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January 3, 2008
You write about Babylon. Will you define this term for me please? KA
In the symbolism of scripture, Babylon is a generic term. It stands for the ruling structure of civilization outside or apart from the two houses of Israel (i.e., apart from Christianity and Judaism). Basically, it is the world we find ourselves in today all the political nations that rule the earth in our time, fostering a climate hostile to God.
It was not always the way we find it today. There was a period of time, often referred to as the "millenium" when Jesus Christ ruled the nations. That rule started with the appearance of Jesus Christ in Judea and gained global tenure under the Roman emperor Constantine in 313 A.D.
"Babylon" suffered a mortal wound with the appearance of Jesus Christ. At the time of Christ (in the first century A.D.) the secular authority of the planet was the Roman Empire. Rome, as the governing authority on earth was the "Babylon" of the day because it ruled opposite the will of God. After a spiritual battle of almost 300 years, the rule of Christ replaced Rome's secular administration.
From 300 A.D. until 1900 A.D., enabled by Michael the Archangel's imprisonment of Satan in the Abyss (Rev.20:1-3), Jesus held sway over the nations.
Aided by the combined emperorships of Constantine, Theodosus and Galerius, Christianity rose out of the catacombs to annex paganism's ruling structure of government. With that overthrow, Christ's temporal reign on earth began. The strength and breadth of Christianity's exploding power on earth made the wound to Babylon (inflicted by the Word of Christ) appear mortal.
However, scripture prophesied that this mortal wound would briefly heal in the last days (Rev.17:8). And then, at the end of this short, but bitter wrath (Rev. 20:7-10), Jesus Christ will return and make His reign eternal (Rev. 20:11-15).
History honors the Roman emperor Constantine as the symbolic Babylonian king who freed Jesus (the King of the Jews) from his imprisonment and elevated Him to the honored seat at his royal table in keeping with the prophecy of Jeremiah (Jer. 52:31-34).
Constantine freed the Church from its prison in the catacombs with his Edict of Milan. He was closely followed by two other emperors, Theodosus in the West and Galerius in the East, who gave the Church sole moral authority over the world. They forbid atheism and pagan worship throughout civilized society, edicts that remained in place until the beginning of the last century:
"You were my mace, a weapon of war. With you I crushed the nations, struck kingdoms down, with you crushed horse and rider, chariot and charioteer, with you crushed man and woman, old man and young, youth and maid, with you crushed shepherd and flock, ploughman and team, governors and nobles, but I will let you see how I make Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea pay for all the wrongs they have done to Zion. It is God who speaks." (Jer. 51:20-24).
"I was angry with my people, I had profaned my heritage. I had surrendered it into your hands, but you showed them no mercy. On the aged you laid your crushing yoke. You said, 'Forever I shall be sovereign lady'. You never took these things to heart or pondered on their outcome." (Is. 47:6-7).
It was specifically to wipe out global paganism that Christian missionaries accompanied the worlds early adventurers and explorers as they expanded the boundaries of the western world.
In those decrees, Constantine and all the world's kings who followed him became rulers Christianized in the reign of Jesus on earth. The ruling baton changed hands. The reign of God's Church lasted 1700 years and spread across the planet, encompassing almost every regime in its path (Ps. 2:1-12).
And then came the current catastrophe. The Great Revolt (2 Thes.2:3).
The prophecy which stated that the mortal wound would heal has come true in our own time. Over the last 100 years, the entire western world has returned to secular or atheistic government, ousting Christ from all aspects of state authority and bringing to an end the 1700-year miracle of God's rule on earth. The declaration defining that divorce is termed "separation of church and state". That separation (first mandated by secular politicians in the last century) has returned the generic "Babylon" to world rule over human affairs not as a single government but in four loosely knit alliances of nations clustered around the West, Russia, China and the Middle East.
The return of secular and atheistic regimes to power all over the earth in the last several decades give truth to the Bible's proclamation that this is Satan's world. The fact is, finding himself suddenly released from prison, he is taking it back.
Satan was locked up by Michael the Archangel and kept in prison for the period of years that closely matched Christianity's rule on earth. In scripture this period is described as a thousand years. That is where we get the term the "millenium". It comes from the Book of Revelation (Rev. 20:2-3). In fact, it turned out to be almost 2000 years, fulfilling the prophecy of Joshua that one day would become almost two (Joshua 10:13).
Satan's incarceration allowed Christianity to flourish. His parole and release from prison has coincided with the return of the nations of the world to secular rule. Satan's new-found freedom to operate on earth again in these last days is leading Babylon and the planet to a final chaos destined to doom secular existance forever.
Scripture shows that man himself will bring the planet to this end (Rev.17:16-17). God will intervene only to mercifully end the chaos and rescue those who have chosen to follow Christ, lifting them out of the turmoil and transporting them to His Son's kingdom in heaven.
With Christ's recent eviction from all the royal tables across the planet, the return of the western world to godless government has almost been completed. The governing baton has changed hands once again. The reign of Jesus on earth has ended and the potentates of Babylon have returned to power in Christ's place. The peg in Isaiah's prophecy, hammered into a secure place by the hand of God, is being pulled out as prophesied (Is. 22:23). For this reason, the day for the fall of the peg and the cups and saucers attached to it (all the churches of Christianity) is not far behind (Is. 22:24-25).
That is why, in the present world governments (the product of the mortal wound healing) we can see a generic Babylon wherever we look. It is a governing power that rules apart from the Church. Even its morality is different. There has been a sea change in the world because the gods of governance on earth are changing as we watch. Babylon, its mortal wound now seemingly healed, has returned to power on earth.
Does the idea of purgatory come from the Old Testament? PL
No. Life after death is a concept unique to the New Testament.
Like the concept of the Rapture, the concept of Purgatory is a prophecy. According to the Book of Revelation, at the front end of the saved (Rev.7:9-10) is the perfection of the 144,000 (Rev 7:4-8). At the back end of this group say others, is purgatory. There are many who believe in one of these prophecies, but not the either. There some who believe in both, and others that believe in neither. Taken together, all three possibilities show that there may be in salvation's picture, layers.
Jesus said in scripture that He had much more to reveal to the world beyond His stated Gospel, but it would be too much for the people of His own time when faith had just begun. He explained that those revelations would come later. Prophecy is the vehicle through which the Holy Spirit has made all of these truths known to us across the Christian era.
Most of this revelation has come through an increased understanding of Old Testament visions. A large portion of the New Testament contains quotations from the Old Testament,. Many are prophecies that point to the appearance of the Messiah and His intent. Even more point to Christ's Return in glory. Paul said those quotations were spoken by the prophets through the Spirit of God for our benefit; that we should learn from them the basic truths of God.
"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope." (Rom.15:4).
Surprisingly, with all this prophecy abounding, what we have rarely seen during the era of the Christian Church is prophets, per se. Most of the prophecies that have emerged outside of scripture over the last 1600 years have appeared in the form of decrees made through councils by committee.
In this respect, while the role of prophecy in New Testament times has been large, it has come to us seemingly authorless. This is precisely the mechanism that has glorified the Holy Spirit above all others as the progenitor of Christian prophecy over the last 2000 years.
This is just as Jesus foresaw and addressed:
"I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now. But when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking as from himself but will say only what he has learnt; and he will tell you of the things to come. He will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine. Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said: All he tells you will be taken from what is mine." (John 16:12-15).
NOTE: When I was transferring files to change the question pages for the beginning of the new year, I reread one of the questions from last year and was moved by the Spirit that my answer at that time was not correct. The questioner asked the identity of "Cyrus" in the prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 45. My answer then was that it was Constantine, whose edict (the Edict of Milan) freed Christianity from prison in the catacombs and catapulted it into world rule.
The correct answer should have been the Apostle Paul.
A careful reading of Isaiah's words shows that it can be no one else. This mysterious prophecy shows "Cyrus" to be Christ's "shepherd" (minister), "anointed" (very high station), a convert who did not know Christ, called personally by name (Acts 9:4), given a title unbeknownst to him (the Prince of the Covenant), primary author of the New Testament, and coming from both the far north and from the rising sun (the East).
In all these words, the image of Jesus Himself is visible, but the words are directed to somebody just under Jesus, a servant of Jesus. It is Jesus, God made flesh, who does the calling. The one called is Saul of Tarsus.
"From the beginning I foretold the future, and predicted beforehand what is to be. I say: My purpose shall last; I will do whatever I choose. I call a bird of prey from the east, my man of destiny from a far country. No sooner is it said than done, no sooner planned than performed." (Is.46:10-11).
"I roused him from the north to come..." (Is. 41:25). Paul, though a Jew, was a Roman citizen.
"from the rising sun I summoned him by name." (Is.41:25). Paul was first confronted by Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus:
"Suddenly, while he was travelling to Damascus and just before he reached the city, there came a light from heaven all round him. He fell to the ground and then he heard a voice saying, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? 'Who are you, Lord? asked Paul, and the voice answered, 'I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me." (Acts 9:3-5).
The Lord said to Cyrus,
"It is for the sake of my servant Jacob, of Israel my chosen one, that I have called you by your name, conferring a title through you do not know me." (Is. 45:4).
"I am he who says of Cyrus, 'My shepherd he will fulfil my whole purpose, saying of Jerusalem 'Let her be rebuilt", and of the Temple, "Let your foundation be laid". (Is. 45:44:28).
Paul is a shepherd (a minister in the service of Christ). Anointed and crowned with the title "Guardian of the covenant and Sanctuary", he is seated on the royal throne at the pinnacle of God's ministerial service. Paul is the manifest fulfillment, not only of Moses, but of Joshua as well (who led the Israelites into the Promised Land in place of Moses):
"Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whom he has taken by his right hand to subdue nations before him and strip the loins of kings, to force gateways before him that their gates be closed no more: I will go before you levelling the heights. I will shatter the bronze gateways, smash the iron bars." (Is. 45:1-2).
"I it was who roused him to victory, I levelled the way for him. He will rebuild my city, will bring my exiles back without ransom or indemnity, so says the Lord God." (Is. 45:13).
Paul's occupation was a "tentmaker". His occupation matched his ordained purpose. He became the builder of all the early churches in Christendom, and through his extensive writings, and those he commissioned, he has bound together as one in Christ, all the churches of Christianity from beginning to end, from his time to ours.
"I am the Lord, unrivaled; there is no other God besides me. Though you do not know me, I arm you that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that, apart from me, all is nothing." (Is. 45:5-6).
"For your sake I send an army against Babylon; I will knock down the prison bars and the Chaldaeans will break into laments. I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your king."
Paul is the author of most of the New Testament. Because of this, God has shown him to be the fulfillment of the typology of Moses. The temporal and spiritual leaders of the old covenant were Moses and Aaron. Peter and Paul are the anointed figures they pointed to: who now stand at Christ's right and left hands.
"I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison, and those who live in darkness from the dungeons." (Is. 42:6-7).
Paul was given access to all the prophecies all the hidden mysteries that fill his writings.
"I will give you the hidden treasures, the secret hoards, that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name." (Is. 45:3).
Paul's identity in Isaiah's passage is confirmed by the prophet Zechariah.
In his prophecy, Zechariah described Paul as "Branch" a word in the Greek Bible translated "rising Sun" (Zech. 3:8). His imagery defines Peter and Paul as the two olive branches that stand on either side of the Lord of the world. Zechariah's prophecies describe in detail heaven's calling of Peter and Paul to their eternal royal stations in the service of Jesus Christ:
"The angel of God was standing there and said to him, 'Look, I have taken away your iniquity from you'. The angel of God then proclaimed to Joshua: 'The Lord God Almighty says this, 'If you walk in my ways and keep my ordinances, you shall govern my house, you shall watch over my courts, and I will give you free access among those who stand here. For this is the stone which I am placing before Joshua: on this single stone there are seven eyes: and I myself intend to cut the inscription on it it is the Lord who speaks." (Zech. 3:1-9)
"Now listen, High Priest Joshua, you and the friends who sit before you for you are men of good omen. I now mean to raise my servant Branch, and I intend to put aside the iniquity of this land in a single day." (Zech. 3:8-9).
"...go to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah, who has arrived from Babylon. Take the silver and gold, make a crown and set it on the head of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. And say this to him, "The Lord God Almighty says this: Here is a man whose name is Branch; where he is there will be a branching out (and he will rebuild the sanctuary of the Lord). It is he who is going to rebuild the sanctuary of the Lord. It is he who is going to wear the royal insignia. He will sit on his throne as ruler. And a priest shall be at his right hand. Perfect peace will reign between these two; while the crown will be a glorious memorial...in the sanctuary of the Lord." (Zech.6:9-14).
"In reply to this I asked him, 'What is the meaning of these two olive trees, to the right and to the left of the lamp-stand?' (Speaking again, I asked him, 'What is the meaning of the two olive branches pouring the oil through the two golden pipes?') He replied, 'Do you not know what these things mean?' I said, 'No my Lord'. He said, 'These are the two anointed ones who stand before the Lord of the whole world." (Zech. 4:1-14).
The orginal Cyrus was the Persian king who signed the edict that freed the Jews from their physical prison of slavery in the original Babylon, a nation at the border of the Euphrates river in the country now known as Iraq. Constantine's Edict of Milan freed the Christians from prison in Rome, the spiritual Babylon at the time of Christ. That similarity ties these two kings together, but Isaiah's prophecy touches a far higher meaning the divinely ordained station of Paul with Peter in the religion of God.
Does not the opulent wealth of the Vatican prove it to be unchristian? OC
No. Just the opposite.
The Bible has commanded all the world's wealth to be brought to the feet of Christ.
The Vatican is the City of David (the City of Christ) on earth. The day is soon to come when the City of David in exile returns under the guidance of Michael the Archangel to Jerusalem and the two Houses of Israel become one. That day Jerusalem will bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. When that blessing is sounded, Christ will return as promised, bringing the Rapture with Him.
If I had asked you whether the Bible was true or false, you would have said it was true. If I had asked you whether or not God keeps scripture, you would have said yes, of course He does. Your question is actually just that, because if scripture declares it to be, it will be. There are many passages just like the one I have printed below scattered throughout the Bible:
"Arise, shine out, for your light has come, the glory of the Lord is rising on you, though night still covers the earth and darkness the peoples. Above you the Lord now rises and above you his glory appears. The nations come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness.
Lift up your eyes and look round: all are assembling and coming towards you, your sons from far away and your daughters being tenderly carried. At this sight you will grow radiant, your heart throbbing and full; since the riches of the sea will flow to you, the wealth of the nations come to you; camels in throngs will cover you, and dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; everyone in Sheba will come, bringing gold and incense and singing the praise of the Lord.
All the flocks of Kedar will gather inside you, the rams of Nebaioth will be at your service. They will come up, for acceptance to my altar, to adorn the Temple of my glory. Who are these flying like a cloud, like doves to their cote? Yes, for me the ships are assembling, vessels of Tarshish in the front, to bring your sons from far away, and their silver and gold with them, for the sake of the name of the Lord your God, for the sake of the Holy One of Israel who has made you glorious.
Foreigners will rebuild your walls and their kings will be your servants. For though I struck you in anger, in mercy I have pitied you. And your gates will lie open continually, shut neither by day nor by night, for men to bring you the wealth of the nations with their kings leading them; for the nation and kingdom that refuses to serve you shall perish, such nations shall be utterly ruined.
The glory of Lebanon will come to you, with cypress and plane and box, to adorn the site of my sanctuary, to glorify the resting place of my feet. The sons of your oppressors will come to you bowing. At your feet shall fall all who despised you. They will call you 'City of the Lord', 'Zion of the Holy One of Israel'.
Though you have been abandoned, and hated and shunned, I will make you an eternal pride, a joy for ever and ever. You will be suckled on the milk of nations, suckled on the riches of kings, and you shall know that I, the Lord am your savior, that your redeemer is the Mighty One of Jacob.
For bronze I will bring gold; for iron, silver; and bronze for wood; and iron for stone; I will put Peace in as magistrate, and Integrity as the government...
Your people will all be upright, possessing the land forever; a shoot that the Lord has planted, my handiwork, designed for beauty. The least among you will become a clan and the smallest a mighty nation. I, the Lord, have spoken; in due time I shall act with speed." (Is. 60:1-22).
Can you tell me where the verse is in the Bible that tells about the fourth kingdom of Persia? DC
The most specific verse is in Daniel 10:2.
"And now I will tell you the truth about these things. Three more kings are going to rise in Persia; a fourth will come and be richer than all the others, and when, thanks to his wealth, he has grown powerful, he will challenge all the kingdoms of Javan."
In ancient times, Javan meant Greece. Because of the Hellenising efforts of Alexander the Great and his country's subsequent political evolution through Rome to the modern world, it now symbolizes democracy's western world. The confrontation Daniel envisions pits East against West at a kind of 'Maginot line' drawn along the Euphrates river, a line across which all four attacks are ultimately generated.
While most wars over the last 300 years have not been religious, scripture shows religion playing a major role in the wars of the End. Daniel attributes the reappearance of religious warfare in the last days to the emergence on earth of this final Persian kingdom, the last in a continuing sequence of four eastern aggressors, pitting the people of Media and Persia against the Christian West.
Following the appearance of Mohammed in 600 A.D., Christianity and the Western world have been rocked by a succession of wars his followers have launched against them. Muslim invaders from empires composed of Persian or Arab believers have mounted three fierce invasions which, together, succeeded in overrunning Christian lands all across the western world. Those incursions did not stop until 1699. In many cases, the lands taken were never returned.
Now, three centuries later, with the rise of Muslim violence and groups like Al Queda, a 4th kingdom of Persia seems to be in ascendance. As can be seen in the quotation above, the prophet Daniel was shown by the angel who appeared to him, just such a circumstance and was instructed to build his entire book around the event, and its meaning to the world. His forcast promises that this fourth Persian empire will be larger and more destructive than the first three put together. It will bring the world to an end.
The Crusades fought back against the first two incursions, blunting the Muslim invasions in the 11th and 12th centuries. Largely because Crusade momentum had petered out in the 13th century, it was not in place to stop the Ottoman empire, the 3rd and last of these sweeping attempts by Muslims fighters to topple Christian dominance and secure as much European land as possible. The Ottoman army roared across Asia Minor, conquered Constantinople, swept through the Balkans, advancing across Hungary all the way to Vienna Austria before being finally stopped in 1577. Still, Vienna remained under seige until a final treaty of peace was signed a year before the advent of the 18th century.
With that treaty, the question of how to remove Mohammedan Turks from Europe became one of the great problems of modern time. Since then, religious and racial tensions have remained high. The war in the Balkans that left Sarajevo, the site of the 1992 Olympic Games in ruins was a part of this problem, as is the Euopean Union's continued tabling of Turkey's bid to join.
People today, once again reminded of this historical sequence of bitter warfare, are being compelled to revisit the Mohammedan mandate his order 1400 years ago to conquer the earth by sword and sweep it clean of infidels (those who do not believe in him). Mohammed taught that man was too violent to accept a peaceful conversion to religion. He was convinced such a conversion had to happen, and that it must take place at the point of a sword. Perforce the armies and invasions just discussed.
While man views the world politically, God sees it in spiritual terms. Spiritually, the last 2000 years constitute the age of Christ on earth. God structured this 2000 years as the time allotted for the kingdom of God to be preached to the nations. Satan was locked in the Abyss while the Word was carried by Christ's servants all around the earth. Once that circumvention of the globe, which started in Jerusalem, has been completed, Jesus will Return.
According to Jeremiah, the last nation in the circle will be the "king of Sheshak" (Jer.25:26) the name is thought by Bible scholars to be a cryptogram for "Babel", i.e., today's Iraq.
The Western world's combat over the centuries with three consecutive waves of Muslim invaders has proved Daniel correct over and over again in his prophecies. It is felt by many that the eastern gauntlet was thrown again (for a fourth time) in the 9/11 attack against America in 2001. The two sides (the West and the Medes) fulfilled scripture by squaring off not only in Afghanistan but in a second war with Iraq at the Euphrates. In the middle of all this, acting like a puppeteer manipulating marionettes stands Persia with its nuclear obsessions.
In Afghanistan, the prophecy that the western advance would reach India, matching the reach of Alexander the Great, was also fulfilled.
Unprecedented global warfare throughout the last century argues that Satan has been released from his prison (Rev. 20:7-8). According to Daniel, we should now expect the fourth Persian empire to grow out of the current conflict, building a ten-nation juggernaut that will eventually succeed in trampling underfoot all that it confronts, even the sanctuary and the people of the saints. Historically, we are at the beginning of that process and there is still a long way to go.
All these things were prophesied far in the past, centuries before Jesus' birth in Bethlehem.
God teaches in scripture that the way we can know Christ is true is to watch the world turn out in exactly the way it was prophesied. So far, the accuracy of scripture's prophecies in relation to all these events, especially those voiced by Daniel, has been astonishing.
How do we separate what is true in scripture from what is false? PL
The operative word is "scripture"
Jesus said, "Scripture cannot be rejected." (John 10:35).
The only way scripture can be changed or altered is with scripture. That is why in our scriptures we have two Testaments. Jesus made some changes to scripture, but not many (Mat. 5 & 6). He added additional rules but, most important, taught us how to understand scripture's hidden language its metaphore, parable, metonymy and allegory.
"Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven." (Mat.5:17-19).
In ancient fiction, especially poetic fiction, words had the power to make themselves come true. Words were not only used as signs & symbols, they were actually forces and powers unto themselves. Puns, boasts, vows, spells, and curses were thought to release energy into the natural world. We call that literature today, poetic metaphore. It is epic literature. We can see many examples of this including the Harry Potter books.
Scripture has that kind of power, only greater. Not that it's words can make themselves come true on their own. God has decreed His support for them. He makes them come true on purpose. He has lent His power to those words so that what God intends them to say comes true.
That is why scripture can say, "I will speak to the prophets, I will increase the visions and through the prophets I will deal out death." (Hosea 12:10-11). Once words such as those become bound as scripture, God carries out whatever they say. He uses His own time-frame for that fulfillment, and His own interpretation of the meaning implied. But He carries them out. That makes all scripture true. It is this power that gives scripture and its metaphore such epic, and the timing for its fulfillment, such mystery.
"All scripture is inspired by God and can profitably be used for teaching, for refuting error, for guiding people's lives and teaching them to be holy. This is how the man who is dedicated to God becomes fully equipped and ready for any good work." (2 Tim.3:16-17).
The Old Testament is quoted almost 400 times in the Gospel of Matthew alone. 276 times in the Gospel of Luke, 287 times in the Gospel of John. 176 times in the Book of Revelation. 187 times in the Book of Acts. 175 times in Paul's letter to the Romans. 173 times in the book of Hebrews. Peter, in his brief letter quotes the Old Testament at least 65 times.
Every book in the New Testament is filled with references to the Old Testament. That is because through Jesus His disciples knew that the scriptures were inspired by God, and necessary for teaching, and refuting error. A book of errors cannot be used to refute error. One can refute error only with the truth. That is why Paul wrote:
"Remember the maxim: 'Keep to what is written" (1 Cor.4:6).
When Jesus said that "scripture cannot be rejected." He was speaking not only of our scripture that hadn't yet been written, but of the scriptures of His own timethe Old Testament. Once a book has been bound as scripture, it is endowed with a power no other literature possesses. God has sworn to make it all true. This makes it profound and monumental. God has transported it far beyond literature.
In prophecy we see the Word of God being fulfilled. But in God keeping His promises, we see something quite different. Jesus told His apostles time and time again that He had to do or say certain things "so that the scriptures be fulfilled." In sociology that would be called a self-fulfilling prophecy, and therefore no prophecy at all. But the issue is the fulfillment, not the prophecy. Jesus was actively showing His Apostles (and us) that God intended to fulfill His promises. That is God's imperative.
"The word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do." (Is.55:11)
We can take enormous comfort in that, knowing that if God went to such trouble to see the Old Testament fulfilled, He will go to far greater lengths to see the New Testament fulfilled as well. We can trust everything He said. We can bank our lives on it. God has created two religions on earth, setting one on top of the other just to make this truth clearly known.
In our language the word has no power to become anything but language. But in the language of scripture, the word is God with all the power implied.
What will our new body in heaven be like? DH
No one knows. Paul said we will be different.
"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).
"Flesh and blood", he said, "cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and the perishable cannot inherit what lasts forever." (1 Cor.15:50). We know from these statements that we won't be like we are now. We will be changed. As far as what that change is, our minds cannot even begin to envision the possibilities that are available to God.
Yet all those possibilities must fit around a pattern. Jesus said,
'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 20:34-36)
That means we will be like Jesus.
When Jesus appeared to Daniel, He came back to him from the future. He told Daniel He and Michael were battling the Prince of Persia, a person who wouldn't be born for perhaps another 800 years. He described comprehensive details of the world's End, details that wouldn't, themselves, take place for at least another 2200 years. That is why Jesus told Daniel it would be a long time.
Much of what Jesus described to him, still hasn't occurred.
Obviously such an appearance before Daniel defied the laws of Physics. Those laws however, apply only to matter. If God were ultimately subject to something so universally perishable as matter, it would diminish Him, in fact, it would destroy Him. Jesus is bigger than that He controls the entire universe, and He proved it with His resurrection.
Matter is the holy grail of this world. Science's boundary is the universe of matter. As far as science is concerned, nothing exists in this universe except matter in one form or another. The powers that Jesus had over matter are astonishing. Not only was His resurrection proof of that, He said with simple faith even we have the power to cast mountains into the sea, and Peter was able to walk on water momentarily until his faith buckled. As far as science is concerned all those kind of things are patently impossible.
Yet God can do anything. He can make universes founded on spirit or matter at His descretion. Or anything else.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways not your ways it is the Lord who speaks. Yes, the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts." (Is. 55:8-9).
We are wed to this world by a body of perishable flesh, but our soul transcends the universe, because it transcends decay. Jesus said our souls were made imperishable; that is why He told us no one who has ever lived on this earth is yet dead to God. But the continuance of that imperishability is in question; to be decided by our response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The universe perishes but God does not. He came to make us permanently imperishable just as He is. He came to enable us to outlast the universe and matter. That means giving us a body that is more like our soul. Since we don't have receptors to see our soul (or God), we feel that means invisible. But that invisibility is only here and now. Jesus told Nathanael,
"You believe...because...I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than that...I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open, and above the Son of Man, the Angels of God ascending and descending." (John 1:51).
Not only a new kind of body, but a new kind of vision as well awaits all who join Jesus in eternal life.
Where do we go when we die? Heaven?PL
Most people think so, but Jesus in John 3:13 implied otherwise. He told His disciples that no person on earth (living or dead) has ever gone up to heaven.
"No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven...." (John 3:13)..
Jesus told His Apostles,
"I shall not be with you much longer. You will look for me, and, as I told the Jews, where I am going, you cannot come. (John 13:33).
That is an important statement, because in it, Jesus is telling even His Apostles that they will not immediately be able to go to heaven after each of them has died. Jesus explained to them that they, too must wait until the Second Coming. Only then, after He has prepared a place for us, will He come back and take us with Him into heaven.
It is that day that everyone is still waiting for the day of His Return in glory.
"I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me, so that where I am you may be too. You know the way to the place where I am going." (John 14:2-4).
We can't go up to heaven until Jesus comes back. So when we die, we must go somewhere, but not into Christ's kingdom of God. When Jesus was on the cross, He told the thief who had faith in Him that "today you will be with me in paradise." Jesus did not use the word "heaven", He used a different word which is translated "paradise". This tells us that there is a place we tend to call heaven which is different from Christ's kingdom. It is an intermediate place, in between earth and the new heavenly kingdom. It is to this place of holiness that everyone goes after they die:
"When he broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of all the people who had been killed on account of the word of God, for witnessing to it. They shouted aloud, 'Holy, faithful Master, how much longer will you wait before you pass sentence and take vengeance for our death on the inhabitants of the earth?
Each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to be patient a little longer, until the roll was compelete and their fellow servants and brothers had been killed just as they had been." (Rev. 6:9-11).
The idea of the "Rapture" argues that this intermediate place is even lower than a middle heaven. Those who propose the Rapture theory say that it will be down here on this earth, not above at all. There is nothing in scripture to support such a recombinant terrestrial-heaven idea. We must assume that all the heavens are above, that none come down to earth especially when Jesus Himself uses the term "up" to describe our ascent to it (see above).
When someone asked Jesus a question about the resurrection, Jesus answered:
'The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush whre he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive'." (Luke 20:27-38)
In Daniel, what does the golden statue with clay feet stand for? KA
It stands for the empire called Babylon into whose hands God has submitted His people.
"The whole land (Israel) shall be devastated and reduced to a desert, while (its people) will stay in slavery among the nations for seventy years...but when the seventy years are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation for the wrong they have done...I will bring down on that country all the words I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book" (Jer. 25:11-13).
In scripture, the empire of Babylon is presented to us by the Holy Spirit in three different manifestations.
We see it first as the nation that burned down the Jerusalem temple of Solomon and took the Jews into a 70-year captivity at the banks of the Euphrates. We see it spiritually reborn 657 years later in the image of Rome whose actions duplicated that of Babylon: burning down the Jerusalem temple of Herod and then herding the entire Israeli citizenry into a 2000-year captivity called the "Diaspora".
In between these two we see it presented a third way as the Jerusalem of the Pharisees, lawyers and scribes who rose up to usurp command of Judaism at the time of Christ. It is in this context that Isaiah coined the term, "virgin, daughter of Babylon" (religious child of Babylon). Scripture deals with the three as if they are undifferentiated:
"Down with you! Sit in the dust, virgin, daughter of Babylon. sit on the ground, dethroned, daughter of the Chaldaeans. Never again will you be called tender and delicate...Sit in silence and creep into shadows, for you will no longer be called sovereign lady of the kingdoms. I was angry with my people, I had profaned my heritage. I had surrendered it into your hands, but you showed them no mercy. You said, 'Forever I will be sovereign lady'. You never took these things to heart or pondered on their outcome." (Is.47:1-11).
"So listen now, voluptuous woman, lolling at ease and saying to yourself, 'I, and none besides me. I shall never be widowed, never know loss of children.' Yet both these things shall happen to you, both suddenly and on the same day. Loss of children, widowhood, at once will come to you; in spite of all your witchcraft and the power of all your spells." (Is.47:7-10).
When the Sanhedrin sold Jesus to Rome for 30 pieces of silver, an unintended consequence ripped the House of God out of their hands. Jews and Christians alike were mandated by God to go with Him in captivity to Babylon. This left both houses of Israel homeless in a foreign land under Roman rule.
"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).
That exile, now approaching its 2000th year, shows us a symbolic Babylon stretched far beyond the boundaries of the pagan Roman Empire that started it. Today, as it has been for 17 centuries, the title "sovereign lady of the kingdoms" is a baton passed from one nation to another in the empire of Rome's successor the western world.
The rulers of this spiritual "Babylon" have not paid attention to the writings of scripture or the teachings of Jesus. Instead, these "Chaldaeans" see their own empire the sovereign lady of the world. In their power they have bound heavy burdens on the people of God held captive within their borders, the poor, the infirm, the widows and the rest of the saints of the Most High.
Are these not now the rumors that mark each day?
"Violence rules on earth and one tyrant cancels out another." (Jer.51:46).
In the meantime, the preaching of the Gospel throughout that empire has been steadily eroding the grip of Babylon on the people of God trapped within its global borders. Knowing that they are in a doomed land, their spiritual flight away from it has proceeded as God intended:
"I will punish Bel in Babylon and take from his mouth what he has swallowed. In future the nations will stream to him no more. The wall of Babylon has fallen. Go out of her, my people; save your lives, each one of you, from the fierce anger of the Lord." (Jer. 51:44-45).
The two clay feet demonstrate that for all its power and might, the global version of Babylon will fall and be destroyed just as Nebuchadnezzar's version had been, and both in the same way, in a single night by an invasion from Persia. In that coming invasion, the king who rules Babylon will perish, exactly as he did in the first.
Those two destructions are symbolized by the collapse of the two clay feet that form the base of the seemingly invincible golden statue to Bel that represents Babylon's world supremacy.
The first empire of Babylon is represented to us in scripture by two kings. The earliest is Nebuchadnezzar who burned down Solomon's temple and took the Jews into captivity. The last is Belshazzar, who witnessed the handwriting on the wall which announced his impending death at the hands of an invading Persian army. Daniel interpreted the vision and told Belshazzar it would happen that very night and it did.
All that has been incorporated into scripture to serve as the template for its repeat in our own time. Just as the ancient Jews were held captive by the Babylon of the past, so are we, today, held captive by its symbolic successor. And just as it did in Belshazzar's time, a new handwriting has appeared and written itself across the towers of Manhatten as its ruler watched.
It's message is clear. Another Prince of Persia is now close at hand, at the very gates of the western empire the empire that has ruled the world and God's people since the days of Nero, the tyrant who began the captivity. His Babylon was felled by a fatal wound delivered by the sword of Christ. But in the last days we have watched that fatal wound heal in a great revolt that has returned to power over the nations all those who oppose God.
"We tried to cure Babylon; she has got no better. Leave her alone and let us each go to his own country. Yes, her sentence reaches to the sky, rises to the very clouds...Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers! The Lord has aroused the spirit of the king of the Medes because he has a plan against Babylon to destroy it; this is the vengeance of the Lord, the revenge for his Temple." (Jer. 51:9-11).
"May her violence to me, and all my sufferings be avenged on Babylon!' say the people of Zion; 'On the inhabitants of Chaldaea be my blood!' says Jerusalem." (Jer. 51:35).
A curse in scripture carries with it the power of its own completion as spoken. For those who have bowed to the golden statue, who have committed their own effort toward the ridicule and mistreatment of the poor, the downtrodden, and the saints of God without repentance, a fate of unimaginable sorrow awaits. In the Book of God, every thought has been noted, every action written down.
After the age of the pagans is over, when the 70 years granted to Babylon have ended as they seem to be ending now, and the roll of the saved is complete, God will destroy Babylon forever. At that time, Jesus will suddenly manifest Himself in a glorious Return, and take us with Him to His kingdom in heaven just as He promised.
"When the 70 years granted to Babylon is over, I will visit you and fulfill my promise in your favor by bringing you back to this place.
I know the plans I have in mind for you it is the Lord who speaks plans for peace, not disaster, reserving a future full of hope for you. Then when you call to me, and come to plead with me, I will listen to you. When you seek me you shall find me; when you seek me with all your heart; I will let you find me." (Jer. 29:10-14).
On your question page you list 176 Old Testament quotations in the Book of Revelation. My commentary by William Barclay lists over 500. Did you miss a few?PL
Probably I missed alot. I was counting the most obvious quotes. There are voluminous references to the Old Testament scriptures spread all through the New Testament books. Not just quotations per se, but hundreds of references as well. The Old Testament is the template on which Christianity has been built.
December 21, 2012? Is this the date of the End? Has anyone ever asked you about this? YK
Yes, I have received several e-mails relating to that date. A Mormon reader in paricular sent a fascinating account with a Dec 2012 end date stemming from a Mayan calendar. Another reader saw an alien invastion in late 2012 that would bring the antichrist.
Any discussion among Christians about the end of the world should heed Christ's words:
"Now having met together , they asked, 'Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel? Jesus replied, 'It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority." (Acts. 1:6-7)
Not only did Jesus tell His disciples that they were not to speculate about the time for the end of the world, He told them it will happen when least expected.
That should rule out the day completely. Even the year. When we look at the timeline prophesied in the Book of Daniel, that year seems far too early, anyway. The collapse of the western world alliance has not yet occurred. Nor has a ten-nation confederacy risen up in Europe, Asia or the Middle East. Not only must these things happen, the nucleus of the ten-nation confederacy must pass through several major regimes after it is born (Dan.11:5-45).
Extremely militaristic, the first of those regimes will take its stand in Jerusalem itself. Poised to conquer the entire nation, it will withdraw only after Israel, in capitulation, agrees to a treaty merging itself with the Palestinians. (Dan.11:16-17). None of this could take place if America were the world power it is today. So even that has to change so dramatically it is virtually unimaginable at the present moment (Dan. 8:8?).
It doesn't seem plausible that all this can be compressed into the next 4 years. Every year brings major events and 2012 is certain to be no exception. Moreover, every year lately seems to be bringing the sprouting seeds of Christian prophecies that point to the last day. We can expect that to occur in 2012 as well.
But not the End itself. That day and year are just too well advertised and expected.
What are the connections between the lenten season and prophecy if any? PL
Lent recapitulates liturgicallly the stress of our efforts to live the life of Christ a life of deprivation and want in a world overtly hostile to all things Godly.
Satan's trickery has forced God to allow Satan to sift His people like wheat (Luke 22:31; Is. 30:28). We don't understand this, but Satan has somehow got his wish to analyze the core character of every person on earth (Is.1:25). That refining subjects all of us who try to follow Christ to a trial by fire as we try to keep the Gospel in a world that lives in opposition to it. (Is.48:9-11).
The fire separates the wheat from the chaff. God cannot prevent this purifying fire, but will rescue us from it unharmed at the end if we remain in Jesus. According to the prophet Zechariah, 2/3rds will be cut off, destroyed by the sword wielded by Jesus Christ, and the remaining third will be led into the fire by that same Word for purification and refinement (Zech. 13:7-9).
We find ourselves in a world where not everyone is of God. That is another concept difficult to many (wheat and chaff in relation to humanity) but it is one our newspaper overwhelmingly corroborates daily. When asked why this is so, Jesus answered with a parable:
"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, and sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner's servants went to him and said, "Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?" "Some enemy has done this" he answered.
And the servants said, "Do you want us to go and weed it out?" But he said, "No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn." (Matt.13: 24-30.
The harvest is the time of sifting. Fulfilling the metaphore in the prophecy of the Pentateuch, it is the two days (Ex.10-12) of washing and cleaning (baptism and repentance in Christ) that constitute the Christian era on earth.
Lent is the season in the liturgical calendar that acts as a sacramental metaphore of this sifting the suffering we are called on to endure because of our life following Christ. It presents with a 40-day fast that recapitulates Christ's desert temptation experience.
The story illustrating Satan's attempt at chicanery during his time with God in heaven is presented biblically in an allegorical format in the book of Esther.
Briefly, the story of Esther is that of a Jewish people who have been sentenced to death by an evil official in the Persian court. He tricked the king into authorizing Israeli execution on a gallows built specifically for that purpose in the capitol city of the kingdom. Unknown to the king, his beloved wife Esther is a Jewess. She intercedes for her people, admits her race, exposes Haman's trickery and is able to have the sentence reversed. As a result, it is Haman who is executed on the same gallows he built for the Jews.
The principal figures in the Book of Esther point to God/Jesus (the king), the Bride of Christ (Esther), Michael the Archangel (Mordecai), and Satan (Haman). The Jews ordered to be executed on Haman's gallows stand for the two Houses of Israel the Christians and Jews.
The liturgical expression of the sifting ends with Holy Week (the wrath, crucifixion and finally, resurrection, the focal point of our hope and trust in God). The reversal of the divine sentence can also be seen in a reference in the Book of Daniel:
"Then I asked to know the truth about the fourth beast,...This was the horn I had watched making war on the saints and proving the stronger, until the coming of the one of great age who gave judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, when the time came for the saints to take over the kingdom." (Dan 7:19-22).
The sentence that God reversed is the banishment that occurred from the Garden in Eden, when humanity was sent into the wilderness in exile. That exile was life in the flesh a death sentence. Jesus paid the penalty of this sentence in our place, restoring to us the possibility of salvation. Lent liturgically presages the tribulation and anguish the people must endure before the sentence is officially reversed at the day of Judgment:
"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).
For this reason, while Lent is a season of doing without, as a reminder, it is also a season of hope for all who choose to follow Christ instead of the prince of this world all who repent their sins and change their lives in His name.
We can also see the lenten season recapitulated in our flesh. As we struggle through life, our bodies begin to physically wear out. As we approach the End, the road gets increasingly difficult, until finally, we reach the point where we have to imitate Holy Week itself in our own lives. Thus we live the life of Christ all the way to our final days.
It is the same with the Church. All these things come to it as well. That is why Jesus told Peter:
"I tell you most solemnly, when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go." "In those words Jesus indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this He said, 'Follow me'" (John 21:18-19).
This allegory not only describes Peters final days, it demonstrates the dark days that must come at the end to the Church that has been built on him; for it, too, must repeat the life of Christ in its own life on earth:
"Forces of his will come and profane the sanctuary citadel, they will abolish the perpetual sacrifice and instal the disastrous abomination there. Those who break the covenant he will corrupt by his flatteries, but the people who know their God will stand firm and take action. Those of the people who are learned will instruct many; for some days, however, they will be brought down by sword and flame, by captivity and by plundering. And thus brought down, little help will they receive, though many will be plotting on their side. Of the learned some will be brought down, as a result of which certain of them will be purged, purified and made white until the time of the End, for the appointed time is still to come." (Dan. 11:30-35).
Thus Lent also incorporates, liturgically, what is to come. Tribulation and want and even wrath. And then the glory of everlasting life.
Of the fasting, Jesus said:
"Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast? Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. (Mat. 9:14-15).
Passages scattered throughout the scriptures show us the vacuum from God's word that will accompany the age to come. Daniel says that "truth will be flung to the ground" during those times (Dan. 8:12). The fasting that marks the lenten season recapitulates this period of spiritual famine. Scripture says that people in those days will go from north to east looking for the word of God but not find it.
"See what days are comingit is the Lord God who speaksdays when I will bring famine on the country, a famine not of bread, a drought not of water, but of hearing the word of the Lord. They will stagger from sea to sea, wander from north to east, seeking the word of the Lord and failing to find it." (Amos 8:11-12).
In his writings, Paul was opposed to an ecclesiastical calendar, but the Holy Spirit overruled him, saying 'yes' to it. Jesus told His Apostles that this would happen, that their understanding would be broadened later by the Holy Spirit because at the beginning it would be too difficult for them to comprehend. It is this calendar that acts like the pictures that filled the churches of the Middle Ages, imparting understanding of scripture to those not sufficiently schooled to deal with deep theological concepts.
The ecclesiastical calendar acts like a word picture. Not only does it demonstrate complex theology in an easy format, it keeps those concepts current, so that they do not slip into the dark recesses of time and disappear, leaving God's people to become easy prey for the charlatans who feed on missunderstanding so that they can corrupt the unaware and steal their souls from the Father.
Where does it say in the Bible that women cannot be priests? PV
The Apostle Peter wrote that all baptised Christians are priests; both men and women alike. This ecclesiastical status was conferred on every Christian believer through baptism:
"He is the living stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him so that you too, the holy priesthood that offers the spiritual sacrifices which Jesus Christ has made acceptable to God, may be living stones making a spiritual house." (1 Peter 2:4-5)
"...you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light." (1 Peter 2:9).
In the Book of Revelation it is written:
"You are worthy to take the scroll and break the seals of it, because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought men for God of every race, language, people and nation and made them a line of kings and priests, to serve our God and to rule the world." (Rv. 5:9-10).
The word "man" in the verse above is not literal. It is metaphoric, stemming from the word "mankind". The priesthood is conferred on all Christians because they have been given the job of consecrating the entire universe to God. And kingship because God has decreed that the People of God shall rule the world. Had women been excluded from God's priesthood, they would be unable to offer any spiritual sacrifices, and therefore incapable of pleasing God by obeying Christ's commands. This would make them aliens to the promise.
"All baptised in Christ, you have all clothed yourselves in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Merely by belonging to Christ you are the posterity of Abraham, the heirs he was promised." (Gal.3:27-29).
The Law was only a reflection of these realities (Heb. 10:1+) God did not want the sacrifices the Law laid down. He took no pleasure in the holocausts or sacrifices for sin offered by the Hebrew priests. "As it says in the scroll of the book, 'Here I am, I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second: Justice, mercy and good faith" (Heb.10:8-10). Those are the sacrifices that please God.
"We have our own altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat...through him, let us offer God an unending sacrifice of praise, a verbal sacrifice that is offered every time we acknowledge his name. Keep doing good works and sharing your resources, for these are the sacrifices that please God." (Heb. 13:13-16).
This concept of God's people as a priesthood is not new. It stems from the Book of Exodus:
"If you obey my voice and hold fast to my covenant, you of all the nations on earth shall be my very own nation...I will count you as a kingdom of priests, a consecrated nation." (Ex.19:5).
This passage shows that God meant to include women from the beginning, but the traditions of the Jewish elders blocked that intent, nullifying God's will. Jesus rectified this misdirection by offering God's spiritual priesthood to all people, men and women alike. And not just to Jews, but to pagans as well. Everyone who is baptised in Christ becomes a priest of God in His name. And a High Priest at that.
We have seen that in the Law there were two priesthoods, a high priesthood that followed the lineage of Moses' brother Aaron, and a low priesthood made up of the Levites. These latter were the caretakers of the Temple and its trappings. Only the higher priesthood could head the Sanhedrin or conduct the sacrifices or enter into the naos, the inner chamber where the Ark of the Covenant used to be housed.
The Holy Spirit has built the Christian religion on the template of the Mosaic Law and Prophets. Thus we see in Christianity both priesthoods replicated according to God's true will. The high priesthood is that which flows to all Christians through Peter. It is spiritual and offers the sacrifices that truly please God, mercy, justice and true faith. It is conducted in the inner chamber where God dwells inside men and women, now housed inside the soul of every baptised Christian. The Ark is now in us.
Because we have the inner chamber of the temple inside ourselves because God dwells inside us and not in a building or some other architected chamber we house the complete Temple of God inside ourselves, everything that once stood in Jerusalem on the holy mountain. And more, because we have the Word of God which the institution in Jerusaelm forbid entrance to when He came to them, asking to be admitted.
The physical priesthood, that which is built on the Levites, is the lower priesthood. It is lower because, being physical, it cannot last. It will pass away. The high priesthood will never pass away. God has made it eternal.
The fact that every baptised Christian is a high priest in God is the very reason why every baptised Christian has complete authority to baptise. Usually this authority is deferred to the lower priesthood, the ministers and priests who are the caretakers of our churches. But in emergency situations, we must exercise this power too. It is commonly seen in neonatal units in the major hospitals where coding babies, in the absence of ministerial presence, are baptised according to their grieving parents wishes by nurses, doctors, therapists or others who are, themselves, Christians.
Some churches refuse to baptise babies. This, too can be considered an emergency situation. When the parent wishes their baby to be baptised, any baptised Christian can perform the sacrament. That is because no person is ever baptised into a church. There is no clerial theology attached to baptism as far as God is concerned. Every baptism is into Christ alone. That is why most churches accept the baptisms of other denominations.
The priesthood, once conferred, cannot be taken away. Therefore baptisms performed by reprobate ministers are just as legal, just as binding as those performed by the most saintly. It is only at the Judgment that the good are separated from the bad.
No one ever has to be baptised twice, but churches usually ask for written proof. This is not for God. It is to make sure the baby was properly baptised (touched by water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit). In the absence of this proof, most churches want to rebaptise the child just to make sure.
That is as it should be, because baptism is very important. It is the legal mechanism that frees us from the Law. It is also the mechanism that confers on us the royal priesthood of God. Baptism breaks our prison chains so that we can follow Jesus Christ to eternal life in His new Kingdom in heaven.
But I digress. Your question concerned women priests. While most churches allow Christian women (already priests according to God) to be ministers and priests in the lower tasks as well, others do not. This is not a matter of God, it is a matter of the tradition of each church's elders. Scripture's position is as stated above.
What did Jesus mean that the kingdom of God is within you? KL
"The coming of the kingdom of God does not admit of observation and there will be no one to say, 'Look here! Look there!' For, you must know, the kingdom of God is within you." (Lk.17:20-21; Mt.3:2; Lev.26:11)
"The hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. True worshippers must worship the Father in spirit and truth; that is the kind of worshipper the Father wants. God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:21-24)
It isn't what we worship inside a building or city that counts to God.
It is what we worship inside ourselves:
The gods of this world include money in all its forms: the stock market, finance, real estate, mansions, cars, diamonds, and gold and all the other luxuries of life. They also include power in all its forms: politics governance and warmongering.
False god worship is manifested in prestige, social status, fine clothes, and all the sexual lusts. Add to these, pridethe drive for world acclaim social, personal, academic, athletic and artistic supremacy. These are among the battalion of false gods whose worship competes with the Father of Christ. These false gods are the worldly spirits that are worshipped by mankind during life on earth.
Jesus Christ has called us to choose between this world's gods and the teachings of the Gospel which is the image of the true God of creation. It is a question of obedience to a master. We are called to choose between two masters the prince of this world or the God of heaven imaged on earth by Jesus Christ. The winner of this competition stamps on our soul his unique mark.
Whose mark do we honor?
All competitive worldly drives must take second seat to the obedience of faith. No one can claim worldly excellence when they have assumed the mantel of a slave; giving away their possession, or going two miles when asked to go one. This is why Jesus said "those who find their life will lose it...those who love their life in this world will lose it as far as eternal life is concerned".
If we write, we should write for God. If we draw, we should draw for God. If we speak we should preach for God. Those with money should see to the welfare of the poor. No one lights a lamp, said Jesus, without putting it on a lampstand so that it gives light in the house for all to see. The church is that house.
We are called to give up everything so that our only worldly ambition is to do good according to the commandments of the Father Almighty. That is a tall order, especially since we have to live in this world while we are trying to make the transition. That passage is the trial by fire through which God cleanses our soul for eternal life. Our new body in Christ can only dwell in a soul that God has cleansed in this way.
During that cleansing, some fall away, lured into evil by temptation. Even then,, forgiveness stands only a breath away, waiting patiently, though perhaps in vain, for repentance.
We are called in Christ to sacrifice on an internal altar a spiritual altar hidden within our own soul. It is our own choice whether we choose to offer on this internal altar sacrifices to God through Jesus by obeying the Gospel He preached, or to Satan through succumbing to the false gods of this world that encourage us to disobey the commandments of Christ.
This is not a community choice. It is individual. Salvation comes one by one each by personal name one altar at a time.
You agree then that the true church is the church of the heart? KL
Yes, except your question compares a physical entity with a spiritual entity. Jesus did not come to torpedo the existance of churches. They are essential!
In this we must trust the work of the Holy Spirit. He has not made a single mistake since Jesus first appeared in Bethlehem. Everything He has done on earth has been perfect. It may look chaotic, the river divided into so many streams, but God's work of salvation has been accomplished in perfection through the historical structure of Christianity.
There are two major veins of understanding in the religion of Christ. The single gate to salvation and the multitude of paths the religion presents with respect to reaching that gate. Conceptually, the two are quite different.
Almost all religious talk in the world centers on the second, the path.
Both are founded on the outline of scripturethat God interrupted time by sending Jesus to the earth to liberate His lost people who had been imprisoned by Satan. That rescue changed the entire structure of history. A time descended on the world during which the path to salvation was preached by many different churches.
The moment for that teaching would be short, said Jesus. It would be bordered by war and involve the incarceration of Satan so that the people's escape could be completed successfully within the narrow time frame prophesied.
Prophecy has been essential to this success. The code of the Bible is that the past is prologue. God sent two faiths, one in Moses to establish the matrix for that prologue and the other in Christ, the true religion of God, to fulfill it. Thus we have two parts to the one Bible, the first to make the prophecies and the second to complete them.
Just as the Guardian gives way to the true Father, so must Moses give way to Jesus. Moses will never return, nor will his temple or religion. The future belongs only to Jesus. The churches are there to support and promote the message of salvation, but they cannot preempt Jesus any more than can Moses.
That is because salvation itself belongs only to those whose faith in God compels them to live according to the Gospel that Jesus preached. That is the one and only gate in, and all churches lead to it so long as they herald Christ's Gospel. It is up to each listener to hear that Gospel and take heed of it.
The thought of a master race...is this not a variation on a Judeo-Christian theme? OP
Were Judeao-Christianity measured in terms of DNA (genetics), then it would be. However, measured on faith in Christ it represents a stand against sin.
This choice (on which side of the line one is to stand in relation to sin (as determined by the Gospel) is the "decision" Jesus compelled the people of the world to make when He forced them to choose sides once and for all. (Ez. 9:3-7). That choice is what Jeremiah's famous "cup" stands for (Jer.25:14-29).
The elixer in that cup are these very words this very choice.
The Old Testament bears witness to a special people on earth, the people of God. At first, this people were considered to be a race. Scripture showed them to be descended from the union between Abraham and his wife Sarah. Yet not everyone in this descendancy were seen to share in the reward. Just special ones. For instance, Abraham and Sarah's son Isaac bore two sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of lentils and was thus viewed eliminated from the promise.
Jacob's 12 sons formed the 12 tribes of Israel (ever after to be designated the template for the house of God on earth). But Jacob also had daughters, yet they were not understood to figure in this formula.
The 12 sons ended up in Egypt, most as a result of a famine and were later imprisoned there by Pharaoh. Their escape from the clutches of captivity to a foreign enemy power, juxtaposed against their relationship with God is one of the two overarching themes that will haunt this people for the rest of history. The other is the tribe's expectation for the coming of a Messiah to defeat their enemies and give them dominion over all the earth's inhabitants.
The Jewish understanding of this story further contracted the reward. Seeing the destruction and permanent exile of the 10 northern Israeli tribes, they supposed themselves to be sole heirs to the promise, embracing the idea that the 10 lost tribes were like Esau, discarded by God because of sin. Their conclusion was that it is to them alone (the Jews the fourth tribe of Israel) that the Messiah will come, and to them alone that dominance over the earth will be granted.
The prophets agreed that the Messiah would be Jewish, but argued against the Jewish singularity. The promise, they said, was given to all 12 tribes and would be fulfilled in all twelve (Ez.11:14-21). Not only that, but it would be extended to believing pagans as well, and would be offered across the entire earth (Is. 49:6).
"All the pagans will come and adore you, Lord, all will glorify your name..." (Ps.86:9).
" Understand, then, that the salvation of God has been sent to the pagans; they will listen to it. (Acts 28:28).
"It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." (Is. 49:6)
When Jesus came to Judea, He came in the image of the prophetic understanding. Not only did He extend the offer to all 12 tribes as well as to the pagans to men and women alike He showed that the promise included eternal life, a miraculous gift of bodily resurrection from death wholly unexpected by the Jewish elders. Moreover, He revealed that God's kingdom was not of this earth.
Jesus had been sent by God His Father to rescue the captive Israelites and lead them to a spiritual kingdom far beyond the borders of earthly imagination or understanding. He showed the Jewish religion to be a "guardian" covenant (Gal.3:24-26), a template, to be fulfilled by the true religion (i.e., new and everlasting covenant) of God in keeping with the prophecy of Jeremiah:
"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.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.31:31-34).
We find in this outline a disputation between 'exclusion' and 'inclusion', with the old covenant adherents favoring the former, but Christ offering the latter, a global reach without geographic, racial, sexual or church boundaries to all who renounce earthly sin and walk in His righteousness thereafter.
"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 God will...stretch out his hand over the River, and divide it into seven streams, for men to cross dry-shod, to make a pathway for the remnant of his people..." (Is.11:15).
"Pass through, pass through the gates. Make a way for the people. Bank up, bank up the highway, clear it of stones. Hoist the signal for the peoples. This the Lord proclaims to the ends of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Look, your savior comes, the prize of his victory with him, his trophies before him'. They shall be called 'the Holy People', 'the Lord's Redeemed'. And you shall be called 'The-sought-after', 'City-not-forsaken'." (Is.62:10-12).
"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).
You wrote that prophecy is only to be found through church committee's under anonymous authors:
"Surprisingly, with all this prophecy abounding, what we have rarely seen during the era of the Christian Church is prophets, per se. Most of the prophecies that have emerged outside of scripture over the last 1600 years have appeared in the form of decrees made through councils by committee. In this respect, while the role of prophecy in New Testament times has been large, it has come to us seemingly authorless. This is precisely the mechanism that has glorified the Holy Spirit above all others as the progenitor of Christian prophecy over the last 2000 years." -Letters January 6, '08.
Nowhere else? JY
That statement related to the great prophecies of the Christian religion such as the concept of the Trinity, the inclusion of the pagans in His salvation, or the understanding of the nature of baptism, etc. These teachings are in keeping with Jesus' message to his Apostles that He had much more to tell them, but that it was too much for them at that time (during Christ's lifetime on earth) to really understand, but He would send the Holy Spirit to lead them to a full comprehension of these unstated truths which He has done.
The backbone of prophecy in the Christian age are the ministers who broadcast the message of Christ to the world as they preach from the pulpit.
Those messages, in of themselves, form the greatest prophecy of all time. When coupled to the words of the Hebrew prophets, this is stunning prophecy shown fulfilled. That is the message we often hear on sundays at church. From dynamic monuments of inspiration such as Francis Assissi or Billy Graham, to the least known ministers in scattered outposts, the message of God's offer of salvation comes through loud and clear for anyone with ears to hear.
It is Peter and Paul, the scripture itself, put into real life. This is the purest form of God's prophecy and it has been preached day after day for almost 2 millenia.
Those sermons are rarely written down in books, but taken altogether, they give us a continuous evolution of living Jeremiah's, Ezekiel's, Hosea's, Micah's, Isaiah's, John's, Matthew's, Marks and Luke's a barrage of the highest form of prophecy ever uttered on earth, and we do not have to go out into the wilderness to hear it.
As Jesus said, pray always for more preachers!
The Bible's statement that Jesus will rebuild the temple in 3 days is traditionally understood to mean that He will resurrect Himself from the dead on the third day after being crucified. Which He did. Could it also apply to His kingdom being completed within 3000 years of His crucifixion (since it says a day to God is 1000 years to man)? DE
Yes, of course. And when you examine the three days Jesus was entombed, there were three days involved, but the hours were far less than 3 times 24. He was resurrected very early on sunday morning, perhaps before sunrise. We should expect the same thing to happen on the third day of the Christian era.
If we count the Christian era as beginning with the Christian calendar, the world entered the "third day" (the 3rd 1000-year cycle) on January 1st, 2001. This date in that sense would correspond with the beginning of the "sunday" of Christ's resurrection in Jerusalem.
We do not know when He will return, but we can fairly well assume that it will be quite early during this "third day". Since the "third day", like the two that preceded it will be 1000-years in length, quite early can entail alot of years and months. But this is the "day" to expect His Return in glory.
Ted, A headline from today - "Hamas Cleric Predicts 'Rome Will Be Conquered by Islam'" "A sermon last Friday by a prominent Muslim cleric and Hamas member of the Palestinian parliament openly declared that "the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital," would soon be conquered by Islam."
This was a story from FOX News. It appears the prophecy is now more than an idealogy, it is a strategy of the Islam's radical wing. The days appear to be growing dark.JF
I missed the headline, but the Bible didn't. It's still hard to grasp that we seem to be in the strategic age to watch all this happen. It is interesting that their focus on Rome relates to the Crusades. It figures.
At what point in the prophesy are we now? PL
In the allegorical template of Judaism we are at the time of Pharaoh's final hour his attack on the rear-guard of the departing Israelites. The mood has changed in Babylon. No longer does it support our departure along the path of Jesus. The forces against Christ are gathering strength and the attack is beginning much like the attack against the Israelites as the last of them proceded through the parted waters of the Reed Sea.
Today the last of the Christian faithful are making their way to the land of God's promise. The winds of change are everywhere and prosperity is in collapse. This is the way it was prophesied the time of tribulation and chaos ushering in the physical assault against the Church. And then the Return of Jesus.
"I have told you all this so that your faith may not be shaken. They will expel you from the synagogues, and indeed the hour is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is doing a holy duty for God. They will do these things because they have never known either the Father or myself. But I have told you all this, so that when the time for it comes you may remember that I told you." (John 16:1-4).
This darkness will be shattered by the eternal light of God as He Returns in victory to take eternal command of creation.
I watched the History Channel program about the Bible Code. Have you seen it? Do you think it is plausible and does it go along with what you present? NJ
No. As far as I am concerned it is not plausible. Certainly not for Christians. This program talks about a hidden code in scripture that when revealed presents a Torah devoid of religion and obsessed with tabloid journalism.
It offers a 2-hour examination of a contorted alphanumeric code that virtually ignores the Messiah, and makes not a single mention of Jesus Christ. How can this be when the focal point of the entire Bible was to define a messianic mission for the salvation of mankind? They leave us a Bible code filled with TV stars and terminal violence, but no Messiah? That's total nonsense, is it not?
The Jewish Torah revolves around only one thing the anticipation of a coming "Messiah", a word meaning 'code breaker'. Yet the History Channel program uses the word "Messiah" just once (and that, only in passing) in 2 full hours of programming.
By contrast, the New Testament (itself a code) incorporates thousands of Messianic quotations in narrative from the Old Testament a sweeping scriptural proof of prophecy in Jesus considered by billions the definitive revelation of the hidden code of God's entire religious purpose.
Not only does that program ignore the Messiah,, mention of the words "Jesus" or "Christ" cannot be found in its entire script. This despite the fact that over 2 billion people on the planet are Christian, a third of the population of the entire earth, all of these people a direct outgrowth of the Jewish Jesus and the Hebrew Bible through their relationship with the 12 tribes of Israel a vast population absent from the program, but referred to again and again in the narrative of the scriptures.
Instead of the monumental messianic figure Jesus on whose shoulders 2000 years of the earth's most salient history rests, the "code" program ponders Timothy McVey, Elvis Presley, Oswald, Ruby, and a similar array of individuals and events scattered across the 20th century. It leads nowhere except to the end of the world. It sees no salvation, no hope, no eternal life. Just annihilation.
It reads like a Nostradamus knock-off, uttering in its own way the kind of 'quatrains' found in supermarket tabloids of interest only to those who follow the fleeting stars and events of modern times. If you want to know about the attack on Pearl Harbor, the fall of the Twin Towers, the names of the hijackers, Napolean, Waterloo, Elba, and Gore versus Bush in Florida, it's all there in the code presented. If you are looking for God or religious insight, the code is silent as a tomb.
Jesus showed that the hidden code of the Bible is in the narrative of scripture itself, clear and observable to all. It was never hidden in complex ancient codes that masked the names of such biblical luminaries as the freeway sniper, John Lee from a 3000 year old audience.
"I have spoken openly for all the world to hear." (Jn.18:20).
It is in the time-honored verses of Isaiah and John that the code of the Bible is truly revealed, not in a parlor trick of stairstep letters, improbably reconsitituted.
Do you believe that the increasing cost of food throughout the world is an indicator of Rev 6:6, and could you elaborate on this verse's specific details regarding oil and wine? Thank you. JF
Many would apply it that way since food scarcity is the common interpretation of that passage of scripture. Certainly this passage brings scripture's warnings to mind whenever the ill-wind of famine blows and that is not a bad thing because it verifies scripture. And as I have shown over and over in my writings, scripture says all the works of God go in pairs by opposites. God has made it that way, so double or even multiple interpretations are likely accurate.
My understanding of the "four horsemen of the apocalypse" differs from that of most scholars. My experience studying the prophecies of scripture leads me to an alternative interpretation. I see the passages concerning these four horsemen as a picture of the 2000-year reign of Christ on earth in Satan's world after Satan, himself, has been locked in the Abyss to prevent his adversarial powers from thwarting what God has in mind for the world.
After God's short reign has run its course and all the lost children of God have been rescued, Satan will be released his return verified by world war. That change will come to pass when the people stop believing the message of Christ. That change in world attitude is clearly documented in Paul's Second Letter to the Thessalonians.
The horse in verse 6:6 in the Book of Revelation, in my view, relates to a market economy, the foundation of Babylon's existance. During the course of God's reign on earth (formed by the treaty Christ made with Babylon at the cross) the economics of Babylon will be allowed to procede as long as the nations agree to permit and encourage Christian conversion (the oil and wine).
History has borne this arrangement out. The price of grain is a measure of the "Wall Street's" of the world. The financial barons (the commodities traders) set those prices. Bad governance and greed alters the settings, while populist reaction to starvation (the pitchforks) resets them. There is a two-thousand year track record to prove this arrangement.
In my understanding, the mandate not to touch the oil and wine relates to the activities of the Church. As long as the churches are allowed to preach and the civic governments encourage that preaching, i.e., as long as they keep their hands off the sacramentals of oil and wine, God's moratorium (Christ's Peace Treaty on the cross) will remain in place, keeping the rescue intact. As long as the rescue is not blocked, Christ's treaty will allow the economics of Babylon to continue in place.
Once the sacramentals are attacked, however, the treaty will end and God's offer will be rescinded. This was prefigured in Pharaoh's time (at the Exodus), and it appies to our flight as well. When the attack against the last column of Christians takes place, the fiery waters of the cosmos will crash down on Babylon's army and its evil prince will experience the spears of heaven.
The first horse in this sequence, the white horse, to me, represents Christ. He did not come to bring peace to the earth, but a sword. This goes so much against the grain of most understandings of God that it is easily overlooked. But that is the fact. It is that sword marching across the earth over the last 2000 years that marks western civilization and its impact on world affairs across this span of years. It has split nations and households and fulfilled in its totality Christ's message: "a man's enemies will be those of his own household."
The horses representing plague and hades can also be seen in the historical sequence. Plague and famine throughout these years have been endlessly recurring. Hades represents the final tribulation, the worst of all. Many believe (myself included) that we are now entering into this last phase of the apocalypse.
There can be little doubt that Satan has been released from his prison in the Abyss. World war has consumed the planet for almost a hundred years now. That is the sign according to the Book of Revelation that Satan's release has taken place. Not only has world war (warfare on a scale unimaginable to the ancients) scourged the earth in violent death, but terrifying waves of genocide have left millions more in the flames of hades. So many Christians have been consumed in these genocides that it is as if the rapture itself has been a concomitant of the purges.
As the historical sequence has shown, all these horses overlap. Though one and then another has the spotlight, they all seem to play at the same time in Christ's 2000-year battle against evil for the salvation and rescue of the hidden souls Satan has scattered across the world.
I think it is easier for us now to see the impact of Satan's incarceration.
It's result: Paganism and secularism were forbidden in his absence. All western governments championed Christ. Atheism was outlawed. Not until 1917 in Russia did atheism return openly to the earth a span reaching all the way back to the Roman declarations at the beginning of the Christian era. The battle of good over evil was a lot easier with Satan removed. Had Satan been present then (as he is now in his return) God's battle for souls during that period would have been as it is today an environment so filled with contrary messages, especially from high office, and the extraordinary tempations of our age that a reign of Christ on the planet could not have occurred by preaching alone.
Yet many still see the four horsemen as a body of riders that will be unleashed only in the last days. That, too, is a viable alternative. Here is a comment from a reader following that interpretation:
"The breaking of the seals and the four horsemen of which we are to endure do not necessarily come as a lion, but subtly. The down fall of the dollar, America on the cusp of losing its dominance in the world, the rise of China and Russia, rising inflation in Asia, rising food prices, etc... It is so easy to pay no attention to it. It is not global warming it is the sins of man. We need to pray for stronger faith and a heart to know Jesus. My comment." W
Which is the month of Loos in the Hebrew calendar? I have not read any month named Loos in that calendar. The months of the Hebrew calendar that I know of are: Tishri, Heshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, Adar, Adar 2, Nisan, Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av and Elul. ACF This is with regards to your article in the website http://www.goodnewspirit.com/herodstemple.htm which states:
"In 70 A.D., just 40 years after Jesus was crucified, the Roman army burned down Herod's Temple in Jerusalem. It was a stunning loss. It happened on the 10th day of Loos in the Hebrew calendar (August 29th in 70 A.D.), the exact same day the Babylonians had burned down Solomon's temple 657 years earlier. Like bookends, the identical dates spoke loudly of divine correlation. The Bible's ancient prophecies agreed. "
You raise an interesting question. Loos is the Macedonian name for the 4th month, "Tamuz" in the Hebrew calendar (June/July) according to modern records. Others have it represent the 10th day of the fifth month, "Av" (Jeremiah 52:13), a date that is said to correspond to August 29th. Both Solomon's temple and Herod's temple were burned down on this same day.
Thanks for your very useful web page on the Apocrypha. For a Protestant (?) site it is very fair and balanced. There is, however, one glaring error-
the "Song of the Three Holy Children" and "Susanna" ARE accepted as (deutero)canonical Scripture by the Greek & Roman Catholic churches. HJ
Please send me a more detailed doctrinal statement of what you believe. Thank you. L
This is a prophecy site, not a theological (doctrinal) site. We preach no theology except faith in Jesus. Our belief is that everyone, whether they choose to be Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox or otherwise, should welcome the person Jesus into their hearts and turn their lives over to Him to be remade in His image exactly as He commands in accordance with the New Testament. Jesus promised the reward for this conversion is eternal life.
Prophecy is not theology. Instead, it is the closest we can come to proof that our faith is well grounded. Prophecy is a warning to change and a proof of the truth of that warning proof that everything is going to happen in the future exactly in the way it has been predicted to happen.
Prophecy when it is fulfilled is the ultimate witness that the promise of Christ is true that Jesus will come again to reward all who have faith in Him.
The pages on this website study those predictions and detail the ways in which their fulfillments are manifest. Jesus warned His followers that they must not ignore these signs but regard them for what they are, images of the color of the sky at sunrise, proof of the changing of the times.
The world has enjoyed almost 2000 years of Christian rule on earth. That rule has not been without its troubles, but during its entirety, salvation has been openly preached by thousands of different churhes and ministers and God's will has been accomplished in all that preaching. Now the world is in the process of dramatic change. All across the earth, faith in Jesus is in freefall. The morning sky is crimson.
What does this mean? As it is written, "Work while you still have the day, night is coming when no one can work". (Jn.9:4). Is that time now? Are we watching the approach of darkness? The surest source of our understanding is structured in the prophets of scripture.
"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).
That is a promise of God. It means that all our questions have already been answered in one sure source. It is that source that we explore.
Thank you for all the info you provide freely online. I was wondering who and what person(s) are responsible for this ministry.. BA
Thank you for you appreciation. I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. It is my sincere belief that the persons responsible for this ministry are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. No denominational organization is behind these efforts.
Many, many people ask me about this.
My ministry is a prophecy ministry. The Lord has written in scripture that God takes no great action on earth without first alerting the people ahead of time (Amos 3:6-7). We live in one of the most extraordinary times in Christian history. On January 1, 2001 the world entered the "third day" of Christ's religion on earth. It was a seminal moment almost completely unseen or even comprehended by the denominational body.
In the prophecies of Moses it is written that in preparation for the visitation of God, the people must wash and clean for two days and on the third day see Him face to face (Ex. 19:9-16). Echo's of this sequence reverberate through scripture (Hos.6:1-3; Is.29:1-2, 5-7; John 2:19). An image of this vision occurred in Jerusalem in the forward years of the first century A.D. when Jesus appeared in the flesh to die on the cross as atonement for mankind's sins (for those who accepted Him as their Savior).
A replay is set for His Second Appearance when God and all the angels of heaven gather in the skies above Jerusalem in preparation for the rescue of Christ's faithful and the Judgment of the planet.
The "washing and cleaning" is repentance and baptism, the focal point of God's "Day of Atonement" on earth in Jesus Christ. It is written of that day that it is "a single day made into two" by the power of God (Joshua 10:12-14). In other words, a single day made into two days of washing and cleaning in Christ. Scripture tells us that a day to God is like a thousand years to man (2 Peter 3:8-9; Ps.90:4). That expanse of time brings us from A.D. 1 to A.D. 2001, the two thousand-year era of Christ's preaching on earth.
The fact that we are living today at the very instant of the transition from preaching to the "Third Day" when Jesus is to return face to face, makes these days the most momentous ever seen since the departure of Jesus before the eyes of His Apostles. He is about to come back. Everything has changed. We can see that just looking at the times we are living in and comparing them to the 2000 years just ended, but what we have witnessed with our own eyes is just the tip of an iceberg compared with the things scripture tells us about the changed times ahead.
I was instructed by the Holy Spirit to write about those changes to call attention to them to help carry out the Lord's command that the people of God be informed that the era of Christ is in the rapid process of being transformed as the light fades into the darkness that Jesus said must come before He returns.
We have entered the day when the Church itself must bear its own share of the cross. It is a time when every Christian must brace themselves in faith and not follow after the masses who choose to leave Christ and embrace the wickedness of a world structured to meet amid great violence, its true Master.
Luke 14:26, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
I'm sure you get asked a lot about this verse. I tried to research it but didn't really trust the information I was getting. There is really a lot of division (understandably so) over this verse of scripture. There are many who say the Greek word used in the verse literally means hate, loath, and despise. Some say it means to love less. I would really like to get your opinion. PL
The seeming harshness of the verse is a Hebraism.
Yet Jesus did not mean His words here to be mild. The roughness of the Judean language acts as its own metaphore. His insistance that we break with this world was not a suggestion. It sounds to me as if you have heard the various interpretations of this verse of scripture, so I will give you an answer from another perspective.
Some Christians discover Christ in old age and turn to Him to be saved only moments before death. Most others, however, come to Him much earlier. The vast majority are born, baptised and confirmed into the Church at a young age. Considering most live into their 60's and 70's, or even later, they are called to address this commandment thousands of times during the course of their religious lives.
Almost every one of the 365 days we experience each year brings us face to face with this issue. Spanning a lifetime, thousands of days present this question to us over and over again. We respond in different ways to the multitude of shades in which we are confronted with it. Some days we are strong and ready for it and meet it with great success. Other days, we are blindsided, and that success is in doubt. God does not sit, axe in hand, waiting for that one time we stumble and fail so He can say, "Aha!" so He can condemn us to death. We are told over and over again in scripture that He is slow to anger and quick to forgive, and scripture cannot be rejected.
Built into the framework of Christ is a profound fount of forgiveness. It is opened to us when we are baptised, and it continues to flow into us when we are kind to others, when we give to the poor, the widows, orphans and all who ask, when we turn the other cheek to assault, or show mercy. In the Lord's Prayer, we are strongly instructed that God's forgiveness of our own trespasses is profoundly dependent on our forgiveness of others.
We live and work in Christ under the constant flow of this divine river of grace pouring out of the cross, washing us clean of sin in a perpetual bath of forgiveness necessitated by our sinful nature. It is this and this alone that keeps us in grace post baptism.
As long as we remain in Christ, getting up each time we stumble, asking for forgiveness, and returning to the path of His righteousness, we cannot fail. That is what it means to carry His cross and follow after Him, and not lose faith.
Trying to live Jesus' word in this world brings us into endless conflicts. We are met with them every single day. This world is hostile to Christ a hostility growing deeper now that the nations have chosen to reject Him. That antagonism erects all sorts of roadblocks and obstacles that block our path to success in this world. They change the very meaning of success. This opposition and our response to it, the sacrifices we are called to endure because of our fidelity to the Gospel, is the route of the cross. It comes to us day by day, each confrontation changing our lives by the response we take, moving us farther away from the world and closer to God, or visa versa.
Since the world operates all around us in every way, every hour of every day, we are confronted with this conflict not only from enemies, but from those close to us as well (often without their even being aware of it). We are called to think of Christ at all times and be alert to those occasions when forces other than God's are at play in our lives, confident that our willingness to forgive others and show mercy to all will protect us from our moments of weakness. Jesus has promised that it will.
In your book "The Last Days of Babylon", can you tell me in one sentence what is Babyon? AE
In the phrase "separation of Church and state", Babylon is state.
The phrase, said to have been coined by Mussolini in the 1920's, has become the catchphrase of the nations in their recent expulsion of Jesus Christ from His ruling seat over western world politics. That expulsion ended a continuous Christian reign on earth of 1700 years and has ushered in in its place, secularized government.
Paul called this remarkable event the "great revolt" (2 Thes.2:3)
It is preparatory to, and actually a part of another scheme, the pursuit as fugitives of the rear guard of the very people Christ has called over those 1700 years to follow Him to His knigdom, a replay of the efforts of pharaoh 4000 years ago in Egypt (Ex.14:28-29). The result will be the same. But this time, the waters that crash down on the world forces now gathering for the assault will be armed in cosmic fire (Jer. 51:58).
The only survivors will be those who have chosen Church over state.
Which church is best? DH
The prophecies show that the division of Christianity into seven churches is a division of labor, not a matter of rightness or wrongness.
This metaphoric number which encompasses scores of denominations is not a matter of which church is true or not true, it is a division of labor that characterizes the essential nature of Christ's Church on earth: "Where I am there my servant will be also."
"...God will...stretch out his hand over the River, and divide it into seven streams, for men to cross dry-shod, to make a pathway for the remnant of his people..." (Is.11:15).
Christianity is built on the template of Judaism. That is why the format is familiar. In Judaism we see a single temple overseeing the sacrifice and thousands of synagogues supporting it. It is the same in Christianity. There is one seat of Peter, a holy priesthood overseeing from its captivity in Babylon the perpetual sacrifice - the Eucharist - and, beyond that, in place of rabbi's, millions of ministers forming a vast multi-denominational scattering of preaching that stretches to the ends of the earth.
Salvation is offered everywhere from every tributary of this ubiquitous river of preachers and institutions.
"An argument started between them about which of them was the greatest, Jesus knew what thoughts were going through their minds, and he took a little child and set him by his side and then said to them, 'Anyone who welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For the least among you all, that is the one who is great." (Luke 9:46-48)
This is true even of the churches. The route to salvation is not the Law (it is not theology). It is faith in Jesus. Period! Exclamation point! All churches preach that faith, but tend to wrap it up in tieir own theology (Law). Yet it is only faith in Jesus that saves faith proved by obedience to the Gospel.
"My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice". (Luke 8:21).
The division of labor (this division of churches) has been designed by the Holy Spirit to search throughout every aspect of the creation to find all who are hidden and still held captive by Satan so that they may be rescued, just as their brothers and sisters have been, over the last 2000 years, through faith.
Who is the mother in the 12th chapter of Revelation? Is it Judaism? Is it the Jews? Is it Jerusalem? Is it Sarah, the wedded wife? Is it the Church? Is it the Holy Spirit? Is it Mary, the mother of Jesus? Or is it all those things? BE
"Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. She was pregnant, and in labor, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth. ·Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet. ·Its tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother. ·The woman brought a male child into the world the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne ·while the woman escaped into the desert where God had made a place of safety ready for her to be looked after in the twelve hundred and sixty days." (Rev.12:1-6).
According to Daniel, this 3-1/2 year period (the 1260 days) is the time of the upraising of the disastrous abomination in the holy place & the abolition of the perpetual sacrifce. (Dan.12:11-12). It will be presaged by the assassination of the holy bishop, the "man in white" (See Fatima prophecy).
The passage (Rev.12:6+) tells us the Church will be taken into the desert to a place of safety during this violent period. It is a vision that relates to the last days to the 3-1/2 years, a time that embraces the most pivotal events in the end-of-the-world sequence.
It begins when Satan is released from his prison in the Abyss (See Rev.20:7-8)
"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).
Our true 'Holy Mother' is wrapped around the Gospel the Holy Spirit and will of the Father the Word which created the universe, and which brings each of us to life the moment we take it into our hearts and are reborn into its nature. Jesus proved this when he said,
"Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?' And stretching out his hand toward his disciples he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother." (Mt. 12:48-50).
This is what being 'born again' (John 3:1-8) is all about. It is our spiritual union with the word of Christ. Born again is what happens to us the moment our soul is fused with the Holy Spirit. We were born into the substance of Babylon when we came out of our earthly mother's womb, and Jesus came to transform us from that worldly material existance into the substance of heaven by imparting His Holy Spirit into us.
The mother is Jerusalem, yes, but a city of another sort the new Jerusalem in heaven, the new creation of Christ and the mother of all Christians. From her flows a river of life, the Holy Spirit. It pours out of the breast of Christ and comes into each person reborn into Jesus. The "mother "in scripture is the mother of that rebirth. That rebirth is the "born again" moment. We leave our first birth into Hagar (life in the flesh a Babylonian existance) and are lifted up to brotherhood with Jesus and into His new city and creation..
We are not citizens of this world any longer. We are pilgrims on a holy journey. We must not love this world or anything that is in this world. Our new world is the city of Jesus Christ, the new creation in the heavens our holy mother. That is the city we have been reborn into, the city that is the mother of Revelation. It is our eternal home and dwelling place.
We are cautioned not to regard our life here as a compromise with this world and its ways. Babylon cannot be made good by replastering. We cannot paint a thin veneer of religion, tastefully, but mildly washed over a worldly life. God wants us to move with great haste down the path He has prescribed, fully absorbed in His commandments. We need to "go overboard" for God. No dual life or compromise with Babylon is acceptable (Rev. 3:15-16). We have to live like Christ, spreading the word of God and doing good. The citizens of this world must regard us as different from themselves.
Then we will live in the mother of Revelation, the city of God, and she in us.
Scripture makes clear that her children are all who obey God's commandments and bear witness for Jesus (Rev.12:17).
It seems like the Muslims are positioning themselves to take over the earth. What does the Bible say about this? JD
The biggest religious news story in the last 1700 years (since the day Christianity climbed out of the Roman catacombs) has been the collapse of Christ's rule of the nations. This collapse began about 90 years ago, spearheaded by the emergence of atheistic government in Russia in 1917. It was culminated in 1963 when the United States, the last major world government still willing to compromise it's secular authority in favor of Christ and the Gospel reversed it's stand and tossed God out of its ruling heirarchy once and for all. Paul predicted this would occur. He called it, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, the "great revolt".
Everything we see today, the rise of atheistic government, 20th century hedonism, runaway sexual license leading to promoted homosexuality, even the rise of the terrorists militant warmongers cloaked in harsh religious garments, has poured out of this revolt.
The reversal of the nations has only just begun. Scripture tells us the rejection will soon turn into open hostility and finally a frontal world assault on God. Accompanying this anger, actually ushered in by it, a time of severity never seen before in human history will descend on this people. The culmination of this revolt will be the appearance of the tyrant scripture terms the "Lawless One", or "beast".
Paul termed the revolt a pivotal sign of the end of the age. It has come in conjunction with the rebuilding of Jerusalem, two profound events that book-end a blizzard of signs that Christ's offer of reconciliation to the nations is about to be withdrawn, a fact that guarantees with certainty that Christ's Return is drawing near. Despite the fact God's window of salvation is rapidly closing, billions of people across the earth still remain unrepentant and unsaved, hovering only moments from doom, unmindful of what is descending on the world from above.
The church is going to be handed over into the power of men. The world is going to be turned over into the power of the East. Omnipresent in the scriptures, these two prophecies pervade almost every book, reechoing again and again a constant theme the world's betrayal of God and its consequences. Rejecting a peaceful master, it is ushering in a harsh one in His place a tyrant.
On earth, nothing will ever be the same again.
For those still left with ears to hear, the only escape is Christ. Despite the lateness of the times, all who put their faith in Him will be saved.
1963 The Final Betrayal
The Great Revolt
I have read your web page "THE NAME OF GOD" I have to tell you that your wrong about the name "Jesus Christ".First, Christ is not his last name, it's his title, as in "The Christ". Jesus is not his real name, Hebrew does not have a letter J.The name Jesus is a mistranslations, and most likely Jesus came from the name Zeus. I know you mean well but you should do some research. God bless you. p
The revelation of the Trinity formulated at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. proclaimed to the world that Jesus Christ is God. That is a central tenant of the Church. It will stand though everything else falls.
And as far as "J's" and the Hebrew language are concerned, it is written "Through men speaking strange languages and through the lips of foreigners, I shall talk to the nation, and still they will not listen to me, says the Lord." (1 Cor.14:21).
"Yes, certainly with stammering lips and in a foreign language, he will talk to this nation, he who once told them: Here is rest... But they would not listen." (Is.28:10).
In your latest paper entitled 'the Reign of God' you assert that the rebellion Paul alluded to in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 references a revolt against God by the nations. Have you ever considered the impact of the Protestant rebellion? The way I see it this warfare was the dynamic that shattered Church authority. JA
Paul's revolt has to do with an attack on the Church, not a disagreement between Christians. The Protestant reform movement enlarged the Church by expanding the Gospel's reach. Secularization has done the opposite.
There were many different elements coming together in the days before the secular revolution of the nations occurred. Among them were the excesses of Church power abuses, the attempt by reformers to address those abuses, an absence of compassion and love within the Christian brotherhood, the rise of intellectual and scientific inquiry, the invention of the printing press, and, especially, the appearance of secular interests among some of the European temporal powers. The documents created in the formation of the United States of America are a central example of this move toward independence from religion in western governmental affairs in the years leading up to the 20th century.
Yet, despite those documents, the United States continued to rule its people within a Christian context.
The event that fused all these elements together, and activated them toward a focused attack on Jesus and His Church was the reappearance on earth of Satan.
His release from the Abyss (Rev. 20:7) was the critical factor leading to both the political reappearance of atheism (the central Anti-god philosophy of Babylon mortally wounded by the sword of Jesus) and the mobilization of the nations for world war (Rev. 20:8-9). These two events occurred almost in unison.
The first world war began in 1914 and the Russian Revolution (politial atheism) in1918.
In 1914 virtually all nations in the western world still ruled their people in Christ. By 1963 the last temporal nation still politically championing Jesus Christ renounced Him. It had taken Satan only 45 years (1918 to 1963) to convince all the nations of the western world to overturn their 1700-year long shared reign on earth with the Christian Church. This political-spiritual alliance which had been in place since the reign of Constantine (the Edict of Milan in 312 A.D.) was shattered irrevocably across the entire earth in what can only be considered, the blink of an eye.
That official renunciation of Jesus by the world's nations is the revolt Paul prophesied.
Not only did it's speed show how fast Satan can act, it left only one nation on earth still championing Jesus. Like a city of David in exile in Babylon that nation sits alongside the Tiber river in Rome offering the perpetual sacrifice that holds back the wrath.
Prophecy is clear on what happens next.
Inquiry about Rev. 13:2-8.
"Then I saw a beast emerge from the sea: it had seven heads and ten horns, with a coronet on each of its ten horns, and its heads were marked with blasphemous titles. ·1 saw that the beast was like a leopard, with paws like a bear and a mouth like a lion; the dragon had handed over to it his own power and his throne and his worldwide authority ·I saw that one of its heads seemed to have had a fatal wound but that this deadly injury had healed and, after that, the whole world had marvelled and followed the beast. They prostrated themselves in front of the dragon because he had given the beast his authority; and they prostrated themselves in front of the beast, saying, 'Who can compare with the beast? How could anybody defeat him?' ·For forty-two ' months the beast was allowed to mouth its boasts and blasphemies and to do whatever it wanted; ·and it mouthed its blasphemies against God, against his name, his heavenly Tent and all those who are sheltered there. ·It was allowed to make war against the saints and conquer them, and given power over every race people, language and nation; ·and all people of the world will worship it, that is, everybody whose name has not been written down since the foundation of the world in the book of life of the sacrificial Lamb." (Rev.13:1-8).
With nations divided by politics, geography and oceans what kind of conditions would have to exist for countries everywhere to be obeying one leader? Especially when scripture shows this same leader at war with the nation called Kittim. Isn't Kittim a part of the "whole world"? DV
Not only is Kittim a part of the whole world, it is shown in Daniel's prophecy to be a very significant part of the world because the beast is bested by it's forces on the Madman's own soil, forcing him to withdraw and change his plans. (Dan.11:30). Kittim is a very powerful part of the world, indeed.
That means, with regard to the "whole world" the Bible is pointing to a different kind of beast. In other words, one that rules both sides (or, all sides) at the same time. We can certainly see this kind of scenario in Christianity. Many of the churches that insist they worship Jesus are at war with one another. Many of those wars have been exceedingly murderous. We have grown accustomed to this kind of relationship when it comes to a religion that is supposed to be all about peace. Nothing prevents the same situation from occurring among the non-religious political nations.
It means the spiritual power that motivates the Madman motivates his enemies as well. Remember, scripture shows this to be a time of spiritual darkness on earth a time, Jesus said, "when no one can work". While these nations are dealing with one another, they are to a one committed to expunging Christ from the earth.
What was born in Russia in 1918? Godless government. This is an image of the beast is it not? Godless government is a spiritual power. It's return is the mortal wound healed. It's reappearance on earth in the last century ended almost 1700 years of political rule on earth structured in the Christian Church.
Today the political landscape of the world is criss-crossed with godless regimes, most of them structured in a new pagan architecture called "secularism". Obviously all of these secular governments are not committed to communism. Secularism and communism usually war against one another. Yet both are committed to godlessness to the Anti-god.
All the works of God go in pairs by opposites. There is a spirit of godlessness that mirrors the individuals who embrace it. We have shown in these writings that the beast of the last days (the 8th in a series of beasts) is the servant of Satan and preaches a message consistent with his predecessors: godless government. Wherever we see godless government, we see the image of both Satan and his beasts.
Surrounding us today are the philosophies that will give rise to the human characters anticipated by scripture's prophecies. Those godless philosophies are stunningly present right now, and the people are rushing to them in huge numbers all over the world. No governmental border stands in their way.
The New Testament teaches that Jesus delivered a mortal wound to the sixth head of the beast, one that committed this entity and his false prophet into the fires of hell (Rev.19:20-21). At the same time, Michael threw Satan, their boss, into jail in the Abyss (Rev.20:1-3). At the end of Christian preaching, scripture predicts, two more beasts, the 7th and 8th will reappear in concert with Satan's temporary release from the Abyss. A new false prophet will reappear at that time as well.
There is no exit from the fires of hell, so the figures that return have to be newly minted. The only problem with this is that prophecy tells us the 8th head is going to be one of the previous seven. The only one of those seven we know for sure (per scripture) to be in the fires of hell is the 6th head, Nero. Yet popular prophecy (not in scripture) insists the 8th will be a Parthian (Persian?) king who insists he is Nero reincarnated. With seven to choose from, the prophecy remains veiled.
I have written at length recently about the return of godless government to the world (i.e., chronicling the mortal wound healing). It's reappearance in this world was spectacular, structured in and surrounded by momentous events including a huge asteroid crashing to earth, World War I, the visions at Fatima and a gigantic revolution that plunged Russia into political atheism. Godlessness had returned with a bang.
If the spiritual image of the beast is godless government, what is the spiritual image of the false prophet? Is it not the same? In other words, "godless religion"? Look at the first false prophet that God tossed into the flames of hell at the beginning of the faith:
At the time of the sixth beast when the Book of Revelation was written there was a dominant religious philosophy that ruled the hearts and minds of the pagan world. It developed through the Minoans, the Etruscans, the Greeks and finally the Romans. The gods and their temples of worship were much the same throughout these western cultures, only the character names changed as the religion surrounding them evolved. This godless religion reached its pinnacle of world power in the first century A.D.
Then it came across the sword of Christ and was destroyed.
In 391 A.D., Theodosus, emperor of Rome, ordered all pagan temples closed. He issued a proclamation declaring Christianity the only religion of the Roman empire. World paganism was outlawed. It's rites and ceremonies were banned. Some of its temples were converted into Christian churches, while others were simply left to weather into destruction. Theodosus' decree terminated the Olympic Games and the temples associated with them at Mt. Olympus. From that moment on, the only God permitted to be worshipped anywhere in the western world was Jesus Christ.
It seems logical to consider the panopoly of gods (Zeus and his fellow Roman dieties) worshipped by the pagan world in Roman times as the false prophet that the Book of Revelation shows committed to the flames in the earliest centuries of Christianity (Rev.19:19-21). They are no longer worshipped by the world. Nor are Baal or Bel. They are all gone. As scripture says, they have been commited to the flames.
Additional beasts and a new false prophet are rising up to take their place. How could Adoph Hitler escape being titled the seventh head of the beast in Revelation's predictions? He murdered millions of members of God's people, decimating one of the two houses of Israel on earth. Almost everyone who saw him thought he was the Madman, himself.
But he was not.
Standing in the wings is his successor, the eighth. Circulating around him are ten kings. Their single-minded committment to the spirit of godlessness unites all of these beasts with Satan.
The same invisible spirit drives the false prophet. We don't have to look for an eastern religion here. We have one in our own backyard. One with its own set of temples and just as committed to "miracles", arrogance and godlessness as the first.
While the first collection of godless dieties were focused on the worship of artifacts, the new one comes promoting a different kind of worship, an image that mirrors in an opposite way, the Word of Christ. It is the word of knowledge. Driving this word is the modern world's most hallowed god, science. If you gasp reading such a statement, you will have some idea on how much a god science has become in our world.
Science looks beautiful. Like a lamb. But we live in a time when almost everything it does promotes Satan, not God. Instead of pursuing a course toward light, a deepening darkness has come to surround it. Everything it invents or discovers passes through the crucible of war. All the weaponry that exists comes to us through science. This illustrates the nature of the people who direct science and control it for profiteering purposes.
Are warmongering, food manipulation and healthcare profiteeering the noise of the dragon personfied? Perhaps not; but this surely is: science declares there is no God. Most scientists are atheists. In your face and loudly so. They see no God. They try to "prove" creation did not need God either to form or to exist, and they desperately fight every effort by Christians to try to introduce any suggestion of a Creator into the creation story. They are arrogantly anti-christ.
Servant of the first beast, science is backed in its Christ-expunging efforts by the world's secular governments & by their secular courts. Having been won over by science's claim of absolute, even cosmic, authority, the people those courts serve are mesmerized by its miracles, discoveries that have made science the god of modern man. That is why the people of the world flock to it and with little resistance embrace its promotion of atheism.
Science could easily have gone another direction and promoted God. All the things it sees can easily be explained in Jesus. Yet its commitment to the destruction of faith has blackened its image, and its heart.
Jesus mortally wounded godless government with the Sword of His Gospel. But science has labored to bring it back from the dead and to cast doubt on the Word that offers eternal life to the world. To this end, science has worked incredible miracles. Even to bringing fire down from heaven onto the earth while people watched. "I have become death" said Robert Oppenheimer, one of the physicts who built the bomb, as he watched its first explosion (the "unknown light" prophesied by Sister Lucia of Fatima) erupt before his eyes on the desert sands of New Mexico.
Offering a kind of self-christening claim to the title "false prophet", the government and scientists dubbed this site and its nuclear event, "Trinity", an outrageous parody of the Godhead.
Proof that they had grasped starlight and plunged it to earth are the hydrogen bombs exploded soon after in the South Pacific, and which now tip tens of thousands of missles poised for Armageddon's flight, but hidden for now in submarines and silo's all over the world.
Scripture tells us that Satan will breathe life into a statue and cause it to speak (Rev.13:15). Are television, radio and the internet not inventions of science? Can these glass-screened idols not speak? Does the propaganda they broadcast not control the way people think? If science is the false prophet described in scripture, we are not far from its statue in support of godless government that Revelation says must be worshipped in some future day under penalty of death.
Is science false? Every year new textbooks of science must be written to correct the errors in the current texts. This was true a hundred years ago. It was true 50 years ago. It is true today and it will be true next year and every year thereafter for as long as learning continues. The proclamations of science are in orbit around truth, but none touch it. Everything it teaches, though well intentioned, is ultimately false. Science is not a god. It should not be worshipped as one. But it is.
Does science cross all earthly borders, enemies and friends alike? Yes.
Is science a prophet? Of course. It's prophecy is doom. It tells us that everything is going to die. Not just you and I but the planet and the sun, the galaxy and even the universe. It's message is universal death without exception. No matter where it looks, it sees death. It is a prophet of complete despair. This is totally opposite the message of Christ. Jesus is hope. Jesus promises eternal life. Science is without hope. It sees no eternal life. To science we are in a place where death rules without exception (in other words, science sees, as Jesus taught, that this is Satan's world).
Not only does science preach death, not only has it given the world the tools needed to implement that death, it's adherents fight with all their might to smother any mention of God's salvation. They say the escape from death offered by Jesus on the cross is proved false by scientific calculation. That is not true, but they say it anyway, incorporating in their efforts, the courts and all the powers of government to deny in their temples the message of hope preached by Jesus. Not only that, the names "Jesus" and "God" cannot even be mentioned in their institutions. They have made those names objects of ridicule.
That makes science doubly a false prophet because it tries to block the message of God, not just counter it with arguments. Across the entire world, wherever divine creation is mentioned, the populations are listening to science, not to Christ or God. En masse they are siding with their godless governments. Does this sound familiar to statements found in the Book of Revelation?
Are we waiting for something that has, in a great way, already taken place?
A History Channel program shown from time to time on cable television describes the magic tricks preformed by the adherents of the first false prophet (the Zeus group) in their temples at the beginning of the Christian era. Seen by the people as "miracles', these sleights of machine and hand, using tricks of science, astounded and mesmerized the ancient observers. As a result, these gods and their temples dotted the entire landscape of the ancient world. They ruled side by side with the temporal powers, many of the emperors portraying themselves as members, even leaders of these dieties. That whole culture of worship was mortally wounded by the sword of Christ.
But it has returned in a new way and with a new set of very sophisticated temples.
It has returned today in godless government and in the godless philosophy of science which now occupies a seat closest to the temporal throne (the seat that used to be occupied by the Church) mesmerizing the population with its miracles and empowering the political leaders to control the people and wage war successfully. It's temples today are the universities which bow to it's teachings while scorning God.
We can well expect an empire fixated on the modern world, to be driven by science and its "miracles" driven also by science's overt rejection of Christianity, indeed its rejection of any kind of Creator at all. In other words, not two empires, but one empire clutching to a "religion" of knowledge. Filled with temples of knowledge (and gymnasium's if you will) committed to sports and Olympic Games bathed in the glorification of man, and offering a kind of "worship" honoring a religion of godlessness.
For prophecy's that not only correlate the ancient Greek university's (called Gymnasia) with the temples to knowledge that surround us today, and which also tie the two into the last-day visions of Daniel, see "The Last Days of Babylon", Chapter 4, "God Brings Knowledge to Nothing".
On this the Bible has much to say:
'Now about food sacrificed to idols. 'We all have knowledge'; yes, that is so, but knowledge gives self-importance - it is love that makes the building grow. (1 Cor.8:1)
"For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the Good News, and not to preach that in the terms of philosophy in which the crucifixion of Christ cannot be expressed. The language of the cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God's power to save." (1 Cor.1: 17-18)
"As scripture says: I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing all the learning of the learned. Where are the philosophers now? Where are the scribes? Where are any of our thinkers today? Do you see how God has shown up the foolishness of human wisdom? If it was God's wisdom that human wisdom should not know God, it was because God wanted to save those who have faith through the foolishness of the message that we preach." -1 Cor.1:19-21.,
"And so, while the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannnot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength." (1 Cor. 1: 22-25).
"Take yourselves for instance, brothers, at the time when you were called: how many of you were wise in the ordinary sense of the word, how many were influential people, or came from noble families? No, it was to shame the wise that God chose what is weak by human reckoning; those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen - those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything." (1 Cor.1: 26-28).
"The human race has nothing to boast about to God, but you, God has made members of Christ Jesus and by God's doing he has become our wisdom, and our virtue, and our holiness, and our freedom. As scripture says: If anyone wants to boast, let him boast about the Lord." (1 Cor. 1: 29-31).
"Your faith should not depend on human philosophy but on the power of God." -1 Cor.2:5.
"What we teach in our mysteries is the wisdom that God predestined to be for our glory before the ages began. It is a wisdom that none of the masters of this age have ever known...we teach what scripture calls: the things that no eye has seen and no ear has heard, things beyond the mind of man." -1 Cor.2:7-9
"Now, instead of the spirit of the world, we have received the Spirit that comes from God, to teach us to understand the gifts that he has given us. Therefore we teach, not in the way in which philosophy is taught, but in the way that the Spirit teaches us; we teach spiritual things spiritually...it can only be understood by means of the Spirit." -1 Cor.2:12-14.
"Make no mistake about it: if any one of you thinks of himself as wise, in the ordinary sense of the word, then he must learn to be a fool before he really can be wise. Why? Because the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As scripture says: 'The Lord knows wise men's thoughts: he knows how useless they are; or again, God is not convinced by the arguments of the wise, so there is nothing to boast about in anything human...." -1 Cor.3:18-22.
And the false prophet?
"This second beast was servant to the first beast, and extended its authority everywhere, making the world and all its people worship the first beast, which had had the fatal wound and had been healed. And it worked great miracles, even to calling down fire from heaven on to the earth while people watched. Through the miracles which it was allowed to do on behalf of the first beast, it was able to win over the people of the world..." (Rev.13:12-14).
How does this false prophet serve the first beast (how does it serve godless government)? By fully backing and promoting godlessness, performing the miracles that captivate the mind of the people, controlling the world's academic institutions, and giving the government the machinery to wage war, conquer space, fix elections, and enable profiteering on a vast scale, through the control of health, wealth, transportation and all the commodities of life.
Science seems certain to be the "power of deception" Paul said God intended to send into the world in the last days to delude the people and make them believe what is untrue:
"But when the Rebel comes, Satan will set to work: there will be all kinds of miracles and a deceptive show of signs and portents, and everything evil that can deceive those who are bound for destruction because they would not grasp the love of the truth which could have saved them.
The reason why God is sending a power to delude them and make them believe what is untrue is to condemn all who refused to believe in the truth and chose wickedness instead." (2 Thes.2:9-12).
The war against faith predicted for the last days is occurring as we watch. The people of the world are lining up against God just as scripture said they would. But Jesus has made the prophecies of science false. He has provided a way to escape the death it predicts. Faith in Christ will give eternal life. For the shortening time this message can still be shouted across the world, those with voices in the Gospel must raise them in His name.
Before the night comes when no one can speak.
...All I have to say is you must be an ignoramus to attack science as something bad. DK
Actually I said science had become one with the false prophet.
Before Russia revolted in 1918, it's government was structued in Jesus Christ. After that revolution Russia's government was dedicated to atheism. When government rules under God, it serves Him. When it rules apart from God that is no longer the case. When it attacks God and promotes atheism in His place, it is transformed into the Anti-christ. The same is true of the education system. Under God, education serves good. When it denies God and attacks Him, it becomes the servant of the Anti-christ.
What I have been writing about is a paradigm shift. From God centered goverenment and God-centered education to somthing radically different a government and an educational system both of which reject God.
We know that godless government is the Anti-christ. It is clear in prophecy that the one they call the Madman, will be the world's final Anti-christ ruler. He will be the 8th head of the beast in the Book of Revelation.
The false prophet those same verses say will assist him in his evil reign is believed by many to be false religion, or at least associated with false religion. The false religious authority at the time of the twelve apostles were the panopoly of Greek and Roman gods that occupied the world stage that Christ's followers inhabited. We can still see the crumbling remains of their decaying temples all over the Mediterranean landscape. They were destroyed by the Word of Christ.
Today, the people of the world pay homage to (i.e., worship) a more sophisticated kind of diety. It is not associated with religion, but evokes the same kind of idolization and reverent adoration by the vast majority of people it touches. Following the formula of Christ who brought the word of God, this "god" gives us the word of knowledge now a competing form of word. It's temples stretch from grammar schools to universities. They offer a product hallowed by the nations but blind to Christ.
The populations of the world see this huge academic establishment, the miracles it produces, and the depth of understanding it seems to embody and think, "Who is like knowledge? Who can rival this giant? "
One of the more important engines driving the world's knowledge is science, an exciting prophet of past and future divulging the formula's of existance and the hidden secrets of the universe to a fascinated populace eagerly awaiting its every new revelation. It's words are believed to be virtually infallible.
Western government and its universities once operated under God. Thomas Aquinas embraced this relationship almost a thousand years ago. Today that relationship is over. Sweeping away Christ, the alliance of government and its academic instutions now operate outside of God, in fact, they have begun to assault Him. In the case of science, the attack has recently become open and boldly pursued.
The rest of the academic environment has concurred in this assault in obedience to edicts mandated by their government's articles of separation. As a result, God's name and presence is forbidden, even in the grammar schools. That is why there is a current movement to educate Christian children outside the traditional borders of learning.
Science prophesies that there is no God and offers various "proofs" to back up its declarations. In all of its investigations it has found no evidence of a Creator, just a creation. We are told no one can really know whether there is a Creator or not. In terms of God, it is completely about faith faith in the morality of the Gospel and belief in the One who preached it. The people who follow Jesus prophesy that He exists by their belief. The people who reject God prophesy the opposite. Fence sitters are counted as non-believers.
Once the rejection of God by the world reaches a certain point, all the choices will have been made and then the world will end as Jeremiah announced:
"Thus the laboring of the peoples comes to nothing. The toiling of the nations ends in fire." (Jer.51:58).
At that point the truth will be made known. If there is a God, the scriptures will be verified. Jesus will select His people and give them eternal life as promised. If there is not, the cinders of existance will simple float away to dissolve into non-existance...into no meaning at all, the fate science prophesies.
When that time comes (and scripture shows it is close) we will see whose prophecies were true. The false prophet or Jesus Christ.
Are you aware of this passage in scripture: "Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." ? -Mt. 16:18. DE
Not only does the House of Israel survive intact, we win the war. The battle against the Church will be fierce, but at the last minute, scripture shows it turning in our favor. At the end of the world when the vast hordes of enemy forces have disappeared from the earth that unbelievable expanse of troops all mounted against us numbering as the sands of the sea suddenly all gone; At that moment, though every enemy of God has died, there will still be in Jerusalem both Christians and Jews.
Michael the Archangel will lead the surviving Christians from Babylon down the slopes of the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem where they will be greeted by their Jewish brothers and sisters. These will welcome Michael and his group with the words: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."
At that moment, Gabriel will blow his trumpet and Michael will call out the command. Instantly, the Lord will appear. The brilliant light of His Return will verify before the eyes of the entire world the amazing victory God and His House of Israel have achieved over Satan.
When that happens none of the people left alive on earth will have any advantage over those who have died across the ages leading up to that moment (1 Thes. 4:15). Those who have died in Christ will be the first to be raised, and then those who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds together with them, to meet the Lord in the air to be with Him forever, never to be separated from Him again (1 Thes. 4:16-18).
"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 hope for the Day of God to come, when the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat.
What we are waiting for is what he promised: the new heavens and new earth, the place where righteousness will be at home. So then, my friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace". (2 Peter 3:11-14).
This world will disappear. It will be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth where life is eternal. In the spirit, John was lifted up by an angel to see and bear witness to God's new kingdom. His words include these:
"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...
...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 was wondering if decoding prophecy in the Bible is what God would want for you to do and for me to read? I just recently bought a book by Paul Crouch called "The Shadow of the Apocalypse", (I was told) that I should not be reading this book or following your site. Then... I received a weekly bible email talking about mankind's fall had to do with our disobedience in eating of the Tree of Knowledge and about God being all knowing and man trying to figure out God's secrets, and it made me wonder if it's alright with God for you to try and decode bible prophecy and figure out what will happen in the future? L
Thank you for your e-mail and good question.
We all have knowledge. Just to have a brain and think about anything is to have knowledge. Reading the Bible gives us knowledge. We cannot undo the damage Adam and Eve did in Eden (eating from the tree of knowledge). That is why Jesus died on the cross. He paid the penalty for this original sin in full, so that our guilt is removed completely. He died in our place so that we don't have to die so that we can have eternal life with Him in heaven. His death and resurrection guarantee that.
The sin Adam and Eve committed in Eden was rebellion. Knowledge in itself is not evil. But what we do with it can be. We can be kind or we can be hateful. It can bring us closer to God or send us away from Him. God sent Jesus to tell us we must be compassionate and filled with love for our fellow human beings. That is God's way and we must follow it exactly as Jesus explained in the Gospel He preached. And He told us we should do it without fear because He has saved us from eternal death and no one can steal that from us.
You do not have to worry about your faith. You have been born again in Christ, baptised (I hope) in His name and have confessed your sins to Jesus in prayer and resolved to stop sinning. That means you are saved. All you need to do from now on is live a life of love and forgiveness, i.e., just keep following Jesus (2 John 6; 1 John 5:1-4).
"To love is to live according to his commandments: this is the commandment which you have heard since the beginning, to live a life of love." (2 John 6).
"If we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in God's presence, and whatever we ask him, we shall receive, because we keep his commandments and live the kind of life that he wants. His commandments are these: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and that we love one another as he told us to. Whoever keeps his commandments lives in God and God lives in him. We know that he lives in us by the Spirit that he has given us." (1 John 3:21-24).
"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the dark. But anyone who loves his brother is living in the light and need not be afraid of stumbling..." (1 John 2:9-10).
Jesus said in scripture that it is our duty to go and spread the Good News of the kingdom of God around the world (Luke 9:60; Mark 16:15-16; Mat. 28:18-20). In his attempt to do this, Paul Crouch has built a vast radio network that now reaches every part of the world, even its most remote parts. He preaches about the Bible, i.e, spreads Jesus' Good News just about as well as anyone. There are alot of subjects in the New Testament (the word of Jesus) to preach about. Some are commandments and others concern the end of the world. Both must be preached so that people can be saved.
When I write my internet pages, I write in Bible quotations so that my words stay very close to those of scripture. This is important because I write about the Bible's prophets. They are in scripture and the subjects I write about are the things they have said. In talking about their words and applying them to our times making their words relevant to our world today is my way of helping spread the Good News of the kingdom of Jesus Christ across the world. I never ask those who read my pages to follow me; I always urge everyone to follow Jesus and only Jesus.
Nor do I tell my readers which church to join. Jesus Christ belongs to every church that proclaims His gospel to the world. His word can be followed equally as well in all churches. Church is important because it is a fellowship of believers and membership strengthens faith, but the Holy Spirit has made the choice of church individual for the sake and comfort of God's believers.
Jesus said that we are living in the last days (Jesus inaugurated the last days for the purpose of rescuing the children of God whom Satan took captive). When that rescue has been completed Jesus will return as He promised. On that day this world will be brought to an end and God's new world will appear in its place (Rev. 21:10-14). Those are not my words, they are the Bible's words. And they are true.
Jesus told us no one can predict the day of His return because only God knows that, but He said we can see the signs of the truth of His teaching all around us if we just look (Mt.16:1-3). That is why Christian's everywhere are so interested in understanding those signs because when we see them occur, they confirm our faith. This is really important that our faith be confirmed because it strengthens our commitment to Him making it easier for us to hold on when times are hard and the going gets rough.
Jesus told us to beware of false prophets who try to lead us astray. If we are doing what Jesus said, then no one can lead us astray. The only way someone can lead us astray is to try to get us to do something Jesus forbid, like hating others or worshipping money or killing or even being angry with others. Jesus insisted that we must forgive everyone who trespasses against us. He said if we do that, He will forgive every sin we ever commit as well, even if we don't realize we have committed a sin. This command is even in the Lord's Prayer.
False prophets make love turn cold. They kill compassion. Jesus said that God wants mercy not sacrifice (Mat.12:6-8). The false prophets say just the opposite. They say we must sacrifice, we can't sing or dance or laugh or eat certain foods or be kind to people outside our "group" things like that. Jesus wanted us to know that if we showed the kind of love to others He taught, we would go to heaven no matter what.
The Bible says:
"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).
That prophecy is in scripture; therefore, it is true. Amos is showing here that there is an unfolding Bible prophecy that comes to the people of the world in advance from God (out of scripture), especially when grievous times are close, and it is not against the will of God that people should hear it; just the opposite God wants everyone to hear it. It is meant to save these prophecies are warnings to those who have not yet converted their lives to Jesus.
There are still alot of people who have not yet been saved. Billions, in fact. Many have heard about Jesus but have been too busy to pay any attention to His preaching, thinking that what He says is not relevant to their worldly lives. God has designed His prophecies to shake them and wake them up because their chance for salvation is slipping away.
It is an enormous opportunity and many are about to lose it forever.
More on the false prophet and academic godlessness.
There is no question that the false god of the future will present as something far different than the panopoly of sculpted dieties that have crossed history's stage over past ages. Scholarship is likely to play a key role in this change. Any modern god, even though false, must embrace the deepest academic introspections of world scholarship, reaching up to unveil the heights of the cosmos and down to lay bare the depths of creation, both with equal believability.
The false prophet seems certain to proclaim the kind of God Jesus revealed: a god of "word", but based on philosophy and scholarship rather than spirit. By and large, ours is a faithless generation. That means it will demand pragmatism in its belief. A god that makes academic sense is the only one a cynical public will accept without question.
That acceptance, of course, has already taken place.
Today, the public readily acknowledges truth as emanating from scholarship rather than Jesus Christ or scripture. The academic world clearly offers the kind of "proof's" today's population's demand. This is true even of the religious. Many in the churches have made science a kind of vision modifier, using it to edit Christ's miracles to make them acceptable to their modern ("enlightened") congregations. Accepting those miracles at face value is seen as naive a sure sign of gullibility among a simplistic and backward faithful.
The Book of Revelation says the false prophet will work hand in hand with world government, not just the Madman's, but all governments on earth during his reign. This shows that the overarching issue surrounding the beast is godlessness, not the Madman himself. The Bible shows all sides united at the end in godlessness the Madman and his enemies as well. When the end comes, the earth will be shrouded in darkness. God's offer will have been rescinded and the gate, for most, closed (2 Thes. 3:11-12).
Science does a superb job investigating the physical world and making discoveries about it that are of great interest to mankind. It also participates in the applicaton of those discoveries. It discovers fission and fusion, and it makes the bombs those discoveries theorize. It discovers marvelous cures for disease, but it also participates in the development of profiteering drugs made by corporations whose primary product is their stock price. Science operates at both ends of its discoveries. Science can be used to help mankind. It can also used to harm mankind. It can be used to promote God and it can be used to promote Satan. Like government, it is only a tool and its nature depends entirely on the hand that wields it.
Arts and science, the two horns of scholarship, are today firmly aligned with secular government against religion. A vivid example of this lies in the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision that effectively sealed the divorce between Christianity and the United States school system. Not just prayer, but the mere mention of God and Jesus were forbidden in that decision. The reason given was that the Constitution mandated a separation between God and state.
In that decision, and others that followed, the spillover showed the scholastic system and the government to be united in their thinking and in their efforts to expunge every vestige of God from within their respective institutions. Thus we have godless government united with godless scholarship, especially with its visionary horn, "science", scholarship's skillful deducer of materialism's past, present and future.
Ending 1700 years of Christian rule on earth, the tools of government and scholarship have been taken over by godless forces who, sadly, now wield them in support of the Antichrist.
Given their mutual rejection of God over the past century, the alliance between government and science represents a compelling reflection of the beast and false prophet as they are portrayed in scripture. Godless government is the beast with seven heads described in the Book of Revelation. It is clear in John's apocalyptic writing that the 6th head of this beast was Nero, When the mortal wound healed, Adolph Hitler, the 7th appeared. Still in the wings, the 8th head is not far behind. In close support of the beast is its ally, the false prophet, and riding it (managing it) is Babylon, the faithless city (Rev.17:1-7).
Throughout the 20th century, few ministers proclaimed the prophecies of scripture despite the fact that the civilization around them was collapsing under a succession of seiges mandated by the violent who, in their global warmongering had amassed an enormous arsenal of weapons that had the capacity to wipe out all life on earth in a matter of minutes. In that century a vast array of apocalyptic biblical prophecies approached the precipice of reality, some cascading into it, and the rest teetering on coming true at any moment. That condition has not changed.
Yet for decades very few ministers dared address in biblical terms (prophecies) the crises facing civilization unfolding around them. Instead, it was the academic community that broadcast the warnings and sounded the alarms. With the populace looking to scholarship, not God for its understanding, the words of science had quietly supersceded the words of God, and the prophecies with them.
The few ministers who did try to sound scripture's warnings were ridiculed not only by the general populace but by much of the religious community as well. Such ministers were universally brushed off as "quacks" or "kooks". This despite the fact that the 20th century was far and away the most violent in mankind's history in its rage, dragging the entire civilization all the way up to the top step of the apocalyptic gallows. Nor did this violence stop with the calendar. It continues and is now moving into the geographical areas defined by scripture for the button's push.
The public embrace of scientific prophecy and its exclusion of God's biblical counterpart was, and still is an enormous paradox. Science, not God, now gives us the warnings most are willing to listen to. Not warnings with instructions for survival attached, but hopeless warnings that none of us can do anything about. Listening to the scholars, we are helpless to do anything but simply stand and hope...for hope. That is because scholarship has shown prayer (in its estimation) to be worthless. Evolution, science tells us "proves" that God never intervenes in the affairs of man or nature. In fact, they insist, there is no God no intelligence anywhere in the creation's grand design.
By taking away Jesus Christ, the secular world and its false prophet have taken away from their minions all hope, and they have done it in the very worst climate possible at a time when all the governments have abandoned the Rock of Christ, the storms of crisis are beating at the door and the darkening clouds of terror surround us.
"When Jesus spoke to the people again, he said: 'I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; he will have the light of life'." (John 8:12).
When we look around today we can see how the light of Christ is now beginning to fade. Churches are closing and congregations slipping away.. That fading light is a reflection of the gate that is closing.
Thank God the escape is still here and the closing gate is still open enough for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see to make their way to safety in Jesus Christ.
"The light will be with you only a little longer now. Walk while you have the light, or the dark will overtake you; he who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. While you still have the light, believe in the light and you will become sons of light." (John 12:35-36).
That light is Jesus Christ. He is the gate of the sheepfold, and the bread of life:
"Anyone who eats this bread will live forever..." (John 6:51).
Can spiritual existance be proved? DC
Not by science. Science can only study the material universe. By its own definition it cannot go beyond materialism's borders. The Bible tells us that God is spirit. Science studies matter; it doesn't even recognize spirit.. Therefore God cannot be studied by science. So when scientists say scientific or evolutionary evidence proves there is no God, they are going where their own analytical rules have forbidden them to go. Science must be able to test and probe its subject for answers. It can only do that in the material world. The spiritual world cannot be probed by any physical means.
Science's ability to test and prove is the reason it has risen to become such a god in this world. It's tests, which seem to prove its prophecies, have mesmerized the populations.
Since the spiritual world cannot be probed, no similar testing process is available to it,. There is no "proof" of its existance no "sign" that can be given. Jesus said it is an evil and unfaithful generation that asks for a sign. The only sign that will be given, said God, will be the sign of Jonah. That sign is the 3-days surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection.
We must come to God by faith.
The separation between what is physical and what is spiritual goes beyond "dimensions". When science talks about dimensions it is speaking of different aspects of materialism. The word "spiritual" is not in the vocabulary of science. Science recognizes no spiritual component in the universe of the Big Bang. Thus a spiritual existance, if there is such a thing (and God says there is) is best seen involving an entirely different universe. These two existances (universes) can be visualized in the concept of body and soul. Plato proposed this dualism long before Christ was born.
While such a dichotomy of existance has been debated ever since, Jesus confirmed it as a reality. Jesus explained that even though the body of each person dies, their soul continues to live. Thus a person's fundamental existance is not locked to the fate of the body. Nor is that fundamental existance even material.
Here again an entirely different universe can be postulated. The fact that the soul continues to live unharmed despite physical death (no matter how violent) implies two realities of extraordinary separation. That the soul is impervious even to hydrogen bombs or supernova's exploded next to it in material existance implies a difference the vastness of which defies comprehension. It suggests we exist in an overlay of two different kinds of universes. Not just an overlay, but two universes fundamentally integrated; tightly bound together by a mysterious force beyond our understanding. The two represent existances extraordinarily different from one another in both character and structure, but bound together by God for a limited time, seemingly as one.
While the soul cannot be killed by any material force, it still faces a life and death crisis at the hands of God. This was Christ's warning. The "end of the world" is not just a physical event, it is also spiritual. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away", said Jesus (Luke 21:29-31). No person (body or soul) will survive the coming finality unless marked with the cross in the blood of Christ.
God has locked the fate of the soul to Jesus' death and resurrection. This fate brings to light a concept Jesus called the "second death", i.e., spiritual death. Those who choose to follow Christ escape their soul's death and will be "born again". Not only will their soul live, a new body will be given to them and in that combination they will live forever in God's new kingdom. Everyone who declines to follow Jesus will experience the second death the death of their soul. That is why choosing Christ and follwing in His footsteps is so essential to us all.
Even many religious balk at the idea of a spiritual existance. That is because its invisibility here seems to suggest the structureless equivalent of something more diaphanous than wind. That is why so many churches teach the resurrection of a physical body. This is a concrete image that can be grasped by everyone. Yet Paul and the apostles in their writings have been careful to point out that we will be given a different type of body at the resurrection not the kind we wear here now, but a "perfect" body.
No one knows what type of body that is. But scripture said it will be made in the substance of God. We cannot see God in this world because of the exile. However, scripture clearly states that we will be able to see Him in the new kingdom. Since God is spirit, that means the spiritual world will no longer be invisible to us. If our new body is spiritual, our ability to "see" it, indicates that the structure of our existance in God's kingdom will mimic current existance, but in perfection. There will be no flaws. Gravity will no longer bind us in its iron chains.
It is interesting to note that in this material universe a closer inspection of matter reveals no solid structure anywhere, just vibrating charges. Materialism is not what most of us imagine it to be, or "see" it to be. Basically,, there is almost nothing there. If the electrical forces that hold the vibrating charges together ever fail, existance would simply dissolve into nothingness; all the tiny particles that underlie the material world would simply disappear. The material world would become just as invisible as the spiritual world.
Thus spiritual nothingness and material nothingness are very similar. Matter and spirit are just different platforms from, and out of which, God is able to build His creations. Matter reflects the exile; spirit the reconciliation.
The material world's fade into non-existance is going on all around us all the time in the aging process. Everything in our physical universe gets old and dies. That is because this universe reflects not just God's order, but also Satan's rebellion. Order meets disorder and decays into chaos. Everything here is contaminated with a kind of fatal rust called mortality. Not only does it infect our physical bodies, but the planets, galaxies and even the physical universe as well.
The new kingdom of God is eternal and not subject to any of these destructive forces.
Since the academic world looks to science for its "proofs", it has banked its intellect on the material world an existance that is about to pass away forever. It is studying not the future, but the past the extinction. It is studying what God sees as dead. Perhaps that is what the Holy Spirit had in mind when He had Isaiah prophesy, "By all means a people must consult its gods and, on behalf of the living, consult the dead. To obtain a revelation and a testimony, without doubt this is how they will talk, since there is no dawn for them." (Is. 8:18-20)
The fact that this world is slated to pass away has been confirmed by both God and science. The Bible shows it doomed in the reconciliation of God through Christ. Science recognizes its extinction in the processes of solar mechanics. The prophecies of each do not share the same timeline, but that is in the hands of God and not open to revelation as far as either is concerned.
The Book of Exodus indicates that God is holding this material universe together with "great power".
When God said "Let there be light!", He started with something far smaller than a single atom and exploded it, expanding space and filling its emptiness with all that we see around us today galaxies, stars, planets even houses, furniture and physical bodies. Space is the chaotic water that God parted at the beginning so that His people could walk dryshod out of Satan's wllderness into God's new kingdom. The "waters" of space have been split apart in the same way that God separated the waters at the Red Sea in the Israelite's journey out of Egypt.
When our journey is complete, God will turn off His power and the waters will all come crashing back to what they were, dooming our universe and casting it back to the chaotic nothingness of primordial space. At that moment, every soul that God has not rescued will perish.
As it was at the time of Pharaoh, the heart of the king of this world will again be hardened against the people of God. The Madman will set off to attack the last of those God is leading to safety. When the waters come crashing back together, this "pharaoh's" army will be in the act of pursuing the rear-guard of the departing House of Israel, intending to kill them all. Standing at Armageddon, his forces will surround Jerusalem. And there, suddenly, he will meet his end, and the world soon after him.
"And when your son asks you in days to come, "What does this mean?" you will tell him, "By sheer power God brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. (Ex.13:14). Our current universe, the pathway of our journey to God's new kingdom is a reflection of that sheer power in action.
Who is the beast with seven heads? JH
The beast is Satan. He is also referred to as the great sea monster, the leviathon who lurks in deep dark waters according to Old Testament prophecy (Ps.74:13-14). Jesus called him the prince of this world.
The Bible says one interpretation of the "sea" that he lives in is the people of the world. Using that as a guide, Satan is the monster who rules and terrorizes all the world's populations. Another interpretation of the "sea" is the cosmos that surrounds us, the great "abyss" (Gen.1:1-2). Following that interpretation Satan is the prince who rules this universe and all that is in it including this world. Jesus came to remove us from Satan's domain and take us to His new kingdom that is not of this world (John18:36).
Jesus said this world is doomed. Science has since examined the cosmos and come to the same conclusion. Material existance as it exists in this universe is brief and passes away the universe with it. God has created an existance that is eternal and will never pass away to replace it. Jesus has promised to lead us to that new kingdom and to the eternal life that is a fundamental essence of its nature.
The beast has seven heads. The Book of Revelation tells us that those seven are seven kingdoms or empires, as well as the specific ruler that most perfectly characterizes each of those empires (Rev.17:8-11). For instance, the sixth head was Rome and the emperor that characterized it, Nero.
Each of the heads represents the philosophy of Satan, the beast. The seven heads, therefore, are seven extraordinarily wicked kingdoms particularly antagonistic to God and to His people, the House of Israel. In fact, these seven heads can be measured in their relationship to Israel. The United States, for instance, is a strong friend and protector of Israel and therefore cannot be one of the heads of the beast. However, the kingdoms of the Middle East do not share that affection for Israel.
Iran, specifically, has pledged to destroy it.
Adolph Hitler was almost certainly the seventh head of the beast, both in his empire and his person. His hostility to the House of Israel was such that he systematically murdered Jews by the millions all over Europe in a focused attempt to exterminate the race of Israel from the face of the earth, a move that made him the most heinous of all the seven heads. Fortunately, his reign was brief (Rev.17:10).
The true reality of God is Jesus Christ, not Moses. So the House of Israel has two faces. At this time those two faces are looking in opposite directions and seem to be at odds. The odds, however have been induced by God and exist for the purpose of the salvation of that part of the pagan world willing to accept Jesus as their king. When that conversion attempt has been completed in accordance with the view of God, the two faces of Israel will merge into a single entity ruled by Jesus Christ.
Babylon, the whore who rides the beast (who lives according to the will of Satan), is the composite empire (made up of all the kingdoms on earth) who rule this world and guide or dictate to their respective populations worldly behavior and actions.
All the populations that make up those kingdoms (those who have not yet converted their lives to God) represent the "sea" that surrounds Babylon (Rev.17:15).
All of us were born into Babylon, into that "sea", into an existance whose behavior separated us from God. Not until we were baptised, converting our lives to Jesus Christ did we pass from death to life. That conversion is what Jesus called being "born again". It constitutes a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and with the Gospel that He preached. Those who have turned to Christ have broken with Babylon and left her. That "leaving" is a spiritual separation.
It is a walk that leads into eternal life.
Don't you think our exile to Babylon reflects our soul's captivity to flesh and blood? PL
If you are asking whether our physical bodies ride the earth through space in the way Babylon "rides" the beast (Rev.17:3-5), I would have to agree. The problem is there is no escape from our captivity simply by breaking the bond between flesh and soul (i.e., physical death). That cannot save us.
Scripture shows we were spirited off into Satan's domain long ago when he rebelled against God and took us captive. This is Satan's world. We were born here trapped in his prison awaiting execution. That is why everyone here dies. The Lord came to set us free and lead us out of Satan's dungeon. There is no other way out. Jesus has cancelled our death sentence by paying its price in our place, while putting us on a path of righteousness that leads to God's kingdom, a place far away from here where we can live forever in peace and safety.
The Bible says Babylon lives on 7 hills (Rev.17:9). Generally that is interpreted as Rome, this world's capitol city as far as the Book of Revelation is concerned. The House of Israel was evicted from the Holy Land and sent to Babylon through a mandate from God (Micah 4:10), legally executed as a part of the Peace Treaty Jesus made with the world on the cross. The King of Israel was sold by His brothers to Babylon for 30 pieces of silver. The headquarters of the Christian Church, the City of David, has been held captive in Rome (outside of Jerusalem) ever since in keeping with the terms of the treaty.
But those seven hills can also be interpreted as the 7 continents of the world as well an interpretation that unites the world's capitol city with the world itself. That interpretation leads to the thought of a flesh and blood captivity. Babylon in that sense is a composite of all the kingdoms on earth who rule in opposition to Christ's Gospel. Just as we do, those kingdoms also live under a death sentence. That sentence, like a "sword of Damocles" hangs over the whole world. It's time of fulfillment, said Jesus, is not far away.
The prince of this world is Satan. We are cautioned by God that we must not love this world or anything that is in this world. That's a tall request. Think of the world's demand that we love money, property, power and status; that we nationalize against one another and compete against one another, confident that "winning" itself is the only righteousness. It is a ubiquitous indoctrination that envelops us all.
The paradox is that the more we love this world, the more we tend to hate each other. The broad reach of Christ's love of mankind that we are supposed to hold in our hearts is circumscribed into ever smaller focal points of humanity. The world we are supposed to hate, we love, while the mankind we are supposed to love becomes the object of our hatred.
Jesus came to free us from that worldly propaganda by reforming our souls into the thoughts and behaviour that reflect the spirit of the Gospel He preached. It is that Holy Spirit that leads us out of this world to God.
In that coversion and in its place of fulfillment, we gain our freedom from the captivity that encases us here. There, our soul will be given a new body to wear. Not one of flesh and blood but everlasting and forever free (1 Cor.15:35-57; 1 Cor.15:50; Mat.22:29-30).
Is there any mention of the stock market crash in the Bible? JK
Stock markets did not exist in biblical times. Economic "crashes", though, were commonly referenced in terms of famine and in the warrants of destruction issued by God against various nations relative to the wickedness of the people involved. There are many prayers in the Old Testament scriptures pleading for national prosperity, a certain recognition that the opposite often prevailed.
In fact, scripture shows that prosperity is usually Satan's handmaid. The Lord inspired David to say:
"Man when he prospers forfeits intelligence: he is one with the cattle doomed to the slaughter. So on they go with their self-assurance, with men to run after them when they raise their voice." (Ps.49:12-13).
It is God's continuing purpose to offer salvation to the world's people and make the road to that eternal life easier to recognize. David's Psalm shows that prosperity is a roadblock to that recognition. The flight away from God that has charaterized the past few decades in America (and the world) shares a direct relationship with the unprecedented global prosperity that has swept the globe these past 25 years.
One of the most popular testimonies of that rush to prosperity and its ultimate flameout was typified in Thomas Wolfe's novel, "The Bonfire of the Vanities" with its designation of those who have led this greedy stampede, as "Masters of the Universe".
Of course, only God is Master of the universe. Those who thought to rival Him have been leveled by their own hand. The scoffers have brought themselves and the country who chased off after them to their knees. That roadblock to God is now gone. As the prosperity disappears, intelligence is sure to return. And with it will come a clarity that will lead many to Jesus Christ perhaps hundreds of thousands of people who would have otherwise been blinded to His truth in their feverish scramble to grasp monetary wealth.
But this regaining of sense is not so certain today. The Bible tells us that in the last days mankind will not turn to God in the midst of travail and poverty, but rail against Him, blaming Him (instead of themselves) for all the misery they are suffering. It seems clear that we are in the last days now so this passage of scripture must be nearing fulfillment as well.
Instead of the clouds parting to display a bright splash of "Sonlight", we may see just the opposite. We may discover that darkness has returned just as Jesus warned it would at the end.
In terms of prophecy, we were given an image of the global financial collapse in the attack and destruction of the World Trade towers in New York by a group of Middle Eastern terrorists. This action seemed certain to be an early fulfillment of Daniel's vision concerning the rise of a fourth and terrifying Persian empire in the last days (Dan.7:7; 11:2-4).
Was this image (i.e., the events of 9-11) the handwriting on the wall of Babylon, an image that not only predicted the Persian empire's imminence, but guaranteed it's successful rise to power?
In the New York attack (viewed as a Pearl Harbor event) we may be seeing the earliest elements of the coming war between East and West that structures all the activities of the final days (Dan. 8:17). In other words, we may be witnessing the whole Book of Daniel unfolding before our eyes...and with it, the Book of Revelation as well.
I think we are.
Viewed typologically, in the 2001 New York attack, global finance was shown to be leveled. The towers of world trade were totally wiped out and came crashing to the ground in two strikes. The U.S. military was shown to be badly injured, but unconquered, and the U.S. government saved by the heroic actions of its people. The Pentagon was attacked but survived, while the Capitol, the White House and the other buildings of the U.S. democracy, though targeted, were left untouched by the raid.
When God led Daniel into Nebuchadnezzar's palace to interpret the vision on the wall, the vision that instructed Daniel to tell Babylon that Persia was coming to destroy it, was He pointing to us today? It is hard not to see it that way.
With a second stock market crash currently in progress heralding the worst conflagration of global finance ever seen, it is hard not to see this as related to the first, i.e., a stock market crash in two parts. The first came on 9-11-01. It crushed the so-called "Dot Com boom", foundering the technology revolution and spawning 7 years of hostile takeovers, job layoffs, outsourcing, collapsed companies and pirate booty for the CEO's masterminding the rapes.
Today's fall is the second shoe of that event, the collapse of global real estate, and with it the credit market. Now the collapse is complete. Both towers are down. And all that is left to see is where the dust settles.
Our forces are at the Euphrates facing Persia this very moment.
Whatever is about to happen, we know that the United States will survive virtually to the end. Daniel's vision of the "ships of Kittim" forcing the beast to cower just before the world's end guarantees that survival.
If 9-11 is, as we suspect, the handwriting on the wall of Babylon, we must conclude that the reference you asked about has been there all the time, but hidden behind the veil implaced by God's command (Dan.12:4). Hidden behind that veil is the crash of the World Trade towers.
The fact of the sudden removal of this divine veil, i.e., the revelation of the decimation of the twin towers of world trade precipitated by the vanguard of an eastern army in current history, is another proof of the time we occupy in the clock of God.
"But you, Daniel, must keep these words secret and the book sealed until the time of the end." (Dan.12:4)
Thought your readers might find some interesting symmetry on your recent discussions regarding science and its placement within prophecy as you have described. This link to an article discusses a scientist, Dr. Evans, and his experiment to be conducted this week in the hopes that the, so called, "God Particle" will be discovered assisting science with the explanation of the beginnings of life a fraction of a second after the Big Bang.
I see a lot inaccurate information on the internet regarding several Apocryphal books, unfortunately your web site at http://goodnewspirit.com/apocrypha.htm is one of those inaccurate sources.
Some of the Apocrypha books were written first in Hebrew before being written in Greek, in fact fragments in Hebrew-Aramaic of some of the Apocrypha books were found in the Dead Sea scrolls.
The Song of the Three Holy Children and The History of Susanna are accepted by the Catholic Church are included in all their English Bible translations, but as extra chapters in the Book of Daniel - I know this because I have many different Catholic Bibles in my library. For example the Challoner revision of the Douay-Rheims Bible 'The Song of the Three Holy Children" are included as verses 24-90 of chapter 3 of Daniel. "The History of Susanna" is included as chapter 13 of Daniel (with "Bel and the Dragon" as chapter 14 of Daniel). They included in the same manner in the Catholic "Saint Joseph Edition of the New American Bible" edition of 1991. That edition has the following footnote for Daniel 3:24-90 "These verses are inspired additions to the Aramaic text of Daniel, translated from the Greek form of the book." [meaning the translators of the New American Bible translated these verses from the Greek text] "They were originally composed in Hebrew or Aramaic, which has not been preserved. The church has always regarded them as part of the canonical Scriptures." That Bible translation makes a similar footnote comment about chapter 13 and chapter 14. S
The Greek Old Testament was written more than 200 years before the birth of Christ and many fragments of it were found at Qumran (as a part of the Dead Sea Scrolls). The Apocryphal books all gained their status for being considered "first written in Greek rather than Hebrew". That consideration was made by Hebrew scholars at Jamnia in 80-95 A.D. They were alot closer to the source of those manuscripts than are scholars today, 2000 years later. Your argument is with them.
I have sent you people several e-mails linking Obama to the beast.. Why don't your respond? NA
There is nothing in Bible prophecy remotely linked to such a charge. As this page has shown time and time again, Bible prophecy has the beast rising out of the Eastern Hemisphere and commanding what is predicted to be a Parthian army. Parthia was the ancient home of the Persians and Medes. The modern names of countries occupying that locale today include Iran, Iraq, and many of the "stans" (lands above Iran). These nations, say the prophecies, will be led by a madman (Ps. 74:22) from a country far to the north of them (Ez.38:14-16; 1-7).
That map is clear and it has nothing to do with America.
There are many signs showing that the time for that assault to begin is growing near. If so, we can assume the United States will be among the nations involved in the warfare surrounding the rise of the East to world power. The Book of Daniel, speaking of the last days shows that in the far west a land called "Kittim" will field a naval military force opposed to the beast. In today's world, only one far western nation has the kind of naval armada powerful enough to qualify as Kittim's "ships". The U.S. navy today dwarfs all other maritime fleets throughout the entire world, possibly combined. It has no peer.
Daniel tells us that it's opposition to the beast and his armies will be powerful and effective, limiting the beasts governmental reign to the nations of the Eastern Hemisphere, and even blocking his actions there (Dan.11:30). There is biblical evidence that a strong eastern forerunner to the beast will make significant inroads into various parts of what may be South America and the Caribbean (Dan.11:18). Whether those conquered countries continue under the Madman's control after he rises to power in the first king's place is not clear.
Since our nation seems to be the singular power capable of mounting a successful military opposition to the beast at the end of days, we can assume that God is directing its fate. Though we vote, God is the guiding power selecting our supreme leaders. The nations of the world today are poised on a precipice of financial collapse that could emulate the global meltdown of 1929 or worse. The United States is at the tiller of the planet in this storm. How we address this crisis will determine the fate of the world for a significant term of the future.
Everyone is going to be poorer for quite awhile to come, perhaps even to the end, because free credit is gone and will likely not return. Fateful questions still looming involve vast unemployment, a collapsed infrastructure, a mortgage flameout and bread lines. Responsible government and a cool well-informed hand will blunt the impact of those possibilities.
God has put Obama in that chair. We need to trust Him in His decision. Especially when it is is becoming clearer that due to our success in this mounting crisis, we may be the only major western nation left standing after the dust of the rise of the East clears.
Peter was very clear concerning God's hand in our governance:
"For the sake of the Lord, accept the authority of every social institution: the emperor, as the supreme authority, and the governors as commissioned by him to punish criminals and praise good citizenshiop. God wants you to be good citizens, so as to silence what fools are saying in their ignorance. You are slaves of no one except God, so behave like free men, and never use your freedom as an excuse for wickedness. Have respect for everyone and love for our community; fear God and honor the emperor." (1 Peter 2:13-17).
So was Paul:
"You must all obey the governing authorities. since all government comes from God, the civil authorities were appointed by God, and so anyone who resists authority is rebelling against God's decision, and such an act is bound to be punished. Good behavior is not afraid of magistrates; only criminals have anything to fear. If you want to live without being afraid of authority, you must live honestly and authority may even honor you."
"The state is there to serve God for your benefit. If you break the law, however, you may well have to fear: the bearing of the sword has its significance. The authorities are there to serve God: they carry out God's revenge by punishing wrongdoers. You must obey, therefore, not only because you are afraid of being punished, but also for consciences' sake.
This is also the reason why you must pay taxes, since all government officials are God's officers. They serve God by collecting taxes. Pay every government official what he has a right to ask whether it be direct tax or indirect, fear or honor." (Rom. 13:1-7).
Trust in the Lord conquers all fears:
"You need not fear the terrors of night, the arrow that flies in the daytime, the plague that stalks in the dark, the scourge that wreaks havoc in broad daylight. Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, you yourself will remain unscathed, with his faithfulness for shield and buckler." (Ps.91:5-7)
Do you see any parallel between Twenty-First Century Christians and the Old Testament scribes and Pharisees? In other words, are many of today's Christians spiritually blind? JR
The scribes and pharisees of Jesus' time were the Jewish religious leaders. Just as Jesus predicted about them, many of these bore a resemblance to various potentates of Christianity, those that pump themselves up in pride of theology and in the majesty of themselves and their station, while remaining aloof to the needs and concerns of their flock.
Neither scribes and pharisees nor Christian potentates relate to ordinary Christians who struggle to follow Jesus Christ amid the trials that beset them in this world. For this reason, I do not see any particular parallel to the scribes and pharisees in the common Christian believer.
Jesus addressed this situation when he declared: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice."
That "mercy", measured in terms of their compassion, love and concern for others seems equally evident in today's Christians as it was in those of past ages. The low numbers of such Christians in this world bears witness to Christ's admonition that more would be called than chosen.
I was told you predicted a second American civil war. Is this true? If so, do you still think so? please respond. YH
I did not predict it.
There is, however, a biblical prophecy that may suggest it.
Since America has already suffered a brutal Civil War, and Isaiah's prophecy (below) was written over 2000 years before that bitter conflict, his prophecy may already have come true offering, in itself, advance confirmation that America and the "Egypt" of end-time prophecy may be closely related.
"I will stir up the Egyptians against each other and they shall fight every man against his brother, friend against friend, city against city, kingdom against kingdom." (Is. 19:2).
Note that Isaiah's verse describes the fighting in "Egypt," as not just brother against brother, but "kingdom against kingdom" as well. That virtually excludes the literal Egypt from consideration. The name is obviously a metaphore pointing to a different empire. America would qualify since it is made up of 50 states. Each state in our union is a virtual soverign nation with its own leadership, constitution, congress and supreme court.
The idea of the possibility of a strong correlation in Bible prophecy between a metaporic Egypt and America is well justified. Scripture shows a relationship between these two nations in other end-time prophecies as well prophecies that have come true in just the last several years.
For instance, in scripture "Egyptian" troops are described as invading the country now known as Iraq, and in that country manning a sort of 'Maginot' line at the Euphrates river opposite Persia, the nation now called Iran (Jer. 46:2). American troops have closely duplicated this ancient Egyptian invasion, and currently man a similar position there.
Jeremiah foresees in this event a dark fate for the Egyptians guarding this line. His prophecies (Jer. 46:2-10) seem to coincide with the critical end-time invasion described in the Book of Revelation (where eastern troops come pouring over the dry Euphrates river-bed after the water in it have inexplicably "dried up". Rev. 16:12; 9:14-19).
Also in scripture, "Egypt" is the biblical name of the western nation to whom a newly rebuilt Israel turns when it structures a military alliance forbidden by Jeremiah. The "return" conditions set forth by God through Jeremiah forbade such an alliance (Jer.42:10-18). God moved the king of Babylon to allow this Jewish return to occur, but, according to Jeremiah, to last only as long as the Jews adhered closely to that treaty's terms and boundaries.
The current state of Israel has entered into a military alliance with the United States, duplicating the actions their ancestors took with ancient Egypt. Not only that, it has defied the treaty of its formation by erecting forbidden settlements outside the borders legally assigned to it. Both violations were predicted by Jeremiah in his prophesies (Jer. 42:10-17).
Since both of these prophecies apply to circumstances already fulfilled in American terms, every prophecy concerning the name "Egypt" in scripture relating to end-time happenings needs to be examined with that relationship (America as the Egypt of end-time prophecy) at least in mind.
In light of current circumstances, the possibility that Isaiah's prediction might pertain to our nation's future as well as its past cannot be ignored. Civil war is not beyond the realm of possibility in these increasingly polarized times.
There are violent feelings in America today and they were not assuaged by the recent election of Barack Obama. In some ways, they were intensified. Recent newspaper articles show a wave of hatred growing in certain segments of the outed political party. One news account compared this hatred to a cancer coming out of remission.
The intensity of this bitterness is stunningly reminiscent of similar hatreds that swirled 45 years ago in and around Dallas and the South. As they did then, lethal and potentially incendiary tensions still lie very close to the surface. This time we have the added gasoline of a loud and bold gay community trying to overturn the public will (election results) by force.
None of this bodes well because key parts of the hostility are being fanned by churches. As unbelievable as it sounds, there are many in America today that do not believe it is possible to be both a politcal democrat and a Christian at the same time. In seeing the two-party system as pitting Christians against the Anti-christ, these individuals are unwittingly paving the way not only for civil conflict, but one with jihadist overtones.
News reports on television have shown signs popping up on various evangelical churches with questionable political declarations on them. At least one falsely proclaims President-elect Obama to be a Muslim. Untruths of this magnitude point to a hatred that has calcified, even in parts of the Church. Witness in this respect charges from the same quarter that Obama is the Anti-christ (Newsweek magazine, Nov. 24, 2008).
Isaiah reminds us that there is a day when God stands up and says "Enough!" (Is. 24:16). At that point He will drag the new state of Israel to catastrophic military defeat (Jer. 44:14; Dan.11:16) :and the entire world toward Armageddon (Ez. 38:1-4). The prophet Jeremiah predicted the proof that confirms God has actually activated these 'tractor-beam'-like plans lies in the fulfullment of this verse of scripture: Jer. 44:29-30.
After that occurs, provided that verse holds true, not even prayer can stop His plans:
"Now I am knocking down what I have built, tearing up what I have planted: I am going to strike the whole earth. And here you are asking for special treatment! Do not ask. For I am now going to bring down disaster on all mankind it is the Lord who speaks. As for you, I will let you escape with your own life, wherever you may go." (Jer.45:4-5).
As we have shown in previous writings, there is ample evidence that Satan has finally been released from his prison in the Abyss in fulfillment of scripture. The Book of Revelation tells us that once released, he will mobilize all the nations in the four quarters of the earth for war. His armies will be as many as the sands of the sea (Rev. 20:7-9). Whether or not the American Civil War in the 1860's was an early part of that mobilization is not known. A second American civil war, if it occurs, is certain to be, however, if for no other reason than its timing.
It is not just an unprecedented economic meltdown that faces America today. We find ourselves in very fragile and scary times on several fronts. Anything is possible, especially in the event the Gospel of Jesus Christ is rejected and ignored by a large number of citizens who formerly had pledged themselves to uphold its core doctrine of peace, mercy and love.
Everyone who turns to Jesus Christ in both thought and action will be saved. God will let them escape with their own lives, wherever they may go.
...What purpose is served by all your end-of-the-world talk? AA
The focal point of the Christian religion is the Return of Jesus Christ. We toil in waiting for that moment, filled with hope in His promise to come back for us. It is a moment of critical importance, for without it, Christian purpose would lose all its meaning. Eternal life would fade into mere human life. Without that Return, all Christian effort would meld into the commonality of ordinary civic endeavor.
No one knows the day or hour of His Return, but He has given us many signs in scripture of its approach. He let us know that as we see those signs unfold, anticipation should grow and our faith increase. The problem is, like the advancing storm He compared it to, His Return comes wrapped in the frightening winds of turbulence.
Seeing this and understanding in the prophecies, the intensity of that violence, most churches keep the book closed on apocalyptic discussion. They are cowed not only by their own flocks, but even more by the secular derision heaped on the subject and on those who broach it out loud. The secular public sees apocalyptic discussion as a negative, a real downer. For them (the citizens of Babylon), there are no positives in end of the world just an abrupt end to 'the good life'.
Still, scripture tells us that God has determined to send into the world servants to make known His plans in advance. He wants there to be no surprises. If the people are to be surprised it must be a surprise of their own making one of refusing to listen to what was broadcast in front of them.
"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).
Christ's Return is not going to be some quiet, invisible return sneaking away unseen with worthy souls after the death of their bodies. It will crescendo throughout the heavens and all across the earth when it occurs. It will be a day of immense glory for those who kept their faith in Him. But to the citizens of the world who also will be raised up to witness that glory, it will be a day of total shock, followed by intense mourning for failing that faith.
The false prophet as science?? SCIENCE???
Science is an academic discipline, not a religious fanatic. KO
On April 12th, 2007, Pope Benedict issued the following statement about science:
"In denying the existence of a Creator, science oversteps its competence & becomes its own system of belief." (Pope Benedict, 4/12/07)
There is a straight line linking that statement to the Book of Revelation.
In declaring that the creation has no Creator, science has expanded itself from a prophet of knowledge (especially of nature) into a prophet of religion...a system of belief. It is a transformative move.
The False Prophet (the Second Beast) in scripture is all about belief. That is what this aspect of the Beast represents. It encourages on earth the rejection of belief in God, and, instead, appropriates that faith, redirecting it to itself, and through itself to the 1st Beast.
Remember, the 1963 Supreme Court decision (a U.S. government decision) centered on the presence of God in the academc system. In that decision God was banished from the American classroom (in fact even from the buildings and school grounds on which those classrooms stood). No one was allowed thereafter, even to speak God's name. There was no room there for two gods. The academic system had chosen theirs, and banished the Father of Christ. The American Constitution, the government ruled, demanded this separation.
It was argued at the time that the move protected only the purity of academic knowledge. It was not made to advance the teaching of atheism to the country's children. The papal statement proves otherwise.
In scripture the False Prophet's teaching is to encourage everyone to support secular government (the First Beast). This Second Beast is firmly opposed to religious governance unless religion accepts its teaching and submits to its view of orthodoxy. When theologians say that Jesus could not possibly have fed 5000 with just a few loaves and fishes, or walked on water (or most important, resurrected Himself bodily from death), concluding that such actions "fly in the face of science", they have embraced today's science as the ultimate arbitor of their faith.
Finding itself in a world certain of its truth, science has set itself up in its "overstep of confidence" to act in a way remarkably similar to the False Prophet.
Many of science's conjectures are predictive. In its studies of archeology it tells us about the past. In its studies of the cosmos it tells us what is going to happen in the future. In its study of evolution it tells us where we come from. Thus it acts as a prophet In fact, it is the only prophet that most people in this world today will listen to with a willingness to accept its teachings at face value.
When science talks, the people listen. It is a prophet, pure and simple. And though usually well-meaning, it's statements are always false. Their conclusions represent a sub-microscopic view of a vastness beyond the capabilities of the human mind to cope. Already science has discovered there are as many stars (like our sun) in our own galaxy as there are grains of sand on all the beaches of the world.
If that is not enough to boggle the mind, consider new scientific evidence showing there are as many galaxies as there are grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. Then look at the vastness of the beach and consider all the beaches of the world. All that sand.
And each grain holding within itself as many suns as there are grains of sand on all the beaches of the world.
With only a tiny sample of such a vast reality at their disposal to study, it is no wonder that new textbooks and new postulates continually replace the flood of errors new discovery brings to the scientific table.
The entire system of academics, including science, is a world of untruths and half-truths. The search is continuous. That is why new textbooks have to be written every year. Each new book is accepted as unequivocably true even though next years text will correct it again. Thus always wrong, it is never wrong in the sight of those who believe in it.
There are other candidates for False Prophet to be sure, but none that field such an extraordinary worldwide audience of worshipful, and essentially godless believers.
Science transcends all countries and borders. It is worshipped everywhere in every country as Babylon's last word on prophetic certainty. We can't say that science IS the False Prophet of scripture, but it has gone farther than any other past entity in world history in fulfilling the prophecies relating to it. It is the world's Decider, and it has decided there is no God.
Science, when it is working under God benefits mankind in extraordinary ways, but when it works in opposition to God it becomes a monster. Science not only produces medical miracles, it has brought to the planet thousands of hydrogen bombs, flinging the fire of the stars from heaven down onto the earth precisely in the way described of the False Prophet.
Those that argue for a traditional religious prophet, disregard Satan's ease in producing a changed playing field. Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians shows the Rebel associated with a "power" of deception...a power to delude the populace and make them believe what is untrue. "There will be all kinds of miracles and a deceptive show of signs and portents, and everything evil that can deceive those who are bound for destruction because they would not grasp the love of the truth which could have saved them", said Paul of this power. (2 Thess. 2:9-12).
We live in a time of powerful signs and powerful evils. They spew out from the magic of television and pour forth across theatres from nation to nation. A steady drumbeat of Satan argues incessantly that sin is righteous and the true evil is not to embrace that notion. Thus blasphemy of the Holy Spirit has risen from the depths to become the new public rationale.
In the debris of this onslaught of evil, the churches lie scattered and torn, banished from the country's academic institutions and government, shunted to the sidelines for its wisdom now seen as bigotry and ignorance, all but irrelevant to the advancing culture. This too has already happened. So where is the power of delusion Paul warned was coming? Look around. It is here now, just as you see it.
Forty-five years after 1963.
According to scripture, The False Prophet will be a servant to the first beast and extend the1st beast's authority everywhere. The First beast (pagan or secular government) had a fatal wound inflicted by the Sword of Christ. Witness the worldwide victory of Christianity on earth that replaced that pagan government once the wound had been inflicted.
That wound has now healed. Secular government has returned. The nation's leaders have to a one ejected Christ from their throne-rooms, the seats of power in western world government. They have rejected Him outright in an astonishing fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy in John 3:19. That, too, has already happened.
Can total darkness be far behind?
"The light will be with you only a little longer now. Walk while you have the light, or the dark will overtake you; he who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. While you still have the light, believe in the light and you will become sons of light." (John 12:35-36).
In the early 1930's, presaging the prophecies she held secret from the time of her 1917 visions at Fatima, Lucia described an "unknown" light that she was told in the visions would be the proof of their truth. She thought a particularly bright comet in the late 1930's was that light, but the light of a comet was not an "unknown" light. That would come later.
The False prophet persuaded the people to put up a Statue to the first beast. This statue was given the power of speech & compelled everyone to be branded in name of the beast, as a manifestation of their belief in the Dragon, his Beast and False Prophet, Satan's unholy and competing trinity.
Those things will surely come to pass.
In 1945 at a site in New Mexico, a site code-named "Trinity" by the U.S. government, the unknown light flashed into the world for the first time. Breaking through the pre-dawn darkness it lit up the entire western United States. Here, indeed was the proof of Lucia's vision, the substance of what those three prophecies represented.
If not THE False prophet, certainly science, the architect of that unknown light is a major, major false prophet. It's pre-eminent position on the academic throne, its hold on the mind of the populace and persistant advice to abandon what it considers the ignorance of faith in God makes it a fierce adversary to Christ in today's increasingly evil and darkening world.
Though that encroaching darkness promises to become dense to an extreme, it also will be broken by a flash of light:
"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, nations and languages 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).
With everone talking about 1929 happening again, do you think Jesus will return with the Rapture to rescue us before the economy gets really bad? MK
No. The end of the world is not close. What is close is the time of tribulation, a key event in the return of darkness foretold by the scriptures.
The return of darkness represents a sea change on earth. In it the light of Christ that has illuminated the world with a noon-like brilliance over most of the past 2000 years will be dimmed dramatically, fading to a faint glow not easily found in the blackness of the faithless world that is soon to come.
In the turbulence of the days ahead Jerusalem will be overrun with armies, war will rage on earth, poverty will increase and rioting, much of it intense, will span the globe. The earth will quake, great signs will fill the cosmos and even the oceans will rail. These are only some of the things that have been predicted to follow the world's rejection of the words of Jesus Christ; the world's refusal to embrace the salvation God sent to us in the form of His eternal Son.
Those who preach an imminent rapture are wrong. Even more important, Jesus warned us not to follow them.
"Take care not to be deceived,' he said 'because many will come using my name and saying, "I am he" and, "The time is near at hand". Refuse to join them." (Luke 21:8).
For there are many days still to go before Christ returns. First must come the tribulation, and in its wake, a time of intense darkness. That darkness will last for many days. That is because everything that was prophesied for those days must occur before the end comes.
We find ourselves today not far into the beginning of this tribulation. The ten nations of the East, even though they stand now in nearby wings have not yet been made manifest, nor have the northern kings and their vast eastern armies. These are the hordes predicted to crush the power of the West and ultimately launch a devastating assault on the Church.
"...and you will be hated by all the nations on account of my name. And then many will fall away; men will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise; they will deceive many, and with the increase of lawlessness, love in most men will grow cold; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved." (Mat. 24:9-13).
The Bible tells us that lack of faith can hasten this time of wrath, a wrath we see coming now at increasing speed, even unfolding as we watch, a sure indication that faith is dissolving across the earth in a very big way.
How should a Christian handle this time of wrath? We must brace ourselves in Christ who has promised to wrap us in His protection, allowing us to escape with our lives, and to live safely forever in His eternal kingdom. Even though the world plunges into darkness, we must keep God's light burning in our soul so that we never lose our way. We are not a part of the world. Jesus has separated us from it...and from its fate.
"I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world." (John 16:33).
"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. What I command you is to love one another." (John 15:16-17).
Subject: Does God Give us Names from the Bible?
Every time I read the Bible I feel that God chastise me and my Biblical name is Israel. Does (God) talk to us through Biblical name? BY
The name "Israel" applies to a whole group of people in the same way that "American" applies to a whole group of people. The name "Israel" is the way God speaks to us in a group. God speaks to us individually through the New Testament, especially through its Gospels, and through our conscience in relationship to those teachings.
Does God give us new names? Jesus, appearing to Saul in a vision changed Saul's name to Paul. He also changed Simon's name to Peter (Rock). Upon that Rock He built His Church. When people are baptised in the Greek and Latin churches, they take new names based on the Christian saints of old. It is promised in scripture that we will all be given new names in Jesus Christ for the new kingdom.
"My servants are to be given a new name." (Is.65:15).
Are these new names from the Bible? In most cases, probably not. There are not enough words in the Bible, let alone names there to cover the vast multitude Jesus has deemed to be saved (see Revelation 7:9).
We all bear in ourselves the name Jesus Christ. We have all been baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:38.
"My dear people, you must not think it unaccountable that you should be tested by fire. There is nothing extraordinary in what has happened to you. If you can have some share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad, because you will enjoy a much greater gladness when his glory is revealed. It is a blessing for you when they insult you for bearing the name of Christ, because it means that you have the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God resting on you. (1 Peter 4:12-14)
"The ban will be lifted. 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.22:3-34).
When the ban is lifted we will each receive our own new name as well:
"If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: to those who prove victorious I will give the 'hidden manna and a white stone -- a stone with a new name written on it, known only to the man who receives it." (Rev. 2:17).
I am a disciple of Christ, with no "formal" training as a theologian or preacher. I have studied the old and new testaments in detatil for many years and have developed my own understanding of the Word. I figured out long ago that human intellect has much less to do with this understanding than does faith. I have that faith and accept the Word of God as a child. I have achieved this despite my education and career as an engineer.
In your opinion, am I qualified to perform baptisms for my children, and would this be acceptable to God? MS
This is a theological question. I am not qualified to answer it. Theological questions are the domain of others. This web site is set up to examine Bible prophecy.
There is much in prophecy to suggest the absolute need for baptism, but far less on its correct implementation (see "Baptism").
It is a commonly held belief in the Christian Church that baptism is a chain of anointing. It stretches back to the Apostle Peter and John the Baptist. Almost all agree, it is necessary to be baptised into this chain before one is eligible to anoint anyone else in Christ Jesus. The ministerial process in all traditional churches makes certain this chain remains unbroken in its ministers through anointing, laying on of hands and training.
If you were baptised into Christ by a minister in a Christian church when you were an adult, child, or infant, this would make you eligible. If not, most in the Church would say no. The theology is not important here, it is the unbroken chain stretching from Christian to Christian all the way back to Peter and the Apostles.
The reasoning is based on the idea that baptism is a legal contract between the person being baptised and God. When it is entered into and administered as Jesus authorized it, it breaks your soul's bondage to the Law, setting you free from its sentence of death (through Christ's sacrifice in your name on the cross). Baptism is your acceptance of His sacrifice and official public recognition of your acceptance of obligation to follow the Gospel of God (i.e., repentance and conversion).
In the process, theology (i.e., all the churches) act as the Law, so they can stand in for Moses. They sit in the seat of Moses for this very purpose. This is also why Paul said, "Through the Law I am dead to the Law".
When baptisms are performed in Christianity outside the traditional church circuit, they are almost always performed as an emergency measure when there is no time (or minister available). We see this frequently in pediatrics, especially in neonatal ICU's when a code blue is imminent or in progress. A baptised Christian nurse, doctor or other care-giver will perform the baptism if the parents wish it done.
Your situation is not an emergency. You would be acting as a minister of your own church. Most churches when viewing the certificate of baptism you issue to each of your children in this case would want to re-baptise them (for insurance) if they ever decided to attend a church different than your own later.
In the event that you yourself have not yet been baptised by a Christian or Christian minister, you might want rethink your idea. Just a thought.
Is Passover as described in Leviticus 23 a thing of the Jews or did the creator 'God' say that these things were his and did not belong to any man or the Jews?
Is the savior, messiah, the living word, the Living Passover Lamb who fulfilled these things spoken of himself, of his BEING the word? RR
The Old Testament is a book of prophecy virtually all of it's stories, oracles revolving around a future time structured in the advent of Jesus the Christ. It's full message promised the coming of a "Messiah", a Savior, to the House of Israel who would bring completion to the Law, by perfectly aligning the Law of Israel with the Law of God (Mat.5:17).
The promises contained in the Old Testament were made to 12 tribes. The Jews were not alone they were not a single factor in those promises. They were but one of those twelve tribes.
Salvation did not exist in the Old Testament or in any of its rituals. All these were meant to be in place to act as the guardian of Israel's 12 tribes until the moment the Savior arrived with the full word of God and the true power of heavenly salvation. That Savior turned out to be God Himself in the flesh and person of Jesus Christ, His Only Son.
In His arrival, the Old Testament was transformed all of its prophecies fulfilled in God's New Testament a book filled with the words and processes of a salvation only promised in the Old. Moreover, Jesus expanded the expected range of God's salvation, increasing it from the 12 tribes of Israel to include all the people of the world; all who agreed to accept Him as their Lord and savior.
Passover was an allegory Jesus Christ is its full meaning. Your second sentence(above) is correct. He alone is the Paschal Lamb of God. All who have faith in Him and do what He says will live forever.
Your interpretation of Daniel 11:3-4 differs remarkably from other Christian sources. You claim the verse relates to the United States and "its sudden fall from world power, ending a western-world rule that has stretched from the days of Alexander the Great..."
Do you think the current financial crisis is the cause for this collapse? IT
I believe it will prove to be a major factor.
The current global financial crisis promises to be of such proportions that it will forever alter the direction of history. It is a fulcrum that will produce vast changes in the world's political spectrum, just as happened in 1929. That crash brought Adolph Hitler to power and everything he represented.
The current crash may well precipitate the definitive formation of the ten nations Daniel predicts are destined to play such a profound role in the final warfare. The entire political structure of the last days may become visible in the bleakness of the days just ahead.
When we add to this devastating crash the fact that we seem to be living in the time of the mainstreaming of Daniel's visions, we must look for a correlation between the two. Whether or not it proves to be a key factor in catapulting the East to global power, we will just have to wait and see.
Remember, two other prophecies may possibly dovetail here as well. And neither have yet occurred (Jer.44:29-30; Rev. 8:8-9; Ez.27:34; ). A "perfect storm" of factors may be involved in the collape of the rule of the West.
Daniel's visions bring us into that collapse a new era on earth the last frame of history. Its message has remained a mystery for over 2500 years. Daniel's book was ordered sealed by God (Dan.8:17), and its true meaning forbidden to be unveiled until the last days were upon the earth (Dan.12:8-9).
And here we seem to be.
This new era can be traced back many years perhaps to the beginning of the 20th century. Much of it seems to have been set in motion 60 years ago (in 1948) with the return (under Babylon's dictation) of a Jewish state in the land of Israel.
This mandate by the world's nations set in motion a conditional reprieve from the exile (i.e., the Diaspora) with power, if the conditions imposed were obeyed by the Israelites, to bring the Diaspora to an early end. All this is covered in the prophecies of Jeremiah, chapters 42 through 45.
We know that the current state of Israel relates to Jeremiah's prophecies because the current return has its genesis in Babylon, not Persia. Everywhere in the Bible and its prophecies, it is Persia, through its prince, not Babylon that ends the Diaspora (see 2 Chron. 36:14-21). The current Diaspora, now almost 2000 years long, proves that the temporary reprieve in 538 B.C., was simply the last element in the Bible's oracle relating to the exile of the House of Israel from the Holy Land an oracle whose fulfillment still awaits.
Only in Jeremiah do we find a codicil to that prophecy. It offers an early reprieve by Babylon (not Persia). Jeremiah's lone prophecy comes with strict provisions attached, which, if not met, will doom the early return and revert the clock of return back to Persia..The current state of Israel came into being by a vote of the United Nations of Babylon. The vote was not unanimous. The Arab nations were fiercely opposed to it.
Just as Jeremiah said they would, the current nation of Israel stands in gross violation of the terms of its return and thus nakedly vulnerable to the harsh elements of revocation Jeremiah predicted for it (Jer. 44:12-14).
As Daniel's events unfold we can watch them as we would roadsigns on the highway to the Last Days. That is why his book is in scripture. Already we have seen its precipitating events unfold over the last several years. The two Gulf Wars have taken place. The Ram and the He-Goat. Saddam Hussein, like Nebuchaddnezzar, hauled unshorn from his cave. His death at the hands of the Persian-leaning Shiite Muslims. Now, as the prophecies continue to unfold, Persia stands at the river, war-axe clearly in hand. Opposing those forces are the American troops standing in the memories of the Egyptian footprints of history and prophecy (Jer.46).
Already the sudden collapse of the western He-Goat (Dan.11:3-4 the verse in your question) seems firmly in progress its vast financial base vaporized before the world's eyes in just the last 3 months. The fourth kingdom of Persia not only stands at the river, it has launched a Pearl Harbor attack on the western world that has locked both giants in a war of escalating terror designed to drag 2/3rds of the population of the earth into a conflagration for all ages precisely the charcoaled outcome documented in the prophecies.
All this has happened because Satan has been released from his prison in the Abyss where God had kept him chained for almost 2000 years imprisoned there so that the world could be led to Christ. Now, with God's harvest nearing its end, the Book of Revelation tells us his release will be followed by warfare all over the earth. War waged by the kings of the East Persia, the ten nations, and the great king of the far North against all the rest of mankind against Christ and against Israel (Rev. 20:7-10).
The Return of Jesus Christ in glory will end Satan's madness, and bestow eternal life on all who had the faith to believe in Him and follow Him.
How can we be sure this is the time for Daniel's visions to unfold for all the nations gathered for war and all these other things to occur?. Because seven years ago the world entered the "Third Day" of Christ. The day structured for Jesus's return. And because the Church and its offer of forgiveness has been rejected by all the nations of the western world. And because Christians everywhere are increasingly villified by the people of the world for their "bigorty" against sin. And because that sin has hypnotised the world wherever the wind of electrons has flowed and carried it. And because there is still much more to come.
Because every vision will be fulfilled precisely as written.
The conversion of the thief on the cross, does it prove salvation is possible without baptism? JW
According to Billy Graham, the two thieves on the cross stand for us all. One decides for Christ and the other rejects Him. This is the decision God has placed before all of mankind. In our lives on earth we are all on crosses beside Jesus, condemned for original sin because of Satan's apostasy.
Like Jesus, we have all been born into a life that leads to death. The Law's stern sentence hangs over our souls like a sword of Damocles. We can escape it's command for our death by accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior. One person on the cross next to Jesus did that. The other scoffed at what he considered nonsense and forfeited the opportunity God had offered him. Isn't that the same with all of us?
The story of the cross is the fundamental oracle of Christianity.
Jesus saves all who believe in Him. Those who refuse to believe in Him refuse the chance to escape with their life. (John 11:25).
As far as baptism is concerned, willfully refusing to be born of water and the Spirit is an act of fundamental rebellion, not much different, actually, than jumping off a skyscraper to prove God's salvation. Scripture is clear, we are not to put God to the test, especially in this case where it is His own orders that command it:
"I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God..." (John 3:5)
I am struck by the riches in many churches-the golden goblets and all the golden filligree and all their opulence. Don't you think this money should be given to the poor instead of being lavished on the priests for their luxury just to impress ignorant worhippers?...(That) would be more in line with what Christ said don't you think?NP
You see scripture fulfilled, but instead of glorifying God, you rail about the richness of the cathedrals, saying the money should have been spent on the poor instead. Yet most people who say such things would rarely give their own money to the poor, no matter what the circumstance even if their lives depended on it and it does.
The finery has been diverted by God into the churches as proof of the reign on earth of Christ. What you see in all that filligree and do not understand is God fulfilling prophecy. Because it is prophecy no man has power to thwart it, perhaps even to temper it.
Here are some quotes from scripture. There are alot more as well.
"Strangers will be there to feed your flocks, foreigners as your ploughmen and vinedressers; but you, you...will feed on the wealth of nations and array yourselves in their magnificence." (Is. 61:5-6).
Above you the Lord now rises and above you his glory appears. The nations come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness...At this sight you will grow radiant, your heart throbbing and full; since the riches of the sea will flow to you, the wealth of the nations come to you; camels in throngs will cover you, and dromedaries of Midian and Ephah...bringing gold and incense and singing the praise of the Lord. (Is. 60:2-6)
All the flocks of Kedar will gather inside you, the rams of Nebaioth will be at your service. They will come up, for acceptance, to my altar, to adorn the Temple of my glory. (Is. 60:7)
And your gates will lie open continually, shut neither by day nor by night, for men to bring you the wealth of the nations with their kings leading them; for the nation and kingdom that refuses to serve you shall perish, such nations shall be utterly ruined. (Is. 60:11)
The glory of Lebanon will come to you, with cypress and plane and box, to adorn the site of my sanctuary, to glorify the resting place of my feet...You will be suckled on the milk of nations, suckled on the riches of kings, and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your savior, that your redeemer is the Mighty One of Jacob..." (Is. 60:13-16)
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