January 10, 2004
Is Christian forgiveness conditional? RQ
Prophecy tells us the forgiveness that comes from Christ is absolute. But it does require conditions. That is why we must be baptised. Baptism of repentance fulfills the conditions necessary for God to wash away our past sins (see Mark 1:4).
In our own legal world we have laws concerning the forgiveness of financial debt (monetary sin). In this world, finance is god, not Jesus, so world laws revolve around the deity of money. In one monetary circumstance (i.e., full bankruptcy) forgiveness is absolute, but other forms of bankruptcy retain the debt. In those cases, there must be repayment, but at a measured pace.
A similar type of difference distinguishes the New Testament from the Old.
In the Law of Moses conditional forgiveness was the only possibility. The debt (and its death sentence) remained in place no matter what. But in Christ we have the right to the spiritual equivalent of full legal bankruptcy for moral sin. Our entire debt is wiped out in the single touch of baptism. Every bit of it is gone forever. Nothing has to be repaid. Jesus made the full payment by going to the cross in our names.
Prophecy in the Psalms defines the conditions necessary to obtain full moral bankruptcy protection in God: we must confess that we have sinned, be heartfully sorry that we have done so, and ask God to forgive us. But the formula only works in Christ.
"Happy the man whose fault is forgiven,
whose sin is blotted out;
happy the man whom God accuses of no guilt,
whose spirit is incapable of deceit.
All the time I kept silent, my bones were wasting away
with groans, day in, day out;
day and night your hand lay heavy on me;
my heart grew parched as stubble in summer drought.
At last I admitted to you I had sinned;
no longer concealing my guilt,
I said, 'I will go to God and confess my fault'.
And you, you have forgiven the wrong I did,
have pardoned my sin."
There is a third condition, one imposed by Jesus. It covers continued forgiveness after baptism. He taught that a baptism of heartfelt contrition and confession of fault initiates the process of atonement; but forgiveness of others, He said, perpetuates it, allowing the grace of the cross to continue to flow into our hearts for the rest of our lives. Jesus said that as we forgive others, so will God forgive us. By following that rule through contrition and confession, and keeping to the commandments, the full protection of the cross is ours continuously for as long as we live. This shield of protection is called 'living in a state of grace'.
"Many torments await the wicked, but grace enfolds the man who trusts in God." (Ps.32:11)
Grace is the hidden meaning behind the 'Last Supper'. Daniel calls the communion ritual the "perpetual sacrifice" because as long as it is duly offered and accepted, the power of the cross is made perpetual on earth. It keeps pouring out forgiveness continuously.
If the communion sacrament is removed, as prophecy tells us it will be at the end of the world, the gates of heaven will close and the End will happen almost immediately thereafter (see Isaiah 24:1-6).
The reason why this added protection is necessary is because God has made eternal life available only to those who are sinless. The Gospels tell us over and over that we have to keep Christ's commandments. If we commit any sin after baptism, we are no longer sinless. We have fallen back into moral debt. If no condition for perpetual grace were in place, no one could be saved. The slightest sin would be fatal. That is why Christ's sacrifice has been made perpetual through the institution of the 'Last Supper' (see 1 Cor. 11:20-34).
If we commit sin outside of God's parameters for continued forgiveness, i.e., by refusing to forgive others or refusing to repent or confess our faults, we put ourselves in mortal danger of falling from grace and losing the enternal life we achieved through baptism.
Please comment on (this) statement: JM
"Mind you, while Jesus taught us to trust the Old Testament Scriptures and the person of the Holy Spirit, He never told us to trust the New Testament or that He would cause one to be written".
That statement is false. Prophecy in the Old Testament tells us that Jesus would hide His words in the heart of His disciples, and that they (those instructed) would put it in a book.
"I bind up this testimony, I seal this revelation in the heart of my disciples." (Is.8:6).
"Now go and inscribe this on a tablet, write it in a book, that it may serve in the time to come as a witness forever." (Is.30:8).
"The deaf that day will hear the words of a book and, after shadow and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see." (Is.29:18).
What those disciples wrote was a scripture that was bound in heaven forever:
"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: Whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven." (Mt.16:19).
I have some questions in regard to the answer you provided (text of which is below)
<< In very rough terms, the present world gives us an indication of the likely centers of power around which the coming four-way division of the fractured U.N. will be structured: America, the European Union, the Far East and the Middle East. Each will have its own set of allies. >>
How is the Middle East and the Far East part of the collapse of the Western world? Aren't those regions eastern in nature, so therefore not part of the collapse of the western alliance?PS
Daniel's prophecies are about world politics, not North Atlantic politics. We should not expect to see his words come to life in terms of an organization like NATO. Instead, they will revolve around a world body like the United Nations. Daniel's words are built on the template of Alexander the Great of Greece and the four kingdoms his empire fractured into immediately after his sudden death.
At the moment of his death, Alexander controlled what was then the entire political globe. His empire stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to India. Beyond the borders of his empire there was only wilderness and scattered peoples not a part of the global community. China and Japan for instance were not a part of global world politics in his time, and in fact, remained isolated from the world community until the 19th century.
Daniel's prophecies point us to a mirror image of an Alexander-like circumstance reappearing on history's stage. It was not until our own time that this re-occurrance took place.
Over the last decade and a half, we have watched the United States lead the western world to similar global borders. The western (Greek, if you will in terms of democracy) empire today stretches from Japan and the Phillipines clear across the globe and back across the Pacific Ocean to Polynesia. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the democratization of Russia, and victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, The western reach stretches from the Euphrates back to the Euphrates. That reach duplicates prophecy. All the end-time visions involve the Euphrates river. That's where Daniel lived and where he wrote his prophecies.
We live in an empire today that is the mirror image of Alexander's in many ways. It is western, it is Greek (in terms of democracy) and it rules the earth, both east and west. Not only that, but we stand at the summit of the empire's global reach, at the pivotal point in symbolic terms of where Alexander was when he suddenly died.
It is difficult to predict how this political-economic empire will fracture, or the four parts into which it will be broken. None of the four will be like the empire from which they came according to prophecy. The prophecy speaks about the 'death' of Alexander. That means the death of the global western world as we know it today. And if that, too mimics Alexandrian events, it will happen suddenly, and it won't happen militarily.
All we know about the future is what God chooses to reveal to us. God is interested in our knowing the fracture will occur so that the world's people might see and understand what time it is and be encouraged to repent, but specifics are almost never forthcoming until the events themselves happen. That is why the future constantly surprises us.
<< In very rough terms, the present world gives us an indication of the likely centers of power around which the coming four-way division of the fractured U.N. will be structured: America, the European Union, the Far East and the Middle East. Each will have its own set of allies.I >>
If there are 4 centers of power, 2 of which western in nature and 2 of which eastern, who then would be the allies to the other? Who do you see America allied with? To be honest, I see us with Russia and Eastern Europe. You? Which will be the more powerful block?. PS
Again, Daniel's vision describes all four as differing significantly from the empire out of which they were spawned. It says nothing about "two western" and "two eastern" power blocs. That would be 'two winds'. Daniel's prophecies tell us that the former empire will be parcelled out to the 'four winds'. That kind of scattering not only means four diverse cultures, it means a different kind of America. Perhaps isolationist.
If we are a part of that fracture (if it happens in our time as it seems it will) it will be a stinging rebuff to our culture. Think about our global economic community. All our industries are multinational, and we are exporting jobs all across the globe to China, to India, to Pakistan, to Indonesia, to Russia, everywhere. All that speaks powerfully to a western economic empire. This entire structure would disappear in the fracture. Nothing would be the same. Our economics would be in free-fall. Financial implode of the stock market would be a certainty. The monetary system itself might collapse. We are looking at the 'death' of Alexander, the "sudden" death. The politics and alignments would be secondary and would depend on the factors that drive the fracturing. There is no way possible to tell what those factors will be. Hints of one possible way we might see it come surfaced in the caustic global disagreements between England, the United States and the rest of the European community over terms of war in Iraq.
The most powerful bloc would be irrelevant because scripture shows the smallest growing quickly and exponentially into one of the greatest war machines in the history of the world. It could coalesce into a powerful ten-nation republic sporting millions of soldiers virtually overnight. We have already seen an example of how fast this can happen with Hitler. He came to power in a small partly-occupied country as a rabble-rousing housepainter turned politican in 1933 and by 1939 he had grown in might to the point where he could take on the whole world militarily by launching World War II.
As far as U.S. allies are concerned, all we know for certain is Israel. That's all the Bible tells us. Another thing Daniel tells us is that the ten-nation war machine will attack the western hemisphere (he says, the "islands across the sea") and that we will defeat him here soundly and send him packing back to Europe. Later, when the beast, himself, comes to power, the United States will be instrumental in containing him by blocking his advances in terms of Jerusalem. The ships of Kittim figure prominently in that counteraction.
So the United States appears in prophecy to be a very powerful foe of the beast, almost certainly the most powerful opponent he has in the world, but not the only one. Daniel's prophecies speak of insurrection in the east and in the north. In fact, according to Daniel, it is this combination of roadblocks standing in his way that drives the madman to blow up the world (Dan.11:44).
<< At the very moment when we need a strong united Western World to combat a militantly rising East, we are engaging in tactics certain to splinter ourselves. >>
If the far East and the Middle East are part of the 4 blocks, then that would mean the entire world fractured? Is the U.S. "aggression" toward the UN and NATO justified? In terms of UN, I think so. Through them, many have died through "Peace" because they turn a blind eye and pretend that everything is ok. Your thoughts?PS
Justification is hardly a word to be used in terms of Daniel's prophecy. We are looking here at the end of the world. According to the angel of God who spoke to him, Daniel's words detail the final moments of history. So the justification is entirely God's.
NATO really has little meaning here. Not now. Probably not even in the future. Western economic policy has birthed a cooperative, global, political and financial bloc. There is no turning back from this course today because the economic hardships would be catastrophic to ourselves and to everyone else involved if we tried. The only viable option is sufficient compromise on the part of all parties to keep everyone within the borders of the western global economic alliance which the world has chosen to embrace. The goal then, if it were possible, would be to keep the United Nations intact and in one piece politically. Prophecy, however, details for us a different outcome.
Right now the only threat to this global alliance is Al Queda, the terrorists. They began very small and were almost universally deplored by the greater Muslim community. But war in Iraq is changing those attitudes. Hostility to the west in terms of Iraq has pushed the greater Muslim community in the direction of the terrorist network. If not in its administrative circles, certainly in terms of its vast population. In other words, we have inadvertantly spawned a militantly rising East, and it is certain to be one of the 'four winds' Daniel's prophecy speaks to us about.
Today we are seeing the destruction of the family in everyway possible.. Now we see the homosexual movement trying to equate their relationship to the one God gave man and woman.. It is one more falsehood in the pseudo teachings of the world..Everything that God has given man, Satan tries to duplicate it with a sinful practice.. What are your thoughts on this abomination? My sadness is overwhelming!!! CM
The prophecies of scripture have much to say about aberrational sexual practices and none of it is good. Here are some of those verses:
"You must not lie with a man as with a woman. This is a hateful thing." (Leviticus 18:22)
"They parade their sin like Sodom. To their undoing, they do not hide it. They are preparing their own downfall." (Is.3:9).
"Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these practices, for it was by such things that the nations that I have expelled to make way for you made themselves unclean. The land became unclean; I exacted the penalty for its fault and the land had to vomit out its inhabitants...If you make it unclean, will it not vomit you out as it vomited the nation that was here before you? Yes, anyone who does one of these hateful things, whatever it may be, any person doing so must be cut off from his people." (Lev. 18:24-29).
"I God, search to the heart, I probe the loins, to give each man what his conduct and his actions deserve." (Jer.17:10).
"Keep to my rules; do not observe the hateful practices that were observed before you came, then you will not be made unclean by them. I am the Lord your God." (Lev.18:30).
"You may have been freed from the slavery of sin, but only to become 'slaves' of righteousness. If I may use human terms to help your natural weakness: as once you put your bodies at the service of vice and immorality, so now you must put them at the service of righteousness for your sanctification." (Romans 6:17-19).
"Keep away from fornication. All the other sins are committed outside the body; but to fornicate is to sin against your own body. Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God. You are no longer your own property; you have been bought and paid for. That is why you should use your body for the glory of God." (1 Cor.6:18-20).
"You know perfectly well that people who do wrong will not inherit the kingdom of God: people of immoral lives, idolaters, adulterers, catamites, sodomites, thieves, usurers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers will never inherit the kingdom of God. These are the sort of people some of you were once, but now you have been washed clean, and sanctified, and justified through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the Spirit of God." (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
"These things happened as warnings for us, not to have the wicked lusts for forbidden things that they had. Do not become idolaters as some of them did, for scripture says: "After sitting down to eat and drink, the people got up to amuse themselves: We must never fall into sexual immorality; some of them did, and twenty-three thousand met their downfall in one day" (1 Cor. 10:6-8).
"That is why God left them to their filthy enjoyments and the practices with which they dishonor their own bodies...That is why God has abandoned them to degrading passions: why their women have turned from natural intercourse to unnatural practices and why their menfolk have given up natural intercourse to be consumed with passion for each other, men doing shameless things with men and getting an appropriate reward for their perversion. They know what God's verdict is: that those who behave like this deserve to die and yet they do it; and what is worse, encourage others to do the same." (Rom 1:22-32).
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness...For this, as stubble is prey for the flames and as straw vanishes in the fire, so their root will rot, their blossom be carried off like dust, for rejecting the Law of God Almighty, and despising the word of the Holy One of Israel." (Is.5:20-24).
"Among you there must be not even a mention of fornication or impurity in any of its forms, or promiscuity: this would hardly become the saints!" (Eph. 5:3).
"You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires." (Gal.5:24).
Paul taught in his letters that we must not allow people who indulge in these kind of sexual behaviors to be members of the Church. Forgiveness is essential to our sanctification and it is very important here as well. Paul said that we are to love those who are immoral just as we are to love our enemies, and pray for their conversion. But, at the same time, Paul wrote that we must shun them and keep away from them as from vice itself. "You must drive this evil-doer from you", he wrote concerning news brought to him about a sexual deviant in the church at Corinth (1 Cor. 5:1-13).
It is not surprising that sodomy has returned to the world stage so openly in the last decade. It's recent public broadcast is certainly one of the key signs that we have reached the termination of the age. Sodom and Gomorrah were the only cities destroyed by God by heavenly fire after the flood. For that reason they have stood for us a sign in scripture of the end of the world. Now those cities have come again, risen from the ashes of that divine judgement and multiplied by hundreds. Their world-wide reappearance underscores the rebellion (the Great Revolt spoken of by Paul in 2 Thess 3) and brings that revolution toward its peak. Heavenly fire again is the focus.
"Thus the laboring of the peoples comes to nothing,
the toiling of the nations ends in fire." (Jer.51:58).
It is a time to be sad for those who refuse to repent of such perversions, but not a time to be sad for ourselves. These signs are another indication that everything the Bible tells us is true. The Second Coming of Jesus is near and approaching with great speed. The travail of childbirth will be rough, but the reward that follows will far surpass the greatest of all expectations for those who hold on to righteousness to the end!
What does it mean to be turned over to Satan? DF
It means to be turned over into the hands of men.
It is what happens when the shield of Grace (our divine protection) is partially withdrawn. It happened to Jesus when He was apprehended by the Chief Priests and Temple guards and taken to be crucified. Paul has written about this process not just once, but several times, showing that it is a theological principle of the Apostolic Church.
There is great mystery surrounding this subject. What is it? How does it work? What are its ramifications? Roman theologians see purgatory. Protestant theologians see enigma. The Old Testament offers us a reflection of it in the Book of Job. Obviously, in the case of Jesus it was done for divine purposeto secure our salvation (see Psalm 22).
The reason why it is of such importance is that it seems to represent an alternative mechanism in the atonement process, but a tough one. It represents an almost physical destruction of the wicked or immoral body in the fire of Satan. It represents a trip through hell. Not permanent residence there, just a focused visit through it so that the person can understand exactly where their behavior is taking them.
In Alcoholics Anonymous it is taught that a person cannot be cured of alcohol addiction until they have fallen to the very bottom. Until then, they keep rationalizing, protecting their 'love' of drink. It is only at the depth of despair that most alcoholics can begin the road to recovery. They have to go through the fire of perdition first. In that fire they can lose their finances, their property, their wives, even their children. Many end up on the street sleeping in culverts and beneath freeway bridges begging for food and longing for alcohol.
As far as prophecy is concerned, a similar situation occurred in the Old Testament book of Job. God said to Satan, "Very well, he (Job) is in your power but keep your hands off his person" (i.e., don't kill him). From that day on, all sorts of evil befell him, but he did not die. It was at Satan's urging that Job fell into this fire, to test him. And we read in the Old Testament that it was Satan's desire to test every person on earth the same way.
"Simon, Simon! You must know, Satan has got his wish to sift you all like wheat; but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail, and once you have recovered, you in your turn must strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31)
This shows that the test of Job has followed into the Christian era. God has granted Satan permission to test us all like wheat, but not in the same way as Job. The Job test God reserved for the unrepentant wicked. It is a terrible process and fortunately we do not have to all go through it. That is why Jesus told us to pray not to be put to the test (Luke 23:46).
"Because you have kept my commandment to endure trials, I will keep you safe in the time of trial which is going to come for the whole world, to test the people of the world." (Rev.3:10).
Others, however, are not so fortunate. Paul wrote this to Timothy:
"Some people have put conscience aside and wrecked their faith in consequence. I mean men like Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to teach them not to be blasphemous." (1 Tim.1:19-20).
When a person is turned over to Satan it means God has withdrawn from him (Hosea 5:5-6). That allows the evil of Satan to penetrate his defenses and attack him. But not kill him. At least, not at first. Not until a person has refused God even through the fire.
"The arrogance of Israel is his own accuser, the iniquity of Ephraim knocks him down, and down comes Judah with him. Though they go in search of the Lord wth their sheep and oxen, they do not find him; for he has withdrawn from them. They have proved unfaithful to the Lord, they have fathered bastards, and now the destroyer will devour them and their estates." (Hosea 5:5-7)
"Yes, I am going to return to my dwelling place until they confess their guilt and seek my face; they will search for me in their misery. (Hosea 5:15)
"I have been told as an undoubted fact that one of you is living with his father's wife. This is a case of sexual immorality among you that must be unparalled even among pagans. How can you be so proud of yourselves? You should be in mourning. A man who does a thing like that ought to have been expelled from the community. Though I am far away in body, I am with you in spirit and have already condemned the man who did this thing as if I were actually present."
"When you are assembled together in the name of the Lord Jesus, and I am spiritually present with you, then with the power of our Lord Jesus he is to be handed over to Satan so that his sensual body may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord." (1 Cor.5:1-5).
"On this foundation (Jesus Christ) you can build in gold, silver and jewels, or in wood, grass and straw, but whatever the material, the work of each building is going to be clearly revealed when the day comes...If a person's structure stands up to it, he will get his wages; if it is burnt down, he will be the loser, and though he is saved himself, it will be as one who has gone through fire." (1-Cor. 3:12-15).
It is on this last quotation that some Catholic theologians see purgatory, i.e., "going through the fire". There can be no question that Paul's statement reflects pain and suffering, but whether or not it comes after the death of the flesh or before is the subject of theological debate. The most important part to be sure comes before the death of the body so that a person can see the Light and repent and be assured of salvation, but there may be additional punishment afterward as well (Mat. 5:25-26).
In scripture we are taught that the buildings being referred to as needing rebuilding are our own bodies. Our bodies are the "ruins of Jerusalem" that Jesus came to rebuild in His image. We can sanctify them or debase them so that they have to be burned down in fire. Salvation can come either way, but, according to Paul, in the fire that salvation comes at a price.
Hi, I came across your website. I have a question that I hope you can help me with. In Revelation, the 144,000 are said to be 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. Then it goes on to list each tribe. There is no mention of the tribe of Dan nor the tribe of Ephraim. Also, there is mention of the tribe of Joseph, which isn't usually considered part of the twelve tribes. And Levi isn't either. So, some conclude that this means this list isn't literal. And say that the Gentiles were allowed to become part of this 144,000.
Your observations are well taken. There are almost 6 billion people on the planet today. Several prophecies in the Old Testament testify to 1/3rd of the population being saved, or being singled out to be refined in the fire of God. If that figure is accurate, it means almost 2 billion people out of just today's population alone (see graph). When you consider the populations (a new one every 50-60 years or so) that have occupied this planet for the last 2000 years since Christ was first preached, those figures become enormous beyond calculation.
The 144,000 would be one person out of 10,000, or, to put it another way, just 5 people in a normal town of 40,000 people every 50-60 years. And that is just with today's population alone. When you add in the 40 or so separate world populations that have occupied this globe since the time of Christ, the ratio becomes too small to contemplate. It would mean virtually no one could be saved. In other words, just a Mother Theresa here and a Francis of Assisi there. The rest of us, all those people in all those churches across the planet could forget it. They could pray all they wanted to, there is just no room for them in those kind of numbers. Jesus promised us faithfully that would not be the case. He said ANYBODY who obeyed His words and had faith in Him would be saved.
"Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved. No one who believes in him will be condemned."(John 3:15-18).
Symbolism is the only way to resolve this obvious paradox.
What that statement does do is to divide the saved into two categories.
If you will note, Revelation 7:3-8 states that the 144,000 stem soley from the original Twelve Tribes of Israel. However, it goes on to say in verses 9-10 that included with them (as saved) will be a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every other tribe, nation, language and people of the world. This is an obvious inclusion of the Gentiles in the count, and it is enormous.
Furthermore, in listing the 12 tribes, the names, as you have pointed out, include additions and subtractions we know to be different from the historical list. John was a Jewish Apostle, he couldn't have got it wrong, especially not that wrong. So even this has to represent some sort of hidden symbolism.
That's in keeping with the book, because the entire Book of Revelation has been known from the beginning to be symbolic. It was made spiritually symbolic by the hand of the Holy Spirit and it was made physically symbolic by an Apostle that was trying to keep its message secret from the agents of the Caesars ruling the world at that time who were trying so hard to weed the religion out of existance.
As symbolism, the 2 divisions defined may mean that a far smaller number of the saved (though more than the finite number 144,000) will exhibit such purity and perfection that they will be commissioned to a special category where, as scripture says, their stars will shine for all eternity. Jesus has intimated that there might be such a category. The fact is, we just don't know. It is comforting to know that when He preached, He did not preach to an elitist few, He preached to the rest of us. And, as He said, the payment (eternal life) will be the same for all.
Did the Jewish people kill Jesus?
A corrupt administration consisting of a small group of Jerusalem insiders had to come out and capture him in the dead of the night (for fear of the Jewish population) and they had to hire (for pay) a small group of professional rabble-rousers to give a false impression to the Roman magistrates whose soldiers then hammered in the nails. The Jewish population was no more responsible for that than the American people are for the activities of Halliburton or Enron.
Besides, none of this is the issue anymore. Today's issue revolves around what God now plans to do with us. According to a myriad of prophecies, all indications are that He has got up to throw the switch a switch that turns off the millenium of Christ's offer of atonement, and ushers in the fearsome tribulation meant to plough away the dying vines of an ending harvest.
Today we see an entire world with hammers in their hands and nails in their teeth and fingers busily hammering the religion of Jesus to a cross. Christ forgave the world for what happened to Him 2000 years ago, but we haven't heard a word from Him about this new crucifixion. What we see, though, is a third-day ushered in with wars at the Euphrates, the blazing comet of an exploding space shuttle, towers falling and a city whose synonym is Babylon, burning before the horrified gaze of far-off traders. The signs aren't good.
The Book of Revelation says that prosperity will never return. "gone forever, never to return is your life of magnificence and ease" (Rev.18:14). We are told there is a recovery but not for the people. The jobs have all gone to foreigners, the salaries have plummeted, costs have skyrocketed and benefits disappeared. The corporate Marie Antoinettes sip champagne on their yachts, while the prospect of poverty assails us.
We need to pay particular attention to the current crucifixion, not the ancient one. Jonah showed that repentance has the power even to thwart prophecy, but not if it is never used. So far, as the signs around us escalate, there seems to be no sign of repentance, just fear and wickedness and foul language.
And, oh yes, a law that bans prayer.
Can you please provide insight as to the rationale (why?) and the process (how?) that separated and excluded what are known as the "Gnostic Gospels", the "Old Testament Apocrypha" and the "New Testament Apocrypha" from the accepted "Canonical Gospels" and from being incorporated into the Bible as it currently exists? RA
It is difficult to give you an answer to that question in a short e-mail.
You might want to refer to a web page we have that addresses the Old Testament Apocrypha. It can be found at: http://goodnewschristianministry.org/apocrypha.htm
That web page, however, discusses only the Old Testament Apocrypha, not the new.
The rationale, of course, with both sets of books was, first and foremost, authenticity. There were many spurious tracts and these had to culled out. It would seem an easier job with the New Testament books than with the Old, simply because the culling was done so close to the originals. But that was offset to a large degree by the sheer volume, especially of Gnostic works, that were quickly springing up like weeds. It added a great sense of urgency to the task of separating the sacred from the pedestrian and codifying them for eternity.
Gnosticism is a form of mysticism where knowledge itself is the god. According to that belief, one elevated himself to proximity with the divine through study and scholastic understanding, passing through stages of perfection as a person's knowledge increased. Gnosticism's premise was that closeness to God was limited only to the select few who could attain it intellectually; and that, only through long and protracted study. This differed diametrically to Jesus who taught that those closest to God were the poor and simple, and that they were justified by faith alone. Gnosticism was elitist. A modern similarity can be found in the precepts of L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology.
Authenticity was so important to those selecting which books were sacred enough to qualify as scripture, the newer works were barely considered. Instead the arguments centered on which included books in the list should be removed from it. In the end, none were and the New Testament was codified just as you see it today.
A similar circumstance occurred with the Old Testament, but was complicated by the fact that scholars had to deal with two lines of scripture, Greek and Hebrew. In the end, Christianity chose the Greek and the Jews chose the Hebrew. Since the Greek Old Testament had more books in it than the Hebrew, controversy has raged over Christianity's decision ever since.
Jesus told His apostles that what they bound on earth would be bound in heaven and what they loosed on earth would be loosed in heaven. Nothing could be more "bound" than the scriptures they chose. That choice can never be altered. So, in the end, the discussion is now academic at best. Nothing can change what those early church father's decreed or bound.
For a more detailed discussion of the rationale and processes behind both the New and the Old Testament apocryphal works, please see this link.
wonder are you aware of the books "BIBLE CODE" & "BIBLE CODE II", and also their prophecies? i've read them and found that they are just amazing especially when they showed certain great events, so detailed that they even showed people, year and places...it even mentioned that the original Hebrew Scripture tells that nuclear war will break out at 2006, that sounded like the end of the world is just at hand! as i do not understand Hebrew language (i'm sure so do many out there), i wonder how accurate those predictions were? please comment on these books and their accuracy...CL
I am not certain that I am familiar with the books you are asking about. There was a book several years ago called "The Code of the Bible" written by Michael Drosnin, a Jewish author. Reviews at the time Drosnin's book was released declared it speculated that prophecies were mathematically interwoven into the Hebrew words of the Torah and that they referred to the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel. In other words, they dealt with the kind of articles you would read in the National Enquirer, not the Bible. Drosnin failed in that book to find any passages about Jesus.
Any book that relates Bible prophecy but ignores Jesus Christ or the salvation He offered to mankind from God has to be false. That is the only reason God created the Bible to tell the world about His Christ.
And as far as codes are concerned, the Bible is already coded. It is scripted in metaphore, the same kind of language Jesus used in when He spoke in parable. It speaks to us in divine symbolism about a baby born in Bethlehem who will rise up to be the King of the world in the visage of David. It speaks to us powerfully about the Word of God made flesh.
The Bible's true codes present extraordinary visions but they do so only for purpose. They never deal with items of casual curiosity. You won't hear about the Kennedy's or Marilyn Monroe or Elvis. Those prophecies are designed to sell books, not eternal life. The real codes talk to us about Jesus and Satan; about the Beast and his mark; about salvation and damnation. It's meat and potatoes stuff. It is the fakers who cover the trivia.
The Bible tells us flatly that no one can predict the day or the hour of the End, so the prophecy you are asking about (nuclear war in 2006) has to be manifestly wrong. In scripture, true prophecy never gives finite dates. Not ever! That alone disparages the accuracy of the rest of the prophecies. Ancient Hebrew had no word for "nuclear" anyway. The word had to be inserted into the Hebrew language in 1945 or so in the form of a foreign inclusion.
You definitely need to let the Holy Spirit guide you as far as the prophecies in these books are concerned.
Is it true that the pagans were grafted onto the tribe of Judah? NN
Paul covers this in great detail in his letter to the Romans. What he said was that the Jews were one of the natural branches on the "cultivated" olive tree, while the pagans were a branch on the "wild" olive tree. Due to their failure to obey Christ's commandments, Paul said, God cut some of the "natural" branches off (including the Jewish branch) and grafted the "unnatural" pagan branch on among the others (among the other tribes of Israel that remained). The cultivated olive tree is obviously a metaphore for Jesus, the tree of life.
All this was done, Paul continued, for a purpose the salvation of the pagans. Once all the pagans (those who choose to be rescued) have been rescued, he said, the door to pagan conversion will be closed and the Jewish "branch" will be grafted back on to the tree of life. Their eyes, now closed by decree, will be opened and they will recognize Jesus as God and return to Him in the same way Christians are doing now.
Paul's explanation shows that the Christians probably have not been grafted onto the Jewish branch, but onto the tree of life itself, which is Jesus. Were that not true, when the Jewish branch is grafted back on in the future, it would have to be grafted onto the Christian branch. The fact is, as far as the future is concerned, there will be no Christian branch and no Jewish branch, just one branch, and it will be called the Children of God.
"...some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root... (Rom.11:17
"You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." (Rom.11:19)
"And if they (the Jews) do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again." (Rom.11:23).
"After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!" (Rom.11:24 ).
One of the more interesting curiosities raised by Paul's words has to do with his assertion that "some" of the natural branches had been removed. One must ask which ones besides the Jews? A clue to this may lie in the list of the Twelve Tribes of Israel in the Book of Revelation. Missing from that list are Ephraim and Dan. In their place are Joseph and Levi.
There is a place in the Bible that says God created the heavens by speaking. Do Christians believe this is possible? C
You can do it yourself. Turn on your computer and give it a verbal command. If you have certain software in it, it will obey your voice. It will do whatever you ask it to do, even to carrying out entire strings of actions on a single command. If you can do it, God can do it.
Do angels have wings? Thanks. SL
It would certainly be fun if they did. There would be alot of freedom in being able to fly around like a bird or butterfly. But prophecy seems to indicate that our new bodies will be created in a form that allows us to navigate through space with infinite freedom, even more so than wings would allow. People who have had visions, say it is like purposeful floating. The angels, imbued already with such feedom are able to scud across the cosmic skies like clouds. The early visions of wings may have been given to inspire and reinforce this understanding.
There is an inconsistency in your writing about the United States. First you say the United States will collapse and disappear and then you say the United States will confront Satan's forces at the time of the end. Which way is it??? GE
Our paper "Prophecies Yet to be Fulfilled" is an outline of Bible prophecies that have not yet come to pass. None of those prophecies say the U.S. will disappear. In fact, they seem to say just the opposite.
The prophecies in scripture show a volatile and incendiary future and our listing reflects this. Much of this material comes from the visions of the prophet Daniel. One of the most timely of his prophecies deals with a western empire, structured in a framework of Alexander the Great, which fights two wars at the Euphrates river and wins them both with armies that cross the whole earth without touching the ground (Dn.8:5). He said the second war would be bigger than the first. The United States, its allies and their Gulf War victories fit the circumstances Daniel describes.
Daniel said that after the second victory (the second Gulf War), this western empire would grow more powerful than ever, but, like Alexander the Great, would suddenly die. In relation to that "death" the remains of the western kingdom would be divided and parcelled out to the four corners of the earth (to the four winds) (Dn.11:3-4).
The fact that the United States reappears in Daniel's prophecy a little later (Dn.11:30) shows that this nation did not die. Something else died. U.S. participation in the collapse then, seems related to its role as the world policeman. Something happens that causes the United States to retreat to its own shores, still powerful, but no longer the prime orchestrator of world politics. Western civilization breaks apart and it's member nations scatter into four disparate coalitions of nations. The collapse and death, then, relate to the western world empire, an empire that has ruled the world since the time of Alexander the Great. What could cause this death is unknown, but other prophecies offer some clues.
According to Daniel, the word "Parsin" in the handwriting on the wall of Babylon means that Babylon will be divided, and then handed over to the Medes and Persians. (Dn.5:28). In other words, the east will rise to power over the west. Daniel's prophecy shows that the unity of the western world community will suddenly divide, and then fall into the hands of the east. Babylon will change rulers.
This division is important. It implies civil war across the western world.(not national civil war, but international). It probably won't be a fighting war. Instead, it will likely come in the form of intense antagonism that breaks up the friendships, alliances and even economic relationships of the nations of the world. It could stem from economic crises or political acrimony. Either way, it signals the end of the United Nations.
In Isaiah19:2 we read of civil war in terms of 'Egypt'
"I will stir up the Egyptians against each other and they shall fight every man against his brother, friend against friend, city agaist city, kingdom against kingdom." (Is.19:2)
Egypt is symbolism in scripture for armaments and military. We have noted in our writings that the United States has proved to be the 'Egypt' in the prophecy about troops advancing to the Euphrates and stationing themselves there. Isaiah's prophecy of civil war shows that 'Egypt' in these predictions stands for a coalition of nations, not a single nation (i.e., "kingdom will fight against kingdom").
In terms of "Egypt", then, the prophecy suggests a western-world military alliance with the USA at its head. Apply that to current events and it sounds like NATO, the military alliance of the western world. The prophecy seems to point to a collapse of NATO and a United States that suddenly retreats across the seas to its own shores. In the wake of that startling turn of events, the whole western world simply falls apart as a cohesive entity.
The United States may simply withdraw, or perhaps, be thrown out of foreign affairs by the other nations who no longer want us in their areas anymore. We only "militarily occupy" one nation today, in all the rest we are "guests". Such an eviction would not severly impact our military capabilities, but it would get us off the world stage as the controlling player. World political chaos would inevitably ensue because the sheriff left town.
We have troops currently stationed all over the world because those countries want us there. If those nations suddenly become enemies and say go home, we would have no other choice but to comply. We saw this happen on a very small scale when Castro came to power.
A large enough economic catastrophe could also force us to pull back. We are stretched to the limits financially as a nation as it is, so a major economic crises added to that could radically alter the political dynamics of the world. This is something we witnessed in 1929-33, a depression so severe it brought Adolph Hitler to power.
A natural disaster (the Bible forsees many), like a horrendous tidal wave that virtually drowns us physically and financially could also deliver the kind of sudden economic hit that would produce the results prophesied. Such a possibility is not farfetched (Lk.21:25-26). There is a prediction in scripture of a tidal wave hitting America and it is of such importance, two major prophets forsee it.
"The sea will rise over Babylon, she will sink under its roaring waves." (Jer.51:42).
"Now you are shattered by the waves, surrounded by the seas." (Ez.27:34).
These verses tell us two things. First, that it relates to Babylon (Jeremiah) and second, that it is an oceanic disturbance that relates to Tyre (Ezekiel). We have previously shown on this web site that Ezekiel's prophecies about Tyre bear an image uncannily similar to that of the United States, and militarily, we are the wall of defense for Babylon. Recovery from devastation as vast as this prophecy predicts could take years.
It may be a combination of many of these things hitting all at once. The Bible shows that the murder of the Pharaoh of Egypt is another catastrophe destined to occur in relation to the rise of the east to power, so that, too, may be a part of this equation.
Nuclear war is not a possibility. The U.S. has enough armament on board and enough resolve to fry the entire earth in a counterattack. So that will not happen, not yet anyway. But that does bring us to a possible explanation for the renewal of power and resolve in the USA at the end. No matter how catastrophic the circumstances become, the U.S. nuclear arsenal will remain enormously potent. If the world devolves into a chaos where nuclear war becomes an operational possiblity or likelihood, America suddenly becomes one of the biggest players on the stage. Unfortunately this is precisely the kind of environment scripture forsees at the very end.
The prophecies tell us that this "Alexandrian collapse" is destined to follow closely on the heels of the second Gulf War victory (Dn.8:8). We have already entered the 'third day' of scripture and the handwriting on the wall of Babylon has already been scrolled, so the timing is right. Something appears to be coming and it is rather big.
I'm just wondering does God forgive multiple backslidings? I've been in and out of church 3 times and recently I just started going back again. I am deeply troubled by this subject, but am wanting God to forgive me for my failures and backslidings. Any information and prayer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. RL
Jesus Christ died on the cross to create a fountain of forgiveness for mankind. It is activated by heartfelt repentance and confession to God of guilt. It is perpetuated by forgiving others. In the Jewish Law there was no forgiveness at all. If a person slipped, that was it. That is why no one could be saved in the Mosaic law. No one could keep themselves sinless for life.
Because of God's mercy, anyone in Christ who falls can stand up again if he wants to.
"Though the virtuous man falls seven times, he stands up again." (Pr.24:16).
He is called virtuous because he stood back up. It is only those who remain fallen, refusing to get back up who are doomed, because everyone who remains a part of Babylon is coming to ruin. The catastrophe that is coming -- the end of the world that the prophets have been warning us about -- will destroy even those who are baptised if they refuse to leave their evil ways behind. This is why anyone who falls must get back up and return to the path of safety.
"If, by the Spirit, you put an end to the misdeeds of the body, you will live." (Rom.8:13).
This means that each of us must turn away from sin and from the things which cause us to sin, even if that means having to turn away seven times.
I am really confused. Which country is Egypt and which one is Babylon? NH
February 22, 2004
I am really confused. Which country is Egypt and which one is Babylon? NH
Babylon is people.
In the Bible there are only two cities, Babylon and Jerusalem. Anyone in the world not a part of one is a part of the other. There is no third category here.
All the people of the earth who have not joined the House of Israel remain in Babylon. It doesn't matter where on earth they happen to live physically.
The Bible talks to us about people, not geography. The Book of Revelation tells us that Babylon is all the people of the earth who do not belong to the House of Israel. They can belong to several populations at once. They can be symbolic Medes or symbolic Egyptians at the same time (or even geographical ones), but they will all be Babylonians, or remain Babylonians until they convert to Christ. Then they become citizens of Jerusalem. These are the only two cities the Bible sees on earth.
So in reading scripture's prophecies, we have to always think in terms of people, not nations. Symbolically, scripture's place names describe people and the major forces driving them. Egypt is about war. It relates to populations or countries that structure themselves around armaments and military buildup. Tyre is about money, greed and financial obsession. These different subgroups are all Babylonians because they are not an obedient part of the House of Israel. They are simply divisions within Babylon, they are not outside of it.
Because Babylon is all the people of the world, the king of Babylon is whomever happens to be ruling the world at any given time. Sometimes it is a single country, but most of the time it is a coalition of countries. Sometimes it is a single person. Since 1945 it has been a democratic voting body made up of delegates of all the nations of the world. At the time of Christ, the king of Babylon was the Caesar of Rome. He was a totalitarian dictator and he ruled the world from a single chair. During the Christian era the ruler of the world's people has been a western empire called the western world. This is an empire of nations that subjected the sum of its people to the rule of Christ. For this reason, during this era we say there was no Babylon (the populations were not allowed to be pagan everyone had to belong to the House of Israel). Babylon began to resurface around the beginning of the 20th century as country after country began renouncing the Christian mandates, turning their nations toward secular ideologies instead. In 1945 the United Nations, a democratic institution became the ruling body of the world. This was an attempt to block the would-be autocratic dictators like Hitler, Napoleon, Stalin, etc., from rising up and re-structuring the rule of Babylon under a single chair like Caesar had done. In the future, the Bible tells us the rule of the world will pass to the east, and at the very end, be concentrated in a single chair occupied by a Rebel leader called "the Beast".
The subgroups can be nationally or internationally specific based on population percentages or leadership.
The western world is Egypt. The United States has committed itself to military buildup and armaments (it leads the world in these categories) so it can be seen as a symbolic representation of Egypt. We have seen representations of this in scripture with the placement of a line of troops at the Euphrates and the military pact with Israel. But scripture shows the term "Egypt" in prophecy to represent a coaltion of nations, not a single one. So the U.S. is only a part of this larger body, which can be seen in terms of NATO or, better, the western coalition of nations that fought the Gulf Wars, i.e., like-minded people banding their nations together under a similar military focus.
The Daughter of Egypt in prophecy refers to the people of a new nation that dedicates itself to armaments. The new nation of Israel is the prophetic heir to this title. It is a little America set in Palestine (in terms of its military focus). It has signed a military pact with the United States. This is a violation of scripture (under which the House of Israel is mandated to operate because of its name). Because of this and other violations, only half of Israel belongs to Jerusalem. The other half remains in Babylon. Israel was allowed to return to Palestine for the express purpose of reuniting with God in peacefulness. Instead, they have pursued a different course. And prophecy tells us what is sure to happen because of those violations.
Tyre is a people that began in deep devotion to God and became corrupted by money. A great many people in the United States fit in this category, so many, in fact, that Tyre and the U.S. look like mirrored twins. Because of it a large number of people in the U.S. have fallen out of the House of Israel and tumbled into Babylon. As a result of this plunge into wickedness and because the U.S. is the military rampart that encircles the people of the world, those penalties will be carried out on our shores as a warning to the rest of creation.
The U.S. is the wall of Babylon protecting the people of the world from mass destruction. Scripture has mandated through Daniel that the warnings of the Wrath about to descend on Babylon must first be written on that wall just before they take place. The eastern world's attack on New York on 9/11 proves that the United States must suffer the inscription of those signs. They are message-specific warnings to the people of the world who have not yet converted to Christ explaining in graphic pictures what is coming next and pleading with them all to embrace God's offer of peace while there is still time. Additional graphics in this inscription have yet to be written but their form has already been revealed by prophecy, assassination and tidal wave and invasion by the sons of the east.
All of these prophecies have a single message escape is in Christ. Anyone who converts to Jesus, God will rescue from the coming Wrath and the eternal death behind it. He will take them fully alive into His eternal kingdom, a new world He is building in heaven where peace and glory and joy will reign forever. The same way He got us here, He can get us there. But these signs also tell us that time has almost run out for this conversion, so the people better move fast.
This website is dedicated to an examination of Bible prophecy.
We have shown in voluminous writings that the Old Testament is a book of prophecy. It is filled from one end to the other with visions inspired by God. Some deal with the past, but most point ahead. An enormous number of these prophecies predicted Jesus and explained great detail concerning Him. Other prophecies told about His reign and how the world would turn against Him at the end of it. Many of the visions are about the Wrath and its ravages on earth. And finally, a vast number of prophecies describe the ultimate victory of God and the new world of eternal joy and peace He is bringing to creation. Lately, circumstances have begun to unfold that have brought us face to face with many of the actual visions defined in that Book.
Today we have encountered another. It deals with the Wrath.
One of the most important prophecies concerning the Wrath was Sodom and Gomorrah. Those two cities told us precisely what behavior would bring divine retribution crashing down onto the earth. Like every other prophecy in the Old Testament, this prophecy was not for its own time. It was for us (1 Peter 1:12). The prophecy of Sodom and Gomorrah foresaw the circumstances that are taking place in the world today. God has decreed in scripture, through those two cities, that homosexuality (at least one side of it) is to be a defining issue in terms of divine retribution.
The decision over the constitutional amendment just proposed by the President will put our nation to the test. On one side of this test is the wrath. On the other, the reward for obeying God. The security and well-being of our country hangs by the thread of faith. This decision, when it comes, may determine that faith and the fate of that thread. It all hangs on three words, "God said no". The Garden of Eden has proved that you can't go anywhere outside those three words. Especially when they come to us etched in such a furnace of finality and brimstone (Gen.19:1-29).
Do you know a good address on the internet where I can look up Bible quotations? DM
One of the best that I know of is a site called Bible Gateway, sponsored by the Gospel Communications Network. It is a search tool that lets you search online Bibles for particular passages or words. You can restrict your search to any of numerous English versions of the Bible by selecting from a drop-down list. Bible Gateway even lets you search the Bible in nine languages other than English, including German, French, Spanish, and Tagalog.
Does the feast of Purim have anything to do with bible prophecy? JJ
Yes, very much so!
All Jewish festivals and celebrations have Christian counterparts because God has constructed Christianity on the template of the Hebrew Law. The feast of Purim is a Hebrew festival that commemorates the Jewish deliverance from what looks like certain death at the hands of an evil Persian monarch named Haman. It is celebrated on the 14th and 15th day of Adar (March). Presents are exchanged and presents are sent to the poor. The Book of Esther is read and whenever the name of Haman comes up, the congregants shout it down with hisses and catcalls.
The historical basis for the Book of Esther has been lost. All we know about it comes from the Book of Esther itself. It is considered a mythical story, but it probably relates to a real incident during the Jewish captivity in Babylon that occurred after the Persians murdered Belshazzar and took command of Babylon (see 'The Handwriting on the Wall'). It is said to have occurred in the days of king Ahasuerus. Although they were freed by Cyrus, only a small percentage of Jews returned to Jerusalem. Most stayed in Persia (Babylon) because their homes and lives were so intimately structured there as a result of the 70-year captivity.
What is so astonishing about the Esther story is that it appears to be a template for an event still to come an event that hasn't even happened yet! The story presages the actions of the Persian "beast" who the prophecies say will come and try to kill all the Christians and Jews on earth (the entire House of Israel) at the end of time.
Briefly, the story of Esther is that of a Jewish people who have been sentenced to death by an evil official in the Persian court after he tricked the king into authorizing their execution on a gallows built specifically for that purpose in the capitol city of the kingdom. Unknown to the king, his beloved wife Esther is a Jewess. She intercedes for her people, admits her race, exposes Haman's trickery and is able to have the sentence reversed. As a result, it is Haman who is executed on the same gallows he built for the Jews.
While Purim celebrates Esther's successful intervention, the Christian counterpart (Lent) presages the tribulation and anguish the people must endure before the sentence is reversed. Purim is 2 days. Lent is 40 days. The reason why Christianity doesn't celebrate this occasion in the same way as the Jews is that her victory is already structured in our calendar. The Christian celebration of Esther's salvation is Easter sunday, the sunday after Lent ends. This all relates to a prophecy very few understand.
The king is God (Jesus). His first wife (Vashti) is the old covenant. Vashti refused the king's banquet (Esth.1:1-17) and was replaced by a second wife (Esther - the new covenant) (Mat.22:1-10). Mordecai, Esther's adopted father is Michael the Archangel, the angel of the covenant. Under Mordecai's instructions, Esther kept her Jewish identity secret. In Mordecai's dream, Esther is the river that the king married and made queen. She is described as "a little spring that grew into a great river, a flood of water." And from that flood of living water, "Light came as the sun rose, and the humble were raised to devour the mighty."
Haman, the evil monarch in the king's court is Satan. He is the 'Accuser' who has condemned us before God and petitioned for our deaths.
Esther's secret is the secret of the new covenant. Esther is a Christian. She is the new covenant that saves all of her people from Satan's intended execution. By her action, her people (all Jews and Christians alike) are saved and Satan is, himself, executed by the king on the gallows he meant for the Jews. In Satan's case, he dies in the Holy Land at a place outside Jerusalem called Harmen-gog (Armegeddon), which is the gallows he meant for the House of Israel.
Upon learning the true identity of Esther , the king gave his signet ring to Mordecai (Jesus to Michael) and gave Esther Haman's house (everything that used to be under Satan's command). Esther in turn gave charge of that house to Mordecai (to Michael).
Michael is the one the Jews "long to see" (Malachi 3:1-3). He will appear before them coming from the slopes of the Mt. of Olives on the very last day, the day Christ returns in glory with all the angels of heaven to gather us up to the kingdom He has prepared for those who have faith enough to believe in Him.
I was appalled at the violence against Jesus that was portrayed in the movie the Passion. How accurate do you think? NB
The Gospel accounts are mild compared with the prophecies. Here are some that date from 800 to1000 years before Jesus or his attackers were even born:
"My God, my God, why have you deserted me? How far from saving me, the words I groan! (Ps.22:1)
"A pack of dogs surrounds me, a gang of villains closes me in" they tie me hand and foot and leave me lying in the dust of death. I can count every one of my bones, and there they glare at me, gloating; they divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothes." (Ps.22:16-18).
"I call all day, my God, but you never answer, all night long I call and cannot rest. Yet, Holy One, you who make your home in the praises of Israel, in you our fathers put their trust, they trusted and you rescued them; they called to you for help and they were saved, they never trusted you in vain. (Ps.22:2-5)
"Yet here am I, now more worm than man, scorn of mankind, jest of the people, all who see me jeer at me, they toss their heads and sneer, 'He relied on God, let God save him! If God is his friend, let God rescue him!" (Ps.22:6-8).
"Now arrogant men, God, are attacking me, a brutal gang hounding me to death: people to whom you mean nothing." (Ps.86:14).
"A herd of bulls surrounds me, strong bulls of Bashan close in on me; their jaws are agape for me, like lions tearing and roaring. I am like water draining away, my bones are all disjointed, my heart is like wax, melting inside me; my palate is drier than a potsherd and my tongue is stuck to my jaw." (Ps.22:12-15).
"Accuse my accusers, God, attack my attackers...Shame and dishonor on those who are out to kill me!...Unprovoked they spread their net for me, they dug a pit for me; but Ruin creeps on them unawares, the net they have spread will catch them instead, and into their own pit will they fall. (Ps.35:1-8).
"Lying witnesses take the stand, questioning me on things I know nothing about; they repay my kindness with evil, there is desolation in my soul. (Ps.35:11-12)
"Now I have fallen, they crowd round delighted, flocking to jeer at me; strangers I never even knew with loud cries tear me to pieces, riddling me with gibe after gibe, grinding their teeth at me." (Ps.35:15-16).
"How much longer, Lord, will you look on? Rescue my soul from their onslaughts, my dear life from these lions. I will give thanks in the Great Assembly, praise you where the people throng. Do not let my lying enemies gloat over me. Do not let those who hate me for no reason exchange sly glances." (Ps.35:17-18)
"Peace is not what they discuss with the peaceloving people of the land; they think out false accusations, their mouths wide to accuse me. 'Aha! Aha!' they say 'With our own eyes we saw it'." (Ps.35:20--21)
"Look at them lurking to ambush me, they are strong and united against me; for no fault, no sin, no offence of mine, God, how they hurry into position!"
"...back they come at nightfall, snarling like curs, prowling through the town." See how they slaver at the mouth, with swords between their teeth, 'There is no one listening'." (Ps.59:3-7).
"My friends and my companions shrink from my wounds, even the dearest of them keep their distance. Men intent on killing me lay snares, others, opting to hurt me, threaten my ruin, hatching treacherous plots all day." (Ps.35:11-12)
"But I am like the deaf, I do not hear, like the dumb man who does not open his mouth; I am like the man who, hearing nothing, gives no sharp anwer in return. For I put my trust in you, God, and leave you to answer for me, Lord my God. I have already said, 'Stop them gloating over me, do not let them take advantage of me if my foot should slip'." (Ps.35:13-16).
"For my part, I made no resistance, neither did I turn away. I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who tore at my beard; I did not cover my face against insult and spittle." (Is.50:5-6).
"Nearly breaking my bones my oppressors insult me, as all day long they ask me, 'Where is your God?" (Ps.42:10).
"Wretched, slowly dying since my youth, I bore your terrors now I am exhausted; your anger overwhelmed me, you destroyed me with your terrors which, like a flood, were round me, all day long, all together closing in on me. You have turned my friends and neighbors against me, now darkness is my one companion left." (Ps.88:15-18).
"I had hoped for sympathy, but in vain, I found no one to console me. They gave me poison to eat instead, when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink." (Ps.69:20-21).
"May their own table prove a trap for them, and their plentiful supplies, a snare! may their eyes grow dim, go blind... Vent your fury on them, let your burning anger overtake them; may their camp be reduced to ruin, and their tents left unoccupied: for hounding a man after you had struck him, for adding more wounds to those which you inflicted." (Ps.69:22-26).
"Pull me out of the net they have spread for me, for you are my refuge; into your hands I commit my spirit, you have redeemed me, God." (Ps.31:4-5).
"And they weighed out my wages: thirty shekels of silver. But the Lord told me, 'Throw it in the treasury, to the potter, this princely sum at which they have valued me'. Taking the thirty shekels of silver, I threw them into the Temple of the Lord, into the treasury. I then broke my second staff, Union, in half, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel." (Zech.11:13-14).
"And yet ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried. But we, we thought of him as someone punished, struck by God, and brought low. Yet he was pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins. On him lies a punishment that brings us peace, and through his wounds we are healed." (Is.53:4-5).
"We had all gone astray like sheep, each taking his own way, and God burdened him with the sins of all of us.. Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly, he never opened his mouth, like a lamb that is led to the slaughterhouse..." (Is.53:6-7).
"Hence I will grant whole hordes for his tribute, he shall divide the spoil with the mighty, for surrendering himself to death and letting himself be taken for a sinner, while he was bearing the faults of many and praying all the time for sinners." (Is.53:12).
"They will look on the one they have pierced; they will mourn for him as for an only son, and weep for him as people weep for a first-born child. When that day comes, there will be great mourning in Judah, like the mourning of Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo." (Zech.12:10-11).
"The whole earth, from end to end, will remember and come back to the Lord; all the families of the nations will bow down before him,. For the Lord reigns, the ruler of nations! Before him all the prosperous of the earth will bow down, before him will bow all who go down to the dust. And my soul will live for him, my children will serve him; men will proclaim the Lord to generations still to come, his righteousness to a people yet unborn.
All this he has done." (Ps.22:27-31)
See also, Isaiah 53.
You might reread Esther and your comment below:
"She intercedes for her people, admits her race, exposes Haman's trickery and is able to have the sentence reversed."
The sentence was not reversed. Esther 8:8 says "for no document written in the king's name and sealed with his ring can be revoked." Mordecai was given the signet ring and wrote a second letter allowing the Jews to assemble and protect themselves from any invasions that happened. And they did assemble and killed 75,000. So, the Haman's original letter was not reversed. CJ
The story of Esther can be examined in two ways. Literally, or as an allegory of Christ. Your comment concerns the former and it is correct in that sense. I have described it in its second, or prophetic context (i.e. what it means).
In that sense, Esther (the second wife) is the new covenant, the bride of Christ. The king is God, and His irrevocable decree, under Satan's (Haman's) abuse condemned the human race to death through original sin. That is why we were all born under a death sentence. Because the king's order could not be revoked, it seemed certain death to all. Satan appeared to have beaten God and got his way with the human race.
God blindsided Satan by sending His only Son to the cross to pay the penalty in His name. In the mercilous beating and crucifixion that followed, Jesus paid the irrevocable penalty in our names, freeing us from Satan's (Haman's) subterfuge. But not everyone is saved though Christ's sacrifice. Because the king's sentence is irrevocable, only those who choose to accept His death as their own can be freed. The "75,000" (a symbolic figure described in the story) are all those who reject Jesus and refuse His offer of salvation. The original decree was not reversed, but the House of Israel's part in the sentence of death was commuted, because it was carried out in the flesh of Christ.
The concept of the Trinity shows us that Jesus is God. He had full authority to stand in for His Father (Lv.16:32-34), taking the first wife's sins on Himself and paying the penalty His own decree had prescribed (Num. 30).
The Book of Joshua shows us that not only was Michael (Mordecai) given the signet ring, in addition to his letter, he advances at the head of the House of Israel as the captain of its army (Josh. 5:13-15).
i was quite confused regarding Baptism for the dead, i thought whether or not a person got his salvation is determined at the point of death, so how to receive salvation (acceptance of Christ) once a person is dead? ...perhaps you may advise regarding the following verses: 1 Peter 4:6 & 1 Cor. 15:29. C
"And because he is their judge too, the dead had to be told the Good News as well, so that though, in their life on earth, they had been through the judgment that comes to all humanity, they might come to God's life in the spirit." (1 Peter 4:6).
"If this were not true, what do people hope to gain by being baptised for the dead? If the dead are not ever going to be raised, why be baptised on their behalf?" (1 Cor. 15:29).
1 Peter 4:6
The dead Peter referred to were those who had died before Jesus was born. God has given them the same opportunity to choose Jesus as he did those of us who came later (1 Peter 3:19-21). That is why scripture tells us Jesus descended into hell for three days before He was resurrected. He went there to preach to the dead. Jesus told us that even though they have passed away, they are not yet dead: "For to him all men are in fact alive" (Luke 20:38).
1 Cor. 15:29
The practice Paul was talking about is unknown to us today. It seems similar to the Mormon rite. The people put up their own bodies for baptism on behalf of dead relatives or friends. The people of Paul's time were the very first Christians. They were well aware that their own ancestors had no way of hearing Jesus or making a committment to Him. So it must have been a very powerful concern to them. Even modern Christian's are often bothered by similar thoughts relating to their own mothers and fathers. There are thousands of people who, missunderstanding God, actually reject Jesus because they are afraid they won't find their parents in heaven.
For those of us who have been given the opportunity to hear Jesus in our own lives, none of this is applicable. We must accept Him on the terms stated in the Gospel.
I am new to your website and have a question about something I read in your "Reader's questions" column because it worries me greatly. In regards to the May 29th, 2003 question.....you go on to talk about the american military and about taking over Iraq. I am still relatively new in trying to understand the bible; however, I am in.baghdad right now. I almost got the impression that you think the american takeover of iraq was not right in god's eyes. Am I a sinner in God's eyes for this and if so, can I be forgiven? Thank you for any help you can provide me with. J
There is no sin in what you are doing. Just the opposite, it is a great honor. You are there to protect the world from terrorism. In the Bible Peter wrote that "we are to accept the authority of every social institution: the (President) as the supreme authority, and the governors as commissioned by him to punish criminals and praise good citizenship." Peter said "God wants us to be good citizens so as to silence what non-believers are saying in their ignorance". (1 Peter 2:13-17).
The May 29, 2003 question related to a national population in the process of giving up its faith in Christ and returning to secular (pagan) roots that ruled world civilization in the days before Jesus preached. Paul called this international rejection of Christ, "The Great Revolt" (2 Thes.2:3). That is because it changed a status of international governmental support for Christ to one of non-support. It became noticeably visible in our country in the 1960's. Since then, Bibles have been banned, crosses torn down and the preaching of Jesus forbidden in schools and governmental agencies from one end of the country to the other. It has even impacted the Pledge of Allegiance. That rejection has substantially damaged the divine shield that protects this country from its enemies. The United States is the leading wall of defense for the entire world against terrorism. But our military is not enough by itself to be successful over the malevolent forces that are trying to take over the world. Faith in Christ is essential in order to reinforce the divine shield and make us impervious to the threats of those who would destroy civilization. Our May 29th letter implored the population of the country to reconsider the Revolt and return to the faith that has power to make us invincible.
Now that America is in Iraq, we are committed to its defense (for the sake of world order). According to passages written in the Book of Daniel, our presence there was foreordained by scripture (Dan.8:5-8). Those prophecies are what my writing addresses.
The Bible is much more concerned with us as individuals than it is with nations. It speaks to us about our own behavior in relation to the teaching of Jesus. Instead of physical nations, it speaks of two spiritual nations that make up the whole world. Those two spiritual nations consist, on one side, of the House of Israel (Christians and Jews) and on the other, "Babylon", which is everyone else. We are called by Jesus to leave our pagan or secular lifestyle (i.e. Babylon) and join the Christian Church. The Christian Church is made up of hundreds of different denominations and God has given us authority to choose which one we want to be associated with. That can be done as easily in Baghdad as in any other part of the planet.
May God bless you for your work on behalf of our nation under such trying circumstances. You have only to pray and the Lord will lead you safely in the way He wants you to go, and bring you to the everlasting life He has promised to all who have faith enough to believe in Him.
Why is the Old Testament more harsh than the New Testament? For example, God said to destroy ungodly cities and kill the people and such. I've just been wondering about the differences for a long time. MC
Jesus brought peace to religion (Zech.9:9-10). That is why scripture calls Him the "Prince of Peace" (Is.9:5-7). Paul explained that God tolerated the Hebrew's wickedness and brutality only because they did not know better, but he said that God had set a day for the world to be judged and that kind of violence was no longer acceptable.
"God overlooked that sort of thing when men were ignorant, but now he is telling everyone everywhere that they must repent, because he has fixed a day when the whole world will be judged, and judged in righteousness, and he has appointed a man to be the judge. And God has publicly proved this by raising this man from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31)
Jesus commanded peace, love, compassion and kindness, not fighting, or anger, or warfare (Mat.5:38-46). "Happy are the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God." (Matt.5:9).
In scripture, the allegory for warfare and violence is 'Egypt'. That is why it is written in prophecy, "I give Egypt for your ransom" (Is.43:3). In Christ's sacrifice the crucifixion was the ransom.
"Her priests profane the Holy Things, They do violence to the Law". (Zephaniah 3:4).
The Hebrew sacrifices were violent. Their priests were perpetually stained by the blood of countless innocent victims from sparrows to livestock. Without intending to do so, their perpetuation of violence ultmately did harm and violence to God, flogging Him without mercy and lifting Him up to death on the cross: it was this that proved their system corrupt. Going back to Moses is going back to that violence. Jesus submitted to that violence to get us out of it. He took the violence out of the Law and brought peace to the Law. That is why His communion sacrifice is called the "Peace offering". It is God's offer of peace to mankind.
Can you explain in the old testament where God says any person who eats blood will be cut off from the people and Jesus telling us to eat His blood? I see those passages contradicting each other. IE
"If a man of the House of Israel or stranger living among you eats blood of any kind, I will set my face against the man who has eaten the blood and will outlaw him from his people. The life of the flesh is in the blood. This blood I myself have given you to perform the rite of atonement for your lives at the altar; for it is blood that atones for a life. That is why I have said to the sons of Israel: None of you nor any stranger living among you should eat blood." (Lev.17:10-12).
Christian theology has much to say on this subject. Bible prophecy also addresses it.
In the symbolism of prophecy, the body of Jesus relates to the Word He preached. His blood is the eternal life within that word. In that sense, in order to have God's life in us we MUST eat His body and blood by internalizing His commandments and following closely in His footsteps.
The blood of Christ relates to the trials (persecutions by the world) that come to all people who put His word into practice. That persecution is the violence Jesus spoke about, i.e., the "trial by fire" that every Christian must undergo after baptism:
"Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm...and by violence is everyone getting in." (Mt.11:12, Lk.16:16).
Scripture tells us the blood is the life of the animal sacrificed. Jesus is the Paschal Lamb of God who sacrificed His body for our sake so that we might bring His life into us.
When we eat His body and drink His blood we do just that. We bring Christ's eternal life into us. Because of the admonition in Leviticus, the Jewish people had a hard time with this teaching:
"He taught this doctrine at Capernaum, in the synagogue. After hearing it, many of his followers said, 'This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?' Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, 'Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before? 'It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." (John 6:51-63).
The flesh (our mortal body) comes up from the ground. It has nothing to offer. Eating the blood of flesh cannot save us. Hence the commandment in Leviticus. The Spirit comes down from heaven. Christ's true body is a heavenly creation that comes down to us from above and that is the body and blood we must eat and drink in order to live forever. A common saying among people is that we are what we eat. That is because the food we take in is assimilated into our actual flesh by the chemical process of metabolism. It actually becomes our body.
It is the same with the spirit. When we take Christ's word into our heart and convert ourselves into it, we build a new life within us that is capable of living in heaven. Scripture says we die to this temporary body of flesh and are born (born again) into a new invisible spiritual body that encompasses our soul in eternal life. We have exchanged a body that is mortal for a body that can live forever. We exchange mortal blood for the spiritual blood of His eternal life which becomes the life of our new spiritual body.
Christian Communion (the body and blood of Jesus offered in church) is the "perpetual sacrifice" that Jesus instituted to demonstrate and make perpetual God's offering of eternal life to the world. As long as it continues in place, God's offer remains valid. When iniquity is placed on God's perpetual sacrifice (Dn.9:27), the offer will be withdrawn (see Matthew 24:15-22 & 26:26-29). Paul explained just how serious our commemoration of Christ's death really is and why no one should ever take it lightly (1 Cor.11:23-32).
I just happened to come across your website and it has truly fascinated me. Can I just get a understanding of this ministry, if it is connected with a specific church or denomination? J
Our website is dedicated to Christ's Godship and to the examination of Bible prophecy as proof that the everlasting reign of Jesus as Christ was foreordained. God announced through the prophets that He would explain His Christ beforehand and predict all that would come to be. Our writings are an examination of those predictions.
The interpretations published herein have been made under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but cannot be accepted as absolutes. Paul said that our prophesying will never be perfect (1 Cor.13:8-9) because God has hidden these visions behind a veil so that we see only a dim reflection of what is to be. Yet what we do see is astonishing.
The fact that we can watch Bible prophecy come true as we watch gives certain proof that scripture's vision of Christ's victory will come true as well, and that our perseverence in faith will be rewarded with salvation. The visions show that Jesus Christ truly is the Messiah sent by God to save the world and that the prophecies were placed in scripture by the Holy Spirit as proofs of His truth.
Goodnews Christian Ministry is non-denominational. We are not affiliated with any religious organization, but our ministry supports the Godship of Jesus Christ and all churches dedicated to preaching Christ to the world.
What was the symbolism in Mel Gibson's movie of the woman that taunted him? If it was supposed to be Satan, why was he shown as a woman? PL
Satan is shown as an androgenous woman because he gives birth to a people antagonistic to God.
In the Book of Genesis, after questioning Eve on why she ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, God said to the serpent who tempted her,
"Because you have done this, be accursed beyond all cattle, all wild beasts...I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head and you will strike its heel." (Gen.3:14-15)
Throughout scripture the enmity between two woman, one bearing the children of God and the other, bearing the flesh that opposes them, is a constant theme, often presented in the form of two wives. It is expressed in graphic symbolic terms in the Book of Revelation. In Chapter 12, of the Book of Revelation, the mother of the children of God is shown to be the mother of Jesus, and the woman who opposes her throughout the scriptures is shown in Chapter 17 to be the whore "Babylon".
In Mel Gibson's movie these two women are intricately interwoven throughout (just as they are in scripture). In the first frames we see Christ crushing the serpent's head (which comes out of the woman) with His heel, and in later frames, the same androgenous woman is shown holding a hairy child, image of the children Satan (Babylon) spawns.
In the victory of the cross, a drop of water, symbolizing the upper waters of Genesis (the living water of the New Covenent and new Jerusalem) is shown coming down on the completed crucifixion scene, striking the earth and making all things new and imprisoning Satan (the prostitute Babylon) in the Abyss.
Why did Jesus have to die? Time Magazine Cover Story
To get us out of the Mosaic Law.
If one considers Christianity as standing alone, this question cannot be answered. The answer is imbedded in the Hebrew religion of which Christianity is an extension.
When Satan took the human race captive, he contaminated mankind with sin, mortally wounding us as far as God's Law was concerned.
By dying in our place, Jesus removed the death sentence from all who choose to accept His death as their own. That is what a Christian is a person who makes that choice. Those who refuse to accept God's offer, remain captive to sin and death.
In the words of His Gospel, Jesus has based the choice on righteousness: on love, compassion, gentleness, integrity, honesty and good faith.
God could not just sweep away His Law because that would have made Him a lawbreaker (like a judge who harshly judges on one side, and then winks at the law for his friends). The debt had to be paid in order for God to remain just. The mechanism for the payment is clearly outlined in the Old Testament.
First, God imprisoned mankind in a world of flesh. Then He gave Moses absolute authority to state the Law of the flesh, codifying it as scripture. What was unclear in Moses was brought to light through the Psalms and prophets. By isolating the Law in Moses and the prophets, God crystallized in human terms the Law which judged us and sentenced us all to death. It was out of this Law that God sent Jesus to remove us.
Throughout the books of the Old Testament runs a continuous theme equating the covenant (the Law) with a wife, and God as her husband. In this theme we are presented with images of two wives, the first a prostitute and the other her replacement. This introduces us to the concept of a covenant contaminated by sin and death, countered by a replacement covenant (a replacement law) that is eternal and pure.
"See, the days are coming - it is God who speaks- when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah), but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant of mine, so I had to show them who was master. "No, this is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive: Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people." (Jer.31:31-33).
The prophecies show that a remnant of the people will be called to leave the first covenant and allowed to re-attach themselves to the new covenant (the new law).
The Mosaic Law is focused in a series of sacrifices designed to absolve sin temporarily through the deaths of sacrificial animals. Since all mankind sins perpetually, the process is continuously incomplete and insufficient. And none of it is applicable to the "original sin" that stems from Satan's contamination. A far greater atonement sacrifice is needed to deal with that.
In Jesus, a member of the Trinity, we have God Himself as the sacrifice. The sacrifice itself remains essential because the Mosaic Law demands it in its terms relating to atonement for sin. Jesus' unblemished perfection is beyond anything mortal man could offer. He is qualified to be the perfect atonement in accordance with the terms of the Mosaic Law.
Further, Jesus is authorized by that Law to stand in in place of His Father:
"A priest must perform the rite of atonement over the entire community of the sons of Israel, and pardon will be given. (Nm.15:25).
"A he-goat must be offered for the sacrifce for sin. This is in addition to the victim for sin at the Feast of Atonement, and to the perpetual holocaust with its accompanying oblation and libation. (Nm.29:11).
"The rite of atonement must be performed by the priest who has been anointed and installed to officiate in place of his father." (Lv.16:32). "He is to put on the linen, the sacred vestments, and to perform the atonement of the sacred sanctuary, the Tent of Meeting and the altar. Then he must perform the rite of atonement over the priests and all the people of the community." (Lv.16:32-34)
These rules show that Christ's sacrifice, and the communion service that follows it, perfectly satisfy the regulations of the Law.
As far as Jesus' ability to take our place is concerned, the Mosaic Law offers the mechanism for that substitution in it's rules concerning marriage vows. Because God is the husband and the covenant is His wife, the Mosaic marriage vows apply to the relationship.
"Every vow or oath that is binding on the wife may be endorsed or annulled by the husband...but if he annuls them longer than a day after he learnt of them, then he must bear the burden of the wife's fault." (Num.30:14-16).
God has taken the wife's burden on himself in the person of Christ on the cross. His right to do that is perfectly legal according to the Law. Not only that, but it takes us out of that Law. As we can see in scripture's pronouncement, the Law has been annulled in the process.
The new and everlasting covenant that Christ has brought down to us from heaven in its place is the replacement Law.
The Mosaic Law states that before we can enter the Law, the covenant must be marked on our bodies. "My covenant shall be marked on your bodies as a covenant in perpetuity." (Gn.17:13). That is why baptism is essential to the process. It is the mark of the new covenant on our flesh. In that mark we die to our flesh in Christ, taking His death as our own, and are reborn to His new spiritual and everlasting covenant which is expressed in perfect terms by the New Testament.
That is why Jesus had to die and that is how we have been redeemed by God. God has given our flesh (Egypt) as the ransom.
There is no debt owed to Satan. That would be nonsense. And there is no debt owed to God. He cannot pay Himself for Himself. It is only the Law that needs to be satisfied.
Is belief in God enough for salvation? KA
It depends on which god you are talking about. There are lots of them. The Muslims believe in the God of Mohammed, the Chinese worship the God of Confucius, the Hindu's believe in a God of nature, the ancient Babylonians believed in a dragon-god named Baal, the Egyptians worshipped a golden calf as god, others worshipped the sun as god, the Greeks and Romans believed in multiple gods like Zeus, Mercury, Diana, Jupiter, et al.
The prophecies in scripture lead us to just one God out of this many. According to the Gospel, salvation (eternal life) is only in Jesus Christ:
"For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved. No one who believes in him will be condemned; but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already, because he has refused to believe in the name of God's only Son. On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds are evil. And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, for fear his actions should be exposed; but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God." (John 3:17-21).
You said that we are supposed to meet God face to face on the third day. Is that in a thousand years or when?AR
"God said to Moses, 'Go to the people and tell them to prepare themselves today and tomorrow. Let them wash their clothing and hold themselves in readiness for the third day, because on the third day God will descend on the mountain of Sinai in the sight of all the people." (Ex.19:10-11).
"But there is one thing, my firends, that you must never forget: that with the Lord, 'a day' can mean a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day." (2Peter 3:8).
The prophecy in the Book of Exodus shows the return of Christ will be at the beginning of the third day, not at the end of it. In fact , it is to occur at daybreak:
Exodus 19:16-19. "Now at DAYBREAK on the third day there were peals of thunder on the mountain and lightning flashes, a dense cloud, and a loud trumpet blast, and inside the camp all the people trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the bottom of the mountain. The mountain of Sinai was entirely wrapped in smoke, because God had descended on it in the form of fire. Like smoke from a furnace the smoke went up, and the whole mountain shook violently. Louder and louder grew the sound of the trumpet. Moses spoke and God answered him with peals of thunder."
I am currently planning to write a screenplay about the end of the world - Armageddon...the problem is, I am having difficulty interpreting the book. Any extra insight you could offer, particularly where in the prophecy you think we (mankind) currently are, in the context of :- terrorism- hopelessness/lack of meaning in people's lives- commercialism- climate conditions...
Any help, advice, wisdom you can offer would be greatly appreciated. DH
The tribulation has already started and almost no one has taken notice of that. Everyone keeps looking for a bizarre science fiction kind of future. The truth is, the days of the tribulation will look just like life today. No one will notice. That is because mankind adapts. Jesus said that life will continue just as it has since the beginning"
"As it was in Noah's day, so will it be when the Son of Man comes. For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept all away. It will be like this when the Son of Man comes." (Mat.24:37-40).
The difference will lie in the absence of Christ and the ramifications life without Jesus manifests. There will be more wars, more violence, stronger hatreds, an absence of morality, and a general breakdown and disappearance of the civilizing components of society. The art will become harsh, poetry will disappear, symphonies will be replaced by bizarre cacophonies of sound thematic illustrations of the violence of the new culture. In other words, you are watching it happen real time. All this will continue and the people will embrace it.
Violence will follow a similar path. Witness the violence commonplace in Israel today. Bombs are exploding on busses and cars there on a continuous basis, killing and maiming scores with each explosion, yet life goes on normally. Each bomb is met by a fusilade of missles raining intense tribulation on the other population, yet the bus bombings continue unabated people willing to sacrifice their lives as human missles of terror. Yet in spite of this endless cycle of mindless violence, life goes on there and no one really notices that it is different. The terror is assimilated into "normalcy". It becomes institutionalized. The world's future will go to that and beyond, invisibly assimilating each escalation of the anger and madness.
The older people will notice that things "seem" different, but the youth will not. They will grow up in it and their teachers and peers will look at past history and say "nothing has changed", when, in fact, the changes are palpable. The key to those changes will lie in the absence of Jesus. Peace will be gone. Compassion, mercy, forgiveness, honesty, integrity, these are the elements society will lose.
Here's some history:
Jesus was elevated to the honored chair at mankind's royal table soon after the Roman emperor Constantine allowed the religion to climb up out of the catacombs. Seventy years later, in about 390 A.D., the emperor's Theodosus in the west and Galerius in the east decreed Christianity the state religion of the world. All other worship centers were forbidden, the temples to Zeus, Jupiter, Diana and so forth permanently closed. All other western governments have honored this relationship, occasionally changing, not Christ, but the religious factions that promote Him.
All that began to change around the beginning of the 20th century, most notably in Europe. Benito Mussolini, a facist dictator in Italy decreed the separation of church from state in his country around 1922. That separation created Vatican City, a separate Christian nation apart from Italy. His decree only stated the obvious in Europe. Most of the nations there were already distancing themselves from Christian influence over their governments. In the wake of that vacuum rose communism and the key figures of that century's new godlessness: Lenin, Trotsky, Mussolini, Stalin and Adolph Hitler, even Kruschev. The ramifications were horrendous. Satan had mobilized the world for war, and we have never disarmed since.
Now it is "normal". The spectre of hydrogen bombs, fiery missles of instant death, madmen at the helm of grotesque instruments of violence, all this has become an acceptable and inevitable backdrop to the normalcy of our era. That is a snapshot of the future. It's here and we are living in it. That is because Christ has been rejected by the world.
In the United States, like Italy, that separation came by official decree. It did not come unstated. In 1963 the American Supreme Court, honoring the petition of Madelyn Murray O'Hare, decreed that Jesus and God be deposed from their chairs of honor in national affairs and government. Proving their decree no fluke, decision after decision has followed that edict, governmentally banishing even prayer or the mention of God or artifacts that might even suggest Him. Many newspapers, television, and media centers, and even most corporations have followed suit.
The ban has come to a point now where students are forbidden to write term papers about Jesus, while encouraged to explore themes such as Hitler, homosexuality, pornography and even Mohammed. These are examples of circumstances born out of a vacuum of Christ.
Recently, several pornographic movie stars were stricken with AIDS for engaging in unprotected sex during filming. The shock was, that it was legal the filming was legal, the pictures and movies were legal, and their national and international distribution was legal. The state of California asked the industry to call a moratorium on filming in order to study the extent of the infection, but the industry responded that the demand was too large and too important, financially, for them to halt production, even to allow a study. It is a major industry, a major source of revenue for the state of California, and it is legal. It is this kind of issue that will increase. Money will rule morality. The nations will aquiesce to the dollar. We are seeing social circumstances today that would have been unthinkable to the people or civic leaders of just a few decades ago. Look for unthinkableness to increase.
Within nine months of the Madelyn O'Hare decision, the president of the United States was assassinated, we were plunged into the Vietnam war and the worst tidal wave in U.S. history followed a 9.2 earthquake in the American state of Alaska. God had served notice. It was an eleventh-hour earthquake, both physically and symbolically. Yet the country refused to waver from its intent to remove Christ from His place of honor at the national table. The nation was firm in its conviction to go it alone. All they needed for safety, they seemed to say, was a constitution and a strong army, so out with Jesus.
In His absence we are seeing our youth grow up in a vacuum of Christian morality, mimicking our European counterparts of seventy years ago. We have watched the intense polarity spawned by anger grow visibly vituperative, and untempered by the missing elements of forgiveness, compassion and gentleness. This hatred is rampant in both society and government. Also missing is honesty, integrity and righteousness. The political environment has begun to reflect the new circumstances. The future promises ruthless processes in the governmental and corporate arenas, far worse than those now extant. Money will be the replacement god.
Assassinations and intrigue will be rampant, just as they were in ancient societies before Jesus was introduced to the world. An internecine strife similar to that which enveloped the Jewish world and its neighbors in the centuries before and just after Jesus will become normative. There will be little compassion or honesty. Not in government, not in business, and not even in the ordinary society. Gang zealots will continue gunning down ordinary citizens in supermarket parking lots, and life will go on despite the increase in lawlessness and godlessness, and it will seem to the people living in those times, normal.
They will even write books and articles about how wonderful life is, how glorious it is to be living in those marvelous times, and these will be best-sellers.
As the deterioration of the civilizing elements of society progresses, it will be accompanied by natural and cosmic catastrophe's. These will occur here and there. They will come and go as fast as 9/11. Even the crash of a 400 foot tidal wave into a great urban center will not last longer than a few hours. But the aftermath of these events, spread globally by the media will panic the rest of the world now and then, and, in some cases, inflict an economic harm that will linger for years, and even cripple military giants. Again, we have lived through such events already. We recover, and so will they. And, despite the enormity of what is happening, no one will notice that it is much different than the variety of circumstances we see in today's headlines.
Even the signs in the sky will seem normal. They do today. Comets crashing into Jupiter precipitating mammoth explosions of unbelievable force, solar flares blasting radiation out into space, asteroid collisions on earth, all these have been chronicled in past newspapers. Who can prove they are signs from God? The future signs will be no less "normal". There will be sound scientific explanations for all, and no one will be alarmed or encouraged to reconsider their lives of apostasy because of them.
Finally, Christians will be attacked militarily. Just as life was normal for the Germans during the holocaust (at least for them), so will it be in the future. Those who renounce Jesus will be allowed to live normal lives. Only those who stay faithful will come under assault. Scripture writes that every cave in the country will become the scene of violence during the purge. This will not occur in America because the beast will not rule here, but it will encompass all of Europe and much of Asia, perhaps the entire eastern Hemisphere.
When godlessness has reached its peak (the attack on the Christians), the end will come. It will crash on mankind globally, suddenly, violently, and terminally. There will be a very short aftermath for some, basically in Jerusalem, but that will be, for the most part, academic. It will produce the conversion of the Jews, a conversion expressed in the utterance of a single sentence, the words Jesus predicted. And then Christ will return.
For Bible quotations relating to earthquakes and tidal waves.in association with the events of the last days, see these links.
I have shared this website with several friends...and invariably they try to categorize your interpretations and you as "Post-Trib". While I know what that means literally, and I can, to a certain degree, understand their concerns (if the Tribulation has begun and we have not been Raptured what did we do wrong?), I am not certain they should be concerned. My question...are you in the "Post-Trib" camp? JF
Actually, you might add "pre-tribulation" and "concurrent-tribulation" to the list, because there is much prophecy to support all three.
The Rapture is a prophecy first proposed by Billy Graham. It is an interpretation of a statement in scripture. It is not in the Gospel of Jesus, and because it is prophecy rather than a theological absolute, it is controversial among various denominations of Christians. The idea of the Rapture comes almost entirely from an interpretation of a single sentence in one of the books of Paul (1 Thes.4:16-17).
As an interpretation of prophecy, many questions surround it. Does the Rapture occur at death or does it happen only to the living? If the dead are raised first, before the Rapture, what happens to those who die after the event? Are they doomed? Can they be raised after the Rapture? If we are raptured to meet God as He returns in the air (as Paul's quotation states), does that mean Jesus returns before the end of the world happens? That would violate the words of Jesus in Mat. 24:30 in which He states He will return after the tribulation, not before it.
What happens to us when we die? Do we immediately go up to be with God and Jesus? Or do we go to some sort of "holding place" where we must wait to see God later a kind of purgatory or waiting room? If we go up immediately to be with God, that, in itself, would be an essence of the Rapture.
If that is true, the prophecies show that the Rapture is a continuum stretching from the time of Christ. The first to be raptured was the thief on the cross. The last to be raptured will be the Jews. Scripture is clear that the Jews will not convert until after the tribulation. In fact, according to Paul, their conversion is the signal for the Second Coming of Christ (Rom.11:25). In these two cases we see people going up to heaven to be with God both before and after the Tribulation. Furthermore there is scripture to show salvation occuring during the tribulation as well:
In chapter 11:33-36 and 12:1-13, Daniel describes Christian instruction (and conversion) occuring all through the tribulation. Thus, it seems obvious to conclude that the Rapture occurs, not only before and after the tribulation, but during it as well. Daniel's 70 weeks of conversion and instruction are shown to include the week of the tribulation (Dan.9:24-27).
Thus, as we can see, there are verses of scripture and prophecies that show mankind being lifted up to be with God before, during and after the tribulation.
Certainly that is the case with the millions of Christians who have died as the result of persecution. In all cases, the Rapture occurs in the death of the flesh, especially by martyrdom. All the prophecies show a dramatic increase in martyrdom among Christians during the tribulation (Mat.24:9, etc.). And, in fact, Rev.20:4 seems to tell us that martyrdom is an essential element of the Rapture itself. That is supported by many prophecies (Rev.12:7; 14:13; 18:24, Dan.11:33-35, etc.).
Paul said that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor.15:50), and indeed, Paul says God has fashioned us a new body that can live forever. So we shall all be changed (1 Cor.15:50:53). The flesh cannot survive that change. Our new body will be spirit. Jesus said God is spirit (Jn.4:23-24) and we are to be like Him like the angels who can never die (Mt.22:29-30). And because our new bodies are made like God's, we will be able to see Him face to face.
The Mormons believe in a flesh and blood God, with flesh and blood people surrounding Him, but that idea is foreign to mainline Christianity.
At the heart of the idea of the Rapture is a prophecy that foresees a thousand-year "millenium" relative to life on this earth. In other words, a temporary (thousand year) way-station on the road to heaven. This interpretation comes from another sentence in scripture, this time in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 20:4), however, no other prophecy in scripture supports the way in which that sentence has been so interpreted. All the other prophecies and, indeed, Jesus Himself, tell us that the kingdom we are taken into immediately after death will last forever, not just a thousand years. We are to be lifted up directly into God's eternal kingdom, not to a thousand-year planet.
Daniel's "62-weeks" seems to be a better interpretation of the the thousand-year period of Christian rule on the earth. True, the world's embrace of Christianity has lasted longer than a thousand years, but since we have witnessed that embrace come to an end in just this last century, its temporary nature has been verified. Considering that Jesus was rejected by His own people, but believed in by the world (1 Tim.3:16), it has been an amazing phenomenona hostile world filled with hostile governments embracing Christ for over a thousand years. That, in itself, is a miracle of God.
Since all of these concepts are interpretations of prophecies, and none relate to the commandments of Christ, it is well not to argue over them. No one will know for certain until the day comes. Fortunately, salvation is not affected in any way by either thought. These are matters of belief, not logic, so no one will have their minds changed until God proves the truth, and that won't happen until the end occurs because we can only come to God by faith, not by understanding.
The prophecies are in scripture simply for our guidance, to help us realize Jesus is God's only Son and that His promises are true, and if we believe in Him and follow Him we will live forever.
in Zechariah Chapter 4:14 "These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth." (NIV). Who actually are these "two"? are they symbolic or literal? C
The architecture of Christianity (God's religious truth) is built on the foundation of the Old Testament. That foundation, a reflection of God's design, instructed that there be two leaders, one religious and the other temporal, in charge of God's people.
The first image of that dual governmental heirarchy is presented in scripture the form of Aaron and Moses. Aaron is the high priest, the spiritual head of the Hebrew government, and Moses, his brother, is the temporal head.
The prophecy of Zechariah addresses the reconstitution of that heirarchical plan with respect to the people's return from Babylon. Here the two figures are Joshua and Zerubbabel. Because this time it is prophecy (i.e, because it is stated in a book of the Bible dedicated to prophecy) it points beyond historical figures to the Messianic Age.
It speaks to us of Peter and Paul, the spiritual and temporal powers of Christianity on earth during the millenium.
Jesus designated Peter to be high priest (the head of His Church). Later, He chose Paul to lead His government. Just as Moses was the principal author of the Old Testament Torah (the Hebrew Law), Paul was appointed by God to be the principal author of the New Testament (the document governing the legal structure of the Christian Church). Scripture tells us that perfect peace reigns between Pater and Paul. They represent the perfect balance between faith and theology.
In Zechariah Chapter 5:5-11 regarding the prophecy of the woman (wickedness) in the basket which was being carried by two women who were flying to the country of Babylonia (Hebrew Shinar) in which they will build a house for it. (NIV)
Has this basket been placed in the country yet? what actually is in the basket? has the place "Shinar" anything to do with China? what actually is the whole prophecy all about? C
The woman is wickedness personified. She is pictured in Zechariah's prophecy being carried to Babylon (the center of the pagan world) where prophecy states a temple and statue are to be erected in her honor. She is shown in the Book of Revelation's chapter 12 to be the counterpart to the mother of Jesus. The two women respectively symbolize Babylon, the pagan center of the world, and Jerusalem, the world's religious center.
If you happened to see Mel Gibson's motion picture, "The Passion", the woman (wickedess) is pictured free of her basket and gliding all through various frames of the movie as an androgenous spectre of evil.
The rise to world power of Christianity trapped wickedness in her basket (the Abyss), temporarily blocking the erection of her statue and temple for almost 2000 years. Recent events have toppled Christian power (Christian government) releasing wickedness back into the world. Paganism has returned.
Shinar is not China or any other earthly city or nation. It is Babylon. It is a spiritual city populated by everyone on earth who rejects Jesus as Lord and Savior.
I have a question. When I look at the Book of Revelations, all I see there are alot of bad things happening. Why is there so much written about death and destruction but so little about the good things? JR
God does not give us prophecy to satisfy our curiousity about the future. It is there for a purpose. Prophecy is a warning. Jesus instructed His disciples to go out to the world and spread the message that He had come to release the captured people of God from the supernatural powers of Satan, and lead them out of imprisonment to safety.
He explained that very soon a terrible catastrophe is going to destroy the earth and all who are on it. Jesus warned that no one will survive that cataclysmic event unless they are marked with God's seal of salvation and follow Him by the path He defined.
Some people follow Him immediately, but others are in a bondage so great, blinded by a sorcery so powerful, that they need extraordinary help to escape the hooded darkness that envelopes them. Prophecy provides that kind of extraordinary help. It brings to light the true spectres of past, present and future images much like the things Scrooge saw in the Christmas story. And the purpose is the same, to break Satan's spell and soften hearts that have become hardened to turn people from evil to good and bring them to life in the Lord.
We are warned in the Book of Proverbs to take note of the last things, our own end, and grow wise. Prophecy shows us the end of this world, its last days, so that we can take careful note. It tells the truth about where everything is headed. It provides images of our future in such abundance and detail that we are able to observe the events occuring around us and understand them in a way far deeper than those who do not know where these circumstances are leading.
Because of the prophecies, we know exactly where they are leading, and, most important of all, what will happen to us if we do not heed Jesus' call to follow His path, and to do so quickly. The "good things" of scripture (especially eternal life) are gifts only those who make that journey can have. So following Jesus is the imperative. When Scrooge saw the visions, he changed. That is the reason for all prophecy, so that we, too, seeing the visions, can change. And that is the reason the Holy Spirit has designed the prophecies in the way you see them written.
If Europe is uniting in the form of the EU, why does each member state still get to have a single voice in the UN? Wouldn't it make more sense that the EU only get one seat on the Security Council, etc? Why should the UK and France each have a seat. And, do you think that individual European nations will vote as the rest of the European members do, simply for the purpose of not wanting to rock the boat with the EU as a whole? I think that will be the catalyst that causes us to pull out of the UN. How can people raise the issue that the EU should get one seat and that any member of the EU must give up their nation's individual seats. I mean, if they don't, then why can't we have 50 (for each state)? PS
Those events are not even mentioned in scripture. Instead, the prophecies of the end-times are structured on the clash of two civilizations, east against west. Europe, the western hemisphere and Australia are central elements of the western world. Thus, in prophecy, they are united as a single entity. Against this unity is rising an eastern civilization challenging the western world's rule of the world. The prophecies predict that challenge will be successful and the western world will collapse under the onslaught of a "vast and mighty host, such as has never been before, such as will never be again to the remotest ages." (Joel 2:2).
The primary factor in the collapse of the western world according to scripture will be the fall of its people into wickedness. We have already seen graphic examples of this fatal plunge in progress. God has been removed from governmental leadership, there has been an extraordinary sexual revolution steeped in deviance, runaway greed permeates the financial dynamics, a dramatic rise has occurred in urban violence, and a thirst for war over peace has redefined the age. In other words, there has been a universal change in character, taking the nations in a direction completely opposite the path to eternal life defined by Jesus.
The entire end-time scenario portrays the battles and intrigue that revolve around the eastern world's attempt to wrest control of the world away from the power of the west. The collapse of the United Nations is an inevitable outcome of this strife, as one nation after another is forced to choose sides, east or west. The framework of the unity of the nations will be torn apart, board by board over this defining issue.
All of this is happening because God has decreed the world must end and that all the nations be gathered to Jerusalem for judgment. They have begun to gather there already, lured by God ostensibly to engage one another in the definitive battle in the clash between the world's two civilizations. However, before that battle can take place, God will appear high over them. There will be no battle that day. Armageddon will prove to be the end of the world as God suddenly rolls the heavens up like a scroll and gathers from the four winds His people those who chose to remain holy despite the sinful behavior that surrounded them.
Scripture tells us when all this will happen. It will take place when Jerusalem is given back to the Jews. That has happened. It occurred in 1948, just 56 years ago. With the gallows erected and now in place, the circuit judge cannot be far away.
Can you tell me who the treasurer called Shebna is in Isaiah 22:15, and what rock is the passage refers to? NJ
"Now go to this steward, to Shebna the master of the palace, who is hewing a tomb for himself high up, carving out a room for himself in the rock, 'What right have you here, and what relatives have you here for you to hew yourself a tomb in this place? See, god hurls you down, down with a single throw...you are the disgrace of your master's palace." (Is.22:15-18)
According to the Mishna (the oral law of the Jews), forty years before the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, the seat of the Sanhedrin had been expelled from the "Chamber of Hewn Stone" on consecrated ground, and took its seat at the Hanuyot (the southern Royal Portico). (Sanhedrin 4112; Aboda Zara 8:2). This would have occurred about 30 A.D., in the days of Pontius Pilate, possibly just after Jesus was crucified.
The rock in Isaiah seems obviously to be the Chamber of Hewn Stone and must be considered in association with the rock of Abraham on which the Muslim Dome of the Rock currently stands. It is the holiest object in Judaism and is the only site according to scripture on which the Jews are allowed to build their Temple. In the past, both the Temples of Solomon and Herod stood there. No Jewish Temple may be constructed in Jerusalem today because the Muslim's control the rock.
If you follow Isaiah's passage on down (Is.22:19-23), it leads to God's choice of a new "rock" to replace this site. The metaphore applies to Peter, on whom Jesus structured His Church (see Mat.16:17-19).
I have enjoyed reading the articles and looking at the maps. Can I please point out one small faux-pas which could cause offence - your map of Europe has labelled Britain as "England" - even to the point of beginning the word "England" over the top of Wales.
Can you tell me if the American troops will stay in Iraq? CF
American troops will not leave Iraq. They will stay there a long time until the invasion of the kings of the east (see Rev.16:12-16 & Rev.9:13-15).
I was just reading over the Chronological Table you have together (which is quite good) and I have to ask: Where did the Jews take the date for Adam & Eve's creation from? I mean 3761 BC is a pretty precise date, so there has to be some historical basis for it. If you could fill me in, I would greatly appreciate it. JT
Jewish scholars in the middle ages, possibly in association with Maimonides, using scripture as a guide, calculated the date of the birth of Adam and Eve, and arrived at the date, October 7, 3761 B.C. That date was used by Jewish scholars to structure the Jewish New Year, which is currently celebrated by all Jewish people worldwide. Calculating forward from that date, the Christian year 2004 is 5764 in the Jewish calendar. Actually, in the fall of 2004, on the new moon of the seventh month (Tishri), the Jewish date will become 5765. I believe Maimonides codefied in writing the Mishna, the oral law of the Jews, around 1200 A.D., so the source of the date calculation may be there or in the Talmud. Any Jewish Rabbi should be able to provide you with greater detail.
There was a report on the news that the sun is getting dimmer. The earth is darkening because more and more sunlight is being deflected back into space on account of the haze of pollution in the atmosphere. Apparently, it has become almost 40% darker in 40 years. What does scripture say? "the sun will lose its light..." GH
Sounds like one more thing to add to the growing ledger of Jesus' prediction concerning "signs in the sun and moon and stars". Note: NASA has just issued a new report that the dimming is starting to reverse, so things may be getting brighter in the sunlight department.
Are there any prophecies not in your books that you feel you should have included in them? If so, what is the most important?PL
Yes. First, the fact that America is not Jerusalem and closely associated to that, the fact that the United States is pivotal to the prophecies, not just a sidelight in the Bible's revelations. In my book I saw America in terms of Isaiah 24:15-16, the "islands" out of which some of the last vestiges of faith seemed to emanate, and as the "Kittim" of Daniel, whose ships block the beast at the time of the end. I tended to envision the United States a country isolated from the tribulation, escaping virtually all of the physical elements of the wrath that engulfs the Eastern Hemisphere, and little involved in the terrors befalling the earth until almost the very end. I discounted various prophecies that seemed to argue against that view, especially Ezekiel's visions regarding "Tyre".
The "Kittim" and church worship observations remain true, but 9/11 has shown us an America that is not only unable to escape the central elements of the tribulation, but whose world power must be neutralized in a dramatic and forceful way before the tribulation can be initiated. The events of 9/11 took me by surprise because it mirrored verse by verse Chapter 18 of the Book of Revelation, itself the essence of the Wrath of God against Babylon. God set New York up to mimic the bulleye of God's target. The alarming questions of why and how are so important, I definitely would have devoted a chapter to the possibilites and implications of that circumstance relative to Bible prophecy. I have since discussed those questions in great detail (far more than a chapter's worth) in subsequent papers, all currently available on the website.
See: "The Handwriting on the Wall of Babylon", "The Towers of Babylon", "New York City & Tyre", "Egypt" at the Euphrates", "The United States in Prophecy"
I came across your website today and just wanted to tell you I think you are wrong about God and homosexuality. My God responds to love, not to bigotry. N
Scripture is the word of God, it is not bigotry:
"What God wants is for you all to be holy. He wants you to keep away from fornication, and each one of you to know how to use the body that belongs to him in a way that is holy and honorable, not giving way to selfish lust like the pagans who do not know God. He wants nobody at all ever to sin by taking advantage of a brother in these matters; the Lord always punishes sins of that sort, as we told you before and assured you. We have been called by God to be holy, not to be immoral; in other words, anyone who objects is not objecting to a human authority, but to God, who gives you his Holy Spirit." (1 Thes.4:3-8).
But you raise a good point.
Like adultery, homosexuality is an offense, but God shows love can overcome all offenses (Prov.10:12). The Law condemns homosexuality, but in Christ, we can be rescued from the Law.
"Her many sins must have been forgiven her or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who has been forgiven little who shows little love." (Lk.7:47).
AIDS is the leprosy of our age. The selfless dedication of people who selflessly minister to those dying of this dreaded disease while others keep their distance show a depth of love equal to that of the Good Samaritan. Jesus said that we must love one another; just as He loved us. "By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples." (Jn.13:34-35).
The whole meaning of Christ is mercy, justice and love. That is why Christianity has often been called the church of the second chance.
Bible prophecy speaks to the community. It sets the guidelines (Laws) governing social evil so that we know where those evils lie. It is essential that be told. The Law tells us where the fences are, but it does not tell us where mercy lies. Mercy comes from Christ alone. And it is Christ alone who will judge us for the way we lived our lives. Love will be the central factor in that judgment.
Can you tell me about the priesthood of Melchizedek? Does that include Christians? PL
According to the Bible, there is a priesthood that goes from the Father to one son exclusively. In the Psalms, it is equated to the priesthood of Melchizedek, the high priest of Salem who brought bread and wine and pronounced a blessing over Abraham. (Gen.14:18-20).
The Old Testament makes a distinction between the priesthood of Melchizedek and the priesthood of the people. The priesthood of the people in the Old Covenant is built on Aaron, the brother of Moses. Because Melchizadek came before the birth of the House of Israel, however, the Hebrew leaders considered his of a higher nature than Aaron's priesthood. While they felt that Aaron's priesthood extended to all the people of Israel, the Hebrew heirarchy recognized that Melchizadek's priesthood related solely to the promised Messiah:
"The Lord's oracle to you, my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand and I will make your enemies a footstool for you'. The Lord will force all your enemies under the sway of your sceptre in Zion. Royal dignity was yours from the day you were born, on the holy mountains, royal from the womb, from the dawn of your earliest days. 'You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and forever'." (Psalm 110:1-4).
Christian theologians not only agreed with the Hebrew view that Melchizadek was the priest of the Messiah and proof of the special priesthood that enveloped Him, but saw in the bread and wine he offered to Abraham, the feast of Communion.
The priesthood of the people, which, in the Old Testament was built on Aaron and only went to special individuals has been fulfilled in Christ in the personage of Peter. It is on the rock called Peter that Jesus constructed His Church, and it is in Peter's priesthood that every Christian, not just special ones, are able to offer the true spiritual gifts at the altar of God: justice, mercy and good faith. According to the Book of Hebrews, God has hidden the true altar of God inside our souls.
Also, could you please tell me where in the Bible the passage about the "shining city on the hill" comes from that President Reagan was always quoting? I cannot find it. PL
The verse can be found in 1 Kings 16:24. The quotation relates to the town of Samaria:
"He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver and built a city on the hill, calling it Samaria, after Shemer, the name of the former owner of the hill." (1Kings 16:24).
President Ronald Reagan used the phrase quite often in many important speeches to describe the United States of America. Surprisingly, President Reagan was quoting, not from the Bible per se, but from one of our country's primary foundation tracts written by the Puritan leader John Winthrop, as he was on his way with his colonists to found New England.
In writing his treatise, Winthrop dealt with the Samaria quote from the point of view of the prophet Micah who aimed much of his book of prophecy on the Samaritan city (the city on the hill) that God was putting on trial for its crimes: for rejecting God and failing to follow the ways of the Lord.
Winthrop likened the community he was about to build (Boston and the colonies of New England) to the Bible's Samaritan city, dedicating it to the way of Jesus and imploring God to bless it as long as it's people lived justly in Christ. In that service, Winthrop lifted the new colonies up to the Lord as a beacon to the whole world a community dedicated to being righteous and doing what is good something the rest of the world could witness and whose example they could follow. He wrote:
"Now, the only way to provide for our posterity is to follow the council of Micah: to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). We must delight in each other, make the condition of others our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work as members of the same body. The Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us as His own people. For we must consider we shall be as a 'city on a hill' (1 Kings 16:24).. The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world" (Micah 6:16). John Winthrop, 1630
Of that city, Micah prophesied,
"The voice of the Lord. He is calling to the city, and the man of wisdom shall fear him: Listen, tribe, and assembly of the city whose rich men are crammed with violence, whose citizens are liars. Must I put up with fraudulent measure, or that abomination the short-weight bushel? Must I hold the man honest who measures with false scales and a bag of faked weights? I have therefore begun to strike you down, to bring you to ruin for your sins." (Micah 6:9-13).
"You keep the laws of Omri and follow all the practices of the House of Ahab; you are guided by their standards, and they force me to make a terrible example of you, and to turn your inhabitants into a laughing-stock, to suffer the scorn of the peoples." (Micah 6:16).
The laws of Omri and the practices of Ahab were the ungodly principles that the city of Samaria fell into just before it was struck by God.
The fact that President Reagan not only reiterated the Winthrop declaration, but applied it so many times and in such a forceful way to the United States of America is suggestive of profound prophecy. Especially since it was both declared in our country's foundation and then re-verified over 300 years later by presidential affirmation.
By quoting Micah, Winthrop has made Samaria an eponym of America. The United States is the "city on the hill", whose light shines across the whole world, a beacon of righteousness and justice for mankind. But the quote of Micah relates less to its purpose, and more to the trial and Judgment during the last days for disobedience to that purpose. In Micah, the 'city on the hill' strays from the Lord and pays the terrible consequences for that apostasy. Despite their wickedness, the people cannot believe God's anger with them:
"Do not rave", they rave. Do not rave like this. No shame is going to overtake us. Can the House of Jacob be accursed? Has the Lord lost patience? Is that his way of going to work? Surely his words are words of kindness for his people Israel?" (Micah 2:6-7).
Micah responds, "It is you who play the enemy" to the Lord's people. From the innocent man you snatch his cloak. On the man who thinks himself safe you inflict the damage of war. The women of the Lord you drive out from the homes they loved; their children you rob forever of the honor the Lord gave them. For a worthless thing, you exact an extorionate pledge. "Get up! Be off! There is no resting here..." (Micah 2:8-10).
Micah warns the 'city on the hill' that even its own prophets will fail to recognize the pleas of God for the city to change its ways (Micah 3:5-7). With God's warnings ignored by the sentry's in our watchtowers who are supposed to be alert to such things, the blow of the Lord will seem to come out of the blue, and when it srikes, it will reach even into the city of Jerusalem (Micah 1:9).
America today is the defense of Jerusalem. Its troops are stationed at the Euphrates for that very purpose.
"I mean to make Samaria a ruin in the open country...I will set her stones rolling into the valley, I will lay her foundations bare. All her images are going to be shattered, all her earnings consumed by fire, all her idols broken in pieces, for they have been collected with prostitutes' earnings and prostitutes' earnings they will be again." (Micah 1:5-7).
The consequences of our government's rejection of God are well documented in scripture. This simply adds another dimension to a truth of prophecy that has already become evident in other passages.
One of the most stunning circumstances to unfold during the riveting funeral services at the National Cathedral for President Reagan was the fact that Winthrop's treatise describing the 'city on the hill' and the warning of Micah about it, was read aloud from the pulpit by a justice of the United States Supreme Court. It is this same Supreme Court that has, since 1963, outlawed almost every mention of God or Jesus, or any word or prayer they ever uttered, or even any symbol of God, from the public forum. It is their decisions that have resulted in the godless secular orthodoxy we see sweeping across America today. It seems fitting that a Supreme Court justice should be the very one to issue God's final warning the sentence so long ago prescribed.
Micah's prophecy is not without hope. His book ends with an oracle of future restoration, showing that, despite the apostasy and the punishment it evokes, those who hold fast to Christ will be rewarded:
"Do not gloat over me, my enemy: though I have fallen, I shall rise; through I live in darkness, the Lord is my light. I must suffer the anger of the Lord, for I have sinned against him, until he takes up my cause and rights my wrongs; he will bring me out into the light and I shall rejoice to see the rightness of his ways." (Micah 7:8-9).
"What god can compare with you: taking fault away, pardoning crime, not cherishing anger forever but delighting in showing mercy? Once more have pity on us...to the bottom of the sea throw all our sins." (Micah 7:18-19).
Who are the 10 lost tribes of the house of Israel ? Is it possible that because of the great dispersion and the mixing in of these 10 tribes throughout the world that WE may be, at least in part, part of these 10 lost tribes ??? I would appreciate a response R
The Hebrew "House of Israel" was composed of 12 tribal families extending from the 12 sons of Jacob, himself the grandson of Abraham. The Hebrew religion was formed around these 12 tribes. After Solomon died, the House of Israel became divided, splitting into 2 "Houses". The Jews and Benjamites occupied the southern area of the land of Canaan (including Jerusalem) while the ten other tribes lived north of them. Assyria conquered these ten northern tribes and took them all captive, dispersing them throughout the world. They were never heard from again. But the prophets of scripture insisted that when the Messiah came, He would bring them all back and unite the two "Houses" of Israel into a single people under One God.
I have covered some of this in Chapter 7, in the book, "The Clock of God". The book is online on my site.
As you can see, when reading this material, genetic admixture down through the centuries would have dispersed Hebrew DNA throughout most of the human race. Christ's salvation, however, has nothing to do with genetics. It is spiritual: a matter of compassion and love.
The prophecies in scripture are rich with visions concerning the 12 tribes, including the ten that were lost and are found again. These visions help us to understand the diversity of Christianity, all the different churches, and to appreciate that multiplicity as a part of the mechanism of God's salvation of the human race.
Who is the prince of Persia? Where is he mentioned in the Bible? Is he related to Gog in Ezekiel chapter 38? NZ
They are the same. Gog is the beast of the End. Considered by many to be a reincarnation of Nero, he will head a Persian (Parthian) empire.
Of Gog, Ezekiel writes:
"Son of man, prophesy against Gog. Say, 'The Lord God says this: Now I set myself against you, Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you round, lead you on, and bring you from the fartheset north to attack the mountains of Israel. I will break the bow in your left hand and dash the arrows out of your right. You will be killed on the mountains of Israel, you and all your hordes, and the nations with you. I shall make you food for carrion and all your hordes, and the nations with you. You will fall in the open countryside. I have spokenit is the Lord God who speaks. I will send fire to Magog and on those living undisturbed on the islands, and they will learn that I am the Lord. I am going to see that my holy name is known among my people Israel, and I will no longer allow my holy name to be profaned; the nations shall learn that I am God, holy in Israel. All this is going to happen, all this is going to take placeit is the Lord God who speaks. This is the day I predicted. (Ez.39:1-8).
The designation "farthest north" speaks to the vast extent of Muslim domination over the eastern Hemisphere in the last days. The designation "Persia" likely tells us which division of Islam will be in control. The more violent Islamic sect in the world today has at its core, the militant teachings of the late Ayatola Khomeni of Iran (Persia). The intent of that teaching is to unite the entire Muslim world in a holy war against the western world.
"The survivors were deported by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon; they were to serve him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. This is how the word of the Lord was fulfilled that he spoke through Jeremiah, 'Until this land has enjoyed its sabbath rest, until seventy years have gone by, it will keep sabbath throughout the days of its desolation'." (2 Chron. 36:19-21).
When the prince of Persia comes, he will replicate the actions of Cyrus, king of Persia who issued a proclamation that freed the House of Israel from its Babylonian captivity at the Euphrates (2 Chron. 36:22) in 538 B.C. The proclamation of the future Persian prince will terminate Christ's treaty of peace with spiritual (worldwide) Babylon, allowing the entire House of Israel to return physically to Jerusalem at the time of the end of the world.
The "fires" sent onto Magog and the "islands" of the sea illustrate the intensity of the turmoil of the times, and are an indication of how few will be able to embark on that physical journey. The safety of the entire House of Israel, however, will be insured by the spiritual journey in Christ that is at the heart of Christ's treaty on the cross.
The Bible's use of the term "kingdom of Persia" in its prophecies informs us that the ruling philosophy of the beast of the last days will stem from a source that is Persian in character. This philosophy is the "east wind" the scriptures describe in so many of its passages. The fact that this "Gog" (the beast) will come from the farthest north illustrates the center, (the original capitol), of his military power when he launches his terminal attack.
This all plays to an understanding of the extent of the boundaries of the ten-nation confederacy that is to rise in the last days. It is out of that confederacy that the beast is predicted to rise.
Do you think as a Christian America was wrong to invade Iraq? MH
The decision you are asking about was not a religious decision, it was a political decision. The times we live in today are so tied to the last days, and the decision to launch that attack so crucial to the dynamics of the end-time process, we can be certain, in the very least, that God allowed it to happen, if not directed its occurance.
The two Gulf Wars are clearly outlined in biblical prophecy (Dan. 8:5-7). We cannot say that these two wars work to the good of world civilization, but they are an absolute of prophecy, therefore, they are on the main highway in the plan of God, so work to His purpose; the ultimate good.
It is impossible to second guess history. The ways of God confound the wisdom of men. In the days leading up to World War 2, it was peace, not war that led to victory. Many argue that had the world met Hitler with a firm attitude rather than the weakness of Britain's Neville Chamberlain in the late 1930's, history would have been different and the world would have been saved from the ravages of World War 2. Millions of people who died would have lived, they claimed.
But history shows us something different. Meeting Hitler with a firm hand early would have proved fatal to the world. Blocking Hitler would simply have left him in power in an armed Germany for years beyond 1945, allowing him time to perfect his sophisticated war machinery behind his own closed borders. When the allies conquered Germany in 1945, they discovered that Hitler had a fleet of operational jet fighters both on the ground and in production (not just in design) and an increasingly sophisticated operational rocket delivery system. The allies had neither. No jets and no rockets. The German scientists were also very close to perfecting the atom bomb. Had Hitler not been destroyed entirely by 1945, he would have been in position to conquer the world in a very short period of time thereafter, even to the point of raining atomic bombs on America's cities. He was not far from that even with the war.
With a contained Hitler in 1939, the U.S. and Russia would never have been impelled to build atomic bombs. Nor would they have built intercontinental missles or felt a driving need to invent or perfect jet fighter aircraft. In fact, all American attempts to build rockets after the end of the war resulted in spectacular failures. In order to counter the Russian Sputnik sent into orbit in 1960 (launched there by captured German scientists), an embarrased America had to, themselves, rush captured German scientists in to bail them out as well, and that was 15 years after World War 2 had ended. Once called into action, it took Werner Von Braun and his German team only 30 days to launch the first American satellite into space. It was the same Werner Von Braun team that built America's moon rocket.
Strangely then, Neville Chamberlain turned out to be a pivotal success for the world. The same can be said of the planet today. God guides the world the way He wants it to go. It may not be the way we want it to go, but because it is God's own hand that is guiding it's path, it is perfect.
God will not allow history to have its way with Him. Not even the most brilliant scientists in the world can thwart His plans. Nothing critical will occur unless God has allowed it to occur or directed it to occur. We can see that in the Book of Ezekiel in the passage where God personally drags the beast (Gog) down to attack Israel:
"The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, 'Son of man, turn towards Gog and the country of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him. Say, 'The Lord God says this: I am against you Gog. I will turn you round, fixing hooks in your jaws, and drag you and your troops along...and many nations with you. Be ready, be well prepared, you and all your troops and the others rallying round you, and hold yourself at my service...Many days will pass before you are given orders; in years to come you will march against this (peaceful) country." (Ez.38:2-8)
This is a dramatic example of divine intervention. We should not be terrified by it, but heartened. God's salvation is certain and sure. He does what He says He will do. He is making sure everything turns out according to scripture. That means we can go to the Bible and read the future. Everything destined to happen has been foretold virtually step by step in a book that sits at this very minute in the bookshelves of almost 80% of our nation's homes. Scripture is God's script. That is why prophecy and an understanding of it is so important. It is not just a literature for cranks and kooks. It is real, it is powerful, and what is written in it's pages is going to happen.
We are living in critical times right now. We are at the threshold of the formation of the ten-nation confederacy so widely predicted in scripture. That empire will be formed out of an enormous global upheaval which Daniel says is to be built on a series of situations in which the historical circumstances surrounding Alexander the Great are re-visited . This Alexandrian-like figure is almost certainly in power now, pushing his western forces far into the geography of the eastern world. His actions and his fate are both mechanisms for the formation and rise of the ten-nation confederacy that is destined to bring the world to an end. It is the incipient moments of this process we are currently witnessing.
It doesn't matter who is in power or what decisions they make because God is guiding the world towards the future He has planned. Divine hooks are already in the chosen jaws. God puts in power those He wants, when He wants. Especially now, with the timing so critical. We may see these events as catastrophic, but they do His will, so they are not catastrophic to God. It is written that the angels are singing because to them what is happening these days is glorious! We are very close to the kingdom of God.
Individually, our duty is to Christ's peace. God will attend to victory. He will do with the nations as He pleases. He does not need our help in that regard, just our obedience.
"If the Lord does not build the house, in vain the masons toil; if the Lord does not guard the city, in vain the sentries watch. In vain you get up earlier, and put off going to bed, sweating to make a living, since he provides for his beloved as they sleep." (Ps.127:1-2)
I have noticed that you believe in the pre-existence of all our souls, and that we, at some point in the past, sinned in the heavenlies and were then committed to this earth as pilgrims in a strange land, so to speak.. awaiting our realization as the prodigal sons of God.... What are your scriptural basis on these things? I have been coming to this belief and having seen your words, I wa wondering if there are insights I might have missed on this. Thank you. C/J
On the pre-existance of souls, Paul writes:
"God...patiently puts up with the people who make him angry however much they deserve to be destroyed. He puts up with them for the sake of those other people, to whom he wants to be merciful, to whom he wants to reveal the richness of his glory, people he had prepared for this glory long ago. Well, we are those people; whether we were Jews or pagans we are the ones he has called." (Romans 9:22-24).
"The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons." (Rom.8:19).
"We know that by turning everything to their good God co-operates with all those who love him with all those that he has called according to his purpose. They are the ones he chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers. He called those he intended for this; those he called he justified, and with those he justified he shared his glory." (Rom.8:28-30).
The Church does not teach that we sinned in the past. The Bible tells us that it was Adam who sinned (Adam and Eve) and their sin is visited on us because we are Adam's descendants. Death was not God's doing. To be, for this God created all. It was Satan that brought death into the world. Adam's sin against God gave us our mortality. This is the doctrine of original sin (see Paul, below). That is the reason we are born here doomed to diethe reason for all the graveyards. Jesus is the bridge between death and eternal life. He has power to raise us out of those cemetaries. He is the reconciliation between man and God. Bible verses on this:
"Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. " (1 Cor.15:21-24).
"Adam prefigured the One to come, but the gift itself considerably outweighed the fall. If it is certain that through one man's fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abudndant free gift." (Rom.5:15).
"As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous." (Rom. 5:19).
"What a wretched man I am! who will rescue me from this body doomed to death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom.7:24-25).
"When you were slaves of sin, you felt no obligation to righteousness, and what did you get from this? Nothing but experiences that now make you blush, since that sort of behaviour ends in death. Now, however, you have been set free from sin, you have been made slaves of God, and you get a reward leading to your sanctification and ending in eternal life. For the wage paid by sin is death; the present given by God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 6:20-23).
The "foreign" land we have been raised up in is this world. It has always been hostile to God. That is because Satan rules here. Satan is the "prince of this world", and we were born here captive to his influence (to wars, violence, perversion, murder, thievery, greed, etc). It was to overcome Satan's influence that God sent Jesus down to us from heaven. That is the rescue. Our enemies, then are not human beings but the Sovereignties and powers in the heavens, unseen forces that influence us to rebel against the ways of God. Those who do not follow Jesus cannot escape that influence or captivity.
"For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the Powers who originate the darkness in this world, the spiritual army of evil in the heavens." (Eph.6:12).
Or, as it is stated in allegorical terms:
"The actual words God used when he spoke to him are that his descendants would be exiles in a foregn land, where they would be slaves and oppressed for four hundred years. But I will pass judgment on the nation that enslaves them' God said 'and after this they will leave and worship me in this place" (Acts 7:6-7).
"Here I am with the children God has given me. Since all the children share the same blood and flesh, he too shared equally in it, so that by his death he could take away all the power of the devil, who had power over death, and set free all those who had been held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. For it was not the angels that he took to himself; he took to himself descent from Abraham." (Heb.2:13-16).
Our enslavement in Babylon (this world) is an enslavement to death. The sentence hangs over all of our heads like an eastern Scimitar. Jesus came to rescue us from this sentence and from this world. He is building a new kingdom in the heavens in a place of safety. This world is doomed and is going to be destroyed. God is spiriting us away before that catastrophe takes place.
Freed from captivity, we are no longer citizens of Babylon, we have become citizens of the holy Jerusalem of heaven. "So we are now ambassadors for Christ" (2 Cor.5:20). We have become foreign dignitaries in this world; citizens of another society. We have entered into a pilgrimmage from Satan's domain to God's.
That is why it is written in allegorical terms:
'Go away, go away, leave that place, touch nothing unclean. Get out of her, purify yourselves, you who carry the vessels of the Lord. But you are not to hurry away, you are not to leave like fugitives. No the Lord will go in front of you, and the God of Israel will be your rear-guard." (Is.52:11-12).
"That is exactly what God says in Hosea: I shall say to a people that was not mine, 'You are my people', and to a nation I never loved, 'I love you'. Instead of being told, 'you are no people of mine', they will now be called the sons of the living God." (Rom. 9:25-26; Hos.2:22-25).
This is all accomplished by following Christ on the path He defined for us.
July 22, 2004
Who or what is (the) second beast...because it appears that the second beast has as much power as the first, and the Book of Revelation seems to talk about that second beast more. in Revelations 13:11 and then in 13:12, it clearly states that the SECOND beast who had two horns like a lamb and spake like a dragon and had the same power as the first beast and this second beast "causeth the earth and them which dwell therin to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." Then in REVELATIONS 13:13 "And he doeth great wonders....." the second beast has the same power as the first, but the second causes the world to worship the first.
Who is this second beast who has the same power as the first?
The one individual most of us refer to as the "beast" is described in the Bible under a large variety of titles that include: "the Destroyer", "the Madman", "the Man of Perdition", "Daystar, Son of Dawn", "the King of Babylon", "the Prince of Persia", "Gog", "the prince who will come", "the Wretch", "the King of the North", "the man of Arrogance", "the Lost One", "the Enemy", "the Rebel", "the Man of Lawlessness", "the Lawless One", "the Man of Sin", "the Man of Iniquity", "the Son of Perdition", "the Angel of the Abyss", "the Anti-christ", etc.
Because this Rebel personifies the dragon of the empire he rules, he alone (as a person) is accorded the title of his empire "beast". This is why Bible scholars see in him Satan's attempt to parody the Trinity of God, raising up a spectre of dragon, anti-christ and false prophet, the beastly empire that is symbolized in his person. We know that empire as "the beast", a collective name for the mother-empire of paganism that, over time, incorporates seven evil kingdoms (including Babylon) in its world-dominating structure. At the end of time it is to be joined by a second empire, the empire of the "False Prophet", a seemingly anti-pagan religious empire fiercly opposed to the House of Israel. In reality, it's anti-pagan stance will be a ruse it will be the secret servant of paganism and will act in concert with it.
Almost always, when the word "beast" is used in the Bible, it appears as a plurality that describe a variety of empires and governments that are instrumental in perpetuating one of two super-empires hostile to God (see, Dan.7:3-7; Rev. 11:7; Rev. 13:1-6, Rev. 16:10-11, Rev. 17:11, etc.). Scripture designates these two super-empires "the beast" and "the second beast".
It is clear in the case of the "first beast" that it is an empire that spans thousands of years. Each major or significant anti-christ kingdom arising from this "mother-empire" of paganism is called a "head". The Book of Revelation shows that the first beast has seven heads. We know that the sixth head of this first beast, for instance (the one with the mortal wound) was the empire called pagan Rome. We can see the other empires in the same way, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and, finally, Germany. These represent the seven governments that have, down through history, mounted severe and catastrophic attacks against the House of Israel.
When the Bible describes human leaders, it uses the term "horn", not "beast".
If we look for human beings (horns) in this group, it is easy to single out the following figures: Adolph Hitler, Nero, Haman, Antiochus Epiphanes IV and Nebuchadnezzar. The two others are less clearly defined. Distinct individuals do drive the malignancy of the empire. But the object scripture defines as "heads" resides in the governmental organizations they set up to try to thwart God and harm the House of Israel. It is those governments, one after another, servants of the beast, that have, since the beginning, tried to move human society down paths that lead away from God.
Under the influence of all seven of these "heads" (or empires), society has had to deal with various derivations of paganism. The "second beast" is different. It comes, not in paganism, but hidden behind the cloak of religion. That is why it is also called the empire of the "False Prophet".
In the last days, scripture tells us that the second beast is going to rise up out of the ground. This second beast (this new empire) is to have two horns like a lamb, but will make noise like a dragon (i.e., a noise like the first beast). The fact that it has two horns indicates two primary rulers (two distinct individuals rising up to rule it all) see Dan. 11:15-24. Because scripture categorizes these two horns in the image of a lamb, we must consider this empire (this beast) religious in some form, but in a malignant way, like a dragon (i.e., falsely religious).
In Rev. 12:3, it is revealed that both the first beast and the second beast are children of the same dragon (Satan).
This close relationship can be seen in the fact that scripture tells us the "second" beast will actually be the eighth "head" of the first beast (a "reincarnation" of one of the first seven kingdoms). It will act as the servant of the first beast. This means it will serve the cause of paganism. Their goals will be the same, to try to destroy the two houses of Israel and drive the people of the world away from Israel's God, i.e., away from the God of all the universe.
Besides the two horns who rule it, the second "beast" also features ten other horns.
According to Daniel, Revelation's second beast "will be different from the previous beasts and have ten horns". These ten horns are ten kings who will be given power in the last days to knit their separate kingdoms together into one giant empire committed to the single malignant purpose of destroying the two houses of Israel on earth.
Each of the ten "horns" will act as lieutenants to the whole. But sole command of them all (like that of a commanding general) will rest in the person that is described as "a horn like a lamb that makes noise like a dragon". The Bible tells us there will be two of these horns. After the end of the first horn's rule, the second horn will appear (Dan. 11:21). Under the leadership of the first "lamb-dragon" horn the world-rule of western government will be toppled. The second "lamb-dragon" horn will target the people of God.
For this reason, the second "lamb-dragon" horn is the one scripture calls the "Madman", the man we often refer to as "the" beast. This second horn will be the great "Destroyer" of scripture, the "Man of Perdition' who is destined to topple the power of the holy people (see Dan. 11:13-24, Dan. 12:7).
Daniel tells us that the ten horns of this second beast, and even the empire itself, will not arrive on the scene until just before the end of the world (Dan. 7:7). The world will be able to recognize this empire when it rises to power by the ten kingdoms that comprise it. The fact that we cannot see that empire now means that it still lies in the wings of tomorrow, awaiting its conceptual moment on history's stage.
(For more on this, see "Scripture's Two Beasts")
Why doesn't the New Testament differentiate between "Jews" and"Israelites"? I find this very troublesome.
For example, Romans 1.16:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek"
Should the last sentence read "to the Israelite first, and also to the Greek" ?
There is a relationship between Israel and the Jews, but Paul's statement in the verse you have quoted is outside that connection. This quotation was directed at the Jews alone. Jesus was sent first to His own people, the tribe of Judah, in order to fulfill God's promise. At the time of Christ's appearance, the other tribes had either disappeared or been assimilated into the Jewish culture. When the Jews rejected Jesus, God was free to redirect His offer to the rest of the world: to Greeks, to pagans and to all the missing members of the lost tribes. It is written in the Old Testament that the Jewish leadership had usurped the promise, but God would not allow them to have their way in this endeavor. Their absolute authority over the Law was revoked by God in their refusal to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior:
"Son of man, the citizens of Jerusalem are telling your kinsmen, the whole House of Israel, that since they were sent away from God, that it is to them (the Jews) that the land has been given as their domain. Say therefore, The Lord says this: 'Yes, I have sent them far away among the nations and I have dispersed them to foreign countries; and for awhile I have been a sanctuary for them in the country to which they have gone'. Then say, The Lord says this: 'I will gather them together from among the peoples, I will bring them all back from the countries where they have been scattered and I will give them the land of Israel." (Ez.11:14-21).
According to Paul, it was for this purpose (i.e., for the purpose of ingathering all the scattered people of God) that the Jews were made blind. Once all the lost tribes of Israel (the people of God held captive in the world) are returned to the Jerusalem of Christ's Gospel, divine sight will be restored to the Jewish people and the world will come to an end in a great theophany.
All of this is allegorically documented in the scriptural elements relative to the "Two Houses" of Israel. One of these houses stands for the Jews, the other for the people of Jesus. In the end the two will be united as one in Jesus Christ.
A Question: "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." (Rev.11:3). By Gods scripture , we know that one of the witnesses is (John the Beloved, the Revelator), he is still on earth and is alive! Who is the second witness? U
Most Christian scholars see Peter and Paul as the two witnesses. The sackcloth they are bound in is said to be the scriptures themselves (the Bible). Peter and Paul are the two leaders of Christianity. They fulfill in their own persons the allegory of Aaron and Moses, and in that fulfillment assume the mantle of Church leadership. Jesus made Peter the head of the Church and Paul is the author of most of the New Testament. It is in that structure that the witness of Christ is made manifest on earth (Church and New Testament). There is such unanimity among Bible scholars on this subject, I have never considered it in any other way.
Why do you say that the woman from Revelation 12 is Mary? I contend she is symbolic of Israel based on Joseph's dream in Genesis.
"Now Joseph had a dream, and he repeated it to his brothers. 'Listen' he said 'to this dream I have had. We were binding sheaves in the countryside; and my sheaf, it seemed, rose up and stood upright; then I saw your sheaves gather round and bow to my sheaf.'
'So you want to be king over us,' his brothers retorted' or to lord it over us?' And they hated him and more, on account of his dreams and of what he said. He had another dream which he told to his brothers, 'Look, I have had another dream' he said. 'I thought I saw the sun, the moon and eleven stars, bowing to me.' He told his father and brothers, and his father scolded him. 'A fine dream to have!' he said to him. 'Are all of us then, myself, your mother and your brothers, to come and bow to the ground before you?' His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the thing in mind." (Gen.37:5-11).
Is your interpretation based on Catholicism? JS
My writing is based on prophecy, not theology. Here are several quotations that are applicable:
"Listen now, House of David: are you not satisfied with trying the patience of men without trying the patience of my God, too? The Lord himself, therefore, will give you a sign. It is this: the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel." (Is.7:13-14).
"God is going to abandon them till the time when she who is to give birth, gives birth. Then the remnant of his brothers will come back to the sons of Israel". (Micah 5:2-3).
"For there is a child born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder-Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince-of-Peace. Wide is his dominion in a peace that has no end, for the throne of David and for his royal power, which he establishes and makes secure in justice and integrity.". (Isaiah 9:5-7).
"And Mary said: 'My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my savior; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid. Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me." (Luke 1:46-49).
"Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, 'Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb...Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled." (Luke 1:41-45).
In the monarchy's of earthly society the mother of the king or queen is always called the "Queen Mother". It is a title and an office that always carries with it great earthly honor. How could it be less with the mother of the King of Kings, the King installed by God over the entire universe?
Allegorically, Joseph relates to Jesus, the brother sold by his other brothers into slavery in Joseph's case a slavery from which he rises to become governor of the entire land. In that capacity he assumes sole charge of the world's only food supply during a time of world-wide famine (Gen. 41:37-49). Jesus was sold into salvery to Rome (Babylon) by His brothers (the Jews) and similarly rose to govern the world's only food supply during the spiritual famine that constituted the Diaspora (Jer.52:32-34). That food is the Gospel.
"To Babylon you must go and there you will be rescued; there the Lord will ransom you out of the power of your enemies." (Micah 4:10).
In Joseph's dream, he saw eleven, not twelve stars bowing to him because the twelfth star in this vision stood for Judas Iscariot.
Joseph's dream, therefore, spiritually relates to Mary's Son. The Book of Revelation shows that the woman in Joseph's dream is symbolic of Mary, not Israel. She is the "maiden with child" (Is.7:14). The woman in the Book of Revelations builds on that image, symbolically representing through Mary, the Holy Spirit.
"Now a great sign appeard in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. She was pregnant, and in labor, crying aloud in the pangs of childbrith. Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet. It's tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth, and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother. The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, whle the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready, for her to be looked after in the twelve hundred and sixty days." (Rev. 12:1-6).
"Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, that is, all who obey God's commandments and bear witness for Jesus." (Rev.12:17).
Paul said that WE are the Israel of God. That means we (all who obey God's commandments and bear witness for Jesus) are the children of the woman. That makes the woman in this final vision of scripture, the Holy Spirit. When we are "born again" we are born of the Holy Spirit.
All the works of God go in pairs by opposites. In this respect the Holy Spirit is represented physically on earth by Christ's earthly mother. Just the opposite, the spirit of paganism on earth is physically represented by the prostitute, Babylon. That is why these two women are shown to be in juxtaposition with one another in Revelation 17.
Are you sayng Judaism will cease to exist when Jesus returns? GH
According to scripture, all earthly titles will cease to exist when Jesus returns. There will be no Jews, no Christians, no Protestants, no Fundamentalists, no Mormons, no Catholics, no Muslims, etc. There will be no churches and no synagouges. There will only be God and His one people.
"In those days the House of Judah will unite with the House of Israel; together they will come from the land of the North to the land I gave your ancestors as a heritage." (Jer.3:18).
God has appointed His Messiah, the Christ to rule over all. Scripture tells us new names will be ascribed, but we do not know those names now.
"My servants are to be given a new name. Whoever asks to be blessed on earth will ask to be blessed by the God of truth, and whoever takes oath on earth will take oath by the God of truth, for past troubles will be foregotten and hidden from my eyes. For now I create new heavens and a new earth, and the past will not be remembered, and will come no more to men's minds. Be glad and rejoice forever and ever for what I am creating, because I now create Jerusalem 'Joy' and her people 'Gladness'." (Is.65:15-18).
"I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall never be effaced.' (Is.56:5).
"If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spriit is saying to the churches: to those who prove victorious I will give the hidden manna and a white stone a stone with a new name written on it, known only to the man who receives it." (Rev.2:17).
Scripture has divided earthly authority into two covenants. The first covenant was given by God to Moses at Sinai, just outside Egypt, in the name of 12 tribes of Israel. It carried with it specific conditions for its perpetuation, plus a caveat that the people had to accept the "Messiah" when he appeared. Failure to do so, the Law decreed, would terminate the covenant.
"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. The man who does not listen to my words that he speaks in my name, shall be held answerable to me for it." (Dt. 18:18-19).
"I will scatter you among the nations. On that day I will call heaven and earth to witness against you; and at once you will vanish from the land which you are crossing the Jordan to possess. God will scatter you among the peoples, and only a small number of you will remain among the nations where God will have driven you." (Dt.4:26-27).
"If you do not keep and observe all the words of this Law...You will be torn from the land which you are entering. God will scatter you among all the peoples, from one end of the earth to the other." (Dt.28:58-64)
"See, I set before you a blessing and a curse: a blessing if you obey the commandments of God...but a curse if you disobey and leave the way marked out for you." (Dt.:11:26+).
Deep into the term of that first covenant, the ten northern tribes revolted and set up a false religion at Bethel. (1 Kings 12:1-13:34+). Remaining loyal to the Mosaic rules, the Jews then assumed total control of the first covenant. They outlawed the dissident tribes and set themselves up as sole heirs of the covenant. The prophets, however, decreed that God would nullify that Jewish decision and restore the northern tribes into His covenant.
"Son of man, the citizens of Jerusalem are telling your kinsmen, the whole House of Israel, that since they were sent away from God, that it is to them (the Jews) that the land has been given as their domain. Say therefore, The Lord says this: 'Yes, I have sent them far away among the nations and I have dispersed them to foreign countries; and for awhile I have been a sanctuary for them in the country to which they have gone'. Then say, The Lord says this: 'I will gather them together from among the peoples, I will bring them all back from the countries where they have been scattered and I will give them the land of Israel. (Ez.11:14-21).
When Jesus appeared, the Jews rejected Him. That action, in fulfillment of the Law (the Torah) and the Prophets, terminated the first covenant.
"One section of Israel has become blind, but this will last only until the whole pagan world has entered, and then after this the rest of Israel will be saved as well." (Rom.11:25.)
The prophets decreed that God would replace the terminated covenant with a new everlasting covenant built around the Messiah, the Son of David.
"See, the days are coming - it is God who speaks- when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah), but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant of mine, so I had to show them who was master (Jer.31:31-32).
"No, this is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive: Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people." (Jer.31:33).
None of this is in the Christian Testament. This all has to do with Old Testament decrees it has to do with prophecy decrees made long before Jesus appeared.
The first covenant is gone and it will not return. Not ever! The Old Testament has decreed that. It has been replaced by a new covenant, one that comes to us in the Messiah that God sent the same Messiah the Hebrew and Jewish people waited for with enormous anticipation for so many centuries.
By terminating the Law (the first covenant), God terminated all of its rules and decrees (Acts 15:5-29)
"By speaking of a new covenant, God implies that the first one is already old. Now anything old only gets more antiquated until in the end it disappears". (Heb.8:13).
This nullified the Jewish decision to outlaw the other tribes from God's favor. It also nullified the Law's decrees against Gentiles. When God set up His new covenant in Christ, He opened up salvation to the whole human race a salvation based not on genetics but on righteous behavior.
"I shall say to a people that was not mine, 'you are my people', and to a nation I never loved, 'I love you'. Instead of being told, 'you are no people of mine', they will now be called the sons of the living God." (Hos.2:1, Rom.9:25).
Can you tell me the names of the seven chruches in the Book of Revelation? J
This passage of scripture can be seen on many levels. For instance, seven church institutions, or seven continents of churches, or even seven groups of Christians, etc. But above all, this dissertation (Revelation 2 & 3) relates to salvation, i.e., to eternal life.
We have learnt from Paul that the church institutions themselves, are not destined to be saved. It is the people in them that are candidates for salvation. There will not be seven churches in heaven, just one people: one Church. That one Church will be a composite of people from all the thousands of churches on earth. The harvest is random.
For this reason, the passage should be considered in spiritual terms. These are spiritual churches. They represent the way each of us come to Christianity on a spiritual level. For instance, some serve like numsdedicated servants of mankind, others become ministers and priests, others teachers, helpers, singers, prophets, administrators, and so forth.
We come into Christianity on many levels. Some are hot in their faith, others lukewarm. Some ignore their faith altogether. Some are rich, some poor. Some find their faith while clasped in the very jaws of Satan, while others enter peacefully in the cloistered sanctuaries of Christian homes. Some have to live in lands intensly hostile to the Christian faith. Others spend their lives in lands where faith is actively promoted.
All are subject to a host of temptations that can ruin faith. Food sacrificed to idols, for instance, is most likely represented in our age by the glistening idolatry that surrounds obsession with money, power or the adult toys many of us spend our lives accumulating: powerful automobiles, motorcycles, boats, yachts, airplanes, beautiful homes, music systems, home theatres, and so forth. These are powerful spiritual lures that easily corrupt true faith.
Those who "profess to be Jews, but are really members of the synagogue of Satan" are probably people who identify themselves with the House of Israel, but are spiritually evil, i.e., people who call themselves Christian or holy, but inwardly are ravenous wolves looking for someone to devour. It is common to find the literature from members of these "cults" attached to the windshields of our cars in supermarket parking lots. They all have a central common denominator: they hate.
We must put our faith into practice and keep the commandments. There is a way that leads to life and another way that leads to death. That is the essential message in these two chapters of scriptural prophecy. They show how important it is to keep fighting against the temptations that try to dull the impact of Christ's message on our hearts. We must stay faithful and focused on the cross so that we do not lose the prize God has offered us.
How do we buy from Christ the gold that has been tested in the fire? With our possessions. We sell what we have that is not essential and buy with the money, the divine field of the Gospel. In that field of righteousness we build our new home by giving up our quest for earthly luxuries in exchange for a focused pursuit of Christ's commandments. Doing that, we are secure in God's promise that we will never die.
Your pages describe a different kind of millenium than the one taught in my church. Why? KAC
The victory of Jesus over this world occurred when the earth's emperor declared Christianity the state religion of the planet. After that declaration (for almost 1700 years) Christianity was embraced by the nations who openly carried the cross of Christ everywhere they went. Today the nations are in revolt against Jesus and that global embrace has dissolved. Though that moment has now passed, the zealous adoption of Christ by the nations was the thousand-year 'millenium' the passages in scripture actually described. There are many Bible verses that bear witness to this fact.
Modern fundamentalist tradition rejects that idea, foreseeing instead in the last days, a planetary return of Jesus for the purpose of setting up a brief thousand-year kingdom here on this earth in advance of a later journey to an eternal heaven. That temporary kingdom concept has very little actual support in scripture. Contradictory verses abound. It is not a major issue because Christ's return will settle it.
The importance surrounding the first concept (the one I voice) is that it unveils a host of other prophecies dependent on it, bringing to light in these last days a far deeper understanding of God's plan. If that first concept is rejected, all the truths tied to it must remain hidden. The angel told Daniel that God has set a time limit on the unveiling of every vision and prophecy in scripture (Dn.9:24). We are close now to the end of that assigned period. The revelation of these truths does not have to be accepted, but they must be broadcast so that scripture is fulfilled.
Church traditions can be driven by personal engines of inspiration that bear little resemblance to the scriptural verses that underpin those concepts. That is why many times verses written in scripture openly conradict modern currents of religious thought. Most serious students of the Bible are struck by these apparent contradictions as they read through the writings of scripture, and ponder them.
It is important to examine these perplexing contradictions whenever applicable. Such an examination has great purpose. If we pin our entire faith on imperfect expecations, and that future fails to evolve, it can have an enormous and catastrophic impact on our sense of religious truth. Especially on those of weaker faith.
While we cling hopefully to the rosy simplicity of a graceful and effortless journey toward heaven, it is important to be aware of the dramatically harsher road scripture portends. The end result will be glorious. Gettng there may be another matter entirely.
It is essential that our sense of Christ's offer not be compromised by events that seem out of context with traditional theories. If things go as bad as scripture anticipates, and we are still here in the midst of that awfulness, we must be aware of the fact that Bible prophecy does not contradict our presence here, or categorize us as the faithless remnant of a rapture that has long since passed by and left us behind.
We take little note of it in this country because it did not touch our shores, but the entire 20th century was a mammoth global tribulation for most, filled with world wars and atrocities beyond human comprehension. No visible rapture preceded that chaos and most of the world's Christians had to live and die through it in vast numbers. One tribe of the House of Israel was almost wiped off the face of the planet. Bloody reverberations of that violence continue to this day, and scripture foresees little reprieve from it as the future progresses.
Our reprieve is Christ's offer of a new creation far away, beyond a great chasm that separates where we are now from the divine world of the future. And our only ticket there is a committed and steadfast faith in Jesus that does not waver in the face of the hostilities that are destined to grip this planet from now until its end.
Churches in America are booming. Where are the changes you write about? I see people shifting from old fashioned churches to modern ones, but no collapse. Explain. DV
The prophecies I write about revolve around the three most important events in the history of human civilization. The first was the appearance of Jesus Christ, the second, the nations crowning Him king over them, and the third, the revolt of the nations against His rule.
Since the coming of Jesus, and over the last 2000 years we have watched a time of preaching. That time of witness, according to scripture, is to be bracketed by two wars. The first war has already happened. In that first conflict, Christians were hounded, beaten, crucified or fed to lions. That war ended with a proclamation from the emperor of Rome declaring Jesus victorious over the nations.
For the next 1700 years or so, the nations of the western world kneeled at the throne of God's Son and carried His cross everywhere they went. Then, just as scripture predicted, the nations revolted. Scripture promises it is that revolt that will bring the antichrist. When the antichrist arrives he will launch the second war, crushing the power of the holy people (Dn.11:30-35; 12:7).
The second war will end just like the first. When the first war against Christ concluded, Jesus was made master of the world, physically. When the second war ends, He will return to take command of the world spiritually.
The revolt against Christ by the nations started in the eastern hemisphere around the end of the 19th century. It was followed by two world wars and incomprehensible suffering within the nations involved.
At first, the United States did not go along with this revolt. We remained loyal and steadfast in our declaration of trust and obedience to God. We were the last holdout among the nations. In that trust the United States saved the world from the forces of Satan that had leadened the skies of Europe and Asia during the 20th century.
Then, in 1963, we, too, folded. America issued a proclamation banning God from its government.
Within nine months of that edict, president Kennedy was assassinated; the Viet Nam war (America's first lost war) was launched by Johnson's fabrication of an incident in the Gulf of Tonkin, and the largest earthquake and tidal wave in U.S. recorded history struck Alaska and the West Coast. All three of these events are archetypical of biblical vengeances rebellion incurs. Serendipity? Were the world wars and 50 million deaths in the other hemisphere chance occurances coincident with their own revolt?
We are going to find out now because the world has thrown the gauntlet. Every nation on the planet has now rejected the King God sent to rule over them. That puts the ball squarely in God's court.
The revolt of the nations against Jesus is one of the biggest events in the history of the western world and few even care enough to know that it has happened. Actually, it is that very apathy that allowed it to occur in the first place. In what amounts to just 2% of Christian history we have completely dismantled what our ancestors have for 2000 years strived to build, preserve and protect.
Our generation has dismantled national Christianity. That is our legacy. The Bible has terrifying things to say about the consequences of this action. Paul called it the "Great Revolt" and predicted grave consequences (2 Thes.2:3). Those predictions and consequences are outlined on the pages of this web site. Every prophecy. Every warning is listed, complete with Bible ordinates so that anyone can read what scripture says for themselves.
The whole history of the western world is structured on the pedestal of Christ. This pillar is the Pieta of mankind and we have savaged it. Everyone should be writing about it. It is a huge event. Our age is defined by this assault. It is the transformation of the Christian age to the secular age. It is the age of the secular revolt and it has redefined the people of the world.
That's a big story. It is unfolding as we watch and there is nothing going on today that rivals it.
In your Sept 7 answer to my question you say at the end of the first war against Jesus He was made master of the world, "physically", but when the second war ends He will return to take command of the world "spiritually"..Explain. DV
The first war against Christ chased the people of God into the catacombs. When it ended, the Roman emperor Theodosus issued a proclamation that declared Christ victorious over the world. Since Rome ruled the world at the time of the decree, its edict in 391 A.D. was globally binding. To insure the global nature of this mandate, the eastern Roman emperor, Galerius issued an identical proclamation from Constantinople. These two edicts, encompassing East and West, made (acknowledged) Jesus master of the world physically.
As proof of this physical reign, all the nations of the ruling world thereafter carried the cross of Christ wherever they went, commanding all those they ruled or conquered to bow to the throne of Jesus. Over the ensuing centuries, every nation that assumed global power perpetuated Christ's earthly royal dominion.
"With iron sceptre you will break them, shatter them like potter's ware. So now, you kings, learn wisdom, earthly rulers, be warned: serve the Lord, fear him, tremble and kiss his feet, or he will be angry and you will perish, for his anger is very quick to blaze. Happy all who take shelter in him." (Ps.2:9-12).
Over the last century and a half we have witnessed the nations of the world rebel one by one against that decree. The revolt of the nations is now complete . The last country to abandon its subservience to Jesus was the United States when it issued a legal proclamation of its official renunciation through the U.S. Supreme Court in 1963.
Paul warned in his second letter to the Thessalonians, that this revolt against the rule of Christ will erase the shield of grace that protects the nations, allowing the Antichrist and all the malady's associated with him to cascade onto the earth. He will lead the nations of the world into the second war (the war of the tribulation which ends in Armageddon).
After the second war ends Christ will return in glory and be crowned by God Lord and Master over a spiritual kingship that will encompass all creation:
"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." (Dn.7:13-14).
Christ's first royal crowning came physically by the hand of man. It was an anointing that initiated the "millenium", the thousand-year reign of Christ's rule on the earth.
The nations have rejected that sovereignty, dooming this world.
Christ's second crowning will come spiritually by the hand of God. It will anoint Jesus complete master over a kingdom that no one can ever reject. His monarchy will last forever and all people will be His servants.
There will never again be a dissenter or a rebel.
In your answer to DV of September 16th, you write:
"As proof of this physical reign, all the nations of the ruling world thereafter carried the cross of Christ wherever they went, commanding all those they ruled or conquered to bow to the throne of Jesus. Over the ensuing centuries, every nation that assumed global power perpetuated Christ's earthly royal dominion."
Doesn't that go against GOD'S giving man free will? If GOD did not force the world to worship Christ when he was physically alive on this earth, why would GOD want earthly kings to force people to bow to the throne of Jesus? I don't believe GOD would want anyone to force another human being to believe.
Also, you say, America rejected the rule of GOD, but that is not true at all; we have freedom of religion in this country and people are free to believe as they wish, which I think lends itself to the idea of free will. The American government has not imposed any religious beliefs on the American people, nor have they tried to suppress the people's right to believe in GOD. I'm perplexed by this whole notion, as I think the fact that a vast majority of American believe in GOD is more important than anything our government does. Ted, I really do not believe that GOD would punish an entire nation just for the acts of it's government, especially when a vast majority of those people believe in him.
Please let me know your thoughts. PS
Everything I have written is based on free will. The nations had free will to embrace Christ and they did. They also had free will to renounce that embrace and reject Him. They have now done that as well. On those grounds alone, Jesus said, the judgment will be based:
"On these grounds is the sentence pronounced: that though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds are evil." (John 3:19).
We have free will to embrace salvation or reject it. We do not have free will to thwart God's ultimate plan.
The difference between Christianity and all the other religions of the world is that the path of Christ is based on holiness. Period. The religion part is one thing. But God saves only those who obey Christ's commands. The Jews had a marvelous theology when Jesus arrived among them. What they did not have were the principals of love, compassion and mercy that open the gates to eternal life. What they were missing were the keys to the kingdom. Consequently everyone was rushing off to judgment. The offical embrace of Christ by the international community did not change that reality, but it did change the competitive environment by making the theology part fit the divine message.
That was important because there is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ.
God's purpose in sending Jesus to the earth was not to establish a world kingdom but to examine the human race to find the missing children of God i.e., the lost children of Israel that Satan took captive. God has no desire to make them believe, only to find those who want to believe and show them the path home.
"Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind." (Jn.18:36)
What the nations accomplished in their embrace of Christ was to create a fertile environment to facilitate that search, i.e., to insure an environment not hostile to Jesus so that the path to salvation be eased. Otherwise the temptations of Satan would soon become too enticing and powerful for many to resist. As it is, Jesus said the world in its rejection of Christ's rule will be able to develop lures so potent that God will have to cut its life short, otherwise no one could be saved.
"And if that time had not been shortened, no one would have survived; but shortened that time shall be, for the sake of those who are chosen." (Mat.24:22).
That's it in a nutshell.
There is a huge difference between going to church (or belonging to a church) and the obedience of God. The harvest remains random. The nations that carried the cross of Christ across the world had no power over the harvest. God simply made it easier through them for His people to hear His voice in a climate conducive for them to make their escape.
"Go away, go away, leave that place, touch nothing unclean. Get out of her, purify yourselves, you who carry the vessels of the Lord. But you are not to hurry away, you are not to leave like fugitives. No the Lord will go in front of you, and the God of Israel will be your rear-guard." (Is.52:11-12).
Through those believing nations, God made certain that our ability to escape Satan's net would not be derailed until its time.
You are absolutely correct that a great many Americans still believe in God. Remember, Isaiah said that those in the lands across the sea would still be worshipping God when He makes His final decision to bring the world to an end.
"They lift up their voices, singing for joy; they acclaim the majesty of God from the sea. Therefore in the islands they give glory to the Lord, in the islands of the sea, to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. From remotest earth we hear songs, 'Honor to the upright one'. But 'Enough, enough!' I say. 'Woe to the traitors who betray, to the traitors who treacherously betray!' Terror, the pit, the snare for you, inhabitants of the earth..." (Is.24:14-18).
"Thus the laboring of the peoples comes to nothiing, the toiling of the nations ends in fire" (Jer.51:58).
What the nations have rejected is the rule of CHRIST. They have changed their minds about Jesus per se. They no longer want God's appointed King to rule over them . We were the last major nation on earth still dedicated to Christ, and it has only been a short time since the Supreme Court announced its decision here. That decision has been met with fierce opposition by those still schooled in the moralities of the past. And it is that opposition you see.
There is a new schooling, however, in progress, just as there was in Europe many decades ago when the same promises you voice were echoed. The cathedrals in Europe today stand empty. Only tourists inhabit them. Less than 5% of Scandinavians attend church services. There are more Muslims in synagogues in Britain than there are Christians there in churches. Similar figures can be found throughout Europe and Asia. In Africa Christians are being massacred in huge numbers by Muslim Arabs, and the entire Middle East is embroiled in the flames of a religious war pitting East against West.
If we ignore all of this, there still remains the prophecy of Paul (2 Thes.2:3-12). Ignore that and there still remain the voices of all the others sent by God to warn us of the times ahead.
It is not the governments that are leading the people to punishment. It is the world's embrace of Satan. All the governments have done is to remove the blockades that used to be in place to try to impede Satan's efforts.
Pornography is now legal in America. There is an active erotic movie industry legally making and pouring out vast quantities of obscene sexually explicit films from Hollywood. Pornographic images literally scream at us out of the internet. Legalized gambling is the fastest growing industry in the United States. Homosexuality has been publicly embraced and sanctioned. Adulterous gay "bath houses" legally dot our residential communities. Our public schools (grammar schools in fact) mandate focus classes designed to facilitate public acceptance of these and other changes in the community culture. Mention of the word "God" in those same forums is forbidden. The word "Christmas" has been replaced by the word "holiday". All this since 1963. And there is much more, but, even with everything added, it is still just the start.
At least, that is what the prophecies tell us.
Unless we change course.
One more thing. There was a massive conversion of the people of the world to Jesus in Christianity's first 300 years. It was that populous victory by Christ that caused the Roman emperors to issue their decrees in His favor. Those edicts verified free will. Even so, God had to lock Satan in the Abyss in order for that conversion to maintain its steam (Rev.20:1-2). According to scripture, Satan's power of coercion is so potent (2 Thes.2:9-12) that the Revolt we now see would have happened much sooner had Satan not been overpowered by Michael and sealed in prison (Rev.20:1-3).
According to Paul, the Revolt will break Satan's chains (2 Thes.2:7) allowing him to return and severely compound the extent of the rebellion (Rv.20:7-9); so much so, in fact, that Daniel talks about his beastly prince "crushing" the power of the holy people near the end of time (Dn.12:7). God will rule against him, of course, but until the day he is actually thrown into the eternal flames (Rv.20:10), his dominion here will remain immense.
Faith in Christ powers the shield of grace. That shield of divine protection covers the people of faith and it covers the nations of faith. When the nations decided to abandon their proclamation of faith in Jesus, they dissolved the divine shield that protected them from the dominions, powers and elements that threatened to rain catastrophe down upon them.
If we have faith in God, His divine shield of protection comes over us. This is true, not just of people, but of nations as well. If we renounce our faith or let it dissipate, the energy that powers that shield also dissipates, allowing the shield to thin and evaporate. Los Angeles decided in the last 2 months to remove the cross of Christ from its county seal. A massive earthquake looms overdue only a few miles away. They could use the added protection. The United States decreed their independence from Jesus in 1963. We have been in free-fall ever since, and now an enemy East, frothing at mouth, is raging at us from the borders of a prophetic graveyard called Iraq (Jer.46:5-6). Europe and Asia announced their independence starting at the beginning of the last century. Only a grace-empowered America bailed them out of fiery oblivion. The timing of this revolution is terrible. But it does come by free will.
"So stand your ground, with truth buckled round your waist, and integrity for a breastplate, wearing for shoes on your feet the eagerness to spread the gospel of peace and always carrying the shield of faith so that you can use it to put out the burning arrows of the evil one. And then you must accept salvation from God to be your helmet and receive the word of God from the Spirit to use as a sword." (Eph. 6:14-17).
"Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his power. Put God's armor on so as to be able to resist the devil's tactics. For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the Powers who have created the darkness in this world, the spiritual army of evil in the heavens. That is why you must rely on God's armor, or you will not be able to put up any resistance when the worst happens, or have enough resources to hold your ground." (Eph. 6:10-13)
I wish to ask this, what was 911? Was 911 part of prophecy? RH
The events of 9/11 were documented in the Book of Revelation, chapter 18 (see Rev.18:9-21). The prophecy is not yet completed. The events in New York were a foretaste of Revelation's prophecy, i.e., the opening salvo in a process of world condemnation that has now begun to unfold.
(Do you speak of a war between) Muslem -vs- Christianity? RH
The war now erupting involves the final stages in the conflict between Satan and God. The people of the world are of two camps. One group belongs to Satan, the other to the Lord. The war is not a battle between Muslims and Christians; it is much broader than that. Think of the combatants like a huge army composed of many different divisions. These divisions would include secularists, pagans, people of false religions (and even those of lukewarm hearts) on one side and those committed to the principals of Christ (love, mercy, compassion and good will) on the other. These are spiritual concepts, so it is not easy to define the participants using specific labels. The East is singled out in scripture because it is an area where Christ is least accepted, and which rises up to dominate the world in the last days when paganism again flourishes.
We have yet to hear of "Wormwood"? RH
"Wormwood" is false teaching (not just a specific false teaching, but all false teaching); i.e., when the Old Testament tells us to "smite our enemy", that is wormwood. Jesus teaches the opposite. False religion is also wormwood because it is a teaching that indoctrinates great sections of the world population against Christ. The only antidote to wormwood is the Gospel of Jesus, i.e., peace, compassion and kindness to all mankind.
My other question is, is there a Meteor which scientist calls "Wormwood??" RH
As far as the meteor is concerned, there are two described in scripture. One is physical and the other spiritual. The spiritual meteor crashing onto the earth is Satan (an explosion of wormwood follows in his wake). God locked Satan in the Abyss during the era when Christ was preached worldwide (Rev.20:1-3) so that the people of the world might hear Christ's voice without impediment. When the people begin to revolt against that teaching (we can see this revolt in the world's return to secular government), Satan's chains will be removed and he will return to the earth in a rage and deceive all the nations in the four quarters of the earth (Gog and Magog) and mobilize them for war. These two events (a physical astroid crashing into Russia) and World War 1 (the world's mobilization for war) seem to have coincided around the years 1910-1914. That may be specific, i.e., both meteor's hitting at roughly the same time. Revolution and continuous world combat has followed ever since, and every nation on earth now has rejected the rule of Christ (not the people, but the nations).
The war Satan is mobilizing the nations for is called Armageddon.
There is 1 mystery of the bible that is not mentioned, when angels took humans as their lovers. What about their children? RH
That was before Noah. All the people of that era died in the flood. There were no survivors. However, remember that Satan, himself, is an angel a very important one, formerly of high station in heaven. Christ tells us his children are still among us, and that is the reason for all the warfare (John 8:39-44).
I don't want to ask a question I just have this to sayI think all you people who tout religion are all just hypocrites. J
Billy Graham once said that religion is man's search for God but Jesus is God's search for man. The difference between the two is vast. Hopefullly, with God's help, we hypocrites can bridge it.
I wonder if there is a possibility of a very quick reply to my question - i have been working through many articles in your very rich and wonderful website for some time, and there is something to which i still cannot find your answer:
if it is correct that we are living at the end of (or after) the millenium period, how do you understand the following passage;
"Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years."
the dead in the vision are said to be those who died because of their faithfulness to the Lord..and they come to life and reign with Jesus throughout the millenium, which i understand you to say began at either Jesus's birth, death or birth of the church. chronologically this is difficult to follow. PM
There are two points of view concerning this prophecy. Both relate it to a passage in the Book of Revelation that states there are two resurrections. The first brings to life a small part of the Church which reigns with God for a thousand years. The second resurrection brings to life the rest of the dead (an enormous number) at the end of that thousand years (Rv.20:5-6).
The standard view of the Church concerning this prophecy was adopted not long after Christianity was declared the official religion of the world by the Roman emperor Theodosus about 391 A.D. The 'thousand-year' prophecy encompasses that victory and the unprecedented world-reign of Christ that followed that proclamation. The western world has ruled the earth from then until now. Throughout that entire time (at least up to the 20th century) Christ ruled over every one of the western nations that ruled the earth. That reign, in itself, is seen as the millenium. Using this guage, the first resurrection has already occurred, coming at some point before the appearance of Constantine or Theodosus. There is good reason to suspect a date very close to 70 A.D. That would put the Apostles and the earliest Christians on the thrones you have cited in the passage above. The second resurrection, in this view, will occur simultaneously with Christ's Second Coming a spiritual return destined to take place at the end of time.
A far more modern view was voiced by Billy Graham and has since been adopted by many Protestants. It ignores the physical world-victory of Christ over the nations and focuses, instead, on His Second Coming. In this view, Jesus will return in physical form. In His new body, Jesus will come to the earth and take command of it in preparation for setting up here a physical earthly kingdom under His personal direction. At that moment, a "Rapture" of the "first-fruits" of the kingdom will occur. Together with Jesus the raptured community will rule the earth for a thousand years (the millenium). In this view, the first resurrection is seen as the date of Christ's return. The second resurrection will take place afer the thousand years of earthly paradise have passed.
I have shown in my writings that most prophecies in scripture seem to support the older view. Fortunately both foresee an identical outcome the victory of Christ over Satan. What kind of victory that will be remains one of the more pleasant of the mysteries surrounding God's kingdom.
The word 'millenium' means "a thousand years". As you can see, it has a slightly different connotation depending upon which one of the two views above you ascribe to. Scripture tells us a thousand years to man is like one day to God. Adding up the years of Christ's reign over the nations gives a figure much longer than a thousand years, but that is accounted for in Joshua's prophecy which states that God will stop the sun in the sky long enough to make one day into almost two:
"Is this not written in the Book of the Just? The sun stood still in the middle of the sky and delayed its setting for almost a whole day (making one day into two). There was never a day like that before or since, when God obeyed the voice of a man, for God was fighting for Israel." (Joshua 10:12-14).
Hi folk, I have a question for you. Could you tell me were some of satans angels that were thrown out of heaven homosexuals as I am sure I read this somewhere? SR
Jesus said that the angels in heaven are neither male nor female. Sexuality itself, then, should not be an issue. Conception in evil's case involves something altogether different. It has nothing to do with sex. Satan has children, but their conception comes from the spiritual dark force in the underworld. Opposite from that, the spiritual source of God's children is the Holy Spirit that comes down from heaven through Jesus.
Satan's angels were thrown out of heaven because they allowed themselves to be contaminated by evil.
If all the Angels offsprings died in Noah's flood, yet Satan's childrens are still among us, does that mean his children were concieved after the flood?? LS
In our world, yes. According to Bible prophecy, Satan took us captive and led us off to his own community (Babylon) where he has tried to hide us from God. It is out of this captivity that Jesus was sent to rescue us. This rescue is all post-flood.
Satan's other children, the pre-flood captives, had to be rescued another way. Peter tells us that Jesus had to go to them separately because they are being housed on the other side of the flood, in the Abyss. According to Peter, Jesus went to preach to them after His crucifixion during the three days He was in the tomb (1 Peter 3:19-20).
How soon will happen those things you write about? GS
The circumstances of the 20th century show that we are already almost a hundred years into the tribulation.
We live in a time where prophecy is being fulfilled almost on a daily basis. Events that were foreseen in the Bible thousands of years ago are occurring with unprecedented frequency. The current age of prophecy is exceeded only by the period of Messianic fervor that swept Jerusalem during the 150 years that surrounded Jesus.
The current era of prophecy fulfillment began about 1895. Since then an enormous series of events have erupted all around us. Up to this point the explosive outpouring of prophesied events has involved a period of about 110 years.
These two events, the era of Messianic anticipation encompassing the time of Christ and the current torrent of events are closely related. The first saw Christ make His initial appearance on earth. In our era we are observing the events surrounding his Second Coming.
We are witnessing the wrap-up. The return of Jesus. Wickedness is rampant all across the earth. Consider the Jewish world of Galilean time. In those days the entire population attended syanaogue every week. Every Jewish citizen made prilgrimmages to the temple in Jerusalem no matter where on earth they lived. They tithed regularly, giving ten perscent of their income to the priests, stuctured their daily lives around scripture and followed strict religious codes assiduously. And yet Christ came and renounced their behaviour in catastrophic terms
What about now? Are we better? The Jewish people of Christ's time would have been appalled at our license: our pornograhy and cursing and carousing, our open embrace of sexual deviance and our relegation of church to society's fringes. We have passed so far beyond their level of sinfulness there is no comparison. We have gone far past the point of critical mass as far as sin and its relation to divine retribution is concerned.
That is why God is now arranging everything for His reappearance and the great judgment that comes with it. He is bringing all the people of the earth to trial.
This is what we see when we look around us...everything being rearranged to fit into accordance with prophecy. Jesus said God has ordained that scripture must be fulfilled, even down to its smallest sentences. In this respect, it is written that
"Nations will take them and lead them to the place they came from..." (Is.14:2).
This prediction tells us that in the time of Christ, the nations of the world will order their populations to serve Jesus, an action that will lead their people toward heaven, their real home.
I receive mail regularly, arguing in favor of separation of church and state. Yet this prophecy is just one of hundreds in scripture that show God's active role in support of an opposite outcome. It was God's will that earthly kings order their subjects to follow Christ. The world's nations and people have always been free to choose otherwise, but for almost 2000 years, few did. That is not to say they all obeyed the Gospel or lived according to the path they outwardly proclaimed (a great many didn't), but there were very few dissenters in the western world as far as national Christianstate unity was concerned. Now that has all changed.
Today we have entered a new era of prophecy a time of revolt and Judgment. History has shown that the revolt started with the kings themselves when they rescinded their earlier orders that their people follow Jesus. The roadsigns they had formerly erected that pointed the Way their citizens should go were all torn down. The people were abandoned to go any way they pleased. And they have, scattering to the four winds.
It wasn't like that in the beginning.
When Christ first came, he was a flame that ignited the entire world in fire.
"The light of Israel will become a fire and its Holy One a flame burning and devouring thorns and briars in a single day." (Is.10:17).
That single day is the Day of Atonement, the thousand-year day of God on earth, the Sonlight of which has been expanded to shine for almost two days (almost 2000 years) in accordance with the prophecy of Joshua (Josh 10:12-14).
Before the Messiah appeared, this quotation anticipated His epiphany in the Old Testament:
"Watchman, what time of night? The watchman answers, 'Morning is coming, then night again." (Is.21:12)
The morning came when Jesus appeared, and it brought a daylight that lit up the world.
"I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; he will have the light of life." (John 8:12)
"Work while you still have the day, night is coming when no one can work". (Jn.9:4). ('Morning is coming, then night again.")
"I tell you most solemnly, I am the gate of the sheepfold. All others who have come are thieves and brigands; but the sheep took no notice of them. I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture." (John 10:7-9).
When the day of Christ comes to an end, night will return. When night returns, the violence it brings will tear the gate apart.
"The gate is smashed to pieces; and so it will be on earth, among the peoples...when the grape harvest is over." (Is.24:12-13).
When will that happen? In his very next sentence Isaiah tell us:
"They lift up their voices, singing for joy; they acclaim the majesty of the Lord from the sea. Therefore in the islands they give glory to the Lord in the islands of the sea, to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. From remotest earth we hear songs, 'Honor to the upright one'. But 'Enough, enough!' I say. 'Woe to the traitors who betray, to the traitors who treacherously betray!' Terror, the pit, the snare for you, inhabitants of the earth..." (Is. 24:14-18).
The daylight of Jesus is disappearing before our eyes. It is still strong here in the islands of the sea, but that is precisely what the prophecies predicted concerning the path of its fade.
What of the rest of the world? That is the reason for all the prophecy taking place now. God is staging the world for His return. The thrid day, the day scripture has defined for God's return occurred in full view on January 1st of 2001. That passage from one millenium to another means it is now dusk, and into its advancing gloom is quietly receding the light of God on earth. Slowly, it is ebbing down to candlepower. As more and more people fall away, deafened by the cacophany from other gods, any slight breeze can extinguish it completely.
That's how it goes - it is written that the light will flicker out in shadows.
Night is the time of pit and snarethe world put to the test and failing. Jesus told His people, "Your duty is to go out and proclaim the kingdom of God to all the world!" What kind of gods have power to thwart that ordination and quiet the divine thunder it commands? Constitutions and govenment decrees? Divided loyalties? Objections from the captains of industry? Pagan idealogies? The sensibilities of Christ's opposition? What are the factors that now drive so many Christian apologists into hiding and there only in that dark closet to quietly mouth an embarrased whisper in support of Jesus?
When Paul heard the roar of the lion, did he cave in, look for excuses or run in fear?
Paul met this very circumstance - we read of it in the Acts of the Apostles and in his letters. He did not acquiesce. In the face of the prince of this world's bombast, Paul shouted all the louder. He was let down out of one city in a bucket dangling from the top of the city wall. He was scourged and beaten and excoriated for his preaching by hostile city fathers. And yet his unsolicited proclamations continued. Loud and clear and for as long as he lived he announced Jesus to an antagonistic world steeped in sin and not unlike our own.
What we can be certain of is this. Scripture's prophecies will continue to unfold hour by hour and day by day in full view of a disbelieving people and few will even take notice of it or realize just how vast is the prophecy unfolding before the spiritual cataracts that veil their eyes. And then, suddenly, in the sky a sign will appear that all will seeand when it does, prophecy itself will end, blending instantly into an everlasting triumph of righteousness.
When that day arrives, everyone who put their faith in Christ and followed in His footsteps will be raised into eternal life, The wicked will be raised, too, but only to overwhelming grief and regret for failing to heed the many warnings they ignored. The righteous will be led into Christ's new everlasting kingdom. The wicked will perish.
In some places you say that the worship of Jesus is still strong and then you write that the tribulation started a hundred years ago. I thought the tribulation came when people stopped worshipping God. How can both be possible at the same time? Please clarify!! JA
Think of it like a movie sequence in which one scene begins to fade out while another sequence can be seen fading in over the top of it so that for a brief time both images are on the screen at the same time simultaneously. Remember, Isaiah has prophesied that, in the islands of the sea, they will still be worshipping God when He strikes the earth to bring down disaster on all mankind (Is.24:14-18; Jer.45:4-5).
Tell me about the Parthians. We are studying the Book of Revelation at church and they were mentioned in our discussion. NN
There is only one verse in scripture that may pertain to Parthians specifically. That is not clear because the verse is contained in a text of deep symbolism in the Book of Revelation concerning the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. We do know for certain, however, that the Parthians were a serious factor in the minds of the earliest Christians with respect to their thoughts about the last days.
Those thoughts did not come from Bible prophecy; they came from the Holy Spirit, who informed them that the Parthians related to many of the prophecies concerning the "kings of the East" that were to conquer the earth in the last days.
In that respect, the Parthian connection comes to the modern stage, because it is another issue that revolves around the two wars pitting West against East at the Euphrates river. Those two wars, both predicted by Daniel, delineate the earliest circumstances in his list of events marking the timetable for the End.
If our wars today are, indeed, the battles Daniel was discussing, then the Parthian's of vision have arrived, because both of those wars have occurred within the last 13 years. The fact that they were both fought and won by western troops that crossed the entire earth without touching the ground (exactly as Daniel had forecast) is a strong positive indicator that those two wars and Daniel's vision are related (Dan.8:5).
A second prophecy, detailing the establishment of western bases in a line of defense separating East from West at the banks of the Euphrates river has also now just about been fulfilled (see Jeremiah 46:1-2). It, too, relates to the Parthians, for it is across this line and this river that the invasion of the kings of the East is to take place according to scripture (Rev. 9:14-15).
In close association with these events, Daniel foresees the appearance of a military figure much like Alexander the Great, rising up to lead a western crusade against the forces of the East (Dan. 8:5). His prophetic connection with those two wars is quite evident in the Bible.
In history's documentation of the exploits of the original Alexander 2500 years ago, he is shown moving western forces from the Balkans through Iraq to the borders of India, a route of conquest virtually identical to boundaries repeated by American forces in modern times under President Bush.
According to Daniel, just like the former figure, at the height of his reign, and still in his youth, the Alexander of prophecy will come to a sudden end (Dan. 8:8). In the original Alexander's case, that end occurred in Iraq.
In the wake of that unexpected catastrophe, Daniel tells us the global power of the western world will disintegrate, scattered to the four winds. Out of that scattering, vastly different powers are to emergenone like the one that passed away (Dan.10:4).
The smallest of these new powers will rise into an enormous world force that consists of ten independent nations (Dan.7:7), which in aggregate, project an image reminiscent of the Parthians of Roman times.
The Parthians were a people that came down originally from the Steppes of Asia (i.e., from an area which today encompasses the "stans"Khazakstan, Ubekestan, Afghanistan, etc) to finally settle in the lands of Media and Persia (i.e., Iraq & Iran). Positioned as they are in Iraq and Afghanistan, our military forces stand today in lands controlled and fought over in Roman times by the Parthians. Our opponents there are composed of Parthian descendents.
These people were greatly feared by the Romans. They were, in fact, the only combatants in ancient times able to destroy an entire Roman legion at the height of its power (they wiped out the army of Crassus, the Roman general who had earlier crushed the Spartacus slave rebellion). Superb archers, the Parthian specialty of warfare consisted of firing with deadly accuracy fusilades of arrows at their opponents.
If the Parthians of prophecy have a like capability, their "arrows" are sure to take a more modern form, i.e., rockets and missles.
A key maneuver employed by the Parthian cavalry in battle involved feigning defeat by retreating, thus luring their over-confident opponents into deadly ambush from which no escape was possible. The grisly Iraqi counterattack against unprepared American forces preparing to mop up in the current Gulf War is a classic example of such a "Parthian shot", the rocket grenades in today's fighting simulating the 'arrows' of their ancestors.
From the phrase 'Parthian shot' has been culled the more familiar phrase 'parting shot', and certainly in Iraq we are witnessing one form of it or the other; in either case, the Parthian connection remains firmly established.
The stories of Parthian prowess in battle were so compelling that the people of Rome during Nero's time harbored a deep sense of foreboding about these eastern warriors. So vicious were they and so malignant was Nero their own emperor, that when Nero died, a rumor swept throughout Rome that he would come back to life again, but this time in Parthia, not Rome. Amassing there a great Parthian army, the prediction asserts, he will then lead the East to Rome in conquest, returning himself to its throne, and erecting from it a regime far more sinister than anything previous.
So widespread was this nightmarish vision it pervaded early Christian prophecy and has persisted within it to the present day as an advance visage of a key circumstance in the life of the Beast called 666. Most ancient Christian scholars, noting the bow in the rider's hand, considered Revelation 6:2 a prophecy backing up their anticipation of the expected Parthian invasion.
A close examination of Daniel's vision concerning the ten-nation confederacy itself, tells us that when that affiliation of nations reaches a certain level of maturity, a leader will arise within it who combines all of its troops, launching them unexpectedly in a swift and enormously successful invasion of the west across the Euphrates river (Jer. 46:6-10; Rev.16:12). The global extent of the victorious march of these troops following this invasion will change the entire world, shifting its rule from West to East (Dan.11:13-18).
The conquering hero leading all of those eastern forces will later be replaced, first by a short-lived extortioner, and then by the Beast himself (Dan.11:20-21). It is at that point that the wedding between the Parthian cavalry and the reincarnated Nero-figure is to take place, and all the prophecies concerning the malignancy of satan's regime come into clear focus as his chosen Rebel murderously navigates the world toward the battlefield of Armageddon.
If Daniel's prophecies are to be believed, all of this will follow in the wake of the sudden fragmentation of western global power, shattered by the unexpected extinction of the military commander on whose shoulders it all rests. According to Jeremiah, it is that single catastrophe which will be God's proof to the world of scripture's veracity concerning all that is written about what is to follow (Jer. 44:29-30).
According to Daniel, the collapse of the unity of western global power associated with the fall of the Alexander-like figure will occur in close association with the wars at the Euphrates. One will follow closely on the heels of the other (Dan.8:5-8).
With those two wars now ebbing toward history, it is fair to assume all of this is not that far away.
That proximity serves as a firm reminder of the pressing need for quickly turning from worldy pursuits to those dictated by Christ. That is the only pathway that leads to salvation. Every other endeavor leads to disaster. No one should wait, because soon it will be too late and the door will be locked.
Prophecy tells us these things are sure to happen, and soon! According to scripture, Jesus is going to appear in all of our lives suddenly when we least expect it. It is imperative His Appearance not find us chasing after money instead of walking quietly in the footsteps of God.
I wondered, as you mentioned Fatima, what your opinion is about, (and the relevance of), Marys appearance at Mudugorje. I enjoy reading your website. RK
I hadn't thought much about Medjugorje.
We know through faith that all the prophecies structured in scripture will come true. The only variable being God's timetable. But prophecy outside of scripture becomes important only in retrospect, after it has been born out. In terms of Fatima, the prophecies were extraordinary. There were only three. All three were not only fulfilled, but fulfilled in sequence. More extraordinary, an office of the Catholic Church tried for years to hide the last prophecy because of its sensitive nature in relation to itself. Discovering that church authorities had been sitting on the last Fatima prophecy for over 40 years, the current Pope ordered it released to the public in May of 2000. Owing to all this, there is a metonymic quality to Fatima that is almost biblical.
In terms of Medjugorje (the 1981 visions) I can remember only three prophecies of note. The first was that something of enormous significance was about to happen in the vicinity where the visions were occurring (the Balkans). Second, that Russia would convert from communism back to Christ, and third, in her words, these visions constituted the Virgin Mary's last appearance on earth before the End occurred and her son, Jesus returned in glory.
As I look back on it now, something extraordinary did, indeed, happen in that vicinity, and its impact, though enormous even then, is reverberating in the world much more loudly today.
A few years after the vision, the communist government in Yugoslavia collapsed and was replaced by a chaotic sequence of civil wars that ripped the country to shreds. Words pertaining to these events are etched in our memories, "Slovenia", "Kosovo", "Bosnia-Herzogovia", "Serbia", "Sarajevo", etc. The Balkans had spiraled into all-out war.
The violent affair threatened to precipitate World War III and was so incindiary that the entire western world mobilized to stop it. NATO sent a 60,000-man army, including 20,000 American soldiers into the fray. Round-the-clock bombing began. Three-quarters of a million Albanian Muslim refugees were forced to flee across the borders from Kosovo as Serbian troops engaged in a furious campaign of genocide and ethinic cleansing. It was the first East versus West warfare to erupt pitting Christians against Muslims in a major way since the Crusades of the early Middle Ages. Not only did it signal everything that has followed, it spawned a new war-like militancy in Muslim fundamentalism, producing Al Queda, the Taliban of Afghanistan and the terrorist training camps now so familiar to us in that country. Sadly, America actually trained these Muslim terrorists and armed them in their battles against Serbia and Russia.
Not only was this the first major warfare pitting Christian against Muslim, it saw the initiation of war in the Balkans, the first step in the modern-world's replication of the footsteps of Alexander the Great who, 2500 years earlier, had led his forces from the Balkans to the borders of India. It began the world's route into the mess we find ourselves in today. Four years after those visions started, the first Gulf War erupted. That was the first event in the sequence of Daniel's prophecies pertaining to the chronology of the end-times.
The flames ignited in the Balkans have grown from a spark into a roaring fire no one knows now how to extinguish. In the aftermath of the second Gulf War, those renegade Muslim fighters, first trained for battle in the Balkans are now streaming into Iraq where their destabilization of the country and, indeed, the entire Muslim world threaten consequences more grave than anyone can imagine.
I would say in light of all this that the vision was correct: something big did happen there, right on the heels of the prophecy. The Balkans is where it all started.
In 1992, ten years after the Medjugorje visions began, communism in Russia unexpectedly and suddenly collapsed and evaporated. Completing the prophecy, Russia's conversion back to Christ became world-evident when the city of Leningrad was returned to its original name, Saint Petersburg.
If we accept that the Medjugorje prophecies are true, then we must also accept the fact that the world will never again witness a visit from the Virgin Mary and that any future vision purporting to come from her will be false. That is a very important revelation because scripture tells us the last days will be filled with false visions. The Medjugorje prophecy puts to rest the notion that any of these can claim a Marion source.
The fact that she told her young witnesses that this was the last vision before the end of the world indicates the proximity of that event as well, a fact which puts into some persepective all the events we have seen transpire since those visions first took place.
My question is about ghosts and halloween Are ghosts real? Can they haunt houses and do things like that? JH
Not in the classic sense of dead people wandering about in the spiritual realm with the ability to manifest themselves in various physical ways.
Jesus said in very clear terms that could not happen. He taught in Luke 16:31, in talking about Lazarus and the rich man, that a vast chasm separated the dead from the living and no one could cross it in either direction:
"My son," Abraham replied..."between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to stop anyone, if he wanted to, crossing from our side to yours, and to stop any crossing from your side to ours."
We can see in this passage that contact between life and death is impossible. It is made impossible by an impassable barrier fixed in place by God. We can also see in this and other passages in scripture that there is a spiritual realm with a life-form in it different from that of biological life.
While we live in a world of biological life, the angels, God and even Satan live in a form of life that is spirit.
The ability to communicate across the barrier that divides these two realms is limited to specific guidelines imposed by the creator, who is master of both spiritual as well as biological life. Jesus defined those guidelines and taught us the ways we can determine their impact on our lives.
They are defined in terms of good and evil.
The spiritual good is brought to us by the Holy Spirit and the angels under His personal direction. The spiritual evil is brought by Satan and his angels. It is the conflict between these two competing powers that defines the entire universe and everything that is in it. These two spiritual powers, one good, the other evil, are competing for control of our souls.
For a time God put a set of locks on Satan's ability to deceive the world, tempering his power in order to make it easier for people to follow Christ. That period of temperance is the age of the Church the age of its worldwide victory. It began when Satan was locked up and, according to Paul, will end in a Great Revolt (now in progress) that returns the world to godlessness.
The visual manifestation of the Church's victory were the proclamations of Theodosus and Galerius in the fourth century A.D., but the true age of the Church and its victory began long before that perhaps about 70 A.D. when Satan was chained in the Abyss. We can see a reflection of those chains in the four angels the Book of Revelation shows to be chained at the River Euphrates. As it states, those chains are to be unlocked at the time of the End. All the violent activity now in progress at that river today indicates an end not too distant from current events.
Why was Satan locked up? None of us would be following or listening to Christ today if we were born into a Muslim, pagan or other forced belief community. It was done to prevent Satan from engineering an environment manifestly hostile to Jesus. God secured Satan in order to keep his hostile forces at bay long enough to allow the harvest to take place.
Halloween actually reflects an allegory of the spiritual dark force in the universe. But it doesn't manifest itself to us in the form of ghosts or goblins. Actually, the day to day interraction of satanic elements on our life can be cataloged by known and visible forms that constitute what we term ordinary life. Instead of being spooky, they are familiar, known, enticing, seen daily and seem to be acceptable protocols of ordinary living (at least by Babylon's standards). They do not come to us in Halloween terms. We rarely even see them as satanic. Yet, their impact on us can be even more catastrophic than a child's worst nightmare. They have the power to kill us.
Jesus, then, came down into a world living in a constant state of Halloween to get us out of it. Not out of a world of jack-o-lanterns and costumes, but out of a world of sin.
What are these processes of evil, these spectres of Satan that attempt to entrap us, convert us and make us servants of the devil? They are the ones Jesus warned about all the impulses that tempt us to commit sin. We can see them acted upon in hatred, greed, anger, thievery, adultery, larceny, murder, and so on. Even, Jesus warned, in the ordinary cares and tribulations of normal life (Mat.13:22).
In pointing us to the road that protects us from these dark forces and leads to God's kingdom and eternal life, Jesus commanded us to love our enemies, to love our friends and neighbors and do good to all mankind. He told us to love and forgive everyone. He told us to be compassionate, gentle and kind and to give freely to the poor. These actions constitute the antidote to satanism. They are God's mechanism for lifting us out of this Halloween world, breaking the hypnotic spell of Satan's hold over our minds and freeing us from his grasp so that we can escape and live forever.
In the 2004 national election, Christians can take heart in the return of morality as a real issue in American politics. Even so, we should remember that while one party feeds the poor, but disses morality; the other party talks about putting morality back in government while supporting the gambling and tobacco industries, the corporate lobby, and wealth only to the rich . That is why there is but mixed help for us in the political theatre. They give and take away in the same hand. Look either way and there is Babylon. That is why our compass has to be set on Jesus and the Gospel, not politics.
We needn't worry though, because God is directing the politics. Remember, the world is on tribulation road. We are on a tractor beam to everything prophecy has announced. That means God has to personally authorize every move the major politicians try to take these days. Some moves He allows and others He doesn't. We cannot be certain particular events He authorizes are in the country's best interests, but we can rest assured they are for the benefit of the Children of God and are always in their best interest.
There was an image once in a movie where a woman, her house a shambles the wreckage from a violent eveent took a small vase still unbroken and, brushing off some dust of plaster from a windowsill, placed it there, a single red rose arching up from the vase into the sunlight. We have to start somewhere trying to put our national house back in order putting God back in our constitution. As far as starts go, this was a very important one given the decades of religious decline that have preceded it.
Why do you say there are only 7 true churches. Which ones are they? MW
Prophecy describes a multiplicity of churches in the days of the new covenant. The figure it uses to describe this vast abundance is the number 7. In biblical times that was a symbolic reference used to describe perfection or completion. Seven is a symbolic number that encompasses the entire structure of the Church the Holy Spirit has built on the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is obvious when we look around that there are hundreds of denominations of churches (if not thousands), all different, but all putting forth a faith based on the very same Saviour.
Prophecy in the Old Testament compares the Church to a holy candlestick called the 'Menorrah'. Scripture describes it as having 7 arms, one in the center and three at each side, but all the same height and all beaten out of the very same piece of gold. The symbolism indicates that even though one is in the center, they all have equal authority on earth and the single piece of gold indicates that they are all formed by the same Holy Spirit dwelling within them. Each has its own purpose, a function defined and directed by the Spirit of God.
The Book of Revelation shows, in its admonition to the 7 churches that most of these churches have a mixture of admirable and not-so-admirable qualities, and each is encouraged to return to its core to the Gospel of Jesus, the Word of God.
There are 7 gates leading into the city of Jerusalem. It is instructive to think of those seven gates as the seven churches. Jerusalem itself can be considered to be Christianity. The multiplicity of churches in Christ all lead into the Christian faith. But once inside the city we discover two more doors. One leads into the Temple (to Christ) and the other into the Sanhedrin. The Gospel is on one side and the traditions of the churches on the other.
This is what separates the people of God. Some focus on Christ, others on theology and its traditions, the latter differing church by church. Once inside the city, some go to the Temple, others to the Sanhedrin.
Laws and traditions are all the varied rules and regulations of the churches: no dancing, no singing, no alcohol, no smoking, encouraged racial distinctions, hatred for this or that group, genuflecting, eating fish on friday, dress codes, focusing on the varied opinions of ministers, teachers and scholars, etc., ad infinitum.
Jesus said that "many are called, but few are chosen". That is a flashing red light inside the city of Christianity. It tells us that eternal life does not come from the Sanhedrin. There is no eternal life in the Old Testament and there is no eternal life in the regulations and memory verses put forth by those who occupy the honored seats or don the ecclesiastical robes of ministerial authority. There is no salvation in the Law.
Eternal life comes only from Jesus Christ. Anyone who wants to live forever must come to Jesus Christ through obedience to His Gospel. The door to life is Christ. It is as simple as that. The churches only bring those who are lost to the city. But eternal life is not in the city itself. It is in the Temple which is Christ Jesus.
Follow the Gospel.
I was reading one of your questions where you said that the false prophet will appear at the time of the end after Satan has been released from the Abyss. But when I read it in the Book of Revelations, it says that Satan was locked in the Abyss AFTER the beast and false prophet had been committed to the eternal flames. How could the beast and false prophet come back after Satan is released if they had already been thrown into the burning lake of sulphur before he was even locked up? How do you resolve this discrepancy? DP
If we consider Nero, a focal point of the Book of Revelation, to be the beast in question, most certainly he has already been committed to the flames.
The same is true of the False Prophet . If we consider Baal and Bel, the symbolic twin horns of the pagan bull to be the false prophet of the ancient world in the Old Testament, then we can consider that, too, vanquished by the sword of Christ. Those two horns, the gods of Canaan and Babylon, can easily be considered symbolic representations of the idolatry of the Israelites exhibited by their worship of the golden calf at Sinai. All are now gone
But what they symbolize, remains. And remember, Christian prophecy tells us that the "mortal wound" Christ dealt to the beast will heal at the time of the end.
Prophecy tells us that the Beast (wickedness) has 7 heads. The "head" in existance at the time of Christ's appearance was the 6th. Church scholars and prophets have ascertained that the sixth "head" represents the pagan Roman Empire and its Arch-emperor Nero. Those two were both destroyed, but their slaying still left two more "heads" in the wings waiting to make their appearance on history's stage, i.e., the 7th and 8th.
Obviously, the Beast could not be dead if two of his heads still remained alive. This is why scripture calls the blow struck by Christ, a "mortal wound". The Beast could not survive Christ's blow, but, like Satan, his death was not altogether immediate.
Six heads of the Beast have died but two heads remain. It is these two heads that Satan uses to mobilize the world for war after he is freed from his prison in the Abyss. Paul has written in 2nd Thessalonians that Satan was being held back by God from appearing openly on earth. That bondage has remained in effect throughout the period of Christian rule on earth even longer for almost 2000 years in fact.
According to Paul, there has been rebellion all through the period of Satan's incarceration, but it has been going on in secret, and the one who has been holding it back has first to be removed before Satan's Rebellious Madman (the 8th head) can appear openly on earth (2 Thes. 2:6).
The one holding the Rebel back is the great bishop who has been installed by God to rule over the communion sacrifice (the perpetual sacrifice described by Daniel). When he is removed and abomination placed on Christ's sacrifice, the Rebel will be openly seen by all (2 Thes.2:7; Dan.8:11-12).
The bondage of Satan in the Abyss relates also to the bondage of the angels at the river Euphrates (Rev.9:14-15). All of these things are related. They all revolve around the millenium of Christian rule in the world that is now ending, brought down by the current secular revolt now sweeping across the world.
I am surprised by...the rapid growth of the evangelical movement in America. What does it mean and is it mentioned anywhere in prophecy? What do you think about this? LS
All things work to good in the lives of those who support God.
Fundamentalism is a response to a threat. It's rise relates to the age, suggesting that the final war against Chritianity has now begun. These are the war-troops of God. Not in the sense of physical battle, but spiritual warfare. A similar group of politically vocal Christians rose up at the time of the Apostles durng the days that led into the catacombs. Steven is a perfect example.
There is much talk these days about this religious right, especially since they proved to be such a powerful force in the latest presidential elections. There is great hand-wringing and concern that the constitution of the nation has been put into jeapordy by what appears to be a powerful maverick church organization standing apart from traditional Christianity. They see in this new institution a right-wing political power poised not just to roll back Roe vs.Wade, but ready to undo even the separation of church and state rulings that have sent such shock waves rolling across our land since 1963.
Many call this sudden move to morality a freakish aberration, as they do those who are pushing for it.
Is it, and are they?
The fact is, the true aberration happened just 41 years ago in November of 1963 when the Supreme Court dissolved a 200-year relationship with God that this nation had enjoyed without exception since its foundation. Since then, the forces that hate God have used that decision to declare all-out war on Christianity in every part of this country.
Their animosity and power have spilled godlessness far beyond the confines of political boundaries. God has been excised from the newspapers, the magazines, the airways and television, even from the national songs of our society in a bizarre exercise of political correctness that has enlarged the court's directive into a dictum for separating God from virtually all public and corporate view.
In some districts, before 9/11, teachers and secretaries were forbidden to wear crosses to work. Even the word 'Christmas' has been abolished in favor of the secular word 'holiday'. The changes have been dramatic. In the moral vacuum that has resulted from this expunging, a grotesque hedonistic, sexual and godless immorality unlike anything ever seen here before or even imagined has swept over our country.
The very nature of Christianity, its peacefulness and gentleness, marked by turning the other cheek has allowd this arrogant force to commandeer the constitution to its godless purposes with barely a whisper of protest. That recent godless overthrow of the past order is the true aberration that has swept America, and any studied view of American history can confirm it.
The only way this godless movement can ever be slowed or turned around is through the very processes that brought it into being in the first place. That is through political power. What we have seen in the current election is a political movement whose purpose is to bring the country back to the balance of compromise that existed in this nation before 1963. Those carrying this banner may differ in many ways from the traditional character of a Christianity many of us are familiar with from childhood, but no one should dismiss them without paying close attention to the issue they raise on behalf of every Christian in this United States.
It is astonishing that few adults alive today can even remember the "normality" that constituted life in this country in the years before 1960. It can be seen in all the old movies. It can be heard in all the old songs. It can be viewed in countless photographs, drawings and paintings. There were problems to be sure, but there was God. That is the way life always was in this government before1963 when the sudden abnormality of today's status quo swept itself into power.
Since the world is in revolt against Jesus, and that very revolt was prophesied by Paul in scripture, the roll back to those halcyon days will probably never fully be realized. We cannot expect to see the return of Nativity plays to our public schools or Christmas banners and displays in every town and city, or Ten Commandment plaques in the public squares or Creche's on park lands. But perhaps enough of a compromise can be achieved so that the United States can, indeed, prove to be the country Isaiah predicted would still be proclaiming God when the time comes for Jesus to return (Is. 24:13-18).
If it isn't, then the alternative is the full measure of the tribulation.
To understand what that means one only has to look back at the last century, a time which constituted the opening waves of the warfare that is descending upon the world. We were spared having our cities and people bombed and strafed throughout the rigors of the 20th century because of our nation's committment to faith. Europe and Asia did not share that committment. Out of the godlessness of those countries rose the aetheistic regimes of communism, the Nazi's, the Facists and the draconian armies of the east. The results were catastrophic.
In the American election just passed, the Los Angeles Times reported that 53% of the voters were "Born-Again" Christians. Those figures constitute fundamentalists alone. It does not include the traditional Protestant churches, the Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox or Anglicans. Add those to the mix and the political power it represents has the potential to be unstoppable. With numbers like that poised to snatch from the grasp of the godless an America held in bondage to immorality, it seems likely that if both political parties are willing to listen to the will of this voting majority, a greater attention to righteousness will powerfully motivate our political machinery to give God the right to co-exist with our country's constitution.
This is not a question of nationalism or the support of one political party over another. It is about stemming the bleed. It is about pressing to change the atmosphere of hatred that is building up against Jesus and Christianity throughout our land perpetrated by the agents of Satan's agenda.
A moral president, a moral congress and a moral court are desperately needed. But first, we need to roll back the aberrations of this present age to a time when God was legal in this country and in its government. That is something we have prayed for. Perhaps, if the results of this last election are any measure, we have now been given the opportunity in coming elections to meaningfully vote for it as well.
Isaiah's prophecy gives us encouragement that this swing back to God will occur as written, and if that is the case, all this has, indeed, been documented in the pages of scripture.
I understand what you are saying about the beast but you did not address my specific question. If the false prophet has already been thrown into the burning lake, how can he climb back out of it in the last days? It seems to me if he hasn't come yet he can't be in the flames yet. Please answer. DP
Scripture shows there are two beasts. Both represent earthly powers Satan has raised up against the House of Israel. The first Beast is a temporal power. According to prophecy it has 7 heads, which are the seven political empires that have launched major attacks against the House of Israel. These seven are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and Germany.
The second beast (also called the "False Prophet") is different. Rather than being a temporal empire, it is a religious one. What makes it a beast is its hatred for God's people (it is the mortal enemy of the House of Israel). The second Beast is an anti-christ empire that comes in the name of religion.
It supports the first Beast because it hates the same enemy and acts the same way against it.
The ones already committed to the flames are the progenitors of those empires. The False Prophet (the one who founded the second Beast) died long ago. He is already in the flames. But the empire he founded has not yet completed its day on earth.
Karl Marx is dead but his influence on earth still lives. Hitler is dead but there are still pockets of Nazi's around. This is the way it is with the False Prophet. That is why scripture tells us he is already in the flames even though the two horns that rise up in the last day in his name, spouting his philosophy, have not yet appeared.
Scripture tells us that when Satan is released from his prison in the Abyss (see 2 Thess.2:5-7 & Rev.20:7), he will mobilize the world for war and raise those two horns up, the Gog and Magog of Armageddon. Christ will intervene, crushing their plans and hurling Satan into the flames where the Beast and False Prophet already reside.
At that moment the elements of creation will interchange their natures. Everything will be born-again. The past will be as if it never occurred and the new will replace it. Those who followed Jesus will be glorified and live forever in God's eternal paradise.
I saw (an account that) said Peter and Paul were enemies and fought each other over control of the church. Is that true? JW
No, Peter and Paul were not enemies. And there was no fight for control. Jesus personally appointed Peter the head of the Church. His appointement was permanent and it came from heaven, directly from God.
After an initial period of apostolic suspicion because of Paul's early persecution of the Church, Peter and Paul became close allies in the spread of the Christian faith across the world. Both ended up in Rome and both departed the earth the same way, crucified by Nero.
The two of them knew the mind of God better than anyone alive today. Peter had spent three years being tutored personally by Jesus. He knew the prophecies not only by the instruction of the Holy Spirit, but by the personal insight given to him by the Lord Himself. Both understood and taught continuously that anger, animosity and hatred were strictly forbidden by God. Paul's treatise on the overriding necessity of love surpasses any known writing on the subject.
Paul's manner of argument was typically Aramaic. Not dissimilar from those around him, he was combative in his speech. Instead of couching his words with apologies, bows and compromises, he spoke forthrightly and without guile. Words spoken in that manner today often appear hurtful to our modern sensibilities, but the Aramaic language encouraged such confrontational dialogue and all the Apostles were comfortable with it, having been acclimated to it from childhood. That is why today it reads harsher than it was. Jesus spoke with similar Aramaic directness, a fact that causes some today to wince at the apparent sharpness of His words as well. For instance, His command to Peter, "Satan, get thee behind me".
The famous account of Peter and Paul's differences in the Acts of the Apostles came at a critical moment when the fate of both the Hebrew Temple and the Old Testament (the Law called Torah) in terms of their authority over the people of Christ were being decided upon (Acts 15:1-31). It was a confrontational moment.
Paul knew Peter's position. He was already cognizant of the fact that Peter knew God was calling the pagans into the community of the faithful. We know this from the tenth chapter of Acts in its account of God's instruction to Peter that he baptize the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, and his family. The Holy Spirit appeared to Peter at that time, lowering a net in which all manner of food was contained and telling Peter to eat from it. Peter balked due to the Jewish dietary laws, but God told Peter, "What I have made clean no one has the right to call unclean." Peter realized then that God was cleansing Jew and Pagan alike and proceeded forthwith to obey that policy.
The critical issue lay in the responsibility of those baptised. Should they be required to keep the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) with all their strict rules and regulations? Peter at first did not think so, but under a barrage of arguments from James and other strict members of the Pharisee party, he began to waver. To pacify them, he stopped his practice of eating with non-Jews.
Paul, a scholar and Temple-trained Pharisee, realized that if the pagans had to become practicing Jews it would turn Christianity into a Jewish sect, making it subject to the very Sanhedrin which now hated Jesus. That would destroy Christianity. Worse, if Christianized Jews and Christianized pagans were allowed to pursue different courses, one obedient to the Law of Moses and the other exempt from it, the faith would be a house divided and that would cause it's collapse as well.
Paul could also see that Peter and most of the others were being swayed by the intensity of the pressure coming from James and the Pharisees.
As we can see in Galations 2:11-14, Paul was acutely aware of the division this issue was having on the Church. Obviously the problem was coming to a head when Peter visited Paul in Antioch. No doubt Paul's outburst helped drive the momentum for convening a full Council of the Apostolic Church in Jerusalem to decide the issue once and for all (Acts 15:1-31).
At that council meeting, Paul had to make Peter realize the true situation and he didn't have much time. The fate of Christianity itself hung in the balance, and this very meeting would decide the issue one way or the other for all time. Peter was the Judge. Jesus had appointed him the head of the Church. Whatever Peter decided is what it would be. Both sides knew that.
Realizing what Paul was telling him that day, and already cognizant of the vision God had given to him with respect to Cornelius, Peter sided with Paul and the decision was done. It was that fast. From that instant on, all Christians (pagans and Jews alike) were freed from the Torah, forever. The Law of Moses was tossed aside, and with it the authority of the Old Testament over Christianity.
From that moment on, faith itself, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, became the sole determinate of salvation.
At the end of the day, a perfect harmony was shown to exist between Peter and Paul. The actual antagonists, the strict Pharisitic Jewish Christians were denied their attempt to put the Law of Moses above, beside or even below the teachings of Jesus.
Peter and Paul form the spiritual and termporal powers of the Church on earth. In Christianity, Peter is the Aaron and Paul the Moses, but the authority of their roles have been reversed. Peter is the head of the Church. The reason for this is that the fellowship of Christ is a Royal Priesthood. Building upon the symbolism of the High Priest Melchizadek, Christ is a King, the King of all Kings, and those among us He chooses to join Him are brought into the royal family of God a spiritual community in heaven (Heb.7:1-3; Ps.110:4; Heb.13:10 &15-16).
If God's royal family were a temporal unit, Jesus would not have called us into churches but to meeting halls like political town councils for our gatherings. Because it is a priesthood, we are called to churches to worship, offering the kind of sacrifices that are pleasing to God mercy, justice and good faith (Heb.10:5-10; Mt.23:23).
Peter, as the spiritual head of the Church on earth, is the first priest among us in a lineage that spreads down through the entire Christian community to every Christian on the planet (1-Peter 2:9-10).. On him the rest of the Church is built. It is built the same way Peter came into it, by the sudden realization, inspired into each person by the Holy Spirit, that Jesus truly is God (Mat.16:13-20). That is the "born-again" moment that constitutes the baptism of the Holy Spirit in each of us.
It is at that moment that we are born into the freedom from the Law Peter and Paul agreed upon that momentous day in Jerusalem 2000 years ago.
To no one's surprise the issue is still very much with us today. Just as the strict Christianized Pharisees in Peter's day refused to break bread with other Christian's outside their own group, so the same circumstance exists in our own time. Christian congregations are divided by race, theology, nationality and so on. Some talk but don't break bread together; some refuse even to speak, others have dissolved into spinning vortices of hatred of one another. Sadly, Paul's authority nowadays is in print, not person, and so his warning and confrontation "to their face" has fallen on many deaf ears.
Not so with Peter, he listened.
I really enjoy your site (good work), it's lucid, as compared to many of the 'wacky' end-times sites on the internet. I stumbled on it and I'm glad I did.
Here's my first question. Recently you responded by discussing Fatima. In your discussion regarding the 'Great Revolt' and 'time of Tribulation' to come I realized that the 'Era of Peace' the Blessed Virgin Mary promised through Jesus intercession at Fatima isn't taken into account if things fall into place the way you've discussed them.
If Fatima did in fact happen, and the 'Era of Peace' does in fact come, then maybe the arrival of the 'end times' could still be a ways off. Not saying I know one way or another, just that so many thing are always inscrutable. I would be happy if the 'end times' are a ways off because I have 4 children and hope they don't have to live through those horrible times, not to mention the rest of my family, friends, and loved ones, including myself. Of course, today's world is no picnic, but whatever is God's plan, I support 100%. Someone will eventually have to live thru those times and if it's us, then may we all put our trust in God, and embrace our role with all the faith, courage, and love we can muster.
Some additional things I'd like you to discuss in relation to your understanding of the 'end times':
1. Have you heard of the Catholic prophecy surrounding the 'Great Monarch' and 'Angelic Pastor' who are to come prior to the 'end times' ? If so, could you elaborate in relation to your ideas/prophecies. The 'Great Monarch' (for your readers) is supposedly a man directly descended from the French King Pipin who will rise up to save Western Civilization during a particularly difficult time and his reign will help bring about the conversions of China, Russia, etc. The Angelic Pastor will be the Pope at this time who will rule the spiritual realm with great compassion and love. In the prophcies, these 2 men will usher in a time of great hope and love which sounds much like the 'Era of Peace' mentioned at Fatima. The prophecies surrounding the Great Monarch and the Angelic Pastor are many, and date back to the early church. Many saints have mentioned these things.
2. In fact, the prophecy surrounding the Great Monarch is that the 'end times' will come sometime after he lays down his crown in Jerusalem and people begin to forget again about God's love and laws.
3. Can you speak to the prophecy of the '3 days of darkness'. Again, a Catholic prophecy, which also has been prophesied by many holy people for centuries. As recently as St. Padre Pio (who died n 1968, and was recently canonized a Saint by Pope John Paul II) this prophecy has been supported.
4. You mention Peter and Paul as the 2 witnesses. How will they confront the Antichrist ? Will they come back to Earth ? I was under the impression the 2 witnesses will actually confront the Antichrist and he will murder them just prior to Jesus return. Also, I've read elsewhere that Elijah and Enoch (possibly Moses) were the 2 witnesses and currently are in Paradise (where Adam and Eve were) waiting to return. Supposedly the idea is that Elijah and Enoch (possibly Moses) never died and were taken to paradise to await the coming of the 'Man of Sin'.
5. Like all prophecy, only God knows the truth about these things. I realize these prophecies I mention are for the future, and I wouldn't be harmed by them happening or not happening. I'm not attached to any given prophecy except for what is for certain (Jesus return and victory). But like I mentioned, if Fatima is real, then we know an 'Era of Peace' will come, that's for certain. If Fatima isn't for real, then our promised 'Era of Peace' is out the window, and we will wait and see what comes next.
You've mentioned Fatima in past posts. In regards to your responses to these posts you never mention the 'Era of Peace' promised by the Virgin Mary. She specifically says "In the end (meaning Russia is converted, and third secret is fulfilled), my Immaculate Heart will triumph and an Era of Peace will be granted to mankind". Your prophecy predictions do not seem to elaborate on this (when you responded to previous Fatima posts).
Although the third prophecy of Fatima has finally been revealed, it has not yet taken place. The era of peace that Christ's mother promised, will follow the fulfillment of that third prophecy by approximately 3-1/2 years (if Daniel's prophecy in this regard is literal, and there is reason to suspect it may be. See Dan.12:11-13).
The third prophecy of Fatima, the assassination of the holy Bishop, will be fulfilled when scripture's "beast" (the madman) appears openly. That will occur in Rome. Concomitant with that appearance, the "Desolation Sacrilege" will be erected in the holy place. Immediately prior to that, the third prophecy of Fatima will occur (2 Thes.2:6-7).
These three events will initiate the war on the Church Lucia de los Santos foresaw in her third prophecy. It will last three and a half years. Then will come the great era of peace.
The peace Jesus' mother promised is an eternal peace that will come suddenly in the flash of Christ's return (Rev. 20:11-15 & 21:1-7). That is the day of Coronation (Dan.7:13-14; Rev.20:11-12; 21:9-10). If one accepts her appearances and prophecies as true, the fact that the children at Medjugore heard Mary tell them that she would not appear to anyone again until after that divine day had occurred suggests strongly that God's great day of Peace is not far removed from us now.
Preparing our children for the violence of the tribulation is not as hard as one might think. They are already used to dealing with these times of distress. The tribulation (Dan.12:1) has been raging on earth for at least a hundred years. Stark images of the initial violence of the wrath are broadcast daily on the History Channel. Not just our children but our parents and grandparents have had to structure their lives within it's destructive parameters. The rules of safety are still the same: follow Jesus with all our hearts and minds and bodies and stick close to the Church community.
As far as an "angelic pastor" is concerned, you don't have to look beyond the current Pope. The conversion of Russia not only occurred on his watch (Lucia's second prophecy), but he was instrumental in helping to facilitate that conversion. No Bishop in modern history has evoked such world-wide love, respect and acclaim. He has formed strong bridges, not only between diverse factions of Christianity, but also to Judaism, crushing 2000 years of Christian anti-semitism.
I am not familiar with a "Great Monarch" rising up to save western civilization at a crucial moment in history, but I can easily think of someone who fits the bill. Since the word "monarch" denotes temporal power, one need look no further than the president of the United States. America saved the world in 1941 from Japan and Hitler (and ultimately, from atomic annihilation by the Commissars of the Soviet Union). Our nation did all this at a time when the threat to western civilization was mortally dire. (The hands of the Atomic Energy scientists' "Doomsday Clock" were only seconds from striking the midnight chords of humanity's annihilation). The hostility of both China and Russia melted under the tenure of this monarch. If there is a French connection, she can be seen lifting her torch high above the waters of New York Harbor.
As far as his "laying down his crown in Jerusalem, see America's role in the rebuilding of Jerusalem per prophecy and Israel choosing to clone itself to our military structure rather than seeking the reconciliation with God ordered by scripture. In spiritual terms, Israel has turned it's back on God and "gone down to Egypt" per prophecy (Jer.42:10-18).
The glory America accrued in saving western civilization has been squandered there (a crown of glory laid down). Our current world-vilification is initmately associated with the stone-hearted politics swirling about that theatre. It has transformed the sleepy Middle East into a raging dragon.
And, of course, the world's backslide into sin following those events has been epic. The latest election results are a testament to its depth and the level of concern it has evoked.
The "days of darkness" is a theme oft mentioned in the Bible (Dan.11:44; Zeph. 1:15; Joel 43:4-5; Micah 3:5-7, etc.). John, in his Book of Revelation, discussed a dark 3-1/2 days in terms of the death of God's "two witnesses" (Rev.11). Daniel wrote extensively about 3-1/2 years of darkness stemming from the desecration of the sacrifice. These two accounts are related. Both discuss the 42 months (1260 days) that surround the darkness reported by the prophets, several of which testify that the earth will be shrouded, not just in spiritual darkness, but physical blackness as well during the last days.
Any prophecy concerning the days of darkness are certain to relate to the desecration of the "perpetual sacrifice" (Christian Communion) and the 3-1/2 years of spiritual darkness that are to follow that catastrophe (Dan.9:27; see also: Dan.8:11-12; Dan 11:31). With the sacrifice profaned and abolished, the light of Christ will cease to shine on earth for the period of time it remains desecrated, i.e., a time, two times and half a time" (Dan.12:7). This is the heart of the tribulation and during it, Christianity will not exist on earth, at least not in the way we now experience it.
Most scholars interpret the passages in Revelation11:7-13 as symbolic, identifying the two witnesses as Peter and Paul, the religious and temporal leaders of the Church on earth. These two apostles have fulfilled the roles structured for them in the Mosaic template, occupying the offices made ready for them by Aaron and Moses. In this respect, Paul is the author of most of the New Testament and Peter is the head of the Church on earth. The sackcloth they preach in is the black covering of the Bible (the book that they have authored under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit). Their confrontation with the Antichrist can be seen in the preaching of the Gospel across the world (Rev.11:1-6).
There is good reason to believe Fatima's third prophecy is strongly related to the assassination of these two witnesses, bringing to the prophecy actual events that overlie and reinforce the symbolism.
As camera's watch, their sudden resurrection and glorification point to the reward of faith, and to the return to the planet the Light of heaven that scripture has promised. Once the three-and-a-half years have passed, Jesus will return with all the angels in great glory and majesty, bringing with Him the time of peace that has been promised.
Evangelical Christians term this restoration the "Rapture", assigning to the time of peace a set framework of one-thousand years on our current planet (after which they expect Satan to briefly return before being fully extinguished). Traditional Christians, on the other hand, see the peace that follows the 3-1/2 years as eternal, with Christ rearranging all elements completely, transforming this existance into an infinite and timeless peace in a brand new heavenly city which scripture terms the "Bride".
"Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married'. In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain, and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond." (Rv.21:9-10).
"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. I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband." Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, 'You see this city? Here God lives among men." (Rev.21:1-3)
"The ban will be lifted. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in its place in the city; his servants will worship him, they will see him face to face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. It will never be night again and they will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will be shining on them. They will reign forever and ever." (Rv.22:3-5).
If the latter is accepted, the wedding feast can be expected to follow close on the heels the end of the tribulation, constituting its inaugural ceremony, ushering in a time of peace that will never end.
Can you please send me some info and possibly a map about the Euphrates river being dried up and how that relates to the end times? Some one told me that Turkey has plugged up the euphrates river so the chinese (i'm not sure about that particular country) could travel across it and start a war with Israel. I would like to know the facts about this. Thank you, MG
The theories you list stem from this quotation in the Book of Revelation:
"The sixth angel emptied his bowl over the great river Euphrates; all the water dried up so that a way was made for the kings of the East to come in." (Rev. 16:12).
Turkey, if it chose to do so, could build a dam across a major tributary of this river, but it would take several major dams to completely cut off its flow. Together, all those dams would take years to build, involve enormous expense and provoke a precipitous political crises throughout the Middle East if such projects were ever to be contemplated. A significant portion of the river flows through Syria. No efforts in that direction are in process right now.
It is more reasonable to assume a natural event such as drought.
Hopefully all this is many years away. No designation is given in scripture to the precise countries involved in the invasion. In the Bible they are simply called the "Medes". Two-thousand-year-old Church prophecies foresee a conglomeration of Middle-eastern nations symbolically called 'Parthians' led by Persia and other countries from the Steppes of Asia.
Israel will be the announced target, but the Mede's hidden agenda in this invasion will be the conquest of Europe and they will prove successful in this endeavor. Ultimately, these invading forces will subdue most of the eastern Hemisphere. Scripture tells us that, though briefly overrun, Israel, under the protection of the west will be spared by treaty and allowed to retain its independence.
I read in a mgazine that the Gospels were written with the Roman emperor Augustus in mind. Can this be true? PL
Modern scholars are always coming up with some new thought. The proposal that the descriptions in the Gospels concerning the birth of Jesus may have been penned in mythical language using the Roman Caesar's as a prototype joins a long list of scholarly proposals gleaned from the dusty archives of history with Quija Board and Crystal Ball in the absence of an abandoned Holy Spirit. That kind of speculation is a morass and before anyone leaps too far into it, they need to check out the wording of the Old Testament first.
The Magnificat of Mary in Luke was discovered almost verbatim in one of the Dead Sea Scrolls and may have been written hundreds of years before Jesus was born. The Dead Sea Scrolls (Old Testament documents buried at Qumran before the time of Jesus) show us that the accuracy of our modern Old Testament perfectly corresponds to the wording in the ancient scrolls. This is important because the Apostles have constructed the New Testament using the prophecies of the Old as the essential framework of their writings. There is as much Old Testament in the Gospels as there is New.
Supremely confident in their understanding that the Holy Spirit was the author of all of scripture's prophecy, they incorporated thousands of sentences and paragraphs from Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Amos, Hosea, Job, Psalms, Proberbs, Zechariah, Habbakuk, Joel, Micah, Malachi, Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy and all the other books of the Old Testament into their descriptions and statements. This framework has produced a layered New Testament scripture, new and old combined, that acts constantly to verify itself in the harmonizing doctrine of a Holy Spirit that has spoken across the entire breadth of both Testaments.
Because of this intricate and overflowing framework of prophecies written hundreds of years before Jesus was born, the words in the New Testament follow the language of the Old Testament almost verbatim. Thus the template for these writings is structured in Moses, not Rome. They reflect the words of the prophets. It is that structure that strongly argues against a post-first-century authorship. Luke died with Peter and Paul in 67 A.D. during the Roman purge. The Book of Jeremiah bears witness to this. That's only 34 years after the crucifixion, and it seals the date of the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Luke. Matthew and Mark were written even before that date. If Paul actually wrote the books attributed to him, a later authorship than 67 A.D. is not possible for the prophecies tell us that he, too, died in Nero's massacre.
This Mosaic framework has led some scholars to propose that the New Testament is based on the Essenes. It goes earlier than that. Both the Essene writings and those of the New Testament use the same reference material the writings of the prophets of the Old Testament. In other words, they were listening to the same spiritual source.
Twentieth Century scholars have even questioned the Christian feast days. There again, look to the Hebrews, not the pagans. Every major Christian holiday is built on the template of Moses and follows by day and date the ancient feasts of the Hebrew calendar. Modern theorists may say Christian holidays are built on pagan festivals and feasts, but they say so in complete ignorance of Moses.
Remember, Moses wrote the Torah long before the Roman empire existed.
Since we are now in the Christmas/Hannukah season, it seems a good time to explore these relationships again. The following description of Hannukah (the Jewish Feast of Dedication) shows in great detail just how intricate the interweaving theological pattern between Christianity and its Hebrew root really is.
What the world is celebrating during this Christmas season is the light which God dedicated to the world on a single holy night 2000 years ago, a night that changed for all time, the calendars of the age. On that night He consecrated with shepards and angels His living temple on earth. In that moment, God had dedicated His Temple. Christmas is the festival of that dedication. That first Christmas was the signal to the world that God's promised light had come to earth.
" I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; he will have the light of life'." (Jn. 8:12).
"Listen now, House of David: are you not satisfied with trying the patience of men without trying the patience of my God, too? The Lord himself, therefore, will give you a sign. It is this: the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel." (Is.7:13-14).
"God is going to abandon them till the time when she who is to give birth, gives birth. Then the remnant of his brothers will come back to the sons of Israel". (Micah 5:2-3).
Built on a Hebrew template called the Feast of Lights, Christmas displays to the world a light far brighter than any other in the universe the light of the Star of God.
Long before the Light of God appeared, the Law had foreseen His coming. Moses tried to prepare the people of Israel for that moment, warning that, under penalty of death, they had to listen to and obey the 'Messiah' that was coming,. For centuries thereafter, the people waited for him in great expectation. Over the years, Hebrew tradition prepared a backdrop to highlight the moment. It was called Hannukah, the Feast of Dedication.
The Jewish 'Feast of Dedication' (Hannukah) honors the rededication of the Jewish temple after it had been desecrated and defiled by the forces of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The Festival of Lights proclaims the cleansing of the temple and its altar by Judas Maccabees in the aftermath of the Old Testament incident on which Daniel's 'Abomination of Desolation' was based. The Holy Spirit superimposed these two celebrations, touching one with the other in calendar time for good reason.
On the 25th day of Chislev in the Jewish calendar, an eight-day celebration called the 'Festival of Lights' began. The Hebrew month of Chislev correlates with December, and the 25th day of that month with the celebrated birth of Jesus, both firm indications that Holy Spirit engineered the design that intertwines them.
The true re-purification of God's temple occurred, not by the hand of a Maccabee, but with the birth of Jesus Christ. Born on earth in a dedication ceremony directed by God Himself, Jesus cleansed the temple with a whip and a cross driving out its desecrators (all who sin) and in this way bringing true worship to the altar of God. That is why the Church celebrates the birth of Jesus in the schematic framework of Hannukah.
It was not paganism that ordered this schematic, it was Moses.
Moses, having been given authority by God to make the Old Testament the template for the new covenant, carefully chronicled a series of holy festivals and feast days, almost all of which now have Christian counterparts which have superseded and fulfilled what they originally stood for. The Apostles have superimposed them, one after another, on top of the feasts for which they stood. Easter sits atop Passover; Pentecost is superimposed on the Feast of Weeks and the light of God's Day of Atonement, now disappearing into the dusk of night, bathed the world in the light of Christ for almost 2000 years.
The incognizant argument that Christian festivals were formed on pagan holidays is quite false. All Christian holy days carefully follow the Hebrew schematic laid down by Moses and his heirs. Pagan holidays and festivals may have co-existed with Jewish events, but in the Church calendar all Christian holy days have been structured on Jewish and Hebrew feast days defined in the Old Testament by Moses and the prophets.
Christmas (the Feast of Dedication) is no exception. And, as with all the other Hebrew and Christian date combinations, these two dates are united thematically. It was in December (the 25th day of Chislev) at the feast of Hannukah, that Jesus first revealed to the world the fact that He was God:
"It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, 'How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly'. Jesus replied: 'I have told you, but you do not believe me...the Father and I are one'." (Jn. 10:22-29).
The Jews who heard Him speak were furious at this reply and planned to stone Him for it, because, in language as plain as they would ever hear, Jesus had just let them know in a public proclamation that He was, indeed, the Christ. His December declaration is a proclamation we repeat with bells, carols and music every time the season surrounding this feast returns. In the same way and season that Jesus announced His Messiahship, we restate His revelation in public as emphatically as we possibly can.
The only difference is, as with all other Christian holy days, we use a calendar that follows the sun, not the moon.
Since the Hebrew calendar is based on lunar months and the Christian calendar on solar months, Hannukah and Christmas, though close, cannot be united. The Jewish date rotates around the Christian date like a floppy appendage. There is deep symbolism in this because the days of the Hebrew calendar, built on the reflected light of the moon are always in a state of flux, falling on a different day every year immitating the traditions of the elders, which change this way and that proving they are only a reflection of the light of God. Focusing on that symbolism, the Christian calendar follows the sun because it is fixed on the testimony of the Son of God, i.e., the direct Sonlight of heaven. Its days, therefore, are fixed and usually constant. Since one calendar offers fluctuating days and the other does not, it is impossible to assign a fixed Christian date that precisely coincides with the fluctuating Hebrew day to which it corresponds but in this case, both are celebrated on the 25th day of their coincident winter months (Chislev/December).
So every December, on a 25th day, and honoring two versions of the temple flame, the celebrations of Christmas and Hannukah both appear and each are are surrounded by a festival of lights.
"The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone." (Is. 9:1).
The lights of Christmas signify that Jesus is the light of the world a proclamation we repeat on every anniversary of the celebration of His birth. It is the Christian world's public prophecy affirming His Divinity. Our proclamation clarions throughout the world in the loudest terms, with bells and music, this message for all to hear and take notice:
"For there is a child born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace. Wide is his dominion in a peace that has no end, for the throne of David and for his royal power, which he establishes and makes secure in justice and integrity...forever." (Is. 9:5-7).
The feast of lights, therefore, is the day when proclamation and prophecy unite. Today, it has become a beacon increasingly ignored. The Christmas season has evolved into the holiday season; the music has become secular, the lights pagan, and a fantasy called Santa Claus now rides his sleigh aross department store floors. A veil of blindness has descended on the land, because the lights of Christmas have begun to herald darkness instead of Jesus. Blind and leading the blind, society's false prophets it's self-appointed watchmen the reporters of the media who fill their newspapers and the airwaves with stories of the terror and mayhem of our times, have long failed to address the ethical collapse that has spawned all this disaster.
"...turning his gaze upward, then down to the earth, he will find only distress and darkness (the blackness of anguish) and will see nothing but night." (Is. 8:22).
Such are the headlines of our times. They wail loudly about the distress but are blind to the cure. With the recent election, there are signs that that may change. It is something to pray for.
Hannukah is important in another respect. Both Hebrew temples (the temple of Solomon and the later temple of Herod were burned to the ground on the very same calendar day. On each occasion, an "exile to Babylon" followed the fires, a sign that the two exiles were closely related.
Making certain that future Jewish leaders would be able to grasp the fact that the exile to Babylon had two meanings and that each was related to the other, the Holy Spirit orchestrated the unique coincidence by date of the twin distructions of the Hebrew tabernacle. Solomon's temple was burned down on the 10th of Loos a Hebrew lunar month that borders the end of August in the Christian calendar. Its destruction sent the Jews into the captivity of Babylon. More than 650 years later on the very same Hebrew day, the 10th of Loos (August 29th in 70 A.D.), the temple of Herod was burned to the ground by the Romans who again deported the Jews into a second 'slavery of Babylon' this time an exile so far-reaching and enduring that Rome came to supplant the whole meaning of Babylon.
The fact that the Holy Spirit superimposed the new covenant's capitivity of Babylon on top of its Old Testament counterpart went unseen to all but a few. But in the future when a similar symbolism is repeated with Christmas, it should be more noticeable especially since we now know there is divine precedent for it. That precedent is Hannukah.
On the 15th day of Chislev, in the year 167 B. C., a momentous sacrilege occurred. The altar in the Jerusalem temple was desecrated by the forces of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The significance of this event was underscored by the prophet Daniel, who termed it the 'Abomination of Desolation'. Incredibly, three years later, almost to the day the profaned temple was purified and the rights of the Hebrew altar were restored. Significantly, the purification occurred on the 25th day of Chislev, a day that corresponds noticeably to Christmas day, since the Jewish month Chislev corresponds to our month of December.
In response to the cleansing of its desecrating elements, and the purification of the Temple, the leaders of Jerusalem memorialized the 25th day of Chislev as the Jewish Festival of Lights. And so it is that Christians, on the 25th day of December, celebrate the moment when Christ's arrival in the world truly purified the religion of God on earth.
Jesus' reign on earth His victory over Satan has been celebrated on that same day ever since. This date is a major sign for the future as well. Just as the desecration and purification of the temple at the time of Antiochus coincided in the same month and only ten days apart in the Mosaic calendar, the Christian counterparts to these two events will mirror one another as well, but likely play out in reverse. The cleansing has already occurred the true purification of the altar. This is an event that we celebrate as having begun on the 25th day of December in the city of Bethlehem almost 2000 years ago. Baptism continues it to this day.
The transgression of that cleansing, the Abomination that desecrates Christ's everlasting covenant has not yet occurred, but so that all will know it when it happens and understand just how intricately God is involved in what has occurred, we can expect the 'Abomination' spoken of by Daniel to be erected by the forces of the Beast either on, or within 10 days of Christmas day. That will bring this prophecy full circle.
We have seen many examples in this book how God has defined the new covenant of Christ on top of the framework of Moses. While the two covenants have seriously different rules, they superimpose on an identical framework the Old Testament serving as a template for the New. This is why Jesus was so insistent with his disciples that the Old Testament be fulfilled in everything that He did.
It is that insistance by Christ that the prophecies be fulfilled with perfect accuracy that we expect the pattern to continue into the future. Since many of these events symbolize not just what came before but things that are going to happen in the future, we expect the symbolic relationships to continue unbroken to the end. That is why we can speak with such confidence about them.
God gave Moses authority to architect the template, and then interwove Jesus into the framework which Moses had defined. That is why we see all Christian holy days superimposed over the days in the Old Testament that God had earlier put in place for them under the guardianship of Moses. It is the Holy Spirit who has done this.
God's directive to Jesus that He fulfill the Mosaic template in precise terms did not disappear with the cross. It is a rule that God has decreed must be followed all the way to Christ's Return in glory.
Is there a way to tell if a prophecy should be interpreted literally or figurativelly? LH
Usually it is obvious. Spiritual meaning underlies all the prophecies but it doesn't superscede literal meaning. In the final analysis, there is always both. All the works of God go in pairs by opposites.
In fact, God has structured the verses of scripture in such amazing symmetry, they often have have multiple applications. We can see an example of that in science. Einstein could look to the ends of the universe and see that all things replicated processes he could see and describe right here on earth. Using that realization as a tool, he told us about the end of the cosmos and the secret processes of the universe.
The Bible is like that. The prophecies often repeat themselves under entirely different cicumstances and ages. For this reason, they can be used as a tool to describe everything God has done in the past or plans to do in the future.
it seems from your excellent introduction that satan and adam and eve existed in a spiritual world prior to the physical universe and further that adam and eve continued to exist in that spiritual world for some time after satan's rebellion since death has existed here on earth long before they existed here (unless they existed at the time of the dinosaurs) and also it seems that adam and eve were brought into this physical world (wIthout having sinned) since they were originally perfect here on earth in eden....could you confirm.....thanks. U
In answer to your question, first consider this: Moses predicted that God was sending a Messiah to the world to bring God's own word down from heaven to the earth. This revelation began the long Jewish expectation for the Messiah. This prediction was made 500 years before David was born and about 1500 years before Jesus was born. The Messiah was to come in the image of David. Yet David himself had not yet come. How, then could the Christ be descended from a David who called Him Lord? This was a question Jesus asked the Jews. No one had an answer.
The same is true of the exile to Babylon. The prediction of it was made before any exile had occurred. The first exile went to the Euphrates, but the true exile seemed to be the Diaspora, so Rome replaced the land of Nebuchaddnezzar. What was Babylon? Was Rome Babylon, or was Babylon something else entirely?
God has orchestrated the scriptures to fit a set of realities that underlie, superscede, or parallel the finite appearances we at first believe to be those realities. We are given a spiritual understanding that the truths of scripture may be something other than the events which portray those realities to us. This gives us two ways of understanding scripture. We can approach those truths simplistically and simply take scripture at face value without probing any deeper meanings, or we can perceive those realities metaphorically, like divine riddles in the way the opening statement of the Book of Proverbs describes them.
In the case of Adam and Eve scripture tells us that they were contaminated by Satan and that contamination brought death into the creation. Yet, when we look at the universe that now surrounds us we are struck by the fact that death exists all the way to the furthest reaches of the cosmos. We have a choice. We can accept the story of Adam and Eve on a per se basis, which ignores the reality of a death sentence that not only reaches to the ends of the stars, but has been structured there for billions of years, or we can ponder it.
In terms of the latter, there are many possibilities. Some of them lead to the other side of the so-called 'Big Bang'. Creation did not begin with that explosion, the rescue did. It represents the return of light into the darkness. Micah tells us that God intended to "abandon" the creation until the time when "she who is to give birth gives birth" (Micah 5:2-3). If this world represents the return of God from that period of abandonment, it would mean the Adam and Eve we perceive in terms of this world are representative of two figures who actually preceded them. In this sense, our concept of Adam and Eve is just as symbolic as one of the real (but actually symbolic) Babylons. They were real, but they stood for something bigger than themselves.
We do not know what that bigger is, but it created the "death" that enwraps the entire cosmos. No one can say if those earlier figures were spiritual or physical. We do know one thing, this universe is so much bigger than anyone ever imagined, it is mind-boggling to even begin to ponder its magnitude. When you are dealing with something that massive in the first place, adding a universe that might have preceded it does not seem to add appreciably to its scope. Perhaps just a simple slide through a worm-hole.
The essence of all this is not to change the character and structure of Adam and Eve, but to show that God has ways of insuring His truths are unerring despite our limited perceptions of a reality of which we actually have virtually no comprehension. Science cannot outdistance itself from God.
What matters is that we believe in Christ. He came into a world infected with the stain of Satan to rescue us from Satan's grasp, cure our sickness and transport us from this universe to a new one being created in a heaven we do not understand in which there is no sunlight, no darkness, no death, no sea, no sadness, no evil, but one that is filled with everlasting joy, happiness, peace and tranquility. One in which we will know and be known. How we shall live there; what kind of body we will have there, all these questions are matters of great speculation but, like the Adam and Eve you asked about, will remain enigma's to the end.
In Bible study I asked a question that no one seems to be able to find. We find inference but not the actual statement. Some in my Bible study are getting angry at me because they beleive that the scriptures they have found are my answer.
My question is: "Is there a scripture in the Bible where God Says that "He, God, will enter His world through David?" I know that He alludes to Jesus' coming and I know that Jesus is God, but I still want to know if there is any scripture where God says that "He" will enter His world through David? RV
In answer to your question, no, there is no precise statement in the Old Testament that says "God" will enter this world through David. The Old Testament is built around the appearance of a "Messiah". The Hebrew tribes were told by Moses (see Deuteronomy 18:15-22) that God was going to raise up a witness from their own ranks who would deliver God's personal commandments to the people. Moses warned them that when this prophet arrived the people had to listen to him and obey his words under severe penalty.
At first the people thought this prophet was Moses but he instructed them that it was someone else. So, for the next 15 centuries, the Hebrew tribes (which included the Jews) waited for their "Messiah" to appear. No one even remotely suspected that the Messiah would be God in person. They all expected a prophet. Much of the Old Testament (including the books of the Prophets) are structured on Hebrew speculation concerning who or when this Christ would appear. The word "Christ" is the Greek term for "Messiah".
About 500 years after Moses had made his prophecy, the Hebrew tribes were given, for the first time in their history, a king. The first king (Saul) was evil. He was quickly replaced by the shepherd-boy, David.
This is a common theme in the Old Testament (the first being supplanted by the second). In story after story we find the oldest consistently rejected in favor of the youngest. We see this repeated in David's case as well. The shepherd-boy, David will, himself, be replaced as king of the Jews by the "good shepherd" Jesus Christ, the divine heir to all the Davidic prophecies. That is the reason for all the metaphore between oldest and youngest in the first place. The entire scripture has been architected by God to lead us to Jesus.
Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the prophets seized on this sudden appearance of royalty in Israel, and, using the image of David (and his lineage, the tribe of Judah), began proclaiming that the Messiah would come as the king of the Jews and that he would be a "son" of David. David, then, became a prototype for the "good shepherd" Jewish king/Messiah whose appearance all of Israel awaited.
Not only that, the Hebrews of David's time had come to the realization that God was a King as well. They described the divinely royal relationship between God and the Messiah as a "royal priesthood that went from Father to one son exclusively". It was a vision that embraced in a single relationship the temporal and priestly powers of their own government. The following, most from David's own hand, are but a few quotations that illustrate this representation.
"Yet, God, my king from the first, author of saving acts throughout the earth, by your power you split the sea in two, and smashed the heads of monsters on the waters." (Ps. 74:12-13).
"You it was, my King, my God, who won those victories for Jacob...my trust was not in my bow, my sword did not gain me victory: we conquered our enemies through you; you, who defeated all who hated us our boast was always of God, we praised your name without ceasing." (Ps.44:4-8).
"God's oracle to you, my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand and I will make your enemies a footstool for you" (Ps.110:1).
"Royal dignity was yours from the day you were born, on the holy mountains, royal from the womb, from the dawn of your earliest days. God has sworn an oath which he never will retract, 'You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, now and forever." (Psalm 110:3-4).
"The One whose throne is in heaven sits laughing, God derides them. Then angrily he addresses them, in a rage he strikes them with panic, 'This is my king, installed by me on Zion, my holy mountain'. (Ps.2:4-6). "Let me proclaim my decree; he has told me, 'you are my son, today I have become your father. Ask and I will give you the nations for your heritage, the ends of the earth for your domain. With iron sceptor you will break them, shatter them like potter's ware." (Ps.2:7-9).
"Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind." (Jn.18:36)
There are so many prophecies along these lines throughout the scriptures that the distinction between the kingship of God and that of Christ seem to blur. With every verse the reader is left to ponder which is which. Once the true identity of the Messiah was made known in Jesus, the Apostles were informed by the Holy Spirit that God and His Christ were one and the same. It was a revelation Jesus Himself had made to the world during the Feast of Dedication (Hannukah) in Jerusalem:
"It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, 'How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly'. Jesus replied: 'I have told you, but you do not believe me...the Father and I are one'." (Jn.10:22-29).
This was an astonishing revelation, not only to the Jews, but to the whole world. Jesus went far beyond their ancient expectations of the "Messiah". He claimed divinity unity with God.
The Apostle John in the opening verses of his Gospel defined this divine unity between God and Jesus in terms of "Word". The Gospel, the message from heaven itself, was the identity of God, and mankind's only way to truly understand Him. That message is also the Holy Spirit who has been sent by God and Jesus to live within us, thus the Trinity.
It is this revelation that separates Jews from Christians and as long as Christians hold to the revelation that Jesus and God are One, the two Houses of Israel will not be able to come together. Yet it is also this revelation that creates Christians in the first place. Peter became the first Christian when he recognized this truth in Matthew 16:15-18. And it is on the same revelation that the entire Church is built. Peter first, and all the rest in his footsteps. The Jews will be last to recognize the relationship. When they do, the unity will be complete and the Lord will return in great glory with all the angels of heaven.
If one woman can have God taken out of the schools. Why cant one woman have Jesus put back in? I believe this will happen. C
That would be a good thing.
Ultimately, your statement brings us face to face with the Woman of God, "adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown". She is opposed by another woman, the prostitute Babylon, emblazoned in red and riding a beast across the pages of the Book of Revelation. Their two children, the Christ and the Anti-christ are currently locked in mortal combat and it is this conflict we see raging in the courts of America.
Yet it is not the courts who will make the final decision in this matter, it is God. Prophecy tells us those who choose Jesus will live forever. All who oppose Him will perish.
Please tell me if i am wrong. the way i see it the people who make so much about abortion and homosexuals are the least tolerant people about feeding the poor and sheltering the homeless and things like that. A comedian who calls himself a Christian made a joke about a homeless man, he gave him a hatchet and pointed him to a grove of trees and told him to go build himself a house and everybody laughed like that was ok. That really upsets me. What would Jesus say do you think? KJ
You have touched on, perhaps, the most important issue of our age the collapse in forgiveness. When we concentrate soley on the letter of the law the spirit of the law is usually the victim. Harsh and uncompromising, it can easily overwhelm compassion. America is the most letigious society in history. This, despite the fact that up to 85% of our population is said to be Christian.
Forgiveness is THE life or death issue as far as our relationship with God is concerned, because Jesus said that our salvation is based on it. Paul warned that without the compassion of love, nothing else we do counts, not even faith itself (1 Cor.13:1-13).
"And...though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." (1 Cor.13:2).
How this age of intolerance descended on us is anyone's guess, but the road out of it is simple. The less we judge one another and the more we forgive the safer we will be in terms of the Gospel preached by Jesus. The Gospel is the only yardstick that counts in terms of salvation, and it demands that we love one another unconditionally.
"So no matter who you are, if you pass judgment you have no excuse. In judging others you condemn yourself, since you behave no differently from those you judge." (Rom. 2:1).
I just read your response to K. J. in response to forgiveness, abortion and homosexual behavior..I am a little taken back because I understood that God felt homosexual behavior was an abomination and also taught that those that kept the children from coming unto him was a terrible thing.. So killing them before they are born should certainly fall in that category..I also read that because of the iniquity of many, people's hearts would grow cold.. So forgiveness is something we all want to receive and most want to give to others, but when sin is rampant and many of these sins defile the body and soul than how do we act, as if this is okay? As far as comics, they spew all kinds of miserable talk in many area's and think this is acceptable, which it is not.Doesn't it sound somewhat intolerant to think all people that disagree with non acceptance of abortion and homosexual behavior have to be mean, heartless, callous and un-giving people..Even Christians fall short of their goal of following the savior, but most give their time and money to help others and try hard to do what is right..We live in very dividing times on many issues of morality, but surely the savior doesn't want us to act as if these choices don't matter..... C. F.
Your points about our needing to be aware of the world's vices and not allowing ourselves to be contaminated by them are well taken.
I focused not on the writer's words or examples, but on an increasingly important issue that slipstreamed in with them our increasingly judgmental society. The Christmas season honors the birth of forgiveness on earth. God sent Jesus down from heaven to die in our place so that all our sins could be forgiven. In doing this, He stressed that we must forgive the sins of others in return for our own cleansing. In His parable, the person who refused to do that had his forgiveness revoked and all his previous indebtedness restored. (Mat. 18:23+). In a judgment-centered age, and especially at Christmastime, that is something we should keep clearly in mind.
According to Jesus, judgment is not ours to give, but God's alone:
"We are all aware who it was that said: 'Vengeance is mine; I will repay'. And again: 'The Lord will judge his people.' It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God'." (Heb.10:30-31).
In fact, that is why Christ came, to declare on earth God's terms of judgment and to mark well the path that leads away from that divine retribution:
"Thus, as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses; for the Father judges no one; he has entrusted all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son as they honor the Father." (John 5:21-23).
According to Jesus, the Gospel He preached, is itself our judge:
"If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall condemn him, since I was sent not to condemn the world, but to save the world: he who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already: the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. For what I have spoken does not come from myself; no, what I was to say, what I had to speak, was commanded by the Father who sent me, and I know that his commands mean eternal life. And therefore what the Father has told me is what I speak." (John 12:47-50).
So, in answer to your question, Paul said that when we correct others we should do so in a spirit of gentleness. That is why Michael the Archangel, when confronting Satan face to face, muted his response, saying only "May the Lord rebuke you."
"Not even the archangel Michael, when he was engaged in argument with the devil about the corpse of Moses, dared to denounce him in the language of abuse; all he said was, 'Let the Lord correct you'." (Jude 9).
"There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamor of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken." (Lk.21:25-26).
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