Those who have read the other papers such as “Rapture raptured” on www.gospel-truth.co.za, will recognize some duplication in this paper. The sections that are repeated here is an attempt to make it more convenient for the reader of this discussion.
Listen to Jesus: “ At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank You, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and clever and learned, and revealed them to babes. Yes Father, such was your gracious will and good pleasure.” (Mt 11:25-26, Ampl)
Further, we find a reason why Jesus would have given John (closest to Jesus, Jn 21:20) the revelation on Patmos, and why it would have to do with Jesus’ mission. We read in Mt 11:27, “ All things are delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son will reveal Him.” (MKJV).
Then, the reader will benefit from digesting the continuation of this part of Jesus’ teaching in Mt 13:9-52; it explains how God’s kingdom works. Note verses 41-43, but also 44-46 about His Love for us.
Furthermore, take note of Jesus’ consistent reference to “their” temple (synagogue built by Solomon), for example Mt 12:7-9;13:54 and compare this to Acts 7:48; 26:17-18 (Paul just re-born). This is important and will become clear when we later on, look at the city of Rev 21. (It is expanded on in the paper “Church”).
Jesus’ words (Mt 11:25-26) quoted above, should give us a hint to not try and make something fanciful and confusing out of His revelation to John on Patmos, for it is not the way God works! Please read the paper “Apparent Controversies in The Bible” on www.gospel-truth.co.za to see how true this is).
So, even logic would dictate that, for instance, if we feel confused about the seven angels, wrath’s, trumpets, and want to find out whether it has happened or must still happen or which of them have been fulfilled as prophecies; then it would be more clear to start with the last, not so? If the last (seventh) has happened, then numbers six to one must also be fulfilled – agreed?
As far as the “trumpets” are concerned, suffice for now, to point out that “trumpet” here refers to an announcement, proclamation or message as for example Is 58:1; Mt 3:11 (Jn 1:29; Rom 8:2-4; 9:4-8,25-26); Lk 1:31-33,37,69-70 (Rev 5:10); Rev 1:10;4:1; 8:13; 9:14; especially Jn 19:30 (Rev 16:17) and so on.
Now look at Rev 15:1. It clearly says that all these [groups of seven signs as warnings of ominous significance] and “There were seven angels bringing seven plagues (afflictions), which are the last, for with them God’s wrath is completely expressed [reaches its climax and is ended]” (Emphasis mine).
Now read Rev 15:5 and verse 8. Note that “… and no one was able to go into the sanctuary until the seven plagues (afflictions) of the seven angels were ended”. This is profound, especially if you open your heart to Rev 16:17 and 21:6, and take into account that John, apparently the only of the 12 disciples at Jesus’ cross when He was crucified, witnesses that that disclosure of Jesus “It is done!” on Patmos (Rev 16:17; 21:16) was what he (John) had heard from Jesus at His cross (Jn 19:30). We hear Paul informing the Thessalonians of the same effect of this great truth in 1 Thess 5:9. Now seriously contemplate Heb 4:13-16; even 2:8-18!
Similarly, we read Jn 10:9 (Jn 14:6) that was penned after Rev 3:8; 4:1. Also, Rev 4:2-3 with Heb 10:13-14 and Rev 4:11 with Col 1:12-20; or Rev 15:5 with Mt 27:51-54 and Heb 4:16; even Rev 6:12-13 with Mt 27:51 (consider the fruit in Mt 3:10; 21:42-45 and the stars in Num 42:17 vs Job 25:5; 38:7; Dan 12:3).
We’ll also have to decide if Isaiah 53 has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ in full. (For example, Lk 22:37 with Is 53:12). Note how many preachers read to us what Jesus, before His crucifixion, told them what had to still happen [“shortly”] as if He’s telling us the same today about 2 000 years after His cross! This is also expanded on in the paper “Baptism” (Jn 14:1-5). So, it is highly probable that John on Patmos was told what was “near” for him and the assemblies in Asia he had dealings with. Hence could he write the Gospel John in the way he did, starting with Jn 1:1-4, 9-13,17… This is more profound than we might realize.
Furthermore, the announcement of Jesus to John (remember Jn 17:20; 2 Tim 3:15-17) in Rev 21:5, “Behold I make all things new”, surely refers essentially to His provision through His cross, His resurrection and His ascension. The single most significant introduction of the NT was due to what Jesus Christ provided for us through His crucifixion. It is an accomplished work, a done deal and left us a New Testament (Heb 13:8)! This author therefore believes that this is what the book Revelation is principally about! It’s not about the devil and his future coming in the flesh!!! The devil has neither need nor Scriptural evidence that he will by any means have a coming in the flesh! This is expanded on in the paper “Rapture raptured” on www.gospel-truth.co.za.
So, in this essay, let’s start again, and look at this from the following perspective, shall we?
1 Cor 3:9-11; Heb 11:10.
What a trumpet was blown in Lk 1:30-33!!!
Note that The Gospel of Jesus Christ (refer to the paper so entitled), is not about our selfish escape (“more than conquerors”?) and a final destination in space somewhere (heaven) and to hell with the rest! It is about a Life transformed with Christ [Holy Spirit] inside of us here on earth in His authority and victory (over the old self-righteous, self-pleasing and self-centred nature) and to be restored again to God’s image – Love. (This is expanded on in the paper “Rapture raptured”.) Ponder Gal 1:6-9…
Now, God is Love. Love is not needy – it gives. So we should live this perfect love without fear of what is to come (1 Cor 13; without offense, hurt, needs…); constantly and consistently to other on this planet, not outer space. Contemplate just 1 Jn 4:17. We have the Good News that we don’t have to go to heaven to experience this perfect Love, but that God paid an immeasurable generous price so that heaven could come to [abide in] us! (Even Dt 30:11-19; Jn 15:12; 14:12-15… The paper “The Testimony” expands on this).
The point is that we tragically and pathetically misunderstand and underestimate what happened at Jesus’ cross. We simply seem incapable of grasping the weight [the fullness; the full width, length and height] of that vicarious death, resurrection and ascension of a perfect Advocate and Friend – His Love for us! We should perhaps come to grips with the fact that He has successfully accomplished His task!
What is the Book Revelation about?
The author of this book is John (1:1,4; 21:2; 22:8); but ultimately a disclosure from God (2 Tim 3:15-17). John was on the small island of Patmos at the time of writing this revelation (apocalypse means revelation not destruction – see #2 on p.4 below) that he had received from Jesus Christ. It is addressed to the seven churches in Asia with which he was familiar and obviously had a place of unquestioned leadership. John uses metaphors and pseudonyms, symbolic language, dreams, visions, also with excessive use of numbers and so a mystique formed with a character of apocalyptic literature.
Consider the following possibilities:
1. The statement “The time is near” (Rev 1:3), can point to a recent event [then] and [continuous] effect [result], hence not entirely relegating all to be said to a future time, certainly not a far distant future (Lk 17:20-21; and Mt 6:10 with Jn 19:30). Furthermore, “…things which must shortly come to pass” (Rev 1:1) are at least for us most likely to have happened (at least in provision as in Eph 1:3-15; 2 Pet 1:3-11) already since the time it was written for we are roughly 2 000 years beyond the time that that statement was made.
2. God’s plan to advance His Kingdom shows “disaster” before deliverance. Contemplate Jn 19:30 (penned chronologically, after Rev 16:17). We’ll explore this more further on in this paper.
3. Two cities are depicted.
3.1. Babylon (Rev 17-18). Babylon in contrast to Jerusalem, has only a dead-end street. Rev 17 describe seafaring traders with their goods that are counterfeits (17:4-7-18) for the jewels (as in paradise) depicted in the other city Jerusalem depicted in Rev 21. Note Rev 21:3 with Jn 14:23-26; and Rev 16:17 with Jn 19:30 (The Book Revelation pre-dates the Book John)
3.2. A New Jerusalem (Rev 21). Note that this city from Is 60:14 and Mt 5:14 is a people, not a place. The single street like gold and transparent glass is probably depicting the omnipresent and omniscient Holy Spirit of God indwelling His Church who are the people re-born and following Jesus Christ [His Spirit in us (Jn 4:24; Rom 8:14)].
Compare Rev 21:16 (vv. 24-27) with Eph 2:16-22; 3:14-18-22; 4:15-25.
If you consider the revelation of Jesus Christ (not an unscriptural anti-Christ as one single person with no [need for a] coming in the flesh like God had in Jesus Christ!), you should see that “This is the day which the Lord has brought about: we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps 118:24), is very likely to be the very one in which our Lord and saviour said “It is finished!” (Done, completed) – Jn 19:30; Rev 16:17!!!
This makes Jesus’ redemptive work on His cross a done deal! This further implies we could read all those “mysterious” sevens in the book Revelation, as accomplished by and through Jesus Christ. This is summarized at the end of this paper.
What are you and I defending? Who do we believe? We have to look at Jesus (Heb 12:2; Mt 15:8-9), at the only Truth that unquestionably sets free indeed. Let us calmly and openly hear His Spirit Word (Js 1:5-8).
Poignantly, we should perhaps bear in mind Paul’s statement (in the same dispensation, after Jesus’ ascension), in 1 Cor 1:18-2:2 that reminds us to not lose sight of the most momentous event in history. It is therefore perhaps wise to openly consider this revelation of Jesus Christ. Observe how men in fear have somehow twisted this into an “apocalyptic” intimidation about an anti-Christ as one personification of the devil (a defeated foe in Col 2:15?)! The terminology extracted from the book Revelation has even been altered to suit the fanciful doctrines, born from fear of man for the unknown.
Misunderstood [twisted] perspectives and terminology
1. Eschatology. From the Greek eschatos (Strong’s # 2078), which means “farthest, final (of place or time).” Vine adds, “utmost or extreme.” Eschatology is commonly understood to constitute the “doctrine of last things”, the branch of theology focusing upon prophetic events, the end times and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Men have coined and created words to describe certain prophetic views. Each has its own set of baggage. Quite frankly, pointing them out, possibly will obstruct the purpose of this writing (to un-clatter the nonsense and look at basic Bible truths). First, we must not feed the universal frenzy of religious people. Any open-hearted person who read this along with his Bible can see the Scriptures do not support the views of Darby, Scofield, and Larkin. Dispensationalism with Larkin’s chart is incomplete, but for the whole truth regarding to “end-time events”, remember that school is not out yet. Secondly, it must be pointed out that each of these fear-driven eschatological perspectives contain beliefs and ideas that may or may not be [in part] true to the word of God. Each has become a camp or stream. But they all defy Jesus’ words in Mt 10:22; 24:12,13: “… but he who endures to the end will be saved…” And this saving is to have eternal Life in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1-3), not “to be removed” (Jn 17:15-20). We proclaim the good news [Gospel] of victory in the Glory of Christ, not the mindless bad news of a grim and powerless Church/Bride/Body of Christ that will have to be “raptured”! It paralyses and kills vision in young men (Joel 2:28) and robs our children of their rightful destiny in Jesus Christ, it keeps the Church from her glorious inheritance in Christ! Yes, of course Jesus will return in His glorified body – 1 Cor 15 and 1 Thess 4:16-18 is true! But this will be no secret, “staged” removal! The Church should rather be “raptured as meant in Jn 20:20! The Amplified Bible expand on the meaning here as having abundant joy, delight, exultation, ecstasy – i.e. “taken up”, “raptured”. We should have the exuberant joy of being more than conquerors right here on earth! Maranatha! Allejulah!
A sidelight of the futurist interpretation of Matthew 24 and an integral part of dispensationalism’s future “great tribulation” (Mt 24:21) is the much-heralded battle of Armageddon. “Armageddon” is synonymous with mass destruction, carnage, and unprecedented bloodshed. Despensationalists shamelessly declare that blood will flow 6 feet deep for 200 miles. To accomplish this, the blood would have to encompass the whole valley from Mount Carmel on the Mediterranean Sea along the Kishon River through the valley of Megiddo and Jezreel to the River Jordan, then south through the plain of the River Jordan to and through the Dead Sea, and onward south through the valley of the wilderness of Zin and past Kadesh-Barnea into the Sinai Peninsula! This is absurd, there is not enough blood in the entire global population to accomplish this – it is symbolic! Interestingly (although Rev 14:20 is used as a cross-reference), the term is not used in the O.T. and is mentioned but once in the N.T. This great tribulation prophesied by Jesus (Mt 24:29) marked the end of Judaism (A.D. 67-70). The end of that world He was not King of: the legalistic Jewish system of law [attempting self-righteousness] and external rules (Rom 8:1-3; Heb 8:13). The twelve tribes of [old national] Israel are described as the sun and moon (Gen 37:9,10). The cosmic imaginary describing the judgement and vindication of God meant ”lights out” for the old order (Mt 21:42,43; 1 Pet 2:9,10; Rom 10:4). Consider the parallel language of the O.T. describing the end of Babylon (Is 13:9,10), Edom (Is 34:4,4), and Israel (Amos 5:18-22; 8:9). Jesus told the religious “elite” that the kingdom of God would be taken away from them and given to all who come via the only Way, Jesus Christ (Mt 21:43; Jn 14:6). Paul in Gal 3:25-29; 4:21-31 makes this very clear.
2. Apocalypse. Look it up in any decent [pre-seventies] dictionary. Better still, check the Greek dictionary of the N.T. [601. apŏkaluptō; 602. apŏkalupsis] – it means to uncover, to remove the veil, to disclose, lighten, revelation, appear and manifest and bring the mystery out in the open and shine light on it. Now consider the words penned by the same author [John] that penned the apŏkalupsis of Jesus Christ, i.e. the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:1), afterwards in 95 A.D. in Jn 1:1-17 (Ampl.)…
3. Armageddon. Transliterated (not translated) from the Greek Armageddon (Strong’s # 717) and means “a symbolic name, or Har-Meggiddon”. It is taken from two Hebrew words: Har, meaning “mountain”, and Megiddown, meaning “rendezvous; Megiddon or Megiddo, a place in Palestine”. It is derived from gagad (“to crowd; to gash”) and guwd (“to crowd, to attack”). In the KJV, the former is translated as “assemble (selve by troops)” and the latter as “invade, overcame”. Megiddo, or “place of troops”, was a walled city on a plain. There will never be a future “Battle of Armageddon”, for there is no such place, no “mountain of Megiddo”, on this planet! The city (not mountain) of Megiddo was located about 70 miles north of Jerusalem in the Carmel mountain range. Situated on the main road that linked Egypt and Syria, it was the site of many O.T. battles. Overlooking the valley of Jezreel (plain of Esdraelon), Megiddo was the most strategic city in Palestine as a military stronghold. Megiddo is mentioned 11 times in the O.T. (Josh 12:21; 17:11; Judg 1:27; 5:19; 1 Kings 4:12; 9:15; 2 Kings 9:27; 23:29,30; 1 Chron 7:29; 2 Chron 35:22). Two notable events took place there – Deborah and Barak’s defeat of Sisera, and the slaying of King Josiah of Judah by the pharaoh of Egypt. Megiddo is a symbol of war between rival kings and kingdoms. In examples given, Israel was both a winner and a loser. Rev 16:16 references the latter, where Josiah would not listen to God’s warning (2 Chron 35:20-25). Jesus means exactly what He says, and has said, when He had said “it is finished!” If “Armageddon” was fought, it was between those two kingdoms (Light vs darkness) and Jesus has won (Col 2:15). That was the day of the Lord. The day of days He has made (Ps 118:24!; 1 Cor 1:18-2:5). Rev 16:17 tells us: “then the seventh [angel] emptied his bowl into the air, and a mighty voice came out of the sanctuary of heaven from the throne [of God], saying, “it is done!” (sounds like Jn 19:30, penned later by the same writer, does it not? Especially if you take note of the fact that this same John was the only disciple present there). Rev 1:7 makes it clear that when Jesus returns, “every eye will see Him”, it will not be a secret affair, neither will it happen in stages, as the dispensationalists suggest. So, in this “rapture”, will it be pre-trib, mid-trib, or post- trib? So which is it: pre-mill or a-mill or just a windmill? Men confused themselves by forced man-made ideas and other mindlessly echoing these lies in parrot-like fashion.
4. The sign of the beast. Bible language is timeless. A beast is not spiritual, it is not God-conscious, it has a soul (is self-centred, has an intellect, emotion and a will), but lacks the spirit. A beast behaves immoral, a spiritual man moral. The spirit of man needs to be reborn from above [God] by man willingly inviting Holy Spirit in (Jn 3:3; 4:24); i.e. by man submitting to God and following Jesus Christ (Jn 14:6). Rev 13:16-18 mentions the sign of the beast on the forehead and on the right hand. See here Dt 6:8 with the verses leading up to it (v2-7). The forehead implies what you think, and the right hand what you do. Rev 13:18 (Ampl) says: “Here is [room for] discernment [a call for wisdom of interpretation]. Let anyone who has intelligence (penetration and insight enough) calculate the number of the beast, for it is a human number [the number of a certain man]; his number is 666”. Well, who amongst [Biblical] men is more a “certain man” than Solomon (1 Kings 3:12,13)? Now see 1 Kings 10:14 (KJV). Solomon received in one year 666 shekels of gold (20 000 -30 000 kg). Also, he then had a big throne of ivory made, overlaid with gold, with six lions left, six steps between and six lions on the right (v 18-20). Interestingly, when the queen of Sheba ascended these stairs “her spirit left her” (some translations interpret this as “she was breathless”. Either way, the breath God breathed into man was the ruach/pneuma – His Spirit) – 1 Kings 10:4,5. No Spirit, no Spirit-life [fruitful relationship with God the Father]… See what Asaph confesses in Ps 73:22 (Ps 49:20). Without Spirit you return to dust (carnal thinking with a carnal mind), and the devil eats the dust of the earth. See Rev 22:4. Don’t be blind to the awesome beauty in the Truth of God! The sign of a beast [self-righteous, self-conscious man] is lust + greed (Eph 5:5, and study Solomon…)! Easy!
The point is this: If Solomon in all his wisdom went lost (1 Kings 11), we should be very aware of the “self”. The sign of “the beast” is simply greed and lust – i.e. self-righteousness. This is what you find in the materialistic world in abundance, highlighted in the O.T. system’s legalistic, religious world – law; also in yourself, before Jesus saved you – from yourself. This is why the Law of Moses kills and steals (2 Cor 3; Gal 3). The double-mentioning of the figure 666 in 1 Kings 10:14 as well as v 19, as referenced in Rev 13:18, could symbolically very well point to both the material and religious sides of conceited but vain self-righteousness culminating in man’s lust and greed. Carefully contemplate Jn 1:17 (3:3; 14:6; 1 Jn 2:4)…
Some assume Solomon repented in Ecc 4:13 and Prov 31:1-3, but this is not certain. God’s promises to O.T. men and woman invariably were dependant upon the other party to the covenant meeting His conditions. Whether He said so at the time or not. In 1 Chron 28:7 we find Him promising to establish Solomon’s kingdom forever (note the “if he…”). Then in 1 Kings 11:9-11 we find that God “became angry” with Solomon for all his degenerate and abominable conduct and his treachery of heart towards Him and without mercy, except for David’s sake (Ex 20:6), God declared that the kingdom would be torn from him. Was God breaking the covenant? No, Solomon had broken and nullified that covenant long before; it no longer existed; there was no promise for God to keep. Christians are prone to think that God will overlook or tolerate their self-centredness [neglect of Him – Ex 20:3; Prov 30:12], and keep His part of the agreement whether they do or not, but the wisest man who ever lived died knowing God is not mocked: “[he inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God; we cannot make God an accomplice to our ungodliness and impure hearts], for whatever [unbelief] a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap” (Gal 6:7). If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him as your first and vital necessity] you will find Him; but if you forsake Him, you risk being cast off forever!” Your choice. David was telling Solomon all this, but as the king grew in power, popularity and personal aggrandizement, step by step he set himself up as privileged to ignore God. In all his wisdom he failed to comprehend that “Something greater and more exalted and more majestic than the temple is here!… Someone more and greater than Solomon is here (Mt 12:6,42). To be spiritually dead is being as a beast before God. The sign of a beast, is being absorbed in his self-centredness, is thinking and acting in self-righteous lust [want] and greed. This sign of the beast is a present day reality. So is the antichrist. The antichrist is anyone opposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ. The apostle John revealed this antagonist of Christ (1 Jn 4:3b). Just as “the man of sin”, is this not only a single individual, but all who [individually] qualifies, and therefore the “beast”. Be careful here, not to try and “earn” or “deserve” God’s blessings and ignorantly totally ignore [miss] your salvation in Jesus Christ…
So, is it any surprise to find that John, in the Book of Revelation, tries to express what he has seen (in chapter 13) in three’s – a sea, a land, a heaven… a low, a higher, a highest. And the sea of the sand John stood on, was only inches above the sea – that low place every true follower of Christ will end up on, before finally breaking out of religion and its law that kills, by really discovering the Truth that sets you free – it is about Jesus Christ, not you and I. That beast that first rose from out of the sea is you, or I, or anyone [still] driven by lust and greed! Yes you [below thoughts Rom 8:7-9] are your own worst enemy (Satan is overcome – Col 2:15)! The devil has no authority, he gets authority from mankind that allow themselves to be deceived by a fallen foe! Then, because we pay homage to ourselves [our own lust and greed], this dragon is given dominion he should not have! Then this “beast” is transferred to the land, and so rises out of the church. That broad middle way is the land – popular religion [self-righteousness of attempting self-salvation through obedience to a set of rules]. Rules God handed [added later] to stiff-necked Jews with hardened hearts to show them self-righteousness [distrust in His Voice; Rom 8:14,15] is fatal and stupid (Gal 3:19; Heb 2:2; Acts 7:38,53). Yes, God used angels as flaming instruments (Heb 1:7; Ps 104:4). And you want to stay saved by following that law Jesus ended (Rom 3:20; 4:5; 7:4,6,10; 8:1-3; 10:4; Heb 8:13; 9:8-14,26; 10:14; Gal 3:2-5,10-12)?? Try Rom 3:20,24-28; Gal 3:16,29 (Gen 12:3; 22:17; Jer 29:10-13).
They walked 40 years around that mountain where the law was handed down to them to shut them up (Gal 3:19). And you want to follow them? The Rock [not made by human hands] broke out of that mountain and abolished all types of government [manipulation] by man. Try Mk 11:23-24 in context again. This Rock was indeed not made by human hands (Dan 2:45; Gen 49:24; 1 Cor 10:4; Rev 6:16!!). Notice that that magnificent statement of Mk 11:24 was made just after Jesus cursed the fig tree.
Why a fig tree? Who is represented by the fig tree?
We can assume that fig leaves are unsuitable to cover a naked body (private parts representing lust and greed, also symbolized with circumcision), yet this is what Adam and Eve came up with, of the entire wonderful flora, in Gen 3:7! This of course, points to a more suitable clothing in Rom 13:14; Eph 6:12,13; 2 Cor 10:4-5. Now read 1 Ki 4:25; 2 Ki 18:31; 2 Chron 16:9; Jer 50:20; Mic 4:1-4; Zech 4:10; Prov 27:18; and connect it to Jn 1:48-50. See that Acts 7:53-60 happened seven years later (those critical 7 years of Dan 9:24-27 can be perfectly explained as having happened between Jn 1:50-51; Mt 3:16-17 [+ 3.5 years to] Jn 3:15-20 [+ 3.5 years to] Acts 7:54-60. Then, in 70 A.D. Jerusalem was destroyed just as Jesus foretold, while those people that heard/saw Him speak it were still alive (Mt 24:34). Note that the fig tree was identified in Mt 3:7-11; 21:18-20,33-46; it was also prophesied in Joel 1:7 (the vine is God’s people – Jn 15:1-5; the fig tree represents religious play-actors even some scribes/scholars that bear no fruit, even singing songs and getting all emotional with hands waving like leaves (Hos 9:1,10) but bearing no fruit (Mt 10:8; 3:10; 23) or showing leaves (leaves and fruit should appear simultaneously) but offering unripe or no fruit (Mt 21:19; compare Mt 19:28 with 21:42-46; acts 19:2-7!) and is cursed by God [is no good] – Rev 6:13; Mt 21:19). That fig tree seemed to have “blossomed” (Mt 24:32) when they thought they got rid of Jesus Christ (Jn 19:6,7,14-16, Acts 2:23,36; 3:13-15)! Note also, that for “stars” to fall on the earth (Rev 6:13) is not remotely a physical possibility (size, and gravitational physics) but pointing to people, some good (Gen 22:17; 26:4; 37:9; Ex 32:13; Dt 1:10; 10:22; 28:62; 1 Ch 27:23; Neh 9:23; Is 14:13; Rev 1:16,20; 2:11; 12:11) and some bad (Dan 8:10 note the “stars” here probably imply priests as in Hos 4:5-11; Rev 3:1; 6:13; 12:8-10). Contemplate Is 34:4; Jer 8:13; Hos 9:1; with Lk 13:6-9; Mt 12:32-42. See Mt 19:28 in Ps 118:24; Jn 3:15-21. Those stars that fell was when Jesus had won (Col 2:15; Rev 16:17; Jn 19:30) and so “stars” such as Herod, Sanhedrin members, and other, fell when the Lamb of God was slain (Is 34:4; Mk 13:25; Jude 13; Heb 10:112-23).
The dust of the earth, Satan is eating, is legalistic, carnal-minded people (“Christians” or not) – Gen 3:15; Job 4:19; Lk 10:5-11; Acts 52:1-3 . Abraham’s first [natural] seed is like the sand of the sea (below), like dust – Gal 4:21-31! The second (born by promise, from above), was like the stars of heaven. See it?
Old and new, good and bad, truth and lies, are not to be mixed (Js 3:8-18; Mt 9:14-17; Heb 13:8; Lk 9:62).
The Message puts Gal 4:16b,17 like this: “… And now have I suddenly become your enemy by telling you the truth? I can’t believe it. Those heretical teachers go to great lengths to flatter you, but their motives are rotten. They want to shut you out of the free world of God’s grace so that you will always depend on them for approval and direction, making them feel important”.
Get rid of that religious externalism and have a continual, everlasting, habitual relationship with God your true and real Father, through Jesus Christ, and be counseled, comforted and guided by Holy Spirit. See how Mt 10:8 MANIFESTS in your Light-life, your Truth revealed to the world as truly good news!
5. The antichrist. The apostle John (who received the Revelation of Jesus Christ – Rev 1:1), wrote this about the antichrist (note he did not say an antichrist as in only one specific future individual):
a. Someone [anyone] who denies that Jesus is the Christ – 1 Jn 2:22; also see around v. 18,26…
b. Someone [anyone] who denies the Father and the Son – 1 Jn 2:23
c. Every spirit that does not confess Jesus – 1 Jn 4:3
d. Those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh – 2 Jn 7 .
Simply stated, antichrist aptly describes any system of apostasy or individual apostates (the unrenewed mind). Moreover, the antichrist is a religious apostate from true Christianity, not some secular [future] political figure. Take special note of 1 Jn 2:4. Watch out for hypocrites [play-actors] and religious rulers and principalities (i.e. principals and principles [thoughts] that heads [rules] your thinking – 2 Cor 10:5)!…
Overwhelming historical evidence of Biblical prophecies fulfilled, makes it clear that the “little horn” that arose from within the Roman Empire, is the Papal order with several Roman Catholic Popes making blasphemous statements of being inerrant, and God Himself, even to be above God on earth ! Church fathers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, etc. have all categorically stated that the Pope is [an] anti-Christ.
It is true that sinister and Babylonian idolatry wants the heat of the Pope, but equally shrewd is the devil at work to dilute the response+ability of each individual believer to personally follow [listen to] Jesus Christ!
For the purpose of this writing [to lift out clear basic facts from basic misleading theories based on fear-instilling lies], we’ll try to avoid painfully long and confusing arguments and clever Eschatological theories; and rather try to understand that God as a Perfect [trustworthy] Father is all about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in perfect love (1 Cor 13) and not religion [man’s efforts at righteousness with pomp ceremonies, rituals and manipulative traditions]. It is only through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on His cross (Jn 3:15-16; 14:6; 1 Cor 1:21; 2:2; Rom 10:9-10) that man can be saved – not through any knowledge of end times or religion or any effort [work] of man (Rom 3:20,24-28). We should perhaps, therefore, rather try to get to the place where we will be of those that remain (1 Thess 4:13-18; 5:23) to see Christ return and trust Him fully to have all under control [Love, good, not manipulation] and then find out first hand what the facts will be. The author, for one, is not at all perturbed about what will happen then. However, having said this, must we still urgently endeavour to have an accurate and full knowledge [of a personal relationship and enlightenment] in Jesus Christ (2 Tim 3:15-17; Eph 4:10-25) right now.
Guard against emotional hypes that overlook the fact that any religious institution [government, rulership] that exalts itself above Jesus Christ and deny the deity of Jesus Christ, or the fact that Jesus Christ fully came in the flesh as the Messiah, is anti-Christ – not just one individual. Being misled by any system makes you just as part of it [in lazy, stubborn, ignorance] as activists! Beware of being trapped into false teachings with fear as a basis, buying their scare that a bigger coming than that of Jesus Christ the Messiah is this “anti-Christ” still to come. The devil has no coming in the flesh [in one single individual] – God had One in the Person of Jesus Christ, and God can not be outdone. Do not believe the devil and his advocates!
6. “Kingdom of God” and “Kingdom of Heaven”. Both are found in Scripture; but Scofield’s classical dispensationalism made a distinction between “the Kingdom of God” (for the Church) and “the Kingdom of Heaven” (for millennial Jews). But what the Gospel of Matthew says about the “Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 4:17; 5:3; 10:7,8; 13:31; 19:14,23,24), Mark and Luke say about “the Kingdom of God” (Mk 1:14,15; 4:30,31; 10:14; Lk 6:20; 9:2; 18:24,25). Simply stated the phrase “Kingdom of Heaven” shows us where it is from, and the phrase “Kingdom of God’ tells us Who runs it. Also: Matthew was written to the religious Jews with their tradition of “not mentioning God’s name” [“lightly”], while Mark and Luke wrote to those without such tradition. Jesus prayed John 17:15 (and v20). Both kingdoms are describing one and the same thing, they are not different. A King has one kingdom, of which He is the [sole] owner. Think about what Jesus said in Mt 12:25.
While on the subject, contemplate Lk 16:16. The religious dust tries to force their way into God’s kingdom [on earth!] through self-righteousness [law], but ignores God’s grace (Jn 14:6)!!! Try the following Scriptures again: Mt 13:11-12; 16:19; 21:43; 23:13… Nicodemus, Jn 3:12-15!!!…
7. “Any minute” or “until”? Yes, Jesus will literally, physically return [manifest visible] to this planet, but as to the timing; the key word is “until” (Mt 24:36; Gal 3:19; 4:1-4). The [second] coming of the Lord is not a blessed hope – it is a blessed fact (Acts 1:11). Our expectation is not that He will come again, but rather that we will be like Him when He does! Jesus cannot come again until:
7.1. His enemies [plural – Ps 110:1 with Heb 1:13; 10:12,13 and also note the “until”] are made His footstool in the earth – Mk 12:36; Acts 7:49. His foes are defined by the curse of the law: sin, sickness, poverty, and death (Dt 28). John on Patmos had that dust under his feet… The enemies of God could very well be the preachers of false dogma – Hos 4:4-9; Mt 7:15-23!…
7.2. The times of restitution (restoration) of all the prophets have spoken. Acts 3:19-21. Again, “… until the time comes for God to restore…”
7.3. The Church comes into the unity of the faith, the full and accurate knowledge of the Son of God, and attains to the measure of the full stature of Christ. Eph 4:13 – “until we all reach…”
7.4. The heavenly Husbandman receives the early and latter rains of Joel – James 5:7. Ps 110 reveals the purpose of God’s Kingdom – the extension of His rule and dominion in the earth and universe. The Church is called to be the instrument of the Kingdom, to rule in the midst of its enemies. Note especially Eph 4:11-16, the foundational ministries given by Jesus Christ to the Church to equip and mature the saints (Lk 11:49; Eph 2:20; 3:1-5).
Dispensationalists seem to want to go up, but not grow up. Contemplate Gal 4:1-2. The gospel is practical and relevant to everyday living. Stay busy till He comes, do what God told you to do (Mt 28:19,20; and remember: you cannot disciple others unless you are a disciple yourself first). Jesus seems to not come [again] “until”- follow Jesus’ teachings!
8. A thief in the night. Read 1 Thess 5:1-9. (Chapter divisions in the Bible is not necessarily Holy Spirit inspired, but for reference purposes. Keep reading the context of 1 Thess 4:13-5:9).
1 Thess 5:19 shows that the Lord is not coming as a “thief” to those who are sons [and daughters] of Light. Only the wicked will be surprised. Perhaps also those who did not spend enough [extra] time with the Lord in a personal relationship, “buying” [with their time] extra oil for their lamps (Mt 25:1-13). To those walking in the flesh [dark], it will get darker on the earth, and end in hell. To those walking after the Spirit and the Word [Light] of God, it is getting brighter and brighter, heaven on earth (Prov 4:18).
Jesus the Messiah [Christ] came as “a thief in the night” to the Jews who waited for Him but then rejected Him when He appeared (Lk 12:56; Jn 1:9-12).
9. The 144 000
9.1. The 144 000 from Rev 7
Consider also the following five points.
9.1.1. If the 144 000 represents a literal number, the group of which that number consists is also literal, i.e. Israelites. That would mean, according to the Watchtower scheme of interpretation that no one would be in heaven that was not of the actual tribes listed.
9.1.2. This would then also exclude Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — who were never of the tribes of Israel. This conflicts with Jesus’ affirmation in just Mt 8:11.
9.1.3. If only a literal 144 000 Israelites will enter heaven, then not one Gentile has any hope to the kingdom of heaven. Again, the Lord is then contradicted in Mt 8:11.
9.1.4. If the tribes of Rev 7 are to be literally interpreted, no one from either Ephraim or Dan will enter heaven (they are excluded from the list).
9.1.5 Other OT heroes like Joshua (from Ephraim) and Samson (from Dan) will not be in heaven.
Logically, those like the Watchtower people, must exclude the “great multitude, which no man could number” (Rev 7:9) from heaven. This group, they allege, represents the “earthly class.” This is not so. This multitude was described as “standing before the throne” (7:9), which is in heaven (1:4; 4:2-10). Furthermore, these saints “before the throne” were serving God in “his temple” (7:15); and “The temple of God … is in heaven” (11:19).
As re-born Christians (actually following Jesus Christ consistently and constantly), we’ll know about 1 Cor 6:15-20. This temple [sanctuary] as our bodies, are expanded on in papers such as “Church” and “Body, Soul, Spirit of man”.
Note on “earthly classes”
Self-righteousness [from the old Adam, un-renewed; Jn 3:23; Rom 5:18; 1 Cor 15:45; Rom 12:1-2] wants a pecking order [hierarchy in which to seek more importance and privileges more than other, seeking to elevate the self], even in heaven. This is dead against Rom 2:11 and what Jesus taught in just Mk 10:31, 42-45 (Mt 10:24; 20:16,25-28); even in the OT (Dt 10;17; 2 Chron 19:7). We should be like Jesus and He demonstrated Love that, for instance, does not insist on its own rights or its own way (1 Cor 13:5; Mt 11:29). Those who ended up “first” (Mk 10:31) is not to say that there will be a hierarchy of saints in heaven, as steps of comparison, it is in all probability merely showing that self-righteousness will be put to shame (Rom 2:8; Mt 21:43; Js 4:6). Compare this with Peter’s statement [observation] in Acts 10:34-35. Bear in mind that this is the Peter who lied to Jesus and betrayed Him thrice (Mk 14:26-31, 66-72); yet saw Jesus heal Malchus (Jn 18:10; Lk 22:49-51); and after His resurrection, Jesus asked Peter [also three times] only if he loved Him (Jn 21:14-17). This Love (1 Jn 4:8) therefore perfectly demonstrated in Jesus Christ how to live 1 Cor 13on earth.
9.2. The 144 000 mentioned in Rev 14
Once more, however, the numeral is clustered with several other prominent symbols.
9.2.1. There is the “Lamb,” a figure representing Christ (Jn 1:29; Rev 5:6).
9.2.2. There is Mount Zion, a symbol of divine government (Is 2:2-4; 60:14).
9.2.3. There is the numeral 144 000, suggestive of the heavenly complement of God’s people — no one will be missing who is supposed to be there.
9.2.4. Saints are depicted as “virgins,” which descriptively emphasizes their purity (2 Cor 9:1-2; Rom 8:29). It obviously does not imply only men will be in heaven, leaving Hannah, Mary, Dorcus, and women of like faith without that hope. Neither does it means that only unmarried men who are virgins will be in heaven. This would exclude Abraham, Moses, Peter, and a host of other biblical characters. These conclusions are utterly ludicrous and thus without any merit.
It is clear that we’re not supposed to be reading in the Book of Revelation that a literal Lamb was literally standing on literal Mount Zion with a group of literal men who had never been intimate with literal women, hence, were literal virgins!
So then, who are the 144000?
The 144 000 of Revelation 14 more likely signifies the entire body of the redeemed in Jesus Christ.
It is possible to be the same redeemed people, even than the “multitude”, from different perspectives, but in a twofold way symbolising completeness. A body of people who were “purchased” from among men. The only purchase price ultimately available for human salvation is that of the Blood of Jesus Christ (Gal 4:5; Heb 9:15-17; 10:14), and for those who have submitted to God’s salvation plan in Jesus Christ since that historic event (Jn 3:16-21; 1 Pet 1:18,19; Acts 4:12; 20:28).
More importantly, note that the Book Revelation depict two cities: (i) Babylon (Rev 17-18) and (ii) a new Jerusalem (Rev 21). Note that this city from Is 60:14 and Mt 5:14 is a people, not a place. The single street like gold and transparent glass, is probably the omnipresent Holy Spirit of God indwelling His Church (the people re-born following Jesus Christ). Babylon in contrast, has only a dead-end street. Rev 17 describes seafaring traders with their goods that are counterfeits (17:4-7-18) for the jewels (as in paradise) depicted in the other city depicted in Rev 21. Note Rev 21:3 with Jn 14:23-26; and Rev 16:17 with Jn 19:30 (The Book Revelation pre-dates the Book John).
Compare Rev 21:16 (vv. 24-27) with Eph 2:16-22; 3:14-18-22; 4:15-25.
The “fullness” is probably talking about a perfection in Love; i.e. constantly being filled with God (1 Jn 4:8). Take special note of Jn 14:15-17; 15:10-14, 24-26; 1 Jn2:4; 4:10-21. Again, note the end of verse 17, “… so are we in this world…” Consider Is 60:14; Mt 5:14 (v 13); with Eph 1:13-23 and Rev 21:15-17.
Love [God] covers all (1 Cor 13; Eph 1:23; 2:19-22). The cube is symbolic for this (Eph 3:18-21; Rev 21:16; remember to connect Rev 21:3 and Jn 14:23-27).
Back to the question, what is this book about?
This whole issue is actually about the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 and will be addressed in more detail as we progress through this discussion. It is illogical and irrational to have a gap at a random point in a period-prophecy; even more so if this “gap” is of undetermined length as the ‘rapture-preachers’ propose (their first supposed 2000 year ‘gap’ has come and gone anyway)! Any ‘gap’ will contradict the period given for the period would then have been simply stipulated longer, not so? It is no surprise then, that nowhere in any of the period-prophecies in the Bible you’ll find any gap, all periods were continuous and uninterrupted without the illogical need to stretch a part of it to suit the interpreter’s [lack of] perception/observation.
So, are we waiting on Jesus to give us authority? Then we must feel that we’ve attained Eph 4:13-15; Heb 2:8; Rom 8:17…? Just say, that while we are – in ignorance – thinking we are waiting on Him; is it actually Him waiting on us (Heb 10:13; 2 Pet 3:9)! Who is the Source of righteousness? Are we really waiting on God to act, or is He waiting on us to start believing Him, to give more weight to His Words than that of men building their own empires and selling novels with twisted theories and tales of intimidation through fear? Please put offense aside [self-consciousness and self-righteousness], this is not meant as an insult (that would at any rate be empty if unjustified) – this is a humble (Rom 3:3,4) attempt to get to Jn 8:32,36; 14:6…
Jesus Christ is our Savior, He is not going to save us. We are supposed to be in an I AM mode, not a become mode. He has transferred us (Col 1:13-17)… In Him we are more than conquerors (Rom 8:29-39)!
If you are following those that are counting down on a “doomsday clock”, consider Rom 13:12; and Col 1:9-13; and Jesus in Jn 17:15-20. Let us get past foundational teachings and move to perfection (Heb 6). You cannot count down to a “midnight”, if you don’t know exactly when “midnight” is, can you?…
There was a war, and Jesus won (Col 2:15). Hear Jesus in Jn 16:33; 17:15,19-26. The Church [Body] of Jesus Christ, is supposed to be strong and growing, not weak and escaping (Mt 16:18,19). Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to empower His Church so that we can overcome all with Him inside us.
Let us please check ourselves for spiritual blindness and pride; for defending ideas, before we continue to look at this teaching again very carefully. Open yourself up to the Spirit of God, and dare to read this paper to the end with an open heart. Check it with your Bible, and with Jesus.
Listen to Jesus Christ in Mt 24:37-39. See two groups of people: those with ears to hear His teaching [words] and then those twisting [wicker] His words and choose to not follow His teachings. This was the same with Abraham, Lot and those who ignored their words. Note also, that God was from the beginning saying He will be a Father to a people and they will be children to Him, and He calls them Zion (Is 60:14; Mt 5:14). The “field” in these verses following speaks of servants, and the “mill” of those working [in His kingdom on earth]. There are referrals to two comings, so let us look at what Jesus said (Jn 1:11).
Daniel’s prophecy of seventy weeks
The devil is defeated, but still has gullible [spiritually immature, ignorant] people to deceive by his lies. Satan has no power, but uses man’s power against himself [against God’s creation, made to His image, but ultimately unbelieving God’s Word, His promises]. Man’s laziness [complacency] is dangerous!
Darby and Scofield’s two-stage split coming of the Lord is primarily based on one portion of Scripture, Daniel’s prophecy of seventy weeks (Dan 9:24-27). This puzzle was used (by Satan) to intimidate the saints lest we understand the gospel of glory (2 Cor 4:3,4). This scheme was begun over 400 years ago.
The Jesuit priest, Francisco Ribera (1585), was the first to stretch Daniel’s prophecy and separate the 69th and 70th weeks by a “gap” or “parenthesis” of 2 000 years. Accordingly, he taught that during this 7 year period the events of Rev 4-19 take place. Most scholars agree that the first 69 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy take us up to the time of Jesus’ public ministry and crucifixion, yet dispensationalists contend that the entire 70th week is yet to be fulfilled. Without this futurized 70th week, the “pre-tribulation rapture” formula falls apart. Whether one is pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib in his views, all is tied to a future “tribulation”, to the assumption that Daniel’s 70th week is yet to come! Why grope at people’s theories, let’s look at what the Bible clearly says.
That stature of Nebuchadnezzar, had no gaps between the other kingdoms, so there is no exegetical reason to postpone the Kingdom set up “in the days of these kings” (Dan 2:44). No gap is mentioned in the Bible. People need gaps to justify any sense in their theories (full of holes?). The idea of an indeterminable gap is one of the most unnatural and non-literal interpretations found in any eschatological system. Ironically, this interpretation is taught by those who insist on a literal hermeneutic!
The Bible mentions several instances of 40 years with no gaps in time (Dt 8:2; Judg 3:11; 5:31; 8:28; 13:1; 1 Sam 4:18; 2 Sam5:4; 1 Kings 11:42; 2 Chron 24:1; Acts 7:23,30; 13:21). More importantly, because Israel refused to honor the jubilee years – 70 in all – God sent the nation into captivity for 70 years (Lev 25). No gaps. Specifically, it was Jeremiah’s prophecy that Daniel was contemplating when Gabriel brought God’s explanation (2 Chron 36:21-23; Jeremiah 25:12). There is no indication of a gap in this 70 year period! 70 means 70, no interruption!
These futuristic and fanciful theories ignore the N.T. realities and the witness of Jesus Christ Himself to these verses (Mt 24:15). Check what was the end of (that) world – Heb 9:26; Gal 4:4,5; Col 1:20.
There is a great difference between the real Bible prophecy and humanistic eschatology. The vast majority of O.T. predictions point to the coming and consequent death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Messiah. Some prophecies of the N.T. point to the fall of Jerusalem by the Roman army in A.D. 70.
The historical view believes that most Bible prophecies had been fulfilled by the time Jerusalem fell, or at least by the time the Roman Empire was “Christianized” by Constantine (the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D.). Accordingly, the “last days” (different from the “end times”) spoken of in the N.T. were the last days for Old Covenant national Israel and the early inaugural days of the N.T. Church. This includes the “last days” of animal sacrifice in the temple (Heb 9:22-10:6). Nonetheless, Scofield’s notes on Ezekiel 43:19 snub the N.T. Epistles and call for the reinstitution of animal sacrifices in a millennial temple!
How should Christians treat Daniel’s prophecy? First, we must understand that the 70 weeks were determined “upon” (concerning) the “people” of Daniel and his “holy city”. Obviously the holy city is Jerusalem and Daniel’s people are the Jews from which the Messiah would come. The N.T. “city” is the Church, the heavenly Jerusalem (Mt 5:14; Heb 11:10; 12:22-24). However, Daniel’s prophecy has to do with Jerusalem and the Jews, from who came the Messiah the Prince (of also Gal 3:16).
The key to unlocking this powerful Christological passage is to recognize the sixfold prophetic purpose contained in its complete scope and fulfilment. Within the uninterrupted time frame of 70 weeks of years (490 years), historical events would take place among the Jews (“thy people”) in Jerusalem (“thy holy city”) that would:
1. Finish the transgression (Is 43:25; 53:5; Heb 9:15)
2. Make an end of sins (Jn 1:29; 19:30; Mt 1:21; Heb 8:12; 9:26; 1 Jn 3:8b)
3. Make reconciliation for iniquity (Rom 5:10; Eph 2:16; 2 Cor 1:19,20; 5:19; Heb 2:17)
The first three promises of Daniel’s 70 weeks were historically fulfilled at Calvary’s cross! Compare Is 53:12; Mk 15:28; Jn 4:34; 5:36; 17:4; Rom 10:4; 11:15; 2 Cor 3:13; 5:17-21; Heb 2:17; 6:16; Js 5:11; Rev 21:6). No wonder the devil, who met his demise at Golgotha (Col 2:15), wants to obscure and confuse Daniel’s words! Don’t be dust (Gen 3:14; Job 4:19; Is 52:2; Mt 10:13,14; Lk 10:8-12; Acts 13:50,51; 1 Cor 2:2,5-9; Ps 102:14). The deceiver eats the dust of the earth, people who choose to distrust God’s promise of sonship.
4. Bring in everlasting righteousness (Rom 10:3,10; 2 Cor 5:21; Phil 3:9; 1 Cor 1:30; Heb 7:1,2)
5. Seal up the vision and prophecy (“prophet”). (Is 29:10,11; Mt 5:17-20; 11:13; Jn 5:39; 6:27; 19:28-37; Acts 3:18,22; 26:17-19; Rev 19:10)
6. Anoint the most holy (“holy of holies”). (Lk 1:35; Acts 3:14; 1 Jn 2:20,27; Ps 45:7; Is 61:1; Lk 4:16-21; Acts 2:27; 4:27; 10:38; Jn 14:6; Rom 1:4; Heb 10:19,20)
Now see Jer 31:31,34. Daniel had been studying the prophetic manuscripts of Jeremiah. The sixfold scope of Daniel’s prophecy is summed up in Jeremiah’s prediction of the New Testament. In spite of Jeremiah 31:31-34 being quoted in Hebrews 8:8-13 (following the truths of Heb 8:1-6 that declare Jesus’ “more excellent” high priestly ministry after His resurrection), Scofield relegates these verses to national Judaism in the Millennium. Notwithstanding, the “new covenant” is the N.T. (Heb 9 – inheriting by the grace of God alone what we could not ever earn), a matter of heart and not the letter (Rom 2:28,29)!
The prophecy of 70 weeks enlarges Jeremiah’s predictions. It is wholly Christological and Messianic! Putting an end to the Old Covenant and inaugurating the New Testament [inheritance] (Heb 8:13; 9:16,17), Jesus Christ on the cross. Dispensationalists need an adjusted vision concerning Daniel 9:24-27. Their whole concept needs re-examination, which the Bereans won’t mind (Acts 17:10,11). How about you?
The seventy weeks are determined
The same archangel that announced the Messiah’s birth to Mary (Lk 1:26-31) prophesied His death to Daniel! The time of the evening obligation was 15:00 (the “ninth hour”) – the very hour of Jesus’ crucifixion (Mt 27:45-46; Jn 19:30)! The Lamb of God died for the sins of all the world (Jn 1:29; 3:16)!
- Dan 9:24. The 70 weeks are 70 X 7 = 490 consecutive years (“weeks” read as “sevens”).
- The 70 weeks started with the decree of Artaxerses (Longimanus) of Persia for Ezra to beautify the temple and restore its worship, and to rebuild the Jewish state, 457 B.C. (Ezra 7).
- The prophecy of the 70 weeks (490 years) can be divided into:
1. “Seven weeks” – 49 years (building the city and wall, ended 408 B.C. – Neh 13:23-31)
2. “Threescore and two weeks” – 62 weeks, or 434 years, ended A.D. 27 when Jesus Christ was 30 yeas of age (having been born in 4 B.C. )! The historical and Messianic fulfilment of Daniel 9:25 has been noted. Daniel’s 69th week ended in A.D. 27 when Prince Jesus stepped down into the baptismal waters of the Jordan, and his 70th week began when “the Messiah the Prince” came up out of these same waters, anointed to dismantle the works of the devil (Acts 10:38; 1 Jn 3:8)!
3. “One week” – seven years. Daniel mentions the “end” often throughout his prophecy (Dan 8:17,19; 11:6,27,35,40,45; 12:4,6,9,13). Until the end of the “war” or “battle” (Dan 11:20,25), “desolations” or “astonishments and devastations” (Dan 8:27; 9:17,18,27; 11:31; 12:11) are “determined” or “decided, decreed”. The Hebrew margin renders the last part of Dan 9:26 as “it shall be cut off by desolation”. These words and phrases point to the complete destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. (Mt 24:2). Furthermore, Dan 9:26 accurately predicts the ravaging of Jerusalem by the Roman “troops” and their “prince” Titus in A.D. 70. Indeed “desolation” without Christ, and an “abomination” to God!…
Another slant on the historical view is that some variant Hebrew translations of Dan 9:26 read, “and the prince (Messiah’s) future people shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”. Accordingly, the “people” of Prince Messiah would be the (then) Jews. Josephus, the Jewish historian, blamed the complete destruction of Jerusalem upon the Zealots who resisted and continued fighting after their defenses had fallen, thinking that God would never allow the city to be conquered. These bandits caused more death and destruction than the Romans. Pregnant women were cut open and men trampled over unborn babies.
Regardless, the “prince” of Dan 9:26 is not some future anti-Christ!
Titus and his men “destroyed the city and the sanctuary” of the Jews. Josephus was an eye-witness to the unparalleled tribulation that brought the fall and destruction of Jerusalem, and the “end” of Judaism like a flood. His detailed and scholarly account, Wars of the Jews, was published about A.D. 75. His history provides a marvelous confirmation of the prophecy that Jesus gave, even in fine detail. The “desolation” that Jesus decreed came to pass (Lk 13:35). These infallible predictions by Jesus (Mt 23:36-24:3) set the time clock for the total abomination of desolation as prophesied by Daniel.
In Mt 24:34 Jesus said, “This generation” (His own). After the death of Jesus, Judea had continual trouble (tribulation), especially in the harshness of their taxes. Tyranny reigned A.D. 60-62. The armies of the Roman Empire, Assyria, and Egypt began a march of total destruction over the land of Israel. Wars, battles, devastation, destruction, horror, and death were everywhere. There was civil disobedience in every city (Mt 24:4-8). Throughout Judea, thousands were killed. As noted, internal strife between rival religious factions ransacked the city of Jerusalem, doing as much or more damage than Titus’ army. They would later join forces with the common Roman foe.
Emperor Vespasian sent his son Titus with elite forces (4 legions) to crush the holy city in A.D. 69. Famine raged. Josehus, according to his account of Titus’ siege (Wars V.-VI), acted as a mediator between the Romans and the Jews that the temple might be spared. Against Titus’ wishes and in spite of what some “prophets” at that time had said, the battle culminated with the burning and desolation of the sanctuary on September 8, A.D. 70, the very month and day that Solomon’s temple had been burned by the Babylonians (according to Josephus, Wars VI. Iv 8.)!
We will stop here, contemplating Acts 7:48; 17:24; Heb 9:11; Ps 127:1; Jn 4:20-24. Yes, we are His body, we are His Church – Eph 1:22,23; 2:18-23; 4:12; 5:32; Col 1:24; 1Pet 2:5; 1 Cor 3:16; 1 Jn 4:16.
Christ crucified. Contemplate 1 Cor 1:23-2:2,5; 3:11. Was the apostle Paul aware that Jesus was resurrected from the dead? Well, he wrote Eph 2:5-10,14-22; 1 Cor 15:1-8 (Gal 1:11-12), Rom 3:20,24-28; 5:9,21; and so on. See Rev 12:10 and how many times in the Book of Revelation we are reminded of the Blood of the Lamb and the [slain] Lamb of God. If you think Christ crucified means Christ overcome, you do not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was not won [and so crucified], Jesus Christ has won [paid the ransom for us] – Col 1:13-22. Don’t be scared to accept the crucifix [a Christian’s banner], but know that an idolised cross of a Roman Catholic Pope [free mason] is something completely different.
Actually, Eschatology is not the real issue. What determines our position is that Jesus Christ is Lord of (all) our lives! Who governs the way [and what] we speak and think? Who is it – really – that you follow?
Whether one is devoutly sitting in a pew waiting for an “any minute” rapture, or playing with the Scriptures and God, there is more. There must be more. Sons of God must show the power of God. This means we must change, we must make a complete and utter commitment to King Jesus. The heir cannot remain a child. Apostles, prophets, teachers come forth! Jesus will come for a mature Bride, so the Church has to grow up. May we see the Light… in – and outside – time…
Jesus’ second coming is not “any minute”, it is “not until”… until you and I become like Him and do what He has told us to do (Mt 10:7,8; Jn 17:20; Mt 28:19,20). Watch the millions of dollars wasted in promoting a false hope based on fear, a powerless Church and twisted Truth (lies). There is big money and power [for false preachers] in keeping people in bondage. They are thieves (Jn 10:1-10). Many slick “dispen-sensational” best-sellers are sold about happenings in the Middle East. Nothing has changed.
If the “any minute” rapture were a reality, I humbly and thankfully tell you that by the Grace of God I am born again, Spirit-filled, and ready to go… But what if I am right? I beseech you. Do not believe things just because some preacher have said them. Heb 12:2… is for the rest of chapter 12! Read it!
Take your Bible. Read your Bible and see Jesus, not your “self” (2 Cor 3:18). Study your Bible. Rethink your Bible. Knowing the Truth sets you free, not binding a defeated foe (Satan) in prayer. (How does he then get loose again to – repeatedly – be bound by so many millions of Christians? Selah!). The devil’s only power is in deception [ignorance of professing believers] (Jn 8:33; 1 Jn 2:4). He has no power in his own (Js 4:7). The devil is given much too much credit. Some thinks he never misses a trick, but is doubtful about the Lord’s faithfulness (in prayer), but is absolutely convinced the devil is totally faithful.
We must grow up (because He empowered us), not go up (because we can not make it). Get bold enough to declare and live for the Truth, the teachings of Jesus Christ, not pseudo-studies of parrots. Accept His everlasting [immortal, eternal] Life! Jesus came to give us a life more abundantly, but religious institutions insist on an abundant death ! The church [Body of Christ], follow Christ, not dogmas of men.
So we see then that the Bible is about Jesus Christ, not recipes. The Bible is not teaching rules, ceremonies, rituals, and tradition [religion, law] as a means of salvation and abundant life; but rather a relationship with the most intelligent and most creative Person: our Father in heaven, one with His Son. And this through His Son, His Spirit inside of you, that empowers you, makes you also a son (potential mature child) of God. You cannot grow into this sonship – you either are a child, or not. You may grow more mature [enlightened], but your Father does not grow into fatherhood for you, neither do you grow into sonship as His child! Neither are you a pilgrim or a migrant – you either belong to His household or not (Eph 2:6,19). You see it, or you don’t (Jn 3:3;Mt 24:40). A kingdom implies rulership/dominion, so if Jesus is the King of all the kings in His kingdom, and that is you (Rev 1:5,6; 5:9,10), are you ruling in all aspects of your life? If not, can it be because you are waiting for things that has happened? Is it possible that the power of the church is watered down because they place in future events that is history (Mk 7:13)?
What if Jesus [God] expects you to have dominion here on earth, and that that heavenly city is a people, not a place (Is 60:14; Mt 5:14), and that the place He went to prepare for you in His Father’s house (Jn 14:2), is actually mentioned further on in vs 23-24 (Lk 17:20-21; 2 Cor 4:7; Eph 4:12-15; 1 Cor 3:9,16; 1 Tim 3:15; Col 1:24c; 1 Pet 2:5; Eph 1:19-; 2:20)? Just say, for a moment, the meek [humble before Jesus’ teaching] will inherit the [whole] earth (Mt 5:5), and you have been fast asleep because you talked after other men in parrot-like fashion, and missed the whole plot – what Jesus came to do , and actually has accomplished (Jn 19:30). Just say that you are not following the gospel of Jesus Christ but only that about Jesus Christ? Gal 1:6-9; 3-5.
Believe here means to take JESUS CHRIST seriously. Be His Church. His Body, His Bride, His Light, His city on a hill. You are a human be-ing, not a do-ing, so be His true and faithful Bride – until…
Jesus Christ is the only One Who’s right it is! And His church is an organism [living body], not an organization. And certainly not a powerless one contradicting His prophecy (Is 9:7) and His success.
The glory Jesus will return in, will be His mature Body corporate – His manifested brothers on earth. Yes He will be in His glorified body as Jesus Christ, but Christ will also be in His mature brothers on earth!
Amazing how, when you preach the cross of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:18-2:5), confirming what Jesus Christ finished on that cross, you see the same reaction of the religious and especially their rulers (Jn 15:18-20).
Very carefully consider what the apostle Paul’s concern was in 2 Cor 11:3. Did you see v 4? Again understand the one, unfolding, progressive revelation, from the beginning [Genesis] to the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:1a) – see Heb 8:12-1; 9:13,26; Rom 10:4; Gal 1:6-15… Shall we go on, or are you seeing the Light (Jn 1:9-17)? Yes, that was the day (Jn 19:30) the Lord has made (Ps 118:24); that was the day judgement was passed also on religious rulers, powers, principalities, wickedness in high places! Woe to you, Scribes, Pharisees, Saducees! Anyone rejecting Jesus Christ – alone – as the way, is wrong!
The devil and events described in Rev 12
Refer to the papers entitled “Lucifer” on www.gospel-truth.co.za for more detail, pardon the pun (the tail sweeping in Rev 12:4). For the purpose of this short paper, just the following two extractions as notes on Rev 12 and 22:10-21.
Note at Rev 12. We have to admit its symbolic language. John is seeing signs that represent truth (Rev 1:1; 12:1, 3). We should not interpret these signs as literal events, unless we are willing to accept that the devil really is a physical dragon with a tail that can literally knock down one third of our universe’s stars (Rev 12:12:3-4)! Clearly, this passage refers to the devil’s general efforts to thwart the fulfillment of the prophecy about Christ, Seed of a woman (a woman has eggs that are fertilized by a man’s seed), who would destroy the devil (Gen 3:1, 14-15; Gal 3:16). However, the male child, or Jesus, was eventually born. He succeeded in His mission and ascended back to reign at God’s right-hand (Dan 7:13-14; Acts 2:30-36; Heb 10:13). We learn that the devil makes war in heaven. But this passage refers not to the devil’s origin and events that precede the creation of man! It is an anachronism when we attempt to date the application of these verses before 4000 B.C., when the context places it after 30 A.D.!
Incidentally, it is interesting that some will use this passage to prove that the devil seduced exactly one-third of the Lord’s angels. It is a strange hermeneutic that will literally interpret the phrase “one-third”, while figuratively interpreting the phrase “drew … stars of heaven” to refer to the angels, but then immediately again literally interpreting the phrase “threw them to the earth” to refer to their condemnation to roam the earth. Consistency, both with itself and the rest of Scripture, is an excellent test for any interpretation (or, absence of contradiction – Tit 1:2, 9). Either this passage is figurative or literal, or since it is clearly not literal, we have to try and understand the spiritual truths symbolized in this chapter. The fall recorded here, similar to the corrected interpretation of Lk 10:17-20, refers to the devil’s loss of power or authority. It is a loss of spiritual place or right against people in Christ, not physical proximity. In this passage, the devil’s place is linked to his continual practice of falsely accusing God’s people (Rom 8:29-39). It should be rather associated with God’s previous toleration of the devil’s slanderous accusations, which prompted events like those recorded in Job 1-2 or Zech 3:1-5. Today God no longer tolerates the devil’s accusations. Why? The devil’s accusations regarding Joshua the High Priest concerned his sinfulness (Zech 3:1-5); and the accusations against Job pertained to his “protection” from sin (Job 1:8-11; 2:3-5). In each case, the devil was accusing God of injustice, demanding punishment and trial. However, after Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, justice was restored, God was vindicated in His perfect role as the last Adam (1 Cor 15:45), and His people so justified – demonstrably (Rom 3:24-26)! The devil’s accusations had been ultimately answered! There was no longer place for his accusations and therefore God tolerates them no more. God had “overcome when judged” (Rom 3:4).
Although we are given but a few passages concerning the origin of the devil, the many fables and myths concerning his origin have prompted a thorough examination of the commonly held beliefs. In closing, we see that we do not really know as much about the devil’s origin as many claim to know. The lesson could very well be that God does not think it important; otherwise He would have revealed it so. Contemplate at this juncture Dt 29:29; 2 Pet 1:2-3; 2 Tim 3:16-17. The more important points to consider are the nature of the devil, his work, and his defeat and how we overcome in Jesus Christ!
Note at Rev 22:10-21. The Greek mythology places everything in one of two categories: natural or supernatural. The Bible [God’s] perspective is, on the other hand, revealing a Creator and His creatures and the interaction or relationship between Him and us and the rest of His creation on earth – He gave us authority to rule here and now over all on/in it that is bad. Do it.
The point is this: what do you see as reality, as natural, and where do you place Satan? The Spiritual is actually more real than the physical (2 Pet 3:5-7). If you view Satan according to human wisdom (1 Cor 3:19; Job 5:13), as supernatural, be careful not to place him on the side of God, making a god [out] of Satan that was a liar and destroyer from the beginning. The Bible clearly teaches that Satan was created by God (Jn 1:1-5; Col 1:15-17; Heb 1:1-8; Is 45:7; 54:16). God alone is omnipotent and omnipresent. Do not make a [omnipotent] god of Satan by thinking (declaring, confessing!) that he is “riding your back all the time” – he can only be in one place at one time on this earth! The devil does have demons, other powers and principalities, other agents [even false preachers] assisting him; but they are defeated together with Satan as the head of that whole army or organization. They are all under your feet, subdue them with God’s Word. Know God’s Word, have that incorruptible Seed inside of you, but Satan himself is certainly limited [not omnipresent, not omnipotent] by God (Job 2:6,7). What is more, Satan has absolutely no power over any man, as long as man resists. And the ultimate way of resisting Satan, is to ignore him (Heb 12:2; Is 5:18-21)!!! You have to take the dominium Jesus gave you and resist with “it is written”! See Gal 3:29 with Gen 12:3. Contemplate Is 54:13-17. The devil has nothing on those [knowing their inheritance] in Christ. The wavering might see a different view in fear.
Example. If you get up late – even because electricity went out – causing the alarm not to sound, resulting in a whole chain of “unfavourable” events; be careful to elevate the devil to a place he does not deserve [claiming the devil caused all that]. Often [only] we are the cause. You could have set your cellphone alarm, or whatever alternative means, as a wake-up call and the outcome would have been very different Stop being a weakling that wants to blame someone (something) else “bigger than you” – be mature and response + able = responsible! Be a kingly priest!
A theory is deducted from Job 1:6-12 that Satan probably [also] had a task to report to God about people – and by observing people, then saw how easily ignorance could destroy those without Seed in them, so he specializes as a slanderer and an accuser (Rev 12:10; Job 1:9-11; Zech 3:1). However, God does not need Satan’s report, humans place themselves where they spiritually are by their choice – either trusting God [and His Word], or themselves [or other humans words]. But rebellion, cynicism, self-centredness, depression, and accusing [slander] originated with Satan. Most significant of all, the accusation that God is not fit to be the Ruler of His creation [including angels]. For this, the devil – who was on the earth from the beginning – and the “messengers” (not necessarily “angels”!) influenced by him. So the “fallen angels” that was thrown out of heaven (Rev 12:7; Lk 10:18; Jude 6; 2 Pet 2:4), could be false teachers (Jn 10:1-10) listening to their father (of all lies). In what “heaven” did this happen? The third heaven [realm, dimension of Lk 17:20,21 and it happened on the cross of Jesus at Golgatha! See the paper “heaven” by the author for a little better exegesis and for now contemplate Rev 11:15 with Lk 17:20,21; Eph 2:19 (vs.16-22); Heb 12:1. You will also note that Rev 15:5,8; and Rev16:17 was written by the same John later who in Jn 19:30 reminded us that Jesus said “It is finished”; just like Matthew told us that the veil was rent and we now in Christ directly enter the throne of grace to obtain mercy; and mercy is for Life! Satan is judged (Jn 16:11); and even those being misled by him [placing more trust in his twisted ideas (Jn 3:17-20)]. The devil was bad from the beginning (Gal 4:27, with v 1-5; and Jn 8:40-44, are those outside His Body, His Church). Inside His Body, His Church, you were given control (Heb 2:8). As long as you take thoughts captive for Christ, you are safe. Whenever Satan (or any of his fallen hierarchy, fallen stars) tries to remind you of your past, you remind them of their future. My prayer for you, as written by Peter in his second epistle – take this, meditate on it, make it your own. Let this year be different, the best you have ever lived… the choice is with you – choose life in ALL your situations that you may LIVE. Then it becomes easy to obey Mt 10:8…
- A “school” originally referred to a person, and only later started to refer to the institution that followed the teaching of that person. So the school’s “pupils” (as in eyes), allow light in to see what the teacher sees, and so become “enlightened”. Followers are disciples, you see…
- The reason there are 12 inches in the standard foot measurement is because the foot used to be based on the length of the English king’s physical foot, and thus constantly changed through various kings. This is also why a 12-inch measuring stick was called a “ruler.”
Have you also noticed two words in the English language today that obviously share the same root, namely (1) “principal” that most dictionaries will tell you is cardinal, chief, controlling, dominant, first, foremost, most important, pre-eminent, strongest; and (2) “principle” that firstly is assumption, axiom, canon, dictum, doctrine, dogma, formula, fundamental, golden rule, law…” Now think again of Eph 6:12. Who do you suppose are these “rulers” and “principalities” and what is “this present darkness” they rule? How can wickedness get in high places, if Satan (himself) has no access in heaven [does not approach God’s throne]?
- The darkness that condemns people, because they love the darkness more than Light (Jn 1; 3:17-21), is none else than the law, the idea of self-righteousness, being blinded by the principality – in their own minds – that they are god. This god that does it “my way, and may I say, not in a shy way…” What astonishing arrogant blasphemy! A Satanic-influenced tragedy at best!
Can you see the twist (“wickedness”) in deceiving children of God? We are supposed to accurately reflect Jesus’ Light and Truth – His perfect Love – and represent our Father! Ps 8; 82:6; Jn 10:34. Read around Jn 10:33-42. Hard Scriptures? Attach Jn 15 and Jn 14 (especially v 9-15)…
Listen and hear well, friend in Christ, a religious institution is NOT the Church of Jesus Christ! The Church of Jesus Christ follows the teaching of Jesus Christ! His Church believes Jesus set them free from themselves, from attempting in vain to live by a law that only administrates death through attempted self-righteousness. His Church is His Body and believes Jesus – that He ended the law (Rom 10:4; Jn 19:30). A body with cells that fight each other is infiltrated by cancer, and is not the Spirit of Christ (Rom 1:17-22). Now, friend, do you have ears to hear? Hear then even Jer 1:12; Is 55:10-13. Accept 1 Cor 3:11 for real!
Read Prov 11:30; 15:4; then Heb 5:12-6:3. This advanced teaching is the plain Truth that sets you free. Nothing else can set you free. Believe you Jesus Christ – Jn 10:10; 16:33. Jesus Christ is your righteousness. Jesus Christ is your holiness. Jesus Christ took all judgement of sin (Jn 16:9) on Him for all those THAT BELIEVE HIM. Do you love HIM? More than your self? More than men and their twisted, wicked, compromised and manipulating ideas? Do you love HIM?
This advanced teaching (Heb 6:3) will get you to not conform to this world of the law [self-righteousness] (Rom 12:2), but have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16). This teaching will get you to repent, to change your mind, to take those wicked thoughts captive into obedience unto Christ (not the other way around). Perfection is in His righteousness, His Love, His grace. Be in your right mind, clothe yourself with JESUS CHRIST and sit at HIS feet (Lk 8:35). Stop being so busy, king of your own created world (Lk 10:41) – delegate [choose time with Him, trust others to help, get a CEO if you have to, grasp Mt 6:33]! Like Martha, you might welcome Jesus into your house [1 Cor 6:19-20] and have cd’s of gospel music (that often essentially begs of God what He already provided, Eph 1:3?) all over and Bibles lying around (Lk 10:38), but still be so busy trying to impress [even] Him that you hear not His voice (“but…” in Lk 10:40a). Be quiet and get His good news: Jesus Christ did it, you get what He deserved through HIS work. Jesus loosened the work the devil had done. This means Jesus ended the law. This means you should be clothed with Him, hear His voice, follow Him, be free, and in your right mind. His mind, His idea for you (Jer 29:11-14; Gen 22:17). You shall not die but live (He is able).
But if you still want to mix an old covenant law with the New Testament of Jesus Christ, then finally accept Heb 4:1-3 (num 14:16a!). If you want to still trip over the stone [law, Sabbath], then see that v 4 says “For in a certain place He has said about the seventh day…” Does that sound like the time the law was given? Read on (v. 3,5-16 in the Amplified). Verse 7 says “Again He sets a definite day, today… Today, if you hear His voice… do not harden your hearts”. If you still think you have to die to enjoy abundant death, and your peace will only be in “heaven” one day, you are missing the awesome revelation that that day of rest (Eph 2:4-9; Phil 4:5-7) is actually not far, but in your heart and in your mouth – just believe it and then speak it! Jesus always said “peace…” saying anxiety is unbelief and distrust in His ability, promise and character.
Speak to that mountainous Sinai (law), cast it in the lowest on earth – the sea. Stand on the sand of that sea [dust], making it your footstool. Then see. You are above, not below. That “below” that will not be in the new heaven and the new earth. Prophecy to it. Say to it, Grace! Grace! Say what God says!
So to summarize: the work the devil (accuser) has done, was to take man’s awareness of himself and twist it into a focus [reliance] on himself, instead of focussing [depend in trust] on God for wisdom, power [glory, anointing] – Love. So instead of being aware [conscious] of self (Ps 139:13-17) to bring Father, Son and Holy Spirit glory in a meaningful personal relationship, the self is seen as god [not needing a Savior, a Guide]. So the idea of following a law or steps or rules become very appealing, and fruit (words) that kills. The impressiveness is thus so not glorifying God [Love], but the self as god. All these doctrines of man, such as “infant baptism”, “rapture”, “gap theory”, and so on, is actually all having the same effect: it brings a phlegmatic, stolid numbness over man. The man that is supposed to be the glory of God, the pinnacle in His creation. The rulers, the kings, the priests. This is the glory Jesus wants to return in – us (you)! This is the kingdom Jesus wants to hand to His Father for good – you [us]! This work is what Jesus came to do, to loosen [remove the “bobbin”] what the devil has done (1 Jn 3:8).
Perhaps we must wake up and grow up, church! Why stop with Heb 12:2, that is only the introduction, to prepare you for what God is saying following verse 2!! “Tribulation” [Holy Spirit’s conviction] is training! Don’t shrink away from it, subdue it! God did not send it, we allowed it! Rule or get the re-test over and over until you pass! Jesus Christ is the King of kings. If you refuse to be a king, you refuse His kingdom-plan, and you will not glorify Him and His name. Don’t be lame, bare HIS Name!! Don’t wait to go up, grow up and be victorious and free in Jesus Christ!
The choice is yours: be useful and use that power [glory, anointing] inside of you, manifest your sonship as a child of GOD; or be uselessly content that you are saved and going away to heaven one day, unscathed [ignoring Jesus’ commission (Mt 28:19-20; Jn 17:18-20)].
You should know that a believer is not necessarily a follower [yet] of Jesus Christ (Js 2:14-26). And if you follow man [man’s ideas], you are not a disciple of Jesus Christ, and then surely you will be unable to make disciples of men [for Jesus Christ] – (Heb 5:12-6:3).
Are you with God’s program? God wants you to know that through Jesus Christ, you have what is His on earth, that is why Jesus had to be buried (Heb 9; Gal 3). You inherit it through Jesus, you cannot earn it by observing a law (Rom 3:20-28; 7:10; and so on). Slowly study Eph 1:1-18 (at v 10 pause and check Heb 9:26; Gal 4:4-5; Col 1:20); Rom 8:15-17; Heb 1:1-2; Acts 4:7; Rom 4:13-17; Ps 37; Gal 1:6-9; 3:11-16,29; 4:6-7; The promise to Abraham (not Moses) in Gen 12:3 and 22:17 (not Dt 28 to Moses) is what is yours to inherit because Jesus Christ earned it for us. Believe it and go for it! LIVE and rule on earth!
Are you shaken? Good! That is what Heb 12 is saying. God will shake the earth to reveal what cannot be shaken – HIS WORD. Dogma will fall, be burnt like chaff. And the shaking, the cleaning up, will start inside His house, His Body corporate, His Church – first. There can be no “denominations”- they are abominations, desolation at best. The power and glory, the Light and grace of God is not reflected there.
As a thought-provoking post script, compare the Scriptures on the left, with those on the right:
Mt 24:5,24 with Acts 5:36,37; 8:9-11; 13:6
Mt 24:7 with Mt 27:51-53; Rev 11:13; 16:17-19; Acts 11:27-29
Mt 24:29 with Rev 1:16-20; 6:13; Dan 12:3; Num 23:17; Job 25:5; 38:7
Mt 24:32 with Lk 22:52-53; 21:28-30 (1 Cor 2:7,8); Lk 13:6-9 that leads to Mt 21:18-31,33-45
Mt 24:34 with the thought that if 1948 (Israel’s independence) + 40 = 1988 – why has Jesus not returned yet?
Now do the same with these as well:
Rev 4:1 with Jn 10:9; Rev 3:6-8
Rev 15:1 with 2 Thess 5:9; Jn 8:15; Heb 10:14 (Lev 26:21)
Rev 15:5 with Heb 4:16; Mt 27:51,54 (Rev 8:5; 12:16)
Rev 15:8 with Heb 4:16; 10:19-21 (1 Ki 8:10; Is 6:4; Ez 44:4)
Rev 16:17 with Jn 19:30 (Is 53; 66:6; Ps 22)
Again think of what happened on that cross at Golgotha, and what it was that Jesus Christ paid for, provided for, and what exactly it is that Jesus Christ said He has finished [fulfilled]. And what it is that you are waiting for, and what the whole creation [of Jesus Christ, Jn 1:1-4; Col 1:15-17] is waiting for (Rom 8:19). Has He given you a Spirit of fear, timidity and without power to overcome all? So which is it?
The Samaritans & Ten Lost Tribes
First our concern is to determine whether or not this 144 000 are actually 12 000 literal Israelites from their 12 respective tribes. Even though this belief is common it quickly becomes obvious that this is simply impossible. Even a casual look at the Old Testament reveals this important clue. The 10 northern tribes gave themselves completely over to idolatry. God allowed the Assyrians to carry them away in 722 BC 2 Ki 17:6).
When the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were later carried off to Babylon, after spending 70 years in captivity, thousands returned. But with the 10 tribes, history never records any mass exodus from Assyria back to Israel. Instead, the King of Assyria transplanted an assortment of people from pagan nations in the land of Israel in the region of Samaria (2 Ki 17:24).
The King of Assyria did send one Hebrew priest back from Assyria to teach these transplanted pagans about the God of Israel, but not from the exiled 10 tribes (2 Ki 17:27). They eventually became known as the infamous Samaritans. As is evident even in the New Testament, the Jews detested this group because they were no longer pure Israelites in blood or religion. History also records that long before the time of Jesus, the 10 exiled tribes intermarried with the Assyrians, therefore losing their distinct identity. Today, a genealogist would be hard pressed to find even one vaguely pure descendant from the tribe of Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, or Simeon—much less 12,000! In fact, because these tribes were so thoroughly scattered around the world and assimilated by their host nations, it is very possible even you have traces of Abraham in your bloodline (Ez 12:15)!
Who Is a True Israelite?
On the surface, it still might be easy enough for one to believe that the 144 000 are from the 12 tribes listed in Revelation 7. But a closer reading quickly reveals that from the time of Jesus, most of the prophecies speaking of Israel are focused on the children of faith – or spiritual Israel regardless of whether they were Jew or Gentile by blood. Here is a small sample of the many texts that establish this truth: Rom 2:28-29; 9:6-8,23-27; Gal 3:29; Ex 19:6; 1 Pet 2:9; Js 1:1. The content of James’ letter is clearly addressed to Christians, and yet he plainly refers to them as spiritual Jews from 12 spiritual tribes.
How Many Tribes?
A short lesson on the Old Testament tribes might be necessary for clarity. In reality, there were actually 13 tribes! The 12 original tribes all came from the 12 sons of Jacob, whom the Lord had later renamed Israel. When Joseph’s older brothers sold him into slavery, it was the beginning of a long and painful separation from his family. After reuniting with his father, Jacob promised to compensate for Joseph’s years of separation by adopting two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, as his own to be numbered with his sons in place of Joseph (Gen 48:5).
Thus, when Joseph’s two sons were counted as tribes in the place of their father, it counts as 13 tribes, technically. One reason that you still continue to hear of only 12 tribes through the Bible is because after the Levites were chosen to be the priests for all Israel, they were excluded from receiving any specific territory as inheritance. Instead, they were to defuse among all the tribes as teachers and priests (Num 1:49).
As a connected point of interest, we can also ask how many were seated at the Last Supper. The answer is 13—the 12 Apostles, and Jesus sat among them as their high priest. During the Passover, 13 tribes presented themselves: the “regular” 12 tribes and then the Levites serving as the priests.
Also, if it were important to the Lord to only use the 12 different literal tribes in equal numbers to comprise the 144 000, wouldn’t we expect Jesus to choose His Apostles in a similar fashion? But it does not appear to have mattered to Jesus that his apostles were from the 12 different tribes of Israel, for most of His apostles were from the tribe of Judah. The exceptions are Matthew-Levi, who was probably from the tribe Levi, and Paul, who was from the tribe of Benjamin (Rom 11:1).
Additionally, the 12 tribes in the Old Testament were very unequal in population size. Judah was very large, while Benjamin was very small. Indeed, God divided the Promised Land amongst the tribe according to the proportion of their population needs. Yet with the 144 000, it’s exactly 12,000 per tribe across the board. This is another strong clue that it is not speaking of the literal tribes of Israel.
The seven trumpets (judgements); seven plagues (vials, or bowls, of wrath); and the seven seals
Remember that we, at the beginning of this discussion, considered Jesus’ redemptive work on His cross an accomplished work, a done deal? If the book Revelation, then, was Jesus’ revelation to John what had happened at, through and because of His cross at Golgotha; we take special note of Rev 1:1 that states “This is the revelation of Jesus Christ [His revealing of divine mysteries]. God gave it to Him to disclose and make known to His bondservants certain things that must shortly and speedily come to pass in their entirety…” (emphasis mine). This would imply that we could read all those “mysterious” sevens in the book Revelation, as things already “brought to their conclusion” in one speedy and continuous process and then certainly without a gap of undetermined length. It is very plausible to have been that exchange, which was the day that the Lord has brought about; and indeed we will rejoice and be glad in it…
The 7 seals broken by Jesus’ Blood, could have been: sin, judgement, condemnation, iniquity (Is 53:6), griefs (culminating in sicknesses, weaknesses and distresses), guilt and chastisement.
The 7 plagues of wrath, could have been: oppression, affliction (sorrow, pain, grief, sickness), being slaughtered like a lamb, being falsely accused, vicariously judged, cut-off and death.
And, the 7 judgements: to have been despised, rejected (Jn 1:9-11), forsaken by men, mocked/scoffed at, considered stricken/smitten/afflicted by God, forsaken by Father, then gloriously forgiveness; but ultimately given the highest authority (Mt 28:18; Phil 2:8-11)! We can perhaps conclude this discussion with Jesus’ invitation in Mt 11:27-30!
What a trumpet was blown in Lk 1:30-33!!! Allelujah!
Go in peace with Col 1:21-29 and 2 Tim 1:4-14.
1 Thess 5:23 to you and those you love!