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January 11, 2010
Why does Daniel refer to his vision in terms of weeks rather than years? GS
The 70 weeks in Daniel describes 70 weeks of years. Their are 7 days in a week. To the ancient Hebrews, seven was the perfect number, it meant fulfillment, and 70 was the number that designated completion. The understanding is metaphoric. It is prophecy. The subject of the time period covers the rebuilding of the temple in its entirety (from beginning to end).
This rebuilding was done in Jesus Christ. Therefore the period (Daniel's 70 weeks) describes the Christian era. His book is a pointed prophecy covering the last 2000 years, but with a primary focus on the events of the very end, the period that comes after the 2000 years, the 70th week.
Moses quantified this same period, also defining it metaphorically but in a three-day format (Exodus 19:10-11) that terminated in the face-to-face appearance of God before His people. The compromise at Sinai moved those three days forward to the appearance of a Messiah (Exodus 20:18-19; Dt.18:14-19).
Jesus' death on the cross and the offer of forgiveness implicit in that sacrifice moved them forward again, to Christ's Return. Thus both era's (Daniel's and Moses') begin with Jesus' birth in Bethlehem and detail the series of events that come after that birth.
In Moses' 3-day format, each day represents a thousand years. The first two involve the time of washing and cleaning (repentance and baptism) that characterize the era of the Christian Church on earth. Since those first two days (those 2000 years) began at the point when "B.C." (before Christ). became "A.D." (anno Domini) and ended in our own time, just a few years ago, we can see the actual moment of change when it passed from washing and cleaning to tribulation by looking at the world's common calendar.
In that calendar, the third day (the time of travail) began on January 1st, 2001. The attack by the East on the West nine months after the beginning of that third day (in the event known as 9-11) has put the world on notice that not only have we entered the third day, but with it the last "week" in Daniel's set of weeks has dawned as well, the 70th and last week in his vision (Dn. 9:24; 27).
Daniel's last "week" is a grievous period of tribulation divided into two parts (Dn.9:26-27). Both bring widespread chaos to the earth (war and all the devastation decreed). No one knows how long the first part of this last week will last. The second part, though, occurs more quickly. It unfolds over 3-1/2 years according to Daniel, and begins with the assassination of the anointed Bishop, the abolition of the Eucharist, and a violent war on God's Church and people. That last half-week ends with the return of Jesus Christ.
We are not yet in the second part. We have just entered the first the moment of the rise of the East and with it the ten nations that accompany and help empower that rise.
The rebuilding of God's temple has been accomplished in Jesus Christ. It is a temple nearly completed now. We are the living stones that make up that spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5). The temple of God is made up of people who house Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit in their hearts. It is a living temple. The Book of Revelation testifies to this in absolute terms, saying that there is no "temple" in the heavenly Jerusalem because God and Jesus are themselves the temple and their house, the holy of holies, dwells only in people's hearts (Rev.21:22-23).
Those who look for a physical temple to appear in this world's Jerusalem look in vain. Such seers have only a limited understanding of Christian revelation. They came in late and threw out so much of what the Holy Spirit spent centuries putting in place that they now stand mystified by the revealed truths. Not even the creed, or in many cases the cross itself have withstood their demolition of traditional Christian understanding. No wonder so many now chase after myths.
There is to be a focus on this world's Jerusalem in the last day battles but that is because the Madman to come will be obsessed with the idea that he himself is a god the god of this world. To prove this he will feel the need to take control of the two cities on earth which share claims to God's holiness and lie outside of the Madman's own domain, i.e., the City of David in Rome and the city of Jerusalem in the land of Palestine. He will capture the one (Dn. 8:10-12) and surround the other with his forces in preparation for his culminating attack (Dn.11:45).
At that point, God will suddenly intervene and bring forth a hail of cosmic phenomena, and with it the disappearance of the enemy, and then, in the salvation of the Jews, the brilliant Return of Jesus Christ.
Then all people of the world will be judged for their behavior in accordance to what is written about them in the heavenly books. Many will be saved because they believed and acted accordingly before it was too late. The rest, turned away, will weep and mourn bitterly for their failure to act when they had the chance.
How can you say the millenium has already happened? KL
There are two schools of thought on this. Historically, early Christians believed the rule of Christ had not yet occurred. They were correct. Hidden in caves and catacombs and being hunted like wild animals, they were in a world where the spiritual and political reign of Christ had not yet taken place. That all changed when the Church came to power and exercised its authority across the planet.
The thousand years of Christian rule relates to Satan's imprisonment in the Abyss (Rev. 20:1-3). That "thousand-year" incarceration not only allowed Christian rule to occur on earth, it vastly speeded the process, decreasing the time needed for God's completion of His harvest of souls. Christ's thouisand-year rule on earth and Satan's imprisonment both occurred at roughly the same time; they coincided with one another, the one empowering the other.
Most Christian Bible scholars equate the "triumphalism of the Church" ushered in by Constantine and Theodosis, with the thousand-year reign of Jesus that scripture predicted. It is hard to argue that they were wrong. Now that it has ended; now that the Christian church has been stripped of its authority over the nations, that reign is easier to see today. The sudden absence of Church influence over international morality, after almost a dozen centuries of having controlled it completely, is palpable.
The Baptist church and its modern evangelical affiliates are convinced of the opposite. Clinging to the view of the earliest Christians, they ignore the fact of the Church (its 1700-year rule on earth) believing instead that Satan has not yet been jailed and Christ's earthly reign has not yet taken place. Scripture's insistance that Christ's kingdom is not of this earth they ignore. They see a flesh and blood Jesus returned to earth from heaven and overseeing a resurrection not into an eternal life in heaven, but into a much shorter thousand-year flesh and blood reign on this planet, centered in Jerusalem.
The disagreement hinges not only on disagreement about the Church's place in history, or the fact that God's kingdom exists in another part of the cosmos (or beyond) in a place far removed from this planet (John 18:36), but on the date of the first resurrection as well, because that, too, is part and parcel of this same prophecy (Rev. 20:4-6).
"...they came to life, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. This is the first resurrection; the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over. ·Happy and blessed are those who share in the first resurrection; the second death cannot affect theme but they will be priests of God and of Christ and reign with him for a thousand years." (Rev. 20:5-6)
Many Bible scholars equate this early resurrection with the original Apostles, and with a date coinciding closely with the death of Nero (68 A.D.) who had been responsible for putting so many of these original Christians to death in the empire. Such a date would have excluded the Apostle John who did not die with Peter, Paul and all the other Apostles when they passed away under Nero's extraordinary persecution. John continued to live for almost another 30 years.
Instead of participating in the first resurrection, then, John would have had to stay behind (with "the rest of the dead").and wait for resurrection later. For this reason, Jesus' comment to John about having to stay behind is fascinating because it argues strongly for just such an early first resurrection. John wrote at the end of his Gospel that Jesus told Peter He wanted John to remain behind till He returns:
"The rumor then went out among the brothers that this disciple (John) would not die. Yet Jesus had not said to Peter, "He will not die', but, 'If I want him to stay behind till I come'." (John 21:23).
Having missed the first resurrection, he would have had to stay behind to be with "the rest of the dead" (Rev. 20:5) who were to be raised at Jesus' Second Coming ("when the thousand years were over").
An early date for this first resurrection is also argued by the fact that Jesus told His disciples on another occasion "I tell you solemnly, there are some of these standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom." (Mat.16:27-28).
This is thought to be a reference to the transfiguration, which, in the course of scripture, seems to have happened only a few days later; but it could have wider implications. The writer of the Acts of the Apostles wrote of Stephen, when he was stoned to death,, the following words: "But stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand. 'I can see heaven thrown open', he said, 'and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God'." (Acts 7:55-56).
Even though it was was widely outlawed, the Christian religion in its earliest days (during its first three centuries) spread like wildfire across the Roman world. Despite it's growing acclaim and acceptance by thousands, it was viewed just the opposite (with often vicious hostility) by government officials. Laws were put in place to persecute those found practicing Christ's teachings.
Much of the Christian population in Rome had to hide in the catacombs to escape the wrath of the Roman authorities and soldiers. Despite an intense martyrdom that bloodied the face of eastern Christianity during this same period, those western Roman catacombs became the defining element characterizing the 300-year wrath that began the Christian Era. The Book of Revelations portrays those intensely violent years as a "battle", the first of two that would occur during the era of Christian rule on earth one at the beginning of the spread of the faith and the other at its end, when faith is predicted to collapse under assault.
In the year 313 A.D., that first "battle" (or war) officially ended when the Roman emperor Constantine reinstated Christians to legitimate Roman life by signing into effect an emperial proclamation to that effect, a document known as the Edict of Milan. Constantine went even further. Because he and his mother had both become Christians themselves, Constantine began bestowing his personal political favor on those of similar faith.
"Pilate wrote out a notice and had it fixed to the cross; it ran: 'Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews'...So the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate, 'You should not write "King of the Jews", but "This man said: I am King of the Jews"'. Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written'." (John 19:19-22).
The Jewish elders did not want Jesus to be their king so they sold Him to Rome for 30 pieces of silver. As king (made so in writing by the Roman authority in charge) a treaty of peace with Babylon was signed by Him in the blood of the cross. And so to Rome He went, taking everyone with Him by God's direction.
"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).
"In the year he came to the throne, the king of Babylon pardoned...the king of Judah and released him from prison. He treated him kindly and allotted him a seat above those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. So (the king of Judah) laid aide his prisoner's garb, and for the rest of his life always ate at the king's table. And his upkeep was permanently ensured by the king (of Babylon) for the rest of his life, day after day until his dying day." (Jer.52:31-34).
In 391 A.D., Theodosus, a subsequent emperor of Rome, signed Constantine's favor of Christians into law by ordering all Roman pagan temples closed, and declaring Christianity the official religion of the entire Roman empire. At that moment, world paganism was outlawed. Atheism was forbidden. Not only it's rites and ceremonies, but its very existance on earth was banned. The king of Babylon had put Jesus in charge of all he posessed.
And so, from Babylon, the graineries of heaven overflowed into the mouths and hearts of the pagan world.
"The king gave orders to release him, that master of nations set him free, putting him in charge of his household, in control of all he possessed, to train his officials as he thought fit and convert his elders into sages." (Ps.105:20-22).
Throughout all those years, the only diety officially recognized across the vast reaches of a globally expanding western world was the God of Christ. During that time, Christianity ruled the religious and political framework of the western world, (all its people and all its nations). The Eucharist was the food of the world.
Until the 16th century A.D. a nearly homogenous church heriarchy remained in effect. After that, the Church splintered and began to devolve into warring factions pitting church against church, nation against nation and people against people. In 1776 a document was signed in the "new" world, the global importance of which in terms of Christianity's future was not immediately recognized. It banned the Church from government, giving total political authority to the secular state, and forbidding Christ from participating in any way in that rule.
Given the overwhelming Christian influence in the fledgling American nation, the wording was immediately compromised in hundreds of unwritten ways, but the handwriting for the future was on the wall (or, in this case, in the Constitution). All it awaited was a judicial body willing to cancel the compromises.
Historically, the reign of Christianity over the earth turned out to be Christ's age of peace on earth, but it was a troubled peace. In this violent world, it existed only because God had Michael the Archangel incarcerate Satan and bind him in spiritual chains, locking him away in a prison in the Abyss. That imprisonment tipped the scales God's way.
He did this so that Christ's brief offer of peace and reconciliation with the Creator could be broadcast across the entire earth quickly. Once that intent has been satisfied, say the prophecies, the world's people and their authorities will revolt against the rule of Christ. Following that rebellion, say the scriptures, Satan is to be released from his chains and allowed to return to the planet to delude its people and mobilize them for world war (Rev. 20:8).
Historical events suggest that Satan's release has already taken place. These point to a date late in the 19th century, or very early in the 20th when all the major nations on earth tumbled together into chaos and began mobilizing for world war.
In the endless global warfare and lawlessness that has followed since then, the political rule of Christianity on earth has been brought to an end; toppled completely by the atheistic and secular forces that have returned Satan's flag to the emperor's pole.
Coupled with the return of those godless forces from the Abyss, churches everywhere have suffered vast losses in both attendance and rolls. During the last 100 years, the people of the world have changed their gods, and they have done so with alacrity, decrying the "horrors" of the Christian era they have helped to fell.
It was only because Satan had been imprisoned by God that the western world came under the rule of Christian forces. It could not have happened otherwise. Without that imprisonment, the world would have experienced an entirely different history one not architected to protect its course through the removal of Satan, the enemy Commander and Chief, and the concomitant presence of a mighty Church committed to defending the faith against all the heretics that rose to try to destroy it. Without that politically protected and powerful Church in place, vast numbers of the world's people would have been blocked from hearing Christ's voice.
The harvest would have failed, much in the same way that is happening today upon his return.
The current rebellion that has witnessed all the governments on the planet evicting the guidance of God from their ruling chambers is not an evolution towards enlightenment. It is a chaotic secular wind that scripture insists is ushering in a reign of violence greater than any ever known before. And it is happening because despite hearing Christ's message of peace, the world has rejected His teaching and shown it intends to follow another course, the one on which Satan has set his sails.
All this follows the course of predictions set forth thousands of years ago in scripture. We are watching the living proof of those prophecies take place before our very eyes. Just as they have up to this point these predictions will continue to unfold exactly as written . That continuation in the prophetic sequence is one of the strongest proofs there is of the truth of Christ and the truth of the scripture that pedicted Him.
What exactly is or was the rebellion Paul predicted in his letter to the Thessalonians (2 Th 2:3)? NK
That revolt applies to the Church and relates to the last days.
Historically, two profound spiritual rebellions have rocked the Christian religion over the last 500 years. The first was the Protestant revolt begun in 1517 with Martin Luther, etc. The second was the revolt of the nations when their kings evicted God from His seat at the royal table.
By dismantling the unity that had existed between the state and church, the leaders of the western nations, acting in concert with one another, effectively terminated the seventeen-hundred-year long reign of Christ on earth (Ps.2:1-12).
The first revolt led to the second.
The Protestant rebellion plunged many of the European nations into a violent period of warfare that lasted about 250 years. It splintered the Christian Church in Europe, transforming it from a single entity into literally hundreds of sects. The warfare and the fracturing left the close relationship between the temporal (state) powers and spiritual (church) powers in Europe broken and foundering.
It was at this point that the American colonies in 1776 posted a document that declared a separation of church and state. In the light of the spiritual rebellion that had just rocked Europe, this document had a profound effect on the governments of the western world. In less than 200 years, every western nation on earth joined America in declaring the notion of temporal and spiritual unity void.
The Church was thrown out of government. Out with it went Christ and God. From that point on, political rule in the western world became state rule, nothing else. This is not the world our forefathers grew up in. For most of the last 2000 years, all these rebelling nations served God and worshipped His Christ.
"The nations come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness....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." (Is. 60:3, 10-12).
It is clear in the prophecies of scripture that temporal and spiritual unity was to be a hallmark of the messianic age (Zech.3:8-10; 4:1-14+).
"Now listen, HIgh Priest Joshua, you and the friends who sit before youfor you are men of good omen. I now mean to raise my servant Branch...These are the two anointed ones who stand before the Lord of the whole world." (Zech 3:8-10, 14).
"Here is a man whose name is Branch; where he is, there will be a branching out...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. 6:12-14).
There are so many references in scripture to the close association between the temporal and spiritual powers during the messianic age, that the Essenes in Qumran (the people who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls) expected there to be two messiahs, not just one. They forsaw one as a high priest and the other as a king in the image of David, with both arriving at the same time.
What the Essenes did not know was that the Messiah would be God, Himself. The earthly government He set in place therefore, would, of necessity, be structured below Him. And it was to that underlying government the prophecies actually spoke.
Consequently the temporal and spiritual powers foreseen by scripture described, not the Godhead, but the structure of the government He, Jesus, left in place on earth when He returned to the Father. We see this union made manifest in Peter and Paul. Together, they constitute the high priest and the "Branch" prophesied by Zechariah, a perfect union between church and state.
The Church, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, has perpetuated this relationship in all who have come to rule under Peter and Paul. It started as soon as the Christians were allowed to leave the catacombs.
In Constantine and the Bishop of Rome, a close unity between state and church was set in place by the Spirit. This tight-knit bond between temporal rule and spiritual rule gave Jesus the seat of honor at the royal table of Babylon (Jer.52:31-34).
A similar kind of unity followed (in a Peter and Paul image) across the western world for over a thousand years (a fact that allowed the messianic age on earth to flourish). The head of the Church symbolically wore the mantle of Peter. The head of the state, in his conversion to Christ, symbolically put on the robe of Paul. This is a relationship that was repeated over and over again, nation by nation, across the earth in Christ throughout the millenium.
The dissolution of that spiritual and temporal bond could first be seen with Napolean. It occurred when he took the crown at his coronation out of the Bishop's hands and placed it on his own head by his own hand. In that action, the break between Peter and Paul was made manifest before the eyes of the world. By 1963, 159 years later, every western nation on earth had followed Napolean's lead.
This revolt by the nations constitutes the kings' writ of divorce from God (Jer.51:9; John 3:19).
The messianic age is the millenium (the thousand years of Church rule on earth). It is also the "Day" of Atonement, the time of God's offer of peace to the people of the world. The termination of the temporal and spiritual unity that structured this time period seems to me to be the Great Revolt described by Paul in Thessalonians.
It is a huge deal "...kings on earth rising in revolt, princes plotting against God and his Anointed, saying,
'Now let us cast off their bonds! Now let us throw off their yoke!" (Ps.2:2-3).
Even though the date of this revolt is very close to our own time, we can see clearly the falling away of the people from Christ that has accompanied it. Churches are closing all over the world. The Cathedrals in Europe exist now, only as tourist attractions. Some nations in Europe have Christian populations less than 5% of their total numbers. Atheistic governments, unknown during the messianic age, have blossomed across the planet, their mortal wound healed for all to see. At the same time, paganism, under its modern name "secularism", has experienced a spectacular rebirth.
In the same sentence he used to issue his prophecy of revolt, Paul indicated that it was leading directly to the identity of the Madman being revealed. The recent world wars argue that Satan has already been released from his prison in the Abyss (Rev.20:1-3, 7-9). According to scripture, the revolt, the world wars, the attack on the Church and the appearance of the man of perdition all correlate with Satan's return, an event that possibly coincided with Tsunguska.
The exact dates are not known. Nor are the dates for what still lies ahead: The rise of the East (Is.13:17-19), the fourth kingdom of Persia coming to power (Dn.11:2), the appearance of the ten nations (Rev.17:12), the invasion of these forces across the Euphrates (Rev. 16:12), the attack on Israel (Dn.11:16), the Madman's furious assault on the Church (Dn.11:30-32)...all these events still lie in a nearing future as the falling away foreseen by Paul continues unabated.
The termination of the temporal and spiritual coalition that structured the messianic age is a profound event in the history of Christianity. It has ushered the world out of the troubled peace of the Christian millenium, and launched us into the second war of the end times. This has plunged us squarely into the last week in Daniel's prophecy (Dn. 9:26-27).
The kings' revolt shows clearly that we are the rear column of God's harvest, among the last in the line.
There is an allegorical corrolary in scripture to what we are witnessing today. It involved the final stages of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt. The Pharaoah of Egypt who, at first had been urging the Israelites to leave with Moses and journey to the Promised Land, abruptly changed his mind. Satan entered him and he suddenly saw the departing tribes as criminals.
He gathered his forces and set off to attack the rear-guard of the Hebrew column as it made its way across the parted waters of the Red Sea. It was a fatal mistake. He did not recognize God's presence in the column. The kings today have failed to see the Son's presence as well.
"Why this uproar among the nations?
Why this impotent muttering of pagans kings on earth rising in revolt,
princes plotting against God and his Anointed, saying,
'Now let us break their fetters!
Now let us throw off their yoke!'
The One whose throne is in heaven sits laughing, God derides them.
Then angrily he addresses them, in a rage he strikes them with panic,
"This is my king, installed by me on Zion, my holy mountain.
Let me proclaim God's decree:
he has told me, 'You are my son,
today I have become your father.
Ask and I will give you the nations for your heritage,
the ends of the earth for your domain.
With iron sceptre you will break them, shatter them like potter's ware.'
So now, you kings, learn wisdom, earthly rulers, be warned:
serve the Lord, fear him, tremble and kiss his feet,
or he will be angry and you will perish,
for his anger is very quick to blaze.
Happy all who take shelter in him." (Ps.2:1-12).
Why did you put the Texas textbook issue on your time-line page for the year 2010? PL
Because of its vast national impact.
According to news sources, more than 80% of all state school systems in the United States use Texas textbooks (and their content) in their teaching curriculums. Consequently the schoolbook publishing industry in America is primarily a Texas operation. The current recommendations (which will receive final vote in May) will define most of America's textbooks for the next 10 years.
One of the issues attacked in these new changes involves the separation of church and state clause inserted by Thomas Jefferson in the foundation documents of the country.
This clause is demonized in some of the changes.
The controversy is the central thorn driving the Right-Wing civil war in America at the current time.
The U.S. Supreme Court launched America into this controversy in 1963 when they not only upheld the Jeffersonian clause but narrowly defined it in a way that overturned an unwritten compromise that had been in place since 1776 allowing the worship of the Christian God to flourish in America, both domestically and in government as long as that worship did not politically favor a particular church organization.
The current Christian-political outrage may be sweeping us toward both.
I have another question. Why did you put the Israeli settlement issue with Hillary Clinton and Vice President Biden on your time-line page? The news says it is just a small family squabble that has been blown all out of proportion by the Obama government. PL
In Bible prophecy, those Israeli settlements are much more than a small family squabble.
According to Jeremiah (Ch.42-46), those settlements will figure prominently in the invasion of Jerusalem by the combined forces of the East when they come streaming across the dried-up sands of the Euphrates river in the waning days of time. Moreover, it is that same invasion (sparked by those settlements) that ultimately brings to world-dominating power, the wicked and self-styled Persian prince scripture calls the "Beast" (whose actions actually end time).
Family squabble, indeed. Whose family are they talking about?
Over the last 2000 years the world has witnessed an extraordinary "Diaspora" in which the House of Israel, having been forced by God in the first century to leave the Holy Land, has been living ever since in an exile directed by God...captive to a foreign empire called "Babylon".
"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).
Bible prophecy makes clear that this exile, wrapped in the treaty of the cross (Jesus, the king of the Jews, was sold to Babylon for 30 pieces of silver), cannot end until the Prince of Persia comes to power and issues a decree mandating that end. (2 Chron. 36:19-23).
To date, no such Persian prince has ever come to power. Not since the time of Cyrus. Therefore, the prince prophesied is still in the wings.
In Jeremiah's writings however (those that discuss the future return of the Jews to the land of Israel) there is a portion dedicated to an EARLY return, before the king of Persia comes to power. It is allowed by God who moves, not the king of Persia, but the king of Babylon to have a change of heart and allow a small group of Jewish refugees with strong army ties to return to Israel under strict specifications. (See Jeremiah Chapters 42-45).
One of those specifications forbids Israel from building Israeli settlements outside the borders mandated by the United Nation's (Babylonian) decree. The other restriction demands that Israel remain peaceful (not inclined to warfare) and that it not sign a military pact with "Egypt".
"If you are willing to remain peaceably in this country, I will build you and not overthrow you; I will plant you, not tear you up. For I am sorry for the evil that I have done to you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon any longer; do not fear him for I am with you to save you and deliver you from his hands. I will take pity on you, and move the king of Babylon to pity you and let you return to your native soil." (Jer.42:1-12).
"But if you say: We do not want to stay in this country; if you disobey the voice of the Lord your God, and say: No, the land of Egypt is where we want to go...that is where we want to live; in that case, remnant of Judah, listen to the word of the Lord... God the Almighty, the God of Israel, says this: If you are determined to go to Egypt, and if you do go and settle there, the sword you fear will overtake you, there in the land of Egypt; the famine you dread will follow on your heels, right into Egypt; you shall die there. All the men who are determined to go to Egypt and settle there shall die by sword, famine and plague: not one survivor will escape the disaster I mean to bring them."
These scriptures warn that if those Israeli settlements are built where God has forbidden them, they will be the magnate that actually draws those eastern troops (and all the destruction they portend) in across the Euphrates River. The warnings are so severe that disobedience would seem to be unthinkable:
"The remnant of Judah who resolved to come to the land of Egypt and to settle there, I will remove: they will all perish in the land of Egypt; they will fall to the sword or perish of famine, from least to greatest: by sword and famine they will die; they will be an object of execration and horror..." (Jer. 44:12).
"I will deal as severely with these who who have made their home in the land of Egypt as I dealt with Jerusalem, with sword, famine and plague. Of the remnant of Judah settled in the land of Egypt, not one survivor is going to escape to return to the land of Judah where they long to live once again. For none of them are going to return, except for a few refugees." (Jer. 44:13-14).
After that invasion, and faced with the certain obliteration of the rest of its country by the sheer size and power of the invasion troops, Israel is able to save itself, according to Daniel, only by capitulating to the demands of the eastern forces that they sign a treaty mandating a nation-wedding between Israel and someone else. The likeliest candidate for this eastern-brokered union would be Palestine. Such a union would combine Palestine and Israel into a single country (Dan.11:17).
That is a fate Israel and everyone else would expect to be mortal, and it is to this expectation that the final line in Daniel's prophecy reads, "...but this will not last or be to his advantage." (Dan.11:17). In other words, it does not work to Israel's demise, just the opposite because God is at the helm, and His decision is in Israel's favor.
All this occurs before the prince of Persia comes to power, and the settlements play a key role in it.
The king of Babylon, in this case the United Nations, brokered a codicle to the dispersion treaty as a merciful compromise to a battered people, invisibly orchestrated by God (a fact not known to any of them), through the prophecies of Jeremiah. That is why Israel exists in Palestine today.
Reading Jeremiah's prophecy we can see that this alteration to the treaty (the mandate that Israel be exiled to Babylon) will be brokered between Jewish army leaders (a small segment of the Diaspora population) and the king of Babylon. These army leaders are allowed under the new agreement to take a remnant of Jewish citizens back to the land of Israel to settle in lands assigned to them by the king of Babylon.
Anyone who has viewed the movie, "Exodus" can see how accurately today's circumstances fit with Jeremiah's predictions.
Specific to this allowance, the king of Babylon is given by God authority to define the borders these Jewish refugees are to stay within. Jeremiah tells those Jewish citizens and army leaders that they may return peaceably and in full accordance with God as long as they stay within those borders. If they do not, the terrible disasters described above will overtake them.
"Understand this clearly: today I have given you solemn warning. You were playing with your own lives when you made me your envoy to the Lord your God and said, 'Intercede for us with the Lord our God: tell us what the Lord our God orders and we will do it'. And now that I have told you, you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord your God today, or any part of the message he gave me for you. So understand this clearly, you are going to die by sword, famine and plague in the place where you have been wanting to go and settle." (Jer.42:20-22).
The current "squabble" focuses precisely on this exact incindiary issue Jewish settlements in Arab land; in land forbidden by the United Nation's mandate when allowance was given by the world for the current Jewish return to the land of their Hebrew forefathers.
This prophecy states that the catastrophe will occur because the Jewish government undertook to defy God's instructions given to them through their prophet instructions which they ignored, or perhaps didn't even bother to read.
Does this prophecy have meaning for today? Not all Arabs are Egyptian, but all Egyptians are Arabs. The prophecy does not have to reach far into metaphore to apply. Either way, the prophecy forbids going beyond the borders assigned..
That order clearly has been defied. Thus the settlementsJewish settlements in Arab landis a portent for disaster however it is deciphered. Or whenever. And in today's world we can see that the dominoes are all falling in the direction of the prophecies. Western troops now stand guard at the Euphrates, right where Jeremiah put them before the invasion (Jer.46:1-12).
Those settlements are looming larger every day.
Did they take the abortion provisions out of the Health Care Bill before they passed it? PL
There never were any abortion provisions in the Health Care Bill. The only reference in that bill about abortion is that the new law cannot be used to fund abortions. A senator was so concerned that someone might not read that clause that he demanded it be put in there again. So it is in there twice, like an exclamation point.
The bill will save thousands of lives and help millions of Americans battle catastrophic illness and disease. There are many who say it doesn't go far enough, but it goes vastly farther than the circumstances it overturned. Those who fought to make this bill law have helped the sick and poor, both young and the old, in extraordinary ways.
Jesus, in the Book of Matthew tells us that at the Last Judgment, God will line up all humanity on two sides. He will then ask 6 questions. Entrance into heaven will be determined by the answers contained in God's Book of Life in relation to this exam (Mat.25:31-46). One of these six questions concerns the sick.
Those who toiled to come to the aid of the sick in support of this bill can now all answer "yes" to this question, and, in many ways, to the other 5 questions as well.
The use of the abortion question (which was never a part of the sickness bill in the first place) to try to stop the measure was a clear example of Christ's warning about not trying to nullify the word of God by means of a tradition. In this case, a pretext about money that had nothing to do with caring for the sick.
Take note of the language that was demanded by the anti-abortion forces: it concerned payment (money), not abortions per se. It's all about money.
God has given us a clear mandate, one on which salvation itself is centered, that we have a responsibility to help the sick a "we" that not only includes our own fate individually, but our nation's fate as well;
"Yes, in wickedness they go to any lengths, they have no respect for rights, for orphans' rights, to support them; they do not uphold the cause of the poor. And must I not punish them for such things - it is God who speaks - or from such a nation exact my vengeance?" (Jer.5:28-31)
The health bill is all about the cause of the poor.
The insertion of abortion into the Health bill was a smokescreen because that issue was never in the bill in the first place. The real subject underlying all the arguments is, and was, finance. The god of this world is money. And here, it, too has been used to try to make the word of God null and void. Going to great lengths to try to abrogate scripture's order with specious excuses, the forces trying to block God's mandate have pitted their own god (money) against the God of all creation.
Yet the Bible's command remains true. Any country that does not support the rights of its poor is heading for ruin. Until that bill was passed, every modern nation in the world provided health coverage to all its people except the United States. Even after the bill was passed, the fighting against it has caused millions to be left out.
To have concern for the embryo in the womb is a good thing, but to show no regard for that being once it comes out of the womb shows a lack of human compassion that is mind-numbing one that in truth seems to reach all the way back to the point of conception.
The nation found trillions of dollars to give tax breaks to the wealthy. If found trillions of dollars to wage war. It found trillions of dollars to bail out the banks and Wall Street from their wicked recklessness. It consistently finds trillions upon trillions of dollars for much more besides. It can fulfill God's mandate regarding the rights of the sick and diseased as well.
America cannot survive the alternative.
When Idi Amin stole all the money in Uganda's treasury and took it to his village. He stacked it thickly against the outside walls of his hut, completely surronding those walls all the way up to the ceilings. There all of Uganda's monetary wealth sat month after month through dowpour after downpour until eventually all the money rotted away and sunk down to become one with the mud it had stood upon. that is the fate of this world's god.
The Health Care Bill is a good thing. Our nation and our people are in better shape because of it.
About Paul's predicted "rebellion" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, which you say is going on now, when did it begin? GH
The seeds of the rebellion started with Martin Luther's revolt in Germany. His thesis created a schism in the northern European church communities that led to their trying to break away from Roman rule in the late middle ages. It plunged much of the area into 250 years of bitter warfare with the Catholic Church.
Those wars were devastating. They changed the entire political and religious landscape of northern Europe and were instrumental in the foundation of the United States of America as thousands tried to flee to a safer geographic sanctuary.
The warfare tore the northern European Church apart. Jesus has said that a house divided against itself cannot stand and this warfare was so vast and involved so many that this aphorism has truly been put to the test by the ensuing circumstances. The warfare in many quarters is still going on. The protesters have divided themselves over and over again through quarrels and disagreements so that today the entire Protestant Reformation has the appearance of a patchwork quilt of hundreds, if not thousands of competing theologies and beliefs.
Into the cracks of this battered foundation has seeped a secularist philosophy of government that is particularly antagonistic to Christianity and has sought to separate the latter from temporal government rule in other words, to throw God out of the throne-room. The European religious warfare and the fear of Catholicism driving it, gave the proponents of secular ideology a quantum leap in power.
The doctrine of this separatist movement is actually spelled out in clear legal terms in the Constitution of the United States, inserted there by certain of the Founding Fathers at the time of our goverment's inception.
In the United States, that doctrine of isolation was not carried out immediately, prevented for almost 200 years by an unwritten compromise that allowed religion not only to play a key role in governing U.S. morality, but to display a ubiquitous array of religious artifacts and images in the form of crosses and Ten Commandment displays in public areas. That compromise was overturned in 1963 by a Supreme Court decision.
Since that date, all the crosses and commandment displays have been torn down and Christian morality toppled by a secular morality championing gay rights, pornographic displays, abortion on demand and an academic and corporate war on everything "Church".
In Europe, its faith already shredded, there was no compromise. Secular rule was instituted there very earty. This was profoundly illustrated in the 19th century, when Napolean took the crown out of the Pope's hands and proceded to crown himself king.
This was followed by a stunninig and explosive reincarnation of atheism across the Eastern world and throughout much of Asia.
History shows a steady erosion of faith throughout Europe, with Church-state governments there collapsing one after the other into secular temporal rule, so that by the time of Adolph Hitler, almost the entire western world in Europe had evicted the presence of God from the governance of their respective nations.
It was out of this secular and atheistic darkness that Hitler and Joseph Stalin emerged.
This really represents the heart of the revolt separation of Church and State. That is because it overturns what God through the Holy Spirit put in place at the beginning of the Christian era just after the religion left the catacombs.
And if all this external rebellion wern't enough, the scripture's warn that in the last days the mother church will be destroyed by scandal a shameful internal break with faith so grave her image will not recover from it:
"the mother of seven sons grows faint, and breathes her last. It is still day (Christ is still being preached), but already her sun has set. Shame and disgrace are hers..." (Jer.15:9).
Even this prophecy seems now visible.
All this presages the advent of the second war of the end between God and this world (Rev.20:7+).
In an earlier time, the Church's climb out of the catacombs signaled the end of the first war in that sequence (Rev.19:11-20). An immediate cooperation between Church and State followed and it launched the Christian era. It began with the Edict of Milan, signed by the Roman Emperor, Constantine in 312 A.D.
What ensued was a "millenium" of relative peace that allowed Christ's word to be preached to all the nations with little interference from world forces. This preaching was facilitated by the fact that the spiritual Church and temporal government ruled together in relative harmony. The Church sat at the king's side, and there was for the most part, intellectual and spiritual agreement between the two powers.
To facilitate this "millenium", Satan was removed and locked in the Abyss. This incarceration lasted for at least 1600 years (during much of the term of Christ's preaching). This broke Satan's personal "hands-on" command of world forces. Paul prophesied that Satan would be released and allowed to return when the people revolted. And since that rebellion seems well in progress, the sign of Satan's return should be quite evident in recent world changes.
John, in the Book of Revelation says that on his return, Satan will mobilize all the nations of the world for war (Rev.20:7-9).. His powers of deception will be great, but made greater still by God's intent to enhance them (2 Thes.2:11-12). There will be a planet-wide clammoring for warmongering, and the military battallions raised in its pursuit will be vast, the likes and numbers of which have never been seen before on earth
We have observed thousands of hours of newsreel images displaying just these kind of never-before seen mobilizations and weaponry ripping the world apart now for almost a hundred years. they include two world wars, a third that left the planet armed to this day for a hellish firestorm (euphemistically called a "cold war"), and many, many more. And with the nations now united in universal revolt against Christian power it is reasonable to conclude that Satan has definitely left his prison cell and re-taken command of his world.
And what we have already seen appears just a prelude for what is to follow.
The prophecy in Joshua tells us that the Christian era will last "almost" two days (Joshua 10:12-14). The prophecy relates not to solar time, but to Atonement time. The "day" this prophecy speaks to is the "Day of Atonement", the time of the preaching of Christ's Gospel (the "light" of this world).
In Joshua's words, the daylight (the Day of Atonement) will shine continuously for "almost two days" before it sets making one day into almost two. The Bible informs us that a day to God is like a thousand years to man. If this correlation (a day to a thousand years) applies here, the phrase "almost two days" means just under 2000 years. Since this is the year 2010 of the Christian calendar, we seem to be incredibly close to the maximum reach of this prophecy right now.
The question is, in this calculation, what is the date that the light of God began shining on earth? Most scholars believe that Jesus began His preaching about the year 27 A.D. Probably a more likely year to begin the calculation, though, is the first Pentecost (either 30 or 33 A.D.) when the Holy Spirit returned with the Word glorified (a process that clothed it in the Holy Spirit, giving it the power of resurrection into eternal life).
For earlier dates there may be questions. But there can be no question that God's "Son" has been shining on earth every day since that first Penetcost. That date defines the age of Christ's Church.
Either way, that puts the 2000-year mark at, or just under, 20 years away. The qualifier "almost" 2000 years, obviously shortens it to less than 20 years, and no one but God alone knows by how much. But since it is so close, whether or not this prophecy applies will be known quite soon either way.
What the world will see in the absence of the Word of Christ proclaimed, is darkness. If the solar sun continues to be an accurate metaphore, the first images after "Son-set" will be a murkey twilight, followed very quickly by almost no Christian light at all.
This brings the night the second war of the end-times. It brings a world ruled completely by secular and/or atheistic forces, militarily united with the people of an alien god keen on warmongering (Dan.11:39).
It is hard to imagine all that happening so soon. It proffers almost no time left for repentance. It speaks to a harvest virtually complete. Twenty years seems like so little time. Yet it contains over 7000 days a vast amount of space within which change can occur either for salvation or otherwise.
These prophesies are true. Anyone reading this who hasn't repented and turned to Christ yet, should do it now. Every sign points to a single reality, that there is no time left to procrastinate.
The resurrection promise of Easter is still valid. More so now, because the last shall be first.
Please explain your interpretation of your quotation: "the mother of seven sons grows faint, and breathes her last. It is still day (Christ is still being preached), but already her sun has set. Shame and disgrace are hers..." (Jer.15:9). In my Bible that quotation is stated, "The mother of seven swoons away, gasping out her life; Her sun sets in full day, she is disgraced, despairing". PL
In the King James Bible, that quotation reads, "Her sun is gone down while it was yet day; she hath been ashamed and confounded..." In the NIV it reads: "The mother of seven will grow faint and breathe her last. Her sun will set while it is still day; she will be disgraced and humiliated..."
This is a prophecy in the book of Jeremiah. It relates to the people of God being handed over to their enemies in the last days (Jer. 15:6) because they have rejected the words of Jesus Christ and turned their backs on Him.
It describes the fate of the Church in the day of Wrath a church buried in scandal.
Its first focus can be found in the allegory in the Second Book of the Maccabees relating to the death of the mother and her seven sons in the days leading up to the appearance of Antiochus IV Epiphanaes (the despotic Greco-Syrian leader who had himself crowned king of Egypt and ordered the desolationg sacrilige erected in the Jewish temple in association with his massacre of its people) (2 Macc.7:1-9; Dn. 9:27: Matt.24:15).
That first focus shows that a correlation exists between this scandal and the Antiochus figure to come. It is wickedness that brings the wrath.
Historically, Jeremiah's prophecy relating to that Maccabean allegory has been variously interpreted by scholars as applying to the events of 167 B.C., or to the destruction of Jewish Jerusalem at the time of Vespasian and Titus in 70 A.D. when they burned down Herod's temple and took the Jewish heirarchy into a slavery that became the great Diaspora that we see today. The fact that the Romans soon erected a temple to Zeus on what had been the grounds of the Jewish temple seemed to many a proof of this correlation.
Jeremiah's words likely encompass both of those events, but only as a foretaste of what is still to come. His prophetic projection more accurately points to the end-time war on the Christian Church that is developing now in our own time. In the Book of the Maccabees, the mother is the last to die (after her seven sons). But in Jeremiah's prophecy, written two hundred years before the book of Maccabees, she is felled first, crushed by scandal and disgrace.
Perhaps both will hold true in certain ways when all is made known, but the Jeremiah version is far more in keeping with the scandal now sweeping across the mother church.
As regards the Church and its relation to the wrath itself, remember, just after Jesus rose from the grave, He appeared to the Apostles and pointedly told Peter how he would die:
"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 were you would rather not go." (John 21:18).
What applies to Peter also applies to the Church.
Their fates are inseparably locked together.
In the Book of Maccabees, the primary focus is on the seven Maccabean sons as they die, one at a time, each in defense of Judaism. As each one dies, the mother stands at their side championing their cause and cheering them on in their defense of the faith. Then she, too, succumbs.
Those seven sons, visible at the time of the Maccabees were difficult if not impossible to recognize in the Roman destruction of Judaism. Especially since no swift success followed the fractious Jewish efforts in their divided defense against the invaders. It has taken almost 2000 years for a Jewish presence to re-establish itself in the Holy Land in the wake of that loss.
That contrasts with Christianity where the seven sons have been clearly visible since the beginning, easily relating to the seven churches to whom the Book of Revelation is dedicated (Rev.1:4-20). The figure 'seven' is metaphore. In numerology it is a symbol of totality and completeness and perfection. The mother is the City of David in exile. At the center of this Davidic city is Peter, ("Petra. the Rock").
While this Christian city, too, has been in exile for almost 2000 years from the Holy Land, it's time has been spent in a continuous preaching (by the seven churches) of the Gospel across the world. That message has accomplished the rescue of a vast column of believers, leading them, year by year, to salvation in the true Jerusalem of God, a kingdom not of this earth, .
In Jeremiah's prophecy, after the mother's fall into disgrace, the seven sons are shown to fall as well.
"And the remainder of them I shall hand over to their enemies to be cut to pieces it is the Lord who speaks." (Jer. 15:9).
That prophecy is stated a different way in the book of Isaiah, but it says the same thing. And again, it relates to Peter, the head of the Church (Mat.16:18-20):
"I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder...I drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a throne of glory for his father's house. On it they will hang all the glory of his father's house, offspring and issue, all the least of vessels from cups to pitchers.
That day it is the Lord God who speaks the peg driven into a firm place will give way. It will be torn out and will fall. And the whole load haning on it will be shattered, for the Lord has spoken." (Is.22:22-25).
Jeremiah's prophecy declares that the attack against the mother and her sons will come because huge numbers have turned their back on God. A similar assessment is incorporated in Paul's prophecy contained in his second letter to the Thessalonians concerning the final days.
"The reason why God is sending a power to delude them and make them believe what is not true is to condemn all who refused to believe in the truth and chose wickedness instead." (2 Thes.2:5-12)
Daniel, whose prophecies are specific to the end of time, clearly reiterates a future Maccabean-like Antiochus kind of madman, and foresee his attack on the perpetual sacrifice and the desecration of the holy altar. But not in a Jewish sense. His prophecies all revolve around a "son of man" identical in description to Jesus Christ (Dn. 7:13-14).
In Daniel's description, the altar and holy place desecrated are not in Jerusalem. They relate to the exile to Babylon and Christianity (Micah 4:10). The rebuilding Daniel discusses relates to the Jerusalem of heaven, not earth. We can be absolutely certain of this not only because Daniel tells us so (Dn.7:9-23), but because all of his words relate to the end of the world, a time still in our future (Dn.12:4). And that future revolves, as it has for the last 2000 years, around Christ, not Moses.
All this speaks to the wrath a wrath that falls on the whole world and all its people, not just Christians or Jews (Rev.17:15-17; Is. 24:1-6; Dn. 7:19-23). It has been blocked for almost 2000 years by someone scripture recognizes, but does not name.
According to Paul, before the wrath can crush the church, that person has to be removed (2 Thes.2:7).
In the book of Daniel we are told that the one removed ("cut off" or assassinated) is "an anointed one", i.e., a bishop of high standing in the church (Dn. 9:26). That assassination relates back to Onias, the beloved high priest betrayed by his successor, Menalaus, a malignant church figure associated with Antiochus Epiphanes. It also relates to the secret third prophecy of Fatima, only recently revealed by Vatican officials. Her prophecy describes the fallen bishop as the "man in white", a reference to the Pope.
The highest bishop in the Roman church is the guardian on earth of the perpetual sacrifice, the communion service. This suggests that the perpetual sacrifice, itself, has much to do with blocking the wrath. For once the person guarding it is felled, Daniel tells us, the madman will be able to abolish this sacrifice (see Ch. 25, Babylon), and in the process bring the world to its end.
God has blocked the wrath for the sake of the harvest. Abolishing the perpetual sacrifice cancels the harvest.
"The earth is defiled under its inhabitiants' feet, for they have transgressed the law, violated the precept, broken the everlasting covenant. So a curse consumes the earth and its inhabitants suffer the penalty, that is why the inhabitants of the earth are burnt up and few men are left." (Is.24:1-6).
This last verse comes from the prophet Isaiah. You can see how many books of the Bible all come together to provide descriptions relating to this important prophecy describing the terrible blow the Church must endure in its final days before Christ returns. It is the church's share of the cross.
According to Daniel (Dn. 12:7), The madman will crush the power of the holy people (the City of David), as he brings a wrath of fire to the earth just before that Return occurs.
The seven sons (the 7 churches) are shown to fight valiantly against the madman in what appears to be a losing battle. But God comes to their aid at the last minute (Dn. 7:21-22), just as the evil one stands poised to destroy Jerusalem once and for all (Dn.11:45).
Freed from its exile, the City of David will return to Jerusalem by way of the desert, and finally to the East gate of the temple mount where the reunion between the two houses of Israel will be accomplished. It is at that very moment that Christ will return in a blinding flash of light seen instantly from one part of the earth to the other.
After that, the cause for which the mother and her seven sons gave their lives will prove victorious, just as it was prophesied to be at the time of the Maccabees. God will rule in favor of the saints.
And Christ and His people shall reign in that victory over death, forever.
Since babies are born pure and have no sin why do you insist they have to be baptised? I think baptism is not necessary in Christ anyway. Just loving Jesus should be enough. OP
We were all born on this earth tainted with sin a deep, scarring permanent sin caused by the contamination of Satan. Both the New and Old Testaments teach this. It is the single reason why sacrifice (to expiate sin) is at the heart of both books of the Bible.. The Old Testement puts the moment of this contamination at the Garden in Eden.
Scripture's message is clear: everyone born after Adam and Eve carries Satan's mark of sin on their souls. This includes babies. Satan's mark is invisible. You cannot see it. It is present in infants and adults alike. No one is born pure.
This stain has nothing to do with sinning in the sight of the people. In the Book of Revelation it is the mark of the Beast, i.e., the mark of Satan's rebellion against God. The dark shadow of that rebellion covers us all. Satan's stain is present on our souls because of the Law. It means "born contaminated".
There is only one way to remove this mark.
Jesus died on the cross (God's only Son died on the cross) to make the sacrifice demanded by the Law necesssary to remove that invisible stain of sin. Why on earth would He go to the cross for any other reason. That was the whole purpose behind the need of crucifixion. His death was a legal sacrifice the ultimate sacrifice because it was made by God Himself.
God is not lawless. He keeps the Law.
Jesus went to the cross to pay the penalty the Law demands of us. He paid that penalty in our place. He went there specifically to cleanse us of sin, legally.
He died for the world, but his death did not save the world in mass.
Jesus Christ represents a decision. Every person on earth must choose for themselves whether they accept His sacrifice in their name or not. Every person on earth has to decide for themselves whether to follow Jesus or not.
If they choose Christ, each person has to be marked with the water of baptism to legally acknowledge their acceptance of God's offer. That is because the Law demands that our bodies be marked with the sign of His covenant in order for it to take effect on each of us personally. This is all very legal, because it is the legal action that takes us out of the Law and therefore away from its power to condemn.
"My covenant shall be marked on your bodies as a covenant in perpetuity." (Gn.17:13).
Done one time only, baptism's cleansing is permanent.
"Through the Law I am dead to the Law, so that now I can live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now, not with my own life, but with the life of Christ who lives in me." -Gal.2:19.
Christ's mark on our bodies is the only thing that can take us out of the Law. That is why no other religion or faith can lead to the kingdom of heaven. Its gates are barred by the Law. And only Christ can get us out of the Law.
"I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, buts gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand." (John 10:1)
"Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life; the anger of God stays on him." (John 3:36)
In the Hebrew theology, the priest made this mark with the blood of a sacrificed lamb or goat. But everyone, including the priests themselves knew that their mark was not pure enough under the terms of the Law to effect a lasting cleansing of the soul. That is why they had to do it over and over again. No matter how many sacrifices they made, the people remained in the Law.
Baptism in Christ takes us out of the Law of sin and death. That breaks sins power over us. But in order to make that break complete we need to incorporate the Spirit of Christ withini us. We have to believe in Jesus. (Baptism's permanence depends on the presence of the Holy Spirit).
In his Gospel, John said: "I tell you solemly, unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God..." (John 3:5)
This shows that the gate to salvation has a lock that requires two pass keys.
The two, water and Spirit, do not have to arrive at the same time. This is proved by the fact that most Christians were baptised as babies, 'on account'. While the water of baptism purifies our soul (takes the mark of the Beast off of it), the Spirit gives our soul a new character. It implants the Gospel in our heart, changing our nature from secular to Christian, remaking us in the image of the Gospel taught by Christ.
"I am the resurrection. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:25-26).
The Spirit makes the mark of baptism (its cleansing action on or soul) permanent therefore both parts are essential. Both water and the Spirit.
We can see that because we all continue to sin after baptism. That is why we spend so much time in repentance asking that our forgiveness be perpetuated by our faith. The Spirit, through the cross can grant us that request any time it is asked (and even when we forget to ask) but only if we have broken with original sin through baptism, first.
Under the heading, The Peope of the Past,
The Clock of God, Chapter 3, The Return of God,
There is a fundamental difference between the people who died before the flood and those who came afterward, and for this reason, Peter tells us that Jesus had to preach twice. He said that Jesus went down to preach to the dead after he was crucified. "I went down into the countries underneath the earth, to the peoples of the past." (Jonah 2:7).
Here is the KJV version of Jonah 2:7:
"When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple."
Jonah 2:6 is a little bit like your posted verse, but that too is very different.
Thought you would like to know :)
Thanks much for your website - I have enjoyed reading some of it.Ms.M
Thank you for your input. I have amended the chapter in question to clarify the text.
"It was only to seek and find His lost children that God allowed Babylon to come into existance.
Despite its miraculous rebirth, this world is not destined to last either. According to the Apostle Peter, the earth is going to be destroyed (2 Peter 3:5-10; 1 John 15-17) and for the very same reason that Eden was destroyed. Babylon is just a temporary replacement of Eden -- made only for our rescue by Jesus. It has no other meaning.
The People of the Past
There is a fundamental difference between the people who died before the flood and those who came afterward, and for this reason, Peter tells us that Jesus had to preach twice. He said that Jesus went down to preach to the dead after he was crucified (1 Peter 3:18-20).
The prophet Jonah alludes to Jesus' post-crucifixion decent into Sheol (Jonah 2:3-7), with Peter, inspired by the Holy spirit revealing that He had gone down into the countries underneath the earth, to the peoples of the past. The text of Jonah's verse 3:7 is vague in the Greek and has been interpreted by some writers in almost those exact words. There is no question that the Apostle Peter saw Jonah's prophecy that way.
When Jesus did this, he did not go to the people who had died on earth before he was born, he went instead to those who had died before the flood took place. (1 Peter 3:18-20). This means that everyone who was born on earth after the flood occurred (even though they came and went thousands of years before Jesus appeared) God was able to rescue from our own scriptures.
How He was able to do this is a mystery, but Jesus confirmed it when he said, "On judgment day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here." (Mt.12:41).
But those who lived in Eden had to be preached to another way. They had no faith and went right on sinning up until the moment their world was destroyed. That is why Jesus had to go to them in spirit after he was crucified.
"In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life, and, in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison. Now it was long ago, when Noah was still building that ark which saved only a small group of eight people 'by water'...that these spirits refused to believe." (1 Peter 3:20).
The dividing line that separated those souls from ours was a boundary of both faith and flood. Everyone born in Babylon is descended from Noah, and therefore has come to life in the seed of faith.
The people of Eden were just the opposite. Since they had no faith, God had no power to raise them up to see Christ the way He was able to do with us. Their souls could not be raised to life in this world because of their lack of faith, and for the same reason there is little likelihood that any of them listened to Jesus when his spirit preached to them in their captivity either."
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