not pagan. They are not pagan in any way, but they are scattered among the pagans on account of Satan's corruption.
Of course God knows who his own are, but his own need to know who God is, i.e., that He is Jesus. That is why the proclamation is announced throughout the world: to say He is here! Now is the moment! Look and see!
"It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. " (Is.49:6).
"Look round about you, look, all are assembling, coming to you...your desolate places and your ruins and your devastated country will now be too small for all your inhabitants. " (Is.49:18).
"God's solid foundation stone is still in position, and this is the inscription on it: 'The Lord knows those who are his own' and 'All who call on the name of the Lord must avoid sin'." (2 Timothy 2:19).
It is not God who is lost. It is the tribes who are lost. God knows His own, and where they are, but His tribes have been blinded by Satan. They don't know where God is, and are searching desperately for Him.
Once alerted by the call, the people of God will recognize the Lord and come to Him. That is why Christ is preached. It is the homing beacon. That is why the call is made, so that those who are lost might see the light and turn to the light. God makes the choice, but those He chooses must be alerted to His presence. That is why it is our duty, each one of us, to go out and spread the Good News of the kingdom so urgently.
We are extensions of His voice on earth. We are His servants. We continue Jesus' work. Our mission is to extend His message everywhere. Without us, without our help, those on earth who have not yet heard His word, and all future generations that may lie beyond would be lost. Our testimony is critical. When we testify to Jesus we become the lights in the seven lampstands, illuminating the path home for those who are still lost.
That search was addressed by the prophet Zechariah who asked the angel what the lips at the top of the lampstand signified. He was told, "These seven are the eyes of God; they cover the whole world". (Zech.4:6).
For more on God's Lampstand, see "Seven Streams and the River of God".
I have searched my writings and am unable to find anywhere that I called the lost ten tribes of Israel pagan. Just the opposite. See "The Clock of God", Chapter 15, 'The Seven Churches'. If you have found any instance where I have said what you suggest, please give me the location and I will change it immediately. This point is core to the religion. It must be stated correctly in all instances because scripture calls this issue "a foundation stone" (as per quotes above).
How can it be that some believe that the USA will usher the world toward true peace and security when Daniel 2:44 says that "in those days the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will not be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms and it itself will stand to time indefinite." I do not see the USA's name in any of these words, do you? ACR
No I don't. Just the opposite, in fact. Those words relate to the kingdom of heaven which Jesus has gone to construct for those who follow His words. It is an everlasting kingdom which shall never be destroyed. Its inhabitants will live forever. The USA has no power to make such an offer.
Editor's Note: The quotation noted above concerns a dream of Nebuchaddnezzar and Daniel's interpretation of it. (Dan. 2:24-45).
Daniel's prophecies concerning this dream seem to be partially reiterated later in his own dream in chapter 7 (Dan. 7:1-8). Both apply specifically to the end of the world. But because they apply to two different dreams by two different people, they must be considered in separate contexts. Examining those differences, one is listed below and the other, specific to chapter 7, the 'four empires of Persia',.I have outlined in the book "The Last Days of Babylon".
Nebuchadnezzar's dream, specific to a statue with two clay feet, is portrayed in terms of four of the seven "heads" later described in the Book of Revelation that relate to generic Babylon. They are the four involved in the House of Israel's deportation to Babylon, two of which reigned during the Jewish deportation at the time of Zedekiah, and the other two, during the Christian/Jewish Diaspora following the crucifixion of Christ. Nebuchadnezzar's dream centers around a vision of the statue of the Beast, the descriptions, character and identity of which superabound in the pages of the Book of Revelation.
Nebuchadnezzar was startled awake after dreaming of a great golden statue "of extreme brightness". Scripture describes it as "terrible to see. The head of this statue was of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet part iron, part earthenware." (Dan.2:32-33).
While Nebuchadnezzar was gazing at it, "a stone broke away, untouched by any hand, and struck the statue, struck it's feet of iron and earthenware and shattered them. And then, iron and earthenware, bronze, silver, gold all broke into small pieces as fine as chaff on the threshing floor in summer. The wind blew them away, leaving not a trace behind. And the stone that had struck the statue grew into a great mountain, filling the whole earth." (Dan.2:34-35).
Interpreting this dream for the king, Daniel describes Nebuchadnezzar as the golden head. The arms of silver he describes as a lessor kingdom; the third is a kingdom of Bronze and the fourth is a kingdom of iron destined to shatter all the others (Dan.2:37-40).
The Apostle's would certainly have seen this vision in terms of the Roman empire. Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom of Babylon would be the first kingdom. Second would probably be Persia, Greece the third and Rome the kingdom of iron destined to shatter the others.
In the prophecy Daniel explains that this last kingdom, the kingdom of iron, (Rome) will be split in two.
"The feet you saw, part earthenware, part iron, are a kingdom which will be split in two, but which will retain something of the strength of iron..." Dan. 2:41).
That split accounts for the two legs and clay feet of the statue. This split refers to the impact of Christianity on Babylon. The first foot smashed represents the fatal wound inflicted on the Roman empire by the word of Christ.
"Just as you saw the iron and the clay of the earthenware mixed together...the kingdom will be partly strong and partly weak. And just as you saw the iron and the clay mixed together...so the two will be mixed together in the seed of man, but they will not hold together..." (Dan. 2:42-43).
"In the time of these kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destoyed, and this kingdom will not pass into the hands of another race: it will shatter and absorb all the previous kingdoms, and itself last forever..." (Dan 2:44).
Jesus said the fatal wound (to the first foot) is destined to briefly heal in the last days. That healing produces the second clay foot. That second foot of iron and clay is the new Rome, an empire coming to birth right now in the Parthian east.
But it, too, will suffer the same fate as the first leg. Both feet of this statue, being earthenware and iron mixed (they don't mix, of course) are fragile and when struck, the whole statue will collapse in ruin. As Nebuchaddnezzar saw, the rock that hits the statue and breaks it is untouched by human hands. It comes from God. It is the Rock of Christ, i.e., it is the Rock for which Peter received his name.
The mountain formed from the stone that struck those two clay feet is Christianity, the kingdom of God which will replace Babylon and last forever.
Concerning this and all the other Old Testament prophecies, Peter wrote: "Through events of their own time, the prophets were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write down their visions, but the words they used were symbols for another time and even though they spoke them and wrote them down, the prophets did not know what their own words meant. That is because their words were meant for us and not for themselves." (1 Peter 1:10-12).
As always, these prophecies are veiled in metaphor their true meaning hidden in a spiritual language structured in the design of God. For now, we must be content to estimate their meanings, but as the end draws near, each passing day brings us closer to the true realities hidden in scripture's words.
Your Statement of Faith says, about Jesus, that "he descended into Hades." I would like to see an exposition that explains that "Hades" in this case is not hell, but the "Paradise" portion of Hades that acts as a "holding tank" for the saints, away from the unredeemed who reside in torment in Hades separated by an impenetrable chasm.FR
Our statement of faith is the "Apostle's Creed". It dates from about 100 A.D., is considered Apostolic, and was universally accepted by the early Church. It is still in use in almost all Christian churches today. Advanced versions were later promulgated by the Council's of Nicea (325 A.D.), Chalcedon (451 A.D.), and finally, in 870 A.D., a phrase was added that split the Western Church from the Eastern Church.
Our website is dedicated to an examination of prophecy in scripture. That prophecy does not support the idea that Jesus went down to a "holding tank" for the saints. For instance Peter states in his first letter that "Jesus went down to preach to the spirits in prison" and that these spirits "were the ones who refused to believe when Noah was building the ark" (1 Peter 3:19-20). Obviously, under the circumstances, they could not be considered "saints". Definitely they were not in the "Paradise" section of Hades. How many repented when Christ preached to them there is not stated. Many scholars think none because of their lack of faith. If our surface world is any indication, the number may be around 30%.
The Book of Revelation, in reference to the Second Coming of Christ, tells us that Death and Hades will give up all of their dead at the end of time, and that all the souls in them will be brought to Judgment for the way in which they lived their lives (Rev. 20:11-15). It is at that point, Revelation says, that Death and Hades will be thrown into the "burning lake". We must assume, therefore, that the chasm to Hades, impenetrable to man and angels, is not yet impenetrable to Jesus or God. After the last Judgment, though, they will be.
I was just reading through your Chronological Table and I can't believe all that has happened in 2003. It was a busy year in Biblical terms. Where do we stand now in Bible prophecy?.GD
Yes, 2003 seems to be a very significant year. In addition to the second Gulf War unfolding, and the stationing of U.S. troops at the banks of the Euphrates river, the most important prophecy fulfilled seems to be Jeremiah's statement that the "king of Sheshak" would be the last to drink from the cup God is sending around the world (Jer. 25:26). Sheshak is a biblical cryptogram for Iraq. The cup that God sent around the world (beginning from Jerusalem) is the Gospel of Christ. If Iraq is the last kingdom to be preached to in God's circumnavigation of the globe, we are witnessing the completion of Christian evangelism right now. If that is the case, the significance is enormous.
I have a question about your book. Who or what is Babylon?NA
Prophecy tells us that Babylon is a political entity. It is an empire.
The fact that the capitol city of this empire in scripture transmigrates from a city-state on the banks of the Euphrates to a city-state on the banks of the Tiber shows that Babylon is symbolic.
In the Book of Revelation, John tells us that the Word of God, i.e., the Gospel of Christ (God's Sword) delivered Babylon a mortal wound, ending that empire's reign on earth. He goes on to predict that in the end-times this mortal wound will briefly heal, returning the symbolic city-state of "Babylon" to world power. This tells us that "Babylon", present at the time of the birth of Christ, did not exist on earth during the era of Christianity.
The driving force characterizing world government just before Jesus, i.e., Roman paganism, died when the Church rose out of the Catacombs. In about A.D. 380 The Roman emperor Theodosus who ruled the western world declared Christianity to be the state religion of the western world. Simultaneously, Galerius, the Roman Emperor who ruled the eastern world from constantinople made an identical proclamation committing the East to Christ. These were imperial decrees, binding on the entire world. All the pagan temples were closed. Secularism (heathenism) was weeded out all across the earth and eradicated. The world was made Christian, theologically and politically.
When we examine world history from those days into the 20th Century, we find Christianity the dominant ruling force on the planet. It's domination was so powerful during those 1600 years that it constituted the underlying fabric of world politics. All the leading nations were subject to the rule of the churches.
Today we see that domination in full retreat. It has been supplanted by world secularism, a political ideology navigated to power during the last century under the principal of separation of church and state. The Bible calls this principle a "snare". The synonyms used in Webster's dictionary to describe the word "secular" are "worldly, pagan, heathen, and profane". It is defined therein as "anti-church".
In the Bible there are only two symbolic city-states in the world, "Babylon" (the secular empire) and "Jerusalem", the empire of God. They are polar opposites.
The member nations of "Babylon" include every state government on earth committed to secular ideology. That principle has now comandeered the governmental processes of every western nation in the world. First decreed in Italy by Mussolini in the 1920's, the rise of secularism has been swift. With lightening speed, Christian political power has been replaced by pagan political power all across the world.
Paul used the term "Great Revolt" to describe the world's abandonment of Christian government in favor of the hedonism of worldliness (2 Thes.2:3).
It is a revolt. The sword of Christ has been blunted in the last days just as prophecy forsaw. Christ's name and His Word are not allowed to be spoken or mentioned in western government. Lenin, Marx and Hitler are permitted, Christ and God are not. Even public display of the Ten Commandments has been outlawed by the potentates of the rising pagan society.
What happens next is written in prophecy:
"Why this uproar among the nations? Why this impotent muttering of pagans kings on earth rising in revolt, princes plotting against the Lord and against the one he has anointed, 'Now let us break their fetters! Now let us throw off their yoke!" (Ps. 2:1-3)
"So now, you kings, learn wisdom, earthly rulers, be warned: Serve the Lord, fear him, tremble and kiss his feet, or he will be angry and you will perish, for his anger is very quick to blaze." (Ps. 2:10-12).
The nations have plotted against Christ. They cannot survive that.
"The nations have sunk into a pit of their own making. They are caught by the feet in the snare they themselves set. God has given judgment, He has trapped the wicked in the work of their own hands." (Ps. 9:15).
"If I had not come, if I had not spoken to them, they would have been blameless; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin. Anyone who hates me hates my Father." (John 15:22-23). "A child of God listens to the words of God; if you refuse to listen, it is because you are not God's children." (John 8:47).
"On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds are evil." (John 3:19).
I have been reading through your writings "The Two Horns of the Ram" once again. Do you have anything current relating to this second gulf war? At the time of the writing, this had not yet occurred. What time in prophecy are we at with this second war? Obviously the second horn, but what are we to look for next, the ten nation confederacy? The emerging beast? Has this prophecy of this political/religious leader emerged yet? One more question, can you help me understand the correlation of the two gulf wars and the Japanese/Soviet war? Does the bible prophecies about all four, I seem to only see two GD
All the works of God go in pairs by opposites. These opposites can also come in multiples.
For instance, right now the church finds itself in the liturgical season of Advent (Christmas). This day relates to the coming of Jesus Christ. And it relates to TWO appearances. The first came in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, and the second will occur at the end of time. Predictions by Moses caused the 12 Tribes of Israel to expect a Messiah. He came as prophesied in the form of Jesus Christ. We are looking at pairs by opposites here. And multiples a Mosaic prediction, a Messiah, Jesus Christ, and the Second Coming. The fact that He came as predicted on the first occasion strengthens our faith that His Second Coming will likewise occur as promised. Because the Messiah did come once in response to prophecy, we can be assured that He will return a second time in the form of the Risen Lord.
This isn't the only example of pairs by opposites. Scripture tells us that ALL the works of God go in such pairs. Just the fact that there is an Old Testament and a New Testament shows the depth of the pattern. Everything in the New Testament fulfills a prophecy structured in metaphore in the Old Testament. This occurs page after page after page. Everything is covered, because God architected the Old Covenant as a template for the New Covenant.
What we are looking at, then, when we read the Old Testament is the skeletal framework of biblical prophecy. It is not the Truth; it symbolizes the Truth. Jesus, alone, is the Truth. The Old Testament is a book composed of thousands of metaphores the entire book a "guardian" (as Paul called it), pointing to the True Father.
Japan and the Soviet Union were two eastern empires that rose up during the last century to attack the Western World. Both were defeated. In this respect, a pattern similar to Daniel's description of the two horns of the Ram seems to present itself. Some might say it is that sequence which represents the primary fulfillment of Daniel's vision. Perhaps, also, they mean nothing. More likely those two wars can be considered a signal of times ahead, like an advance echo (if there were such a thing) to prepare us for more important events beyond. That is because, as we can see, the two Gulf wars, while more important in terms of prophecy, leave a far smaller footprint on history's stage.
The two Gulf Wars are structured around the Euphrates river, a central tenant in Daniel's vision. It is the prophecy of the two Gulf Wars which open the divinely sealed pages of the book of Daniel. They open his sequence of chronology. For this reason, they have vast importance. The two Gulf Wars relate to the rise of the East to world power. They both fail in this respect. They don't, in themselves, bring the East to power, instead, they are meant to set in place the framework for all that is to follow and to open the door to all the prophecies concerning it.
According to Daniel, the two Gulf Wars are to be the western world's final victories in conquest. Soon after the second of these two wars, the western world will fracture and split into four parts, according to Daniel. Of these, the smallest will later produce both the "Ten Nations" and the "Beast".
The Western World has ruled civilization since the days of Alexander the Great. With its modern reincarnation of democracy (born of Greece) America duplicates Alexander in modern terms, bringing the world across 2300 years of western dominance stretching from Alexander the Great to the end of Alexander's symbolic reign (i.e., our own time). We know this is a certainty in prophecy because Antiochus IV Epiphanies, the Old Testament metaphore of the Beast had his rising out of the breakup of Alexander's empire (it, too, split into four parts). Prophecy tells us that that fracturing in ancient times is about to be repeated once again, architecting an arch pair of opposites that will stand as a centerpiece to the final days.
It is as if a "tractor beam" of God is pulling the world inexorably ever closer toward the ancient Epiphanes metaphore, so that history can be repeated in its journey toward the Beast which Antiochus IV Epiphanes was meant to portray.
The fracturing of the modern western world into four parts indicates a collapse of NATO and the United Nations as we know them today. America's hostile policies with respect to some of our closest NATO allies (France, Russia, Germany, Canada, etc.), and their response to that hostility, may be an advance warning of this collapse.
In very rough terms, the present world gives us an indication of the likely centers of power around which the coming four-way division of the fractured U.N. will be structured: America, the European Union, the Far East and the Middle East. Each will have its own set of allies.
Jesus said that a house divided against itself cannot stand. At the very moment when we need a strong united Western World to combat a militantly rising East, we are engaging in tactics certain to splinter ourselves. Obviously, there is little we can do to alter the trajectory of this slope because it is so clearly structured in Bible prophecy. We can wring our hands in despair, but it is going to happen anyway. That is because the Western World has revolted against Christ, evicting the Church from world political power and replacing it with secular (heathen) government. Paul called this substitution of governmental ideologies, the "Great Revolt" and said in 2 Thes. 2:2-4, that it was a pivotal event in the rise to power of the Beast.
So the timing is right. Jerusalem has been rebuilt and the Great Revolt is in full swing. That is what time it is in biblical prophecy at this moment. We are very close to the fracturing of the western world. We can already see some of the fracture lines forming. These are astonishing times.
And that is the problem. This is not something far off in the distant future. It is happening now, as we watch.
When the U.N. fractures, the smallest of the four divisions of nations will produce the "Ten Nations" which will coalesce within it. That republic will inflame the world and bring it to ruin, plunging the planet into two enormous rounds of world combat. Wars will rage until the end. The Beast will head the second set of assaults.
While all this is going on, the earthquakes Jesus predicted, the cosmic signs, the roaring of the seas, and all that has been foreseen will be taking place as a sidebar to these wars. If you want to read Paul's prophecy of these times, see his second letter to the Thessalonians. Jesus describes them in the 24th Chapter of Matthew. There are hundreds of other predictions in scripture relative to coming events and we have listed scores of them throughout the pages of our book, "The Last Days of Babylon", which is available free on this website.
If we think of these events in terms of Babylon, it is definitely time for hand-wringing and despair. But if we structure ourselves firmly in Jesus, what we are seeing is our salvation.
Jesus said in His Gospel of Luke,
"When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand." (Luke 21:27--28).
About the signs in the skies, can you provide me with a list of the ones that have already been seen?IL
I can give you one off the top of my head, but it is not complete. With further research you probably can double this list. These are signs in the heavens that have occurred in just the last 95 years; most of it in just the last 40 years.
1. 1908 Comet hits Russia (unpopulated Siberia) leveling and incinerating thousands of miles of forest. Lights up Europe like day as it passes overhead in the sky. Impacts in Siberia with more power than a hydrogen bomb. From ancient times, the sight of comets has always been considered as a foreboding of impending disaster. The 20th Century has seen world-wide disaster greater than any other in human history.
2. Solar system mapped, Uranus & Pluto discovered
3. Discovery of craters on earth that are meteoric, indicating that huge meteors crashed into earth.
4. Milky way determined to be the universe.
5. Exploding stars (nova's & supernova's) and their nebulary debris discovered
6. Telescopes reveal enormous gas clouds.
7. Star birth seen
8. Scientists discover a universe filled with invisible microwave, x-ray and nuclear radiation
9. Hydrogen bomb invented bringing the fire of the sun and stars down to earth
10. Existance of galaxies and galaxy clusters revealed.
11. Discovery of galaxies expands size of the universe to incalculable distances. Some of its light found to be so far away it hasn't even reached us yet.
12. Studies reveal sun will burn out in about 2 billion years and as it does so it will expand beyond the orbit of the earth, consuming the planet.
13. Colliding galaxies seen
14. Pulsars discovered
15. Big Bang proved - Universe born in explosion of light 13.7 billion years ago
16. A daylight fireball is photgraphed crossing northwestern USA in a close near-miss of asteroid impact
17. Satellites, visible traversing the night skies, sent into orbit around the earth.
18. Man walks and drives on the moon
19. Manned orbiting space lab sent into space.
20. Spaceship satellites take detailed pictures of all the planets. Far side of Moon revealed.
21. Man lands instruments and motorized car on Mars
22. Instrument packages dropped on Venus
23. Star-eating black holes discovered
24. Study reveals asteroid impact made dinosaurs extinct
25. Additional giant impact craters found. Research reveals many more mass extinctions from cosmic causes.
26. Comets and asteroids in space photographed up close
27. Astronomers calculate there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches of the earth.
28. Multiple asteroids impact Jupiter with power of thousands of hydrogen bombs. In one of the most startling 'signs from the heavens' during this century, cometary fragments the size of mountains bombard the planet Jupiter in a cosmic display of ominous portent.
29. Comet Hale-Bop appears in dazzling celestial display.
30. Dark matter discovered, makes up most of universe
31. Mars makes closest pass to earth in 60,000 years
32. Largest solar explosions in recorded history occur.
I just read your list of signs in space that you said were off the top of your head..... do you really belive in the big bang theory? (that is #15 on your list) L
Jesus said that there would be "signs" in the sky (celestial phenomena) that would bear witness to the nearness of the last days:
"There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamor of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. " (Lk.21:25-26).
Those "signs" have nothing to do with theology. They are events in the sky that all people across the globe will witness which are frightening and testify to a menacing cosmos. The prophecy means we will either see them ourselves, or read about them in newspapers, or hear or see reports about them on TV.
One of the most spectacular events I didn't even list. It was a bombardment of meteors one night over the eastern USA about 170 years ago. Many consider it the greatest recorded meteor storm ever seen. During the 4 hours which preceded dawn on Nov. 13, 1833, the skies were lit up by thousands of fireballs and shooting stars bombarding the sky every minute. One report calculated the debris falling at more than 72,000 per hour. The fireballs were so bright they lit up the land like daylight, awakening all the people, who watched terrified and sure the world was coming to an end right then. The remnant of that bombardment (now called the Leonid storm) still returns every year, but now it mostly consists of microparticles that are so small and dim they can barely be seen in the populated cities.
The "Big Bang" is a reported celestial phenomenon that testifies to explosions in space even greater than those seen in telescopes which tear apart galaxies and stars. In other words, it is an added "sign" that the cosmos above our heads is enormously explosive. It adds further evidence to what we now know is a very hostile and threatening cosmic environment surrounding this fragile earth and its people. Are people dying of fear at the thought of these menacing signs? Not yet. So, if the prophecy is true, the future promises a celestial display far greater still. The prophecy also speaks of the clamor of the ocean and its waves. I didn't even go into global warming or the rising sea levels. There are alot of signs that our future is in Christ, not in this world.
I just found your page. Can you tell me what Jesus meant about the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet? What did He mean when He said, whoso readeth, let him understand? -N
Daniel's prophecy states:
"for the space of one half-week he will put a stop to sacrifice and oblations, and on the wing of the Temple will be the disastrous abomination until the end, until the doom assigned to the devastater." (Dn. 9:27)
Daniel's words revolve around a historical figure named Antiochus IV, also called Epiphanes (which means 'the Risen God') ruler of Greco-Syria. He fancied himself a god. His forces captured the Temple and desecrated the sacrifice there. Those foreign combatants were later driven out by the Maccabees. It is around this recapture and repurification of the Temple altar and its sacrifice that the Jewish feast of Hanukkah is celebrated. It is an 8-day feast that ends this year (2003) on December 27th.
What Christ is saying is that Daniel's prophecy applies to the future, to the time of the beast. The circumstances surrounding Antiochus and the Holy Sacrifice will be repeated at the end of time.
Antiochus is the prototype of the beast. He desecrated the Jewish altar of sacrifice in an act that anticipates the actions of the beast of the future. Antiochus IV claimed the title "Epiphanes" (the Risen God), and this, too, points the the beast to come. He will carry a similar title.
Webster's dictionary defines the word "Epiphany" as "an appearance or manifestation of a god or other supernatural being". Because of Antiochus, the word has two meanings. It stands for both Jesus and the beast.
In Christianity, Epiphany is the 12th day of Christmas (January 6) which is celebrated as "a yearly festival commemorating both the revealing of Jesus to the Gentiles in the person of the Magi and the baptism of Jesus." Just before Jesus appears at the end of time in a flash of dawning Sonlight, the beast will appear in the darkness ahead of Him, claiming falsly to be the risen god.
This sign and its symbolism is so important that God has duplicated an image of it in the night sky, with the planet Venus often rising in the east just before the dawn. That is the way it will be with the beast.
In Christ's prophecy we read:
"So when you see the disastrous abomination, of which the prophet Daniel spoke, set up in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains; if a man is in the fields, he must not turn back to fetch his cloak. Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come! Pray that you will not have to escape in winter or on a sabbath. For then there will be great distress such as, until now, since the world began, there never has been, nor ever will be again. And if that time had not been shortened, no one would have survived; but shortened that time shall be, for the sake of those who are chosen." (Mat.24:15-22).
The caution telling the reader to understand indicates that most people will not realize the beast's desecration when it happens. Most Christians expect it to take place on a Jewish altar amid burning cattle, birds and other Jewish sacrificial animals. Peter and Paul, however, tell us that the Jewish religion has been replaced by Christianity (see Heb.10:5-10). They have termed the Jewish religion the "Guardian" and say it will never return since we now have the "True Father". For this reason we have to see the desecrated sacrifice in Christian terms. Also the Temple. That means the sacrifice that will be desecrated by the beast will be the perpetual sacrifice of the Eucharist, the body of Christ, given up to death so that all people can be saved.
Just finished watching a travel programme on British tv. Michael Palin was in the Ukraine. It showed a picture of a plant called wormwood, apparently Chernobyl has the same name. Do you know anything about this? Is it significant? Bitter waters did fall from the sky and poison people. Many people are still dying from cancers because of this. RK
"The third angel blew his trumpet, and a huge star fell from the sky, burning like a ball of fire, and it fell on a third of all rivers and springs; this was the star called Wormwood, and a third of all water turned to bitter wormwood, so that many people died from drinking it." (Rev. 8:10).
I am not familiar with Chernobyl's association with the name 'Wormwood'. That is very interesting.
In biblical prophecy all references go in pairs by opposites. That opposite is almost always a symbolic meaning which exposes the true essence of the prophecy. The paramount symbolism of the name "wormwood" revolves around false teaching. The quotation in the Book of Revelation 8:10 associates this poison with a huge star which falls from the sky.
The fact that it comes down from the heavens indicates that the false teaching is associated with religion (God). We know it is a teaching because it poisons the water sources. Christ is the "living water" (teaching that gives life). Wormwood poisons that water by taking away the water of Christ and replacing it with a poisonous water that blocks salvation.
Revelation's description that the star is "huge" indicates a major religion. It has to be far larger than Judaism or most other religions on earth because the number poisoned by it amounts to 1/3 of the population of the planet.
The words indicating the stars firey fall "burning like a ball of fire" indicates that it arrives here dressed for war. Jesus also brought heavenly combat, but His warfare comes in the form of "peace" (turning the other cheek, etc.), and it gives life. Wormwood, on the other hand, is militant, violent and takes away life. There is such a religion battling Christianity today that fits these descriptions and it may be the true meaning of the quotation.
The physical counterpart to this symbolism seems also just obvious and Chernobyl reflects this. In nuclear fusion we see the fire of sun fall to the earth with explosive force sending out invisible streams of radiation that can poison the waters it touches for decades. The nuclear power plants produce similar explosions on a controlled basis, but with a serious potential to spew fallout across wide areas encompassing population centers and waterways. Given the blind ambitions of industry, terrorism, and armies, the pollution potential inherent in the development of this technology is very high.
In Christ Jesus,
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