January 7, 2001
Where in scripture is the Apostle Peter ever called high priest?
What scripture may I turn to and find the answer. Thanks for your reply. CS
The priesthood of Peter is prophecy. It is derived from the following quotations of scripture:
In the Book of Revelation, God tells Christ,
"You are worthy to take the scroll and break the seals of it because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought men for God of every race, language, people and nation and made them a line of kings and priests, to serve our God and to rule the world." (Rv. 5:9-10).
In that quotation, God indicates that every Christian is brought into the kingdom of God in one or both of two lineages, kingly and priestly.
This concept is further elucidated in another passage from this same book of scripture:
"Grace and peace to you from him who is, who was, and who is to come, from the seven spirits in his presence before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead, the Ruler of the kings of the earth. He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood, and made us a line of kings, priests to serve his God and Father; to him, then, be glory and power forever and ever. Amen." (Rv.1:4-6).
"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).
The priesthood is conferred on all Christians because they have been given the job of consecrating all of the people of the world to God; And kingship because God has decreed that the People of God shall rule the world.
Peter defined this new priesthood:
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people at all and now you are the People of God; once you were outside the mercy and now you have been given mercy." (1-Peter 2:9-10)
This concept of God's people as a priesthood is not new. It stems from the Book of Exodus:
"If you obey my voice and hold fast to my covenant, you of all the nations on earth shall be my very own nation...I will count you as a kingdom of priests, a consecrated nation." -Ex.19:5.
By royal decree, Jesus singled Peter out as the pillar of God's new priesthood on earth, making him the pre-eminent ruling priest:
"When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, 'Who do people say the Son of Man is?' And they said, 'Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets'. 'But you,' he said 'who do you say I am?' The Simon Peter spoke up, 'You are the Christ,' he said 'the Son of the living God'. Jesus replied, ' Simon son of Jonah, you are happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter (the name means 'rock') and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven." (Mat.16:13-19).
Christ's decree elevated Peter above the rest of us and showed that in God there is a heirarchy of authority. This was understandable because in the Jewish template of the priesthood such a heirarchy was quite evident. There was a single high priest and many chief priests as well as a large number of ordinary priests; and the priesthood itself was divided into high and low branches. The highest priesthood in Judaism stemmed from Aaron, Moses' brother. It was this high priesthood that consecrated the sacrifices. Therefore, their duties were confined solely to the Temple in Jerusalem. The low priesthood, called 'Levitical' (or Levites), on the other hand, were the caretakers of the buildings and trappings and operated all over Palestine and in all the towns and cities into which Judaism had spread throughout the world.
The same template can be seen in Christ. David, in his Psalm has the following quotation about Jesus:
"Royal dignity was yours from the day you were born on the holy mountains, royal from the womb, from the dawn of your earliest days. God has sworn an oath which he never will retract, 'You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and forever." (Psalm 110:3-4).
This quotation is very important in Judaic circles. The highest priesthood in Judaism stems from Aaron. But this Psalm speaks of an even higher priesthood -- one that pre-dated the birth of Aaron and which conferred God's anointment on Abraham himself. By equating the priesthood of the Davidic Messiah with Melchizadek, the priesthood of Jesus is shown to be above anything Judaism can offer. In the Greek Bible, this higher authority is dealt with in the following quotation:
"There was also a covenant with David...a royal succession from father to one son exclusively, but the succession of Aaron passes to all his descendants." (Sir.45:25).
This passage infers that the priesthood of Christ passes from His Father (from God) to one Son (Jesus) exclusively. Our priesthood, on the other hand, like that of Aaron (who was the Old Testament template for this consecrated outpouring) stems from Peter and reaches out to encompass all Christianity.
That definition would make logical sense in light of Peter's elevated status as commissioned by Jesus at Caesarea Philippi. All of this, of course, stems from prophecy. We can be certain that we are priests and Peter is a priest. Beyond that, we must each decide for ourselves where these prophecies lead us.
Please tell me where Adam and Eve communicated with a snake??? He was an upright beast in the form of a man. After his curse he was made a snake and no more communication was ever recorded between such. GG
You are correct about the snake. Satan was not transformed by God into a belly-crawling creature until after he successfully seduced Adam and Eve into sin. From the beginning, of course, (in scripture) he was caricaturized as a serpent. (see footnote). This is another indication that the Bible picks up his story after he had committed his terrible apostasy against God.
The earliest prophecies do not indicate that he was a man, specifically. In fact, the words used in Genesis describe him as the "most subtle of all the wild beasts (or wild creatures) that God had made" (Gen.3:1). Other accounts indicate that he was a being of very high standing in God's Court. Particularly relevant to this imagery is the Book of Esther. Another graphic account can be found in the first chapter of the Book of Job (Job 1:6-12). The prophet Zechariah shows a gripping confrontation between Satan and Michael the Archangel over the cleansing of the high priest -- here called 'Joshua' (Zech 3:1-5).
It is generally accepted that 'Joshua' in Zechariah's prophetic discourse refers to the Jewish people, but because the passage specifies 'high priest' it more likely refers to the the priestly lineage that emanates through Peter -- a lineage which encompasses all of God's People, not just a few of them.
When will you have part 3-"The Wedding Feast of the Lamb" on the website? Thanks, H.
Part 3 of our three-part examination of the prophecies and structure of the Book of Revelation can be found at the following link:"The Wedding Feast of the Lamb".
I was surfing the net not too long ago and ran across some interesting information about some of the customs and traditions of the twelve tribes such as , each tribe had their own Color, their flower, tree bird, etc. I did not copy it and I need to find it again. Can you help me. We are doing a study by way of a program in our church.
It would help me greatly, if someone can help me find that information again. I would like to know any other interesting,unusual information about the tribes, too.
We have tried to locate that information without much success. It may have come from the Talmud (which would be the most trustworthy source for historical documentation about Israel's twelve tribes and their customs). This is an interesting question but rather far afield for us. The purpose of this website is to shed light on biblical prophecy -- to show how God constructed it and designed it to interrelate so that we might gain a clearer understanding of His mysteries. Perhaps one of our readers may be able to add more light to your search. We will send along to you any information that comes our way in this regard.
Which one is the true church? DK
From the beginning, the prophecies show that God understood that He could not reach the entire world's population through a single church body on earth. Therefore He directed the Holy Spirit to build an immense variety of churches across the globe so that wherever a child of God was, a minister would be there to greet him or her with the message of Christ's forgiveness. Instead of understanding this reality or the logistics of trying to minister simultaneously to so many billions of people, many Christians have wrapped themselves in battle gear to try to defeat those churches they don't like. In so doing, they have gone to war against God. This was never God's intent. We cannot love our enemy and hate him at the same time. Neighbor or enemy, God's rules are the same.
It is not productive or wise or even Christian to attack, or be an accomplice to an attack on any part of the Body of Christ.
Is the Roman Catholic Church the beast? DK
No, it is not.
Claims such as that come from Satan. The Roman Catholic Church houses the largest body of Christians on the planet. Satan's committed purpose is to attack the churches of Christ.
The prophecies are very clear. The beast will arise in the east where he will construct an eastern 'Parthian' (Asian-Median & Persian) army which he will use to capture much of the western world and and in the process, plunge the planet into warfare more intense than anything ever known (See 'The Last Days of Babylon').
When Jesus talked about the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees was He talking about Catholic priests? DK
Sometimes, but usually not. It all depends on the heart (something you and I cannot see). His words are a warning to all ministers, not just Catholic priests.
Ministers and priests are essential components of Christianity. Every church has its leaders and ministers. They are charged with huge responsibilites by God because of their greater knowledge, and that is why they will be judged more harshly than the rest.
The teaching of Jesus is directed at our human nature. He asked us to take off our human nature and put on a God nature in its place. In that exchange we are asked to stop hating, stop gossiping, stop pride, stop chasing after sex, stop anger and stop violence. Instead we are required to turn the other cheek and be peaceful, meek, merciful and righteous. The same change of "clothes" is required of ministers and priests.
The hierarchy of God is just the opposite of man's. In the human world, the more important among us usually strut around in stately majesty. But in God's hierarchy everything is just the opposite -- the highest is the lowest and the lowest is highest. That is why we are encouraged to take the last seat and be meek. It is a position low on earth, but of great honor in the kingdom of God.
When Christ warned us about wrong behaviour, it was so that we would not duplicate it. It was never His intention that we should use His words as the probe to remove specks from our neighbor's eyes.
Jesus was very specific about the disastrous consequences of judgmental practices. He warned that the forgiveness which God wants to bestow on us is based in a very major way on our own readiness to forgive others. He even included that admonition in the short prayer He declared as being perfect according to God. "...forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us..."
The ranks of the ministry are rife with the structures of mankind's hierarchical order. There are managers and bosses and bosses' bosses just like there are in all other human endeavors. Those positions are almost always occupied by individuals who have had to strive and compete to beat out fellow contenders for the positions of authority and honor. That competition gets keener and more sophisticated the higher the office being sought. It is no wonder then that each of these 'progressions' on earth often leads to an office whose station is lower in the ranking of God.
Jesus was not telling us to hate our ministers. His words are not a hit-list from heaven for us to use for bashing fellow Christians. He was warning us about OUR OWN behaviour. And He was warning ministers about their own behaviour and responsibilites and the pitfalls of their higher offices.
Heedful of Christ's warning, most ministers of God, regardless of church affiliation, work very hard to be responsible shepherds of the flocks entrusted to their care.
For us to hate them or rail against them usually pits us against God and the Holy Spirit. Those who preach hatred of God's appointed ministers are not just hypocrites, they become accomplices of Satan whose committed purpose it is to pit Christians against one another and in that way try to tear down God's Church on earth.
Letter from Vijay Chellathurai, revivalist minister from India, regarding Christianity's ongoing ministry currently sweeping Asia and the Far East:
Keep serving and abiding in the Lord Jesus.. only eternity will show how God greatly by His mercy uses our futile efforts to build His kingdom.. keep going bro.. your work of faith is not in vain...also if you have time for the net, i would encourage you to check out these sites, which have been useful to me lately. Challenging sites for us. If you have time only for one site, i would very very strongly recommend this : http://www.gfa.org (exciting report and challenge on missions in 10/40 window where billions of people are yet without the gospel. There is also a free book on the work going on there. It is a really challenging and convicting book, and helps us to equip and pray better for the eternal souls in asia where 97% of the world's unreached live)
As most of our readers know from the prophecies, Asia is the last frontier of Christianity's encirclement of the globe. In this theatre lies the last battleground of conversion. And it is here, too, where all our efforts will reach their conclusion: "As for the king of Sheshak, he shall drink last of all." (Jer.25:26). See Chapter 6, "The Kings of the East" in 'The Last Days of Babylon'. The name 'Sheshak' is thought by many Bible scholars to be a cryptogram for Babel. The location of the 'Tower of Babel', of course, is unknown but is thought to have been constructed somewhere in the East near the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The Euphrates river continues to this very day to be the dividing line between East and West.
The rest of Vijay's recommended sites can be found at: Vijay.
I am currently doing some homework on the dead sea scrolls. Can you tell me why the scrolls are so important for our understanding of the bible? SD
Until the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, the oldest intact Bible in existance dated from 1000 years or more after Jesus died. A few fragments of Coptic writings have been found which date from perhaps 300 to 400 A.D., but nothing else is known. While the copies that still exist all were copied from earlier editions, no one knew for certain what the older copies actually said, i.e., if the copies were faithfully rendered.
From a Christian standpoint, this information was very important for validating what scripture was like at the time Jesus preached. This was especially true because within 70-100 years after the appearance of Jesus scripture changed dramatically. The Christian writings began to appear, i.e., the New Testament came into being; and the Jewish "bible" changed dramatically as well (all documents originally penned in Greek were removed from it). Certain Dead Sea Scrolls predated this transition, allowing the world to see actual texts of scripture dating from before Jesus. These documents validated our own scriptures and they showed us that Jewish scripture (specifically those texts found at Qumran (the oldest) were much more diversified, i.e., more like the Greek Old Testament than the narrower version now used by modern Jews. Greek copies of scripture, in fact, are among the texts found at Qumran).
None of the Dead Sea Scrolls are ABOUT Christ. His appearance is not mentioned in any of the texts. But He had a major impact on Jewish scripture. Before He appeared, the texts of Judaism reflected those found at the cave called Qumran (the first cave discovered in 1947). They verify the diversified Jewish culture that the Christian New Testament described.
Later, caves were discovered in other areas around the Dead Sea that dated about a hundred years later. These caves contained only scrolls that reflected the changes wrought in Judaism by the Rabbinic School in Jamnia (allowed to be set up by the Roman Emperor Titus after he defeated the Jews and burned down their temple in 70 A.D. It was at Jamnia that the Jews "cleansed" their scriptures, throwing out all writings in it that were not originally penned in the Hebrew language. The aim of this was to separate Judaism from Christianity whose writings were all coming out in Greek. (See: http://goodnewsprophecy.com/clockchapter25.htm).
For this reason, the word "Dead Sea Scrolls" encompasses two completely diverse groups of writings. Only those from Qumran date from at or before Christ, all the others are about a hundred years or so later. For this reason, while both groups of texts have profound interest to scholars, those from Qumran are considered the most valuable to students of Christianity, and it is these around which such heated controversy has raged over the last 50 years because many of the documents were locked up in the vaults of various Jewish scholars who 'owned' the rights to them and refused to divulge their contents at anything but a snails pace.
This problem came to a controversial conclusion recently when a Jewish Scholar in Long Beach, California was able to successfully convince the Huntington Museum in San Marino California (which had a complete photographic collection of all the documents) to release those photos and make them all public. As a result, we should expect a flurry of books, articles and papers on the still-untranslated portions of these scrolls to soon be forthcoming (pending the politics of ownership rights, of course).
Almost nothing was known, outside of Josephus' comments, concerning the Jewish Essene community said to have inhabited Qumran and about whom many of the Qumran documents that were not "biblical" centered. Some insist they were descendants of the Jewish Hassidian freedom fighters who liberated Judea from the military grip of the Greek 'beast', Antiochus Epiphanes IV. Others see the Essene's as a Jewish religious cult. The answers to these questions continue, so the scrolls provide a fascinating and educational window on the unknowns of life in Judea in the first century A.D. They cannot be said to transcend theology, of course, but they are without a doubt the most important academic religious discovery of our age.
The Dead Sea Scrolls
Christ and Qumran
Greetings in the Name of our precious Savior - Jesus Christ.
I have been reading with interest your writings concerning the times that we
live in. I have been a student of bible prophecy for 18 years and have
recently been called particularly to pay attention to every word and seek
the Lord's face to know and understand the signs.
I would like to begin a dialogue with you in this search for truth as I
perceive that you are brothers with insight. However, there are some bases
of understanding that you put forth which go against what I have held to be
true for so long. I have no desire to argue or be divisive. I want to come
to the full knowledge of the truth and lead others in these last days to
stand against the evil and proclaim the gospel.
The first issue is the "millenium of christian rule" that you speak of as
having begun already. Could you please explain this to me as I have held up
to this point that the Millennial Kingdom will come after Jesus Christ's
second coming in which the overcomers will rule and reign with Him for
one thousand years during which time Satan is bound and cast into the abyss
so he cannot deceive the nations anymore. (Rev 20:3-4)
Your question is excellent.
Ours is not a theological web page. It is devoted to a study of biblical prophecy. It is dedicated to the support of the New Testament's proposition that Jesus is the promised Messiah of God. That goal stated, we try to be as academic as possible in our examination of scripture and its prophecies.
Our readers are composed of believers and non-believers of all denominations and persuasions. Considering the eclectic nature of our readership, we cannot focus too deeply on theology or it's fluctuating interpretation. Every church has its own opinion on meaning. Many of these opinions change as church officers and commissions and the politics of correctness change. Others are constant across almost the entire spectrum of believers and time (like the theology of the Trinity, for instance).
While important views need to be noted, freedom of interpretation is the most important aspect of scriptural prophecy. The meaning of prophecy must always remain at the readers discretion to ascertain. That was God's intent. Freedom of choice is the heartstone of the Christian message and the prophecies concerning it.
Some vocal Christian leaders, for instance, have turned prophecy into very didactic theological ideas. These opinions are valid and need to be voiced. However, we have to be mindful of the fact that there may be more than a billion other Christians on earth who hold completely different opinions. Their ideas are just as valid. It is these differences of opinion that have spawned the vast expanse of competing churches on earth and all their disagreements. Even wars.
The prophecies don't change but the opinions regarding them are quite varied.
Perhaps one of the saddest commentaries on the Christian phenomenon on earth has been the divisiveness of its nature. Minority followers of Christ don't even consider the majority to be Christians.
Our position is altogether different. We believe God has no favorites (just as Paul stated). We believe He does not favor fundamentalists over Catholics or Mormons over Lutherans. What is important to God, we believe, is that Christ be preached and that His message of peace, compassion, love and gentleness be spread to the ends of the earth. And in that preaching, we ascertain that the harvest will be random as the angels gather at the banks of the last days to sort through the catch (as Jesus' prophecy stated) separating the good from the bad according to the commandments Christ brought to earth.
We do not believe that theories regarding prophecy will be a particularly valuable element in that selection process. But we do believe that the Bible's prophecies and the theories surrounding them will give heart to those who might be losing hope as they struggle to try to stay faithful and focused on the truth of Christ during their long day on earth.
Your question revolves around one of thousands of areas of disagreement. Your position is well taken and has been widely published. However, there are other interpretations that are supported by just as many, if not more, Christians. Both theories (and others as well) are explored on our web pages, but as always, the prophecy itself is the primary focus.
One of the most important goals of our web page is to show how Old Testament and New Testament prophecies interlink -- that they are not separate entities. In the prophecy in question, that linkage is shown dramatically in the interpretation we chose to show, and that is why we chose it. It is like a piece in a puzzle that brings all the other pieces into an astounding single picture that cannot be seen any other way.
Your position is an excellent one, however, and very credible. The difference being that in the interpretation we wrote more extensively about, the millenium is tied to the victory of Christ and to the defeat of paganism on earth, circumstances that have characterized the last 2000 years. It speaks to a process going on now. In the interpretation you voiced, the focus of the prophecy is moved forward to the days following the end of this world and to the new earth God will make to replace it. It speaks about a world of the future.
According to the Bible (Rv.20:6-10), that millenium (the thousand years of Christian rule) will end in a reappearance of Satan and a brief period of terrible global war as the world tries to tear the millenium to pieces and destroy the people of Christ. We see signs of that reappearance multiplying everywhere nowadays.
God, in His mercy and compassion, has seen fit to fulfill many prophecies on multiple levels of meaning, bringing truth to those visions in several varied ways.
This very well could be one of those circumstances.
I was listening to the radio today and the minister was talking about prophecy. He said that prophecy was supposed to make you feel good and if it didn't do that, it was false. What do you think about this? PL
Jesus brought down with him from heaven the Word of God, which he called "Good News". The text of his message was spectacular news. He said that we don't have to die. God had decreed that we be rescued from the jaws of death and given eternal life.
A secret city Jesus revealed, hidden in an invisible place, and bathed in perfect righteousness has been built by God to replace the wicked and dying world world we now live in, and anyone who has the faith to follow Christ's footsteps will be given full citizenship, accepted as a son of God and granted eternal life in that city. Nothing like that had ever been said before. Everyone died. And everyone knew that death was the universal fate.
Suddenly hope leaped into the world, wrapped in a message of peace, gentleness, goodness and grace. And in that hope, a joy and gladness beyond imagining. This is the message of the preachers who carry Jesus to the ends of the earth. And it is the core teaching of the prophets as well. Does it make you feel good? It should.
But a feeling of well-being or goodness only comes to those who accept the message and have deep faith in it. Those who reject Christ, or fight not to believe what they have heard, see the messages of preachers and prophets differently. It fills them with alarm and dread because they are being reminded of the terrors of this world and told that the future is going to be far worse -- the approaching days will be filled with incalculable misfortune and death, for God has decreed that sin must be judged.
Scripture has declared that every aspect of that misfortune be announced in advance by the servants of God:
"Does the trumpet sound in the city without the populace becoming alarmed? Does misfortune come to a city if God has not sent it? No more does the Lord God do anything without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:6-7)
The main body of that propecy has already been announced. Jesus and the prophets have spoken. God's plans are now clear. What remains are the fine details, and there is nothing in these details that would make an unrepentant sinner feel good. Hidden in the scriptures are enormous revelations about this earth's future that are both shocking and terrifying. That is because the devil is in the details. He has ravaged the earth and he means to ravage it more. That is why God has called us to leave by the path he has defined for us through Jesus.
For those who do follow him to his eternal city, joy and gladness will be everlasting. For those who tary, catastrophe looms like a dark and menacing cloud. So how you feel about prophecy really depends upon how you hear. As for the prophet and the preacher, their missions are defined by God. Their trumpets must clarion His message. If they say what God has told them to say, they have little leeway except to preach the truth.
Some say it right out. Others couch their words in heaven's honey. There is need for both since every child of God on earth needs to be pulled from the pit and rescued, and some are much deeper in Satan's dungeon than others. In their case, stronger words are needed. God wants no one to be lost.
For more information on this, please refer to The Clock of God, Chapter 26, "God Reveals the Future in Advance"
I was wondering if the scripture I have below could have been the prophets whom possibly wrote the scriptures of the dead sea scrolls? I'm not sure but I think these prophets were hidden in about the same area. If there is any relevancy to this, could you email me and let me know.
IKing 18:4 While Jezebel was killing off the LORD's prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.)
IKing 18:13 what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the LORD? I hid a hundred of the LORD's prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water.
Heb 11:38-40 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.
40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (NIV)
Your question concerning Jezebel and the hidden prophets with respect to the community that wrote the Essene Dead Sea Scrolls is interesting. Jezebel, however, lived at least 600 years earlier than the earliest estimates for the origin of the Essene community (the authors of the scrolls). She lived about about 850 years before Jesus was born. .
Jezebel came from the north, near Phoenecia, near the northernmost boundaries of the nation of Israel. Ahab made her queen of the northern kingdom. Her actions from the scripture you quoted revolved around the alternative northern capital of Jezreel, about 11 miles south of Nazareth. The Dead Sea scroll authors, on the other hand, lived far to the south, near the Dead Sea, in what would have then been the southern nation of Judea, a completely separate nation from the one ruled by Ahab and Jezebel. Jezebel's impact on the Essene community, therefore, is virtually nil. Too many intervening years and too much distance.
Many scholars are convinced that the Essene's were either descendants of, or closely related to the remnants of the Judean freedom fighters, the Hassideans, who, with the help of Judas Maccabees successfully defeated the occupying troops of Antiochus IV Epiphanes around 160 B.C. (that action occurred about 700 years after Jezebel died). There has been no material found in their library caves near Qumran that dates much before that time (before 160 - 200 B.C.). The desire of the Essenes for the war of the end was strong and they intended to be involved in it in a major way (as soldiers of God). But their religious focus was cultish. They shunned the Temple in Jerusalem and the entire Jewish mainstream. That is why they chose an outpost for their worship and studies far out in the wastelands of the Judean desert. Expectant of an imminent "end of the world" war, the study of prophecy dominated their writings.
It was that focus that brought them into at least a spiritual union with the prophets of Jezebel's era. So, while we cannot really see a correlation between the actions of Jezebel with respect to the Dead Sea scrolls, God has certainly used those Dead Sea authors to verify the authenticity of scripture, and therefore, the writings of the prophets who lived around Jezebel's time. Before those Qumran texts were found, all scholars had were copies of copies of copies of scripture. No one knew how authentic those copies were. They all had to be taken on faith.
But the discovery of the scrolls changed that instantly. Most of the books of the Old Testament were found there in documents that pre-dated the appearance of Jesus. These show us exactly what the writings of scripture looked like at the time of Jesus and before He came. That is what makes them so monumentally important. They VERIFY the accuracy of our scriptures -- at least to the point of Jesus. That is big! And, as you say, these verifications came out of caves and holes in the ground from people of faith. And the fulfillment of their work was not of their own, but came for the benefit of a people who arose later.
So spiritually, in them, the prophecies are fulfilled. It is not their writings, however, that turned out to be prophetic, but their fortuitous choice of a burial site to house their library. This was an act of God. He used these prophets to serve the cause of prophecy in a way they could never have forseen. Afterall, the cave repository of these texts was their trash bin. They saw scripture as too valuable to be destroyed after it was too old to be useful anymore, so they buried what they were discarding, intact in jars.
The prophets of Jezebel's time lived at the height of the prophetic movement. The 150 year period that encompassed and followed Jezebel teemed with prophets. Not just Elijah and Elisha, but Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah and Habbukuk, etc. So many important prophets rose up during this period that scholars now call it the "Great Age of Prophecy". It continued until the deportations (which began about 700 years before Christ was born). Those deportations were to form God's antecedents for the vast Christian millenium so it is quite understandable that the Holy Spirit would cover that period with a disproportionate number of powerful and inspired voices. God had raised up an eloquent and potent cadre of reporters to cover those momentous times and to show future ages why that moment in history was so much more important than others. Afterall, it was all about "Babylon" and everything that surrounded it.
Yet the promise of their writings eluded them all. They had no idea the depth of information God had secretly installed in their visions. The whole meaning of scripture and of eternal life (in Jesus) had been locked up in their words, awaiting a future moment when all the things they wrote about would be revealed by the Holy Spirit to those those who were to be the heirs of it. Thus every one of their promises and prophecies are fulfilled in us -- just as you have written.
I've been looking in on this site from time to time since
the late 90's, I expected that Y2k was going to be the start of all our
troubles:-), although I do sense that the end of time is going to be
sooner rather than later.
I've also read most of the articles and books featured on this site, but
the one issue that I feel hasn't been fully explored is.
When the end of time gets tough, when Christians must run to the
mountains to survive, the mark of the beast is introduced, and the beast
is about to rise, the one thing that worries me is how much pain and
suffering will be inflicted on the remaining Christians? There are
indications of disasters, torture, and not being able to buy food
without the mark, do you think this will be inflicted on Christians as
well? It is my biggest fear if these times are indeed close that I and
my family will have to go through a horrendous time before the end of
the world passes.
It may not happen in my lifetime or my children's lifetime but some sort
of idea as to what to expect would be helpful P.S.
We live in a time of diminishing Christian influence in the world. It is that influence that has brought compassion, gentleness and selfless love into the world and spread those philosophies everywhere. As those qualities have begun to disappear, the peace generated by their influence is disintegrating with them. The secularizing processes are bringing a far harsher protocol into society. So the answer to your question is yes, the times ahead will be worse than those just past (which already have to quantified as the most vicious in the history of mankind). And, yes, Christians will not only share in those persecutions, but Jesus said they will actually be the focus of many of them as well. The immediate military terrors associated with these worsening times will be far more evident in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia (even in South America) than in the United States. But U.S. soldiers will be called into these actions as they occur. The prophecies concerning the "ships of Kittim" testify to this. In the end, however, no nation will be spared the final blows.
Jesus said that the whole world will turn against Christians and persecute them bitterly. His prophecies, which you have quoted from, are explicitly stated in the 24th chapter of the Book of Matthew, as well as in other books ot the New Testament.
The last century brought unimaginable horrors into this world and you were born into those times and have lived your whole life in those times. It will be the same with your children as well. And as it happened with the times just past, it will worsen dramatically but almost imperceptibly for them, looking for all the world like a normal but unfortunate progression of society. And as with most, your children likely will little note the magnitude of the changes taking place before their eyes, or realize that there was a recent time immensly different -- a time of active and powerful world-wide Christian conscience to temper such violence and evil. The changes go far deeper than just having Christmas decorations commemorating the peace of Christ removed from the streets of American cities in December. There is a growing and concerted effort to discredit and stamp out the entire philosophy of Christ as well in the hope that such actions will empower political correctness. Peace is being taken away, so there can be no peace.
In the years ahead, love will disappear almost completely from the planet, ebbing away with the the last vestiges of Christ's influence on mankind. When this atmosphere of desolation and enmity reaches a certain point, the beast will make his appearance, spurred into existance by all the anger and hatred enveloping the populations. A detailed prophetic account of those days may be found in the Psalms. See the 11th Psalm and especially, the 74th Psalm.
Up to a certain point, the time period for these events is conditional. Therefore it cannot be predicted. If a large body of people pray and convert their lives, the worst times will be forestalled. If the opposite happens, these events will arrive ahead of schedule.
But as we have seen in the progression of past events over the last 100 years, time seems to have been speeded up. There have been unimaginable changes over the last 30 years that have overturned two millenium's of previous tradition. These rapid changes show that in the worst-case scenario, it can all happen overnight. We pray that more time be given so that today's children can learn of Christ and His offer of eternal life, but many others need to add their prayers to this petition as well. The greater number of heartfelt prayers God receives about this, the more distant will lie the worst of the travails.
What do you think about this? Nostradamus predictions about New York City concerning it's two towers?
The quotations you referred to have turned out to be a hoax. They were recently distributed over the internet. (For more information, see Nostradamus footnote).
The prophecies of scripture (prophecies which come from God) are far more accurate and compelling than those of astrologers. For instance, the Book of Revelation has far more accurately depicted the New York events than even the hoax referred to above (see Rev. Chapter 18).
Nostradamus can be examined only in retrospect. The Bible, on the other hand, tells us a future which can be foreseen and prepared for. It has a purpose. Not only does it prophesy correctly, it saves lives in the process. That is what comes from God. Prophecy which saves. And that is why the review and broadcast of God's prophecies are so important. In Nostradamus there is nothing important. His words are simply curious. They lead nowhere.
It is essential in these times that Christians do not put their faith in deceptive signs and portents. We must stick with the Bible. Paul wrote that Satan will produce great signs on earth during these times:
"...there will be all kinds of miracles and a deceptive show of signs and portents, and everything evil that can deceive those who are bound for destruction because they would not grasp the love of the truth which could have saved them." -2 Thess.2:9-10.
The barren ground of Nostradamus predictions is just one of the many kinds of deceptive signs and portents Paul spoke about.
The world has just witnessed a pivotal historic event. War has been declared on the United States in an attack reminiscent of Pearl Harbor. Its reverberations will be felt for years to come -- until the End actually. Not only for the attack on New York, but for the hostilities which will follow it. Those events, the Bible tells us, beyond this war, include a great many other conflicts and at least two major "world" wars, still in the future. They also include the terrible tribulation. This chronology has been defined in the 11th chapter of Daniel as well as in many other locations in the Bible.
Daniel has written that the last days will begin with 2 wars -- the west and east will face each other twice in the Middle East. Both times, the west will win. The first of these conflicts seems to have been the Gulf War. The second, predicted to be larger, has just started (See Second War footnote).
We have been witness to a recent and catastrophic decline of faith in the world. Not just in America, but across the whole breadth of the planet. In prophesy, Paul has referred to this collapse as the 'great revolt' (2 Thess.2:3).
Yet a huge wave of faith followed the catastrophe we have just witnessed, showing that faith was there all the time. It was simply hidden from view, driven into seclusion by smaller forces.
If we are the 'Kittim' of the prophecies (Dan.11:30), which seems, now inevitable, then the 'islands of the sea' where faith will reign alone when God says "Enough!" (Isaiah 24:14-16) is the United States. The faith we see now, this re-commitment to faith, can propel us into that configuration just as certainly as it's other reverberations will help align the enemies of God into their biblical destinies as well. From the time of the first world war and Lawrence of Arabia we have been witness to that global realignment -- watching in total amazement and disbelief its evolution.
As significant as the attack on New York was, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, around which so many of scripture's prophecies revolve, is even greater. A sleepy little village, buried in the isolation of world disinterest only 100 years ago according to the writings of Mark Twain, it has incredibly grown into the hub of the world universe today, and all the nations are gathering around it in preparation for what is to come.
And we know what is to come because the prophecies of scripture have informed us in advance. No post mortem prophesies here. We know in advance so we can take action. And the mechanism of that action is salvation.
I'm sorry if I am not much for words right now, but I'm sure you've seen the horrific tragedies in New York and Virginia today. (Are there) any direct prophecies in the book of Revelations (concerning this event)? And if so, do you believe that it could be the driving force that would put us in a second war in the middle east? -R
That is a very good question. It seems now, on retrospect, to be one of the pivotal events chronicled in the prophecies concerning the last days (Rev.18:1-24). (see "the Towers of Babylon").
With respect to the second war (in the prophecy of the two horns of the ram), the president's declaration of war in that theatre has initiated the second war. It has already begun. So, yes, the attack on New York has to be considered the driving force that propelled the United States and its allies into a second Middle Eastern war.
Daniel has written that troops from the west will retaliate against a militant east on two separate occasions, both times crossing the earth without touching the ground. Both circumstances, said Daniel, will be successful as far as the west is concerned. The particulars of why and how the east draws the west into these two confrontations is not specified in his writings, but together they introduce the world to the spiral staircase of prophecies (outlined by Daniel) that lead the world to God's judgement. (See footnote)
The timing of this attack is relevant as well. We have barely entered the 'third day', the millenium in which Christ is prophesied to return. As scripture has revealed, Christ's return will be early in that third day.
Those who have tarried in their repentance and conversion to God through Jesus should take careful note of what is happening and all these prophecies. There is still time for repentance, but it is rapidly drawing to a close. Getting in before the gates close should be the singular goal of everyone who still finds themselves outside.
Is Osama bin Laden the beast? LJ
Hopefully not. We pray that bin Laden is only a precursor (of the beast) lying within a broader spectrum of Daniel's prophecies. That would certainly buy the world more time for conversion into God's offer of eternal life. However, his appearance and actions do mirror a profile that eerily mimics Daniel's description of the beast:
"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. 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 his stratgems against fortresses -- for a time." (Dan. 11:21-24).
Many of those statements appear fulfilled in bin Laden. He certainly is a 'wretch'; he started small; he has risen to power through intrigue; he is at war against the House of Israel; he seems to have taken control of his first country (Afghanistan); his actions of terror must be quantified as treacherous; he is in the right place (Media-Persia) at almost the right time; he voices a religious philosophy (a mix of shiite & militant Moslimism that incorporates the unusual elements of terrorism, sex, and cash) and which is dramatically different from that of his Saudi ancestors (peaceful Sunni's); and he has distributed much of that money in large quantities among his militia.
In his future actions he may or may not be successful against armies, routing them, or rise to head a large kingdom. Yet, in every other way, he seems to be a carbon copy of the madman of the last days. It is hard to see someone come who could be worse.
We know that this second war will be much more difficult than the first (the Gulf War). How hard or long the battles will last are unknown. It seems inevitable, given the sweeping presence of his militia across many areas of the Moslim world, that this will be a very difficult and protracted war. But his timing is off just a bit. There are too many prophecies yet to be fulfilled.
Daniel said that the beast will rise up out of one of the four empires that spring to life shortly after the United States (i.e., western Democracy) rules the world following its victories in two spectacular wars against the forces of the East (the second of these two wars being the largest). This has not happened yet.
That tells us that bin Laden will be defeated.
There can be no doubt at this point that we have entered into the final days. Simply being able to understand what Daniel was talking about informs us of that. Daniel was a sealed book, securely locked by God's order until the last days had arrived.
The rebuilding of Jerusalem confirms the last days beyond any doubt. Where in that sequence we find ourselves today cannot be didactically stated, however. We pray that we are not yet beyond the point of the second war in Daniel's chronology of Dn.8:5-7. We will know the answer to that if western forces are finally able to defeat the extensive militia of bin Laden. If the west does not win, then we might well assume that bin Laden is the catastrophe of the world. In that case, the opportunity for repentance and conversion are virtually over.
Do you think that the passage in the Book of Revelation about the burning city refers to the recent disaster in New York City? -MD
Absolutely! The signal is unmistakeable. It is the definitive sign -- God telling the world that the time has come to complete His judgment of Babylon. Scripture tells us that God withheld His hand in mercy to allow a time for repentance, but with the caveat that it would not last long. That is why Christ's call to repentance has been so urgent.
This same prophecy appears in another format with the Bible's statement that God would allow two days for washing and cleaning, but on the third day, the Lord would appear personally before the eyes of the world. We entered that fateful third day on January first of this year. It did not take long for God to make manifest what the future holds.
New York, (see footnote), especially its financial district, is the hub of all the traders on earth. It stands as a glowing symbol of Babylon and of the healing of the mortal wound. Allowing this city and financial district to be laid to waste in such utter destruction, God has put the world on notice. The time has come for Babylon's demise. The world will never be the same again (Rev. 18:14).
To be able to watch almost 2 pages of the Bible's Book of Revelation fulfilled before our eyes in such a dramatic instant stands as a testament to the fulcrum of change that has just transpired..
Doomed within a single hour, and with the smoke of its burning visible to everyone in the world (Rev.18:18), there can be little question that the judgment of God is about to begin. (See the Towers of Babylon)
Is this the end of the world? -CS
Many prophecies are still yet to happen.
In speaking about the last days, Jesus sent us into the Book of Daniel. The manner in which he did this illustrated the way in which we must understand Daniel's vision and writings. Daniel said that his words were sealed until the time of the end. That statement categorically defines the Book of Daniel as a prophetic chronology of the last days. The fact that we are now seeing his words come to life in our own time, shows that we are living in a pivotal and terminal stage of history (see footnote).October 14, 2001
Did God destroy the trade towers? Couldn't God have stopped it? LK
God did not destroy the buildings in New York, nor did He order it done. God had no part in their destruction. They were brought down by terrorists: muslim extremests.
Yes, God could have prevented their fall. That is what prayer is all about.
Prayer is the only power that man has to move God to override free will. But the government of the United States has engaged in a long, successful and concerted effort to eliminate prayer by removing it from every aspect of public life! On all levels: local, city, state and national. That includes schools, courts, parks, and public property of every kind.
Prayer is what gives God the power to act on our behalf. By ordering it taken away, the government has left itself completely vulnerable to its enemies. It is our wall of personal and national defense and they have torn it down.
Even more damaging is the message their actions have sent to our school children and to the U.S. citizens. They portray prayer not just as something illegal, but as an evil. That is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
The most respectable potentates in our society have, in effect (for years now) denigrated prayer and God (particularly the God of Christianity) by portraying them as images of bigotry and irrelevance as far as the important institutions of education and public life are concerned. Most educators today see prayer as something that needs to be stamped out in the name of the public good.
The argument in favor of the destruction of prayer in this country revolves around the constitution. The courts have consistently ruled in a way that shows that they believe the constitution is above God. Perforce, no prayer. Perforce, no defense.
Their actions are outside of God's consent. It is written in the Psalms:
"You never consent to that corrupt tribunal
that imposes disorder as law,
that takes the life of the virtuous
and condemns the innocent to death." (Ps.94:20-21).
The highest tribunal in our country has imposed as law rulings against prayer that are against the order of God, and which, in their implementation have led to immense disorder. Moreover, it is a disorder only beginning (see "The Towers of Babylon").
Did innocent people die when the trade centers collapsed? Of course. Thousands of innocent people died. Could prayer have prevented this disaster? Of course.
"If the Lord does not build the house,
in vain the masons toil;
If God does not guard the city,
in vain the sentries watch." (Ps.127:1).
How can you say that New York City is more evil than any other city in the world?
New York City is only a symbol. It is not more evil. What New York City represents is the capitol city of the world. This is the exact label given to it in a joint news conference held on the 23rd of this month at the U.S. Department of Justice. Appearing there with U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, the German Foreign Minister, Otto Schily said that the city of New York has to be considered the world capitol because the United Nations is headquartered in that city. He went on to say that New York City was the most international city in the world. It's symbolism as the capitol of Babylon, therefore, goes without saying.
The attack against New York City signalled the devastation of MAMMON. It has wrung down the curtain on a worldwide orgy of wealth
A handful of bandits armed with box cutters and perhaps a few Petri dishes have brought the financial empire of the whole world community to its knees. They have devastated not just New York City but the entire global economy. A seeming nobody thug in a remote cave with a small band of negligibly armed followers has toppled everything thought to be invincible even to the world's greatest armies. And he has done it almost with mirrors. So fast. So easy. His diabolical cleverness has left the world speechless. The impact of his actions have turned the world into an armed camp and that consequence cannot be reversed.
The Book of Daniel describes the incipient beginnings of the beast in terms whose likeness seems uncannily like those we are watching blossom here. We would hope that he is a symbol of the man to come and not the 8th beast himself, i.e., a warning that the Devastator is on the way, putting the world on notice. Prophecy seems to indicate the current man and circumstance is preliminary to the ultimate madman to come. But we will have to wait and see how God allows this terrifying moment to play itself out. Prayer is essential because scripture implicitly states that righteousness preserves empires while evil-doing brings them to ruin.
The symbolism of New York, however is too timely and momentous to be anything but the actual fulfillment of scripture's prophecies describing the initial crises in Babylon's judgment. The gallows (Jerusalem) has been erected and the circuit judge is now on His way. The signal is absolute.
The issue, of course, is not the physical loss of the financial heart of the city, that can be rebuilt. It is the implication of that loss that is so sobering. It signals the beginning of the pre-ordained sentence (Psalm 149). It signals the end of the peace treaty that Christ made with the nations.
One thing for certain, though, no matter how bad it gets, the United States will remain strong enough to openly combat the beast until the final conflagration. Prophecy is clear on this.
It is not the government of this country that God has looked favorably on, but the faith emanating from its citizens. As long as enough citizens pray and stay faithful to God, He will block the madness from tearing this country to pieces almost until the final hour. It is like in the days of Lot when God came to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. God told Abraham He would allow those cities to live if Abraham could find just 10 righteous men in them. Abraham was unable to do this. (Gen.18:23-33).
But the upwelling of prayer in this country following the events of September 11th indicate that more than enough people with faith are still here.
Where is Jovan in the bible, or what does he do? Could you tell me where Jovan is, or what he does? JAB
Javan is another name for Greece. Spiritually, in prophecy, it stands for the Western World as it relates to the nations of the East. It is the "Greece" against which the kings of the East will amass their forces in the last-day prophecy sequence described by Daniel (Dn.11:3).
According to biblicial prophecies, which city or nation is consider to be Babylon of this millenium? I'm confused with the Babylon which is in the "THE TOWERS OF BABYLON" RA
Babylon is a country in the ancient world that was later spiritualized by prophecy in the Bible as symbolizing the ruling empire of the pagan world. It came to signify any empire in any age that ruled the world in opposition to the teachings of the God of the House of Israel.
At the end of time this symbolic "Babylon" is to be attacked by the kings of the East. That attack (which has already begun) will ultimately bring both the kings of the East and Babylon to ruin (according to scripture).
Thus the entire world is divided into 3 spiritual parts, the people of God, Babylon and the kings of the East.
I am a (university) sophomore. I am currently taking a 'Religion in the United States' class. The topic we are discussing right now is the millenium. We are to write a paper on it, and our beliefs. I was reading your website, but I still don't think that I fully understand all of the aspects of the millennium. My main question is what are some of the aspects of American life and culture that cause millennial groups to be more popular in the U.S. than in any other country. I would greatly appreciate any information you could email me on this. Thank you very much for your time. JE
The United States is predominately Protestant. Not overwhelmingly, of course, but predominantly. Protestants focus their entire belief system on the Bible. They put little stock in revealed doctrines. The fast-growing fundamentalist branch of Protestantism is convinced that the world is going to come to an end very soon even though a great many of their predictions for its demise have come and gone without incident. Despite these failures, the fundamentalist branch of Protestantism remains convinced that God is returning any day now. As a part of that conviction they have evolved theological premises (some quite elaborate) surrounding this eschatology. One of these involves the millenium. The concept of the 'millenium' comes from the Book of Revelation. It is taken from a single sentence in that book that says Christ will rule the world for a thousand years.
Outside of the United States, the Christianity of the rest of the world is predominately a combination of eastern and western orthodoxy (Roman, Greek, Russian, etc.). Along with Anglicans and Methodists and to a lesser extent, some of the more traditional branches of Protestantism (Lutherans, etc), these groups hold to a theology of "triumphalism" which teaches that the rule of Christ on earth is spiritual and ongoing -- that it is already here. They forsee no end. It is a sort of 'steady-state' theology which holds that each Christian must meet the end of the world in his or her own life, but that the world itself will go on perpetually for the foreseeable future without end.
There is truth on both sides, of course, but to address your question, the fundamentalists virtually control the religious airways of this country (only because it is in their nature to be much more vocal, and in the nature of those who preach triumphalism in the United States to conduct their worship quietly). Consequently, even though most of the world attaches to a theology that is quite different as far as the end of the world is concerned, this country sees its airways and bookstores bombarded by a constant stream of millenial teachings.
Millenialism hedges the bet concerning the end of the world. The Bible teaches an end of the world followed by an eternal kingdom in heaven. But in millenialism, the fundamentalists see the end of the world forestalled by a thousand-year period that is physical. The end of the world comes, but the world does not end.
Last day wars will come, but they will be physical and Christians will take to the battlefields and Jesus will come down to lead them to victory and then set up a thousand-year kingdom on this earth. World orthodoxy, on the other hand, sees this as a spiritual event, long in progress -- i.e., a spiritual warfare between good and evil on a battlefield of our own souls, where the rule of Christ can be seen in the victory of the Church over secularism. To the orthodox, it is all spiritual. Millenialists, however, see a physical war not yet fought.
Today we can vividly see a world spinning itself toward the kind of Amageddon scripture propounds. That end is coming with such breakneck speed that it is becoming increasingly difficult not to take the prophecies of scripture seriously which argue a global end. We have discussed those prophecies in great detail on this website. However, some of the theories propounded by last-day fundamentalists must be viewed with caution. They are mostly American views, not world views. And they often have little or no sound theological or biblical doctrine to back them up.
Scripture is clear that the world is going to end. Not just our lives, but the planet itself. And it is equally clear that Jesus intends to replace this world with a new kingdom of life in the heavens. There are hundreds of passages in scripture which testify to both of these circumstances. But a half-way house forestalling that inevitable outcome is far from certain. There is only one sentence in all of scripture that even alludes obliquely to such a moratorium, a sentence the rest of the world sees fulfilled in the Christian nature of the rule of Western Civilization.
The Bible teaches that the kingdom of heaven is eternal. There are no time-restraints. No 'thousand years'. In Christ, eternal life is forever. When Christ returns, the kingdom He will take us to will be in heaven and it will never end.
I'm brand new to Bible prophecy and am very interested in it now. I was wondering when you thought Satan was released from the Abyss? I feel this is very important because this is the pivotal event to the beginning of the end times. My thought is he was let out in the WWII era. What do you think? I also believe that God said enough on Sept. 11.
"Now I stand up,' says God 'now I rise to my full height. You have conceived chaff, you will give birth to straw, my breath shall devour you like fire...you who are far away, listen to what I have done, and you who are near, realize my strength'." (Is.33:10-13).
This is why: Counting backwards 70 years from Sept. 11, 2001 ('God's 70 year reprieve' as I think you stated) brings us to 1931. Maybe you could explain the 70 year thing to me in greater detail, if you would.
Historians say that the invasion of Manchuria (Manchukuo) by the Japanese on Sept. 18, 1931 was the event that set in motion WWII (Also declared in the 1931 US foreign policy report)
A side note: 1931 was also the year that the hydrogen isotope Deuterium was discovered. The main ingredient in fusion (Atomic) bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the heavy water in nuclear reactors and used in thermo-nuclear weapons of today.
I don't know why I feel this is so important, but it sure is exciting to see all the prophecy unfold!
Also, what other prophecies are left to unveil before the final judgement day? GD
I have no idea when Satan was released. But that it has already occurred seems now to be certain. There were so many mammoth happenings throughout the 20th century, it is really difficult to say exactly when. You could just about pick anything from World War 1 on. The Book of Revelation says that when he comes out he will mobilize the world for war. World war is a concept unknown to all previous generations, but it happened twice in the last century -- almost three times, in fact.
Your choice and reasons for 1931 are interesting. I have no idea on this. The appearance of Hitler seemed to mimic the beast, and in a way he was that madman because he is almost certainly the short-reigning seventh head in the Book of Revelation (see 'The Beast of Berlin"). It would seem likely that the beast was already here in person to infuse him with that particular evil unknown on earth since Nero. Stalin, too, and just about the same time-frame.
1931 fits pretty well with the subsequent actions of these two. Stalin was elevated to head Russia after the death of Lenin in 1924 and after a time became as Hitler did, murderous beyond comprehension. Hitler took power in Germany in 1933. Between them, they murdered untold millions of people and plunged the world into a warfare that has continued to flare to the present time. An early date in the 20th century would be a good guess.
For my whole life I have heard of 'the mark of the beast' - I've heard so much speculation on this from a tattoo on your forehead and/or on your right hand to a implanted computer chip.
"He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666" (Rev. 13:16-18).
I always worried about this in the end time. I would say stuff like, "I'm never going to let anybody tatoo me or put a chip in me, never" I know, I know, so nieve!
But for some reason this came to me today, so I thought I would ask your opinion on what you thought about it. This passage is written in a symbolic/poetic sense for the last days (matter of fact, for your whole life). People will be 'marked' by sin either on there forehead (marked by their evil thoughts) or on their right hands (marked by their physical sinful actions or ways, right not left meaning 'righteousness') I believe God is pointing out to us that you must have clean thoughts as well as maintain a sinless physical life. (that's the part I have trouble with in my life :) GD
I think your thoughts are correct. The mark of God is baptism and it is physical, but it represents a massive spiritual change that is the overriding and significant aspect of the mark. Satan's mark must have the same implications, but in reverse. It cannot be a casual branding. It has to involve a didactic spiritual intent to reject God and follow Satan instead (see "The Beast and his Mark").
Will the world end this year or will it last into the next?
Despite all the signs now unfolding, and the rapidity of their appearances, there are probably many years before the world ends as far as the earth itself is concerned. For each of us, however, the world effectively ends when we die. That can happen today. We must prepare ourselves for this second alternative because it involves a date that may be much closer.
The global end of the world involves many predictions which still have not come to pass. Each of these must occur before the actual day occurs (see "Prelude to Eternity").
I am a Jew and a Christian..I am interested in finding out what tribe I
am from...any suggestions? MT
While most of the tribes of Israel are scattered spiritually throughout the human race, one tribe is also known genetically, That tribe is the Jews. Because you follow Christ, you are most certainly a member of the Jewish tribe. Not only that, but you are a member of the Jewish branch of the House of Israel (the House of Israel has only two branches). Of course we are all one in Christ. The tribal designations seem to avail prophecy more than they do a future dilineation in the kingdom of God, but that both will be held in great honor after the Day of Judgment seems fairly certain.
Please explain why the Jewish religion does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God...our salvation. LF
Paul said that the Jews were made blind by God on purpose for the sake of the rescue of the pagans.
After the disappearance of ten of the twelve tribes of Israel into the pagan world, the Jewish leaders decided that they were sole heirs to God's grace. They initiated a theological change that made it impossible for the other ten tribes to be reattached to the House of Israel under any circumstances. That created an impasse which God had to overcome if He wanted to rescue those lost tribes.
He accomplished that rescue in the appearance and religion of Jesus Christ which imposed a temporary blindness on those who would otherwise have blocked divine design. Once the whole pagan world has been rescued (we are almost there), the scales of blindness will fall from the eyes of the House of Judah and they will be reunited with God and with the brotherhood (and sisterhood) they were so certain was lost.
Hello, I was wondering if you could help me with the definitions of ( AD and BC). My 9yr old son is confused, and so am I, about the true definitions of what we always were taught to be "after death- before Christ". We seem to have a social studies teacher at my son's school that has dome research on the subject of time-lines and is telling the class that our definitions are incorrect. Please help, I have been unable to find any definitions myself. Thanks for your time. V
According to Websters dictionary, A.D. refers to "anno Domini". It is Latin and stands for "in the year of the Lord". It is used to indicate that a time division that falls within the Christian era.
Websters dictionary states that B.C. stands for "before Christ".
I have just finished reading your "Book of Revelation, Part 2, Trumpets and Visions". It tells of Satan pulling a third of heaven's angels down to earth "before" Adam and Eve. Most commentators are saying this is part of John's prophecy which was to come "hereafter". they say that Satan did this during the Jewish Tribulation or will yet occur during the Last days Tribulation. Are there any other references that will help clarify this? WW.
What you have asked about involves some of the deepest mysteries of prophecy. It is an area of much speculation because the scripture detailing it has some baffling components of great moment.
Satan's presence on earth has been continuous since the creation. His presence in heaven, however ceased when God tossed him and his angels out. That event occurred before the Jewish tribulation.
The most descriptive prophecy in scripture concerning Satan's eviction from heaven is the account found in the Book of Revelation, chapter 12.
It implies that the eviction of Satan (and his angels) from heaven revolves around the birth of Jesus. That would place Satan's eviction near the year one.
If the statements there about Satan and Jesus are taken literally, however, then the details concerning the woman mentioned in the same verses has to be taken literally as well (i.e., a glorified virgin Mary). Taken literally, those verses deify her (See Rev.12:1). That, of course, is theologically untenable. God has powerfully moved us to understand that the Holy Spirit is the third part of the diety (the third Person of the Trinity), not Mary.
This forces us to look deeper into the vision. Obviously it shows the huge esteem in which Mary is held in heaven, but it also indicates to us that this account must be examined in a spiritual context as well as a literal one. In other words, it is both literal and allegorical. In one way they are the same, but in another, quite different.
Literally Jesus was born in Bethlehem. But the Gospel states that He was with God from the beginning. His original birth, then, occurred a very long time before He came to Bethlehem. In other words, long before this world was created. In fact, the first chapter of John's Gospel states that Jesus Himself was deeply involved in this worlds creation. Mary in Bethlehem was not involved in the pre-existance of Jesus; at least we have nothing to indicate that she was. So the vision is presenting us with details that are spiritual and, at the same time, perplexing.
Some see the image of Mary presented there as representing the mother Church: i.e., the covenant which Old Testament prophecy describes as the first wife of God.
Like the wife Vashti in the story of Esther, that first spouse was turned out when she refused to attend the banquet given by the king. Esther replaced her. The symbolism is prophecy -- a prediction of the New Covenant replacing the old after the guardians of the first covenant refused the communion offering of Jesus.
Examining the prophecy of Chapter 12 in that context, then, the events are dateless and wrapped in mystery.
Death does not exist in heaven. To be, for this God created all. It was Satan's jealousy and revolt that created death. For that reason we know that wherever there is death, there is Satan. The studies of astronomy have revealed that death extends to the ends of our known universe (the limits of an area constituting the lowest of the three 'heavens' mentioned by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians -2 Cor.12:1-4; 2 Peter 3:5-7).
For this reason it seems likely that the "heaven" which Satan was thrown out of was not our own physical sky. Just the reverse. Cast out of the second of the three 'heavens' revealed by Paul, Satan and his angels seem to have been thrust down INTO our physical creation and jailed there.
They will ever get out of it. Scripture tells us that Satan and this world are hurtling toward a similar fate. Both are to be destroyed. Jesus was very clear in telling us that it is US God is removing. We are being rescued and taken to a safe place that only exists beyond this world.
The fact that Satan (death) exists everywhere in our known universe implies that his corruption of mankind (and God's angels) happened before the creation of this world took place. Our physical universe was created with death as an integral aspect of its existance. The ubiquitous presence of death throughout this world (throughout this universe) is a certain indication that it came into existence after Satan's revolt; and most likely, because of it. But before Adam and Eve.
A universe in which death is a part of its creation implies that this world was brought into being in response to Satan's wickedness; that it was made solely for the purpose of God's rescue of the souls Satan took prisoner when he revolted against God, i.e., it has no other reason for existance.
One thing is certain, Satan is not in heaven now. Nor was he there at any time during the Jewish tribulation. Satan's eviction from heaven must have occurred before Christ began to preach because when Jesus taught us to pray He included in His example of prayer the following sentence: "(May) thy will be done on earth as it IS in heaven". Obviously evil (Satan & his influence) had been removed from heaven at a time previous to this prayer. Therefore it had to happen at a time prior to the Jewish tribulation.
It certainly is not a future event.
It is logical to assume that Satan's eviction from heaven occurred at the moment the venues changed (at the time of the flood). The flood is a decisive and graphic portrayal of divine battle -- retribution against Satan and sin. It shows God's declaration of war on Satan and all his works.
Like a thousand hydrogen bombs, the flood was a cataclysmic event. In its devastating wake all life on earth was extinguished except for that contained on the ark. It constituted a unique event in creation. But, we have been divinely informed that it was only the first blow.
Out of that destruction, and because of Noah's ark, creation was made anew so that Christ could effect God's rescue. This, in advance of the launch of a predicted second and totally mortal assault on Satan and his world by God -- the world-ending battle.
Was this earth created in the aftermath of a precursory spiritual flood even greater than that which we traditionally and physically accept? The spiritual corallary proposes an earth and sky being made anew in similar fashion and for the same purpose, but earlier.
That would give meaning to death's ubiquitous presence in the universe of stars and planets that lie scattered around us. If true, it would help explain some very mysterious things.
Especially, the perplexing enigma of salvation's border.
A fundamental Christian revelation holds that man was separated from God by 'original sin' (caused by Satan's revolt). Salvation, we have learned, was impossible as long as this original sin remained in place. Jesus removed that mortal stain from our souls. According to a basic tenant of Christianity, that freedom not only applied to those who have heared and turned to Christ since his appearance on earth, but encompassed as well the people of the past. In other words, the elimination of original sin by Jesus not only reached forward, but backward as well, allowing Jesus to save not only those in front of Him, but those behind Him as well.
However, there is a limitation to that backward reach. Scripture shows that a dividing line exists that separated one group of past people from the others, and it proved an impenetrable wall to retrospective salvation. Peter addresses this barrier in his first letter. He shows that the flood which destroyed the earlier world fundamentally separated one generation of mankind from another.
Proving this, Peter said that Christ had to descend into Hades to preach to that other generation of people. This revelation (accepted by almost every Christian on earth) holds that He did this during His tenure in the tomb (between the time of His crucifixion & resurrection). Peter specifically singles out the people prior to the flood as those involved in this separate preaching (1 Peter 3:19-20).
Such a division in the physical world is difficult to explain, but if that division separates two different kind of worlds, physical and spiritual, the contrast is much easier to comprehend.
It gives us further reason to suspect that the flood existed in two parts, one spiritual and the other physical, with the latter being a divine allegory of the first. But this is only prophetic speculation based on some mysterious elements presented in the prophecies themselves. Until we are present with God and are told, we will not know.
Jesus said that everything (every prophecy) written about Him will be revealed before the world ends. For this reason mysterious prophecies need to be explored in print even though they are abstruse or seem outlandish. The mere publication of such possiblilities has the capacity to fulfill Christ's prediction.
The interpretations I have published are not absolutes, nor are they intended to be. They are intended as 'possible' interpretations using the methods of analysis described on our website. It is these "tools" that are important. They show us how the writers of the New Testament used the various prophecies of scripture to prove the truth of Jesus and the divine architecture of creation, so that the same criteria can be applied by Bible students today to help come to credible understandings of scripture's revelations.
There are thousands of interpretations of scripture floating around the Christian world which are built on no prophetic data at all; many, in fact, that contradict scriptural prophecy altogether. That is why we have to depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance in all matters of instruction. Paul wrote, in that regard, that we should "keep to what is written".
Some limitations to understanding, of course, are divine. Jesus told his disciples that some visions have to remain secret because "they are too much for us now" (John 16:12). For this reason, we have to focus on the things He allows us to understand and trust in God on those that remain enigmatic.
For this reason, we must also take into account the relative importance of prophecy in the Bible.
While it is possible that the deepest mysteries of creation are all contained in the symbolism of scripture's metaphore, much of it lies hidden behind inscrutable veils,. The most salient information however -- the information God wants us to know most emphatically (i.e., the facts critical to our salvation) -- lies very close to the surface.
Jesus saw to it that it was spelled out very clearly, so that no matter who looked, the answers would be there for them. Prophecy acts as "proofs" to these more fundamental revelations. While they expand our view, understanding these deeper revelations doesn't necessarily make us better Christians. For that we need go no farther than the commandments spoken by Jesus.
I have a question about one of your answers. I am confused about the woman in chapter 12 of Revelations. Who do you say she is? AN
We have dedicated an entire chapter to this vision in 'The Last Days of Babylon', chapter 18, "The Woman and the Dragon".
The most widely accepted interpretation is that the vision describes heavenly Jerusalem, the spiritual mother of the children of God. Her first child is Jesus, the first-born Son. The city is highly glorified by God and by everyone else in heaven, but of itself, it is not a part of the Godhead. She is the new creation, the new Jerusalem God is building in heaven. We are all her children (all who are judged worthy of eternal life).
On the other hand, there is a 'first' mother (often described allegorically in scripture as the 'first wife') which is the creation that this world represents. It is a doomed architecture because of its contamination by sin. It is being replaced by the new mother, the 'second wife' of scripture's allegories.
For anyone to leave our current dying creation and be admitted to the new Jerusalem, they must be 'born again' -- reborn into it through the new spiritual birthing process described by Jesus. To be 'born again' is the only way this transformation can take place.
Where this world was physical, the new creation is spiritual. That does not mean that it is nebulous and without substance. It simply means that it is being created in a new form that we do not yet understand; and that when we are in it we will all still have bodies, but their nature will be different than those we have now. In fact, those who have been baptised in Christ all have these bodies now, secretly building within them. That is why Paul said that the same process that has created us anew in Christ, has caused us all to die to our old physical bodies and to the physical world (the first creation).
In other words, if we have been baptised, that transformation of bodies has already taken place invisibly within us.
It is for that reason, Paul said, that we must nurture this new infant growing body within us by keeping the commandments which are the substance of the spiritual food that allows that new body to grow up within us to health, insuring eternal life.
Since it was the Holy Spirit's decision that Mary, Jesus' earthly mother, should represent this new creation by allegory, her image, as well, has been glorified. For this reason, those who hate her, do so at considerable risk. The Holy Spirit fixed her in the image of the vision by directing the Gospels to specify a virgin birth, defining Jesus' earthly inception in the singularity of Mary.
-In Christ Jesus,
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