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Some Funny Things Happened to the Statue of Daniel 2

 

Some Funny Things Happened to the Statue of Daniel 2

When I took my first serious look at the Book of Daniel almost twenty years ago, I did so without the benefit of familiarity with scholarly opinion.  In general terms, I knew that in mainstream academia, where liberals dominate biblical scholarship, the prevailing view is that Daniel is a pseudepigraphal product of the second century BC whose “prophecies” need to be understood in that light.  I also knew that those scholars who have accepted it for what it claims to be have generally used it to reinforce a futurist and premillennial hermeneutic.  Upon my first careful reading of Daniel, I immediately rejected the opinions of mainstream scholars.  I then flirted for a while with the futurist approach but ultimately rejected it in favor of preterism.

In this article, I focus my skepticism about the scholarly treatment of Daniel upon how mainstream academics and conservative premillennialists have analyzed the great statue of Daniel 2.  We learn in verses 32-33 of this chapter that the statue has a head of pure gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron and baked clay.  Subsequent verses inform us that the head of gold symbolizes Nebuchadnezzar, that the other three metals symbolize a sequence of three kingdoms that will follow him, that the kingdom of iron will “crush and break all the others” (NIV, v.40), and that the clay in the feet and toes indicates that the fourth kingdom will become a divided kingdom “whose people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay” (NIV, v.43).

When I first read Daniel 2, my natural inclination was to assume that the metals that symbolize the four kingdoms should be expected to show particularly close historical associations with those kingdoms.  After all, I reasoned, prophecies are supposed to relate to the future, and this means that we should expect that each of the four kingdoms symbolized by the metals should have had a particularly close association with the metal used to identify it.  Moreover, I knew that as a matter of historical fact, the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar had placed great emphasis upon gold, that the Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great had enjoyed a particularly close association with silver, that Greece had maintained a particularly close association with bronze that extended into the post-Alexander Hellenic Age, and that Rome had improved the technology of iron usage and greatly expanded the use of that metal.  I thought it especially significant that the Romans surpassed the Greeks in their reliance upon iron armor and weaponry.  This evidence is discounted by mainstream scholars, however, who either ignore it or dismiss it as irrelevant.  In their world, it is an article of “faith” that the kingdom of iron cannot be Rome, and all analysis of the four kingdoms must reflect that assumption.

Most mainstream scholars are liberals who regard the “prophecies” of Daniel with great skepticism and are confident that the book was authored in its final form in the second century BC toward the end of the reign of the Seleucid monarch Antiochus IV, who died late in 164 or perhaps in 163.  There are some mainstream scholars who look to the time of Antiochus IV for the primary fulfillments of the “end-time” prophecies in the visions half of Daniel (chapters 8-12) and who deny that that the fourth kingdom can be Rome but who nevertheless incline toward the belief that the Book of Daniel is, in some sense, “inspired.”  For them, even though the fourth kingdom of the statue symbolizes the “Greece” of the post-Alexander Hellenic Age, it may be that Daniel contains some genuine prophecy, particularly if you generously apply the theology of idealism and recycle prophecies through the use of typology.

When I began my study of Daniel, I initially had difficulty in understanding the historical association to be applied to the clay.  I was temporarily thrown off course by reading commentaries by premillennial scholars, who insist on searching for future fulfillments of Daniel’s end-time prophecies and in believing that the fourth kingdom will somehow play a part in man’s apocalyptic windup.  Perhaps, I thought, the clay belongs to our future.  In due course, however, I came to realize that it is foolish to look to the future for the completion of the fourth kingdom’s time on Earth, and that realization brought me to the conclusion that the clay in the feet and toes corresponds historically to the Jews, whose homeland became integrated into the Roman Empire a considerable time after Rome became the dominant power in the Eastern Mediterranean region.  Already present in some predominately Greek-speaking areas of the empire, Jews migrated northward and westward after the incorporation of Judea into the empire and grew in relative numbers through both natural increase and prosyletization.  As I came to embrace the idea of first-century AD fulfillment for Daniel’s end-time prophecies, I had no difficulty in concluding that it was the Jewish people who gave the empire the divided character indicated by the mixture of iron and clay.

In my initial foray into the study of Daniel, I surmised that since prophecies relate to the future and the four kingdoms symbolized by the metals are sequential, it makes sense to assume that each of the five sections of the statue corresponds to a distinct time period whose duration is roughly proportional to the percentage of the statue’s total length allocated to it.  In calculating that length, I assumed that the statue’s proportions would be those of a normal man, and I added to the length the portion of the feet extending beyond the ankles since I assume that the movement along the feet corresponds to a movement in time.  Also, one can plausibly assume, in calculating the relative time to be allocated to the five sections of the statue, the silver portion should receive a substantial “bonus” at the expense of the other sections to reflect its inclusion of the arms, which would normally hang below the waist.  In any event, I suggest that a very rough but reasonable allocation of the relative time corresponding to each of the five portions of the statue is as follows: head and neck, 15 percent; shoulders, chest, and arms, 26 percent; belly and thighs, 26 percent; legs (knee joints to ankle bones), 20 percent; feet and toes, 13 percent.  As I indicate later in the article, these percentages roughly coincide with the dates that should be given to the historical counterparts of the five portions of the statue.  Obviously, these percentages are affected by where you mark the precise boundaries between different sections.  In assigning these percentages, I assume that the geographical theater for their application was the Holy Land and the immediately adjacent territories.

The idea that the proportions of the five different sections of the statue should roughly match the historical periods that correspond to their symbolism is noticeable in the work of mainstream scholars for its absence.  The reason for this, I am confident, is that in any sequence of four kingdoms where Rome is not the fourth kingdom, the historical correlation between the sections of the statue and their supposed real-world counterparts is unacceptably poor.  Some of these authorities do acknowledge that the fact that the clay shows up only in the feet and toes implies that its arrival occurs in the latter part of the time of dominance of the fourth kingdom, but that is about it as far their effort to correlate the statue’s proportions with history is concerned.

In response to the question of how the four metals of the statue came to be chosen, the answer given by mainstream scholars is that the sequence of gold, silver, bronze, and iron reflects a familiar mythical theme in which a succession of kingdoms symbolized by metals of declining value conformed to the widespread belief among ancient peoples in the existence of a kind of idyllic state in the distant past from which mankind had gradually slipped away.  The Book of Daniel, it must be conceded, does not appear to be the original source of the four metals sequence.  The idea of presenting this sequence in the form of a statue does, however, appear to be original with Daniel, as does the mixing of the iron with clay.  Moreover, while Daniel informs Nebuchadnezzar in verse 39 that the kingdom that follows his will be “inferior” to his, there is no clear indication in Daniel 2 or elsewhere that the succeeding kingdoms are, in fact, inferior.  It seems plausible to believe that in telling the prideful Nebuchadnezzar that the kingdom that would displace his would be inferior to his, Daniel was seeking to soften the blow received by learning that his kingdom was destined to soon disappear, and it may also be that “inferior” here simply means being located below the head of the statue.  In any event, mainstream scholars seem perfectly content with the idea that the four metals sequence was chosen because of its familiarity and was not intended to be historically predictive.

Again I remind the reader that the Book of Daniel purports to be a book of prophecy, and genuine prophecy provides insights into the future.  I think it is therefore appropriate to ask mainstream scholars the following questions: what insights into the future are provided by the choice of the four metals and the order of their appearance, and what insights into the future are provided by the relative proportions of the statue assigned to each of its five sections?  In effect, the answer to the first of these questions that these scholars offer is that there is some sort of qualitative decline in the four kingdoms and the fourth kingdom—that of Antiochus IV—is particularly mean and nasty, which coincides with iron’s ability to crush and break other substances.  As for the second question, mainstream scholars simply do not address it.  To limit the historical significance of the statue’s features in this manner is equivalent to holding that “Daniel” was not much of a prophet, but this is no problem for liberals since they deny that a genuine prophet of that name existed.  For those mainstream scholars who believe that the Book of Daniel may contain genuine prophecy, however, this resolution of the problem should be troubling.

Although both Isaiah (64:8) and Jeremiah (18:6) contain passages that refer to the Jews as potter’s clay, mainstream scholars, including those who entertain the idea that Daniel is, in some sense, “inspired,” strongly embrace the idea that the clay in the feet and toes of the statue refers to marriage(s) between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies.  There are clear references to such marriages in Daniel 11:6 and 17, and it is commonly assumed that the author of Daniel intended them to be understood as referring to 2:43.  It must be conceded that determining just what 2:43 means is a challenge and that to claim that it refers to some kind of intermarriage is defensible.  That it requires both intermarriage and interdynastic marriage, however, is dubious.

In the interest of scholarly objectivity, I must note that although I believe that the NIV’s translation of 2:43, which I presented earlier, captures the intended meaning of this verse, it is arguable that it forces a meaning that the Aramaic of the text does not mandate.  The NIV indicates that the people of the fourth kingdom will become a disunited mixture, but a word-for-word translation of this verse reads more like the NASB: “And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.”  I submit that “they” does not necessarily point to royal families and that the mixing of the “seed of men” does not necessarily require intermarriage between either royal families or distinct social groups.  The passage may simply imply the uneasy coexistence of disparate groups within the same territory.  Joyce Baldwin, a conservative English scholar who wrote a valuable short commentary on Daniel, pointed out that the “seed of men” reference in 2:43a constitutes “an unusual expression, reminiscent of the prohibition to mix seed in the field” that is found in Leviticus 19:19.<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[1]<!–[endif]–>  I submit that it is not the mixing of seed in the field that produces hybrids.

A serious problem with identifying the clay with the Ptolemies, as mainstream scholars insist on doing, is that it is not specifically associated with a kingdom.  Indeed, since the four metals are all identified with kingdoms, one is entitled to surmise that the clay does not symbolize a kingdom.  Furthermore, by insisting on identifying the iron with Seleucid Syria, mainstream scholars effectively exclude Ptolemaic Egypt from the fourth kingdom, which contradicts the fact that when they identify the original composition of the fourth kingdom, Ptolemaic Egypt is a part of it.  For mainstream scholars, however, this contradiction is no problem because it can be attributed to the deficiencies of the author of Daniel rather than to the shortcomings of their own hermeneutic.

Conservative scholars; i.e. those who accept Rome as the fourth kingdom, have sought to assign greater historical relevance to the statue’s composition than mainstream scholars have been willing to grant, but most of them have gone badly astray because of a misguided insistence on making Daniel conform to a futurist hermeneutic.  Some of them, particularly among those who have taken large bites from the dispensationalist “apple,” have performed impressive feats of imagination that, unfortunately for them, lack solid support from the text of Daniel 2.  These feats include trying to explain how “Rome” manages to extend from ancient times into our future.  Although Rome fell to barbarians for the last time in 476, some conservatives have argued that it never really fell, at least in a cultural sense, and it is noteworthy that an argument along those lines persisted for a long time after the fall.  The existence of the Catholic Church with its headquarters in Rome contributed greatly to this persistence, and the term “Holy Roman Empire” reflected the fiction that Rome had never really fallen.  Unlike liberals, however, conservatives have tended to assume that the five sections of the statue must have a correlation with historical reality; and with the passage of time, it has become increasingly obvious that if this correlation is to be shown, there is a problem in reconciling that reality with the limitations of human anatomy.  To be specific, if Rome never really fell, then the idea that the statue is a kind of time line would seem to necessitate that it look like a man with incredibly long stilt-like legs and feet that would make those of a circus clown look normal by comparison.

Largely as a response to the stilt-like legs dilemma, some futurists have offered the solution that there must be a gap somewhere in the fourth kingdom’s portion of the statue that corresponds to the gap they find between verses 69 and 70 in the seventy “weeks” prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27.  Gary DeMar suggests that in order to make the supposed gap in Daniel 2 equivalent to the supposed gap in Daniel 9, dispensationalists must insert it between the feet and the toes.  As he also notes, however, nothing in the text of either chapter suggests that such a gap exists.<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[2]<!–[endif]–>  Undeterred by this “little” detail, however, many futurists have barged ahead with speculations based on various assumptions about the clay, the two legs, and the ten toes of the statue.  The text of Daniel 2 offers nothing to suggest that the fact that the statue has two legs has eschatological significance, however; and while it refers to the toes without mentioning the feet in verse 42, it does not mention their number.  For that matter, neither does it mention the numbers of the arms and fingers.  I suggest that the special significance of the toes is that they connote the very end of the time allotted to the statue and lie in the zone of impact with the rock that is not cut out by human hands (v.34).

The futurist approach to Daniel 2 has, no doubt, influenced some readers of Daniel toward accepting dispensationalism and other hermeneutical systems that revive the Roman Empire, but it has certainly had the opposite effect on people who are not so affected by “last days madness.”  The implausibility of the futurist hermeneutic has contributed to the fact that the systems that reject Rome as the fourth kingdom have not been subjected to close scrutiny on various points, one of the most obvious examples being their very limited effort to recognize the possible historical symbolism of the statue.  Among the hermeneutical systems that reject Rome as the fourth kingdom, the most prevalent is the one that I like to call the “Greek sequence,” in which the four kingdoms symbolized by the metals are, sequentially, (1) the Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar; (2) the Median Empire represented by the allegedly fictitious ruler Darius the Mede, who is a central character in Daniel 6 and is mentioned as the ruler of Babylon in chapters 5, 9, and 11; (3) the Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great; and (4) the “Greece” of Alexander and the Hellenic kingdoms that succeeded him.  In this Greek sequence, the earliest feasible starting date is 626 BC, which is when Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, succeeded in driving the Assyrians from Babylonia.  Because Daniel 2 gives the date for Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about the great statue as the second year of his reign, however, it seems more appropriate to place a date of around 603 at the top of the statue’s head.  Nebuchadnezzar became king of Babylonia upon the death of Nabopolassar, which occurred in 605, shortly after the great battle of Carchemish, in which Nebuchadnezzar vanquished the Egyptians and the remnants of the Assyrians.  The obvious terminal date for the Babylonian kingdom is 539, which is when Babylon fell to the army of Cyrus, though Daniel 5:31 credits Darius the Mede with being the man in charge when Babylon fell.  Notice that if we subtract 539 from 603, we get 64 years as the time of the kingdom of gold, Babylonia.  And since the proponents of the Greek sequence insist that it ends with the death of Antiochus IV, which occurred in 164/163, the statue’s “career” in the Greek sequence lasts for about 440 years.  This means that the gold part of the statue accounts for about 14-15 percent of its total length, which is a very plausible result.

With the selection of Media as the second kingdom in the Greek sequence, however, the feasibility of trying to apply the time line concept to the statue in that sequence comes to a crashing halt.  At most, the reign of Darius the Mede over Babylonia lasts no more than two years in the Book of Daniel, and this cold fact makes it pointless to continue with the time line analysis.  Incidentally, I am one of those who believe that Darius the Mede is none other than Cyrus the Great, and my conviction that the time line concept should apply to the statue is one of a number of reasons for my holding this view.  But this is not the time and place for explaining my position on this particular point.

The Greek sequence has many other problems, and even though it has enjoyed a sheltered existence that has allowed it to enjoy “immunity from prosecution” for a remarkably long time, there seems to be a growing recognition of these problems in mainstream academia.  To date, however, this awareness does not seem to have led to many defections of mainstream scholars to the “Roman sequence” camp, whose appeal has been greatly strengthened by the growth of preterism.  Instead, those mainstream scholars who have come to question the version of the Greek sequence favored by liberals have turned increasingly to idealism and typology, a shift of emphasis that I find somewhat analogous to the rise of postmodernism.  And some mainstream scholars seem to be showing more interest in what I call the “modified Greek sequence” or (more facetiously) “liberal light sequence,” in which the four kingdoms consist of Babylonia, Medo-Persia, the “Greece” of Alexander, and the collection of kingdoms that emerged from the struggles among Alexander’s generals (the diadochi) after his death, which occurred in 323 BC.  Thus, in the liberal light approach, the four Hellenic kingdoms that emerged soon after the death of Alexander are merged into one in Daniel 2.

There are numerous problems with the liberal light approach, but I shall confine myself here to its inability to be reconciled with the time line approach to the statue that I advocate.  Because this approach identifies Medo-Persia as the second kingdom, it overcomes the problem of having the second kingdom be around for only a year or two.  Unfortunately for it, it overcorrects.  If we date the beginning of Medo-Persia’s time as the kingdom of silver in 539 and end it in 332, which is the year in which Alexander established firm control of the Mediterranean coastal area, we arrive at a figure of 207 years for the second kingdom.  Since the total amount of time represented by the statue is the same in the liberal light approach as in the regular Greek sequence, and since I have estimated this quantity at 440 years, this means that in the liberal light approach, the second kingdom accounts for about 47 percent of the total time, a quantity that seems disproportionately large.  The excessive allocation to Medo-Persia is then largely offset by the compression of the third kingdom, that of Alexander the Great, to a time span as short as nine years.  One could add a few years to this by allowing for the time that it took for the diadochi to really get going at it with each other, but there is really no need to go to the trouble—it is obvious that the liberal light or modified Greek sequence is incompatible with the idea that the statue serves as a time line.

Now that I have indicated that neither futurist nor mainstream scholars can present a plausible demonstration that the statue of Daniel 2 serves as a time line, I have to confront the question of whether the version of the Roman sequence that I support does what they fail to do.  In my view, it passes the test with flying colors.  Admittedly, there are problems in setting the precise boundaries of the different portions of the statue and in determining the precise periods in history that correspond to them, but the admittedly rough correlation between the statue and history that can be shown with the preterist version of the Roman sequence is closer by huge margins than what can be claimed by the alternatives.

In my calculations, the Roman sequence runs from 603 BC to AD 30, the latter being the date that I assign to the Resurrection, which I regard as being equivalent to the striking of the statue by the rock in Daniel 2:34.  Allowing for no year zero, this gives a total of 632 years.  Babylonia’s time as the kingdom of gold runs from 603 to 539, a period of 64 years, or 10 percent of the total.  For Medo-Persia, the kingdom of silver, the number of years is 207, or 33 percent of the total.  By comparison, the “ideal” figures that I suggested earlier for the first two kingdoms are 15 percent and 26 percent, respectively.

When we come to Greece, the kingdom of bronze, we encounter the problem of determining just when it lost out to Rome.  There are several plausible choices for the year in which Rome displaced Greece as the dominant power in the area around the Holy Land.  The first is 190 BC, which is when the Romans under Scipio Asiaticus decisively defeated Antiochus III of Seleucid Syria at the Battle of Magnesia in western Asia Minor.  To me, this date is too early because Antiochus III retained much of his power and Greece, Macedonia, and Egypt remained at least nominally independent.  Then there is 168 BC, when the Romans forced Antiochus IV to abandon his effort to subdue Egypt.  My preference, however, is for 146 BC, which is when Rome formally incorporated the Greek heartland into the empire.  Admittedly, the choice of 146 also supports my correlation argument since it lengthens the time of Greece to 186 years; i.e. 332 BC to 146 BC.  That amounts to 29 percent of the 632 years.  Another possible date, incidentally, is 142 BC, which is when Hasmonean Judea finally firmly established its independence from Selucid Syria.

In calculating the time for “clay free” Rome, my preference is to date the appearance of the clay from 37 BC, the year in which Herod the Great ascended to the Judean throne.  Admittedly, Judea was actually incorporated into the Roman Empire in 63 BC, when Pompey occupied Jerusalem, but Rome did not establish firm control over Judea until Herod was installed as king.  If, then, we use 146 BC as the starting point for the pure iron section of the statue and 37 BC as the ending point, this gives us 109 years, or 17 percent of the total.  Finally, if the iron mixed with clay portion of the statue corresponds to the period from 37 BC to AD 30, this gives 66 years, or 10 percent of the total.

Now compare the percentages I have calculated as admittedly rough estimates of the relevant time periods with those that I suggested earlier as rough approximations of the “ideal” percentages.  The “ideal” percentages are, going from the gold to the clay, 15, 26, 26, 20, and 13.  The corresponding historical percentages are 10, 33, 29, 17, and 10, which adds to only 99 percent because of rounding.  I submit that the correlation is remarkably close, though it must be admitted that the percentages can be altered considerably through the rearrangement of dates.  Even so, the preterist version of the Roman sequence offers the only approach that can incorporate the time line concept with arguably plausible results.  This means, of course, that proponents of the alternative approaches will continue to deny the relevance of the historical correspondence criterion for the exegesis of Daniel 2.

I now return to the matter of the association between the metals of the four kingdoms of Daniel 2 and their historical counterparts.  Recall that I asserted early in this article that Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon had a close association with gold, and that Persia, Greece, and Rome had close historical associations with silver, bronze, and iron, respectively.  I shall now elaborate a little on these associations.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon is identified as the kingdom of gold in Daniel 2:38, and it is a fact that this kingdom did indeed stand out among its contemporaries for its splendor, which included the lavish display of pure gold in statuary, altars, furnishings,
drinking utensils, and jewelry, as well as numerous gold-plated decorations on
buildings.  On the other hand, the New Babylonian kingdom
of Nebuchadnezzar failed to develop the use of silver coinage, and it is doubtful that its use of bronze and iron noticeably surpassed that of other nations.

The Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great was, in reality, an extension of the Median Empire that had been assembled by Cyaxares, who was probably a maternal great-grandfather of Cyrus. Historically, therefore, it is correct to view the empire that Cyrus took over as a Medo-Persian empire. In fact, while the Book of Daniel indicates that Darius the Mede briefly ruled in Babylon, it otherwise consistently treats Media and Persia as forming a united kingdom.  In 546, Cyrus conquered the kingdom of Lydia in Asia Minor, thereby gaining possession of that nation’s ores of precious metals and the  technology that had allowed it to develop the world’s first high-quality gold and silver coins.  Cyrus and the rulers who followed him used their ability to mine and coin silver to assemble a force of mercenary warriors of unprecedented size.  Gold was also important to the these rulers (the Achaemenids), but with gold being used to designate Babylonia, it is silver that stands out has having a had a particularly strong association with the what is called the Persian
Empire
.

Although the Bronze Age of archeological fame had been superseded by the Iron Age by the time of the New Babylonian kingdom, the Greeks continued to make conspicuous use of bronze long after iron became the preferred metal for most weapons.  Particularly noteworthy is that Greco-Macedonian soldiers characteristically wore protective armor of bronze, including helmets, shields, greaves (shin guards), and, climate permitting, breastplates. Their bronze armor stood in marked contrast to the tunics that were typically worn by the Medes and Persians.  The Greeks also armored their famed triremes with bronze plates and provided them with a bronze-headed battering ram.  They even used bronze hardware for these naval vessels.  Also of note is the fact that Ezekiel 27 provides a valuable account of the trade between Tyre and various locations in which Greece
(Javan) is identified as a source of slaves and bronze.  Given all this evidence, Greece obviously qualifies as the bronze kingdom when historical association is allowed to be considered. 

And just as Greece qualifies as the kingdom of bronze, Rome stands out as the kingdom of iron.  Rome’s military technology surpassed that of even the Greco-Macedonian forces of Alexander’s day.  While Roman soldiers sometimes wore bronze helmets, their armor, in contrast to that of the Greeks and Macedonians, was overwhelmingly of iron.  Like the Greeks and Macedonians, the Romans had iron swords and iron-tipped pikes and javelins,
but they also had a type of “artillery” consisting of iron-tipped bolts fired by catapults.  Some Roman ships carried bronze battering rams like those used by the Greeks, but the Romans relied more heavily upon iron armor and hardware. Moreover, the Romans developed the use of the corvus, a gangplank with a large iron spike at its far end.
When boarding an enemy ship, the corvus would be flipped over so that it stuck into the deck of the enemy vessel, and Roman soldiers would then scramble over it to attack their foe.

Finally, we need to recall that Daniel 2:40 calls attention to iron’s ability to crush and break other things and specifically relates that ability to the fourth kingdom’s ability to crush
other kingdoms.  I submit that this description applies far more appropriately to Rome than to Seleucid Syria!

Given the evidence presented in this article, I think it is quite clear why biblical scholars who reject the preterist hermeneutic cannot afford to give much weight to the idea that we should look for historical associations that correspond to the four metals and the five sections of the statue of Daniel 2.  To do so would be disastrous for them, and I suspect that they know this to be the case, at least intuitively.  Again, however, I insist
that prophecies give insights into the future, and I am confident that the statue was intended to be prophetic.  In my judgment, you can believe that the Book of Daniel is a pseudepigraphal “pious fraud” or you can believe that it is a work of genuine prophecy.  I opt for the latter.

This article is also posted at planetpreterist.com

Notes

[1]Joyce G. Baldwin, Daniel,
vol. 21, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, ed. D. J. Wiseman (Downers Grove,
Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1978), 93.

[1]Gary
DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church
(Powder Springs, Ga.: American Vision, 1999), 326.

Is America the “Camp of the Saints” of Revelation 20:8-9 ?

This is real prophecy for our day, that for whatever reason, is not being taught. Be sure to scroll way down to see the pictures and tell us what you think!

For those of us who don’t see the magnitude of this disaster creeping up on us, maybe because you don’t live in one of our southern states in the U.S. or in Europe, watch these …

VIDEO:

The Illegal Invasion of America

 

THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL REVEALED!

by Steven Hawk

 

For years I remember pondering what the phrase “Mountains of Israel” meant, while reading the book of Ezekiel. Thinking, “What did God mean when inspiring Ezekiel to use this uncommon phrase that most assume or overlook… If only one could figure out what it meant, more than half the battle of understanding this prophecy could be solved!”

 

Thē key component to understanding the prophecies of Gog and Magog are dependent upon knowing whose land (and not just assume it is talking about the old land of Israel) and what peoples these hordes invade and encompass. The revelation of that mystic prophetic phrase opens the door to much prophecy for our day. Please stick with the beginning as a basis is built for the interpretation being espoused. Most Christians today automatically look to the Middle East for prophecy since that’s where OT Israel resided and prophecy was fulfilled. However, what if God said that we, in NT times, should be looking elsewhere? After giving the matter much thought, I am convinced that He did just that.

 

Just past the halfway mark of this subtitle, you will get the climatic meaning of this long-concealed phrase and the rest of this article will continue to support that meaning, with a final summary of what was discussed to remind you the reader, of important key points. As a free gift for giving us your thoughts on this article, we will send you a magnificent “Ezekiel and Revelation parallel chart”! Email us with your thoughts and/or comment below!

 

Here are 3 instances in which Ezekiel uses the mysterious phrase Mountains of Israel:

 

Ezekiel 36:1 “And thou, son of man, prophesy unto the ‘mountains of Israel,’ and say, Ye ‘mountains of Israel’, hear the word of Jehovah.”

 

Ezekiel 38:8, “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, that is gathered out of many peoples, upon the ‘mountains of Israel,’ which have been a continual waste; but it is brought forth out of the peoples, and they shall dwell securely, all of them.”

 

Ezekiel 39:4, “Thou shalt fall upon the ‘mountains of Israel’, thou, and all thy hordes, and the peoples that are with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.”

 

Again, it is interesting that we still use this metaphor, e.g. “the mountains of evidence persuaded him.”  Biblically, the lexeme “mountains” may refer to kingdoms, governments of men and nations. There are places in scripture where “mountain” does in fact reference the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, e.g. Micah 4:1 et al. Below, are two verses in Revelation in which John shows the target of these Gog and Magog armies as the “Camp of the Saints and the Beloved City”, the same group of peoples and place of residence Ezekiel calls the “Mountains of Israel.” Note he directly ties them to the Gog and Magog scenario and the invasion (encompassing) that ensues in these verses:

 

Rev 20:8-9 “and shall come forth to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up over the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down out of heaven, and devoured them.”

 

Did you notice there’s no other way to correctly interpret this passage than this incursion occurs after the thousand years; also when Gog and Magog begin to transpire, Christ’s millennial reign has ended?

 

The Sometimes Unrealized Relation of Ezekiel 38-39 To Revelation 20

 

Some are promoting that Ezekiel 38, 39 & Revelation 20 are not synonymous events because one is an invasion within, and the other without the camp of the saints. I don’t think there is any biblical basis for that assertion and I would like to point out scripture that counters that. You will see the invasion works hand-in-hand with the coming military attack by weakening the camp of the saints in preparation, i.e. setting them up. These prophecies are confused as separate events because of a commonly misunderstood perception of the millennial reign, but there is only one Gog and Magog invasion prophesied in the Bible (not a Gog and Magog2). After sharing and scrutinizing this interpretation for years without any good counter argument, I see chronologically that the commonly referred to NT “last days” was a 1st century fulfillment (Mat 16:28, 24:34; Heb 10:37 et al), which happened before the millennium (pre-millennial); and is what is often confused with Ezekiel’s “latter or after years” which is after the millennium (post-millennial). The following are reasons why Ezekiel 38, 39 & Revelation 20:7ff correlate to warrant as the same post-millennium event:

 

  • Both books point to a future time in which a great many nations attack the people of God. For Ezekiel, these people are the restored house of Israel. For John, they are the camp of the saints and beloved city (v.9); the followers of Christ. Ezekiel states it’s for “the last days of the latter years” (not to be confused with “the last days of the Mosaic Marriage covenant age” and not in Ezekiel’s time, but a future prophecy, likewise Revelation 20 “when the thousand(s) years is expired,” i.e. latter years of the thousand years.

 

  • We now know most Christians have yet to grasp this point, Armageddon should not be viewed as something that is to occur in the future, but as God’s first-century vengeance upon the Old Covenant Jews for their failure to acknowledge Christ as their promised Messiah. This vengeance culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple in AD70. Ezekiel’s latter years are NOT the commonly understood “last days (punishment of Judah) event described in Luke 19:42-44,” but are two very different events. Ezekiel’s “latter years” event is the vengeance of Yahweh God (instead of Christ) and He does just the opposite of the last days event, because in this event new covenant Jerusalem, the camp of the saints in Rev. 20:9, on the mountains of Israel are not destroyed like the 1st century Armageddon event. In complete contrast, Yahweh God destroys their attackers and saves this new Jerusalem! Again, for emphasis: this Gog/Magog battle is when God punishes and destroys the invaders, not the people of the land (like it happened in the past).

 

  • While Ezekiel does not directly mention the millennial reign of Christ like Revelation 20 does, he does in Ezekiel 37:26-28 mention events which lead up to 38 & 39 and places great emphasis on the peaceful situation the mountains of Israel are found in for a long period of time. God in the above Ezekiel 37 passage shows the nations, in a peaceful setting He will place and multiply His people. All this must be attributed to Christ’s heavenly reign over these Christian lands (Revelation 5:10, 20:6) during this “thousand(s) [chilioi] years” (in this case about 2,000 yrs.) having an effect upon the earth up until about the 20th century. Also, in Micah 4:6-8  In that day, saith Jehovah, will I assemble that which is lame, and I will gather that which is driven away, and that which I have afflicted; and I will make that which was lame a remnant, and that which was cast far off a strong nation: and Jehovah will reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth even for ever. And thou, O tower of the flock, the hill of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, yea, the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem. The following verse indicates this long period of time will elapse in Ezekiel 38:8, then, “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, that is gathered out of many peoples, upon the mountains of Israel, which have been a continual waste; but it is brought forth out of the peoples, and they shall dwell securely, all of them.”

 

  • Incidentally, Zechariah 14:6-11 parallels a portion of time in the millennial kingdom (v.11) and brings up the same situation in which the mountains of Israel find themselves in Ezekiel 28:26, 38:8 “dwelling safely and confidently” using the same Hebrew language and words:

 

Zechariah 14:11 And men shall dwell therein, and there shall be no more curse; but Jerusalem shall “dwell safely“. Zechariah (a full exposition of chapters 12 – 14) for the first time known is explained from a future and Preterist perspective in the book! Sound like a contradiction in terms? See how it is not.

  • Revelation 20 speaks of the nations encompassed, comprising Gog and Magog as coming from the “four corners of the earth” (v.8) while Ezekiel 38, 39 emphasizes that the enemies of “my people Israel” come from “the uttermost parts of the north” (38:6, 15; 39:2). It is a mistake to assume that the difference in the description of the geographical origin of those who attack God’s people means that different sets of events are in view. The four corners of the earth (ehrets Hebrew word means land) in Revelation 20:8 as an ancient metaphor has strong indication as a reference to the cardinal points of the compass: N, S, E, W. Chuck Missler, renowned prophecy teacher, has argued these are different locations spoken of in these passages and therefore are different events. However Ezekiel 38:5-6 speaks of the bands, hordes and other peoples with them, that originally migrated (and are actually still coming) from this biblical “four corners of the land” that correlates well with Revelation 20:8. Ezekiel’s description in 39:2b “And I will bring you up from the recesses of the north, and will bring you on the mountains of Israel.” speaks of the direction they are lured into this land they are invading as opposed to where these hordes originated, so there is no problem with either correlation as Zionist Missler wrongly asserts.

 

  • There’s a progression of events in both books that coincide and have a biblical basis too involved and consistent in history to be coincidence. In our book you will learn how this Satan (better translated as “adversary”) has been let out of his prison for a little season (Rev 20:7-8) and how the events of Gog and Magog biblically had to immediately succeed those biblical prophecies, and according to the succession of recent events are on the world scene today!

 

  • Ezekiel spoke of a time (before this invasion occurs) in which he was to prophesy to this malevolent Gog in Ezekiel 38:14b “Shall you not know in that day when My people Israel dwells securely?” indicating that millennial time (thousand(s) is used as a great expanse and often not literal) of peace for Israel in comparison to times of old. God’s people were in that peaceful state of confidence right before the events of Rev 20:7 broke out!

 

  • John in Revelation 20 did not bring up Gog and Magog by coincidence, nor was he just drawing a comparison using ancient names as some assert, but was talking about that time Ezekiel spoke of when it would be fulfilled and identifies the perpetrators.

 

  • Ezekiel’s “latter years” (one passage in Ezekiel specified as “latter days” 38:16 can be described as “the latter days of the latter years”) which the YLT emphasizes well in Ezekiel 38:8 “After many days thou art appointed, In the latter end of the years..

 

  • If one compares the following 3 verses with what the Bible elsewhere states concerning events during the “Day of the Lord,” (in that day) it becomes clear that this passage describes events during the new covenant, pertaining to a redeemed Israel.

 

Eze_38:10 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: It shall come to pass in that day, that things shall come into thy mind, and thou shalt devise an evil device:

Eze_38:14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: In that day when my people Israel dwelleth securely, shalt thou not know it?

Ezekiel 39:22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward. (KJV)

 

A Faulty Premise in Mainstream Biblical Interpretation

 

There is a widespread tendency among readers of the Bible—including many who are considered to be authorities—to presume when Ezekiel refers to “the mountains of Israel” he’s referring to modern day Israel/Palestine today. This presumption may seem feasible to some, but it is mistaken. Given that the events foretold in Ezekiel 38-39 correspond to those of Revelation 20:7-10, the traditional interpretation of these passages of Scripture are incorrect in at least these areas:

 

  1. Christians that go along with these traditional assumptions are ignoring that this event is supposed to be after “the millennial reign of Jesus Christ”.
  2. They misidentify Gog (it is not Russia). It appears here, that we have been fed another Jewish fable to divert our attention.
  3. They misidentify Israel. So it’s not just the “land” and “people groups” many have wrong, but their chronological order as well.

 

If God was referring to “old covenant Israel” when He mentions “Mountains of Israel” in this Ezekiel prophecy, then why does He not just refer to them as just plain “Israel”, “my people Israel”, “children of Israel”, etc. as He did elsewhere in the OT?

 

  1. In similar fashion, if the Apostle Paul was referring to old covenant Israel when naming new believers in the NT “Israel of God” why didn’t he refer to them as just “Israel”?
  2. Only modern day Zionist Jews have returned, not the combined 12 tribes as required: chapters 36 & 37 to fulfill this prophecy, they are only the House of Judah 2 southern tribes i.e. Jews.
  3. Ezekiel 36:33-36 states that “in the day” (not at a later time after they possess the cities) these cities become inhabited their iniquities are cleansed. This cannot mean antichrist Jews, this is talking about a broad place and people with a new heart and God gives them His Spirit Ezk 36:25-28. That He would be their God and them His people, this is NT Christian language.

 

God would have used the usual names and phrases for His people like “my people Israel” for this prophecy to be consistent with the past unless He was speaking of His people during a different time in a different place. God does not just use nebulous phrases to confuse us; He is not the author of confusion. In Gal 6:16 Paul is referring to the “Israel of God” who are of the new covenant, a “new creation (Christians)” who walk by the rule of the Christ and did not follow after the rudiments (elements of the temple, the law, etc. of the old heaven and earth) that were passing away in his (Paul’s) day that consisted only of “vain genealogies (verse below), physical descendants”. He was not speaking of “old covenant Israel” but he was talking about Christianity.

 

Tit 3:9, “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.”

 

In the same manner as the Bible admonishes “vain and unprofitable genealogies”, Jesus told the Pharisees their lineage would not help them gain salvation. Not because they were Esau’s lineage (still a son of Abraham) instead of Jacob’s either, to those Israel identity groups out there. He meant ANY physical, fleshly lineage did NOT give them special status with God anymore (Luk 3:8), that old covenant God had endured with them for the sake of His son fulfilling His promises, was passing in their day. It is clear that the phrase “Israel of God” Paul used would then be synonymous with the often used NT phrase “Church or assembly of God” which no one would likely argue is not referring to Christians (1Co. 1:2, 10:32, 11:22, 15:9, 2 Cor. 1:1, Gal. 1:13, 1 Ti 3:5, Acts 20:28). Israel was “called out and sanctified” as the ecclesia.

 

Besides in Ezekiel, the Phrase “Mountains of Israel” is absent
in the Bible except in one questionable passage

 

Intriguingly, with few exceptions among translations of the Bible, the phrase “mountains of Israel” is found only in Ezekiel. After a lexicon search for the terms “Mountains of Israel” as a phrase, one will discover that the KJV, LITV and Webster’s are the few out of many translations that do use this particular phrase elsewhere, but in these two verses only:

 

(KJV)Jos 11:16a Thus Joshua took all this land: the mountain country, all the South, all the land of Goshen, the lowland, and the Jordan plain—the mountains of Israel and its lowlands …

Jos 11:21a And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel:.. (Notice mountains of Israel and Judah are distinct here?)

If the above translations are correct because the Hebrew words seem to be the same (seem to be, because there are instances where the original language has used the wrong Greek or Hebrew word and the YLT – for example – has caught it) could it be because this was one of the few times in history in which God was conquering His enemies for Israel (all 12 tribes) in which He was giving them the promise land and they would finally be living in it in peace (as America)? Keep in mind also, it is Mountains (plural). These things could be, but the contention here is that the YLT has caught another error (in the Hebrew) and corrected it. Where are the original languages wrongly copied you say? Here’s one example:

 

Most will clamor; I thought the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts were inerrant?! Actually only the original manuscripts which we don’t have (except for a few such as the dead sea scrolls) are wholly Holy-inspired. The assertion is the original Greek and Hebrew are more correct than English translations, but apparently man has had some biased corruption that entered even into the original languages.  Notice here the KJV uses all CAPS for the first LORD indicating the Father, but does not correct as the YLT does in the Hebrew translation to English below it:

 

(KJV) Luk 20:42 And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

 

In these passages Jesus Himself states that the Father is greater than He (John  [more properly the 4th Gospel but for another article] 10:29, 14:28).  Other passages He claims He only does those things instructed by the Father.  In Revelation Jesus calls the Father His God 4 times in 1 verse (Rev 3:12)!  Apparently the Hebrew uses different words (that the Greek does NOT) to make an important distinction.

 

Both words “Lord” here in Luke 20:42 (and in other translations other than the KJV wrongly translates) use the Greek word “Kurios”:

LORD FROM THE GREEK:

G2962kurios: From κῦρος kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, that is, (as

noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title): – God, Lord, master, Sir.

Now the parallel passage quoted from the OT Hebrew.  Note here the YLT gets it right and the KJV does not:

(KJV)Psa 110:1  A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at

my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

(YLT)Psa 110:1  A Psalm of David. The affirmation of Jehovah to my Lord:

`Sit at My right hand, Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.’

(YLT) distinguishes the difference between the English word “Lord” and

uses “Jehovah” instead, the self existent one:

YEHOVAH IN THE HEBREW:

H3068 yehôvâh

From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: – Jehovah, the Lord. Compare H3050, H3069.

ADON (LORD) IN THE HEBREW:

H113 ‘âdôn

From an unused root (meaning to rule); sovereign, that is, controller (human or divine): – lord, master, owner. Compare also names beginning with “Adoni-”.

The KJV in this OT passage uses “Lord” both times, a confusing and wrong  translation because the Hebrew manuscripts reflect the true distinction of those two entirely different words as “Yehovah” H3068 and “Lord” (Adon) H113.

Again if the translations in Joshua 11 are correct, could it be because this was one of the few times in history in which God was conquering His enemies for Israel (all 12 tribes) in which He was giving them the promise land and they would finally be living in it in peace (as America)?  It could be, but the contention here is that the YLT has caught another error (in the Hebrew) and corrected it.

When these two verses in the book of Joshua are examined from many other translations they do not use the phrase “Mountains of Israel”.  These other translations such as YLT, and ASV (some of this writers favorites because of some accurate corrections it makes) state these two verses in the following manner:

 

(ASV) Jos 11:16, 21 So Joshua took all that land, the hill-country….

(YLT) Jos 11:16, 21 And Joshua taketh all this land: the hill-country, and all the south….

 

Notice it’s not there in the ASV or the YLT? Keep in mind that these translations (the ASV and YLT) that do NOT” use the phrase “Mountains of Israel” in the above two verses, “do” use the phrase in the book of Ezekiel. Why is this phrase so absent except for in the book of Ezekiel? Also, after doing an extensive Google search for the “Mountains  of Israel” one will find, after about eight pages and over 100 individual sites, not one article, book or site to match the interpretation that will soon be given here.  Every one of them seemed to parrot mainstream teachings on the “Mountains of Israel” as being a non-metaphoric phrase, contrary to what is being espoused here.

We are getting closer to the meaning of this important prophetic phrase!

If “the Mountains of Israel” are not present day
Palestine/Israel then What and Where are they?

 

In the Bible and in our political and religious world today, the name Israelis often taken for granted by Christians because in the Bible it is used in various manners:

  • “Israel” is usually a people; seldom a ‘land’
  • Jacob was called Israel by God in the OT
  • Israel as 10 northern tribes after Solomon’s death and the 2 southern tribes then identified as the “House of Judah”
  • The 12 tribes scattered abroad (mentioned in James 1:1)
  • Israel of God in the NT has a different meaning than most consider in their paradigm. Israel has an ultimate meaning once we get to the revelation of this peculiar phrase.
  • “Mountains of Israel” may refer to the “nations” where the people of Israel live – wherever that may be (it does not have to be designated to Palestine where OT Israel lived, like most assume).
  • Israel was not rightly called “Israel as a nation” since the days of King David and shortly thereafter when all 12 tribes (before their tribal splits) were together living in peace. Yet the Jews today (only 2-3 tribes) have the audacity to call their alleged nation Israel. This would not be swallowed by so many if Christians had at least a decent working knowledge of OT Bible events.

 

 Has the United States of America Become

“Thē Mountain of Israel”? 

 

Thē with a long sounding “e” for definitive article, because the Christian west, historically where these European Christians came to “camp”, is thē most influential and therefore thē primary Christian nation, but not the only one.  Also, “Mountain” singular in the subtitle instead of the commonly used plural form of the word. America, from this perspective then, is the primary mountain. There are other mountainS (in this dimension of the New Jerusalem), plural, which may also refer to the British Isles or European countries where Christianity is most dominant.

Isaiah 49:6 He (Father) says: (to the Son) “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth… Isaiah 53:5 But he (the Son) was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed… Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that take refuge in him.”

There are other Christian mountains besides America, but they are not the focus of this particular heading, though they are mentioned because they are included in the overall picture.  We’ve pounded the NT Israel of OT prophets cannot be equated to the modern state of Israel, though there seems to be no shortage of people who want to make such a claim—this ideology promotes a counterfeit Zionism that has become prevalent and powerful in the U.S.

The popular understanding of America’s role in the world is quoted from the works of the great American novelist Herman Melville in his 1850 novel, White Jacket, and the World in a Man-of-War: “And we Americans are the peculiar, chosen people–the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world…. We are the pioneers of the world; the advance-guard, sent on through the wilderness of untried things, to break a new path in the New World that is ours.” (pp. xi-xii).

Is it just coincidence that North America and the western European nations are prosperous nations with often enough leftover, and we do send surplus to aid other nations and that the USA not only possesses these abundant resources and infrastructures, but has the means to maintain and improve them?  God has blessed America is the explanation.  Is it just coincidence that this prosperous land Ezekiel describes, we call the USA is in the “middle (midst, high part) of the land (earth)” as Ezekiel 38:12b purports it would be? That Ezekiel refers to as a “united” people, as in the United States: Ezk 37:22 I’m going to make them a united people in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and I’ll set a single king to rule over them. They’ll never again be two separate people. They’ll never again be divided into two kingdoms. Surrounded by oceans for protection, as Zechariah seems to imply?

These enemies of Christianity [thoroughly explained in Pt.2 of Vol. 2 titled Master of Deception] helped enact the open immigration law of 1965 to make the USA a multicultural nation, warring within its borders and destroying what was the greatest nation of Christianity at that time, and they [the enemies of Christianity] have not let up America beginningssince by their promoting of border insecurity through the Dept. of Justice (Under heading: ARIZONA PUSHING THE FIRST IN OUR TIME ANTI-IMMIGRATION LAW SB1070; Source ~ Brother Nathaniel Kapner).  Why was not their focus south Africa or Western Europe?  There are plenty of Christians that God loves in those nations, as well.  No, they knew America was the threat, since it exemplifies Christianity in the greatest measure, not only through peaceful dwelling, but prosperity and power; and therefore was the target. These Zionists had to try and stop America from surpassing their nation and status as a people and superpower from interfering with their Oligarchy.

The Death of America was enacted in 1965 with the signing of the Open Immigration Law and the results have been clear.  Since the massive third world immigration our country has been deceived into accepting, our culture has become divisive and can no longer practice the freedom it once could.  Mass immigration into a homogeneous country will inevitably produce hatred and strife.  It is a major cause of poverty, disunity, criminality, psychological strife and war. Vladimir Lenin, a Russian Jew and Bolshevik Communist leader, once said the best way to control the opposition is to lead it, and that’s what these Zionist are doing.  To oppose immigration is a right of freedom and existence for all peoples and nations and can prevent these destructive things from happening to a nation and a people.

On about the second page of this last part of the book we are in, we examined the word “surround” as it is used in Rev 20:9. What is really interesting is the “enclaves” America is now being split into; and the similar attributes the word enclave has to the word the Apostle John used in Rev 20:9 regarding these hordes – “surround”…

ENCLAVE

Noun: A portion of territory within or surrounded by a larger territory whose inhabitants are culturally or ethnically distinct. Verb: Surround and isolate; make an enclave of.  Source ~ thefreedictionary.com

The recent attack of our government with its lawsuits against AZ shows not only that the Obama administration is pandering for votes, but also demonstrates the true powers that be are promoting invasion. The settlers’ culture our founding fathers instituted is now just another interest group that must lobby in Washington for its share of the spoils.  We have no precedence over non-Americans, like other nations have for “their own people”, we are called racist for that.

America is called the melting pot for having so many diverse cultures and peoples. E pluribus unum, Latin for “Out of many One” was founded in 1776 as the Seal of the United States. This phrase was never meant to imply that the United States was a melting pot when that phrase was instated. The truth is, the greatest immigration (the fruits of the European immigration cannot be compared to the fruits of illegal immigration which is really an invasion, or any immigration for that matter today) of Caucasian (not all, but mostly) settlers from many areas became one people, inspiredstop invasion secure borders by their Christian faith (and the fruits of their labor proved this); made the world‘s greatest infrastructure in the greatest Christian nation the world would ever see. The late Dr. D. James Kennedy would often remind us that God made America the greatest Christian Nation or she never could have been as such. Before the current immigration invasion, our primarily Caucasian nation (race does not matter, it’s only identification) had dwelt safely or confidently because of the providential victories fought on our homeland in the mid-eighteen hundreds that brought a state of peace as the verses in Ezekiel purport. The reference (Ezekiel 38:8) “the land that is brought back from the sword” may refer to the last civil wars fought on our homeland in the mid-eighteen hundreds.

 

Nonetheless, that’s the way it was in America, before it was invaded by foreigners that do not have America’s best interest at heart. The modern day nation of Israel does not fit this prophetic invasion; America does for many reasons (not just a few) throughout this prophecy.  Many already believe Christian America is being overrun by such an invasion in our day.  Pat Buchanan (as others, but I just happen to have a quote from him) is noted as stating in interviews that America is being invaded by the whole world: “America’s being invaded by millions of illegal immigrants every year, and it threatens Gog Magog photothe future of the country.” He addresses this issue of immigration in his brand new… it’s called “State of Emergency: The Third Word Invasion, The Conquest of America.” Amazingly, many still do not see this invasion and naively believe there is no way our land could ever be invaded.

 

Just a word of caution here, this does not insinuate that law-abiding non-Caucasians contributing to society in a positive manner are any less American. This prophecy is not targeted against individuals; but towards groups or hordes perpetrating unlawful (criminal) acts upon God‘s people in the latter years.

 

Another reason the U.S.A. is poised for this future military (in addition to the current gog 2civilian invasion, in some places already military) attack by all these Magog nations described, is the relationship existing between the USA and modern Israel. U.S. Zionist have always and will continue to support the nation of modern day Israel, despite its many atrocities and deceit, because many wrongly believe these Zionist Jews are God’s chosen people or a good democratic nation. Those with dispensational theology believe God could bless and support deceit and injustice in what they call modern day Israel, just because of dispensationalists’ wrong eschatological beliefs. Christians cannot turn a blind eye to injustices of such proportions. The rest of the world obviously does not see things their way, so these deceptions make the U.S. a sitting duck for such a military attack by these Magog countries.

 

Here is more evidence that these prophecies in Ezekiel and Revelation speak of America as the Mountains of Israel: The identity of the invading hordes upon America, we see, are much of the same people groups of invaders. Ezekiel as Gog and Magog coming from ancient names and lands traced to what is described in this book as being in and closely around “the resistance belt”, which would include Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and southern parts of Russia. The mid and northern parts of Russia do not fit the ancient geographical regions of the tribal areas. If these popular interpretations with Russia escalate, and it appears they will, with the unnecessary commotion being caused by the Zionists, this error about Russia has the potential to create an international misunderstanding that could provoke unwarranted political action. The 10/40 window or resistance belt, covers the region that has the least amount of Christians located between 10° & 40° N of the equator. Most Muslim, Hindu, Communists, Buddhist people reside in this region. Revelation 20 identifies these same foreign Invaders from the same areas described as “the four corners of the land”. Discover in the book how the biblical wording of this invasion fits perfectly with the invasion into America.

 

The Revelation of this Phrase “Mountains of Israel” Exposes Errors in Different Eschatological Paradigms

 

The meaning of this obscure phrase “Mountains of Israel” has some profound implications we need to think about, for some prominent groups in Christianity today. For both dispensational futurists and for those with a Preterist perspective on eschatology like myself (there is a proper form of Preterism that does work and will be demonstrated, the following do not).

 

  • For the pre-millennial Dispensationalist who believes Jesus has some future “second advent or coming” this phrase indicates this Gog and Magog invasion can not be upon the Jews or the House of Judah (in the land of modern day Palestine/Israel today) as they so adamantly insist, because of the description of the route, notwithstanding the fact that today’s Jews are not the House of Israel that the promise went to. A Jew “inwardlyis a Christian (Eph 3:16-17 et al) and not an outward (physical)Jew (Rev 3:9). The “House of Israel” in OT times (the 10 northern tribes after the split, they are confusing with the Jews—the 2 southern tribes) lost the Kingdom permanently since they were kicked out of the covenant with Yahweh God circa 726BC, and would only be promised a Christian kingdom for the future, not a restored old covenant type kingdom. The House of Judah ultimately lost their kingdom when they rejected Christ, culminating with the war that destroyed their city and temple circa AD70 and they would never get it back. Even though the “House of Judah’s (Jews, NOT Israel)” back in the land today it’s not what Christians think. Pre-millennial dispensationalists need to seriously rethink their eschatology. Let that sink in.

 

  • For the “Full Preterist” who holds to “all things were fulfilled in 70AD” this Gog and Magog prophecy either could not have happened yet, or IS happening now. It can’t be a first century fulfillment as they assert because these Magog nations never came against the House of Judah while they still had the kingdom which Preterists well know they did ultimately lose when they rejected Jesus Christ circa AD70. Besides that, they were not the whole 12 tribe House “in the land” as required. Their house of cards falls when they try to place this event between 30-70AD or even before. We will soon see that this has to be of the Christian age phrase and event, when Christians would be “in their own land” as a people and a nation (Ezekiel 36:24, 28, 34-36, 37:21-22, 38:8, 16, 18, 39:26, 28 et al). These passages reveal a certain dwelling place in a land, where those peoples are forgiven, gathered (all twelve tribes – not just the two tribed House of Judah) and have one Prince. That’s “Christians in their own land” (specificity), not old covenant Judah in their own land. This was for a time when the shadow of Christianity would become the reality after the Kingdom of Christ had been established and Satan – better translated adversary – (the unbelieving Jews, adversary of Christianity) had been crushed and bound [not completely destroyed] (Rom. 16:20), post 70AD. Also, to the Preterist who tries to squeeze the millennium between 30-70AD, the term thousand(s) is always used in the Bible as a huge (not a small generational 40 year term) stretch of quantity or time; it is not used otherwise when it is not used as a literal thousand; and in this case it’s a “plural of uncertain affinity, or thousands”. So, full Preterists have to satisfactorily answer these issues or show their paradigm as fatally flawed.

 

  • For the Partial Preterist” who holds to “Jesus has some second advent or coming”, when Ezekiel penned that phrase “Mountains of Israel” he said it would be in the “latter years” not for his time and not within the time frame of the old covenant, as we shall soon see. In Ezekiel’s day, Israel, to whom the promise was given, had already lost their kingdom and status with Yahweh God over a century before, and would not get it back until Messiah, so this has to be a post old covenant fulfillment (Gen 49:10, Hos 1:11, Ezekiel 37:14ff)since it’s for a Christian people in their own land. The “Reign of Christ” had to be established in order for this phrase “Mountains of Israel” to have any significance, since there could not be anyone living that would be antichrist after their (the partial Preterists) idea of a millennium. Their idea of a millennium (much like the Dispensationalist) is basically “paradise restored,” since Christ is reigning on earth according to them. If they say otherwise, that there can be sinful human beings during the millennium as asserted here, then this position works also; Christ does not have to be here physically to reign over the Earth.

 

All of these prominent Christian groups, in light of this prophetic phrase alone, have had their “people groups,” their “chronological sequence of events,” and their “location of events” mixed up and now need to have answers to these dilemmas in their eschatology!

 

“The Mountains of Israel” as a Metaphoric Phrase

 

It sounds ambiguous, but the fact is the Bible does use metaphors; therefore in a sense the naming is sometimes non-literal but the thought conveyed is literal. The Apostle John uses the apt metaphor “Sodom & Egypt” in a similar fashion in the sense that he calls different places by different names to describe the spiritual condition of latter-day Jerusalem (Rev. 11:8, cp. Gal. 4:25). Likewise Ezekiel uses this cryptic phrase “Mountains of Israelto describe a different people and places than most Christians are accustomed to thinking of when they hear the word, Israel.

The Apostle John’s metaphor is to be understood quite literally. If the reader has a decent working knowledge of the OT, the reader understands the similarity of sin between Sodom & Egypt and Jerusalem in the 1st century. That is the context; the context is not identifying names of ancient countries and cities with their historical names. If someone says it is raining cats and dogs, even though the words are allegorical, the concept is to be taken “literally” that there is a torrential downpour outside; this would not mean they are a non-literalist.

In 1 Peter 2:9 these scattered Gentiles of Israelite believers are described as a holy nation.

We are at the door, to the climatic meaning of this important prophetic phrase!

The Ultimate Meaning of Israel

In the following four verses we see the correlation of Gods’ righteousness, the terms Kingdom, Nations and His Holy City (God, His people in their place of dwelling) to the metaphor “Mountains.”

Psa 36:6a “Thy righteousness is like the great mountains;”.. is a great attestation to NT Christians, Christ being our righteousness. In the next 3 verses we see more of the correlation between God’s Holy City, and His righteousness with “Mountains.

Jer 31:23b, “Jehovah bless thee, O habitation of righteousness, O mountain of holiness.”

Dan 9:16a, “O Lord, I pray to You, according to all Your righteousness, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain.” (Jerusalem not a literal mountain) (cf. Psa 48:1-2)

Jesus Christ is not only our righteousness (righteousness a metaphor for “mountains“), but our spiritual life support (the vine, we are the branches). He’s the head and calls the followers/Christians His body. Jesus is “The King Shepherd of Israel.” He said He came not but for the “lost sheep of the house of Israel“. Without Him there is no Israel today because He is the Kinsman Redeemer of Israel. Those lost sheep became gentiles or “people of the nations” from which many again would become God’s people through the Christ – Hosea and other passages.

Now, in Galatians, Paul spoke of the “seed” in a singular fashion not plural as the Pharisees thought when they shouted “we are of Abraham’s seed,” but singular meaning “The Shepherd“:

Gal 3:16, “But the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed (it does not say, And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ which is Christ” [Genesis 3:15; 21:12; 22:18, Rom. 9:6; Heb. 11:18]).

The same emphasis when speaking of Israel is put on the Christ, which also puts the emphasis on Christians, hence using biblical vernacular the “Mountains of Israelbecomes “Kingdom of Christincludes all Christianity! There you have it. I think there can be no reasonable doubt; the same principle is used in that David means Christ—if so then Israel must mean the Christian Church. If not, then David must mean David—which is ludicrous. Christ is the messenger (angel) of the new covenant. Here’s more biblical emphasis on Jesus Christ as the epitome of the fulfillment of Israel, which further clarifies revelation of this phrase:

Isa 49:3, “and said to Me, You are My servant, Israel, You in whom I shall be glorified.”

John 5:39, “Ye search the scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of me;” (ASV)

Jesus Christ is indeed the Israel of scripture. Mountains representing Kingdoms brings us to the conclusion that the term “Mountains of Israel”, denotes the “Kingdom of Christ” and/or “Nation of Christendom” in light of 1 Pet 2:9 and other passages. It is a nation converted (not yet perfect) to God—one nation under God upon the Mountains of Israel. As Christians, we cannot honestly ignore the obvious metaphoric manner in which this phrase was deliberately devised by God for us to decipher.

Now that we have unveiled the meaning of this important phrase, let’s again compare Ezekiel to Revelation 20 which speaks of the nations encompassed by the wording Gog and Magog coming from the “four corners of the earth (land of EurAsia)” (v.8) Ezekiel 38,39 emphasize that the enemies of my people Israel (38:14,16) come from the uttermost parts of the north  In other words, peoples that came from the lands of Europe-Asia and surrounding regions as coming from “the four quarters of the earth (land)” which is a way of expressing four extremities of the land. Then migrated to South America, later through Mexico, then upward into America.   This description, by no coincidence in Revelation 20 & Ezekiel 38, 39 all coincide perfectly to the invasion of our homeland USA!

 

More proof from the book of Daniel

 

Dan 2:35 “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were together broken to pieces, and they became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors. And the wind carried them away so that no place was found for them. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

The stone that struck this image described in the verse we just read was written to symbolically be the representative of what would become the 5th kingdom. This 5th kingdom was none other than the Kingdom of Christ which began, circa 70AD, when the Kingdom was taken away from the House of Judah. Mat 21:43 Jesus refers to the Jews (NOT the House of Israel dispersed among the nations then) and their city and temple was destroyed signifying that end of the old Jewish covenant with God.

Hence, we have the Kingdom which the God of Heaven set up representing “the Mountains of Israel (Christianity)”. Remember, in Ezekiel’s day Israel had already lost their kingdom and status with Yahweh God for over a century! And it cannot be referring to the “House of Judah (Jews)” since these Magog nations never came against them before God took away their kingdom circa AD70. The only one left after that is “the Kingdom of Christ & Christianity”!

Dan 2:44 “And in the days of these kings, the God of Heaven shall set up a kingdom (not a man-made kingdom)which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people. It shall break in pieces and destroy all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” 

 

A CONCLUDING WORD

 

In light of what was just discussed, this mysterious phrase God inspired Ezekiel to write we now know was to be what He had planned or foresaw for a far future prophecy when the shadow of His plan would become the reality (in the latter years Ezekiel 38:8) which was the reality of Christianity. You’ve seen the documented motives of America’s enemies by the open immigration laws imposed upon Americans to destroy what had become the world’s greatest Christian Nation. And we now see why “Mountains of Israel” is a metaphoric phrase, not literal mountains and not the old covenant people or system. We’ve built an argument for America as the proper interpretation as a “Nation of Christendom,” also fitting biblical metaphoric vernacular. We’ve established with this once concealed phrase why Dispensational Futurists and Preterists need to change their views. The phrase “Mountains of Israel” made sense to God then (maybe not to His people, if any of them understood it at the time Ezekiel penned it), and should mean the same thing to us today that God understood it to mean way back then, in the following manner.

Mountains of Israel = Kingdom of Christ = Righteousness of Christianity (mountain is a metaphor for righteousness and Christ is our righteousness) = Reign (Kingdom) of Anointed One(s) (Christ and Christians) = Camp of the Saints and the Beloved City (Rev. 20:9) = Kingdom of Christianity = Nation of Christendom

Any way you slice it, the results of this phrase (from scripture) are clear!

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The Man of Sin & 666 IDENTIFIED!

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(A Sample taken from Book 1 of

 

J.B. (NOTE: J.B. = JOSHUA BRADSHAW, 1 OF 2 CHARACTERS IN THE SERIES) “Rev 14:9-11 implies that if you get this mark, you lose your salvation. The people that say this are often the same people that say “once saved, always saved” which does not add up! The
Name of the Beast is contrasted with the ‘name’ of Christ, which is the word of God. The name of the beast, on the other hand, is the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, the pride of life…all things contrary to the ‘NAME OF GOD.’ Ergo, ‘thee time of the gentiles’ in the land, corrupting the people and the land, with the name of the beast which is not the name of God. The beast power ‘Mystery Babylon’ did it for 666 years, corrupting the Israelites with the name of the beast
(their ways) as opposed to the name of God.”

D.A. (NOTE: D.A. = DISTRICT ATTORNEY/DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, OTHER CHARACTER FOR THE OPPOSITION IN THE SERIES)
“What you’re saying does not biblically refute the idea of the name having
to be linked to a person, like the language seems to indicate in Rev 13:7.”

J.B.  “The significance of a name is NOT in the numerical value of the letters. Where is
that idea found in scripture? That is Jewish Gematria, some call Occult
Numerology, which is a system of assigning numerical value to a word or phrase, in the belief that words or phrases with identical numerical values bear some relation to each other—look it up. However, the numerical values of Greek and Hebrew letters could play a part, but also realize you can add up many words and phrases to get 666 out of almost anything. But when you take the numerical values in concert with the fact of 666 years and the context of the emperors, as well as the fact of Soloman’s 666 lbs. of gold every year et al, it is the preponderance of data points in context that validate  the meaning. So, what I am saying is I don’t think it is just a coincidence that 666 relates to Nero Ceaser,  but do not think that alpha numerical values are the primary or central  proof of anything, but it is probably just one more non-coincidence that God intended for people to look at in the context and in concert with all the other data. It is kind of like setting up not one sign post, but signs all over the place pointing the way. Some of those signs can point to other things as well, but only one thing will be shown to be consistent  with all the sign post that were put up. Merriam-Webster defines NAME’ as ‘1 a: a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing, and b: a word or symbol used in logic to designate an entity'”…

…It simply does not say give each letter a numerical value and add the letters up to get a number. The numerical value is based on the meaning not on the letters…in the same way and for the same reasons that Christ is not some numerical value of the letters in JESUS. ….the number associated with the beast is 666 years and you can count that (scriptures states to count it – does not state add up the letters!)..the/any number associated with Christ is ‘alpha and omega’…..scriptures say the number of his name, it does not say add the letters up to figure out the number. The number is something counted – his name can be counted because it refers to his meaning. It does not say count up the letters by giving the letters a numerical value. The whole letter value thing comes from the Jews, if you care to trace the source… from the very same people who Christ said:  Mat 16:6. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees….

The significance of the name is in what it means…. note: Ex 23:20 Behold, I send a messenger before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in him….see also the number of times Revelation refers to “my name” … 13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped
in blood: and his name is called The Word of God…. Rev 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted…13..and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. You don’t add up the numerical value for Jesus, so as to claim you have it – do you? Likewise the name of the beast has nothing to do with numerical value of letters, but rather what the name refers to or has meaning with…. you can either have the name  “the word of God” …or you can
have the name of the beast which is everything in the world ‘1John 2:16 For all
that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world’ except the word of God. The issue is those who have the Name of the Beast and NOT the name of God.”

 We have determined there is no single anti-Christ, but there is a “man of sin” (aka the son of perdition, which is actually an entity not an individual). We have been told by Hank Hanegraaff and others that the beast is Nero Caesar. Only, this cannot be because the beast associated with the number six-hundred and sixty-six has a conglomeration of kings, one of which is Nero (the 6th head/Ceaser Rev 17:10f) so he cannot be this beast, he
is one of the heads/kings. This beast also has the same deceiving trait as the adversary and the great whore: Rev 13:14a “And it deceives those dwelling on the earth…” Considering what we’ve learned, there are several indicators that lead us to what this man of sin is. In Dan 2, there is a statue of a man depicted as kingdoms of and by men, and in Dan 7, this same entity (not a single man) is described as beasts.

This time period is covered by exactly 666 years and this is a proven fact!  We are also
told this “man of sin” is destroyed at our Lord’s coming in judgment, which we have already determined was ca. 70AD. So what can we decipher from these clues?

The key metrics for man of sin “who” and “when”….

1. Destroyed with the coming of Christ, i.e. the War of AD70
(2Thes 2:8ff)

2. Associated with “Mystery of Iniquity”….What
was that mystery? It was when “sin would come to an end” in Israel.
When did these happen?

Ezk 21:25-27 And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord GOD;
Remove the diadem, and take off the crown [lost their kingdom]: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.

Rom 11:27 and this to them is the covenant from me, when I may take away their sins.

3. It’s associated with “The falling away.” What fell away?  Israel “fell away”…it was the end of physical Israel (the last remaining tribes of Judah) when sin would come to an end in the kingdom because the physical kingdom would be destroyed and thus left only a spiritual kingdom wherein flesh and blood cannot enter…. 666 years was the number of the last period of destruction and time that God gave Israel to repent ….that period was
outlined once as a man in Dan Ch 2 and once as a beast in Dan 7—which
correlates with Rev 13.

Also note, “the land” physical Israel is literally dirt, for man is made of the dust of the earth, and the people of Israel are the dirt of Palestine, but the mystery was that the land, aka Israel the people, not the shrubs and sand, would be destroyed (Ezk 21:2 et al). 

Isa 3:8-9 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen; because their tongue and their doings are against Jehovah, to provoke the eyes of his glory. The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have done evil unto themselves.

KINGDOMS OF MAN & BEAST

 

Dan Ch 2 outlines a time period as “a man”…Dan Ch 7 outlines this same time period as a beast and the fourth beast is a compilation of the previous three.

Jeremiah 31:27  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the House of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.

A beast in Dan Ch 7 describes the same beast in Revelation 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2.  And the beast
which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion
(Dan 7:3-7) and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, (Rev 2:13) and great authority. 3And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. 4And they worshipped the dragon, which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 5And there was given
unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies
; (Dan 7:25) and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 6And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them:

“COMPLETE THE CIRCLE” BACK TO: Dan 7:21..made warwith the saints, and prevailed against them; 22Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall
devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings….. 25…: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time…. (condensed
for this article)
 

…We’ve learned this 4th beast (Rome), and this Mystery Babylon (the whore riding) was none other than Apostate Judah (what was left of Israel of the flesh—human nature operating at its worst—with a system in complete defiance to God) that was
about to be destroyed… (condensed for this article)

They go into Babylonian captivity, from there (Nebuchadnezzar’s reign) the countdown to the end begins, but the end does not start until the birth of Christ. Nebuchadnezzar’s reign is the countdown towards the final end (ca. 70AD) of the Mosaic covenant that the Jews were abominating.

 

…(Dan 9:24 to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins)  30Shall I cause it to return into his sheath? I will judge thee in the place where thou was created, in the land of thy nativity. (Ezk 23:15…after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their
nativity: 48.  Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, ergo “Mystery Babylon”)
  31And I WILL POUR (Dan 9:26…the end thereof shall be with a flood,; Mat 24:36 et al) out mine indignation upon thee,

 

CONCLUSION

 

Israel like mankind, was both flesh (carnal and at enmity with God Rom 8:7) and spirit—two parts to a single whole or two sides of the coin looking back. The physical seed of Israel that was walking by the flesh because they had a spirit of whoredom and would
be destroyed (Hos 4:12, 5:4 this whoredom personified by the man [statue of Dan
2—the feet where the name of the head] and beast
that God outlined by Daniel for the period of their destruction, 666 years), and the spiritual seed of Israel alone would be redeemed and continue. The physical kingdom/nation would get the everlasting curse and the spiritual seed would get the everlasting blessing via Christ who is the promised seed by whom the Gentiles were grafted in. That process began with Babylon and ended with the feet of the Babylonian image Rome mixed with the House of Judah “Mystery Babylon,” the feet and toes.

This is the Man that was outlined by God in a dream. Once as a man to Nebuchadnezzar and once as a beast to Daniel and it is a fact that period of time covered exactly 666 years. After which, it was destroyed with the Brightness of Christ’s coming in the war of AD70. This was the 1st century time of the Gentiles fulfilled with the destruction of those Gentile
nations out of the land, kingdom and people of God. The Physical house was corrupted by the Jews and Gentiles and thus destroyed, over and at, the end of that 666 year period. The spiritual was redeemed with its accomplishment. This is “the Mystery of Iniquity” mentioned in 2Thess 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8And then shall that Wicked [one] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

SEE GRAPH ………

666 

Consummation at end of war Not AD70! Dan 9: 26….the prince that shall come shall (A) destroy the city and the sanctuary and the end thereof shall be with A FLOOD (Mat 24:39; Rev 12:15,16 et al)… ( unto the end of the war DESOLATIONS are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and (A) in the midst of the week (AD70) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease……he shall ( make it DESOLATE, even until the CONSUMMATION, (ca. AD 73)

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The Destruction of The Harlot


The Destruction of the Harlot
By Lloyd Dale

We would like to take this opportunity to share some very interesting “about to” (Gk. mello) passages with you:

And you are about to hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you are not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (Matthew 24:6)

Audience relevance: Jesus clearly instructed his disciples that they (not somebody in the 21 century, 2000 years in the future) were about to hear of wars and rumors of wars.  This would have been a very unusual occurrence in their day because of the great Pax Romana that had existed throughout their life time!

God…now commands all men every where to repent:  Because he has appointed a day, in which he is about to judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance unto all men, in that he has raised him from the dead. (Acts 17:30-31)

Many partial preterists insist the Matthew 25 has not been fulfilled because the judgment of the nations did not take place in the first century.  If it did not Paul was radically confused, not inspired.

And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.  And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment about to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. (Acts 24:24-25)

Why did Felix “tremble”?  Certainly not because of righteousness or temperance, but because he clearly understood with Paul that the judgment of Yahweh was about to come in his life time in that generation!

Paul told Timothy essentially the same thing:

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is about to judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2 Timothy 4:1)

The above passages and many other similar passages make it very clear that the judgment of the “wrath of” God was about to descend on the people of the first century.  This judgment was to bring about the destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem (among other things, Matt. 24:2 et al.). Thus we ask ourselves the question – how was this judgment to occur?  Who or what was going to carry out this judgment and destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem?  For our answer to this we now turn to the book of Revelation:

The beast that you saw was, and is not; and is about to ascend out of the abyss, and go unto destruction: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (Revelation 17:8)

When John wrote this passage, he declared that “the beast” was about to come up out of the abyss and go unto the destruction.  The full context of this passage is one of the very best internal evidences for a late 60’s AD dating for the writing of the Revelation!  In order to recognize this, of course, it is very important to understand what John is really writing about in this and related verses.  We submit for your consideration that very, very few have ever understood this verse and its related context.

In verse one of this 17th chapter, John is told that he is to be shown the “judgment (destruction) of the whore.”  Old[1] and New Testaments[2] speak in unison and conclusively that the “whore” is Jerusalem – the capitol city of the southern kingdom, Judah.  Thus the full context of this passage is “the destruction of Jerusalem.”

John is then taken into the wilderness and shown a vision of the whore and the beast upon which she was riding.  Here the whore is identified as “drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.”  This description can identify none other than the apostate Judaism in Jerusalem.

In addition to the “whore” John is shown a great “scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”  All Bible students “in the know” agree that this beast is the Roman Empire.  Verse 10 tells John’s first century audience that there are “eight kings” of this Empire of which they should be cognizant.  According to verse 11, the “beast” that John described in verse 8 is to be that “an eighth” King (Caesar) of the Roman Empire.

In verse 8 John describes the beast (“an eighth” king of Roman Empire) as “the beast that… was, and is not, and is about to come up out of…”  What is this riddle that John puts forth?  Very few modern Bible students have understood this riddle because they fail to put it in the proper context.  Remember the context of this whole passage is the “judgment of the whore” – thus the destruction of Jerusalem!  John’s riddle thus means that this man (beast) who “is about to come up out of the abyss…” and become the “an eighth” king of the Roman Empire “was” (previous to his coming up out of and becoming king) involved in the judgment-destruction of the whore-Jerusalem, but at the time in which John was putting forth the 17 chapter of the Revelation he “is not” involved in the judgment-destruction of the whore-Jerusalem, but he “is about to come up” into his kingship and in that capacity he will return to the work of the judgment-“destruction” of Jerusalem.

Where is this man who is going to be the eighth king of the Roman Empire?  John informs us that he is about to go up out of the abyss.”  What and where is this abyss?

Traditional Christian “wisdom” has associated the abyss with the concept of hell.  Thus it is generally taught that this beast (“an eighth” king) is some strange creature that comes from hell.  We don’t think so, and we think we have clear and strong biblical evidence for our thoughts!  First, in context all the kings (Caesars) of the Rome Empire were flesh and blood human men, thus this eighth king must be a flesh and blood human also.  If hell is what the Christian church has taught that it is, no man ever did or ever will come out of hell to rule the Roman Empire!  Thus, if this “an eighth” king did not come up out of hell, where was he and from whence did he come?  In other words – what and where is John’s abyss?

Remember the context here is “the judgment of the whore!”  Verses 16-17 inform us that the whore was hated, made desolate and naked, her flesh eaten and she was burned with fire.  In other words she was “judged and destroyed!”

A Hebrew prophet, psalmist informs us:

The transgression of the wicked says…that there is no fear of God before his eyes.  For he flatters himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.  The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.  He devises        mischief…O Yahweh…thy judgments are an abyss: (Psalms 36:1-6, emphasis added)

In Revelation 17 Yahweh God is prophesying the judgment-destruction he is about to bring down upon the whore.  It is established that the whore is Jerusalem in Judaea.  Thus putting the information from the Hebrew Psalmist-prophet with the information from the Hebrew apostle-prophet we can now see that John’s “abyss” is the first century place of Yahweh’s judgment for sin which is Jerusalem in Judaea!  Thus the land of Judaea of the first century Jews is John’s abyss!  This is the place where Yahweh’s judgment was to take place.

Now we must ask – was there a man in the land of Judaea (the abyss) who had been involved in the judgment of Judaea, but at the time John established for the fulfillment of the 17th chapter of Revelation was not active, and who soon left Judaea to become a Roman Emperor and who as the king of the Roman Empire ordered the judgment-destruction of Judaea?  There certainly was and his name was Vespasian, the Roman General who had been sent to Judaea by Nero to take over the Roman army which was already in that land and to prosecute the judgment-war against the Jews in that land.

There is a very interesting comment in Josephus about a “sacred oracle” that ostensibly applies to this Revelation passage.  Josephus states:

But now, what did most elevate them in undertaking this war was an ambiguous oracle (Rev.17:10-11) that was also found in their sacred writings, how, “about that time, one from their own country (this shows that the Jews understood John’s bottomless pit to be “their own land”) should become governor (Caesar) of the habitable earth (Roman Empire).”   The (apostate) Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular; and many wise men were thereby deceived in their determination.  Now this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea. (WOTJ Book VI, ch.V, Sec.4, emphasis and comment added)

According to Josephus, The Roman army wanted Vespasian to become emperor because of his age, excellent character, experience and military record.  They also considered Vespasian and his son Titus as the “dynamic duo” that would be able to salvage the Roman Empire with Vespasian as king and his son Titus leading the army.  When Vespasian went to Rome to officially begin his reign, Titus returned to Judaea

to continue the prosecution of the war against the Jews and was “sent (by Vespasian) to destroy Jerusalem”  which he eventually did. In his writings, Josephus often refers to Titus as “Caesar” even while Vespasian was the ruling monarch. (Wars of the Jews, Book III, ch. 1, sec.3 p.502 – ch. 10, P.546)

According to the historical accounts, especially Josephus, Vespasian became the general of Nero’s army in Judaea and proceeded to prosecute the war against the Jews (“was”), however, while doing that Vespasian and the army heard about the death of Nero.  At that time Vespasian placed the war in abeyance pending the placement of the new king.  During this time of inaction (“is not”) in Judaea and chaos in the Empire, the Roman soldiers began to persuade Vespasian to become the new Caesar.  After considerable hesitation Vespasian finally succumbed to the urging of the troops and with the approval of Alexander of Egypt, he agreed to permit them to anoint him as the “an eighth” Caesar of Rome (“about to come up out of the abyss”).  Vespasian then “ascended up out of the abyss,” proceeded to Rome, dispatching Vitellius’ army on the way, and became the “an eighth” king (Caesar) which John described in Revelation 17.

In a very interesting passage, Josephus, the Jewish historian employed by the Romans to document the “Wars of the Jews” etc. confirms the above:

But now, what did most elevate them in undertaking this war was an ambiguous oracle (Rev.17:10-11) that was also found in their sacred writings, how, “about that time, one from their own country (this shows that the Jews understood John’s bottomless pit to be “their own country [Judaea]”) should become governor (Caesar) of the habitable earth (Roman Empire).”   The (apostate) Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular; and many wise men were thereby deceived in their determination.  Now this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea. (WOTJ Book VI, ch.V, sec.4, emphasis and comment added)

According to Josephus, The Roman army wanted Vespasian to become emperor because of his age, excellent character, experience and military record.  They also considered Vespasian and his son Titus as the “dynamic duo” that would be able to salvage the Roman Empire with Vespasian as king and his son Titus leading the army.  When Vespasian went to Rome to officially begin his reign, Titus returned to Judaea to continue the prosecution of the war against the Jews and was “sent (by Vespasian) to destroy Jerusalem”  which he eventually did. In his writings, Josephus often refers to Titus as “Caesar” even while Vespasian was the ruling monarch. (Wars Of  The Jews, Book III, ch. 1, sec.3 p.502 – ch. 10, P.546)

As should now clearly be seen, this internal evidence and historical information conclusively dates this fulfillment of the Revelation into the late 60’s AD!

In the clear light of this information let us now take another look at verse 8 and its pertinent context and true meaning as shown below:

The beast (“an eighth” king of the Roman Empire) that you saw was (involved in the war against the Jews), and is not (currently prosecuting the war); and is about to come up out (ascend) out of the abyss (Judaea), and rule over [the] destruction [of Jerusalem-Judaea (Jews)]: and they that dwell on the land (the apostate Jews)  shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast (the “an eighth” Roman Caesar) that was (involved in the war), and is not (currently prosecuting that war), and yet is (in the land). And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains/kingdoms (the reigns of the seven kings), on which the woman (Jerusalem) sits.  And there are seven kings: five (Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, & Claudius) are fallen, and one (Nero) is, and the other (Galba) is not yet come; and when he (Galba) comes, he must continue a short space (seven months).  And the beast (Caesar-king) that was (in the abyss prosecuting the war against the Jews), and is not (currently prosecuting the war), even he is the “an eighth” (Roman Caesar-king), and is of the seven (Chief General of the Empire under Nero), and leads unto the destruction (of Jerusalem). (Revelation 17:8-11)

The “ten kings” of verse 12 (not a reference to ten kings of the Roman Empire) receive their power when Vespasian becomes Caesar, and being of “one mind… (they) give their power and strength unto “the beast” (Vespasian).  Verse 14 explains that these ten kings shall make war with (Greek: “meta,” this does not mean against as erroneously given in many “modern” translations) the Lamb.

If this passage means that the “ten kings” fight against the Lamb and the Lamb “overcomes them” as many modern translations render this passage, then it is totally out of context.  Remember the context is “the judgment of the whore” and her destruction as given in verses 16-17.

The first portion of verse 14 is clear, the beast and the ten kings make war with the Lamb, not against him.   In other words the beast and the ten kings unite, and are brought under the power of the Lamb to do his will to make war against the whore.  This is verified in verses 16-17:

And the ten horns which you saw upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.  For God (the Lamb) hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. (Revelation 17:16-17)

In his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul urges the Roman Christians to not attempt to “avenge” themselves against their persecutors (primarily the Jews) but rather to allow the wrath (judgment) of God to do its work (Romans 12:19ff).  Then Paul continues:

…the [Roman] powers that be (the beast and the ten kings) are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves judgment (Gk. “krima” cf. Rev. 17:1).  For rulers are…a terror to…the evil…if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him (persecutors) that doeth evil. (Romans 13:2-4)
In Chapter 19 John describes the Lamb coming forth as a conquering king:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.  And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war with (Not against as in AV. Gk. meta, cf. Rev. 17:14) him that sat on the horse, and with (Not against as in AV. Gk. meta, cf. Rev. 17:14) his army.

The above is John’s description of the climax of the destruction of Jerusalem as a result of the Lamb’s judgment.  The great armies of the beast (Vespasian and the ten kings), in submission to do the will of the Lamb, bring destruction to the whore.  However, at this point John makes an interesting adjustment in his language.  In verse 20 John describes the whore using the words by which he had described her in the 13th chapter of Revelation[3]:

And I beheld another beast (The Herod dynasty-[the beast] and apostate Judaism-[the false prophet]) coming up out of the land; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.  And he (The beast with two horns, i.e. the Herod dynasty with his false prophet, apostate Judaism) exercised all the power of the first beast (the Roman Empire) before him, and caused the land and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast (“we have no God but Caesar”), whose deadly wound was healed (by the reign of Vespasian).  And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven (War from Rome) on the earth in the sight of men (apostate Jews),  And deceived them that dwell on the land (of Judea) by the means of those wonders which he had power to do in the sight of the first beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the first beast, which had the wound by a sword (the sword that killed Nero and caused the near collapse of the Empire), and did live (the Empire survived the death of Nero).  And he had power to give life unto the image of the first beast, that the image of the first beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the first beast should be killed.  And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the first beast, or the number of his name.  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the first beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Revelation 13:11-18 AV)

Thus John describes the fate of the second beast of Revelation 13:11ff at “the hands” of the armies of the beast (Vespasian) and the ten kings.  Thus “the powers that be” (i.e. the Roman Empire) have borne the sword, become the avenger, and delivered the wrath of God upon Jerusalem and the apostate first century Jews:

And the beast (The Herodian dynasty) was taken, and with him the false prophet (apostate Judaism) that wrought wonders before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the first beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both [the second beast, the Herodian dynasty & his false prophet] were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone (Jerusalem in the process of destruction).  And the remnant (of apostate Jews) were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword [of prophecy fulfilled] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:11-21 AV)

Thus just as John and Paul had declared, in 70 AD the armies of the beast and the ten kings delivered the “wrath of God” by sacking and burning the Jerusalem of the Herodian dynasty and his false prophet [apostate Judaism], the second beast of Rev.13:11-18) to carry out the will of the Lamb.

We would really appreciate your consideration and evaluation of the above material.  Comments and questions are most welcome.

 

That TRUTH may prevail!

 

In the service of the reigning King,

 

Lloyd Dale, Founder and CEO

Olive Tree Ministries

19463 US Hwy 12

Lemmon, SD 57638

Phone: 605-374-3291

 

——————————————————————————–

[1] For complete OT documentation of this see Dale, Lloyd, The Olive Tree Mystery, self published.

[2] For complete NT documentation see Preston, Don, Who is this Babylon, self published.

[3] In Revelation 13 John states that the beast that “comes out of the land” has “two horns.”  This beast has “two horns” because of its status under Rome.  Rome gave the authority to rule (one horn) over the Judean province to Herod and continued it in his sons.  However, the Jews also had their rule (the other horn, the false prophet) in the form of the Jewish Sanhedrin or priests and elders of Judea.  Collectively this beast “spoke as a dragon” against the Christ and His followers and demanded Caesar worship in Judaea.  This “beast and false prophet” was destroyed in the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman Armies led by Titus.

1Corinthians 15:19-28

Steven,

My name is Dan and I found your email address on Properpreterism.org. I began studying preterism in the late 1990’s when I was in my early twenties, but didn’t quite understand it at the time. As it happens I unfortunately became a backslidden Christian for the better part of ten years and nearly put it out of my mind completely. About two years ago I renewed my relationship with Christ and for the first time in my life experienced true repentance for my sins.  In the last two years I have spent a great deal of my time studying scripture and bringing myself closer to God. I am a full preterist, but there are still things that I don’t fully understand, so I was happy to come across your website.

What I am trying to understand mainly is what happens to this physical world? Is this world to continue on as is forever as many full-preterists seem to believe with sin still existing in some form? Or is Christ going to eventually put all things in subjection in the literal sense as in putting an end to the evil and sin (and death)?  It seems to me that there is a lot of spiritualizing being done by many preterists particularly in relation to 1 Corinthians 15 24-28. My understanding is that this has not happened yet because sin is utterly rampant everywhere.  Could you tell me your thoughts on this?  Perhaps I have misunderstood.

Thank you kindly for taking the time to read through this email and answer my questions. I saw that you have a 262 area code in your phone number. I’m not sure where you live, but my family and I live in Muskego. I hope you are doing well.

Warm Regards,
Dan

 

Dan,
Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm.  We hope the following article will assist in answering your questions.  Please let us know your thoughts and where you disagree.

 

1Corinthians 15:19-28

By Lloyd Dale

 

In order to properly understand 1Cor 15:19-28 many things must be taken into account.  In 1Cor 15, Paul is refuting the erroneous notion that there is no resurrection.  He Claims that “now Christ is risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of those that have died (slept).”  Thus in order to properly understand this portion of this chapter, we must first properly understand what the Bible and Paul meant by “dead.”  For the present suffice it to say that Christ became “dead” when He voluntary surrendered to death on the cross.

 

Next Paul states that “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  Contrary to popular opinion Paul is not writing about salvation here, he is writing about death in Adam and he is simply stating that Adam’s death is imputed to all men that are born of Adam’s seed.  Then he states that in the same manner that Adam’s death was imputed to all men Christ’s resurrection life is imputed to all men that are born of Adam’s seed.

 

Again, contrary to popular opinion, Paul is not writing about salvation in this passage.  He is simply contrasting death and resurrection life.  Other passages clearly tell us that there will “a resurrection of the dead, both the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15, cf. Dan 12:2).   In that context, Paul states that this resurrection of the dead to life will occur for all men, “but each man in his own order.  The first man, in this order of resurrection life, is Christ; He was the resurrection firstfruits of all men.

 

Next Paul states, “afterward (we now know from the balance of the NT that Paul’s “afterward” meant approximately 40 years after Christ’s resurrection) they that are Christ’s at His Parousia.”  Paul’s those “that are Christ’s” is of course a reference to those that were given to Jesus by God the Father (John 17:9-24).  In this verse, Paul clearly states the only “those that are Christ’s” (the justified) will receive resurrection life at His Parousia.  Nothing what-so-ever is stated about the resurrection of anyone that was not Christ’s (the unjustified).  By any reasonable standard this is the “first resurrection” of which John wrote in Rev 20:4d.  We are told that those that “have a part in this first resurrection” will have no part in “the second death.”

 

 

At this point let me ask you a question: How can anyone have a part in the “second death” unless he was born of Adam, and first died of Adam’s death then experienced the resurrection life of Christ and then became subject to the “second death” because his name “was not found  written in the book of life.?”  Don’t criticize my view until you have a reasonable and complete answer to this question.

 

 

At this point we are left with a serious question: “When will those that had not been given to Christ be resurrected?”  By any reasonable standard those that had not been given to Christ by God the Father, i.e. “those that are Christ’s at His Parousia” would be the “rest of the dead” of which John wrote in Rev 20:5.

 

 

 

John writes that “those that had a part in the first resurrection are blessed and holy and they shall be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him a thousand years.”

 

 

Now without writing any more about this right now let’s return to 1Cor 15:24 were Paul wrote, “then the end.”  What is this “end” to which Paul refers?  One thing is certain, whatever it is; it clearly occurs after the “resurrection…of those that are Christ’s at his Parousia” of verse 23 in Paul’s sequence of events as presented here.  That leaves two questions that we must answer correctly in order to properly understand what Paul is stating here:  (1)  “How long after the event of verse 23 (the Parousia resurrection of the justified) will it be until the “end?”  (2) “What is this “end” to which Paul refers?”

 

 

From Scripture it can be deduced that Paul, John and the other apostles discussed the Revelation at the Jerusalem council in ca. 46 AD, therefore, I think that Paul and John were in agreement about these things.  While Paul does not give us the details about the resurrection of the unjustified dead (the rest of the dead), in 1Cor 15:19-28; John does in Rev 20:5-6 and 11-15 and according to John this resurrection of the rest of the dead (the unjustified) takes place after a thousand year “heavenly kingdom” (2Tim 4:18) “reign”  of the  saints (“beheaded” and otherwise dead) resurrected at the Parousia (the justified of 1Cor 15:23b, cf. 1Tim 2:10-12, Matt 16:27-28,19:28, 25:31)

 

 

That this reign of the saints with Christ begins at the Parousia is verified by the sequence of verses 23 and 25 in 1Cor 15.  First, the resurrection of “those that are Christ’s at His Parousia,” in verse 23 then “for He must reign…” in verse 25.  In 1Cor 15 there is NO mention, not even a suggestion of a “reign” until after the Parousia of verse 23.  However, in verse 26 after the Parousia of verse 23 Paul states, “for He must reign…”  This follows or correlates perfectly with the events in Rev 20:4-6 & 11-15.  Thus 1Cor 15:19-28 and Rev 20:4-6 & 11-15 are parallels that clearly establish that the “end” Paul has in mind in 1Cor 15:24 is the end of “the thousand years reign of the resurrected saints with Christ” which John describes in Rev 20.

 

It should be noted here that there is no coming of Christ or Parousia of Christ identified with the end of the thousand years reign of the saints with Christ in Rev 20:11-15.  This all takes place in the realm of the “resurrected” both of the just and the unjust (“…whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” of the “second death, verses 14-15).

 

In keeping with both Paul’s and John’s sequence of events, the events of 1Cor 15:26-28 occur after “the thousand years reign of the saints with Christ.”

 

Hi Steve,

 

Thank you for forwarding Lloyd’s article. It was excellent and not to mention undeniable in its entirety. I have to say that it is almost shocking to read something like that. It makes me wonder why I hadn’t come to the same conclusion years ago because it seems so obvious that it is the truth of the matter. One can only guess how it has been possible that dispensationalists have been so sucessful in promoting a doctrine that obviously smacks of complete non-sense. It is almost as if they call God a liar and then create an esoteric means by which one should understand scripture. I recently heard a preacher on WVCY talking about how the Jews were going to build another temple in Jerusalem and that would be the temple that would eventually be destroyed per Matthew 24. What a pitiful state we are in when people can accept these lies without so much as a fight.

 

 

I had always wondered why we had strong Christian civilizations like Byzantium that would eventually crumble, only to give birth to Christian cultures that seemed to only get more and more degenerate. So when I see these degenerate currents finding their place in our world, it makes perfect sense why Rev 20: 7-10 makes complete sense in our present times. How wonderful to have learned this!

 

 

I learned about preterism back in 1998 from a man named V.S. Herrell. I had been involved in his ” Christian Separatist Church ” for a time and eventually had a falling out with them and left that church, which is something similar to what is today called “Christian Identity.” I believe some of his writings can still be found online.  This occured in my early to mid twenties. I’m 32 now. Since then, I haven’t been involved in any other churches or similar organizations. I am married with three children living in Muskego .

 

Thank you again to you and Lloyd for sending this excellent article. Very well written. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Dan

 

 

Is “Interpretation” Keeping People from Christ?

by Steven Hawk

(see Part 1 here)

2Pe 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Believe it or not, YES, it has kept people from Christ in the first century, and according to scripture – in some cases, still is today, even though, some will insist they are “in Christ.” Yet He will tell many He never knew them Mat 7:22, 23. An important key is, if we deny WHAT HE SAYS, it says we will be denied John 12:48, 14:23-24; Mat 10:33, because we desire to cling to false traditions of men that make void the word of God (Mat 15:6), and want false teachers telling us what we want to hear. Did you ever wonder why certain things resonate with some people and not with others, and some are led into cults who even name Christ as their authority and even live moral lives? Read this entire document and decide for yourself. The interpretation defense (excuse) to deny scripture is being used in a much more sinister way than imagined.

Recently, I came across a scriptural debate, and one of the debaters accused the other of using his own interpretation to prove his point. I considered the debate, and thought to myself that the person being accused was doing no such thing. What he was asserting was what the verse clearly stated. It was the other guy that was changing the plain meaning, even when looking at the context, which you did not need to do to understand it in this particular situation. I realized that this is a common argument for those who do not want to accept what scripture teaches, and is a very serious issue as you should see.

The gurus will have you think you need a PhD in hermeneutics to get a right interpretation on what they deem as scripturally difficult—we have already shown the error in that thinking with both Books 1 and 2 of “The Christian MythBuster Series.” How far can this excuse (i.e. that’s just your interpretation) be taken? The answer is much further than it ever should have, and its tentacles are splintering the church to no end (around 26,000 denominations last I checked); when Paul said “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them that are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which you learned: and turn away from them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and fair speech they beguile (deceive) the hearts of the innocent” (Romans 16:17-18).

The first of two primary issues in this article is about the accusation of using one’s own interpretation to force the Bible to say what one wants. We are not saying this does not happen, but are saying we should know when it’s happening and when it’s just an excuse to deny scripture. Interpret means to explain the meaning of (information, words, or actions). Some biblical topics may be more difficult than others, but the problem is when we are uninformed of the book we are talking about and draw conclusions, and you would be shocked (as I was) how many people with degrees are uninformed of the Bible, but very well informed of their organization’s orthodoxy or the colleges and false traditions of men they have learned and cling to while deceiving others.

The point being made here is, we do not have to interpret the Bible, but let it interpret itself, and we don’t mean to just say it, but to really let it interpret itself. And just like anything else – you don’t always need an interpreter (e.g. unless you need a translator of a different language, etc.)

We recently presented a new strategy that was designed to not only get people to think for themselves, but tear down two very bad obstacles that are preventing Christian growth while deceiving. We are to “… grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2Pe 3:18a) and we are also required to study and rightly divide his word to be approved by God (2Ti 2:15).

So what are these two obstacles preventing the growth in the church today?

Besides today’s epidemic of unbelief (the same reason Jesus said “believe”)—you have to first consider something may have some merit (i.e. believe) before you will give something a chance, but besides that problem we have these two issues we will deal with …

(1) The selfish attitude of many Christians that do not want to grow in knowledge as the verse in 2 Peter we just read commands. These do not care if they are deceived or if their brothers and sisters in Christ are deceived as long as they selfishly think they are saved, and

(2) This “interpretation excuse” we just touched on (i.e. denying what opposes their view with the accusation “that’s just your interpretation” argument).  If that argument truly added up then God’s word is just opinion, and His commands to grow in knowledge, and rightly divide His word are futile, and He is the author of confusion, which he says he is not (1Cor 14:33). Also Christ’s reprimand about erring because they knew not scripture (Mat 22:29; Mar 12:24), and knowing the truth to make us free as he asserted (Joh 8:32), were senseless. If he was right (the truth makes us free) then deception is bondage.

The following are some Examples of “our understanding” vs. “the interpretist”:

Now, if a verse does not make sense to someone, that someone should not try and make the passage fit their understanding—they should try and see if there is something wrong with their understanding.

  • Mat 16:27-28 For the Son of Man is about to come with His angels in the glory of His Father. And then “He will give reward to each according to his practice.” Truly I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste of death, never, until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. (LITV)

Our understanding of the above plainly stated passage means Christ was “about to” return (after his ascension) in glory with his angels, then give rewards, and some of them (when he stated this) listening to him (Christ) would not taste of death before he came in his kingdom.

The interpretist might say it means what happened in the transfiguration (Mat 17:1-13), but that’s impossible because (1) Christ did not come with his angels, (2) he did not come in his kingdom, (3) he did not hand out rewards, and (4) we are pretty certain he did not tell some of them they would be alive six days later. But that is what the interpretist will do to cling to their irrational paradigms. Another one…

  • Heb 1:2  in these last days He spoke to us in the Son, whom He appointed heir of all; through whom He indeed made the ages;

Our understanding of the above plainly stated verse means they (“us”) were being spoken to in the “last days” by God’s son (Jesus Christ), not you and I (audience relevance). In other words, they (the 1st century hearers) were being spoken to by Christ in the last days. Again, NOT us.

The question you should be asking is: “The last days of what?”

The interpretist might say it means whoever is reading the passage is in the last days being spoken to by God’s son. Here’s another one….

  • Mat 24:34 Truly I say to you, In no way will this generation pass away until all these things have occurred.

Our understanding of this plainly stated verse means that the events described, including the destruction (“not one stone will be left upon another”) of Jerusalem (Christ just gave a list of events that would happen before he came in power and glory, Mat 24:30).; would happen in “THIS GENERATION” (the generation Christ was addressing his speech to) would not pass away before “all these things” occurred, which included his return in power and glory.

The interpretist might say it means a different generation (or THAT generation, meaning a distant generation) to make it fit their futuristic prophetic paradigm.

Question: If the interpretist were correct, then wouldn’t he had said “THAT generation” (i.e. referring to a future generation so his disciples would not be confused)? But the rest of the Bible reveals the truth.

  • Rom 13:11 Also this, knowing the time, that it is now the hour for you to be aroused from sleep, for NOW our salvation is NEARER than when we believed.

Our understanding of this plainly stated verse means that Paul thought THEIR salvation was near (otherwise it makes no sense to say “our”), but then realized it was even “nearer” than he had thought.

The interpretist might say it means that Paul only meant salvation was nearer than he originally thought – even if it meant about 2000 years in the future (i.e. that Paul did not think salvation would happen in their lifetimes or they think Paul was wrong).

We think this is interpreting the text! Why not just let the text say what it plainly states?
  • Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John; Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written therein: for the time is at hand. Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, SEAL NOT UP THE WORDS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK; FOR THE TIME IS AT HAND. (SECOND COMING OR GREEK PAROUSIA, CA. 70)

Our understanding of this plainly stated passage means God gave Christ to show his servants things which must SHORTLY COME TO PASS, and that the time of the prophecy was “AT HAND.”

The interpretist might say it means when the right time comes it will be “at hand.”

Question: Why do we read “SEAL NOT UP THE WORDS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK; FOR THE TIME IS AT HAND.” in that passage above (written around 68AD), but here we read just the opposite….

Dan 8:26 And the vision of the evenings and mornings which hath been told is true: but SHUT YOU UP THE VISION; FOR IT BELONGS TO MANY DAYS TO COME (ABOUT 500 YEARS UNTIL THE 1ST CENTURY). Dan 10:14  Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days; for the vision is yet for many days: Dan 12:9  And he said, GO THY WAY, DANIELFOR THE WORDS ARE SHUT UP AND SEALED TILL THE TIME OF THE END.

By the vast contrast of those passages, it seems to us that God knows how to tell time to His people. The interpretist insists God does not know how to tell time to His people. That it is some mysterious time language to only confuse them, so they can stick to their futuristic, religio-scientific, prophetic mythology. Do you see why this is a serious issue that does not allow the church to grow in knowledge and advance to the meat (vs. the milk) of God’s word? But worse yet, many are distorting God’s word and denying truth with untenable excuses.

Here is a recent engagement (in response to a letter to my in-laws) that will further explain. I will first give you his (we will call him an anonymous debater or “AD”) response to a letter I shared with him that I sent to an to an in-law (using an anonymous name for my in-law) and notice how he uses the interpretation excuse in his argument. Hopefully you will also see that because of his “salvation right now bias” he totally missed the point of what we were attempting to do, while he employs his argument (excuse) that interpretation does not affect salvation ….

(AD) “Honestly, I don’t want to get in the middle… (I told him that was not the point in why I shared the letter with him and that I changed her name), especially since I don’t agree with you point of view either, for a lot of reasons, but that’s beside the point. Personally I think you’re taking the wrong approach. You come across as trying to make her see your way and attacking her faith, as you say, putting her salvation on the line, which is a matter between her and God, and completely opposite to how we’re told to share the word to begin with. I’d rather just stay clear of the whole thing if you don’t mind too much. Besides, salvation comes by grace through faith, not interpretation or understanding of theologies or ideology. If that were the case, no one who doesn’t know the bible first could be saved.”

First, most Christians seem to have forgotten that Jesus said He brought a sword that even divided families over the truth, if need be (Mat 10:34-38, truth before family – those of the truth will be your family). Next, let’s look at where he says “Personally I think you’re taking the wrong approach. You come across as trying to make her see your way and attacking her faith, as you say, putting her salvation on the line, which is a matter between her and God, and completely opposite to how we’re told to share the word to begin with.” which may sound good to some because they want easy salvation, but is he right and is it biblical what he’s saying?

Another problem with his statement is grace is not unmerited favor. That is what Websters dictionary says grace is, but the Greek word is charis; divine influence on the heart. Grace and mercy are not the same. We hear preaching that has inadvertently redefined these terms because the more we hear these things, the more we think they are true. Many Greek and Hebrew words that have been translated into English are unfortunately mis-characterized. Grace is the power of God that enables us to participate in kingdom activities, now. It is empowerment, not a margin of error or God’s mercy. If you look at how it is used in scripture, then you will appreciate what I am telling you. The text always interprets best.

NT:5485 charis (khar’-ece); from NT:5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude):
Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.

The latter part of this article may have you realizing that salvation by grace through faith is not taking the full counsel of God into consideration. What about “walking after the spirit” (Rom 8:1 states you are condemned if you do not. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” KJV; LITV; YLT. Note, some of the newer English translation omit the second part of that verse!) or what about “understanding His word” (see latter part of this article) or “taking up your cross” or “being born again” or making learning and loving the truth (2Thes 2:10) a high priority?

The purpose of the letter was to show my in-laws the error (deception) in their, unfortunately very common belief system regarding the return (commonly called second coming) of Christ. I purposely attacked (as he put it) my in-law’s salvation in that letter, because sadly, salvation is the only language many Christians understand, because many are not interested if they are wrong or deceived.  I asserted in that letter to my in-laws that Christ’s commonly called “second coming” is an essential to the gospel message, i.e. without the second coming we do NOT have salvation. Please consider the next verses very carefully, and realize the writers did not yet have salvation when these verses were penned. (Book 1, The Last Days Edition explains what happened to the dead AFTER Christ promised them they had eternal life, but before he returned, i.e. 33-70AD.) So, logically something had to happen between when these verses were written and today, if we have salvation ….

Heb 9:28 “so Christ having been once offered “to bear the sins of many,” Christ shall appear a second time without sin (Isa 53:12) to those expecting Him for salvation.” Compare with,  Rom 13:11 “Also this, knowing the time, that it is now the hour for you to be aroused from sleep, for NOW our salvation is NEARER than when we believed.“  Also realize, (1) Paul thought it was near, but here he states it was even nearer [contrary to partial preterism and all futurism] than he thought, (2) still [contrary to full preterismthey did NOT have it yet!

So, in response to our AD’s assertion: if my in-laws are deceived (and clinging to that deception, i.e. false tradition of men called dispensational futurism [a grievous counterfeit Zionistic disease in the church you need to know about] that makes void God’s word) then maybe their faith needs to be attacked (Tit 1:13).

Just in case you (whomever is reading this) decide to be a noble Berean (Acts 17:11) and check the assertion of Christ’s return (as the two verses above demand for us to have salvation) out for yourself and do a little searching; realize that both the above verses prove Full Preterism wrong because those verses insist they did not have salvation yet, as the full Preterists assert they did at that time. The two above verses also proves Partial Preterism wrong, because the second verse states salvation was nearer than they thought, which implies Christ’s final return was around their lifetime (not ours) proving partial Preterism wrong.  You need to consider what we call “PROPER Preterism.”

 

(AD) “I certainly do not believe that salvation hinges on the acceptance of a preterist (broadly speaking) understanding of the Bible.”

 

Probably not IF the person is in ignorance, but a proper understanding of Preterism (not all forms of Preterism are proper) provides keys in our study that leads to more understanding, and a proper form of it clears deception and makes us free! I say “probably not” because I have learned some people who do not know their Bibles, often (not always) have wrong priorities because truth has taken a back seat to routines, leisure, entertainment, gossip, etc. Too, Christ said, “If I had not come and had not spoken to them, they had no sin. But now they do not have excuse as to their sin.” (Joh 15:22)

Question: Why didn’t Christ just not come and leave them without sin? Because we are to share these things and people are to make choices showing their heart’s condition (one example, spending more emphasis on making money vs. finding truth), and be held accountable for the choices they make: Luk 2:35 yea, a sword also will pierce your own soul, so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. Christianity is not for the timid or the fearful (Mar 4:40; Rev 21:8). Lastly, our salvation can hinge upon prophecy when we flat-out deny what is clearly and plainly stated in the New Testament!

Also, most of these same Christians have adopted a “blind leading the blind method of learning” by letting their church masters tell them what to believe (they are their “interpreters”) instead of being “noble Bereans” and verifying what they’ve been told from scripture. This directly violates the center verse in their Bibles: Psa 118:8 “It is better to trust in the LORD (or His Word) than to put confidence in man (or the teachings of men).” This method of learning always parrots what the others of their particular paradigm teach. As they sow, so will they continue to reap. 

 

(AD) “I do NOT believe that people who think there is to be a future ‘Second Coming’ are necessarily condemned because of misinterpreting Scripture.”

 

Again, ignorance may be treated different by God, but how does that make us free, and once we are told we are held accountable. Christ said something very interesting, “My sheep hear my voice and follow me” ……

 

WHY CAN’T SOME UNDERSTAND? CAN UNDERSTANDING BE A DETERMING FACTOR IN WHETHER OR NOT WE ARE IN CHRIST?

 

1Co 2:15 “But the spiritual one discerns all things,
but he is discerned (examined) by no one.”

 Not when we display a spirit of willingness to change and learn.

Dr. W. Gary Crampton writes: God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33); he is a rational being, the Lord God of truth (Psalm 31:5). So much does the Bible speak of God as a God of logic, that in John 1:1 Jesus Christ is called the “Logic” of God: “In the beginning was the Logos, and the  Logos was with God, and the Logos was God” (the English word “logic” is derived from the Greek logos used in this verse). John 1:1 emphasizes the rationality of God the Son. Logic is as eternal as God himself because “the Logos is God.” Hence, God and logic cannot be separated; logic is the characteristic of God’s thinking. So God and logic are one and the same first principle….

Further, logic is embedded in Scripture. The very first verse of the Bible, “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” necessitates the validity of the most fundamental law of logic: the law of contradiction (A is not non-A). Genesis 1:1 teaches that God is the Creator of all things. Too, it says that he created “in the beginning.” It does not teach, therefore, that God is not the Creator of all things, nor does it maintain that God created all things 100 years after the beginning. The verse assumes that the words God, beginning, created, and so forth, all have definite meanings. It also assumes that they do not mean certain things. For speech to be intelligible, words must have univocal meanings. What makes the words meaningful, and revelation and communication possible, is that each word conforms to the law of contradiction….

Logic, then, is embedded in Scripture. This is why Scripture, rather than the laws of logic, is selected as the axiomatic starting point of Christian epistemology. Similarly, God is not made the axiom, because all of our knowledge of God comes from Scripture. “God,” as an axiom, without Scripture, is merely a name. Scripture as the axiom defines God. As we are taught in the Bible, man is the image of God (Genesis 1:26,27). God “formed man of the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). Adam became a type of soul that is superior to that of non-rational animals (2 Peter 2:12). Man, as God’s image bearer, is a rational being (Colossians 3:10).  This is why the apostle Paul could spend time “reasoning” with his auditors “from the Scriptures” (Acts 17:2).

Moreover, because Christ is the Logos who “gives [epistemological] light to every man who comes into the world” (John 1:9), we are to understand that there is a point at which man’s logic meets God’s logic. In fact, John 1:9 denies that logic is arbitrary; it also denies polylogism, i.e., that there may be many kinds of logic. According to John, there is only one kind of logic: God’s logic. And the Logos gives to every image bearer of God the ability to think logically.

God has also given man language that enables him to rationally converse with his Creator (Exodus 4:11). Such thought and conversation would not be possible without the laws of logic. Logic is indispensable to all (God-given)  human thought and speech. This being so, we must  insist that there is no “mere human logic” as contrasted with a divine logic. Such fallacious thinking does disservice to the Logos of God himself.

One might argue here that the fall of man rendered logic defective. But this is not the case. The noetic effects of sin indeed hinder man’s ability to reason correctly (Romans 1:21), but this in no way implies that the laws of logic themselves are impinged. In other words, it is not the laws of logic that are affected by the Fall, it is man’s ability to think logically that is so affected. As we have seen, the laws of logic are eternally fixed in the mind of God. They cannot be affected; they are eternally valid. Logic is fixed and universal; it is necessary and irreplaceable.

He concludes: …In the words of Augustine: “The science of reasoning is of very great service in searching into and unraveling all sorts of questions that come up in Scripture….The validity of logical sequences is not a thing devised by men, but it is observed and noted by them that they may be able to learn and teach it; for it exists eternally in the reason of things, and has its origin with God.”[1]

Our reasoning is affected by sin, which Gordon Clark asserts can even affect one’s ability to do arithmetic. Maybe for some, a deeper level of arithmetic. Nonetheless, the point is clear that a carnal lifestyle or even frame-of-mind is a hinderance to our understanding of things, which causes a malfunction, but we are still responsible because that light (God’s Word) is there for us.1

————————————————————–

Joh 17:3  (with emphasis) And this is everlasting life, that they may know You (knowledge – you have to know), the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.

God is truth, knowledge and understanding is necessary to have eternal life according to the above verse. How do we know we know the one true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent? We will know and understand His Word.

Joh 8:43 “Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.”

Joh 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice (understand him), and I know them, and they follow me:”

Mar 8:17 And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?

These verses imply there is something else going on besides mere misinterpretation. Let’s continue…

Mar 8:21 “And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

Pro 8:8-9 “All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; There is nothing crooked or perverse in them.  They are all plain to him that understands, And right to them that find knowledge.”

But most are not seeking knowledge, and if they were, their interpreters would lead them astray. They couldn’t make decisions on their own—that would require their own thinking!

Col 1:10 for you to walk worthily of the Lord to all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work and growing into the full knowledge of God;  Col 1:28  whom we announce, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man full-grown in Christ Jesus,

Joh 3:10 “Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?”

Joh 10:14, 15 “I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep, and am known by mine, according as the Father does know me, and I know the Father, and my life I lay down for the sheep,”

God separated the wheat from the chaff with understanding…

Joh 6:53  “Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves…. v.60  Many therefore of his disciples [other than the 12], when they heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it? … AND  v.66  Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 

 

(AD) “You’re making it apply to prophecy!”

 

Christ’s testimony IS the spirit of prophecy “…for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev 19:10c)

“…but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand (prophecy); but they that are wise shall understand.” (Dan 12:10b)

Besides, I already told the AD that Christ’s commonly called “second coming” is an essential to the gospel message and is prophecy. The 1st century Jews were condemned for their wrong interpretations. They were NOT condemned because they denied what constituted scripture or the word of God, they denied what it meant (interpretation). You can’t keep that which you deny. The Jews looked at the same scriptures; they died in their sins and so will people today even though they say they are saved. To be willfully ignorant means to look away at the very evidence in front of you, to deny its existence, it is by design that many choose this course (2Pe 3:4-5).

2Pe 3:16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

A mystery of the Gospel is, they did not crucify him because he told them to live good moral lives or that he claimed to die and rise on the third day. They crucified him when he told them about his return (Mat 26:64). You can’t love or keep the words of Christ while denying them. Much less preach the gospel of the kingdom when you either don’t know what it is or deny its meaning (John 14:23 et al) the context is his second coming.

One of the reasons why the Leaders of God’s people did not want to embrace the true Messiah at His first coming, was due to their misinterpretation of Scripture. They were looking for a king, to come and set them free from the Roman yoke. They had a certain expectation that would not allow for something other than their perversion of scripture. Even Christ’s own disciples were affected (deceived) by their influence, and often misunderstood His words and message to them. What would take place at His crucifixion was one of the most misunderstood. But, since Christ said they were given ears to hear, he later (after he had risen) for forty days straightened their understanding out.

The Pharisees could quote scripture and they did not deny what Moses and the prophets wrote – they only denied the meaning and purpose of Christ’s coming his first and second time (Mat 10:33; 1 Cor 2:7 “But WE SPEAK THE WISDOM OF GOD IN A MYSTERY, even THE HIDDEN WISDOM, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:…..” Romans 16:25 “Now to him that is of power to stablish you ACCORDING TO MY GOSPEL, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY WHICH WAS KEPT SECRET since the world began, 26BUT NOW IS MADE MANIFEST, and BY THE SCRIPTURES OF THE PROPHETS, (Acts 17:11 & 1 Cor 4:6; 2Tim 3:15-16) according to the commandment of the everlasting God, MADE KNOWN TO ALL NATIONS for the obedience of faith:”

Those with a proper preterist understanding have learned these fundamentals to scripture, but not many have eyes to see and ears to hear. Unfortunately, the same old patterns of hardened hearts somehow gets in the way of removing the veil that blinds people. It’s always been that way; many are called but few choose to follow the narrow path. Matthew 13:15-16 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.

Eph 4:17-18  This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye no longer walk as the Gentiles also walk, in the vanity of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart

Eph 5:6  Let no man deceive you with empty words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience.

Joh 5:43  `I have come in the name of my Father, and you do not receive me; if another may come in his own name, him you will receive; (These would receive false teachers, because they won’t receive the truth)

 

CONCLUSION

 

The purpose of this paper is not to discourage anyone. It all boils down to one’s attitude and priority toward learning God’s Word, but it does show the urgent crisis in Christianity when we cling to our traditions and our teachers, despite the scriptural evidence. It’s apparent to us our anonymous debater’s (AD) argument didn’t add up with scripture, and that the excuses being used regarding interpretation or misinterpretation is a detriment to the growth, freedom and understanding of the body of Christ today. The proof is in the pudding: the modern day church is in a disgracefully ignorant state being fed a steady diet of fluff (lala land teachings of milk instead of meat) and partial truths, which are deception and no truth at all. So-called salvation issues are not the only things believers better be worrying about today, because their mythical futurist paradigms on prophecy have them so deluded it’s a wonder if they really understand anything.

The church is critically ill and you can either go your way and forget about this advice, and not say anything to your pastor, or you can take it seriously and do something about it and find out what these Massive Deceptions in Modern Christianity are, and that this warning is no exaggeration and no false alarm. We have not even uncovered the many frightening implications of this Christian Zionism (an oxymoron and closely linked to Judaism, and there’s a reason for that), because we had to first try to open eyes and ears to these dirty tactics (excuses) being used in the church, described in this article, before we can get into the real meat.

These verses say If we deny CHRIST’S SAYINGS, we will be denied (Joh 12:48, 14:23-24; Mat 10:33,) and that’s what the church is doing today. See for yourself, but please contact us, we love truthseekers, no matter your level of understanding. We look forward to getting to know you, these are interesting times we are living in, we have a lot to discuss and would love to hear your story.

 

FOOTNOTES

[1] Review of “Logic” by Clark. Copyright 2001 © First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett

A Book Review of Gordon H. Clark’s Logic (The Trinity Foundation, 1998) 140 pages. By Dr. W. Gary Crampton

The Jews as God’s Chosen & Special “Second Chance” as a Nation Debunked (Is Romans 11:1, 11 talking about physical genetics?)

(A Sample taken from Book 1 of

 

“and shall dash thee to the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave
in thee one stone upon another; BECA– USE YOU KNEW NOT the time of thy visitation.”
(Jesus Christ to the Jews that rejected His coming Luk 19:43) 

“and it shall be, every soul that may not hear that
prophet shall be utterly destroyed out of the people.” (Act 3:23)

 

Please read this vital information in its ENTIRETY, and you won’t want to miss the related video, after this article!

 

Acts 3:23-24 (above quote) does not put a 2,000 year rider on that promise. Next verse (24) even tells when it was for “of these days.” This Zionist deception is so broad it’s hard to put under one subtitle, but we’ve already clarified some misconceptions about “Counterfeit Zion”, “Forever as Temporary Shadows”, etc. and the words translated to imply the end of that world (heaven and earth etc.) or age as the YLT translates—that was “forever” for their world or age, but the promise was to the 12 tribes – the Jews (Judah) were only one tribe – the ten northern tribes were scattered abroad.

We also learned that new covenant Israel was a continuation with those that are in Christ (not a replacement because genetic Israelites were and are included if they believe). Jesus predicted (God pronouncing judgment on the Abyss [Jerusalem]; see the Abyss) her house would be desolate. In other words, no more House of Judah (Jewish nation) to have special status with Yahweh God (Deut 4:26-32;30:1 The mystery of the gospel was that the physical house would be dissolved and only a spiritual house that would begin with the 1st century remnant that had been left and those hearing the gospel – ergo: Eph 2:20). Jesus did NOT say, if you repent your House may or may not be desolate or someday be restored.

Notice, we are NOT saying “individual Jews” are condemned and cannot repent! But, Christ was and is the last chance that came in the last days of which we are no longer in (Mat 21:37;41; Luke 21:22 with Isaiah 61:1-2; Heb 1:2; 1Peter 4:7 et al). Christ’s judgment was declared upon “the House of Judah (the Jewish kingdom, city and nation)” to be desolate. Please let that sink in, overlooking this is one of the greatest, if not thē greatest deception in Christianity today and a huge part of the deception is Christians mistaking the Jews for Israel today. The next verse of that passage Christians use to say the Jews will accept Him at His second coming (…seeing Him whom they have pierced Rev1:7 cp. Zech 12:2,9-11) but His second coming in judgment was to destroy their House (vindication on the House of Judah) as He just foretold in the prior verse, not to come for a special trip for them sometime in the future.

The book of Zechariah does not predict the Jews coming to Christ at a seconding coming, it predicts the Jews and their kingdom and seed will be destroyed as possessing the kingdom of God. This will be posited in the next part (3) of the book. The last verse of that passage, “till you shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” would only be for those involved in the first resurrection that was about to begin, and the believing remnant of Jews i.e. the ones who had accepted Christ when He came the first time would be the guests at the wedding. Who are God’s chosen?

To make certain we understand the Jews clinging to the harmful ideology of national Judaism (same as 1st century), are not and will not be His sheep, it is recorded in Joh 10:26 that He said to the Jews, “But you believe not, because you are not of My sheep.” This too, destroys the concept that God has a future plan to save the Jews. These are the chosen (genealogies mean nothing in the new covenant Tit 3:9, it’s about grace, faith and decisions): Rom 1:6,7; 1Cor 1:2, 24; Eph 1:1,11; 1Tim 5:21; 2Tim 2:10; 1Pe 1:1 (immigrants, no longer His people-but would through born-again and resurrection be His people, read Hosea), also read 1Pe 2:1-10…

Out of all these passages only some were Jews, others were not Jews but still chosen…. Rom 11:14  if by any means I shall arouse to jealousy mine own flesh, and shall save some of them, (only some Jews – the 1st century remnant).

I hope you are catching the power of this. This, plus the other things we have been saying, debunks the Jewish Zionist fable, that when Jesus returns, the Jews wake up and get a special second chance as a nation. It is important because it distorts true prophecy and deceives millions. God showed their same lie in Ezk 11:15 “….inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from Jehovah; unto us is this land given for a possession.” In other words, they were lying thinking they kept their rights to it, same as today. That lie includes that God is waiting patiently for them to turn around because they are still His people because this dispensation of grace has put everything on hold and nullified all NT time statements! All of that is bogus bunk. Those who reject the message for this time are no more accepted than were the Jews to receive the Saviour’s warning concerning Jerusalem. This is clearly as much the case now as when those words were penned. Jesus makes it clear in this next passage that His words and deeds were able to convict the Jews that were rejecting Him.

The IV gospel 15:21-25 states “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.23He who hates Me hates My Father also.24If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.25But that may be fulfilled the Word that has been written in their Law, “They hated Me undeservedly.” Would Jesus’ words and deeds not be two witnesses against these people?

The apostle Peter: “2Pe 2…there shall be false teachers among you, who secretly shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction….12But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;….”

With the coming of Jesus, the Lord gave those Judaic Israelites (as a nation and a House) a 40-year period to repent and turn to Him. During this time the Jews turned Christian were ministering fervently, but many of the peoples were being drawn even further into the Judaic occult. Revelation 11:8 exposes that Jerusalem was referred to as Sodom and Egypt. Both places were full of sorcery, as Moses exposes in the Torah. Sorcery is based on lies to gain power and the lies that led to the power of, what was then the Holy land, but that power grab for the Holy land was going on way back in Ezekiel’s day too(and bears repeating) and it is the same deception today:

2Th 1:7 ….at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, 8rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: 9who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all them that believed (because our testimony unto you was believed) in that day. In the day, they were proclaiming in the 1st century.

Rev 18:23-24  and the light of a lamp shall shine no more at all in thee (no more in Judah, the old Jerusalem); and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the princes of the earth; for with thy sorcery were all the nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that have been slain upon the earth. (Jesus said this was the apostate Jews of Jerusalem Mat 23:34,37;Luk 11:49 et al)

Mat 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that DARKNESS!

Rom 16:25b …according to the revelation of the mystery, which hath been kept in silence through times eternal, 26but now is manifested, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known unto all the nations unto obedience of faith:

The 5th Trump and vial were marked by pain and darkness (light of the gospel hid from them) and lack of war/death, where as the 6th is marked by war and much bloodshed.

The House of Judah (not individuals [though individuals can be of this GROUP] who call themselves Jews that we hope and pray accept Christ as their Savior – as we hope for all other peoples) is the “dry tree” Jesus foretold they [the GROUP called Judah] would become. This is much further elaborated on in Book 2 of the series (available now) entitled “The Master of Deception (see last page of index of this book – and a picture of the cover – for details on how you can get the book).”

In Romans 11:26 we read about “All Israel being saved.” Many people like to point to this passage and proclaim on behalf of all the Jews in the world today and say; “See, this proves that God will save everyone who is of Jewish descent or nationality”. I have an issue with this, and I hope you will join me in looking at this critically because other passages and interpretations do not support that idea. What we are saying is that the following passage in Romans has been fulfilled and is not a future prophecy – there was a type and anti-type similarity (among other reasons) of “the Gentiles coming in”:

Rom 11:25-28 For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; 26and so all Israel shall be saved: even as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer; He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27And this is my covenant unto them, When I shall take away their sins. 28As touching the gospel, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sake.

In this verse the major difference with other translations is in the very first phrase; “And in this way…” Other translations say “And so all Israel will be saved…”.

The Olive Tree Mystery revealed – that you no longer be deceived:

Just as we learned in Part I about the fourth gospel 3:16 – the Greek text is very clear. The word translated “So” [Greek outo] literally means, “In this way” or “In this manner.” So Paul is elaborating on the manner in which “All” Israel shall be saved. He is not saying that every genetic Israelite will be saved.

The key is in Rom 9:30-31 and Rom 11:26. Paul knows that “the nationals that are following after righteousness” and have attained unto righteousness (v.30) are  the descendants of Israel, divorced and scattered among the nations from the 8th century BC.  They are the ones that must fulfill the prophecy of the “melo ha goyim” (fulness of nations) of Gen 48:19 and by their salvation “all Israel shall be saved.”  The salvation of “all Israel” is accomplished by the salvation of the fulness of the nations. The term “Israel” in Rom 9:31 is not a reference to first century Jews (though a remnant of Jews were saved), it is rather a reference to the ancient nation of Israel before the divorce. The term “Israel” (though they sometimes referred to themselves as teachers of Israel) is not applied to Jews in the NT. The term “Israel” in 11:26 is a reference to a resurrected Israel.

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Romans 4:13

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

The “type” of the Gentiles (nations) coming in was in the 1st century (Romans passage above) when God destroyed the nations that were left out of the remainder of Israel (the House of Judah, the physical remnant that accepted Christ) and Israel was eventually resurrected/raised up, upon their physical deaths. But at the same time, God was using the Roman armies to destroy Apostate Judah (NOT the remnant), He was also fulfilling “the Gentile nations coming in” that would be His people. While this was happening, He was putting an end to the nations (Non-Christian Gentiles) being in His land and intermingled with His people. This, when Jesus (the rock of Daniel 2) came and crushed the feet of the statue representing the kingdoms of men and the physical (earthly) kingdom of God (old covenant Israel) before Christ. After this 1st century event and the kingdom of Christ began, then the form of anti-type of “Gentiles coming into the kingdom of Christ” would begin and is still going on.

Here is the TYPE (in bold) of the Gentiles coming in verified, because we know this is talking about first century events: Luk 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led captive into all the nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (cf. Rev 11:2; Dan 12:7). But again, the form of anti-type (of Gentiles coming in to the church today) is still being fulfilled and our point is intact.

Therefore, the Holy Spirit states that all peoples (including individual Jews – not Apostate Judah being converted as a GROUP or nation, as commonly taught), in all times, who possess faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of their souls constitute the one and ONLY (no separate people groups of God) “Israel of God”:

Gal 6:15-16  For neither is circumcision anything [not necessary], nor uncircumcision, but [all peoples, including individual Jews must become] a new creature [creation]. 16And as many as shall walk by this [NEW COVENANT] rule, peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the [TRUE AND ONLY] ISRAEL OF GOD. [EMPHASIS ADDED]

“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:” Acts 10:34

Peter standing in the house of Cornelius (A Roman centurion from an Italian cohort; a gentile) is telling the assembled crowd of his Jewish associates and the gentile household of Cornelius that God is not a “respecter of persons”. In other words, Peter is explaining to the crowd that salvation is open to all. All kindred, tongues, tribes and nations (cf. Revelation 5:9). He continues:

But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Acts 10:35

Peter elaborates and confirms that salvation is now open to ALL who fear God and is no longer a monopoly reserved to one nation or people. Peter is affirming through the gospel going out to the whole world what was said to Abraham that he would be a blessing to ALL the families of the world (see Gen 17ff). The point is that we were told in Jer 31 in the new covenant God would bless the Houses of Israel and Judah in the manner we are seeing today since the first century; and He did that in a very unique way – by divorcing and scattering Israel into the Gentile nations then calling them back in belief and righteousness. In the scripture you will not find a single verse of scripture that teaches that God had a plan to change this all inclusive plan and revert to an exclusive salvation where only one nation would be eligible. So God is NOT going to again deal with people based on race, ethnicity, nationality, or genealogical descent.

Since we have already explained Romans 11:26 “blindness in part has come to Israel…”, by demonstrating the end of the exile through Christ and the restoration of the kingdom (in a heavenly sphere, but also somewhat earthly for us mortals who are in a type of prenatal stage) to the Israel of God (Gal 6:16; Eph 2:12), we do not have to expound on this verse. However, we will continue to debunk the idea of dispensationalism here, because it is a subtle, ominous sin, working against God.

To be “technically” correct, it is a spiritual seed/genealogy aka those who “walk after the spirit” of Christ—it is NOT a physical genealogy. This “all Israel will be saved” also applies to those who have been resurrected as well as those who are still alive in the flesh but “walk after the spirit”…. THUS:

Gal 5:16 “in him is no sin” as long as we walk after the spirit not after the flesh…. ergo:

2Pet 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens (where the resurrected saints are now) and a new earth, (people still living, who walk after the spirit of Christ) wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Gal 3:2 This only I desire to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of Law or by hearing of faith? Gal 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Gal 3:29 And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise.

The above 3 verses (even v.7 alone) destroy the dispensational understanding of prophecy – that God has two people groups (the Jews and the church) and that the church is some parenthesis afterthought at best. Look at v.7 above, those that are the sons of Abraham’s seed (not plural ‘seeds’ Gal 3:16) are not of a genetic lineage, but are the spiritual descendants that are in Christ PERIOD, to get the promises (v.29).

The Galatians had foisted upon them this Jew-centric deceptive (Gal 3:1f) interpretation. They did not understand the mystery of the gospel, and thought physical Israel had a permanent place and priority in the plan of God. This same deception, of a counterfeit Zion, is being taught in many of the churches in America and Christianity today. It is sometimes referred to as “dispensationalism” and is closely linked to Zionistic Judaism. Paul adamantly refutes this in Galatians 1:8f, et al in no uncertain terms as a false gospel.

Gal 3:25-29 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

God, through Paul, is telling us He redeemed the old covenant (OC) church from the law. Therefore, the new covenant church, in Christ, is a continuation of the OC church. This fact alone debunks God has two different groups for salvation.

Paul finishes with a profound allegory (Notice, though the opportune moment for Paul to explain a restored nationalistic Judaism as Dispensationalism teaches – he does not mention it. Instead, he gives the chilling words “cast out the bondwoman” [cf. Mat 8:12]):

Gal 4:30-31 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman (those who reject God’s NC in Christ and insist on living under the law – law representing Mt. Sinai/the woman in bondage/the OLD Jerusalem/fleshly Israel) and her son (descendants): for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman (those who accept/believe God’s NC in Christ and accept and are grateful for the curse being removed through Christ that was a result of not keeping perfectly the law – in Christ representing the free woman/the NEW Jerusalem from above/spiritual Israel). So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

No longer are we saved as the former arrangement (kosmos/world), system and nation! Jews can only be saved through Christ with no special (special: different or an extended advantage that others do not get) future event for that purpose. That event already happened with Christ’s 1st century return and restoration to Israel as it was fulfilled, explained throughout this book. Those that misunderstand this, do not themselves understand the mystery of the gospel.

As explained above, the MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL was the physical house would be dissolved, but they did not crucify him because he told them to live good moral lives or because he claimed to die and rise on the third day, they crucified him when he told them about his return (Mat 26:64). You can’t love or keep the words of Christ, much less preach the gospel of the kingdom, when you either don’t know what it is and or deny its meaning (John 14:23 et al). The context IS His second coming. The Pharisees could quote scripture and did not deny what Moses and the prophets wrote, they only denied the meaning and purpose of Christ’s coming his first and second time……Mat 10:33; 1 Cor 2:7. But WE SPEAK THE WISDOM OF GOD IN A MYSTERY, even THE HIDDEN WISDOM, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:….. Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you ACCORDING TO MY GOSPEL, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY WHICH WAS KEPT SECRET since the world began, 26BUT NOW IS MADE MANIFEST (the “NOW” in this verse was in the 1st century, as the mystery also would be over Rev 10:7), and BY THE SCRIPTURES OF THE PROPHETS according to the commandment of the everlasting God, MADE KNOWN TO ALL NATIONS for the obedience of faith:

Jeremiah 17:1 THE SIN OF JUDAH is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars; 2Whilst their children remember their altars …and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have KINDLED A FIRE IN MINE ANGER, WHICH SHALL BURN FOR EVER. ……..

Jer 30:7 (with emphasis) Alas! for that day is great (see the Day of the Lord), so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble (“the great tribulation” between ca. 33 – 70AD); but he (Israel and Judah – the believing remnant) shall be saved out of it. And they (the believing remnant) were! But this did not and does not mean as a covenant kingdom/city (old Jerusalem)/or nation – the new covenant was inaugurated and convened in the 1st century, in the generation Jesus said it would be, and all Israel that believed were saved. It again, is a matter of perspective – are we talking about salvation to a group/nation/kingdom of Jews or are we talking about those from all twelve tribes that believed on an individual basis? I think most know it is the latter.

Psa 69:21-28  They also gave Me gall in My food; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink. 22Let their table be a trap before them, and to those at ease a snare. 23Let their eyes be darkened from seeing, and cause their loins to quiver continually. 24Pour out Your wrath on them; and let the glow of Your anger overtake them. 25Let their home be made desolate; let no one dwell in their tents. 26For whom You have stricken, they have persecuted; and they gossip to the pain of those You pierced. 27Put iniquity to their iniquity, and do not let them enter into Your righteousness. 28Blot them out from the Book of Life; yea, let them not be written with the righteous.

This doesn’t sound like a simple blindness, or hardening, it sounds more like God fed those who were opposing Him strong delusion that they’d believe the lie they wanted to believe, then He destroyed them out of the land, and they became a “dry tree.” Luk 23:31 For if they do these things in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry? This, He spoke of their treatment (ruthlessness) toward Him because of their rebellion toward God. Here, in a sense, He was foretelling the heinous acts they would do as a restored people (nation) thereafter, because (even though they were a circle of bad guys) they were still a green tree when they possessed the kingdom (Mat 8:12).

Those still clinging to the old covenant and rejecting God’s new covenant are God’s adversaries, not His chosen people; and no special future event (like there was given in the 1st century up until the destruction of their city and temple) is prophesied to change this.

In the immortal words of our Savior, (Mat 23:38 cf. Jer. 22:5) “[Judah] your house is left unto you desolate!” Again, this was part of the “good news” (gospel) because through the destruction of that system and those clinging to it, the promise was extended to all who would believe with living faith!

AMAZON: THE LAST DAYS EDITION
(available in 3 formats)

IMPORTANT:  While the Bible quotes in this video we think are used correctly and it is a very important message, the position I am presenting above is not the same as the position that Brother Nathanael holds.  He holds the same misguided opinion of some futurists (i.e. that Christ has some future return to earth to reign), but we do fully agree with his position on so-called Christian Zionism. The futurist erroneous notion, in some of his materials, blocks his view of what we are espousing and he has not yet come to the accurate understanding of the view presented in this book series. Instead he improvises a rather fanciful, but, nevertheless, erroneous interpretation of Christ’s second coming.  

Sin Ain’t What You Think!

SPIRITUAL 1 CORINTHIANS 2:9-15                                                                                                                                 
MAINTENANCE  TITUS 3:8                                                                               

NEWSLETTER 
                                               MARCH 2008
                           WEB ADDRESS: spiritualmaintence.org
                       E-MAIL ADDRESS: grindan@bellsouth.net
__________________________________________________________
The Spiritual Maintenance Newsletter is a monthly study of scripture and matters that deal with our spiritual life and our growing in grace and knowledge of the nature and character of God. It is not a lecture or a sermon but practical help and insight for our faith walk in this tired busy world. You are invited to e-mail responses, AGREEMENT IS NOT REQUIRED.  Some print out the newsletter and share it with others, and some study it over a month in small segments from their computer.  It is not necessary to read in one sitting, but in parts over the month, for thought and meditation, at ones own pace. We are not so concerned with who is right but what is right, not what we believe as much as whom we believe.
                                                                    Acts 17:11 / 2 Timothy 1:12  
__________________________________________________________
SIN AIN’T WHAT YOU THINK!

                  ROMANS 5:12-13 / 3:1-20 / 3:23 / 6:23 / JEREMIAH 17:9

Throughout human history man has spoken the word “sin” in ridicule and frustration.  Most people accept the word “sin” but deny it’s reality or personal application, or at least what it really is. The natural man “who does not understand the things of God”, mocks it, denies it, and refuses the Biblical declaration of “lostness”.  We as believers are forever plagued with its reality and as we grow in grace we develop an even greater awareness of our “absolute spiritual inability”. Our victory is always “His Victory” in us and through us.  We must never forget that “WE SIN BECA– USE WE ARE SINNERS AND NOT SINNERS BECA– USE WE SIN”!  Sin is not murder, rape, adultery, greed, etc., in other words not what we do or don’t do but rather a condition or disease of the human heart or experience. All the behavior that misses God’s purpose, misses the mark of His plan for our lives, whether it is to be found in what we do or what we fail to do.  Thus murder, rape, adultery, greed, drunkenness and so on or the by-product of the “sin nature” and the human condition. It simply put, declares that we have “missed the mark” or “come short” of the glory of God. I grew up as a kid hearing the following cuteness in response to the idea of sin and how we saw it, “I don’t dip, dance or chew and I don’t run with folks that do, or date girls who do.”  This I might add does not describe SIN in the Biblical sense but rather human behavior as it relates to a given human value, or personal opinion.  Sin is indeed a malicious cancer in the heart of all mankind.
Jesus Christ is our righteousness and our only hope, a gift of grace.
                          SIN DEFINED!
All have SINNED and COME SHORT of the glory of GOD.        ROMANS 3:23

S SHORT of GOD’S plan we “MISSED THE MARK of HIS
        RIGHTEOUSNESS – WE WEAR MASK / WE PLAY GAMES / WE HIDE     WE RUN  / Isaiah 64:6 / Matthew 6:33 / Romans 5:17 / Titus 3:3-7  / James 1:13-15
      GOD FINDS US NOT US FINDING HIM.  Genesis 3:8-10
I “I” is me at the center of the universe / ME – MYSELF & I                 
      OUR  COVERING IS SELF / I AM MY OWN AUTHORITY / THUS WE FEEL
           INADEQUATE / INSECURE  AND WE ARE  / OUR SELF IS LOST!
      Romans 3:10-18 / Jeremiah 17:9 / Job 14:1-6 / Proverbs 3:5-6 / Luke 19:10
LOST WE ARE:  L lonely  O opposing S salvations T treasure / 2 Corinthians 4:7
OUR GREATEST SIN AS BELIEVERS IS IDOLATRY / SELF TRUST v GOD TRUST
 WE GROW IN GRACE BUT DAILY CONFRONT SIN FROM VICTIM TO VICTORY!
N NAKED and afraid / fears and anxieties / we hurt
   THE NATURAL MAN SEEKS AN IDENTITY / COVERS EMOTIONAL NAKEDNESS    
     WITH SCHEMES / RELIGION / PHILOSOPHIES /  DEFINED BY PSYCHOLOGY
  Mark 7:14-23 / 2 Timothy 1:7 / Philippians 4:4-7 /   2 Corinthians 5:21                             
                                                  Genesis 3:8-10

Life is short / death is sure / SIN the cause / Christ the cure!     
               SIN IS!?.
         LEGAL GUILT BEFORE GOD
                                             Romans 3:9-12 / 23

SIN is an actual legal standing before GOD whereby we are declared guilty and condemned of not accepting His gracious payment of the death, the burial and resurrection of HIS SON, the LORD JESUS CHRIST in our behalf. John 3:18  1 Corinthians 15:1-4    Ours is inherited human sinfulness and
inability because of Adam’s transgression.  Romans 5  Thus all men are dead in sin and totally corrupt in all parts and faculties of both soul and body.  Therefore we all inherited a polluted, corrupt nature.  We are conceived in sin and by nature children subject to God’s anger against sin, the servants of sin and subjects of death.  We as all men are now given up to unspeakable miseries, spiritual temporal and eternal unless the Lord Jesus Christ alone sets us free. Psalm 51

           SINS ARE!?.
       CONSEQUENCE OF A CONDITION
                           Romans 5:18-19 / 3:26

We SIN because we are SINNERS!  Once we have received God’s pardon in Jesus Christ “BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH”, we are no longer looked upon by God as SINNERS
But rather Children of God, and “joint heirs with Jesus Christ”. We then have a whole different relationship to sin. Sin is no more out master, but we are under command to “refuse sins reign in our “corrupt mortal bodies”.  As a believer God never views us as “SINNERS”, rather as His children who struggle with  “our earthly bodies”, that is our “old natures”, with their desires, resulting in sin. James 1:13-16  We will often move in our growth from victim to victory and stand continually in conflict with our old nature of the flesh. 
Romans 7:14-25 / Galatians 5:17   Our position in Christ never changes as we confront and conflict with our old nature, but our condition changes and our joy is disapated. John wrote “DON’T SIN, but if you do, you have an ADVOCATE with the Father, JESUS CHRIST the righteous”.    1 John 2:1-3  As in the human relationship between a parent and a child we must moment by moment repeat the process of renewal of intimacy and fellowship between us and our HEAVENLY FATHER. 1 John 1:9-2:2 Our relationship is not broken by our sin but our fellowship is. At our physical death “this mortal puts on immortality and this corruption puts on incorruption.
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 / Luke 15: 11-32 /  Romans 8 The renewal process is:
             
                      CONFESS – 1 John 1:9
                      REBOUND – 1 John 2:1-3 / Philippians 2:12-13  
 
FEED YOUR  NEW NATURE / DON’T FIGHT THE OLD!  1 John 1:7    
   2 Timothy 2:14-15 / Hebrews 4:12-13, 5:13-14, 12:1-3  / Psalm 51, 119:9,11, 89 
         James 1:13-16 / Romans 6:12-14 / 2 Peter 1:2-8, 3:17-18 / 1 John 2:27  

 We live in mortal, corrupt bodies that are not redeemable, thus Paul declared that, “flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God, and this mortal must put on immortality, and this corruption must put on incorruption.”
1 Corinthians 15:50-53    This happens at our physical death when
redemption is complete for which we were sealed at the moment of our salvation.  Ephesians 1:13-14  Thank God that our condition of sin, in our natural lostness, is remedied only by
receiving at a moment in time, His “LEGAL RIGHTEOUSNESS
AS A GIFT”, by which we are covered, redeemed and sealed until the day of redemption.  Never forget, “CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY.” Colossians 1:27 /  Galatians 2:20 / Romans 5:17
 
EASTER IS BASICLY A PAGAN HOLIDAY BUT WE AS BELIEVERS CELEBRATE THE RESURRECTION TO NEW LIFE IN CHRIST 24/7. THE CROSS CELBRATES THE DEATH OF THE LAW IN OUR LIVES WHICH CANNOT GIVE LIFE BUT RATHER IS THAT WHICH BRINGS US TO CHRIST AND HIS RESURRECTION LIFE. “CHRIST IN US THE HOPE OFGLORY!”   
     
           READ: GALATIANS 3 / COLOSSIANS 2 & 3 /  1 CORINTHIANS 15

                 Amazing GRACE how sweet the sound
                 That saved a WRETCH like me
                 I once was lost but now I’m found
                 Was blind but now I see.
                                                            JOHN NEWTON
Heart to heart   
Life has been very busy these days and God is faithful.  Every generation has it’s own pain and struggles.  Our world is so given to technology that often separates us rather than drawing us together.  We are often removed from closeness and intimacy but we must determine to make ourselves available to one another in order to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.  I ask you to pray for me and my family as we pray for you.  Pray for Grace Fellowship that meets on Sunday and Wednesday, for our Sunday evening Bible Study in Mooresville every other week, for the Voice of Reason worldwide radio ministry that I share with John Anderson twice a month. Finally pray for the monthly ministry of Spiritual Maintenance, the newsletter and the one to one discipleship ministries.  I am
home schooling Elizabeth our 9 year old,  4th grader and she is precious and we both are growing and learning.  Pray for Diane my faithful wife, her work and her mom and dad who are having physical problems.  Their names are Ralph and Doris.  Thank you for your many letters, emails and phone calls.  Feel free to call for prayer or to discuss some need or Biblical truth.  I love you each one and am grateful for you being in my life.  Pray especially for our country, our world and our leadership, and the many faithful who walk daily with the Lord.    
                                      I LOVE YOU IN HIS GRACE      danny griffin
  

                  Feel free to call me 704-497-7126!

Wood found on Mount Ararat

 

Whether one agrees that this is the remains of Noah’s < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Ark is not really the issue of why this article is being posted.  Personally I believe it is, the evidence is too compelling; but the way Mr. Bowen describes the effect of “tradition” on people is equally compelling and very much the same message Proper Preterism is trying to convey..


From Anchor Stone International


by Jerry Bowen

I recently had a couple of folks send me a link to a news interview concerning wood found on Mount Ararat.  After viewing the information I feel the need to respond, so folks are not continually deceived.  For the last four centuries an almost overwhelming tradition has developed, that the Ark of Noah landed ON Mount Ararat. Obviously tradition is a powerful thing, because people believe tradition without ever investigating for themselves.

Most folks, especially Christians, point to the Scriptures as proof to confirm the Ark landed on Ararat.  However, like other Christian traditions, a misunderstanding of the Word has lead many to believe something that is not accurate.  Try this little test yourself: ask any Christian how the animals went into the Ark?  Almost invariably, the answer will be 2×2, yet Genesis 7:2  clearly indicates there were two of the unclean animals and 7 of the clean. This is just an illustration of the power of traditions becoming the mindset of individuals.  We sing song and hear the story, (or tradition), from childhood over and over again, until, in our minds it becomes fact.   (like the THEORY of evolution)

The Bible does provide a general location for the landing site, but not a specific mountain peak.  It simply says, “The Ark came to rest upon the MOUNTAINS of Ararat”.  The original indicates it came to rest in the REGION of Urartu.   (the area we call Ararat today)

I believe one very positive result from the traditions that developed was the preservation of the remains, tradition actually led explorers away from the authentic site.  Also, God worked in a miraculous way to preserve the remains for this generation.  He simply hid it from human sight, until 1948.

One of the most fundamental reasons why the Ark could not have landed on Ararat is that the mountain had not developed to it’s present height.  Most Geologists will tell you the evidence indicates that the peak we call Ararat, is only 2,000 or less years in development.  This means that it was not the dominant feature in the area 4,400 years ago, that it most obviously is today.   And we know the flood waters were not over 17,000 ft in height as they would have needed to be, in order for the Ark to land on that mountain.

The mountain’s development is due to volcanism, large lava domes are still present even today indicating major activity in the last 500 years.  In 1848 the north west face blew out creating the Ahora Gorge, which interestingly is where most explorers search, and many claims have been made concerning evidence.  The mountain is also very active, especially at about 14,000 ft as it is Turkey’s second largest glacier.  With all this development and movement over the centuries IF the Ark had landed there it would have been ground to pieces and totally destroyed. But God had other ideas in its preservation, and so he secured the Ark at a location that would allow its partial survival for this last generation.  Also, Scripture indicates God used a strong wind to dry the waters from the Earth, the Ark would have needed to be in a harbor environment to survive that process, it would have been too exposed on the top or side of a large mountain.

With the tradition of the Ark being somewhere on the mountain, over the centuries individuals and locals have constructed various shrines or buildings there.  So, it is not unusual to find wood fragments on the mountain, also, to keep the tradition alive, (for economic purposes), some have taken wood up the mountain, buried it in the snow, and retrieved it at a later date, claiming to have found wood at a certain elevation.  This keeps the illusion alive and many come to continue the search.  The fact is there has never been any petrified carboniferous wood found on the mountain.

The environment before the flood was much different than today.  The archaeological record clearly reveals one universal temperature, greater oxygen levels, stronger electro-magnetic field, plus other advantages.  The planet was like a large hyperbaric chamber, prolific for growth, thus the size of the people, animals, and vegetation were astounding.   One consideration for us is the growing season for the trees.  Before the great flood, Scripture indicates the lack of rain as we experience today.  So, the wet/dry seasons that we experience today almost world-wide did not occur.  This means that the wood used in the construction of the Ark would have a grain consistent to that of stone, we would not observe the typical rings that we see today in most trees.

Though we find a lack of evidence from the mountain and the theory that the mountain was not even there 4,400 years ago, still the search goes on.  This illustrates the power of tradition.

For just 15 miles south-east in the region of Urartu, we find the remains of the hull of a man-made ship, the dimensions which correlate to those given in the Bible, made of Gopher wood, (Laminated petrified carboniferous wood), with evidence that it was a floating zoo.

If you’re interested in the whole story of the Ararat region and the research over the last 30 years on Noah’s Ark, check out Henri Nissen’s book “Noah’s Ark Uncovered.” We have a current special on these books – buy one at regular price get the 2nd for half.

God bless

Jerry Bowen, Director

Anchor Stone International, Inc.

http://www.anchorstone.com

The Stones are Crying Out!

James Jordan and the Book of Daniel

 

James Jordan and the Book of Daniel

James B. Jordan’s long-awaited full commentary on Daniel is now in print and on sale by American Vision as The Handwriting on the Wall. Now that I have read it in its entirety, I herein offer some comments on this important work. Jordan is an outstanding biblical authority with a great capacity for original thinking that allows him to break free from prevailing views. Sometimes, in my opinion, he fails to make a persuasive case for his unconventional ideas, but he often offers real nuggets of exegetical insight that leave me asking “why didn’t I think of that?” In any event, his knowledge of the Bible is so profound and intimidating that even when I think he is wrong, I take it for granted that his arguments should be examined seriously instead of being airily dismissed.

With a text that, counting the appendices, runs about 700 pages in length, The Handwriting on the Wall provides detailed commentary on all twelve chapters of Daniel. The book is written in an easy to follow style offering judiciously placed repetitions of earlier statements that will help the reader remember important points without seeming to be monotonous. I have read that Jordan is a very good Bible teacher, and his writing style bears this out. The chapters are well organized so as to make it easy to find particular points in them.

On the other hand, the book lacks endnotes, a bibliography, and indexes, and this is a very serious flaw. Thus, if you want to see where Jordan cites Matthew 24, you have to leaf through it. I recommend to readers that they use highlighting and marginal notes to help them find points that they may want to recheck. This advice presupposes that the book is a “keeper.” It does contain a considerable number of footnotes, some of which are quite informative. Relatively few of them are to the works of other writers, however. Jordan evidently does not believe that most other Danielic scholars are worth citing; and while I am somewhat sympathetic toward that point of view, I am sure that biblical authorities in the academic mainstream will tear him apart for his disregard of proper scholarly form. I hardly think, however, that Jordan is seeking approval from that quarter! As an aside, I am happy to say that although my book on the four kingdoms of Daniel is cited only once, I am quoted with approval (p. 177). Given the number of points on which I disagree with Jordan, I was fortunate.

I estimate that Jordan devotes a total of no more than about seven pages to mainstream opinion on Daniel. “It is not my purpose to bog down the reader with a discussion of various ‘liberal’ or skeptical approaches to Daniel,” he writes on page 6, and he delivers on his promise! Much later (p. 155), in a brief reference to John J. Collins’s massive critical commentary on Daniel, he blasts Collins—correctly, in my view—for operating under the assumption that “the author of Daniel was really stupid” with respect to his dating of the story of Daniel 2. To this I add that critical; i.e. “liberal,” scholars generally assume that the author of Daniel was either unconcerned about historical accuracy or lacked accurate information in some instances. They also tend to assume that numerous alterations were made in Daniel’s original text between the time when some of its stories first circulated—perhaps as early as the fifth century BC—and the date when they believe it attained its final form; i.e. around 164 BC. Such claims are laughable to Jordan, who is convinced that Daniel’s text is so elegantly constructed in terms of chiastic passages, its integration with other books of the Old Testament (OT), and the application of numerical symbolism to particular words that the idea that the book is full of historical inaccuracies and editorial glosses can be dismissed out of hand.

What cannot be dismissed so readily is the possibility that an unknown master of redaction put the Book of Daniel into its final form not long before Jewish rebels led by Judas Maccabeus succeeded, in December 164 BC, in taking Jerusalem from the forces of Antiochus IV, the ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid kingdom. In my four kingdoms book, I endeavored to deal with this possibility using a twofold approach that combined detailed criticism of mainstream scholarship and its insistence on a second-century BC “end time” in Daniel with a positive assessment of the evidence supporting the belief that the climactic events of Daniel’s prophecies occurred in the first century AD and that Rome, not “Greece,” is the fourth kingdom in Daniel 2 and 7. Jordan skimps on criticism of the evidence that supposedly supports a “Maccabean date” for these events and focuses almost entirely on presenting a very detailed case for tying them to his version of the “Roman sequence” of four kingdoms. He makes numerous observations that I did not make, some of which I wish I had made. In particular, he integrates his analysis of Daniel with the OT to an extent that I can never hope to match. I find much of his analysis to be convincing. His version of the Roman sequence is quite different from what I favor, however, and nothing in his book persuades me that I could be wrong.

In the version of the Roman sequence that I endorse, the third kingdom is the “Greece” that supplanted the kingdoms of Babylonia and Medo-Persia as the dominant political power in the Holy Land with the conquest of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great in 334-331. This “Greece” included the various Hellenistic kingdoms into which Alexander’s empire dissolved following his death in 323. It was ultimately replaced as the dominant power in the area by Rome. Just when Rome began its “career” as the fourth kingdom is not completely clear. One could go with a date as early as 190 BC, which is when the army of Scipio Asiaticus inflicted a devastating defeat on the force commanded by Antiochus III “the Great” at Magnesia in western Asia Minor. In my judgment, a better date for the beginning of the dominion of the fourth kingdom is either 168 BC, when Roman envoys to Egypt compelled the Seleucid king Antiochus IV to desist from his attack on Alexandria and to leave that country forthwith, or 164 BC, the year when Judea gained effective independence from Seleucid Syria. Rome’s period as the fourth kingdom thus runs, in my view, from about 164 BC until AD 30, the year I favor for the Crucifixion and Ascension of Jesus Christ.

Although Jordan also takes Daniel’s third kingdom to be “Greece” and its fourth kingdom to be “Rome,” his conception of these two kingdoms differs sharply from what I suggest and is one that I had not previously encountered. According to Jordan, Daniel’s “Greece” actually includes republican Rome; i.e. the Roman state as it existed before Augustus Caesar, or perhaps before his great-uncle Julius Caesar acquired full control of the Roman state. His fourth kingdom is thus imperial Rome. This means that he has the period of “Greek” dominance run all the way from Alexander’s conquest of the Persian Empire until whenever it was in the first century BC—and Jordan is not precise about this—that the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire. Because he assigns republican Rome to “Greece,” the time he effectively allots to the fourth kingdom of Daniel is comparatively short.

My study of Daniel has convinced me that the great statue of Daniel 2 must be understood as a kind of timeline in which the proportions of the five different segments of the image correspond to five successive periods in the history of the Holy Land and the nations adjacent to it. These periods are symbolized by the statue’s head of gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, the solid iron portion running from the knees to (presumably) the ankles, and the iron mixed with clay portion composed of the feet and toes. The corresponding historical periods are: (1) the Babylonian period, running from about 605 BC, when Nebuchadnezzar became king, to the fall of Babylon in 539; (2) the Medo-Persian period, running from 539 until 332; (3) the “Greek” period, running from 332 until about 164; (4) the first part of the time of Roman dominance, running from about 164 until the occupation of Judea by Pompey in 63 BC; and (5) the second part of the time of Roman period, running from 63 BC until AD 30. According to Jordan—and on this point I come close to agreeing with him—“the terra cotta [clay] refers to those Jews who sought to join Rome, who in memorable words, when they were forced to choose, declared ‘We have no king but Caesar’” (p. 182).

As I argued in the last article that I posted at planetpreterist.com (“Some Funny Things Happened to the Statue of Daniel 2”), a division of the five segments of the statue along the lines suggested above is the only way to provide a reasonably close match between the statue’s dimensions and historical record. I am confident that this hard fact largely explains why it is that those who insist that Daniel’s end time is to be found in the second century BC simply dismiss the notion that the imagery of the statue is supposed to correspond closely to the historical record. Futurists have, on the whole, been more interested in exploring the notion of the statue serving as a timeline, but they cannot satisfactorily handle the awkward problem of explaining how “Rome” will still be around when the end time finally arrives. Jordan avoids the challenge of extending the life of the statue into the future, but his solution results in a gross time imbalance between the dominion times of the third and fourth kingdoms by implausibly allocating the Roman state partly to the third kingdom and partly to the fourth. Further compounding his problem here is the fact that the time periods he seems to assign to the solid iron and the clay mixed with iron segments of the statue do not conform well to the historical record.

According to Jordan, Daniel 7 allows us to identify the terra cotta or clay in the feet of the statue “as the Herods and Jewish leaders who sustained a love-hate relationship with Rome” (p. 183). Only two pages later, he indicates that the fourth kingdom’s period of dominance came to an end with the Ascension of Christ AD 30, or very shortly thereafter (p. 185). These statements appear somewhat contradictory because descendants of Herod the Great as well as Jewish leaders who allied themselves with Rome exercised authority until the outbreak of the Jewish War in AD 66. Herod the Great did not effectively begin his long reign as Rome’s vassal king of Judea until 37 BC. Therefore, if you assign that year to the beginning of the clay in the feet as you move down the statue, very little time remains for the solid iron segment of the statue even if you push the date for the beginning of the fourth kingdom to as early as 48 BC, the year when Julius Caesar defeated Pompey at Pharsalus. Having only eleven years for the historical equivalent of the solid iron running from the knees to the ankles compared with least sixty-six years (37 BC to AD 30 with no year zero) to the clay of the feet and toes obviously does not work well from the timeline perspective. Making this problem even worse is the fact that Jordan suggests at one point that the fourth kingdom; i.e. imperial Rome, did not displace the third kingdom until Octavian Caesar (Augustus) defeated Mark Antony (p. 605). Since Octavian’s victory over Antony occurred at Actium in 31 BC; i.e. six years after Herod the Great was installed as vassal king, this means that Jordan has the historical equivalent of the clay in the feet materialize before the fourth kingdom comes into existence! I must conclude that his handling of the third and fourth kingdoms simply does not work.

Understandably, Jordan never claims that the statue should be understood as a timeline, and at one point he states that, “taken as whole the statue does not indicate any passage of time” but is to be understood symbolically (p. 179). Above all, he insists, biblical prophecy must be understood theologically, and it is not always to be taken literally. He recognizes, however, that there are instances in the OT, such as the seventy years prophecy of Jeremiah 25 and 29, where the times specified in prophecies are quite literal, but he also points out that in other instances, prophecies are to be understood symbolically rather than literally. In the case of Daniel 2, he tends to favor the symbolic approach. Nevertheless, his statement that “the statue does not indicate any passage of time” is contradicted by the fact that he does indeed recognize that the statue records the progression of history (pp. 184-86). And since the head of the statue refers to the time of Nebuchadnezzar and the historical equivalent of the striking of its feet by the stone occurred around AD 30, we have good reason to assume that the five segments of the statue should be taken quite literally as corresponding to actual periods of historical time. As far as I am concerned, the prophecies of Daniel 2 are both theology and history, and the dimensions of the statue must be understood as a literal forecast of history.

In my own work, I regard the prophecy of the supernatural rock (or stone) that strikes the feet of the statue of Daniel 2, destroys the entire statue, and grows into a great mountain that covers the entire earth as one of the most important prophecies in the Bible. What this prophecy says to me is that Christianity came into being as the realized New Covenant in the first century AD and has since undergone a long process of growth and development that will ultimately give it spiritual dominion over all of Earth. This implies, I am confident, that the process of the rock’s growth corresponds to the “thousand years” of Revelation 20:2-7. This puts me at odds with those preterists who insist that Revelation’s “thousand years” are to be found in the period AD 30-70. So be it.

Jordan does not devote much attention to the prophecy of the rock, and he does not relate it to Revelation 20. Neither does he relate it to the swords into ploughshares prophecy of Isaiah 2 and Micah 4, which is a striking omission in view of the many other instances where he connects passages in Daniel with earlier books of the OT. He assumes that the prophecies of Daniel are almost entirely concerned with what was to happen to God’s people from the time of Nebuchadnezzar to the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, and while this assumption is correct, I believe that these prophecies are somewhat more concerned with the future of mankind after that date than he recognizes. I must note, however, that he does recognize that although the prophecy of the rock foretells the spiritual shattering of Rome in the first century, “it took a while (a few centuries) for the wind of the Spirit operating through the Church to blow away all the chaff pieces” (p. 185). For Jordan—and I agree completely—the arrival of the rock must be understood as a spiritual event, as opposed to a change of political dominion, and there is no reason whatsoever to insist that the prophecies of either Daniel 2 or Daniel 7 require the political removal of all four kingdoms before the rock arrives.

I am happy to report that Jordan holds that Daniel’s Darius the Mede is none other than Cyrus the Persian and that he supports this position with sound reasoning. Moreover, he points out that when Daniel states in 5:31 that Darius was about sixty-two years old when he took over Babylonia, “This is the only place in the Bible where the age of a Gentile king is provided.” This suggests to him that there is a link between the sixty-two years of Darius/Cyrus and the sixty-two weeks of 9:25. Because these passages are not parallel, he surmises, the link must be “a typological connection between the 70 years of Babylonian dominance [cf. Jeremiah 25] and the 70 weeks of world-imperial dominance: Seven years before Darius/Cyrus was born, then 62 years, and then a seventieth year during which the events of Daniel 6 took place—Daniel’s tribulation and elevation typologically prophesying those of Jesus during the 70th week” (p. 304). This discernment of a possible typological connection between 5:31 and 9:25 provides a good illustration of Jordan’s ability to discern linkages between biblical passages. I have long wondered why the specific reference to the age of Darius was inserted, and I find his explanation to be plausible.

In Daniel 9:1-2 we are told, in effect, that in the first year of Darius the Mede; i.e. shortly after the fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians, the prophet Daniel assumed that Jeremiah’s prophecy of seventy years of servitude to the king of Babylon (c.f. Jeremiah 25:11) had been fulfilled. Accordingly, in 9:3-19, Daniel turns to the Lord and utters a long prayer asking forgiveness for the people of all Israel. He is immediately rewarded by the arrival of the angel Gabriel, who then proceeds to utter the astounding prophecy of the seventy weeks or “sevens” of verses 25-29, whose time span appears to be seventy years times seven or 490 years. Operating under the assumption that this “prophecy” was actually written in the second century BC, critical scholars generally hold that its unknown inventor assumed that Jeremiah’s prophecy had never been fulfilled and recast it through the fictitious agency of Gabriel so as to produce an end time that would coincide with the hoped-for demise of Antiochus IV in the near future.

The notion that the author of Daniel did not believe that Jeremiah’s prophecy had been fulfilled with the fall of Babylon in 539 has never made sense to me. I have argued on this site (“The Seventy Years of Daniel 9:2”) that it should be perfectly clear that the author of Daniel knew that Jeremiah’s prophecy had been fulfilled and that the prophecy may well have been fulfilled quite literally. I am happy to write that Jordan adheres to this line of interpretation and presents a strong case for holding that the beginning date for Jeremiah’s prophecy was in the first half of 608 and its terminal point occurred toward the latter part of 539 (pp. 53, 632); i.e. in the prophecy’s seventieth year. Given the strength of the evidence supporting the literal fulfillment of the prophecy and given, as Jordan puts it, “the immense skill and care revealed in this prayer” (p. 450), I am totally in his corner when he writes: “according to the critics, Daniel is a fake book” and that, therefore, the “entire statement [of the critics] about reading Jeremiah is a flat lie, according to the brayings of these ‘scholars’” (p. 451).

Although I came to the reading of Jordan’s book thinking that he rejects the idea that Daniel 9’s prophecy of the seventy weeks was literally fulfilled, after I read his treatment of Jeremiah’s prophecy, I got my hopes up that he would espouse the literal fulfillment of the companion prophecy in Daniel. I was badly disappointed. Jordan is firmly convinced that the “decree” or “word” to which 9:25 refers as authorizing the restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem can only be the decree issued by Cyrus the Great (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-2, 6:3-5) that authorizes the return of exiled Jews to their homeland and the rebuilding of the Temple, and he dates the issuance of this decree to both 538 (p. 472) and 537 (pp. 470, 642), though I suspect from the context that his time for the starting point of the seventy weeks is the beginning of 537.

By picking such an early date for the beginning of the seventy weeks prophecy, Jordan sets up a scenario that rules out the possibility that it was literally fulfilled in its entirety. His preferred terminal date is AD 33, which coincides with the stoning of Stephen (p. 474) and strikes me as being quite plausible. This means that the total period he selects for the 490 years of the seventy “weeks” runs too long by about 80 years. After acknowledging that John Calvin’s proposed solution to this discrepancy was to argue that historians had miscalculated the relevant dates, Jordan concedes that the information that we now possess rules out this option. Accordingly, he produces a solution based on Gabriel’s division of the seventy weeks into three distinct periods of seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and one week (9:25-27). The seven weeks run from 538/537 to 489 and are to be taken literally; the sixty-two weeks run from 489 until AD 26 and are to be understood symbolically; and the seventieth week should probably be understood as literal, running from AD 26 to 33 (pp. 460, 472, 474, 648).

In my view, if you accept that Jeremiah’s prophecy of the seventy years of servitude to Babylon was literally fulfilled, then logically you should approach Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks for the people of Daniel and their holy city (9:24) with the presumption that it, too, must have been literally fulfilled. I am firmly of the belief that Daniel’s prophecy was literally fulfilled and that, therefore, it is a mistake to identify the decree of Cyrus as the “word” or “decree” to which 9:25 refers. It is my position that the decree of Cyrus did not necessarily authorize the rebuilding of the defensive fortifications that would have been essential to a full rebuilding of Jerusalem and that the “word” that allowed the walls and the defensive “moat”; i.e. ditch, to be built was not delivered to the returnees until 458/457 by Artaxerxes I (Ezra 7:12-26). If you take the date 458 BC and then deduct 49 years for the seven weeks of the prophecy during which the city and its fortifications were to be rebuilt during a time of trouble (9:25), you arrive at 409 BC for the end of the seven weeks and—assuming the weeks are continuous—the beginning of the sixty-two weeks. Then, by deducting 434 years (sixty-two times seven) from 409 BC and factoring in that there was no year zero, you arrive at AD 26 for the end of the sixty-two weeks and the beginning of the seventieth week. AD 26 just “happens” to coincide with the commonly accepted date for the beginning of Christ’s ministry.

Regrettably, although Jordan is undoubtedly quite familiar with the calculation in the last paragraph, he does not deal with it head-on in his book. He does, however, indicate that the Artaxerxes of Ezra and Nehemiah is actually Darius I and that the Book of Nehemiah should be dated considerably earlier than is commonly done (pp. 469, 647-48). It is obvious that he takes it for granted that Cyrus authorized the full rebuilding of Jerusalem—which he evidently did not do—and that the letter from Artaxerxes I to which Ezra refers cannot be granted the status of a “decree.” He infers that Cyrus must have authorized the full rebuilding of Jerusalem from Isaiah 44:28 and 45:13, which prophesy that Cyrus will indeed order the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and not just the Temple. My response is that, yes, his decree did specifically authorize the rebuilding of the Temple, and that action would necessarily have required some construction activity around this facility. On the other hand, in the world of the Holy Land of ancient times, the full rebuilding of a destroyed city would have required the construction of a wall and other defensive facilities before people would have become willing to undertake the private and public infrastructure investments required for a full restoration. A reasonable inference is that since Daniel 9:25 states that Jerusalem is to be rebuilt in troubled times with streets and a “moat,” the rebuilding process necessarily involved the construction of such defensive facilities. Incidentally, Jordan disposes of the “moat” reference by writing that since “Jerusalem did not have a literal moat,” this reference must refer “to the restoration of the baptismal cleansing rites of purification, as required in Leviticus, which people needed to undergo before entering the holy city if they were unclean” (p. 460). On this point, color me skeptical. I think it is more plausible to view the reference to the “moat” as referring to the construction of a defensive ditch outside the walls.

Against preterist interpretations of the prophecy of the seventy weeks that have it being fulfilled in the first century AD, it is commonly argued that the proponents of this theory insert a gap of forty years (actually thirty-six and one-half years) between the end of the first half of the seventieth week and the end of the second half. This gap results, it is said, because the middle of the week to which 9:27 refers coincides with the Crucifixion and Ascension in AD 30 while the destruction of the Temple that occurs in the second half of the week took place in AD 70. According to Jordan—and here I am completely on his side—“the coming of Christ’s vengeance army, the Romans, is not said to happen in the 70th week, but only in a time after the block of 62 weeks,” and the destruction of the city was determined during the seventieth week though it was not actually carried out until some years afterwards (p. 461-63).

Because of space constraints and the complexity of the issues involved, I cannot do justice here to Jordan’s treatment of Daniel’s references to the passages in 8:13, 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11 that allude to what is commonly called “the abomination that causes desolation” and to the related passages in these chapters that have to do with the daily sacrifice at the Temple. It should be noted, however, that Jordan relates the passages in chapters 8, 9, and 12 to events occurring during the time symbolized by the clay in the feet of the statue of Daniel 2; i.e. the era of Herod the Great and his descendants, and that he assigns only 11:31 to the time of Antiochus IV. Moreover, he strongly emphasizes his belief that in all four of these cases, the desecrations and abominations that they mention had to do with the actions of the Temple priesthood. For Jordan, “sacrilege [at the Temple] is never committed by Gentiles” because they had no relevance to the worship system there. “What counts as desecration,” he insists, “is idolatry and sacrilege on the part of the priests” (pp. 466-67).

Soon after he usurped the Seleucid throne in 175 BC, Antiochus IV allowed Onias III, the high priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, to be replaced first by Jason, the brother of Onias, and then by a man named Menelaus. A reasonable surmise is that Antiochus followed a policy of selling the high priesthood to the highest bidder, but it also seems likely that both Jason and Menelaus were more favorably disposed toward Hellenization than Onias III. Onias III was murdered in 171, evidently through the handiwork of Menelaus. When Antiochus was involved in his ill-fated expedition to Egypt in 168, a struggle broke out in Jerusalem between the supporters of Jason and those of Menelaus. Upon his return from Egypt, Antiochus intervened to restore Menelaus, and his forces killed many Jews in the process of establishing control. He also looted the Temple and launched a vicious campaign against the practice of Judaism. He was rewarded for his efforts by the Maccabean Revolt, which succeeded in capturing Jerusalem in December 164. While his forces were losing the struggle for Judea, Antiochus became personally involved in coping with problems along his distant eastern frontier, and he died there around the time that the Maccabees took Jerusalem, or shortly thereafter.

According to Jordan, “Not being part of the priestly people, Antiochus could not defile the Tempe; all he could do was rob it” (p. 575). Therefore, he reasons, the pollution of the Temple to which 11:31 refers could only have been done under the authority of its high priests, namely Jason and Menelaus (p. 581). After Menelaus seized the high priesthood, he notes, that office was never again held by a Zadokite, which means that all who held the position from that time on lacked legitimacy (p. 577).

That Jordan assigns 8:13, with its reference to “the apostasy that causes desolation” (p. 410), to the time period symbolized by the clay in the feet of the statue rather than the time of the third kingdom draws attention to the fact that he also assigns the “small horn” introduced in 8:9 to the later period. This means that, contrary to the generally accepted opinion of both liberals and conservatives, he denies that the small horn symbolizes Antiochus IV. It also means that he holds in common with liberals the belief that the “small horn” of 8:9 is also the “little horn” of 7:8, though he differs from them with regard to where the two horns fit into history. The view that the two are identical contrasts sharply with the prevailing conservative position, which holds that while the small horn of Daniel 8 is Antiochus IV, the little horn of Daniel 7 is a later figure. Unfortunately, more conservatives probably assign to the little horn of Daniel 7 to the future than to the first century AD. In any event, I find Jordan’s position on this matter to be even less persuasive than the liberal position.

In Daniel 8’s account of the kingdoms symbolized by the ram and the goat, we are explicitly told in verses 20 and 21 that the two horns of the ram symbolize the kings of Media and Persia and that the great horn between the eyes of the goat symbolizes a king of Greece. This king is obviously Alexander the Great. Verse 22 indicates that the four horns that replace the broken horn are four kingdoms that will arise in place of the kingdom it represents; verse 9 indicates that another horn, “a small one,” arises from one of the four horns; and verses 23 and 24 state that in the latter part of the time of the four horns, a fierce king will arrive who will cause great destruction among the holy people. From the context it is clear that this evil king is the “small horn” of verse 9.

For Jordan, the four horns that replace the horn that symbolizes Alexander correspond to a succession of four domains that followed him: (1) the entire Alexandrian empire during the few years when Alexander’s son (who was born after his death) was its titular head; (2) the Egyptian kingdom of the Ptolemies during the time when it controlled Palestine; (3) the Seleucid realm after it wrested control of Palestine from the Ptolemies; and (4) Hellenistic Rome, which replaced Seleucid Syria as the dominant power in the area until the time of imperial Rome under the Caesars (pp. 423-24). As I indicated earlier, I deny the validity of allocating the historical Roman state partly to the kingdom of bronze and partly to the kingdom of iron in the imagery of the statue of Daniel 2. Beyond this objection, I add that I believe that it is the clear intention of Daniel 8 to portray the four horns as contemporary successors to the broken horn, and I call attention to the facts that 8:9 explicitly states that the small horn arises from one of the four successor horns. This indicates to me that the other horns are still in existence when it emerges. In addition, I note that 8:23 indicates that the small horn will arise in the latter part of “their” reign, meaning the time of the four kingdoms. This, too, implies that the four kingdoms are contemporaneous.

Jordan fails to address such counterarguments head-on. Instead, after noting that “It is often said that Alexander’s empire broke into four kingdoms, and that this is what is meant here,” he states that the empire was actually broken up into more than four parts, and he dismisses without serious discussion the possibility that four is a symbolic number in this instance (p. 423). What the historical record shows, however, is that in the struggle among Alexander’s generals (the diadochi) for supremacy, there initially was a breakup of the empire into the areas controlled by four generals: Cassander (Greece and Macedonia), Lysimachus (Thrace and most of Asia Minor), Seleucus (Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia), and Ptolemy (Egypt). Following the death of Lysimachus in 281, most of his territory dissolved into minor kingdoms that lasted into the first century BC, but the fact remains that there was an initial division of Alexander’s empire into four parts. Moreover, I maintain that even if you hold that the number four is used here only symbolically, you can make a stronger case for this position than for holding that the four horns represent the four successive kingdoms identified by Jordan.

But just who—or what—is Jordan’s choice for the little/small horn of Daniel 7 and 8? For Jordan, this figure must be understood as a composite entity, namely “that complex of enemies that includes the Herods with the Jews and Judaizers” (p. 424). Because liberals generally hold that both horns symbolize Antiochus IV while most conservatives have identified Antiochus as the small horn of Daniel 8 and have sought to identify the little horn of Daniel 7 as an individual other than Antiochus IV—who either lived during the first century or (more commonly) will show up in the future—the notion that these two horns symbolize a group of individuals will, I suspect, be a startling one for some readers, and I must confess that it continues to be one that is difficult for me to take seriously. Contributing to my difficulty is Jordan’s identification of the ten horns of the fourth beast who precede the arrival of the little horn as successive Roman emperors, beginning with Julius Caesar and ending with Vespasian, the army commander who was commissioned by Nero (the sixth emperor) in February AD 67 to reconquer Judea (p. 382). If the ten horns are individuals, how can the eleventh horn, who comes up among them in 7:8 and reduces three of the horns to stumps, be a group?

An obvious challenge in identifying the little horn of Daniel 7 is to identify the three kings who, in Jordan’s translation, are “reduced to stumps” in verse 8, fall before the little horn in verse 20, and are subdued by it in verse 24. For some years now, I have tended to favor the view that these three horns symbolize the emperors who followed each other in quick succession after the death of Nero in June 68: Galba, Otho, and Vitellius, the last of whom was succeeded by Vespasian in December 69. I believe we should logically begin the enumeration of the ten horns that I take to literally symbolize a succession of Roman “kings” with Pompey, who brought Judea under Roman domain and laid claim to being the sole head of the Roman state before his defeat by Julius Caesar, and I tend to identify the eleventh horn; i.e. the little horn, as Vespasian. I readily concede that most analysts hold different views about the little horn’s identity. I shall not attempt to meet objections to my interpretation in the present article, though I do insist that it is more plausible than what Jordan offers.

According to Jordan, the little horn does not destroy or eliminate the three horns, “but takes over their manifestation in the holy land” (p. 355). He identifies them as the emperors Augustus, Tiberius, and Claudius, who ceded power, respectively, to three Herods: Herod the Great, Herod Antipas (a son of Herod the Great), and Herod Agrippa I (a grandson of Herod the Great). Each of these Herods, he notes, is portrayed in the NT as an enemy of Jesus and His followers (p. 388). The composition of the little horn is not confined to these three Herods, he insists, because we must understand that they cooperated with wicked Jews to effectively take over and control the behavior of the fourth beast of Daniel 7 “in its relationship with God’s people” (p. 390).

Of course, there were more than three Roman emperors who allowed “wicked Jews” to exercise influence and power in the relationship between the empire and “God’s people.” Specifically, there was the murderous Caligula, who came between Tiberius and Claudius; and there was Nero, who persecuted Christians after the great fire of Rome in 64 and whose wife, Poppea, was favorably disposed toward Judaism. Moreover, I must note that the references to the little horn, particularly in verses 24 and 25, refer to him as “he,” not “it” or “they.” This suggests that the little horn is to be understood as a single individual, but I concede that with my background as a professional economist, I lack Jordan’s capacity for imaginative thinking in the realm of scriptural analysis. In writing this, I am not intending to be sarcastic. I am open to persuasion in this matter. As of now, however, I remain thoroughly unconvinced.

Jordan also draws upon the composite figure concept in his treatment of the “one like a son of man” of 7:13, who, he maintains, “is clearly identified as the saints who possess the Kingdom of God” in verses 18 and 27 and is thus, like the little horn, “a corporate symbol” (pp. 328, 343). This being the case, the “Ancient of Days” of verses 9, 13, and 22 is Yahweh, as personified by Jesus Christ (p. 334). In support of this position, he insists that Christian readers of the NT are mistaken when they assume that when Jesus refers to Himself as “the Son of Man,” He has Daniel 7:13 in view. To the contrary, Jordan assures us, “He is much more likely to be referring to Ezekiel than to Daniel 7:13” (pp. 330-31). Again I must register my dissent. That Christ is deity I do not doubt, but I do not regard Him as being the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:9.

A collective understanding of the son of man figure of Daniel 7:13 has long been common in mainstream academia, but it has not been Jordan’s version that has garnered support there! Instead, what many liberal academics have held is that Daniel’s one like a son of man symbolizes the Jewish faithful who are to someday dominate the earth. That He could be a messianic individual in the Christian sense, at least in the primary application of Daniel’s symbolism, is an idea that has generally been rejected by the academic cognoscenti. Because so much of Daniel 7 seems supportive of the notion that the son of man is an individual rather than a group of people, however, the collective view has tended to cede some ground to the idea that he could be an angel, specifically Michael, who is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel (10:13, 10:21, and 12:1) and is presented there as the “prince” who supports Daniel’s people. The belief that Michael is the guardian angel of the Jews appears to be derived in large part from the mention of him in Daniel.

In Jordan’s view—and here I agree with him—Michael is to be understood as the preincarnate figure of Jesus (pp. 428). Moreover—and again I agree—Jordan identifies Michael as the mysterious man in linen who hovers over the Tigris in Daniel 10:4-5 (p. 520); and he takes a similar view of the “man” in 8:15-16 who is above the Ulai River. “Christ [i.e. Michael] is over the waters to direct history” in the visions of both Daniel 8 and Daniel 10-12, writes Jordan, and he then adds this observation: “The water is a Gentile stream . . . and represents the Gentile world. God directs the course of Gentile history from above the waters, and now shows that course of history to Daniel” (p. 416). This, to me, illustrates Jordan at his best. While I agree with all of this, however, I also believe that the one like a son of man of Daniel 7 is the resurrected Christ and that His appearance there sets the stage for His presence in each of the three remaining visions. In Daniel 8 and 10-12, He appears in preincarnate form and is called Michael. In Daniel 9, He is the “anointed one”; i.e. Jesus Christ, who is “cut off” in verses 26-27 in the middle of the seventieth week.

Another area where I find much to agree with in Jordan’s analysis is his treatment of Daniel 11:36-45, which he assigns to the period running from the time of Herod the Great to coming of the kingdom of the Messiah (p. 584). It is in these verses of Daniel 11 that I find that critical scholars simply “run off the rails” in their treatment of Daniel by trying to force a fit between them and the career of Antiochus IV that simply does not exist. A favorite idea among the critics is that the unknown author of Daniel probably wrote the material in Daniel 11 just before the climactic events of 164 BC that brought victory to the Maccabees and that verses 36-45 were a failed attempt at genuine prophecy. Unfortunately for them, it can be shown that these verses can be matched very well with recorded history by looking at the Judea of Herod the Great, who became the vassal king of Judea more than a century after the unlamented demise of Antiochus.

The idea of assigning the fulfillment of the prophetic material in Daniel 11:36-45 to the time of Herod the Great seems to have originated with a Scot named James Farquharson, who published a book on this matter in 1838. Philip Mauro came across Farquharson’s book in 1922 and included positive references to it in a book with the short title of The Seventy Weeks that has become a must read for anyone interested in looking at the first century AD for the fulfillment of the end-time prophecies of Daniel 2, 7, 9, and 11-12. Unfortunately, few mainstream commentators have taken Farquharson and Mauro to heart. With due acknowledgement to the work of these predecessors, Jordan offers an in-depth analysis of Daniel 11:36-45 that I consider to be fundamentally sound though hardly free of problems.

Unfortunately, in analyzing Daniel 11:36-45, Jordan continues to insist that “Hellenistic Rome” is the fourth head of the Greek beast of Daniel 8 (p. 605). My biggest criticism of his analysis of these verses, however, involves his dogmatic insistence that a hypothetical Jewish biblical scholar in the tradition of Ezra (p. 543) would certainly have interpreted the vision of Daniel 10-12 along the lines that he suggests. Thus, when he introduces his discussion of 11:36-45, Jordan states that when his hypothetical “Ezra” comes to these verses, he “will realize that a new section about another king starts in verse 36” and that Michael appears to be the promised Messiah (p. 593). His subsequent analysis makes it clear that he believes that “Ezra” would have understood that 11:36-45 look well beyond the time of the “angry king” that he identifies as Antiochus IV. The problem with his analysis is that it is not at all clear that Jewish scholars from the time of Ezra until the time of Antiochus IV did, in fact, look well beyond that time for the coming of the Messiah. I am persuaded that the available evidence suggests, to the contrary, that following the capture of Jerusalem in 164 BC and the almost simultaneous death of Antiochus, the Jewish authorities tended to look to the immediate future for the fulfillment of all of Daniel’s end-time prophecies, including Daniel 8. In due course, however, when it became clear that the time of Antiochus IV and the Maccabean Revolt could not be squared with the prophecies of Daniel 2, 7, 9, and 10-12, a revised assessment of those prophecies occurred that contributed greatly to the eruption of messianic expectations that occurred in the first century AD.

In Daniel 12:2, the prophet is told by the narrating angel that many who sleep in the dust will awaken, some to everlasting life and others to scorn and everlasting contempt. In the remainder of this article, I shall concern myself primarily with Jordan’s treatment of this verse. This entails commenting on his understanding of the nature of the resurrection described there and the related matter of what he means by “God’s people.” Jordan outlines six possible ways to understand this verse. The first is that it refers to the last judgment of all humankind at the end of history. This must be ruled out, he states, because the last judgment will apply to all people, not many. Then, after quickly alluding to four other alternatives, he comes to what he considers the only credible possibility, “a national resurrection like the one portrayed in Ezekiel 37” (pp. 616-17). This national resurrection is to occur “in the days of Jesus”; i.e. in the first century, at which time “the nation will undergo a last spiritual resurrection, but some will not persevere and their resurrection will only be unto destruction” (p. 618). Although he uses the term “spiritual resurrection,” what he appears to have in mind is a revival of the spirits of the people of God as a functioning flesh and blood community on Earth after the coming of the Messiah (p. 84). He is rather unclear, however, as to the extent to which this “national resurrection” applies to Gentiles.

Ezekiel 37 presents the account of the valley of the dry bones that are restored to life to symbolize the resurrection of all of Israel. In verse 21 the prophet is told that the Israelites will be gathered from all the nations to which they have gone and returned to their own land. In verses 24-28 he is told that “David” will be the king of this Israel and that its people will live in peace under an everlasting covenant. It is easy, of course, to see in this a messianic prophecy in which “David” symbolizes Christ and “Israel” consists of all those people, Jew or Gentile, who accept Him as the Savior of humanity. What Jordan seems to have in mind in his chapter on Daniel 12, however, is the idea that “Israel” essentially consists of a revived Jewish nation that has straightened itself out spiritually.

In historical fact, the nation of Israel passed out of existence permanently in the eighth century BC when it was destroyed by Assyria. The Assyrians evidently carried most of its more prominent residents to other parts of their domain, and I assume that many of the common people were left behind and that the Samaritans were descended, in part, from them. Just how much religious influence the scattered descendants of the ten tribes who comprised the nation of Israel exercised upon the culture of the Near East during the time of the four kingdoms of Daniel no one can know for certain, but I sense that their influence must have been considerable. I am persuaded that numerous references to “Israel” in the Bible, including those in Ezekiel 37, are to be understood as applying to the spiritual descendants of Moses, including Gentiles, who become followers of the Messiah who appears in the dry bones prophecy, which seems to me to look well beyond the first century AD.

At times in his book, Jordan seems to grasp this broader concept of “Israel,” and he writes compellingly about how, from the time of Daniel to the time of Christ, the Jewish people acted as “God’s special nation of priests” (p. 26) to bring God’s Word to an enlarged international commonwealth that he terms the Oikumene. He emphasizes that such Gentile rulers as Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus became part of a larger community of worshipers of the True God. This implies to me that many other Gentiles also must have become such worshipers to some degree. Nevertheless, rather than extend the concept of “Israel” to include such people, Jordan writes that King Josiah of Judah “re-unified the nation of Israel” by conquest and that “the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel often speak of the Kingdom of Judah as ‘Israel,’ for after Josiah, the Kingdom of Judah ruled the entire land.” (p. 44). In doing all this, Jordan leaves me confused, and I suspect that many other readers will be confused as well.

In any event, Jordan’s “national resurrection” is not a resurrection of the dead, and this assessment conflicts sharply with my own view. Jordan concedes that “It is possible that the first resurrection of Revelation 20:4-6 refers to the ascension of the Old Covenant saints to heaven” (p. 617), and he then proceeds to suggest that although Daniel 12:2 does not refer to this event, Daniel 12:13 may well do so. In the latter verse, Daniel is told to go to his rest and that he will rise to receive his inheritance at the end of the days. Jordan’s interpretation means that he views 12:13 as referring to the last judgment that still awaits us. Although Jordan believes that 12:2 cannot refer to a resurrection of the dead because it refers to many who sleep in the dust rather than to all who do so and because he is convinced that that the wicked are not to be subjected to “everlasting contempt” until the last judgment, I prefer to believe that Daniel 12:2 should be understood as allowing the possibility that some people were condemned to “everlasting contempt” in the first century and are not to be judged again.

In this article I have avoided Jordan’s treatment of the time, times and half a time of 7:25, the 2,300 evenings and mornings of 8:14, the time, times and a half of 12:7, the 1,290 days of 12:11, and the 1,335 days of 12:12. In recognition of the fact that this article has become rather lengthy, my remarks about Jordan’s treatments of these time periods will be very brief. In each of these five cases, I am confident, he will encounter searching criticism of his view. I shall refrain from such criticism, and with the exception of the 2,300 evenings and mornings of Daniel 8, I shall not offer an opinion.

Daniel 7:25 states that the “saints” are to be given over to little horn for “a time, times and half a time,” a period that commentators tend to believe means three and one-half years. Jordan objects, however, that “there is no reason to take it as a reference to years, nor is there any reason to take the plural as only two” (p. 397). In his opinion, the “time” refers to “a general time during which the True Jerusalem is being built” and applies to the period of Jesus’ ministry, which ended with His death and resurrection. The “times” began at Pentecost and continued until the outbreak of Great Tribulation of the Apostolic Church that began in 64 with the persecution of Nero. The half a time is the Great Tribulation itself, which ran from 64 until the Romans began their assault against the little horn as embodied by the Jewish religious establishment in 67. The cutting short mentioned in Matthew 24:22 makes this last period a half time (pp. 398-99).

Daniel 12:7 has a time period similar to that of 7:25, but it is in Hebrew rather than Aramaic. According to Jordan, the “time” (or better) “set-time,” of 12:7 “is mentioned in 11:27, 29, and corresponds to the tribulation under Menelaus and Antiochus Epiphanes, the time after the initial shattering of the High Priest.” The “set-times” probably refer to the periods of the Hasmonean (or Maccabean) rulers and the Herodians, which correspond, respectively, to the times of Hellenistic Rome and Imperial Rome. The half a set-time is “the Great Tribulation that follows right after the coming of Michael” (p. 625).

With regard to the 1,290 days and 1,335 days of 12:11 and 12, Jordan assures us that they allude to the time of the Egyptian captivity as recorded in Exodus 12:40-41, namely 430 years. After noting that 1,290 equals 430 multiplied by three, he suggests that the larger number symbolizes three periods of 430 “days” each that correspond to three new Egyptian captivities: (1) the period of Antiochus Epiphanes, (2) the Hasmonean period; and (3) the Herodian or little horn period. The 45 additional days needed to reach the total of 1,335 as given in Daniel 12:12 are the Great Tribulation.

In Daniel 8:13-4 we are told that there will be a period of 2,300 evenings and mornings during which a rebellion that causes desolation will result in the surrender of the sanctuary and a host will be trampled underfoot. At the end of this time, the sanctuary is to be restored. Both liberal and conservative biblical scholars have tended to assume that the events described take place during the time of Antiochus IV. Some have taken the 2,300 to signify that number of actual twenty-four hour days. Others, however, have pointed out that at the Temple in Jerusalem, the day was considered to begin with the evening prayer and there was also a prayer in the morning. Because there were two prayers daily, the reasoning goes, the 2,300 evenings and mornings actually point to a period of 1,150 days. I personally have favored the latter view and have argued that this period conforms to the period of time during the Maccabean Revolt during the years 167 to 164 BC when services at the Temple were actually suspended.

Because Jordan places the time of Daniel 8:13-14 in the days of the Herodian little horn, he rejects the alternatives suggested in the last paragraph and opts for a complicated explanation that, in my judgment, is ingenious but implausible. In the first place, as I have explained earlier in this article, I reject the idea that the small horn of Daniel 8 is anyone other than Antiochus IV. Therefore, I reject his finding that “the prophesied evenings-mornings begin in or around AD 64” (p. 437). I also reject his contention that the 2,300 evenings and mornings should be taken symbolically rather than literally (p. 436).

Jordan has succeeded to a greater extent than any other writer on Daniel whose work I have read in demonstrating an ability to look at this great prophetic work from the perspective of the people who lived before the time of Christ. At times, however, I think he forgets that the Bible was also written for people who would live long after Christ died on the cross. The Handwriting on the Wall is a book that I think every serious OT scholar should own and read. It is my hope that it will help materially to bring about a badly needed reorientation of scholarship away from liberal bias that has for too long influenced the world’s understanding of Daniel. It is also clear to me, however, that it is going to take more than Jordan’s book to accomplish what needs to be done.

John S. Evans

This article is also posted at planetpreterist.com