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2012


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January 7, 2012
Bible Prophecy:

Christmaas, Hannukah and the Solar Calendar

Comment:

In the Old Testament, the Mosaic calendar measures the flow of time by the cycles of the moon. The holy days and festivals in the OT are all based on a 28-day lunar cycle. The Christian calendar, on the other hand, is based on the cycles of the sun. Consequently, the Hebrew holy days fall near the solar days they portend, but usually not on them, instead, scattered closely around in a non-uniform manner.

Christianity has structured itself on the solar calendar not simply because we are held captive in Babylon (a land that measures time by the cycles of the sun), but because Jesus stands for many cosmic things the sun represents as far as biological life on our planet is concerned. The sun gives off all the energy that powers natural life here. The moon does not. That is because its light is not its own, but only a reflection of the sun.

Moses, who gave a reflection of the Law, is like the moon in that respect. What he saw on Mount Sinai was a reflection of God's Law, and the life-giving processes which that Law forcast, but could not provide. Jesus, on the other hand, who actually came down from heaven and brought with Him the words that impart the energy of eternal life, functions like the sun. The Light of Jesus powers life itself. But in His case, true life. Eternal life.

This is one of the primary symbolisms in scripture. We see it repeated, not just in the two books of the Bible, but in the immediate structure of the cosmos itself. It is a fundamental truth.

The lunar and solar days correspond to one another, but not exactly. The moon dates swing around the solar dates like a floppy appendage. While they remain close, the two dates unite only infrequently.

A good example of this is Christmas. The Hebrew holy day that defines and predicts Christmas day falls in winter on the Jewish calendar date, Kislev 25. The Christian fulfillment of this Hebrew holy day is December 25. Both dates are deep in winter, close in time, and every once in awhile the two fall on the very same day.

The same is true of the orbit of the Hebrew Passover around Easter, the orbit of the Hebrew Feast of Weeks around Pentecost, and so on.

The Jewish holy day that corresponds to Christmas is Hannukah which is the Jewish Festival of Lights which celebrates the purification of the holy altar in the Temple in Jerusalem by Judas Maccabees on the 25th day of Chislev (Kislev) in the Hebrew calendar.

The altar needed to be purified because it had been desecrated. While this sacrilige corresponds to a specific prophecy by Daniel concerning a time very close to the end of the world, the dimensions of the stain and cleansing it embodies are far broader.

Whereas Judas Maccabees purified a building and its altar, Jesus stands for the purification of people themselves. Christ's purifcation cleansed us of the desecration of our souls by Satan ­ erasing from us the stain of "original sin". Jesus' birth on earth signals the moment in time for this "cleansing" process to begin.

Since it is Christ's sacrifice that enables this divine cleansing to occur, everything centers on Jesus. Hannukah relates to Christ. His sacrifice relates to the Temple

Peter said that we (those who take refuge in Christ) are the living stones that make up God's true Temple. Moreover, the Holy of Holies (the inner sanctuary of God's Temple) lies inside each one of us ­ in our souls. And it is this altar within us that Jesus purified. He did not purify the earth or any buildings, just the souls of those who choose to follow Him to eternal life.

It is a purifcation that comes with baptism and it is eternal if we do not abandon Christ.

The Holy Spirit's intent in special days and their cosmic relationships is to inform. To give answers to the mysteries that surround God and His relationship with His people. The calendar and its days bring us back, sequentially, to these mysteries to remind us of important meanings lest they be forgotten with age.

For the first 15 centuries of church history there were no printing presses and few books. Anything written had to be done by hand. Consequently, the common people were mostly unlearned ­ they could not read or write. Symbols, paintings, icons, statues and the like were used as reminders of the most meaningful parts of the Bible's stories and content. Remember, the scripture tells us that the common people were the ones Jesus had particular concern for.

His words had to reach them, the common folk, foremost and above all.

the Church recognized early on that in Jesus Christ there was a birthday of uncommon significance. God had become man for the sake of our salvation from death. The desire to celebrate this date helped power the day chosen as the date of His birth. But above that, the alignment of the proper Hebrew festival that foreshadowed it was essential to this choice as well.

In Christian writings Christmas services were being celebrated on December 25th in the Church by the early 300's, just as the people of God were coming out of the catacombs at the dawn of the Christian Era.

Since Jesus told His Apostles that what they bind on earth will be bound in heaven, our date for Christmas and its correlation to the birth of Jesus will never change. It has been bound. But the elements surrounding it are interesting and worth exploring.





January 12, 2012
Bible Prophecy:

Christmas and Parousia

Comment:

The early Christians had one prophetic word relating to the end of the world. It stood for both the appearance of the Rebel and for 'the Second Coming' of Christ. That word was 'Parousia'. The bi-polar circumstances inherent in this single definition points to the close relationship between these two appearances ­ the satanic "Daystar" figure who claims to be god, but brings the Tribulation. Following close behind him will be the Return of Jesus Christ.

There is a cosmic representation of these two figures. Venus in the winter sky rises in the east just before the dawn at the darkest point of the night. Bright and spectacular, he looks like the light, but is not. Close behind is the rising of the sun.

There is a certain day set aside in the Christian calendar for the appearance in the world of a divine Being. That day is January 6th, Epiphany-the word itself meaning 'appearance' or 'manifestation'. In the western church epiphany represents the day Jesus Christ was made manifest to the people of the world, i.e., the day the 3 Wise Men visited Him as He lay in the manger at Bethlehem.

In the Eastern Orthodox church Epiphany represents the day of Christ's birth (the eastern church does not recognize the western Christmas).  Ths same date also represents to them the date of Jesus' baptism by John at the river Jordan (thought by eastern Christians to have occured 30 years to the day after His birth).

In its ultimate fulfillment, however, the word and the date point to the Parousia ­ the word with the double meaning.

Whether the Rebel, as the impersonation of divinity, or Jesus, returning as the true Son of God will make their appearance in the view of the world on this specific date (Epiphany) cannot be said for certain, but scripture is clear that the whole Christmas season has deep symbolic ties to the pivotal events of the last days.

Because the calendar governing Christ's return has been divinely altered, it is not possible to link His Second Coming with this date (or any other date, for that matter), but the Rebel's appearance seems to be another matter. Since Epiphany follows by only 12-22 days the event of the abomination of the sacrifice (see below), the 'son of perdition' will likely make himself manifest to the world very near to this date (January 6), if not coincident with it.

Following the bishop's murder the identity of the beast will be clear to everyone who understands the prophecy. The assassination itself will permit the Rebel to openly manifest himself before the world, and his coronation will confirm it in terms which are absolute. For this reason, in the aftermath of this devastating martyrdom, the final events of the End will cascade upon each other, one after another, each precipitated by the other in rapid succession.

The persecution of the Jews by Antiochus lasted a little over 3 years-in fact, the Jewish sanctuary itself lay desolate almost 3 years to the day. The prophecies of Daniel indicate that the persecutions of the Rebel will follow a similar pattern. (Dn. 12:11).

The "Desolating sacrifice" was instituted on the 15th day of Chislev (1 Macc.1:54). Thus the Jewish altar was desecrated and the Temple profaned. Chislev is Hebrew month on the lunar calendar which correlates with the Christian month of December on the solar calendar..

Three years later, on the 25th of Chislev, the Temple was purified again by Judas Maccabees who removed the desolating object that had profaned it (1 Macc.4:52), an event commemorated ever after by the Jewish people in the celebration known as Hannukah.

Ten days in December separate these two events, the Temple profaned and the Temple purified. This is the same number of days that often separate Hannukah from Christmas. The coincidence in these two dates may be portents of the future.

The Rebel's assassination of the Prince of the Covenant (Christianity's holy Bishop) will be quickly followed by the rout of the sanctuary and the abolition of the Perpetual Sacrifice (the Eucharist). That is the moment when Jesus said that everyone in Judea should run for their lives by escaping to the mountains. (Mat. 24:15-16).

The assassination of the Christian bishop will launch the harshest events of the Tribulation.

According to the Apostle Paul (2 Thess 2:7), God has decreed that for as long as that Bishop (the one who will later be assassinated) remains in place overseeing the perpetuation of the Last Supper, the rebellion will be kept at bay. But when he is removed, the whole Church will collapse ­ Catholic, Protestant, Greek-all of it.

"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 hanging on it will be shattered, for God has spoken." (Is. 22:25).

With the Bishop's death the signal will be clear ­ the 'Abomination of Desolation' is at hand ­ the Rebel is on his way to the sanctuary. Tearing down the communion sacrifice and erecting iniquity in its place, the beast "will enthrone himself in God's sanctuary and claim that he is god" (2 Thess 2:4), thus making inevitable the world's end. (Is.24:5-6).

Daniel used the disastrous abomination in the sanctuary as the measuring point for his 1290 days of Christian persecution, and the 1335 days. The latter illustrating a 45-day period of world darkness and disaster beginning with the Rebel's death, his army's annihilation by God, and Michael's journey to Jerusalem. (Dn.12:11-12).

For this reason, we must see the assassination of the 'anointed one' (Dn 9:26) and the desecration of the sacrifice he ruled, as the 'Pearl Harbor' of the second war of the Apocalypse-the definitive signal that the final war against Christ (Rv. 20:7-9) has been officially launched by the people of the world. (Dn. 12:11).





January 24, 2012
Bible Prophecy:

Secular Christianity

Comment:

According to Pew poll figures, 87% of all Americans are Christian. Despite this overwhelming majority, Americans have watched the celebration of Easter virtually disappear from the prominence it enjoyed in our culture only 40 years ago; we have stood by and allowed the celebration of Christmas be re-labeled "holiday", and quietly tolerated the spreading of the Good News of Christ to be quelled to a whisper, now barely audible in the cacophany of secularism as it has been driven inexorably out of the public commons.

Instead of the the awe and respect the words "Jesus" "Christ" and "God" had in our society so recently, we have watched them labeled with false charges of bigotry, wrongness and ignorance and removed physically and spiritually from our public schools and lands.

What we have watched, instead of the spread of God's word, is the mantra of "separation of state from Jesus Christ" become the rallying call of secular America. What happened to Pew's 87% during all this expulsion of the Christian message from America's heartland and shores? Where has courage fled to?

The simple fact is, the term "secular Christian" is a civil war. It is the lukewarm point where hot and cold meet, i.e., it is Laodicea (Rv. 3:15-16). The two terms are so contrary to one another that their union is an impossibility.. While paying lip-service to the worship of Christ, it is not the figure in the scriptures they follow. Instead of the Bible, they wave the constitution around and bow to the god of finance. It is not Peter and Paul they study, but Thomas Jefferson and Warren Buffett.

The lamps on the lampstand, one by one, are being snuffed out. "If you want to worship Jesus", they say, "go bury yourself in your church and do it there where you won't be out bothering anyone". Contrast that with Jesus' orders to all of His disciples:

"Your duty is to go out and spread the Good News of the kingdom of God"

'Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned." (Luke.9:60; Mark 16:15-16)

That is a call to public proclamation, something Billy Graham understood. Secular Christians not only violate this precept, they firmly dictate against it. Jesus said,

"He who does not gather with me, scatters." (Mat.12:30)

What does Jesus say about those who command the direct violation of God's orders? Who tell them, "Don't do what God ordered you to do, do the opposite instead." That, according to Jesus, is spiritual suicide.

"Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin: and no town or no household divided against itself can stand." (Mat.12:25)

And it isn't just the preaching of the word that is being quieted, it is the living of it as well. Secular Christian America has broken with righteousness. The highest figures in our political process are out taking bows for their addiction to greed and sin. They revel in it openly and with great pride.

"Yes, in wickedness they go to any lengths. They have no respect...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.5:26-31)

It is against the backdrop of this immoral gloom that Christian America is watching its Son set.

 

 






-In Christ Jesus,
E.C.S.Leavenworth
 

 

 


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