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.
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