January 2, 2000
The millenium starts in 2001, not 2000. Don't you know that? JN
The year 2000 begins a millenial year. It is a year of transition, passing from one millenium to the next. It is like a year of grace. It is a critical time for repentance and conversion. The world has come to the end of the harvest. If not now, on January 1st, 2001, the "third day" in biblical prophecy begins for certain. That "day" is designed to encompass a thousand years, just as the first and second days before it did. But it will not last a thousand years. Jesus said God has cut those days short because of their ferocity.
In the prophecy of Moses, the first and second days were days of "washing and cleaning" in preparation for seeing God. The third day, said Moses, is the time of His appearance. The washing and cleaning refers to repentance and conversion.
If the world has been offered an extra year for that conversion, it is only by the grace of God that the time has been extended. That is why it is such a critical moment in time. The offer of God must be embraced now, and held onto tightly. The Bible tells us that a world intensely hostile to Jesus will replace the harvest-time He created, instituting warfare in place of peace. We have already seen images of that hostility, but few can imagine the extent of the tribulation that lies ahead.
There is only a short time left for conversion. The 'Day of Christ' is coming to an end. The time of peace God extended to the world through Him is about to vanish. When it does, the world will lose the offer of reconciliation God has extended to mankind through His Messiah. Already the schools have removed any mention of God from their curriculum. In expanding areas across the globe, the Word of Christ is becoming a forbidden doctrine. There is a convergence of the Bible's signs of the last days with the circumstances of history which now surround us. Night is coming when no one can work.
The year 2000 is a critical moment in time because it is a defining point in the chronology of God's harvest. What the world does over the next year with respect to Jesus will determine the entire future of the earth. Does that apply to individual people as well? Jesus said that a time will come when God will lock the gates of heaven and the offer of reconciliation will be withdrawn (Matt.25:1-13). We do not know when that moment will come, but all who have not yet converted should act as if God's gates are closing at this very moment and enter with great haste.
The time is now!
What about the floods in Venezuela? Where was God then? LK
The Bible tells us that life was originally made to be eternal. It was Satan's jealousy that brought death into the world. That is why this earth is not paradise. We live in a world that reflects Satan's contamination. That is also why natural disaster is so commonplace. All of these catastrophe's point to a larger reality. Every death on earth when it strikes is a microcosm of the floods in Venezuela. Whether death comes to just one person at a time or in blocks of thousands in a single instant, it is the same fate awaiting us all. It is all a part of the same catastrophe.
We build great facades to hide this truth. But our blindness to this reality does not stop it from happening. Death on earth is inevitable. Life is not long here. Even to those who live many years, life is very short and passes quickly. Ask anyone who has lived 90 years and they will tell you the same thing. It (their life) passed by so fast it seemed like only an instant in time. High school was just a couple of years ago, or so it seems. And then, like in the floods of Venezuela, it is swept away. That is precisely why Jesus is so important to us. He promised eternal life. He came to us with a cure for death.
Paul Erlich came in the 1940's with the 'magic bullets' of antibiotic medicine and he extended millions of lives with his miraculous injections, but his discovery pales in comparison with the cure brought by Christ, because the cure of Jesus doesn't just extend our life, it preserves life forever. This is a mammoth gift to us from God and it is offered free of charge to anyone who wishes to have it. It is free for the taking.
Jesus said that God could not cure the world. Satan had corrupted it so badly, it was doomed. Satan, not God, brought death into the world. That is the real meaning of the floods in Venezuela. That is why everybody born of this earth must come to a bitter end. It is because of the contamination Satan unleashed into the world. But Jesus thwarted Satan's catastrophic act. As the world makes its terrible plunge into the flames of death, Christ has offered to lift us off this doomed terrestrial spacecraft and transport us to a world where death is unknown.
The floods in Venezuela only serve to warn us to grab that lifeline before it is too late. We are heading to the same fate as they. Those who make the Lord their God will rise alive from catastrophe. The Lord will call their name and they will stand again and live forever. That is what Jesus proclaimed.
We have received numerous requests for information regarding the prophecy secrets revealed to three shepherd children at Fatima, especially the third prophecy which had been kept secret by officials of the Roman Catholic Church and never revealed.
This last Saturday, on May 14, 2000, the Vatican issued an announcement, finally making that secret public.
Lucia dos Santos, the shepherd girl of Portugal who had been the guardian of the secret prophecy sent it to the Vatican in a sealed letter with instructions that it not be opened or read publicly until 1960 (or later). Vatican officials chose the second option, keeping it secret for another 40 years.
That secret was finally unveiled just two days ago. It predicted the assassination, or attempted assassination of the Pope. Since the Pope was seriously wounded in 1981 by a Turkish gunman in St. Peter's Square, there was great wonderment around the world as to why the secret had been guarded so long after that attempt (which was voiced by the Vatican as their interpretation of the meaning of the 1917 vision).
Front page newspaper accounts across the world detailing the secret's unveiliing all voiced a similar theme: 'There must be more'.
For the contents of the Vatican's revelation and our interpretation of this vision, and the prophetic scriptural quotations surrounding it, please see: Third Secret of Fatima Revealed.
Are we seeing the end of the world beginning now in the fighting this week between the Jews and Arabs? DV
Though enemies now, the prophecies of the last days show that in the Middle East, the Arabs and Israeli's will ultimately unite. But nowhere in the scenario of that entire arena (scripturally) is there any mention of peace. Or of peaceful times. Not even in unity. It will be tumult on top of tumult says the Bible. Certainly the hot tempers of those involved will insure that if nothing else.
God is stirring up the pot because the soup is just about done and the time has come for stirring.
In the Psalms exists a phrase that man in prosperity forfeits wisdom. That statement by God tells us that the current moment cannot possibly be a time of great intellect. And that is why we see in these days such a strong push away from things Godly.
It is money-time. And, of course, such moments in history always bring disaster. It is inevitable, given the runaway greed sweeping the country and the world, that God is going to chasten that headlong sprint.
Only in Godly times can good times wax perpetual. The current events are a harbinger, not just of a temporary impediment (like the warnings of times past), but the Big One as well, i.e., the terrible tribulation, which the sequence of signs clearly indicate is growing very, very close.
Ultimately the powers of the last days will pit the north against the south, according to the prophet Daniel, and the division between those powers will, at some crucial moment in time, lie along the Euphrates river. So a treaty between Israel and Palestine will ultimately come to pass. And it will involve Egypt and Jordan as well.
Antagonistic to those countries will be Iraq (if it continues to exist) and Iran. Most probably, it will also include Turkey, Syria, and all the Islamic countries that once comprised the old Soviet Union. All of Asia and the rest of the world will be called or forced to pick sides and join one camp or the other.
Drawn into the fray and playing a crucial role will be the "ships of Kittim" (a country to the far west). The explosion rocking the U.S. Naval ship Cole in Yemen a few days ago correctly targets both the country which 'Kittim' represents as well as the general area encompassed in the prophecy.
The cards are being played and the pieces are falling into place. With God driving the moment, there is very little the ambassador's of either side can do to forestall or prevent the outcome divinely dictated, especially without consulting the architect. And none seem inclined to do that, except in screamed public exhortations to make them victorious in battle against one another.
According to scripture the Jews were exiled from Jerusalem, not because they were cast out of God's favor, but for the purpose of the salvation of the pagans. As a consequence, that event (the Diaspora), ushered in an era called the 'Age of the Pagans'. During that age the Jews were divinely locked out of their ancient homeland.
Had this not happened, the pagans could not have been offered God's salvation. A vast amount of people would have died outside of God's grace.
Not until the 'Age of the Pagans' comes to an end, said Jesus, an event that has not yet occurred, will that lockout be lifted. But a codicil to that holy directive was added with the interdiction of the prophet Jeremiah. A treaty was put in place through the power of prophecy whereby the pagan nations could, on mutual agreement, direct a small contingent of Jewish refugees to return ahead of time (i.e, before the age of the pagans ended).
However, a strict warning accompanied this rider specifing that it must occurred within tightly regulated conditions. The conditions were spelled out both by Jeremiah, and later, in 1947 by the United Nations, and codified. Once promulgated and agreed upon by the nations, a remnant of Jewish people were allowed to break the divine chains of the Diaspora and return ahead of the prescribed time.
During the wars that followed, Jewish leaders took control of lands not included in the original terms. As victors in the wars with their neighbors, they felt no compunction to adhere to the original boundaries set forth by the agreement of the nations, but expanded them and solidified that expansion by sending settlers into those captured terriories to confiscate significant portions of seized lands. This broke the treaty. The penalty for that is specified in Jeremiah's prophecy and the effects dictated are now playing out.
The terrifying results and future portents of Jeremiah's predictions have divided the Jewish people into two bodies of people. That division is growing stronger. One is very militant as far as the Palestinians are concerned, and the other wants peaceful coexistance. In 1995, while conducting a peace rally, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by his own people as a part of this internecine factionation, with the hardliners replacing him.
It is this group that controls the Israeli government now, and their policies are very much subject to the emotions of the Jewish settlers now occupying the confiscated territories.
The saner moment ahead when the Palestinians and Jews finally make peace with one another is certain to come because it is spelled out clearly in the prophetic scenario of the last days. However, the moment of its existance may be brief, and throughout all those times, great tribulation and war will rock the Holy Land and spill its incendiary byproducts all over the world.
That is because a treaty of peace between Arabs and Jews will splinter muslim efforts to unite Persians and Arabs against Israel. The turmoil that follows will engulf the entire Middle East in civil war. In the inflammatory moment of those times, a man so heinous that the Bible calls him 'the Beast' will rise to power and by his hand bring the world to the destiny Jesus predicted.
Only those who embrace the message and person of Jesus in their hearts and those Jews loyal to the peaceful tenants of the Torah will be saved and given eternal life.
I am very concerned about your response to the question posted on your website dated 9-15-98. The thing that bothered me the most about your answers was were you said the prior to Christ's death everyone went to Hades. Can you then explain Lazarus and the rich man? When Lazarus died he was carried into Abraham's bosom by angels and the rich man entered into Hades. Please reply. DS
Of course, you are absolutely correct about Lazarus. Jesus in the parable you quote shows us that not only was Lazarus lifted up to God, but also Abraham. Other passages show us that Moses and Elijah were as well. These latter persons visited with Jesus at the transfiguration (Mat. 17:1-3). Jesus told the Jews that God was the God of the living, not of the dead (Mat.22:32), mentioning Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
You are correct about Hades as well. Scripture shows that a small number of people on earth were able to escape that fate. However, this does not alter the answer to the question you inquired about because these few exceptions entirely exclude the prodigious world population.
Until the coming of Jesus, salvation was restricted to the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and only to a small minority of these. The rest of the world was rejected entirely. Thus, the vast population of the earth had to share the same fate as the wicked. The Torah (the law of the Old Testament) excluded them all from God's grace. And God's hidden commandments excluded most Israelites as well.
Jesus explained that the leaders of Israel had locked up the secrets of salvation, hiding it even from the people under their charge. They weren't going in themselves, and they weren't permitting anyone else going in as well (Luke 11:52). An emmense disaster was in progress, sending to Hades a prodigious body of people in a continuous and growing stream. Innocent and guilty alike. This was not God's will nor was it God's intention.
Christ unbound all these chains. Empowered by God to open the gates of Hades, He brought the key of knowledge down to the world. He gathered all people to Himself, releasing the entire population of the earth from the power of the Old Covenant and from the authority of a Jewish heirarchy determined to wrest control of it from the other eleven tribes.
Jesus, coming down from heaven, outlined the exact path that leads to salvation and eternal life. He unlocked what was up to that point virtually secret on earth and made it eminently public -- available to Jews, Israelites and Pagans alike.
The parable of Lazarus (which you mentioned) attests to the shocked surprise of the rich man that his life had led him to Hades while Lazarus' life had propelled him into the bosom of Abraham. The rich man asked to be allowed to go back from the dead and warn his brothers.
The parable states that they won't listen to Jesus either. "Not even to one who comes back from the dead".
Jesus brought to the world from heaven the warning of impending of judgment and outlined the pathway that skirts that catastrophe and leads to resurrection into eternal life.
Jesus said that God was creating a new heaven and a new earth to replace the one we now know. That new creation has not yet been unveiled. It cannot be opened until the end.
Paul told us that there were three heavens (2 Cor.12:2). The one we see in the sky with all the stars in it; a second heaven above that where God and all the angels now exist; and a third, the new and highest heaven, which God will unveil at the end of this world. That is the one John saw in his vision in the Book of Revelation (Rv. 21:9-27).
When Abraham, Jacob, Issac, Moses, Lazarus and others of the Old Testament were taken up by God, they were lifted up to the second heaven. Those who die in Christ are being gathered in front of the throne of God (Rv.7:9) in the same spiritual area. The other dead reside in Hades. All are awaiting the grand opening of the new creation in the third and highest heaven. This event cannot take place until the day of the Last Judgment and the end of this world. This is because we still exist in the time of gathering where God is locating all His lost people, i.e., those taken prisoner by Satan long ago.
At the end of this gathering we are all scheduled to enter the new kingdom together (those who escape the Last Judgment).
At the Judgment the Bible tells us in vision: "The sea gave up all the dead who were in it. Death and Hades were emptied of the dead that were in them; and everyone was judged acccording to the way in which he had lived."
"Then Death and Hades were thrown into the burning lake. This burning lake is the second death; and anybody whose name could not be found written in the book of life was thrown into the burning lake." (Rv.20:13-15).
Hades is not the end of life. Not yet. The passage of scripture quoted above shows that at the end, it will be emptied and those in it brought up before the throne of God to give an account of the way they lived. Jesus said, "Do not be surprised at this, for the hour is coming when the dead will leave their graves at the sound of (Christ's) voice: those who did good will rise again to life, and those who did evil, to condemnation." (John 5:28-29)
All these quotations show that no one is yet dead. Not even those who have died and are now in Hades (Lk.20:38). That passage of scripture still holds. Not until the last Judgment will true death occur. That is the meaning behind scripture's revelation of the "second" death.
Hello is it possible for you to post the original copy of the writing of
the Bible? Whether it was written in Hebrew or Greek, is it possible
for us to see the writing of it? JP
The Bible has many authors and many dates of writing. Until 1948, the earliest original copy of this writing dated to about 1000 A.D. (almost 1000 years after Jesus was crucified).
In 1948, at Qumran in a cave above the Dead Sea, scrolls of scripture (many written 200 years or more before Jesus was born) were discovered by a Bedouin child throwing rocks. One of the best preserved was an almost complete copy of the Book of Isaiah, written in Hebrew. There were parts of numerous other Old Testament books there as well, many written in Hebrew and several in Greek.
A copy of the Isaiah scroll is on display in the very center of the Dead Sea Scroll museum in Israel. Fragments of scripture older than 1000 years in age have also been discovered in other locations. Most notably at the Sinai Mountain Christian monestary administered by the Greek Orthodox Church on top of Mount Sinai in the Egyptian desert.
The Old Testament was written first in Hebrew, book by book, over a period of more than a thousand years. Several hundred years before Christ was born its books were translated into Greek by Hebrew scholars working in Alexandria Egypt. This work was authorized by the Jewish Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. The Greek Old Testament was called the 'Septuagint' (the Bible of the 70) because 70 Hebrew scholars were thought to have participated in its development. The word 'bible' is a Christian word and was not used during this period, of course.
All the books of the New Testament were originally penned in Greek. Fragments of some of the Gospel quotations are thought to have been first written down in Aramaic, but there is no firm evidence of this today. All the letters of Peter, Paul and the other New Testament writers were written in Greek. The same is true of the Book of Revelation. No original copies of any of the Greek New Testament manuscripts now exist, however.
The final structure of the Hebrew Old Testament was defined at Jamnia around 100 A.D. (about 30 years after the destruction of Herod's temple by Titus). Manuscript copies of this Old Testament have been found subsequent to the Qumran discoveries in many other caves along the Dead Sea. And copious documents in an earlier Hebrew rescension were found at Qumran.
And, as we said earlier, parts of the Greek Old Testament writings were discovered at Qumran as well, so original copies of that scripture, dating before the birth of Jesus, now exist.
The result is that scholars now have many original examples of both Hebrew and Greek Old Testament manuscripts that predate Jesus, but no original manuscripts of the New Testament books.
Thus, we have the prophecies which predicted Jesus in an original form antecedant to His coming, while the facts of His coming lie hidden behind a thousand years of text duplication. This is sort of ironic. But it emphasizes the growing importance of Old Testament prophecy in its relationship to the validity of Christ's message.
Furthermore, the accuracy of the ancient texts compared with copies extant one or two milleniums later is phenomenal. This same accuracy, therefore, seems guaranteed in the case of the New Testament as well.
In order to read the earliest copies of the Old Testament, it is necessary to read translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls. But, remember, much of the writing at Qumran consisted of commentaries on scripture. These commentaries are not scripture and their great age does not impart either holiness nor accuracy.
Posting any of these original copies on the web would necessitate photographing the original document in its original language and scanning it onto the web site. Since each of these texts is 'owned' by a designated scholar, most fall under copyright law, making it illegal to publish them. However, we do incorporate translations of these original manuscripts (especially the Isaiah scroll) in quotatons we offer throughout our writings.
In your Introduction, you state (Made up of 73 books sealed in mystery, the
Bible is the ultimate anthology of mystery ever written.).
Would you tell me the names of the 7 additional books you are referring to?
Thank You. JS
This website is dedicated to an examination of biblical prophecy. Since most of the world's Christians (Greek, Roman & Anglican) use the Greek Bible, we feel that any study of this subject that ignores the books it contains would be lacking the full scope of divine inspiration as it relates to Jesus as the Messiah sent by God to the House of Israel.
A political decision was made by Martin Luther in 1517 A.D. to exlude certain of these books (including the seven you inquired about) from the Protestant version of scripture. This was done in response to the fact that the Jews at Jamnia had done so earlier. However, only about 17% of the world's Christians (at this writing) use the Bible he offered as a replacement.
We do not take sides in Luther's decision, but explore only scripture's prophecies, especially those of the Old Testament that predicted Jesus and defined His purpose and plan. We have discovered that several of the books in question have momentous prophetic importance in this regard. This is not surprising considering the fact that the Holy Spirit is the ultimate author of scripture.
Currently considered scripture by 1.7 billion Christians, the seven books we found particularly inspired include the Greek Bible's books of Wisdom; Sirach (Ecclesiasticus); Judith; Tobit; and the first and second books of Maccabees.
In Deutronomy 28:49-62 -- is this a forecast of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by titus in 70 a.d.? Thank you. J.
Yes, the destruction of Herod's temple, but also much more. The Book of Deuteronomy is a book of the Torah, one of the five books of Moses that entail the Hebrew Law. The Law of Moses was revealed in the New Testament to be a guardian law, developed by man and to be in place only until the arrival of the True Father who would bring God's own words to earth to replace it (Heb.8:7-13; 10:1-10).
The Book of Deuteronomy references this purpose in graphic detail:
"The Almighty your God will raise up for you a prophet like myself (Moses) from among yourselves, from your own brothers; to him you must listen." Dt. 19:15.
Moses, speaking for God went on to say in the next verse that this (sending them an intermediary) is what the people had asked of God to prevent the occurance of the frightening theophany of His Presence at Sinai.
"I will raise up a prophet like yourselves for them from their own brothers; I will put my words into his mouth and he shall tell them all I command him. The man who does not listen to my words that he speaks in my name, shall be held answerable to me for it." (Dt. 19:18-19)
These words were not written for the Jews alone. They were addressed by Moses to the entire House of Israel, all 12 tribes (the Jews being just one of the twelve). The entire Book of Deuteronomy, in fact, is an address to all the tribes of the House of Israel. So the plagues and bitter consequences of courting wickedness and, later, rejecting the Messiah, fall on the descendants of all twelve.
For this reason, every one of the subsequent disasters experienced by the House of Israel throughout history during their journey away from God's commandments fall into the category of the consequential prophecies that this book defines. This includes the conquest of the northern kingdom and the devastating exile into apparent oblivion of the lost ten tribes as well as the burning down of the first Jewish temple (the temple of Solomon) and the Babylonian exile that followed. It incorporates as well, the burning of Herod's temple by Titus and the Christian victory over Judea which toppled them from Hebrew leadership. Therefore, it encompasses as well, the resulting 2000-year Jewish 'diaspora'; the rise of the militant people of Mohammed and their successful conquest and occupation of Palestine; plus all the wars and famines of history, including Hitler and his henchmen.
Further, it incorporates the Great Revolt against Christian morality (ongoing today) which is prophesied to catapult Christian rule in the world from its lofty and revered position into the eddy's and backwaters of planetary ridicule, and the consequences of that Revolt -- the infamous 'Tribulation'. For this reason, the Deuteronomy prophecy you asked about is still ongoing. The worst of its curses still have not materialized.
Remember, these prophecies involve the entire House of Israel. The plagues prescribed are plagues for all who fall away from the laws and rules of God. The Jews never ruled the world, but Christianity did. It was elevated to ruling status by world leadership. Therefore the rejection of Christ now involves global consequences. And, indeed, Jesus has propehsied that the world will come to an end in the wake of that devastation, it's impact being so grave.
There is passage in the Greek Old Testament that states that the universe, itself, will come in the end to fight on the side of God. Christ, when He preached, warned that the world was going to be destroyed in flames and that the only way to survive this catastrophe was to follow Him away from here by the path He defined. In prophecy, this flight was foretold by Isaiah (Is.52:11-12). The implication, of course, is that the crises Jesus warned about and the events of the tribulation will coincide (i.e., a cosmic holocaust will follow the tribulation). It will be without doubt, as the Bible states, a most terrible time.
But all who dedicate themselves to God and follow the commandments that Jesus defined will survive. Jesus promised that they will be raised up to live forever with Him in His new kingdom when He returns on the Last Day to gather His own from the four winds; resurrecting them into eternal life.
I recently accessed your web site and was intriuged by a statement. Forgive my ignorance on the matter but could you share Biblical chapter and verse regarding Jeremiah having rescued the Ark of the Covenant and hiding it? BR
The Ark of the Covenant disappeared when Solomon's Temple was burned by Nebuzaradan and his forces in the summer of 587 BC. It's passing was noted by the prophet Jeremiah who voiced no regret for it's apparent destruction:
"Come back, disloyal children -- it is God who speaks -- for I alone am your Master. I will take one from a town, two from a clan, and bring you to Zion. I will give you shepherds after my own heart, and these shall feed you on knowledge and discretion.
And when you have increased and become many in the land, then -- it is God who speaks -- no one will ever say again: Where is the Ark of the Covenant of God? There will be no thought of it, no memory of it, no regret for it, no making of another.
When that time comes, Jerusalem shall be called: The Throne of God; all the nations will gather there in the name of the Lord and will no longer follow the dictates of their own stubborn hearts." (Jer. 3:14-17).
The Jewish people, however, ignoring Jeremiah's personal declaration in his book of prophecy, refused to let go. They firmly believed the Ark would resurface during the Messianic Age (in association with the messiah promised to them in the Torah, cf. Deut. 18:15+, etc). Fueling this belief, the 2nd Book of Maccabees has a passage in it decribing how Jeremiah and a group of his followers transported the Ark (and even the tabernacle which had not existed since the building of Solomon's Temple) to a cave in the desert and sealed them there where they would one day be revealed to an unknown posterity (2 Macc.2:1-12).
"We find in the archives that the prophet Jeremiah, when he had given the deportees the order to take the fire (as we have described) in giving them the Law, warned the deportees never to forget the Lord's precepts, nor to let their thoughts be tempted by the sight of gold and silver statues or the finery adorning them. Among other similar admonitions he urged them not to let the Law depart from their hearts.
The document also described how the prophet, warned by an oracle, gave orders for the tabernacle and the ark to go with him when he set out for the mountain which Moses had climbed to survey God's heritage. On his arrival, Jeremiah found a cave-dwelling, into which he brought the tabernacle, the ark and the altar of incense; afterwards blocking up the entrance.
Some of his companions came up to mark out the way, but were unable to find it. When Jeremiah learned this, he reproached them: 'The place is to remain unknown' he said 'until God gathers his people together again and shows them his mercy. Then the Lord will bring these things once more to light, and the glory of the Lord will be seen, and so will the cloud, as it was revealed in the time of Moses and when Solomon prayed that the Holy Place might be gloriously hallowed.' It was also recorded how Solomon in his wisdom offered the sacrifice of the dedication and completion of the sanctuary. As Moses had prayed to the Lord and fire had come down from heaven and burned up the holocausts.
Moses had said, 'It is because the sin-offering had not been eaten that it was burned up'.
Solomon kept the feast in the same way for eight days." (2 Macc.2:1-12)
So powerful was the belief among ancient Jews that the Ark would re-surface during the Messianic Age that its reappearance was incorporated by God into the Book of Revelation:
"Then the sanctuary of God in heaven opened, and the Ark of the Covenant could be seen inside it. Then came flashes of lightening, peals of thunder and an earthquake, and violent hail." (Rev. 11:19)
No longer hidden in a desert cave, the Ark was shown by God now to be in heaven. Not only that, but it was defined to be there in association with the Apocalypse itself. i.e., John's vision tied the Ark of the Covenant to the end of the world.
More than that, its inclusion in the Book of Revelation resolved the conflict between Jeremiah's rejection of the Ark's importance during the time of Christ with the Jewish people's yearning for its continuance.
The interrelationship between the Ark and the devastation of the tribulation illustrated by the Book of Revelation comes to us as a direct vision from God. Indirectly, however, it causes us to re-examine the statement in 2 Maccabees which couples it with the fire that Moses and Solomon described with respect to the sin-offering. As we can see above, the passage in 2 Maccabees specifically includes this association.
The Holy Spirit seems to underscore here a central tenant of Old Testament law with respect to Christ (God's sin-offering for mankind). Jesus was structured in the architecture of Old Testament rules. Those who eat the food He offers, pass from the old to the new, but those who refuse to eat, stay where they are. They remain bound to the old rules from which Christ came to free them.
Officially, Constantine and Theodosus (rulers of the world at the time) bound the entire world to God's edict, and when they did that, God locked on. However, God did not need Theodosus' proclamation. From the moment Jesus appeared on earth, the world was locked to God's intent. And Moses has shown us that a central element of that intent (because it was reiterated by God in the person of Christ) revolves around the sin-offering. If God's sin-offering (the body of Jesus) is refused to be eaten, fire from heaven will come down to burn up what has been rejected. Jesus, Himself, has told us this will happen in the last days.
We see today a world in revolt against Christian doctrine and rule. Rejection of the sin-offering, therefore, is in the air. Prophecy tells us what is coming next. Jesus defined it graphically in the 24th chapter of Matthew. The fire that Moses saw coming down from heaven to burn up the contents of the altar of his time (and which Solomon re-affirmed at the dedication of the Temple) will manifest itself in the elements described in the Book of Revelation: "flashes of lightning (fire from heaven), peals of thunder, earthquakes and violent hail". The world itself will be the altar.
It was a warning of this coming fire that was so central to Jesus' preaching: a double-edged sword of fire. "I have come to set fire to the earth and how I wish it were blazing already.", he said. "That day will come to every person on earth". With such terrifying news to deliver, we might say, "run for your lives!" But Jesus said it in a different way. Because He offered a way of total escape from all this, He used the proclamation of Isaiah:
"Go away, go away, leave that place, touch nothing unclean. Get out of her, purify yourselves, you who carry the vessels of God. But you are not to hurry away, you are not to leave like fugitives. No, the Lord will go in front of you, and the God of Israel will be your rearguard." (Is.52:11-12).
It can be seen clearly that the focus of the Maccabean prophecy is structured in Jesus because it incorporates the 'cloud' which lifted Jesus from the earth after His resurrection and which reveals Him back to the world at the magnificent theophany of His Second Coming:
"As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, 'Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there." (Acts 1:9-11).
"Then the Lord will bring these things once more to light, and the glory of the Lord will be seen, and so will the cloud, as it was revealed in the time of Moses and when Solomon prayed that the Holy Place might be gloriously hallowed." (2 Macc.2:8).
It was precisely such a glorious theophany that so terrified the Israelites in Sinai when God first made His approach to the people. Their fear of all the fire and brimstone associated with Him at that occasion is what structured Jesus into the Mosiac Law (Ex.20:18-20; Dt. 18:13-20). So the fact that the Book of Maccabees has Jeremiah taking the Ark back to a mountain in the desert similar to an environment where God's first visitation was thwarted is quite intriguing.
It should be remembered that that first occasion began with a statement by God to Moses telling him the significance of the 'third day':
"God said to Moses, 'Go to the people and tell them to prepare themselves today and tomorrow. Let them wash their clothing and hold themselves in readiness for the third day, because on the third day God will descend on the mountain of Sinai in the sight of all the people." (Ex.19:10-11).
The significance of the 'third day' in biblical prophecy is emmense (see footnote). In millenial terms, it's re-occurance is scheduled by prophecy to officially begin on January 1st of this coming year, i.e., in just a couple of days.
Common beliefs of the people, not well defined by scripture, have a long history of reaching the ears of God. And God's ideas are just as easily manifested directly into the minds of the people. John the Baptist, for instance, is barely noted in the Old Testament documents. But his coming was universally expected by the people of Jesus' time. The Holy Spirit has shown us that God does not need the absolutes of official scripture to inspire prophecy into the minds of the populace. The idea of the Rapture is a good example of this. Barely extant in the Bible, it is widely incorporated into the common theology of our own time. When the terrible Nero died, the Roman populace was convinced by the notion that he would be reborn in the East, into the image of a Parthian (combination of Iran & Iraq) general who would march in and take back his Roman throne by force. This idea has never died, and momentum for its perpetuation was irrevocably entered into the visions of the Book of Revelation. The ideas surrounding the Ark of the Covenant involve prophetic components similar to these.
-In Christ Jesus,
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