January 7, 2002
I have a question, what denomination is your ministry based on. Thanks.
Goodnews Christian Ministry is a non-denominational website dedicated to the examination of Bible prophecy with special emphasis on exploring Old Testament prophecies relating to Jesus Christ.
The Gospel of Luke tells us that when Jesus returned from the tomb, He appeared to Cleopas and another man on the road leading to Emmaus from Jerusalem. They were disconsolate over the crucifixion. Jesus said to them, "Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory? Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets he explained to them the passages throughout the (Old Testament) scriptures that were about himself." (Luke 24:26).
This website explores those revelations.
We are non-denominational. We believe in the salvation of Jesus Christ. Our ministry supports the Godship of Jesus Christ and all churches dedicated to preaching Christ to the world.
Under the bold heading "Rachel Remained Barren...", the tribe total appears to be eleven instead of 12. Missing is the tribe of Gad, born from Zilpah and brother of Asher.
We inadvertantly left Gad out of our map-page text. Thank you for bringing this oversight to our attention. The map remains accurate but the text should have read, "Leah did the same, giving her slave-girl (Zilpah) to Jacob who conceived first Gad and then Asher."
I had a muslim friend preach to me and he quoted from deutronomy 18:17-19
and said that that refered to mohammed not jesus since mohammed stemmed from
ishmael and the ishmaelites were the brothers of the jews and God said, 'I
will raise up a prophet from among their brothers' not from among them (the
Is this true? what proof do we have that the torah predicted the coming of
jesus and not mohammed?
Your friend has misquoted scripture. Please check your Bible. All versions of the Bible read that passage of scripture thusly:
"I will raise up a prophet like yourself for them, from their own brothers; I will put my words into his mouth and he shall tell them all I command him." (Dt.18:18-19).
The prophet this passage of scripture predicts is Jesus.
God was speaking to Moses. The passage relates to the brothers of Moses, the twelve tribes of Israel (composed of the sons and grandsons of Jacob).
Mohammed was born 600 years after Christ was crucified. Therefore he was well versed in Christian teachings when he wrote the Koran.
Mohammed taught that the kingdom of God on earth had to be established by military force. His followers adamantly reject Christ's teaching that the kingdom of God is to be established by peace. They consider Jesus' idea a weakness.
This is so fundamental a difference between the two teachings that it serves as the proof you are seeking.
I was hoping you could answer a question: In Acts: 1-1, Paul references his
first/former book. Where is that book today? -PC
The Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Luke are believed by Bible scholars to be two parts of one book. The Gospel is the "earlier work". From the earliest days of Christianity the author of these two books has always been recognized as the physician, Luke. They were written in the defense of Paul (who was being held in Rome on charges of sedition), but they were not written by Paul.
"When they hear the cries of your sailors, the coasts will tremble." (Ez.27:28).
"Earth trembles at the sound of the capture of Babylon, the dirge for her is heard throughout the nations." (Jer.50:46).
"For the Lord God says this to Tyre: 'When they hear of your fall, the groans of your wounded and the havoc inside your walls, will not the islands shake?" (Ez.26:15).
Will the trade towers be rebuilt? -NC
Scripture says no. The word 'bare or naked rock' is used, indicating perhaps a concrete platform of some kind to replace the towers:
"They will destroy the walls of Tyre, they will demolish her towers; I will sweep away her dust and leave her a naked rock." (Ez.26:3-4).
Ezekiel correctly predicted that the stones of the towers would be thrown into the sea (so much so that the shoreline of New York has been expanded by the debris), and that the very dust of them would also reach the sea, an awesome sight witnessed by millions on television. The closing of the theatre districts and Broadway stopped the music and songs abruptly and the toll of the wealth seized in that moment was beyond almost all calculation.
"(The King of babylon) will throw your massive pillars to the ground. Your wealth will be seized, your merchandise looted, your walls razed, your luxurious houses shattered, your stones, your timbers, your very dust, thrown into the sea. I will stop your music and songs; the sound of your harps will not be heard again. I will reduce you to a naked rock and make you into a drying-ground for fishing nets, never to be rebuilt; for I, God, have spoken -- it is the Lord God who speaks." (Ez.26:12-14).
As Isaiah writes, when God brings a high tower down, it doesn't go back up again:
"Trust in God forever for the Lord is the everlasting Rock;
he has brought low those who lived high up in the steep citadel;
he brings it down, brings it down to the ground,
flings it down in the dust; the feet of the lowly, the footsteps of the poor trample on it." (Is.28:4-6).
I know the Bible says we as individuals have an obligation to feed the poor, but does our country have the same kind of responsibility as far as God is concerned? -DR
Yes, the Bible says they do. Here is a quotation from the prophet Jeremiah:
"...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)
The complete text reads:
"Yes, there are wicked men among my people who spread their nets; like fowlers they set snares, but it is men they catch. Like a cage full of birds so are their houses full of loot; they have grown rich and powerful because of it, fat and sleek. 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? Monstrous, horrible things are happening in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, the priests teach whatever they please. And my people love it! But when the end comes, then what will you do?" (Jer.5:26-31).
Is Tyre the United States? When I read Ezekiel's passages about Tyre, I feel I am reading about the United States. But Ezekiel's prophecy says that Tyre is attacked by Babylon while you say that the United States is Babylon. Please explain. -FAL
Original Babylon in its ancient form is the present country of Iraq (the country ruled by Saddam Hussein). It is he who appears to be the Nebuchadnezzar of this prophecy. Saddam Hussein is thought by the Pentagon to be closely linked to the terrorists who carried out the twin-tower attack on New York.
So the code is correct, but in the case of Tyre we need to see Babylon in its eastern form, i.e., in its ancient literal context (Media-Persia), not as an allegory of the secular society that holds Jews and Christians in captivity. When we do that, as you say, the prophecy is uncannily America. (See Ez.26 through 28).
I know that the bread in communion symbolizes Christ's word, but what does the wine symbolize? PK
The blood is the life. (Dt.12:23).
Jesus commanded us to "eat His body" and "drink His blood" (John 6:48-58). His body is represented by bread. His blood by wine.
Christ, the "Lamb of God" gave His life as the ultimate sacrifice. In doing this He fulfilled all the demands of the Law, freeing us from those demands and thus ending any future need for sacrifice forever. Once God, Himself, had been sacrificed, no future sacrifice was possible.
The body and blood relate to Christ's sacrifice. The symbolism of His command that we eat His body and drink His blood is that we obey His Word and live His life. These are the twin commands whose elements are recapitulated in the communion ceremony.
I read somewhere that God does not hear the prayers of Jews. Is that true?
God hears the heartfelt prayers of everyone who turns to Him. Scripture tells of only one circumstance where God closes His ears to prayer: "He who shuts his ear to the poor man's cry shall himself plead and not be heared. (Proverbs 21:13).
What is a sabbatical year?
In the Hebrew Law, the sabbatical year (the seventh seven) was the time when everyone had to return to his own clan. All debts were forgiven and everything started over again from scratch.
Jesus inaugurated the spiritual 'sabbatical year' when He appeared on earth (bringing a year of favor from God). With that appearance, everything that belonged to God had to return to God. All debts were forgiven. 'Born Again' meant a new start from scratch. The culmination of the sabbatical Jesus launched will be His Second Coming. His first appearance inaugurated it and His re-appearance will bring it to completion.
You wrote that all the works of God go in pairs by opposites. Does that apply to the two resurrections you described in Chapter 20, of "The Clock of God"?
Yes. The spiritual side of the first resurrection is being "born again" in the Spirit. The spiritual side of the second resurrection is our re-awakening in a new body when Jesus returns at the end of time.
If it is inspired and true, why does the Bible refer to God as a man rather than a woman,? Shouldn't both be included?
God is neither male nor female and when we go to heaven Jesus said we would be the same way -- i.e., no male or female. There is no non-gender pronoun in language. The pronoun 'it' could be used, but that would be disrespectful.
Immortality needs no progeny. The use of only one sex forces us to contemplate the symbolism of a single being in heaven. Even so, heaven is not unisex because there is no sex there at all. Earlier generations needed this symbolism of singularity because the concept was more than most could contemplate. It still is.
Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? It seems so harsh. Wasn't there an easier way for God to accomplish the same goal and not allow His Son to suffer such cruelty?
Jesus didn't come out of the blue. He came in the architecture of the law. And He was fore-ordained. The specifics of Christ's sacrifice were spelled out in the Torah (the Hebrew law) long before He was born. God gave Moses power to define the elements of atonement. Those specifics were set into law (into a bound code), God simply fulfilled it as written. God's perfection can be seen in this. He did not break the law. He kept it. And at the same time He got us out of it. The mechanism for both processes were outlined in detail by the ancient Hebrew leaders. God simply followed the formula they, themselves, prescribed.
He was crucified because it was written in the Law and Prophets that He had to be hanged on a cross.
The Law of Moses demanded death for sin. That is why Jesus had to be put to death (sacrificed) in the first place. He died in our place, fulfilling the demand of the Law that we be put to death for our sins.
Jesus said that He was the bridegroom of the new creation, i.e., the husband of the creation. He said this on purpose so that prophecy could be fulfilled. In the Torah, (Numbers 30), it is written that "every vow or oath that is binding on the wife may be endorsed or annulled by the husband, but if he annuls them more than a day after he learns of them then he must bear the burden of the wife's fault". Prophecy, especially the Book of Esther, shows the two creations as wives of God (see also Jer.31:21-22; Hos.2:18-19; Is.54:5; Is.24:23, etc.).
The broken vow is mankind's original sin. Jesus anulled this broken vow, but since He came later, in the middle of creation, long after he learned of these faults, He had to bear the burden of these faults in order to annul them (even though He, Himself was without fault). Thus He carried all of our sins (the sins of mankind) to the cross in His own person. In this action He was "bearing the burden" of the wife's faults in relation to the terms of the Old Covenant.
His sacrifice will redeem anyone who makes a vow to endorse it, i.e, be baptised into it . Remember, baptism is a vow -- a pledge made to God in good conscience. This is the new vow that replaces the one Jesus annulled. When we take that oath we bind ourselves to the New Covenant and to the fountain of forgiveness for sin that flows from it (from the cross).
The resurrection promises that Jesus overcame death by rising again, so his death, as cruel as it was, proved not to be terminal. Indeed, millions of people have been raised up out of death into eternal life because of it. In the flesh of Jesus, God had provided the 'substitute' for sacrifice that scripture had promised. (see footnote)
This is one of the few websites around that is really informational. Are you on the radio? Are you a non-denominationl church?
What do you think of the Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehova Witness, Churches? Will they be saved? Or are they a cult like any other cult out there. Your information will greatly be appreciated. Thank You CM
Thank you for your questions. We are not a church. And, no, we are not on the radio. Goodnews Christian Ministry is a website dedicated to the examination of the prophecies listed in the Bible. We have no theology to promote. However, almost all theology comes from prophecy. Jesus told His apostles that he had much more to tell them, but that it would be too much for them (at that moment). He told them that these new concepts would come through the guidance of the Holy Spirit who would lead them in their understanding of these additional truths.
Every church is built in the architecture of these new revelations. Some adhere primarily to the core truths -- those revealed to the earliest fathers of the Church (for instance the concept of the Trinity -- that Jesus is God and equal to Him). This, of course, is only one example. There are hundreds of other concepts almost as profound. We have explored these prophetic revelations one by one in great detail on our website.
One thousand years after the birth of Christ, the Eastern (Greek Orthodox) church split off from the Western (Roman) church on a disagreement over the Holy Spirit; i.e., whether the Spirit comes from God alone (Eastern view) or from God and Jesus together (Western view). Prophecy played a crucial role in this disagreement.
Other churches, like the ones you asked about, have incorporated into their theology substantially more modern revelations given only to them. There is great disagreement over the truth of these later prophecies. However, all churches do service to God by extending knowledge of Jesus to the ends of the earth, converting to His Gospel people who otherwise would not find God.
It is not the churches that save. It is Jesus, alone. Nor is anyone saved by the law (theology). Rules about clothing, dancing, singing or drinking or marriage may be vital to this or that church, but they are not material to salvation. God intended that we listen carefully to Jesus' words and put them into practice. Except for baptism, there is nothing else necessary for eternal life. That is why it is written in the prophets (Jeremiah 31:33+), "When that day comes, there will be no need for neighbor to try to teach neighbor...no, they will all know me, the least no less than the greatest." This tells us that the entire mechanism of salvation is contained in the four Gospels of the New Testament (Christ's words). Any church which offers those teachings offers the path to salvation.
A cult is best defined by its promotion of hatred and fear of others. Using this definition cults are easily recognized. Jesus preached love for others -- love of enemies and friends alike. This is the gold standard -- the core value in true Christian behavior. Those who promote views divergent to this command contradict Christ. Religious hatred, ethnic hatred, political hatred, all are anathema to God.
A prophecy by Ezekiel (34:17+) contrasts the clear drinking water of God to that made muddy by ministers "rams and he-goats". This "mud" is generally theological in nature, and since the rescue of Christ is outside of theology (i.e., outside the law) salvation is probably not impaired by it. Christ's salvation is a random harvest even in the best of churches.
Where does the current war in Israel fit into the prophecies about the end of the world? GN
Daniel shows the Middle East to be a kind of bubbling cauldron -- a cauldron growing ever more eruptive as the days of the End draw near. There are to be wars and continuous fighting there as various enemies surround and campaign against Jerusalem all through the end times.
The world has seen immense warfare there since 1945. And it is continuing, unabated. There is to be no peace there.
The end of the world, however, still lies a good distance ahead. Ultimately, according to prophecy, Israel will unite with the Arabs surrounding their nation. The pivotal battle lines will be drawn at the Euphrates River. It will separate the "North" of Daniel's prophecy from the "South".
Just how this schematic will be achieved is unknown to us today, but God is the architect and the warfare we see now is slowly molding His program into the model prophecy has predicted.
As far as the ongoing warfare between the Arab Palestinians and Israeli forces are concerned, the prophet Jeremiah forsaw and spoke gravely about it.
He spoke about a contingent of Israeli military forces allowed by God and the king of Babylon to return to the Holy Land well before the official end to the Diaspora was to take place (Jer.42-43).
This prophetic call to return was mirrored by the United Nation's dictum allowing Israel to be rebuilt by army leaders following the end of World War II. the United Nation's is the forum by which the kings of Babylon have united to make their world decree's in our age. That decree, Jeremiah said, was allowed by God for the single purpose of Israel returning to rediscover a God they had forsaken.
Instead of using the return as an opportunity for re-uniting with God, they pursued a worldly course which prompted them to become simply another kingdom of Babylon -- complete with armies and military alliances. More than that they violated the terms of the treaty which gave them authority to exist, confiscating lands which lay outside the treaty boundaries.
Jeremiah had grave predictions to make for this mal-direction of purpose (Jer.42:19+). The warfare that swirls around Israel now is part of the consequences that revolve around Jeremiah's prophecies.
Had Israel lived peacefully and searchfully for God within the boundaries legally formed for it by the united kings of Babylon, all the current and future catastrophe's would have been averted. But that was not to be. Instead, prophecy has ruled the moment.
We now see an Israel divided between those who want to live in peace (those represented by the assassinated Rabin killed at the candlelight vigil) and a second faction now in power who want to retain the confiscated lands for their own; who want to return to the biblical boundaries of "Dan to Beersheba" extant during the glory days of empire during the reign of Solomon. The current president Sharon represents the latter forces -- the militants.
This division will haunt Israel until the end. It will bring immense suffering and travail, not just to Israel but to the entire world, and ultimately result in the total annhiliation of the militant Israeli forces.
These actions are leading to holocaust. Isaiah, in his "Apocalypse" said of this course that most of the world's people will be burnt up and few would be left alive (Is.24:6).
Of the Jews, only the camp of Israeli's who yearn for peace will remain alive to see the return of Christ. All of this has been prophesied. For more on this, see "The Last Days of Babylon", Chapter 13, 'Jerusalem Under Siege'.
(Your) analysis of scripture (Daniel 8:21) makes no sense to me.
21 - The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king.
22 - The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.
The "goat" is clearly the king of Greece, not the U.S.A.
If the book of Daniel is taken as an historical document, your analysis is correct. However, verse 12:4 shows quite clearly that Daniel is a book, not of history but of prophecy:
"But you, Daniel, must keep these words secret and the book sealed until the time of the End."
This verse, written at the conclusion of Daniel's prophecies shows that all the words in his book reside in future tense. If that future is now, our analysis of the prophecy stands. If the time of the end lies far in the future, then other countries must be considered by later writers.
During his discourse on the events of the last days in Matthew 24:15-16, Jesus verified the status of the Book of Daniel with respect to the end of the world:
"So when you see the disasterous abomination, of which the prophet Daniel spoke, set up in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must escape to the mountains..."
Jesus sent us back to the Book of Daniel in order that we might view more completely the events of the last days.
Some church scholars see the passage of Daniel that Jesus referred to above as applying to the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. by the Roman army under Vespasian and Titus. Yet Jesus was speaking of the LAST days, not the earliest days (of Christianity). Jesus made that very clear just a few sentences later in Matthew 24:30-31:
"And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven; then too all the peoples of the earth will beat their breasts; and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet to gather his chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
This same moment was forseen by Daniel:
"Thrones were set in place and one of great age took his seat...A thousand thousand waited on him, ten thouseand times ten thousand stood before him...A court was held and the books were opened...
I gazed into the visions of the night, And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a son of man. He came to the one of great age and was led into his presence. On him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants. His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever by destroyed." (Dn.7:9-14)
You will notice if you carefully study Daniel as Greek history that his words do not match the actual history of the times. There are significant discrepancies between what actually occurred and what he wrote. That is because he was not talking about the events of ancient Greece but of a future time that will approximate, but not exactly match the historical sequence of that Hellenistic period.
Which are the countries in Europe that will form the ten-nations (that the Bible says will end the world)? DF
Historians tell us that we are living in the days of the pre-eminence of Western Civilization. The Bible predicted this western dominance over the world. Moreover scripture's prophecies indicate that at the time of the end of the world western dominance will be overturned and supplanted by a civilization that is eastern.
For this reason, the ten nations that conspire to destroy the world have to be eastern in nature. That virtually rules out Europe. According to The Book of Daniel, the boundary that forms the division between west and east is the Euphrates river which flows through Iraq, passing just west of Baghdad.
This river courses south from Turkey, angling down to the Persian Gulf (see map). Almost all of the nations of Europe lie to the west of the line this river forms. The nations to the east and north of it include Iran, India, Pakistan, Turkey and all of Asia (Russia, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, etc.).
During the empire of the Soviet Union, several European countries were considered satellite nations to that eastern national conglomerate so were cataloged as being 'eastern' themselves, i.e., Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary and Poland, etc.
Prophecy tells us that a major eastern player during the end-times will be "Persia" (now Iran). But "Persia" is also the name prophecy uses as generic for the "East". What roll Iran plays with respect to Daniel's description is unknown.
In scripture, the names given to the ten are coded (Rosh, Meshesh, Tubal, etc.), so their precise definition remains clouded. The king of the north seems to be strongly associated with an area bordering the Black Sea. There are a number of candidates. But because this empire will represent the East in its rise to world power, one has to consider among the ten every country east of the Euphrates river as a candidate, especially the militarily elite.
During the last century, two great eastern empires formed against the west (Japan and the Soviet Union). Both were vanquished and collapsed.
This rise and sudden fall closely parallels the descriptions of Daniel concerning the earliest events preceding the rise of the eastern giant of the North destined to supplant western dominance over the world -- the fourth "Persian empire"). See Dn.8:5+.
A parallel to these two twentieth century confrontations between the western He-Goat and the eastern Ram seems to be replaying itself again in the Middle East. As we have pointed out in our writings, the replication of these two wars is not surprising. Scripture always goes in pairs by opposites. Both events are closely related in time and space and argue powerfully to what we are witnessing now forming around us on the world stage. (See 'The Last Days of Babylon', Chapter 8, "The Two Horns of the Ram").
These two failed eastern attempts to annhiliate Western Civilization (the first such attacks since the year 1071) show us through prophecy that the collapse of western civilization at its zenith is imminent. It will occur after the second "Gulf War" has ended.
Not long after that second western victory, prophecy indicates a scattering of world power "to the four winds of heaven", and out of that dispersment the rise of an East that is too powerful to be vanquished; one that will replace Western Civilization with an Eastern Civilization whose dominance is virtually world-wide.
As a byproduct of that change in world power, the Church will be attacked ruthlessly.
According to prophecy, the only western power remaining viable during this splintering of Western Civilization is to be a place across the ocean in the "islands of the sea" -- a place called "Kittim". According to Daniel, it is this western remnant whose fleet of warships will block the advances of the beast in the Middle East and thwart his plans for complete world control.
In retaliation for this impasse, at the final hour, the beast will plunge the world into a burning inferno. Day will be turned into night, and out of the dense clouds of that fire Christ will return.
People in the Catholic Church pray to the "saints". Do you think there is such a thing or that prayers to the dead really work? MF
The word "saint" comes from the Bible. According to scripture it stands for all the people of God who have ever lived on earth.
There are many references to "saints" in the Old Testament; especially in the Psalms and in the Book of Daniel (see Daniel 7:18; 21; 22; 25; 27 and 8:12). Even more references exist in the New Testament. Paul and the Book of Revelation use the term extensively. The word "saint" encompasses everyone who has ever lived in Christ; from the earliest Christians (Peter, Paul, Jesus' mother, etc.), to those of us who are living now.
The Catholic church wanted to display role models for all their people to follow in Christ and so they set up a sort of "Cooperstown-like" hall of fame showcasing those they deemed immensly holy. These they designated as "special saints"; i.e., people sure to be in heaven and close to God.
Of course, politics sometimes has gotten in the way of their choices but for the greater part, few could argue the merits of most of those selected. Christ has assured us, however, that the actual number of "saints" is infinitely greater in number.
The Book of Revelation tells us that it will be "a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language". (Rv.7:9). Those wearing white robes and holding the palms (the saints) will be immense.
As for our praying to the saints to intercede for us to God, Paul said, "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?" (Co.5:2). Under those circumstances, perhaps the intercession might even have a more immediate value.
Of course, we have a higher judge in Christ and we know His will. No one will be judged if we abide in that will. And, more than that, He has assured us that His cross is an immense fountain that pours out forgiveness like a flooding river. All we need do is come to that cross in full contrition and our sins will disappear like a mist in sunlight.
We don't need to pray to anyone but God. However, keep in mind what Paul said: "Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Eph.6:18).
The people of God who, over the centuries, have already passed from here to the foot of God's altar in heaven and now await the great Coronation Day of Christ, were given this directive just as we were. They are in Christ and can never die. We can be assured, then, that these same saints are there today, already praying for us just as Paul requested. So it certainly does no harm for us to remind them to remember us while we are saying our prayers.
The Book of Revelation tells us that all these prayers of the saints rise up out of the angel's hand before God at the golden altar before the throne. (Rv.8:3-4). None are discarded. They all go directly to God. Every one is heard.
The Book of Revelation tells us that all these prayers of the saints rise up out of the angel's hand before God at the golden altar before the throne. (Rv.8:3-4). None are discarded. They all go directly to God.
As far as the biblical legitimacy of a "hall of fame" for Christians is concerned, the Book of Revelation states categorically that there are a small number (symbolically, 144,000) saints of purity so great that they have been given a special designation: the "first fruits" of God. Scripture tells us they follow Jesus wherever He goes (Rv.7:2-9; Rv.14:1-5).
A gallery of saints glorifies all of us who dwell in the Lord. The world villifies us, but a "hall of fame" in Christ reminds us that our toil is not in vain and the world's villification will one day turn to praise -- a praise and glory greater than any "house or walk of fame" secular man has ever set up on this earth.
The world honors athletes, movie stars and politicians who excel, holding them out as role models we should emulate; it would seem better that we give a similar honor to Christians.
Do you think they should send the Pope to prison for allowing pedophile priests to molest children? -D
We might ask, should the president of the United States be sent to jail for the sins of his fellow Americans.
Neither incarceration is a remote possibility; nor is it warranted.
The Christian church is in the business of forgiveness, not condemnation. Almost all priests and ministers are under the conviction that every sin is forgiveable when confessed before God and followed by a change of behavior.
That is what the cross of Christ exists for. We are all sinners and we would all die in our sins if it were not for God's fountain of forgiveness emplaced at Calvary.
Jesus said that there is only one unforgiveable sin.
Moreover, He said that our own forgiveness was predicated on the measure with which we forgive those who have sinned against us. If we want forgiveness, we have to forgive.
According to church rule all sex outside of marriage is sexual abberation. There are no lines drawn as to degree. It is all the same. It is all sin. According to the guidelines of the Christian church, those who engage in sexual activities outside of marriage have broken with God and have put into serious jeapordy their chance for everlasting life. This includes priests, ministers and laity alike.
A fountain of forgiveness cures this aberration.
In secular rule, a new sexual moralism exists. Homosexuality and adultery are both tolerated and embraced. Moreover, any perversion of sex is allowable. Society does not see any of this as sin. With one exception. Secular rule states that a person has to be eighteen years old to enjoy this new freedom (or 'license') to disobey the rules of God.
Good will come out of this issue, but the damage to Christianity in the world will be incalculable.
Prophecy plays a major role in this debacle. Jesus warned us about it in advance.
His words warn us to listen to Him alone, not to anyone else; and most important, not to elevate our ministers into images of God.
Everything Jesus said is absolutely true and without error of any kind. He said that we have only one teacher, Himself. He said that we have only one Rabbi, Himself. He said that we have only one Father, Himself.
"Alas for you, scribes and pharisees"(priests, ministers and theologians), "you hypocrites! You who shut up the kindgom of heaven in men's faces, neither going in yourselves nor allowing others to go in who want to...you travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when you have him you make him twice as fit for hell as you are...you who pay your tithe of mint and dill and cummin and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law -- justice, mercy and good faith. You blind guides! Straining out gnats and swallowing camels!" You who clean the outside of cup and dish and leave the inside full of extortion and intermperance. You are like whitewashed tombs that look handsome on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of corruption. You appear to poeple from the outside like good honest men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. I tell you solemnly, all of this will recoil on this generation." (Matt.23:13-39).
"The scribes and Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say, but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. Everything they do is done to attract attention...like wanting to take the place of honor at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, or by being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them 'Rabbi'" (Matt.23:1-7).
The secular world may have taken back the reigns of morality from the church, but still remember that God's rules don't change and they are much more stringent than the rules implaced by our new society.
All sex outside of current marriage is a serious sin. Eternal life is at stake for any of us who participate in such sin. Fortunately, God has implaced a power of mercy in Christ that allows us instantaneous forgiveness when we repent and vow to change our ways before the cross.
Because of Christ, we live in a time of mercy when no penalty is required. Freedom is intantaneous and Jesus has promised that it comes to every Christian who forgives others in return. Society has no such power. All the secular world has to offer is judgment -- the chilling circumstance that awaits everyone who lives outside of the Gospel.
Is the false prophet active today, or has he yet to appear? -G.O.
That is a really good question. We just don't know. There are numerous false prophets in the world in relation to the teaching of Jesus, but a false prophet who comes in alliance with the beast and presumably with the foundation of a major military empire of many nations bent on the destruction of Christianity still remains more or less hidden. 'More or less' because there is one religion on earth right now that is overtly hostile to both Christ and the House of Israel and happens to be extremely militant (militaristic) in that regard.
When we think of the designation 'false prophet' as it is defined in the Book of Revelation, however, we tend to think of that mantle falling on a specific individual alive in the flesh at the time these other circumstances coalesce. That has not yet happened.
Where in the Bible does it talk about the Great tribulation being seven years. when is this seven years suppose to start? -B.
The time-line you asked about comes from the Book of Daniel.
Daniel specifies three periods with respect to the placing of the "desolating sacrilige in the holy place" (Dn.9:26-27 & Dn.12:11-13). He writes that there will be a half-week period in which the beast gathers his armies and makes his alliances; and a second half-week period beginning with his erection of the sacrilige and ending in two parts, 45 days apart. This second half-week, Daniel says, will be 1290 days long. That is about 3-1/2 years. The 1290 days will culminate with the beast's death. Forty-five days later (on the 1335th day), Jesus will return.
Since the second half-week period has been specified by Daniel as lasting about 3-1/2 years, it is assumed (although this is assumption only) that the first half-week period will also be 3-1/2 years. Combined, the beast's reign will last about 7 years.
Almost every time-line in scripture is metaphoric. This may be a rare exception. Hopefully it will not be longer.
Daniel's time-line (the 7-years) starts with the appearance of the beast. It documents his reign on earth. That cannot happen until well after the 10-nation confederacy is formed in Eastern Europe and Asia. So it is still a good ways off at this writing.
Daniel specifies the period of time preceding the appearance of the beast as being "62 weeks". This time frame is definitely metaphoric. It applies to the reign of the Christian message on earth (i.e., the call "to return and rebuild the tattered ruins of spiritual Jerusalem"). We can already see that this message first broadcast by Jesus has been sounding now for almost 2000 years.
Daniel said that this 62-week period of rebuilding will occur amid a "time of trouble", and will end with the assassination of the holy bishop (the "anointed one"). This assassination will usher in the beast and his 7-year reign.
In a most fascinating recent development, the third prophecy of Fatima (just revealed by the Catholic Church) addresses a similar kind of assassination followed by tribulation. The Catholic Church has had this prophecy in its possession since the 1930's and, despite tremendous world pressure, steadfastly refused to release its contents until the current Pope finally agreed to make it public just a couple of years ago. The first Fatima prophecy predicted the world war; the second, the conversion of Russia.
Daniel's prophecies offer us a very detailed, almost 'blow by blow' account of the beast's 7-year reign. These show us that the Bible's "madman" will be unable to capture Jerusalem and hold onto it. All of his advances in that direction will be thwarted by the 'west' (right up to the day the world ends). Thus, the desolating sacrilige and it's location will not take place in Jerusalem. Instead, it will take place in a city the beast can control for at least 3-1/2 years. Another interesting prophecy seems to indicate that the desolating sacrilige will be erected on Christmas day. In both cases, we will have to wait and see.
You seem to link the USA to Babylon. (I did not read all of your article.) This appears to be impossible... I really do get tired of the slander that you and others constantly spew out against my country!! If you have a legitimate scriptural basis for this, please answer. -RF
One of the most powerful themes in Biblical prophecy is the division of the world into two opposing cities, Jerusalem and Babylon. According to the Bible, the citizens of the world are shown to belong to one or the other of these two urban centers.
The Jews see Jerusalem as a physical city in the land of Palestine. Christ taught that the city was not physical but spiritual; not based on race, and exists only in heaven. Renunciation of world citizenship and the embrace of Jerusalem citizenship is requisite in both definitions.
There are no other cities and no other nations involved in these two prophetic definitions. It is either Jerusalem or it is the world. That is why Christians see themselves on earth as pilgrims.
Scripture tells us that the United States has a divine destiny. It is the nation (the "Kittim" of prophecy) designated by God to block the advances of the beast at the end of time (Dn.11:30). As such the United States must be seen as an ally to Jerusalem. Daniel's prophecy shows that this is a spiritual alliance that reaches up to heaven, but it is more clearly seen politically today in the headlines of the newspapers.
While there are elements of Babylon in the United States, there are also elements of Jerusalem in the country as well. The scales of dominence seemed to tip with the events of 9/11.
For an examination of the United States in prophecy, see this link.
Who is the woman in the Book of Revelation given eagle wings to fly into the desert to a place where she will be kept safe? And what does the term "time, times and half a time" refer to? -CV
These prophecies are described in Rev.12:14.
The woman is Mary, the mother of Jesus. She is "the mother of the male child" destined to rule the world for God (Rev.12:1-6).
This is an important prophecy which proves that the adoration of Mary by a certain segment of Christianity is a circumstance steeped in the primordium of the faith.
The prophecy states that Satan will try to vomit a kind of "water" out of his mouth to sweep her away after she gives birth to Jesus, and indicates that the earth will come to her protection.
John writes that she is given a pair of eagles wings and flown off to the desert to a place God has designated for her safety.
That "place" of safety is singular. In all of Christianity there will be one place God has designated and ordained.
The time period for her safe refuge is described in Rev.12:6 as lasting 1260 days (about 3-1/2 years). The fact that this term is restated in verse 12:14 as "time, times and half a time" shows that the 3-1/2 years are not to be taken literally. The time period symbolizes an unknown duration.
We can get some idea of its span from the Old Testament because a question concerning the same time period is addressed by Daniel who asked the angel:
"How long until these wonders take place? I heard the man speak who was dressed in linen, standing further up the stream: he raised his right hand and his left to heaven and swore by him who lives forever, "A time and two times, and half a time; and all these things are going to happen when he who crushes the power of the holy people meets his end'." (Dn.12:7).
This answer seems to indicate that God means the term to apply to all the years leading up to the end of the Christian era (the end of the world).
The prophecy of the "two witnesses" gives additional weight to this assessment because the time period associated with the protection of Christ's mother exactly mirrors the duration of the preaching of the two witnesses, i.e. 1260 days (Rv.11:3).
While the prophecy of the two witnesses in the Book of Revelation seems at first glance to be an end of the world event, these same two witnesses are described in the Old Testament by Zechariah, who shows that they are an integral aspect of the entire era of Christ (Zech 4:3-14).
Traditional Christian theology agrees. These two witnesses are universally accepted as Peter and Paul.
The New Testament, as we know, is a document authored by and chronicling the theology of Peter and Paul as revealed to them by God through the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus. This document (their voices) have been preached on earth now for almost 2000 years, proclaiming Christ to all the ages. This span obviously parallels the period described. Thus the three and a half years (the time, times and half a time) delineate the age of the New Testament.
The term "desert" in the bible refers to a place of exile or wilderness and is used in most places to describe Babylon. It is considered a place of wild beasts (i.e., a place of pagans).
Christ's mother, John's prophecy states, is to be given a sanctuary or place of safety not in the Holy Land, but outside of it, in that wilderness, where she will be protected from Satan's attacks throughout the entire term of Christian preaching on earth.
That sanctuary in exile appears to be the church of Rome. That is where the veneration of Christ's mother in Christianity is most profound.
It certainly is not the Protestant church. History shows us that Mary has been left completely unprotected in that environment of Christianity. Very few there come to her defense despite intense attacks against her character.
Are these attacks a part of the "water" vomited out against Mary by the dragon that John described? They seem to be. There is certainly no legitimate basis in Christian theology for anyone to hate Christ's mother or defile her image.
The point is, no one comes to her defense today in a large segment of the Christian body. This is an enigma of profound proportions -- one that can only be understood in terms of this nascent prophecy in the Book of Revelation that predicted it would happen.
As we have indicated in Chapter 18 of 'The Last Days of Babylon', the Book of Revelation shows Mary to be an integral aspect of Christian faith. John portrays her image as the counterbalance to wickedness. According to his words, she is the transcendent figure opposing the prostitute called "Babylon".
In Old Testament prophecy, Zechariah personified "wickedness" as a woman held captive in a bushel being taken to "Shinar" (Babylon) where a place of worship was to be set up for her, i.e., a temple to wickedness for her assigns to rule over (Zech 5:5-11).
The Book of Revelation signifies that this same woman is, in fact, the "famous prostitute" who, out in the desert, rides a scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns (Rv.17:1-3). On her head is written a cryptic name: "Babylon the Great" (Rev.17:5).
This shows that the term "Babylon" stands for wickedness personified. The prostitute's presence in 'Shinar' transformed the land into Babylon - turning it into a desert. Wickedness has turned the world into a desert.
The Book of Revelation tells us that opposing this prostitute is the mother of Jesus (Rev.12:1+).
Thus we are given in the Book of Revelation images of two women, vastly different. One is the mother of wickedness and the other the mother of righteousness. That dichotomy, according to John is like a line in the sand that divides the people of God from the people of Satan.
The fact that Jesus while He was on the cross commanded John to consider Mary his own mother and she his own son (John 19:25) adds additional weight to these prophecies. Nothing in scripture is casual. All in scripture is profound. Everything is there by the design of the Holy Spirit.
When John penned the prophecies in the Book of Revelation concerning her, we have to assume he was acting within the boundaries of the guardianship commanded of him by God. Instructed by the Holy Spirit, he wrote to guarantee the protection of Mary's image.
John states openly in his Book of Revelation that everyone who obeys Christ's commandments or who bears witness for Jesus is one of Mary's children (Rv.12:17). Not every child on earth treats their mother with respect so the perplexing circumstance we find in the church today with respect to Christ's mother can be understood perhaps.
None-the-less, in the motherhood attributed to her by John in the Book of Revelation, she represents a personification of the new Jerusalem, the precise opposite of Babylon.
Where did Paul go after he left Damascus? Did he return to Jerusalem or go to Rome? -NA
The years following his flight out of Damascas after his conversion are unrecorded. Early Christian writers said that he went to Petra, a painted rock city in what is now Jordan. Hidden deep in the desert, it was a safe haven. It is suggested by some that he spent those years in Petra learning the teachings of Jesus and being schooled in the understanding of scripture's prophecies with respect to the Christ.
Jesus gave His apostle Simon the new name 'Petra' (Peter) to show that he was to be the founding stone of His new Church. For this reason, the name is deeply symbolic. Paul's journey to, and stay in a remote place called 'Petra' to study the ways of the Church would seem to be a fitting symbolism of his new jouney in life.
I can't find Chapter 18 on The Clock of God. I also can't find the complete article of Chapter 21. Could you help me on this. I enjoyed very much of articles and would like more. -SB
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Everyone is talking about our going to war with Iraq. Does it say in the Bible if that's going to happen? -HJ
Of course. But it doesn't say when. The events of September 11 of last year have catapulted the United States into the opening stages of a second war in the Middle East already. Daniel has predicted two wars, back to back and almost identical in nature, pitting East against West in that exact region. In his prophecies, Daniel reveals that the west will prevail on both occasions, though the second war will prove a harder-won victory.
These events are paralleling a course outlined by Daniel in his prophecies concerning the end-times. They also raise to consideration a significant prophecy by Jeremiah.
In a mysterious but pointed prophecy, Jeremiah implies that an (Israeli?) army will station itself near the Euphrates river (see map). This is a veiled prophecy, so it is subject to wide interpretation. But conditions right now are ripe for one view of this vision to come to pass in the very near future. If the veil across this vision masks "Israel", this prophecy tells us that Israel will one day be manning military outposts near the Euphrates river. If this is true, war with Iraq is a certainty. A Jewish military presence in the very heart of Iraq could be established in no other way.
What makes this interpretation of Jeremiah's vision (i.e., the presence of an Israeli army in Iraq) so compelling is that conditions are ripe for such an eventuality to take place quite soon. (see footnote)
According to Daniel, When the second war near the Persian Gulf completes its course, international reaction to it will be nothing less than earthshaking. The world's political alliances will be entirely rearranged in its aftermath. This suggests that the second war will be a gruesome undertaking, possibly subjecting much of Europe to the ravages of the weaponry involved. This possibility is proposed because Saddam Hussein has poison gas, biological armaments and possibly even one or more of Russia's missing nuclear devices at his disposal.
We cannot say for certain that these are the days Daniel and Jeremiah were inspired to write about, but they are uncannily similar in a great many ways.
One thing for sure, when he does go to war, Hussein will know that he is a doomed man and his past behavior in Kuwait (setting fire to every oil well in the land) tells us that he will want to take as many people with him as he possible can. He is certain to launch some of his hellishness on the state of Israel. In that event, Israeli retaliation will be enormous -- involving their entire army -- so it is very possible that Jeremiah's prophecy concerning a Jewish army fighting its way all the way to the Euphrates River may be about to unfold as we watch.
The presence of the foreign army Jeremiah describes postioned near the Euphrates river is momentous because a number of prophecies tell us that these are the very troops annihilated by the East in their surprise attack on the western world.
According to the prophecies, in an attempt to conquer the world in the last days, the East is destined to regain its ancient strength and launch a successful surprise attack on the western world. Daniel has told us that the first wave of armies leading this eastern attack on the west will pour across the Euphrates river, annihilating the outposts of the army of either Israel or Egypt in their powerful sweep south.
In other words, that eastern attack cannot occur until those troops have reached that Iraqi boundary. So the prospect of an Israeli army going there in the immediate days ahead is replete with meaning.
Since the "sign" for Babylon's destruction has already been given, we know that the moment is close. The Book of Revelation defined that sign in elaborate terms describing the burning of the great city and the fall of its towers. According to that prophecy those burning towers signal the moment for Babylon's long-predicted demise.
By itself the fall of the World Towers at the hands of eastern invaders would be serendipitous; but the fact that so much is made of a similar burning in the Book of Revelation with respect to the end of the world, and a timing for it which uniquely fits our age, that event manifests an importance that is pivotal.
For more on this, see footnote, Jeremiah 46
My second question pertains to your position that the first resurrection occurred around 80AD and the past 1920 years is, in fact, the millenium with the second resurrection just ahead of us at the end of the tribulation. All teachings I have heard since childhood indicate that the 1000 year reign of Christ will occur on earth and will follow the tribulation with a rapture of the Elect sometime about midway through the tribulation. Additionally, several evangelicals that I have great respect for (Jack Van Impe, Pat Robertson and others) also fervently teach that the 1000 year reign of Christ is yet to come. I do not ask you to defend your position, you have already done that quite well. Please tell me what so many other well meaning and God loving ministries are missing? -WT
The idea of a "millenium" in the image presented by the theologians you reference (Robertson, Van Impe, etc) was developed from a single sentence in scripture taken out of context. It has been refined over the years and become tradition in many evangelical churches. Perhaps it is true. But remember, Jesus preached eternal life in heaven, not a way-station with finite years. Prophecy rarely takes us backwards. Eternal life with Jesus in heaven (already promised) is much greater than a 'thousand-year millenium'.
Scripture shows that the works of God go in pairs by opposites. That may be the case here as well. In that sense, there appears to be a much more important meaning here than the one you suggested.
When the Bible's references to "the 'day' of God" and the "thousand years" are balanced (when all similar references across the entire breadth of the Bible are combined with this particular passage in the Book of Revelation), they define a dynamic far more relevant to our times -- one that ties all of scripture together -- the period of atonement God has created to offer mercy to the human race.
The period of God's atonement for the people of this earth is measured by the years involved in the reign of Christ (see footnote).
Jesus' reign (the time during which His teaching captivated the ruling governments of the planet) definitely had a finite limit. And, although difficult to see now in the throse of faith's collapse, it did encompass a world-wide victory for Christ -- i.e., a thousand-year-plus reign of Churches that ruled the nations. It is a reign brought in by war (when Christians were fed to lions) and predicted to be closed by war (the terrible tribulation) at the hands of a 'man of perdition' when the world ends.
The astonishing reappearance of Satan on earth in our current century and the collapse of faith coincident with that reappearance give overwhelming credence to a more timely interpretation.
The Book of Revelation tells us that when Satan reappears, he will mobilize the world for war. The steady global preparation for combat that has swirled around our world for the past century has no equal in planetary history.
In the Bible the passage about the 'thousand-year' millenium which your question addressed precedes and goes together with Satan's reappearance and war plans (see Revelation 20:1-10). They are two parts of the same prophecy. One follows the other. Separating them or taking them out of context or rearranging their context only obfuscates the full meaning of the vision.
Which Christians will be saved? AE
Only God knows that answer. Paul said the entire world is waiting anxiously to see who are the ones God will choose (Romans 8:19).
Most Christians glorify the Apostle Paul. Yet, if he lived today and was a member of their own family, they would be mortified to admit their relationship to him in public. He was out on the street corners preaching to anyone who would listen, being stoned and openly villified. From one town (Damascas) he had to be snuck out by being lowered in a basket from the city wall. In polite Christian society such behavior would be viewed as bizarre at the very least. If he were a wealthy stock broker, professor, doctor, lawyer, film actor and so on, not only would his Christian friends and relatives be pleased, they would openly brag about their affiliation with him. Not so with the Pauline behavior of the Bible. Most would see that as the actions and ranting of a crackpot.
As far as the Bible is concerned, Jesus Christ is God, the Creator and Master of the universe. His words define the "Constitution" and "Bill of Rights" of heaven. Anyone who does not embody those rules and principals cannot get in. God has declared that Jesus must be the sole compass of our lives.
Polite Christian society has marginalized these demands into a thin veneer painted across an otherwise worldly interior.
Salvaton starts with zeal. Not necessarily literally preaching in the streets or shouting from the housetops (although that second part can be accomplished fully just by dedicating a web page to your witness) but completely rewiring your internal behavior according to the rules set forth by the Gospel that Jesus brought to us from heaven.
EDITOR' NOTE: The following two questions are related. They are taken from an e-mail in which several questions were asked.
What did Jesus mean when he said that anyone who tries to save his life will lose it? NM
This relates to our baptism in Christ. Paul taught that we were baptised in His death. By taking Christ's death into ourselves we die to our own flesh.
The New Testament teaches a relationship between the inner and outer chambers of the temple and compares that with a symbolic likeness that exists within ourselves. In this relationship, our flesh stands for the outer chamber and our soul is the "naos", or inner chamber. In Judaism, the inner chamber was called the "Holy of Holies". It was the location of the most sacred altar. Only the highest of priests could enter it.
It is on this inner altar that Jesus consecrated His religion. He then delegated it's presence into the soul's of every Christian so that each of us could make our own sacrifices to God sacrifices of mercy, justice and good faith. But Paul said that no one could enter this inner chamber as long as the outer chamber remained standing. When we die to our flesh in baptism this wall (of flesh) is torn down, allowing complete access to the naos within.
Not every Christian completely dies in this manner. Some try to "save their life" in the flesh. They paint an exterior veneer of Christianity over a wall of flesh still standing and hidden behind it. It was to this attempt to thwart the baptismal vow that Jesus addressed His directive: Those who try to "save" their lives will lose their lives.
We must break with the flesh we have to break with all the behaviours that characterize the pagan world or we will not be saved.
And how do you reconcile the fact that Jesus said his yoke was easy and his burden was light with another of his statement's that the road was narrow and difficult and few would find it? NM
The easy yoke and light burden relate to work. We don't have to compete in any way. Billy Graham, with his life-long herculean efforts on behalf of Christ and his monumental achievements in the name of Christianity and a little old lady quietly seated at the back of the smallest church are paid the same wage. Both receive an identical reward. It is not work that opens the door to heaven.
The narrow road relates to the Gospel. We must strive to keep it's directives in the narrowest of terms. We must not try to "save" our life as far as the flesh is concerned. We must die to those worldly passions completely and in their place, be reborn into the Gospel's commandments and follow those commandments with precision.
What makes you see Egypt as a symbol of the military? How do you get that? PL
There is correlation between the two throughout the entire writings of the prophets. One of the most representative examples of this symbolism can be found in Isaiah chapter 31:
"Woe to those who go down to Egypt to seek help there, who build their hopes on cavalry, who rely on the number of chariots and on the strength of mounted men, but never look to the Holy One of Israel nor counsult God." (Is.31:1).
"The Egyptian is a man, not a god, his horses are flesh, not spirit; God will stretch out his hand to make the protector stumble; the protected will fall and all will perish together." (Is.31:3).
Is there a difference between the tribulation and the day of reckoning? D
They are two parts of the same thing, but they are different in terms of time. The prophecies document at least three parts to the wrath. One set of visions concern the terrible trials visited on the Hebrew people following the death of Solomon. This is an ongoing trial. It has been a most terrible tribulation and has lasted an incredible 2500 years. Not just eviction from the Holy Land, but perpetual persecution has dogged the Jewish people all across the centuries on account of it.
Paul has said that the blindness visited on the Jewish branch of the House of Israel was for the sake of the salvation of the pagans. It is a harsh sentence that has stood through the ages as a warning to the pagans a graphic and sobering reminder of what the Day of Retribution is all about. It proves that the penalties warned about in scripture are very real and bitter for those on whom they fall. The warnings throughout the Old Testament aimed at the House of Israel all came true. That tells us that the equally harsh warnings throughout the New Testament aimed at the rest of us will not fail to take place either.
Satan instituted a war against heaven and corrupted the human race. God fought back and defeated him and has set a day for the earth to be judged on account of its wickedness. Because evil cannot co-exist with God we are all under a sentence of death because of Satan's actions.
But God has given us the opportunity not to die. He has shown us a way to escape with our lives before the darkness arrives. He sent His word to earth as a crucible of examination. And He sent it not just to the House of Israel in exile, but to the pagans as well i.e., to the whole human race so that everyone on the planet would be given the opportunity to come to the safety God has made available through His Son.
We live in the age of the pagans. This is the era scripture has designated when pagans are allowed to trample the holy grounds. It is for salvation's sake that God has allowed this to occur.
"If I had not come, if I had not spoken to them, they would have been blameless; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin." (John 15:22).
At first, the pagan world embraced God's word with open arms. But that embrace has proved to be temporary. Filled with evil, the world's affection for God's word could not last. We see it now disintegrating before our eyes. In its reduction the harvest has turned to gleaning.
"I will send my Spirit and he will show the world how wrong it was, about sin: proved by their refusal to believe in me...If I had not performed such works among them as no one else has ever done, they would be blameless; but as it is, they have seen all this, and still they hate both me and my Father." (John 16:8, 15:24).
Nothing has changed concerning the world's end on account of sin. But before that moment arrives scripture warns of a time of enormous violence. Bearing down on the world in advance of the Day of Judgment is a time of wrath. This is the event most people call the 'tribulation'. It will be a time of vengeance worse, even, than that suffered by the Jews. It stems from the wickedness that is now rising among us. It comes because the wall of grace that faith once manifested, has begun to dissipate. It is an erosion caused by sin, and its loss will give wickedness great power for mayhem on earth.
Scripture warns of the consequences the world can expect to see during this grievous occasion, the time of terror, but before the wrath of the tribulation can exact the full intent Satan has in mind for the world i.e., the total extermination of the House of Israel from the earth God will intercede.
With all the angels in heaven He will come to sit on a throne erected for Him in the presence of the entire planet. There, He will mete out the perfect justice of heaven. At that point, the wicked will encounter the burning lake of sulphur that the Book of Revelation has predicted. That everlasting lake of fire is the fate that God's Day of Retribution has, since the days of Moses, warned was coming to eternally destroy all wickedness forever. Only those who turn to righteousness will survive. And that conversion must be quite soon, because the time for it is getting very short.
(This is a response to several questions concerning the scandals now enveloping the Roman Church).
The following prophecy is from the Book of Jeremiah:
"the mother of seven sons grows faint, and breathes her last. It is still day, but already her sun has set. Shame and disgrace are hers..." (Jer.15:9).
At first glance the symbolic "mother" mentioned in this quotation appears to be an obvious reference to Judaism. However, on deeper inspection it seems to point beyond the Old Testament, because it is contained within Jeremiah's discussion of the "four destroyers" sent by God (Jer.15:3). These same four destroyers are described in the Book of Revelation as the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse".
Since the 15th chapter of Jeremiah revolves around these four destroyers, the venue seems obvious. Like the Book of Revelation, the focus is on events destined to come to pass in relation to the end of the world. That would place it in the last stages of Christianity. In that sense, the seven sons would relate to the seven churches described in the Book of Revelation's opening chapters.
Despite all the travails that are destined to come against it during the end times, prophecy shows that the Jewish nation will continue to exist all the way to the end of the world. Though surrounded by armies, it will remain intact until the very last day because it will be there to welcome the archangel when he comes to sound the trumpet that initiates the return of Christ.
Rome, however, seems destined to fall. The destroyer, prophecy warns, will have his way with that city. Under the weight of the tribulation, the "mother city" of all of Christianity's churches will "breathe her last" well before the world ends.
For this reason, this prophecy by Jeremiah probably references the collapse of the Church in the last days. In this instance, the seven sons symbolize the seven churches, and the mother symbolizes the founding church out of which all were born (like cups and saucers that all hang on this single peg driven into a firm place by God Is.22:23-25).
Jeremiah's prophecy defines the mother's last days. In it he states that it will still be "day" when her sun sets (i.e., when she is fiercely attacked, Christianity will still flourish on earth). The shame and disgrace that come to her at the end of her days now appears obvious. The confluence of all biblical prophecy indicates that the planet is at the very brink of the end of the world right now. So the timing is defining. The "shame and disgrace" predicted by Jeremiah has come wrapped in an enormous scandal.
Extrication from the cloud of this monstrous disgrace will take longer than the few short days that remain.
The chronology of Jeremiah's prophecy shows that the mother is to die first and then her "children" (the seven churches) follow all handed over to the destroyers on account of wickedness (for refusing to leave the unholiness of their ways - Jer.15:7).
"You yourself have rejected me it is God who speaks you have turned your back on me; so I have stretched my hand over you to destroy you. I am tired of relenting..." "Since they refuse to leave their ways. I bring the destroyer in broad daylight. Suddenly I bring down anguish and terror on them." Jer.15:6-8.
For those who think the tribulation is not related to the collapse of Christian faith in the last days, all that is needed is a review of Paul's warnings in his second letter to the Thessalonians (See 2Thes 2:3-12).
Despite the horrors of the tribulation so clearly outlined in this short chapter, Jeremiah concludes his warnings with God's absolute promise of deliverance and eternal redemption for those who turn from sin and return to the righteousness of the Lord. This quotation is aimed at Jeremiah, but Christ has shown it applies to all.
I have a question. Which version of the bible do you use? I use the Hebrew and collect different versions of the bible and compare them when reading scripture. Where (is) this teaching (that) speaks about 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, scripture tells us that Jesus had to preach twice. The Bible says that Jesus went down to preach to the dead after he was crucified. "I went down into the countries underneath the earth, to the peoples of the past." (Jonah 2:7)."
Your translation confuses me as I have no translation (of the Book of Jonah) that says this quote from scripture. My version from the Complete Jewish Bible says, "I was going down to the bottoms of the mountains, to a land whose bars would close me in forever, but, you brought me up alive from the pit, Adonai, my God!" Jonah 2:7 and another version which is the Jewish bible (old testament) according to the masoretic text states, "I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me forever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.." I need clarification how you translated this into: "I went down into the countries underneath the earth, to the peoples of the past." (Jonah 2:7). N
Thank you for your question. You are quite correct about the Hebrew translation of the text. The original text of the quotation in the Book of Jonah you asked about is obscure. Scholars have found it difficult to translate precisely. As a result, two interpretations with respect to this ancient text have come down to us.
One from Hebrew which you have quoted.
The other from Greek which I have quoted.
The text I have chosen comes from the Greek and follows the Messianic tradition. In this sense it matches more precisely with 1-Peter 3:18-21 and Psalm 30:1-12 , lending itself more clearly to the prophecies that almost certainly are meant to underlie it. I used the quotation from Jonah as an example, but the prophecy itself comes from 1-Peter.
This Greek translation of Jonah includes a reference to the people of the past which inhabit the watery Abyss. That reference connects the text of Jonah with the prophecy contained in the first letter of Peter (1-Peter 3:18-21). The quotations in Jonah and in the Psalms belong to the Old Testament so are less important than Peter's letter (the text of which is not in question). It is Peter's text around which our definition of the symbolism revolves. The texts of the Psalms and Jonah are used only to correlate the symbolism revealed to us by the Apostle. For this reason, Peter is necessary. Jonah and the Psalms are less so. But they help give clarity by broadening our symbolic perspective.
The prophets and biblical scribes have with regularity, equated the sea with the realm of the dragon (Satan). Jonah was swallowed up by the whale (a giant sea monster to the ancients) which lives in the abyss. Once swallowed, he was taken down to the monster's lair which lies in darkness at the bottom of the depths, a place the ancients called "the Pit".
This descent into the depths of the sea relates symbolically to the people's descent into Sheol at the end of their lives a descent reversed by Jesus when God resurrected Him from His own plunge into that Abyss. In His resurrection, Jesus promised to lift us out of death as well, preventing our falling back into the Pit.
In the Book of Job (40:25) this sea monster is equated with Leviathan and in Ezekiel with the crocodile, symbol of Egypt (Ez. 29:3; 32:2).
"Am I the Sea, or the Wild Sea Beast, that you should keep me under watch and guard?" (Job 7:12). "Awake, awake! Clothe yourself in strength, arm of God. Awake, as in the past, in times of generations long ago. Did you not split Rahab in two, and pierce the Dragon through? did you not dry up the sea, the waters of the great Abyss, to make the seabed a road for the redeemed to cross?" (Is.51:9-10)
As you can see, there are other quotations in scripture I could have used as an Old Testament example of Peter's prophecy, but I chose this one because Jesus said that Jonah's escape from the depths would be the only sign the world would be given that Jesus is the Son of God. He said, "It is an evil and adulterous generation that asks for a sign! The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah.' And leaving them standing there, he went away." (Matt. 16:4), (Luke 11:29).
John in the Book of Revelation said that the "sea" will be no more when the new kingdom is made manifest.(Rev. 21:1).
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea." (Rv.21:1).
With the 'Abyss' gone, there will be no more death, no more eternal darkness, no more pit and no more 'sea monster' (satan) to swallow us up and hide us from God. The fact that Jesus went down there and preached there immediately after His crucifixion is astonishing.
The Greek text dates from the time of Christ and was the scripture used by the early Church and Apostles, but there are many who feel the Hebrew is better. It probably doesn't matter. Both are Old Testament books and the Book of Hebrews tells us that the Old Testament is antiquated and passing away (Heb.8:6-13).
Can you list the scientific proofs in the Bible about Jesus? GH
Science examines the natural world and studies physical evidence. Religion examines the spiritual world and studies spiritual evidence. Both study the polarity that exists in the creation but where science focuses on matter and anti-matter, religion focuses on 'good' and 'bad'.
Ethics and morality is the field of religion, not the stars.
God has decreed that there shall be no proof of His existance on the physical level because He has come to search out the lost children of God held captive in a world dominated by the anti-Christ. The test God is using to define which is which is 'choice' choice between right and wrong and it is only there that the proofs lie.
Everyone has been raised up from a prison-like preexistance and given the same option: to choose good or to choose evil. Jesus is the definition of the first of those options. Satan is the definition of the second.
God's purpose in all this is to remove Satan's presence (the contamination of evil) from earth and from this creation. As it says in the Lord's Prayer: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven".
"Mark a cross on the foreheads of all those who deplore the evil" (Ez.9:4-7) states the prophet Ezekiel.
Scientific proof would only interfere with the critical elements of this test. It would skew the results.
Individual scientists have whismically said "Science proves there is no God", or, on other occasions, "Science says there may be a creator afterall." But who are scientists to make those determinations? Individual theologians have stated that there is no truth in science. But who are they to tell us about that? The fact is both study entirely different fields. And both are far more accurate when they stay within the boundaries of their own expertise.
Religion is a probability. It has no proveable elements. To make it work in a way that mimics proveable criteria (science) we have to insert into it a "law" (an absolute). Scholars generally try to view religion without absolutes, leaving only a vacillating question mark that produces alot of "ifs" and "maybes".
The definition of the absolute is critical. Some say it is the Bible. Others say it is a prophet of some kind. But Jesus said that He was the absolute. Depending on which of these we choose, our definitions and ideas about religion will be different.
Because Christ has shown religion to be a choice between good and bad with eternal life hanging in the balance between those two choices, scientific proof is irrelevant. The critical determinate is otherwise. It involves a life-long process of choices about good and evil, made over and over. It involves stumbling and getting back up again and persevering until all doubt is removed. In other words, probability needs to turn into fact within ourselves. That is the meaning of faith.
What do you think about baptism? I think it is necessary and my wife's church teaches that they are saved by faith alone.BB
Jesus said that we must be born through water and spirit.
"Unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God..." (John 3:5).
Jesus said that the pharisees THWARTED what God had in mind for them (salvation) by refusing to be baptised by John the Baptist.
"All the people who heard him, and the tax collectors too, acknowledged God's plan by accepting baptism from John; but by refusing baptism from him the Pharisees and the lawyers had thwarted what God had in mind for them." (Luke 7:29-30).
To prove its importance, Jesus, requested John to baptise Him as well.
In the second chapter of the 'Acts of the Apostles', when the people wanted to know what to do to be saved, Peter (whom Christ had made head of the church) told them: "You must repent and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:37-38).
In this powerful statement, Peter shows that baptism is essential to the forgiveness of our sins.
There is alot in scripture to indicate that baptism is very important. More than that, if we willfully refuse to do it we put God to the test. That is very serious. It is like saying to God, 'My pastor has this theory your instructions to be baptised are out-moded as far as we are concerned and I believe him, so I am going to disregard your New Testament instructions and refuse to be baptised just to prove I can be saved without baptism.' Satan told Jesus to throw himself off a cliff to show the world He wouldn't be killed because scripture promised God would protect him. Jesus told Satan, "You must not put God to the test."
Ditto for us.
For much more on this see "baptism"
I apparently didn't make myself clear. I was wondering if there are signs in the natural world that point to Jesus?GH
I am sorry I misunderstood you. There is no 'proof' of Christ in the natural world, of course, but there is an enormous body of symbolism. The lastest lies in a recent announcement that astronomers have discovered TWO "big bangs". They say the first produced a universe of darkness without any light in it at all. The second, about 100,000 years later exploded in light and it is that one which produced life.
Modern theologians have pointed to the 'big bang' as a scientific testimonial to the Bible's Genesis story, where God said, "Let there be light" and the creation was suddenly born. One 'big bang' is harmonious with the Book of Genesis, but two of them, the first without light and the second with light, is more in agreement with the teachings of Jesus Christ. He told us that this 'first' creation lived in darkness and was doomed to pass away. He brought into this darkness the light of heaven in order to establish a new (second) creation that is eternal.
We could say that not only did He predict two 'big bangs', He accurately described their very nature. In symbolic terms, of course (darkness and light).
When we look at the natural world it seems to be filled with symbolic evidences of Christ's testimony. One could say that He constructed His words around natural phenomena on purpose, but how did He know the science? And if He DID know the science, that, in itself, would be proof.
The truth is, God constructed the natural world to reflect Jesus, so that we could "see" Him everywhere we looked (or wherever science took us).
My favorite example of this involves the dreaded "evolution" idea. Jesus described a 'survival of the fittest' that is symbolically identical to what science teaches. The only difference between them is that the survivors in Christ are 'selected' on the basis of morality, not physical strength. Jesus said that God has cast a net into the sea to bring in a "catch of all kinds" and at the end of the world a 'natural' selection of the catch will be made. His angels will keep the good and throw the bad away.
Nature abounds with symbolic correlaries to the world of Jesus Christ. Many more examples are listed in the books available on this web site.
The most important probably is the fact that Jesus described Himself as food: "If you do not eat my body and drink my blood, you will not have life in you." This teaching was almost intolerable to His first century audience. It continues to jolt even today.
Many theologians see this as a reference to communion. Others see it as a symbolic reference to the words of His Gospel a spiritual food that gives eternal life. Obviously it is that; but when one comprehends the science underlying His statement, it is stunning.
Jesus said that He and God are the light of heaven. We can compare that to a bright spiritual star of Godlight in a universe temporarily invisible to our eyes. To eat the body of Christ is to take into ourselves the eternal energy of that heavenly Godlight.
Amazingly, science has discovered that our physical universe operates on principles that are identical. If we want to live on this planet we have to eat sunlight. The plants absorb this sunlight into their leaves where it is converted by chloroplasts into clusters of food (oranges, apples, broccoli, etc., etc.). The plant gets its own food from the energy (nitrogen and phosporus, etc) released when plant material decays. All natural life on earth comes from "eating" the sun.
Knowing the Kreb cycle (as science calls it), we can see exactly why Jesus ordered us to eat His body. Sunlight created food gives an energy that quicky loses its charge (like a battery). It has to be recharged over and over again (breakfast, lunch and dinner). But the Godlight of heaven, when eaten, supplies an endless source of energy that never needs to be replenished again. One meal creates forever. In both instances we have to eat light. In the temporary instance, sunlight and in the eternal instance, Sonlight.
Of course, even this stunning symbolism does not actually "prove" God, but it does add more elements to a prodigious body of fulfilled prophecy whose sheer weight strongly promotes Jesus' Testimony.
Can you explain the lineage of Israel and how the family birthright went to Judah? -DF
Judah was Israel's fourth child. He never received the birthright.
The order of children is listed below:
The wives and children of JACOB (ISRAEL)
LEAH (Jacob's first wife)
1. Reuben (Born first, he inherited the family birthright, but later lost it)
RACHEL (Jacob's second wife, his favorite)
1. Joseph, (Jacob gave him the family birthright after he saved the family)
2. Ephraim (Inherited the family birthright following Jacob's blessing)
BILHAH (Rachel's slave girl)
ZILPAH (Leah's slave girl)
Jacob (Israel) fell in love with Rachel and wanted to marry her, but her father Laban tricked Jacob into marrying his older daughter, Leah, first.
Later Jacob was able to marry his first choice (Rachel). She was always his favorite (the woman he loved); and her son Joseph was Jacob's favorite son. Jealous of this, his other brothers (the other tribes of Israel as it were) sold Joseph into slavery. In slavery, Joseph was taken to Egypt and later became the overseer of all the grain in Pharaoh's storehouse. A famine threatened to wipe out the family of Jacob and they went to Egypt seeking food. There they found Joseph. He forgave his brothers and was reunited with his birth family.
Because he saved the family, Jacob took the birthright from Simeon (who had sold Joseph into slavery) and gave it to Joseph. Jacob made Joseph a patriarch like himself by adopting Joseph's two sons giving them equal status with his own sons, i.e., adding them to the 12 tribes of Israel.
Each of these 12 sons was the eponym of a tribe of Isrealites. Though to be more accurate, Joseph was the ancestor of 2 tribes, of which his sons were the eponyms.
Just before he died, Jacob decreed Joseph's younger son, Ephraim to be greater than his older brother Manasseh. When Joseph tried to tell Jacob (Israel now) that he was giving the greater blessing to the youngest, Israel told him,
"I know, my son, I know. He (Manasseh) too shall become a people; he too shall be great. Yet his younger brother (Ephraim) shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations." (Genesis 48:19-20).
In this way the lineage of Israel passed down from Joseph through Ephraim. It did not go to Judah.
After blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, Israel called his other sons in and told them what lay in store for them in the future. To Judah part of what he said was this:
"The sceptre shall not pass from Judah nor the mace from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs, to whom the peoples shall render obedience." (Genesis 49:10).
There are important allegories in this sequence. We have listed them all in our previous writings, especially Joseph's symbolic relationship with Christ and divine food.
Another important allegory relates to Ephraim and Manasseh. They stand for the second generation of the tribes of Israel: i.e., what they evolved to under Christ. These two represent the two houses of Israel. The younger (Ephraim) represents the Christians and Manasseh, the older of the two, represents the Jews. The birthright passed to the Christians through Ephraim by spiritual symbolism. They obeyed God and accepted His King. The result was an enormous quantity of Christian nations.
This allegory (Ephraim & Manasseh) talks to us in today's terms. We do not see twelve tribes nowadays because most are invisible. But we do see an Israel divided into two houses (Christians and Jews).
Judah became the base of power as far as the tribes of Israel were concerned (the sceptre was put in the hands of Judah and the mace between his feet). It was a power made visible in Solomon's and Herod's temples. But, as the prophecy said, that power belonged to another; the Messiah.
Jesus, of course, was born into the tribe of Judah just as Israel's blessing predicted. The prophecy shows that the sceptre belonged to Him. Jesus is King of all mankind. As predicted, His people have become a multitude of nations.
With the physical rebuilding of Jerusalem as the signal to return, both houses of Israel are being called back to the Holy Land in a great ingathering that will encompass (in symbolism) all the tribes of Israel.
So it is not just the Jews who are being called back to Jerusalem. It is all the tribes of Israel. This is the ingathering that will bring all Christians and all Jews to the Holy Land for the Second Appearance of Jesus Christ. All the nations will gather there as well because it is the time of the Judgement.
Many people say that the Jews are God's favorites, but nowhere in the Bible is this stated. In fact, just the opposite. Almost every book in scripture from the Torah to the Book of Revelation testifies that God has no favorites.
Jesus said it is behavior that determines the people of God.
It is Israel's divine destiny to control the Holy Land...their armies are being led by God. -NN
Israel's divine destiny is to convert to the way of God. It is a conversion whose elements were made clear by Jesus Christ. Israel's return to the Holy Land is only for the purpose of conversion. In Jewish liturgy 'Yom Kippur' means 'The day of THE GREAT PARDON', not the day of the great conquest.
The sole purpose of the ingathering revolves around God. It revolves around change of behavior and reconciliation with the Lord. It revolves around peace and holiness. But Israel, driven by armies, is rushing off in the opposite direction. They either have to turn around on their own or the Lord will force them, in the depth of great suffering, to turn around. That is because the Day of God will find them so turned. And that 'Day' is close.
The holiness required now of Israel is the same holiness required 2000 years ago. The one that didn't happen. It is a nature reflective of Mother Theresa, not George Patton. They tried the Patton approach last time and ended up in a 2000-year diaspora. Do you think God is going to change His mind? Or say, "Ok, ok, I give up; have it your way, forget turning your cheek; instead send your armies out and smite your enemies."? You know that isn't going to happen. God isn't going to change. They have to. And that change of nature is precisely what they have been called back to Israel to put into effect. And it will happen whether they try to resist or not.
We can see this in ourselves. Does God come to our aide while we are living in sin? No. We have to confess our sins, change our behavior and ask Him for forgiveness first. It is only then that God's aide arrives.
What kind of suffering must we all endure before the commandment is realized?
"Look Ariel (Jerusalem) is lamenting in the streets,
the ambassadors of peace weep bitterly.
The highways are deserted,
no travellers use the roads.
Treaties are broken, witnesses despised,
there is respect for no one.
The land mourns, it pines away,
Lebanon is withered with shame,
Sharon is a desert,
Bashan and Carmel are stripped bare.
"Now I stand up', says the Lord
'Now I rise up to my full height.'" (Is.33:7-9).
What does this tell us?
The two houses of Israel will be in mourning.
Jerusalem will be lamenting in the streets
The Christians will weep bitterly.
The peace treaty Christ made with Babylon will be broken by the desolating sacrilige.
Those who bear witness to Jesus will be despised.
The condition of the earth will be ruins enormous desolation.
"For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: Your salvation lay in conversion and tranquility, your strength in complete trust; and you would have none of it." (Is.30:15).
If Jerusalem is being rebuilt, then this is the message: The gates are closing. The harvest is about to end.
We have always known the ingathering was spiritual,
but there is a point where physical and spiritual unite. Jerusalem rebuilt. That is the sound of the gallows being erected. It means the circuit judge is close at hand.
This sentence makes no sense to me at all: "If you have enough faith, you can say to this mountain, get up and throw yourself into the sea."
Big Bang. Suddenly comes an entire universe of enormous galaxies made up of nothing but tiny charges of vibrating energy. Does that make sense? Or a hard drive filled with similar charges of energy suddenly crashing and all the sophisticated data in it instantly vaporized into thin air? Will the world end like that? As fast as it came to be? Not even the brightest scientist can tell you why this creation came into being, what made it, or guarantee anything about its real permanence. The Bible says that God created it all with a word from His mouth. Jesus said that the hidden power in this universe is faith. He said faith is so powerful it moves electrons.
Many more things are possible than what we know. Moving mountains may be just as easy as highlighting pictures, sound or text on a computer and transporting them wherever we please. All we need is a 'mouse'. Faith may be the 'mouse' in God's computer.
Who in the 18th century knew there were x-rays? They would have scoffed at the idea. Scientists have spent scores of centuries ridiculing the truth of their great grandchildren on the basis of fashion. The fact is, nothing about this creation makes sense outside of God.
My Bible says that it was Roman ships that scared off the Syrians (which you call the beast), not ships from Kittim (Daniel 11:30). Where do you get the word "Kittim" from? -AJ
The word "Roman" in your instance probably comes from the 'Living Bible'. It is not a translation, but an interpretation. Most Bibles translate, but do not interpret. An interpretation is like a sermon, it is the opinion of a reader or editor, not what the book actually says.
The word in the original in this case is 'Kittim', not 'Rome'. It is translated 'Chittim' in the King James, and 'Kittim' in most of the other Bibles (Protestant, Roman, Greek, Armenian, etc). The New International Bible uses the interpretation, "ships of the western coastlands", possibly drawing on Numbers 24:24 to define them as 'the ships of the west' which almost all Bible scholars are certain the word 'Kittim' implies.
The word "Syrian" you mention is also an interpretation. It is not found in any other Bible. All other Bibles use the terms in the original manuscripts: "king of the North" and "king of the south".
Other places in scripture besides Daniel that mention 'Kittim' are: Gen. 10:4; Num. 24:23-24; 1 Chron. 1:7; and Jer. 2:10.
(Question in a letter discussing Jerusalem as the last city still standing on earth when Christ returns)
It would seem to me that Jerusalem should be the safest place to be on earth during the tribulation. What do you think? -MG
Not really. Actually Jerusalem in heaven is the safest place to be.
Jesus said that when we see Jerusalem (the city in Israel & Palestine) surrounded by armies then we should 'head for the hills' because the violence will be enormous. He didn't say, 'Head for Jerusalem'.
In 1982, when Israel invaded Lebanon and the Israeli commander Ariel Sharon allowed Lebanese Christians in Beirut to round up hundreds of unarmed Palestinian refugees (men, women and children) and shoot them all, it briefly shocked the world. But as time passed, it seemed no more than a transient footnote in the march of history. Spiritually, however, it was so momentous an event that the prophet Habakkuk made it a centerpiece of his scripture:
"The cup from God's right hand comes round to you, and disgrace will overshadow your glory. For the violence done to Lebanon is going to overwhelm you, so will the slaughter of terrified beasts, for you have shed men's blood and ravished the country, the city and all who live in it." (Hab.2:16-17).
Ariel Sharon was relieved of command because of his involvement in this massacre (the disgrace in Israel's former glory) and the circumstance went to trial. But the court of Israel found him not guilty. He later went on to become the architect of the West Bank settlements in the Israeli-occupied Arab lands (an incindiary issue today) and is currently the Prime Minister of the nation. A leading figure in Israel's hard-line stance, Sharon is directing the country's military operations in the latest hostilitiesa bitter violence which has seen warfare spill over even into the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
The massacre of those terrified Palestinian refugees in Lebanon was the turning point. It had to be or Habakkuk's prophecy would not have singled it out as the mirror for all the violence that would follow in its wake.
That invasion brought a militant form of Zionism to power. Instead of defense, Israel began to think in terms of conquest thoughts of a manifest destiny that involved the ancient boundaries of Solomon began to grip the minds of a growing body of government leaders.
Jeremiah's warning (see footnote) has gone unseen and unheeded.
Many other prophecies have been ignored as well.
Before that invasion and massacre, Israel basked in a glory of defense that astonished the entire world. there was no question that God had wrapped this divine nation in a steel veil of invincibility. After Lebanon, however, world ignomeny replaced the glory. The same thing happened to the Catholic Church. Their glory turned to shame in sex scandals. So both Houses of Israel face the terminal days and the Ingathering covered in similar cloaks of shame.
This fulfills scripture because evil cannot penetrate the defenses of holiness. Both Houses of Israel have dropped the standard and opened the sluicegates. That is the breach in the wall through which all the violence of the Days of Wrath will pour.
A world that once lived in the glory of Jesus has abandoned Him in a Great Revolt now sweeping the planet. It is a revolt that has robbed the churches of their masses. It has robbed the nations of almost 2000 years of religion their moral base. A recent survey showed that in the whole nation of France only 9% of its population believes in God. It is much the same everywhere in Europe. Where did all the Christian's go?
One would think the historic events of Lebanon would thin and evaporate with time. But they haven't. The prophecy keeps getting bigger. It doesn't go away. Instead, the central figure in the hardline attitude keeps resurfacing, and each time more militant and more determined than the time before.
Violence of innocents is now sweeping both Israel and Palestine. Ruins are everywhere. But the prophecy speaks of an overwhelming boomerang of violence. There are so many prophecies focalized on this terror and its depth, no one on earth can see Jerusalem in terms of either peace or safety until the world ends completely. (See "The Last Days of Babylon", Chapter 15, 'The Fall of the Wall').
Is this the time of the ships of Kittim?
It certainly appears to be one of them. The U.S. has announced it is sending four aircraft carrier 'groups' to the Middle East. That is alot of warships.
We recently talked about this subject in answer to another question. I have received quite a few letters asking about it. There are several references to the ships of Kittim in scripture. The particular quotation you are referring to I am sure comes from Daniel and concerns a western show of force that makes the 'beast' (the 8th head of the beast) back down on plans to invade Israel.
This time is probably not that time.
There are no ten-nations yet. The beast has not yet been defined or formed nations of armies. Many events are yet to unfold, though we are probably quite close. No one knows the day or the hour because it is a divinely sealed moment.
What we are seeing unfolding now is a rapidly escalating moment in a prophetic battle between the 'western he-goat and the eastern ram' described in the Book of Daniel, 8:5-8. It is a pivotal moment in end-time history and marks the opening phases in the cascade of events that bring the world to ruin.
The prophecy of Daniel indicates that this is a war that comes to us in two parts. We witnessed the first battle ten years ago when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and was driven back by American and European forces.
The second part seems to be unfolding now and involves a second 'horn', Asama Bin Laden. It seems obvious that the 'ships of Kittim' in this instance will not assume a deterrent mantle as prophecy indicates it will with the beast, but will be fully involved in the withering battles it will launch into action against the two horns of the ram.
Daniel indicates that the 'western he-goat' will destroy the 'eastern ram' on this occasion. Both horns.
What will come later in Daniel's prophecy, however, will certainly surprise us. The ships of Kittim are closely associated with the 'ships of Tarshish' in scripture. Tarshish is a symbolic name that means 'the ends of the earth', i.e., ships from the ends of the earth. The Bible defines them as heavy draft ocean going vessels. There is an ominous prophecy concerning these ships of Tarshish that states they will be destroyed by the east wind:
"There was a rallying, once, of kings,
advancing together along a common front;
they looted, they were amazed
they panicked, they ran!
There they shuddered and writhed
like women in labor,
it was the east wind, that wrecker
of ships of Tarshish! (Psalm.48:4-7).
This quotation is a prophecy defining the destruction by God of the armies of the 'east wind' at the time of the end of the world, but it also indicates that this eastern force will be famous for its successful vanquishing of the ships of Tarshish. When that success will take place is unknown. How closely the ships of Tarshish relate to the ships of Kittim is also unknown. Certainly the change in label defines a difference of some kind. Perhaps a significant difference in chronology.
We have already shown that one Bible interprets the word 'Kittim' as "ships of the western coastlands". The whole world knows exactly what 'ships of the west coast' are. They immediately envision San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Honolulu, etc. And, of course, those are the home bases of almost all of the U.S. carrier fleets. Ships of the 'ends of the earth' (Tarshish), however, as I said, may define something else again.
Whenever we see in prophecy the term 'east wind', it immediately brings to mind one or more of the four eastern forces that besiege Jerusalem. We have already witnessed three of those attacks in the Christian era and the fourth has just begun. The 'Pearl Harbor' of this fourth attack involved the World Trade towers in New York , the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and the thwarted attack on the U.S. Capitol.
No large flotilla's of western warships have been involved or destroyed in the previous three eastern attacks on western nations, so the prophecies concerning the ships of both Kittim and Tarshish likely apply to events we are beginning to watch unfold now.
-In Christ Jesus,
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