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What Was the Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?

brimstone sulfur ball

Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? Was the most extensive judgment found anywhere in the Bible outside of the book of Revelation actually for the sin of inhospitality, not homosexuality?

People find what they want in the Bible. If one looks hard enough, he can find “biblical” support for reincarnation, Eastern religions, Jesus as a guru, divorce for any reason, and flying saucers. Every cult of Christianity uses the Bible to validate its claims and so does some of the occult.

It’s not surprising, then, that a recent trend in biblical scholarship holds that a careful reading of Genesis in its historical context offers no solid basis to conclude that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah had anything to do with homosexuality.

This view may seem far-fetched to biblical conservatives, but it is taken very seriously in academic circles. It represents a significant challenge to the rank-and-file Christian who finds in the Genesis account a straight-forward condemnation of homosexual behavior.

My goal is to answer that challenge. I have no interest to malign, name-call, offend, attack, bash, belittle, or in any way demean a group of people. I want to determine one thing only: Why did God destroy these two cities? Did it have anything to do with homosexuality itself? In short, what was the sin—or sins—of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Genesis 18:16-19:29

Though the context of the account in question begins in Genesis 18:16 during God’s conversation with Abraham by the Oaks of Mamre, the details of the encounter at Sodom itself are found in Genesis 19:4-13:

Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway. Then the men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”

What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? Why did God destroy the two cities? The traditional view is that homosexuality was the principle offense (“Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly”).

Yale historian John Boswell offers four possible reasons for the destruction of Sodom:

(1) The Sodomites were destroyed for the general wickedness which had prompted the Lord to send angels to the city to investigate in the first place; (2) the city was destroyed because the people of Sodom had tried to rape the angels; (3) the city was destroyed because the men of Sodom had tried to engage in homosexual intercourse with the angels…; (4) the city was destroyed for inhospitable treatment of visitors sent from the Lord.[1]

John Boswell thinks that explanation (2) “is the most obvious of the four,” though it’s been “largely ignored by biblical scholars.”[2] Boswell expands on explanation (4), the one he seems to favor as most consistent with “modern scholarship” since 1955:

Lot was violating the custom of Sodom…by entertaining unknown guests within the city walls at night without obtaining the permission of the elders of the city. When the men of Sodom gathered around to demand that the strangers be brought out to them, “that they might know them,” they meant no more than to “know” who they were, and the city was consequently destroyed not for sexual immorality, but for the sin of inhospitality to strangers.[3]

Englishman D. Sherwin Bailey also argues this way in Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition (1955). The men of Sodom wanted to interrogate Lot’s guests to see if they were spies. The sin of gang rape was also in view, not homosexuality. In a broader sense, the men of Sodom were inhospitable to Lot’s guests.

Apparently, it did not occur to Boswell that possibilities (2) and (4) seem to be at odds. If “to know” the angels means merely to interrogate them, then there is no attempted rape, only an attempted interrogation. If, on the other hand, the men meant to have sexual relations with the visitors (the traditional view) and are guilty of attempted rape, then the interrogation explanation must be abandoned (rendering Boswell’s above summary of the views of modern scholarship somewhat incoherent).

Some of these explanations, however, are not mutually exclusive and may have been factors in their own way. For example, the general wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah (1) could have included rape (2) and/or inhospitality (4).

My principle concern here is to determine if the biblical record indicates that (4) homosexuality factored in at all.

Clues from the Text

Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? We can find clues not just from the Genesis account, but also from the Prophets and the New Testament books 2 Peter and Jude. These give a sense of how ancient Jewish thinkers steeped in Jewish culture understood these texts.

First, Sodom and Gomorrah were judged because of grave sin. Genesis 18:20 says, “And the Lord said, ‘The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.'” Indeed, not even ten righteous people could be found in the city.

Second, it seems the judgment of these cities was to serve as a lesson to Abraham and to others that wickedness would be punished. In 2 Peter 2:6 we learn that God condemned and destroyed the cities as “an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter.”

Third, peculiar qualities of the sin are described by Jude and Peter. Jude 7 depicts the activity as “gross immorality” and going after “strange flesh.”[4] Peter wrote that Lot was “oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men,” and “by what he saw and heard…felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds.” These people were “those who indulged the flesh in its corrupt desires and despised authority” (2 Peter 2:7-10).

Fourth, there are 27 references outside of Genesis where Sodom is mentioned. It is emblematic of gross immorality, deepest depravity, and ultimate judgment.

Piecing together the biblical evidence gives us a picture of Sodom’s offense. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was some kind of activity—a grave, ongoing, lawless, sensuous activity—that Lot saw and heard and that tormented him as he witnessed it day after day. It was an activity in which the inhabitants indulged the flesh in corrupt desires by going after strange flesh, ultimately bringing upon them the most extensive judgment anywhere in the Bible outside of the book of Revelation.

What do we know about the conduct of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah that fits this description?

Just a Couple of Questions

Was the city destroyed because the men of Sodom tried to rape the angels (option (2) above)? The answer is obviously no. God’s judgment could not have been for the rapacious attempt itself because His decision to destroy the cities was made days before the encounter (see Genesis 18:20). Further, Peter makes it clear that the wicked activity was ongoing (“day after day”), not a one-time incident. The outcry had already been going up to God for some time.[5]

Was this a mere interrogation? Though the Hebrew word yada (“to know”)[6] has a variety of nuances, it is properly translated in the NASB as “have [sexual] relations with.”[7] Though the word does not always have sexual connotations, it frequently does, and this translation is most consistent with the context of Genesis 9:5. There is no evidence that what the townsmen had in mind was a harmless interview. Lot’s response—“Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly”—makes it clear they had other intentions.

In addition, the same verb is used in the immediate context to describe the daughters who had not “known” a man and who were offered to the mob instead. Are we to understand Lot to be saying, “Please don’t question my guests. Here, talk to my daughters, instead. They’ve never been interviewed”?

Did God judge Sodom and Gomorrah for inhospitality? Is it true that God’s judgment was not for homosexuality per se, but because the people of the town were discourteous to the visitors, violating sacred sanctuary customs by attempting to rape them? A couple of observations raise serious doubt.

First, the suggestion itself is an odd one. To say that the men of Sodom were inhospitable because of the attempted rape is much like saying a husband who’s just beaten his wife is an insensitive spouse. It may be true, but it’s hardly a meaningful observation given the greater crime.

Second—and more to the textual evidence—it doesn’t fit the collective biblical description of the conduct that earned God’s wrath: a corrupt, lawless, sensuous activity that Lot saw and heard day after day, in which the men went after strange flesh.

Third, are we to believe that God annihilated two whole cities because they had bad manners, even granting that such manners were much more important then than now? There’s no textual evidence that inhospitality was a capital crime. However, homosexuality was punishable by death in Israel (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13). Does God ignore the capital crime, yet level two entire cities for a wrong that is not listed anywhere as a serious offense?

The Only One That Fits

The prevailing modern view of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is that the attempted rape of Lot’s visitors violated the Mid-East’s high code of hospitality (19:9). This inhospitality, however, is an inference, not a specific point made in the text itself.

Further, the inhospitality charge is dependent upon—and eclipsed by—the greater crime of rape, yet neither could be the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah because God planned to judge the cities long before either had been committed. What possibility is left? Only one.

We know the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were homosexual, “both young and old, all the people from every quarter” (19:4), to the point of disregarding available women (19:5-8). After they were struck sightless they still persisted (19:11). These men were totally given over to an overwhelming passion that did not abate even when they were supernaturally blinded by angels.

Homosexuality fits the biblical details. It was the sin that epitomized the gross wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah—the “grave,” “ungodly,” “lawless,” “sensual conduct of unprincipled men” that tormented Lot as he “saw and heard” it “day after day,” the “corrupt desire” of those that went after “strange flesh.”

In their defense, some will cite Ezekiel 16:49-50: “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me.[8] Therefore I removed them when I saw it.” No mention of homosexuality here.

Clearly, the general wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah was great. That’s not in question. Our concern here is whether homosexuality was part of that wickedness. Our analysis of Genesis shows that homosexuality was the principle behavior at issue in that passage. Ezekiel simply enumerates additional sins. The prophet doesn’t contradict Moses, but rather gives more detail.

Stinginess and arrogance alone did not draw God’s wrath. Ezekiel anchored the list of crimes with the word “abominations.” This word takes us right back to homosexuality. The conduct Moses refers to in Genesis 18 he later describes in Leviticus as an “abomination” in God’s eyes.

Leviticus

The Mosaic Law has two explicit citations on homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22 says, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female.[9] It is an abomination [toebah][10] .” Leviticus 20:13 says, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act [toebah]. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.”

John Boswell offers the standard rebuttal to what appears to be an obvious biblical prohibition of homosexuality:

The Hebrew word “toebah,” here translated “abomination,” does not usually signify something intrinsically evil, like rape or theft…, but something which is ritually unclean for Jews, like eating pork or engaging in intercourse during menstruation, both of which are prohibited in these same chapters.[11]

Leviticus, the suggestion goes, is not where we generally go for moral instruction. The sections quoted deal with the cult of worship: sacrifice, priesthood, ritual bathing, etc. These directives have to do with ritual purity, not moral purity. An observant Jew could not worship after ritual contamination until he had been ritually cleansed.

Others have added that many details of the Mosaic Law are archaic. Who concerns themselves with mixing wool and linen together (Deuteronomy 22:11)? The death penalty itself doesn’t mark homosexuality as particularly heinous. Disobedience to parents was also a capital crime, as was picking up sticks on the Sabbath, yet no one suggests these should be punishable offenses today.[12]

This rejoinder is filled with inconsistencies. First, even if this prohibition was restricted only to ritual purity and the cult of worship, then minimally it applies to Jewish clerics. Yet many who use this approach see no problem with homosexual rabbis and instead champion such “diversity” as a religious virtue. On the other hand, if the Torah’s proscriptions no longer apply at all, then any distinction between the cultic and moral aspects of the Mosaic Law is moot; none of it pertains anyway.

Second, it’s a serious error in thinking to conclude that if some of the Torah no longer applies, then none of it applies. Jewish thinker Dennis Prager observed, “It is one thing not to put a Torah punishment into practice and quite another to declare that a Torah sin is no longer a sin.”[13] [emphasis in the original]

Third, it’s true that much of the Law seems to deal with religious activity rather than universal morality. That observation in itself, however, is not enough to summarily dismiss the Torah as a source of binding moral instruction. Ritual purity and moral purity are not always distinct.

Context is king here. Note the positioning of the verses. The toebahof homosexuality is sandwiched between adultery (18:20), child sacrifice (18:21) and bestiality (18:23). Was Moses saying merely that if a priest committed adultery, had sex with an animal, or burned his child on Molech’s altar he should be sure to wash up before he came to temple?

More to the point, these sections were not addressed to the priests, but to all the “sons of Israel” (18:2, 20:2). In addition to the prohibitions on adultery, child sacrifice, and bestiality just mentioned, Moses also prohibits spiritism (20:6) and incest (20:12).

The conclusion of Leviticus 18 contains these words:

But as for you [the “sons of Israel” (v. 2)], you are to keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled. (18:26-27)

Moses spoke as clearly here as he did in Genesis. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of many things, but foremost among them was the sin of homosexuality. In this section of Leviticus, God gives directives not just for ritual purity, but commands to be observed by every Jew, and even by every visitor.

Homosexuality was wrong for the Jews. It was wrong for gentiles who visited the Jews (“aliens”). It was even an abomination that defiled the land when practiced by pagans who inhabited Canaan long before the Jews came.

Homosexuality is a defiling sin, regardless who practices it. It has no place before God among any people, in any age, then or now.


[1] John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), p. 93.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Some have suggested the sin was seeking sexual union with angels (“strange flesh”). Though this is a possible interpretation, there’s no indication the men knew Lot’s visitors were angels. Jude’s point is that the Sodomites, like the angels, “did not keep to their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode” (v. 6). “Strange flesh”—the improper domain—wasn’t angelic flesh, but homosexual flesh.

[5] The rejoinder that homosexual rape could still qualify as the ongoing activity fails to convince. Who would be the ongoing victims? Not the townspeople. Because of their sexual proclivity they would not likely resist homosexual advances. Visitors would have to be the target. But if newcomers were molested “day after day,” I’m sure this would put a crimp in the tourist trade. The steady supply of sexual candidates would dwindle rapidly once word got around, with most making a wide berth around the area.

[6] Strong’s #3045.

[7] “Know a person carnally, of sexual intercourse…man subj. and obj. (of sodomy) Gn 19:5).” Brown, Driver and Briggs, The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody ME: 1996), 394. See also Judges 19:22 ff.

[8] Curiously, this last sentence was overlooked in Boswell’s citation of the text.

[9] “Lie” is the Hebrew word shakab meaning “lie down” (Strong’s #7901). In this case, it refers to having sexual relations as in Genesis 19:32: “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father” (Brown, Driver, and Briggs, 1012).

[10] Strong’s #8441.

[11] Boswell, 100.

[12] It’s curious that some choose to conclude homosexuality was a minor crime because it was no more offensive to God than picking up sticks on the Sabbath. Both were capital offenses. If you want to know how God really felt, look at the punishment He requires.

[13] Dennis Prager, “Homosexuality, Judaism and Gay Rabbis,” The Prager Perspective, 3/1/97.

The Abyss (the real 1948 in prophecy)

 

T H E  A B Y S S

“BOTTOMLESS PIT”

By Lloyd Dale

 

Thousands, perhaps even millions, of Bible students have read and pondered over the
ominous words “THE  BOTTOMLESS PIT” in the several passages shown below:
(emphasis and comments added by author)

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given  the key of the BOTTOMLESS PIT. 2  And he opened the BOTTOMLESS PIT; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.   9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the BOTTOMLESS
PIT, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his
name Apollyon.
(Revelation 9:1)

    

And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the BOTTOMLESS PIT shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (Revelation 11:7)

    

The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the BOTTOMLESS PIT, and go into perdition: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)

    

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the BOTTOMLESS PIT and a great chain in his hand. (Revelation 20:1)  And cast him into the BOTTOMLESS PIT, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (Revelation 20:3)

What is this BOTTOMLESS PIT (abyss or abussos in Greek.)?  Where is it located?
Does it have another, possibly more common, name?  If so what is that name?

Perhaps many different ideas have been offered to explain this term.  We think that there is only one Biblical definition of  “the BOTTOMLESS PIT“, and that the Bible itself must supply us with that definition and Yahweh’s Holy Spirit enables us to understand what the apostle John was writing about in Revelation 9, 11, 17 & 20.

The English words “BOTTOMLESS PIT
are the KJV translations of the Greek words:

 

abussos
{ab’-us-sos} Strong’s #12 from 1 (as a
negative particle) and a variation of 1037;

TDNT – 1:9,2;

          AV
– bottomless pit (5)

                 – deep (2)

                 – bottomless (2) [9]

                 1) the abyss, bottomless pit

                 2) bottomless, unfathomed: boundless, enormous

                 3) The rabbinic translation of the Hebrew word t@howm (teh-home’) in the Septuagint.

And:

phrear {freh’-ar} Strong’s
5421 of uncertain  derivation;  n

          AV
– pit (5)

 – well (2) [7]

                 1) a well, the pit or shaft of the abyss

       

The Hebrew word which is translated abyss, great deep (bottomless) is:

  t@howm {teh-home’} or t@hom {teh-home’}
Strong’s 8415 (usually feminine) from  1949; TWOT – 2495a;           n
f/m

             1) deep, depths, deep places, abyss, the deep, sea

             1a) deep (of subterranean waters)

             1b) deep, sea, abysses (of sea)

             1c) primeval ocean, deep

             1d) deep, depth (of river)

             2) When the rabbis translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek (the Septuagint) they translated the Hebrew word t@howm (teh-home)

                into the Greek word abussos.

And a Hebrew word translated pit is:


pachath
{pakh’-ath}  Strong’s # 06354 probably from an unused root apparently    meaning to dig; TWOT  1761a; n m

AV – pit 8, hole 1, snare 1; 10

             1) pit, hole

 

The words and definitions provided above demonstrate that the Hebrew word t@howm is the equivalent of the Greek word variously translated as bottomless or abyss in English.  We believe that the word abyss is essentially the English equivalent of the Hebrew t@howm and the Greek abussos.

 

The Hebrew word t@howm is used many times in the Old Testament.
The most pertinent for our purpose of understanding John’s use of its
Greek equivalent in Revelation is Psalm 36:6:

     O Yahweh…thy judgments are an abyss
<08415>: O  Yahweh,…

The psalmist, prophet, king David here instructs us that Yahweh’s judgment (justice) is an
abyss.  From this we see that the Hebrew prophets used the word t@howm to indicate a place where Yahweh’s judgment (justice) was being applied.

The above words and definitions also establish that the Greek word phrear {freh’-ar} is an equivalent to the Hebrew word pachath {pakh’-ath}.  The Hebrew prophets use this word to define the place that Yahweh’s judgment (justice) is being applied. Examples of this can be found in Isaiah 24:17-18; Jeremiah 48:28, & 43-44; and Lamentations 3:47.

Fear, and the pit <06354>, and the snare, are upon
thee (Tyre), O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit
<06354>;
and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit
<06354>
shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the
foundations of the earth do shake.
Isaiah 24:17-18 

 

Fear, and the pit <06354>, and the snare, shall be
upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab, saith the LORD.   He that fleeth from the
fear shall fall into the pit
<06354>; and he that getteth up out of the pit <06354> shall be taken in the snare: for I will bring upon it, even upon Moab, the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 48:43-44

 

Fear and a snare <06354> is come upon us,
desolation and destruction.
Lamentations 3:47

 

 John, the Revelator, was also a Hebrew prophet as was Jesus Christ who gave John the Revelation, from this we should understand that John’s use of the words abyss (Gk. abussos) and pit (Gk. phrear {freh’-ar}) would be in the same tradition as other Hebrew prophets.

 

The Abyss Defined:

By its usage in the New Testament and selected
passages from the Old Testament.

 

First of all, technically speaking, “abussos, abyssos, abyss” is not an OT term, however, the concept (bottomless) of the Greek word “abussos” exists in the Hebrew word “tehome or tehom.” 

 

The English word abyss is a transliteration of the Greek word “abussos or abyssos” which literally means “without bottom” hence the KJV translation “bottomless” in certain parts of Revelation.  In the Greek documents which we call the New Testament, the Greek word or lexeme “abussos” is only used 9 times – 7 times in Revelation and once each in Luke and Romans.  To make it easy for everyone, literal translations of these verses are transcribed below: 

Luke 8:31 and he (devil) was calling on him (Jesus), that he (Jesus) may not command them to go away to the abyss,

Romans 10:7 or, ‘Who shall go down to the abyss[1]
[of the earth]
?’ (that is, to bring Christ out of the dead to bring up
[from the grave].

Revelation 9:1 and the fifth messenger did sound, and I saw a star out of the heaven having fallen o the earth, and there was given to it the key of the pit of the abyss,

Revelation 9:2 and he did open the pit of the abyss, and there came up a smoke out of the pit as smoke of a great furnace, and darkened was the sun and the air, from the smoke of the pit.

Revelation 9:11 and they have over them a king—the messenger of the abyss—a name to him in Hebrew, Abaddon, and in the Greek he has a name, Apollyon.

Revelation 11:7
‘And when they may finish their testimony, the beast that is coming (ascending) up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them,

Revelation 17:8
‘The beast that thou didst see: it was, and it is not; and it is about to come
up out of the abyss, and to go away to destruction, and wonder shall
those dwelling upon the earth, whose names have not been written upon the
scroll of the life from the foundation of the world, beholding the beast that
was, and is not, although it is present.

Revelation 20:1 And I saw a messenger coming down out of the heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a great chain over his hand,

Revelation 20:3 and he cast him to the abyss, and did shut him up, and put a seal upon him, that he may not lead astray the nations any more, till the thousand years may be finished; and after these it behooves him to be loosed a little time.

 Now let’s take at each of these.
In context Luke 8, records a conversation that Jesus had with a “devil.”  According to verse 29 Jesus commanded the devil to come out a man of Gadarene, then according to verse 28 the devil, apparently speaking through the man, asked of Jesus, “what have I to do with you, torment me not.

Why would the devil think that Jesus might torment him?  Could it possibly be that this devil understood that torment was a product or result of the judgment of God?  In this context it is clear that the devil is talking about living torment.

Verse 31 records that the devils requested that Jesus “not command them to
go out into the “abyss.”  Now in the full context of this passage the “abyss” equates to the torment of judgment (v28); it is used here as a metaphor for judgment and punishment/torment.

In Romans 10:7, Paul uses the word “abyss” as a metaphor for the grave.  Paul got this metaphor from Psalm 71:20:

O God, who is like unto thee – who has shown me great and sore troubles – [who] shall quicken me again, and shall bring me up again from the abyss (tehome, S’s #08415 depths) of the earth. (Psalms 71:20)

Thus, Paul used “abyss” as “a metaphor for the grave.”  We know this for certain because Paul knew, as we should know, that the body of Jesus was not to see decay (corruption, Psa.16:10 cf. Acts 2:22-32).  Death and the grave are the products of God’s judgment upon man as a result of Adam’s sin in the garden.

Before we proceed to examine the 7 places in Revelation where “abyss” is used let us take a look at the Old Testament. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the Hebrew word “tehome” is the equivalent of the Greek word “abussos.”  We know this, in part, because the Hebrew rabbis usually translated the Hebrew “tehome” into the Greek “abussos” when they translated the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek text (Septuagint, LXX.).

This Hebrew word “tehome” is used 36 times in the OT.  In the vast majority (33) of those “tehome” is translated “great deep, depths etc. and these are in reference to deep water (oceans, seas, rivers, wells, etc.) as in the following examples:

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep <tehome, 08415>.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2) 
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep <tehome, 08415> broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. (Genesis 7:11)

Psalms 104:6 [Yahweh] covered [the foundations of the earth] with the abyss (great deep) <tehome, 08415> as with clothing…

Of these 36 occurrences of tehome (abyss) none of these are a “metaphor for
decay and death.”

The two notable exceptions to this are Psalm 71:20, which is quoted and
applied above, and Psalm 36:6:

Thy (Yahweh’s) righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are an abyss (great deep, tehome <08415>): O LORD, you preserve man and beast. (Psalms 36:6) In this Psalm of David to the chief musician, David sets forth the vices of the wicked and extols the virtues of Yahweh.  In verse 6 David compares the righteousness and judgments of Yahweh using two metaphors:

Yahweh’s righteousness is like the great mountains (i.e. expansive and
wondrous) and His judgments are like an abyss (i.e. deep, bottomless, powerful,
etc.)

As Paul went to the Psalms for his metaphor for the grave in Romans 10:7; John, in a similar manner, went to the Psalms for his metaphor for the judgment of God in Revelation 9, 11, 17, and 20.

Now let’s consider those passages.  In Revelation 9 John used the lexeme “abussos” 3 times, once each in verses 1, 2 and 11.  Chapter 9 is a rendition of the “trumpet”
judgments on the land of Judaea, homeland of the Jews (Judahites).  In verse 7 John
wrote, “The first angel sounded [the first trumpet], and there followed hail
and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the land [of Judaea]: and the third part of trees was burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”  Then in
verse 13 John wrote, “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst
of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhibitors of the
land [of Judaea] by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three
angels, which are yet to sound!

Continuing with these trumpet judgments upon the land of Judaea, John wrote, “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the land [of Judaea]:
and to him was given the key of the shaft (pit) of the abyss.”(Rev.9:1)  This “star falling from heaven to the land” of Judaea and the presentation of “the key” to this “star” are of very special importance for the people of the land as well as for John’s primary audience of readers in the seven churches of Asia.

John marks this special occasion by switching his terminology from “land” to “abyss” right in the middle of this verse. However, John not only changes his language, he adds a very important new element, “the shaft (pit) of the.”  It should be apparent to most readers that the lexeme “land” in verse 1a parallels the term “abyss” in 1b, but what is this “shaft (pit) of the abyss?”

In verse 2 John tells his intended readers that the “star;” identified as “him,” in 1b, used the key and “opened the shaft (pit) of the abyss.” Did you notice that, “the star” opened the shaft (pit) to the abyss; he did not open the abyss.  What is this shaft to the abyss?

 Moving on to Rev 9:11, John wrote, “And they (the “locusts” of verse 3ff) have a commander (king) over them, the messenger of the abyss, whose name is Abaddon (Hebrew) -Apollyon (Greek) – Destroyer (English).  In this verse, as in other apocalyptic Scriptures (cf. Joel 2:25) the “locusts” are the soldiers of invading armies and their commander is the messenger of destruction (judgment) to the abyss (land of Judaea, v1).  Therefore, John is using “abyss” as a “metaphor for the land of Judaea in chapter 9.

The next reference to “abyss” by John is in Revelation 11:7: “the beast that comes (ascends) out of the abyss.”  Who is this beast that is going to come (ascend) out of the abyss?  The answer, of course, is found in Revelation 17:8, which is the next reference to
the “abyss,” where John explicitly states that the, “beast is about to come
(ascend) out of the abyss” and finish the work of destruction that is his destiny.  Without going into detail here, this is a living, breathing beast doing the work of destruction.  In verse 11 of this same chapter (17) John tells us exactly who this beast is; he is “an eighth king” of the Roman Empire.  Thus John uses the lexeme “abyss” as a symbol of the land of Judaea here as well.  It is the apocalyptic symbol for the judgment and destruction of Judaea by the armies of the beast and the ten kings
(17:12-18:24; and 19:15-21).

I have shown you the true meaning of the lexeme abyss in the New Testament and I can only pray and hope that you have “ears to listen” (Deut.29:4; Matt.11:15; Mark 4:9; Luke
8:8; et al.) and a “mind which has wisdom” (Rev.17:9).

If our reasoning is correct thus far (it is), we now need to look into the New Testament to find out were Yahweh’s (Yahshua’s) justice was to be carried out in the first century and we have the identity (name and location) of John’s abyss.

Our authority for the identity (name and location) of John’s abyss is none other than Jesus Christ:

 

And when He was come near, he beheld the city (Jerusalem in the land of Judaea),
and wept over it,  42   Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things [which belong] unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.  43  For the days (of  justice) shall come upon thee, that thine enemies (the Roman soldiers) shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation (the day of wrath).
(Luke  19:41, comments and emphasis added)

    

That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel  unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not! 38  Behold, your house (of Judah) is left unto you desolate. Matthew  23:35

In the passages quoted above and many others Jesus clearly stated that the just
wrath of Yahweh
(Yahshua, Jn.5:22,27,; 8:16 et al.)would be poured out upon the apostate house of Judah in that first century generation.  And surely it was, when the
Roman army “stoned” and “burned” the land of Judaea and its capital city Jerusalem in the 3 1/2 year period between 66 and 70 AD.

The apostle Paul concurs with this understanding for he wrote to the first century
Christians:

 

19  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves (upon the synagogue of satan, Rev.2:9; 3:9), but [rather] give place unto (Yahshua’s, Jn.5:22, 27 et al.) wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  13:3  For (Roman) rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil (crucifixion of Christ, rejection of His message and persecution of His followers)…:  4  For he (the Roman king, general) is the
minister of God… But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth
not the sword (of wrath) in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to
execute (Yahshua’s) wrath upon him that doeth evil.  5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 
(Rom. 11:19, & 13:3-5,
comments and emphasis added)

As did the apostle Peter:

1…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.  2  And many shall follow their pernicious ways;…3…whose judgment, which has been slumbering for a long time lingers no more and their damnation sleeps no more.  9 The Lord knows how…to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10. But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11  Whereas messengers, which
are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12  But 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;  13 And 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; 14  Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15 which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16  But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb
ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. 17  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18  For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19  While they promise them  liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of  righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (
2Peter 2:1-3, & 9-22, emphasis added)

 

 

War in the Abyss

   

Therefore, we now understand that John’s abyss of the first century was the land
of Judaea!  Now read the following Scripture with the word Judaea inserted in place of John’s cryptic abussos, and we will learn much more about the book of Revelation.

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the land: and to him was given the key of the Judean pit.  2  And he opened the Judean pit; and there arose a smoke  (product of Rome’s war with the Jews) out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace (the war with the Jews); and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.  3  And there came out of the smoke locusts (men of the war) upon the land: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions (Jewish Zealots) of  the land have power.  4  And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the land, neither any green thing, neither any tree [Ez.17:22-24] (Christians); but only those men (apostate Jews) which have not the seal of God in their foreheads (if they had the seal they would have been Christians). 5  And to them (locusts) it was given that they should not kill them (the Jews), but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment [was] as the torment of a scorpion (i.e. by the zealots), when he striketh a man. 6  And in those days shall menseek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. (read Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews)  7  And
the  shapes of the locusts [were] like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads [were] as it were crowns like gold, and their faces [were] as the faces of men (hyperbolic description of the participants in the war).  8  And they had hair as the hair of women (wigs, see Josephus, WOTJ, book IV, ch.IX, Sec.10) and their teeth (swords) were as the teeth of lions.  9  And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.  10   And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power [was] to hurt men five months.  11  And they had a king over them, [which is] the [angel] messenger of the Judean pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon (destroyer), but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon (destroyer, otherwise known as Vespasian-Titus, king (Caesar) of Rome).
(Revelation 9:1-11, comments and emphasis added)

In the above passage of Revelation (9:1-11), The “star (that fell) from heaven”
was Vespasian the Roman general that was dispatched from Rome
(“heaven”) by the ruler of Rome, Nero.  “The key,” of course was the
authorization to make war against the Jews in Judaea (the “bottomless pit”).  When Vespasian “opened” the war against the Jews, the destruction and burning of the cities of Judaea caused a great “smoke out of the pit” or smoke rising up above the land of Judaea. The “locusts (that come) out of the smoke” are the participants of the
war – the soldiers of the Roman army, and the Jewish soldiers;  while the “scorpions of the land” are the Jewish Zealots, particularly the tyrant, John Levi of Gischala, and his Zealot army.  These latter individuals fought against the Roman army and against their own people, the Jews!

The locusts were commanded by Yahweh to “not hurt the grass of the land, neither
any green thing, neither any tree.”  In other words, Yahweh prohibited the Roman Army from hurting any Christians in the land.  However, they were permitted
to harm “those men… which (did) not have the seal of Yahweh in their foreheads, but not kill them for five months. The Christians had the seal of God in their forehead, and thus were protected.

 

While the Romans were not prosecuting the war (five months), the Zealots were
wreaking havoc within the land of Judaea, and the city of Jerusalem.
This was the sting of the “scorpion of the land.”

 

There is one last item that we would like to mention before moving on to the next
“bottomless pit” passage.  Please note that in revelation 9:11 the
king over the soldiers is identified “as the messenger of the bottomless pit.”

 

Thus, with this new knowledge Revelation 17:3-11 would read as follows:    

 

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman
(Jerusalem, the harlot Jer.3:8 et al.) sit upon a scarlet coloured beast (the
Roman empire), full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads (the seven
Caesars) and ten horns (Roman provinces). 17:7  And the angel said unto me,
Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman (Jerusalem, the harlot Ez.23:11 et al.), and of the beast (Roman empire) that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads (seven Caesars) and ten horns (Roman provinces).  8   the beast (Vespasian) that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the Judaean pit, and go unto (the) destruction (of the Harlot, Judaea, Jerusalem, and the temple): and they (the apostate Jews) that   dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation (beginning) of the world (Mosaic marriage covenant, Ex.17), when they behold the beast (Vespasian) that was (in Judaea), and is not (in Judaea but in Rome to be made emperor), and yet is (emperor, with his army in Judaea). 9  And here [is] the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains (kingdoms,  of the seven kings {Caesars}), on which the woman sitteth.  10  And there are seven kings (the seven
Caesars): five are fallen, and one is (Nero, the 6th Caesar), the other (Galba,
the seventh) is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short
space (7 months).  11  And the beast (Vespasian) that was, and is not, even he is an eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth unto destruction (sends his son Titus back to Judaea to complete the destruction of Jerusalem).
(Revelation  17:3-11, comments and emphasis added)

    

The last passage in Revelation about the “bottomless pit is Revelation 20:1-10

 

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the Judean pit and a
great chain (the war power) in his hand.2  And he laid hold on the  dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3  And cast him into the Judean pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.  20:7  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog (paganism, secular humanism), to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.  9  And they (the adversary’s army) went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved  City (Christianity): and fire came down from God out of heaven (the next great event), and devoured them.  10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
(Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10, comments and emphasis added)

“The angel that comes down from heaven, having the key of the Bottomless pit” is
Caesar Titus (the title by which Josephus identified the Roman general Titus).  In chapter 9 we saw that Vespasian was given the key to the bottomless pit by Yahweh through Nero.  Also in Revelation 9:11 Vespasian is identified as “the messenger of
the bottomless pit.”  Thus this key was simply transferred to Titus when the new Caesar, Vespasian established Titus as the general or the Roman legions in Judaea,
and ordered his son Titus to prosecute the war with the Jews to the bitter end.

 

If we are right so far, the “dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and
Satan” which is “bound…a thousand years,” by the angel (messenger of war) of
the bottomless pit (Judaea) is the totally delusional, apostate Zionist Judaism
which is bound (killed, captured and scattered) as the end product of the
war.  There in Judaea, this bitter adversary (satan) was “shut up and sealed so that he (satan-the adversary) would “deceive (as national Judaism) the nations no more, until the thousand years are fulfilled:”

 

The “thousand years” is a symbolic identification for an indefinite period of time (we
think that this is the same period of time which Paul referred to as the time
of “the fulness of the Gentiles, Romans 11:25) that would eventually
be “fulfilled” in the future (from 70 AD). Sometime “after that, he (the adversary [satan]) must be loosed a little season (short time [Gk. chronos], as compared to the indefinite time span of a “thousand years”), and when the thousand years (long time as compared to the “short time”) are expired, satan shall be loosed (released) out of his prison,
and shall go out to deceive the nations…” again. 

 

All the above is verified by the fact that in Revelation 18:23 the Harlot, Jerusalem, is identified as the one that “by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”  In Revelation 12:10c, “the accuser (national Judaism, in the NT Jews are identified as accusers more than 30 times) of our brothers (Christians) is cast down…”
Note that in 20:3 satan (the adversary of Christianity, “synagogue of
satan” Rev.2:9, 3:9) is bound specifically that “he  should deceive the nations no more.”  And then in verse 8 he ( the Zionist Jew, the great harlot, the deceiver of the nations) is released to “go out and deceive the nations” again!

 

As the binding aspect of the above did not take place until 70 AD it is totally
impossible that the “thousand years” could be referring to the 40 year period
which began in c. 30 AD and ended in 70 AD, as some insist.  The above correlates very well with Romans 16:20 were Paul writes to the Christians at Rome that “Yahweh of peace shall bruise Satan under (their) feet shortly.”  What other adversary (satan)
was “bruised” and “bound” shortly after Paul wrote those  words?

 

Ostensibly the “thousand years” ended in 1948 or soon after, when Zionistic Judaism was again established (released) in the land of Judaea.  Current world events certainly confirm that the nations are being deceived by something; as it certainly appears that they are being “gather(ed)…together for battle against Christianity (the beloved
city) in general, and the Christian west (the camp of the saints) in
particular. It is extremely interesting that the scenario which John describes
in Revelation 20:7-9a appears to be taking place in the very “world” in which
we are currently living, and Jerusalem, for whatever reason, is right in the
middle.  It appears that we may be in for some very “interesting” times as these events continue to play out.  It is certainly true that Zionistic Judaism
and Dispensational eschatology have worked “hand in glove” to deceive the
nations during the past 100 years with their false claims that are amazingly
similar given the ostensible diversity of their origins and identities.

 

In Revelation 20:8-10, John describes a great Gog and Magog army “as numerous as
the sand of the sea” gathered together for war against the “camp of the saints
and the beloved city.”  The “beloved city” is an obvious reference to the “new Jerusalem” of Revelation 3:12 & 21-22:5.  All understanding Christian Bible students
know that the new Jerusalem is worldwide Christianity.  It is our considered opinion that “the camp of the saints” is the Christian west or the United
States of America as between the years of 1620 and 1900
most Christians from the British isles, Europe, and around the world came to
“camp” and establish new homes in American, the “new” land of Christian
freedom.

 

The “Gog and Magog” army ostensibly could be a reference to all the Islamic nations
and their allies that seem to be gathering for their great “Jihad” (holy war)
against Christians.  The Zionist Jews in Palestine and Zionists
Christians (oxymoron) are certainly vigorously stirring this pot.

 

Although the authors of  “the Berean Call” would
vigorously reject the conclusions of this writer as presented herein, they have
unwittingly given complete endorsement to our understanding of these things. In
response to a question from a reader, the February 2002 “Berean Call” gave the
following information:

 

    A reformation of Islam to bring it back to the uncompromising teachings of the Qur’an and to follow faithfully the example of Muhammad…intensifies the oppression that Islam has always exerted over non-Muslims through forced conversions and over Muslims through threat of death for converting to another faith.    In fact, an Islamic “reformation” has been in

process for many years.  It grew out of the defeat of the Arab
armies that attacked Israel when it declared
its independence in
1948, and accelerated with the humiliating defeats of 1967 and 1973. 
It was decided that Allah had not blessed the Muslim armies as he had at the beginning of Islam because Muslims had strayed so far from orthodox Islam.
Defeat would turn to victory if the Muslim world would return to the
teaching of the Qur’an and of Muhammad in the hadith and…spread Islam through conquest by the sword…

    The Islamic “reformation…” (produces) an
Islam that is stronger and absolutely uncompromising.  It involves a revived commitment to the teaching that Muslims must conquer the world and impose their religion and way of life upon all mankind to the glory of Allah…A return to true Islam as taught in the Qur’an demands perpetual jihad with the sword… 
(emphasis added)

Another futurist, Zola Levitt; who would also vigorously reject the positions stated
herein nevertheless recognized the international importance of Islamic
terrorism as follows:

 

The cataclysmic increase in (Islamic) terrorist acts last year
(2001) was a turning point in history one that will… eventually (affect) the
entire world
.
(Zola Levitt letter February, 2002, emphasis added)

 

When the time for these events reach their fullness, John writes that, “fire came
down from heaven and devoured them (the Gog and Magog army).  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone…”
In other words this devil, Zionism, is caught right in the middle of
this “holy war” and is destroyed along with all the other enemies of Christianity.

 

SUMMARY

    

    

We think that the information provided above gives us a very realistic look at
some highly symbolic passages of Scripture. It establishes that the “BOTTOMLESS PIT” was the land of Judaea, which included Galilee, Jerusalem,
the apostate Jews and the temple. Yahweh-Yahshua’s judgment-justice or vengeance is being poured out within and upon this abyss by the Roman Army.
This is confirmed by the description of this war written by John in
Revelation17:11-17:

 

11  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes unto [the] destruction (of Jerusalem).   12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.   13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.   14 ¶ These, with the Lamb shall make war(against the whore), and the Lamb shall overcome her (the whore, vs.3-6, 16 & 18): for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
15  And he saith unto me, The waters which you saw, where the whore sit, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.   16  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 the Lamb).   17  For God has put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of Yahweh shall be fulfilled
(i.e. until the whore [Jerusalem] is destroyed).   18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city (Jerusalem), which reigns over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 17:11-17, Emphasis and comments added)

 

Because of the faulty KJV (and most others) translation of this verse shown below, Christians have generally misunderstood and misapplied this verse:

 

14 ¶ These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 17:14 KJV)

 

Compare the KJV translation with the translation given above.  There is a vast difference.  Based upon the KJV translation, Christians have believed that “the Lamb” made war (as in the NASV) against (with, KJV) the beast’s army and
defeated them (the beast and his army). 

 

However, study the context.  The context is clearly about the war that is to be waged against the whore to destroy her (vs.3-6, 16-18), not about a war against the beast and his army!  That verse as translated by the KJV and most others is completely out of character and context.

 

As shown above, in context, the verse
is properly translated:

 

These, with the Lamb shall make war, and the Lamb shall overcome her (the whore, vs.3-6, 16 & 18): for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

 

According to the full context of these things; the Lamb uses the Roman army to bring His
avenging judgment
(Rom.12:19 & 13:1-4, et al.) upon the whorish city of Jerusalem,
the apostate Jews and the temple that they abominated.

 

The Roman king (Caesar) that is described so cryptically as the one who “was
(with Nero), and is not (on the throne); and shall ascend (to the throne of Rome) out of the BOTTOMLESS PIT (Judaea), and go (continue?) unto (the) destruction (of Jerusalem)
is Vespasian, with his son Titus, who had been dispatched by Nero to Judaea with the Roman army to squelch the Jewish revolt.  They had captured many of the
cities of the land and were about to lay siege to Jerusalem when word reached them that Nero had died by the sword.  They immediately put the war into abeyance until a new Caesar had been established.  After much discussion and persuasion, the army
eventually anointed Vespasian king (Caesar) of Rome, He acquired the support of
Alexander of Egypt and others then he went to Rome to be officially crowned
king (the eighth Caesar of Rev.17:11). Thus John describes him as “an eighth, and is of the seven” because he was not of the family bloodline of the Roman Julius Caesar but he
would be the eighth Caesar and thus “of the seven” (because of his
service with Nero) as the eighth Caesar of the Roman Empire.

 

There is a very interesting comment in Josephus about an “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)

 

Once we understand the proper relationship between Nero, the sixth king and
Vespasian “an eighth”, we are in a position to see more clearly the meaning of
certain parts of Revelation 13:

 

And I saw one of his headsas it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the land wondered after the beast…and they worshipped the beast, saying who is able to make war with him?  …he that
kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. (Rev.13:3, 4b, & 10b, emphasis added)

In Revelation 13, John vividly describes an incredible “beast” which is the Roman Empire.
However he also states that the “beast” has seven heads.  These seven heads are “house of Caesar”
(Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, and Galba).  At
the time that the Revelation was first put into circulation five of those
“heads” had died and the sixth one
(Nero) was currently reigning.  John tells his first century readers that the sixth “head” would die by the sword [vs.10b] and that at his death by the “deadly wound” [vs.3] the “beast” (Roman Empire) would be thrown into a great turmoil.  During this turmoil the “seventh head” (Galba) would come to power, but he
would only last a “short time
” (7 months & 7 days, Rev.12:10).  Also, out of the turmoil stemming from Nero’s corrupt and violent reign, and his unexpected death by the sword (Rev.13:10) and the ensuing fight for the control of the Roman Empire (the beast), it would appear that the “beast” (Roman empire) itself was about to self destruct (Rev.13:3).  However,
during this great period of turmoil “an eighth” head would come forth
(“ascend
out of ,” Rev.17:8) from the abyss (Judaea) and restore the fortunes and power of the Roman Empire (“beast”).  “An eighth, and is of the
seven” because while the sixth head
(Nero) reigned, the one who would be “an eighth”  was Nero’s top general carrying out his assignment to squelch the rebellion in Judaea, however, he was not of the “house of Julius Caesar” so he “was  of
the seven” but not from the same family line, therefore, he was an eighth king
(Caesar) of the Roman empire but he was also the first of a new line of Caesars
(Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian) who would reign for the rest of the first century
and beyond.  Therefore, Vespasian “was”
(in Judaea as a representative of the sixth head), and “is not” (Caesar while the Empire was in turmoil after Nero’s death),
but would “ascend out of the abyss”
(go out of Judaea) to become the “head/king”
(Caesar) during the “destruction”
[Rev.17:8] of Jerusalem, the temple, and the apostate house of Judah in 70 AD.

For Additional information on Bible history and prophecy contact:

Lloyd Dale, Founder and CEO
Olive Tree Ministries
19463 US Hwy 12
Lemmon, SD 57638
Phone: 1-605-374-3291

BOOK 1 ~ THE LAST DAYS EDITION
(available in 3 formats)


[1] (translated “deep” in KJV and others)

Sitting In the Throne Of His Glory

By Lloyd Dale
(01-20-08)

Recently I came across a statement in an article which I was reading that really got my attention. The author of the article wrote:

“When Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father, he finally received the Kingdom promised to him (Heb. 1). Ever since that time, Jesus has been reigning over his Kingdom. First Corinthians 15:25 states, “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” Jesus, our victorious King, is in the process of conquering his enemies on the earth.”

As we can see the author used “Heb 1” as the bases for his conclusion.  Does Hebrews 1 really demonstrate that Jesus Christ received the promised Kingdom at the time He ascended to the right hand of the Father?  This student of Scripture does not think so.
Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that Hebrews does
not teach that Jesus received the promised Kingdom at the time of His ascension
and to demonstrate when Jesus actually did receive the promised Kingdom.

While we may not have the exact date, it appears that Jesus ascended to the Father in ca. 33 AD.  A careful reading of Luke 21:28-32, which most certainly speaks about the events
leading up and about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, will shed a great deal of light on the timing of Jesus Christ’s reception of the promised Kingdom:

“”Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”  Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. “When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves
that summer is now near.  “So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.  “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. (Luke 21:28-32 NKJV)”

Historically, the events prophetically described by Jesus as recorded in Luke 21:8-27 occurred in the years of ca. 36-70 AD.  Jesus clearly instructed His listeners that
“when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near!

“Near” does not mean “here”.

In the above passage, Jesus clearly instructs His listeners that the promised Kingdom had not yet arrived, but that it was very “near.”  Once again, “near” does not mean “here”! If the kingdom had not arrived yet then Jesus most certainly was not ruling.  If he was, He was ruling a non existent kingdom.  How can a non existent kingdom be “ruled”?

Commentator Scott McKnight writes, “I cannot think the, expression “kingdom of God” can ever mean anything other than a set of conditions in which God’s rule (or the rule of God’s Son) is carried out among his people. Kings need people ([to make up] kingdom) and that involves a society where God (or God’s Son) is king and God’s people are God’s (or God’s Son’s) subjects.[1]

However, when we turn to Hebrews chapter one, we will find no mention that Jesus “finally received the Kingdom promised to Him.”  What we do find is a discussion about Jesus in which the author states that Jesus “purges our sins and sits down at the right hand in the Majesty in highplaces”[2] in accordance with His instructions from God the Father in Psalms 110:1:

“…sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your
footstool”

At this point we should note that the phrase “your footstool” is an idiom that should be understood to mean – “place under your authority.”  In other words, in this passage, repeated in Hebrews 1:13, God the Father instructs His Messiah/Christ to come and sit down at my right hand until God places all of Christ’s enemies under His authority, i.e. until God gives Jesus the throne of David – “the throne of His glory” – which occurred in 70 AD.

A careful examination of this passage – compared with the quote above – will demonstrate that the author of the above quoted statement overlooked a very important word in God’s instruction to His Messiah.  This word “until” is often overlooked by Bible students who read this passage and conclude, as the writer above did, that Jesus received His promised kingdom when He ascended to the “right hand of the Father.”  Simply put, that is not
what the Bible teaches.

This confusion about this passage is removed by an additional comment on this subject by the author of the letter to the Hebrews:

“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. (Hebrews 10:12-13)”

Here the author of Hebrews clearly instructs us that Jesus did not receive His kingdom when he sat down at the right hand of the father, rather He sat down to wait a specific period of time, then the Father would place all of His enemies under His authority and give Him the kingdom.  We now know that the specific time of the “wait” was ca. 37 years as the Bible does teach that God gave Jesus “the throne of His glory” in ca. 70AD.  This is the
one and only “Parousia” of Jesus Christ and it has nothing to do with a “return
to earth” then or in the future.

The passages from Hebrews referenced above are the NT commentary on Psalm 110, especially verses 1-2:

“<<A Psalm of David.>> YHVH said to my (David’s) Lord (the resurrected Christ), “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”  The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!  Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth. (Psalms 110:1-3 NKJV)”

As pointed out in Hebrews10:13, a key word in this passage is “until.”  Keeping this word in mind while we re-read this passage we learn that the passage demonstrates a progression.  1)  At His resurrection the anointed Prince is invited to ascend to heaven and be seated on the right hand of the Father.  In Jesus’ own commentary on this verse, He
states, I sat “down with my Father in His throne.”[3]   2) Jesus is to remain seated with his Father, until His Father gives Him the kingdom by placing all of His enemies under His authority.  This event is the Parousia referenced repeatedly in the NT.  In the Parousia,
Jesus leaves His father’s throne and ascends to the throne of His glory, i.e. the promised and long awaited throne of His father David.  Commenting on this passage, Jesus states that He invites His faithful “overcomers” to ascend to heaven (by resurrection) and
“sit with Me in My throne even as I also overcame and sat with My Father in His throne.”[4]  3) Once He is sitting on the throne of His glory God “sends the rod of (Jesus’) strength out or Zion” and so Jesus reigns “in the midst of His enemies.  Paul, commenting on this passage, states that, “He must reign until…He has put down all rule and all authority and power…when all things shall be subdued unto Him…”[5]

From the above, we learn that the “Parousia” of Jesus Christ has nothing what-so-ever to do with Jesus returning to earth.  His “Parousia” is His enthronement on the throne of David in fulfillment of the prophecies as summed up in Luke 1:32-33.

According to Matt 19:28, 25:31, Rev 3:21 and literally dozens of other passages in the Bible — the “Parousia” of Jesus Christ, i.e., His being seated “in the throne of His Glory” occurred in ca. 70 AD.

There are some who teach that the destruction of Jerusalem was the Parousia of Jesus Christ.  This notion is pure fabrication and is no where taught in the Bible.  A passage, speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem, in Matthew 24:30 provides clear evidence that the destruction of Jerusalem is not the Parousia; but is, in fact, the sign that the Parousia is a reality:

“‘”And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven…, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30 NKJV)”

Of this passage, James Jordan writes, “…the Greek is quite clear, what will appear will be a sign that shows that the Son of Man is in heaven” [6] ascending to the throne of David.
Jordan continues,“…the destruction of Jerusalem (was) a dramatic and visible manifestation (“sign”) of the heavenly rule (in the Parousia) of the Son of Man.”  Thus
we should now understand that the destruction of Jerusalem was in fact the proof that He (Jesus) had indeed ascended to heaven and “in His Parousia”[7]  had become the King of
kings and Lord of Lord” upon the throne of His glory, i.e. the throne of His father David.  Jordan continues, “As the passage reads, (the) son of man is already in heaven”[8] thus, the “sign” pertains to His accession to the throne of His glory, i.e. His enthronement in the ca. AD 70 Parousia.

Thus, we see that according to the Bible, Jesus was enthroned in His Parousia ca. AD 70 – not at His ascension in ca AD 30 as so many erroneously claim and vigorously assert.

BOOK 1 ~ THE LAST DAYS EDITION
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——————————————————————————–

[1] McKnight, Scot in “Keys of the Kingdom in Mark 9:47”,
Planet Preterist, January 15, 2008.

[2] Hebrews 1:3c, See Rev 3:21 for the meaning of “sit in the right hand.”  There it is explained as Jesus sitting down in the throne of His Father (God) with His Father.  Jesus is not ruling here.  He is sitting with the ruler waiting the time
when the Father will give Him His throne of Glory (Matt 19:28, 25:31, Rev 3:21)
which occurred in ca. 70 AD.

[3] Revelation 3:21b

[4] Revelation 3:21

[5] 1Cor 15:25, 24, 28; collated

[6] James B. Jordan, The Handwriting on the Wall: a
commentary on the book of Daniel, p 340-342

[7] Here note again the question which the disciples put to
Jesus, “Tell us…what will be the sign of your Parousia?” (Matthew 24:3, cf.
1Cor 15:23c & 25a in which Paul declares that Jesus begins to reign “in His
Parousia” and continues to “reign” in His Parousia, i.e. His accession to the
throne of  His glory – the throne of
David, Luke 1:32-33)

[8] While the quotes from Jordan’s book are direct quotes, the position I am presenting here is not the same as the position which Jordan is presenting.  Because Jordan holds
the same misguided opinion as the author of the quote on page 1, “When Christ
ascended to the right hand of the Father, he finally received the Kingdom
promised to him. Ever since that time, Jesus has been reigning over His
Kingdom.”  Because this erroneous notion blocks his view Jordan has not yet come to the accurate understanding of the view presented in this paper, instead he improvises a rather fanciful, complex; but, nevertheless, erroneous interpretation.

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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(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)

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

 

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

 

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[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.