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July 7, 2007
How does the milleniium figure into the prophecies? JA
The focal point of the millenial prophecies is the Book of Revelation especially Rev. 20:1-6.
Many Protestants see it as an approaching thousand-year re-fashioning on earth of Solomon's empire, an empire headquartered in Jerusalem with Jesus (returned) at its head.
A more traditional view of the millenium centers on the rule of the Christian Church in the world over the last 2000 years, considering that reign to be the milleniam. A third view, only slightly different, sees the millenium as the period of Satan's imprisonment in the Abyss an incarceration that allowed the Christian religion to rule the earth under Christ's Gospel for the last 1700 years (Rev. 20:1-3).
All three views see it as an empire of flesh and blood ruled by the Church under Christ.
The revelation in the Book of Daniel that the kingdom of God is to be "crushed and trampled down" by warfare in its final days on earth (Dan. 8:9-14) is the pivotal event around which all these vews of the millenium revolve.
Satan's release from his prison in the last days will allow him to mass the armies involved in this assault (Rev. 20:7-8). The Protestant belief is that this attack will be repulsed by the army of the House of Israel with God's help and the resultant kingdom formed in the wake of this holy victory will create the millenium.
The view of Christian traditionalists on the other hand, is that the attack will not precipitate the millenium of Christ's preaching on earth, but end it. There will be little successful involvement by Christian or Jewish armies in the warfare that follows (Joshua 10:11). Instead, the attack will be overturned by God alone just before Christ returns, after which all who have toiled for Christ will immediately (bypassing Judgment) be taken to Christ's new kingdom in heaven. There will be no intermediate Christian empire set up on earth.
This view is better supported by the Bible, especially in keeping with Christ's declaration that His kingdom "is not of this earth" (Jn.18:36).
To some, the idea of an intermediate empire is suggested in the prophecy that 'those who support Christ will be raised up to reign with him for a thousand years' (Rev. 20:4). This is a prophecy that reveals there will be two resurrections one in the early days of the faith, and another, one thousand years later, at its earthly end (Rev. 20:5).
The traditional view of this passage assumes that the first resurrection involved Christ's Apostles and early followers, and that they have reigned with Him in heaven during virtually all of the last 2000 years of the Christian Church. One date suggested for this first resurrection centers on the burning down of Herod's temple in 70 A.D. In this respect it is interesting to note that between 67 A.D. and 73 A.D., Nero died, Peter and Paul along with Christ's closest followers (many of the biggest names in scripture) were martyrd in Rome (Jer. 52:24-27), the Roman conquest of Judea occurred, the Jewish temple was destroyed and the 2000-year Diaspora to "Babylon" (Micah 4:10) began. It was a profound 7-year period in the life of the Church.
Since a small but growing number of Protestants believe the heresy that there existed virtually no Christian Church on earth during Roman times (after the deaths of the twelve Apostles until the 16th century or later) the idea that the thousand-year reign relates to heaven rather than the earth, is widely rejected in their circles.
The numbers, however, tell a different story. They show a Christian Church on earth, if anything, even more powerful before the 16th century than after it. There are 1.7 billion traditional Christians in the world's current population. The entire Protestant movement numbers around 500 million, 2/3rds of which hold traditional beliefs as well. The difference in these numbers points to the fact that an enormous traditional Christian Church population has always existed on earth from the earliest days of the faith.
Both Daniel and John describe the millenium as an event in 3 parts a period of troubled peace bookended by two wars (Dan. 9:25-27; Rev. 19:11 to 20:10). The first war saw Christians fed to lions in the Roman amphitheatres (Rev. 19:19-21), the second will be led by a Madman in the days ahead (2 Thes. 2:3-4; Rev. 20:7-9). Between them is the reign of the Church. The three, taken together, form a "Day" of God on earth. This "day" relates to Sonshine the light of Christ shining across the planet. The day itself is described by Moses as the "Day of Atonement". It is God's day of mercy on earth where the people, separated from God, are offered a chance to reunite themselves with Him through the sacrifice of a perfect "Paschal Lamb", Jesus Christ (Is. 53:4-5).
Jesus informed us that God's offer of reconciliation would be short. Daniel foresaw it's sunset in the warfare described above, a shattering of the power of Christianity's rule of the earth, culminating in the assassination of the "Bishop in white" (the Pope), as announced by Lucia de los Santos in the third prophecy of Fatima, a prophecy given to her in an appearance by the Virgin Mary. (See 2 Thes. 2:7).
The duration of God's day matches the Christian calendar a calendar structured in three God-days, where a day to God is a thousand years to man (Ps.90:4). Joshua's prophecy shows that God held His Son in the sky to make one day into almost two (Joshua 10:12-14). That single day made into two accounts for the 2000-year reign of the Church on earth. Joshua's prophecy, seen through Moses, was that the people of Israel were to wash and clean (repent and be baptised) for 2 days and see God early on third (Ex.19:10-11; Hos.6:2). By terms structured in the Psalms, and confirmed by Simon Peter (2 Peter 3:8), the world entered that 'third day" on January 1st, 2001.
In the early days of the 20th century, Lucia de los Santos and her two small companions were shown the future in three visions. All concerned the hell that lay ahead. As a part of that revelation, a light proving man's future was described to them a light previously unknown to the world like a blinding flash of light and fire across white desert sands. Lucia announced it, but did not understand it. The visions she was shown described the armies of the world that were to rise in her time to take the Churchs' peace from the earth and trample underfoot God's people, thus bringing to an end, the millenium and its offer of mercy and atonement for mankind.
The focal point of her vision encompassed the hell that was about to descend on the earth. The first related to world wars (Rev. 20:7-8), the second to the rise of world atheism in Russia (Ez. 38:1-7) and the third to the removal of tne "one" God had put in place to hold back the Wrath (2 Thes. 2:7).
The crushing of the power of the holy people this is the Book of Daniel revealed the book Lucia opened with her three visions. Participating in that opening she became one with the prophets of scripture. Her vision is that important. Her name is not in the Bible with the others, but she is there, a voice as prominent as theirs, nonetheless. Jesus said, "I have more to say to you but it would be too much for you" (John 16:12-15). That is why the Book of Daniel was ordered sealed for more than 2000 years. It was too much in those days, to hear. Too much, even now. Yet Lucia was given power to open it under the command of God.
In that opening, she gave voice to the sealed writings of the ancient prophets who had foreseen the coming of the east wind and its assault on the House of Israel. Daniel, in fact, had not only foreseen the assassination she described (Dan. 9:26), but touched on everything surrounding it.
He described the fall of the western world under the rise of a 4th Persian kingdom (Dan. 11:2-4), a fall predicted and foreshadowed in like events that are to repeat the divine edict known as "the handwriting on the wall" (Dan. 5:24-30). That message, coming from heaven, and interpreted by Daniel, announced that the king of Babylon would be handed over to the Medes and Persians (among whom his kingdom would be divided) and he, himself, executed by his eastern enemies. It was a prediction that the West was to be conquered by the East at the end of time.
The Bible shows the king of Babylon being brought down by the Medes in a series of repeating images in one of those images, we have just witnessed the fate of Saddam Hussein, Iraq's king of Babylon, handed over to his enemies, the Persian Shiites. And, before that, and launching the forewarnings, the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the pharaoh of Egypt. A final, similar fate in Iraq, structured on the current pharaoh of the western world, is scheduled to prove and complete this sequence (Jer. 44:29-30). All of this, God's proof to the world that the handwriting on the wall of Babylon is not only in the Book of Daniel, but is the Book of Daniel itself, now opened. Proof, also, that the time for these things to happen is close at hand, the true reason why all these images of prophecy exist and are being shown to us so vividly today.
Our salvation is assured by these prophecies which bear witness to the truth of Christ's promise. They tell us that everything Jesus said is true and that He is about to return as foretold. Those who believed in His pledge and stood firm by His side during the milleniium of God's offer will be rewarded far beyond any expectation.
That is true meaning of the millenium. It's final end will be the fulfillment of our own victory in God.
What do you see as the main factors in God's decision to bring the world to an end? Does He have a scale of evil to go by?...I guess what I am asking is what ways you see people more wicked today than in the past? PL
Wickedness will end the world. But Bible prophecy shows it is not increasing wickedness that brings this end to pass. The world was filled with wickedness when Jesus first appeared, and when He came, His primary purpose was not to reverse the world's wickedness, but to draw God's people out of it, and lead them safely to His kingdom in heaven.
That purpose has not changed.
The world will end when God's harvest is finished, not because the world's people have become more evil than those of bygone ages.
It is because Christ's word is rejected by the nations that the world ends. That rejection can be measured in the shuttering of church doors as the populations increasingly reject Christ's teachings and His offer of salvation. It can be seen in the nations' cancellation of their 1700-year political relationship with Christianity (the rule of Christ on earth). It can be seen in the rebirth on earth of atheism, Christianity's secular nemesis; and ultimately it will be seen again when world forces try to violently eradicated the House of Israel (Christians and Jews) from the planet.
Paul told Timothy that profligacy will increase dramatically in the last days, producing people he said, who are "self-serving, arrogant, rude grasping, boastful and enemies of everything that is good." "Treacherous and demented by pride, they will prefer their own pleasures to God." Yet, in the midst of this reckless behavior, people will keep up the outward appearance of religion, though rejecting its inner power (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
For this reason, we will not be able to see discernable changes at the end if we look for them only superficially. The Creator is one with Christ, so God's true religion must be judged by the Gospel Jesus preached.
"The time is sure to come when, far from being content with sound teaching, people will be avid for the latest novelty and collect for themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then, instead of listening to the truth, they will turn to myths. Be careful always to choose the right course; be brave under trials and make the preaching of the Good News your life's work..." (2 Tim. 4:3-6)
Because the falling away is spiritual, so less easily seen, a clearer picture of the end of the harvest can be observed in the actions of the nations. Their universal rejection of Jesus is a chilling indicator. One hundred years ago virtually all the nations of the western world still accepted the presence of Jesus within their ruling heirarchy's. Today, none do. That is a sea change. It reverses almost 2000 years of world history.
It is a fulcrum that has changed the course of the world.
Concomitant with that, we are seeing an atheistic (secular) community build in Christianity's place. Secularism has replaced Christianity at the king's table. Atheism was destroyed as a political power during the days of Constantine. It was officially outlawed and was chronicled in scripture as having recieved a mortal wound from the sword of Christ. The healing of this mortal wound (it's reincarnation in our time) was foreseen in the Book of Revelation in conjunction with the beast to come (Rev.13:1-3).
"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 were 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 3:18-21).
Once the entire House of Israel every person Satan took captive has been found and rescued by Christ, the world will come to an end. God's harvest is tied to the Eucharist, the perpetual sacrifice of communion that has memorialized Christ's sacrifice across the ages. When that sacrifice is taken away at its source (Dan. 8:11; Mat. 24:15-16) and the one overseeing it, who holds back the world's end, is physically removed (2 Thes. 2:6-7), the end will quickly follow.
"Rebellion is at its work already, but in secret, and the one who is holding it back has first to be removed before the Rebel appears openly. (2 Thes. 2:6-7),
The removal of the one who oversees the communion sacrifice will bring the Madman and his rebellion into full public view. See the third prophecy of Fatima, below.
Because the desolating sacrilege will abolish the Eucharist, the communion Host will not be eaten. In keeping with the terms of the Law, fire from heaven must come down and burn up the uneaten sacrifice. (Lev.19:5-6). According to the Law, that burning has to take place on the 3rd day (Lev.19:7). Using Peter's formula (2 Peter 3:8), that means after January 1, 2001. That places this "burning" in the day of Christ's return, just before His Second Coming.
Both Daniel and the Book of Revelation confirm that this fire (God's fiery hailstones) will actually coincide with a fire lit by man (by the nations in conjunction with the dictates of the Madman). The two together will ignite a conflagration that will consume everything scripture has forseen and described (Dan.11:44; Jer. 51:58; Rev. 17:16).
When he led the House of Israel out of Egypt to the foot of Mt. Sinai to see God, Moses told the tribes that they had to wash and clean for two days to prepare for the divine visitation; and, then, on the third day, see God face to face (Ex.19:10-11). That defined the harvest according to the Law two "days" of baptism and repentance, followed by a "third day" that marked the return of Christ descending from God's holy mountain in full view of a world gathered to watch.
The Law of Moses is the template upon which Jesus built His religion. The fact that the harvest would be structured on a three-day format can also be seen in the prophecy of Joshua concerning the duration of God's Day of Atonement (Joshua 10:13-14). It is reaffirmed again by the Christian calendar, defining where the world is today in relation to that calendar, i.e., 2007.
With such signs of God's return being powerfully fulfilled in our time, it seems clear that the time has drawn especially near. While these do not tell us the day or the hour, still, they offer us very clear "red sky in the morning" kinds of signs that Jesus said no one should ignore (Mat.16:2-3).
Since that visitation is now so close, and the time left to "wash and clean" so short, attending to that task should be the driving priority of anyone not yet reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. With so many losing faith and falling away, the need to hold fast to Christ's salvation is greater now than ever before, 'for happy will be the person who does not lose faith in Jesus' (Mat.11:6).
The third secret of Fatima in full (text by Lucia de los Santos in her own words):
"After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: 'something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White 'we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God."
Atheism and secularism are not the same. Try using a dictionary. J
Atheism and secularism are two examples of paganism. Another is the worship of false gods like Zeus, etc. Each has a specific meaning relative to the other, but all three share an overarching meaning in common. They characterize the philosophic framework of Babylon; a country whose ideologies illustrate man's separation from God.
Paganism means "country dweller". In Christianity it is a synonym for heathenism. The Holy Spirit determined that the title be applied in conjunction with Micah's prophecy:
"Writhe, cry out daughter of Zion, for now you have to leave the city and live in the open country. To Babylon you must go and there you will be rescued; There God will ransom you out of the power of your enemies." (Micah 4:10).
The prophecy refers to the Diaspora, the exile of the two "houses" of Israel (Christians and Jews) from the Holy Land, and their relocation into the greater world. This exile was symbolically instituted by Rome in 70 A.D., but the prophecy itself actually addresses mankind's separation from God.
It applies to the children of God stolen by Satan and contaminated by him when he initiated his rebellion. Jesus Christ was sent to find them, cleanse them and return them to their true home and Father in heaven. That true "holy land" is the kingdom of God, the Jerusalem of heaven.
In keeping with this prophecy, Christianity rose up in Babylon to overpower the desert country, and bring it under God's rule. As a part of that changed governance, the sword of Christ delivered a mortal wound to heathenism in its own countryside. In place of the country dwellers (pagans), the City of God appeared, changing the population into city dwellers (Christians).
"Your race will take possession of the nations, and people the abandoned cities." (Is. 54:3)
Babylon (the open country) was reborn as the city of David, reconstituted as a city of God, morally ruled through the Church by the Gospel and pointed to the Jerusalem of heaven. The light of Christ shone everywhere for almost 2000 years, bathing the entire planet in God's light as it circled the earth searching for every soul held captive by Satan. The purpose of the light, reconciliation, and the term of its shining, the "Day of Atonement".
The Lord bares his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God." (Is.52:10).
Jesus said God's offer of reconciliation would be short, a single "day", lengthened by mercy through prophecy to almost two (Joshua 10:13-14). The shortness of the offer can be seen in Christ's warning to "work while you have the light. Night is coming when no one can work." (John 9:4).
"That day I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight...I will make it a mourning like the mourning for an only son. As long as it lasts it will be like a day of bitterness." (Amos 8:9-10, Ez.32:7-8).
Now that the light of God has come full circle, back to the Euphrates, the darkness is returning. The day of bitterness is at the door. The mortal wound is healing. That is why we see a return of the philosophies struck down by the sword of Christ and negated by the Church during its reign on earth. Not only has paganism returned, it has done so in such numbers as to overwhelm the city dwellers and return the land to its status as a barren countryside, a fact that has seen paganism return to world power.
Christianity no longer sits at the kings table (Jer. 52:31-34). Christianity's rule of the world has ended, and the darkness of paganism in all of its forms is returning to retake its former place in Satan's world.
The leaders of the churches, long in denial, are just now becoming aware of this change. Their fight to reverse the encroachment of this darkness can be seen, as can the ridicule of their efforts by a world increasingly convinced tthat belief in Christ is in vain.
According to Daniel, the holy people will be crushed in this revolt, but their fight on behalf of Christ is not in vain. The victory of the light is assured, and eternal life is guaranteed to all who hold to their faith all the way to the end (Mat.11:6)..
When can we expect to see the charismatic figure that leads the world away from Jesus? Will he be Jewish do you think? DF
The beast that is described in the Book of Revelation has 3 images. The first image is Satan, the second, Satan's spirit on earth and the third, his spirit made flesh. This is a reverse trinity structured in evil to mock the true Trinity of the Godhead.
Satan's spirit made flesh is described as a "head". There have been seven over the course of the world.
The Book of Revelation tells us that Michael the Archangel locked Satan in chains in the Abyss just after Christ was crucifed and kept him there during the time of the Christian harvest. His tenure in prison is descibed as "a thousand years". Scripture explains that God did this so that he could not decieve the people who were being offered eternal life and lead them astray by offering them competing philosophies such as atheism, paganism or false religion.
We cannot be certain the exact date Satan was incarcerated, but it had already happened before 95 A.D. That is the year the final draft of the Book of Revelation was penned by John, a book that contained these words about Satan: "The beast you have seen, once was, now is not; he is yet to come up from the Abyss, but only to go to his destruction." (Rev.17:8; see also Rev. 20:1-3).
At the same time, scripture tells us Jesus delivered a "mortal wound" to the beast's sixth "head", an emperor almost all Christian scholars see as Nero.
With Satan locked in the Abyss, there would be no Satan, no defined spirit of the Anti-christ, and no "head" or human manifestation of him on earth during the time of his imprisonment.
Sin remained, but the deceiver, himself, was absent. The spirit of evil was without direction and therefore incapable of mounting an effective counterattack against the Gospel that was being preached across the earth.
All that would change upon Satan's return after his release.
The "charisma" that surrounds the return of those three manifestations can be seen vividly in the world's willing embrace of atheism and secularism, the spiritual philosophies that compete directly against the teachings of Christ. Those philosophies were not tolerated during the Christian millenium. They were forbidden by the Church.
After Satan's release, the spirit of the Anti-christ returned these philosophies almost immediately, paving the way for the "head" to appear later. These new doctrines changed public perceptions by deceiving a large segment of the world's population, creating a friendlier climate more willing to embrace the beast's evil human image.
We can see that changed climate in the popular embrace afforded to a litany of 20th century villains and Christ-hating warmongers: Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Tojo and Mao tse Tung, among many others.
The charisma is there in enormous quantity, but it does not come as one might think. (See "A Popular Beast"). The embrace is dependent on deception. First the propaganda that blinds, and then the rest follows almost by default. Once the people are willing to accomodate sin and make excuses for it, Satan's victory is assured.
Adolph Hitler, the seventh "head" of the beast arising after Satan's release, was not Jewish. There is no way to tell if the final "head" will be Jewish. It is highly unlikely, because none of the other seven 'heads' were, and scripture tells us the last beast will be a reincarnation of one of those seven. Like Hitler, he will be a committed enemy of Judaism and will push in every way he can for the race's extermination. Prophecy tells us he will align himself very closely with Persia, so much so that he seems to consider himself to be Persian.
Arising in the North, it is tempting to think of him in some ways as a sort of 'Lawrence of Persia' instead of Arabia. But he will be far different than that, and far more deadly. In fact, the deadliest person ever to live on earth.
Why do you keep beating the homosexuality issue (Chronology)? It is a dead horse. MM
I try to put in the Chronology section news items that bear strongly on scripture, especially with reference to the last days, and particularly those that relate to Bible prophecy. The issue you ask about does all three in a big way.
Homosexuality was forbidden by the Church on the grounds that the Bible labels it immoral. That view has not changed substantially during Christianity's 1700-year reign on earth a period of "Sonlight" that stretched from the time of Constantine (roughly 350 A.D) until just a few decades ago all across the western world.
The recent emergence of homosexuality as far as social acceptibility is concerned is a striking change. That is of particular concern because the view of the Christian Church follows scriptural prophecy which ties the practice to the end of the world.
Peter revealed that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament is a prophecy. When asked why God destroyed these two cities he answered that they were annihilated by God as a warning to the people of the future (2 Peter 2:6-10). Since he was speaking more than 2000 years after those two cities had been destroyed, but still seeing ahead, Peter had to be pointing to us. We are the people of the future he was referring to.
On the surface, the prophecy of Sodom and Gomorrah seems to single out homosexual deviancy and label it as more sinful than heterosexual aberrations. The weight given to it, however, would seem to indicate that the prophecy unmasks a larger sin, targeting the homosexual community, but perhaps focusing on their war against Christ even more than on their sexual asymmetry.
There is mounting evidence that the prophecy of Sodom and Gomorrah centers on that community's war against Jesus and the Bible. If this is the case, the prophecy may suggest that the war it wages against Christ, its successful attempt to garner the world's populations to its side, and its damage to the Church and to Christ's harvest, will prove to be strategic events in the world's rejection of the Gospel's message. In other words, central issues in the return of darkness.
Recent developments have shown it to be particularly active, even now, in launching verbal and written attacks against the Church. The fact that 80% of all Roman Catholic pedophilia incidents were perpetrated by homosexual priests and involved homosexual acts have not deterred a significant segment of this community from its militant stand against the Christian religion.
In speaking of the Roman church scripture tells us the "mother" (the Law under its 'new' tenants) is to die in shame and disgrace. Homosexuality has thus far been shown to play a significant role in the scandal that seems to be leading the church to this infamous end.
"The mother of seven sons grows faint, and breathes her last. It is still day, but already her sun has set. Shame and disgrace are hers..." (Jer.15:9).
It's growing engagement in the current social war being waged against God's religion may (if it hasn't already) be leading the homosexual community into the no-man's-land surrounding blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (blasphemy of the Spirit of God which lies at the center of the Church) according to Jesus, an unforgiveable sin.
If the community as a whole chooses to join the Anti-christ, that would more easily explain why the prophecy is so boldly proclaimed in scripture, and why an identification with the end of the world in cosmic fire is so much more tightly linked to it than to other kinds of sins.
One thing is certain, the penalties prove the prophecy relates strongly to the returning darkness, identifying a key element in that night's character. For that reason, if nothing else, it belongs in the Chronology section whenever major media (the news) deems it necessary to headline its advances.
I want to know more about your suggestion that the abomination of desolation will be set up in St. Peter's in Rome instead of the new Temple in Jerusalem. If you can find any actual quote in the Bible that says that I would like to know where it is. JF
The actual quote is allegorical. It is in the first Book of Maccabees. Speaking of the days when the type of the abomination was first raised up, it says:
"Then they fortified the City of David with a great strong wall and strong towers and made this their Citadel. There they installed an army of sinful men, renegades, who fortified themselves inside it. There they stored the loot they had taken from Jerusalem." (1 Mac.1:33-37).
The reference relates to events surrounding the erection of the abomination of desolation in the Mosaic holy place in 167 B.C., in relation to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, referenced by Daniel.
If these words speak to an antitype in the last days as Daniel insists, we must accept these words as prophecy. If so, two things are obvious. First, it does not occur in Jerusalem. Instead, it speaks about the City of David, a city named after the Messiah, the David of prophecy. That is the city of Jesus Christ. The only city of Christ on earth is Vatican City in Rome. It is there that the "renegades" have placed the abomination which makes desolate, and it is there that they have assassinated the "one" who holds back the wrath (2 Thes.2:7).
Second, Daniel shows the abomination is placed on a "wing" of the Temple, not in the Temple per se:
"And, for the space of one-half week he will put a stop to sacrifice and oblation, and, on the wing of the Temple will be the disastrous abomination until the end, until the doom assigned to the devastator." (Dan.9:27)
The temple is not going to be physically rebuilt in the last days. It has already been rebuilt in Christ. Anything else can only detract from that fact and mask God's plan. It is not the killing of goats and lambs and birds for sacrifice that is halted by the beast. It is the Eucharist, the offering of communion in memory of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross that is attacked by the beast. This is the true "Feast of Tabernacles (or churches). That is what the "man of perdition" puts a stop to in conjunction with his abomination of desolation. The "wing" of the Temple speaks to a church in Christendom.
It is the same church Lucia of Fatima was shown in her vision as relating to the assassination of the holy Bishop (the "one who had first to be removed" before the beast could appear openly).
The prophecy of the abomination and the cancellation of the sacrifice has nothing to do with the past or with Moses. It is about the end of the world. It is a prophecy about the future. Jesus is that future, not Moses. Jesus is the Davidic Messiah, heralded by John the Baptist in fulfillment of prophecy and put to death on the cross for our sake so that our sins could be taken away. Moses does not return. He has no power to take sin away. The Messiah is victorious, and in that victory He takes all of us with Him to His new kingdom in heaven, Christians and Jews alike.
Before that victory is achieved, the terrible "half-week" of Daniel is to occur. The Wrath. Lucia's vision is the "handwriting on the wall" pointing to the opening of that period of planetary chaos world wars, the return of atheism and the assassination of the Pope. As it progresses, the beast is predicted to attack the Church and crush the power of the holy people.
Both cities of the House of Israel are to be crushed in this assault: the City of David first, and then Jerusalem. The assassination of the holy Bishop and the corruption of the sacrifice (the cancellation of communion) are the pivotal events that open the flood gates to the final period of terror, the last half-week.
"God will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for battle. The city will be taken, the houses plundered, the women ravished. Half the city will go into captivity, but the remnant of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then God will take the field; he will fight against these nations as he fights in the day of battle." (Zech.14:2-5).
God responds to the beast's fiery rampage with fire of His own. God's fire comes in response to the Law which says the sacrifice must be burned with fire from heaven if it is not eaten (Lev.19:5-6). The sacrifice is not eaten because the beast will abolish it when he erects the abomination of desolation in the holy place (Dan. 8:11-12). When the beast abolishes the "perpetual sacrifice" (i.e., the Feast of the Churches or Tabernacles) the communion sacrifice will lay uneaten, a circumstance that will make the issuance of that cosmic fire inevitable.
Isaiah defined clearly what that would mean:
"See how God lays the earth waste, makes it a desert, buckles its surface, scatters its inhabitants...for they have transgressed the law, violated the precept, broken the everlasting covenant. So a curse consumes the earth and its inhabitants suffer the penalty, that is why the inhabitants of the earth are burnt up and few men are left." (Is.24:1-6)
The Bible states that God's fire will come down on the "third day".Our world entered the "third day" of Christ on January 1, 2001. We are in that "day" now, so these events are not a great distance away.
The breaking of the covenant occurs in the Vatican because that is where the "new tenants" of the Law were sent by God when He ordered the Diaspora to occur. The new tenants are those that Christ handed the keys of the kingdom to when He reclaimed it from the wicked stewards who had been ruling it sinfully in Jerusalem. The Law, the House of Israel, and everything associated with it was then sent to Babylon in fulfillment of the prophecies.
"Writhe, cry out daughter of Zion, for now you have to leave the city and live in the open country. To Babylon you must go and there you will be rescued; There God will ransom you out of the power of your enemies." (Micah 4:10).
Rome represents Babylon. That is why Peter and Paul were sent to Rome to be crucified. Their presence there established the exile. The Arch of Titus proclaims that it applied to the Jews as well. As does history. As a consequence, the entire House of Israel has been freed from Satan's captivity while exiled in the spiritual wilderness of Babylon, scattered through that wilderness to its farthest reaches.
In Rome, we see those new tenents of the Law in their renewed form. We see the priesthood, the high priest, the Sanhedrin, the perpetual sacrifice, and all of it dedicated to Christ dedicated to the single purpose of helping the people of the world leave the Law in which they are trapped, and setting them free of sin in Christ. The Law is now the "mother of seven sons" (the mother of the seven churches). Many teach that Jesus abolished the Law, but He said that is not true:
"Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them." (Mt.5:17).
We know that the Law is still here because of baptism. Baptism is the legal mechanism God instituted for those in the Law to leave it.
"Through the Law I am dead to the Law, so that now I can live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now, not with my own life, but with the life of Christ who lives in me." (Gal.2:19).
The Law was here yesterday because people were being baptised yesterday. The law is here today because people are being baptised today. And the Law will still be here tomorrow because people will be baptised out of it tomorrow as well. If the Law continues to exist, so does the religion that rules it for God. That Law, now servant to Christ, is ruled by those who use it in the way God wanted it used to lead people to Christ.
Everything in Christ has been built on the Mosaic template. Even this.
Once we are free of the Law, the Law has no more power over us. Paul showed this clearly in his letter to the Galatians. That is why we are able to have "seven" churches in the world.
Wherever two or more are gathered in His name, a true church of Christ is formed by the union. Jesus is there with them. That is the legal definition of the Temple in the Law. The Temple had the holy of holies and the holy seat of God where God personally sat. His personal presence is what created the Temple. God's personal presence gave the Temple its authority to be Temple. Now Jesus has declared that He and the Holy of Holies reside in each baptised Christian, so wherever two or more Christian's gather, a true Temple of God is formed, with all the authority of heaven. More authority than ever existed in any building ever built by man.
"Didn't you realize that you were God's temple and that the Spirit of God was living within you? If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy him, because the temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple." (1 Cor. 3:16-17).
The seven churches (a spiritual institution hidden now in thousands of physical entities) spread out across the world to baptise everyone on earth willing to change their behavior and turn to Christ. That is how the word of God has been spread during the harvest. That is why the prophetic matrix of scripture shows the "mother" giving birth to seven sons. The one who was barren has produced seven-fold. Seven is an infinite number standing for perfection and completion.
"And God will...stretch out his hand over the River, and divide it into seven streams, for men to cross dry-shod, to make a pathway for the remnant of his people..." (Is.11:15).
"The secret of the seven stars you have seen in my right hand, and of the seven golden lamp-stands is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp-stands are the seven churches themselves (Rev. 1:20).
God has put the Law at the service of faith. This shows that the annullment of the first covenant was not an instant event, but has been a continuous process, like the curling of a breaking wave as it goes down the seashore. It will continue until everyone that God has chosen to be rescued from the Law is saved. After that has happened the desolating sacrilege will be erected, stopping the process. And then the end will come. Christ will return and collect all the fruits of His ministry, Christian and Jew alike.
The mother of those seven sons, the caretaker of the Law, is to die in shame and disgrace.
"the mother of seven sons grows faint, and breathes her last. It is still day, but already her sun has set. Shame and disgrace are hers..." (Jer.15:9).
As we watch in stunned disbelief, this, too, seems to be unfolding now as well. Scripture's prophetic architecture continues to evolve as predicted, adding proof again and again to our hope in the quintessential truth of Jesus Christ and His promise of eternal life for all who believe in Him.
One more question...about the 7 churches in your answer do you mean 7 Roman Catholic churches or 7 Christian churches? JF
Jesus said: "Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I will be with them." (Mat. 18:20). Period. End of sentence.
Or, "Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother." (Mat.12:50). Again, Period. End of sentence.
Or, "I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death." (John 8:51). Again, Period. End of sentence.
"Then Peter addressed them: 'The truth I have now come to realize' he said, 'is that God does not have favorites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him." (Acts 10:34-35).
What God has made clean, no one has any right to profane (Acts10:15+). Baptism cleanses everyone (Mark 1:4; Luke 7:29-30).
In your question you have divided what God has made the same. All who are baptised in Christ are Christian. All who have faith in Christ are Christian. Watch out for division. Jesus said: "Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin, and a household divided against itself collapses." (Luke 11:17).
What is the mark of the beast? GH
This is a mark that has to do with the "second death", the death of the soul.
Jesus said that though the body dies, the soul does not. As far as God is concerned, He said, everyone who has ever passed away is still alive. (Luke 20:38). Jesus was sent by God to warn the world that the time is coming when all those living souls will be called before the Judgment seat of God. Those who have the mark of God will inherit eternal life. Those who do not will succumb to the second death, because Satan stained every soul he took captive when he rebelled against God. That stain is the mark of the Beast.
That is why God has raised every soul to life in the flesh to hear Jesus' warning, and to make a decision about receiving the mark of God which can save our lives.
The Apostle John, in response to his visions wrote the following in the Book of Revelation:
"He (the Beast) compelled everyone-small and great, rich and poor, slave and citizen-to be branded on the right hand or on the forehead, ·and made it illegal for anyone to buy or sell anything unless he had been branded with the name of the beast or with the the number of its name. There is need for shrewdness here: if anyone is clever enough he may interpret the number of the beast: it is the number of a man, the number 666." (Rev. 13:16-18).
This is written in a way that seems to associate the fatal brand with the "8th head of the Beast", a figure yet to appear on history's stage. That leaves us with the impression that the mark has to do with the future and thus has no application to us, or to those who have preceded us over the last 2000 years of Christain history.
In chapter 21 of the same book, however, John shows that the mark existed before the first war between Jesus and Satan occurred the terrible conflict during which Christians were fed to the lions in the Roman arena's. It existed before Michael the Archangel imprisoned Satan in the Abyss for the "thousand years" of Christian rule on the earth. It existed before the first resurrection, i.e., before 70 A.D.
That means it is a mark that pre-exists the "Man of Perditition". When the 8th head of the Beast comes in the future (which he will) he may employ a corollary of that mark to be affixed to the flesh, but the spiritual mark that underlies his brand has been in existance from the beginning. The spiritual brand of the Beast is the mark Jesus came to remove from our souls.
The mark of God is baptism and it has power to wash off the mark of the beast. To prove this, the Bible says God's covenant "must be marked on our bodies". "Happy are those who will have washed their robes clean, so that they will have the right to feed on the tree of life and can come through the gates into the city." (Rev. 22:14).
The mark of the Beast is original sin. That was our nature before we confessed and repented our sins, and turned to Jesus Christ by accepting baptism in His name. Original sin is the mark of the man "Adam", and manifests itself in wickedness and evil, murder, lying, stealing, lust, fortune telling, warmongering, fornication, greed, which is idolatry, false speech and false life. It is out of that kind of living that Jesus has called us to God, and promised eternal life to all who accept baptism and a new life in His name.
Jesus came to make all creation new. Our flesh, with it's sinful nature, has died in Christ and we have been reborn into a new body in His image, pure and without the stain of sin, which is the mark of the Beast. Instead, we have been marked in purity by God through baptism. If we live thereafter in the precepts of the Gospel we will bypass the Judgment and live forever.
The second death will have no power over us.
Jesus said He didn't come to abolish the Law , but according to Paul in Romans 10:4, the Law came to an end with Jesus. I find these two statements contradictory. Do you see any reason why they are not? NK
When you read Christ against the writers of the New Testament (especially Paul), apparent contradictions only mean your interpretation is incorrect. Jesus gave His Apostles absolute authority to bind the Christian religion on earth as the Holy Spirit directed them (Mat 18:18; John 20:23). For this reason, Paul and Christ cannot contradict one another. Both of the statements in your question then, are, in fact, true.
How are you interpreting this passage?
"Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven." (Mt.5:17-19).
Jesus is showing in this statement that the Law is (and always has been) Jesus Christ, i.e., it emanates only from God. The Law that came from Moses was a reflection of God's Law, and not even a finished picture of it (Heb.10:1).
"Notice that he says first: 'You did not want' what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ." (Heb.10:5-10).
"If that first covenant had been witout a fault, there would have been no need for a second one to replace it." (Heb. 8:7).
And, indeed, God did find a fault with the covenant of Moses:
"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 Law in the Old Testament is a "guardian" covenant meant only to be in place until the true Father arrived to complete it. Because baptism out of the Law of Moses is still going on, the framework of that Law is still in place showing that its purpose has not yet been completely achieved. The framework of the Law is still in place because it is the template upon which the Christian religion has been constructed.
The method and structure of the sacrifice which Jesus came to complete was detailed beforehand in the Mosaic Law. Jesus followed that template with the exact precision God deemed necessary for its successful fulfillment: the perfect unblemished Paschal Lamb, the escaped goat, the sacrificed goat, the sin offering, the peace offering, the priest who stood in place of His Father, bearing the burden of the the first wife's sin.
The Law doomed mankind because of sin and only the sacrifice it stipulated could change that death sentence and allow God to effect a pardon. That is because God always keeps the Law that He has put in place. In fulfilling the Mosaic Law, Christ took charge over it and completed it.
When we study Christ's works, we see over and over again, countless situations in which the Law of Moses dictated the template for His actions. The Law of Moses formed the "type", while Christ and His religion fulfilled the "antitype" that the Mosaic "types" prophesied.
For instance, His sale into the hands of this world by His brothers, the 30 pieces of silver, His initiation of the Eucharist (the banquet of God) through the Last Supper, His distribution of the manna, the food of life from Babylon, Melchizadek, the mark of the covenant on our bodies, the whip when He exchanged the covenants, the rock of Peter, His two witnesses, "Cornerstone" and "Tent-peg", the bride and bridegroom and the marriage vows, the youngest usurping the elder, His walking on water or feeding the 5000 and so on. All this and much more helped completed the Law of Moses by fulfilling its prophecies.
The same is true of the rest of scripture's typology.
Christmas is built on the template of the Jewish festival of lights (Hannukah) which celebrates the purification of the Temple Jesus Christ being that purification far beyond anything Judas Maccabees could ever accomplish. The Jewish feast was celebrated on the 25th day of the Hebrew month, Chislev (the month corresponding to December in the Christian calendar). Consequently, Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December. The difference in days contrasts the difference between the lunar calendar and the solar calendar.
The words solar and lunar, themselves, allegorize the source of light (God) against His reflected image, showing how we should view the Law of Christ with respect to the Law of Moses showing that moonlight is actually sunlight, dimly seen. The Law of Moses is the Law of Christ, dimly seen.
In the same way, the Holy Spirit has built Easter on the template of Passover. The same for Pentecost (the day of the appearance of the Holy Spirit) which is built on the template of the Jewish "Feast of First Fruits", structured 50 days after Passover in the Hebrew calendar and 49 days from Easter in the Christian (or 52 days from the commemoration of the Last Supper). Fifty-two days is the time shown in the Law for the rebuilding of Jerusalem's wall of protection, which is what the presence of the Holy Spirit represents.
The prophetic matrix of scripture is structured on hundreds (if not thousands) of "types" set in the Law, and pointing to "antitypes" in which earlier events foreshadow later ones, and which earlier people prophecy later ones. The list seems endless, but in every case the words stand for ideas about "a transcendent order above", lifting the reader out of this world and into the heavenly realm of God through Jesus Christ.
Evolution is the "type" of which our rebirth in Christ is the "antitype". That is why Jesus explained it in evolutionary terms in the identical terms Darwin used: ("survival of the fittest through a process of natural selection"). Jesus said the kingdom of heaven was like a dragnet thrown into the sea bringing in a catch of all kinds. Sorting through that catch at the end of time, the angels keep the good and throw the bad away. Here is survival of the fittest by selection, but the selection is supernatural, in keeping with scripture's subject our elevation out of this world and into God's transcendant order above.
Circumcision is the type of which baptism is the antitype. Communion is the type of which the indwelling Christ (the Word of God) is the antitype. Passover is the type of which Holy Week and Resurrection are the antitypes. The Exodus from Egypt is the type of which our rescue from Babylon is the antitype. Antiochus IV Epiphanes is the type of which the 8th head of the Beast is the antitype. Nebuchadnezzar is the type of which Nero was the antitype. Or, Nero is the type of which the 8th head will be the antitype.
Prophecy tells us the 8th head of the beast is to be a reincarnation of Nero. The Bible intends its types and antitypes to be understood spiritually, not as literal reincarnations. Nebuchadnezzar and Nero are spiritually identical, not literally. As are Babylon and Rome and all the others. The same will be true of Nero and the 8th head of the Beast.
I could go on and on about this, and have already done so at great length across the breadth of my web pages, but these few examples show how the Law has not been abolished, but completed in Christ. Much of it in the fashion of "type" to "antitype" which underscores the predictive nature of scripture, the Bible's predictive undercurrent that serves as a complementary backdrop to the narrative predictions that crescendo throughout its pages.
All this has been designed by the Holy Spirit who has filled scripture's pages since the day of its inception with prophecies that point to the truth of Jesus Christ, who is, in Himself, the true Law of God.
The Law of Moses (the guardian covenant) was born out of a compromise. It was meant to be temporary from the very first day of its enactment on the mountain in Sinai.
Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt on a 3-day journey to Mt. Sinai to witness God come down before them and give them His Law. Because that appearance was steeped in a terribly frightening theophany (the mountain catching fire, the earth quaking beneath their feet, dark ominious clouds forming, thunder crashing, and lightning flashing all around them) the tribes of Israel begged Moses to have God halt His descent and send an intermediary in His place (Ex.20:18-21). God agreed and Jesus was structured into the Law (Dt.18:15-19).
In other words, God agreed to send His Law later in the person of a Messiah. In the meantime, He allowed Moses to make a copy of the Law, a reflection of it, to keep the people close to Him until the true Law should arrive to complete His purpose. Because it was reflected light, it was a lunar law for a lunar calendar. Darkness still covered the earth because Jesus had not yet appeared.
When Jesus appeared, the true Law of God appeared with Him (Heb.10:15-18). We call this light of God the "Day" of Atonement. The guardian law was supplanted by the power and truth of heaven above. The calendar related now to "daylight" and became solar. The darkness was gone, and the moon became the Church, the reflected light of Christ on earth.
To prove this, Jesus told His disciples that no one who ate the bread of Moses was saved by it. All of them died (John 6:32-35). The only bread that saves is the Bread Jesus brought down from heaven and gave to the world. His commandments constitute the structure of that heavenly Bread. All who keep His commandments will live forever (John 6:46-58). As long as this bread is offered, the Day of Atonement will continue.
Scripture tells us that a day is coming when the darkness will return. The bread of life will be abolished and taken away by forces hostile to Jesus. That will end the Day of Atonement and bring the Wrath with its fire because the Law of Moses tells us that when the bread of the sacrifice is not eaten, it must be burned up. God has armed the universe itself for this purpose. This, again, is "type" and "antitype".
When Jesus spoke about the person who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same, and visa versa, He was talking about His own commandments, not those of Moses. He was talking about the commandments of God, the commandments that mean eternal life, blocked by the Israelites at Sinai, but put in force through the Messiah Jesus who was God in the flesh.
"Through the Law I am dead to the Law, so that now I can live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now, not with my own life, but with the life of Christ who lives in me." (Gal.2:19).
When Paul talked about the Law being dead, he was referring to the guardian law of Moses with respect to those who have been baptised in Jesus (Heb.10:1-10). The apostles proved this in Acts 15, when they met together in Jerusalem and separated Christianity from Moses' guardian Law in one of the very first Apostolic decisions ever made in Christ's religion (Acts 15:7-12; 28-29). For all who have been baptised in Christ, the guardian covenant (the first covenant) is gone. With its passing, it will never come again. It has been replaced by the covenant the Israelites blocked at Sinai, the new and everlasting covenant of Christ, the bread of eternal life.
We must eat this bread now while there is still time. The opportunity to do so is fast fading away.
Why do you think the Isaelies are procrastinating on rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem? EM
If you will look at how powerful an icon the Western Wall was for the Israeli army, and the worship with which they glorified it immediately after gaining control of the wall in the 6-day War, you can see how important the scriptural elements are for the people of Israel with respect to the hallowed monuments and artifacts of their religion.
The Old Testament is clear the Jewish Temple can only be erected atop "the Rock" (the "threshing stone" of David). Right now, atop that stone stands the Muslim "Dome of the Rock", the second most holy shrine in the Muslim world.
In effect, the Israeli's can't get at it without initiating World War III.
Even if they were able to take possession of David's rock, there is a second barrier almost as powerful. It is the broad and mighty human coalition of animal rights activists across the world. Animal sacrifice would be met with an outcry and force of such formidable dimensions any attempt to engage in the practice would be guaranteed failure before it even started.
There is a third barrier far greater than even the first two as far as God is concerned, Jesus Christ is the temple. Every person who turns to Him becomes a living stone making up that holy structure. The spiritual ruins of Jerusalem have been almost completely reconstructed in His image over the last 2000 years. There is to be no physical counterpart. No facade. Any attempt to construct such a temple would be blocked by God.
As far as God is concerned, the "Rock" is Simon Peter, and it is atop that rock that the true temple has been built:
"So I now say to you: You are Peter (the name means 'rock') and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. 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.' (Mat.16:13-19).
I have never heard of the 4th kingdom of Persia. Where did you come up with that? GW
The Bible shows forces from the 4th kingdom of Persia occupying Jerusalem on at least two occasions before the Return of Christ occurs. Neither has yet happened, and both, when they do occur will be associated with fierce warfare all over the world. (See Daniel 11:2-4; 16 & Zech 12:1-3). We can see in the Book of Daniel that related to these invasions is the appearance of Michael the Archangel (Dan.11:1).
This prophecy can be examined in its physical typology in the Book of Revelation and in Daniel. We have explored this in great detail on our web pages.
It can also be seen through the spiritual typology found in the Book of Esther, an allegorical description of the time of the Wrath seen from the perspective of heaven.. Esther's entire book revolves around Satan's final war against the House of Israel at the end of time.
Those participating in it are the five heavenly figures centrally involved in this final battle. They include God (the "king"); the two creations and their two principal stewards (one for each creation). Each of these figures are contrasted in relation to the war waged by the nations against the two houses of Israel.
Vashti is the first queen (the first creation). Her crown was taken away because she refused to come to the King's banquet. Esther is the queen the King has married in Vashti's place (the new everlasting creation). These two queens stand for, in Vashti, the creation of the flesh, and in Esther, the new spiritual creation which is the kingdom of Jesus Christ in heaven. The "King" (God and Jesus) are treated in the allegory as one and the same.
The steward charged with overseeing and guarding Esther (the new everlasting creation) is named "Mordecai". He is the "type" of which Michael the Archangel is the antitype. His adversary, Haman, is the type of the Beast, i.e., Satan. Although he aligned himself with Persia in every respect, Haman was not of Persian blood. He was a Macedonian who rose to the top of the Persian court, and then betrayed it. We can expect something similar in the 8th "head" of the beast. This, because the 8th head is certain to mimic Satan, his father.
The Jews celebrate Esther's victory on the 14th and 15th of Adar in the Hebrew calendar. The date corresponds to the end of February or early March in the Christian calendar. That celebration is called "Purim".
The word Purim comes from the word "pur", the casting of lots. This, because Haman had cast the lot for the destruction of the Jews on the gallows he had built for the purpose.
"Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the persecutor of all the Jews, had plotted their destruction and had cast the pur, that is, the lot, for their overthrow and ruin. But when he went again to the king to ask him to order the hanging of Mordecai, the wicked scheme which he had devised against the Jews recoiled on his own head, and both he and his sons were hanged on the gallows."
"That is why these days were called Purim, from the word "pur". And so, because of what was written in this letter, because of what they had seen for themselves and because of what had happened to them, the Jews vowed and took on themselves and their descendants and on all who should join them, to celebrate these two days without fail, in the manner prescribed and at the time appointed, year after year."
"Thus commemorated and celebrated from generation to generation, in each family, each provence and each city, the day of Purim shall never be abrogated among the Jews nor shall their memory die out among their race." (Esther 9:24-28).
In the end, Haman is put to death and Mordecai is given Haman's office. Christ's bride (the new Jerusalem) is given Satan's "house" and she, in turn, gives Michael the Archangel stewardship of the kingdom of heaven, just as Esther gave the same supreme authority to Mordecai. This book offers a rare view and unique perspective to the time of the Wrath. It contrasts Michael and Satan, showing them as two great dragons, preparing themselves for the great and final battle of the last days between God and Satan.
In the Greek version of scripture, much of the allegory in this book is explained.
With the harvest ending, the time has come for all the nations of the world to band together against the two Houses of Israel. The 2 great dragons have taken their places. Satan has been released from his prison just for the purpose of completing the final prophecies. Michael the Archangel opposes him. The seas have begun to roar and the earth quake. The time is at hand. The Book of Daniel has been opened to increase our understanding of this dramatic contest. It's seals have been removed. The prophecies at Fatima have been broadcast before the entire Church, and taken place, in preparation for the war whose beginning they chronicle.
"There were cries and noise, thunder and earthquakes, and disorder over the whole earth. Then the two great dragons came forward, each ready for the fray, and set up a great roar. At the sound of them every nation made ready to wage war against the nation of the Just. A day of darkness and gloom, of affliction and distress, oppression and great disturbance on earth! The righteous nation was thrown into consternation at the fear of the evils awaiting them, and prepared for death, crying out to God."
"Then from their cry, as from a little spring, there grew a great river, a flood of water. Esther is the rivershe whom the king married and made queen. Light came as the sun rose, and the humble were raised up and devoured the mighty."
"Yes, the Lord has saved his people, the Lord has delivered us from all these evils, God has worked such signs and great wonders as have never happened among the nations."
"Two destinies he appointed, one for his own own people, one for the nations at large. And these two destinies were worked out at the hour and time and day laid down by God involving all the nations. In this way, God has remembered his people and vindicated his heritage." (Esther, chapters 1 & 10 from the Greek).
All this has started to happen now.
With the attack by the East on the West, which occurred on 9/11, there can be little doubt that Michael has already stood up. Those of us who belong to Christ have joined him and are his forces. On every side we can see the opposition, those who have sided with Satan, a population soon to encompass all the nations of the world the contrasting character between these armies, the same as it has always been, the Gospel of compassion and love for all people that Jesus preached.
(For more on the bride of Christ)
If Paul has so much authority, why didn't Jesus make him the head of the Church instead of Peter? JK
Because knowledge is not a road that leads into heaven. Compassion and love are the road in. In the priesthood we offer the gifts that Jesus Christ made acceptable to God mercy, justice, love, charity, gentleness, humility, grace, righteousness and good faith. (1 Peter 2:5-10).
Knowledge shows us the kingdom, but the only door in is love (1 Cor.13:1-13). Paul enlightens our mind to the hidden truths of heaven and his words structure the theology of the Church, but central to all his teaching is that we are saved, not by Law but by faith.
Do you think a church should discipline its ministers if they officiate at gay marriages?. .I mean it doesn't make sense that we should be disciplining people because they support love which is what Jesus was all about I thought. LR
When Jason was the high priest at the time of the Maccabees, he tried to "Hellenize" the Temple and the Jews in Jerusalem to please the dictates of the Syrian king who ruled the empire in the ways of Greece and its gods (2 Macc.4-6). Jason's actions were the beginning of a disaster that led directly to the "Abomination of Desolation". Jesus warned that this "abomination" would be repeated by the Beast in the last days when he abolishes the Eucharist (the communion sacrifice) (Mat.24:15-16; Dan.11:31).
Foreshadowing, as it does, the darkest chapter in human and religious history, what this shows is that it is not possible to "accomodate" sin in the name of righteousness and still please God. Jesus did not come to make sin righteous, He came to make sinners righteous.
We cannot enable sin by embracing it in the name of love.
If the state legalizes prostitution, the church cannot decree it sinless (even on humanitarian grounds) without sacrificing the righteousness of Christ. In our secularly governed society, we are not far from that now. We have already witnessed the legalization of homosexuality by those same authorities, with subsequent rulings that have branded the church virtually illegal for holding that it is sinful.
Thus the secular society is in the process of ruling that the Church is the outlaw (as is its Bible} rather than the deviant behavior outlined in that Bible. This is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, and it cannot be embraced or tolerated by the Church.
Any church that does embrace it can be said to have been "Jasonized" (2 Mac.4:7-14),
The division is catastrophic because it unites Sodom and Gomorrah with the Abomination of Desolation, putting our government on a collision course with a God whose principals they once embraced, but now refuse to acknowledge.
This is not a small thing. It fuses together the two elements in scripture that mean the end of the world.
The founders of our country were clear that church and state should be separate. Why do you have such a problem with this? What part of separation of church and state do you not understand?WP
The American constitution was ratified by the Continental Congress in 1776. For almost 200 years, from 1776 until 1963 a compromise between church and state remained in place. In 1963 that compromise relationship was terminated by the Supreme Court.
Since then, ruling after ruling in that court has decreed that Jesus has no place in the American government and that God's place there be eradicated or restricted to ornamental at best. All compromises were cancelled and all the artifacts of those compromises were ordered removed. Crosses and Ten Commandment slates were torn down. Prayer was abolished. Names and seasons were changed, and public decorations scrapped.
Our founding fathers would have been horrified; but the American rulings have followed those of all the other western nations during the late 19th and 20th centuries.
The era has changed.
When the nations evicted God and Jesus from their ruling table, they ended a relationship between Babylon and God that had been in place since the time of the Roman empire under Constantine.
When Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D., he set in motion a 1600-year treaty between God and this world, that, when ratified by Theodosus in the West and Galerius in the East, structured in place a relationship of peace between the nations and Jesus that would last until the 20th century.
"Listen; the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem; he carried away the king and the princes, and took them to where he lives in Babylon. He took a member of the royal family and made a treaty with him...so that the kingdom would remain modest and without ambition and so maintain his treaty faithfully." (Ez.17:12-14).
"The king of Babylon pardoned the king of the Jews and released him from prison. He treated him kindly and allotted him a seat above those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. So the king of of the Jews laid aside his prisoner's garb, and for the rest of his life always ate at the king's table." (Jer.52:31-33).
You will notice in this prophecy that this honored seat will not be vacated until the life of the king of the Jew's has ended. The life of Jesus, the king of the Jews specific to this prophecy, was restored to Him in the resurrection, long before the treaty was even made. It has been ordained that Jesus Christ live forever. So this prophecy has nothing to do with that. Instead, the "end" in question relates to the end of the life of the treaty of peace between Babylon and God. It has to do with the life of the relationship between God and Babylon.
That treaty is now in collapse. God and Jesus not only no longer enjoy the highest seat among the kings at the emperor's table, they no longer are even welcome to sit at the table itself. The United States forbids even the mention of their names in its public schools.
With the treaty at an end, the nations are now poised to attack the very people they once joined and respected. This is little different from Pharaoh's attack on the rearguard of the fleeing Israelites as they made their way across the parted waters of the Red Sea in compliance with Pharaoh's decree. That original typology was put in place by the Holy Spirit for the very reason that it emphasize the current relationship, and prophesy it's violent end.
The Passover of the Israelites from Egypt across the Sinai to the Promised Land was pointing to our own spriitual journey from Babylon to God's everlasting kingdom in the new heaven and new earth to which Jesus is leading us.
"Work while you have the light, darkness is coming when no one can work!" (Jn.9:4-5)
This darkness means the end, not just of prophecy, but even of the knowledge of Jesus and His salvation. It means all the nations will work in concert with one another to thwart the message of salvation and prevent its broadcast. They will pull every plug they find. Even pages like this one will disappear suddenly and never be seen again on this earth.
As the hour of midnight approaches, the nations will declare war on the treaty itself. The communion sacrifice will be abolished and the entrance to every house of worship will be shuttered. "Gladness will be banished from the country. Nothing but rubble in the city, the gate smashed to pieces, and so it will be on earth, among the peoples, when the grape harvest is over." (Is.24:11-13). It is then that God will stand up and say "Enough!" (Is.24:16).
"The earth is defiled under its inhabitiants' feet, for they have transgressed the law, violated the precept, broken the everlasting covenant. So a curse consumes the earth and its inhabitants suffer the penalty, that is why the inhabitants of the earth are burnt up and few men are left." (Is.24:1-6).
For this reason, the preaching you hear now is like the grand finale at a fireworks show, a spectacular and explosive moment of light and preaching everywhere, to be followed suddenly by silence and darkness. Scripture says in that silence men will go from land to land looking for God but failing to find Him.
It is hard to conceive that this could happen, the planet going from high noon to midnight in the blink of an eye. But that is how scripture has defined it. We have seen over and over again how scripture fulfills itself. "The word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do." (Is.55:11).
The door is to be shut and the offer of Christ terminated quickly. That is why everyone who has not yet repented or who has decided to procrastinate for a better time may find themselves locked out forever.
Now is the time for conversion. There may not be another moment like this. Think of the last helicopter flight out of Saigon, with people trying to hang off its runners. It will be like that. What scripture has promised is certain to happen just as predicted.
In your paper you say the two houses of Israel in the Old Testament stand for the Christians and the Jews. How did you arrive at this? I am not disagreeing with your position, just wondering. GW
The story of the two houses of Israel in scripture is built on the ten northern tribes leaving the true religion of God and going off to Bethel to set up a temple and priesthood "foreign" to Moses. The Jews, meanwhile, remained faithful to the temple in Jerusalem. This schizm split the House of Israel into two houses. It created two religions in Israel.
On the surface, the meaning is clear. The ten northern tribes committed apostasy and separated themselves from the God of their ancestors, while the Jews remained loyal to Him.
Proving this apostasy and its consequences, the ten northern tribes were subsequently overrun by the Assyrians and the entire population of northern Israel was taken to Nineveh in captivity and never seen again. They disappeared into the genetic framework of the human race leaving the Jews (the citizens of Jerusalem) the apparent sole heirs of the religion of Moses.
The recovery and restitution of the lost tribes was considered completely impossible.
As the story develops through prophecy, however, a new meaning unfolds. It not only shows the recovery and restitution of the lost tribes, it reverses the allegory. The ten tribes, in their conversion, end up actually following the true temple, Jesus, while their brothers in Jerusalem reject Him, lavishing their worship on lifeless brick an idol foreign to God.
Our guide to this second meaning is the prophets. It is their predictions which alert us to this reversal.
"Son of man, your brothers, your kinsmen, the whole House of Israel (i.e., all the people in the ten lost tribes), these are told by the citizens of Jerusalem (the Jews), "you have been sent away from God; it is to us that the land was given as our domain".
Say therefore, "The Lord God says this: Yes, I have sent them far away among the nations and I have dispersed them to foreign countries; and for a while I have been a sanctuary for them in the country to which they have gone", Then say, "The Lord God says this: I will gather you together from the peoples, I will bring you all back from the countries where you have been scattered and I will give you the land of Israel. They will come and purge it of all the horrors and filthy practices. I will give them a single heart and I will put a new spirit in them; I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh instead, so that they will keep my laws and respect my observances and put them into practice. Then they shall be my people and I will be their God." (Ez. 11:14-21).
God has set up an astonishing religion, deep in symbolism, miraculous in its complexity and meaning, absolute in its virtue, and all of it prophesied in advance. But, as Isaiah said, He brought His plan before a people who refused to listen.
"You have seen many things but not observed them; your ears are open but you do not hear. It is God's will, for the sake of his integrity, to make his Law great and glorious. But this is a people all pillaged and plundered, trapped in caves, hidden in dungeons. They are looted with no one to rescue them, robbed, with no one to say, 'Give it back!' Which of you listening to this will pay attention and mark it, against the time to come? Who handed Jacob over to the robber, Israel to the pillagers? Was it not the Lord? We had sinned against him, we had refused to follow his ways or obey his Law." (Is.42:20-24).
That failure to listen does not apply only to the tribe in Jerusalem, the prophets show that it encompasses many who seem to hear and understand every word:
"Son of man, the members of your nation are talking about you on the ramparts and in doorways. They keep saying, 'Come and hear the word that has come from God'. They throng towards you; my people sit down in front of you and listen to your words, but they do not act on them. They cannot tell the truth and their hearts are set on dishonest gain.
As far as they are concerned, you are like a love song beautifully sung to music. They listen to your words, but no one puts them into practice. When the thing takes place - and it is beginning now - they will learn that there has been a prophet among them.." (Ez.33:30-33).
I believe your are right in the assumption that the thousand years has ended. It is possible that satan was released from his prison in the 1908 Tunguska mystery. Could 99% of prophesy have already been fulfilled-no dualism. Is it possible we are sitting at Rev 20:9 ?
Could Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia after signing the current "peace and security" pact launch a surprise attack only to be burned by fire from above? I have wondered if the abomination didn't begin in 2000 with Arafat's fatwa. The desolation being the exclusion of Jews from the temple mount. Very interesting times.JC
Fortunately God has ordained that the punishment approach little by little to give people time to repent. God's time seems to move at the speed of glaciers (which now appear to be moving a bit faster these days according to the news). God made creation for repentance, not judgment. We have watched the mobilization of the world's armies for over a hundered years now. That gives us hope that the physical assault on the Church will not occur for awhile yet.
But you are right. We are watching a part of that eastern army build now (Daniel's 4th kingdom of Persia) and that is very unsettling. Yet there are so many prophecies still to be fulfilled, the pivotal attack on the West by these armies must be a long way down the road yet. And when it comes, it will not be just the forces of the Middle East alone. Scripture is clear: The attack is to be launched from the far north, and all the world's armies will be involved or absorbed in the warfare.
God has ordained that all the world's armies be drawn to Jerusalem for the Judgment. "Let the nations muster round you in a body, and then return, high over them." (Ps.7:7). Obviously, the Judgment will not be a local event.
That is why Jesus said,
"When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you must realize that she will soon be laid desolate. Then those in Judaea must excape to the mountains, those inside the city must leave it, and those in country districts must not take refuge in it. For this is the time of vengeance when all that scripture says must be fulfilled". (Luke 21:20-22).
Daniel shows that the last days revolve around Jesus, not Moses (Dan. 7:13-14). The focus is on a different temple mount.
It is clear in the Book of Daniel that the abomination relates to the communion sacrifice (Dan. 8:11-12). So it cannot have anything to do with Arafat. In fact, it hasn't happened yet because the Church has not yet been physically assaulted. Not only that, the one who oversees the communion sacrifice is still in office. He has not yet been removed (2 Thess. 2:2-7).
As scripture says, God has ordered everything by measure, number and weight. He overlooks men's sins so that they can repent because He is merciful to all. As bad as things seem to be getting, salvation is still possible. God will hold the door open until the last minute, still waiting for the last conversions to occur.
Can you please tell me if someone were to take the Mark of the Beast and then down the road decide they made a mistake and repented of this sin, would God forgive them and then they would then be saved.. IB
There are two parts to the mark of the beast. One is spiritual and every person was born with it. Many churches call it "original sin". It is the mark of Adam & Eve. It is Satan's contamination of our soul. This is the most important mark because Jesus said our soul was created to be eternal. Marked by the beast it cannot remain eternal, but if it survives the "second death", our soul will live forever. Since everyone was born with their souls marked by the beast, the answer to your question is an emphatic yes! God will still forgive them & save them.
We can see the presence of the mark of the beast in us in the way we lived our lives before we turned to Jesus Christ. We can also see how Jesus Christ changed us once we turned to Him, proof of the fact that God cleansed our soul when we were baptised in His name.
We can be said to have accepted and approved of the mark of the beast by living a life directed by Satan murder, violence, hatred, lust, adulterey, fornication, wickedness, incest, stealing, slander, cursing, coveting, idolatry, dishonor, depravity, greed, malice, envy, treachery, arrogance and so on. If we do live in these ways, we are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit we put an end to the misdeeds of the body we will live forever. In Jesus, Paul said, we have an obligation to righteousness and must submit without reservation to the creed Christ taught us, which is the Gospel He preached (Romans 6:16-22).
The second part of the mark of the beast is a physical tattoo that has not yet made it's appearance on earth. It will come in association with the "Madman" at the end of time. The Madman is the beast of the last days. He is called a "madman" because he goes completely beserk. When he arrives, there will be no question about his appearance or visibility. Far more lethal than Adolph Hitler ever dreamed of being, he will institute a reign of terror on earth more violent than any ever witnessed. His hatred of Christians and Jews will know no bounds.
He will order his mark applied to the flesh of all his subjects as proof of their devotion to him.
You don't have to worry about this second mark because the Rebel has not yet appeared, and his coming seems still to be a long way off. Not only that, according to Daniel's prophecies, when the Madman does appear, he will be bested in every encounter he has with a mighty western nation called "Kittim", a nation whose ships block many of his aggressions with respect to Israel (Dan.11:30).
This Kittim (assuming these prophecies apply to our times) must surely be the United States of America. There is no other candidate currently on the world stage with that kind of counteracting power a force so powerful it has the ability to block and hold at bay the military giants of the Eastern Hemisphere.
This means the Madman's authority and edicts, as vast as they may be, will not extend to our shores.
That is not to say the beast will not be in America. He is already here.
Remember, in scripture both the Madman and his father, the great red dragon known as Satan are called the "beast". In fact, there are many more references to Satan as the beast than there are to his end-of-the-world protege (Rev.12:3-4; 13:1+; 17:3; 17:8, etc.).
While the Madman may not make it onto our shores, his father has been here all along, just as he has been present everywhere on earth at all times since his release from his thousand-year imprisonment in the Abyss. The world is divided everywhere between two spiritual cities, "Babylon" and the "Jerusalem of God". Not only do they both exist in every nation and city, they are in every family. That is the meaning of the call of Christ, to separate the citizens of those two cities.
While we continue to live in a mixed population, those who follow Christ are led on an invisible spiritual journey to another world, the kingdom of heaven, an eternal creation where Satan and his children do not exist. The children of Satan must remain behind, their souls to perish in the fiery holocaust scripture says is poised to consume the earth.
Not only is the beast (Satan) here now, he has reclaimed his rule of the world. We can see that reclamation in the decision by all of the world's nations to reject Jesus and His Father (those they had previously pledged allegiance to over the last 1700 years) and follow after godlessness instead. One of the most dramatic visualizations of this new course can be seen in the darkness that suddenly swept across the Asian continent in 1917, plunging virtually all of that continent into a Marxist and Leninist form of atheism, manifested by a virulent hatred of God. This was likely the bowl of the 5th angel, plunging the whole empire of the beast into darkness as it was prophesied in the Book of Revelation (Rev.16:10).
Equally as profound, but less visual has been the rebellion of the nations of the western world (2 Thes. 2:3). Together, these two manifestations of the rebellion point to the certainty of Satan's recent release from prison (Rev.17:8; 20:1-10).
Both of the beast's marks (his spiritual mark and his physical mark) are erased by baptism, which is the mark of God. In fact, that is why Jesus and the Apostle's insisted that we be baptised in Christ's name. Baptism totally cleanses both body and soul from the mark of the beast.
Since the time of Moses, scripture has insisted that the mark of God's covenant be applied to our bodies. Those who lived in Moses were marked by God's first covenant but that mark had no power to cleanse the soul. When Jesus replaced the Mosaic mark with baptism, He not only innoculated our flesh against the mark of the Madman, He provided a way for the soul to be cleansed as well, imparting on it eternal life and destroying forever Satan's mark on us.
Baptism into Christ not only puts the mark of God on our bodies, it puts His mark on our souls as well. That erases Satan's mark and sets us free from sin. The mark of Moses had no power to do any of those things.
As long as we remain in Him, Christ's mark is forever.
The only way we can lose it is to fall from grace. That is not an easy thing to do as long as we keep faith in Christ and remain obedient to His commands. Everytime we stumble, we ask God to forgive our lapse and He does. That is the meaning of the cross. The cross is a fountain of forgiveness that keeps flowing down on us forever, especially when we petition its power through prayer. That keeps us pure in God's eyes.
God is very forgiving. Even those who fall from grace are allowed to return. This is the message of Jesus' parable concerning the "Prodigal Son" (Luke 15:11-32).
The Lord said that we are forgiven in the same amount that we forgive others. Jesus said this many times, and it is in the Lord's Prayer. That is why it is so important that we forgive everyone who has anything against us. As long as we are faithful to Him, He will be faithful to us. If we don't renounce Him, He will never renounce us.
From that point on (i.e., from the point of conversion, confession, repentance and baptism), Satan has absolutely no power over us, nor will his beast when he comes at the end of time. There is nothing to be afraid of ever again for those who have taken refuge in Jesus. The safety He offers is absolute!
Today is the 6th anniversary of the day the towers fell.
"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: On every high mountain and upon every high hill, there will be streams and watercourses, on the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall" (Is.30:8; 25)
"...and so it will be on earth, among the peoples, as at the beating of the olive trees, as at the gleaning of the grapes when the grape harvest is over. 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." (Is.24:13-16).
Are there any references to the beast with 7 heads outside of the Book of Revelation?.. OP
The Old Testament identifies Satan with both a serpent and a sea monster, and references him as a "beast". For instance, In the Book of Job (40:25) as a sea monster, Satan is equated with Leviathan, and in Ezekiel with the crocodile, symbol of Egypt (Ez. 29:3; 32:2).
"Am I the Sea, or the Wild Sea Beast, that you should keep me under watch and guard?" (Job 7:12).
"With his power the Lord calmed the Sea, with his wisdom struck Rahab down. His breath made the heavens luminous, his hand transfixed the Fleeing Serpent." (Job. 26:12-13).
Daniel describes the four kingdoms of Persia as "beasts", especially the last one, the kingdom with iron teeth that teams up with scripture's ten nations to destroy the world at the end of time. The tyrant who leads that destruction is the 8th head of the dragon. Nebuchadnezzar, living next door to Persia worshipped a "dragon" called "Bel", a crocodile he brought to Babylon from Egypt.
The prophet Isaiah, in his satire on the death of the beast provides bitter details of his exploits. (Is.14:3-21)
"Is this the man who made the earth tremble and overthrew kingdoms? Who made the world a desert and levelled cities?" (Is.14:16-17).
To the Hebrew's, the dragon is symbolic of the devil. But in the Orient, it is a symbol of worship. This has been true for thousands of years. The Bible sees Satan as a master serpent who rules the lower waters.
"That day, the Lord will punish, with his hard sword, massive and strong, Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent; he will kill the sea-dragon." (Is.27:1).
Satan's reptillian imagery in scripture started with Adam and Eve in Eden. And John completed the Bible's imagery with his fire, smoke and sulphur-breathing serpent the 'great red dragon', the monster of the sea (i.e., of the cosmos) destined to lead the kings of the East into the gathering of the nations at Armageddon.
In Greek mythology, Draco, the dragon, was the constellation of stars in the heavens which were thought to be responsible for bringing famine and pestilence to the world.
"The shades tremble beneath the earth; the waters and their denizens are afraid." (Job 26:5). This passage addresses the waters of the abyss, peopled, according to the ancient cosmogonies then in popular acceptance, by the monsters subdued at the creation. In the cosmogonies of Babylon, the sea (called Tiamat) co-operated in the birth of the gods and then was conquered and subdued by one of their own.
In the beginning the earth was covered in water and there was no dry land, so life on earth began in the sea. At least the sea co-operated in the birth of life. So the cosmogonies have a ring of truth. Moreover, they forsee one being born out of the world, subduing it. These poems presaged the coming of Christ. The 'God' they envisioned that would bring the Sea and its monsters under His control was the 'Son' who was sent to be born in Judea by the Father to conquer Chaos and mold it into order.
"by your power you split the sea in two, and smashed the heads of monsters on the waters..." (Ps. 74:13). "You crushed Leviathan's heads..." (Ps. 74:14).
Notice in these passages that the word "heads" is plural. There were several monsters in the water, all of them "heads" on Leviathan, the sea monster.
The Book of Revelation gives specific number to the monsters in the waters a single dragon with 7 heads. Not only that, but John reveals them in such a way that we can identify most, if not all of them in terms of nations and kings hostile to God's House of Israel who have dotted history's sequence since its inception.
They begin with Egypt under Pharaoh and proceed through Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and finally (leading up to the time of Christ and the Apostles) Rome. The list ends with the 7th head, Germany, and Adolph Hitler's slaugher of an enormous part of one of the two "Houses" of Israel, 9 to 12 million Jews in the 20th century. As we can see, many of the heads have already been thrown into the eternal flames by God.
In addition to the dragon, one head is left.
Still to come is the 8th head, a reincarnation of one of the previous seven. The violence of his reign is detailed in the Books of Daniel, Revelation, Isaiah (above), Jeremiah, Ezekiel and many others, including the two books of the Maccabees. The fate of the 8th head will be the same as the others.
He, too, will meet his end, after which Jesus will return in glory exactly as predicted (Dan.12:7).
The first 9/11 remembered-and the message of the second 9/11.
On this great feast day of Our Lady's Holy Name, established in 1683 to honor Mary's intercession to deliver Christendom from the Moslem onslaught at Vienna, we gratefully recall the words of Psalm 33:
"The LORD foils the plan of nations, frustrates the designs of peoples. The plan of the LORD stands forever, wise designs through all generations. Happy the nation whose God is the LORD, the people chosen as his very own."
Catholic writer Hilaire Belloc, who predicted in a 1936 essay that Islam would rise up again and attempt to conquer the West, reviewed the history of its successful aggressions against our civilization, culminating in "the last effort they made to destroy Christendom":
"Vienna . . . was almost taken, and was only saved by the Christian army under the command of the King of Poland [Jan Sobieski] on a date that should be among the most famous in history-September 11, 1683."
On that date, 9/11/1683, the rescuing Christian army attacked the Turks besieging Vienna, delivering a resounding defeat on the next day, September 12. The Viennese, under fierce siege for two months, had sought the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
" The object of this feast [The Holy Name of Mary] is our blessed Lady bearing the name of Mary, and it was instituted that on it the faithful might in a special manner recommend to God, through the intercession of His all-holy Mother, the needs of the Church, and thank Him for His almighty protection and numberless mercies, especially those we receive on account of the graces and mediation of the Blessed Virgin. The feast was allowed at Cuenca in Spain in 1513; it spread in that country, and in 1683 Pope Innocent XI extended it to the whole Western church, as an act of thanksgiving for the raising of the siege of Vienna and the defeat of the Turks by John Sobieski, King of Poland; it . . . is now kept on the date of Sobieski's triumph." Butler's Lives (vol III, p 544)."
In an insightful secular essay, "The Revolt of Islam": When did the conflict with the West begin, and how could it end? (New Yorker Magazine 11/19/01), Bernard Lewis wrote:
"Then the change came. The second Turkish siege of Vienna, in 1683, ended in total failure followed by headlong retreat-an entirely new experience for the Ottoman armies. A contemporary Turkish historian, Silihdar Mehmet Aga, described the disaster with commendable frankness: "This was a calamitous defeat, so great that there has been none like it since the first appearance of the Ottoman state.'
"This defeat, suffered by what was then the major military power of the Muslim world, gave rise to a new debate, which in a sense has been going on ever since. The argument began among the Ottoman military and political élite as a discussion of two questions: Why had the once victorious Ottoman armies been vanquished by the despised Christian enemy? And how could they restore the previous situation?"
Did the Islamic jihadists choose 9/11/2001 to "pay back" for 9/11/1683, and all the Moslem defeats that followed? Did God perhaps allow this to be the fateful date, that we might recall how Vienna, and what once was rightly called Christendom, were rescued by faith and by repentance, so that like them we might return to the path that leads to peace-to love of God and neighbor, and obedience to God's commandments-the path taught by Jesus, exemplified by Mary's earthly life, and again emphasized by our beloved Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, in his first encyclical, Deus caritas est (God is Love)?" www.paoline.org/eng/doc_art/articoli/deus_caritas.htm <http://www.paoline.org/eng/doc_art/articoli/deus_caritas.htm> .
To answer the question of Mr. Lewis' essay title, "How could it end?", the conflict between the West and Islam could end in peace-if those who have heard and once believed the Gospel again embrace it, and submit to God their wills, and their lives. In 1683, a holy Capuchin monk, Fr. Mark D'Aviano, asked for help by King Leopold, worried over the Moslem advance upon Vienna, addressed the Viennese,
"Vienna, Vienna, your love of lax living has prepared you a grave and imminent chastisement: Convert, and consider well what you are doing, O wretched Vienna."
Like Jonah when he prophesied doom to the Ninevites, Fr. D'Aviano was heeded. "The emperor commanded public penances, and the Viennese, like latter-day Ninevites, prayed and did penance."
Let us, then, keep this holy day by prayer and by repentance, asking Our Blessed Mother Mary again to intercede with her Divine Son, to obtain the conversion of the Muslims, to bring about the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart, and ensuing period of world peace, that she prophesied-and promised-at Fatima, Portugal, on July 13, 1917.
The Ottoman attack on Vienna marked the ultimate reach of the prophet Mohammed's military forces into Christian territory. The defeat (chronicled above) stopped this third Muslim advance against Christian forces in its tracks and reversed the process. There has not been any attempt by Muslim forces to attack the Western world in any appreciable way since at least not until 9/11/2001.
The prophecies of Daniel forecast four attacks by the kings of the East to try to counteract the teachings of Christ in the world. The Ottoman attack was the third in this series. The fourth attack, the final one, his book says, will be successful in toppling western power, but it will end in the catastrophic devastation of the earth.
This victory by the fourth kingdom of Persia will be hollow. Daniel's writings together with those of the Book of Revelation show us that nothing will be left of the nations vanquished nor of the victor, either. Instead, Jesus will appear and the end of the carnage and take His followers to a new world uncontaminated by the sins of this world, leaving behind the flaminig wreckage of this fourth war, and all those who chose to be left behind, .
The prophecies of this approaching age of darkness are imbedded like concrete throughout the scriptures. Nothing can stop the occurance. Yet the Bible makes it clear. Repentance and conversion are powers that can stay the day and hold back the clock. Like the people of Nineveh and Vienna, we have that power if only we choose to exercise it.
See Also, In "The Last Days of Babylon": "The Four Empires of Persia"
Perhaps you can shed light on something confusing to me. As I understand it, Cyrus was the Persian king who set the Jews free from Babylon in 538 BC, but the way Isaiah speaks of him in chapter 45 it is like he is talking about someone else. Is the Cyrus in Isaiah the same Cyrus from Persia who authorized the return from Babylon? If not, can you tell me who he is. PL
These are two different figures built on similar principles. While they seem the same, on closer inspection, it is clear that the Persian king, Cyrus, was never God's shepherd. Isaiah writes:
"I am he who says of Cyrus, 'My shepherd he will fulfill my whole purpose, saying of Jerusalem, 'Let her be rebuilt', and of the temple, 'Let your foundation be set in place." (Isaiah 44:26-28)
Cyrus the Persian king did, in fact, issue a decree authorizing the Jews who wished to return, the right to leave Babylon and return to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple. His relationship to the God of Israel, however, was not the same as that of the servant Isaiah describes.
Isaiah's prophecy points beyond the Cyrus of Persia. It involves an expansive prophecy that stretches in his writing from chapter 41 to chapter 45 and is clearly Messianic. Thus it's essence relates to Jesus Christ and seems specific to a world leader associated with Him, a fact that would place the focal point of the prophecy centuries after the Persian king who freed the Jews.
Covering so many chapters in the Book of Isaiah, the prophecy must relate to a person of vital importance. We should expect the figure it personifies, therefore, to occupy a dominating position in the structure of Christianity.
Since the prophecy is built on the powerful king of Persia and relates to someone who does not know the God of Israel (Is.45:4-5), it seems likely that it references a dominant pagan world leader who converts to Christ in a very meaningful way. The Persian king in 538 B.C., remember, is notable in history for issuing a proclamatioin freeing the people of Israel from captivity and allowing them to return and rebuild the ruins of Jerusalem.
"And in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, to fulfil the word of the Lord that was spoken through Jeremiah, the Lord roused the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to issue a proclamation and to have it publicly displayed throughout his kingdom. 'Thus speaks Cyrus king of Persia, 'The Lord, the God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; he has ordered me to build him a Temple in Jerusalem, in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, may his God be with him! Let him go up." (2 Chron. 36:22-23).
We know from scripture that the ruins of Jerusalem can only be rebuilt in Christ. His entire mission was to effect that rebuilding through conversion, repentance, baptism and obedience to His word.
The strongest candidate by far in this regard would be the Roman emperor, Constantine, who, in 313 A.D., issued the Edict of Milan which made Christianity legal in the world, allowing the Christian Church to come out of hiding in the catacombs and rebuild the Church openly, with the full approval of the pagan authorities. Constantine, did, in fact, become a strong servant of God, developing into an enormously powerful Christian convert and leader who oversaw the Church Council at Nicea in which the Nicene Creed was promulgated.
Under Constantine, Rome ruled the world all the kingdoms of the earth. The reach of his empire was such that he found it necessary to build a second capitol at the Bosphorus at the entrance to the Black Sea in Byzantium, a city he renamed "Constantinople" (now known as Istanbul).
It was Constantine's conversion and acceptance of Christ that accomplished the fulfillment of all the prophecies Isaiah lists in his writings about Cyrus. His proclamation at Milan began the reign on earth of the Christian Church. From the time of Constantine until just this last century, the Christian Church and all the nations of the western world have worked in concert with one another, creating a climate on earth conducive to the spread of Christ's message of salvation to the farthest ends of the earth.
Isaiah's concept of the Persian king as a benevolent servant develops not only on the Persian figure who freed the Jews in 538 B.C., but also on the theme of Esther, where the king of Persia, allegorically, is not only friendly to the people of God, He is God. His two wives, Vashti and Esther are the covenants. The first refused the banquet and the king married Esther in her place instituting by allegory, a new creation (a new everlasting covenant). Esther represents a brand new kingdom not of this earth.
The Jerusalem of this world (the first covenant) is being discarded like Vashti. Esther represents her replacement the new Jerusalem in the new creation. The ruins of the new Jerusalem are living stones i.e., people making up the new Jerusalem's spiritual house. We are those living stones. The ruins that Constantine allowed to be rebuilt across the earth by his actions and edict, are those same spiritual ruins, ourselves.
It is obvious in Isaiah's writings that the servant of God he portrays as Cyrus is vastly different from the future Persian figure who will soon free the House of Israel from its 2000-year exile ("diaspora") imposed by the treaty of peace Christ signed in His blood with Babylon from the cross.
When that final prince of Persia appears in the days ahead to issue his own decree, it will complete the circle of prophecies relating to Persia, and bring the return of Christ.
Scripture tells us that all the works of God go in pairs by opposites. It is the same here. The Prince of Persia to come will not be a servant of God. Just the opposite, he will be God's arch enemy. His edict will reverse that of Constantine. He will cancel Christ's treaty, abolish the perpetual sacrifice, and forbid Christian worship throughout his enormous empire.
About your answer on 9/24/07 I don't agree with you about Constantine being Cyrus in Isaiah's prophecy. Perhaps you should revisit Jesus. DH
You might be right, but most bible scholars disagree. The fact that Isaiah used the word "Cyrus" points the prophecy toward an individual prefigured by the name.
In terms of what they both did, Cyrus of Persia in 538 B.C. and Constantine of Babylon (Rome) in 313 A.D. these two world leaders were virtually mirror-images of one another. Both began as leaders of empires hostile to Israel and both promulgated edicts which set the two "Houses" of Israel free from captivities to their nations by allowing the Israelites (Jews and Christians) the freedom to return and rebuild the ruins of Jerusalem.
One return related to an ill-fated physical attempt to rebuild the Temple in Jewish times. The other related to God's demand for spiritual rebuilding under Christ, and it, alone, has turned out, in the end, to be successful. Christianity is, in itself, God's spiritual temple every soul of it..
The edict of Cyrus allowed the Jews to leave their Persian captivity to return to Jerusalem in Palestine and rebuild the physical Temple, finalized in Herod's structure in Jerusalem (the temple that refused to embrace Jesus Christ when He arrived). The edict of Contantine, on the other hand, allowed the Christians to spiritually leave the pagan environment of Babylon (i.e., the pagan Roman empire) by conversion into the righteousness of the Gospel.
Jesus made it clear that God's demand related to the latter, not the former (Mat. 24:1-2). His message was all about the spiritual rebuilding of our souls. Physical rebuilding was unimportant to God because He was leading His flock out of this world to a new kingdom not of this earth.
Constantine's Edict of Milan had the immediate effect of openly converting the vast Roman empire from paganism to Christianity. In less than 60 years every pagan temple was closed or converted into a Christian church. The entire populace was ordered to follow Christ. That vast conversion proved a "mortal wound" to Babylon, turning Rome, and with it the world, into a Christian empire.
Constantine's edict did not end with the fall of Rome. The conquerors of Rome, the Huns, Goths and Vandals, etc., converted to Jesus themselves, and carried the religion of Christ home to all their European families and neighbors.
The changing political climate in Europe over the ensuing years retained the Christian Church as the sole religious philosophy governing their populations. Moreover, their worldwide conquests carried the Church across the planet. Atheistic or pagan worship was not tolerated by these Christian conquerors and explorers, and was systematically stamped out wherever they went and they went virtually everywhere.
This "rule" of Christ in the world continued from the time of Constantine until the beginning of the last century. Only in our time has it changed, and in our time it has changed dramatically. In 1917 atheism as a national doctrine appeared for the first time. Led by the philosophies of Lenin and Marx this Antichrist belief swept across Russia and, 30 years later, in 1947, carried by the army of Mao tse Tung, it enveloped almost all of China and much of the Far East.
At the same time, the agnostic philosophy of secularism has overwhelmed what formerly had been the Christian nations of the West. No longer are any nations of the world carrying the banner of Christ, or promoting Christian worship. Instead, they have systematically passed law after law forbidding the proseletyzing of religion in any area deemed "state or civic". The mere mention of the words "Jesus" or "God" is not permitted in most American public schools today.
Stalin, Hitler, Mohammed, or Atilla the Hun, yes but not Jesus Christ.
Private corporations have followed suit, terming religions like Christianity "bigoted" for declaring they are the only path to eternal life a claim they maintain that has made Jesus too controversial to be tolerated in the commercial environment. The word "Christmas" has been changed to the word "holiday" because of the controversy. The word "Easter" is now "spring". And so on.
The public has openly embraced this secular philosophy. Without thinking they have accepted this attack on Jesus Christ as something to be applauded.
The Book of Revelation, written 2000 years ago, predicted that after Satan had been released from his prison in the abyss in the last days, he would return to his world throne (to spiritually govern) everywhere on earth. Not just overseas, but here as well (Rev. 17:8). Everywhere. We have seen what an enormous impact his changes have had on the nations of the West in just the last hundred years with respect to God, and how dramatically they have altered the religiosity of the populace. Churches are closing and disappearing in great numbers all across the earth.
The shunting of Jesus away from public view has proceeded with astonishing speed.
We are witnessing the beginning of the impact of Satan's return, not the end of it. This is only the start. There are no more Constantine's in the national picture of the world. With Boris Yeltsin gone, there are no more world leaders with the ability or inclination to turn themselves or the people they govern to Christ. There is no one one to intervene in the secular or atheistic environment of today's world politics and stand up openly for Jesus.
Had the absence of faith been like this in the past, Christianity would never have flourished finding the world too hostile for fearless speech.
Had it not been for Constantine, billions of Christians would never have heard the voice of Jesus speaking to their hearts and imploring them to leave this world and follow Him to eternal life. Choosing that path their lives have been made secure forever, proving that Constantine was a powerful tool for God in Christian history. His temporal actions were pivotal in terms of world salvation.
He made the world a far more inviting field for the spiritual harvest Peter and Paul had initiated through Jesus Christ.
While much of Isaiah's writing in these chapters does, in fact, relate to Jesus Christ, the figure Isaiah terms "Cyrus" seems certain to point to Constantine and to his powerful role in structuring the rule of Christianity in the world a politically sponsored reign that lasted 1700 years, brought billions of people to the Gospel, and stretched across many empires and nations over the course of a period called the "millenium", the most important era in the planet's entire history (Mat.11:11).
As we watch that era now come to an end, we are particularly reminded of its importance.
October 3, 2007
Jesus said there will be earthquakes in diverse places and that this will be a sign that the last days have begun. Can we expect more of them, or what we see now is all there is? OV
I would assume the earthquakes will increase in frequency. At least one of them will be more powerful than anything the human race has ever experienced before. Zechariah and others have written about a great quake that will strike Jerusalem very near the end that will be the greatest ever felt by man (Zc 14:4; Rv.16:17-21; Ps.46:1-3). Jesus said the powers of the heavens will be shaken during the last days (Mat.24:29-30). That, alone, could set the earth trembling.
The release of Satan from his imprisonment in the Abyss (Rev.17:8; 20:7-9) seems to have been associated with a comet striking Russia in 1908. It was a fearsome blast that rocked the whole earth and leveled thousands of square miles of forest. Fortunately it struck out in the wilds of Siberia where almost no people lived. Had it hit in a population center, it would have done catastrophic damage and could easily have killed millions.
As Satan retakes his throne, assembles his forces and mobilizes the nations of the world for war in the way that scripture fortells (Rev. 20:7-9), one might expect the gravity of the consequences of his actions to be expressed in ways not unlike the Tsunguska event in Siberia. The shaken powers of the heavens, at least some of them, may well impact the earth. Jesus said the seas will roil wildly, and the famines he warned about are certain to lead to global panic and rioting. All this will be independent of the warfare. We may know very soon about an increase in earthquake activity because the reign of violence that scripture labels the wrath, appears quite close.
The increasing level of terrorism on earth right now (highlighted by the civilized world's reaction to it its "war on terror") may well be part and parcel of such a reign.
Scripture tells us the Wrath (of which the earthquakes are certain to be a part) has been held back for the harvest, but Satan's return from the Abyss indicates that those divine restraints have now been removed. The world wars, the return of atheism in imperial form, the terrorism and violence...all these things point to recent pivotal changes in the millenial structure. All have seriously eroded the power and reach of the Christian Church's message on earth. There are growing signs that a darker moment, the proof of the prophesies announced by Jeremiah is very close as well (Jer 44:29-30), and that the United States will be co-targeted with Israel when that moment is unveiled.
In ancient times words were not only seen as signs & symbols, "but were actually forces and powers in themselves. Puns, boasts, vows, spells, and curses were thought to release energy into the natural world. In our language the word has no power to become anything but language. But in the language of scripture, the word is God with all the power implied." It is in this power that all the epic and mystery in scripture lies. In this sense, God seems to have locked Jeremiah's moment in a warning by the prophet Amos.
At the funeral of Ronald Reagan. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor quoted a reading that she said he often quoted in his speeches which seemed to him to relate to the United States and its transcendent potential on the one side, or the possibility (if our country shuns God) of a bitter fate on the other. It was about scripture's account of a city on the hill that Reagan attributed to the prophet Micah.
Here is Justice O'Connor's reading that day:
"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. 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, 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 throughout the world." Ronald Reagan.
The "city on the hill" relates to Samaria, a city belonging to the northern tribes. While Micah addressed this shining city's sinfulness, he spoke more glowingly about another place even higher, the "mountain of the Temple of God that would be put on top of the mountains and lifted higher than the hills." (Micah 4:1-4). He was speaking of the transcendent Jerusalem of Jesus Christ, a city not of this earth, the kind of city Reagan wanted the United States to emulate and so preserve its place of safety and power under God.
"In the days to come the mountain of the Temple of the Lord will be put on top of the mountains and be lifted higher than the hills. The peoples will stream to it, nations without number will come to it; and they will say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the Temple of the God of Jacob so that he may teach us his ways and we may walk in his paths; since from Zion the Law will go out, and the oracle of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will wield authority over many peoples and arbitrate for mighty nations; they will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation, there will be no more training for war. Each man will sit under his vine and his fig tree, with no one to trouble him. The mouth of the Lord God Almighty has spoken it." (Micah 4:1-4).
The city on the hill reference is specific to Samaria and the northern tribes and comes from the first book of Kings:
"He (Omri, the king of Israel) 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." (1 Kings 16:24)
Micah addressed the city on the hill with this warning:
"What is the crime of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? What is the sin of the House of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem? I intend to make Samaria a ruin in the open country, a place where vines will be planted. I will set her stones rolling into the valley, I will lay her foundatios 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 prophet Amos, a contemporary of Micah, and speaking on the same subject, pointed the oracle toward our own times. He underscored the close relationship between this city on the hill (Samaria) and Israel (a relationship which, if it points to America and the current nation of Israel, would bring Reagan's prophecy full circle). The reason for Reagan's warning to America "not to deal falsely with God in the work the city had undertaken so as to cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, (lest) we...be made a story and a by-word throughout the world." can be clearly seen in the direction taken by the northern tribes:
"Woe to those ensconced so snugly in Zion and to those who feel so safe on the mountain of Samaria, those famous men of this first of nations to whom the House of Israel goes as client...You think to defer the day of misfortune, but you hasten the reign of violence.
Woe to those who lie on ivory beds and lounge on couches, who dine on choice lambs and fatted calves; who strum to the sound of the harp, inventing new instruments of music like David; who drink wine by the bowlful, and use the finest lotions for anointing themselves, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph! Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile and their wanton revelry done away with. Their feasting will be brought to an end." (Amos 6:1-7)
"The ruin of Joseph" warns in this passage of the impending collapse of the kingdom of Israel (the ten tribes of the north). Amos' prophecy here announces the imminent exile of the northern tribes to Assyria shortly before it occurs in 721 B.C.
Joseph, who lived a thousand years earlier, enters this picture through his son Ephraim. When they broke away from Judah and Jerusalem to form one of the two houses of Israel, the northern tribes raised their own temple in a town called Bethel. Bethel was located in the land of Ephraim the land allotted to Ephraim, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Because Ephraim was the son of Joseph, the loss of the temple and these ten tribes is termed by the prophet "the ruin of Joseph". It is seen as the ruin of Ephraim, and therefore, of the legacy of his father, Joseph, a patriarch of Israel..
Because it relates to patriarchal honors it is like an opposite to Jacob whose son Judah provided the land in which Jerusalem and the Jewish temple were located. The honor of housing the tribal temple see-saws back and forth through Old Testament scripture between Bethel and Jerusalem (between Ephraim and Judah). The issue seemed to have been decided once and for all with the exile and destruction of the ten northern tribes. The Jews saw that disappearance as permanent and irrevocable. Not only were they irreversibly invisible, the northern tribes had become one with the Gentiles and thus mortally and hopelessly contaminated in Jewish eyes.
However, that promise did not die with the loss of the ten tribes. It was renewed in Jesus Christ who, through baptism in His sacrifice, purified the souls of both the Gentiles and the Hebrews who had mixed with them. Jesus called them back to return to His Jerusalem in the heavens (Jer.16:14-15). Not only that, He elevated them to the status of conquerors of Jerusalem (Jer.13:20-21). Christianity with Christ at its head was to rule supreme over both Israel and Judah.
When the name Joseph appears in Bible prophecy, it should always be seen as a possible allegorical alert pointing to Jesus Christ.
It is commonly understood by scholars that Jesus fulfilled the allegory of Joseph, who was sold by his brothers into slavery to Egypt. Joseph rose there to become a powerful Egyptian lord who commanded all of Pharaoh's stores of grain. When famine came, it was Joseph who saved his brothers, by alloting them all the food they needed to survive the catastrophe.
In this story Joseph stands forever in scripture as the allegorical counterpart to Jesus who was to repeat this formula on God's spiritual level in Babylon. Resurrected from His crucifixion Jesus was at the forefront of the great Diaspora that saw the two Houses of Israel deported spiritually to Babylon. Taken in chains (witness Christianity in the catacombs) to Babylon (Rome), the Body of Christ was at first a prisoner there. Constantine released Him and allotted Him a seat above all the other kings in Babylon (the Edict of Milan) where He was put in charge of food distribution. That food is the Gospel that gives eternal life to all who eat it.
"Writhe, cry out daughter of Zion, for now you have to leave the city and live in the open country. To Babylon you must go and there you will be rescued; There God will ransom you out of the power of your enemies." (Micah 4:10).
For this reason, we can allegorically project Amos' prophecy beyond its Old Testament setting and apply it to Christian times. The collapse of Joseph in our time relates directly to the impending loss of the food supply which Jesus has been making available to the world from Babylon. The essence of this loss will prove the collapse of the house of Christianity. In this sense, it points to the abomination of desolation and the abolition of the perpetual sacrifice.
In this new application the prophecy warns us that we are on the threshold of the Wrath, the "reign of violence", and that the Word of God is about to be taken away from the world. The prophecy, then, is about the return of darkness when no one can work, a circumstance Jesus warned lay ahead.
That loss will end the peace treaty that Jesus made with the world on the cross.
Amos' prophecy speaks to us today for in it we can see a people that is paying no attention to the circumstances leading toward this catastrophe (the order not to proseletyze in the public square). The "ruin of the House of Joseph" can be seen in allegorical terms, a circumstance contrasted by the lush and hedonistic lifestyle good times are making possible in religion's vacuum. It warns that the good times are about to end and never return. Few care that Jesus is under attack by the secular nations of our time. Instead, everyone is listening to music, painting themselves with all sorts of expensive oils and perfumes, drinkng expensive wines and dining on gourmet meals featuring the finest cuts of meat.
The warfare by those who want to block any mention of God in science is reflected even more profoundly by those who are fighting to "challenge the constitutionality of mixing church and state". Together they have changed the culture by systematically driving God out of the public square, leaving in their wake an orthodoxy that is quite godless. Reading Amos' account, it is easy to see ourselves in the conditions that brought the northern tribes to the point of Amos' warning. And now, just as then, few care or express concern about the collapse of the house of God in the civic arena.
That is precisely what Reagan warned about in his 'city on the hill' speeches.
Israel stood then, "confident of their favored status before the Lord (Dt.7:6+), eagerly awaiting God's intervention, certain it would be in their favor. Amos warned them it would be the opposite. Instead, he said, the day of the Lord will be a day of wrath against an Israel hardened by sin (Zp. 1:15; Ezk. 22:24, Lm 2:22). It will be, scripture says, a day of darkness, tears, massacre and terror (Am.5:18-20, Is. 2:6-21, Jer. 30:5-7, Zp 1:4-18, Joel 1: 15-20, Joel 2:1-11)."
As the approach of the End manifests itself in the events that signal it (such the earthquakes and roaring seas) the 'day of the Lord' will be seen more and more as a "day of 'judgment' insuring the triumph of the virtuous and the destruction of sinners. (Mal. 3:19-23, Is. 13:6-9, etc). Yet the Book of Revelation shows that instead of repenting their sins, the people will curse God and denounce Him for bringing on them all this woe.
The earthquakes are early warnings of this impending reign of violence (that in many ways seems already swirling around us). Yet there is, still in the future, a defining moment designed by God to structure its unveiling. Will there be a flurry of great quakes to accompany that moment? Scripture does not say. Instead the focus seems to be on a pivotal assassination, economic collapse and a catastrophic tidal wave.
Apparently those are the circumstances that will define the moment that opens the floodgates to the global Wrath. Only those who have accepted Christ's offer of peace will be exempted from the chaos that follows.
The one thing that stands out in all these prophecies is that all this could have been prevented had the nations not turned their backs on God. Especially here. The empty churches should have been filled to the rafters with worshippers willing to stand up to the godless vanguard that has mounted its attack against Christ in its battle for our nation's soul. Even so, there is still time to work for our own redemption, and perhaps for that of our nation as well.
I recently have read several articles intimating that plans are in the final stages of development by the current US administration for a military assault on Iran. The actionable timeline is within 8-10 months, prior to the presidential elections. These plans are being finalized ostensibly in preparation to a failed diplomatic agreement in Germany later this month to an array of sanctions against Iran forcing curtailment of it's alleged nuclear weapons capability production. Germany is expected to balk at the proposed sanctions joining Russia and China as countries opposed to the harsh conditions. In these same articles are references to blooming alliances between forces opposed to Iran's pursuit of nuclear arms and forces in support of Iran's right to sovereign decisions. When the countries of these alliances are mentioned, they paint a picture of the north-south axis along the Euphrates river region that prophecy has predicted millennia ago and that your web site has so vividly and repeatedly described. The countries referenced forming along the north axis are: Iran, Syria and Russia. The countries referenced forming the south axis are: US, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Emirates and Israel. While these gathering forces aligning themselves are in the early stages and does not necessarily promote a grim harbinger to immediate warfare on a worldwide scale, it may well be wise to not cast a blind eye to the real possibility looming in the very near future of a hardened stance promoting a new era of Middle East cold war by these countries - and their proxy's - positioning for sphere's of influence and, perhaps, triggering a series of ever-escalating wars or the achievement of nuclear weapons in the hands of terror proxy's leading to the nightmare scenario predicted in the last days. A sign of the times? RA
How could it not be?
History's path is almost always interrupted and redirected by the unexpected, the catastrophic, and the unbelievable. Expect something completely unexpected, i.e., God's monkey-wrench in those "finalized" plans.
The alliances today are reflective of the power structure today. A changed world power structure will reflect differently. The Book of Daniel doesn't give us nations, but it does show the geography. We don't even know yet the identity of his "ten nations".
Also, not only does the East rise to great power, all the oil in the world is slated to run out in just 40 years (according to a British Petroleum study). Long before that, the remaining supplies will be concentrated only in the Middle East (same study). That's going to bring the whole world there. I personally don't see any of these powers tolerating rogue nuclear, considering that it is such a guaranteed, and almost reflexive two-way street. But who knows?
Ted: For your info and posting if you feel appropriate.
One of the signal events prophesied as a harbinger to the entrance of the era of the last days, is the great rebellion against God, faith, religion and belief in a meaningful spiritual afterlife. This dissociation from God en masse by the world's population as been covered in great detail on your web site and is one of those developments that can (and will) go quietly under the radar of awareness of a large percentage of the population who will be lulled into its embrace by the regularity of its acceptance as easily the ebb and flow of tidal waters. This past Saturday, September 15, I read a front page article in the Washington Post titled, "In Europe and U.S., Nonbelievers Are Increasingly Vocal". In this article are many descriptions, too numerous to cite here, of how the new era of "humanists, secularists, freethinkers, rationalists and brights" are rapidly gaining political power and access to the primary media outlets: television, Internet, radio and newspapers. It was absolutely chilling to read how this great falling away from God, especially in the West, has become rooted by the very event that was demonstrated to this world that we are entering the era of the last days: the fall of the twin towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
To directly quote the article: "But especially in richer nations, and nowhere more than in Europe, growing numbers of people are actively saying they don't believe there is a heaven or hell or anything other than this life. Many analysts trace the rise of what some are calling the 'nonreligious movement' to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The sight of religious fanatics killing 3,000 people caused many to begin questioning - and rejecting - all religion."
This reaction depicts clearly the ironic reality of the sophistry spread by the false prophets of the day: the event that should unite the population in recognition and awareness of prophecy being fulfilled has, instead, engendered a rapidly spreading movement of anti-God belief anchored on the effective manipulation of human emotion and factual events creating a cleverly fashioned argument of deception that, apparently, will sweep the world.
One final medley of quotes from the article supporting this development is worth citing here: "'There is a feeling that religion is being forced on an unwilling public, and now people are beginning to speak out against what they see as rising Islamic and Christian militancy'....'You can't tell us religion is peaceful - look around at the misery it is causing'....'One has to step up and stem the rise of religions influence'....Not believing in an afterlife...'makes you think you have to make the most of this life. It's the now that matters.'"
I hope this entry gets posted to your web site as a manifestation of the reality of the era in which we live. Thank you, RA
The movement the Post article speaks of began long before 9/11/01. It was in high gear in America when the 9/11 attack took place. The Ninth Circuit of Appeals in San Francisco had ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional because it mentioned "God" and schools in northern California had already begun forbidding it's recitation after the ruling, just weeks before the enemy planes hit the buildings. The decision against the Pledge was the deepest penetration to date in the anti-God's movement to destroy the Christian religion in America. That movement on U.S. soil was actually blunted by the Trade Tower attack.
In this country, the events of 9/11 had the immediate opposite effects from the ones quoted in the article. There was an instantaneous outpouring of the Holy Spirit all across America. As if orchestrated by a divine wand, people all across the country began to spontaneously sing "God Bless America". The song resounded in public everywhere from coast to coast, and today, 6 years later is still being sung at thousands of athletic and other events as witness to that outpouring and the sustained power behind it.
In response to this outpouring of the Spirit, there was an immediate backtracking by the satanic forces. The fact that President Bush added his voice to the side of those singing, threw the godless forces into dissaray. The Supreme Court was cowed by the overwhelming national sentiment, and its reach into the White House, so punted on making a decision with respect to the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance. Up to that point, the anti-god forces had risen to such a place of power, school districts were passing out orders forbidding employees from wearing crosses or displaying rosaries in public or in the workplace. Bibles were forbidden as reading matter. The attack of 9/11 blunted these efforts.
The anti-God forces in America have regrouped and are pressing new advances along the lines of the article you quote, and other measures as well. Hopefully the people of this country have awakened to the threat and have courage enough to stand up for God. There seems little hope that the same will hold for the rest of the world. Europe abandoned its faith many years ago. The carnage of World War II seems not to have staunched this loss of faith, on the contrary, they are doing exactly what the article says, "blaming God" for the misery (Rev. 16:9).
The new Pope (Benedict) in his inaugural address bemoaned the catastrophic loss of faith in his homeland, and pledged to try to restore a renewed Christianity to Europe. Faith, however, comes from the inside, not from the outside. The harvest doesn't appear to be there anymore. Only gleaning. The fact is, there are more Mosques in those countries now than there are churches, and the churches that are there are increasingly empty.
In all this the warning at Meribah resounds (Psalm 95:7-9; Exodus 17:7). At the end of their journey, after they had endured virtually the entire 40-year journey across the desert toward the Promised Land, the people led by Moses revolted. They had seen all the miracles and everything God could do and they rebelled anyway at the end of the journey. That is a prophecy because it points to where we are today, almost at the end of the journey (the third day has already begun). And we find ourselves in a world not only questioning the Christianity it had previously embraced, but in many cases, revolting against it.
Nothing good can come from this revolt. Only the Wrath, that night of violence scripture has been warning about from its earliest days. One does not have to watch ten hours of the latest Ken Burns documentary to know that that wrath has already started.
"How long, O God, am I to cry for help but you do not listen...I cry out to you about the violence but you do not intervene. Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery? Destruction and violence are before me; all is strife and clamorous discord...Then God answered and said, 'Write the vision down, inscribe it on tablets to be easily read, since this vision is for its own time only: eager for its own fulfillment, it does not deceive; if it comes slowly, wait, for come it will, without fail." (Hab.1:2-3; 2:2-3).
Seek the Lord while he is still to be found, call to him while he is still near.
"Let the wicked man abandon his way, the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn back to the Lord who will take pity on him, to our God who is rich in forgiving; for my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways not your ways it is the Lord who speaks. Yes, the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts." (Is.55:6-9).
"Jesus said: 'I am the resurrection. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:25-26).
have you considered that the great whore Babylon, is the city of Jerusalem, and it is from this city that the chapter 13 beast will deceive the whole world? Of course, since that is God's "holy City," that is exactly where Satan would want to put his man of sin. LC
Jerusalem has been singled out in scripture (Is. 47), but so have many the other cities. Many scholars see the great whore Babylon as a world ruled apart from God. It is hard not to agree with this assessment. Especially since Babylon is shown in scripture to cover (exist on) seven continents.
It is important to remember that these concepts are spiritual. Babylon and Jerusalem are spiritual antagonists, the only relationship they bear to physical cities is metaphoric. Satan wants to put his throne in the hearts of men, replacing there the presence of Christ that might be in them. The fight is spiritual warfare and it is waged inside our own hearts. This warfare results in physical changes that bear witness to the internal battles and chronicle their outcomes.
Because the word "Babylon" refers specifically to governance, we need to see it in that character, focusing on governance in God or governance outside of God where, in spiritual terms, governance in God creates Jerusalem while governance outside of God creates Babylon.
In terms of political governance, we live in a time when all the nations of the world have rejected the Christianity that once ruled in conjunction with them. That reflects a spiritual change that is the re-birth of Babylon, or more specifically, the "healing of the mortal wound". During that healing, the nations have all thrown out Christ to re-embrace godlessness. Spiritually, instead of worshipping God, they are now worshipping this world.
We can see this in the worship of the body the ballooning fascination of sports and the world's increasing obsession with weight.
This can be seen on the political level, even more so the most dramatic being the sudden re-appearance on earth of atheism (forbidden during the 2000-year age of the the Church). Virtually the entire continent of Asia has embraced this anti-Christ philosophy which had its beginning in 1917 in Russia. From there, 30 years later in 1947, it spread to China. It extended into North Korea and Tibet, and ultimately captured Southeast Asia 20 years after entering China.
The rebellion of the nations has secularized much of the populace of Europe as well, sending millions there running for the church exits. Only spotty church attendance now characterizes the European worship scene. The United States still has a strong church attendance, but our country was the last to officially renounce Christ politically (in 1963). Even so, the signs of erosion of populist faith can be seen here as well, a fact that does not bode well for the days of tomorrow unless profound changes are effected and soon.
Since scripture shows Satan fighting unsuccessfully from now until the last day to gain control of Jerusalem, it is obvious that Satan wants to put his earthly throne there, but God will prevent him from doing so. The prophecies revolving around Armageddon are proof of that.
Due to the fact that the Book of Revelation shows Satan's political throne covered in darkness, one would assume it lies somewhere in either an area ruled today by atheistic politics or, perhaps an area ruled by a foreign god. John in the Book of Revelation was told by the Angel that Satan's throne was in Pergamum (Rev.2:13). Pergamum was a city in Asia Minor (map 9) dedicated to emperor-worship, a practice equated in scripture with the worship of the prince of this world, Satan.
Ezekiel shows the invasion of the last days coming from the far north, from a place called "Magog", the homeland of Gog, its warmongering prince (Ez. 38). How far north it lies no one can say. A line drawn from Jerusalem to the North Pole would go through Lebanon, Turkey, the Black Sea, the Ukraine and Russia, and pass almost directly through the city of Moscow. Of course, Ezekiel's description does not say that Gog comes from due north of Jerusalem, only "the far north". That adds quite a few more candidates.
I think the night Jesus said was coming was when people die. Why don't you mention this? NE
Good point. You are absolutely correct. Jesus came to rescue us individually, one by one, so the personal interpretation should always be the first interpretation in scripture.
The life of Jesus is compared to a day's work, ending with the night of death. Our moment of death is the night when no one can work. We can only work in Christ while we are alive. A short time. Once our bodies die it will be too late.
A reciprocal time also applies to the life of the Church (John 21:18) and beyond that, to the life of the world itself which is often the subject of our writing because that moment is particularly referenced in many of the prophecies, the subject of our web page. They are the same, really, but the focal points are different. The first is personal, the others are global.
It seems certain that the same principle applies to the duration of the offer. We have seen in the Book of Joshua that God held the sun back in the sky, making one day into almost two (Joshua 10:12-14). Spiritually, the prophecy applies to God's offer of repentance, the Day of Atonement He has extended it, almost doubling the time allotted. We must assume this extention also applies to us individually. God has given us far more time to repent our sins and follow Him to eternal life than anyone could expect. This applies even to those who have fallen, allowing them ample time to get back up and recommence their journey to God.
For everyone still living, the offer is still there.
Does the holding back of America for a time...correlate with the expected events of an assassination, economic collapse and physical natural water-driven calamity that eventually creates the reorganization of geopolitical spheres of influence? RA
Reading Daniel's passages in 8:5-7 it does. Their correlation with our current date and time is quite striking when compared to the two Gulf Wars that have embroiled America and the western world at the Euphrates river over much of the past two decades. Daniel's prophecies concerning uncannily similar wars and their sudden occurrence in our time (for the first time in 2000 years) strongly suggest the possibility of a close relationship.
Those wars in the Book of Daniel are an early part of an unfolding scenario mimicking the historic rise of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, his involvement in the assassination of the high priest Onias, and the desecration of the Jewish Temple and altar. As a result of those actions the offering of the perpetual sacrifice, the central religious rite of the Hebrew religion, was abolished.
Pointing ahead to the Christian era, the prophet Isaiah (24:1-6) descibes the repetition of just such a transgression in terms of the annihilation of humanity. Jesus confirmed this.
When the apostles asked Him about the end of the world, Jesus referred them back to Daniel's prophecy (Dan. 9:26-27; 11:30-32) and told them to watch for a replication of this profanation (Mat. 24:1-3; 15-22). When that is repeated on the future stage, the End will be at hand. That is why we study Daniel, especially with respect to the events that preceded this desecration so that we might have an early warning of its proximity. The Gulf Wars are flashing red lights in this respect.
Historical analysis of the Book of Daniel by biblical scholars have led them to the conclusion that Jesus was discussing the destruction of the Jewish Temple by the Roman general's Vespasian and Titus in 70 A.D. They arrived at that conclusion confident that the Jewish Temple and the sacrifices of cattle, lambs and birds, etc. constituted the essence of this Jewish prophecy. The problem with that analysis is that the Book of Daniel, although a Jewish book, is about Jesus Christ, not Moses.
In 30 A.D., Jesus changed the management of God's religion the moment He whirled the whip inside the Temple, scattering all the money lenders (Is.10:25-27; Is.66:6). From that point on, the new tenants of God's religion were in place (Is.22:19-22; Mat.16:13-19). A few hours later, that new management, led by Jesus instituted the true perpetual sacrifice the communion Eucharist designed as a perpetual memorial to His crucifixion and resurrection. The Guardian had been replaced by the true Father.
No committed assault on the Christian sacrifice has yet been made, especially one that also correlates with the other events which surrounded it in Daniel's prophecy. Jesus, then, was pointing to a time in history not yet arrived. That attack will not occur at a Jewish altar, or involve a Jewish priesthood or temple. It can only occur where the Eucharist is being offered, and only at the headquarters of that offering. That is where the high priest Onias comes in. Put those three together and it is clear where this assault will take place.
The only question remaining is, when? In her prophecies received at Fatima, Lucia's third vision related to this event. That is what makes her prophecy so dynamic and relative to this current era (not the explanation of her prophecy, but the prophecy itself). No one but the Spirit of God could have revealed this to her, so we must assume that the event in question is not that far away. The two Gulf Wars underscore this proximity. Further emphasis will come when an event analogous to the death of Alexander the Great occurs. That is the next prophecy in the continuum of Daniel leading to the abolition of the sacrifice.
That is also where America comes in. The modern western world bears a striking resemblance to Alexander's empire in many ways, from its global reach down to it's Greek political underpinnings in democracy. The death of Alexander correlates with a perfusion of prophecies throughout the scriptures that portray a similar demise, almost all of which revolve around assassination. Jeremiah calls this slaying the "proof" of all the prophecies concerning Israel and the settlers (Jer. 44:29-30).
What is stunning about this disclosure is that Jeremiah's prediction has already occurred; recently, and precisely as predicted. The pharaoh of Egypt (Anwar Sadat) was assassinated in 1981 and it happened in correlation with Arab relations pertaining to Israel. The only problem, no one noticed. That is not the way it is supposed to be with prophecies of the magnitude Jeremiah's words would seem to call for, i.e., the "proof of everything". That is what leads us to the conclusion that there is still more to this prophecy yet to come. Its analogy to pharaoh has taken place, but it's relationship to Alexander must also be fulfilled.
This cascade of prophecies and fulfillments in our time (everything that has happened so far per Daniel) seems to be its own definitive proof of the nature of the era we find ourselves in. We are living the fulfillment of Daniel's allegorical schematic. The shattering and scattering of the western world empire cannot be far away and in many ways seems already to be in progress. Add cataclysm (also predicted) to the mix and it is done. Nothing after that can block the formation of the eastern world's ten nation confederacy.
October 21, 2007
Are these events what holds America back for a time - from which to recover for future safe-guarding of Jerusalem/Israel? RA
That seems a safe conclusion. A crippled America will be incapable of stopping the collapse of western power (a key element in these prophecies) because it will be unable to interfere in the process. In Daniel 8:8 and perhaps 11:4, the western world appears to be shattered and scattered to the four winds. As stated above, that collapse is not specific to the United States alone, it involves the entire western alliance. Since that alliance is structured on global capitalism, economic catastrophe is a given. Cause? We can read the newspaper these days and see in its business section a likely list. With added calamity(s), an expedited recovery will not be possible.
Prophecies of calamitous events of considerable size and scope are present in the scriptures and many lie in specific prophecies that seem particularly related to America. Ezekiel's visions with respect to Tyre are notable in this respect. There are many others as well and all are chronicled on the various pages of this website. Most have not yet occurred and time seems to be running out. That could mean they do not apply to us. It could also mean they are building now in readiness to coincide with the other events.
Dependent on the magnitude of the events that drive the collapse which Daniel forsees, American global authority could be incapacitated indefinitely. Especially important in the recovery will be management itself. Look at New Orleans and Katrina. No recovery in years. Without effective and precision governmental guidance, the chaos could drag on for a long time.
That would not affect the nuclear arsenal or retaliation capabilities, so we would remain a formidable foe, but only in terms of ultimate defense. Not offense. An example would be Russia in the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It's been 17 years. They have been on history's sidelines for that entire period. Which is to say it could be a very long time...as much time as is needed to raise to the status of world power a ten-nation confederacy on the other side of the Atlantic.
We don't see a powerful America re-emerge on history's stage until its victory over the northern army that has invaded its shores in Daniel 11:18. From this point on, it seems, the United States can be considered the "Kittim" of Daniel 11:30.
Looking back at the start of Daniel's prophecy, verse 8:8 shows the western collapse in an allegorical simulation of Alexander the Great's sudden death. Alexander's untimely demise scattered his western empire into four independent and dissimilar quandrants in the same way described in Daniel's prophecies.
Here again, we can look at Russia. While Daniel's verses 11:1-4 probably allude to the western scattering, they could just as easily describe a secondary event, the epic breakup and dissolution of the Soviet Union, an empire whose demolition scattered a great many nations to the four winds the same way, and in roughly what may be the same time period. It would make more sense that the smallest quadrant of that breakup, produce the monster Daniel foresees as conquering the earth in the last days (Dan. 7:8).
Since the rise of the East is to be built on events suggestive of, first, Antiochus the Great's army of the North and, second, his son, the "wretch" Antiochus IV Epiphanes, we can expect to see coming out of this 4th Persian empire (Dan.11:2), two mighty leaders violently assaulting world affairs, and coming in succession, one after the other, and both of them centered within the same ten-nation confederacy in the eastern Hemisphere. (The 11 kings destined to compose this empire seem to show a competition for leadership).
Daniel's words suggest that America will have to engage the first king in physical combat, and control the second (the Beast) with it's Mediterranean fleet. The threat of the nuclear arsenal is certain to play a prominent role in both of these engagements and, in fact, in all global affairs from here on out.
I don't see them used during most of this period, but the threat of their use can only grow. They will be used ultimately, of course, but likely only at the very end.
The 2nd world figure the one suggestive of Antiochus IV Epiphanes is the Madman, the "Beast". He is the one who masterminds the slaying of the Onias figure, orders the desecration of the altar and abolishes the perpetual sacrifice. True to his character, when he finds himself utterly blocked, he will throw all caution to the wind and launch the missles of the East. The response to this madness will come not just in the form of return missles, but in a bombardment of cosmic fire by God, all of this mayhem heavily documented in scripture (Rev.17:15-17; Dan.11:42-44; Is. 24:1-6; Ez. 39:6; Jer. 51:58, etc).
Although it will all be over in a single day, it will be a most unhealthful time for whatever civilization occupies this world in those terrible days. But that is the point. It will be like a head-on collision, bringing a very wicked world, bent on mayhem and destruction, in very short order to Michael the Archangel and the Return of Christ. Jesus will at that time appear and take all who have chosen during their lives to follow Him, to his heavenly kingdom a kingdom that is not of this earth. The very reason for this world's existance will be brought to an end by that rescue. A new heaven and a new earth are going to replace it.
When is the final warfare going to happen? As long as we still see churches prevelant in the environment, the end cannot be at hand. Jesus intimated that when He returns there will be almost no faith operational anywhere on the planet. That means as long as Christ is worshipped and followed on earth, the end will be held at bay. God's promise to Abraham is proof of that (Gen.18:20-32).
All through this protracted period of violence the world will witness the growing erosion of the Christian faith througout the world. The hatred of Christians will build. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the day is coming when Jesus and His Church will be villified everywhere. The attack that takes God's curtain of protection down is in progress, and no longer invisible as it was in the days when Paul first wrote about it (2 Thes. 2:7), but there is still a significant time yet to go.
And for that reason, God's harvest goes on.
America's position will have been to buy time for the completion of that harvest. Now whether our leaders see it that way or not, is really not the issue. If they do, it will insure that our lives here be much less traumatic. If, on the other hand, the atheists complete their takeover of the government, it's going to be rough sledding. But, either way, it won't change the prophecies. To paraphrase what Jeremiah told Hananiah (Jer. 28:6), we can only hope for a significant return to God by our nation during the days ahead.
You mentioned a high priest named Onias. Who is he? PL
At the time of the Maccabees just before the desolating sacrilige was erected in the temple by the Greek forces under Antiochus IV Epiphanes (and the Perpetual sacrifice abolished) a righteous Jewish high priest reigned in Jerusalem. His name was Onias. Only after he was physically removed could any of the sacrileges above take place. For this reason, he was assassinated (circa 172 B.C.) by forces supporting the Greek takeover (2 Mac.4:30-35).
This assassination is central to the prophecy concerning Christianity's future at the end of time. We will see it repeated. It represents the third and final prophecy (the assassination of the "bishop in white") given to Lucia de los Santos at Fatima. It fulfills the vision of Paul in 2 Thes. 2:7, and is the defining moment that ushers in the last half-week in Daniel's prophecy (Dn. 9:26-27).
The fate of this Onias-figure bears no relation to an assassination that is destined to take place much earlier in a framework that mimics the fate of Alexander the Great. The two represent quite different circumstances. The assassination of the high priest is religious and profoundly impacts the Christian religion at the end of time. The fate of the Alexander figure is political and vastly impacts America and the western world, especially modern Israel.
What will happen to Jerusalem after the thousand year rule? KL
There are two Jerusalem's. When speaking of them, scripture usually alludes to the kingdom in heaven that Jesus Christ came to lead us to. Many times in that discourse the Bible flips back to the rebellious city on earth as a means of contrast. Our interpretations are supposed to understand and dilineate the lines between those two cities, not blur them or pretend they don't exist. Jesus will return to the Jerusalem of this earth as scripture points out, but not to build a kingdom here. He will come to gather up the righteous and transport them to His eternal city and kingdom in heaven (2 Peter 3:5-10).
According to Peter, in that heavenly kingdom will be a new heaven and a new earth. A new heaven means a new universe a place beyond the sky. That puts it, for most scholars, beyond the ken of science. Writers of science fiction might be able to ponder such a civilization, yet it is beyond human understanding in any ordinary sense. But then, who could comprehend galactic and stellar explosions bringing to birth out of billions of invisible vibrating particles this world and our presence in it? Yet here we are. Stars explode and out we come. God's Son appears and out we come again, reborn.
Just as stars explode, the city on earth that bears Christ's name now and to which Michael returns will be in ruins when he arrives. The thousand-year rule on earth of the Christian Church (our own age) will have ended in the warfare of a returned Satan (Rev. 20:7-9). Zechariah tells us that half the city will have been taken by the enemy forces. More than that, the city will have been shattered in an earthquake more powerful than any felt since men have lived on the planet. The Mount of Olives will be split in two by it (Zech.14:1-5).
At the moment of Christ's Return, God will have gathered all the nations to the Holy Land. They will come prepared for battle. But God will intercede. There will be no battle that day, only the fiery thunderbolts hurled by the angels from the heavens. These will rout the enemy and kill them all. The citizens of Jerusalem will not have to lift a finger.
After that, Christ's return will cover the entire world in a single blinding instant. To say that He returns only to Jerusalem focuses on just a tiny fraction of His true Return. He will Return everywhere to every city at the same instant. Even so, at that moment civilization as we know it will not be intact outside the Holy Land. It will be a time unlike anything we are familiar with today. Satan's ruinous impact on God's earthly creation will be visible everywhere, in every vapor of smoke still evident in the smouldering.
It is that doomed creation Jesus came to get us out of alive before this predicted End occurs. Everyone who puts their life in Christ will escape with their lives. Those who embrace the world and turn their backs on God will perish.
That end may not come for some time; yet it is the template for everything we experience now, so there is only a short time to act. Scripture tells us that before the final moment occurs, darkness will cover the earth, a blindness that will make it almost impossible then to find the salvation that is so attainable now. The front end of that darkness, the growing attacks on the Church. bear witness to what is nearing, and the need, not only for a quickened pace but for a strengthened faith as well. Knowing where the times ahead are leading, it is easy to see that the route will not be smooth. Even so, all who hold on to their faith despite their tribulations will live. That is Jesus' promise to everyone who listens to Him all who have ears to hear what God's voice is saying to His people.
In your article titled "GOD Clock Book", it was mentioned that The Bible Made up of 73 books, while the commonly accepted Bible used contains only 66 books.
Can you please share your thought please? L
The Christian New Testament Bible has 27 books.
The Jewish (Hebrew) Old Testament has 24 books. The Septuagint (Greek and Christian) Old Testament has considerably more, but only 46 are accepted by both the Eastern and Western Churches together. Those 46 books structures an Old Testament scripture common to all of Christianity during its first 1600 years of existance. The Protestant Bible accepts a smaller number of Old Testament books, but that version did not come into existance until the 16h century, i.e., during the last 400 + years.
Our thoughts are these: Not only were these 73 the only scriptures common to Christianity during its first 1600 years, more than 75% of Christians on earth today continue to accept them as the books of their common Bible. For this reason, we use, for purposes of prophecy (our website is dedicated to Christian prophecy), the same 46 Old Testament books common to this majority.
The size of the majority accepting at least a 73-book scripture is overwhelming. It is large enough (in terms of the total world Christian population) to sustain a veto in the American congress, as well as to pass an amendment to the American Constitution. With a majority acceptance that measures more than 2/3rds of all Christians on earth, we see these 46 as the "commonly accepted" Old Testament books of the world Christian community. Therefore, for our use, all 73 figure in our prophetic calculations.
However, as the New Testament tells us, "the Law was only a reflection of the heavenly realities, and no finished picture of them" (Heb.10:1). Nothing in the Old Testament books can give eternal life to the reader. The Old Testament books live for prophecy only. They herald the true reality to come which is the New Testament and its author, Jesus Christ.
"By speaking of a new covenant, he implies that the first one is already old. Now anything old only gets more antiquated until in the end it disappears." (Heb. 8:13).
That is to be the fate of all the books in the Old Testament, whether the number is 39, 46 or 66. They live for us today only for the purpose of prophecy. They have all been supersceded by Jesus Christ and the salvation He has brought to us from heaven through His Gospel.
In other words, in terms of Bible books, the only number that leads to heaven is 27.
Forgive me for not exploring the entirety of your website, but does the Bible support replacement theology? What role does this theology play or not play in prophecy? Thank you. jf
I am sorry, I am not familiar with "replacement theology".
As far as theology in general, Jeremiah predicted that during the Diaspora to Babylon (the circumstance of the 2000-year Jewish and Christian exile from Jerusalem) there would be no prophets (Jer.29:15). As proof of this, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, prophecy outside of scripture has remained Christianity's ridiculed stepchild throughout Christian history. Very rarely has it surfaced, let alone impacted theology, or visa versa.
Only in the 19th century did this change in any way, and even then only out in the fringes of Protestantism. Its reach into the mainstream has been slow. Lucia's Fatima predictions in the 20th century are the only substantive prophecies to have come out of the Roman church since its break with the Eastern Church in 1054 A.D. All in all, considering a 2 billion-member Christian Church on earth, the few (in number) that embrace prophecy are still quite small, almost always deprecated or shrugged off by the strategic clergy, and denominationally localized.
Theology's role has been divinely diminished because it is God's will that everyone on earth be given the opportunity to share in the salvation Jesus brought down from heaven. Jesus made it clear that eternal life does not come from theology or prophecy, it comes only from the Gospel of Christ (John 5:39-40; 8:51). Everyone who accepts Jesus will be saved.
God needed prophecy specifically to prove Jesus true, and that was accomplished in total within scripture. God needed no outside help outside of that Book. He will need prophecy again only to announce in advance, Jesus' Return. That seems to have started. The voices remain marginal but they are growing louder.
What is Zion? PL
Zion is the ancient name of the mountain on which the city of Jerusalem was built. Its first mention in scripture was in the days of the priest-king Melchizadek. This mountain was bounded on the east by the Kidron valley, and on the West by the Tyropoean valley. The highest point on this mountain was the spur of Ophel, the place God later instructed David to build an altar. David's son Solomon erected the Hebrew Temple on the same spot, on a rock that was once the threshing stone of Aruna the Jebusite. Herod's Temple at the time of Jesus was built over the same rock.
Today a Moslem mosque, the Dome of the Rock occupies that spot, the rock of Abraham sheltered beneath its roof.
During the reign of the Hebrews, the city of Jerusalem expanded across the Tyropoean valley and up and over a higher mountain to the west. It was here that Herod built his home. Higher than the temple mount, it figured in prophecy both positively and negatively in one sense, as something greater (higher) than the temple mountain and in another as an audacious attempt to be higher than God.
Jesus held His Last Supper on this higher mountain and was crucified near it. In the course of history, this higher hill, home to the expanded city of Jerusalem became known as Mount Zion, and the hill on which the Temple resided, was changed to Mount Moriah. The City of David was just to the south of the Temple on the southern end of Mount Moriah.
The significance of this name change can be seen in the prophecies which stated that the city of God would rise above the mountains and be lifted higher than the hills. In moving to the western hill, Jerusalem had risen above the Temple Mount, to a higher Mount Zion. That move was a type of the greater lifting up to come when Jesus takes us to the true Zion in the heavens far away the fulfillment of God's promise for Jerusalem where the peace David sought will truly be achieved "when God brings His people home...".
"Who will bring Israel salvation from Zion? When God brings his people home, what joy for Jacob, what happiness for Israel!" (Ps.14:7).
The word "Zion" now finds its ultimate fulfillment as a synonym for God's holy mountain in heaven. It is here that the true city of God is to be found.
"I will add Egypt and Babylon to the nations that acknowlege me. Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia, 'Here so and so was born' men say. But all call Zion 'Mother', since all were born in her. It is he who makes her what she is, he, the Most High, the Lord; and as he registers the peoples, 'It was here' he writes 'that so and so was born'. and there will be princes dancing there. All find their home in you." (Ps. 87:4-7).
How can we tell which parts of scripture are true and which parts are false? NA
Jesus told His disciples over and over again that it was an imperative to God that all the words and prophecies in the Old Testament revolving around the Christ be fulfilled. Because it was God's will, it is impossible for that fulfillment not to occur. We cannot say that not a word in the Old Testament will be found incorrect once the full truth of God is made known, because Jesus, Himself, detailed where those errors lay (see especially, Mat. 5:17-48; 6:1-34 & 7:1-29).
The new standard is higher than the old. It is more peaceful; more compassionate. Jesus said "God wants mercy, not sacrifice" (Hosea 6:5-6; Mat.12:7). Yet it is the fulfillment of all the promises made to the patriarchs that knits Old and New together. Those promises make the two books a part of one another. Together they form a single promise by God to mankind the Old, not destroyed by the New, but perfected by it.
It was not an accident that Jesus' crucifixion was superimposed on Passover or that the appearance of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost coincided with the Jewish Feast of Weeks (the feast of the first fruits). It is also not an accident that the Christian celebration of Christmas coincides with the Jewish Feast of Hannukah (the feast of Lights commemorating the purification of the tainted altar of God according to Jewish tradition). These relationships were orchestrated by the Holy Spirit on purpose.
Jesus showed the true altar of God to be within each person's heart, and His birth marked the moment when all hearts would be purified through baptism. The true altar purified. He was the light of the world and He was suddenly in the world, destroying darkness forever by His presence.
It did not matter as some have irrelevantly claimed, that His real birthday could have been on another day (there are 365 to choose from). Scripture dictated the day. As with Passover, Tabernacles and Pentecost, the day had to be celebrated according to the Hebrew template. The entire Christian religion is built atop that template for a purpose. Paganism has nothing to do with this imperative despite the claims of those ignorant of the prophecies or the architecture of the Law.
Jesus told Peter that whatever he bound on earth would be bound in heaven and what he loosed on earth would be loosed in heaven (Mat.16:19). That order repeats the prophecy in Isaiah 22:19-24. It applies to the Christian Church (all the "least of vessels from cups to pitchers"), and specifically to the bound testimony of Christ which the Church chose to embrace as the authoritative Word of God.
That binding made Jesus Christ the absolute of scripture. The absolute of heaven and earth.
As Jesus said, the Law will not pass away until its full intent is carried out (Mat. 5:17-19). That "carrying out" continues to this day, irrespective of charges by brash and deluded philosophers who say that scripture is a lie and that its words cannot be trusted. John said scripture cannot be rejected (John 10:35. That means it is set in stone. Every word will be shown in the end to truly work for God. You can bet your life on it (2 Tim.3:16-17).
"...all that scripture says must be fulfilled" (Luke .21:22).
I can't believe that God condoned the violence committed by the Israelites when they murdered so many babies and children in their conquest of Canaan. How can that be holy behavior favored by God? It was merciless. What do you say is more true, Jesus or the Bible? NA
The answer is Jesus. He is the absolute of creation.
In science there is always a greater reality to be discovered beyond the reality scientists proclaim. That is why professors write new textbooks every year to try to keep pace with a changing reality that constantly evolves. They find themselves in orbit around a truth that can never be touched. Not by science or philosophy or any other academic subject. This is not the case with Jesus. The absolute truth of creation is Christ.
He is even greater than the Bible,. To prove that, Jesus said we search the scriptures thinking that in them is eternal life, yet those same scripture testify to Him but most people refuse to comes to Him to gain life (John 5:39-40). In other words, eternal life is not the Bible per se, it is Jesus alone. The word of Moses is literal only to the extent Jesus has determined to make it so. If God has ordained that the words in the Old Testament must come true (which He did) Jesus will see to it that they do in His own way. And that is the mystery in scripture how what appears on the surface to be untrue becomes absolute by the power of Christ.
It is only in Jesus Christ that the Old Testament can be true. Therefore anything in the Old Testament that contradicts Jesus or His message cannot be considered Godly or to represent Godly behavior. God may have tolerated the Hebrew's wickedness and brutality during Old Testament times because the people at that time didn't know better. But, according to Paul, God has set a day for the world to be judged and that kind of violence is no longer acceptable to Him. It now leads to death.
"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)
This is not to say that God cannot impose His preordained sentence on a Babylonian mankind when the time for that judgment comes due. Every blessing in scripture comes encapsulated in the same warning. There is a set time for mercy. Jesus holds back what scripture calls 'the Wrath'. When the time for mercy (the two days allotted by God for washing and cleaning in His name) has concluded, it will be followed by a moment in history akin to what the Canaanites experienced at the end of their dynasty.
That is what the prophecy about the 'third day' is all about. It is about the return of God and the Judgment of Babylon. No one can read the Book of Revelation without shuddering over the terrible consequences of theWrath as it unfolds on an unrepentant and wicked culture a world living in open opposition to the ways of God.
It is that kind of a day we are appoaching now the day God pulls the plug on a harvest that has ended as prophesied. It is a day easy to see, because it is a day deeply etched by the world's open hostility to Jesus and His Father. When you see the attack on Christ, you see the imminence of the Wrath.
It is that vision the world of Canaan was meant to reflect.
Is it against God to celebrate Christmas? WK
With the idea that we should treat all days as holy to God, Paul wrote that no particular day is really holier than any of the others:
"...How can you want to go back to elemental things like these, that can do nothing and give nothing, and be their slaves? You and your special days and months and seasons and years! You make me feel I have wasted my time with you." (Gal 4:9-11).
One would expect, reading this, that celebrations of any kind had no place in the Christian religion. Obviously, the Holy Spirit had a different point in mind when He allowed Paul to make that statement, i.e., that all days are equally holy in Christ. That difference is corroborated by Paul in his letter to the Romans:
If one man keeps certain days as holier than others, and another considers all days to be equally holy, each must be left free to hold his own opinion." (Rom. 14:1-6).
The Christian religion did not appear, standing on its own. The Holy Spirit designed it to stand on a Mosaic template made up of holy days, each imparting special meanings designed to explain the intricacies of Christian belief through its relationship to the Mosaic Law and prophets.
The Mosaic rituals, seen allegorically, prove the truth of Christ and lead the faithful to a far deeper understanding of Him than would otherwise have been possible. Without that template as a guide, those understandings would have remained locked in the mental vaults of just a few theological intellectuals. It was essential to the Holy Spirit that this understanding be freed from that vault and reach all the way down to even those who could not read or write.
The Mosaic template provided that vehicle.
"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. There will be no further need for neighbor to try to teach neighbor, or for brother to say to brother, 'Learn to know God!" No, they will all know me, the least no less than the greatest since I will forgive their iniquity and never call their sin to mind." (Jer.31:31-34).
The rescue from slavery, the purification of the altar, its true location, Christ's sacrifice: what it meant, why it had to happen Satan's stain of sin on our souls. Jesus' relationship to God. Our whole grasp of the Christian religion stems from the deep impressions structured in the Mosaic rituals. Those images and their deep meanings etched in our religious understanding hold the Christian religion in a vice-grip mold of comprehension. That wisdom is the mechanism that has prevented all those who have tried to take Christianity away from God, from doing so.
Every holy day in the Christian calendar is based on its Mosaic forebearer. Passover, Easter, First Fruits, Pentecost, Hannukah, Christmas. They have all been structured in the same week, or on the same day, in the same time of the year, ritual for ritual. These three especially, because the Law states that the Israelites must hold three days each year holy to God.
Christmas over Hannukah has replaced Yom Kippur (the high holy day during the September-October Feast of Tabernacles) because those days have been reserved for a far higher moment that starts with the communion sacrifice of Christ on the cross, offered daily for the last 2000 years. The Feast of the Tabernacles is the commemoration of this "Perpetual Sacrifice" (see Dan.11:31), which leads to the great Wedding Feast in heaven after the Return of Christ and His Father (the true Yom Kippur event), when Jesus is crowned king of the New Creation (Dan.7:9-14).
All this is made clear by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ in the Mosaic ritual.
Christmas did not start out a pagan holiday as many rumors would have us believe (it started out as shown above), but it seems to have morphed into a pagan holiday in the 20th century. Now, instead of creches there are cash registers, and instead of angels and shepards heralding the news, salesmen and saleswomen hawk cameras and the latest fashions.
With all of us moving at lightning speed along the supersonic commercial highway that leads from Thanksgiving to New Years, is there any time to even contemplate Christmas or its significance and deeper meaning any more? The Psalms say that contemplation can only come from prosperity's collapse (Ps.49:1). An unsettling thought to be sure. One that can be assuaged easiest, by going to church and praying, thanking God for the season and its true reason.
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