January 2, 2006
I have 2 questions...there have always been earthquakes and other natural disasters so how can you tell which earthquakes are the result of the wrath of God...and if God never is the cause of evil, why would He rain down destruction on the earth? Doesn't that reflect a house divided? TG
The wrath comes from Satan, not God. Our sins cause us to be turned over to Satan (1 Tim. 1:19-20). That transfer is a part of the Law. It can be automatic because it is built right into the creation. The "peace treaty" that Jesus made with the world from the cross has cushioned that Law, so that a time exists for God's offer of reconciliation to take place. However, the power of God's offer only works in faith. When wickedness and faithlessness enter the picture, the power of Satan returns and the Holy Spirit is withdrawn (Hos. 5:15; Luke. 13:25-27).
"...if the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest, he will certainly live; he will not die. All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on; he shall live because of the integrity he has practiced." (Ez. 18:21-22)
"But if the upright man renounces his integrity, commits sin, copies the wicked man and practices every kind of filth, is he to live? All the integrity he has practiced shall be forgotten from then on" (Ez. 18:24).
"In other words, since they refused to see it was rational to acknowledge God, God has left them to their own irrational ideas and to their monstrous behavior. And so they are steeped in all sorts of depravity, rottenness, greed and malice, and addicted to envy, murder, wrangling, treachery and spite." (Rom. 1:28-29).
When the wall of faith is withdrawn, Satan is free to pounce. Every type of evil accompanies him when he makes his attack. As Ezekiel said, "If the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed...they will be fogotten from then on." But if he does not make that turn, the wrath will consume him.
As far as the earthquakes and other calamities of the end are concerned, they are part and parcel of Satan's impact on God's creation. That is why God sent Jesus to resuce us from this place. As the world continues to increase its rejection of Christ's offer, re-embraces godlessness, and becomes increasingly wicked, expect these calamities to increase, not only in number, but intensity as well. Those differences may be subtle to many, but there are other far more definitive signssigns unique to our age as well, and these have been well cataloged on this web page.
"We must be careful to remember that during the last days there are bound to be people who will be scornful, the kind who always please themselves what they do, and they will make fun of the promise and say,
'Well, where is this (Second) coming? Everything goes on as it has since the Father's died, as it has since it began at the creation'." (2 Peter 3:3-4).
"They are choosing to forget that there were heavens at the beginning, and that the earth was formed by the word of God out of water and between the waters, so that the world of that time was destroyed by being flooded by water. But by the same word, the present sky and earth are destined for fire, and are only being reserved until Judgement day so that all sinners may be destroyed." (2 Peter 3:5-7).
The quotation below from the Book of Ezekiel describes the behavior that brought Satan and his power against Judea at the time of Christ. It reads little different than what we see written today in our own newspapers. How can we escape being turned over to Satan as a nation if Christ's own home nation was not spared for crimes no different than our own? The striking similarities show that we are perilously close.
"Son of man, say to her, 'You are a land that has not received rain or shower on the day of anger, and whose princes are like a roaring lion tearing its prey inside her. They have eaten the people, seized wealth and jewels and widowed many inside her."
"Her priests have violated my Law and desecrated my sanctuaries; they have drawn no distinction between sacred and profane, they have not taught people the difference between clean and unclean; they have turned their eyes away from my sabbaths and I have been dishonored by them."
Her leaaders in the city are like wolves tearing their prey, shedding blood and killing people to steal their possessions. Her prophets have whitewashed these crimes with their empty visions and lying prophecies they have said: The Lord says this; although the Lord has not spoken."
"The people of the country have taken to extortion and banditry; they have oppressed the poor and needy and ill-treated the settler for no reason. I have been looking for someone among them to build a wall and man the breach in front of me, to defend the country and prevent me from destroyng it; but I have not found anyone. Hence I have discharged my anger on them; I have destroyed them in the fire of my fury. I have made their conduct recoil on their own heads it is the Lord God who speaks."' (Ez.22:24-31).
It is not only an increase in earthquakes that we will see if we too, are transferred into the power of Satan. That exile will come wrapped in complete economic collapse and every sort of chaos imaginable. Look around. The depravity is spewing out of every viewable portal and is just too vast now for God to ignore. It will be like the wrath visited upon Judea that day unless we repent and turn to Jesus in the conversion He demanded and which Ezekiel described a call that went unheeded by those who first heard it.
We cannot afford to be like them and allow the beaches in our own wall to go unrepaired. The wall that must be reconstructed is a wall of faith. It is a wall of conversion and peace. It is a wall that holds back the wrath. And behind it must be a people of peacefulness, compassion, love, forgiveness and friendship to all, with no ambition except to do good in the gentle behavior of Christ.
Can you tell me what the Nicolaitans taught and if that teaching is still around today? KP
Yes, the teaching of the Nicolaitans (Rev. 2:15) is still with us. At least metaphorically.
Nicolaitan teaching was a religious doctrine that began to flourish in the first century A.D. which tolerated compromise with pagan cults, allowing participation in their sacred banquets, etc. It is thought by scholars to be the forerunner of the great Gnostic concepts that tried to hide God's word behind a mask of secret knowledge, not accurate, and offered for sale to the unwary in an endless series of lessons.
Broadly speaking, because Nicolaitan teaching encourages the consumption of food sacrificed to idols, and doing so in Christ's name, it invalidates the teaching of Jesus. It combines and dilutes the Gospel with a variety of worldly philosophies contrary to Christ's basic message. The intent, of course, is to create the illusion of Christ while scuttling the 'hard parts' of His Gospel. It couches paganism behind a veneer of religion.
A number of churches have arisen whose entire function is structured in the sale of tapes and books detailing extraneous religious formulas for worldly life enrichment. The intent of many of these tracts is to try to show how to achieve a religious compromise between Jesus and worldly goals.
Pagan religions rarely present anymore in rock statues like those that dot Easter Island. Instead, today they are seen most clearly in spiritual form in the love for worldly possessions and values exhibited by those who avariciously cling to them in a worshipful manner. They are called false gods and those who follow them have ensnared themselves in idol worship.
Metaphorically, the philosophy of Babylon is a type of spiritual food. A food sacrificed (dedicated) to idols. The idols are the baubles or rewards which acknowledge a successful union with Babylon philosophically. These rewards are the signet rings of a 'found life'. This is why Jesus said, "Those who find their lives will lose them, but those who lose their lives for the sake of the Gospel will find and inherit eternal life."
Nicolaitan teaching tries to combine those pagan pursuits with religion. Therefore, it was able to meld easily into Gnosticism. We can see elements of the Gnostic concept metaphorically repeated in the writings and religion of Scientology, among others every organization coming in the name of religion and offering a library of lesson studies for sale, sometimes at great price, the content of which ignores or compromises the essential parts of the Gospel's demands.
A purely pagan approach would be to ignore God completely, i.e., to pursue atheism. But in Nicolaitan teaching, a compromise between the two is the objective.
The art or science of biblical interpretation is called "hermeneutics". It is a field of study whose interest has burgeoned over the last 100 years in keeping with the stunning events that have dotted the 20th century. Those who specialize in this field attempt to deduce accurate meaning from the mysterious oracles that form the mortar of scripture. The TV evangelist Pat Robertson is one of the most visible practictioners in this field, but he is arguably at the same time, one of the worst. His pronouncements in the analysis of scripture over the years have left many open-mouthed and speechless.
Trying to divine accurate meaning from the vague and puzzling riddles of the Bible's sages after two to three-thousand years of language translations and a litany of historical parallels that suggest nearly perfect but far-flung matches, demands great care and precision two qualities largely missing from Robertson's infamous utterances. In the past he has falsely claimed that God does not listen to the prayers of Jews, and that Methodists, Presbyterians, Epsicopalians and "this, that and the other thing" are part of the spirit of the Anti-christ and therefore not deserving of Christian compassion. Added to these stunning non sequiturs are a stream of other outrages he claims to have "gleaned" from the Holy Book.
His latest, that Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke as punishment from God for his involvement in trying to divide Israel by giving back to the Palestinians their Gaza Strip. According to Robertson, removing the armed occupation forces of Israel and Jewish settlers from that Palestinian land violates a warning by the 4th century B.C. prophet Joel regarding the division into spoils of the lands of Israel.
His pretzeled logic, designed to accomodate political expediency is consistent with a long history of purposefully weaving misinformaton into scriptural pronouncements. Moreover, it sheds significant light on the pitfalls of hermeneutical analysis.
First of all, Robertson has correctly divined that Joel, Chapter 4, is about the Judgment of God. That chapter clearly involves the gathering of all the nations to Israel in the very last days.
What that chapter is NOT about is punishment before those last days arrive. Therefore it has no application today except as a warning of what is to come. We currently live under the benevolent shade of Christ's treaty of Peace which He made with Babylon (this world) through His sacrifice on the cross. The protection of Christ's cross has lately being threatened, but it will stay in place until the treaty is broken and the "Desolating Sacrilege" is erected in the Holy Place. According to the Book of Chronicles, the treaty will be broken by the prince of Persia. None of those things have happened yet.
True, a part of the Holy Land has been restored to a segment of the House of Judah, but, with the peace treaty of Christ still in place, the Last Judgment is not yet in sight. Therefore, Ariel Sharon has not at this time been judged by God, nor sentenced (if that is to be his fate).
All punishment we see on earth today relates to Satan, not to God. It is the same with natural catastrophes. Satan is the cause. Not directly, of course, but it was his corruption of God's creation that brought death and destruction into our environment. The world God has constructed for our rescue not only provides us with a path of escape, it reflects the terrible effects of Satan as well. All that is evil and all that is destructive on earth are born out of the crucible of Satan's contamination. That is why everyone in the flesh must die. But Jesus has overcome death and provided a pathway through it to eternal life.
As long as we stay in Christ, God will keep us safe. But if we stray from God if we venture too far into wickedness, God will turn us over into the power of our sins. That power is Satan. So there is a mechanism for Satan's punishment, but it is not there for destructive purposes. It is there as a last warning to repent. It is there as a part of the mercy of God, who wants no one to be lost. There is a time-limit to God's mercy. That is why He deals with us so urgently.
Joel's oracle concerning what the pagan world has done to the people of God and the punishment they will receive for having caused such suffering is consistent with scripture's most common and over-riding threat. We see that threat repeated over and over in the Old Testament and we see it in the New Testament as well, especially in the Book of Revelation. It is a theme relating to the pagan world's punishment for the harm done to all the people of God. It is not specific to the Jews. It involves the entire House of Israel, including the people in all the churches of Christianity who have suffered similar attacks. The threat will be carried out against those responsible for all this malice, but at the Day of Judgment not now.
The land that is important to God is not on this earth, it is the kingdom of heaven. That is the true mountain of the north, the great Mount Zion of God. God is gathering us back to a land no pagan has power to divide. All the people of God have been held captive in Babylon because the treaty of Christ remanded us here. Understanding that directive, the prophet Micah said that salvation MUST occur from Babylon.
"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).
It is true that salvation will be culminated at this world's Jerusalem (circa 35:14' longitude, 31:46' latitude) above the Kidron Valley (the Valley of Jehoshaphat) but it will not have anything to do with Christ's establishment of a temporary earthly kingdom in the countryside of Israel-Palestine not for a thousand years, or even for a week. God is taking us all to a new Jerusalem high in the heavens, and our tenure there will be forever. There will be no limitations to the time involved.
It is not the people of God that are called in scripture to prepare for war, but the pagan nations. At the very end, they will come armed and ready to attack Jerusalem (Joel 4:9-12). But the righteous will not have to fight that day. God and all the angels of heaven will intervene, bringing the Day of Judgment with them (2 Chron. 20:15-17)..
As far as Joel's warning about dividing up the land belonging to the house of Israel is concerned (Joel 4:2-3), that division involves every widow ever evicted; every person on earth ever thrown out of their home by the unscrupulous powers of this world. Joel's is a sweeping acknowlegment of God's recognition of the trampling down by Babylon of the poor and downtrodden everywhere on the planet. It is not specific to the dirt of Palestine or Israel. It covers the Diaspora. It encompasses every unrepented crime ever committed on this planet against a child of God.
Pat Robertson is part of a growing evangelical movement devoted to a religion combining (in the name of Christ) harsh Old Testament actions with a thirst for war, arguing that peace can only be achieved through strength. It is a political action movement whose ideology long ago jettisoned the love for humanity commanded by Christ and remains as ever, inflammatory and incorrect.
as ariel sharon has applied the 'old' rules to his conduct and as he is the leader of God's original people, it would appear that his health situation is an indication of something significant since he is still not called from this world?...both sharon and arafat lacked the understanding of christianity that we have and consequently reflected this in their actions...could you comment? thanks. U
It is not an understanding of Christianity that is important here in the names you mention, but an understanding of humanity itself. Ariel Sharon is often referred to as a "butcher", even by a significant number of his own people. He was a ruthless warrior.
He lied to the Israeli Knesset about his intentions in invading Lebanon, telling them he intended only to make a shallow incursion to silence some gunsights near the border that occasionally lobbed rockets into northern Galilee. Once he had secured permission for this mission, however, he sent his tanks, aircraft and soldiers blitzkrieging all the way through Lebanon, reducing Beirut and its modern skyscrapers, a city called the "Switzerland" of the Middle East, to total ruin and rubble in just a few days.
In the process, he destroyed the delicate balance of political power in Lebanon; a catastrophe which ended up with Syrian Muslims coming in to rule the country from then to now. It changed the whole balance of power of the Middle East, probably irrevocably. Scripture seems to imply so or it's pages would not have made such an issue about it.
The Israeli government put Sharon on trial for the massacre of the 700 Beirut refugees: hundreds of men, women and children, unarmed and quaking in fear as they were machine-gunned down by violent Christian militia's sent in by Sharon. The massacre in 1981 sent shock-waves around the world that still reverberate. The revulsion was such, even among Jews, that Sharon was brought to trial in his own homeland. He was exonerated of the crime by a friendly court in Jerusalem, but not by a large segment of his own people or by the Lebanese or Palestinian mid-strata.
Even more lethal, according to Jeremiah, Sharon is the architect of the Israeli "settlements" in the occupied sections of Egypt and Palestine. To be sure, he pulled the settlers out of Sinai when a peace treaty was signed between Israel and Egypt and he lately pulled the Israeli settlements out of Gaza under enormous protest by the Jewish militants that he had formerly championed. No one knows what he had intended for the West Bank, but he has expanded settlements there markedly over the last few years. He is also the architect of the "wall" which makes numerous incursions deep into Palestinian territory to protect the settlements.
What makes Ariel Sharon so significant is not his warmongering or martial demeanor, it is the prophecies of scripture that appear to circulate around him. The massacre in Lebanon is specifically and strongly mentioned in a 2500-year old manuscript by Habbukkuk. So, in other parts of scripture is the "wall". So are the settlers. So, too, are the army leaders (Sharon being one of the originals) who were the principals of the Return to Jerusalem in 1947. All this is in prophecy. That makes Sharon BIG news. At least from the standpoint of biblical hermeneutics. He can't be ignored.
"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 fulfilment, it does not deceive; if it comes slowly, wait, for come it will, without fail." (Hab.2:2-3)
"Trouble is coming to the man who builds a town with blood and founds a city on crime. Is it not the will of the Lord God Almighty that the laboring of peoples should end in fire, and the toiling of nations come to nothing? For the country shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters swell the sea. (Hab. 2:12-14).
"You are drunk with ignominy, not with glory...The cup from God's right hand comes round to you, and disgrace will overshadow your glory. For the violence done to Lebanon is going to overwhelm you, so will the slaughter of terrified beasts, for you have shed men's blood and ravished the country, the city and all who live in it." (Hab.2:16-17).
"...the word of the Lord was addressed to Jeremiah. He then summoned Johanan son of Kareah and all the army leaders who were with him, and all the people from least to greatest. He said, 'The Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you delegated me to offer your request says this: 'If you are willing to remain peaceably in this country, I will build you and not overthrow you; I will plant you, not tear you up. For I am sorry for the evil that I have done to you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon any longer; do not fear him for I am with you to save you and deliver you from his hands. I will take pity on you, and move the king of Babylon to pity you and let you return to your native soil." (Jer.42:1-12).
"But if you say: We do not want to stay in this country; if you disobey the voice of the Lord your God, and say: No, the land of Egypt is where we want to go, where we shall not see war nor hear the sound of trumpet, nor lack for bread; that is where we want to live; in that case, remnant of Judah, listen to the word of the Lord. God the Almighty, the God of Israel, says this: If you are determined to go to Egypt, and if you do go and settle there, the sword you fear will overtake you, there in the land of Egypt; the famine you dread will follow on your heels, right into Egypt; you shall die there. All the men who are determined to go to Egypt and settle there shall die by sword, famine and plague: not one survivor will escape the disaster I mean to bring them. "Understand this clearly: today I have given you solemn warning. You were playing with your own lives when you made me your envoy to the Lord. You have not obeyed the word of God or the message he gave you, so understand this clearly, you are going to die by sword, famine and plague in the place where you have been wanting to go and settle." (Jer.42:20-22).
Hearing these words from Jeremiah the army leaders did not believe his words had come from God and accused him of lying (Jer.43:1-3).
"Despite this, Johanan son of Kareah and all the army leaders and all the people would not obey the voice of the Lord and stay in the land of Judah. Johanan son of Kareah and all the army leaders led off the entire remnant of Judah, those who had come back from all the nations into which they had been dispersed..." (Jer.43:4-5).
"For this, a day of panic and rout, is from the Lord God Almighty. In the Valley of Hinnom a wall is thrown down, they are shouting for help on the mountains. Elam (Persia) takes up his quiver, Aram mounts his horse and Kir fetches out his shield, Your fairest valleys are filled with chariots and the horsemen takes up positions at the gates; thus falls the defense of Judah." (Is.22:5-8)
None of these prophecies are good. And there are many, many more just like them. They show Sharon's work to be a principal element, if not THE principal element in the unwinding of a peace settlement in the Middle East, and therefore a significant etiology in the future invasions of Jerusalem that so many of the prophecies of scripture show now lie ahead.
All of Sharon's actions were motivated by fear. That was the driving engine of his philosophy. He felt that the Palestinians would stop at nothing to destroy Israel (he never read the prophecies) and that is what prompted him to seek a close military alliance with the United States an alliance also heavily, but negatively acknowledged by the prophecies:
"They carry out plans that are not mine and make alliances not inspired by me, and so add sin to sin. They have left for Egypt, without consulting me, to take refuge in Pharaoh's protection" (Is. 30:1-2)
Fearing fear itself, Sharon and his war-minded political forces undermined what seems to have been in Israel the last hope at a serious attempt for peace made by Yitzak Rabin and the Jewish moderates. A hard-liner among the settlers assassinated Rabin at a peace rally ending all hope for a solution absent of bloodshed.
The only significance I see in Sharon's removal at this particular time is that it reinforces a continuance of the non-conciliatory processes he put in place. It seems to guarantee that there will be no further reductions in his biblically-forbidden settlements. God's order not to build those settlements in the first place has been ignored and now there seems scant hope they will be removed. Jeremiah has clearly articulated the terrible penalty that is to be leveled on Israel for this sin in defiance of God. Has that moment now come? Has God pulled the plug and turned Israel over into the power of its sins, i.e., insured that the prophecies will continue now right into the penalties stated?
Scripture tells us that there is a moment when God rises up and says: "Enough!" (Is. 24:16). Just as He made Jerusalem the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel, so scripture tells us He intends to make Jerusalem the beginning of a judgment that also will spread across the continents.
"Woe, Ariel, Ariel, city where David encamped. Let a year or two pass, let the feasts make their full round then I will lay siege to Ariel, and there will be moaning and bemoaning." (Is. 29:1-2).
Note that the second year in God's time (a day is like a thousand years to God) has just passed. We have entered the third day of Christ. The "day or two" called for in Isaiah's prophecy have gone by. The feasts of communion have made their full round of the earth. Remember, according to Jeremiah, "the king of Sheshak will be the last to drink..." (Jer. 25:26). The king of Seshak is the king of Iraq.
The western world has brought Christ's feast full circle around the planet to the Euphrates river. Is there any significance that the name "Ariel" (lion of God) in Sharon's name is also the prophetic name here applied by Isaiah to Jerusalem itself at the inaugural of judgment?
We will soon see.
Hello I've found something that may be of interest...I was searching the through the scripture...So I found the reference in Ezekiel 1. (Ez. 1:4-28).
First he explains where he was at the time and how the lord singled him out and showed him visions, he then ties to explain a nuclear explosion, he explains in detail the 4 jet fighters associated with the explosion, two wings on either side and the 4 weapon attachment points and the 4 weapons themselves with four wings, the speed they travel at, and only able to travel strait, and the ability to roll or travel on any side, the roaring jet engines and the flames, the metallic landing gear, the two wheels inside each other; tyre and rim, with holes in the rims and the glow around the pilots in the cockpit and the panelled glass cover of the cockpit.DL
Your observation is very interesting. It is a good example of just how our modern perceptions might be explained by the ancients if the future were ever momentarily admixed into the past by God for any reason. Just listening to the F-14's skim deafeningly over the house at low level from time to time, the thought has crossed my mind what impact the terrifying experience might have on someone suddenly viewing it from the biblical stage.
...the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. Genesis 6:2
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. Genesis 6:4 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. Job 1:6 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. Job 2:1 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:7
In the above passages who do you say are the sons of God In Genesis 6:4 who do you say are the giants? ED
The New Testament tells us that God's only Son was Jesus Christ and that God raised Him first and then those of us He chooses to join Him in a family of "sons" (a metaphoric designation that includes women).
The Old Testament has to be viewed through the teachings of Christ. Jesus said that in heaven the children of God do not marry for they are like the angels. That statement seems to invalidate a literal interpretation of Genesis 6:2-4. Perhaps the passage relates to a spiritual union forbidden by God. Satan, afterall, corrupted all mankind. In fact, according to the Gospel, those he corrupted are still with us (John 8:43-44).
According to Jesus, those Satan has fathered are neither giants, nor do they have anything to do with divinity. They are the "tares" and all are destined for the fire (John 8:23-24; Mat.13:24-30).
Satan was a very high official in the kingdom of God, but he rebelled and 1/3rd of the angels of heaven joined him in that rebellion. It is from that primordial apostasy that we were stained by what many theologians call "original sin". It is the sin Jesus died on the cross to cleanse us from.
In heaven there is a vast community (Dan.7:10; Rev.19:1-10; Mat. 25:31; Mat. 16:27, etc., etc.). That community was with God before this earth was made. Scripture even categorizes some of these beings as very, very ancient. God has not revealed much to us about this heavenly society except to tell us that we are being raised up to join them in the rule of Christ.
The giants were not like "Bigfoot". They were likely a race of people much like us, taller than the community the ancient Middle Eastern populations were used to. The Mediterranean populations generally averaged then about a foot smaller than they do now. Mostly because of diet: i.e., proteins and vitamins, etc.
Isaiah referred to these 'giants' as "bronzed", indicating that they were well tanned or dark skinned. The prophets said the tall people emanated from the "islands". That means they came from the west. They were not divine. Their origin was definitely not cosmic they were neither extrauniversal or even extraterrestrial. Jesus is the only doorway to places cosmically removed.
I have another question or request, if you do not mind. It is hard for many of us to get our minds, much less our hearts around God's grace and mercy. As a society and on a whole humanity tends to judge and classify sin. For example if someone murders another, sexually abuses a child or commits other vile acts the world and even we who are Christians tend to view these people as unacceptable and unforgivable if you will. "Lepers"
I know people that have found themselves in these dark places and situations that have cried out to God. They have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I know that this may be hard to comprehend, but these people are some of the most humble people I have ever met. Their walks with the Lord are strong and from all outward appearance they seem to really understand what sin is, God's love and what it means to love others as Jesus commanded us, without speaking a word. In them, I see without a doubt the new man Paul speaks of and Jesus eluded too with new wine skins for new wine (there are many passages).
Would you please share your views on this subject. I know you have done so in the past, but I for one would really like to hear it again. Thanks! ED
In a few days it will be the 8th anniversary of the execution of Karla Faye Tucker, the ax-murderer in Texas who, during her 14-year encarceration in prison, became a born-again Christian. Before her death she had appeared in an array of nationally broadcast television interviews, witnessing to the fact that faith in Jesus Christ had transformed her life and would do the same for others. There was a radiant aura about her that transfixed those who listened to her witness softly but firmly and eloquently about the saving power of Jesus. Her tireless efforts in prison to help those in need and spread the Gospel were clarioned by the newscasters who came to hear her story.
Many born-again Christians were profoundly moved by her conversion, others stood firmly in favor of the full punishment of the law. Between these two positions, especially among Christians, a debate ensued. Where should justice end and mercy begin?
While most high-profile evangelists avoided addressing her case, the television evangelist Pat Robertson was one of the few who pleaded openly for clemency on her behalf. "She's paid the price and God forgave her and so do I," he said. Calling in vain for the governor of Texas to commute Karla's sentence to life in prison, Robertson wrote, "There are times when justice must be trumped by mercy."
Actually, mercy IS justice. Jesus proved that when a group of scribes and Pharisees armed with rocks brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery.
"Making her stand there in full view of everybody, they said to Jesus, 'Master, this woman was caught in the very act of comitting adultery, and Moses has ordered us in the Law to condemn women like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?' "
"Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. As they persisted with their question, he looked up and said, 'If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her'. Then he bent down and wrote on the ground again. When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest until Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained standing there. He looked up and said, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' 'No one, sir' she replied. 'Neither do I condemn you,' said Jesus 'Go away, and don't sin any more.'" (John 8:3-11)
Caught in the act of adultery, her fate was sealed. She was sentenced to death in the eyes of the Law, but Jesus forgave her. In Christ it is MERCY that must be served. That is the justice of God.
That is why Jesus told us to pray every day the Lord's Prayer: "...forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." It is the forgiveness we mete out to others that will determine the amount of forgiveness Christ will offer us at the Last Day.
To realize that this is the nature of the God who made us and who is fixed now to judge us for the way we have conducted our lives here on earth has to give infinite comfort to those who have repented their sins in His name. No stones. Instead, eternal clemency for all who believe and forgive.
Are you a pre-millennialist or post-millennialist? KR
Both. And at the same time, neither.
I do not believe scriptural prophecy points to a thousand-year rule of Christ on this planet after His Second Coming. I think Darby was wrong about that. That is 19th century thinking.
Scripture is clear. When Jesus returns, He will take us to an entirely different kingdom and our reign there will be eternal no time limits involved.
It seems certain that the rule of Christ on this earth has already occurred and is, in fact, almost completed. That rule has spanned the entire Christian era. During that time a Christianized western world has controlled this planet and required that everyone under its rule be introduced to Jesus.
"He will hoist a signal for the nations and assemble the outcasts of Israel; he will bring back the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth." (Is. 11:12).
"All you who inhabit the world, you who people the earth, the signal is being hoisted on the mountains, look! The horn is being sounded, listen! (Is. 18:3)
The reign of the Cross and the Gospel, (the "signal" and the "horn") on earth is to last a symbolic 70 weeks according to Daniel 9:24 a thousand years according to the Book of Revelation 20:1-3 until the "fourth beast" in Daniel's prophecy appears and precipitates a Revolt against the teaching of Jesus. From this beast will appear ten kingdoms and after them another. These will "crush the power of the holy people" on earth (Dn.12:7). "The saints will be put into the beasts power for a time, two times, and half a time. But a court will be held and his power will be stripped from him...and utterly destroyed." (Dn. 7:23-27).
The reign of the Gospel has lasted more than the thousand-years specified. As Joshua said in prophecy, "God stopped the sun in the sky and made one day into almost two" (Joshua 10:12-15). The "sun" God stopped in the sky was the light of His own Son the "Day of Atonement". Holding the light of His Son at high noon for almost a whole Day, God made the one Day into almost two.
"The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone." (Is. 9:1).
It seems certain that God's "Day" began with Pentecost in 30 A..D. That is the day atonement was made available in Christ to the people of the earth.
Considering God's reign of the Cross on this doomed planet to be the true "millennium", salvation has been taking place before, during, and almost certainly will continue after this "70 weeks" has been brought to an end by the Revolt of the nations against Jesus. That is why I answered the question as I did.
The Revolt by the world against Christian preaching is going on now, and if the prophecy is to ring true, must topple the "millennium" completely before 2030 A.D. That is only 24 years from now. Remember, Joshua said in prophecy that the day of God will last "almost" two days. That means just under 2000 years.
When the revolt has been completed, the ten nations will begin to appear and coalesce in conjunction with all the other events prophesied for these unfortunate times.
Surprisingly, most Christians on earth do not believe that the Bible is the blueprint and timetable for the Second Coming. This includes the Greek (or Eastern) Orthodox, the Roman Catholics, and the mainline Protestants. It is only the Evangelical Christians, the Fundamentalists, Pentacostalists and various cults that see Eschatological prophecy chronicled in the pages of the Bible.
The mainstream churches still ridicule end-time Bible prophecy and those who expound it.
The prophetic insight of the others (Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, etc) seems to have paralleled the "outpouring of the Spirit" called for in the last days by the prophet Joel:
"After this I will pour out my spirit on all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men see vsions. Even on the slaves, men and women, will I pour out my spirit in those days. I will display portents in heaven and on earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke." (Joel 3:1-3)
In the days surrounding the first appearance of Christ in Bethlehem, an era of Messianic fervor (approximately 200 years duration) swept Israel and its people. Many false Christ's arose during this period in conjunction with the anticipation, but so did Jesus. We can expect the same situation to apply to Christ's second appearance as well. Joel's prophecy of an outpouring of the Spirit during these times seems to guarantee it.
An American, Jonathon Edwards, the Puritan theologian responsible for the 18th century "Great Awakening" which most scholars believe was the genesis of the evangelical movement, actually set the stage for the prophetic fervor that would follow 100 years later in the person of a man named Nelson Darby. It was Darby, a 19th century english preacher who actually fathered current end-time prophecy. He architectured the vision of the end times that would later prove to be the skeletal framework for almost all Fundamentalist prophecy to follow. He divided the world into 7 era's which he called "Dispensations". He saw himself living in the 6th and the Messiah returning in the 7th.
Darby foresaw a thousand-year Christian rule on earth after the "Second Coming" of Christ, and determined that it would be "pre-millennial", i.e., the world social structure would disintegrate, collapsing into entropy, and Jesus would have to come back and take matters into His own hand, clean up the mess, and structure His kingdom on the planet after He, Himself had removed the bad guys.
The post-millennialists believe that we, the people of the Lord, must clean up the planet ourselves and only after we have overcome planetary evil will Christ come back and rule the earth for a thousand years. It seems to be in this thinking that "war fever" has gripped many evangelical Christians of late, a vision that can be seen clearly in Pat Robertson's call for Israel to hold on to all lands it has taken from the Palestinians. The thought is, they must secure in that quadrant of the world the land necessary for Christ's empire there when His ruling forces arrive.
Darby's 19th century thoughts still rule the current "Return" fervor that is sweeping the earth through the Evangelical church today. But it is clear that a deeper search of scripture is changing the course of the visions, bringing the prophecies into better harmony with the vast scriptural network involved in their interpretation. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, perhaps even the mainline churches will soon see the light of this spiritual outpouring of prophecy as well.
But then again, perhaps not. Scripture is clear. Jesus will return to a very darkened world.
Why then the need for prophecy? Because it is written that God will do nothing on earth until He has first revealed His intent through His servants, the prophets (Amos 3:6-8; Hos.12:11). There is a time period set aside for this:
"Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city for putting an end to transgression, for placing the seals on sin, for expiating crime, for introducing everlasting integrity, for setting the seal on vision and prophecy, for anointing the Holy of Holies." (Dn.9:24).
(In relation to the approaching wrath) one of the things I have a hard time with is knowing what God expects of us. I mean I've read that all men sin and that we are all imperfect, so how do we please God? I think part of the problem is people are unsure how to live this life that God wants us to? I know I don't know how. I want to, but I don't know what that means. PS
Simply living in Christ is being in Christ. The more humble and unassuming the better (Mt.23:11-12). Jesus said His yoke was easy and His burden light (Mat. 11:29-30). Many, failiing to understand this statement, believe that in order to become, or stay Christian or to please God they have to perform monumental feats, and, at the same time never trip or fall, as if their conversion were like an event in the Olympic games. It is not.
The hard part is not in "being" a Christian, it is in remaining one for life. The temptations to abandon Christ during our trek through life are great.
Our country and our world are basking in wealth right now. Money is flowing like water. Some hotels are charging a thousand dollars a night for a room, and people are paying those prices while others starve for the lack of a dollar's worth of food. The Bible says "man in prosperity forfeits wisdom" (Ps.49:12).. Sex has become an international obsession. You can't turn on the television set without being bombarded with pornographic images and adulterous promotion. Political rancor and hatreds are at a peak. The environment is structured to heavily encourage Christians to leave Jesus and follow the ways being so blatantly advertised. The temptations to abandon faith are enormous and growing.
The key to Christ is not to fall away. We must hold on to the end.
It is not a person who believes in Christ that needs to repent to forestall the wrath, although it always helps to repent. It is the ones who have fallen out of Christ or who have never chosen to believe in Him in the first place that need to hear the message and turn to His salvation. Scripture tells us the wrath comes because world faith ebbs away, but more specifically, because that faithlessness evolves into open revolt against even the mention of the word Jesus Christ (2Thes.2:3-7). The revolt comes in the form of attack, it does not stem from the nuances of Christian belief.
We can see the attack forming now. We can see it in the schools and in our civic affairs. We can hear the bombast from the homosexual community, and in the committed atheism of the ACLU, or in routines by comedians on TV and many others we see it in those who reject Christ's peace and clammor for war. We see it in those who try to tear down Christ's Church on earth. These are the areas which will spawn the violence of the wrath. And like a drunk driver who plows down the wrong side of the road, the mayhem wrought by such actions will fall on good and bad alike, without regard for either. But all who are in Christ will be saved by God and rewarded with eternal life.
If you hold onto that promise, your salvation from all this is assured because you are protected 24-7 by the forgiveness which flows from Christ's cross. As long as you forgive others, God's cross allows you to stumble time and time again, get back up and keep going. Unlike the Olympic Games, God's gold medal goes to all who don't give up it is given even to those who finish last of all. Remember, "many who are last shall be first and the first shall be last" (Mt.19:30). That is God's eternal law in Christ.
"In those days and at that time you may look for Israel's iniquity, it will not be there, for Judah's sins, you will not find them. for I will pardon the remnant that I leave." (Jer. 50:20).
Christianity is citizenship. To be a Christian is to be a citizen of God's kingdom. It is just like being an American. We are born to it.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus called it being "born again".
In baptism we die to this world and are reborn into citizenship in the nation of God. In everyone who has been baptised in Christ, that change of citizenship has already taken place. For the rest of our sojurn here on earth we are like foreign dignitaries, ambassadors for God, living as guests in this world. It is a temporary duty assignment. Soon we will be called home and our service here ended. Jesus said our duty while we are here is to spread the "Good News" of the kingdom of God.
We can lose national citizenship on earth if we renounce it in favor of another nation, or if we break the law in a serious way. In God, if we renounce citizenship in His kingdom, it is called apostasy and terminates our relationship with Him immediately. Those who switch their nations on earth are faced with similar, but less grave circumstances. Most earthly nations allow us to hold dual citizenship as far as God is concerned.
In the kingdom of heaven, as in America (or Spain or wherever), our citizenship is totally dependent on our obedience to the laws of the government. In the United States, if we commit a serious crime (sin) such as a felony, we can be sentenced to jail and our U.S. citizenship taken away temporarily the right to vote and the right to freedom, etc., are stripped from us. In the case of life imprisonment, we lose our rights of citizenship for life.
As citizens of the kingdom of heaven, just as in America, we are asked not to break the law. In God we are required to obey God's rules as stated by Christ in His Gospel and as elucidated in the New Testament. In this world the law tends to be severemoderated only by combat between prosecutor and defender and waged in a sea of money. Mercy, when it is offered is usually capricious, subject to the whims of each court and jurist. In God, however, because of the cross of Jesus, mercy is the backbone of the law. And it is not capriciously offered.
Through Christ, God has emplaced firm rules for mercy (confession and repentance), and it is through this fountain of forgiveness that salvation flows. Even in the case of serious crimes, when we repent in earnest and work diligently not to repeat those sins, the cross of Christ keeps us pure in the eyes of God. It is as if we had never sinned at all. Even the court records are erased. This is the nature of the justice of God blamelessness is a road of progress:
"Only the man who makes progress, as the blameless do, can be my servant." (Ps.101:2,6).
Courts in this world do not understand this kind of justice, so it is difficult for us to grasp it as well. The only thing we should remember is that God is perfect justice. We are here in this existance by and for God's will, not our own. God has created all this for the purpose of examination because Satan has got his wish to sift us all like wheat. It is not something we understand well. But trusting that God is perfect justice, we praise the Lord for His compassionate mercy!
Now that Hamas is going to be in charge of the Palestinian government, what can we expect to see Prophetically? Doesn't this mean that Israel is in even more danger than before? Isn't the world getting smaller and time passing faster in the Bible prophecy realm? Invasion made easier by this new political positioning!! C.M.
Israel's danger is set in the prophecies. So that hasn't changed. It is only our perception of the danger that is changed.
The Hamas victory is bordered on either side by Iran's announcement last week that it intends to build nuclear weapons and by the growing clash between east and west on the world stage set in motion by 9/11. I don't think anyone in the world community lately has expected Israel and Palestine to bury the hatchet and come together. The radicalism of Hamas is matched obsession for obsession by the militancy of the Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The hostility between the two is equally venomous.
The survival of Israel is not in any more danger than before, but the peace process a return to the Rabin-style olive branch seems quite gone. It really ended with Rabin's assassination if not before. There can be no doubt that an alliance between Palestine and the forces of the East will make the invasion easier. However, all this was incorporated in the prophecies from the beginning. It doesn't change them.
I agree with you completely that all these things are moving along very quickly. The era we live in is truly momentous. It is astonishing to see just how tinged by scripture's prophecies the times we live in have become. I can think of only one other time in earth's history that so much prophecy has unfolded into reality so fast.
I believe it (the millennium) has already occured and let me explain why......
The peace treaty with the world ends when you see Him from the heavens. Thru the vials or bowls of revelation, even the worst wrath upon the people, God waits for repentance, we see they blasphemed God instead.....
if Hitler was the 7th head, it was in response to both the beast that was not having come back into a new head. the beast that was not cannot come til he is FIRST RELEASED. He is released for a short time AFTER the millenium is over.....
The ending of the milenium does not end the peace treaty with planet earth IMO. Satan goes out to deceive all the nations, we have been seeing this, However, we are to persevere til the end and til the end, we continue to offer th gospel, We see the angel with the everlasting gospel flying.... We see the mystery of God, (which is Christ in us, jew and gentile) finished at the sounding of the 7th trump in Revelation. THEN the sky opens and the sign of the son of man is seen.....
Wonder what your thoughts are on this.
Satan's release doesn't mean the peace treaty is over, I believe the peace treaty is over when Christ appears. Before that, the little season of the beast who has already shown his 7th head, (Hitler) and the last spiritual head, (the 8th) is on the rise or has already risen....
This head brings the entire world agaisnt God, prayer in school is only a small part of the greater plan thru the entire world.... The aftermath of the millenium is the loss of control of Christ over governments, when we read revelation, we see the nations side against Christ only AFTER the millenium is over.... C
You are right. I often tend to equate the millennium incorrectly with the Day of Atonement (the age of the Peace Treaty itself), but, though closely tied, they are different entities.
The millennium relates specifically to the thousand years that Satan was locked up (Rev. 20:1-3). His return from that incarceration ends the millennium (Rev. 20:7-8), but it does not terminate the treaty. The treaty itself is terminated by the "Desolating Sacrilege" which breaks the everlasting covenant (Is. 24:5-6) the "abomination" that scripture predicts the Beast will set up in the Holy Place in the last days (Mt.24:15).
It is more than obvious that Satan is here now. He has mobilized the nations for war. The entire 20th century is a tapestry of his handiwork. You are also correct that his release had to have occurred before the 7th "Head" (Hitler) appeared. Considering the precedent of that event to the first world war, his return may well have coincided with the comet that crashed into Russia with the force of 50 hydrogen bombs at the beginning of the 20th century. That could well have been the signal of his return.
This period also coincides with the sudden revulsion of the nations against Jesus. What you wrote is quite accurate: "The aftermath of the (millenium's end) is the loss of control of Christ over governments; when we read Revelation, we see the nations side against Christ only AFTER the millenium is over......"
It shows why Jesus had to lock Satan in the Abyss during the age of the Church. There could have been no age of the Church on earth had Satan been here the whole time. It is astonishing to see how fast he was able to tear it apart after his release. Obviously it is as Paul said in 2 Thessalonians, faith on earth was coming apart already and that is why he was released.
Moses gave five warnings to the Israelites before they entered the promised land. What are the five warnings. How did each warning go unheeded. What where the results. Thank you. CF
In Christianity, the Old Testament and its figures relate only to Jesus. A prophecy-appropriate answer, therefore, to your question, certainly not one expected by your instructor, is this: The five warnings Moses gave to the Israelites were the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Each warning in these books went unheeded because it is written that nobody can keep the Law. The result was the appearance on earth of God's only Son, Jesus Christ who provided a pathway to eternal life through repentance, and conversion into the Gospel of heaven.
You present some very good insight regarding the visions of the Bible prophets. I would be particularly interested in your recent explanation of the northern and southern divisions of the Middle East related to the Euphrates. I have similar understanding and would like your comments on Scriptural support for the Euphrates as the dividing line. S
The biblical reference for the division of world forces, north and south comes mostly from the Book of Daniel: (Dn. 11:1-45). The prophet Ezekiel also acknowledges this division: (Ez.38:1-23, especially Ez. 38:15). There are other references as well.
Watching over the last 200 years the continuously jumbled intermixing and comingling of nations in those areas, one would try at this time only with great caution, and only in the broadest of terms, to assign geographic boundaries and national identities to the amalgamated conglomerates that are to make up the final forces among these two antagonists. It seems safe to say that Israel and the United States will constitute primary nations in the kingdom of the South. Russia, Turkey and Persia, or, more likely, their future equivalents will possibly number among the ten kingdoms of the North.
It is stated in the prophecies that the northern forces (arch enemies of Israel) will conquer the world. Obviously, the "world" talked about does not include the North's vaunted enemy, the kingdom of the South. The "ships of Kittim" (the west) come and block the forces of the Beast at the pinnacle of his empire, showing both that the North will never control the whole world and that the southern forces mounted against him will be as strong if not stronger than his own. The obvious assumption would be that the North ends up controlling most of the Eastern Hemisphere (the "world" as far as the ancient Bible writers were concerned) and possibly much of South America.
The pivotal invasion that brings the northern forces successfully south are shown in several key passages of scripture to cross the Euphrates river as if it were the doorway between the two and between East and West as well. Jeremiah links that river to the annihilation of the western forces in chapter 46:2-12. The era of this invasion (the last days) is defined in Jeremiah 45:4-5; and the "sign" that proves the certainty of its occurrance in advance is detailed in Jeremiah 44:29-30. The identity of the river itself is verified again in Revelation 9:14 & 16:12.
That the Medes (the arid and scorching winds of the East) are to be God's mace in this torrent of tribulation is verified in numerous prophecies scattered all over the scriptures (Hosea 13:15; Jer.51:11, etc., etc.)
There is no doubt about one thing, although he will never conquer all the nations (Dan.11:41), the Beast will end up destroying the whole world at the very end. We can see that in Daniel 11:44. That holocaust gives a Daniel confirmation to Jeremiah's final chilliing pronouncement (Jer. 51:58), Isaiah's Apocalypse, (Is. 24:1-6) and Zephaniah's vision of the "Day of God" (Zeph 1:2-3). And that is precisely what the holocaust becomes, because out of the smoke of those terminal fires which abruptly shroud the whole earth in darkness will appear the brilliant light of the return of Christ, which is the hope that forever vanquishes mankind's despair.
On your question page for January 26, you give this quote: "Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city for putting an end to transgression, for placing the seals on sin, for expiating crime, for introducing everlasting integrity, for setting the seal on vision and prophecy, for anointing the Holy of Holies." (Dn.9:24).
What is the Holy of Holies that must be anointed? Is this a reference to the Jewish Temple that is going to be rebuilt in Jerusalem before the end? Also my Bible does not translate this passage as Holy of Holies, it simply says to anoint the most Holy. What is the difference between the Temple the most Holy and the Holy of Holies? OV
the "anointing of the Holy of Holies" is the baptism of God (water, Spirit and fire) that purifies our soul, bringing eternal life to our being and imparting on each one of us, citizenship in the holy kingdom of the Lord. (Mat.3:11)
"Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city, for putting an end to transgression, for placing the seals on sin, for expiating crime, for introducing everlasting integrity (Jesus), for setting the seal on vision and on prophecy, for anointing the Holy of Holies (the dwelliing place of the Testimony). (Dan.9:24).
"Know this and understand: from the time this message went out: "Return and rebuild Jerusalem" to the coming of an anointed Prince, seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, with squares and ramparts restored and rebuilt,but in a time of trouble." (Dan.9:25).
Everything in these passages of Daniel relates to the rebuilding of the ruins of Jerusalem to obligations God has imposed on the people of Israel with respect to that restoration. More importantly, it points to those obligations with respect to Jesus Christ. As Paul has shown, we ourselves are the ruins of Jerusalem.
We must rebuild ourselves out of the ruins of wickedness by converting into the righteousness of God through Christ. A specified time period has been allotted for that conversion (rebuilding).
The number "70" is a symbolic reference to "completion". The designation "70 weeks" (70 weeks of years) compares to Israel's first exile to Babylon an exile which lasted 70 years (Jer.25:11-12; 29:10; Dn.9:2) and ended with the proclamation of Cyrus the Persian authorizing the Jews to return to rebuild Jerusalem in 538 B.C..
The use of the word "weeks" is symbolism unifying this prophecy with that of Leviticus 25:8-19, correlationg this time period with the ultimate "Jubilee" of God, the moment when the liberation of Israel will at last be fully completed.
"You are to count seven weeks of years -- seven times seven years, that is to say a period of seven weeks of years, forty-nine years. And on the tenth day of the seventh month you shall sound the trumpet; on the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout the land. You will declare this fiftieth year sacred and proclaim the liberation of all the inhabitants of the land. This is to be a jubilee for you; each of you will return to his ancestral home, each to his own clan."
Replete with metaphore, Daniel's words indicate that the rebuilding called for in this passage of scripture involves another exile and another Babylon entirely different than the one which occurred in 538 B.C.. This passage, therefore, relates to the true meaning of Jeremiah's 70-year prophecy.
The time specified is computed from the moment the call was issued, not by Cyrus the Persian, but by Jesus to "return and rebuild" Jerusalem, to the moment that project is completed. That moment, of course, has not yet arrived; God's harvest is still ongoing.
Because this cleansing and rebuilding must occur individually, person by person over a span of many centuries (2 millenia of centuries actually) It has two components to it. The first, individual rebuilding (each person), and the second, the ongoing event iself which 2 Chr 36:22-23 sees ultimately concluding, just as it began, in conjunction with a proclamation by the "prince of Persia". In these two bookend proclamations we are presented with a mirror image in opposites.
The passage concerning the anointing of "the Holy" which you describe, has been translated by scholars according to the fact that the words used in the original Greek and Hebrew Old Testament scriptures concern both a "Holy One" and a "Holy Place". The same word applied to both. Picking between the two, then, the translators were all faced with a choice.
We, ourselves, cannot anoint the Holy One of Israel (Jesus). He is glorified by God. That glorification occurred in heaven following His crucifixion. We know that Jesus had not yet been glorified while he walked the earth because the Gospel tells us so:
"As scripture says: From his breast shall flow fountains of living water. He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive, for there was no Spirit yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified." (Jn.7:38-39).
Fifty-two days after the Last Supper, however, on a day we call "Pentencost", His glorification was proved by the light of Christ that came back to earth in the form of the Holy Spirit. This transformation in heaven confirms that only God can anoint the Holy One: we have no power to do that.
The anointment in Daniel's passage with respect to the 70 weeks relates to something in our power to be a part of. So we must look beyond the anointing of Jesus (a baptism that goes from Father to One Son exclusively) to something that involves our participation.
For this reason, in this particular use, it seems certain that "the Holy" applies to a place. Much of scripture bears witness to this. The Living Bible defines that which must be anointed as "a most holy place (in the temple)", The NIV Bible indicates the same in a footnote. the Revised Standard Bible translates the passage "a most holy place". The King James Bible simply states "the most Holy".
The most holy place in the Temple was the Holy of Holies. In the Old Testament this place was hidden deep in the heart of Solomon's Temple where it was considered to be the dwelling place of God, Himself. Inside that holy chamber stood the Ark of the Covenant, and located on top of the Ark was God's throne, called by the Israelites, the "Seat of Mercy".
When He rebuilt the Temple, Jesus removed the Holy of Holies from a stationary building and relocated it into the soul of each Christian. There, it is anointed in place, person by person through baptism. That is why the need for purity (gained by repentance and conversion) in the baptismal process. God cannot dwell in a place of imperfection.
Baptism is a process we definitely do have a part in. It is our choice to be baptised, and in doing so, we make a public vow of our intent to convert from wickedness to righteousness in Jesus. Once baptised in Christ, we immediately die to our fleshly body and are reborn into a new invisible body for our life in the kingdom of God. We become citizens of heaven.
After that anointing, the Holy of Holies within us is kept pure through the ongoing flow of forgiveness that emanates from the cross of Christ. As scripture states, if God sees no sin, then no sin exists.
"I tell you most solemnly, whoever listens to my words, and believes in the one who sent me, has eternal life; without being brought to judgment he has passed from death to life." (John 5:24).
The proof that the Holy of Holies dwells inside us is the fact that God dwells in us. That could not happen if His dwelling place were not within our souls. And the fact that God dwells within us makes us His Temple. Everything that was in Jerusalem is now contained in us Holy of Holies, Temple and Testimony. No other temple will ever replace this edifice. It has no counterpart either on earth or in heaven. Nor will it ever. All who look for another wait in vain.
Because God's Temple is being rebuilt stone by stone, individually over a period of 2000 years (with each person a single entity in that construction), the proclamation of the "Prince of Persia (Cyrus) must be seen in more than one way. We are all aware of the final structure of his proclamation, issued from Babylon by the Parthian prince of the future in his fateful attempt to overthrow the House of Israel, but the prophet Isaiah shows us a far more benevolent form of this proclamation in terms of Jesus:
"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 laid'." (Is. 44:28).
"I it was who roused him to victory, I levelled the way for him. He will rebuild my city, will bring my exiles back without ransom or indemnity, so says the Lord God Almighty." (Is.45:13).
Here, Isaiah shows us that the role of Cyrus is to be replicated in Jesus as He sets us free individually from our captivity to sin in the land of Babylon. It is He who makes the proclamation to "return and rebuild a new Jerusalem" in heaven. God has called Him out of the East to set the captives free.
"Who roused from the east him that victory hails at every step? Who presents him with nations, subdues kings to him?" (Is. 41:2)
The "prince of Persia", then, in scripture, makes an appearance in three very different entitites. The first was the Persian king who allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem in 538 B.C. The second Cyrus appears prophetically according to Isaiah, imaged by the Savior, empowering the captives to return to rebuild the Holy City of God in righteousness. The third appearance of this figure is embodied in the fateful antagonist who brings the Diaspora to an end by releasing us as a nation from bondage to Babylon at the end of time.
"I roused him from the north to come, from the rising sun I summoned him by name." (Is. 41:25).
I am somewhat baffled by the world's Muslim population (probably for a good reason). Two wars in Iraq to control and depose a despotic tyrant, combat in Afghanistan to topple the Taliban and pursue a notorious terrorist (all those targeted claiming to be "good" Muslims). All activities that are roundly condemned by Muslims the world over.
A few cartoons in a Danish paper poking fun...and the entire Muslim world picks up rocks to stone the "heretic's" embassies. Apparently, hooks for jaws can be found in very unexpected areas. A world-wide (Euro-centric opinion) war over cartoons... Galvanized Muslim response for "false" images... It seems to be the very simple kind of thing that ancient prophecy prefers in place of the grand symbolic gestures we seem to expect. Is there some sort of prophetically-based pattern here? Your thoughts? JF
On a spiritual level, Jesus preached that the kingdom of God is peace and its message has to be spread by peaceful means. Muslims believe just the opposite. They are convinced that this world is violently evil and so the kingdom of God must be spread and maintained here by force. This was Mohammed's teaching, and as soon as he died, the invasion was launched. Muslims consider the Christian effort inneffectual as far as this world is concerned. Militancy is therefore built into the Muslim understanding of God.
In Christ, war and violence are abhorrent. We are asked to turn the other cheek when struck and give to all who request us to give. These commandments are diametrically opposed to Muslim beliefs which more closely mirror the ancient Hebrew concepts of eye for eye and tooth for tooth.
There was an excellent essay in last Saturday's Los Angeles Times (2/4/06) by Tim Rutten concerning the issue you raised. He pointed out the philosophical roots of these spiritual thoughts in the writings of the Muslim philosopher Averroes, the Christian philosopher Thomas Aquinas, and the Jewish philosopher Maimonides, all in relation to the secular world's master expositor of reason, Aristotle.
According to Rutten, Aquinas embraced Aristotle (reason) as a part of faith (i.e., whatever science discovers, God made). Averroes saw reason and faith as separate entities. Consequently, the Christianized west now lives in a world that embodies the central philosophical values of "separation of church and state", and "freedom of expression". The Muslim east rejects that separation and embraces a faith politic that disallows any kind of free expression. Perforce, no Danish cartoons.
Those issues certainly reinforce the relationships we see today, but the Muslim conviction that the kingdom of God must be enforced and maintained by militant means in this world remain central to the violent reactions we see emanating from this third of the human race today. Violence is not foreign to the Muslim sense of philosophic righteousness.
As far as prophecy is concerned, the Book of Daniel predicts that there will be four invasions by the East against the western world and its Christian faith. Three have already occurred. The fourth seems to be building now with the new militancy that is spreading like wildfire across the eastern world. By all reckoning the attacks on New York and Washington D.C. seem to have been the "Pearl Harbor" moments in this fourth conflict, an attack of enormous, if still unappreciated consequence.
The Muslims are convinced that the western conscience, which is now dictated far more by reason than Christ, is corrupt and is spreading a spate of corrosive sexual, satanic and materialistic ideologies across the eastern world like an imperialistic acid rain. Not bound by the constraints against violence, they feel duty bound not only to stop that spread by whatever means they can muster, but to eradicate its source as well.
If this is the case, then Rutten's calculus combining the three major philosopher's of modern faith with Aristotle seems prescient. Aristotle's mentor was Alexander the Great, the progenitor of western civilization. According to Daniel, at a point very very close to where we are now (i.e., just after the two wars at the Euphrates), the western world (Alexander's momentous creation) will topple suddenly by catastrophe, allowing the East to raise to power in the vacuum a ten-nation confederacy, it's penchant for combat carrying the world rapidly war by war to a violent and fiery end.
The only way God could ever allow this to happen would be the western world's abandonment of Christ. The problem is we do not know precisely what that abandonment entails. Evil has dogged our civilization like a cloak from its inception. When is evil too evil for even God to forgive?
We also know that no powerful empire is ever defeated externally. All fail from within. In the western world, the wedding between faith and reason worked well as long as both were equally respected. But in the last century all across the western world, the two divorced.
We can see that separation particularly highlighted in the American 1963 Supreme Court decision that chose separation of church and state over freedom of expression. No longer could the names God or Jesus or the Bible be used in a scholastic, or later, in any civic circumstance. This pitted freedom of expression against separation of church and state, reversing the delicate balance between the two that had encompassed the previous 187 years stemming from 1776. The divorce has been upheld and amplified in decision after decision ever since.
Thomas Aquinas' compromise has ended. Reason has thrown faith out of the picture. The Bible tells us that this is the very circumstance that will prove this world's condemnation (John 3:19).
There is a theocracy movement now building in the United States embodied in a Baptist theology that is trying to evict faithless reason much as Averroes felt obliged to do in the Muslim community a thousand years ago, but in its singularity of theology, and its war on reason, it is not a movement that has any hope of encompassing the greater western world. The faith it exemplifies may help save the United States from an untimely oblivion, but, as Daniel observed while looking at Babylon's wall, the handwriting is already there and it isn't going away.
I have heard that when the antichrist comes everyone in the world will love him because he will be a man of peace and bring a false covenant of peace to the world. Is this true? PL
Jesus is the only Peace this world will ever know. There is to be no peace outside of Christ. Satan's prince will be a man of war a man of wrath. The only peace he will bring to the world will be a promise not to slaughter those who agree to renounce Christ and support him in his attempt to destroy the people of the House of Israel. That is the only covenant he will entertain an unyielding covenant of destruction (Dan. 11:36-39).
We can see this clearly defined in Daniel's detailed description of the beast's rise to power:
"In his place there will rise a wretch: he will not be given royal honors, but will insinuate himself into them in his own time and gain possession of the kingdom by intrigue. Armies will be utterly routed and crushed by him, the prince of the covenant too." (Dan. 11:21-22).
This description does not portray a man of peace. It describes a madman, enormously dangerous, and beserk with power, his heart set against Jesus and the House of Israel. Far from a man of peace, he will be a ruthless warmongerer, crushing not just armies but massacring wherever he can find them, the people of God.
"Still conspiring, he will go from treachery to treachery, ever growing stronger despite the smallness of his following. In his own time he will invade the richest provinces, acting as his fathers or his fathers' fathers never acted, distributing plunder, spoil and wealth among them, plotting stratagems against fortresses for a time." (Dan. 11:23-24)
As a testament to his military skills, an enormous battle will go his way and he will defeat the great army of the South, securing for himself enormous plunder.
"He will return greatly enriched to his own country, his heart set against the Holy Covenant...In due time he will make his way southwards again...but this time the outcome will not be as before. The ships of Kittim will oppose him, and he will be worsted. He will return and take furious action against the holy covenant and, as before, will favor those who forsake that holy covenant." (Dan. 11:28-30).
Who are the ships of Kittim (Dan.11:30) if the world loves the Antichrist so much? Obviously, they have not come to block his peacefulness. Those ships are almost certainly the naval vessels from America, and they have come to thwart his relentless warmongering ongoing since the "space of one week" began. (Dan. 9:27) Those ships will turn his armies around, but there is little they will be able to do to stem his massacre of the innocents.
One-half a week into his reign of violence, the communion sacrifice will be abolished by his hand:
"Forces of his will come and profane the sanctuary citadel, they will abolish the perpetual sacrifice and instal the disastrous abomination there. Those who break the covenant he will corrupt by his flatteries, but the people who know their God will stand firm and take action. Those of the people who are learned will instruct many; for some days, however, they will be brought down by sword and flame, by captivity and by plundering. And thus brought down, little help will they receive, though many will be plotting on their side. Of the learned some will be brought down, as a result of which certain of them will be purged, purified and made white until the time of the End, for the appointed time is still to come." (Dan. 11:30-35).
The Book of Revelation shows the world falling in love, not with the madman, but with the beast that emerges from the sea with seven heads and ten horns (Rev. 13:1; 3-4). This dragon from the sea is not the "wretched king" defined in the Book of Daniel. The beast's seven heads encompass leaders stretching all the way back to the Apostles and even two-thousand years before that a distance of 4000 years. Obviously, Revelation's dragon (Rev. 17:7) is far more than the Madman of Daniel's vision.
"The beast you have seen once was and now is not; he is yet to come up from the Abyss, but only to go to his destruction." (Rev. 17:8).
This is the beast from the sea Michael the Archangel took prisoner at the beginning of Christ's reign on earth (the "Day of Atonement") keeping it in chains until the time for its release when Christ's "Day" ends (Rev. 20:1-10). The world's mobilization for war during this last century shows this dragon has already returned, fulfilling John's prediction. The Book of Revelation is very clear, this beast brings endless war, not peace (Rev. 20:7-8).
It is not the Rebel of the End this world falls in love with in the Book of Revelation, but the dragon itself (the beast released from the Abyss). The world's love for this beast and the prostitute who rides it is measured in the people's rejection of the Gospel that has been preached to them since Pentecost. (That is why the Madelein Murray O'Hare decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1963 remains such an issue. It is an integral part of the peoples rejection of Jesus Christ and therefore central to all this imagery).
The Madman of Daniel 11:21-35 is, in fact, the eighth head of the dragon, the one who turns against the prostitiute Babylon at the end and burns her to the ground. "Thus the laboring of the peoples comes to nothing; the toiling of the nations ends in fire." (Jer.51:58).
"The light will be with you only a little longer now. Walk while you have the light, or the dark will overtake you; he who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. While you still have the light, believe in the light and you will become sons of light." (John 12:35-36).
"I tell solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death." (John 8:51).
I have a question. Do you think God put George W. Bush in office on purpose to defeat terrorism? L
Many people think that.
It is interesting that when a terrible hurricane or earthquake happens people say that God was responsible for it, but when it is peaceful and quiet on earth, nobody gives Him credit for the calm. The prophecies show that God's will is being done in all circumstances. What is not so certain is precisely what God's will really is.
There can be no doubt, given the gravity of events in the world today that God is deeply involved in the affairs of all nations and peoples on earth, America included. We are living in the last days, a time written of in the prophecies of scripture. God will see to it that those prophecies will all occur as recorded.
The last days are predicted to be tumultuously violent in all ways, far beyond any turbulence ever seen on earth since its beginning. Tyranny and aggression will grow during these times, not be quieted. No world leader will have power to dissolve God's prophecies.
No one will defeat the terrorism until it has run its full course on earth.
"The wall of Babylon has fallen. Go out of her my people; save your lives, each one of you, from the fierce anger of God. "But do not be faint hearted! do not take fright at rumors hawked round the country; one rumor spreads one year, next year another follows; violence rules on earth and one tyrant cancels out another." (Jer.51:44-46).
"The Lord God says this: the wide ramparts of Babylon will be razed to the ground, and her high gates will be burnt down. Thus the laboring of the peoples comes to nothing, the toiling of the nations ends in fire." (Jer.51:58).
We would hope that God will raise up for us leaders that will keep all this tyranny at bay so that our citizens can live in safety until the Return, but scripture shows that every leader, no less than every citizen, will be held responsible for his or her actions in respect to the Gospel Jesus preached. Jesus said we will know them by their fruits. The Lord's favor is a two-way street. We get what we give (Is.1:16-20).
God raises up for this world the leadership its behavior reflects. According to Zechariah, even in the case of Jerusalem, the nation God loves:
"Next, the Lord said to me, 'Now take the gear of an incompetent shepherd. For I am now going to raise an incompetent shepherd in this country. He will not bother about the lost; he will not look for the stray; he will not heal the wounded; he will not support the weary; but he will only eat the flesh of the fat beasts and tear off their hoofs. 'Trouble is coming to the worthless shepherd who deserts the flock!" (Zech.11:15-17).
God did this to His very own city, cursing it for crimes little different from those we see being repeated all around us today: "Woe to the legislators of infamous laws, to those who issue tyrannical decrees, who refuse justice to the unfortunate and cheat the poor among my people of their rights, who make widows their prey and rob the orphan. What will you do on the day of punishment, when, from far off, destruction comes?" (Is.10:1-4).
Better to think that the will of God (and our safety) is in Jesus Christ the Gospel He preached. Not George Bush.
Is there a difference between the visitation of the Lord and the scrutiny of souls? PL
I am not sure exactly what you are referring to but I believe they are the same. In any case, you bring up an interesting point. Jesus exhorted us to "walk while we have the light". It is fading a bit and flickering out in certain shadows, but the light of Jesus Christ is still shining on earth. We are still able to walk in that light. We know that darkness is coming, but if you can still read this, it isn't here yet.
The time of the Light (the duration of the Sonlight of Atonement) while Christ is shining on us can certainly be called a time of the Lord's visitation. He is here now spiritually in our lives. It can also be called a time of scrutiny of souls. We are all being examined by the Light of the Lord. It is a "visitation" and "scrutiny" that can go on for years. It is a time when the books of God are being written, line by line.
While they are being written, we have power to change the words. At the Last Judgement, when those books are read, nothing can be changed.
When the Beast comes with his army to destroy all who love Christ, does he make it to the US or does he only destroy those in other countries that love Christ. I know that the ships of Kittim block him when he comes Southward but apparently he wins a war with us at some point. Does he reach us at one point and kill a lot of innocent Americans and then we attack again and win this second war which brings the end of the world? I'm not clear on weather Kittim blocks him totally and the US is never touched by the Beast or if he does in fact reach us and kill a lot of Americans on our land and then we fight back again and win. Thank you.LB
Scripture does not give us blow-by-blow descriptions of the future, so no one knows the precise answers to the kind of questions you asked. God is interested only in providing an overview of key events so that we can track the future as it happens as proof of the truth of scripture. God's interest is in our salvation not our edification. In fact, knowledge of our salvation IS our edification as far as God is concerned.
Seeing that scripture is true we are encouraged to follow its road to salvation, which is to put Christ's love into action in the world through our own actions. The important thing God wants us to know is that all who live by Christ will live forever so that none of the events you describe and inquire about above will have any effect on our own future. The Beast cannot kill the children of God. For even if we die in the flesh, God will raise us back to life just as He did Jesus Christ. That is His promise. Seeing the future unfold as He predicted assures us that His promise is real.
The fact that Jerusalem and Kittim remain in the world partially or completely unconquered during the whole of the reign of the Beast proves that his realm of conquest will have limits, even at the height of his empire. But remember, in the end, scripture is clear, this world will pass away completely and be replaced by the heavenly kingdom coming down from heaven (2 Peter 3:7; Rev. 21:10).
I don't know what book you got your answer on the Antichrist on Feb. 13, 2006, but in the original King James, the Antichrist comes in so peaceful that people are fooled into thinking he is THE MESSIAH. I don't understand why other versions of the Manuscripts are made when they are not by Divine guidance as is the King James. When you misinterpret from other books, you are guilty of Rev. 22:19. You don't add to or take away.DB
I have two King James Bibles in my possession; one, in the original old English that you refer to. I can find nowhere in either of these Bibles a reference to a peaceful antichrist. I have heard other people talk about a peaceful antichrist but I have seen nothing in scripture to back up those assertions, nor has anyone been able to show me any quotations pertaining to a man of peace.
Some of his followers are certain to claim him "Messiah", but not a peaceful one. Prophecy says he will take his seat in the sanctuary of God and proclaim himself God (2 Thes.2:4). Thor, perhaps, or Mars, but not a lamb. Prophecy shows he will take his seat there only after his forces methodically murder all the ministers of Christ that formerly occupied the premises (see the Fatima prophecy).
The antichrist of scripture is characterized in the Book of Revelation as a man of war who sends his soldiers out to kill all who speak about Jesus: "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them." (Rev. 13:7). and send out hit men to kill his enemies:
"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." (Rev. 13:15).
His ready inclination to kill anyone who disagrees with him shows that among those truly intoxicated by his rhetoric and propaganda, there will be many others who will worship him out of fear. It will be like the love of a battered wife like the people of Germany in WWII who filled the squares in Berlin by the millions worshipping hordes, throwing rose petals at the feet of Adolph Hitler, praising him and saluting him with shouts of "Zieg Heil".
Later, after the war was over, they all claimed that they attended those rallys and praised Hitler because his goon squads would kill them if they didn't come out. Everyone was keeping lists and marking down what people were doing and not doing. Beatings and killings were common. The worship only went to his borders. The rest of the world regarded Hitler as the massacring beast he was. But most people were powerless to make war against him.
The Bible shows that in the case of the beast to come, the nation of Kittim with its powerful ships will have the strength not only to block him but to defeat him in battle, so we know that the beast will not be worshipped by the entire world, either. The United States will not worship him. We will fight him and block him just as we did Hitler. The Book of Daniel confirms this successful resistance in certain terms (Dan.11:30). The rest of the world may be coerced by his militia's to fill the squares of their cities with people to worship him, but until the final fire comes that is predicted (Jer.51:58), the United States will not.
In the case of the second beast beheld by John, the one that "had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon" (Rev.13:11), this sounds very much like a man who claims he is of God but out of his mouth pour streams of hatred and calls for violence. We can see familiar examples of this on the evening news even today. The Muslim Imams are holy men, but some have shouted out a spate of hate designed to rile up tens of thousands of their followers to make war on the western world because some Danish artists drew cartoons of Mohammed. Those Imams have issued calls for the assassination of the cartoonists and offered huge cash rewards to anyone able to carry out those killings. They have also issued calls for "fatwa's" against America and all its people. You don't see that kind of frenzied and mindless rage from people of peace.
Fortunately most Muslim Imams today are truly men of peace, so the rage is muted by the fact that it comes from the fringe few who follow Al Queda. When the antichrist comes, however (hopefully not until many, many long decades have passed) everything will change. The numbers will reverse, and there will be a new kind of Hitler rise upon the face of the earth. He will not have the dove of peace on his shoulder, nor will his arms be filled with the branches of an olive tree.
All I have ever seen written in scripture regarding this Beast portrays the kind of reckless and violent behavior one would expect from a madman who, from the four quarters of the earth, gathers the nations together for battle (Rev.21:8), a destroyer who burns down every church in the land and ruthlessly massacres all his enemies. I will gladly print here any biblical quotations readers can find to the contrary.
Do you have to believe in Jesus Christ to go to heaven? RY
Yes. Jesus made that very clear:
"Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life; the anger of God stays on him." (John 3:36; Pr.8:36).
I have told you already: You will die in your sins. Yes, if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (John 8:24).
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me." (John 14:6; Ps.43:3)
Everyone born on earth is stained by the mark of Satan. That mark is called "original sin", and no one who carries the Beast's stain can have eternal life. Jesus offered Himself up on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for the sole purpose of taking that stain away. That is why He is the only way into heaven.
All who are baptised in His name through repentance secure the ultimate forgiveness that flows from Christ's cross. Because nothing else can take away original sin, only Christ's forgiveness can make a person eligible for eternal life.
The foreign countires taking over our ports, is that covered in any of the prophecies or should we be concerned about it? PL
Any major story involving the possibility of a latently hostile "East" that deals with American "ports" or "harbors" can't help but bring to mind Ezekiel's prophecies with respect to Tyre (Ez. 26-28) which focuses heavily on the harbors and cargo of a rich and glorious sea-faring nation standing out in the middle of the ocean that is suddenly destroyed by the Medes (the "east wind"); the harbors themselves playing an important role in that destruction.
Especially when numerous segments of that "East" are currently burning American flags, labeling us a "great Satan" and fielding large numbers of barbarous mobs demanding our death and destruction. Those are significant red lights, and coming in tandem with one another, they are definitely cause for concern.
Ezekiel's prophecy deals specifically with a nation surrounded by the seas made wealthy by its ports and ships and busy trading. Once an exemplar of perfection in the world, protected by its own guardian cherub, it was a nation and people that walked in holiness. But all that changed. Its busy trading filled it with sin and violence, and, swollen with pride on account of its beauty and all the financial blessings poured down upon it, Tyre chose to renounce God and set herself up in God's place, choosing her own superior intelligence over that of the Holy Spirit.
As everyone knows, the scholastic and civic renunciation of God by political America first outlined in the writ of a 1963 Supreme Court decision has been followed by many reaffirmations of that stance since. Taken collectively these decisions leave little doubt about our own country's exchange of gods in recent times.
Tyre's destruction, according to Ezekiel was not only profound, but almost instantaneous. It came on two virtually simultaneous fronts, the "east wind" and the very waters that surrounded it and filled its harbors. Many nations, warned Ezekiel, will turn against Tyre (like the sea and its waves). Not only that, but the sea itself will engulf her so that her harbors will be no more. The deep will be brought up to cover her. Tyre's towers will be demolished, her massive pillars thrown to the ground. The dust of their collapse will roll into the waters of the harbor.
"You are destroyed then, swept from the seas, city of pride." (Ez. 26:17).
Now switch to Daniel.
Ezekiel's prophecy can be seen to correlate with Daniel's prediction that the western nation that wins the two wars at the Euphrates river will, just after that second victory, suddenly collapse and never be seen again in the form in which it previously existed (Dn.11:3-4). Daniel forsees it shattered into four parts, all of them different than its original structure. That original structure will never be seen again. It will be gone forever, just as Ezekiel prophesied of Tyre.
However, Daniel's prophecy shows that it will continue to exist in another, completely different form. It will not be ruled as it was before nor even by its same descendants ( Dan.11:4). And that may be the fate of Tyre as well. In fact, these two nations could very easily be one and the same.
If these prophecies are indeed about us, it seems very clear that the nation of the future into which we evolve will not be an economic giant, plying the oceans in grandiose trade or founded in Wall Street commercialism. All that seems destined to cease in the space of a heartbeat. But we will retain enough of our military prowess that the Beast of the last days will be unable to conquer us as he does the rest of the world (Dn.11:30).
If these prophecies are about America, they are truly unsettling because they foresee on a very close horizon, cataclysmic change. Whether the port dealings you ask about are integral to this change is not known (just as the prophecies themselves being about us are not known). Inside "intelligence" on harbor security would certainly be a major benefit of port ownership. I would suspect that an enemy could ask for little that is better. Especially when it encompasses so many strategic harbors and ports. In this case, virtually the entire country.
(For more on Tyre and its possible relationship to America, see this link)
Why do you believe the Jewish Temple will not be rebuilt in Jerusalem? Scripture predicts it, does it not? PP
Scripture predicts that Jesus Christ is the Temple of God:
"In the spirit I saw Jerusalem, the holy city , coming down from God out of heaven...I saw that there was no temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple..." (Rev.21:10, 22).
The Hebrew religion has only one purpose for existance, to announce the coming of the Messiah (Jesus).
Can you imagine such a thing a major world religion whose only purpose is to herald another religion? It is unheard of. There is nothing like it in the history of mankind. Only God could think of a circumstance so amazing.
The Hebrew religion is the template of Christianity. When Moses went up to the mountain, God ordered him to make a replica an exact copy of the pattern he had been shown while he was up there (Acts 7:44; Ex.25:40; Heb 8:5). It was on that Mosaic pattern that the actual religion of God was structured, the true Law of heaven the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The New Testament tells us that because God now dwells inside each Christian, instead of the Ark of the Covenant, we, ourselves, constitute the dwelling place of God. The stones of the Temple of God are the people of His Church. Jesus is the Temple. It has been built stone by stone with each baptism, a process now almost 2000 years in the making.
As Christians, we believe the messianic David the Hebrew religion promises is Jesus. The Jews believe it is another figure still to come. The Hebrew religion exists solely to make this prediction and to hold the people in readiness until the prediction is fulfilled. Everything is rebuilt anew when the Messiah comes. That is why we who see Jesus as the Messiah look for no new temple in the old (Acts 15) Hebrew religion. The focus is no longer in the prediction but in its fulfillment. The focus is Jesus. The only Temple possible in Christ is Christ Himself.
"Jesus answered, 'Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up'." "...he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said." (John 2:13-22).
When Jesus said this, He was referring not only to His resurrection, but to biblical God-days as well (1000-year days to man) . Those three days include two days of washing and cleaning (which is baptism) and on the third day seeing God face to face on His Return in accordance with prophecy:
"The Lord said to Moses, 'Go to the people and tell them to prepare themselves today and tomorrow. Let them wash their clothing and hold themselves in readiness for the third day, because on the third day, the Lord will descend on the mountains of Sinai in the sight of all the people." (Ex.19:10)
The Temple that is Christ , though almost completed, is still under construction. This spiritual edfice will be completed early on the third day a day this world entered on January 1st, 2001. What need is there now for a physical building, a plaster, wood and rock dwelling that scripture tells us God can't dwell in anyway, under any circumstances (2 Sam. 7:5)?
The Temple of God is Christ. There will be no competing edifice ever again for the House of Israel.
Does the fact two resurrections are described in the Book of Revelation complicate the Rapture picture? Does it mean there have to be two Raptures? AG
"This is the first resurrection; the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over. Happy and blessed are those who share in the first resurrection; the second death cannot affect them but they will be priests of God and of Christ and reign with him for a thousand years." (Rv.20:5-6).
I am among those who feel prophecy shows that the first resurrection (and therefore the possibility of the first rapture) has already occurred (probably about 70 A.D.). There is strong evidence for a resurrection around this date in prophecy.
Nero's violent attack on Peter, Paul, the Apostles and Christian's of Rome in advance of this first resurrection indicates a post-tribulation kind of rapture for this early group. Since the attacks against Christians that continued by other Roman emperors for two or three centuries after 70 A.D. were aimed at Christian's that still have yet to be raptured (the second resurrection/rapture has not yet occurred), we seem to be looking at a post-tribulation rapture the second time around as well.
Do you think the Roman Catholic church can survive all these sex scandals? What impact, if any do you think this is going to have on the rest of the churches? WB
It is written in prophecy:
"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).
These words are being fulfilled in the scandals you refer to.
Jesus told Peter that he represented the first stone (the "Cornerstone") in God's new Church, and in his last days someone would come and take him where he did not want to go (John 21:18-19). Scripture tells us that this indicates the kind of death Peter would have to suffer. Prophecy further states that the Church must follow this path as well (the path of the Tribulation). Since Peter represents the Church, Christ's words acknowledge this fact as well.
Thus we see that the mother Church (out of which the seven churches of Christianity have sprung) will pass away covered in shame and disgrace. This is exactly what scripture prophesied of the Messiah, Himself.
"By force and by law he was taken..." (Is. 53:8) "All who hate me whisper to each other about me, reckoning I deserve the misery I suffer." (Ps.41:7)
"If a man guilty of a capital offence is put to death and you hang him on a tree, his body must not remain on the tree overnight; you must bury him the same day, for one who has been hanged is accursed of God, and you must not defile the land that the Lord your God gives you for an inheritiance." (Dt. 21:22-23)
Prophecy stated Jesus would be hanged on a tree (accursed) as a law-breaker. Peter was taken to be hanged (accursed), nailed to a tree as well, upside down. In this we see all three (Jesus, Peter and Church) following the same pattern.
We must all follow the path of Christ. That is why the end of our lives always take us, like Peter, to where we don't want to go. Few of us these days are hanged on a tree, and for most of us the scandal of our lives is only the scorn and epithets we receive from the "Chaldeans" of our time for believing in and preaching Jesus.
It is this end that caused Jesus to tell His apostles:
"When I sent you out without purse or haversack or sandals, were you short of anything? 'No' they said. He said to them, 'But now if you have a purse, take it; if you have a haversack, do the same; if you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one, because I tell you these words of scripture have to be fulfilled in me: 'He let himself be taken for a criminal'. Yes, what scripture says about me is even now reaching its fulfilment.' 'Lord,' they said 'there are two swords here now.' He said to them, 'That is enough'!" (Luke 22:35-38).
Many are convinced the Catholic Church deserves the scandalous name it has now received in light of these offenses, but remember, only a very small percentage of its priests are involved in these scandals. And in this invasion by the godless, prophecy is again fulfilled, for Jesus said:
"Wherever the body is, there also will the vultures gather." (Mat.24:28). The Old Testament has a saying in prophecy that is similar: "Where goods abound, parasites abound." (Ecc.5:10).
All this is happening to fulfill scripture. Everytime scripture is fulfilled, Christ is proved true:
"Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father who would promptly send more than twelve legions of angels to my defense? But then, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this is the way it must be?' It was at this time that Jesus said to the crowds, 'Am I a brigand, that you had to set out to capture me with swords and clubs? I sat teaching in the Temple day after day and you never laid hands on me.' Now all this happened to fulfill the prophecies in scripture. Then all the disciples deserted him and ran away." (Mat. 26:53-56).
This date marks the third anniversary of the Western world's second Gulf War at the Euphrates river. Don't say anything,, but it may also have quietly marked the end of that war as well. For the first time in 3 years, President Bush did not use the word "war" to describe the U.S. action there, and at the same time, Secretary of Defense Rumsfield referred to the situation in Iraq as "post-war", comparing it to American policing in post-war Germany to keep the Nazi's from reasserting power after World War II had ended.
There are major differences, of course. Today Iraq teeters on the verge of a major civil war pitting Sunni Muslims against Shiite Muslims. Not only that, but insurgent military attacks continue across that country at the rate of 500 a week (26,000 a year), sending planeloads of seriously wounded American soldiers to Germany at the average rate of 31 a day, i.e., over 11,000 a year. More than 2300 American soldiers have perished in the war and many more are certain to die in the post-war phase as well.
The change in semantics may not be significant to most people in the world today, but the official change in designation from "war" to "post-war" as far as prophecy is concerned has enormous implications. Daniel's prophecy clearly implies western-world victory against the eastern forces in both wars (Dan.8:5-7). The "post-war" designation would confirm the second victory and bring this prophecy to completion.
Whether or not Daniel's prophecy relates to our century and to these two wars at the Euphrates river is a matter of conjecture, but there are so many other convergent signs pointing to this relationship, we assume here for the sake of argument that it does. That said, the importance of the end of the war in favor of a victorious west is quite significant.
Jeremiah's prophecy (Jer.46:2-6) shows that western policing troops will remain on site, holding there a sort-of "Maginot line" along or close to the Euphrates river until the coming invasion (until the day the Euphrates river dries up in fulfillment of prophecy (Rev.16:12-16), making a way for the vast armies of the East to come pouring across its arid bed in a mammoth and successful invasion of Israel and the western world near the end of the age). That invasion cannot occur until the ten-nation confederacy has appeared (Dan.7:24; Rev.17:12-13). That confederacy is not in place today, although certain rudimentary structures of its framework may possibly be forming now, especially in terms of a militant Iran and certain nations spun out of the Soviet Union's dissolution.
Of more immediate concern is the Bible's assertion that the empire that secured both victories over Iraq will collapse and fracture very soon after that second war's end (Dan.8:8; 11:3-4). This being the case, the new designation doesn't change the circumstances of our impasse in Iraq, but it does put us (America as the main power in the coalition forces) on a fast track to experience that cataclysmic economic and/or political fracturing.
How that comes about or what it entails, no one knows. Only one thing is certain, if these prophecies are being fulfilled now, America is a central figure in all the metaphore. Daniel said that four majestic "horns" would appear in place of the empire fractured, and he implies that the collapse can be prophetically forseen in the sudden death of Alexander the Great and the breakup of Alexander's Greek empire. According to Jeremiah, the assassination of the pharaoh of Egypt is an important part of this prophecy as well (Jer.44:29-30).
When the second Iraq war ceases to be a war, all these subsequent prophecies are scheduled to leap to the foreground and take their place next in line for fulfillement. It is clearly evident in scripture that the western world is not leaving Iraq. As a police force, it is there for the duration. For this reason, the terminology describing our presence in that area is destined to be the only indicator of our victory or defeat in the second Gulf war.
The change in White House appellation from "war" to "post-war" in speeches marking this 3rd anniversary of the invasion that started this conflict may therefore be very important, likely signalling the end of that war, and thus bringing to a close another major prophecy on the road to the return of Christ.
It is becoming widely evident that the public has discovered the American emperor has no clothes. The sad part about the fall of Bush if indeed it happens is that the Christian right has placed itself at the center of a target through its wholesale embrace of his politics by acquiescing to his decidedly un-Christian goals including his love of money, the super-rich and his obvious disdain for the middle class and the poor. There is talk about one party having no viable candidate, but the same might be said of the other party as well, and even more so of Christianity which now finds itself caught squarely in the middle.
The question for Christianity now is how to extricate and still maintain political clout. According to Pew statistics, 87% of all Americans are Christian. That number demands that Christianity be fully represented in the architecture of the American political future not to control it, but to see that Christianity is not attacked and destroyed by its secular enemies. According to prophecy, only one country other than Israel will stand in the worship of God at the end when the fires come. All the others will have fallen to the enemy.
The Southern Baptist coalition and its satellite churches have advanced to the pinnacle of state power today as a backlash to the attack on Christianity that began with a Supreme Court decision in 1963. That attack revealed a secular revolution in our nation a war focused squarely on the Christian faith that still rages. It may not be media driven, but in many cases, it does drive the media. It has also obsessed the intellectual elite who view religion, and especially Christianity as a grave threat.
The Baptist coaltion now mounted against this antagonism may not be the only force in the faith but it alone is at the front lines in this fight because the others have all but ignored the war that is destroying their religion. Instead, many are fighting each other battling for theological minutia.
The same thing happened to the Jews in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed their Temple. Holed up in that Temple were several Jewish factions all at war with one another. In fact , the fighting inside the Temple was far more furious than anything taking place outside by the Roman army. Instead of recognizing the enemy outside, they set out to kill each other. Consequently few Jews were left to fight when the Romans finally mounted their final successful seige.
The Christian world needs to look outside right now. The world-wide attack on the religion of Jesus continues to grow. As those attacks become more widespread, they are gaining popularity and social acceptance. Not only that but Christianity has made some very powerful enemies, especially the gays because it says their ways are evil. As a consequence, they and their supporters are committing themselves in growing numbers to bring the religion down if it does not change its message. There is a concerted media effort expended in this direction. But changing the message won't work. We live in the age prophecy has decreed the age Christianity is to be brought low by the forces of Satan.
There are two religions that promise eternal life: Christianity (which promised it first) and Mohamedism which appeared 600 years later. Together, these two religions account for almost 2/3rds of the current population of the world . To understand these two religions, we have to look at their core teachings. Christianity was founded in peace. Jesus said the kingdom of God is humble and compassionate and must be spread in peace and love. Mohammed argued that the world is so violent that any attempt to spread the kingdom of God peacefully will end in failure. He taught that the message of their kingdom must be spread militarily. Between these two teachings, the way of man guides all that the world has seen over the last 2000 years. It has been a history of salvation written in blood. The violence Mohammed wrote about is sorely evident in every chapter and verse.
"The evil men do lives after them, the good is oft entered with their bones" so wrote Shakespeare in Julius Caesar. That is certainly the case in Christianity. Over and over the detractors of the Christian faith ignore its countless efforts on behalf of the needy and helpless, and instead, dredge up its ancient aberrations: the Spanish Inquisition of 500 years ago, the thousand-year old Crusades to free the Holy Land from Muslim domination and especially, anti-semitism.
The ancient Jewish writer Josephus and his Roman counterpart, Tacitus, wrote often of the fierce anti-semitism that flowed across the pagan pre-Christian world. According to scripture, the Persian Chancellor Haman even built a gallows on which to execute the entire Jewish race long before Jesus was born. Salvation from that disaster is what the Jewish feast of Purim is all about. There has been anti-semitism on earth for thousands of years, long before Christ appeared, but there has only been one holocaust. It came at the hands of a pagan madman, Adolph Hitler, who hated Christianity. Believing instead in astrology, Hitler favored the ancient teutonic gods of German folklore. His demonic nature and brutal attack on the Jews has earned him the scriptural title of "Beast" Revelation's 7th "Head".
Jews are hated by the rest of the human race because they are the people of God. That is the essential message of the Bible. The two houses of Israel (Christians and Jews) are being held in captivity on this planet by a people who hate them, ridicule them, and intend to kill them all. This antagonism is world-driven. When we hear a writer as astute as Kevin Phillips ("American Theocracy") tells us that America's greatest danger is the malignancy of people who feel that God guides their lives, puts them where He wants them, and tells them what to do, we see the enemy before our eyes. The enemy of Christ is the enemy of the Church. And we have entered his age. That is what prophecy tells us. History is slowly adding the confirming underline to this fact and its prognosis with every new attack on the people of Christ we hear, see or read.
I have a question about the bill of divorcement with which God put the mother away in 50:1-Isaiah. Is the mother in this passage the Jewish covenant? Second, how does this divorce square with Jesus saying that divorce is against the will of God? If God takes a new wife like it says in the Bible why isn't that adultery? BW
Yes, the "mother" is the first covenant. It is a legal document written by Moses that governed everything of flesh. Moses decreed it must stand in place until the appearance of a coming "Messiah" who would bring God's own words down from heaven. Ancient Hebrew scholars deduced from subsequent prophecies (like Jeremiah's, below) that the Mosaic covenant would be replaced. In light of numerous other biblical prophecies which likened the covenant to a marriage, they began to understand the coming exchange of covenants in terms of divorce and re-marriage.
"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).
"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.31:34).
In the passage you asked about, Isaiah questions the popular scholarship of the day and challenges his readers to produce documentation that a divorce actually occurred. He asks this because there is no such writ. That is what his quotation goes on to say:
"Thus says the Lord: Where is your mother's writ of divorce by which I dismissed her? Or to which of my creditors have I sold you? You were sold for your own crimes, for your own faults your mother was dismissed." (Is.50:1).
There was no divorce and no creditor. Instead, according to scripture, the marriage was annulled. It was annulled by law due to the wickedness of its people and the crimes of those who administered the covenant. The fact of this annullment and the crimes that led to it are documented in the Book of Numbers and throughout scripture:
"Every vow or oath that is binding on the wife may be endorsed or annulled by the husband...but if he annuls them longer than a day after he learnt of them, then he must bear the burden of the wife's fault." (Num.30:14-16).
Using the metaphore of two women (especially Sarah & Hagar and Esther & Vashti) as a base, the Holy Spirit has locked the two Jerusalem's (physical Jerusalem and spiritual Jerusalem) and their respective covenants into the Law's directives concerning nuptial vows (Num.30). God does not need man's legal authority to act, but because He gave Moses authority to state the Law, God kept it, so that everything He did to extricate us from that Law would be completely legal in all respects. What is clearly evident here is God's use of metaphore in divine law. His interpretation of the Law in this manner is the definitive arbitration of that Law. There is no recourse to a higher Judge.
The Jerusalem of this world is tantamount to the slave-girl, Hagar. The Jerusalem above is tantamount to Sarah, the wedded wife.
The covenant at Sinai (the first covenant) was promulgated through Moses somewhere between 1250 and 1230 B.C. Scripture tells us that a day to God is like a thousand years to man. Jesus changed the covenants when He whirled the whip in the Temple. That was in 30 A.D., in other words, well after the 1000 years set metaphorically by Moses had passed with respect to its inauguration. Numbers 30:14-16 made legal not just the annullment but the salvation of the cross as well.
Instantly, at the first crack of Christ's whip against the money lenders in the Temple, the Mosaic covenant was annulled in full accordance with the Law.
"God will whirl the whip like the time he stretched his rod against Midian at the rock of Oreb and raised his rod over the sea on the road from Egypt." (Is.10:26
"Because of their wicked deeds, I will drive them out of my house; I will love them no longer, for their leaders are all rebels. (Hosea 9:15).
"Listen. An uproar from the city! A voice from the Temple! The voice of the Lord bringing retribution on his enemies." (Is.66:6).
"A little longer, a very little, and fury will come to an end, my anger will destroy them. Yahweh Sabaoth will whirl the whip against him, like the time he struck Midian at the Rock of Oreb, like the time he stretched out his rod against the sea and raised it over the road from Egypt. That day, his burden will fall from your shoulder, his yoke will cease to weigh on your neck." (Is.10:25-27)
"Listen to the word of God, you scoffers, rulers of this people in Jerusalem. You say, 'We have made a covenant with Mot, and with Sheol we have made a pact. The destructive whip, as it goes by, will not catch us, for we have made lies our refuge, and falsehood our shelter." (Is.28:14-15).
"That is why the Lord God says this: See how I lay in Zion a stone of witness, a precious cornerstone, a foundation stone: The believer shall not stumble. And I will make justice the measure, integrity the plumb-line. But hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and floods overwhelm the shelter; your covenant with Mot will be broken and your pact with Sheol annulled. When the destructive whip goes by it will crush you; each time it goes by, it will seize you. It will go by morning after morning, both day and night; what panic there would be if you were to understand what it meant!" (Is.28:16-19).
According to the Apostle John, it was the act of using this whip against them that sealed the Sanhedrin's intent to have Jesus crucified: "Zeal for your house will devour me!" (John 2:17), or, again, "He let himself be taken for a criminal." (Luke 22:37). When Jesus scattered the money changers with his whip and knocked over their tables, John wrote that it is then that they remembered the scriptural quote about his zeal devouring him (John 2:17). This quote did not come out of the air. It was actually made in reference to the whip itself.
"And now, since you have committed all these sins -- it is God who speaks -- and have refused to listen when I spoke so urgently, or to answer when I called you, I will treat this Temple (in Jerusalem) that bears my name...just as I treated Shiloh. I will drive you out of my sight..." (Jer.7:12-15)
In place of the annulled mother, a new and everlasting covenant was decreed. This is the new bride:
"And I seemed to hear the voices of a huge crowd answering, 'Alleluia! The reign of the Lord our God Almighty has begun; let us be glad and joyful and give praise to God, because this is the time for the marriage of the Lamb. His bride is ready, and she has been able to dress herself in dazzling white linen, because her linen is made of the good deeds of the saints'." (Rv.19:5-8).
Jesus explained to His disciples on many occasions (Mat.13:35; Mt.12:17; Mat.26:56; Mark 14:49; Luke 18:31-34; Luke 22:37-38; John 11:4; John 12:20-23) that God had bound him to meticulously keep the prophecies of the Old Testament. Everything he did must be seen in that light.
We can see in accordance with Numbers 30 that God had authority to bear the burden of the first wife's faults. Jesus took those faults on Himself when He went to the cross. And even that act was accomplished in compliance with the Law. It was the Law that gave Jesus authority to carry these sins in place of His Father:
"The rite of atonement must be performed by the priest who has been anointed and installed to officiate in place of his father." (Lv.16:32).
All who accept His sacrifice as their own (those who take His death in the flesh as their own death to this world though baptism in His name) gain complete forgiveness for all crimes they have committed in the flesh. Thus perfected, they (i.e., all of us) are all able to take His everlasting life into ours and live forever in the new Jerusalem God has built for us in heaven. This is our escape from death. It is God's firm promise to us through Jesus Christ.
I so enjoy your answers to those that write you.. So I must register great surprise with this last statement about the perils of Christianity and the fall of the Bush Presidency and the man..I don't remember such harsh writings on a more personal level as you wrote of President Bush..We are in a precarious situation as a nation in the confines of our country and especially the world.. Since I have traveled I know first hand how we in many cases are held in low esteem, but Europe is not always our great friend..France has always been less than forthcoming with us and much of the world have been jealous and in most cases do not view Democracy as we do..So the fact that we are not now considered their best friend does not surprise me.. In America we are more divided than ever with one faction or another pulling at the seams of civility and pushing their political or religious leanings.. It makes me know that when the Bible states we would grow side by side until the time was right when we will be separated and one group will be put in the store house and the others gathered and burned seems right on the mark.....So division seems inevitable..
As for President Bush who is certainly not without fault, but who is.. It is nice to see someone in a high position in our government talk about faith, prayer, belief in God and his love of Christ.. We have had so little of that in many ,many years. If Christians have painted themselves into a difficult place it is from want of a leader that is not ashamed of his faith..The final outcome is in God's hands as always CM
I apologize if my column missed the mark. I didn't realize my words were harsh. They shouldn't have been. My website is dedicated to prophecy, not politics. I have been guided by the Holy Spirit in this endeavor but that does not guarantee perfection as Paul so clearly revealed. We see through a glass darkly. My most important function in this respect revolves around the Book of Daniel. It has been for 2500 years a sealed book, divinely closed by God until its time should arrive. At that point, at the time of the end, it will be opened and its prophecies revealed.
The visions I see relate to that opening. That unsealing revolves specifically around two wars fought back to back at the Euphrates River. Those two wars open up the Book of Daniel. Since the time of the book's writing, there have only been two wars fought there as the prophecy suggests, with forces that cross the entire earth without their feet touching the ground. That time is now. That is not certain proof that these two wars are the two wars defined, but they come in relation to many other corroborating prophecies the rebuilding of Jerusalem and many others with respect to the last days as revealed in the pages of scripture and documented in detail on this website.
The main thrust of Daniel's prophecy is harrowing. It is to introduce the world to the tribulation in an almost step by step chronology . It defines the ultimate victory of Christ, but it reveals in riveting detail Satan's nearly successful overthrow of the Church before that victory is achieved. When Daniel''s words are compared to those of Paul in Thessalonians, the Book of Revelation and other prophecies, the whole pattern of this war on the Church becomes clear. In that clarity we discover the relative meaninglessness of world politics and the overarching importance of Christ's Gospel in human affairs. That Gospel is currently under fierce attack. This attack is chronicled in the prophecies of scripture in terms of light and darkness.
The word of God became for the world a light of life, showing every person on earth how to escape death and live forever. That light is revealed in prophecy to be the Sonlight of God shining for a whole "day" which to God is like a thousand years, and longer for in Christ it was stopped at noon for almost another whole day to make one day into two. For 2000 years the Sonlight of Jesus has blazed across the world. Over all that time, the nations and their political leaders supported the preaching of Christ and thus insured the Sonlight would shine throughout the period specified by scripture. At the end of that time, the world is predicted to revolt against the Light and in most areas of the planet, snuff it out.
Over the last century we have witnessed the disappearance of preaching throughout the ancient Christian strongholds of Europe. The Cathedrals there now stand empty except for tourists. Russia fell to the darkness of an atheistic communism. Earlier, the Middle East was darkened by Mohammed and his followers. In 1963, the United States followed suit, forbidding the mention of the words "God" or "Jesus" or "Christ" in any American campus class. In successive Supreme Court decisions, that snowball of darkness grew to include corporate industry, popular culture, Hollywood and the media all of them claiming God too controversial for mention. Even the word "Christmas" was denounced and changed to "holiday".
Finally, the forces of darkness set out to bury the American Pledge of Allegiance for using the word "God" in it. At the same moment, the people of the East attacked New York and Washington DC in a combined air assault. Suddenly, everything changed. Christians who up to that moment had stood by silently and complacently throughout the previous 40 years of assault, sprang in a single moment to action. Their unified voices clarioned "God Bless America'" throughout the nation. That suddenly unified voice which refused to be silenced changed the political moment. It was not just the Bush White House that listened, far more important, God also took notice. The forces mounted against God in this country were for the first time since they were unleashed, beaten back dramatically.
It is crucially important for America that this peaceful Christian counterattack proceed successfully. Only in Christ is any nation assured an umbrella of divine protection. That protection does not come from a political party or the combined forces of the military. The Bible assures us of this. The strength of the war horse means nothing to God. It is only His hand that guides our protection. If we deny His hand it will drive our nation into the heart of the Wrath.
In forcing the night to retreat, God's people in America have made extraordinary gains since 2001. Once again we can wear crosses in public and speak about Jesus in open forum. It is that rollback of the darkness that we must labor in Christ to make permanent. And to brighten the light of Christ wherever we can. That effort requires us as Christians to stand united as one. This is not an issue of left and right, it is an issue of darkness and light. Our nation is 87% Christian. We should not be divided. If that entire body would only stand up as a committed, forceful and unified voice in Christ, our protection in God would be assured.
You are absolutely correct, central to all this go our fervent prayers for the appearance of a dedicated man of deep faith to lead the country after this administration is gone, but, as we saw on that fateful day in 2001, it is the committed faith of the public, not just the leader that will carry the moment.
I have a two-part question:
1. In the posted chronological table for the year 1981 A.D., the following entry is cited:
* Pope shot in St. Peter's Square by professional Turkish gunman. May 13
* Shooting forewarns of open warfare on Perpetual Sacrifice and its guardian (2 Thes.2:6-7),
* Opens sealed Book of Daniel.
What is meant by "opens sealed Book of Daniel" and what is the significance of this in relation to current events? RA
The shooting of the Pope in 1981 made physically manifest the initiation of the world's attack on Christianity . John Paul's shooting was a forewarning of what is about to impact the Christian Church. The Book of Daniel defines that future assault in verse 9:26:
"Know this and understand: from the time this message went out: "Return and rebuild Jerusalem" to the coming of an anointed Prince, seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, with squares and ramparts restored and rebuilt, but in a time of trouble. And after the sixty-two weeks an anointed one will be cut off -- and the city and the sanctuary will be destroyed by a prince who will come." (Dan.9:25-26).
The focal point of the Book of Daniel is the world's nearly successful attempt to destroy God's Church on earth at the end of time. His prophecies concerning that coming assault (an assault we call the "tribulation") has been sealed since the time of its writing. The angel told Daniel his book would be opened only at the end of time when the moment for that attack had arrived. It's unsealing in our time heralds the approach of the Wrath. More than that, it confirms its immediacy.
As proof of this, the shooting prompted John Paul to open another sealed prophecy: the third vision of Fatima which, up to that point, was being held under strict secrecy in a Vatican vault. The relationship between the Fatima prophecy and the Pope's shooting is stunning. The shooting not only occurred on the anniversary of the Fatima visions, the shooter confessed that he had done it in relation to that vision. Unbeknownst to the shooter, Fatima's secret third prophecy foretold the assassination of the Pope by gunfire.
The parallels were enormous. As a result, the Vatican, reluctantly (18 years later) made the third Fatima prophecy public, insisting that John Paul's shooting was its fulfillment. Anyone reading the prophecy can easily see that there is far more to it than that. What the shooting actually did was cause the Fatima prophecy to be opened. That made the prophecy public before the eyes of the world. What is coming is still coming, and the Book of Daniel is its biblical chronology.
All across the world over the last 50 years we have watched the revolt against Christianity build. The attempted assassination of the Pope and the release of the Fatima vision show us where this revolt is leading. According to both Daniel and the Book of Revelation, the empire slated by scripture to lead this war against God and against the western world will consist of ten nations, most of them affiliated with the East, who pool their enormous reserves of manpower and military resources to launch a pivotal invasion across the Euphrates river. Much of the western world will be toppled in this assault (Is.24:1-6).
Because it is now so close, everything we see happening today on the religious and political fronts of the world relate to this end.
Jeremiah insists that the world's final moments will be fire for all (Jer.51:58), but until that terminal incendiary moment arrives, throughout much of the duration of the warfare and tribulation, one western nation seems to be slated by prophecy to stand apart from and apparently immune to the ravages of Satan's forces (Rev.3:10). Aligned with an equally isolated Israel, and apparently dedicated to Christ, it will resist the eastern forces to the end (Is.24:15-16). At least one indicator points to the United States as this single country (Dn.11:30).
2. In the posted paper "The Successive Devastations of Jerusalem", the following statement is made:
"The current Israeli nation did not come to be in the way the Book of Chronicles predicts it must: as a result of the proclamation of the Prince of Persia."
What is meant by "as a result of the proclamation of the Prince of Persia" and what is the significance of this in relation to current events? RA
The original diaspora, the dispersion of the Jewish tribes to Babylon in 598 B.C. was reversed in a proclamation issued by the Prince of Persia. That decree allowed those Jews who wished to, to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Jewish nation there. Scripture has memorialized this event metaphorically as prophecy, promising that the current Diaspora of the Jews into the Babylon of this world which occurred just after the crucifixion of Jesus will be reversed by a decree similar to the first, even to the Persian nationality of the prince issuing the proclamation.
Spiritually, and in keeping with the prophecies of Isaiah regarding Cyrus, Christians understand this decree in terms of Jesus, the proclamation: His Gospel, and the call to return an invitation by God to rebuild Jerusalem in the heavens through repentance, conversion and a life of righteousness.
Because all the works of God go in pairs by opposites, there is a physical return as well.
The return of the Jews to Jerusalem in this last century (1947) to Jerusalem did not occur by a Persian hand. The 1947 return was authorized, instead, by the United Nations (the united nations of Babylon). Persia had nothing to do with it. Because Bible prophecy must be fulfilled as written, that means two things. First, what we see going on in Jerusalem today is not the ultimate return forseen by scripture; and second, there will be another, pivotal reentrance at some point in the future.
Searching scripture, the current (1947) return seems to be the one described in the prophecies of the Book of Jeremiah (Jer. 42-45) a return authorized by the king of Babylon to a group of Jewish army leaders and their followers. That homecoming ends in disaster because those who participate in it decide to make a military alliance with a foreign power, and then begin building settlements in lands not authorized by the terms of the return agreement. Sound familiar? Jeremiah's prediction of disaster certainly explains the harms way we see building in Israel today.
Until a future decree authored by a Persian prince is issued, the Diaspora of the two houses of Israel into the wilderness of Babylon will continue. As almost everyone knows, Persia today is known by the name "Iran", a nation located on the east side of the Euphrates river. That location implies the future decree will not be issued until after the eastern world's invasion of the west.
Not until the prince of Iran stands in Rome, straddling the body of the prince of Christianity will the people of God be spiritually freed from the clutches of the people of this world (Dn.9:26). The release proclamation will not be a freedom document for the flesh. It will be co-written by Satan in blood (Is.24:5-6; 10-13). The release will come amidst a reign of terror unlike any the world has ever known, the culmination of mankind's revolt against Christianity and the peaceful Gospel of Jesus which could have saved them all.
On the final day, leading the City of David back to Jerusalem from Babylon will be Michael the Archangel. Under skies made black by smoke from Jeremiah's fire, only a few will accompany him on this journey, but few will be needed. Seeing Michael coming toward them from the Mount of Olives, the Jewish nation will convert en masse.
At that moment the trumpet will sound, Michael will call out the command, and, like lightning shining from east to west, Jesus will return with all the angels of heaven in His train (1 Thes.4:16-17). At that moment, too, the skies will be rolled back to reveal the true Jerusalem of God coming down from heaven (Rev.21:1-7).
All who chose to follow Jesus during their lives on earth will be given eternal life according to God's promise, and the world of the past will be no more.
Hi , could you tell me why in Rev 2:3 and 3:9 there is an acusation against claiming to be Jews , what would be the point of claiming to be a Jew.? DB
In Rev. 2:3, the claim revolves, not around Judaism, but apostleship in Christ. Most scholars think this passage relates to false apostles who were actually Nicolatians in disguise because that is the sect described in the next passage. For information on Nicolatian belief, see this link.
At the time the Book of Revelation was written, the message of Christ was being broadcast in all the Jewish synagogues around the Mediterranean world. Since a very large number of Christians at that time (in 90 A.D.) were Jewish the question of who was and who was not a TRUE Jew according to the Apostles teetered not on race but on the acceptance of Christ's message. The Apostle's pointed out that Jesus was the fulfillment of the long awaited promise of the Hebrew religion, and therefore essential to that faith.
The Hebrew religion is structured entirely (from the Torah to the Prophets) on the promise of a coming Messiah a Messiah who would speak God's own words, discarding in the process the old Covenant of Moses (of man) in favor of a new and everlasting Covenant of God. For this reason Paul wrote in his letters that a true Jew was a Jew of the heart, not of the flesh (Rom.2:28-29). In other words, a Jew of compassion and love.
"The real Jew is the one who is inwardly a Jew, and the real circumcision is in the heart something not of the letter but of the spirit. A Jew like this may not be praised by man, but he will be praised by God." (Rom.2:28-29)
The Christian Church embraces this vision metaphorically. Jesus was rejected by most of His own brothers and sisters (the Jews) but was believed in by the Christians (pagans, Jews, Greeks, etc) who, because of that belief, have become His new brothers and sisters. Those who used to be pagans and outsiders have been made a part of God's royal family by faith. And, thus have become true Israelites in spirit something seen now only by metaphore.
Paul taught that the Jews were made blind but not lost by their disbelief God has used Jewish lack of faith as an example to the pagans for their salvation. Once all the pagans have been rescued, the veil will be lifted from Jewish eyes and they will see the splendor of Christ in all His glory with all the angels of heaven surrounding Him. At that moment they will be lifted up to join their brothers and sisters, the rest of Israel, in the salvation of God. And all will enter the kingdom of heaven together.
"There is a hidden reason for all this, brothers, of which I do not want you to be ignorant in case you think you know more than you do. One section of Israel has become blind, but this will last only until the whole pagan world has entered, and then after this the rest of Israel will be saved as well. As scripture says: 'The liberator will come from Zion, he will banish godlessness from Jacob'. 'And this is the covenant I will make with them when I take their sins away'. The Jews are enemies of God only with regard to the Good News, and enemies only for your sake; but as the chosen people, they are still loved by God, loved for the sake of their ancestors. God never takes back his gifts or revokes his choice." (Rom 11:25-29).
I just read the question and answer entry for March 29 and would like to offer further reading on this very topic for those who are interested. In today's (March 29) Washington Post on page A12 is an article titled, "'War' on Christians Is Alleged". The article is a fascinating read on the topic discussed in your website's latest entry. RA
My thoughts added:
This last week in Washington D.C., a group of 400 Christian leaders, primarily Evangelical, attended a two-day conference on the "War on Christians and the Values Voters in 2006." The persecution of Christians was the opening discussion topic. Post staffer, Alan Cooperman covered the conference and wrote his thoughts in the article offered above.
A similar writer could have typed an article 3-4 years ago titled "Defective Levee is Alleged", illuminating the paranoia of those who worried in print and committee about the soundness of the levee system surrounding New Orleans. Actually, there were many around then who actually did ridicule those levee warnings. For certain, almost no one listened with a serious ear. When a large number of people begin warning that the levees are going to break, a wise course is to examine those levees from every angle, not ridicule the messengers.
When an eastern religion whose membership incorporates 1/3 of the population of the earth finds it essential to murder at any cost any person who tries to become Christian, religious pluralism fears become credible. Daily images on television show these same religious zealots chopping off the heads of innocents with scimitars, blowing up on a whim women and children by the hundreds day after day, burning American flags and screaming for the death of all infidels. All this in the name of Allah. Zealously now making atomic bombs for their religion, they are fired up with the passion of a hatred that has burned within them since the days of Mohammed, and every prophecy in scripture indicates they are coming fully armed against the western world in our time (Jer.51:11; Is.13:17-18, etc.).
Jesus gave His life on the cross the only possible perfect sacrifice for original sin. That is why He said: "Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life." (John 3:36).
Take one from part A and one from part B and so much for "religious" pluralism.
Up to this point, the pluralism that has actually usurped the rights of the Christian people in America are the atheists and secularists with a sacriligious passion, not for God, but against Him. Virtually every Supreme Court ruling since 1963 has been made in favor of this group. Atheists can voice their worship freely in the political community and in the secular schools that this country has granted them. There is no ruling barring them from speaking their sacriligion any time they wish to or to preach to our children, captive listeners in secular schools, their perceived intellectual superiority over the "superstitious" (meaning those who worship God). This is the reality of the current "skirmish" we witness. The Evangelicals are on the battlefield of politics because that is where this "enemy" of Christianity in America is currently entrenched.
But the greater "monster under the bed" is still mostly across the sea.
When the levees in New Orleans burst, America lost only one city. If our country dismisses through ridicule the destruction of the Christian message/morality, it stands to lose the whole nation. Even now, after 40 years of secular erosion, we are still a nation whose population is from 85-87% Christian. That tells us these levees can still be fixed.
Scripture's "tribulation" has been raging now for almost 100 years. In that time the rest of the world has suffered grievously. More than 100 million people have been slaughtered and almost every city in the Eastern Hemisphere bombed into rubble. But America, protected, not by a levee, but by a spiritual dome of Christian faith has been spared. Not only spared, but granted enough power in its reserve to save the world on several occasions from the awful captivity of catastrophic evil. Now, though, just when we need that dome of protection most of all, there is a problem with our spiritual integrity. It is fracturing. That is what we write about. That is what the commission in Washington was about. A warning.
You don't issue warnings after the city has been flooded out and the people still alive are standing on their roofs waiting for rescue. Then it is too late for warnings. Who would wait until Christians here "have been jailed and died because of their faith" to sound the alarm? That has not happened. Not yet. But Jesus warned that kind of lawless 'hurricane' is brewing and will impact the world with full force before He comes again (Mat. 24:9-14). The clouds of such a storm are on the horizen, and they are coming our way (Rev.16:12-16). The levee is fractured and it won't hold. That is the message.
God has already sent the helicopters and taken the Christians to safety. This warning is for those who stay behind. When the morality of the nation shows serious signs of crumbling; when it is illegal to say the word "God" in our public schools, or "Jesus"...when the word "Christmas" is determined too controversial for our society, there is a fracture in the shield large enough to drive a Mack truck through.
In New Orleans 3-4 years ago, there was still time, but not much. The same is true here.
For more on the war against Christianity, see: "The Separation of State from Church"
In "the Clock of God, Chapter 34, you quote:
"To be -- for this he created all. Death was not God's doing, he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living. It was the devil's envy that brought death into the world." (Ws.1:12-15, 2:24).
Where is this located in the bible? I've quoted this in discussion and I can't find it. JD
This verse is in the Book of 'Wisdom' (or 'Wisdom of Solomon') in the Greek Old Testament. The Protestant Church uses the Hebrew Old Testament which does not contain this book. It is from the part of the Canon called the "Apocrypha". Written in Greek about 50 years before the birth of Christ by a Hellenized Jew, it is quoted here for prophecy purposes, not theological purposes. The book's prophecy is sound. That is particularly true of the verse you quote.
Virtually all Christians on earth accept the reality of "original sin", the fatal contamination of our souls by Satan. Jesus died on the cross, the perfect sacrifice for sin, so that we could be baptised in His death, an act that when accompanied by contrition and faith in Jesus removes from our soul Satan's stain and at the same time, gives us in place of this mortal and temporary body of flesh, a new spectacular and eternal body that can never die. That exchange is called "being born again". God never intended for there to be death, it was Satan who brought death into the creation. Christ's sacrifice is in the process of ridding the creation of death forever (Rev. 21:14).
Written by a Jewish author long before Jesus began to preach, the verse stands as a superb example of Biblical prophecy.
Theologically speaking, during the first one-thousand, five-hundred-year history of the Christian religion, the Greek Old Testament was the only one used by the Christian Church (Greek, Roman, Coptic, etc). In 1517 Martin Luther formed a new Christian sect. Among his followers (called "Lutherans") he forbid the Greek Old Testament's use and substituted in its place the Hebrew Old Testament the Bible being used by the Jews of the Diaspora. Almost all Protestants with some exceptions have since followed Luther's lead.
This division in Christianity would be catastrophic if the Old Testament could save. But there is no salvation in it. The reason it is called "old" according Paul is that it has been replaced by the "New Testament", and is passing away. Those who live in the old (in the letter of the law) will pass away with it. Those who live in the new (in the spirit of the law) will live forever in the eternal presence of God.
"...not that we are qualified in ourselves to claim anything as our own work: all our qualifications come from God. He is the one who has given us the qualifications to be the administrators of this new covenant, which is not a covenant of written letters but of the Spirit: the written letters bring death, but the Spirit gives life."
"Now if the administering of death, in the written letters engraved on stones, was accompanied by such a brightness that the Israelites could not bear looking at the face of Moses, though it was a brightness that faded, then how much greater will be the brightness that surrounds the administering of the Spirit!"
"For if there was any splendor in administering condemnation, there must be very much greater splendor in administering justification. In fact, compared with this greater splendor, the thing that used to have such splendor now seems to have none; and if what was so temporary had any splendor, there must be much more in what is going to last forever." (2 Cor. 3:5-11).
Why do Christians believe the earth is just 6000 years old if it is not in scripture? KH
Not all Christians believe that the earth is only 6000 years old. In fact, most do not.
Even so, the idea of a 6000 year-old creation comes from the Holy Spirit. The idea would not be embraced by so many if that were not the case. Because all the works of God go in pairs by opposites, we can understand that age two ways, literally and metaphorically.
Its literal part has long been defined. It can be seen in the Jewish calendar which dates the world from Adam and Eve to current times. In that calendar today's year is 5766. In other words, just 234 years shy of 6000 years.
The date of the Jewish calendar was refined by Maimonodies a thousand years ago, but since the Exodus from Egypt more than two millenia earlier, the Jewish New Year has been celebrated by Jewish worshippers on the first day of Tishri, inaugurating the holy festival of Tabernacles and Yom Kippur.
The metaphoric interpretation portrays the 6000 years symbolically in relation to God's plan for the world. In this sense it does not portray 6000 earth years literally, but figuratively i.e., for as long as necessary to complete God's plan on earth, even 13.7 billion years if that is what it takes.
By dating creation from Adam and Eve, spiritual conception is implied, i.e., the birth of the soul in man. Physical birth is not because Adam and Eve's son married a woman who was not his sister, indicating other people (herself and her parents, etc.) existed on earth when Adam and Eve were created. Where those others came from is not stated in scripture.
Seen in this way, both interpretations (literal and metaphoric) can be true simultaneously.
Is there anything in prophecy that supports or refutes the text of the Judas Gospel? PL
The missing ingredient in almost all popular expose's of scripture in the modern world is the Holy Spirit. This is true even of those done in the name of scholarship. It is the antithesis of scholarship to acknowledge or discuss the Holy Spirit's influence. Also missing is the balance of truth. That is sacrificed in the interests of sensationalism.
The latest revelations concern not only Judas Iscariot, but Mary surnamed the Magdalene as well, and are good examples of this histrionics in place of truth . In the case of Mary of Magdala she has lately been highly bantied about as a prostitute. The fact is, throughout the entire scripture, she is portrayed as a purified Christian. No one knows what her previous sins were. Nowhere in scripture does it say she was a prostitute. All that is said is that she had been cured by Jesus of 7 demons (Luke 8:2).
The fact is every person who comes to Christ has likewise been cured of seven sins, and numerous others as well. How many demons are involved no one knows. Sin takes a myriad of forms. That is why Jesus went to the crossbecause all of us have been bathed in an original sinfulness that stretches to even before birth, and the cross is the only way out of that corruption. The cross is God's perfect sacrifice according to the Law necessary for the entire world's weight of sin to be removed and kept off.
Everyone who accepts Christ, breaks with an uncounted number of sins.
Yet none of the sullied stories reflect on Mary's crystalline post-baptismal nature. Instead, they reach back to a long-dead sinful past they have to invent because no one knows what that past actually was. Thankfully, that is not the way God sees us. Everyone who turns to Christ is pure, and will remain pure forever. That purified part is invisible to the world because it is hidden in the invisible Spirit which this world is blind to and does not recognize.
The Judas Gospel is a similar example of the missing Spirit of God. The National Geographic in what many writers are now calling a blatant attempt to make itself rich through sensationalism, has produced a documentary purporting equality between Christianity and a third century Gnostic writing of dubious character.
The structure of Gnosticism was similar to modern-day Scientology in its distance from accepted Christianity and in its promotion of layers of secret knowledge gained only through the ongoing purchase of those secret stratas, one at a time, until finally, and at considerable financial expense, the inner secrets of God (according to the dictates of the cult) might be fathomed.
In contrast with true Christianity, such Gnostic literature was a blend of hatred and pure fiction designed specifically for financial gain. Worse, it blinded the unsuspecting from the spiritual truth of Jesus. According to Peter Steinfels in the New York Times, who termed the Judas documentary "the Gospel According to National Geographic", the Gnostic text not only misrepresented the truth of Christianity, its writers hated Jews with a fierce intensity.
Steinfel, describing the text of the Judas Gospel, writes: "The God of the Hebrew Scriptures is despised as the creator of an evil world...The Jesus of this text is scornful of all the apostles except Judas, dismissing them as lesser creatures...This is not a Jesus of compassion, nor one concerned with healing this world's suffering".
None of this disquieting information about the text of the Judas Gospel is revealed in the National Geographic documentary.
One can easily see why Gnosticism, arising 150 years after the death of Christ, together with the teaching of the Nicolatians were the two most villified anti-Christian literatures in the 2nd and 3rd centuries after the death of Christ. They have always been considered anti-Christian works by those closely associated with the religion, both at the time they appeared and up to the present day.
All four Christian Gospels and the Acts of the Apostle's together with the writings of Peter and Paul tell a much different story from the Gnostic books. So do the Old Testament writings. The treachery of Judas was foretold from ancient times. His betrayal of the Messiah is etched in the Psalms of David (Ps.41:9; 55:12+, etc.). The prophet Zechariah even revealed the exact payment that would be involved in the betrayal, 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave. (Zech.11:10-14)
According to the Acts of the Apostles, as a result of his apostasy, Judas' exalted office as Apostle to the Jews was revoked and given instead to a man named Matthias. (Acts 1:15-26). This represents a fall from high station to death and eternal disgrace as great as any man has ever suffered outside of Satan himself.
Could you tell me where to find information on Antiochus of Pithennes, and his invovement in destruction on Israel. JF
The person you are asking about is Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
He came to rule one part of Alexander the Great's former empire and captured Jerusalem. He forbid worship at the temple and desecrated the altar there with a polluting sacrilige in 167 B.C. The prophet Daniel indicates that he is the prototype of a madman who will come at the end of time and repeat his actions, this time focusing on polluting the sacrifice of Jesus and holy communion. The madman's actions will lead to Armageddon and the return of Christ. You can find out more about him in the encyclopedia or, for an eyewitness account, in the Greek Bible, in the apocryphal Book of Maccabees (written in response to Antiochus' attacks). Additional information can be found on our web page at:
I just found your article stating that Javan is the USA. How did you reach that conclusion?
You see, I came to that same conclusion when I was reading Daniel the other night it. It seems as if the vision in Daniel 9 states that: the 'he,goat' that is Javan (the US) destroyes the ram, which is Iran. Is this accurate in your oponion? S
Iran is a question mark.
The prophecy of the ram circulates around the river Euphrates, and as we have seen, it has to include Iraq because the Euphrates runs right down through the middle of Saddam's nation. History has born this out in the composition of the combatants of the two wars in progress there now. So far, Iran has not been included.
If you follow Daniel's chronology further, however, it becomes obvious that Daniel's central focus is not these two wars. It is what comes later, long after these two wars have ended that forms the major tenant of his writings. That future empire is an entity known metaphrically as "Parthia", a name surely derived from its Persian character. Parthia is the center of a ten-nation confederacy of eastern states governed by a madman scripture calls the "Beast" a man Daniel forsees invading and conquering much of the western world in humanity's final days.
Iran, while certainly destined to be an integral part of Parthia, at least so far seems to be independent' of Daniel's "ram". I would be surprised if America invades Iran at this point. We don't have enough troops for it and there would be public chaos if a draft were instituted. That public outcry would seriously threaten our current hold on Iraq. The "Maginot"-type line scripture has established as the point of the Parthian invasion has already been secured by the west. We are already where we are supposed to be according to the prophecies. And so are they (Daniel's Persian empire). That said, however, the future seems to have a way of surprising us, so we will have to wait and see about Iran.
"Javan" is Greece. In the metaphore of prophecy, the only superpower empire in our own time that bears any resemblance to Javan is the United States and its coalition partners. The tie-in comes in the form of its system of government: democracy, a political process born in Greece and reborn 2500 years later with the advent of the USA in 1776. Today, in terms of prophecy, the entire western world could be termed "Javan", and the United States (itself a part of Javan) called "Kittim". It is the ships of Kittim (like the US 7th fleet) that blocks the Madman just before the end.
The re-emergence of Javan as a great political power in the world in our time significantly duplicates the world-conquering exploits of Alexander the Great, who pushed Greek government to India, subjugating the powers of the East 2200 years ago. That feat is incorporated in the prophecies of Daniel, the major elements of which seem to be recurring in our time indicating that the modern western world is the Holy Spirit's intended focus in Daniel's writings.
What are the eschatological implicaitons of the United States' occupation of Iraq (near-Babylon)? The United States of Babylon: Are We Really Who We Think We Are, The Good Guys? CS
The presence of the United States' military at the Euphrates river is a "red sky in the morning" event. It is an estachological sign specific to Jeremiah's metaphore of "Egypt". Moreover, it is a seminal signal because it opens up the Book of Daniel, God's last remaining sealed work, bringing to public visibility the climactic "handwriting on the wall", God's chronology and "tractor-beam" to Armageddon.
The man Paul calls the "Madman" will be responsible for mobilizing the forces of the world in the gathering called Armageddon. He is not here yet, but when he arrives, he will not be an American. His residence will lie somewhere near the Black Sea according to Ezekiel and be aligned with the people of Parthia plus many others north and east of the Euphrates river specifically, the ten nations who will play an integral part in his secret plan to burn up the earth.
One can draw parallels between specific commercial kingdoms and Babylon, but scripture uses this term in a global metaphore that is not specific to nations. All-encompassing, Babylon is a term enveloping all of humanity antagonistic to God. Jesus came down from heaven specifically to divide humanity into two groups: those for and those against Christ. He came to redeem all in Babylon who love God. All who choose Christ are of Jerusalem. All who refuse Christ's offer are of Babylon.
There are only two cities on earth as far as scripture is concerned Jerusalem and Babylon. Both are spiritual cities. One is of this earth and the other is of heaven. The United States is physical, not spiritual, so has no part in this equation. The proof of this can be seen in the nation's demographics. The United States is over 85% Christian. That means while only about 15% of the people here have not yet begun a journey to Christ's new kingdom, a statistical division still exists.
In the Jerusalem of heaven there is no statistical division. One hundred percent of the population of God's Jerusalem believe in Christ. The same is true of Babylon, but just the opposite. One hundred percent of the residents of Babylon reject Christ.
When we are baptised into His name, we die to our flesh and are reborn to a new body in Christ's kingdom. In the process, we leave Babylon and begin a life-long journey following the Gospel toward the kingdom of Jerusalem above. We can see that exodus commanded in the prophecies:
"Go away from Babylon! flee from the Chaldaeans! Declare this with cries of joy and proclaim it, send it out to the ends of the earth. Say, 'The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob'." (Is. 48:20)
"Go away, go away, leave that place, touch nothing unclean. Get out of her, purify yourselves you who carry the vessels of the Lord. But you are not to hurry away, you are not to leave like fugitives. No, the Lord will go in front of you and the God of Israel will be your rearguard." (Is. 52:11-12).
That acceptance or rejection can be measured in terms of Satan's stain, Revelation's "mark of the Beast". The mark of the beast is sin, especially orginal sin. Everyone baptised in Christ has broken with sin and cleansed themselves of the Beast's mark and need not be concerned about it again as long as they stay on track following the Gospel road to the kingdom of heaven which Jesus made visible.
(This is about) the dating of the jewish calendar and how the jews are off purposefully by around 240 years... the true jewish year being more like 6003, not 5763 (give or take). They left out tons of years during their diaspora of Babylon, then the kings of persia, of the greeks... This was done purposefully so the dating of Daniel's 70 weeks would occur around the 3rd century and (relate to) a pseudomessiah (rather than Christ)... C
Our calendar dates come from the Holy Spirit. Whatever mechanisms He used to direct the minds of those creating these calendars, it was by the design of God. This is true, not just of the Christian calendar, but of the Hebrew calendar as well. When we look at these calendars we tend to focus on their points of inception. The Holy Spirit is more concerned with their dates of termination, i .e., the day Jesus returns for the universal Restoration. These calendars are meant to focus on the end of time, not its beginning.
That is what makes them important to us.
Science shows us a planetary system billions of years in the making, a universe constructed 13.7 billion years ago, and Homo sapiens on earth for 35,000 years. None of these dates square with 2000 years or 6000 years the latter a date focused on by evangelicals and some Jews as the beginning of time.
The Christian calendar dates the three "days" Moses prophesied with respect to the coming Messiah: "Wash and clean for 2 days and on the third day see God face to face" (Ex.19:10-11; Hos.6:2). This represents in the metaphore of scripture two thousand years of world cleansing by baptism followed early in the third millenium by Christ's Second Coming.
Scholars now argue that Jesus was born several years earlier than the Christian year zero. That doesn't matter as far as the calendar is concerned because the Holy Spirit wanted the year zero just where it is. It was important to God (in terms of the final war) that the "third day" fall on January 1, 2001 A.D (a "day" to God in this respect standing for 1000 years).
God said that whatever was bound on earth would be bound in heaven. These dates are bound, so can never be altered. That binding makes differences (such as those you reference and those assigned by scholars) though perhaps true, still irrelevant. The same is true of the Hebrew calendar. It, too, is bound and cannot be changed.
And it, too, points to the end. The world will come to an end on the beginning of the 7th "day" sometime in October when the Hebrew calendar year 6001 arrives (the day of rest when everything that belongs to God must be returned to Him irrevocably according to the Law). At least, it should have ended in 6001. But Christ said that the time of the end has been cut short by God. That means the end of the world will occur earlier than 6001. In a calendar whose date today is already 5766, that doesn't give us much time.
Between the two then, between the beginning of the third day of the Christian calendar on January 1, 2001 (the "day" during which we are to see God face to face), and the year 6001 in the Hebrew calendar (234.5 years from now) the world will end. Triangulating these two calendars, the era of the end becomes visible. Not the actual date of the end, of course, because we do not know how much time God has cut off, nor will we ever be allowed to know that. Scripture dictates that the end must come as a surprise to all.
However, for some reason (probably because of our unfaithfulness), God did want us to know the era of the end with a certain precision, something that would not have been possible if the Hebrew calendar were changed to the date you suggest, or to a similar date proposed by John Lightfoot and Bishop Ussher in the 17th century. In both of those cases, the 7th day (the year 6000) would already have arrived and passed on by without global termination.
With the time of the end cut short, the Hebrew calendar offers further proof that Christ will return early in the "third day" as prophecy has indicated. Because we are in that third day now, there is not much time left for mankind to repent and take advantage of God's offer of salvation and eternal life. The End is close.
Prophecy tells us that the Beast, when he appears, will attempt to change the calendar (Dan.7:25).
The 2000-year old Christian calendar is based on the appearance of Jesus Christ. It designates the focal point of western civilization. The 6000 years as measured by the Hebrew calendar begins with the appearance of the "soul" in man, and is equated with the appearance of Adam and Eve in Eden. That spiritual infusion is an act of God and will remain forever invisible and untraceable to man. It made us who we are, because before that infusion, the flesh was just a suit of clothes awaiting the man.
The soul is the only part of us that can inherit the new body which is building invisibly in us now through baptism; this for our second birth (our born-again birth) into the kingdom of God in heaven. Flesh and blood, said Paul, cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor.15:50).
The message is clear. Those who continue to procrastinate their conversion to Christ are quickly running out of time. The day is soon to come when heaven's door will be shuttered and all outside forever locked out.
It says in the Bible that all the people in the world will worship the beast. That means everybody. So how can you say some people won't? Read the Book of Revelation Chapter 13. It says the beast will conquer the whole earth. What give you the authority to contradict scripture? TY
There is no contradiction. Revelation Chapter 13 states that the whole earth will follow the beast except for those who follow Christ:
For forty-two months the beast was allowed to mouth its boasts and blasphemies and to do whatever it wanted; ·and it mouthed its blasphemies against God, against his name, his heavenly Tent and all those who are sheltered there. ·It was allowed to make war against the saints and conquer them, and given power over every race, people, language and nation; and all people of the world will worship it, that is, everybody whose name has not been written down since the foundation of the world in the book of life of the sacrificial Lamb. ·
If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen: Captivity for those who are destined for captivity; the sword for those who are to die by the sword. This is why the saints must have constancy and faith. (Rev. 13:5-10).
The world is spiritually divided between two populations, the people of heavenly Jerusalem and the people of worldly Babylon. Christ was sent by God to rescue those who are of God and take them home to Jerusalem. The chapter you quote is proof that this spiritual division will persevere all the way to the end. There will continue to be people on earth who are of God throughout the tribulation right up to the Second Coming of Christ.
We know this is true because Michael the Archangel when he leads the exiled City of David home to Jerusalem will have a population there to welcome him and his followers when they arrive. The Second Coming cannot occur until that embrace between the two houses of Israel officially occurs.
Not only will the earth be divided spiritually, it will be divided politically as well all the way to the end. The beast will always have his political enemies. Scripture makes that perfectly clear, especially in its statement that the "ships of Kittim" will block him at the very pinnacle of his power, and force him to retreat. This quote does not tell us that the ships of Kittim are Christian ships, or even religious ships, just that they are antagonists to the Beast.
When looking at the future, the politics of nations must be viewed separately from spirituality. They are not the same.
One has only to look at the changes the last hundred years has wrought on the spirituality of the world's nations. Look at the United States in this respect. Forty-three years ago, this government made it illegal even to use the word "God" on public soil let alone speak in favor of worshipping Him. There is no law against secular speech or atheistic speech. Just Christian speech. The word Hitler is not illegal, just God and His Son Jesus Christ.
Is that not leaving God and going off to follow Satan? If it is forbidden in America to say the world "God" or "Christ" or "Jesus", or even draw a picture of the Messiah in a public school or civic arena, do we not spiritually fit the picture of a nation prostrating itself in front of the dragon? Especially when no such restrictions regarding speech or image apply to the world's most heinous beasts and criminals.
Similar prohibitions against the Lord all across the western world are giving Satan a renewed power over the nations. A spirit of deceit has swept over them.
All this relates to Revelation Chapter 20, Verses 7-10. The spiritual power of Satan, long held captive by God, has recently been released from the Abyss and has risen up in our time to spill across the face of the earth. This is new. It was prophesied. And now it has come to pass. Christianity across the planet can bear witness to this malignant flood in the changing political framework of the nations. No longer is Christ accepted at the kings table. He has been thrown out of that position by all the governments on earth. Their excuse for the eviction? Separation of church from state.
We tend to think of the United States as the greatest Christian nation on earth. Measured by the faith of its people, it is. Over 85% here still claim to follow Jesus. But if we measure America's faith by our political leaders and their litany of decisions, a completely different picture emerges.
When we look at the people we can see Christ, but when we look at the politicians or their accomplices we see little in the way of God. Instead, there is endless wickedness: gold-worshipping bandits and their get-away drivers stealing everything that isn't nailed down, robbing the poor, stiffing widows and orphans, and all the while blowing huge trumpets proclaiming lip-service to faith. Such were the same that crucified Christ in Jerusalem.
It is no wonder in their conspiracy that they have put Jesus Christ in chains and embraced His enemy.
It is the same all over the earth. Some places are worse than others, but all have abandoned God, going off instead, to pay homage to the spiritual Prostitute who rides the dragon. They pay homage to worldly Babylon, not God. Anyone can see this worship by their fruits...by their faith in gold and power and violence. This disconnect between the powerful and God bears true witness to the re-emergence of the spirit of Satan on earth.
This disconnect is no longer passive either. It is developing all the earmarks of an atheistic jihad. That is why Christian leaders have found it necessary in recent days to convene a conference to discuss the newly emerging "war" on Christianity in America.
The passage you quote (Revelation 13) shows that this spiritual falling away will continue speeding along the same trajectory scripture outlined, becoming in its flight toward wickedness ever more hostile to Jesus Christ as it progresses toward Armageddon. Satan's war on faith will erode the conviction of the populations, especially in those areas where repressive measures are particularly harsh (Mat.24:9-13). Consequently fewer and fewer will have the courage to remain true to the Gospel which would save them.
Billy Graham once said that no one should ever read the Book of Revelation without having the Book of Daniel in their other hand. Daniel tells us that, at the very end, blocked by the ships of Kittim, the Beast, in a fit of pique, will set fire to the entire earth apparently launching all his missles at once. Since it is written that he will be given complete power over the nations, this psychopathic act will not be blocked by God. It will happen as prophesied (Dan.11:44; Rev. 17:16-17).
It is only at this point, at the very end of time, that the beast will attain complete control of the planet. Even so, with most of the earth a burning cinder, it's skies darkened from pole to pole by smoke and ash, there will be little left for him to control, and with the asteroids hurled by God already sailing into his forces at Armageddon, there will be no time for him to enjoy his momentary victory.
This is how Babylon is to die. Doomed in a single hour. All in heaven will celebrate her downfall for God has given judgment in favor of the saints against her. Babylon's cruel war on the righteous, the poor, the aged, the infirm and all who struggle to follow Christ will be at an end. The political bandits and their powerful cohorts will be no more. Their legacy will be to join the rest of the wicked in the second death, in the burning lake of sulphur (Rev.21:8).
When Michael reaches Jerusalem the trumpet will sound and Christ will appear with all the angels of heaven and the new creation with Him. Those who believe and have kept the faith will be ushered into it and given eternal life, for every person on earth will be given what he or she deserves.
Nowhere in all of this is there any contradiction with scripture. As it is written in the Book of God, so it will be.
(On the prophecy of the death of the first wife).
When Christ died in the cross, the harlot wife was FREED from the law of marriage and would be able to remarry. Why? Becasue the death of her husband freed her to remarry. Isaiah 54 speaks of God as both her maker and husband to one who is called a widow! this follows the passage of the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. By Christ's death, the covenants required renewing, a new covenant..... C
The harlot that dies is not Israel. It is not Judah. It is not even the pagans. This is proved by the fact that we, as pagans, are said to be removed from the Law by faith in Christ. If we are removed from the Law set forth by Moses, and we were pagans, then the Law of Moses must apply not just to the Israelites but to all mankind.
This shows that the harlot (Babylon) is throughout the creationall who reject Jesus as Lord.
The sin of the harlot is original sin iself. It is Satan's contamination. The human race did not create that contamination, it is born into it. That is our imprisonment. Satan has made this creation (this earth and sky) sin's domain. God's creation has been prostituted by Satan. Therefore it is to be destroyed. It cannot be saved. We live in its last days. God's first action was to defeat Satan and drive him out of heaven. His final action is to rescue those Satan has imprisoned (the righteous ones). That is where we enter the picture. We are the ones God is rescuing out of Satan's doomed kingdom.
Jesus, when He gave the Apostles power to state the Law of the new creation ("what you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and what you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven") showed that the same authority to bind and loose had been given by God to Moses with respect to the first creation (the law that rules present earth and sky). Moses bound into that Law precepts which gave Jesus the mechanism to get us out of the Law legally. All God had to do was keep the Law which Moses bound and take us out of it through Moses' own rules. That is why those rules were so important to Christ. He told the Apostles time and again that He had to do this or that so that the Law would be kept.
That is also where Moses' "wife laws" come in. God interpreted the Law to mean that the creation itself was the wife of God. And that was it. God's relationship with this earth and sky (the harlot through Satan) was legally rescinded through that interpretation, by the very rules Moses set forth.
That interpretation by God doomed this earth and sky (the great city called "Babylon"). (There are only two cities (creations) as far as God is concerned, Babylon the Prostitute, the doomed creation, and God's Jerusalem of heaven, the new eternal creation above that is replacing it).
God's promise to His people, however, was salvaged. The crucifixion was the sacrifice demanded for sin that allowed God to free us from our enslavement here, allowing Him to legally remove us from this dying planet and take us to Christ's new "Bride" (a completely new earth and sky in a completely different kind of universe). Through baptism, our sins went to His cross to His sacrifice. That freed us. Our flesh died to the Law with Jesus on the cross in that baptism and a new body was reborn in its place in His resurrection. Now we carry an invisible body within us that will soon spring to eternal life in God's new kingdom.
Thus baptism identifies "Israel" the true Israel of God.
This is not a new teaching. Paul wrote in scripture that the two wives stand for the two creations. The first is this planet (in this universe) and it's people (the flesh). The new bride is the new creation in the kingdom of heaven, and the people God chooses from among those here to inhabit it. Those who are chosen must leave their flesh behind and put on the new body God gives them because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. This world (the first wife) is passing away and no part of her (flesh & blood) can inhabit the new kingdom in heaven. It is to be a completely new creation that our souls are to occupy.
"....by the same word, the present sky and earth are destined for fire, and are only being reserved until Judgement day so that all sinners may be destroyed." (2 Peter 3:5-7).
"The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then with a roar the sky will vanish, the elements will catch fire and fall apart, the earth and all that it contains will be burnt up." (2 Peter 3:10).
"Since everything is coming to an end like this, you should be living holy and saintly lives while you wait and long for the Day of God to come, when the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat. What we are waiting for is what he promised: the new heavens and new earth, the place where righteousness will be at home. So then, my friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace". (2 Peter 3:11-14).
Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like a great dragnet that has been cast into the sea to bring in a catch of all kinds. The angels sit on the banks of the end and sort through the catch, keeping the good and throwing the bad away. Scripture is clear that this world must pass away. It will never return. All that is happening now is the good are being selected out of it and saved from the terrible end that is coming.
The Promise God made to the Hebrew tribes can only be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Paul taught that many Jews fail to see that now because God has blinded them to it for the sake of the salvation of the pagans. However, we are now almost to the end of that pagan salvation so soon the blindfold will be removed and their sight restored. At that point those who love God will see Jesus for who He really is and convert. God will join them to the others as a part of the new bride (the new creation). Again, all this according to the teaching of Paul.
Biblical allegories pointing to this exchange of wives (creations) are Hagar and Sarah (Abraham had children with both). Also Vashti and Esther in the Book of Esther.
When we use Christ's legality (i.e., baptism) to pass from the Old Testament to the New Testament, we leave the Old Testament behind. It exists for us now only as a prophecy of the new. It remains binding only on those who have not yet left it (those still not baptised in Christ).
Baptism is the legal seal marking our transition from the Law to Christ (from the old covenant to the new covenant...i.e., from the first wife to the new wife). Scripture says the covenant must be marked on our bodies. In the old covenant, that mark was circumcision. In the new covenant it is baptism. Paul said that when we are baptised in Christ we join His crucifixion and die to our flesh (die to the old covenant). And just as He rose from the dead, we are reborn in that mark to the new and everlasting covenant. That is why baptism is so important...it marks this transition...death on one side, new birth on the other.
Even the Law bears witness to the death of the first wife: "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 ...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).
Further proof of the death of the first creation can be found in Isaiah 24:18-21. And there are many other references in scripture just as conclusive.
How does 'Babylon' fit in? Got any idea where this madman, beast (antichrist) will come from? S
Much concerning Babylon can be found on our web pages. See previous question (above) for starters.
Prophecy in scripture seems to show him rising up north of Jerusalem, somewhere near the Black Sea and attaching himself to the Medes, especially Persia (today's Iran). From there he will bring a large Parthian force west to Rome, apparently intent on making that his world capitol city. According to Daniel all this will happen within a metaphoric schematic based on a ten-nation confederacy bent on world conquest, led first by a figure similar to history's Antiochus the Great and finally, far more brutally, by one like Antiochus IV Epiphanes (the beast).
Why does religion make people so violent? Almost all of the greatest wars in history were fought over religion. This is something I don't understand. RT
Actually, most wars have been secular.
Take away the Muslim invasions and very few of history's major wars have been fought over religion. The worst war in human history occurred less than 65 years ago and it was not religious in any way. Adolph Hitler, a part of that war, targeted the Jews, but not for religious reasons. He was a racist attempting to stamp out a genetic lineage. The Japanese had no religious motivations whatsoever. The same is true of World War I. No religion involved. There was nothing religious about Stalin's massacre of 25 million Russians. Nor was there any religion involved in America's bloodiest conflict, the Civil War.
The Korean and Vietnamese wars were also not religious.
The attack on Iraq by the Bush administration had nothing to do with religion, either. The claim given was Saddam's evil behavior, but many suspect oil supply. Either way, religion was not involved. That attack may have awakened a sleeping religious militancy, however. Prophecy certainly suggests so. But so far, that religious civil war has not been forthcoming.
Gengis Kahn was not religious. Neither was Napolean. It was certainly not in the name of religion that he attempted to conquer the world. The Roman empire which did conquer the world did not do so for religious reasons. Once it had accomplished those goals, however, it did claim it's Caesar to be a god. When the Roman empire tried to stamp out the Christian religion, there was no militant counterattack by the Christians being persecuted. They gave up their lives peacefully.
Alexander the Great did not lead the western world to conquer the eastern world of his day for religious reasons. Neither did a belief in God motivate the Persians who earlier had tried to extend their system of government into the west. Virtually all the major wars in history have been secular, not religious.
The rise of Protestantism in Europe produced many religious wars over a period of 150 years, but in terms of size and lives, those conflicts pale next to the bloodshed of world secular warfare. Though many in number, most were quite small. The Spanish Inquisition in the early middle ages was iron-fisted, but very few people actually fell under its axe. More people died in just the secular Cambodian massacres of 1975-1978 alone than in all the inquistions and Protestant religious wars in Europe put together.
All but one of the world's greatest religions have been founded on a base of peace. Especially the focal point of religious peace which is Jesus Christ. Mohammed is the major exception. He promoted the idea that the kingdom of God could not be spread peacefully because he perceived the world too violent. Mohammed argued that the violence of the world would overwhelm peacefulness. That is why such extraordinary militarism by his Arab followers marked his death in 600 A.D. They set out to conquer the world by force in the name of their God.
That invasion and the Muslim wars that followed brought serious religious war to the planet.
In three major invasions the Muslim armies extended their territorial rule from the Euphrates river to Tours France in the west, and to Vienna Austria in the north, overrunning in that period, Jerusalem and virtually all of the Mediterranean coastline from northern Africa to Asia Minor and southern Europe extending all the way to Spain. This march of religious conquest was stopped only by the Crusades and the united armies of the Papal states.
Many point to the Crusades as an example of a warring Christianity. Yet the Crusades did not arise from a vacuum. They were launched defensively in response to the Muslim world's three brutal incursions against the Christian west invasions that ended up commandeering 1/3rd of the Christian community's territory and people.
The world is, just as Mohammed saw it, violent. From poisonous spiders and scorpions under meadow rocks to the exploding supernova's of the universe, chaos rules here. It is little wonder (given the violence of the cosmos) that the very planet which that cosmos generated follows the brutal architecture under which it has been created. Every creature here, like the explosive chaos above with all its bombarding meteorites, attacks, kills and eats every other creature it encounters. It is not religion that is violent, but the creation itself.
That is because this is Satan's world.
It is the nature of the species to follow the plan by which it was constructed. Christianity has tried to alter that plan. In place of violence it preaches love and tolerance and gentleness. Peace is foreign here, but that is only because this is Satan's world, not God's. This is a kingdom ruled by death. We are captives here, imprisoned by the fallen angel who corrupted our souls. Jesus came down from heaven to rescue us from this chaotic prison and ferry us out of it to God's kindom of peace in heaven where life is eternal and death non-existant (Jn. 8:12).
That salvation God's exit door is only a baptism of repentance away.
The message of Jesus is clear. We must leave this place and follow Him to His new kingdom in heaven if we wish to survive. Because of its violence, Jesus has warned us that this world is doomed to destruction. Christ's promise is simple. Through His sacrifice, all who love God will live forever if they will simply trust Him and do as He says.
Those who refuse to follow Jesus cannot survive (Jn. 8:23-24). What is coming against them is far too violent and deadly for an unrepentant and unbaptised soul to withstand.
Why are so many scientists atheists? PL
When science pits itself against Christ, it sets itself up as a credible alternative. That is the division now roiling the world today.
The only sign science holds up is: "This way to death! Follow me to certain death". And despite that sign held high, all the scholars of the earth are falling all over themselves trying to jump aboard. Yet look close. Is science not the most pessimistic discipline on earth? Everything dies.
The sun expands and consumes the earth. The universe burns out and dies. The whole creation, physical and biological alike is born only to perish. In the end the final spark of energy in the universe silently flickers out and then there is nothing. That is the actual message of science. Hopelessness. Behind all its glamor, behind the glitter of its stunning discoveries, death's ultimate victory is science's single unchanging prognosis.
To make matters worse, the discipline that counters that message the one that says life is forever and salvation is possible, is mercilously ridiculed by that same discipline and laughed at by its worshipping audience. Is there anything intelligent about that laughter?
Whoever heard of a person caught in the swift currents of a roaring river pouring over a killer waterfall laughing at the hand in the overhanging branch reaching out to save him? That is what is happening. Maybe the branch will break. Maybe it is not strong enough. But it is the only branch in sight. And this one comes with Christ's sacrifice and promise attaached. It comes with His death and resurrection.
There are no other credible offers anywhere. Just the certainty that science's offer, if taken, is a gift to fatalism and suicide. A science antagonistic to religion is pessimism's greatest victory.
You wrote that it was important to God that the "third day" begin on January 1, 2001. Why? Please explain. KW
Christian scholars have long pondered the Holy Spirit's choice of the date selected for the beginning of the Christian calendar. Scholastically, that date did not make sense, seeming to just miss everything of significance with respect to Jesus' early life. Was the choice a matter of serendipity or was there special meaning behind it?
If the date was divinely orchestrated (and given that the inception date did not appear to match Jesus' birthday), the strongest clue to its meaning seemed to lie in the future in the appearance of the anticipated "third day" in that calendar, January 1, 2001. Would something of enormous consequence occur when that date arrived?
The answer was yes. And when it came, it turned out to be so significant that it has overshadowed everything else so far in the third millenium: 9/11, The attack on New York and Washington D.C. by Muslim terrorists. That assault has spawned a growing escalation of warfare, engulfing East and West in a deepening morass that threatens to change the entire landscape of world politics as dramatically as did the second world war.
In 1945, World War II's awful threat was averted. Hitler was defeated and Japan surrendered. Prophecy tells us this time the world is not going to be so fortunate.
The 9/11 attack came just 9 months into the first year of the third millenium. Scripture divides its milleniium's into "days" of God. According to prophecy, the people are to "wash and clean" for two days and early on the third day, see God face to face i.e., witness the Second Coming. The "washing and cleaning" represents baptism and repentance. It is the time period of God's offer of peace and reunion.
That period of washing and cleaning (baptism and repentance) represents the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The time period allotted by God for this purpose is known as "the millenium". The term is derived from scripture.
There are two prophecies in scripture addressing the milleniium per se. The most widely quoted is in the Book of Revelation. It breaks down the term of Christ's offer into a thousand-year period of world Christian rule, sandwiched between two wars. The boundary line between the millenium and those two wars is structured in Satan's temporary imprisonment (Rev. 19:11 to 20:10).
The second prophecy is in the Book of Daniel. It does not use the "thousand-year" term. Instead, it defines a division of 62 weeks during which the ruins of Jerusalem are to be rebuilt, (a time of trouble), sandwiched between two other periods, the first, 7 weeks duration and the second, a shorter period of enormous conflict lasting one week. During the second part of that last week, the power on earth of the "holy people" is predicted to be crushed by a wretched prince who desecrates the sacrifice and destroys the earth (Dan. 9:25-27).
These two prophecies seem to describe the same event.
Looking at the history of Christianity on earth we can see that it has followed a pattern very similar to these prophecies, at least up to this point. From the time Jesus initiated the washing and cleaning i.e., His call to "go out and rebuild the ruins of Jerusalem", to the establishment of Christianity's "world rule", came a 3-century period of persecution and concealment. That was followed by almost 17 centuries of Christian rule on earth, a rule that could be seen mirrored in the supremacy of the western world.
Just as Joshua prophesied, the "thousand-year" rule has almost been doubled during this second period. Yet current circumstances show a world growing tired of Christianity and casting aside its earlier bonds of approval.
Prophecy is clear at the end of God's "day", a revolt just like the one we see building now will terminate Christianity's rule of the world (2 Thes. 2:3-12). The "day of God" will end. Night will return. Out of that burgeoning darkness will come the East. Media and Persia will rise up and conquer the earth, destroying western civilization and, in the end, burning "Babylon" to the ground (Rev. 17:16). The fires of that burning are to be so great that the skies across the planet will be shrouded in darkness.
Jesus is to return through that darkness, God's ultimate victory over Satan.
Daniel describes four "Persian" empires rising up to attack the west during the millenium. History confirms that three have already taken place and fulfilled most of Daniel's vision already. Only the fourth is left, and only the fourth, according to Daniel, will succeed in Satan's violent mission (Dan. 7:23).
The militant assault on New York and Washington D.C. in 2001 seems to have been the "Pearl Harbor" thrust of that fourth empire it's initial attack. If this is the case, we have entered the last week in Daniel's sequence. That would mean the rebuilding of Jerusalem is almost complete. Satan has been released from the Abyss and has returned to mobilize the world for the final war.
Revelation's prophecy of the millenium is based on Satan's incarceration. His release ends it.
There is ample evidence that Satan's release occurred almost a hundred years ago True to the prophecy of that release (Rev. 20:7-9), the world began mobilizing for world war in 1914 and has been locked in almost perpetual global conflict ever since. If this is the case, then the focal point of the Christian calendar must be something other than his release. To come down to a single year, it must define something sudden and definitive, like the moment that starts the second war in Daniel's and Revelation's prophecies.
That attack is what brings the focus to the year 2001. Such an attack has obviously occurred and spawned in diplomacy's absence a maelstrom of building antipathy between East and West. And it has coincided perfectly with the advent of the third day as given to us by a Christian calendar (defined to the exact year) almost two-thousand years ago by the Holy Spirit.
The Dead Sea Scroll sect at Qumran expected two Messiah's, a priest and a king. Did they get this idea from the passages in the Bible about Zerubbabel, the high commissioner of Judah and his high priest, Joshua? Did Jesus fulfill both figures in himself? If so, how? AN
The notion of two Messiah's was a misinterpretation of scripture. The Essenes were not alone in this misconception. Moses told the Israelites that he was not the Messiah but they continued to see this expected intermediary from God in the image of the temporal and priestly figures that ruled their society. This led some to the idea that there would be two Messiah's.
No one expected the Messiah to be God Himself, in the flesh. That reality was completely unexpected, and it threw the Jewish leadership a curve they have not recovered from to this very day.
Jesus embodied both the temporal expectation of Judah's king (the David of prophecy) as well as a priest of God in the structure of Melchizadek. The Hebrew priesthood was built on Aaron, Moses' brother. Both Aaron and Moses were born into the lineage of Abraham. Melchizadek, however, was not in that lineage. He was outside of it and preceded it, so was above it. Abraham came to Jerusalem and bowed down in worship to Melchizadek, proving that all his descendants would have to do the same.
The Psalms tell us that the Messiah is to be in an image of Melchizadek. Thus we see Christ above the Hebrew lineage both as supreme King (God, Himself, in the form of the Trinity) and supreme High Priest in a priesthood so exalted it is restricted to the Almighty Father and one Son exclusively.
The prophecies you reference were not about Jesus. They had nothing to do with His personal nature. They were about Christianity's governing leaders Peter and Paul. These two servants of Christ were the fulfillment of the prophecies regarding Joshua and Zerubabbel. Peter and Paul are to take the place of Aaron and Moses. These prophecies point to a new and eternal covenant replacing the old.
The Christian religion is built on the Mosaic schematic. Everything in that schematic is fulfilled and replaced in Christ. Peter fulfills Aaron. Paul fulfills Moses. The entire Mosaic structure is a metaphore of God's true religion, Christianity. That is why Jesus was so careful to fulfill the terms of the schematic in every way God saw fit.
That is why Passover leads us to Easter and the feast of Weeks leads us to Pentecost and why the feast of the Tabernacles is fulfilled in communion. That is why Hannukah is fulfilled in Christmas and why Paul duplicates and replaces Moses as the central author of the Bible and why Peter is the first "Rock" of the Church, occupying the office Aaron made ready for him.
That is why the perfect paschal lamb sacrifice was completed in the holy unblemished body of Jesus, eliminating all further need for sacrifice in the remission of sin.
The religion Moses saw was a "reflection" of the holy realities. Christ brought the true picture of God. That true picture fits with great precision on the metaphoric images of Old Testament prophecy. This is why the prophecies are so important to us. They not only lead us to a complete understanding of God and His incomparable plan for our rescue, they are central to the proof of the truth of Christ that Jesus is the very Messiah promised.
How close is the Antichrist? K
It is clear in the Acts of the Apostles that no one will know the day or the hour of the end of the world until the moment Christ returns. The day of the Antichrist, however, seems to be another matter entirely. His appearance will be definitive, at least to Christians. That is because his forces will be the ones to set up the abomination in the holy place (Dan. 9:27). That placement is the moment in the prophetic sequence when Jesus warns everyone to 'head for the hills'. Jesus said,
"So when you see the disastrous abomination, of which the prophet Daniel spoke, set up in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains; if a man is in the fields, he must not turn back to fetch his cloak. Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come! Pray that you will not have to escape in winter or on a sabbath. For then there will be great distress such as, until now, since the world began, there never has been, nor ever will be again. And if that time had not been shortened, no one would have survived; but shortened that time shall be, for the sake of those who are chosen." (Mat.24:15-22)
An open (visible to the world) appearance of the Antichrist is verified by Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians:
"Surely you remember me telling you about this when I was with you? And you know, too, what is still holding him back from appearing before his appointed time. 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. 2:3-7)
The 'one holding the Antichrist back' is the prince of the Peace Treaty the person chosen by God to govern His covenant and offer of peace to the world an offer focused in the Christian communion sacrifice. An attempt to remove this holy Bishop occurred in 1981, but failed. As Lucia de los Santos was told at Fatima, the day will come when his removal will occur. She was shown the terrible images of that moment.
That catastrophic removal will coincide with the revelation of the identity of the Antichrist. At the same time, this "Prince of Persia" (as he is called in prophecy) will issue a proclamation that God will consider as having terminated the Diaspora. The exile of the two Houses of Israel to Babylon will be over the moment that proclamation is made.
In that edict, this eastern tyrant who claims to be God will take the Book of Chronicle's prophecy as his own and announce his intention of moving his current throne from Rome down to Jerusalem and building a house for himself there on the Temple Mount. Every instructed Christian will understand the implication of that announcement.
"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." (2 Chron. 36:23).
The Antichrist's decree will pit him squarely against the metaphoric equivalent of Kittim, Israel's biblical protector. Gathering his armies around him in a fit of wrath unseen ever before or ever again, the madman's descent into the holy land will structure Armageddon. He will never reach the Temple Mount.
According to Daniel, the Antichrist, the one whose forces erect the "disastrous abomination" in the holy place, will be a wretch called the "Beast". Not given royal honors, he will take control of his predecessor's ten-nation confederacy by intrigue and re-organize these kingdoms back into a second overt war machine. In prophecy, as we have shown many times, the Antichrist relates to Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
Clues to the date of the Beast's appearance can be found in the prophecies. Time has been speeded up. Yet there are many important prophecies that must be fulfilled before his public arrival takes place.
The Antichrist will follow in the footsteps of an earlier tyrant of mythic proportions.
According to Daniel, the predecessor to the "Beast" (the one who comes before the Antichrist) will be a man of enormous, but chilling stature one of the world's greatest warmongers. He will come in the metaphoric image of the Beast's father, Antiochus the Great, and, owing to his conquests, prove one of the mightiest emperors in world history. The size of his armies will be enormous, stretching from sea to sea across the continents of Europe and Asia.
From his northern kingdom, this first king will command the eastern world using a ten-nation confederacy of eastern powers, structuring them into a world military force as great as any that ever existed. According to Daniel's sequence, he will lead them to an incredible series of world victories. As a result, most of the western world's nations and kingdoms will fall to the East.
It is this northern prince, imaged by Antiochus the Great, who, according to prophecy, overruns the western forces at the Euphrates, enters Jerusalem by force and commands the Israeli's to make a treaty with the Palestinians before withdrawing. Keying, instead, on the military might of the western world, he will rapidly conquer perhaps all of Europe and Asia, and probably much of the Eastern Hemisphere.
Daniel indicates that he will carry his ambitions of military conquest to the "islands" in the far west (strongly suggestive of the Western Hemisphere) and overtake many nations in this area as well. At the height of his warmongering, however, a great (presumably American) general (in the metaphoric image of Lucius Cornelius Scipio of Rome) will annihilate much of his army, sending him, soundly defeated back to Europe where he will disappear from history (See Daniel 11:11-19).
None of this has so far occurred, yet all this must take place before the Antichrist appears. In the historic image of these two figures, Antiochus IV Epiphanes (image of the Beast) was the son of Antiochus the Great, but that filiation is not present in the writings of Daniel, so it cannot be presumed as prophecy.
Around these two Antiiochus-like figures is structured the last week in Daniel's sequence of 70 weeks (Dan. 9:26-27). That last week is divided into two parts. The one prefigured by Antiochus the Great will reign over the first half of that last week. The Beast (the Antichrist) will reign over the second half of Daniel's last week.
Just as these two figures must come to power (one after the other) so, too, must occur the rise of the ten nations themselves. So far, except possibly in preliminary images, they have not yet made their presence felt on the world stage either. Reading Daniel's account, much intrigue and regional combat seems certain to accompany their rise to power.
Most important of all, these ten nations cannot coalesce into a cohesive military empire until after Daniel's predicton of a great western-world collapse occurs. According to Daniel, that collapse is built on the metaphoric image of Alexander the Great, who, at the young age of 32, after powering the western world to victory across Asia (all the way to India) suddenly died in Iraq (Babylon). According to Daniel, it is in the world restructuring following this catastrophic end that the ten nations ultimately form.
In fact, it seems to be in this same catastrophe that all end-time prophecy is structured and proved (see Jer.42 through 44).
These yet unfulfilled events tell us that the public appearance of the Antichrist is not soon. There appears to be significant time yet before he makes his presence felt. But the sequence of historic events relative to the prophecies has to be closely watched. From the moment the Great Depression plunged a merry-making happy-go-lucky world basking civilly in 1929 into global economic chaos, to the violent end of the planetary inferno of World War II in atomic fire, only 16 years passed. That tells us much can happen quickly.
Not only that, but scripture indicates the very day catastrophe begins, it 's occurrence will release what amounts to an indundation of further disasters that include earthquakes, roaring seas, wars and so on which also must occupy the same time frame that leads to the appearance of the Antichrist.
The road ahead will be rocky. Especially for those without faith.
I would like to know about the two witnesses in the Book of Revelation 11:1-13. Who are they and what can you tell me about them? MA
The "two witnesses" are Peter and Paul. They represent the central figures in the preaching of Christ's Gospel on earth during the era of the Christian Church. Their work is spiritual. It is conducted from heaven in association with the temporary rule of the Lamb on earth in keeping with the prophecies of Rev. 20:4-6. This is a reign intimately associated with God's temporary incarceration of Satan.
The Book of Revelation tells us that the "Dragon" (Satan) was thrown into the Abyss and locked up there in relation to the spread of Christ's teaching in the world.
Satan's personal power to deceive is so potent God had to remove him so that the Lord's servants could successfully spread Christ's message of savation across the planet. To thwart Satan's deceptive maneuvers, Michael the Archangel was instructed by the Lord to lock him securely with an enormous chain, then shut the entrance to the Abyss and seal it over him. God's orders were that he was to remain quarantined in that prison for a (symbolic) "thousand years".
At the end of that time, said God, the dragon must be released for a short while, but only to take himself and the world he corrupted to its final destruction.
During the time that Satan has been locked away, God's "two witnesses", Peter and Paul, sitting now on heaven's thrones, and preaching through the "sackcloth" of scripture (the traditional covering of the Bible), have been proclaiming Christ to the nations. Like Moses and Aaron, who prefigured them, they have come into a world much like Egypt, full of God's people held captive among pagan populations.
Everywhere the Gospel has gone, the voices of God's two witnesses have gone with it. Testifyiing to God's eternal kingdom which shall exist forever and never be destroyed, they call to all who will listen to leave this world's "Babylon" (the Great spiritual City of sin known also as "Sodom" and "Egypt") and follow Jesus to the Jerusalem of heaven.
Surrounding Satan's thousand years in prison, then, is a time period known as the Christian era. It is the age of Christ's peace offering to the world, described in the metaphore of scripture as a 3-day journey by the people of God into the wilderness of Babylon to see God face to face two days of washing and cleaning (baptism and repentenance), followed by a third day which will see Jesus will descend from God's Mountain in person before the world's very eyes.
That descent is about to happen. The completion of the Gospel's preaching is now near. The world entered the "third day" (the day defined for Christ's return) in 2001.
What of the thousand year incarceration? That, too, seems to have ended. According to scripture, at the end of the thousand years the Dragon must be released for a short time from his jail in the Abyss. There are many signs showing this release has already taken place. One of the strongest has been the world's mobilization for global war, a phenomenoon that began in 1914 in keeping with Revelation's prophecy (Rev.20:8),.and which has continued virtually unabated ever since.
When God's two witnesses have completed their witnessing, the beast that comes out of the Abyss is going to make war on them, overcome them and kill them (Rev.11:7). In that violent assault, Christ's Church on earth will be brutally crushed. Daniel has chronicled this combat in detail how the Beast is going to obliterate on earth the power of God's holy people (Dan.12:7). Their corpses will lie in the main street of the Great City, the same spiritual city in which Jesus, Himself, was crucified.
With the dragon now out of the Abyss, that event cannot be far off, either. Already, we see Jesus under increasing attack in almost every nation on earth, ominous testament to the Beast's power to deceive.
Like the two witnesses, the Great City, Babylon, is spiritual. A part of it exists in every city on the planet., just as do the people making the pilgrimage to God's Jerusalem of heaven. This polar division of spiritual cities, one for and the other against Christ, exists everywhere even in the Jerusalem of Palestine. Although Rome and Jerusalem have given their names to these cities, they are only metaphores for dual cities we cannot see, but which exist (either one or the other) in the spirit of all men, dividing the world into two populations those for Christ and those against Him.
God has prepared a cup of salvation filled to the dregs with the brew of Judgment, and has commanded that everyone in the world drink from it. Beginning with the people of Jerusalem, God has sent His two servants to circle the earth with the vessel. Every person who has ever lived has had to drink its contents the strong wine of Christ's Gospel (Jer.25:14-29).
Carrying this goblet of wrath across the earth, God's two prophets have been a plague to the people of the world. That is because they have power to lock up the sky so that it does not rain as long as they are prophesying and are able to turn water into blood and strike the whole world with any plague as often as they like. According to their teaching, evil behavior begets an evil return. Unless sinners repent in earnest, they stand in harms way.
That harm, all the plagues and tribulations defined in the Book of Revelation (like the plagues administered against Pharaoh in Egypt) have, or will, occur in relation to the commands of God's two witnesses. Every plague, every pandemic, every pestilence, every war, every genocide all represent the bitter contents of the brew God has forced upon the wicked during the Christian era. That is why there will be such relief in the world when the beast overcomes them and kills them. In their gaity over this killing, says John, the world's people will celebrate these murders with an exchange of presents, a parody on Christmas.
Then everyone will stand and watch to see if God was really in them as claimed.
For three-and-a half days, men out of every race, people, language and nation will stare at their corpses, not letting them be buried. But after those days God will breathe life into them and they will stand up and everyone who sees it happen will be terrified. Then a loud voice will call to them, 'Come up here', and while their enemies are watching they will go up to heaven in a cloud.
Is there in John's words a hint of the rapture? Of course. But coming, as it does, so deep in the tribulation, it seems to fit a model all its own one not yet fully described.
Immediately after God's two witnesses disappear into the cloud, a violent earthquake will rock the city, collapsing a tenth of it and causing seven thousand deaths. The designation "seven" is the symbolic number imaging completion and fulfillment. Overcome with fear, the survivors who escape death will praise God.
While the essential message in this vision is spiritual it is certain to have a physical component to it as well. Scriptue is always fulfilled both ways. Peter and Paul were put to death physically by the beast Nero at the beginning of the Christian era. It seems certain, then, there will be two witnesses central to last-day preaching as well relating to the beast that comes up out of the Abyss at the end.
They will die at the hands of this beast and their bodies will lie in the main street of Babylon, unburied for 3-1/2 days. We know from other verses in prophecy, and from Lucia's vision at Fatima, that the Beast to come will assassinate Christianity's First Bishop and his princely consort in Babylon, terminating the Chair of Peter. We also know that the reign of the beast after the Abominaton of Desolation is erected will last 3-1/2 years (Dan.12:11).
The relationship between these events, prophecy's description of them and the rapture of Christianity out of death and into eternal life are certain to be quite close. Look for them to be interconnected.
You say the world is about to divide into four parts. Can you identify them? PL
Three of the four in the following list have remained unchanged for 60 years:
1. Western Europe and America (the western world)
2. Russia & it's satellite kingdoms
If the Book of Daniel (God's chronology of the last days) is being fulfilled now, we would expect every word to unfold historically over the next 20 to 30 years (50 years at the outset). That means very little will change with respect to the nations on the earth at this moment. Few new nations will form and very few existing nations will pass away. We are already looking at the powers at Armageddon. The only thing changing will be the coalitions and the warfare involving and surrounding them.
Under the banner of various nations, the West has ruled the world continuously since the days of Alexander the Great, roughly 2500 years. The last three in the list above are the current challengers to this rule. All three are considered a part of the eastern world.
There is no doubt about the dominant players in the world today. The first three world powers listed above (i.e., the West, Russia and China) have exerted a major influence on world policy since 1945. Led by the West, their overwhelming planetary dominance over the other nations of the world, both politically and militarily, continues to this day.
The fourth member of this group, Media/Persia, known only by prophecy for centuries, has recently raised its head on the world stage. The attack on the American Embassy in Tehran, followed by 9/11, the two wars at the Euphrates, the fact that this area is the petroleum center of the earth, and Daniel's specific designation marking its overwhelming influence in the final days insures its identity as a certain member of this group.
From prophecy and science we know two absolutes about the world in the last days. One of them, Satan has been released from the Abyss and is mobilizing all the nations on the planet for war. The other is that the world is quickly running out of petroleum. There may be only 20-30 years supply left at current usage. While bio-fuel may work during peaceful times, it cannot be used for fighting wars. Combat requires enormous supplies of petroleum. Satan, in his push for global war is driving the world to oil.
That fact alone is drawing all the nations to the Middle East, the major source of petroleum for most of the nations on earth. The empire that controls the Middle East will control the world, both industrially and militarily.
In the battle to annex this area, Daniel tells us the most powerful nations of the eastern world will combine their forces, forming a ten-nation confederacy. In the first configuration of this confederacy, the ruling power will rest in the north, probably in Russia. This will be the ten-nation confederation headed by the one structured in the metaphore of Antiochus the Great.
Prophecy tells us the ten nation confederacy will coalesce around the smallest of the world's four divisions. That means, around Media/Persia. Obviously the confederacy will form around the middle eastern oil fields. This alliance defines the Parthian character, not just of the empire of the Beast, but that of his predecessor as well.
There is no doubt that the second configuration of these ten nations will be centered in the military might of Persia. The Beast's title according to scripture is "Prince of Persia". First century Roman prophecy foresaw Nero reincarnated and leading a Parthian army back to Rome to retake his throne there. It is in that return that he will issue the proclamation that frees the House of Israel from the Diaspora.
The ten nation empire will draw its forces from the entire eastern world. Together, this colossus will grow into the largest single empire in world history. It will overpower most of the nations of the western world. Two nations that it will not control, however, will be Israel and a far western kingdom across the sea known metaphorically as "Kittim".
The power of Kittim will be such that the kingdom of Media/Persia will not prevail against it until almost the final moment in history, and then, only moments before the return of Jesus Christ . The regal glory of that restoration heralding God's victory on earth will be without precedent. Instantly the world of the past will disappear as the One sitting on the throne of heaven makes the whole of creation new.
At that moment, all who have been faithful in Jesus Christ will rise with Him into eternal life in keeping with the promise of God, whose promises are forever absolute.
I am intrigued by the two kings Daniel predicts will command the ten-nation armies of the east. How can they be father and son? In my Bible it says about the beast in Daniel 11:21,
"he will be a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty but will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure and seize it through intrigue"
This doesn't sound to me like his father was a king. He sounds more like a commoner coming into world power the way Adolph Hitler the housepainter did. LS
The Holy Spirit inspires Bible prophets to use words like "son" or "daughter" to promote ideas of common relationship, not necessarily immediate parentage. We can see this in many places. One is in Daniel's description of the handwriting on the wall (Dan. 5:2).
In that verse Belshazzar is actually defined as Nebuchadnezzar's son, but the prophecy inherent in this passage of scripture points to kings that appear 2000 years apart. Obviously father and son are characteristics out of the question in such a distant relationship. The prophecy extends from the time of Christ to the present day. The only genetics that unites these two persons is the word "Babylon". They are both to be kings of Babylon.
The first, like Nebuchadnezzar, will take Jesus (the King of the Jews) to Babylon (Micah 4:10). The second, like Belshazzar, will be Babylon's final king, about to be assassinated by the Prince of Persia who stands at his gate. It is he who will witness the handwriting on the wall. The title "son", therefore, is simply a prophetic indicator to show they are both rulers of Babylon (cut from the same cloth).
Proof that the time has arrived for this prophecy to be fulfilled (proof that the "son" of Nebuchadnezzar has appeared), according to Jeremiah, will be an assassination. It will involve a symbolic figure he described as "the pharaoh of Egypt" (Jer.44:29-30). This "Pharaoh" is the "son" the "Belshazzar" who sees the handwriting.
The "handwriting on the wall" prophecies, although presented in the images of Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzer, actually point ahead to future kings that bookend the Diaspora initiated by the pagan Roman empire at the time of Christ. That Diaspora began 2000 years ago. Nero was on the throne of Rome when the battle to take the Jews into captivity to Rome was initiated. Nero, then, was the "father" (the Nebuchadnezzar) in the prophecy he issued the order.
Crushed by the word of God delivered by Jesus, Nero's Babylon disappeared. Divorced from its prince, Satan, (locked in the Abyss by God), it was prevented from returning. In its place appeared a western world ruled in Christ.
The "son" in the "handwriting" prophecy could not appear on the world stage until after the world rebelled against Christ and returned the world to its secular (Babylonian) nature. That rebellion, called by Paul, "the Great Revolt" (2 Thess. 2:3) has now taken place, as has the return of the western nations to secular rule. This return is defined in the Book of Revelation as the mortal wound healing. Obviously the Abyss has been opened and it's prisoner released.
The Lord does not intend to give Babylon a lengthy reincarnation. It's rebirth is taking it straight to the gallows. The reason for this is that the rejection of the sceptre of Christ by the nations leads directly to catastrophe. Not only does it terminate Christ's offer of peace to the world, it brings the Persians all the kings of the East (Jer.51:11; Rev.16:12-16).
God's overriding interest has nothing to do with Babylon's longevity or continuance. His focus is on the kingdom of heaven. Once the nations made the decision to pursue a secular future (returned themselves to Babylon), they lost their 2000-year relationship with God. Abandoning Christ, their fate is as the tares (Jer. 51:58). The message of that destiny and its immediacy was 9/11.
The handwriting on the wall of Babylon was 9/11. Written out in that message is the same warning given to Belshazzar, i.e., that his assassination is imminent because the Prince of Persia has arrived at his gate. The message is clear. We can see that clarity both in the ancestry of those launching the attack as well as by the nature and geography of the warfare that has followed in the wake of those aerial assaults.
We may in this sense assume that the filial relationship between the two kings of Persia who appear in the metaphoric likeness of Antiochus the Great and his son Antiochus IV Epiphanes, will also be a generic one, based in this case on their relationship to the Persian alliance. As you say, a true genetic relationship seems unlikely.
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