Send e-mail to:
Goodnews Christian Ministry
Jan. 2, 2005
While reading your section : 'The Future What is Next?" I read that Jeremiah says the earthquakes will come in association with the rise of the kings of the east (Jer.51:28-29)" Further on it states "The seas will roar and become unmanageable...there be large oceanic disturbances, there will be a tumultuos clammoring among the people on earth as well: riots, marches, etc.
It struck me as I read these words that we may be seeing the prophecy fulfilled with the widespread tsunami disaster now affecting Asia and simultaneously we are seeing a new leadership in Ukraine (as well as the upcoming election in Iraq).
Please comment. DD
Certainly with this last week's tsunami, another epic event of biblical proportions has occurred on earth. When the lives of so many millions of people across the world are suddenly plunged into instant death, despair or injury, one must conclude that the powers of heaven have, indeed, been shaken, and mightily so. Few inhabitants now on earth will ever view the sea in the same way as they did before.
But we should remember that even though we have entered the predicted times for events such as these to occur, God is still our salvation from every kind of disaster. His rescue is as certain as the dawn. Fortunately, His kingdom remains untouched, safe and forever secure.
"God is our shelter, our strength, ever ready to help in time of trouble, so we shall not be afraid when the earth gives way, when mountains tumble in the depths of the sea, and its waters roar and seethe, the mountains tottering as it heaves." (Ps.46:1-3).
A Christian prophet today would have to be blind not to be able to connect all the dots of signs that have coalesced around us in respect to the prophecies of scripture. From the moment Jerusalem was rebuilt in 1948, there should have been little doubt in anyone's mind as to the nearness of Christ's return. Since then, the people have watched all the nations of the world begin to gather around Jerusalem, the western world re-trace Alexander's footprints all the way from the Balkans to the borders of India, set up outposts at the Euphrates, experience the two wars of Daniel, witness the king of Sheshak (Iraq) be the last to drink from the cup of Christ, see spectacular signs in the heavens, and now, watch awestruck as the strongest earthquake in forty years spawns the most destructive tidal wave in recorded history.
At the same time, as if right on que, the kings of the East are rising up in violence. Nuclear weapons are proliferating. Everywhere we look there are riots or mobs taking to the streets and gangs perpetrating terror. Christianity is disappearing in Europe and under severe attack in the United States, entertainment is satanic and the global corporate world is waging a withering assault against the poor. God warned that as these things happen, love in most people will turn cold. What is most astonishing, right in the middle of this deluge of predicted phenomena, we see such a massive exodus from belief accompanying it. It should be just the reverse. Yet worldwide, that is what we see. That, too, is prophecy fulfilled.
According to the Bible, earthquakes are a sign of the approach of God, expecially with respect to His wrath (Is. 29:6); They come in response to the mistreatment of the poor (Amos 8:4-8), and they also are destined to occur in conjunction with the rise of the East to world power in the last days (Jer.51:28-29). Take your pick. We seem to be nearing the crossroads where all three of these circumstances coalesce.
But all this is the proof of the truth of Christ. The fulfillment of scripture guarantees the very same scripture that predicted His salvation and His Second Coming in glory with all the angels of heaven. That should steel our faith. It should cause alarm only for those who continue to resist Jesus' offer of reconciliation with God.
Editor's Note (2/18//05):
This tsunami, racing across the Indian Ocean, was no ordinary event. It was the worst tidal wave in the history of the world. No tidal wave has ever killed more people as far as anyone knows. It represents an event so big, it has to be considered biblical especially now, when a tidal wave or waves figure so predominately in the prophecies.
The Indian Ocean event and the monster quake that produced it can well be seen as the second and third in a series of four critical signals presaging scripture's penalties relating to the world's abandonment of God. Those earlier signs, written first on the "wall of Babylon" as a warning because they apply to Babylon's destruction, screamed for "change or else". But no change occurred. Instead, the world's rejection of Christ's Gospel has multiplied.
As predicted, the pattern that followed the 1963 MM O'Hare decision seems to be reoccurring again today, but on the global scale it presaged. We already have the war. Now we have the quake and tidal wave. There is only one event left in the sequence. Jeremiah has said of that final sign that it will be the proof of everything that is to come. Namely, economic and physical ruin, the devastation of Jerusalem, and the appearance on earth of the ten-nation confederacy, the Parthian empire building to the north across the Euphrates and so graphically portrayed in the writings of Daniel.
The symbolism between warfare at the Euphrates and the tidal wave that engulfed it's nearby coasts has been noted.
Although the Asian tsunami struck on the day after Christmas in Indonesia, it was still Christmas day in much of the world when the waves heaved across those fateful shores. In fact, it was Christmas day throughout the entire Western Hemisphere. The relationship between Christmas and Good Friday seems too close to be ignored.
Good Friday was the day the Alaskan tidal wave associated with America's decision to evict God from it's government occurred. Christmas is the projected date of the desecration of the Perpetual Sacrifice that, according to Isaiah, plunges the earth into its firey apocalypse (Is.24:1-23). The significance of Christmas day itself and what that day means to the world is deeply architected into the prophecies of the End. Especially in relationship to the Man of Evil who attempts to desecrate it at the end of time.
We have learned from both Testaments of the Bible that the language of God is symbolism. That does not imply that everything symbolic comes from God, but it does mean we should pay careful heed before ignoring it when we see it, especially when it comes packaged in something that makes people talk about God.
All these signs exist because God loves us. They exist to show those who continue to procrastinate that time is running out. Jesus came to rescue us from eternal death, an annihilation now breathtakingly close. There is little time left for escape. Take heed.
Does the sun stopping in the book of Joshua really count as a prophecy? I haven't found anywhere in Joshua 10 that says it will happen again (although it does say that "there has never been a day like it before or since"), or that it will happen to the millenium in which Christ will lock Satan in the Abyss.AD
Yes, absolutely. The Book of Joshua very much counts as prophecy. Not only does it tell us about one day of sunlight being stretched into two by the Lord's power, it introduces us to Michael the Archange, the captain of the army of God.
Jesus said God has directed that there be no proofs. Everything is to be based on faith. It is not necessary that you believe this prophecy, or any of the prophecies for that matter, only that you believe Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God and that obedience to His words means eternal life. Nothing else is necessary.
Jan. 5, 2005
When Jesus said to Peter at the end of the gospel of John, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." I understand that to mean that John will remain alive until Jesus comes again (which you claim to be in the year 70 A.D.). Jesus doesn't really say that John WILL remain alive, but I see no reason for Jesus to say that unless it was true. Could this have simply been a lesson in selfishness, telling his disciples not to envy John or anyone for gifts offered to them?. AD
I have never written that Jesus returned in 70 A.D. Where did you get that idea? The fact is, He has not yet returned, even now. When He does, prophecy tells us this world will instantly pass away (2 Peter 3:10). As long as this world exists, Jesus has yet to come back to it.
The most significant thing about 70 A.D. is that it is the date Herod's temple was burned down and demolished so completely that not a stone of it was left standing except for its western retaining wall.
Prophecy states that if the temple is destroyed, Christ Jesus will raise it up again in 3 days. Every Christian knows that the symbolic meaning to this prophecy was Jesus' own resurrection after His crucifixion. However, because all the works of God go in pairs by opposites, it is also possible that the destruction of Herod's temple involves a mirror image to this prediction as well.
The temple's destruction could logically lead to a "first resurrection" (Rev. 20:5) of the "first fruits of the harvest" of God. That would reprise the prediction by showing again that the true temple which is Jesus Christ, dwells in those who believe in Him. Three days after the temple is destroyed, God raises up the people in whom it dwells. Since Herod's temple was burned to the ground on August 29th, in 70 A.D., Revelation's first resurrection could have occurred on the day that corresponds to our September 1st of that year. In the Hebrew calendar, the date would have been the 13th of Loos, the month dedicated to the olive harvest.
No one will ever know if this, in fact is the date of the first resurrection, but prophecy tells us with certainty that there WAS a first resurrection (Rev. 20:5), and it would have to have a date somewhere around this period (i.e., just as the "thousand-year" reign of the Church was beginning). All the conditions for the first resurrection were met by 70 A.D. Nero, the prototype for the future 'beast of Parthia' died in 68 A.D. and during his reign, most of the top officials of the early Christian community including Peter, Paul, Luke, and many of the Apostles were put to death by his hand (Jer. 52:24-27).
More credence to this possibility can be found in the fact that the prophecy states that the first resurrection involves those "who had been given the power to be judges" (Rev. 20:4). We know from the Gospel that the twelve Apostles were awarded this power.
The only Apostle who lived beyond this date as far as anyone knows, is John. He was still alive in 93 A.D., living in exile on Patmos Island where he wrote the Book of Revelation. I think the meaning of all this has a significance far more profound than mere moral allegory. I think it means John had to stay behind until the Second Coming, when Revelation's second resurrection is to occur (Rev. 20:5).
It is interesting in this respect that the fall of Herod's temple should come in two parts. Not all of the temple fell in 70 A.D. The western wall (its western foundation platform) still remains. According to prophecy, that, too, will fall at the very end, just before Revelation's second resurrection (the event called the Rapture) occurs.
"When I have exhausted my anger against the wall and those who plastered it, I shall say to you: The wall is gone, and so are those who slapped it over with plaster, these prophets of Israel who prophesy about Jerusalem and have visions of peace for her when there is no peace." (Ez.13:10-16)
Those two parts of the temple, being torn down at different times are like bookends, not only to the two resurrections (the first and second resurrections that follow the temple's two falls) but to Christ's prophecy about Herod's edifice that not a single stone would be left on another so that nothing of that temple is going to be left standing. Again, God has dictated that there be no proofs, only faith. As always, we have to depend for our understanding on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Does God cause earthquakes or other catastrophe's on earth?
Scripture says that God is never the cause of what He abhors.
"God made man imperishable, he made him in the image of is own nature; it was the devil's envy that brought death into the world, as those who are his partners will discover. But the souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment shall ever touch them."
"In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die, their going looked like a disaster, their leaving us, like annihilation; but they are in peace. If they experienced punishment as men see it, their hope was rich with immortality; slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be...for grace and mercy await those he has chosen." (Wis. 2:23-24; 3:1-9).
According to the Bible, God sent Jesus down from heaven to warn mankind of the disasters that are coming, and to show those who would listen to Him, how to escape them.
He cautioned everyone that these are just the start of the terrible things destined to descend on this planet because of Satan's action against His Father's creation here. Jesus, speaking in terms of the new kingdom, called them "birth pangs" (the labor pains that must come as a part of the birth of the new world). As for the virtuous victims, 'There leaving us looked like disaster...but they are in peace...because their hope was rich with immortality'.
There is no future for this earth, He said no hope for long life here because of Satan. This world is doomed.
The catastrophe's we see are the tremors of a wrath straining to break free from God's staying hand. Soon, though, said Christ, it will not be catastrophe's just here and there, the entire world is going to burn up and disappear. Jesus said God cannot stop the mushrooming disintegration of this planet, forever, but He can hold back the wrath (by the power of our faith) long enough for His people (those Satan took prisoner) to choose to be resurrected into eternal life.
God has offered salvation, not just to those Satan took prisoner, but to all who abandon sin and choose to live virtuous lives. God has built a new creation in heaven where the destruction cannot reach. Those who turn to the righteousness of Jesus will be lifted out of here by God and transported to that new creation, passing from the certain death of staying here to the certain promise of everlasting life in a kingdom beyond Satan's ruinous reach.
Think of this world as a beach, and imagine Jesus as the one who has come down to the sand proclaiming that huge waves are coming and calling all the people to follow Him to the only high ground He knows will save their lives. Those who listen; those who heed His voice and do as He says, will escape unharmed. The allegory is not fanciful. Scripture likens the end of the world to the parted waters that crashed down on Pharaoh and his army as they tried to attack the rear-guard of the departing Israelites.
We are the meaning of that allegory. Those departing Israelites represent the people Christ is leading away from the looming waters that tower now over Babylon.
We can see this world's coming holocaust in our own deaths which descend on each of us inevitably, but we can also see it in the earthquakes, tidal waves, wars, diseases, famines and countless other calamities that are the precursors to the more powerful processes that are destined to follow.
Many people do not believe Christ's warning. They make up philosophies and religious teachings that ignore the realities that are bearing down on this world, encouraging others to accept their fiction. And then the tragedies suddenly strike, smashing those false beliefs into pieces. Stunned, they wring their hands and blame God. How strange that is, that they should blame God for their own refusal to believe the warnings of God's Son, and for making up foolish alternatives to His urgent pleadings.
Anyone who puts his faith in this world or in the things of this world is going to find that faith demolished. It may be an earthquake that does it, or a fire or cancer or the loss of job, home, family or friends. Jeremiah has written that all the works of mankind are going to end in fire, and Jesus has verified Jeremiah's prediction. So whether we look in the New Testament or the Old Testament, the warning is the same.
There is only one escape. It cannot be found in fanciful philosophies of worldly success or imaginative expectations. Escape from the disintegration of Satan's kingdom exists only in Jesus.
Because Jesus died for our sins, no one has to suffer the wrath that Satan has caused. Instead of chaos, only Christ restores order. Intead of panic, only Christ offers peace. Instead of death, only Christ gives eternal life. Instead of destruction, only Christ offers a new creation that will last forever. All it takes to be a part of it is the willingness to say yes to Jesus, and the faith to hold fast to His promise to the end.
Perhaps the most amazing story of the power of faith in Jesus Christ is that of Dayalan Sanders, a Christian minister who built and operated a chapel and orphanage in Sri Lanka to care for the dispossed children whose parents had died in the Sri Lankan civil war.
He and his wife had 26 orphans in their care as well several staff members of the orphanage. Dayalan, through the intercession of the Lord was able to save them all from the terrible tsunami that bore down on his facility and ripped it apart on that fateful second day of Christmas.
With pure faith, he stood up before the oncoming wave, both of his hands raised toward it, and commanded it in the name of Jesus, to stop.
To read his widely publicised story in Dayalan Sander's own words, click on the following link:
FATHER SANDERS & THE ORPHANS OF SRI LANKA
If Satan was locked in the Abyss when Nero died, how could there have been sin during Christ's thousand-year rule? AD
Adolph Hitler has been dead now for almost 60 years but there are still many people running around wearing swastika's and saluting each other with upward raised straight-arms. It was the same with Satan's absence during the reign of the Church. His spirit of evil still covered the earth, but it was like a football team without a coach. The coordination and experience were gone. That allowed the Church to take over Satan's kingdom and establish here the rule of Christ on earth.
You can see in his return how masterfully and rapidly Satan has deceived all the nations with debauchery and orchestrated their mobilization for war, fulfilling John's prophecy (Rev. 20:8). The team was here all the time, but now the coach has returned, and his intention is to take back his world from the Church.
The Greek word for "generation" can also mean "race", so when Jesus said that he would return before "this generation" has ended... couldn't the word race be substituted? What would that mean, then? AD
No. "Race" is a by-product of the flesh. Jesus was sent to save all flesh, not just a particular segment of it. Paul said that we must take Christ's death into us and die to our flesh so that we can be reborn into the Spirit of God. If flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, as Paul said, neither can any of its divisions. Everyone who is reborn into Jesus through obedience to the Gospel, receives a new body in Christ. That is the meaning of the word "generation". Flesh and blood is, by itself, it's own generation, just as the new creation born of the Spirit constitutes a completely new generation. The old generation of the flesh is destined to pass away, but before it does so completely, Jesus will return.
I'm not sure what Revelation means in 13:18 by calculating the number of the Antichrist. I think it's referring to the ancient Greek method of converting names into numerical values. Anyway, does Nero calculate to 666, since he's claimed to be the first appearing of the Antichrist? AD
The name Caesar Nero has, by some calculations, been given that number. I don't know if that is shrewd enough to satisfy the prophecy, but I would think that Nero and his alter-ego to come probably fulfill one half of the prophecy, since all the works of God go in pairs by opposites. The other half of the prophecy probably involves the antithesis to Christian baptism. That antithesis is the stain of original sin, which relates to Adam & Eve via Satan. I have no numbers for that, though.
How do we know Nero was, in fact, the Antichrist? AD
Scripture does not say that he is. Nero may be a model for the Antichrist, just as Antiochus Epiphanies IV was. In fact, since the Antichrist is described in scripture as the 8th head of the beast, all seven of its previous heads seem to be models for him. For us, Nero, the 6th head, is vague. It is easier to visualize this demon by the seventh of those heads, the one that appeared in our own time, Adolph Hitler. That evokes a more modern image of his malignancy. It is astonishing that anyone would cheer his appearance or worship him as a god, but that's exactly what happened in Germany in the 1930's. He was idolized. The whole population was mesmerized by him, strewing rose petals under his feet as he walked.
The Book of Revelation does not say outright that the reincarnation (the Antichrist) is Nero, but there is a very strong suggestion in its words that it is.
How could man have been living in the glorious thousand years and not know it? Surely there would be complete peace with no Satan? AD
Not according to scripture. Daniel calls the reign of the Church the period of 62 weeks when the squares and ramparts of (spiritual) Jerusalem are restored and rebuilt, BUT IN A TIME OF TROUBLE (Dan. 9:25). The trouble comes from the fact that Satan's angels, the evil spirits that move man to be unrighteous, are still here, but, up to recently, they have been leaderless. Satan's return gives them back their Commanding General.
Is Revelation written in chronological order? It gives reference to Mary giving birth to Jesus (or so it seems) after it talks about the seals and trumpet soundings.AD
No. Much of scripture is not chronological. Most of the prophecies are not even in context. The Book of Revelation consists of several unmarked flashbacks according to Bible scholars, possibly combining into one narrative, three or more separate visions by John.
As a summary, how do we know that everything in Revelation is not still in the future? Is there anything that really stands out as a proof that most of the events in Revelation did occur during the first century? How do we really know that the thousand years aren't yet to come? AD
Two events in particular argue against that possibility. The first is the fact that Jerusalem has been rebuilt, a certain indication in scripture that the Diaspora (the "70 years" of Babylonian captivity) is about to end.
Second is the world's sudden rejection of the rule of Jesus and its turn to secularism. At first the nations streamed to the light of God, and then, after 2000 years of worship, abandoned it. Jesus said that fact, in and of itself, would be the ultimate proof of the world's love-affair with wickedness (John 3:19; 16:9). It means the harvest has almost been accomplished because it has gone to gleaning.
There are many other clues as well. This website is filled with accounts of them.
The popular Left Behind series is based on a rapture, followed by a 7-year tribulation in which people will have a second chance. Is there any scriptural mention of this, or is it complete fiction? AD
The book you ask about is a work of fiction. Those who accept the theory proposed by the author are schooled well enough in the prophecies to know that there is to be a tribulation just before the end of the world. That is a testament to their wisdom. But they are convinced that God will spare all good Christians from its ravages.
It is mostly an American idea. That is because America has so far been spared the terrors and horrors experienced by the rest of the world over the last 100 years, a tumultuous time which has produced monstrous tribulations already. They include atomic explosions, horrible world wars, unspeakable genocides, widespread famine and starvaton, ravaging diseases, catastrophic earthquakes, and now, a mind-numbing tidal wave.
Over two million people die every year in Africa of AIDS alone. That death toll is the equivalent of 6 or more Indian Ocean tidal waves every year. Such recent world-wide mayhem attests to the fact that the tribulation has already started, a fact that means the return of Christ is closer than most think.
Since the Book of Daniel clearly shows Christians operating during the tribulation, the book's author may have added a 7-year second chance period to account for their existance. There is nothing in scripture to indicate or prove any of this. Again, Jesus said no proofs, just faith. And as far as a second chance is concerned, God has spent 40 years on each of us, refining us one by one in a trial by fire. At the end, the books will be opened. The last will not be first-time failures, they will just be first. Jesus said the first will be last and the last will be first.
do you believe in the anointed one of Aaron the chief priest Prince of Israel in the last days who will appear as it is written about him in eziekel chapters 44-47
and it is spoken of him in the dead sea scrolls C
The "anointed one" you ask about is Michael the Archangel. (See Ezekiel 44:1-3; also Daniel 10:13-14, etc.) Michael and a small band of refugees with him are the ones who will enter through the sealed eastern (Golden) Gate at the east side of the Temple mount on the last day.
"In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity...the hand of the Lord came on me...He brought me back to the outer east gate of the sanctuary. It was shut. The Lord said to me, 'This gate will be kept shut. No one will open it or go through it, since the Lord the God of Israel has been through it. And so it must be kept shut. the prince himself, however, may sit there to take his meal in the presence of the Lord. He is to enter and leave through the porch of the gate." (Ez. 40:1; 44:1-3).
For more than 3000 years, the Jewish people have expected Elijah to appear in conjunction with the Messiah, but when he appeared to herald Jesus, his own people failed to recognize that he had come in the person of John the Baptist. Having been blinded to John's witness, and still expectant of a promise they missread, a cup is still put out on the table at every Passover Seder in anticipation of Elijah's appearance. That wait will be rewarded.
Just before the end of time, when Michael appears, Jewish hearts will be different. No longer blind, the people of Jerusalem will recognize his approach from the Mount of Olives as he heralds Christ's Second Coming. Seeing Michael advance toward them, the Jewish people will welcome his arrival with the words, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". At that moment, the trumpet will sound and Jesus will return in glory with all the angels of heaven.
For more on this Jewish prince who stands guard over the people of God, see 'The Last Days of Babylon', Chapter 31, "Michael the Archangel".
In the book of of Ezekiel 45:22 the prince whom you say is Michael this prince make a sacrifice for his sins and for the people. Michael doesn't sin C
But he can conduct the sacrifice of the Mass. As you indicated, the prophecies show the prince to be a priest. Furthermore, only the Godhead is without sin. In that respect, when Jesus asked John the baptist to anoint Him, John said he wasn't worthy to do it. In answer, Christ told him it was being done to fulfill the demand of righteousness (Mt. 3:13-15). It is the same here. The prophecy is fulfilled in his actions.
also the prince is given a portion of land in Israel and his sons will also inherit his portions of his land for luke 20:36 Jesus himself says that in the resurrection there is no marriage for you are like the angels of heaven are not given into marriage C
The King gave Esther the keys to Haman's house (Esth. 8:7); she in turn gave it to Mordecai. The people of God are to inherit the earth after it's former prince, Satan, is deposed. The creation that once belonged to Satan is given to the Bride of Christ (New Jerusalem). She is free to distribute it according to the will of God. Prophecy tells us in what manner that distribution will occur: Mordecai images Michael.
When a Christian priest is called "father", that title in and of itself, infers sons.
from his teachings this couldn't be Michael only if Michael is sent into the world born as a man in the last days like jesus was born 2000 years ago C
No. Actually, more in the manner in which Elijah reappeared as John the Baptist (Malachi 2:23; Mat. 11:11-15).
Michael, the prince of Israel, comes as a priest. He leads the people from the City of David in exile back to its reconciliation with Jerusalem at the end of time.
Can you tell me if the war in Iraq and the tidal wave are related?NH
One wouldn't think so at first glance. But the western world's sudden presence at the Euphrates river is enormously significant with respect to the last day prophecies. It leads straight to Jerusalem. So when a second event of biblical proportions strikes at the very moment that presence is being established, it certainly begs a deeper look.
"There in the north, there by the river Euphrates, they have collapsed, have fallen.
Who was it rose like the Nile, its waters foaming like a torrent? Why, Egypt rose like the Nile, its waters foaming like a torrent. 'I will rise,' he said 'and drown the earth; sweep towns and their inhabitants away!
Charge, horses! Crash on, chariots! Advance, warriors, you men from Cush and Put with shield in hand, you men from Lud who bend the bow!' Now, this is the day of the Lord God Almighty, a day of vengeance for his revenge on his enemies...Yes, the Lord God has a sacrifice to make in the north country, by the river Euphrates." (Jer. 46:6-10).
We have already shown in many places on this web site how this passage of scripture is related to Israel and the war in Iraq. But we have, up to now, overlooked within its description a reference to its relationship with a foaming torrential watery wave drowning the earth and sweeping whole towns and their inhabitants away. Hundreds of bustling cities, towns and villages suddenly just vanishing in the wash of a wave? No one could imagine such a thing. But now we have the event; and its chilling pictures are everywhere. It is one of the worst human catastrophe's in the history of the world.
Certainly the war in Iraq didn't cause the tsunami. Nor did God. But Jeremiah's inclusion of a description of an event that perfectly duplicates what we have just experienced (the worst tsunami disaster ever recorded) in a prophecy that is otherwise all about Iraq (the Euphrates) is astonishing. One has to ask, did the Spirit of God inspire Jeremiah to structure that passage there as a proof of the importance of the war, i.e., to reveal where it is leading (to Jerusalem)?
God, who knows all things, had to be aware the tidal wave would strike when it did. A description of it included in Jeremiah's passages about western troops in Iraq would be confirming evidence that Jeremiah was talking about THIS war and THIS presence of western troops at the banks of Iraq's fateful river. My conclusion is that God placed that tidal wave passage in scripture as a graphic illustration, not just to pinpoint the calendar moment (the 21st century), but also to emphasize the kind of catastrophe the coming occupation portends.
In the same way in which that tidal wave suddenly rose up out of a calm sea, and in the destruction it caused, so will the East rise up and pour like a torrent across the Euphrates river and sweep away whole towns along with the inhabitants who occupied them, as it overthrows the western world. Underlying this political action is a spiritual action: Satan's own return to power, his crushing of the millenium of Christ's rule on earth (which is tied part and parcel to the western world's governing authority) and his effort to overthrow the Church in his quest to reclaim his throne as prince of this planet.
Jeremiah has already offered another, equally spectacular proof on behalf of his predictions in this regard (Jer. 44:29-30). Obviously, once that proof, too, occurs, the evidentiary correlation between them should send a signal to the faithful that is profound.
The message will be clear: 'Do not perish with the world. It is passing away. Turn to Christ and hold on tight to Him: because everything He said is true and will happen exactly as He said it would!' As it is written, so will it be.
the prince has sons
michael is a holy angel not only a holy angel but a chief angel
he dosent marry and have children
the prince in ezekiel is a son of aaron the high priest
zechariah chapter 6 God uses joshua as a sign of the prince in ezekiel
joshua was a high priest son of aaron but God said put a crown upon his head C
You have mixed metaphors here.
The Messiah, when He came, explained that Aaron prefigured Peter. With Peter as the true Aaron, the entire prophetic equation inverts accordingly. Peter ("Petra") is the "stone" with the seven eyes (the 7 churches). He is the High Priest here (in Zechariah) called "Joshua".
The prophecy in Zechariah is focused on Peter and Paul, the two olive trees, "Joshua" & "Branch". The crowns on their heads stand for their status with respect to the Church Jesus founded through them. From them a branching out is to occur, spreading the love of Christ across the globe. That branching out constitutes the reign of Christ's Church on earth.
Joshua (Peter) in this allegory is not the Prince Ezekiel described the Prince who enters the sealed East Gate in the last days. The Prince described by Ezekiel who enters that gate will be Michael the Archangel.
Michael has several titles in scripture. Among them: "Captain of the Army of God", "the Angel of God" (the guardian angel of the people of God), and "Prince". Michael, remember, is the angel of God (the refiner's fire and fuller's alkali) that took the sins away from Joshua (Peter), the high priest in Zechariah's passage (see Zech.3:1-8 & Malachi 3:1-4).
Michael has already appeared visably on earth in the past (see Joshua 5:13-15). He came then as the Captain of the Army of God to lead Joshua in his conquest of Jericho (when the walls came tumbling down) so that Israel could enter the Promised Land at the end of their flight from captivity in Egypt.
This will happen again at the end. He will come to lead Israel into the true Promised Landthe kingdom of heaven. He will come as a priest (the High Priest of the City of David as it returns to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon). He will come, leading the exiles (the last remnant) out of the Diaspora (the allegorical 70-year captivity in Babylon).
Since, in that return, he comes as a priest he will be called, during this journey, "father". The title infers sons. Since priests cannot marry, his sons are those under his jurisdiction, the Christian remnant returning under his wing from Babylon.
Jesus, in a vision to Daniel calls Michael "one of the leading princes" and, in another passage, states that Michael is the Prince of Daniel's people (Dan.10). He is the "anointed Prince" in Dan. 9:25, the one who is to appear at the beginning of the 70th week in Daniel's prophecy.
Over the space of that 70th week he will captain the remnant to its reconciliation with Jerusalem, leading them safely through the tribulation to the once-sealed eastern gate (the stones of which will fall at the trumpet blast, just as they did at Jericho) and the reunited Israel will pass through it's opening into God's eternal kingdom. In that instant, everything will change in the brilliance of Christ's return.
Can you pls. explain what is sin against Holy Spirit, if possible with Bible Reference? Thanks AV
Possibly because of Jesus' admonition against this sin, the Holy Spirit is probably the least known or understood aspect of the Trinity. People seem afraid to acknowledge Him or contemplate His existance even though He forms one-third of the Godhead!
Many think that the Holy Spirit came into existance only at Pentecost after Jesus was crucified. What came into the world that day in 30 A.D. was the Spirit of the completed Godhead, Father, Son and Spirit. The Spirit was in the world far earlier than that, however. He was in the world from the beginning, leading everyone to that Pentecostal moment.
Scripture tells us that the voice of the Holy Spirit has spoken through the ancient prophets, inspiring them to reveal all things, even before the first of them had occurred. In this way, the Spirit of God has, from the very beginning, guided the world toward an understanding of the Messiah which is Jesus, and without whom, salvation would not be possible.
Made complete by Jesus, the Holy Spirit is the Word of God that comes down from the Father and Son to take up permanent residence in our hearts. He reminds us of everything Jesus said, tells us what is to come, counsels us about our actions in relation to Christ, and carefully leads us to eternal life in God by a path of fire the trials and tribulations that come to each of us when we put the Word of God into action in our own lives against a world very hostile to that Word.
Just before He was crucified, Jesus told His apostles that He still had many things to tell them but that it would be too much for them at that time. Instead, He said, the Holy Spirit whom He would send to them after He was glorified, would reveal all these new truths in the days that followed. One of the greatest of these truths was the concept and understanding of the Trinity itself.
Scripture tells us the Holy Spirit does not live in a body that is in debt to sin, so the first thing the Divine Counsellor does is lead us to repentance and baptism. Once that is accomplished He is able to take up residence inside the cleansed vessel of our soul to act as the navigator of our lives in Christ. He only speaks in Christ because all He tells us is taken from what belongs to Jesus. God the Father has given everything He has to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is the voice that speaks to our heart and guides us along the path to heaven. In this day and age it is not generally considered the height of mental stability here in Babylon to be listening to an inner voice speaking from within. So, to discourage ridicule by pagans, few Christians acknowledge His presence in their lives or encourage His active counsel. At least very few admit to receiving it. How many people have you heard say, "The Holy Spirit told me..." or, "I was instructed by the Holy Spirit not to..." ?
In the academic world, God's spiritual voice has even worse connotations. Most Bible scholars are forbidden by scholastic rules to incorporate the Holy Spirit into their work. Their colleagues at the universities would laugh them out of school if they dared give even passing credit or even credence to an invisible Spirit of God guiding them in their interpretations or in their work. For that reason they act alone, independent of divine inspiration. That omission is glaringly evident in their writings and speech.
You will never hear a Bible scholar write or talk about his being instructed in his work by the Holy Spirit. And yet, we know nothing about Jesus or God except by the instruction of the Holy Spirit. Jesus never wrote a single word down. He entrusted all of His commandments (God's commandments) to His disciples who housed them in their hearts.
That is why it is written in the prophecies:
"I bind up this testimony, I seal this revelation in the heart of my disciples." (Is.8:16).
The Holy Spirit drew the Gospels out of the memories of those in whom Jesus had entrusted His words. And it was the Holy Spirit who instructed the scribes to write the words down:
"Now go and inscribe this on a tablet, write it in a book, that it may serve in the time to come as a witness forever." (Is.30:8).
"Give them all this in writing so that they can see and take note of its design and the way it is all arranged and carry it out." (Ez.43:10-12).
"The deaf that day will hear the words of a book and, after shadow and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see." (Is.29:18).
They can read that Book because the Holy Spirit not only sparked the memories of those in whom the Word of Christ was stored, He also guided the text and message of their reminiscences and writing in such a way that it would perfectly echo the intent of the Father and Son. There was no possibility of error or mistake because of the active presence of the Holy Spirit in the formulation of the work. That is why it is written in scripture:
"I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven." (Mat. 18:18).
The same is true of the Church.
"So I now say to you: You are Peter (the name means 'rock') and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.' (Mat.16:13-19).
Those who maintain that modern churches are superior to the early churches have failed to understand the perfection of the Holy Spirit. The entire structure of the Church on earth from beginning to end has been architected personally by the Holy Spirit. Each part (each church) has a function vital to God. Everyone who argues against the Church argues against the Holy Spirit. Everyone who argues against Mary, the mother of Jesus, argues against the Holy Spirit who conceived the life of the world within her womb.
When we are born-again into Christ, we are conceived by the Holy Spirit. He is the giver of life whose baptism imparts into each of us eternal life. The "wedding garment", which is the new body that is to be the covering of our soul in the new kingdom, is a construct of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit comes to us the moment we recognize that Jesus is the Son of the living God.
It was decided early in the history of the Church that our faith should be defined by creed. Two primary creeds were formulated, first, the shorter Apostles Creed which was soon followed by the second and longer Nicene Creed. Both define our worship of the Spirit, the second most powerfully. They tell us that "Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit", and that the Spirit is "the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son". Together "with the Father and Son", the creed states, " He is worshipped and glorified". "He has spoken through the prophets."
Every prophecy comes from the instruction of the Holy Spirit. That is why Jesus said that every prophecy in scripture had to be fulfilled. Daniel said that the end of the world (the final day in the seventy weeks of Christianity on earth) could not occur until all those prophecies and visions had been fully revealed (Dan. 9:24). That is why there is such a spate of revelation occurring now. The time is close.
We can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in every prophecy we read in scripture. And in every prophecy that is fulfilled we hear the truth of His voice confirmed. Every revelation comes from Him.
With the decreasing emphasis on the role of the Holy Spirit in the latest churches, especially those established in the 19th and 20th centuries, the creeds which glorify Him seem to have been more or less abandoned. This has only added to a diminishing understanding in modern times of the nature and importance of the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives by the Church faithful.
The Holy Spirit is the wall of fire that God has sent to be our guard against all the forces Satan has mounted against us. This same divine wall of fire is the guardian of all nations who believe in the Trinity and acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Those who abandon Him, He abandons. As scripture says, He cannot stay in a body in debt to sin.
Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is contemptuous speech against the righteousness of the Gospel. The Gospel writer, Mark, said that when the Lord made His statement revealing that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was an unforgiveable sin and could not be cleansed either in this world or the next, He had said it in response to certain Jews who began claiming that Jesus had an unclean spirit in Him.
Such blasphemy used to be very unusual. Most people on earth recognize righteousness even if they don't recognize Jesus or God in it. The Book of Hebrews has a comment about insulting the spirit of grace (Heb. 10:29), and if that comment is directed at this issue, it broadens the range of spiritual blasphemy considerably.
One would hope in the great mercy of Jesus that the narrower definition be employed,. There is a trend lately, however, that goes further than merely blurring the lines between righteousness and evil, actually inverting the two. We can see it in comments made by some that ridicule righteousness while promoting abject evil in its place. Those who ridicule the righteousness of scripture fall into this category.
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter...For this, as stubble is prey for the flames and as straw vanishes in the fire, so their root will rot, their blossom be carried off like dust, for rejecting the Law of God Almighty, and despising the word of the Holy One of Israel." (Is.5:20-24).
Jim Jones, the minister that led has flock down to British Guiana in the 1970's and murdered them all there, had been observed on many occasions, throwing the Bible down on his church floor and stomping on it in front of his congregation. Who could argue that such an action didn't blaspheme the spiritual Author of those scriptures?
And today, we see comedians and others openly blaspheme the scriptures on national television. Repellent actions like these, inconceivable during most of the past 2000 years are suddenly becoming more common. Less overt, but still contentious are others who, in their arguments in favor of homosexuality and other sexual excesses and deviations have recently made accusations against the Book that opposes these actions.
We should always beware of calling good evil or saying that evil is good. Just remember that it is the Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible and authored the righteousness it defines in the Gospel of Christ.
Other verses concerning blasphemy of the Holy Spirit can be found in Mat. 12:31-32; Mk. 3:29 & Luke 12:10
We can be certain to avoid such a sin by living in accordance with Christ and giving reverence to God in all ways, and in acknowledging His hand and His Holy Spirit in everything that is holy and righteous.
How soon to when the Euphrates river dries up? KJ
A fair amount of time must pass until that happens, I would think.
Once the situation in Iraq is stabilized enough for victory to be declared, the prophecies indicate there will be a brief period during which Democracy's push toward world domination will continue to arch forward. Then, suddenly, disaster will strike:
"Then the he-goat grew very strong, and at the height of his power, the great horn was broken off..." (Dn.8:8).
Jeremiah calls that sudden circumstance the sign for all that is to follow the truth of all the prophecies concerning the fate of Babylon and the successive devastations of Jerusalem.
This sudden upheaval will quickly change everything, according to Daniel. The Alexander-like doctine mandating a world-ruling democracy will be replaced by a fractured western world, divided suddenly into four "conspicuous horns, pointing to the four winds of heaven".
The smallest of these will grow into the 'ten-nation confederacy" that is to become the power structure of the great army of the Medes. This will take some time. Meanwhile, western forces will remain stationed at, or near the Euphrates river. The prophecies indicate they will remain there until the attack you ask about materializes.
When we see the Medes enter the picture we know that God's war against Babylon is passing from the spiritual phase into the physical phase. That is happening now. From the moment the first war at the Euphrates began, the signal became clear. When the East attacked the world's towers of commerce in New York, the gauntlet was thrown. The Medes had begun their rise to power. That is a certain indication that the spiritual warfare has almost been concluded. It tells us the harvest has gone to gleaning, and the physical war is about to start.
Satan's rebellion his war against God was first fought in heaven. Satan and his angels were defeated there and thrown down onto this world (a place scripture calls "Babylon"). The king of Babylon is a metaphoric term and it stands for the prince of this world, the enemy of God. Before God concluded His war against Satan, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to search for and rescue all the people Satan had taken prisoner. That rescue is the meaning of Christianity.
The war against Satan in Babylon has two parts, the first is spiritual, the second, physical.
On a bare hill the signal for this war was raised. It was a cross. From it came a war cry: the Gospel being preached. This war of the Word is the spiritual war. The battleground is the soul. The souls of all the people in Babylon are judged by Christ's Gospel and either saved or mortally wounded depending on their righteousness or lack of it. Evil cannot co-exist with God. This is the spiritual conflagration: the refiner's fire and fuller's alkali.
God's warriors are those who preach and their army divisions are the churches, all the nations that worship Him. The judgment reaches down to the depths of the civilization, reaching past the flood all the way to the beginning of the creation. The Gospel of Christ rolls around the earth, bringing everyone under the scrutiny of its eye. The examination itself is exhaustive, interactive, and can be more than 40 years in length.
That careful examination is God's salvation of the people Satan took prisoner, lifting each one as they are found, out of the certain mortality of wickedness that surrounds us here and transporting those He has chosen to a new kingdom where they will not die, but live forever in the joy of perfect peace and prosperity according to the sure promise of God.
Once the spiritual process has been completed, the physical war will commence. God has held it back so the spiritual warfare could proceed to its conclusion. He restrained the physical death by chaining up the forces of the East at the Euphrates river. When the harvest has been completed, those chains will be removed. That is when the Euphrates will be dried and the forces of the East sweep across it like a flood, like the tsunami God used as a graphic in the prophecies which predict it.
The physical war brings the Medes who will burn Babylon to the ground. This is the physical conflagration. It brings to physical reality what has already happened to the world spiritually. The sign of its coming can be found in Isaiah13 and throughout the Book of Daniel, and those signs are unfolding all around us as we watch.
Why, in your synopsis of 2004-2005 Tsunami tragedy would you not include the millions of personal and vast world governments donations and recovery. Also the thousands of people donating there time. God is a God of Love, why only report the tragedy? CD
The Spirit of Christ on earth is a spirit of love and mercy. The Apostle James wrote: "Pure, unspoilt religion, in the eyes of God our Father is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world." (James 1:27; Mat. 6:1-4). Much is still needed in this regard. This tsunami has created widows and orphans in uncounted numbers. If anyone wants to donate to this desperate cause, the aide agencies still badly need your help.
NOTE, Jan.27, The Red Cross announced that they have raised 1.17 billion dollars in 30 days, enough to fund the tsunami recovery efforts for the next10 years, so is winding down its request for additional funds for this purpose. Funds are still needed by the Red Cross for other relief operations, however.
Will China be the country that leads the East's invasion against the West? WO
The East does not come in on its own. The Invasion from the East is actually an invasion from the North (see Is.4:5++ & Ez. 38:14-16) it comes from an alliance of 10 nations & will be led by the North (relative to Jerusalem). If you draw a line straight north from Jerusalem to the North Pole, it will pass through Turkey, the Black Sea, the Ukraine, then almost through the City of Moscow in Russia. A few smaller nations in association with the Black Sea lie just to the east and west of this line.
"I am bringing you disaster from the North, an immense calamity...the destroyer of nations is on his way..." (Is.4:6-7).
Meshech and Tubal which lie on the northern borders of the Black Sea are peudonyms for nations associated with the country of Magog, the homeland of the king of the North in Ezekiel's prophecies (Ez.38). All three are related to this invasion.
In the irony of prophecy, the name "Black Sea", itself, which evokes the image of a water of darkness, contrasts with the water of "Sonlight" which is the Living Water of God that is the Holy Spirit. It is fitting that the prophecies foresee the forces of evil launching themselves from such a dark platform at the end of time. Especially when it will be their role to cloak the world in a darkness even the sun cannot penetrate (Ez.32:7-8; Joel 43:4-5).
Can a person go to heaven if they are not baptised? How important is it to be baptised? This is important to me please answer L
The Holy Spirit has instructed the Church that everyone born onto this planet comes here with a soul stained with the mark of Satan. That mark is called "original sin". It is passed down to us from Adam, the man of original sin, and is the true meaning of the mark of the beast. Unless that stain is removed, the soul will perish. Baptism is the mechanism God has employed to cleanse us of Satan's mark (Jn3:5; Acts 2:38). It comes in three parts.
Jesus went to the cross specifically to be the sacrifice that cleansed, not just original sin, but all sin. And not just past sin, but future sin as well, provided it, too, is atoned for by repentance and love. The cross has that kind of perpetuating power. As the Son of God, Jesus went to the cross in our name, making, of His body, an offering more perfect than anything mortal man has power to duplicate. His blood washes away our sins and seals the new covenant between ourselves and God.
The sacrifice itself was essential because the Law of Moses commanded it and God is not a lawbreaker. By fulfilling the requirement of the Law, Jesus was able to remove us from the fatality it dictated for our part in the rebellion. The seal of water is our legal acceptance of Christ's offer. When we are sealed, we are free of the Law.
Scripture commands that Christ's seal be marked on our bodies (Gen. 17:13). The water of baptism, as it washes over our flesh, is that seal. Associated with it comes a baptism of the Holy Spirit which cleanses our soul of the mark of the beast, making it holy and pure. Except in the case of babies, the baptism of the Holy Spirit requires a confession of one's sinfulness, heartfelt repentance and a resolve to avoid future sin (see Ps.32). The baptism of the Holy Spirit usually comes with the baptism of water. In the case of baptised babies, the baptism of the Spirit comes later when the child reaches the age of reason and confirms the pledge.
Is more needed? Yes. That "more" is the third part of baptism, a "baptism of fire". The Holy Spirit acts as "refiner's fire and fuller's alkali", leading each Christian on the Sacred Way to eternal life. Those who keep to the path of God (even though they may stumble along it) will be saved. On the souls of those who abandon the path of God, the stain of Satan will return.
With more and more churches closing their doors these days, it is important to know that any baptised Christian has power to baptise another, washing them in water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the presence of a witness. Baptism is not an initiation ceremony into a particular church. It is the covenant of Jesus Christ marked on our bodies. One baptism covers all churches. Some churches re-baptise congregants simply to make sure that the water in the ceremony actually touched the person receiving the baptism.
Nuclear Christianity is non-Christianity. It is a contradiction in terms. That is why the churches are so essential to our walk in Christ. Jesus taught that we must live our faith in the community, "No one", he said, "lights a light to hide it under a tub or under a bed". In the same way, the light that is in us must be put on a lampstand so that all who come in may see it. That is the way we gather the oil, the essential accumulation spoken of in Mat. 25:1-2. Where two or more meet in His name, Jesus is always there with them (Mat.18:20).
I have a question for you regarding Sins Against the Holy Spirit. What if one, during a period of spiritual conflict, were to impugn the known truth and resist the Holy Spirit. Then, later realize the "truth" and repent? Is there no salvation for such a soul? Such a soul could fall into despair (yet another sin against the holy spirit) not for doubting God's mercy, rather doubting their worthiness of God's mercy. RO
Jesus told His apostles that no one can come to the Father unless he has been called:
"No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets 'They will all be taught by God', and to hear the teaching of the Father, and learn from it, is to come to me." (John 6:44-45).
We do not choose God, He chooses us
"You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name." (John 15:16).
The very fact that the person you ask about has since discovered the truth of Christ (in itself a teaching given by the Holy Spirit) indicates that God is calling them to repentance. He would not do that were they in a state of eternal condemnation. You are correct, no one should resist the call of God in Christ. Self-perception of worthiness means nothing. The call itself means everything.
Those people who disappeared in the tsunami, could that be a part of the rapture? KF
No. If anything,, it was a part of the tribulation.
Only Satan would orchestrate that kind of mayhem on earth, not God.
That tidal wave showed graphically what happens when families and neighbors are suddenly wrenched apart in loss. I have spoken for years on these pages against a pre-tribulation rapture and what I have seen this last month only reaffirms those thoughts. Not only does it violate scripture, it is not Godlike. It is something God would never set in motion, and something He would fight to the end to prevent. It is a cold, loveless, impersonal and merciless theory. The reality of it is incomprehensible anguish.
Those stark and frightening images coming out of Banda Aceh and Sri Lanka show us what "left behind" really looks like. It's filled with orphans and widows, heartbreaking grief and bottomless despair. It's not neat and tidy like the stories claim it to be.
All one has to do is look at the psychological & physical trauma coming out of Sumatra - the horrifying losses gripping all those women, babies and children. A pre-tribulation rapture would be just as stupefying for all who are left behind. Like Banda Acehcoming out of a jumble of wrecked automobiles, motorcycles, busses, and taxicabs, the damage would be an immobilizing anguish on those still living.
And it would be world-wide. A pre-tribulation rapture would not just be limited to the seacoast of the Indian Ocean, it would extend everywhere, Denver, Memphis, Seattle, Fairbanks, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, London, Paris, Holland, Mexico, the Phillipines, Japan, Brazil, Canada, all over the world at the very same moment, every city, every country, left in the ruins of instant devastation. Orphans and widows and widowers everywhere, wailing, crying in the bitter anguish of unfathomable despair. All that from God? No possible way.
Many of the medical professionals going to Banda Aceh to serve the victims left behind by the tsunami are 'burning out' by the experience in just 10 days and have to be rotated out for the sake of their sanity. It is the anguish of all that loss perpetuated on those left behind that has gripped them more violently than the injuries. For injury, they were medically prepared. Not so for the reality of the "left-behind" syndrome. There has been nothing to prepare them for that.
"Left-behind" will not come by God's hand. Not in this way. Not in a pre-tribulation nightmare like this.
God would fight to the death, even to the death of His own Son on a cross to prevent such a singular planetary holocaust.
"Left-behind" will come individually, one by one, and catastrophe by catastrophe, because God will fight till the last man stands to prevent the losses. He will toil continuously in this manner, throughout the entire tribulation. Only then will come the rapture. At the very end when all is completed and after Michael has called out the command and the trumpet blast has sounded.
The prophecy is very clear about this:
"For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, and with the call of the archangel; and with the sound of the trumpet of God; And those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall be with the Lord forever." (1 Thes.4:16-18).
The prophesies could be about any time. They were written about what took place before Jesus was born. What makes you think those apply to things today? HR
No one knows with absolute certainty that they do apply to our time.
They are about the future, though. That we do know. First, because the angel told Daniel all his visions were about the end of time. And second, by the context of their subject matter. There is almost as much prophecy about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in scripture as there is about His First appearance in Bethlehem. Together, these two manifestations of God on earth are the bookends to God's offer of salvation to mankind.
It is also clear that if these visions do not apply to our time, then they do not apply to anything even remotely close to our time because there is nothing else on the horizon that even distantly approximates the circumstances these prophecies envision. Right now we have been able to catalog a perfect dance, reality for vision, step by step, in a systematic chronology in which each prediction has been closely echoed by a corresponding historical event.
As long as that sequence continues to evolve unbroken, we must track it closely, the same way we would the path of an asteroid the charts show to be on a collision course with the earth. For the end of the world, God has given us the charts. It is up to us to match those scriptural parameters with the events of our own time.
Everything that is happening now evidences a morning sky cloaked in scarlet. It strongly suggests that anyone still remaining distant from Christ better drop what they are doing and close that gap as quickly as they can. It is not enough to wait until the very last moment to light the lamp. The oil must still be gathered, and that takes time. Now is not the time to be sitting around waiting for more proof.
Your recent study on Michael had many many allegorical insights that I found tied up alot of loose ends and created many questions to be formed also where learning was once present. You know that God does all things by pairs and opposites as you discuss in your writings...
Christ, at his first advent, entered this eastern gate on Palm Sunday. Thus, there was a foreshadowing of this occurance but in Christ who came riding on a donkey, thru this eastern gate.... Do you see this event as a foreshadowing of some sort? C
Yes! Absolutely! And not just a foreshadowing, but as the primary fulfillment of the prophecy, which, as you point out, comes to us in opposite pairs. Lest there be any doubt about it, the Messiah has already passed through the East Gate portal. The one who "comes in the name of the Lord" at the end, does so for the sake of the Jews, to fulfill their long standing expectation represented in Elijah's cup. When Michael appears, the Jews are saved. It is that salvation that brings Christ's Return!
I have noted your essential point in the paper.
You have written in your paragraph titled [River of life] quote: trees of life. i do beleive that there is only one tree of life that reaches on each side of the river...in Rev.22:1,2 it only mentions one tree here.
(The reference is to) "The bible's book of revelations"------part 3----the wedding feast of the lamb.----listed under the book of life,--than under the heading of the river of life.DP
In that particular quotation, the "tree of life" is written in the original Greek as a collective noun implying plurality. Some scriptures note this enigma, others do not. The scripture I used when writing that page was one of those which did. We know that the Tree of Life stands for the Word of God (the Gospel), and that it comes from a three-person God we call the Trinity. A similar example can be seen in Genesis 1:26 ("God said, 'Let US make man in OUR own image.") where the common Hebrew name for God "Elohim", a plural form, is used. Again, I see in both of these quotations a prophecy of the Trinity, a Godhead in three parts. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
This said, I will change the paragraph to the more familiar singular form since there is far less agreement for using the plural form here than in the Genesis quotation. The singular form glorifies Jesus alone as the Tree of Life. Scripture tells us this is appropriate since God the Father has given everything He has to the Son (Jn.16:13-15).
Is Jesus the only way to get into heaven? JS
Heaven means life after death. Not many religions actually offer it.
The few that do show that eternal life is not a right. It is an option.
Jesus, the first person on earth to offer eternal life, saved us from death by dying in our place on the cross. But His offer is only open to those who accept it. If we accept somebody else's plan instead, then we are dependent on their way into heaven, whatever it is. In many cases, that other way is simply, "I think...".
The reality of the end of life before Jesus appeared was the mortuary and the graveyard. A person outside of Christ still has all that. Jesus brought a way to bypass the grave. He brought a way to live forever. But not as a right. As an option. He gave us the choice.
Until Christ appeared, no one in the world had ever suggested the opportunity to knowingly live forever. The Jews didn't believe in eternal life. Moses didn't teach it. The Romans didn't either. Neither did the Greeks. Certainly all those pagan tribes slaughtering their children at altars across the ancient world to appease various gods didn't expect it. Confucius didn't offer it. Buddhists and Hindu's saw life recycled, but not in heaven and not knowingly or eternally.
Jesus changed all that. He pledged something never before offered on earth.
How do we know His offer is real? We don't. Not for sure. That is where faith comes in. Credibility is such a key issue here, it cannot be overstated. In which plan do you have such confidence that you would be willing to sell everything you own to buy it?
Six hundred years after Jesus guaranteed eternal life to Christians, Mohammed came saying he was a servant of Allah. He claimed that Allah would give eternal life to those who followed the Koran.
After that, eternal life became an issue to be debated by other religious teachers. Not by Hindu's or Confucionists or Jews, generally, but by splinter groups within the Christian and Muslim communities. They began to ponder whether there might be a way to live forever by following rules that differed from those set forth in the sacred documents of the two religions which offered it.
Al Queda, for instance, teaches that eternal life can only be achieved at the end of scimitar stained crimson by the blood of infidels. Various religious institutes promise eternal life to all who are willing to memorize their lessons and send in the appropriate monthly cash. A supermarket checker I know claims eternal life is given to everybody on earth, period. No matter what.
It all comes down to credibility. Who has the credentials to make the offer.
Remember, what's being offered here is very bizarre! It is the ability to get up out of the grave. It is the ability to survive an airliner crash in which there are no survivors, or to live through an atomic blast that explodes a foot over our heads. This is an offer so fantastic it demands credentials.
What are Al Queda's credentials? What credentials does the super-market checker have? What are the credentials of a Maharishi from New Delhi? It all boils down to what a person wants to believe. But that is not an equation that squares with credibility. In terms of credibility, if we want eternal life or heaven, there are basically only two options. The first is the original offer of Jesus Christ and the other is the one that came 600 years later by Mohammed.
Mohammed came out of the blue. There was no expectation of his coming. He started out an ordinary person in an ordinary life and then one day, he said Allah just appeared to him. That is not much different than the way Joseph Smith was introduced to God more than a thousand years later.
Jesus was different. He was predicted in advance. He came at the end of a thousand years of prophecy. An entire Bible was produced entirely to explain the details of His coming appearance. A major world religion was formed specifically to prepare the way for Him. The core of the Jewish religion is based completely on Moses' prediction of a "son of David", a Messiah who was to bring God's personal Word to the people. The prophets, whose writings fill the scriptures, elevated the Messiah's status to the realm of divinity. He would tread the earth, they wrote, yet touch the heavens. He would be the Christ.
Those are pretty heady credentials, and a three-thousand year old scripture is the credential that verifies them. So is the life He lived in fulfillment of those predictions. So is the fact that He came as Righteousness personified. He championed love, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, justice, peace, gentleness, honesty and virtue. He has towered for 2000 years, the world's incandescent symbol of righteousness.
Adding to it, the Messiah said He and God were one (Jn. 10:30), and He rose from the dead to prove it.
Jesus told the world that God intended to save, not just the Jews and the other eleven tribes of Israel, but every person on earth willing to abandon their current sinful lives and turn to the commandments which He had brought down to them from heaven. He also gave credible reasons for death and sin and the colossal measures God had to institute to overcome them.
The Law demanded our deaths, so He paid the required penalty in our place. That payment ended our contract with the graveyard, provided we accept the terms of His offer. And if we don't? Jesus said: "You will die in your sins. Yes, if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (Jn 8:24). That's very plain.
God put Jesus into a real body which He had to take knowlingly into a real death, beaten to a pulp like a criminal, with nails hammered into Him in a grievous payment for our sins, Not His sins, OURS. Add to His credentials, then, proof of His willingness to lay down His life for us.
Sin, Jesus said, has made it impossible for this world to survive. He warned that its end is very near. For that reason, He explained, God has constructed a new heaven and a new earth to replace it, crafting it far away in a safe location where contamination cannot touch it. He said God had given Him authority to transport all who choose to follow Him to that new kingdom. It is a world, He said, in which evil cannot exist and that is the reason we have to change the way we live so that we can be acceptable for admittance. Whatever comes from Satan has to be left behind.
Those who persist in the rebellion will die.
Jesus taught that, as captives to what is evil, all people are separated from God. That's why we die. That is why flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. It is also why eternal life is not a right. This world's body has to die. If we want our soul to live, we must put on a new body, and the only new body offered is the one Jesus has designed for the new kingdom. He said we have to be "born" again into a body of righteousness.
A key to Jesus' authority is His ability to permanently wash away the sins of those who come to Him. The Law dictated the rules for the remission of sin and Jesus followed those rules to the letter. Because of His unique relationship with God, His Passion on the cross was a sacrifice more perfect than any human being has power to duplicate. That preeminence gave Him the power to pay the penalty of the Law in our place.
When that power is added to the mountain of predictions that foresaw His coming, and the perfection of His life, His credibility far surpasses all who say they can do it too. The reality is, the others just WISH they could do it. They wish it would happen the way they want it to be. But they have absolutely no way and no power to make that wish come true.
Jesus, with enormous power, and overwhelming credentials has offered complete forgiveness and eternal life to everyone willing to confess their sins in His name and accept the Sacred Way He designed. That is the pathway by which God has chosen to reconcile man with Himself and rescue us from death.
Only those who accept His offer and are baptized into it are eligible to be saved. Scripture says the covenant has to be marked on our bodies.
We can see the End Jesus warned about coming now catastrophe by catastrophe. Soon, all those piecemeal annihilation's will merge into a single giant apocalypse. That event, said Jesus, is going to happen suddenly, like the two walls of water which abruptly crashed back together on Pharaoh's army in Moses' time. Christ's offer is about to run out. Those who are undecided about it need to act fast.
The prophets wrote that the captains of the Church are required to "pitch their tents close to the Tabernacle of the Testimony". That means they have to closely follow the rules of scripture. That is why there is such turbulence in the ranks when they don't. Eternal life is what is at stake. The gate in, said Jesus, is narrow, and so it has to be closely guarded by the stewards of the Church.
That is because the offer is all about credentials. And in that department, it is only about Jesus.
Please have someone re-check your facts stated on your web page. M.M. O'Hair did NOT remove prayer from our public schools - the Supreme Court Decision in the Murray vs. Curlett case removed SCHOOL-SANCTIONED prayer from public schools...please read the decision, it's available several places on the web or from the Supreme Court.
Johnson did NOT "create the Gulf of Tonkin and plunge us into the Viet Nam War." Eisenhower put us there 1st in 1959, Kennedy increased our involvement in 1961 and Johnson increased our involvement again after the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964. Please check these facts. God Bless You in your ministry, DA
Actually, the threads of responsibility go back further than the ones you listed. They reach all the way to Adam and Eve who ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden at Eden. Jesus died on the cross so that Adam's unending thread of responsiblity could be broken.
Because of Christ, we all have choice.
This is why each person in the chain is reponsible for the sins they add to that chain. They can be the empetus to sin, as was Eve when she gave the fruit to Adam, or they can perpetuate sin, as did Johnson with Vietnam. Finally, they can break the thread that perpetuates sin altogether by standing up for God.
Madeline Murrary O'Hare gave the Supreme court a symbolic apple. They didn't have to be like Adam and eat it. Johnson perpetuated a war that he could have ended. All three were involved in sets of choices that had enormous consequences. Impact is the issue here, not fine-points.
Johnson, who sent a battle machine of over 400,000 troops into Vietnam (3 times the force we have in Iraq today) to replace the 15,000 "advisors" that were there when he took office, chose war instead of peace. He had the choice. Many respected historians say he orchestrated the choice. Either way, he can't point backward at the people who came before him and say, "The Devil made me do it". Jesus prevents him from doing that.
M.M.O'Hare gave the Supreme Court the opportunity to rule between a constitution with God or a constitution without God. They chose the latter. They could have blended the two choices by leaving things as they always had been, or by making small constructive changes, but they didn't. No compromise, they just threw God out.
Now we must choose. The decision in the O'Hare case proved that we can't choose both. One or the other has to be our God, but not both. That decision was a line in the sand because it took away compromise. It made all of us choose between God and no God.
As far as the "school-sanctioned" part, is concerned, one has only to look at the impact. The change in our society from the O'Hare/Supreme Court decision was dramatic, not only because it ripped out of the nation its moral base, but also because it plunged the public domain into heathenism. There is no morality in the constitution, just law.
The impact of O'Hare/S.C. has gone far beyond the school system It has reached into all aspects of American society and culture, and even into foreign societies as well. It has pitted law against biblical morality. It has pitted the law against God. It has reached to mountain-tops, courts, all aspects of government, television and radio, even into the nation's magazines and newspapers. It has come to pervade our entire culture. Only the right-wing counter-attack and its role in the re-election of President Bush has blunted the river of social change coming out of O'Hare/S.C.
Those are the facts I was looking at the facts God will discuss with us when we stand before Him at the end trying to convince Him that we were constitutionally correct in forbidding our children to hear His name mentioned in our schools because the word "God" was so controversial to our kingdom that we we had to throw Him out of it.
When we come before Him, he can do the same to us, because up there, the tables will be reversed and we might be too controversial for our names to be mentioned in His kingdom. He might just throw us out, too.
According to the Gospel of Luke, there is no "might" about it:
"But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence." (Luke 19:27).
As you requested, I have checked the facts and updated them.
Does the false prophet have anything to do with the synagogue of satan in revelations 2:9? KJ
The false prophet in the Book of Revelation relates to Babylon, not Judea. Both houses of Israel (Christians and Jews) have been exiled into Babylon and it is out of that kingdom and away from its gods that we are being rescued by the call of Christ.
"Writhe, cry out daughter of Zion, for now you have to leave the city and live in the open country. To Babylon you must go and there you will be rescued; There God will ransom you out of the power of your enemies." (Micah 4:10).
The false prophet is the second of two "beasts" who work to prevent our escape.
The first beast is Satan's pagan world. It has seven "heads" These stand for the seven empires that have risen up over the millenia to try to subjugate or destroy the House of Israel. Each of these enemy nations has a figurehead that characterizes it. The sixth of these "heads" was a Roman empire symbolically called "Babylon" in John's prophecies. It's figurehead was Nero.
Under Nero and the other Caesar's a false religion called paganism ruled the world in association with Babylon. Demanding emperor-worship, this philosophy included the panopoly of pagan gods and goddesses and their temples that dotted his empire. We read in Rev. 19:11-21, that both Babylon and its false prophet were defeated by the Word of God, i.e., by the Sword wielded by Jesus.
In God's victory, the religion of Jesus overpowered the Roman Empire, driving paganism out of it and taking over the seat of power. Babylon and paganism were thrown "alive" into the fiery lake of burning sulphur (Rev.19:20).
With Christ's victory, temporal power (the rule of the western world) passed into the hands of governors and kings who agreed to share their rule with God. They removed paganism from their kingdoms and put Jesus in its place, inviting Him to sit next to them on their thrones. The emperor Constantine remains the figurehead of this change. The pattern he set began the "thousand-year" rule of the Church on earth. In keeping with the prophecy of Joshua, that rule has lasted longer than a thousand years.
Because the nations shared their thrones with God, there was no false prophet in the fields of harvest during this period, nor was there any "Babylon" or "head" of the beast there either. God was in control. All attempts to unseat Him ended in failure. God's control continued even through the appearance of Adolph Hitler, the seventh head of the beast. Despite the fact that Hitler was able to take temporary control of the world's temporal ruling city, Rome, the rule of Christ remained spiritually in power primarily as a result of the power of faith coming from the United States.
With the United States still sharing its throne with God, it was able to kill Hitler and defeat his allies, beating back their attempt to return Satan's beast to the seat of world power. Once again, Europe and the world were saved. The seventh head came and went. But the cracks through which Hitler was able to rise continued to grow wider. The people of the world had become tired of Jesus and His message, and their lack of faith continued to power a revolt that threatened their very lives. Country after country in the western world tossed God from it's governing board and returned to secularism. The last to join them was America. That was in 1963.
While the western world has been systematically overturning the decrees of Constantine and Theodosus by evicting Jesus from a position of shared governance in their kingdoms, and by returning godlessness to those thrones instead, a burgeoning threat to their world power has been steadily building across the Euphrates river.
Rising up in the east is a religious empire whose hated enemy is the House of Israel. Certain elements of this empire not only hate the Jews, they are fiercely Anti-christ as well. While the moderates who still hold sway there, control a third of the earth, the fierce elements standing in the wings want to control it all. With bitter hatred for the west, the angry rhetoric coming from this fringe is filled with calls for war-mongering on a level that promises the inevitability of a scorched earth.
Our protection from this committed enemy is in God. But our nations have separated themselves from Him, many forbidding even the mention of His name in civic circles. So what's to expect?
According to scripture, when the Revolt against God has grown to maturity, this eastern religious empire consisting of ten nations related to the Black Sea will mass at the Euphrates and suddenly, under the lead of a "horn" from the North, attack. They will destroy the western world, leaving only pockets of resistance. One of those will be Kittim, the land across the ocean from Europe, its stockpile of hydrogen bombs a daunting blockade to invasion. Jerusalem, though ravaged cruelly in the invasion, will be saved by treaty.
After the first "horn" has died, a second "horn" will arise and reconfigure those same ten nations, mobilizing them into a new attack force. The appearance of this second horn will provide conclusive evidence that this religious empire with all its dragon noises is the False Prophet, i.e., the Second Beast.
Forces of this eastern kingdom will carry their new leader to Rome, the world's designated seat of temporal power. That temporal seat cannot be Jerusalem, because Jerusalem is the world's spiritual capitol. It cannot be in the western hemisphere, either, because the beast is shown not to control it (the ships of Kittim have blocked his access to America). That rules out New York or Washington D.C.
Rome is the only city on earth that portrays temporal command of the world, just as Jerusalem is the only city on earth that portrays spiritual command of the world. Babylon and Jerusalem are the only two cities so designated in biblical prophecy.
That means the False Prophet will bring it's army to Rome and place it's leader on the Roman throne. In doing so, it will proclaim him to be the ruler of the world and order all to pay homage to him. His own claim that he is Nero reincarnated will solidify scripture's prophecy that he "once was, now is not, and will come again". Returning with him will be "Babylon", i.e., a Rome returned to Satan's control. That will complete the overturn and bring back emperor-worship and paganism as the ruling religion of much of the world.
The statue raised for him there will be wickedness personified and relate to the Abomination of Desolation. It is that edifice, together with the sacrilege of the perpetual sacrifice raised in St. Peter's Basilica, over the bodies of the fallen religious, that will define Satan's apparent overthrow of the Church his crushing of the power of the holy people (see Dan.12:7).
A planetary darkness will engulf all the nations of the world as scripture's decree that Babylon be burned to the ground is carried out. Fortunately the darkness that is coming will be short and will end in complete victory for Christ as He returns with all the angels of heaven, bringing eternal life for all who placed their hope in Him. That hope powered by faith will prove to be a sure escape from all that is coming.
I have a question about the head of the beast that was wounded to death and that heals. Do you think that head could be the return of Nebuchadnezzar rather than Nero? H
That is a possibility. Of all the figureheads related to the seven heads which that prophecy involves, Nebuchadnezzar was the only one to erect the golden statue to wickedness that the Book of Revelation foresees being rebuilt by the monster who is to be reborn in the last days.
Most of the seven "seemed to have a fatal wound." Adolph Hitler and his Nazi regime were killed by Allied forces in World War II. Pagan Rome, the sixth "head", was destroyed by Christ. Haman, the Persian, perhaps an allegorical figure, died by order of the king. The allegory of this narrative suggests that the Persian was killed by God, Himself. Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon were destroyed by Persia, succumbing immediately after a mysterious "handwriting" appeared on his palace wall.
Any of these is a candidate.
The mortal wound seems to indicate a supernatural blow, i.e., one delivered by Jesus. That would indicate either Rome or Persia. As you can see above, only those two "heads" were destroyed by God, Himself. Since ancient Christian prophecy foresees Persian (Parthian) forces retaking Rome in the last days and returning Nero to power there, both of these now-departed nations, Rome & Persia, seem critically involved in Revelation's prophecy.
Add to that the fact that the Book of Revelation reveals that TWO beasts will be involved in this prophecy, not just one. The 8th head of the beast is the one who is given the crown; he is the reincarnated one. But he is raised to power by the second beast, the False Prophet.
The second beast (the False Prophet) is different because it is not secular, it is religious. What is involved in this prophecy is the relationship between Satan's spiritual and temporal powers When the mortal wound to godless government (temporal government opposed to God) heals, it does so with the blessing and active involvement of Anti-christ theology. With one architecting the other, the two are shown to be one and the same.
The False Prophet's proclamation that he, himself, is the beast cements this relationship.
More than that, these two world powers, in conjunction with Satan, form a caricature of the Trinity.
Rome, which calls itself the "eternal city", has been, for over 2000 years, the template on earth for world government. Before Christ came, it was the signature city of paganism. That is what earned it the symbolic designation, "Babylon". Converted to Christ, it became the signature city of world government in Christ, a picture of temporal and religious alliance honoring the God of Israel. In this respect, it reflected the "millenium", the thousand-year rule of God on earth. "Babylon" (pagan rule) died in 313 A.D. with the Edict of Milan, and in the decree's of Theodosus and Galerius that soon followed that momentous Roman edict.
The temporal/spiritual Christian alliance begun by the Edict of Milan ended in Rome in 1929 A.D. when the Italian dictator, Mussolini, dictated a policy he called "separation of church and state", which evicted the Church from his government. He created Vatican City (a separate city within Rome) to make clear the separation between his temporal regime and the religious authority he had removed from it.
Since that date, the world has followed suit. It didn't take long, especially with Hitler speeding the process.
In 1963, the United States government, itself, joined the rebellion.
What was reborn in this revolt was Babylon, world government that rules apart from God.
Not everything that claims to be "of God" truly is so. That is the meaning of the False Prophet. Daniel, Isaiah and most of the other prophets, together with the Book of Revelation foresee a religious power building in the East at the end of time, and, when it has come of age, suddenly attacking secular world government (Babylon) and overthrowing it.
Later, however, under a new leader, they re-erect it.
That is the point where Nero and the reincarnation come in. This cannot happen in Jerusalem. That is the world's spiritual city. It is secularism that is returned to power (the beast called paganism). That reincarnates "Babylon". It is in the reincarnation of Babylon that the mortal wound heals. All that has to happen in the secular city, the figurehead city of secularism on the planet. That city is Rome.
What city would Nebuchadnezzar be reborn into? Baghdad has no place in biblical prophecy. Babylon, the ancient city from which Nebuchadnezzar ruled, no longer exists. Besides, either the reappearance of Nebuchadnezzar or the original Babylon would simply glorify the allegory. Allegory always stands for something else that is the true meaning of it. In this case, Babylon stood for Rome. That was the city Jesus confronted and converted.
It's pagan rebirth underlines the rebellion against Christ in the last days.
I came across your site http://goodnewschristianministry.org/tyre.htm positing that Tyre, as mentioned in Ezekiel 26:3-4, is New York City. How does this take into account Ezekiel 26:7?
Ezekiel 26:7 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.
26:7 explicitly states that Nebuchadnezzar will besiege Tyre. However, I'm fairly certain that Nebuchadnezzar never came near New York City. J
Prophecy never uses future names. They are always allegorical. The name "Babylon" practically shouts "allegory". Because his statement is a vision of prophecy, the historical basis for Ezekiel's words is of diminishing interest to us. As Peter said, prophets have no idea of what they speak about because the Holy Spirit is the architect of their words. We must expect the same here.
But, as you say, "Why Babylon? Why Nebuchadnezzar? Especially when this prophecy, if it bears any relation at all to the end times, appears to relate to the first horn of the false prophet. The second beast according to most prophecies is supposed to have a religious and Parthian character to it. Neither Babylon nor Nebuchadnezzar at first glance seem to evoke such an image.
Yet Nebuchadnezzar's relationship with the Medes is close. The original "Babylon" resided in the Median heartland. With so many prophecies forecasting such a relationship, it is certain to exhist, especially since Ezekiel bears witness to it in his announcement to Tyre that "the east wind has shattered you, surrounded by the seas." (Ez.27:26).
Daniel shows the king of the North attacking America.
In his scripture, Daniel foresees two "kings" amassing armies out of a conglomeration of ten kingdoms. We tend to concentrate on the second of these two kings because he destroys the world, but the first king has a greater per se impact on America itself, at least in terms of this particular prophecy.
The first king comes from the far north, apparently from a country above the Black Sea. After he has subjugated his continent, he turns his gaze toward the 'islands that lie across the sea' and proceeds to conquer many of them. Daniel does not say that he simply attacks them, but that he actually conquers them (Dan. 11:15-18). His invasion, therefore, must be seen as a massive and bold attack. The prophecy tells us that with him are ten kingdoms. That evokes an image of many nations and many different races of people, both clearly defined in Ezekiel's vision (Ez.26:3; 26:7). The prophecy shows he arrives on our shores in full battle regalia.
It is clear in Daniel's prophecy that this attack fails. The "magistrate" that puts a stop to these "outrages" (Dan.11:18) is likened by scholars to the great Roman general, Lucius Cornelius Scipio who, after the strongest of threats, overwhelmingly obliterated the attacking forces on which this prophecy seems to be historically based. In that historical sequence, Antiochus, defying Roman threats, actually occupied Greek and Egyptian towns before his overwhelming defeat occurred.
Are the America's the "islands of the sea"? Since the discovery of the existance of America, Europeans have referred to themselves as "the continent", and the America's as otherwise. That designation may have begun with Columbus, who landed on each of his occasions in the Caribbean and saw nothing but islands there.
Just how much damage the king of the North inflicts on the United States itself in this major battle cannot be determined. We do know that it will consist of warfare on a very serious level. We can glimpse images of it in the prophecy of Ezekiel which you have noted above. Some of our cities, especially on the seacoast seem certain to be significantly affected. Ezekiel's prophecy of Tyre may accurately reflect the extent of the damage. I think it does.
It is clear that the king of the North in this prophecy will control Europe before he sends his forces across the ocean. His government will have nothing to do with the God of Israel. That alone is enough to garner his empire the description of "Babylon", a title that belongs to all nations who have cut their ties to Christ. Here there would be an empire that virtually controlled the entire Eastern Hemisphere. Because he is the ruling king of this "Babylonian" empire, the title "Nebuchadnezzar" is appropriate prophecy. Historically, Nebuchadnezzar ruled ancient Babylon. His prophetic counterpart can be seen ruling a modern version of it. Especially since its antagonist is the same: Israel.
This is not the man who ends the world, remember. This is the first king, not the second.
His control of Europe could possibly reflect internal politics even more than it does actual warfare. Hitler took much of Europe with a handshake. Only England and Russia gave him any serious trouble at all. When nations change politics your way internally with the popular assent of its people, there is no need to attack them. A politically savvy dictator would know this and use all his skills to accomplish that end.
All of this (Tyre and the rest) takes place after the nations divide into four dissimilar spheres (Dan.8:8). That political upheaval and reapportionment removes all the political relationships we are familiar with there today. It is possible, given the new political realities, that the King of the North will be able to gain control of most of Europe without a shot being fired in anger, just by muscle flexing and bartering.
Something like this has to account for the United States waiting so long to counterattack, and then, doing so only when America itself has become the target.
Reeling from his defeat in "the islands", the king of the North will return to Europe and there meet his end. According to Daniel, after he dies, a second king will rise to power and build a new empire on the remnants of the same ten kingdoms. He is the beast (Dan.11:21-26). It is this second king who burns down the world (Dan.11:40-45; Jer. 51:58).
Why couldn't Nebuchanezzar bring the Parthian army to Rome? HL
The prophecy only requires that he be one of the previous seven and Nebuchadnezzar satisfies that condition.
An ancient Christian prophecy predicts that the eighth head of the beast will be a reincarnation of Nero leading Parthian forces to Rome. But it could very well be a reincarnated Nebuchadnezzar leading those forces to Rome instead. The only pre-requisite is that it has to be Rome. The reason for this is that Rome is the city whose conversion to Christ signalled the mortal wound to Babylon. It's rejection of Christ, therefore, will mean the healing of the mortal wound. This needs to take place in Rome.
As I wrote earlier, of all the figureheads related to the seven heads around which the prophecy of the return revolves, Nebuchadnezzar was the only one to erect the golden statue to wickedness that the Book of Revelation foresees being rebuilt by the people of Babylon under the influence of the False Prophet in the last days (Rv.13:14-15; Dan.2&3).
No one would be better qualified to officially change Rome's name to "Babylon," once he had set up his throne there than Nebuchadnezzar. Nero wouldn't even try, he would prefer keeping the city under the name 'Rome'. Babylon was Nebuchadnezzar's city in the first place. The name change would be dynamic because it would unite the spiritual city of Babylon with a functioning allegorical counterpart.
His attack on Jerusalem that Daniel shows occurring soon after that would then have an overriding conformity to it because it would pit Babylon against Jerusalem both spiritually and physically. The spiritual cities of Babylon and Jerusalem and the allegorical cities of Babylon and Jerusalem would all come together facing one another in preparation for the battle of Armageddon.
That would be a stunning convergence!
Are the ten horns and ten kings in Daniel's prophecy (7:24) related in any way to the twenty-five nations in the European Union? PL
However, as I have written before, the framework may be similar.
According to Daniel an enormous political upheaval will take place across the world soon after the west is victorious in its second war at the Euphrates river. Flush from that victory, says Daniel, the great "horn" from the west will "grow more powerful than ever, and reign over a vast empire. He will do whatever he pleases. But at the height of his strength the great horn will suddenly snap and his empire will be broken up and parcelled out to the four winds of heaven, though not to his descendants: it will not be ruled as he ruled it, for his sovereignty is going to be uprooted and pass to others than his own".
One striking phrase in Daniel's writing concerning the two wars that precede this spectacular collapse is his statement that the western troops will launch themselves into that fray by "crossing the entire earth without touching the ground". Written at least 2200 years before the invention of air travel, and defining conflicts isolated from any ocean, the prophecy remained for millenia, an enigma. Yet this phrase correlates with what we have just seen take place with respect to the two Gulf Wars fought at that identical location with troops flown in to it from across the earth.
That is why we take such careful note of the political upheaval also predicted in this passage. According to Daniel, it is imminent. Scholars tell us Daniel's words were structured on Alexander the Great. The snapping of the "great horn" was Alexander's unexpected death at a young age in Babylon (which is now Iraq).
If all this is being echoed today, two things are evident. First, we have reached the advent of the last days because Daniel was informed by the angel of heaven that his writings were sealed and could not be opened until those last days arrived. Second, the political and economic world around us is about to change so dramatically that little correlation with the global structure we are familiar with today will remain. Everything is about to change. We will change, Europe will change and Asia will change. Even the Middle East will change.
And we don't know how. Daniel only tells us that the rule of the world will pass into four spheres of influence and be totally different from the world we now know. Beyond that, everything is just guesswork. Hopefully it won't happen at all and we can put Daniel on the shelf again for another age.
If it does happen, world unity will be history. That means a body like the United Nations would not survive it. Neither would America's push for a global corporate democracy.
The ten-nation confederacy that Daniel says will rise up out of the smallest of those four spheres of power may well be something like the European Union, but its center of influence will revolve, according to prophecy, around the Black Sea area. The ten fingers of its hand will reach both north of that sea and south into Media and Persia. In Ezekiel, we find mention of nations related to this union that transliterate closely to Turkey and Russia.
Right now, Turkey is trying to gain entrance into the European Union, but there is strong sentiment by some members blocking their admittance, and any decision on the matter is considered years away. The looming collapse, if it does occur, is so imminent in Daniel's prophecy, it gives no allowance for all those years to pass.
And in the event the great horn does snap, the global deck gets reshuffled completely.
Who are the people...of the east in your prophecies? PL
There is no way to tell. God has the ability to raise up people from the very stones of the desert if He wants to. Perhaps Satan has power like that as well, and it is such as these that are the people of the East. Regardless of their origin, scripture says God is going to use those people like a tool when the world's rebelliousness reaches its peak:
"Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn you about, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company...in the latter days I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me, when I vindicate through you, O Gog, my holiness before their eyes." (Ez. 38:1-16).
"Are you he, the one of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them?" (Ez. 38:17).
God did not put prophecy in scripture to make us hate or fear others. The Bible is clear. As long as we love one another, God will live in us (1 John 4:12). All prophecy is there for OUR conversion, not to give us targets for loathing. If the world heeded God's prophecy, there would be no invasion. If we do not change our ways and do as He says, nothing can stop it.
Prophecy is all about love, not hate. If anything, the Bible teaches us it is God that we should fear, not each other.
The warnings in scripture are not there to tell us who to draw sword against. They are there to tell us to drop our swords and live in peace and love, and to do it fast because the opportunity is almost gone. Eternal life is at stake. Jesus said that anyone who tries to save their life will lose it and anyone who gives up their life to live for Jesus, will save it for the eternal life.
We needn't worry about the identity of the enemy. Just knowing that he is coming is enough. It is the world's craving for sin that is bringing him. That's what the prophecies tell us. No defense can stop his coming. And despite all the prophecies that have announced him in advance, the destroyer's arrival will still be a surprise. This surprise shows us that God has not put prophecy in scripture to tell us the future, instead, it is there to PROVE that the future is in Jesus Christ.
What makes you so certain that the Book of Daniel predicts an attack on America? JI
Daniel's prophecies are about the end of the world. That means they are not about his time. Since the world has not yet ended, it means either our own time, or a time still to come:
"Then I said, 'My lord, what is to be the outcome?' 'Daniel, he (the angel) said, 'go away: these words are to remain secret and sealed until the time of the End." (Dan. 12:8-9).
Remembering that his words are prophecy, not history, and that they are about our times (or times even beyond ours) the "islands of the sea" to the west across the sea that the first "king" attacks must be viewed in relaton to the Atlantic Ocean. In today's understanding, the "West" is America. And if the eastern king, having already conquered Europe, sends his ships out across the ocean to attack the "islands" (as Daniel's prophecy predicts) the only nations he can physically come against are in the America's: North America, Central America and South America.
If Daniel's prophecy is not fulfilled for another 10,000 years, these same three land masses will still be there. The "West" will never change it's location. God has established it in continental terms. Daniel's words will never pass away, either, because they are in scripture. That tells us that this prophecy is about the America's.
According to Daniel, the eastern king will "conquer many of these "islands of the sea" before his forces are finally defeated and driven back across the ocean." (Dan. 11:18).
Do you mind telling me your political views? M
My web page is about Bible prophecy. It has nothing to do with politics. Some of the prophecies relate to politicians, however. Here are some samples:
"Woe to the legislators of infamous laws,
to those who issue tyrannical decrees,
who refuse justice to the unfortunate
and cheat the poor among my people of their rights,
who make widows their prey and rob the orphan.
What will you do on the day of punishment,
when, from far off, destruction comes?" (Is.10:1-4).
"God calls to judgment the elders and the princes of his people:
'You are the ones who destroy the vineyard
and conceal what you have stolen from the poor.
By what right do you crush my people
and grind the faces of the poor?' (Is.3:14-15).
"Ruthless judgement is reserved for the high and mighty." (Wis. 6:5).
"The lowly will be compassionately pardoned,
the mighty will be mightily punished." (Wis. 6:6)
"Your busy trading has filled you with violence and sin." (Ezek. 28:16).
"He who gives to the poor shall never want,
he who closes his eyes to them will bear many a curse." (Prov. 28:27)
"When the wicked are ascending to power, men take cover,
but when they perish, virtuous men multiply." (Prov. 28:28).
"As you have done, so will it be done to you:
your deeds will recoil on your own head." (Obadiah 1:15)
"I hate pride and arrogance,
wicked behavior and a lying mouth. " (Prov. 8:13)
"These are the things that you must do.
Speak the truth to one another;
let the judgments at your gates be such as conduce to peace;
do not secretly plot evil against one another;
do not love false oaths; since all this is what I hate.
It is the Lord who speaks.' (Zech.8:16-17).
"The voice of the Lord. He is calling to the city:
Listen, tribe, and assembly of the city
whose rich men are crammed with violence,
whose citizens are liars.
Must I put up with fraudulent measure,
or that abomination the short-weight bushel?
Must I hold the man honest who measures with false scales
and a bag of faked weights?
I have therefore begun to strike you down,
to bring you to ruin for your sins." (Micah 6:9-13).
Anyone who says I know him
and does not keep his commandmetns, is a liar (1 John 2:3)
God has trapped the wicked in the work of their own hands (Ps.9:16).
"The love of money is the root of all evils" (1 Timothy 6:10)
"If a man who was rich enough in this world's goods saw that one of his brothers was in need, but closed his heart to him, how could the love of God be living in him? My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active; only by this can we be certain that we are children of the truth..." (1 John 3:17-19).
"To sum up the whole matter:
fear God, and keep his commandments,
since this is the whole duty of man.
For God will call all hidden deeds,
good or bad, to judgment." (Eccl. 12:13-14).
"Your princes are rebels, accomplices of thieves.
all are greedy for profit and chase after bribes
They show no justice to the orphan,
the cause of the widow is never heard." (Is.1:23).
'No servant can be the slave of two masters:
he will either hate the first and love the second,
or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn.
You cannot be the slave both of God and of money." (Luke 16:13).
Her princes pronounce their verdict for bribes,
her priests take a fee for their rulings,
her prophets make divinations for money.
And yet they rely on the Lord.
They say, 'Is not the Lord in our midst?
No evil is going to overake us.'
Because of this, since the fault is yours,
Zion will become ploughland,
Jerusalem a heap of rubble,
and the mountain of the Temple
a wooded height." (Micah 3:9-12).
"Listen to this, you who trample on the needy
and try to suppress the poor people of the country.
You who say, 'When will New Moon be over
so that we can sell our corn;
and sabbath, so that we can market our wheat?
Then by lowering the bushel, raising the shekel,
by swindling and tampering with the scales,
we can buy up the poor for money,
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and get a price even for the sweepings of the wheat?
God swears it by the pride of Jacob,
'Never will I forget a single thing you have done'.
Is this not the reason for the earthquakes,
for its inhabitants all mourning,
and all of of the land heaving like the Nile..." (Amos 8:4-8).
"Turn my heart to your decrees
and away from getting money." (Ps.119:16).
"Woe to those who add house to house
and join field to field
until everywhere belongs to them
and they are the sole inhabitants of the land." (Is.5:8).
"Oh my people, your rulers mislead you
and destroy the road you walk on." (Is. 3:12)
"Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me
it is the Lord God who speaks
to break unjust fetters
and undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and break every yoke,
to share your bread with the hungry,
and shelter the homeless poor,
to clothe the man you see to be naked
and not turn from your own kin?
Then will your light shine like the dawn
and your wound be quickly healed over." (Is.58:6-8).
"To oppress the poor is to insult his creator,
to be kind to the needy is to honor God." (Prov. 14:31)
"Virtue makes a nation great,
by sin whole races are disgraced." (Prov. 14:34)
"The man who is kind to the poor lends to God:
he will repay him for what he has done." (Prov. 19:17)
"The godless is forever coveting,
the virtuous man gives without ever refusing." (Prov. 21:26)
"The wicked man assumes an air of confidence,
the honest man gives his own conduct careful thought. (Prov. 21:29).
"The reward of humility is the fear of the Lord,
riches, honor and life." (Prov. 22:4).
"Because a man is poor, do not therefore cheat him,
nor at the city gate, oppress anybody in affliction;
for the Lord takes up their cause,
and extorts the life of their extortioners." (Prov. 22:22-23)
"He who conceals his faults will not prosper,
he who confesses and renounces them will find mercy." (Prov. 28:13)
"How well you know the way
in pursuit of love!
Yes, you have even accustomed your steps
to walk with crime,
to the point when your hands display
the stains from the blood of innocent men." (Jer.2:33-34).
"I have made my decree and will not relent:
because they have sold the virtuous man for silver
and the poor man for a pair of sandals,
becaue they trample on the heads of ordinary people
and push the poor out of their path..." (Amos 2:6-7).
"It is you who play the enemy to my people.
From the innocent man you snatch his cloak,
on the man who thinks himself safe you inflict the damage of war.
The women of my people you drive out from the homes they loved;
their children you rob forever of the honor I gave them,
'Get up! Be off! There is no resting here.
For a worthless thing, you exact an extortionate pledge." (Micah 2:8-10).
"But 'Enough, enough!' I say.
"Yes, the sluicegates above will open,
and the foundations of the earth will rock.
The earth will split into fragments,
the earth will be riven and rent.
The earth will shiver and shake,
the earth will stagger like a drunkard,
sway like a shanty;
so heavy will be its sin on it, it will fall
never to rise again.
That day, the Lord will punish
above, the armies of the sky,
below, the kings of the earth;
they will be herded together,
shut up in a dungeon,
confined in a prison
and, after long years, punished." (Is.24:16-23)
"Thus the laboring of the peoples comes to nothing
the toiling of the nations ends in fire." (Jer.51:58).
We are all aware who it was that said: 'Vengeance is mine; I will repay'.
And again: 'The Lord will judge his people.'
It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.' (Heb.10:30-31)
"It is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life,
and only a few find it." - (Mat. 7:14).
"It is not those who say to me, 'Lord, Lord',
who will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Mat.7:21).
"For I tell you, if your virtue goes no deeper
than that of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will never get into the kingdom of heaven." (Mat.5:20).
Why are so many people delighted about the misery of others? Reporters print hateful and degrading things and destroy and humiliate people and take pride in doing so.. Lawyers that are now reporters on court programs spew venom about people who are in the headlines... .. These people have decided their fate and set about verbally annihilating them. When did we get to the point where we care so little for the well being of another? How did we come to this point where we become excited about the destruction of another? Why do we get pleasure from other' people's pain? I feel such a sadness for what is upon our land.. Jealousy and Greed seem to be the masters of our society.. People will sue and condemn in hopes of reaping a windfall.. Is this prophesized and if yes, how can we stand strong during this terrible time.. It could happen to anyone.....We are surrounded by those that would gladly see another destroyed for monetary gain.... CM
Actually, in terms of salvation, it is the worst sign of all.
Jesus said that we are forgiven only to the degree we forgive others. If you are seeing a world that has become intolerant of its neighbors, quick to judge them and harsh in condemnation, then you are seeing a people who are blocking their own way to heaven. When you consider that in the Lord's Prayer, forgiveness is the sole command God makes on us, it's importance is more than underscored. Our very salvation is predicated on the degree to which we forgive others.
We cannot change society. But we can watch a society change and wonder what processes are driving those changes. We do not allow the name "God" even to be mentioned in our schools or civic affairs. That certainly doesn't bode well for the future of the situation. God warned that the fields of His "harvest" that began "white for reaping", would one day go to gleaning. "Love", He said, "in most people will grow cold."
Those are the things that bring us to the culmination of God's plan. Seeing these things occur and the degree to which they are occurring, gives ample proof of the nearness of His Second Coming.
I have received several e-mails the past year or so relating to the credibility of the book 'The Da Vinci Code". Since it is back in the news, here is a composite of my private answers: TL
The book is a novel. That means it is fake.
Nothing in it is accurate. Certainly not with respect to Christianity or the Roman Catholic church. I know it is hard to tell these days when there is so much going around that claims to be true but is really false. But when something comes along that is advertised in advance to be fake, then you can pretty well be sure it really is fake.
The problem with the book and why many have come out against it is it's frontal assault on the kingdom of Christ. The novel is very well written, but it represents a devastating attack on Christianity per se. We have seen this assault against the Christian Church grow in power and scope since the late 19th century. Actually, it began more than a thousand years before that when the forces of Mohammed launched the first of their three major campaigns against the Christian heartland, labeling our people "infidels". Here in America, a devastating blow to the Church occurred with a Supreme Court decision about 40 years ago.
Prophecy addresses this attack in all of its forms. The verbal abuse relates to the "dragon's river" (Rev. 12:15). All this warfare and propaganda is leading up to the return of darkness. The Christian "millenium" on earth had a beginning. It also has an end. What we are seeing now are the "tremors" that warn us that end is close. The light fading into shadows tells us the return of darkness is not far away.
According to prophecy, the "mother" is to fall first, and then her "seven sons" will follow. The seven sons relate to the seven churches. Prophecy relating to the fall of the mother indicates that scandal is involved in her demise:
"The mother of seven sons grows faint, and breathes her last. It is still day, but already her sun has set. Shame and disgrace are hers..." (Jer.15:9).
The reason it is still "day" when she falls is the fact that Christianity still exists strongly on earth at the time she is tumbled from her throne. And that is precisely the way prophecy describes the fall:
"Say to the king and to the queen mother, "Come down from your thrones, for your glorious crowns will fall from your heads." (Jer. 13:18).
Christianity is built on the Hebrew template. King & Queen Mother are Hebrew figures. This prophecy describes the unseating of King Jehoiachin and his mother by Nebuchaddnezzar when he burned down Jerusalem and took the king with his mother and the Jewish people prisoner to Babylon. This prophecy relates to a darkness that befell the Jews owing to their disobedience of God. We can see the darkness and exile repeated at the time of Christ, and again, when Jesus' earthly reign is terminated at the time it is raised transcendant into the heavens for all eternity.
The replicating darkness assures us that we can view this prophecy in pairs by opposites. The darkness at the end will come in association with the ending of the millenial rule of Jesus on earth. Because He is King, i.e., the fulfillment of the Davidic kingdom on earth, his mother is the Queen Mother. It is a title accorded all royalty on earth.
Certainly we cannot see in this millenial termination the fall of the Jerusalem of heaven, our divine mother, but the fall can well be associated with the motherhood of the Church. We know that the Church is going to be overthrown. Daniel is very clear about this when he speaks about the "The shattering of the power of the holy people" (Dan.12:7). Daniel tells us that it is after that "shattering" has been completed, that Christ will return and lift all His people into the kingdom of heaven.
That is why it is so essential that those who have still resisted turning their lives over to Christ should do so now. These signs of a returning darkness signal a time approaching when repentance will be extremely difficult because preaching will not only be ridiculed, it will be forbidden:
'Work while you have the light, darkness is coming when no one can work!' (Jn.9:4-5)
"Give glory to the Lord our God before he brings darkness down and your feet stumble on the darkened mountains. You hope for light, but he will turn it into deep shadow, change it into gloom. (Jer.13:16).
Please tell about the scripture which says saturday is supposed to be the sabbath day. I cn find nothing about it in your writing. UR
This was Paul's answer:
"Are you people in Galatia mad?"
"Has someone put a spell on you, in spite of the plain explanation you have had of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ?".
"Let me ask you one question: was it because you practised the Law that you received the Spirit, or because you believed what was preached to you? Are you foolish enough to end in outward observances what you began in the spirit?" (Gal 3:1-3).
It is the Law that worries about Sabbath days or dates.
It is the Law that commands Passovers and Tabernacles.
It is the Law that that talks about washing hands.
It is the Law that demands animal sacrifice.
It is the Law that says God made the world in 7 days.
It is the Law that worries about special people and special tribes.
It is the Law that divides the people of the world into races.
It is the Law that dictates about graven images.
It is the Law that demands the Wrath.
It is the Law that says the sins of the fathers are visited on the children.
It is the Law that demands a new Temple in Jerusalem
It is from the Law that Orthodox Jews claim the earth is 6000 years old.
The Hebrew calendar, with its date of 5765 is a reflection of that Law.
The Ark of the Covenant is a product of Law as well.
It is even the Law that demands a 10% tithe.
All these things come from Moses. Moses wrote every rule. And Christ has replaced all those rules with His Gospel. Saturday worship honors Moses. Sunday worship has been chosen for Jesus because it is the day of His resurrection. If Moses is your God then you will want to worship him on saturday, but if the Lord Jesus is your God, then you worship Him as instructed by the Apostles, i.e., every day.
God has not done away with the Law. It still governs all who are not in Christ. But all who have left the Law to follow Christ have been given a new Law, greater than the old (Mat. 5:17-19). It is a Law represented by the Gospel He preached. It is a Law in which there is eternal life. Those who follow Christ have died to the Law of Moses.
People only resurrect the dead things so that they can make distinctions between themselves and others. They try to use the Law to prove that they are better than others, or belong to God more than others do. Or to say that the others don't really belong to God at all. They love to pull out a copy of the Old Testament and say, 'See, it says here...", They love to quote the Old Testament as if it were absolute. But it is not.
In Christ, we have been freed from all of that. We have changed Covenants. For us the only absolute is Jesus.
In Christ, anyone who comes to Jesus has no obligation whatsoever to follow any statement, command, ritual or rule in the Old Testament. Once a person is fully in Christ, the old Law is gone, and it is gone forever. It will never come back unless we go back to it.
This is what Peter said about those rules:
"In fact God, who can read everyone's heart, showed his approval of the pagans by giving the Holy Spirit to them just as he had to us. God made no distinction between them and us, since he purified their hearts by faith. It would only provoke God's anger now, surely, if you imposed on the disciples the very burden that neither we nor our ancestors were strong enough to support? Remember, we believe that we are saved in the same way as they are: through the grace of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 15:8-11).
Does that mean we are dead to the Ten Commandments because the originals are missing and all we have left is what Moses wrote about them?
No. The Law has not passed away, it has passed to Jesus, and Jesus made the Ten Commandments harder. He showed that Moses had only shown a skeletal framework of God's true commands:
"You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: 'You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it at judgment. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it at judgment; if a man insults his brother he will answer for it before the council; and if a man calls him "You fool!" he will answer for it in hell fire." (Mat. 5:21-22).
What it means is that If we have to quote the Torah to justify any part of our faith, we have broken with faith in Christ and gone back to the Law of Moses.
Friends of James wanted to combine the two covenants. They wanted to attach the Torah to faith. Paul said absolutely not!
By Paul's definition, when you use the Law to justify a saturday sabbath or anything from Moses for that matter, you have left the Christian faith, and abandoned its freedom from the Law. That is because the Torah that defines these things does not come from God, it comes from Moses (John 7:19). The Law is Moses' impression of what he heard from God (Heb.10:1). It is Moses' copy of what he saw on the mountain (Acts 7:34).
God is personally present only in Christ (John 6:58).
The first five books of the Old Testament are collectively called the "Torah", a Hebrew word which means "Law". The Old Covenant is based on these five books. This covenant and its scripture are called "old" in the Book of Hebrews because they have both been replaced in Christ.
"If that first covenant had been without a fault, there would have been no need for a second one to replace it...and by speaking of a new convenant, he implies that the first one is already old, Now anything old only gets more antiquated until in the end it disappears." (Heb. 8:7-13).
The fact that it is going to disappear proves that the Old Testament is not the word of God, but a reflection of God made by Moses and the prophets. If it were the word of God it would never disappear.
Christ, on the other hand, came down from heaven so that we could know God first hand. Jesus IS God. Jesus is not a mirror of God, He is God in Person. That is why His words will never disappear. Jesus' words are God's own words.
"This is the bread come down from heaven; not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live forever." (John 6:58).
Paul said that if you go back to the Law of Moses, even in a small way, you have made yourself subject to the whole Law. Not only that, he said that if you go back to the Law in any way, you separate yourself from Jesus. Those are heavy words he used, and he meant them to be heavy. That is because he recognized that any attempt to unite Old Testament rules with Jesus would destroy the Church.
The Law applies only to those who are not in Jesus. That is why if you go back to it, you take yourself out of Jesus and back to where you came from. We were all born into the Law when we came to birth in the flesh on earth. That is why everyone has to be baptised in Christ. Eternal life comes only to those who leave the Law and turn to the Gospel. The two cannot be combined. That's what Paul showed in Acts 15.
You cannot submit yourself to the Law of Moses and follow Christ at the same time. If you do, the Law has stolen your freedom. Why? Because you are using the Law to justify your actions and there is no justification in the Torah. True justification only exists in Jesus.
We cannot look in two different directions for justification. Either we are justified 100% by faith in Jesus, or not at all. If we try to combine our Christian justification with the Old Testament, Paul said we lose Jesus completely. Because the 100% justification has suddenly become less than that.
The only absolute is God. God has put everything He has in the hands of Jesus.
That makes Jesus the only absolute.
Jesus said nothing about the sabbath being saturday. He said nothing about the earth being 6000 years old. He said nothing about special tribes or special people. He said we are supposed to love even our enemies. He said nothing about the world being made in seven days. He talked in terms of eternity and eternal life. He said nothing about statues or graven images or anything like that.
But what He did say is that He was going to put the entire Church in the hands of His Apostles and whatever they bound on earth would be bound in heaven. They bound the New Testament on earth and in heaven. Scripture is bound. The new scripture was bound specifically to replace the old scripture. That is why Paul is so important to this issue. He is the author of most of the writings of the New Testament.
Paul said nothing about the sabbath being saturday. He said nothing about the earth being 6000 years old. He said nothing about special tribes or special people. He, too, said we are supposed to love even our enemies. He said nothing about the world being made in seven days. He said nothing about statues or graven images or anything like that. Neither did Peter. Neither did any of the other Apostles.
When Peter began refusing to eat with pagan converts because they had not washed their hands before meals properly (the way the Torah said they should), Paul countered him openly and demanded a Council be formed on the issue immediately. It was the first Christian Council and it involved not only Peter and Paul but all 12 of the original Apostles. It was held in Jerusalem in the earliest days of the faith.
We can read about that Council in Acts 15. That chapter is so important to the Christian faith, everyone should read it carefully. Another document to know throroughly is Paul's letter to the Galatians.
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by being cursed for our sake, since scripture says: Cursed be everyone who is hanged on a tree.' This was done so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might include the pagans, and so that through faith we might receive the promised Spirit." (Gal.3:13-14).
"We could have been justified by the Law if the law we were given had been capable of giving life, but it is not: scripture makes no exceptions when it says that sin is master everywhere. In this way the promise can only be given through faith in Jesus Christ and can only be given to those who have this faith." (Gal. 3:21-22).
"Before faith came, we were allowed no freedom by the Law; we were being looked after till faith was revealed. The Law was to be our guardian until the Christ came and we could be justified by faith. Now that the time has come we are no longer under that guardian, and you are, all of you, sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:23-26).
"Why should I pay attention to anyone who brings me the Law of Moses when I already have Christ's faith?" "Take your Torah away from me. I do not need it. I am in Christ!"
"I tell you most solemnly, it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread; for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst." (John 6:32-35).
"You study the scriptures, believing that in them you have eternal life; now these same scriptures testify to me, and yet you refuse to come to me for life!" (John 5:39-40).
As a Christian, we may hold a special day holy because it is built on Christ, like Easter, the day of resurrection, but there are no rules or regulations concerning such reverence. Everyone is free to honor Jesus as they wish. With Moses, it is different. The feast-day rules are precise and they apply to all. We cannot worship Moses.
The old scripture was called the Law and the Prophets. There are only two parts. That means what is not prophecy is Law. It also means that what is not Law is prophecy. When the Church exchanged the Law of Moses for the Gospel of Jesus, it meant the entire Old Testament became for us, prophecy. And only prophecy. For those of us who have escaped the Law, the Law has been rendered symbolic.
That is the whole meaning of our escape.
"Depart, depart, get out from there! Touch nothing unclean! Go out from the midst of her. Purify yourselves you who bear the vessels of the Lord. But you are not to leave like fugitives or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard." (Is. 52:11-12).
In Acts15, and in Christ, the Apostles stripped the Law out of the document, leaving only prophecy behind. What is prophecy is allegorical. It is symbolism. That is appropriate because the Book of Hebrews tells us that the Book of Moses is not only a reflection of the heavenly realities, it is the guardian meant to be in place ONLY until the true Father arrived, i.e., until Jesus came to Galilee.
Prophecy only leads forwards into Christ, it never leads backward into the Law of Moses. Christ obeyed the Law and kept the Old Testament prophecies so that He could get us OUT of that Law. When He did so, He gave us baptism in His name so that 'through the Law we could be made dead to the Law'. That was our freedom.
"Through the Law I am dead to the Law, so that now I can live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now, not with my own life, but with the life of Christ who lives in me." (Gal.2:19).
To return to the Law is to return to slavery.
"When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery." (Gal. 5:1)
We need to pay particular attention to this because Paul's words on this issue were uncompromising.
"But if you do look to the Law to make you justified, then you have separated yourselves from Christ, and have fallen from grace." (Gal. 5:4).
"Once you were ignorant of God, and enslaved to 'gods' who are not really gods at all. But now that God has acknowledged you how can you want to go back to elemental things like those, that can do nothing and give nothing, and be their slaves? You and your special days and months and seasons and years! You make me feel I have wasted my time with you." (Gal. 4:8-11).
"My brothers, you were called, as you know, to liberty; but be careful, or this liberty will provide an opening for self-indulgence. Serve one another, rather, in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarized in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself." (Gal.5:13-14)
God has established a NEW COVENANT with us in Christ. It is not like the old one.
"We have seen that he has been given a ministry of a far higher order, and to the same degree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator, founded on better promises. If that first covenant had been without a fault, there would have been no need for a second one to replace it. And in fact God does find fault with them..." (Heb.8:6-8).
"By speaking of a new covenant, he implies that the first one is already old. Now anything old only gets more antiquated until in the end it disappears." (Heb. 8:13).
"So, since the Law has no more than a reflection of these realities, and no finished picture of them, it is quite incapable of bringing the worshippers to perfection, with the same sacrifices repeatedly offered year after year." (Heb. 10:1).
"You want to be subject to the Law? Then listen to what the Law says. It says, if you remember, that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave-girl, and one by his free-born wife."
"The child of the slave-girl was born in the ordinary way; the child of the free woman was born as the result of a promise."
"This can be regarded as an allegory: the women stand for the two covenants.
"The first who comes from Mount Sinai, and whose children are slaves, is Hagarsince Sinai is in Arabiaand she corresponds to the present Jerusalem that is a slave like her children. The Jerusalem above, however, is free and is our mother..." (Gal.4:21-27).
Further to your answer to a 24/3/2005 question on Sabbath, please tell us if Christian still need to comply with the 10% tithing rule in Mal.3:10-12 as we always were being told by the pastors that this is the only scripture God allows us to test him.
My thought is God will bless anyone who wholeheartedly devoting anything he has, not only the 10% income in material term. May I say if the Law is fulfilled in Jesus and passed to him, the only single principle about tithing now is what Jesus mentioned about the Widow's tithe in Mark 12:41-44 that we should devote ourselves fully? AT
According to Paul, no one in Christ can be bound to any Mosaic rule. The demand for a 10% tithe comes from Moses. Malachi, an Old Testament prophet, must be seen in the symbolism of Christ as well. According to Jesus our offerings to Him must come in the form of justice, mercy and a pure heart. Those are the kind of offerings that please God. Not cash. God cannot be bribed.
Your assessment sounds correct to me. We now live by the Laws of God, not Moses. The overriding issue with the Apostles was our need to give to the poor and come to the aid of widows and orphans when they need it. That kind of aid involves almsgiving.
The 10% tithe is not almsgiving, it is a tax. It is assessed to pay for the upkeep of the church and its mission to preach. Jesus said the "sons" are exempt from that tax, but paid it anyway so as not to upset the temple officials. That is when He sent his disciples out to find a fish with a gold coin in its mouth in Mat. 17:24-27.
Since we have been set free from this tax not only by Paul, but by Jesus Himself, no "test" of God can ever be involved in our response to it. As far as government taxes are concerned, Jesus, referring to the face on the coinage, said "give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar". Beyond that, He said we should give to anyone who asks.
Balancing all this in proper perspective in light of the freedom of our new-found grace, your answer that we should devote ourselves fully, seems to me perfect.
I was watching Jack Van Impe last night and during the last 10 minutes of his broadcast, he answered a question for a viewer that said "what age are we when we go to heaven and are those that are in the grave the same age in heaven as they were when they died, including babies?" Van Impe answered saying that because of our DNA, we will all be between the age of 28 and 34 even if you were babies when you died. How is that so and can you provide scriptural reference? KH
I suppose that 28 to 34 is as good an age as any. However, Jesus said we live forever. How does that correspond to 28? or 34? I would think that eternal life offers an image other than any we are currently familiar with. And as far as DNA is concerned, it doesn't exist in heaven. Nothing that wears out or breaks down can exist there. The same is true of anything that replicates. DNA is simply a replicating molecule. No need for that. Immortality perpetuates its own memory.
All this is to say that the processes of this world reflect the contamination of Satan. Everything breaks down or rusts or falls apart eventually. It all reflects Satan's effect on God's creation. God made this world that way so that wherever we looked (or wherever scientists looked), they would see the world the way God wanted them to see it. God is not permitting any of us to be ignorant of the reality He wants us all to be aware of. This present creation is unstable and it is coming apart. To think of a world that is eternal, we have to go beyond anything we are familiar with.
I am writing to seek your kind assistance on a scripture I found on your webpage. Here is the passage and the context as it appears on your page:
"There is a fundamental difference between the people who died before the flood and those who came afterward, and for this reason, scripture tells us that Jesus had to preach twice. The Bible says that Jesus went down to preach to the dead after he was crucified. 'I went down into the countries underneath the earth, to the peoples of the past'." (Jonah 2:7).
I am afraid I do not find this passage in Jonah 2:7 of any version of the Bible I have. Is the reference incorrect or am I missing something? I have been looking for this for along time. I saw it on your website and I also heard it quoted in the movie Jesus of Nazareth. CB
I am unable to locate it at all in my Strong's Concordance. I'd really like to find it. LY
A Greek (eastern-text) scripture was used in this translation. The passage is dealt with differently in all western texts. Also, the verse should be listed as Jonah 2:6. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
It was believed by the ancient Hebrews that the nether world (the world underneath the earth at the roots of the mountains) was inhabited by the souls of those who had lived before. They called it the "Pit" (or "Sheol"), and considered it a place no one could ever escape from. In this passage, Jonah touches on this belief.
Jesus substantiated part of this belief to a certain extent when He declared that no one is dead to God and that all who previously lived on earth are still alive somewhere. He did not say where that place is.
Jesus is said to have visited this place and preached to these people after His crucifixion, i.e., between the time He was put in the tomb and resurrected back to life. How many, if any, converted, is not known.
Peter specified those Jesus preached to as having "lived before the flood" (1 Peter 3:19-20). Peter's qualification points to a fundamental and unexplained demarcation in the world's past population based on the flood.
The scripture describes Jonah's descent into the belly of the whale in this passage, allegorically, as a descent into Sheol. In the Greek wording, one can see in it, Christ's 3-day plunge into the underworld. That is not a great leap. Jesus told His followers, "It is an evil and adulterous generation that asks for a sign! The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah.' And leaving them standing there, he went away. (Matt. 16:4, Luke 11:29).
have two questions really....
1) Was 911 prophecied in the bible? and
2) How close are we to the end? I know it's impossible to predict but just curious
The events of 9/11 created a day filled with circumstances that closely mimicked the description in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 18:8-21) detailing the destruction of Babylon at the time of the end of the world. Many other passages of scripture seemed also to be involved in this stunning attack.
If we consider 911 to be a cry for help, there is so much prophetic symmetry here that some might view this date as a final allegorical plea for conversion.
"I am in anguish! I writhe in pain! Walls of my heart! My heart is throbbing! I cannot keep quiet, for I have heard the trumpet call and the cry of war. Ruin on ruin is the news: the whole land is laid waste..." (Jer. 4:19-20).
For a detailed description, see Towers of Babylon.
The end of the world is still a long way off. What is much closer are the "last days". We will know when both arrive because scripture has given us definitive signs of each. These signs are not hidden. Everyone will see them.
According to Jeremiah and Daniel, the last days are to begin with a crucial assassination (Jer. 44:29-30; Dan. 8:8). It may already have taken place in the murder of Anwar Sadat of Egypt after he signed a peace treaty with Israel. More likely, however, his death was probably the allegorical equivalent of this prophecy a vision which revolves around a nation or empire known symbolically as "Egypt".
Much later, the end of the world will also be ushered in with a sign. A gigantic earthquake will strike the Land of Israel (Zech.14:4-5; Ezek.38:18-19; Is.24:16-20). Scripture tells us it will be an earthquake greater than any ever seen before on earth. That earthquake, forecast by numerous prophets, signals the rustling of God as He gets up to judge the earth with all the thunderbolts in His quiver.
Just before this earthquake occurs, the armies of the nations will gather around Jerusalem.
Between the assassination and the earthquake, much of what is contained in the scriptues will unfold. It will be a time of violence on earth and hardship. There will be earthquakes in diverse places, the seas will roar and the nations will be in turmoil. There will be great signs by Satan and evil will abound. Love in most people will grow cold. Just before the end, God will be villified and His people will be subject to great harm. That assault, too, will be preceded by an assassination the one foreseen by Lucia of Fatima and mentioned by Daniel in his verse 9:26.
enjoyed reading your chronological time table on your website very much. I am interested in when it will be updated to include the tsunami the day after Christmas 04 and the burst of energy from the sun the following day and how you put these events into endtime prophesy. JC
I missed the recent sunburst. I wouldn't want to correlate that with the tsunami however, because it might be interpreted to imply that it has something to do with the wrath of God, which I do not think is associated with the waves. However, Both events do show the unsettled nature of this world and God's accelerating need to complete the rescue before everything breaks apart big time.
As far as the Chronological Table is concerned, you are probably referring to the one on AOL. The AOL web site is a backup web site that we update less frequently than our primary site. For an updated version, try our primary chronology web site at: http://goodnewschristianministry.org/chronology.htm
do you really think the queen mother in jermiahs prophecy is mary? MG
When Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judea and captured Jerusalem, the king of the Jews on the throne at the time was named Jehoiachin. He had been king for only 3 months. He was taken captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in 598 B.C. The queen mother (his mother) was taken captive with him. It was concerning this capture and exile that Jeremiah wrote the following:
"Say to the king and to the queen mother, "Come down from your thrones, for your glorious crowns will fall from your heads." (Jer. 13:18).
Thirty-seven years later, "on the 25th day of 12th month", a new king of Babylon (Evil-Merodach) pardoned Jehoiachin, released him from prison, and gave him the seat of highest honor at his own royal table. From that day until his dying day his upkeep was permanently ensured by the King of Babylon.
We know that all this is prophecy because it comes to us from the writings of Jeremiah:
"But in the 37th year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the 12th month, on the 25th day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year he came to the throne (562 B.C.), pardoned Jehoiachin king of Judah and released him from prison.
He treated him kindly and allotted him a seat above those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. So Jehoiachin laid aside his prisoner's garb, and for the rest of his life always ate at the king's table. And his upkeep was permanently ensured by the king of Babylon for the rest of his life day after day until his dying day." (Jer.52:31-34).
The 25th day of the 12th month in our own calendar is Christmas Day.
The symmetry in this coincidence of dates is enormously compelling and almost certainly needs to be seen as an exclamation point by the Holy Spirit. Christmas day practically shouts a relationship to Jesus Christ and His mother, especially in its implication here. Immediately one has to ask, "To whom does this prophecy point?"
"Who is the king of the Jews?" "Who is the Queen Mother?" "How was he taken captive to Babylon?" "Who pardoned him and raised him to the highest seat at the king's table?" The answers to all these questions are obvious when one looks to Jesus.
Jesus was sold to the Jews for 30 pieces of silver. Later they bartered with Pontius Pilate, trading Jesus to Rome in exchange for Barabbas. Pontius Pilate did not want Jesus, but the Jews forced him to take Him anyway. It was in this way that Jesus was sold into slavery to Babylon for 30 pieces of silver. The sale was promulgated on Calvary Hill.
It was a legal sale.
Like Esau, the Jews had sold their birthright. They had sold their King.
Christ was executed, but was resurrected and brought back to life.
When the Roman army conquered Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the entire House of Israel was carried off exiled to Babylon (to Rome). Both houses went there. Both the Christians and the Jews, i.e., those who were in David and those who were in Moses. They all went to Rome and from there were distributed across the world. The House of Christ went willingly, as if under orders; the House of Judah was taken by force.
In this 'Diaspora', the prophecy of Micah was made true:
"Writhe, cry out daughter of Zion, for now you have to leave the city and live in the open country. To Babylon you must go and there you will be rescued; There God will ransom you out of the power of your enemies." (Micah 4:10).
After many years spent in the catacombs (dungeons) of Rome, the Christians were freed from their captivity by an official pardom from the Roman emperor Constantine. That pardon was the Edict of Milan in 313 . The Christian Bishop was raised out of the catacombs and awarded the highest seat at the emperor's table. A few years later, the Roman empire permanently banned all other faiths. Every pagan temple throughout the world controlled by Rome was ordered sealed shut. Jesus Christ was the only faith allowed.
The upkeep and support of the Davidic King was permanently ensured by all the kings of Babylon, a committment that prophecy bound in place until his dying day. Almost every government in the western world since the time of Rome has sheltered and safeguarded the Church, and seen to it that the Church has been adequately subsidized in perpetuity. With that support suddenly withdrawn in the past 100 years, the "dying day" spoken of by the prophecy cannot be far behind.
The Queen Mother is Mary, the King's mother.
The title is automatic. Mary gave birth to Jesus. That makes her Queen Mother (just as it does any woman who gives birth to a national monarch).
But the allegory goes significantly further than that. There is an overriding symbolism here. Just as the faith itself is a reflection of the resurrected Jesus (Jesus is the true king David that sits at the emperor's table), so the Queen Mother that went captive to Babylon with Christ can be seen reflected in the Church itself.
As soon as the devil found himself thrown down to the earth, he sprang in pursuit of the woman, the mother of the male child, ·but she was given a huge pair of eagle's wings to fly away from the serpent into the desert, to the place where she was to be looked after for a year and twice a year and half a year. So the serpent vomited water from his mouth, like a river, after the woman, to sweep her away in the current, ·but the earth came to her rescue; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river thrown up by the dragon's jaws. ·Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, that is, all who obey God's commandments and bear witness for Jesus. (Rev. 12:13-17).
All churches that preach Christ to the world are reflections of the Queen Mother. Their children (their congregations) constitute the faithful in Christ. The churches are the earthly extentions of our true divine mother, the heavenly city of Jerusalem above.
"On the holy mountain stands the city he founded. The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God. I will record Egypt and Babylon among those who acknowledge me...but of Zion it shall be said, 'This one and that one were born in her', for the Most High himself will establish her. The Lord will write in the register of the peoples: 'This one was born in Zion." (Ps. 87:4-7).
Just as Joseph distributed the bread of Pharaoh from Egypt, so the Church distributes the Bread of Life from Babylon to the world. That bread is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. It is the bread of eternal life. Everyone who eats it will be born of Zion, God's holy city in heaven. This holy distribution was made possible because the king of the world pardoned the emissaries of Christ and gave them the seat of honor at his table. That pardon began the millenium, the rule of Christ on earth. It is the rule of the Body and Blood of Christ on earth.
Paul said the rule of Christ will be ended in a "Great Revolt". The "mortal wound" will heal, the rule of God will be replaced by a rule of godlessness. Babylon the Great will rise to power once again. But only to fall suddenly in a great crash, blasted out of existance by the people of the East. And then God will stand up and bring His hidden purpose to light. All this is in progress now.
Editor's Note (4/2/05):
A note on the passing of Pope John Paul II.
It is a testament to the importance of this age that three of the greatest peace-makers in the history of Christianity should have lived within the sight of our own eyes. Pope John Paul II, Billy Graham and Mother Theresa. Their likes have not been seen on earth in more than a thousand years. Not since Francis of Assisi have there been on earth Christian leaders who combined comparable holiness, leadership and world impact.
Pope John Paul II is considered by most the greatest Pope since Peter. He and Billy Graham are the most traveled and beloved evangelists in the history of the world. Their service in spreading the love of Christ is historically unmatched. They are like mirror images of Peter and Paul. The Holy Spirit seems to have underscored that relationship, for at the very moment Paul was elected Pope, Billy Graham was fittingly preaching in his home city of Krakow, in Poland.
Of all the servants of the Prince of Peace in the history of the world, almost none can match the contributions of these three. Yet only one was awarded the Nobel Peace prize. In a world that doesn't know what peace is, that should be no surprise.
What is the glorious land in Daniel 11:16? Is it Israel? Does it mean Israel is going to be conquered by an invader? If so is the invader the one they call the beast? Is the king of the south Egypt? Who is the daughter of women? What is her role?
I would like you to explain this whole chapter. It doesn't make any sense to me. PK
The King of the North in this prophecy is not the Beast. He leads the ten-nation confederacy, but reigns before the Beast comes to power (compare Dn. 11:16 to Dn. 11:21+).
The "Glorious Land" seems definitely to be Israel.
Just how the King of the North is able to successfully invade the Land of Splendor without incurring Israel's nuclear arsenal is an enigma. Perhaps it is the suddeness of the assault. You will note in this account that Israel is not conquered, just invaded. In Daniel's prophecy, the King of the North signs a treaty with the King of the South. That seems to indicate the King of the South is Israel, not Egypt.
The King of the North will consider conquering Israel, but will sign a treaty with the nation instead, and "as a part of that treaty, will give him a woman's daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but this will not last or be to his advantage." (Dn. 11:17). This passage is translated a little differently in every scripture you read. In it's historical basis (the marriage of Ptolemy's daughter Berenice to Antiochus) the image related not just to marriage, but to a wife given the invader.
But the loose way in which it is translated, that marriage could well relate to Israel (the invaded), instead. It may imply that as a part of the treaty, Israel is mandated to accept Palestine as a "daughter in marriage", a move that would force the two to combine into a single country.
Considering that there are other prophecies that show this invader massacring all the "settlers", we have to think Palestine is deeply enmeshed in this prophecy in some way. The marriage could well involve a mandate by the King of the North uniting Israel with Palestine. That certainly could be seen as an attempt by the King of the North to "overthrow" Israel by other than military means.
Whatever the intent, the prophecy shows that the maneuver will fail.
History is something different people can have different types of interpretation but after all, it is made of hard facts no one can decline. If God really wants us to understand patterns and sub-patterns whilst prophecies are something not on a word by word interpretation, history I think is the only key to reveal the patterns without much controversy. This will become the very same key Jesus told us to look at from the Book of Daniel if we are in the right time. Am I correct?
If history is going to repeat itself and according to your opinion, the "Greco" Empire nowaday will break up at its height of power, the only thing could make it happened I guess will be another big economic depression like the 1929 one (but far worst) which later brings another Hilter-like figure to the stage. Only with such scale of economic disaster, the world will break up starting from the ambit of world trade. My observations are:
- American are buying on debt without much savings in order to shoulder the world economy; - The US debt level have been kept rising since the 2nd Gulf War and would be on recorded height at the end of the 2nd term of President Bush; - Arrogancy of the Financial Institutions on using derivatives to divesting "risks" which turns out to be a big gambling on other people pension - who will pay for the losers? - Insurance won't work if natural diasasters or terrorism attacks one after another just like the storm hitting US oil facilities a few months ago and the 911.
With the above in mind, am I correct to say that the last 100 years will be a template purposely placed there by God according to your perspective of "Pairs by Opposite" to interpret the End Time's prophecies of Daniel? I agree that we cannot continue to enjoy the peace which are enjoyed by most developed countries in the last 60 years if we do not repent.. AT
History is merely past reality. God uses reality to tell us reality. Especially in this case. However, He is scant on the specifics. The reason apparently is to give us enough information to understand that He has told us the truth, but not so much that we get lost in details which are irrelevant. Whether it comes by depression, catastrophe, or otherwise, the issue is that there is little time left.
Jesus was sent to tell us that it was possible to escape death and live forever. That was His entire message. He mapped out in detail the narrow road to that escape and said "Get going!" God sent Him to save our lives and get us to safety because this world is about to be destroyed and any one who sticks around (tries to save their life) is going to get swept away in the debris of that disintegration.
I think the last 100 years show the progress of what is coming. The end of that period seems to have led right into Daniel which would be an indication that we have entered the timeframe within which the ten nations (the ten horns of prophecy) enter onto the world stage. If true, it means we are passing from "day" back into "night" in terms of the light of Christ shining on earth. All of which, if true, means not only will there be less time to repent, there will be fewer opportunities to do so as well. It's like a gate shutting on both sides at once.
Fire & brimstone? MN
For Babylon, yes. But not for the chosen of God.
It has been ordained in the prophecy of Isaiah and Amos that at the twilight of times everything must be announced before it comes to pass:
"For this is what the Lord has said to me, 'Go and post the watchman, and let him report what he sees. 'If he sees cavalry, horsemen two by two, men mounted on donkeys, men mounted on camels, let him observe, closely observe." (Is. 21:6-7).
The lookout shouts, 'On a watchtower, Lord, I stand all day; and at my post I keep guard all night'. Look, here come the cavalry, horsemen two by two. They spoke to me; they said, 'Fallen, fallen is Babylon, and all the images of her gods are shattered on the ground'. (Is. 21:8-9).
You who are threshed, you who are winnowed, what I have learnt from the Lord God, from the God of Israel, I am telling you now." (Is. 21:10).
"As whirlwinds sweeping over the Negeb come from the desert, from a land of horror a harsh vision has been shown me the plunderer plunders, the destroyer destroys. 'Go up, Elam (Iran), I am putting an end to groaning.' This is why my loins are wracked with shuddering; I am seized with pains like the pains of a woman in labor; I am too distressed to hear, too afraid to see. My heart flutters, dread makes me tremble, the twilight I longed for has become my horror." (Is. 21:1-4)
"Woe to those who...say, 'Quick! Let him hurry his work so that we can see it..." (Is.5:19) We were hoping for peace no good came of it!" (Jer. 8:5).
"Trouble for those who are waiting so longingly for the day of God! What will this day of God mean for you? Will not the day of God be darkness, not light? It will all be gloom, without a single ray of light." (Amos 5:18-20).
The prophet Daniel has reported that the message predicting the fall of Babylon will occur in conjunction with a feast (Dn. 5). Herodotus calls that feast an orgy because it involves the king and his noblemen, their wives and all the singing women drinking out of stolen goblets and praising their gods of gold and silver, etc. During the eating and drinking and praising, Daniel's handwriting on the wall suddenly appeared and stunned them all. Later that night, the enemy fell on Babylon and destroyed the empire completely.
"They spread the table and cover it with a cloth; they eat, they drink...Up, captains, grease the shield!" (Is. 21:5).
In the twilight of a Great Revolt against Christian rule on earth, the attack of the Medes (the people of the east) on New York City brought the twin towers of world trade crashing to the ground. Had the gauntlet been thrown? President Bush unleashed his armies on Afghanistan and Iraq. Who could doubt that the handwriting had inscribed itself on the wall of Babylon, the beginining of a harsh vision.
Who, then, were the noblemen, drunk with power, the noblemen who looted the country and its treasury? What gods of gold and silver were they praising? Was the orgy raging the day the towers fell related to the stock market bubble? Was the orgy a corporate world out of control. It's finances all air a dot com balloon with nickle stocks valued at hundreds of dollars a share? Like swarms of locusts, corporate managers had turned by the droves across the world into common thieves. Was this the drunken orgy predicted? The towers themselves the handwriting on the wall?
'Fallen, fallen is Babylon'. Fallen into recession and economic collapse. All the images of her gods shattered on the ground, buried in the dust of the towers.
If that was the orgy, it hasn't ended. The real estate bubble that survived the attack of the Medes is still inflating, its overexpansion seemingly poised now to mimic the fall of the second tower.
That begins the prophecy in which the last days, the invasion of the East, arrive.
Prophecy is tied to the Law. Jesus proved that when He said it had to be fulfilled. Anything that HAS to be fulfilled involves a legal reponsibility. That means there is more to prophecy than just revealing the future. It is an integral part of God's mechanism for our salvation. We can see that clearly in this prophecy by Amos:
"Does the trumpet sound in the city without the populace becoming alarmed? Does misfortune come to a city if God has not sent it? No more does the Lord God do anything without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:6-7).
Bible scholars have revealed that when Satan corrupted the creation his intent was a coup designed to destroy God's perfection. Familiar with God's Law in heaven, Satan masterminded an attempt to trap God in a kind of "catch 22", using the Law itself as his weapon. Faced with a contaminated creation, God, in His obedience to the Law seemed to have no choice but to destroy the creation. In other words, to kill us all.
But if He did that, He would be mercilous, because we were at fault only innocently, placed there by Satan's trap. The greater sin was Satan's. But if God granted us mercy, Satan's sin could not be condemned either. God would be forced to violate His own Law that stated that there was no remedy for sin except death. Thus the impasse. Either way God's perfection appeared doomed.
One way or another, thought Satan, God was going to lose His perfection.
God's solution to this dilemma involved great events on a cosmic scale.
He fashioned a world out of the very chaos of Satan's imperfection and then raised us up within it in bodies of clay that reflected the imperfection of our surroundings. Scripture tells us that our souls do not die with our bodies. So God had the ability to raise us up in a perishable flesh as if it were clothing He could put on or take off at will. The imperishable nature of our soul allowed God to do this without affecting our existance. At least, temporarily.
Then God gave Moses the right to state the Law of heaven on earth. He authorized that statement to be the absolute Law for His creation. The only problem was that Moses was not perfect. He could only give us a copy of God's law. The Law of Moses was simply his impression of what he had seen on the mountain of Sinai. Yet God gave Moses authority to make that copy the real Law for this creation.
There was no mercy in the Law of Moses, that is why Paul called it a law of sin and death. Wherever it reigned, death reigned with it. That was a death sentence. Nothing can survive the Law of Moses. This world and everything in it is doomed. That is why our bodies die. That is why the earth dies and why even the heavens above die. The Law condemns it all.
No matter how powerful the telescopes we build, no matter how far out into the cosmos we peer, all we see is a vast emptiness, pitted with fire and brimstone and death. All life, and all matter, regardless of how many ways any of it comes into being, dies. The Law condemns it all. Moses saw that condemnation and incorporated it in his Law.
What God did next, thwarted Satan.
He raised up His hidden Son in a mortal body. And He handed over His own throne to His Son, to share it with Him. In that coronation, Jesus is God. He is a part of the Godhead. As God, Jesus had power to bring to us His actual Word, the true law of heaven.
Knowing the Law of Moses, God knew the intricacies of it thoroughly. He knew the precise specifications in the Law for the punishment of sin. He knew, also, every paradox Moses had incorporated in it. He knew every loophole. God knew there would be loopholes because Moses was a man and thus imperfect and would write down an imperfect reflection of what he saw on the mountain. It was a given. But since God gave Moses the authority to be absolute in his statement, the loopholes were made absolute as well.
That was the key to God's victory.
The specifications for the sacrifice for sin were part of this, the rules for the remission of sin. Everyone knows about the perfect unblemished lamb, etc. But an aspect of Moses' Law just as important was it's command that the "husband" could take the sins of the "wife" on himself. God locked on. Moses said that the son could stand in place of his father in the sacrifice. God locked on. The "wife" could be dismissed. God locked on. The prophets verified Moses' rules and refined them, and with each refinement, they gave God greater latitude for satisfying the Law's demands.
That is why Bible prophecy as far as God is concerned is an absolute. It is part of the Law. It is part and parcel of what needs to be fulfilled in order that our departure from the Mosaic Law be legally accomplished. God cannot be a lawbreaker. He had to keep the Law precisely as stated in order to give us the ability to overcome it. That is why none of it can pass away until every word of it has been fulfilled in its entirety.
In the end, God has instrumented a way to forgive sin, to condemn Satan and the creation he had contaminated, provide us with a means to legally exit the Law of Moses, and to pledge allegiance to a new covenant that can raise us up in a new perfect world where our bodies can live forever.
The two creations (Satan's and Christ's) were deemed wives of God. One was a harlot and was dismissed and the other was decreed the new wedded wife, with Christ as her husband. Jesus had given His earthly flesh to pay the penalty that allowed us to be freed from Moses' rules. He paid the penalty the Law demanded, in our place.
All who accept Christ's offer and agree to His conditions will be forgiven and saved. Because Jesus paid our penalty, using His own flesh in the process, He erased all our debt forever. We will live in a new law (a new covenant), ruled by the Gospel of a New Testament where we can be free from the sentence of death prescribed by Moses.
All who refuse Christ's offer remain captive to the Law of Moses, the legal writ of this world. Those that remain in that law will suffer the fate of this creation, all the fire and brimstone and death predicted by the prophets, and guaranteed by Moses' Law.
That was it. God had raised us from death to life and He had done it without compromising His perfection.
Finally, after all has been accomplished, God will rescue those trapped in the old covenant as well, employing the same mechanism He used to rescue the pagans, the fulfillement of the prophecies. The Jews will be pardoned. The first wife will be given a new heart and through it be born into the new covenant (see Hosea 1 & 2). Again, the works of God go in pairs by opposites. That will be seen here as well when the unfaithful wife is pardoned.
"Do not be afraid, you will not be put to shame, do not be dismayed, you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth and no longer remember the curse of your widowhood. For now your creator will be your husband, his name, the Lord God; your redeemer will be the Holy One of Israel, he is called the God of the whole earth." (Is. 54:4-5).
"Yes, like a forsaken wife, distressed in spirit, the Lord calls you back. Does a man cast off the wife of his youth? says your God. I did forsake you for a brief moment, but with great love will I take you back. In the excess of anger, for a moment I hid my face from you. But with everlasting love I have taken pity on you, says the Lord, your redeemer." (Is. 54:6-8).
"I am now as I was in the days of Noah when I swore that Noah's waters should never flood the world again. So now I swear concerning my anger with you and the threats I made against you; for the mountains may depart, the hills be shaken, but my love for you will never leave you and my convenant of peace with you will never be shaken, says the Lord who takes pity on you." (Is. 54:9-10).
Combining both Houses of righteous Israel (Christians and Jews) into one, God will raise them together as one nation into the Messiah's new kingdom above. And then the end will come.
"Son of man, take stick and write on it, 'Judah and those Israelites loyal to him'. Take another stick and write on it, 'Joseph, the wood of Ephraim, and all the House of Israel loyal to him'. Join one to the other to make a single peice of wood, a single stick in your hand. And when the people ask why...tell them I shall make one stick out of the two, and I shall hold them as one." (Ez.37:16-19).
"I shall make them into one nation in my own land and on the mountains of Israel, and one king is to be king of them all; they will no longer form two nations, nor be two separate kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and their filthy practices and all their sins. I shall rescue them from all the betrayals they have been gulty of; I shall cleanse them ; they shall be my people and I will be their God. My servant David will reign over them, one shepherd for all; they will follow my observances, respect my laaws and practise them." (Ez.37:22-24).
"David my servant is to be their prince forever. I shall make a covenant of peace with them, an eternal covenant with them. I shall resettle them and increase them; I shall settle my sanctuary among them forever. I shall make my home above them; I will be their God, they shall be my people. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord the sanctifier of Israel, when my sanctuary is with them forever." (Ez.37:26-28).
I just wanted to share an observation regarding several recent events that appear to be highly symbolic to a keen eye and, yet, highly coincidental to a passing eye.
December 26, 2003 a massive earthquake struck Iran killing tens of thousands.
December 26, 2004 a massive earthquake struck Indonesia killing perhaps hundreds of thousands.
March 28, 2004 a massive earthquake struck Indonesia killing perhaps thousands.
Allowing for the measure of time to be oriented in the time zone of the Western Hemisphere, these earthquakes actually struck on Christmas Day 2003, Christmas Day 2004 and Easter Sunday 2005 in predominantly Muslim nations.
Two consecutive years earthquakes have struck on the day the West celebrates the birth of Christ followed by another earthquake striking on the day the West celebrates the resurrection of Christ after his death by crucifixion.
These Earth-bound physical events of pain and suffering occurring on the exact day in which the spiritual events of Christ illuminate the physical world with the healing light of salvation and everlasting life is such a manifestation of Biblical symbolism that it trumps the matter of the events being coincidental circumstances. RA
Each day on earth begins and ends at the International Date Line, an imaginary line that stretches from north to south across the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii and Tahiti. This date line marks the boundary of almost all flat-plane world maps. The Western Hemisphere is the last major land mass on earth to witness each day on earth end.
That may be the point of significance. Each of the catastrophic earthquake's you mention struck at the beginning of the new day in the East, while the respective Christmas days and the Easter Sunday were nearing their end. Perhaps the fact that these days were "running out", so to speak, is where the symbolism lies.
We might take that as further confirmation that God's offer of repentance and salvation is running out. There is very little time left to take Christ up on God's offer to forgive sin in His name. If that is the case (and we could easily accept it as such) it would be further confirmation of what the world, as Babylon, can expect to see in place of Christ's peace as the twilight fades into the darkness of Satan's approaching night.
The role of the East in relation to the tribulation is well documented in scripture. I doubt that the symbolism is directly related to a Muslim East, but it may speak to a militant and renegade offshoot reminiscent of Al Queda.
Your observation raises again the question by another reader who earlier asked about the disquieting timing of the large solar flare that occurred the day after the earthquake and tsunami this last Christmas. It is not the time for sun storms yet over a period of about 15 months, several have occurred, including the two largest ever seen by modern man. An angry sun in allegorical terms does not speak well for Babylon.
It makes one wonder how many other "signs" of a strategic age unfolding have begun exploding around us that we aren't even aware of. Perhaps it is time to pay closer attention.
I study bible with reference to what we are ususally taught by the pastors about the concept of Rapture and still cannot understand why they still say that there will be a 1000 years' rule of Christ on earth enjoying by all Christian after the 7 years' Apocalypse. Yet I find in the Scripture instead Jesus said when he comes, he will separate the goat and the sheep which appears to me the Judgement Day immediately thereafter and also that the existing world will be gone like rolling a scroll.
However, I find it difficult to interpret on the Revelation Chapter 20 as it seems to "contradict" with the description of "End Time" with other parts of the Scripture. I agree to your view that at the "End Time" there will be a "Great Revolt" but when I look at Revelation Chapter 20 again it seems to me that the False Prophet and the Beast are already in the "Burning Fire Lake"...That is the point I cannot understand and grateful if you would let us have your advice. Who participates in the Judgment? AT
When John was writing the Book of Revelation, the "beast" and "false prophet" were very visible to him in the form of the pagan Roman Empire in it's Caesar (especially Nero) and all the Greek gods and goddesses, like Jupiter, Minerva and Diana, etc. It was against this pagan "worldliness" that fledgling Christianity was struggling. That struggle was the first battle of the end-times.
In vision, John was allowed to see the fall of both the death of Nero and the other Caesars and their pagan empire, as well as the death of the pagan gods and goddesses who bowed to it. These two were thrown by God into the burning lake. That is what John saw the "mortal wound" being administered. It occurred within the first 100 years of the death of Jesus.
In their place rose a world under the rule of Christian church leaders. It was not the leaders, themselves, who were Godlike, it was their proclamation: "Jesus is God!!!" That was the new message being proclaimed around the world after the fall of paganism. It is in this new message that the True Prophet has replaced the false one. Pagan rituals and secularism were banned everywhere the Church went, and it went, tied part and parcel to the Western world. Instead of Caesar being claimed a god, Jesus was being claimed as God. That was a huge change.
It is that change of proclamations on earth made from the seat (throne) of western government that represents the thousand-year rule of Christianity on earth. It has lasted longer than a thousand years (almost 2000, as per Joshua's prophecy Josh.10:13).
This rule (the proclamation of Christ from the ruling western governments) is the millenium, the thousand-year rule of Christ's Church on this earth. It is a rule that allows the servants of Jesus to find God's lost children by preaching His Word across the globe. You can see an image of that same rule in your Baptist church. Christ is preached. There are individual baptists and even a few baptist preachers who have backslid into evil, but that doen't mean the Baptist church is evil. Just the opposite. The church remains good because it's proclamation is good: "Jesus is God!" It is the same in all churches that have preached Jesus to the world over the last 2000 years.
Over the last 100 years we have watched a revolt take place as one after the other of the nations that make up this western civilization have distanced themselves from Jesus and no longer encourage their citizens to follow Him. These leaders argue that to say Jesus is God is to go against the Muslims who say someone else is God or against the atheists who say there is no God at all. World leaders now want nothing to do with either Jesus or His Father as far as government is concerned because a dark power has returned, and it has deluded them into thinking the way the ancient Caesar's thought. That is the work of the False Prophet. It is preparing the way for the Beast to reappear. Western government leaders now desire that a secular, aetheistic kind of agnosticism accompany them in their ruling administration of the citizenry. That is what they are now most comfortable with. So God and Jesus have been thrown out.
This is the "Great Revolt" that Paul said had to take place before the arch-types of wickedness make their return. That return is the healing of the mortal wound. Those that are returning are the same ones Jesus earlier had consigned to the flames with the sword of His Gospel. They are returning to life, and the Book of Revelation says that when the people of the world see that return and the healing of the mortal wound occur, they will marvel and all go off to follow after the beast (Rev. 18:3). That return is described in scripture as a kind of reincarnation, perhaps involving Nero or Nebuchadnezzar. It reproduces the Beast and the False Prophet on earth.
We don't know whether it is an actual reincarnation, but it is possible because the beast and false prophet were not killed, they were shown to be thrown "alive" into the lake (Rev. 19:20). All the others were killed (Rev. 19:21), but not those two. The fact that they were kept alive seems significant. The Book of Revelation says it is because they are going to be eternally tortured (Rev. 20:10).
Scripture tells us that the beast is both pagan government and its rulers. Both are independently called the Beast in scripture. What was assigned to the flames with Nero was the pagan empire he ruled. It is paganism that returns to the earth when Christianity is toppled from the ruling throne of Western civilization. And since it is paganism (pagan empire) that is the Beast, it's return from the flames of the Abyss is guaranteed by scripture, so it will occur (Rev. 17:8). Obviously a part of the Beast, at least, is allowed to return to earth. That is what the tribulation is all about.
Perhaps new figures will appear whose likenesses are so reminiscent of the earlier individuals that scripture simply describes them as reincarnations. The beast is shown to have 7 heads, one of which returns. The 7th of those heads died in 1945 (Adolph Hitler). It is these elements of the Beast and False Prophets that are dying. This shows that the beast is an ongoing creation by Satan that can be reproduced by him over and over until Satan himself is destroyed.
Whenever Satan deceives the people, he creates pagan government on earth. That is why Satan had to be physically removed to insure that the proclamation of Christ be allowed to reign on earth for its allotted time.
Chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation tells us that Satan was thrown into the Abyss by God (for the thousand years) so that the proclamation of Christ on earth would continue unimpeded. In a sure sign that he has now been released from that imprisonment, godlessness is returning to the world. The revolt, itself, is the clearest sign this return has taken place. But there are others. Hitler, himself, is one. Scripture says Satan will mobilize the world for war when he returns. The last 100 years have witnessed war beyond anything ever seen in the history of the planet, two world wars, a world-wide cold war and hundreds of smaller wars all across the planet, not to mention more than a score of genocides involving millions of lives lost in each one of them.
The western world cannot survive throwing Jesus out of it's government. It's power comes from God. That is why we see the East rising to power. The Bible tells us that the ruling civilized world, when it tries to rule outside of God, becomes Babylon. And the prophecies are clear. The East will rise up and destroy Babylon when the revolt has been completed actually, even before the revolt is completed (see Isaiah 24:14-17).
The tribulation is all the havoc that the return of godlessness creates on earth. Once the people of evil begin their carnage, nature itself which has been programmed to launch its own effort to bring the world to an end, will be freed to do so as God's power ceases to hold those efforts back. These two forces of destruction coalescse at the end. So, while the tribulation of man rages on one side, earthquakes, violent seas, even asteroids and comets will accompany the devastation and add to it on the other. Jesus said it is our faith that blocks all this destruction, so world faithlessness is what brings it all to pass.
Everyone who follows Christ will escape all this. There will be a rapture. It will involve the living and the dead. This is how scripture defines it:
"At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord forever." (1 Thes.4:16-17).
Anyone who says it will happen differently does so in conflict with the Word of God. The rapture (a word that does not exist in scripture) is simply the return of Jesus, i.e., it is the "Second Coming". For a history of the word "Rapture", read Bill Moyer's excellent essay in the 'New York Review of Books'.
You are correct, the rapture occurs in immediate conjunction with the time of the Last Judgment and the exchange of worlds as described in Revelation 21:
"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).
As you say, scripture is clear. Jesus is leading us to a new world far removed from this wicked desert outpost. The world God is taking us to is perfect and eternal. It experiences no corruption. Nothing wears out. There is no cold, no hot and even the sea does not exist there. We cannot imagine a place like that, but God has said that it is glorious beyond description.
Those that argue we must remain behind and stay here for a thousand years are attempting to hold on to the cardboard box for awhile before they go into God's eternal mansion. They have become so comfortable in this corruptible place, they don't want to leave it just yet. That reluctance may be because they cannot imagine a world like the one Jesus and the prophets have described. This one is more familiar to them, so they are trying to hold on to it for awhile.
The thousand years relates to the light of Jesus shining on earth the "Day of Atonement", when confession of sins and forgiveness is made available to the whole world. Scripture tells us a day to God is like a thousand years to man. That is the key to this equation. The prophecy of Joshua shows us that God, in His great mercy, has extended that Day of Atonement, making one day into almost two (Josh.10:13). We have been witnesses to that extension. For the last 2000 years Christ has been proclaimed, a proclamation encouraged by the western governments who have ruled the earth throughout that period.
During the time of this preaching, the Beast and False Prophet have resided in the flames of the Abyss and Satan has been imprisoned there as well. Now, in keeping with the prophecy, Satan has been released for a short time (Rev. 20:7-10). The release of Satan will bring God's Day of Atonement to an end. The proclamation on earth that Jesus is God will be silenced. We can already see that process being initiated in strict Muslim countries even today. Night will return for a short time. It was about the return of night that Jesus said,
"As long as the day lasts I must carry out the work of the one who sent me; the night will soon be here when no one can work. As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world." (Jn. 8:4-5).
That is why the urgency to convert is so critical right now. Christ is still here; His offer is still being made, but time is running out.
As far as the Last Judgment itself is concerned, and all who will participate in it, I agree with you on this as well. It's perfectly documented in Matthew 25:31-46.
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, 'Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me...I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine,you did it to me'.
Next he will say to those on his left hand, 'Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me...I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me'. And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life." (Mat. 25:31-46)
I am concerned about the tribulation when God punishes the non-Chrstians. How do the Christians escape this punishment if they are not to be raptured until after it is all over? EO
The Tribulation does not come from God.
God's punishment does not come before the Judgment.
God's punishment follows the law. He is the Righteous Judge. He will punish no one until after the world has ended and the Last Judgment has taken place.
The Tribulation comes from Satan and sin. It comes the same way a drunken driver comes barrelling down the wrong side of the road. The mayhem he wreaks falls on good and bad alike.
Think of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", when Jimmy Stewart was shown how the town of Bedford Falls would look had he never been born. He saw a place called "Pottersville". It was filled with saloons and crime and terrible things were happening to the good. The allegory can be applied to the Tribulation.
In a world where most of the people stop worshipping Jesus and start chasing after hedonistic things; after money, drugs and corruption of all kind, a Bedford Falls to Pottersville metamorphosis takes place, sending drunk drivers and criminals of all kinds careening all over the planet in many different ways. Wars and chaos break out everywhere. The result is called the Tribulation. In this case the people of God were born, but when they went to heaven, most were not replaced. The harvest went to gleaning.
It is the same with earthquakes and all the other disasters we see. All those things come from Satan. None of this comes from God. All are warnings to repent because they are showing us that the earth, built from the chaos of Satan's revolt cannot last. The closer the End comes, the more frequent will be the signs of warning. Certain escape from all this havoc lies only with conversion to Christ.
Those who follow Jesus to the safety He has prepared will evade death and live forever. Bearing the cross of Christ, and walking in His footsteps, the Tribulation will work to their greater glory.
Early this morning(between 04h00 and 05h30) I dreamt about seeing the Father (just like in pictures of JESUS) coming from sky thru clouds, I looked up ,perplexed,bewildered,dumbstruck yet He looked at me and I JUST SHOOK MY HEAD TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF COULD IT BE OR NOT!!!!! After a minute or two by means beyond human comprehension HE reached out to me and at time my wife and daughter were asleep and HE GENTLY TOUCHED MY DAUGHTER ON FOREHEAD and I fell back asleep,tears rolling down my face! It was all difficult to construe how He touched my daughter , amazing power , kindness, mercy, love exhibited.
About a few minutes later I dreamt again about three people sitting on thrones high in the skies amoungst the clouds besides one another. I looked to figure out what it was or who it could be and behind THEM a city in the sky. Astonished, surprised we , my daughter and I ran towards this city and three people in ROYAL GLORY IN SKY BEFORE THE CLOUDS COVER IT ALL....THEM AND CITY!!!
Again I FELL INTO ANOTHER DEEP SLEEP WHERE IT WAS SOME FUNEBRIAL EVENT OR FEAST WHICH I ATTENDED, YET ENROUTE TO THIS PLACE A BRIGHT LIGHT OPENED IN SKIES THRU CLOUDS ,I LOOKED UP ,TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IT WAS ...AGAIN I NOTICED OUR LORD ON THE CROSS HANGING IN SKY BETWEEN CLOUDS. I woke up a few minutes later tears rollin down my cheeks trying to make sense of all this, prayed to God to xplain or reveal all this. Yet scripture tells about dreams that will be dreamt, visions etc.
Hope I AM NOT LOSIN MY MIND AS SOME TIME LAST YEAR I ALSO DREAMT ABOUT JESUS DESCENDING FROM HEAVEN IN ALL BRIGHTNESS , GLORY.
Any answers on what this may mean,could it be real (not that I DOUBT OUR FATHER,TRUE GOD).RB
I started my ministry after receiving a vision from God. It changed my life dramatically. Your dream is significant. Obviously it is closely tied to your daughter. She has been singled out for special favor from God, as have you. Whatever happens, know that eternal life is assured and that your lives are in the hands of Jesus Christ. In my own vision, I was not as fortunate as you were to witness the Lord Himself, but I was allowed to see the angels ascending and descending from the throne of God. Anyone who has ever had a vision from the Lord knows the impact. It is life-altering!
You are quite blessed to be able to have such a vision. It is very special. The vision shows the time of the End. It relates to the Second Coming and to the sign of Jesus in the sky just before God's eternal city descends from the clouds. It is reminiscent of the visions seen by John at the end of the Book of Revelation. The picture your visions paint and of you and your daughter running toward the heavenly city are evocative and superbly powerful. Moreover, they are prophetic. Scripture tells us that vision and prophecy are very closely related (Numbers 12:6).
I have reprinted your letter here so that others may be witness to the glory of God as seen through your eyes!
A question about the origin of the Church and churches.
Christianity is built on the Hebrew template. In Moses, the temple existed wherever God was spiritually present. The 12 Tribes believed that God inhabited the temple, specifically the inner hidden part called the "Holy of Holies" and that He took His place on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. That is why the loss of the Ark when Nebuchadnezzar burned down Solomon's temple was so devastating to the House of Israel.
In Ezekiel 10:18-22 there is a description of God lifting up out of Solomon's temple to leave it and accompany the Jewish exiles on their journey of captivity to Babylon, just before that Temple was set on fire.
When Herod built his temple in Jerusalem at the time Jesus came, it was empty of Ark. The Jews expected the Messiah to come and restore the lost Ark together with the missing Ten Commandments which were inside the Ark when both disappeared. Instead, Jesus left Herod's temple empty and spiritually entered every baptised Christian and took His place in the heart of each soul. His Holy Spirit put God's Word into each of us at the same time. That is how Jesus rebuilt the true Temple. Wherever God is spiritually present, the temple is said to exist.
We make up the stones of that new Temple.
One might expect this to signify that each believer is a kind of "church" unto himself, but Jesus qualified that belief by saying that wherever two or more were gathered together in His name, there He would be also. For this reason we must assume that any time two or more gather in His name a church is formed at that place and moment. Temporary unions like that are continually forming and reforming spiritual churches all across the world.
Traditional physical churches are like this, but far more stable so that they can provide a place of safety and refuge for the children of God as they travel from this world to the kingdom of Jesus' promise.
Virtually all Christian theologians define the Church beginning on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit returned from heaven. Before that day, there was no Spirit empowered with Christ's Word, so the Word of God could not take it's place in people's hearts:
"As scripture says: From his breast shall flow fountains of living water. He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive, for there was no Spirit yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified." (Jn.7:38-39).
The definition of the word "church" is divided into two parts. The return of the Holy Spirit created on earth a "Church Universal", the spiritual entity of which we, and all institutional churches are a part. It is the Church Universal (i.e., the spiritual essence of the church) that is built on Peter. He is the first stone of the spiritual Church in which we all are a part. The physical churches on earth echo this structure.
A question of concern about the best church
"I will endow him with my spirit and He will proclaim the true faith to the nations." (Mat.12:18)
"Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother." (Mat.12:50).
"For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them." (Mat.18:19-20).
"And there are other sheep I have that are not part of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock and one shepherd." (John 10:16).
"I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe..." (John 10:9).
"If a man serves me, he must follow me; wherever I am, my servant will be there too. If anyone serves me, my Father will honor him." (John 12:26).
"If anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven." (Mat. 10:31).
"Anyone who is convinced he belongs to Christ must go on to reflect that we all belong to Christ no less then he does." (2 Cor. 10:7).
"It is not those who say to me, 'Lord, Lord', who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Mat. 7:21).
"Anyone who is not against us is for us." (Lk.9:49-50).
"You do not need anyone to teach you. The anointing he gave you teaches you everything." (1 John 2:27).
"I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death." (John 8:51).
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me." (Jn.14:6).
"Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it..." (Mat. 7:13-14).
"Shoulder my yoke and learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light." (Mat.11:29-30).
"What I want is mercy, not sacrifice." (Mat. 9:13).
Clearly there is room in all this for a wide variety of churches acceptable to God. The universal Church is a spiritual concept around which are clustered thousands of physical churches. One church stands in the center and the others spiral out from that center in all directions reaching a far periphery beyond which salvation is no longer possible. No one knows where the boundaries of that periphery lie. It is safe to assume they are structured on Jesus Christ. Where there is Christ, salvation is possible. Beyond Christ, eternal life is someone elses' to offer.
Can you explain John 1:17
"Since though the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17).
Wasn't that under the law or John's baptism, in John 4:1-3 and in ACTS 19(?) TF
Baptism is the last act of the law on us.
"Through the Law I am dead to the Law, so that now I can live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now, not with my own life, but with the life of Christ who lives in me." (Gal.2:19).
Jesus kept the Law so that He could be the perfect sacrifice the Law demanded. By His sacrifice He led us out of the Law.
"God's justice that was made known through the Law and the Prophets has now been revealed outide the Law, since it is the same justice of God that comes through faith to everyone, Jew and pagan alike, who believes in Jesus Christ. "(Rom. 3:21-22).
Paul re-baptized them ? in the name of JesusChrist ? (ACTS 19). TF
John's disciples were re-baptised in Jesus Christ because Jesus is the focal point of John's baptisms. Having first been baptised in John, they were cleansed vessels. They were re-baptised to impart the Holy Spirit:
John the Baptist had said:
"I baptise you in water for repentance, but the one who follows me is more powerful than I am...and he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (Mat.3:11).
It was because Paul remembered that statement, that he wrote in Acts 19:
"I had scarcely begun to speak when the Holy Spirit came down on them in the same way as it came on us at the beginning, and I remembered that the Lord had said, 'John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit'. I realized then that God was giving them the identical thing he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ..." -Acts 11:15-17.
In other words, baptism is the last act of the Law on us. Baptism takes us out of the Law and cleanses us to receive the Holy Spirit in a clean soul. We are not like John's disciples, we know in whom we are being baptised. The same was true of the those baptised by the Apostles in John 4:1-2.
The water not only cleanses our souls, it symbolizes our acknowledgment of God's plan. In other words, it is a legal act. It is the new covenant marked on our bodies (Gn.17:13). As Jesus died for our sins, so we accept His death as our own. Thus, when marked with the water, we give up our earthly life to be reborn into God's new lifethe Gospel of Jesuswhich comes into us in the person of the Holy Spirit. The fire is our trial-filled journey from this world to God's new world as we help carry Christ's cross to the kingdom of heaven.
is it possible that satan or any of the fallen angels can be redeemed from death at the end of this world.....thanksU
Prophecy tells us that Satan will not be redeemed (Rev. 20:10).
I am not sure there is a mechanism in place for the redemption of the fallen angels. We have never been to heaven, but the angels and Satan were driven out of heaven. That puts them in a different category. They are not descendants of Adam or Abraham, so do not come under the Promises of scripture. The salvation of Christ seems specific to the Law within which He fulfilled the demand for a perfect sacrifice. Our "original sin" stems from Adam. The angels' sin has a different origin.
How can the last 1000 years represent the rule of Christ on earth?
Please explain to me how such an evil period in history can represent the kingdom of God? S
The kingdom of God is not of this world. God's kingdom remains hidden and safely guarded in the heavens. The earthly "millenium" only represents the PREACHING of God's Word on earth.
The 1000-year millenium of Christ on this planet has nothing to do with the idea of Christ's kingdom being fully realized in this world. The millenium relates only to the fact that the Gospel was allowed to be openly preached during that period.
For 1700 years, not only was the Gospel openly preached, but its broadcast was heartily encouraged by government. The "millenium" relates to this the fact that the Christian churches were supported by the world's governments who joined with them to actively promote the conversions of the world's citizenry into God's Word.
It turned out to be 1000 years stretched almost into 2000 years in keeping with the prophecy of Joshua. During its tenure, each of us have been called upon (like Simon the Cyrene) to take his turn helping to carry the cross of Christ in our lives, praying at all times for the courage to endure the trials and tribulations of this world. As Daniel said, it is a time of trouble. It's peace is only relative.
However, without the rule of God's Church on earth, conversion would have been much harder.
Christ's kingdom remains to this day, where it has always been, in the heavens. It can only be reached by the pilgrammage Jesus commanded us to take, following in His footsteps.
To create this time, God wrested control of the world's governments away from Satan by locking him in the Abyss. Satan has now returned and that is why we suddenly see the governments renouncing their support of Jesus, and the world wars beginning in keeping with the prophecy. This is all leading to a time when preaching will be forbidden once again returning darkness to the planet for a brief time. And then Christ will return and take His people to His celestial kingdom to commence a reign that will last, not for a thousand-years, but forever.
Our minister said in Bible study the tribulation happened a long time ago when the Roman empire took the Jews into captivity. Do you think there going to be a second tribulation and will the captivity be repeated? Who will the captives be then, Jews, Christians or both? JM
The captivity can't be repeated, because it hasn't ended. It is still very much in place.
In Revelation 19:11 to 20:10, we can see that the millenium of Christ is bordered by two wars, the two battles of the End. The first of these represents the two-pronged attack by the Roman Empire on the Jews, and later the Christians. As you say, the Romans sacked Jerusalem and took thousands of high-ranking Jewish officials and citizens into the slavery of a captivity so enormous it has lasted almost 2000 years, and is termed the "Diaspora".
Next, the Romans targeted the Christians, driving them into the Roman catacombs. After 200 years, a truce to this warfare was offered by the Roman emperor, Constantine. That truce concluded the first battle of the End and initiated the long-term millenium during which Jesus was allowed to be preached openly to the ends of the earth. This truce, while not terminating the age of the pagans, dramatically temporized its harshness, especially in terms of those who chose to follow Jesus.
God allowed the pagan age to occur so that the outside world could hear the voice of Jesus.
The rebuilding of an Israeli Jerusalem which we now see developing in the Holy Land is the first serious Jewish attempt allowed by the pagan world to reverse the exile, but this effort hasn't ended the captivity (Jer. 42:7-16). The Diaspora is still firmly in place. Only a small percentage of Jews have returned to rebuild Jerusalem. The rest remain scattered across the earth, as do the Christians who, as equal sons of God, share equally in the promises of God concerning Jerusalem. As per scripture, the captivity will not officially end until the Prince of Persia decrees it, and both Houses of Israel have been united to share equally in God's reconciliation process.
In the meantime, the second tribulation (the second battle of the End) predicted to precede the Second Appearance of Jesus Christ will occur in conjunction with the signs scripture has designated to herald that appearance:
"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. " (Lk.21:20-23)
"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." (Lk.21:24).
We can see from this quotation that your minister is correct. The tribulation period relates to the age of the pagans and began with the burning of Jerusalem and the detruction of Herod's temple in the first End-time war at the start of the Christian era.
Armies surrounding Jerusalem cannot be considered entirely a past occurrance, however. Throughout the Christian era, Jerusalem has been wracked with warfare. Invasions by Muslim and Crusade armies have caused blood to flow through Jerusalem streets "knee-high" according to contemporary accounts.
We expect to see this situation arise again. It was brought under control for a time, but is now, once again, about to be repeated, perhaps even more violently than in past years. Scripture has guaranteed this repeat.
Since there is only one description in scripture relating to the circumstances of these two End-time wars, we must assume that they follow the common biblical pattern in which all the works of God go in pairs by opposites. The events following Christ's first appearance and preceding His return must be very similar, with one exception.
The End will also feature additional signs never seen in the past:
"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 and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand. (Lk.21:25-28
With the world's revolt against Christian rule now obvious, the 1700-year period of the millenium's temporary relief seems certain to be coming now, to an end.
As that rule passes away, the violence one would expect from the age of the pagans is returning. And it is doing so with a vengeance made all the more virulent by the inventiveness of the modern world. We can see that toxicity unfold in multiple world wars, in the holocaust of the Jews, and other mass murders all across the planet, in drug-impervious pestilence and disease, in the ruins of Hiroshima, and in a myriad of other angry maelstrom's.
"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." (Rv.20:7-8).
"I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all will have taken place...Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" (Lk 21:29-33).
This is an end that every person on the face of the earth will experience, not just those who happen to live at the peripheral point of history. Each life must prepare for this terminus in the very same way. The tribulation has been able to reach into every life on earth, for Satan has got his wish to sift us all like wheat. During the millenium, the intesity of this sifting was temporized. As the world withdraws from Christ, that will change.
"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 confidnce before the Son of Man." (Lk.21:34-36).
Were is Heaven? Do we go there right after death? Or soul sleep? If we are awake going to heaven are we just spirits floating around and get new bodys after the new heaven and earth.? Will we know whats going on on earth when were in heaven.? AH
Paul said that there are three heavens (2 Cor.12:1-4). The third is the highest.
The first heaven is physical, and is the sky above our heads. It is filled with galaxies and stars and extends to the end of the universe. It is here that Satan rules (Eph. 6:12). He was given power over it by God before he rebelled. That dominion is the reason why he has power to sift us. (See also Eph. 2:2). It is all this that is passing away because it has been corrupted by Satan:
"But by the same word, the present sky and earth are destined for fire, and are only being reserved until Judgmnet day so that all sinners may be destroyed."
"The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then with a roar the sky will vanish, the elements will catch fire and fall apart, the earth and all that it contains will be burnt up. Since everything is coming to an end like this, you should be living holy and saintly lives while you wait and long for the Day of God to come, when the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat." (2 Peter 3:10-12).
The second heaven is invisible. It seems to coexist with the earth and sky, but passage between them is carefully guarded by God. Scripture tells us that Satan was driven out of this second heaven and hurled down to earth and has no power to return. Jesus told Nathanael that the sky (the first heaven) would be rolled back before his eyes and he would be astonished to see the angels ascending and descending there (John 1:51). That heaven is where God and all the angels currently reside.
"What we are waiting for is what he promised, the new heavens and new earth, the place where righteousness will be at home." (2 Peter 3:13).
While righteousness currently reigns in the second heaven, the third heaven is the home of Christ's new kingdom where everyone that God chooses will be reborn to live with Jesus for all eternity. No one will be allowed to enter it until after the Judgment. Then everyone will go in at once.
Jesus said that no one is dead to God. That means our soul does not die with our body. Revelation's prophecy indicates that many will be given our new bodies immediately after death, although entrance into the kingdom of God will be delayed for all until the rolls are complete (Rev.6:9-11). Many other passages of scripture tell of a kind of 'soul sleep' as you call it, awaiting the return of Jesus when His voice will awaken all and lift everyone into His presence (John 5:28-29; 1 Thes. 4:16-17; Dan. 7:9-14)
The death of the soul is called the "second death". No one who follows Jesus will experience it.
God is not going to build us a new body that can live in the new kingdom unless we convert into the Word Jesus preached. Prophecy teaches that the conception of this new body takes place when we are baptised. That is the moment we are "born again". We can think of that as the moment of conception. However, we still must build the embryo of this body through obedience to Christ's Gospel.
It is for that purpose we remain on earth after baptism.
Our current bodies become like the womb, nurturing our new bodies to life. One way to think of it is as the spiritual equivalent of a chrysalis, that nurtures and builds the changed creature inside into a butterfly that can soar away into freedom after a brief period of conversion.
To nurture this body, we need a special kind of food. This is why Christ's word is called the "bread" of heaven. We eat heaven's bread by taking the Gospel into our heart where it can be put into practice in our lives (Rev.19:8). Where earthly food becomes the sinews and muscles of our physical body, so the Gospel of Christ becomes for us when we put it into practice, the living elements of our new eternal body for heaven (John 6:27-63).
The same is true of the blood of Christ. In the Hebrew religion, the blood was the very life of the animal that was sacrificed. That is why Jesus commanded us to drink His blood. His very life must be in us. We must follow the example of His life, with courtesy and compassion doing good for all. It is summed up in the acronym "WWJD". This is the food of heaven that builds our developing body so that it will be born healthy in heaven.
Paul said that we will be changed, but no one knows what our new body will look like.
"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God: and the perishable cannot inherit what lasts forever. I will tell you something that has been secret: that we are not all going to die, but we shall all be changed. This will be instantaneous, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet sounds. It will sound, and the dead will be raised, imperishable, and we shall be changed as well, because our present perishable nature must put on imperishability and this mortal nature must put on immortality." (1 Cor.15:50:53).
God has vast powers. When you look at this worldin fact this entire universeand realize that God has constructed it and everything in it out of nothing with just a command of His voice, you get some idea of the immensity of His powers (Ps. 33:6-9). All the cities, buildings, mountains, planets and galaxies, even our own bodies, seem so imposing, but a closer inspection reveals all of it is nothing more than invisible electrical charges vibrating. This tells us nothing is impossible to God.
One thing we have been promised, the new kingdom is a world and a life beautiful beyond description and far better than anything this world can even imagine.
Jesus said Satan had got his wish to sift us all like wheat. That is what this world is all about. It is not just a place of examination, but a place of rescue where Jesus has paid the full penalty for our sins and supplied us with all the answers to this test in advance and an Advocate to argue our case for us against the prosecutor Satan who stands opposed to us (Mat. 25:31-46). It is not something we would want to look back on from heaven. Nor can we. Everything points forward. We will never look back. We will know and be known, but the past will not be remembered (Is. 65:15-18).
Because we have had to go through this awful experience, we will be very special in heaven. We will be called "sons of God" which means we will be brothers and sisters of the King, members of His Royal Family.
"...sovereignty and kingship, and the splendors of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Most High." (Dan. 7:27).
"The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God" (Luke 21:35-36).
The only description of the third heaven is this one, given in the Book of Revelation:
"One of the angels came to speak to me, and said, 'Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married'. In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain, and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel...The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb... The wall was built of diamond, and the city of pure gold, like polished glass. The foundations of the city wall were faced with all kinds of precious stone...diamond, lapis lazuli, turquoise, crystal, agate, ruby, gold quartz, malachite, emerald, sapphire and amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls...and the main street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass. I saw that there was no temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple, and the city did not need the sun or the moon for light, since it was lit by the radiant glory of God and the Lamb was a lighted torch for it. The pagan nations will live by its light and the kings of the earth will bring it their treasures. The gates of it will never be shut by day -- and there will be no night there -- and the nations will come, bringing their treasure and their wealth. Nothing unclean may come into it: no one who does what is loathsome or false, but only those who are listed in the Lamb's book of life... The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in its place in the city; his servants will worship him, they will see him face to face, and his name will be written on their foreheads." (Rv.21:9-22:15).
I have two questions. Will the Jews be honored in heaven more than the other tribes? HG
Everyone selected to enter heaven will be equal as far as God is concerned, but the Jews will receive the singular honor of being able to enter Christ's new kingdom first. They will head the procession. Jesus said, "The first will be last and the last will be first." Last to be saved, the Jews will be first into heaven.
(My second question) What does Isaiah 50:1 mean? HG
"Thus says the Lord: Where is your mother's writ of divorce by which I dismissed her? Or to which of my creditors have I sold you? You were sold for your own crimes, for your own faults your mother was dismissed." (Is. 50:1)
It means there is no divorce. God did not abandon the Israel He loves.
In the days of Isaiah, the people of Israel had divided themselves into two "Houses". The House of Judah in the south, consisting of the tribes of Judah and Benjamine, stayed loyal to the Davidic kingship and the Temple in Jerusalem. In the north, the other ten tribes aligned themselves with a foreigner and built temples to foreign gods in Bethel and Dan.
The house of Judah looked at the House of Israel to the north and saw them worshipping a foreign god and using foreign temples and decided that God had abandoned them forever. But there was no divorce as far as God was concerned. Isaiah predicted that the Jews saw a divorce that did actually not exist.
Isaiah's prophecy looked far beyond this period squabble. It pointed us to the salvation of Jesus Christ. As far as God was concerned Both Houses had both abandoned Him and were both worshipping foreign gods. Not just the northern tribes, but the southern tribes as well. Jesus drove out the corrupt management from both Houses of Israel. He set fire to all their foreign altars. It was the fire of the Gospel.
You were sold for your own crimes, for your own faults your mother was dismissed." (Is. 50:1)
"Why did I find no one when I came? Why did not one answer when I called? "Is my hand too short to redeem? Have I not strength to save? With one threat I can dry the sea, and turn rivers to desert..." (Is. 50:2).
There was no divorce. But the covenants were changed. This should have been no surprise to anyone in the House of Israel, it was predicted in advance. The expectation for the Messiah who would bring this new covenant had been the consuming passion of Israeli society for almost a thousand years.
"See, the days are coming - it is God who speaks- when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah), but NOT a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
They broke that covenant of mine, so I had to show them who was master. "No, this is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive: Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people." (Jer.31:31-33).
"There will be no further need for neighbor to try to teach neighbor, or for brother to say to brother, 'Learn to know God!" No, they will all know me, the least no less than the greatest since I will forgive their iniquity and never call their sin to mind." (Jer.31:34).One tyrant replaces another
God did not abandon the House of Israel. Jesus put in A NEW MANAGEMENT. He drove out the wicked stewards (with a whip), and, as he was doing so, he explained to them in parable what He was doing (Mat. 21:33-46).
God changed heaven's Law. This is how He confounded Satan in the first place. He gave Moses absolute authority to state the Law of this creation and bind it on earth. Then He sent Jesus for the rescue, to fulfill perfectly everything Moses had defined. Jesus rescued the people out of the Law Moses stated. That thwarted Satan. In that rescue, the new Law is the Gospel and it is for all eternity. Scripture promises it will never be restated again (Is.40:8).
The two Houses of Israel remain, but now there are new rules and new management. The old rules (the Old Testament rules) no longer apply. They have been replaced.
God has defined the new rules (the New Testament) in two witnesses:
Paul is the Moses - the temporal leader
Peter is the Aaron - the high priest.
Jesus has reversed the leadership. Peter leads.
and perfect peace reigns between the two.
God gave the Apostles absolute authority to bind the rules the New Covenant on heaven and earth. That bounding is the New Testament. Jesus made a new covenant with His people. The New Testament is the bound Law of the New Covenant.
Is the mother to be replaced? Yes, absolutely. The Jerusalem of this world is allegorical. So is the temple mount and the City of David and the Mount of Olives. This all stands, now, for another place, the new bride. God has rebuilt a new Jerusalem in the heavens. The earthly Jerusalem is to be abandoned because of sin. Like the old covenant on which it was based, its meaning has been supersceded in Christ.
If no Temple is to be built in Jerusalem in the last days, what is Ez 43:10-12 talking about? MC
Ezekiel's description is allegorical. His words apply to the true temple we build in the sanctuary of our souls to worship Christ. We, each of us, are the stones that make up God's spiritual House a sanctuary constructed by the Holy Spirit in the cleansed vessel of our souls. There we offer the sacrifices that truly please God.
"I saw that there was no temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple." (Rev.21:22),
It took over 40 years for Jewish laborers to construct Herod's temple in Jerusalem. In a prediction, Jesus explained the difference between Herod's structure and the eternal edifice God was about to erect in its place:
"Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up." (John 2:19).
"The Jews replied, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?' But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said." (John 2:20-22).
When the chief priests and the Pharisees marched Jesus from the Garden of Gethsamane to be accused, whipped, spat upon, ridiculed, and condemned, His body hammered to the cross, they desecrated the true Temple of God. They didn't know it. They thought they were doing a holy duty for God, but they were ravaging the real Temple. It was this Temple around which Ezekiel's and all the other prophecies of scripture actually revolved:
"Shame and dishonor on those who are out to kill me! Down with them! Disgrace on those who enjoy my misfortune! May they be aghast with shame, those who say to me 'Aha! Aha!" (Ps. 35:20-21; 40:15).
"The passers-by jeered at him; they shook their heads and said, 'Aha! So you would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days! Then save yourself: come down from the cross!" The chief priests and the scribes mocked him among themselves in the same way. 'He saved others,' they said 'he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down from the cross now, for us to see it and believe.' (Mark 15:29-32).
"You cried: Aha! over my sanctuary when it was profaned and over the land of Israel when it was ravaged, and over the House of Judah when it went into exile, and because of that I am going to hand you over to the sons of the East; they will pitch their camps inside your frontiers, they will settle there." (Ez.25:3-4).
It was THIS Temple that God rebuilt in 3 days. It was THIS Temple, Jesus, that the Holy Spirit placed in the sanctuary of our soul. God put the Holy of Holies in us. That is why we share in Christ's high priesthood. We are allowed to go into that inner sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, and offer the sacrifices that truly please God: justice, mercy and good faith.
God's true Temple comes with conversion, not hammers and nails. What could the Jews possibly build later out of sticks and stones to rival the perfection of God's true Temple? What is physical has passed away with the Law of Moses. What is spiritual has replaced it. Neither the Law of Moses nor its temple will ever return. God allowed them to slaughter all those innocent animals and doves because they didn't know better. But now we have the Word of God and that kind of violent behavior will never be tolerated again.
Their heart is a divided heart; very well, they must pay for it: God is going to break their altars down and destroy their sacred stones. Then they will say, 'We have no king because we have not feared God." (Hos.10:2-3).
Their altars shall be reduced to heaps of stones in a ploughed field. (Hosea 12:12).
"For you have made the town a heap of stones, the fortified city a ruin. The citadel of the proud is a city no longer, it will never be rebuilt." (Is.25:2).
I thought the first prophecy of Fatima was an image of hell(?) WY
The first image Lucia and her companions were shown in 1917 was an image of hell. The Fatima prophecies have historically been divided into three revelations, but in actuality, there were many more than three. Followed by the image of hell, World War I's end was foretold, a great unknown light in the night sky was forecast, so was the advent of World War II, the rise of Russia, it's world impact and how that impact could be prolonged or emeliorated. The prophecies ended with the attempted overthrow of the Church on earth. All of these visions have been historically lumped together into three categories.
My focus on those three categories follows the format of the biblical prophets. I have tried to align Lucia's prophecies in relation to those previously set forth in scripture to show their close correlation, and therefore lend credence to both sets of prophecies. In this respect, I have divided them into, first, a vision of world war, second, the rise and fall of Russia, and third, the brutal attack on the Church at the climax of the End.
It may be that the vision of hell was a prophecy of the release of Satan. The door was opened and Lucia and her companions were allowed to see inside the crypt from which he was released. Most likely, considering what followed, this is the case. The vision of hell seemed to show that all of Lucia's visions were related and comprised an overview of the time of the Tribulation, which apparently had already started by 1917.
In that respect, the three categories I have listed above are central elements of the Tribulation itself.
In May of 1917, when these visions were given to the children of Fatima, World War I was raging and appeared to have no end in sight. America was just entering the war. The end of that war was forecast by the Madonna to the children, but with the caveat that world unfaithfulness as far as Jesus was concerned would lead the planet into a far larger war. Twenty years later, of course, Hitler was in power, imprisoning Jews and mobilizing his troops for the greater conflict forecast.
The light in the sky may have been associated with the advent of this second war, as most think. There is even a possibility that it could still be ahead. When a violent sun storm occurred hurling huge solar flares toward earth in 1938, Lucia, then a nun, wrote to the Pope that the enormous aurora borealis that this flare caused on earth, one that could be seen even as far south as Rome, was the very light she and her companions were shown in the vision. It lit up the night sky all over Europe. Nothing like it had been seen in modern times. That was just before Hitler attacked Poland, launching the Second World War.
At the time of the prophecies, Russia was embroiled in revolution. Peasants had risen up to challenge the Czars and there was great bloodshed there, but no suggestion of world power. Just chaos. Not only was Russian world power predicted, but it was shown to be grossly malignant as far as God was concerned, and Lucia was told to inform the church officials that they had to consecrate Russia to the church before that evil power could end. The longer they waited, the worse it would grow.
What later rose out of that peasant uprising in Russia was the Soviet Union and a world bristling with hydrogen bombs a heartbeat away from launching. The world was brought to the precipice of instant oblivion.
The Catholic Church released the first two prophecies but witheld the third.
Despite the ballooning power of the Soviet Union, they did not consecrate Russia to the church, but encouraged the people of Christ to pray actively for the conversion of Russia. During the 1950's as the world teetered on the edge of annihilation, this seemed a hopeless endeavor. Everyone awaited the announced release of the third vision in 1960.
When Pope John the 23rd opened the sealed prophecy he is said to have gasped and fainted. He ordered the document resealed and put back in the Vatican vault. The prophecy was not released, despite great clammor from the world's Christians for news of its contents. Everyone was aware of Lucia's instructions that the document was not to be released until1960.
When Pope Paul succeeded Pope John, he, too read the prophecy and likewise returned it to the vault without revealing its contents.
All this added fuel to the growing concern among Christian leaders that the prophecy was dire.
In all likelihood, Pope John Paul I did not see the prophecy. He had only been in office 30 days when he suddenly died. We do not know whether his successor, Pope John Paul II immediately looked at the prophecy on coming into office, but circumstances would later demand his attention to become centered on Fatima.
That circumstance was an attempted assassination. Not only did his assailant shoot the Pope on May 13th, the anniversary of Fatima, but he later confessed that he chose that particular anniversary on purpose. As he lay in the hospital bed, recuperating, Pope John Paul ordered his secretary to bring him all the documents the church had on the Fatima prophecies. He read them exhaustively. He became convinced that he, himself, was the fulfillment of the third vision. This was in 1981.
At the time, the Soviet Union was still very much in power, still standing missle to missle against the western world. Poland remained a vassel state of that atheistic regime. Finally convinced of the legitimacy of the Fatima prophecies, Pope John Paul ordered that Russia be consecrated to the Church. The ceremony was carried out in secret in collaberation with the Eastern Orthodox Church in 1984.
Shortly thereafter, just as Lucia was told it would, the Soviet Union began to crumble. Gorbachev came to power in 1985. Russia's shield of nations, one after another, fell away and the union dissolved. Russia denounced atheism and converted to Christ. The unbelievable miracle had occurred. Leningrad was renamed St. Petersburg once again. All the gods of communism were overthrown. It all happened so fast, it was breathtaking.
After this, the people of the church began to clammor once again for the release of the third vision. The church's failure to do so, even after all that had just happened was received with great trepidation by the faithful. More and more people became convinced that the third prophecy foretold catastrophe. The church officials responded to these fears with announcements, one after another, that the vision had nothing to do with apocalyptic misfortune.
As the change of the milleniums approached, the entire world began to quake with fear. Y2K became the byword of the masses. Catastrophe was widely foreseen, a collapse of civilization itself was predicted. The church fell under intense pressure to release the Fatima prophecy to either sustain or assuage these fears.
On May 13th (the anniversary of Fatima), in the year 2000, the church released part of a single sentence with an accompanying statement attributing the entire prophecy to events in the previous century (the 20th Century): the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul in 1981 and the war waged by atheist systems against the Church, including the martyrdom and immense suffering' of Christians.
"...a bishop clothed in white...makes his way with great effort toward the Cross amid the corpses of those who were martyred. He too falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of gunfire.''
At the time he released this simple sentence, the Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodanoy promised that the rest of the prophecy would soon be forthcoming as well. He said the Pope had ordered the Vatican's doctrinal department, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to make it public after the preparation of an "appropriate commentary."
That was five years ago, and at the time of this writing, the document has not yet been released. The remaining text of the third prophecy of Fatima is still very much a secret locked in the Vatican vault.
The little we do know about it, however, insures that it does, indeed, relate to catastrophe. Secretary Soldano, in 2000, though convinced of its 20th century focus, admitted that it needed to be interpreted in a symbolic key because it seems to involve secrets condensed over time.
Since it is Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict) that has headed the Vatican's doctrinal department durng this five years, the current Pope is certain to be intimately aware of Fatima's third prophecy. His assertion that modern society must return to traditional values if it wants to avoid self-destruction may be driven in no small way by the visions he has been toiling all this time to try to describe.
The very fact that it has taken the Vatican at least 5 years to prepare the appropriate "symbolic key", shows that the third prophecy of Fatima remains a very intriguing document.
I stand corrected. It has been brought to my attention that the full text of the "third secret" of Fatima along with its promised commentary was revealed in June of 2000 by the Vatican at the following web site:
Fatima is about three secrets, not three prophecies. The vision of hell is the first secret. Just thought you might want to know. KL
You are absolutely right. When the children told their families and the townspeople about the "beautiful lady" and the visions, the reaction was deep skepticism. The authorities were very hostile. They grilled the children extensively, even throwing them in jail at one point and threatening to scald them in boiling oil unless they recanted.
It was in this hostile atmosphere that Mary entrusted Lucia and her companions with "three secrets" which she instructed were not to be revealed until she gave the word. Lucia, who had become a Catholic nun, wrote them down some time between 1935 and 1941. She gave them to a Bishop in the Portugese church who took them to Rome.
There were numerous public apparitions at Fatima in 1917 associated with the appearances of Mary and the heavenly angels that accompanied her. These were seen by thousands of people and even documented in the newspapers of the day. Because of this, the Vatican decreed the visions worthy of belief in 1930.
For this reason, Lucia's later letter and acknowledgement documenting a list of three "secrets of heaven" entrusted to her by Mary apparently took everyone by complete surprise.
The third of those three "secrets" was contained in a sealed envelope with instructions by Lucia that it was not to be opened until at least 1960. That, too, went to the Vatican via the Portugese Bishop. The existance of all three were publicly revealed by Rome in 1942, but it was only after the end of World War II that the existance of the three secrets became well known world-wide.
In 1942, at the time the Vatican first made them public, World War II was raging, Communism and atheism ruled Russia, Thirty million were dead there by Stalin's hand alone, the Vatican was imprisoned like an island in a Nazi sea, and World War I was ancient history. All of which meant that those parts of the prophesies contained in the two revealed "secrets" had already become historical realities.
Because of this, the true veracity of these visions hinged completely on those aspects of the prophecies that remained unfulfilled, and on the third, unopened, "secret" hidden in the Vatican vaults. In terms of prophecy, it is these that must have been the true focus of the Holy Spirit. The entire set of prophecies have been building over a period of almost 90 years to this final and all-important disclosure.
Of that pivotal revelation, we still have only a part of a single sentence issued by the Vatican on May 13, 2000:
"...a bishop clothed in white...makes his way with great effort toward the Cross amid the corpses of those who were martyred. He too falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of gunfire.''
The publication of even this small tidbit of the prophecy would never have occurred had it not been for the corroborating circumstances that enveloped Pope John Paul II in the early 1980's at the start of his Pontifical ministry. When an assassin shot him in Vatican Square on the anniversary of Fatima, he instinctively understood its significance, and plunged himself into a penetrating examination of everything associated with Lucia's visions, including reading her written documentation of Mary's third "secret".
He did not make it public at that time (1981), but he decided to obey Mary's directive that Russia should be consecrated to Christ through the church. That consecration took place in 1984. Within a year, Gorbachev came to power, the Soviet Union dissolved and communism in Russia collapsed. The two defining elements of this dissolution occurred, first, when the city of "Leningrad" was officially returned to its previous name, "Saint Petersburg" in 1992, just after the fall of the Berlin wall, and second, when the President of Russia lead an Easter mass in a resurrected Orthodox church in Moscow on April 14, 1996.
A brief period of peace has ensued, but its continuance is far from assured.
The recent fulfillments of these aspects of Lucia's written prophecies have been nothing short of spectacular. They have occurred on the main stage of global political/religious history as the entire rest of the world has watched dumbfounded from the sidelines. Lucia's prophecy has played out in real time, locking together the world's two political superpowers and the Christian world's eastern and western superpowers in a breathtaking fulfillment of the Fatima vision.
Over the last 100 years a "Great Revolt" has catapulted Christ from the "kings table", severing the 1700-year relationship between God and the nations set forth by Constantine in the "Edict of Milan". Freed from the constraints of a Christian conscience now discarded, the world's nations have, during this period, pursued a fatal course. The route chosen by Russia had been particularly malignant. Not only was Christianity thrown out of it's governmental office, Atheism was given the Bishop's chair there. War was declared on the people of God.
The harvest had altered course.
This is the vision of Fatima a high-speed harvest-altering ricochet by the world away from God and its aftermath. We have been given a preview of the third vision, but the main text of this vision still remains locked in the Vatican vaults. To this day, it still lies there unreleased.
Perhaps it's hidden parts predict a rebirth of an even more malignant form of atheism in Russia after the "brief" peace ends there. Perhaps it incorporates the "annihilation of many nations" in unthinkable ways. It must. Afterall, we already know it catalogs the Christian Holocaust. Not only that, it stands in perfect agreement with Jeremiah, Daniel and the Book of Revelation. It is against the backdrop of this prophetic reality that Pope John Paul II came to understand this unsettling "secret" Mary gave to Lucia. And it is under the influence of this very same vision that Pope Benedict XVI now stands in his place.
He has studied that prophecy for five years now and despite his stated brilliance has found no way in all that time to make it palatable enough for public release.
Lucia's vision came wrapped in very familiar packaging as far as the Catholic church is concerned, but the vision itself, is unlike anything the Vatican has ever had to deal with in the past. It is a dark vision. And from small, almost innocuous beginnings, it has grown into one of the most profound prophecies of all time outside scripture.
The "unkown light" in the night sky Mary predicted would foretell the catastrophe may involve something other than the Aurora Borealis, which was a very "known" kind of light. A even more fitting candidate for her vision would be the atom bomb exploding over the desert landscape of White Sands New Mexico on a cold night in 1945. Changing the landscape of the world for all time, it lit up the entire Southwestern part of the United States with a brilliant but deadly flash. The Aurora was "known". The light that lit up New Mexico was truly unknown. No one on earth had ever seen it before, not even those who detonated it.
Such a light seems to more closely associate itself with all the grievous circumstances Fatima's third vision seems to have cataloged. Then again, an Aurora speaks to an angry sun. Either way, as the first "secret" of Fatima tells us: there really is such a thing as hell, and the only escape from it is to turn from wickedness and embrace Jesus Christ, the perfect hope and certain escape for all the world.
I just read many of your prophecy pages: The spirit of God in me (and my sense of history) absolutely confirms that you are completely right. . . Wow. . . . I did not expect to actually find some of the answers I have intermittently been fumbling for over the last 10-13 years.
I am left asking myself what to do . . . . and hearing God tell me trust Christ, love your fellow man, and as Winston Churchill said during WWII let us all do our duty in whatever station of life we are in so that men will say . . . this was their finest hour. C
Thank you for your eloquent advice to all of us. Persevering in Christ truly is our finest hour.
You wrote: 'Everyone selected to enter heaven will be equal as far as God is concerned, but the Jews will receive the singular honor of being able to enter Christ's new kingdom first. They will head the procession. Jesus said, "The first will be last and the last will be first." Last to be saved, the Jews will be first into heaven'.
Why Ted? If the Jewish people don't even believe in Jesus as the Son of God, why are they going in first? As a reward? That bothers me. PS
Paul wrote this about the blindness of the Jews:
"There is a hidden reason for all this, brothers, of which I do not want you to be ignorant in case you think you know more than you do. One section of Israel has become blind, but this will last only until the whole pagan world has entered, and then after this the rest of Israel will be saved as well. As scripture says: 'The liberator will come from Zion, he will banish godlessness from Jacob'. 'And this is the covenant I will make with them when I take their sins away'. The Jews are enemies of God only with regard to the Good News, and enemies only for your sake; but as the chosen people, they are still loved by God, loved for the sake of their ancestors. God never takes back his gifts or revokes his choice." (Rom 11:25-29)
"Let me put another question then: have the Jews fallen forever, or have they just stumbled? Obviously they have not fallen forever: their fall, though, has saved the pagans in a way the Jews may now well emulate. Think of the extent to which the world, the pagan world, has benefited from their fall and defection then think how much more it will benefit from the conversion of them all. Let me tell you pagans this: I have been sent to the pagans as their apostle, and I am proud of being sent, but the purpose of it is to make my own people envious of you, and in this way save some of them. Since their rejection meant the reconciliation of the world, do you know what their admission will mean? Nothing less than a resurrection from the dead!" (Rom. 11:11-15)
These words are scripture, so cannot be rejected. They show that not all Jews will be saved, just as not all pagans will be saved. But those who are saved, and especially at the End, when the whole Jewish nation converts, all these will be welcomed by Christ no less than any other person who is saved. What Paul's words here in Romans tell us is that while we think we know exactly what the rules of salvation are, salvation does not come from us, it comes from God and He has hidden mysteries to it that we know little about.
The most wonderful thing about Christ is that in those He forgives, sin disappears. It is as if they had never sinned at all. That applies to Jew and pagan alike.
When the people grumbled about their reward in Christ's parable, He told them:
"Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last-comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with what is my own? Why be envious because I am generous? Thus the last will be first, and the first, last." (Mat. 20:14-16).
Why did God make a world that causes earthquakes and tidal waves? This doesnt make sense to me JW
The Bible teaches we are prisoners in Satan's domain. Scripture calls that domain a "wilderness", and labels its ruling city, "Babylon". Jesus Christ was sent by God to come down to this planet and rescue us by removing us from this place and transporting us to a new kingdom He and God have built in the heavens.
After Satan corrupted the Lord's creation here, God abandoned it for a time. That period of foresakeness is described in prophecy as a "time of mist and darkness".
"I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness." I shall bring them out of the countries where they are; I shall gather them together from foreign countries and bring them back to their own land. I shall pasture them on the mountains of Israel...I myself will pasture my sheep..." (Ezekiel 34:12-15).
Suddenly He returned, sending His light across the darkened cosmos in a spectacular event of rescue. Upon His return, He made "the seabed a road for the redeemed to cross". The sea is the ocean of space that encompasses the planets and stars and the earth is the seabed God has made for our journey.
"Awake, awake! Clothe yourself in strength, arm of God. Awake, as in the past, in times of generations long ago. Did you not split Rahab in two, and pierce the Dragon through? did you not dry up the sea, the waters of the great Abyss, to make the seabed a road for the redeemed to cross?" (Is.51:9-10).
"No need to recall the past, no need to think about what was done before. See, I am doing a new deed, even now it comes to light; can you not see it? Yes, I am making a road in the wilderness, paths in the wilds. The wild beasts will honor me...because I am putting water in the wilderness (rivers in the wild) to give my chosen people drink. The people I have formed for myself will sing my praises." (Is.43:18-21).
"And through it will run a highway undefiled which shall be called the Sacred Way; the unclean may not travel by it, nor fools stray along it." (Is.35:8).
What God put back together for us reflects, not only God, but the chaos and wreckage of Satan. He did it that way for our undertanding. It is as if God had pieced the earth back together again after Satan had shattered it, so that allegorically, the fault lines that cover the earth are like glue lines of the pieced-back-together globe.
Everywhere we look we can see the chaos that came from Satan's sin. Our own bodily diseases, genetic defects and death, rust and dissolution, tidal waves and earthquakes, violent storms, floods, famine, and on and on. No matter how closely we examine this creation, choas seems to be its ruling reality. All that disorder and confusion is there because this is a contaminated creation, doomed by the one who ruined it. It is so badly corrupted, it cannot be saved.
But we can escape with our lives by following the path to salvation Jesus marked out for us to follow. God is holding it all together with great power to give us the chance to make our flight to freedom. God can keep it intact only for a short while. The earthquakes and cosmic instabilities show that we are running out of time to make good our evacuation.
That is the whole meaning of Jesus, this world as we see it, and all life in the cosmos.
I had never envisioned the crossing or "parting" of the waters from a Christ-centric view before. With the upper waters separated from us, it would take God's "breath" to part the gulf between our captivity and the New Jerusalem to make a way for us, would it not? His breath in this case became Word. Would you consider Christ walking on water as a foreshadowing of the need to believe or have faith in order to walk on the waters ourselves, as evidence of our inability to manage on our own?
Just curious. I found the imagery very illuminating and, somehow, satisfying. Thank you. JF
Perhaps it is also Jesus who is "foreshadowed". In His actions, Jesus proves scripture true, and thus Himself, true. For instance, "He turned the sea into dry land, they crossed the river on foot!" (Ps.74:13, 66:6). This statement foreshadows Jesus walking on water, so that when He did it, He fulfilled scripture.
It continues the theme of His parting the waters, but on another dimension. "I will give him control of the sea, complete control of the river." (Ps.89:24-25). So that when Peter faltered and began to sink, Jesus reached out to Him and lifted him up: Again, scripture is fulfilled. "He sends from on high and takes me, he draws me from deep waters." (Ps.18:16). "Reach down your hand from above, save me, rescue me from deep waters." (Ps.144:7).
As you say, this speaks to our inability to go it alone.
We can see this control played out again on the Sea of Galilee when Jesus calmed the storm that threatened to sink their boat. Again, His action was foreshadowed in the Psalms of the Old Testament:
"He spoke and raised a gale, lashing up towering waves. Flung to the sky, then plunged to the depths, they lost their nerve in the ordeal, staggering and reeling like drunkards with all their seamanship adrift. Then they called to the Lord in their trouble and he rescued them from their sufferings, reducing the storm to a whisper until the waves grew quiet, bringing them, glad at the calm, safe to the port they were bound for." (Ps.107:25-30).
"You control the pride of the ocean, when its waves ride high, you calm them; you split Rahab in two like a carcase and scattered your enemies with your mighty arm." (Psalm 89:9-10).
In all this, there can be no doubt that scripture is showing the fact of our safety in Christ; i.e., that the reward of faith is already securely in place:
"Should you pass through the sea, I will be with you; or through rivers, they will not swallow you up." (Is. 43:2).
I recently read a book called "The Last Disciple" by Hank Hanegraaf and Sigmund Brouwer. It was interesting. I wonder if sometime you could put together an article that explains the primary theological viewpoints of Christianity. I have found "The Left Behind" series of books with the pre-tribulational rapture viewpoint to be, oddly, dissatisfying. While the strict preterist viewpoint leaves me feeling as if there is very little to do with my faith (just a sense, I would assume that if that viewpoint was "correct", I would still have much to do). Comparing and contrasting the various ideologies so that one could discuss them and review works with a more foundational reference would be helpful.
Thank you for the work you put into the website. It is someplace I refer to often JF
Comparing and contrasting the major Christian theologies would be a daunting task. It has been attempted by many. Of course, the flow of Christianity seems to have outpaced major parts of that analysis in recent years. Still, Saint Augustine remains at the top of the list, certainly in terms of world-wide adherents. Three others of enormous note include Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther and John Calvin. However, because of the nature of my web page, i.e., the study of prophecy, with emphasis on the recent opening of the Book of Daniel, I cannot go much beyond Paul. Theology almost always has its root in prophecy, but it can never be vica versa. If theology forms prophecy, the result is sure to be false prophecy. There are many examples of this.
There is an absolute right and wrong of course. The four Gospels. Further, Jesus told His apostles that whatever they bound on earth would be bound in heaven. They bound the New Testament. The most correct theologies are those that adhere to the truths set down by these holy authors. Scripture warns that the theologians must pitch their tents close to the Tabernacle of the Testimony in order to keep the wrath from falling on the children of Israel under their care (Num.1:53). That is an allegorical warning to theology to stay close to the commandments of Jesus and not to stray too far from the rules of the New Testament.
Remember, when Herod built his temple in Jerusalem it was empty. There was no Word in it. The Ark of the Coivenant and the Testimony it contained disappeared at the time of Solomon and no one has ever seen either since. The Bible says no one ever will. So when Jesus appeared, He was, in fact, the missing Testimony (Word) coming back to take His place in the empty Temple. But they wouldn't let Him in. So He pronounced in His own crucifixion, the destruction of Herod's temple and it's rebuilding in 3 days in the heart of each Christian. From that day to this, the Holy of Holies has dwelt within each human heart where we can offer the kind of sacrifices that truly please God: the spiritual sacrifices of mercy, justice and good faith.
This tells us that the primary theological viewpoint of Christianity has to be the New Testament. The Book of Hebrews tells us the fundamental truths that form the basic architecture of the New Testament are the doctrines of turning away from actions that lead to death and towards faith in God; the teaching about baptisms and the laying-on of hands; the teaching about the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. (Heb.6:1-3). Just beyond the New Testament is the doctrine of the Trinity. The critical ribbon that ties all this together is the Church itself.
I am convinced the Holy Spirit has molded the Church in such a way that Christ has been able to reach into the most distant realms of the human experience on earth. Everyone has been brought to see Jesus. This ubiquitous exposure could not have occurred if a single religion (theology) had absolute control of the Word. Every church, every theology, has proved essential to Christ's broadcast and rescue. Salvation seems to accompany theology but not be fully dependent on it. A curious relationship to be sure. Love of God and fellow man in the name of Jesus seems to be everything. For in Christ, progress itself is perfection. "Only the man who makes progress, as the blameless do, can be my servant." (Ps.101:2,6).
Paul addressed this reach of God's salvation across theological boundaries in the following passages of the Book of Romans:
"If a person's faith is not strong enough, welcome him all the same without starting an argument. People range from those who believe they may eat any sort of meat to those whose faith is so weak they dare not eat anything except vegetables. Meat-eaters must not despise the scrupulous. On the other hand, the scrupulus must not condemn those who feel free to eat anything they choose, since God has welcomed them. It is not for you to condemn someone else's servant: whether he stands or falls it is his own master's business; he will stand, you may be sure, because the Lord has power to make him stand. If one man keeps certain days as holier than others, and another considers all days to be equally holy, each must be left free to hold his own opinion." (Rom. 14:1-6).
"This is why you should never pass judgment on a brother or treat him with contempt, as some of you have done. We shall all have to stand before the judgment seat of God; as scripture says: 'By my life it is the Lord who speaks every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall praise God.' It is to God, therefore, that each of us must give an account of himself. Far from passing judgment on each other, therefore, you should make your mind never to be the cause of your brother tripping or falling. (Rom.14:10-13).
"Face plain facts. Anybody who is convinced that he belongs to Christ must go on to reflect that we all belong to Christ no less than he does." (2 Cor. 10:7).
Jesus moved righteousness to a spiritual level, bringing a religion where thoughts are as important as actions. For this reason, I think probing the right or wrong of theology much beyond the basics listed above can prove counterproductive because, in our great diversity, it forces us to choose sides and become enemies when, to God, we are all brothers and sisters in Jesus. Very few seem to understand this, but I think it is the overreaching truth of Christ on earth.
Is Rome mentioned in any of the prophecies except as Babylon? DF
Rome is likely the meaning of "Elam" in the prophecy of Jeremiah 49:38:
"The word of God that was addressed to the prophet Jeremiah about Elam, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah. The Lord God Almighty says this:
"I am going to break the bow of Elam, the source of all his might. I will bring four winds down on Elam from the four corners of the sky, and I will scatter the Elamites to the winds; there will not be a single nation into which the Elamites have not been driven for refuge. I will make the Elamites tremble before their enemies, before those determined to kill them. I will bring down disaster on them, my own fierce anger. I will pursue them with the sword until I have destroyed them all."
"I will set up my throne in Elam, and purge it of king and nobles. It is the Lord who speaks. But in the days to come I will restore the fortunes of Elam. It is the Lord who speaks." (Jer. 49:34-39).
Spiritually, the two ruling cities with dominion over the people of the earth are "Babylon" and "Jerusalem". Both can be found in every city, nation, territory and empire on earth: one serving Satan and the other Jesus Christ. Babylon and Jerusalem are cities of the heart.
The prophecy of Elam is different. Elam designates a physical nation. As a physical nation, Elam can suffer political disaster. It can also experience conversion to God.
The reasons why Elam seems to be an allegory of Rome are several. First, the prophecy addresses it "at the beginning of the reign of king of Judah". That places the prophecy, allegorically, at the beginning of the reign of the "king of the Jews", which is Jesus risen. Rome was the dominant nation on earth at the time of Christ's resurrection.
It seems also significant that the prophecies of Elam and Babylon (paganism) stand next to one another in scripture. We know that the early focus of the Christian war on paganism was aimed at Rome, and, from the Book of Revelation, that the "sword of Christ" is the Gospel. The reference to the "four winds of the sky" indicates divine or angelic powers raining down on Elam from on high. The source of Roman might (its "bow of power") crumbled under this divine assault, leaving the Roman empire impotent against the invasion of the Huns and Barbarians.
Yet Rome did not disappear as empires almost always do when they are overthrown.
Instead, the Apostles set up within it, the central nucleus of the Christian Church on earth. From that day to this, the Vatican has towered as the figurehead of Christ's throne on earth the throne of David set in Peter. Jeremiah's prophecy defines Elam as the city/nation in which this throne would be structured. Thus Rome and Elam are seen to be identical.
Peter and Paul were crucified in Rome as were several other Apostles and many of the central officials of the early Church. Their tombs form the foundation upon which the Basilica of Peter has been erected.
True to the prophecy of Elam, God restored the fortunes of Rome, raising it up to become the largest body of Christian worshippers on earth. It has remained such to this day.
Jeremiah's prophecy must also be seen in conjunction with Isaiah 23:23-24. Peter (as the throne of David) is the "peg driven into a firm place" a peg upon which hangs all other churches. We have shown in many other prophecies on this site how, at the end of time, that peg will be pulled out and the whole load hanging on it will fall (Is. 23:25; John 21:18-19; Dan. 9:26-27).
Scripture tells us that the fall will come in ignominy. In the last days, the 'mother' church will be covered in shame.
"the mother of seven sons grows faint, and breathes her last. It is still day, but already her sun has set. Shame and disgrace are hers..." (Jer.15:9).
We have already witnessed the source of this disgrace, so the fall itself cannot be far away. It is the crime of sacrificing children to Molech (Jer.3:24; 7:31; 19:5 cf. Lv 18:21+). It involves the direct and satanic sacrifice of innocent children's lives and psyches on actual altars of abuse: the horrifying sins of priests and ministers molesting the young a child sacrifice that boggles all thought a true "Thing of shame" (Jer. 3:24).
Worse, no one was there to rescue the innocents who had been wronged from the blood-stained hands of their oppressors; instead, the longstanding violence was ignored and perpetuated by the lords of the palace:
"The Lord said this: 'Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and there deliver this message,
'Listen to the word of God, king of Judah sitting on the throne of David, you, your sevants too, and your people who go through these gates. The Lord says this: Practise honesty and integrity; rescue the man who has been wronged from the hands of his oppressor; do not exploit the stranger, the orphan, the widow; do no violence; shed no innocent blood in this place.
For if you are scrupulous in obeying this command, then kings occupying the throne of David will continue to make their entry through the gates of this palace mounted on chariots and horse, they, their servants and their people.
But if you do not listen to these words, then I swear by myself it is the Lord who speaks this palace shall become a ruin! Yes, this is what the Lord says about the royal palace of Judah." (Jer. 22:1-6).
In this proclamation by Jeremiah, the sentence is pronounced that shatters the peg.
That Jeremiah's words apply to Christianity can be seen, not just in similar passages elsewhere in scripture, but in the address of the prophecy itself: 'the King of the Jews and the throne of David, the royal palace that stands to be ruined'. This prophecy is about the Vatican, the City of David in exile on earth.
This shows that the oppression of the Beast does not destroy Christ or His Church, but crashes down instead on a command whose grave sins have worked to fulfill Jeremiah's prophecy and open the floodgates to the Wrath, subjecting the throne and the palace on earth in which it resides, to ruin (Dan.9:26-27). Yet the true throne of God stands forever safe, hidden as it is in the heavens where no one can reach it.
When the Wrath has reached its peak, and all of scripture has been fulfilled, God will stand up and give judgment in favor of those who have not succumbed to Satan's corruption, but who have remained faithful to the End. The victory of righteousness will be complete, and those who have proved worthy will live and reign with God and Jesus forever.
your excellent site constantly helps many here in ireland.....could you explain "god works in pairs by opposites" as there is some difference of opinion on this.....(one or two examples would be appreciated)...thanks U
As a part of salvation, Jesus came to guide us into a spiritual understanding of scripture.
Until He arrived, the Old Testament was understood only in literal terms by those who ruled it. Consequently, the religion of the Hebrews (as well as that of the pagans) focused on physical worship sacrificially killing birds and animals and burning their bodies on firey spits. The holiness was understood to be in the intent of the sacrifice, the perfection of its mechanics and in the smoke of the burning corpses wafting up as a pleasing scent to the nostrils of God.
The prophets predicted that God did not enjoy or appreciate this kind of worship. They indicated that the Messiah, when He came, would change our physical understanding of worship from memorized rules into a spiritual reality which God did approve, and, more importantly, one that could actually lead us to salvation.
The difference between these two forms of worship, the one defined by Moses and the other defined by Christ, is the difference between the Old and the New Testaments. In that difference, what is physical has been transformed into what is spirit and truth. The transformation itself is layered across language. The mechanism for this transformation is allegory. Metaphore allows the words of the Old Testament to remain as they are, yet describe something far different that was completely invisible in them until understood in the light of Christ.
These physical and spiritual realities are the "opposites" that reside all through the scripture. Not only that, but we see them replicated in nature as well. For instance, the sun and the moon can be understood in terms of source light and reflected light (Jesus and Moses). The earth and the moon can be seen in terms of the two Testaments one teeming with life, and the other absent of life because physical worship (Moses) cannot transport us to heaven.
We know these natural allegories exist because scripture has defined them. Living water, seven streams, Daystar, Venus as Lucifer (light bringer) for instance, or the word of God circling the earth from east to west like the sun. This leads to the assumption that God orchestrated nature to form itself in the architecture of Christ's rescue.
These "opposites" allow our understanding of scripture to soar. God did not want us sacrificing to Him, He sacrificed His Son for us. That is the true meaning of the Hebrew sacrifice. Jesus died in our place to pay the penalty demanded by the Law for the sin Satan stained upon us. When we consume this sacrifice we take his death and new life into us. Those understandings of sacrifice are opposite the literal teachings of Moses. Again, we see in each of them the opposites of scripture.
This understanding reaches to an even deeper level when we understand the bread and wine of communion to represent our spiritual ingestion of the Gospel Jesus preached, and the new life it makes possible in us when we put those words into practice in our lives. This is the transformation across opposites that leads to eternal life.
The understanding of those opposites re-formats our entire understanding of the Old Testament. No longer law for Christians, it has become for us God's book of prophecy. In that sense, the opposites can interplay in complicated sequences. For instance, the Bible is restriced to a finite number of words and sentences. Yet in this bound form, it must contain all the prophecies God intended for us to know about everything there is. The Bible is a completed book, it can never be expanded. That means each prophecy can have multiple meanings. Many do.
The most obvious of these relate to the two appearances on earth of Jesus Christ. There are just as many, if not more, prophecies in scripture relating to the Second Coming of Christ as there are concerning His first appearance in Galilee. Because they are closely related, sorting all of them out is not an easy task. We are helped in this understanding by the fact that there are multiple books of prophecy in scripture. By a form of triangulation, we are able to cross reference these prophecies, allegorically, searching for compatible sequences that match. We are helped in this by divine guidelines the instruction of the Holy Spirit and the absolutes of the Gospel.
You can see examples of scripture's transformation to opposites in almost every one of its sentences. The primary focus of this interchange is religious. Spiritual understanding always trumps political understanding. God takes us in this process from what is physical to what is spiritual, with the added understanding that almost every word of prophecy relates to Jesus. Not only that, this is a one-way street. The transformation process never goes backward. It never goes from Christ to Moses. It never goes from the New Testament back to the Old Testament. It always points forward to Jesus. For this reason, it must always be seen through the invisible understanding of metaphore.
Examples of this might include the Hebrew Menorrah in the Torah representing the allegorical "Seven Churches" of Christ in the Book of Revelation, or the 6000 years (the 6 days of God in the Old Testament) pointing, not to their beginning, but to their conclusion, the hidden 7th day when Jesus returns in glory. Another example is the rock that anchors the temple mount transformed by Jesus into a spiritual rock in the person of Simon Peter.
The entire Hebrew religion exists as a prediction of Jesus and forms the metaphoric template upon which the Christian religion is structured. Therefore, each physical component in this relationship has its spiritual opposite.
Finally, and ultimately, God's system of opposites can be seen in body and soul, leading from flesh to spirit, the ultimate conversion which allows us to be re-clothed in a heavenly body, the wedding garment of God, and transported from this world to the kingdom of heaven, passing from mortal life to eternal life.
If you took a guess what would you say the rest of Fatima's third prophecy says? OS
It must be a vision even darker than what is already known or the church would have released it by now.
The parts made known so far closely track the Book of Daniel, especially chapters 8 and 9. It is these two chapters that tell us about the crucial 70th and final "week" in Daniel's sequence: the 2 wars, and the assassination of the Bishop and a call for intense prayer.
Continuing from there Daniel describes the devastating attack on the Church, the Abomination of Desolation, the cancellation of the sacrifice, and then, at the very end, the sudden, surprising and victorious appearance of Christ, (after most of the world is destroyed by fire).
A very large number of prophecies throughout scripture point to this extraordinary fire: Dan. 11:44; Jer. 51:58; Malachi 4:1-2; Ez.39:6; Rev.17:15-17; 2 Peter 3:10-12; Zeph.1:18; Is.9:18-19; Joel 3:4, etc., etc. This world-consuming "fire" is likely also the source of the "unknown light" in the night sky, the appearance of which is stated to be the proof of the truth of the entire Fatima vision. If so, it likely first flashed across the night sky at Los Alamos in 1945.
The guardians of the Fatima secrets have released a few sketchy details that indicate communism is somehow involved in the future politics of these events and that Russia may continue to play an important role. Look, especially for amplification on these words by Daniel:
"After the sixty-two weeks an anointed one will be cut off-and...will not be for him
the city and the sanctuary will be destroyed by a prince who will come.
His end will come in catastrophe,
and, until the end, there will be war and all the devastation decreed.
He will make a firm covenant with many for the space of a week;
and, for the space of one-half week he will put a stop to sacrifice and oblation,
and, on the wing of the Temple will be the disastrous abomination until the end,
until the doom assigned to the devastator." (Dan. 9:26-27).
I stand corrected. It has been brought to my attention that the full text of the "third secret" of Fatima along with its promised commentary was revealed in June of 2000 by the Vatican at the following web site: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html
All information regarding this prophecy, along with copies of the original documents written by Lucia de los Santos can be found at this site.
The third secret in full:
"After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: 'something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White 'we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God."
When I read about the second coming of Christ I am confused.. Most refer to it as a one time event, but doesn't the scriptures talk of more than one sighting of Jesus at this critical time.. What about the robes dipped in blood at Basra, not just the splitting of the Mount of Olives? Any help about defining scriptures about his return? What and where should we be looking for his second coming? Please give examples and descriptions of his return, examples of earthly and heavenly sights of what we shall be witnessing when he comes back for his followers...... As always a grateful follower of Christ.. CFM
The return of Jesus is a one-time event.
The Book of Daniel describes it as a coronation, and shows that it will take place at the same time the Last Judgment takes place when all the books are opened and the people judged:
"Thrones were set in place and one of great age took his seat...a court was held and the books were opened. I gazed into the visions of the night, and I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man. He came to the one of great age and was led into his presence. On him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples...became his servants. his sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever be destroyed..." (Dan.7:9-14).
"Those who are granted sovereignty are the saints of the Most High, and the kingdom will be theirs forever, forever and ever. (Dan.7:18).
At the very end, just before Jesus returns, the sky will be covered in densely dark clouds, as if by a nuclear winter. Behind these clouds, or within them, the sign of the Son of Man will appear:
"The Lord God says this: Howl: Alas, the day! For the day is near, the day of the Lord is near; it will be a day dark with cloud, the end of an epoch for the nations." (Ez. 30:2-3).
"When I extinguish you I will cover the skies, and darken the stars. I will cover the sun with clouds and the moon will not give its light. I will dim every luminary in heaven for you, and cover your country in darkness." (Ez.32:7-8).
"Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will fall from the sky and the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven...." (Mat.24:29-30).
"...then too all the peoples of the earth will beat their breasts; and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet to gather his chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Mat.24:30-31).
"This Good News of the kingdom will be proclaimed to the whole world as a witness to all the nations. And then the end will come." (Mat.24:14).
"If anyone says to you then, "Look, here is the Christ" or, "He is there", do not believe it; for false Christs and false prophets will arise and produce great signs and portents, enough to deceive even the chosen, if that were possible. There; I have forewarned you. If, then, they say to you, "Look, he is in the desert", do not go there; "Look, he is in some hiding place", do not believe it; because the coming of the son of Man will be like lightning striking in the east and flashing far into the west." (Mat. 24:23-27).
The Psalm tells us all the nations will be gathered to Jerusalem and then Jesus will appear suddenly in the sky above them. Zechariah addresses Christ's return as well:
"Let the nations muster round you in a body, and then return, high over them." (Ps.7:7).
"God will appear above them and his arrow will flash out like lightning, (The Lord) Yahweh will sound the trumpet and advance in the storms of the south." (Zech. 9:14).
When the risen Christ left the Apostles to be lifted into heaven, the event was described in the Book of Acts:
"As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, 'Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there." (Acts 1:9-11).
Since Jesus is to return like lightning shining instantly from east to west, He will come to us. We need go nowhere on earth. Our journey is a spiritual journey into righteousness, following Jesus' commandments. Nor does it matter that our bodies die (fall asleep) before He comes. As Paul said,
"At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord forever." (1 Thes.4:16-17).
As far as the splitting of the Mount of Olives is concerned, that is caused by the earthquake or some of the cosmic events that are predicted to immediately precede Christ's return:
"In my vision, when he broke the sixth seal, there was a violent earthquake and the sun went as black as coarse sackcloth; the moon turned red as blood all over, and the stars of the sky fell on to the earth like figs dropping from a fig tree when a high wind shakes it; the sky disappeared like a scroll rolling up and all the mountains and islands were shaken from their places. Then all the earthly rulers, the governors and the commanders, the rich people and the men of influence, the whole population, slaves and citizens, took to the mountains to hide in caves and among the rocks. They said to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us away from the One who sits on the throne and from the anger of the Lamb. For the great Day of his anger has come, and who can survive it? " (Rev.6:12-17).
There will be no war on the day of Armageddon. The nations will have gathered, ready to fight, but the warfare that day will not be anything like men fight. It will come like the quotation above. In God's way. The way a storm suddenly appears out of the East and strikes without warning. Jesus taught that we are forbidden to fight.
"For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: Your salvation lay in conversion and tranquility, your strength in complete trust; and you would have none of it." (Is.30:15).
It is His holiness that we must follow to the end. That trust is the proof of our faith. Jesus rules in gentleness, not by armies. The army of God is an army of peace.
I have read on your understanding of the coronation of the King Jesus in your material. I have an insight I feel important enough to share. I strongly believe the bible suports the coronation having ALREADY occured 2000 years ago!! the passage in question:
"Thrones were set in place and one of great age took his seat...a court was held and the books were opened. I gazed into the visions of the night, and I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man. He came to the one of great age and was led into his presence. On him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples...became his servants. his sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever be destroyed..." (Dan.7:9-14).
Notice, this is NOT the second coming. At the second coming, Chrsit comes to us. At his ascension, he went to whom? To the Father, the one of great age.it was then he was coronated King. This is a study I had prepared a while ago on this I will share below.....Let's first look at MAtthew 25:34
"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:"----> Who is the King? answer: Christ, (he is the one sitting on the throne as in the first verse)------> can one be a King without having already be coronated at some time in the PAST? answer: I think that is way too obvious.. of course not! C
You are absolutely correct concerning the timing of the coronation (Christ's heavenly glorification from which descends the Holy Spirit). What I incorrectly called Christ's coronation is actually His "wedding feast"an event which does take place after the Second Coming, and to which all the Chosen have been invited to attend.
This feast celebrates the wedding of Christ to the new kingdom which God has handed over to Him at the end. Jesus said that everything that belongs to the Father has been given to Him.
"Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said: All he (the Holy Spirit) tells you will be taken from what is mine." (John 16:15).
"I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth since he will not be speaking as from himself but will say only what he has learnt; and he will tell you of the things to come. He will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine." (John 16:12-14).
When Jesus voiced these words, it was this handover He was speaking of. The concept of "Trinity" shows us a Godhead identical in all its parts. The Book of Revelation addresses that ruling unity in this passage:
"I saw that there was no temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple, and the city did not need the sun or the moon for light, since it was lit by the radiant glory of God and the Lamb was a lighted torch for it." (Rev.21:22-23).
The city being discussed, of course, is the new kingdom of Jerusalem in heaven.
Thank you very much for this important clarification.
The Supreme Court has once again upheld their ruling that there can be no mention of God or religion in federal or state affairs. According to the latest Pew poles, ours is a nation that is 85% Christian. The perception among many of these believers is that the war currently being waged in the Supreme Court over God and Constitution is also one of a battle between two religions one that believes in God and another that believes there is no God. In that perception, the court has backed one religion over another.
The strength and depth of the national polarization over this issue can be seen in the first 3 days after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The only word on American lips at that time was "God", as in "God Bless America", focused by an attempt only weeks earllier by the Federal government's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to take the word "God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance. In the years that followed, a fortification of the theological South in our politics has occurred, a rise many believe is fully related to a restive populous that has drawn a religious line in the sand. It may not be the line anyone wanted, or a correct line according to constitutional terms, but it comes with formidable backing no less powerful than that promoting the opposite view.
It is clear that the law of equal and opposite reactions is at play here. Continued escalation remains a given. Clarence Thomas wrote in a separate opinion, upholding the Texas Ten Commandments that "a more fundamental rethinking of the Court's Establishment Clause jurisprudence remains in order." Such a "rethinking" on this issue existed from 1776 to 1963. That understanding, attacked by the Supreme Court in 1963, was torn asunder over a period of 40 years in decision after decision that so favored atheism the U.S. Congress in 1997 passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That Act was immediately nullified by the Supreme Court.. As a result, the growing political and religious polarity that now divides our nation is certain to increase. Jesus said that a nation divided against itself cannot stand.
Our judicial and civic leaders have not only put God to the test, they have effectively dismantled the divine shield of grace that has guarded and guided our country since its inception. Their timing could not be worse.
"...As a result, the growing political and religious polarity that now divides our nation is certain to increase. Jesus said that a nation divided against itself cannot stand. Our judicial and civic leaders have not only put God to the test, they have effectively dismantled the divine shield of grace that has guarded and guided our country since its inception. Their timing could not be worse."
Then tell us why it is we should follow God's laws? If, as you say, 85% of the nation is Christian and God knows this and he knows what is in men's hearts, then how does the above endanger us? Are you saying that as a nation we might fall?! Why? Because God is angry over what the FEW do? Is God so spiteful that he would punish millions because a few who do not believe in him are in power?
...If God will not spare or protect millions of people that he knows believe in him, then that is wrong. I do not think you are right on this. If you want to know why there is a great fall away and why there was rebellion in heaven and here on earth, this is why. Your words seem like a warning, yet do you realize that what you write makes it seem like God is a petty God that is jealous and insecure? I do not believe this. God does NOT look to governments! God does not acknowledge governments of man, he looks to the people, who are all his children. Sorry Ted, but on this one, I do not agree with you at all. I do not believe that God would lift any supposed shield of protection and grace simply because some meaningless court ruling. Those who believe will continue to do so and if anything, the courts actions would only deepen the beliefs of people. PS
The implications you draw from my words were certainly not intended. Throughout the ravages of the world-wide tribulations of the last century, and up to the present day, the United States has enjoyed divine blessing beyond anyone's most hopeful expectations. It is our heartful prayer that this will continue into the future all the way to the end. Scripture seems to indicate that it will, but also teaches that it is dependent upon the continuance of faith by the people. You are correct. It is not a court ruling, but faith alone that will determine all these things. Good point.
First, I have read so many web sites from bible ministers that state that: There is the general tribulation, then, the rapture and then the final tribulation. This is the year 2005. If there is a GENERAL TRIBULATION, could we be living in it RIGHT NOW?A
Yes. Manifestations of it include a perfusion of wars, world wars, the holocaust, massacres of whole populations in Africa, Cambodia, Bosnia, Russia and elsewhere, atom bombs and hydrogen bombs, terrorism, etc., etc.
The Book of Daniel divides the final tribulation into two periods, 1290 days and 45 days, so you could actually count the tribulation as having 3 parts. The first part of the tribulation (not counted in these two numbers) begins the punishment of the pagans and has been going on now for perhaps100 years.
"Lawlessness will bring the whole earth to ruin and evil-doing bring the thrones of the mighty down." (Ws.5:17-24).
The final two tribulations (those described by Daniel) involve the world's attack on the Christian churches. That has not begun yet. According to Daniel and Isaiah, it will begin sometime in the distant future when the sacrifice of communion is desecrated and forbidden by a world power. (See Daniel 9:27 & Isaiah 24:5-6).
According to internet web sites on the HEBREW calendar and CHRISTIAN calendar respectively, where do we stand (right now-2005) in the history of man (according to the bible-6000 year period of mankind)? A
In the Christian calendar we have just entered the 3rd millenium (the 3rd "day" of Christ). This is the "day" (a day to God is like a 1000 years) scripture tells us Jesus is to return (i.e., "early in the 3rd day"). The 3rd day began January 1, 2001.
The Hebrew calendar is different. It measures the age of God's people on earth (relative to the 6000 years). In that calendar the current year is 5765. In late September or October, it will become 5766.
The Jews teach that God created Adam and Eve on October 7, 3761 B.C. This date is used in calculating the year of the Jewish calendar. That means the 7th "day" of God in the Hebrew calendar will begin about 234 years from now. According to Hebrew Law, on the 7th day everything that belongs to God must be returned to God unequivocally, so one might think we could use that number to calculate the outside date for the end of the world, but we can't. Scripture tells us that the last days will be cut short, so there is really no telling.
I am currently residing in a Catholic country. When I attend Catholic masses, there is NO usage of the bible (only a red catacism book) and panthlets that talk of Jesus and some of the scriptures and his parables. They also have Eucaristic sayings and formalities of Catholic traditions. Would I be misinterpreting this as a non-christian religion? This confuses me. A
The Catholic Church is a Christian church. In fact, it is the largest and, together with its eastern counterpart, the Greek Orthodox, the oldest Christian church in the world.
There are several different Bibles available that have been approved by the Catholic Church. However, historically, salvation has not been dependent upon each Christian possessing their own copy of the scriptures. Books (moveable type) were not invented until the time of Martin Luther in the 16th century.
Before that (for1 & 1/2 thousand years), all Bibles had to be written out by hand, a process that took half a lifetime, so there were not many around: just in the churches themselves. As you say, for this reason, the scriptures were read to the congregations.
A Christian church is any church that preaches Jesus to the world. A Christian is anyone who believes in Jesus and puts His Gospel into practice in their lives.
Lastly, could you tell me possibly (where and how) America plays a role in the end times? America is changing so fast. We used to be a Christian nation, however, it appears that that is no longer true. I have seen the influx of so many people coming to America that want to bring their own religions and languages here and do not want to assimulate. Is this to be expected? A
America's role in the end-times cannot be stated in absolute terms because no one is sure that we are living in those days now. However, every sign seems to point to the fact that we are. In that case, America would be the "Kittim" of prophecy. That is the nation in the Book of Daniel whose "ships" confront the "beast" of the last days and keeps him from conquering Israel (Dn. 11:30).
According to the latest Pew poll, the United States is currently about 85% Christian, a number little different from past decades. The tremendous faith this has meant to our nation may well have helped us dodge most of the bitter consequences of the world-wide tribulation events of the last century.
Jesus said that a house divided against itself cannot stand. As long as the churches in America all lock arms and stand as one people (God's House of Israel on earth), no influx of foreign philosophies will be powerful enough to breach the wall of grace that still protects this nation. Remember, Israel had 12 tribes, not just one, and they were all supposed to get along. The fact that they did not, the Bible tells us, is what destroyed Israel and plunged the nation into captivity and exile.
I think your right about the rise of the East, and here is an article showing how Islamic Banking is gaining strength. Up until now, the Banks have been controlled by the West. Now, the Islamic banks will be able to do things without full knowledge of the West. The information provided by DAVID WALKER, COMPTROLLER GENERAL, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE, shows that the US is declining financially.
How does this all fit with the commerce mark to buy and sell? Would this mark be specific to buying and selling with the Islamic nation or world wide/everyone? Thanks for your thoughts. MM
I am not that familiar with the interworkings of global finance. The prophecies show that a very disturbing moment in world history seems to lie in our immediate future. Global financial implosion, perhaps reminiscent of 1929 is a real possibility, but more than that seems to be involved as well. Daniel has forecast a vast change in the political and financial dynamic of the world community, beginning in catastrophe. Many Bible scholars point to the past with respect to this prophecy, seeing fulfillment long ago. That does not square with Daniel's own proclamation that his words relate to the last days, so the jury remains out.
And the word "jury" is probably most relevant here since Jeremiah has forecast that a "catastrophe" very similar to that foreseen by Daniel will be the ultimate "proof" of our position with respect to the chronology of biblical prophecy which foresees an earthly future, not of glassine towers and emerald spires, but of rampikes. If it occurs in the way that Daniel and Jeremiah have written that it will, we can be certain that the fateful rise of the East is at hand and the harvest has been completed. Period. Jeremiah says that with his "proof", there will be no more room for speculation.
Many prophecies show that when this end-time circumstance occurs, the world will be partitioned by conquest, with war a perpetual phenomenon. While the rise of the East is integral to this cataclysm (reinforced by the rise of the "ten-nation" confederacy), the first arm of this empire will be directed from a nation situated in what the Bible terms "the far north".
According to Daniel, one nation in particular will escape the grasp of this eastern jugernaut and position itself between Israel and the forces poised against it, using "ships" to enforce it's blockade. That wall of defense will thwart for a time the beast of the end, but it will not prevent Jerusalem from being overrun several times by marauding armies between now and the moment of Armageddon.
We know by looking at the current state of world politics that the essence of the West's domination of the world at this time is western finance guarded by a military machine without peer in the world. President Bush in his first State of the Union Address after his second inaugural, issued a proclamation to the world that America's concept of democracy (i.e., western democratic capitalism) would be pushed to the ends of the earth "by force if necessary". His edict was not well received by the totalitarian governments in the East, but the fact is these latter have scant power when compared to the enormous size of the economic forces mounted against them.
For this reason, trying to square Daniel's vision of sudden collapse in the West with the current reality of the western world's seemingly infinite financial and military resources (the likes of which has never before been seen on earth), is not just difficult, it is virtually impossible. The forecasts in scripture say it comes with calamity, but there has to be much more involved. There would have to be some serious internal erosion elements in the mix as well likely including issues the article you sent addresses. Since I do not understand high finance or trade deficits or any of the other elements which must come into play here, I have no way of speculating on the specifics of the collapse. I am not even sure of all the elements of the catastrophe that is said to herald and initiate it. We will just have to wait and see. Daniel indicates that wait will not be long.
Buying and selling is something else altogether. When the East takes over the territory of its conquest, it will issue proclamations and make laws promulgated by its non-Christian leaders. We cannot be sure that these leaders will be Islamic. Daniel tells us that they will follow a philosophy unlike their ancestors. Such a description would certainly apply to members of Al Queda, but it would not necessarily apply to the wider majority of the Muslim community that inhabits the world today. The Soviet Union, North Korea, Japan and China have all shown us that there is alot more to the East than Islam.
Later, when the beast himself comes to power, the eastern proclamations will target Christians per se. All who follow Jesus will be required to renounce their beliefs. Those that refuse will be "put to the sword".
The Book of Maccabees in the Greek Bible describes what the prophetic precursors to these proclamations were like in the days of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Reading them, we can well imagine those who reject these edicts being denied access to food. A mark of recognition that visually separates Christians from non-christians is a biblical certainty during those times. That mark, however, will not apply to the areas that remain outside the beast's control. And Daniel assures us that there will be such areas.
On the other side of the physical mark of the beast (specific to time and place) is a universal and invisible mark that has existed for 2000 years. This long-standing spiritual "mark of the beast" can also be seen as a reverse mark. It is failure to be baptised in the mark of God. According to scripture, all who fail to be baptised in the name of Jesus remain locked in the spiritual chains of Satan. Satan's stain is the mark of original sin, and it is the reason Jesus had to go to the cross so that our soul could be set free from it.
As far as banks and financial institutions are concerned, these are not a reflection of God. God is not represented by American banks or Islamic banks. Jesus said that we (Christians) cannot serve God and money at the same time. So the issue of banks relates only to the power structure of the world community, i.e., all banks relate to Babylon.
Money, itself, has historically been tied to gold and the nation with the most gold represents the economic power of the civilization. Today, however, a new form of gold (oil) is rapidly replacing the metal. Oil is the most valuable commodity in the world today, and with prophecies showing a future steeped in warfare, that commodity, and the nations who ally in the battles to control it, are certain to rule all the tribulations to come.
Can you please tell me how do I respond to someone that says that the bible is written by regular men and that the bible could be filled with lies and that some books were written hundreds of years apart and that you should not follow the bible word for word. When approached with this, I told the individual that the bible was inspired by God and that God inspired these men to write what he told them to in their own words, and that we are to have faith in knowing that God guided these words in the bible. Did I tell this person correctly. How should I handle this kind of remark in the future, because it has come up before with other people I know. Thank you kindly for your answers, and God Bless.LB
Faith tells us that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, and that when He appeared on earth He presented to the world the opportunity to live forever. That pretty much says it all. Only in Jesus is there hope of eternal life. Those who accept His offer will never die. Those who do not, will perish in their sins. It is all about life or death. While humanity was born into a world beset with evil and Jesus showed how society could transform that evil into good, the underlying reality of His offer is individual, not corporate. God has left every person free to choose for themselves which path they want to take.
Your question brings into play two very different books, both inspired by God. The first book (the Old Testament) told the world a great deal about God, but it did not lead to eternal life. The reason was, there was no Jesus in it. God had not yet appeared in person on earth when it was written. Without Jesus and without His sacrifice on the cross and without His teaching in the Gospel, eternal life was not possible. That is why we always direct everything to the New Testament and to Christ.
Our web page writings dwell heavily on the Old Testament because that is where the prophets wrote, and this particular web site is about biblical prophecy for the reason that it is a great proof given in advance that Jesus is the truth of God.
But a proof of Jesus and Jesus Himself are two very different things. Eternal life comes only from Christ. Arguing about texts, especially those that do not present God in person often misconstrues the true meaning of the scriptures. While it traps the blind in their blindness, it can prove damaging by redirecting our own focus from what is eternal life to what is not.
Your answer, therefore, was very appropriate. You were perfectly guided by the Holy Spirit.
Paul addressed the ridicule of the faithless and the hopelessness they espouse very eloquently in his First Letter to the Corinthians. Here are a few excerpts:
"The language of the cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God's power to save." (1 Cor.1: 17-18)
"As scripture says: I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing all the learning of the learned. Where are the philosophers now? Where are the scribes? Where are any of our thinkers today? Do you see how God has shown up the foolishness of human wisdom? If it was God's wisdom that human wisdom should not know God, it was because God wanted to save those who have faith through the foolishness of the message that we preach." (1 Cor.1:19-21).
"And so, while the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength." (1 Cor. 1: 22-25).
"Take yourselves for instance, brothers, at the time when you were called: how many of you were wise in the ordinary sense of the word, how many were influential people, or came from noble families? No, it was to shame the wise that God chose what is weak by human reckoning; those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything." (1 Cor.1: 26-28).
"The human race has nothing to boast about to God, but you, God has made members of Christ Jesus and by God's doing he has become our wisdom, and our virtue, and our holiness, and our freedom. As scripture says: If anyone wants to boast, let him boast about the Lord." (1 Cor. 1: 29-31).
"Thus says God, 'Let the sage boast no more of his wisdom, nor the valiant of his valor, nor the rich man of his riches! But if anyone wants to boast, let him boast of this: of understanding and knowing me. For I am God, I rule with kindness, justice and integrity on earth; yes, these are what please me." (Jer.9:22-24).
I have some questions about a passage in the first book of Kings. What does the verse 1 Kings 19:9-13 mean? Please explain also about the Lord talking to Elijah and telling him that the Lord would pass by. It seems to me like more than one "Lord" is involved here. How can that be? PL
"And there he (Elijah) came to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him and said...'Go forth and stand upon the mountain in the presence of the Lord for the Lord is about to pass by'.
Then a great and terrible wind rent the mountains, breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the lord was not in the wind; and after the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earhquake; and after the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire came a tiny whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?" (1 Kings 8-13).
Because it involves the prophet Elijah, this is obviously a verse associated with prophecy.
When terrible catastrophe's occur on earth people always blame God. They see the hand of God in tornado's hurricanes and every sort of holocaust. When the recent tsunami struck southeast Asia, there were several forums on national television composed of gathered ministers from many denominations discussing this phenomenon. What the verse in the book of Kings says is that God is not in any of these horrendous events. Instead, God is a tiny voice whose sound is like a gentle breeze. The world heard that gentle sound in Galilee, in words spoken by a humble carpenter. That was the voice of God on earth. We hear that same voice speaking to us in the quiet of our own heart in the spiritual instruction of the Holy Spirit reminding us of Jesus' life-saving words. It is heard again and again in those who faithfully follow his commandments.
It is only by internalizing the humility of this "gentle breeze" that we can actually become one with God and live forever.
As for there being more than one Lord, Jesus reminded the Pharisee's, who were convinced that the Christ was to be the son of David, that this verse spoken by David, "The Lord said to my Lord..." (Mark 12:35-37) showed a vastly different relationship between King David and the Christ structured in scripture. Christianity's most fundamental teaching is the concept of the Trinity. It tells us that there are three distinct persons in the one God. The word "God" is a title. It means "King of Kings". There is one Kingship in heaven but three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in that kingship who share the throne of creation equally.
When Elijah was told by the Spirit of God to go out and see the Lord passing by, he was directed to observe in symbolic vision the gentle voice of Jesus Christ, the salvation of mankind, and the only true representation of God Himself on earth that would ever be offered to mankind.
Which book of the Bible tells about the Holy Grail? MJ
The Holy Grail is fiction. It is not in any book of the Bible.
The story of the grail was invented just before or after the earliest days of the 13th century by mediaeval romance writers and storytellers. According to their unfolding legends, the grail (the cup Jesus drank from at the Last Supper) was mysteriously beamed somehow to England together with Joseph of Arimathea. Filled with the blood of Jesus, it gave enormous power to its owners, i.e., to Joseph and his European descendants. Because of the powers derived from this mysterious cup, these romance stories tied the holy vessel to characters such as Merlin the magician, King Arthur, and Sir Lancelot, etc., helping to popularize the chivalric quests of the era of the European Knights.
According to Websters Dictionary, as a consequence of these stories, the Holy Grail stands for any great quest ("any ultimate, but elusive goal pursued").
Many modern writers have added their own imaginations to these stories.
The central plot of Dan Brown's novel, "The DaVinci Code" for instance, revolves around the holy grail (Jesus-cup). His book, however, takes a malignant turn by blaspheming the Holy Spirit. That, as all Christians are aware, is the single sin on earth that is unforgiveable according to God. Brown's story-line involves a sinful Jesus infected with an evil spirit that weakens His holiness and impels Him to have sex with a prostitute. Writing and distributing that kind of storyline is little removed from the Gospel's classic definition of Spiritual blasphemy:
"I tell you solemnly, all men's sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness; he is guilty of an eternal sin.' This was because they were saying, 'An unclean spirit is in him'." (Mk. 3:28-30).
For this reason, Brown's book should be approached by Christians as if it were radioactive. A far safer thought about the chalice of Christ is that Jesus has made the impossible quest possible, allowing the true Holy Grail to be found at every Christian altar where communion is served on earth.
That holy cup is a part of the "Perpetual Sacrifice" that the Bible says gives life to the world. It is the same cup the "Beast" of the last days will try to destroy in his vain attempt to crush God, an attempt that will lead directly to the destruction of this world (Is.24:5-6) and usher in the new world to come. A powerful grail indeed! Far more powerful than anything the romance novelists or Dan Brown could ever conceive.
My main question is about the rapture . Most modern teaching seems to have the church taken out before the tribulation. Some say that it will acure mid- trib , I have alway believed post trib- .
From what I have seen so far in your writing - is that the church will be here thoughout the entire tribulation much as i too believe. if this is true how and from where does the idea that the Church will be raptured before the tribulations - come from - and how do I explain to the pre- trib beliveres to prepare themselves for the shock of there lives. F
Better not to argue with them at all. The shock of our lives will not come with the tribulation. After all, the catastrophic tribulations of the 20th century have come and gone without any notice taken in many church circles. Those tribulations include horrendous world wars, the massacre of more than 50% of the world's Jews, an entire continent dying of hunger and disease, atomic bombs blowing up whole cities and hydrogen bombs stacked to the ceiling for the annihilation of the planet and still no notice taken. The tribulations of the future will cascade into a similar invisibility. Your explanations will add little to that lack of perception.
The shock will come when Jesus blocks the door into heaven. That will not happen just because a person believed in a pre-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture, or even in a rapture at all. It happens when Christ's teaching is ignored and His commandments are left undone. Better to explain that. It's firmer ground.
Why did God allow this (the destruction of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast) to happen? TF
Two hands can be seen in the structure of the universe. One hand built it, another destroyed it.
Where there is order, we see God. Where there is destruction and chaos, we see Satan.
The hand of God can be seen in the order of the universe, not in it's chaos. For instance we can see the order of an earth revolving around the sun as if around God , the light of the universe, or the sun itself representing the light of Christ on earth as in the Day of Atonement.
Into that order has come disorder. That chaos represents the battle between good and evil. Evil has contaminated this world (this entire universe, in fact). That is why it is being replaced, because it cannot be repaired. Jesus has told us He is not coming back to set up his kingdom in Jerusalem in a nation stretching from Dan to Beersheba. He is coming to beam us all up to another world - another universe, perfect and uncontaminated.
It is not the death of this earthly body that destroys us. Christ teaches that it is only in the death of this physical body that we can make the transition from death into eternal life. His resurrection from death is that promise.
We are being examined minutely to see if we are of evil or good in order to determine whose side we are on. Remember, Michael the Archangel stood firm when the angels revolted. We are now being given the opportunity to do the same through the sacrifice of Christ. The plight of New Orlean's poor has brought us all face to face with that choice.
Evolution is not something for Christians to fear. It is the key to the chaos and to our escape from it. Incorporating the seige of Satan's chaos in His preaching, Jesus gave us, not the theory of evolution but the law of evolution. He said that Christianity is a great net that has been cast over the populations of the world. It will bring in a catch of all kinds. At the end of time, Jesus warned, there will be a selection by the angels and only the fittest of that catch will survive. The others, the ones without faith, will be cast back. That is the precise statement of Darwin ("survival of the fittest by a process of natural selection"), not with biology or physics making the choice but God, the ultimate arbitrator of life itself.
That is why it is important to obey the Gospel and be constant in offering forgiveness to all.
Are the floods in New Orleans a part of end-time prophecy? MT
It would certainly seem so. Especially since a major world city was completely obliterated (made uninhabitable) by the catastrophe.
I have searched the annals of history and can find no other occasion outside of Sodom and Gomorrah of a major world city wiped out completely so swiftly and decisively. Even Nagasaki and Hiroshima, as badly as they were injured by radioactive fireballs continued to operate as cities throughout their moments of crises. It would seem it has never happened before. Certainly not on such a scale or with such speed. Over a million people, the entire population of the city of New Orleans has had to be relocated into other communities all across the nation. This dwarfs the exodus caused by the 1930's dust bowl.
Like the tidal wave in Indonesia which was the greatest in the records of human history, the destruction of New Orleans has to take its place near the pinnacle of human disaster. The fact that both the 9.2 Indonesian earthquake together with its tidal wave and the Gulf Coast decimation occurred within the space of a single year adds to the possibility that they are prophetically related. In fact, the staccato-like sequencing seems to herald more to come.
It is Satan's hand, not God's that caused this catastrophe. But it underscores the possibility that the shields are down. The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that sin is the certain fertilizer of chaos. It may have been only serendipity that the Gulf Coast of Mississippi was dotted with gambliing halls and filled with grandiose plans for an expansion of those facilities on a level unheared of in the United States. The sudden, seemingly biblical obliteration of those facilities in the middle of those plans will slow them dramatically for awhile, but it will not end them. They will be back, and probably equal to the scale originally intended. It is a cancerous growth.
The timing alone argues that the slow-motion break in the levee's of New Orleans is a prophetic indication of the fatal breach in Babylon's wall that scripture portends for the last days. The United States is the protector of the world. Therefore it can be said to be the wall of Babylon. That is not to say the United States is Babylon, it is the protector of Babylon. Sinful civilization itself is Babylon, just as God-fearing civilization is Jerusalem. Both exist side by side throughout the world.
What we see imaged before us is a major breach in the wall of Babylon.
"Babylon" and "Jerusalem" are spiritual terms but all of prophecy is structured on them, so they have immense significance. Because of Jesus, the world lives and dies on them. Without Jesus, there would only be only one term and the world would simply die in the chaos that grows out of sin. There would be no salvation into life. The breach would herald a future without hope.
But the people of Jesus have hope. We do not have to depend on the wall of Babylon for our protection. God has given us another wall, the Holy Spirit, a wall of protection that is unbreachable forever.
For this reason, when we see these things unfold we can only praise God for sending His Son down to us down into this chaos and thank Him on our knees for rescuing us one by one, lifting us up like those helicopters, as they hover over the murky floods of New Orlean's death.
your excellent site seems to indicate continuously the terrible sufferings that come from sin and it would seem that in fact enormous suffering is caused primarily because people do not understand that by sinning they are generating suffering in the World.
(and consequently it would seem that most people do not realise that repentance obtains cancellation of the suffering due from sin)...is it possible to estimate whether we are in a trough at present?,,,,,thanks. . U
That depends on what you mean by "trough". Does your question relate to a lower incidence of violence and sin in the world or to a lower incidence of repentance? The answer to this question can easily be obscured by the "he said, she said" argument philosophies that stall all discussion these days, but that does not change truth, it just hides it.
The fact is there has been a sea-change in the moral base of western society in the last 100 years that has proved markedly detrimental to the teachings of Christ. It is deeply antagonistic to divine commandment and eagerly embraces every kind of experimental deviance from the western world's Christ-established rules of social order.
Nautically, the word "trough" relates to a wave's lowest point. In the ocean there are different kinds of waves, the largest of which is a tidal wave. When the tidal waves (the tsunami's or surges) of recent months struck Indonesia and the Gulf Coast, a phenomenon of waves on top of a far greater wave could be observed. In both cases, the regular crests and troughs of the ocean waves appeared on top of the tidal surges.
That phenomenon occurred because the tidal wave was so large between crest and trough that it's crest lasted for part of an hour or more, giving the appearance of a sudden enormously high tide rather than a wave.
In the same way, the crests and troughs which occurred throughout the millenium are markedly different than the tidal wave we now see that is the advancing tribulation.
The reason for this web page is to assist in the announcement that the millenium has come to an end and the tribulation has started in its place. Offered are in-depth illustrations that show how Bible prophecy explains that such is the case.
The tribulation itself offers no crests or troughs, just a single building wave. On top of this surge are the short-set waves we have become familiar with that have occupied the entire term of the millenium. As we can see by the physical example of the ocean, those will continue to occur throughout the term of tribulation's tsunami.
That is why some will see troughs and others consider them so incidental to the developing surge of Godlessness and violence that they will ignore them. Yet we can see in the example of Father Dayalan Sanders that it is possible to rescue an entire community and carry it safely right through the advancing face of the tsunami's crest. This shows that preaching the Gospel is essential to all times. It is a divine mandate greater than ever before. Spectacular rescues will occur from this preaching.
Prophecy indicates that we are in the initial stages of the first part of the tribulation. The tribulation is not one event. It has two parts to it. Think of it as a second tidal surge or tsunami rolliing in on top of the first.
Until we see that second part begin (the western world collapse, the eastern world replace it as the power of the world [under the banner of a "ten nation" confederacy], and the attack on the Vatican unfold), the world will remain in the first of tribulation's two eras. It is during this period that prayer and fasting will have the most profound impact on the intensity of sin's wrath.
Yet the essential character of the tribulation insures that the impact of preaching will be blunted by the fact that sin has risen to such a point God has been forced to send a power to blind the world and make it believe what is not true (2 Thess 2:11-12).
Just as God hardened pharaoh's heart, which, itself, is the very allegory of these times and its leader, so He is in the process of hardening the hearts of those outside of faith. It is this divinely imposed blindness that gives the tribulation its most terrifying character and greatly diminishes the significance of "trough".
With all the disasters that have been happening lately do you think it shows God is angry with America? PL
God does not experience anger. The "anger of God" is an Old Testament term. It does not apply to the New Testament.
Jesus brought to us a new covenant, one that showed the behavior of God. The commandments Jesus demands of us are identical to the behavior practiced by God Himself and by all the beings in heaven. Anger there is forbidden. In its place are justice, mercy and a forgiveness that stretches to 70 times seven, i.e., a compassion that approaches infinite.
The justice of God, though dictated by the Law, is fully tempered by the compassion of Christ. It is by Jesus' words that all will be judged and that judgment, though absolute, will occur without anger. It will not come in the form of earthquakes, tidal waves or hurricanes. All these latter come from Satan, through sin.
The danger to our country comes from us, not from God.
There is a phrase currently in vogue called "intelligent design". Some say that it means there were dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden or that nature is frozen in solar time at year 6k. Actually what it does mean is that God has designed the natural order and has the capacity to intervene in it. That is why we pray. If God were incapable of intervening in natural affairs, our prayers would be useless.
Not only does faith teach us that prayer works, Jesus has informed us that the strength of our faith actually increases the power God can exercise over the natural world and over our affairs. When we turn to God through Christ, a shield of protection called "grace" envelops us and neutralizes all forces that would otherwise destroy us. Grace lifts us up to eternal life. Faith in Christ destroys mortality completely.
Therefore, Christianity teaches that God does indeed intervene in nature. But he does so only through our own faith. It is our faith that empowers God. That is the way God has constructed the order we experience here to operate. Faith is the only process by which the cross of Christ can work to save and protect us. That is because God has sent Jesus here to rescue us and remove us from this creation, not restore it to perfection. This world has been so completely contaminated by Satan that it cannot be repaired. That is why God has consigned it to the flames and sent Jesus to rescue us before that conflagration takes place.
The unmitigated forces of nature all lead to decay, rust, and chaos. It is faith alone that blocks Satan's destructive process and those unmitigated forces of nature. But faith can hold back the waters of that decay only for a short time. Just long enough for us to make our escape in Christ. The Bible has given us the allegory of Moses holding back the waters of the Reed Sea just long enough for the Israelites to leave Egypt on a journey to the Promised Land. It is the same in our journey from Babylon to the Jerusalem of heaven.
We are those Israelites and our faith is the true stick of Moses.
Faith is designed to work individually. That is the way the salvation of God occurs. Yet it can work corporately as well. Any nation that pledges itself to Jesus and to His purpose will experience a wall of protective grace little different than that which enwraps each Christian within it. A fall from grace will reverse this protection corporately as well as individually. It stands to reason, therefore, that If the faith of our nation is compromised, the wall of our national protection will be breached.
We can see just such a national breach prophesied in Isaiah's disconcerting message regarding the vineyard of God:
"Let me sing for my beloved a song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He digged it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielding only wild grapes.
And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield sweet grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?
And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting: and he looked for justice, but behold, only bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress." (Is. 5:7).
For six days millions watched in horror the poor of New Orleans crying out in an agony of distress that crescendoed across the entire world, but which was purposely ignored by America's national leaders. Instead, the bloodshed of conquest and warfare consumed their attention. 'They shall be comparing me to Roosevelt because my invasion of Iraq is the equal of Normandy', the president told a San Diego crowd while New Orleans lay screaming and drowning under the waters pouring into it from the breached levee's.
Prophecy shows that those breaches in the wall and the annihilation they portend are allegorically identical to what a nation that pursues war and steals from the poor to line the pockets of the rich can expect from their behavior. That is what we have to fear, a fall from grace, not the anger of God.
While I agree with your basic statement that the Supreme Court of this country has undermined public prayer, I find more egregious cases to be those decided and further upheld in the late '80s and mid '90s. These cases involved prohibiting public prayer at "state" organized events (high school or middle school graduations as the test cases) as being punitive to those who do not wish to pray. Simple standing quietly is considered "coercive". While we (I assume you would agree with me, but maybe not) would find that argument weak, especially in light of laws in Muslim countries that are truly coercive, I would tend to agree that compulsion is not in the best interests of our nation. However, the absolute prohibition of prayer is extreme and offends to the highest degree any who have religious sensibilities. Our Supreme Court has gone too far. JF
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. While the principle of "separation of church and state" is the banner always displayed, the central issue is otherwise. Mankind's essential precept involves God's Treaty of Peace with the nations, not the U.S, Constitution.
The appearance of Jesus Christ on earth brought the end of the world, because it brought God's Judgment against sin. Jesus forestalled the execution of that judgment by going to the cross. That action initiated a peace treaty between Babylon and God. It allowed Babylon to continue to live for a temporary time in violation of God's Law provided it faithfully keep the terms of the treaty. For the nations this was not a pardon, it was a reprieve.
The two most important conditions of that treaty were that the people of God be allowed to preach and hear the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, and those who wished to, be allowed to leave (follow Christ to the kingdom of God) without interference. By the terms of the treaty, the nations were forced into compliance for the sake of their very existance.
The terms of God's treaty were accepted by the world when the emperor of Rome declared Christianity to be the state religion of the world's ruling empire. From that day to the end of the 19th century, Christianity shared with all the kings and queens thereafter, their thrones in the rule of the western world.
The treaty was to remain in effect until its terms were violated by the kingdoms of the earth. According to prophecy, that violation would consist of a renunciation by the nations of their responsibility to encourage the preaching of Christianity and lead from there to an attack on the rear-guard of the departing faithful. It would appear as a duplication of Pharaoh's renunciation of his promise to Moses as he set off to attack the last Israelites leaving Egypt. Just as Pharaoh and his army were swallowed up in the returning waters of the Red Sea, so will the nations of our time be swallowed up in Christ's Second Coming.
Prophecy set a time-period of a thousand years for the treaty's (troubled) peace. The word "millenium" was applied to this "Day of Atonement". The "day" being a God-day which scripture describes as being a thousand earth-years to God. During this "day of God" His "Son" was to brightly shine in the skies of the earth to enlighten all mankind to the salvation God had made available to them through the preaching of the Gospel. Prophecy shows that God, in His mercy, doubled the time for that salvation. He stopped His Son in the sky for almost a whole day, making the one day into almost two. That brings us to now, 2000 years later.
The nations of the world do not exist for themselves. They exist now only by the terms of the treaty Christ made with them at the cross. That treaty is the only thing that allows all earthly nations to live. Over the last 100 years the world has witnessed a profound revolt against God's treaty. Paul foresaw this revolt and wrote about it in the 2nd Book of Thessalonians (2 Thes. 2:3; 11-12). Under Stalinest forces, 20th century Russia abandoned Christ to embrace atheism, and Christianity was attacked and driven into deep hiding places throughout Asia and Eastern Europe. Hitler arose in Western Europe and in his wake a shattered and in many places, godless landscape replaced him. While Pew poles show the United States to be 85% Christian, European nations now manifesting Christian populations less than 10% are not uncommon.
The last national leaders to renounce Christ were from the government of the United States. Judicial officials here forbid the mention of His name or His Father's name in all public (governmental) structures schools and landscapes. While it started with O'Hare, those rulings, as you say, progressed steadily toward insuring a complete expungement. With the fall of Christ from government, and Christianity under increased attack, we are beginning to see, in slow motion, the days of Pharaoh replicated.
The American Constitution has no power to void Christ's treaty. In fact, the current rulings in regard to that Constitution, denying us the right to preach and pray as we like, have only the power to shorten the days of the "Son" and hasten the wrath. Our country lives by the Peace Treaty, not the Constitution. From 1776 until 1963 both ruled here in harmony with one another. The O'Hair ruling shattered that peace.
"The earth is defiled under its inhabitants' feet, for they have transgressed the law, violated the precept, broken the everlasting covenant. So a curse consumes the earth and its inhabitants suffer the penalty, that is why the inhabitants of the earth are burnt up and few men are left." (Is. 24:5-6).
Fortunately, the figures show that there are enough Christians in the United States to overturn the rulings of this leadership and return the country to a faith and chastity that will guard it against the coming tribulation, provided most of them understand the critical importance of their doing so. Prophecies show the western world about to collapse and shatter into pieces. Perhaps the economic wreckage of that imminant catastrophe will provide the impetus for our citizenry to gather their collective wits and coalesce behind Jesus.
It is a time for prayer and deep faith.
For more on this, see 'The Clock of God', Chapter 10, "The Peace Treaty"
How can you compare just our Federal Govnt to falling from Grace and not the people themselves. Are we not just as responsible in our local citys and states for our own fall from Grace and our own sins as in New Orleans or anywhere else in American that is leading an open sinful lifestyle. LS
New Orleans represents a city government. As such it bears a corporate responsibility to God one that has been specified by the treaty made between Babylon and Christ through the cross:
"Listen; the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem; he carried away the king and the princes, and took them to where he lives in Babylon. He took a member of the royal family and made a treaty with him...so that the kingdom would remain modest and without ambition and so maintain his treaty faithfully." (Ez.17:12-14).
The word "Babylon" relates to ruliing government. That government can be city, county, state, nation or empire. All government agencies are covered under the terms of the treaty. If the government makes and enforces rules that are anti-christian, it is said to be "Babylon". A government's relationship with God not only determines it's own future, it can also impact the very life of the earth.
That is because Bible prophecy tells us that the end of the age when it arrives, will be evident to all because the governments that once encouraged their citizens to be Christian will begin to renounce those efforts, forbid any teaching related to God and order God removed from all governmental affairs. Not content with erasing God from civic affairs, world government will even order an attack on Christianity physically. It is for these very actions that the world will be brought to an end by God:
"On these grounds is the 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).
As you suggest, just as cities and nations have corporate responsibilities to God, each person bears an individual responsibility. Every individual who lives in God's Gospel gains eternal salvation. Those who reject Christ's Gospel perish.
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah shows that there is a relationship between governmental responsibility to God and individual responsibility.
The rule of the two cities was obviously thoroughly corrupt, yet, before destroying them God searched the cities to determine if there were any good people left there. It was His finding of so few that doomed Sodom and Gomorrah to judgment. Consequently, the cities and all their people perished.
That was in the Old Testament before grace was available. We now live under the grace of the temporary treaty made between Babylon and God through Jesus on the cross. That treaty exists to create a time-period for the people of the world (who want to) to repent and save their lives. The treaty exists for the preaching of Christ in advance of a coming Judgment that will terminate this world. During this 2000-year treaty period, evil has been allowed to co-exist with righteousness so that all people who stumble in their faith will be able to stand up again, repent, and continue their trek to salvation without having to fear that their fall has destroyed their hope for eternal life. The judgment comes later. For that reason, there are no Sodom and Gomorrah's now, nor have there been any throughout the Christian era. The Old Testament's story of those two evil cities is about the past. It is also a prophecy about the future.
That means the tribulations we see now are not elements of judgment. The earthquakes, hurricanes and tidal waves that criss-cross the world do not represent the wrath of God. At least not for now. They certainly do represent Satan's impact on the world and his corruption of the perfection God once created here. But they will not represent God's judgment as long as Christ's treaty remains in effect..
That brings us to faith. Faith is the measurement of the power of grace. We tend to think of grace in individual terms, i.e., terms that represent ourselves individually. That part is true, but what we are discussing here is corporate grace. Each city government, each county government, each state government, and each national government in Christ enjoys the protection of a grace dependent on its obedience to the terms of the treaty Christ made with Babylon. The greater that obedience, the more powerful the protection of grace that guards them. In other words, these governments enjoy the same halo of grace that enwraps their individual citizens.
The more those governments violate the terms of God's treaty, however, just as with us individually, the more gravely their grace is eroded and with it the protection that it offers. That makes them more susceptible to natural, political, and economic disasters. It doesn't bring those disasters, it simply intensifies their impact by removing the shield that blocks their most destructive elements. An example of that can be seen in your picture of New Orleans which suffered a damaging hurricane, but was destroyed by a subsequent failure of the levees.
In Sodom and Gomorrah, God searched for individual good within the city in sufficient numbers to offset the actions of the corporate leadership, but failed to find enough to save the city. We can see in this effort by God that individual grace can be a two-way street, either helping to save the country or helping to doom it. That is one reason why every preacher spends enormous time pleading with the people to pray constantly and live chaste lives. Those actions not only save the people who live this way, but, in sufficient numbers, have the power to insure a more secure environment for the people around them through strengthened grace.
This is even more important with us. Because we live in a democracy and therefore bear a responsibility for the leadership elected, it is essential that we take an active role in promoting leaders that are Godly, compassionate, honest in all their dealings, thoughtful of the people they serve and chaste. This will take some searching
On your recent answers regarding God and nations, men and governments. I have to disagree with you. God does not look at nations and governments --- we are HIS children and Christ died on the cross for OUR sins and that means for every man, woman and child...Sorry, but this is one area you and I are on opposite sides. God sees what is in each man's heart and he does not care if you are British, German or American, as those are man-made definitions. God sees his children PS
There is an "age" for salvation. When it is over it is over. As long as it lasts you remain correct. Prophecy suggests that we have almost come to the end of the age. It is that boundary I write about. Jesus said the time for salvation would be "short" and then the end would come. As far as God's judgment of nations is concerned, now is not the time for judgment. It is a time for preaching and the salvation of individuals, just as you say. The judgment comes later, at the end.
God is not judging anybody right now, not people nor nations.
Paul said in 2 Thess. that the age for salvation will come to an end in a people's revolt against Jesus. That revolt will be joined into by the nations. There is a great change happening now in the nations with respect to Christ. Each of us is free to gather from that change what we will.
The reason the issue is of such importance is that in the Book of Revelation, God reveals that one nation will be kept safe and not have to suffer the coming tribulation because of the faithful behavior of the church within it (Rev.3:10). That argues that behaviour is as important to nations as to people. Revelation's admonition may be literal, it may be metaphoric, but more likely, it is both.
ON THE KANSAS EVOLUTION TRIAL
If you were to reprise all the prophecies of your website in one or two short paragraphs, what would you say? DK
We live in the Son-shine of God's Day of Atonement. It can be called the "millenium" because of its length, and because that is the full meaning of Revelation's promise Rev.20:1-6. The Day of God began with a Son-rise (Easter Sunday) and will end with a Son-set caused by the world's rejection of Christian rule. Paul called this world rejection "the Great Revolt". Jesus said the time for atonement was "short", and we now are beginning to see how short it was. Prophecy tells us it will last just shy of 2000 years (almost two God-days)Joshua 10:13-14. If we accept Easter as the Son-rise of God's Day of Atonement, it's beginning occurred in either 30 or 33 A.D. That tells us the Son-set is very near. The Book of Revelation foresees a time of warfare replacing this troubled millenium (Rev. 20:7-8) followed by the Second Coming of Christ which is God's victory over the Anti-christ. Coming with Jesus on the winds of heaven will be the new kingdom. There He shall rule forever in justice and integrity and fulfill His offer of eternal life to all who had the faith to believe in Him.
That sequence is the whole structure of reality. The glittering palaces of pomp and circumstance the populations have built on the planetary sands of this world are all going to be washed away in stardust's inevitable return to eternal night. Only in Christ Jesus is escape and safety possible. Do not hesitate to follow Him. There is little time left.
I have a question about the ten nations. I am unable to find them listed in my Bible. I have heard others talk about these nations, too. Would you be so kind as to tell me where they are listed by book chapter and verse. YN
The phrase "ten nations" is not used in scripture. That reference is metaphore and comes from the term "ten horns". You can find mention of the term "ten horns" in the books of Daniel and Revelation (see below), and allusions to them in Psalm 83:1-8 and Ezekiel 38:1-7
"I saw...four great beasts arise from the sea...The fourth (beast) was different from the previous beasts and had ten horns." (Dn. 7:3; 7:7)
The appearance of these ten horns in scripture comes wrapped in such complex and intriguing symbolism that deciphering it accurately can only be accomplished with the help of divine guidance. It is to be assumed that such assistance will be offered by the Holy Spirit only in accordance with God's rules of prophecy which, in most cases, downplay detailed foreknowledge, emphasizing, instead, proofs in retrospect.
An additional layer of cloudiness is added to the symbolism of this particular subject by the varied interpretations of the ten-horn prophecy currently circulating among modern Bible scholars and visionaries. In the end, the ultimate understanding, as always, will unfold definitively in the historic sequence as it happens.
"I was standing' on the seashore. Then I saw a beast emerge from the sea: it had seven heads and ten horns, with a coronet on each of its ten horns, and its heads were marked with blasphemous titles." (Rev. 13:1)
According to John, the word "horn" means "king":
'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. ·They are all of one mind in putting their strength and their powers at the beast's disposal, ·and they will go to war against the Lamb; but the Lamb is the Lord of lords and the King of kings, and he will defeat them and they will be defeated by his followers, the called, the chosen, the faithful.' (Rev. 17:12-14)
"The angel continued, 'The waters you saw, beside which the prostitute was sitting, are all the peoples, the populations, the nations and the languages. ·But the time will come when the ten horns and the beast will turn against the prostitute, and strip off her clothes and leave her naked; then they will eat her flesh and burn the remains in the fire. ·In fact, God influenced their minds to do what he intended, to agree together to put their royal powers at the beast's disposal until the time when God's words should be fulfilled. ·The woman you saw is the great city which has authority over all the rulers on earth.'" (Rev. 17:15-18).
With Daniel, it is the same:
"As for the ten horns from this kingdom (from this fourth beast) will rise ten kings, and another after them..." (Dn. 7:24-25)
Prophecy assumes from these explanations that the phrase implys not just ten kings, but 10 nations as well, i.e., the 10 nations each of these kings will collectively rule. This is where the idea of "ten nations" enters the prophecy. It is clear from scripture that these ten will not come in succession, one after the other, but will all enter onto history's stage together at the same time. The kingdom (empire) within which these ten arise and of which they are an integral part is called the "Beast" (as is its leading ruler).
The world witnessed an example of how this prophecy might spring to life in the formation of the Soviet Union. Here was a fiercly militant and evil empire, godless by mandate, bringing the sun's fire down on the earth before world eyes as prophesied, and bristling with a satellite network of incorporated kingdoms (nations) stretched around its periphery like a protective belt: Khazakstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Lithuania, Latvia and others a list that actually numbers much more than ten.
While Daniel was looking at these horns, he "saw another horn sprouting among them, a little one; three of the original horns were pulled out by the roots to make way for it; and in this horn (he) saw "eyes like human eyes, and a mouth that was full of boasts." This horn "made a greater show than the other horns." (Dn. 7:8; 19-22)
What Daniel describes in these passages is the later appearance of an eleventh horn arising among the ten. This eleventh horn is characterized as the "false prophet" in the Book of Revelation. He is different from the previous ten horns, and will pull three of those original horns up by the roots, incorporating their three kingdoms (or nations) into his own.
He goes from there to gain command of all ten, rising to become the ruler of the beast itself, and is the one scripture tells us will 'speak words against the Most High and harasses the saints of the most High' as he gains control over most of the world. He ends up the true beast of Revelation, the madman who is defeated in the Second Coming of Christ.
Because they are so closely associated with the Rebel of the End, the appearance of the Ten Kings is something to be keenly watched for. The Book of Revelation relates their appearance to the "kings of the East" destined to invade the western world across the Euphrates river in the last days (Rev.16:12). In fact, the correlation between them in scripture is so close, these "eastern kings" and the "ten kings" seem to be one and the same (Rev.16:13-16; Ps.83:3-8; 2 Chron.20:15-17).
A strong simile for the madman's rise to power can be seen in Osama bin Laden, a person not given royal honors (having no country of his own) but arising per prophecy from an almost microscopic beginning. Operating clandestinely from remote caves with his country-less vagabonds, Osama is a figure who has evolved onto the world stage almost overnight from invisibility to such spectacular heights that he has already forced the superpowers of the world into two major, protracted and seemingly futile wars to try to stop his reign of violence. All this and he hasn't even left his cave yet.
Were Osama to usurp control of three major satellite nations within the evil empire (an empire unknown at this writing) erecting a kingdom of his own out of them, the parallel between himself and Daniel's prophecies would be considered by many definitive proof that he is scripture's most malignant human identity.
"In his place there will rise a wretch. He will not be given royal honors, but will insinuate himself into them in his own time and gain possession of the kingdom by intrigue. Armies will be utterly routed and crushed by him. The prince of the Covenant, too. Still conspiring, he will go from treachery to treachery, ever growing stronger despite the smallness of his following. In his own time he will invade the the richest provinces, acting as his fathers or his fathers' fathers never acted, distributing plunder, spoil and wealth among them, plotting his stratagems against fortresses for a time." (Dn. 11:21-24).
Since we live today in a time of allegories, I tend to view the appearance of Osama in this category as well. All these signs seem to form a sequential network of thunderous early warnings from God alerting the world to the lateness of the hour.
So many allegories of scripture's last days have unfolded in the last 95 years that there can be little doubt that this is another. Perhaps the last in the sequence. They include the world wars, the rise of the atheistic Soviet Union and its girdle of satellite nations, the secularization of the world, Mussolini's attempt to resurrect the Roman Empire, the appearance of Hitler and his massacre of the Jews, scores of other genocides across the planet, cities obliterated by atomic bombs, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the assassination of Egypt's Sadat, the fall of the towers of Babylon in New York, the rise of the forces of the east, two wars at the Euphrates river, a three-fold increase in natural disasters from the 1960's to the 1990's, the threat of pandemic disease, roaring seas, alarming signs in the heavens, and now Osama all these and much more speak to a handwriting on the wall signalling the importance of immediate conversion and repentance, and an irreversible return to Christ.
In the Greek Bible it is written:
"On the sinners, however, punishments rained down not without violent thunder as early warning..." (Wis.19:13).
"But the rest of the human race, who escaped these plagues, refused either to abandon the things they had made with their own hands the idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood that can neither see nor hear nor move or to stop worshipping devils. Nor did they give up their murdering, or witchcraft, or fornication or stealing." (Rev. 9:20-21)
"Men were biting their tongues for pain, but instead of repenting for what they had done, they cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and sores." (Rev. 16:10-11).
Barring a sweeping conversion to righteousness on earth, soon it will no longer be the 'violent thunder' of punishing allegories warning of the end of the world we experience, but the reality that all these allegories portend. The formation of the ten nations will usher in that reality.
"God is inside the city, she can never fall. At the crack of dawn God helps her; to the roaring of nations and tottering of kingdoms, when he shouts, the world disintegrates (Ps.46:5-6).
For More on these "Ten Kings" see: Psalm 83:1-8 and Ezekiel 38:1-7
The written accounts of Sister Lucy didn^t happen till the 40s. So when Lucy claimed that a new War would arise in Pius the XI time (from the apparitions of 1917) she was in fact at the time writing in 1941--------After the Historical events happened. You have to realize that some of what is contained can invole Lucy the Adult^s imagination. For a critical commentary on Fatima read Fr. Dhanis, an expert.
You never take a private revelation, even an authentic & approved one without a prudent,discerning or critical openness. The Church never garantees the accuracy of the facts. Regards KA
Many prophecies in Old Testament scripture appear on the surface to be built on events that occurred during the historical lifetime of the prophet. We can see this dramatically illustrated in Daniel with respect to Antiochus Epiphanes. However, because the true prophetic message in all these prophecies points to the future, those current events have only a passing, often superficial, allegorical relationship to the actual message intended by God. This is true not just in Daniel's case, but in Jeremiah, Ezekiel and many others as well.
The same is true of Lucia of Fatima. The message sent by the Holy Spirit to the world with respect to Fatima had little to do with World War II or World War 1 or even with a communistic Russia. Something different was being communicated in her messages information even she was unaware of information not only unknown in 1941, but in 1981 as well (see 1 Peter 1:12).
It was a message, the delivery of which was so important to God that fervent worldwide expectation with respect to it's revelation was essential, and therefore architected into it by the Holy Spirit in the manner you witnessed.
"No more does the Lord God do anything without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7).
It was structured by God into the world's largest Christian Church, a church with a population of over a billion people so that a vast world-wide Christian audience would be guaranteed from the outset.
That immense populous first learned of the prayers needed for Russia's conversion at a time when the Soviet Union was in the process of becoming an empire (almost as large as Rome's) presumably secure of a godless reign that would last for centuries to come. Prayers were offered for its conversion as Lucia had ordered, but few really thought it would do any good. Meanwhile, everyone awaited the third prophecy. Lucia had set the date for its unveiling: 1960.
But no prophecy was forthcoming on that date.
That was significant. The largest and most respected Christian Church throughout the world refused to divulge the secret third prophecy. That refusal only magnified the expectation and accelerated the public's demand for its release.
The sudden, completely unexpected and dramatic fall of the Soviet Union, followed by it's swift conversion to Christ (Leningrad being renamed St. Petersburg) in 1991 validated Lucia's second vision. Driven by that validation, the clamor for the release of the third "secret" intensified even further. Meanwhile, behind Vatican doors, the Pope recognized in his survival of an assassination attempt the relationship between Lucia's prophecies and himself. He came to see himself as the focus of her vision.
Hesitantly confident that the third prophecy had been fully completed, it was decided almost a decade later to make a portion of the vision public. It was accompanied by an official interpretation. The complete vision, Church officials said, would be released later after Vatican authorities were able to compile and publish a commentary to go with it. Later, without any public fanfare, the complete prophecy was quietly published on the Vatican website.
Thus the vision stands. Though the full message is now in plain sight, many have not even bothered to read it, and fewer yet comprehend its full meaning or the close proximity of that meaning (Mat. 24:9-10; Dn.7:21; 8:13-14; 9:27; Ps.74; 2 Thes. 2:7, etc.). Here again, it seems, prophecy is most valuable to God as a proof in retrospect.
I have read Daniel carefully and have been unable to find a 4th Kingdom of "Persia". Would you please give me the scriptural passages that support that text. MT
The designation is prophecy. The "fourth kingdom" in Daniel's vision relates to the four "beasts" he observed rising from the sea (Dan.7:2-3). The fourth was different than the others and had "ten horns" (Dn.7:7). Since Daniel's prophecies are about the "last days" (Dn.12:9) that designation (the ten horns) is definitive of the "kings of the East" ( Rev. 16:12). Scattered throughout the prophetic writings of scripture the words "Persia" and "the Medes" appear often as a designation of the empire which encompasses these ten eastern kings, and which, in its destruciton of the world, attacks Israel at the end (Dn.11:2; Jer.51:28-29).
The Book of Chronicles is quite clear about the final moments in world history (2 Chron.36:20; 22-23). The people of God (the two "houses" of Israel) who have lived in exile to Babylon these last 2000 years in compliance with Christ's "peace treaty", will be freed to return to Jerusalem only after the "prince of Persia" issues a proclamation to that effect. It is not to be a peaceful proclamation.
It will come in the form of sacrilege, the event envisioned in the "third prophecy of Fatima", and the abolition of the "perpetual sacrifice" (Dn.8:11-12). The consequences of this, though appearing for a short time grave for the Church, will bring the final restoration and with it the fulfillment of Christ's promise of eternal salvation and unending joy "all the rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit" (Eph. 1:18-19).
Is there a reason why the Jewish "Feast of Tabernacles" is not celebrated by Christians? PK
In Mosaic Law, the Torah commanded that three feast days be celebrated each year in the Hebrew liturgy:
"Three times a year you are to celebrate a feast in my honor." (Ex. 23:14)
In fulfillment of this command the Hebrew tribes celebrated Passover, Weeks (which honored the 'first fruits' of the harvest) and Tabernacles.
The Christian fathers built the Church's liturgy on the template of this Law (the requirement) but not on the Hebrew interpretation of it. They structured the three feast days on Jesus Christ rather than Moses.
On top of Passover, the Christian Church placed Easter. On top of Weeks, they inserted Pentecost. These events occurred at identical times (by design of the Holy Spirit) and so are celebrated on nearly identical days. The difference is that the Mosaic religion followed the lunar calendar while Christianity, built on the "Son" of God, followed the solar calendar. Thus the days circle around each other in the same unsymmetrical pattern as sun and moon do in the sky.
The moon is a "reflection" of light but the sun is the source of light. The moon cannot give life. Nothing on earth grows by the energy of the moon because there is no life-imparting energy in it's light. The sun, on the other hand is the source of all biological life on earth. Everything on earth achieves or sustains its life by "eating" the energy of the sun. The allegory suggested here is obvious, for again, the design of the Holy Spirit can be easily seen.
The Church could not use the feast of Tabernacles, the third feast day the Hebrews had chosen to fulfill the Mosaic requirement, because Christ had, Himself, structured the feast of Tabernacles as the communion celebration offered each day or week or month in the Christian churches (the "Tabernacles" of our faith).
"Then he took some bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body which will be given up for you; do this as a memorial of me'." (Luke 22:19-20).
Thus to have used this feast as a part of the Bible's command would have resulted in far more than three feast days a year, so it was not possible. Some churches celebrate communion 364 days a year, for instance.
Instead, the Church chose, as its third feast day, the celebration of the birth of Jesus which matched the Hebrew feast of Hannukah, the "Festival of Lights". Thus, in Christianity we have Easter, Pentecost & Christmas as the three feast days structured in the template of Biblical Law.
Again, Hannukah and Christmas occur at nearly identical winter times, the 25th day of Chislev (lunar calendar) for Hannukah, and the 25th day of December (solar calaendar) for Christmas. As with Easter/Passover and Pentecost/Weeks, Christmas and Hannukah circle around each other in closely related but elliptically independent orbits.
Can you tell me why you prefer to use 3761 B.C. for the date of creation and not 4004 B.C.? JT
Creation's date needs to be looked at in terms of the end of the world, not its beginning. The Second Coming of Christ is the key to the date life began. I will explain why:
According to scripture, everything that belongs to God must be returned to Him without exception on the 7th day. That is the Restoration! Calculating the 7th day, we know that a day to God is like a thousand years to man. That means there is something very special about the 6001st year. That is the date the 7th "day" begins. That beginning is the absolute date of reconciliation.
The history of Christianity is littered with days claimed to be the date for the end of the world. All of them came and went without incident or ending claimed. The end of the world is the day Jesus returns and restores us to God, taking us home to the new kingdom that God has prepared in the heavens.
As every Christian knows, the seventh day marks the final completion of God's work in this world. It is the day of rest (reconciliation & return). And as far as the end of the world is concerned, it marks in millenial terms the perfect Jubilee -- the time, according to Moses, when everything that belongs to God must return to God. (Lv.25:8-10).
What belongs to God?
"To the Lord your God belong indeed heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth and all it contains..." (Dt.10:14).
"To God belong the earth and all it holds, the world and all who live in it; he himself founded it on the ocean, based it firmly on the nether sea." (Ps.24:1-2).
While it is preferential (especially in view of strong scientific arguments about physical nature) to view the creation that began almost 6000 years ago as the date of soul (or spiritual) birth rather than the world's physical birth, we can be certain that God will fulfill this prophecy as written.
"You are to count seven weeks of years -- seven times seven years, that is to say a period of seven weeks of years, forty-nine years. And on the tenth day of the seventh month you shall sound the trumpet; on the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout the land. You will declare this fiftieth year sacred and proclaim the liberation of all the inhabitants of the land.
This is to be a jubilee for you; each of you will return to his ancestral home, each to his own clan. This fiftieth year is to be a jubilee year for you: you will not sow, you will not harvest the ungathered corn, you will not gather from the untrimmed vine. The jubilee is to be a holy thing to you; you well eat what comes from the field. In this year of jubilee each of you is to return to his ancestral home." (Lev.25:8-19)
Daniel uses the term "seventy weeks of years" (Dn.9:24) to describe this End, proving that it is not just an ordinary seventh-seven (in the terms of Leviticus), but the seventieth-seven -- and therefore the ultimate Jubilee Year of God.
Most Christians believe the climactic Sabbatical Year, the "seventh day' is only a short time away.
According to ancient Jewish tradition, the epochal seventh millenium (the seventh day) will dawn sometime in October (it began according to Hebrew scholars on the 7th day of October) in the year 2240 A.D., 235 years from now at this writing. The Jewish nation has anchored their calendar on this date.
Because the 7th day (the ultimate Jubilee year) begins 6001 years after the spiritual creation of souls, both inception date and final date must match.
In this respect, had the creation begun in 4004 B.C., the 6001st year would have arrived in 1995. That date (1995) came and went without incident. At least with respect to the end of the world. No divine return occurred. No rapture. Obviously the date was incorrect. And it keeps getting more incorrect with each step the world takes beyond it as it marches down the calendar. The Hebrew calendar, on the other hand, because it points to a date still to come, continues to remain a viable possibility. In fact it is the only other date prophecy has to offer.
No one knows the actual date or hour, nor will anyone ever be told in advance, but we do know that the Restoration will occur sooner than the actual 7th "day". Jesus said the days have been cut short, otherwise no one could be saved. That means, if the Hebrew calendar is correct. the world has less than 235 years (probably considerably less) before Christ returns.
This is why Christ told us to be constantly on watch at all times and not to fall asleep.
What is the STRONG DELUSION that Paul says will come in the last days to make everyone believ a lie? Are we seeing that today? if so what is it? Is it obvious or hidden? He mentioned it in his second letter to the Thessalonians CL
There appears little question that we are living in the time of the "falling away" Paul talked about, i.e., the "great Revolt". But it seems to be coming to us in two parts. The re-secularization of the world is one part. That is easy to see because it was the essence of the environment Paul and the Apostles entered and into which they brought the Gospel of salvation to the world.
But there is a second, even more ominous part of this delusion buildingone that is striking at the heart of faith. It involves a blurring of the lines that separated the old covenant from the new one preached by Jesus, so that a return to the harsh principles of the Torah seems to be in progress. It is a rational philosophy, based on the political principles of this world rather than on Christ, and it is eating like an autoimmune disease into the underpinnings of the Christian faith.
"Make sure that no one traps you and deprives you of your freedom by some secondhand, empty, rational philosophy based on the principles of this world instead of on Christ." (Col.2:6-8)
Daniel tells us that the Beast will make war on the holy covenant and will favor those who forsake that covenant (Dn. 11:30). The holy covenant is a philosophic ideology of peace that comes to us from God through Jesus - it defines the rules of heavenly conduct rules that must be followed by anyone who wants to get to heaven. The old convenant (the Hebrew covenant) which God abandoned when He brought the new covenant is defined in the words of the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible).
"See, the days are coming - it is God who speaks- when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah), but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant of mine, so I had to show them who was master. "No, this is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive: Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people." (Jer.31:31-33).
"If you obey my voice and hold fast to my covenant, you of all the nations on earth shall be my very own nation...I will count you as a kingdom of priests, a consecrated nation." (Ex.19:5).
God told Jeremiah, "Speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Tell them, 'I told you, listen to my voice; carry out all my orders then you shall be my people and I will be your God. Cursed be any man who will not listen to the words of this covenant. (Jer.11:1-9)
The word of God, the Gospel of Jesus is the covenant. It is the light of eternal life. That covenant (the commandments of Jesus) constitute our lifeline to God. Christ's covenant says that we must be humble and without ambition except to do good to others. It teaches that we must live righteously, be detached from riches, love our enemy, turn the other cheek, bless those who attack us, and offer the wicked man no resistance this is the righteousness of God. It is anti-war, and filled with love and compassion for others. "For if you love only those who love you, what right have you to to claim any credit?" (Mat. 5:46).
We now see a movement in Christian ranks to undercut all those teachings, to promote war, to hate enemies, even to hate our own ranks (fellow Christians) if they do not belong to us or our share our political idealogies. That movement is filled with alien gods. Teachings that divide the faith by countering those of Jesus are seditious to the covenant of God. If they were to grow to a point where they ruled the entire religious structure in the country, that would, indeed, be a power of delusion. All who embrace those delusions foresake God.
For it is a religious delusion scripture talks about here, not political propaganda (although the two can work together). The covenant of Christ has to be obeyed. Peace and mercy are as important to God's covenant as righteous conduct. Any teaching that says the opposite, or twists those instructions to another meaning is a false delusion. When Christianity ceases to follow Christ's commands, all is lost. Christ is gone. The Gospel is everything. Follow it to the letter! That is God's command to us, and if we do that we will never find ourselves foresaken or lost to God.
"When I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I said nothing to them, gave them no orders about sacrifice. These were my orders: Listen to my voice, then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Follow right to the end the way that I mark out for you, and you will prosper." (Jer.7:22-23).
Gabriel's message about the kingdom of Persia in Daniel 10:20 refers to the Seleucids and Ptolemies and afterwards in the case of the prince of Greece, Alexander the Great. This is historical. How can you mix it up? JE
First of all, it doesn't seem to be the angel Gabriel that came to Daniel in this vision. Gabriel came earlier (see Dn. 8:15-22).
The fiery figure who shone like lightning and claimed a senior association with Michael the Archangel was very different. He seems to have been the glorified Christ (Dn. 10:4-8), a fact that illustrates God's ability to move about in history independent of time.
While the prince of Persia referred to in this vision does seem to represent multiple eastern kingdoms as you say, Daniel's words cannot be a reference to the Seleucids and Ptolemies because the vision relates to the end of the world (Dn. 8:17; 12:9). The hidden secret to Daniel's prophecies is that they are about Christianity the reign of the Church and how the "power of the holy people" is to be crushed by the Anti-christ in the last days, and then saved at the last minute by the sudden intervention of God.
Understanding this vision in Christian terms, the kingdom of Persia which Jesus and Michael relentlessly confront, references the multiple-fingered assaults waged against the Christian Church by the militant followers of Mohammed. Beginning around 600 A.D. just after Mohammed died, three enormous Muslim invasions, spanning a period of 1400 years have resulted in the capture of vast areas of Christian territory by Muslim armies, followed by a forced religious re-training successfully blocking in the captured Christian populace, the teachings of Jesus.
It is this great siege of Christian lands and people waged over scores of centuries against which Jesus and Michael toil. Now, in keeping with the prophecy, the fourth assault mentioned in this series one now just beginning seems to have been inaugurated with the attack on the World Trade Center by a new set of Muslim extremists, their finances fueled by the riches of oil.
"...a fourth will come and be richer than all the others, and when, thanks to his wealth, he has grown powerful, he will challenge all the kingdoms of Javan." (Dn.11:2).
"Were Babylon to scale the heavens, or reinforce her towering citadel, destroyers would still fall on her at my command, it is God who speaks." (Jer.51:53).
It is this powerful religious battle for the hearts and minds of the people of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa (and now the America's) that Daniel's words, and those of Jesus in the vision, apply. In fact, to the discerning ear, because these words were written far in advance of these events, they represent a prophecy which proves the truth of Christ and gives certain guarantee of the final outcome in the spiritual conflict.
The "prince of Javan" in the vision may be the United States, given its relationship to an ancient Greek political system, but, more likely, refers to the "king of the North" predicted to mobilize all the eastern armies at the very end.
how do you understand these two passages without contradiction? :)
"Even as Sodom and Gomorha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
"When your sisters, SODOM and her daughters, shall RETURN TO THEIR FORMER ESTATE, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then you [Jerusalem] shall return to your former estate."
The time of judgment is the great white throne judgment. AT that time, all will be judged ...... Apparently, at some point in time, Sodom will be restored FIRST IF Jerusalem is to be restored.
Jerusalem will NEVER be restored since Sodom and her daughters have to first be restored, (which they will not)
Will Sodom and her daughters be restored any time prior to the great white throne judgment since they have already been set forth as a sample of vengeance? Will their judgment be over ridden? If so, how? C
The quotations of prophecy you list point out the difference between the two covenants.
The fate of Sodom and her daughters were penalties meted out for breaking the Old Covenant. Jerusalem's guilt actually exceeded that of Sodom and Samaria. (Samaria was a city of pagan transplants from Assyria who combined pagan ritual with Hebrew liturgy, a most unforgiveable crime as far as the Jews were concerned). As a result of its greater corruption, Jerusalem joined those other cities in breaking the Old Covenant, separating itself from God no less than they. Had that been all there was to it, all would have been hauled up to the throne of God together and condemned and that would have terminated earthly life forever. No one would have survived. You and I would have perished with them, stained forever by the mark of Satan on Adam, which is original sin.
But Jesus came into that circumstance, sent by God from heaven to offer mercy and justice to all sinners. The offer was that God would wipe away all these sins, no matter how corrupt they were and save all who turned to him in shame for their past behavior, restoring them to eternal communion with God. He would raise them all up to eternal life.
He made with the world a new covenant filled with love, mercy, justice and forgiveness. Baptising with the mark of God all who turned to Him in good faith, Jesus gave all those cities a chance to repent. He took off their dirty robes and reclothed them in the white robes of salvation. Ezekiel predicted that such repentance would occur. We have seen the truth of his prophecy in the hundreds of great nations in Christ, all the churches of Christianity which have poured back to holy Jerusalem from the lands of their exile in the North and from all other points on the compass.
This restoration was not meant to erase sinfulness itself, but to cleanse sinners who, in shame for their behavior, repented. Outside of Christ, this option was not possible. That is what makes the new covenant so essential. It is the reconciliation that restores us, who have sinned, to God. And it is a reconciliation that keeps meting out God's forgiveness all along our stumbling journey to God's eternal kingdom.
While it is possible that we can see many who are saved in this way (Jesus said we would know them by their fruits), we have no way of knowing who will fall under the yoke of the vengeance you speak of. Our greatest struggle in our life in Christ is to avoid that penalty at all costs, praying all the time to be spared from it. Jesus promised that we will be forgiven as we forgive. Judgment of others should never fall from our lips. Instead, putting Christ's commandments into action should be our overriding ambition in life so that this prophecy can be fulfilled in us.
That is why it is important to obey the Gospel and be constant in offering forgiveness to all.
Is it true Mormons believe all men who join them will get their own planets to rule? What is your opinion about this? GH
I do not know about planets. Nothing about that is contained in the Christian scriptures.
I do know that God is not taking us to anyplace in THIS universe. His world is eternal and transcends all that we can see in the sky above our heads. Our universe is less than 14 billion years in age. That may seem old, but if you put that on God's calendar, it is brand new a structure just formed and soon to be ended. It is a transitory creation newly made for the purpose of Satan's defeat.
Our current universe is a place of wrath and death. Everywhere we look we can see mayhem, chaos and entropy. There appears to be an order within it, but on closer study, we find chaos to be its underlying structure. That elemental framework can be traced right down to its atomic level and below. And because it is all built on such calamity, a systematic progression to disorder, everything in ths universe dies. Everything here is transient.
Scientists looking at all the structures of this system have come to the same conclusion. The birth and death cycle is not forever. It is leading to a point of finality. That finality might come in the form of red giant stars, or exploding galaxies, black holes, supernova's, radiation bursts, or just infinite cold and darkness. But those are the certain ends to which all biology ultimately must come.
Biological existance, the clothing of our soul, is under mortal assault by the violent forces of this creation and will inevitably succumb to those forces. That is the image of the wrath. It is an image that lies just beyond the canopy of blue over our heads. In revealing all this, science has proved itself to be the ultimate prophet of doom. No matter how powerful the telescopes man builds, death still regns at the limits of their vision. This universe is filled with death to its farthest borders.
God's world, however, has no death in it at all.
Therefore, everything the telescopes see still belongs to Satan. That is how far Satan's kingdom stretches. Jesus said Satan was the prince of this world and science has shown us the limits of the "this world" he controls.
"But by the same word, the present sky and earth are destined for fire, and are only being reserved until Judgment day so that all sinners may be destroyed." (2 Peter 3:7).
"The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then with a roar the sky will vansih, the elements will catch fire and fall part, the earth and all that it contains will be burnt up. Since everything is coming to an end like this, you should be living holy and saintly lives while you wait and long for the Day of God to come, when the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat." (2 Peter 3:10-12).
God did not make man for death. God made man to be eternal. God made this universe for our escape, He did not make man for this universe. He made us for a different place altogether.
That is not speculation. Among the most profound words Jesus ever uttered were these: 'No one is dead to God, all men are in fact alive':
'The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive'." (Luke 21: 27-38)
Think of the Last Judgment where all men, good and bad who have ever lived, will be raised together. This could not happen if those who had died in the body disappeared from existance when their earthly clothes passed away.
After the flesh has died, after matter has passed away into dust, the person we are still exists. We transcend matter. This universe is entirely matter. Even starlight is matter (photons). Therefore God has made us in a form that completely transcends the mortality of this universe. The comfort in this disclosure is in the knowledge that Christ does not lie. Therefore this revelation is more than true, it is absolute.
"Did you not split Rahab in two, and pierce the Dragon through? did you not dry up the sea, the waters of the great Abyss, to make the seabed a road for the redeemed to cross?" (Is.51:9-10).
The prophets tell us that God has split Rahab (the primordial chaos) in two in order for the people He has redeemed to walk to safety. He has divided creation into two dissimilar parts. One is matter and the other spirit. Out bodies are matter but our soul (the person we are) is spirit, and that soul still lives after our body dies. That is why we can escape death. God has created a substitute in flesh to satisfy the Law's demand for death. But that, in itself, is not the escape that saves us. If it were, Satan could claim it by lip service and flee safely with the children of God.
While freedom from the chains of sin allows us the right to cross the chasm between this world and God's world, the only bridge across that chasm is the Gospel of the Lord. For this reason, Christ's Gospel must be followed with great care and attention. That care is essential, Jesus said, because it is a narrow road.
That is a walk Satan cannot make because it demands righteous conduct. He cannot talk his way across. God has trapped Satan, forcing him and all who belong to him to remain behind to face the certain death of the coming Wrath. God made this world the way He did, with all the conditions we see here, just for this purpose, so that the children of God might be set free but Satan destroyed.
"By your power, God, you split the sea in two and smashed the heads of the monster in the waters." (Ps.74:13).
Because of Jesus, we are no longer bound to the Law. But Jesus was. He had to fulfill the Law perfectly in all ways in order to get us out of it. And He did. All the mechanisms for our escape are plotted out in detail in the old covenant. For our part, because of Christ, they now include only baptism and righteous conduct.
In baptism we pass from covenant to covenant, transferring our souls from this body to a new one being built secretly within us through the food of obedience to the GospelGod's bread of life. It is a meal we must eat, because the new body it builds is our bridge to life.
"This is the bread come down from heaven...anyone who eats this bread will live forever...It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." (John 6:51-63).
With our soul wedded to a body of new existance we are no longer subject to any of the natural laws governing this universe. None of its chaos or mayhem have any impact on our new spiritual existance. Our solar star could explode today and it would not harm us in any way. That disconnection allows God to transport us safely from this place of death to His new kingdom of eternal life.
"Then I saw a great white throne and the One who was sitting on it. In his presence, earth and sky vanished, leaving no trace. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of his throne, while the book of life was opened, and other books opened which were the record of what they had done in their lives, by which the dead were judged." (Rev.20:11-12)
"Thrones were set in place and one of great age took his seat...a court was held and the books were opened...one like a son of man came to the one of great age and was led into his presence. On him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants." (Dan.7:9-14).
Where is Christ's new kingdom? No one knows. It is like passing from one dimension into another. The only thing we know is that the new kingdom is a dimension that transcends the temporary natural world we know here and embraces a permanent natural order profoundly different and far more glorious than anything we have left behind.
"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." Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, 'You see this city? Here God lives among men." (Rev.21:1-3)
I have just read your comments concerning MMO'Hare...The short story is I believe that many...parents would support a moment of Scripture reading in their child's school. Before I can put this to a survey, I need more background...I have waded through websites looking for the nation's actions and reactions. Would you share where you get your information? PD
Nice move if you can do it. Scripture readings in school might prove a tricky task. Just choosing which Bible to read could be a source of friction with parents. But from here, it sounds fabulous! The immediate climate before Madeline Murray O'Hare was not generally one of programmed scripture readings in school, but tolerance and respect for the mention of the names "God" and "Jesus Christ" in the classroom. That is currently forbidden thoughout much of the country.
The Christian moral climate before1963 allowed for quotations of great figures of history, whether religious or secular and discussions of their philosophies. There was no outrage in most quarters when Christian or Mosaic quotations were included or read by students in their speeches and papers, or even quoted in context and moderation by teachers. That is because Christian philosophy formed the backbone of our country's moral structure. The two were inseparably interlocked as all the monuments currently being knocked down testify.
Perhaps it is still possible to discuss Ghandi, Mohammed, or Moses, etc., in the academic environment, but Christianity is in current lockout. Even on the monument dedicated to Roosevelt's resolve at the beginning of World War II recently constructed in the new Washington memorial to that conflict, FDR's entreaty asking for the help of God in the effort (an integral part of his short speech) was stricken from the plaque. There is a current hostility to the Christian religion that is palpable and unreasonably destructive.
A reasonable relationship between God and the United States government stood in place from 1776 until 1963. That compromise was discarded when the Supreme Court decided to redefine the Constitutional relationship between the diety and the government. That redefinition had the effect of discarding the country's moral base, a base that has stood in place not only throughout our own governmental history, but which tracks back through the roots of western society reaching across almost 2000 years. The results of this discard have proved catastrophic, as indeed, the loss of anything that entrenched in the social fabric would. But not everyone feels that way.
Nor did they ever. But that did not prevent in the past the ubiquitous Christmas plays in the grammar schools. Morality is like medicine. Often it doesn't taste as good as candy, but it is vital to the interests of the society that it be administered. Many would prefer a life free of guidelines of any kind. Because Christ preached love of neighbor and foe alike, and commanded peacefulness and service to others in need, Christian morality proved particularly valuable to our social system. This moral system was wrenched from our society 42 years ago and our society seems now to be in freefall. Some would argue the two are unrelated, but I disagree. I have no double-blind studies, facts or figures to back up this perspective. My only source other than scripture and its unsettling warnings, is observational.
A similar Christian disconnect began in Europe many decades before our own participation in it. Their suffering has been historic. America missed most of the catastrophes that subsequently swept across that hemisphere and, in fact, was instrumental in the rescue of many afflicted by them. But none of that seems to have stopped, or even slowed, the distancing of the western world from God.
I doubt if any serious studies have been undertaken of either ours or Europe's situation other than the numerical charts from Pew research. We tend to conduct serious studies only when there is financial incentive to do so.
In the United States, Christians are said to number 85% of our society. It is only from this base that any changes can take place. The numbers are certainly there, but not the resolve. At least not yet. The greatest need in our society today is a concerted effort throughout all the churches, Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox & Episcopalian alike, to address this issue and solve it. As a single body. This movement has to include Republicans and Democrats alike because each represents about 50% of the population.
The studies you asked about, though meager, are essential, because we as a society have embarked on a dangerous and unplotted course. For the first time in 1700 years the western world has changed its gods. Michener wrote in his novel "Hawaii", that the worst time to live is when the gods change. His words are proving true as we watch.
The greatest problem facing this issue is that so many Christians are programmed to accept the current interpretation of separation of church and state as if it were a commandment of diety, something so intrinsic to the concretized trappings of 1776 that the absolute abolition of God and Christ from the civic arena is not only warranted but dictated. That is not true. The movies, literature, monuments, musical lyrics, etc., of a pre-1963 past prove it is not true.
Two things are essential in this situation. First, a constitutional amendment declaring the right to worship, and banning actions that interfere with that right. That would put the religious community on the same footng as the secular (or atheistic) community. The only way this can occur is enough Christians getting together on the same page and demanding it; even electing towards it. The other is a return to many of the compromise interpretations between the Constitution and God in place in our society before the O'Hare decision. That requires a change in the attitude of our Supreme Court.
Anyone aware of studies along these lines are encouraged to write and let me know.
Where is the new Jewish temple going to be built in Jerusalem? On Mount Zion or Mount Moriah? DS
The new Temple has already been rebuilt in Christ. It is almost finished. There will be no other temple. On the contrary, even the few stones still left standing from Herod's temple will soon fall to the ground.
The purification and rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple altar revolve around the season we are now entering: Christmas/Hannukah. Both holidays are constructed around this all-important sanctification and cleansing.
Christmas is the Christian holiday built on the Jewish feast of Hannukah. These ceremonies honor the same event in different ways. On some occasions, the two ceremonies begin on the same day, but often they do not. That is because Jewish feast days are structured on the variable phases of the moon, whereas Christian holy days are structured on the stability of the sun. This year, Hannukah begins December 26, the day after Christmas.
The Jewish feast honors a ceremony initiated to commemorate the cleansing of the temple altar desecrated by the "beast", Antiochus Epiphanes IV. At the time of that cleansing, Judas Maccabees had the stones of the desecrated altar removed and deposited "in a suitable place on the Temple hill to await the appearance of a prophet who should give a ruling about them." (1 Macc.4:46).
That prophet was Jesus. His prophecy was about Christmas.
Christmas is the feast honoring the cleansing of the true temple of God. It is a cleansing that began with the birth on this earth of Jesus. We are the living stones of that temple, and the altar cleansed (the Holy of Holies) is now hidden in each human heart dedicated to Jesus Christ.
While standing on the Temple mount with His disciples, Jesus pointed to Herod's temple and said that "not a stone there would remain standing", everything would be thrown down. Far from being rebuilt, that pronouncement stretches even beyond today to include the wall the few stones still left standing there (because Jesus promised NOTHING would remain standing not a single stone). In private, Jesus explained to His followers that we, ourselves, are the desecrated stones of Jerusalem and His action on our behalf would cleanse us so that we could be rebuilt in His image.
"Know this and understand: from the time this message went out: "Return and rebuild Jerusalem" to the coming of an anointed Prince, seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, with squares and ramparts restored and rebuilt, but in a time of trouble." (Dan.9:25-26).
"And it will happen throughout this territory -- it is God who speaks -- that two thirds in it will be cut off and the remaining third will be left. I will lead that third into the fire, and refine them as silver is refined, test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name and I shall listen; and I shall say: These are my people; and each will say, 'The Lord is my God!" (Zech.8-9).
That is how the Temple of God is to be rebuilt. It is a living Temple. There will be no other temple rebuilt in Jerusalem. "I saw that there was no temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple and the city did not need the sun or the moon for light, since it was lit by the radiant glory of God and the Lamb was a lighted torch for it." (Rev. 21:22-23).
When we are rebuilt, cleansed of sin and reconstructed into righteousness, Jerusalem is rebuilt. The temple is rebuilt in our hearts, which is the site on this earth of the true Jerusalem of God.
Because of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, we, who are baptised in His name, are cleansed of sin. The desecration of wickedness that had contaminated us and imprisoned us in the cells of Satan has been removed in Christ Cleansed by His sacrifice, we have been rebuilt in His image though obedience to His Gospel.
"He is the living stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him so that you too, the holy priesthood that offers the spiritual sacrifices Jesus Christ has made acceptale to God, may be living stones making a spiritual house." (1 Peter 2:5-6).
This is the pronouncement that Judas Maccabees foresaw. It is the true reason for both Christmas and Hannukah, and because of its overriding meaning, God is certain not to allow any competing image to corrupt this message. Those who wait for another kind of temple to be built in Jerusalem wait in vain.
To be a child of God you must believe that evolution is false. That is the bottom line. it is satanic to teach in science classes that people descended from monkeys. JH
It is not where your flesh came from but where you (the person inside that flesh) is going that counts.
The domain of science is the physical world. Scientists probe the jail and tell us what it is made of as far as they can tell. What do we care what the jail is made of? Jesus Christ has set us free from that prison and is leading us to everlasting life in another kingdom. Those who put their faith in Christ have finished with the jail of our past completely.
To worry about the material world is to worry about the prison. It is like trying to go back & put curtains on the jail cell window. Remember Lot's wife. She looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. We have been set free! Christ has taken us out of that jail. We are never going back to it. He is taking us to a new home. A new body.
Those who focus on the old physical body (on what is flesh) focus on the car instead of the person in it. They try to take their cardboard box into the heavenly mansions with them. Paul said flesh and blood (the subject of the evolution you worry about) cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor.15:50).
We house a mansion. It is a body invisibly building inside us now. It comes from God and is going back to God.
Our body of flesh died when we were baptised in His name. His death has become our death. His new life is now our new life. Each one of us has been reborn into a new body according to His everlasting name.
"You have been taught that when we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father's glory, we too might live a new life. If in Christ we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrection. We must also realize that our former selves have been crucified with him to destroy this sinful body and to free us from the slavery of sin." (Rom.6:1-11).
Whatever small part of that sinful body came from monkeys pales against the far more disastrous part that comes from Satan. Both have been crucified with Jesus and destroyed. Our new body that has replaced it the new life that comes from God is eternal. Our new mansion will never die.
Don't look back.
On your subject: "The Day America Spurned God": The only thing that I would add to your transcript is that, regarding the term "Separation of Church and State", it is NOT a law, amendment, or written in the Constitution. It is not written in any legal or constitutional document. It was a comment taken completely out of context from a letter that was written by Jefferson. The actual content was to say that no particular denomination should take precedent over another based on the denomination or political affiliation of the person or party that was in power at the time. In the same letter he goes on to say that we should never try to remove God from our lives or government. Jefferson also said, "Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants", but you sure don't hear that yelled from the rooftops. CS
Am I missing it or is Isaiah left out of the Chronological table. Please help. thanks
Apparently we missed a few other prophets as well. Appropriate changes have been made. Thanks for the assistance.
I was wondering why you always give credit to Paul for some of the New Testament books in which scholars now seem to think he did not write? Specifically you quote Paul as writing 2nd Thessalonians and Colossians, yet this authorship is disputed. According to 1st Thess the end witll come like a thief in the night, yet in 2nd Thess there will be advanced warning. If Paul wrote both of these how can this be in agreement? Colossians is also disputed. In Romans Paul writes that we will be raised with Christ eventually. Yet Colossians seems to indicated we have already been raised with him. Compare Rom 6:4 & Col 2:12. Do you think Paul wrote these books and if not ar they still authoritative? JA
Paul is the author of so much of the New Testament that he is considered the "Moses" of that scripture. I am not aware of any biblical scholarship that seriously questions the Pauline authorship of the texts you mention. However, Anne Rice in her new novel "Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt" wrote on page 315 that there have lately risen some New Testament scholars who hate Jesus Christ. If the atmosphere surrounding God has become that poisoned in scholarly circles, any corruption of thought, however illigitimate is possible.
The true author of the Bible is the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples that what they bound on earth would be bound in heaven. That means authorship of scripture reverts to God. Because God has bound it both in heaven and on earth, our scripture is as certain as the dawn. Nothing can ever be added to it and nothing can ever be retracted from it.
When we look at the pains Jesus went to to fulfill the prophecies of the fading Old Testament, a goal He often referenced, we can see the lengths to which God will go to to make true the words of the New Testament as well. Those words are very authoritative. In fact, they are absolute.
As far as your reference to possible contradictions between the 'end' that comes like a "thief in the night", and the 'end' that comes with advanced warning; the two are closely related but different in the sense that individual end comes unannounced, like a thief in the night. The end of the world, on the other hand, must be proclaimed in advance. In fact it is being announced now.
"Does the trumpet sound in the city without the populace becoming alarmed? Does misfortune come to a city if God has not sent it? No more does the Lord God do anything without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:6-7)
Both "ends" are often found interchangeably referenced in biblical prophecy.
Paul's assertion in Romans 6 that we will be raised to life eventually has nothing to do with a delayed birth into God's new life. Verses in that very chapter (6:10-11 in the Book of Romans) state this categorically:
"When he died, he died, once for all, to sin so his life now is life with God; and in that wey, you too must consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus".
We are born to God's new life immediately. The problem comes in trying to nurture that life and keep it viable during the rest of our sojurn here while we await Jesus' return. It is one thing to be born into God's new life and quite another to survive to the end of the race we must endure trying to keep our faith alive in the face of Satan's assaults.
If we have been baptised in Christ, the new body Jesus has given to us is alive within us right now, and it is our duty to keep it alive by living the life He commanded by obeying the Gospel He preached (Rom.1:5; 6:15-17). That obedience is the food of eternal life. It brings our new body to maturity.
Those who do not "hold on to the end" but stray off to pursue a life of wickedness allow their Christ-given bodies to starve. If they do not repent, that starvation is to death (Rev. 2:4-5; 3:1-3, etc). In that case, nothing can be raised. They have crucified not only their past, but their future as well.
"Not long ago, you were foreigners and enemies, in the way that you used ot think and the evil things that you did; but now he has reconciled you, by his death and in that mortal body. Now you are able to appear before him holy, pure and blameless as long as you persevere and stand firm on the solid base of the faith, never letting yourselves drift away from the hope promised by the Good News, which you have heard, which has been preached to the whole human race, and which I, Paul, have become the servant." (Colossians 1:21-23).
"For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved...since we are not saved yet it is something we must wait for with patience." (Rom.8:24-25).
"With so many witnesses in a great cloud on every side of us, we too, then should throw off everything that hinders us, especially the sin that clings so easily, and keep running steadily in the race we have started." (Heb.12:1).
Do you know if their is any reference to the 12 tribes in today's Israel? does the priest still have to be a linage from levi? my thought on the 10 lost tribes is that they can not be to lost because God said he world oneday bring them all back, so they or their ancestors at least have to be somewhere, but is there any imformation on where they may be today? could some actually be in the united states or even the 3rd world countries that have heard of our savior yet? L
The Jewish heirarchy today does not focus on the twelve tribes of Israel. They feel that everything is now encompassed within the one Jewish presence. When the 10 tribes of the Israeli north disappeared around 700 B.C., the Jews were convinced that all the promises were for them alone. At least that is what Ezekiel accused them of 100 years later, and that attitude hasn't seemed to have changed to this day, 2500 years later. The Levitical priesthood was destroyed in the 7-year war with Rome that ended in 70 A.D.
After that, the religion of the Jews passed on one side to Jesus and on the other to the Pharisees who set up a worship center in Jamnia on the Mediterranean seacoast of Judea. Those two streams (Christians & Jews) constitute the true meaning of the 2 "Houses" of Israel. Some Jews today may claim a Levitical lineage, but they do not embody a different "tribe" as they did at the time of Christ and before. All are termed "Jewish".
No one knows where the lost 10 tribes disappeared to. They were taken to Assyria, up near the northern border of Iraq and Iran and from there disappeared, assimilating themselves into the DNA of the people of the world. Paul said that no one is being called to Christ by race. Everyone must come to Him through spiritual conversion, faith and obedience to the Gospel. Yet the call from the North that you read about in scripture often applies to God's discovery and rescue of these lost people. All who studies genetics can see that there could easily be by now a genetic link to anyone in the world. So every rescue by Christ could conceivably tap into this lost treasury of DNA. You and I could house a snippet of it. Better, though, that we house Jesus.
Do you think Einsteins equation E=MC2 will apply to heaven as well as earth? PL
No. Actually, it can't.
Time (in the form of speed) is a key part of the construct of Einstein's equation for the construct of this universe, and there is no time in heaven. Life there is eternal. That said, the astonishing simplicity of Einstein's equatiion shows that all the diversity and dynamic that we recognize to be this universe is simply a product of light and energy interacting with time. Our own sun duplicates the relationship between light and energy by sending it's own part of those elements to the earth to raise up transient life here.
More fascinating, long before science revealed these things, Jesus outlined an identical relationship when He described the creative life of the kingdom of heaven. He portrayed the light as Himself (John 8:12; 12:35), labeling that Light the "bread of heaven". And the Power (the energy) that comes with that Light, He termed the Holy Spirit. Luke called the Holy Spirit "the power from on high" (Lk 24:49).
"As scripture says: From his breast shall flow fountains of living water. He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive, for there was no Spirit yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified." (Jn.7:38-39).
Just as the light and energy of the sun beam down on us from the skies to give us a temporary life (a life that is passing away), so Christ now glorified and the Holy Spirit beam down on us from heaven so that we might live eternally. The Light that is Christ is a light of resurrection...a power that overcomes death.
"I am the resurrection. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:25-26).
Jesus is the bridegroom of the new creation. He is the Light a light He received by coronation from His Father and which we recognize as the Gospel. We partake God's light physically as communion but, more imortant, spiritually by internalizing that Gospel.
The Holy Spirit is the "power" that descends to earth with that Light bringing the energy of the new Kingdom into us. The three together (the Trinity) create and sustain the new kingdom's life within us. But with one difference. The interaction between light and energy in Christ's kingdom involves an unknown which is different than time. Time in heaven is not a factor. Thus, the equation is different. Because of this the newly created body we house is altogether different than the flesh we are currently familiar with.
It is invisible to this environment.
My husband says it is unlawful in the Bible to eat pork, but our minister doesnt agree with him. Is our pastor right or my husband? Does it say somewhere in the Bible that it is ok to eat pork? JK
Your church is following Christ. It is obeying the New Testament. Pork was unlawful in the Old Testament but not in the new. Jesus changed the rules. More than that, He allowed the Apostles to change the rules:
"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: Whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven." (Mt.16:19).
The Bible is a combination of two sets of laws, the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The Old Covenant was filled with condemnation, the New Covenant is filled with forgiveness and love. Scripture tells us that God has exchanged one for the other (Jer. 31:31-34). That is why the Lord said, it is not the Bible, but Jesus Christ that gives eternal life.
"You study the scriptures thinking that in them you have eternal life; now these same scriptures testify to me, and yet you refuse to come to me for life!" (Jn.5:39-40).
In the Old Covenant, pork was forbidden. But in the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit has declared all food clean:
"Peter went to the housetop at about the sixth hour to pray. He felt hungry and was looking forward to his meal, but before it was ready he fell into a trance and saw heaven thrown open and something like a big sheet being let down to earth by its four corners; it contained every possible sort of animal and bird, walking, crawling or flying ones. A voice then said to him, 'Now, Peter; kill and eat!' But Peter answered, 'Certainly not, Lord; I have never yet eaten anything profane or unclean'. Again , a second time, the voice spoke to him, 'What God has made clean, you have no right to call profane'. This was repeated three times, and then, suddenly the container was drawn up to heaven again." (Acts10:9-16).
The rules of the Old Testament were man-made rules. They were inspired, but because they were only a copy, i.e., a pattern shown to Moses, they were simply a reflection of the fact that heaven had Law. They did not state heaven's laws with enough accuracy for salvation. For this reason, the Old Testament could not lead to eternal life.
Jesus brought the true Law of heaven (love and compassion for our fellow man). It is a law that leads to eternal life. That is why we have a New Testament, and that is why the difference between the two is so dramatic. The New Covenant (the new Law) has replaced the Old.
"We have seen that he (Jesus) has been given a ministry of a far higher order, and to the same degree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator, founded on better promises. If that first covenant had been without a fault, there would have been no need for a second one to replace it. And in fact God does find fault with them" (Heb. 8:6-8).
"By speaking of a new covenant, God implies that the first one is already old. Now anything old only gets more antiquated until in the end it disappears". (Heb.8:13).
At first glance, these words would seem to contrast with those of Jesus who said:
"Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven." (Mt.5:17-19).
Jesus did not state these words to contradict Himself. Nor did the Apostle's contradict Jesus when they exchanged the Covenants. The essence of Christ's statement lies in the phrase: "I have come...to complete them", in other words, 'to bring the Law and the Prophets to perfection'. Jesus is speaking not of carrying into effect each single injunction of the old Law, many of which contradicted His teaching, but of bestowing on that Law a new and life-saving form by raising it to a higher level through the spirit of the Gospel (see Mat 5: 21-48). Each detail of the Law has its own part to play in the unfolding of the divine plan. Some parts to prophesy, some to contrast and others to testify.
While Christ has overruled Moses on many occasions in the Gospel ("You have learnt how it was said....But I say to you...." Mat. 5:21-48) there is absolutely no possibility for the reverse to happen. No one can use the Old Testament to overrule the New Covenant. While Moses, in his limited vision, tells us to "smite our enemies", that command has been completely neutralized by Jesus who told us to love our enemies and to turn the other cheek when struck. We can't have it both ways.
This difference is extremely important because we must always discard Moses' way when it is in conflict with Jesus if we want to live in God. That doesn't matter as much with food, like pork, but it is critical as far as behaviour is concerned. In order to make that cyrstal clear the Apostles chose to discard from the New Testament virtually the entire body of Old Testament rules:
"Moved by the Holy Spirit, Peter stood up before the assembly and argued, "God, who can read everyone's heart, showed his approval of the pagans by giving them the same Holy Spirit he gave to us. It would only provoke God's anger now, if we were to impose on them the very burden of the Law that neither we nor our ancestors were strong enough to support. Remember, we believe that we are saved in the same way as they are: through the grace of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 15:8-11).
In Acts 15, we see Peter, Paul and the 12 Apostles meeting together in the very first Christian Church Council and decreeing a permanent end to the Mosaic regulations in Christianity. They nullified our need to follow the Laws of the Old Testament. Not just the food laws, but virtually all the laws Moses had decreed. Peter and Paul and the others had the power to do that because Christ had elevated all Law and bound it in His Gospel, which is the new and Completed Law of heaven. It is only through this New Covenant that eternal life can flow, as it does with His words into our heart and into our soul.
Eternal life, the Apostles said, has nothing to do with the Old Testament's dietary rules. We are free to eat whatever we want as long as it has been cleansed by grace. Eternal life is based on behavior, said Peter, not food.
The purpose of the Old Covenant was not to be the Law of heaven, but simply to rule the earth until Christ came.
When Jesus said, "Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets...", He was emphasizing our need to obey the New Covenant that He had brought down with Him from heaven to earth. He hasn't thrown out our need to obey God. He didn't free us from law itself. He changed the covenants. Peter and Paul have become our new Aaron and our new Moses. God's Law had always been the New Covenant. The Old Covenant was only the guardian, in place until the accurate statement of God's Law could be made known.
It was made known by God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ.
We are as bound to obey Christ's Gospel as the Hebrews were bound to keep the Law of Moses. Disobedience still brings death, but in the circumstance of Christ's Gospel, Jesus has opened a fount for forgiveness so that each misstep or stumble does not have to be fatal as it does in Moses. With that fount of mercy in place, God has made the path doable. Yet the road, He said, is narrow. Obedience to Christ cannot be casual. Nor can it be ignored by obeying contradictory rules in the Old Testament instead (like giving in to anger or holy wrath and trying to take an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth).
The last act of the Old Covenant that applies to us is baptism. The Law states that the covenant has to be marked on our bodies. "My covenant shall be marked on your bodies as a covenant in perpetuity." (Gn.17:13). Baptism satisfies that demand. Paul said we are baptised in His death, an act that makes His death our own so that His life can then live in us forever afterwards. That is why he wrote:
"Through the Law I am dead to the Law, so that now I can live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now, not with my own life, but with the life of Christ who lives in me." (Gal.2:19).
In Jesus, the purpose of the Old Covenant is to unfold by metaphore the plan of God. Once a person is safely in Christ, the Old Testament is no longer law, it is a book of prophecy and revelation. In Christ, just as Paul said, we are dead to the old law.
We have been freed by God in the person of Jesus Christ from all those meticulous man-made and contradictory laws of the Old Covenant which no Jew ever had power to keep in the first place. To return to them is to return to slavery.
Can you tell me why you think Jesus made a treaty with Babylon? Wasn't it with the people? NJ
Prophecy tells us the treaty was made with Babylon on behalf of the people:
"Look, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem...he took a member of the royal family and made a treaty with him...so that the kingdom would remain modest and without ambition and so maintain his treaty faithfully." (Ez.17:12-14).
The king of Babylon who came to Jerusalem was the Caesar of Rome who ruled Jerusalem at the time of Christ. His authorized representative there, the man who had power to act in his stead, was Pontius Pilate.
The crucifixion was set in the Hebrew Law as the ultimate communion sacrifice between the people of this world and God. It was the peace treaty that gave life to the world. When Pontius Pilate ordered written on the plaque over Jesus' head on the cross upon which He was crucified that Jesus was the king of the Jews, it was as official as if it had been written by the hand of Tiberius himself.
That meant that Jesus was officially a member of the royal family, both by earthly terms as well as heavenly terms. All the scriptural prophecies about the king of Babylon coming down and taking the king of the Jews into captivity to Babylon were fulfilled in that moment.
The Jewish nation, as well as the House of Israel, were mandated at the instant into the Diaspora. Not Nebuchaddnezzar's ancient exile, but modern Babylon's. We are still there.
"Writhe, cry out daughter of Zion, for now you have to leave the city and live in the open country. To Babylon you must go and there you will be rescued; There God will ransom you out of the power of your enemies." (Micah 4:10).
For almost 2000 years, the salvation of the human race has transpired according to the mandate of this treaty.
"You see, God's grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope of the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and savior, Christ Jesus." (Titus 2:11-13).
"He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickdness and and to purify a people so tht it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good." (Titus 2:14)
"We have to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions." (Tit.2:11-12).
The treaty was made with Babylon because as long as it remains in effect, Babylon's survival is assured. Breaking the treaty, however, removes that assurance. The survival of the world's nations cannot continue if the treaty is broken. Prophecy teaches that the treaty will end in a "Great Revolt" (2 Thes. 2:3). Jesus refers to this falling away in the Gospel of John:
"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." (John 15:22-23).
Culminating that falling away, an evil thought will come into the head of the king of Babylon and he will turn on the departing Israelites and launch an attack against their rear-guard just as Pharaoh did at the time when the walls of the Red Sea crashed against him in the allegory of the Exodus.
The world's attack on the children of God will end the treaty. The Diaspora will be over and the reconciliation between God and His people will be at hand. The nations and the earth on which they sit will all disappear and never be seen again (2 Peter 3:7). In their place will appear the kingdom of heaven, coming down from God like a beautiful bride in all her wedding finery.
Those who resolved to remain modest and without ambition except to do good, and so maintained Christ's treaty faithfully will receive the reward of eternal life that was promised so long ago by God.
This year, for the first time since 1959, the first and most festive night of Hanukkah falls on Dec. 25. In accordance with the Jewish calendar, Hebrew days begin at sundown, so Christmas day will be 3/4 finished when Hanukkah begins. The traditional Christmas celebration lasts 12 days, while Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days.
Hello, I was reading your articles of Hannukah and Christmas, God's festival of lights. Very interesting. But I have a question. Was not Jesus born around Spring time?...Why then, in your story, you mention that the holy night of 2,000 years ago and the Hebrew month of Chislev were engineered by the Holy Spirit? I have a hard time accepting this. Could you please explain to me on what grounds you stand, or where is the source you use to say that Jesus was born on December 25 to bring such responsibility to the Holy Spirit? I mean, this is a strong statement. Would you say it in the Face of the God? Perhaps He will say: "you said that I said W H A T??? M
The actual birthdate of Jesus is unknown. Some scholars have chosen October in relation to the Hebrew New Year. The myth that Constantine chose December 25th in order to "Christianize" a pagan holiday is just that a myth of modern times. Actually, the day reflects the Holy Spirit's intention of superimposing the 3 major Christian feast days on the 3 major Hebrew feast days. Those 3 ancient Hebrew dates predated the birth of Christ by centuries and had nothing at all to do with paganism in any way.
That is why we see the feast of Easter superimposed precisely on that of Passover, Pentecost superimposed precisely on the Hebrew feast of Weeks and Christmas superimposed precisely on the feast of Hannukah. God has chosen to build Christianity on the template of the Hebrew religion. He has changed the tree, but kept the roots intact to show the unity of origin (the one same God).
The entire earth and everything in it has been created by "intelligent design". That intelligence is the Holy Spirit. He is the guiding Counsellor who has built the churches according to the way we see them with Judaism as the root template and Christianity superimposed on top of these roots. The roots are the same, but the tree on top of these roots is now Jesus, the Tree of Life. The entire creation has been made by God to bear out the truth of Christ. Salvation is only in Jesus, the true source-light of God. Moses, the reflected light of the guardian, cannot give salvation; he can only point to the true light. The Mosaic allegories always do just that.
According to Jesus, the "Abomination of Desolation" is going to happen again at the end of time. In the Gospel of Matthew 24:15-22, Jesus referred us back to Daniel to understand what this desecration was. It was the defilement of the Jewish altar in 167 B.C. The altar was "paganised" on the 25th day of Chislev (December in the Christian calendar). It was cleansed and rebuilt exactly 3 years later on the very same day and that is why Hannukah is always celebrated on the 25th. It commemorates the altar's cleansing.
So does Christmas.
Jesus is the true purification of the altar of God. His birth, celebrated as it is on December 25th, points to a higher purification. That is the purpose for which He was sent to the earth to purify the altar. Those who managed the Jewish Temple refused Jesus entrance when He came. Consequently He changed the management, tearing down the altar those servants had abused and rebuilding it (now purified by His death on the cross) in the hearts of those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior.
Jesus tells us that the Abomination of the sacrifice by Antiochus will reoccur in the last days, but this time it will be aimed at Christ's sacrifice. Jesus warned that this "Abomination" will be erected by the followers of the Beast on a "wing of the temple". Prophecy tells us it will duplicate the Mosaic template by occurring on Christmas day, December 25th in an unknown year sometime in the future.
That is the reason why the Holy Spirit designated the date. The two dates are steeped in prophecy, and both reflect identical processes the first allegorically and the second more accurately in accordance with Jesus.
In your article about gay marriage you write, "Complimenting the secular outcry in opposition to the ruling, the Bible is adamantly opposed to homosexuality, quantifying it as behavior so deviant, salvation itself is at stake in the practice." (http://www.goodnewschristianministry.org/gaymarriage.htm) I am not a homosexual and I am a saved Christian that believes it to be wrong.
Could you clarify where in the Bible that claims it as so deviant that salvation is at stake? Are you referring to the beginning of Romans where Paul speaks of it? Leviticus briefly mentions homosexuality as being wrong in a long list of other sexual sins (LEV 18:22). Do you know any other versus that speaks of homosexuality? It seems to me that if God was so adamantly opposed to homosexuality that he would mention it as much as he does adultery or idolatry. Why would this sin be so evil that it can put a person's salvation at risk? Why would it be more dangerous than adultery? I completely agree that it is wrong, but I do not understand the severity level you have placed on it. Could you explain why you believe it to be so evil and also the versus in the Bible in which you have drawn your conclusions from? J
The emphasis applies to all major sin. Adultery itself is a sin so grave that it puts a person's salvation at risk. Idolatry is also in this category, especially if that idolatry involves an unbridled pursuit of money or gold and all the material acquisitions that wealth buys. The worst sin, according to Jesus, is none of these. It is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. That is a sin even worse than these because it is unforgiveable. Homosexuality is not unforgiveable; neither is adultery or idolatry provided all are atoned for according to Christ.
What puts homosexuality in a special category is the prophecy/story of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is the only instance (post-flood) in scripture of God's wrath being leveled at a society for a particular kind of wrong-doing (Gen. 18:16-19:29). Sodom and Gomorrah elevate this particular sin to a societal level. In prophecy, that makes it a predictor of the end-time wrath, the event we call the tribulation. Therefore, it is a sin to be watched for as a signal of the world's proximity to the end of God's offer of salvation.
In the 2000-year history of Christianity on this planet, the social acceptability of homosexual behavior has been less than 20 years in the making. It has arrived. Actually, it has reappeared after a 2000-year ban. This reappearance is one of the three most profound early-warning signs given by scripture of the arrival of the last days. They include the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the secularization of government rigidly exclusive of God, and society's acceptance of homosexuality. All have now come to pass. I write about these signs to announce their appearance. Not to excoriate homosexuals individually, because Jesus insists that we must love all people the same, friends and foes alike. These early signs are the alarms on a ticking clock.
Additional signs of the end, according to Jesus, include natural calamities such as earthquakes, floods, windstorms and tidal waves. These, too, have increased of late. A recent full-page advertisement in the New York Times by Allstate Insurance headlined the statistic that 8 of the 10 greatest calamities to strike the United States in it's entire history have occurred since 9/11/01 (just in the last 4 years alone). There are other major signs, as well, like war, economic collapse, famine, riots and pandemics. Scripture predicts that violence is to rule the earth as one tyrant cancels out another.
The final sign is the world's war against the Church and the erection of the Abomination of Desolation which desecrates communion, the perpetual sacrifice. When that occurs, Christ's offer of peace to this world will end, and so, too, will the world. In fire.
All this because the world in its favor of godlessness rejected the peace offered by God in Christ (John 16:8-9;33).
For Additional Questions and Answers, see:
2007July - December
2007January - June
2006June - December
2006January - May
2005July - December
2005January - June
2003-July - December
2003-January - June
Download Free Books, Maps and Documents Here
All books, contents & materials copyright
© 1991 to 2009
Goodnews Christian Ministry.
To find out more about Goodnews Christian Ministry,
Send e-mail to:
World Wide Web Home Page: