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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

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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.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmJNekA3qlo

Sin Ain’t What You Think!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  Feel free to call me 704-497-7126!

Wood found on Mount Ararat

 

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


From Anchor Stone International


by Jerry Bowen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless

Jerry Bowen, Director

Anchor Stone International, Inc.

http://www.anchorstone.com

The Stones are Crying Out!

James Jordan and the Book of Daniel

 

James Jordan and the Book of Daniel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John S. Evans

This article is also posted at planetpreterist.com

Dating The Book of Revelation

 

Dating The Book Of Revelation

By Steven Hawk

 

Some have discussed the idea of the dating/writing of Revelation being a post 70AD occurence citing historians “Polycarp”, “Eusebius” and “Irenaeus” which Lloyd addressed in his article John On Patmos.  Hank Hanegraaf makes an important point: “It’s instructive to note that the late dating by Irenaeus for Revelation is largely dependant on a single ambiguous sentence in the writings of a church father named Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons.  That sentence can be taken to mean either that John or that John’s apocalyptic vision was seen toward the end of Domitian’s reign.  The credibility of Irenaeus as a source is called into question by his contention in the same volume that Jesus was crucified when he was about fifty years of age. I don’t think there are too many evangelicals that hold to that proposition”.  While I agree with this statement, I would disagree with his other assertion on this topic, when he claims that the Apostle John makes no mention of the catastrophic event on apostate Judah.  The Apostle John indeed does cite the event, only he prophesies it as a future event as we will soon see.

The Apostle John’s prophetic statements about the impending destruction upon the great whore unequivocally are predicted as future events.  Revelation 1:1 one of several passages, makes this time statement, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass“.  The demolition of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple at the hands of Titus as described in the Book of Revelation were prophesied to “shortly come to pass”.

Christ’s prophecy about the “temple and apostate Judah”…in Matthew 24:1-3 we read:1  And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

2  And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy prescence (original Greek word “parousia” important), and of the end of the world (“age”, my emphasis)?
…whether someone would argue that John was not referring directly but making indirect references to the destruction of Jerusalem in the several passages such as Revelation 12:10, 14:8, 15:5,8 (1 Peter 2:4-5, Eph 2:21 as in Rev 21:3 make reference to what would be now a living temple), Revelation 18:8-9,18,21, 19:6,21 20:2-3 all speak to to the demise of Babylon the Great which included the destruction of the old Jewish temple and system, of which the new could not be established while the old tabernacle was still standing Hebrews 9:8-9.  Even without these references there would still be sufficient evidence to the early dating of the book.

When you consider that the apostle John did not make mention of this catastrophic event as a past fulfillment makes a late date totally implausible, especially since Jesus predicted it and considering the magnitude of the event makes it all the more inconcievable.  A student of the Bible is well aware, when prophecy was fulfilled, the biblical writers mentioned it. And when the mother of all prophecies is fulfilled, it is inconceivable that John would not mention it as a past fulfillment, with that in mind it would seem the Book of Revelation had to be written before Judah’s destruction or pre AD70.  Moreover from the standpoint of things which were to “shortly come to pass”, we do not seem to have anything of historical significance shortly after AD 95 that we know of which in itself would make the late date untenable.

Finally, what we have about Polycarp is purely speculative, there is nothing that actually declares the late dating.  We don’t even know that Polycarp knew John except possibly by his own testimony and even that is suspect.  If we stick with the Bible, the internal evidence tells us it could not have been written in AD95 as some claim.  The Bible teaches in Revelation 11:1-3: Rev 11:1  And a reed like a rod was given to me, saying, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar and the ones prostrating themselves in worship in it.Rev 11:2  “And leave out the court, the [one] outside of the temple, and do not measure it, because it was given to the nations [or, Gentiles], and they will trample the holy city forty and two months.

Rev 11:3  “And I will give [power] to My two witnesses, and they will prophesy a thousand, two hundred [and] sixty days, having been clothed with sackcloth.”

Historically we understand, through the works of Josephus, that the Gentiles were definitely in control of the outer court.  If Revelation was written after AD70, how is it that John was to take a reed and measure the temple of God if the temple of God was not even existing?  The temple was totally destroyed in AD70  approximately 40 years (a biblical generation Matthew 24:34) after Christ had predicted it to be, as noted in Matthew in the above passage, and it hasn’t even been built since.  So, the Bible’s internal evidence of itself supports the fact that the book of Revelation was written prior to AD70, not AD95.

John On Patmos


John on Patmos
(When Revelation was Written)

 

By Lloyd Dale

 

01-11-05

 

 
A proper understanding of when Revelation was received and written makes a great deal of difference in how it is to be interpreted.

 

 

 

 

Many would agree that when one begins a study of Revelation, he should first deal with the questions:

 

 

 

 

  1. When did John receive the visions that are recorded as Revelation?
  2. When did John write down the document we call Revelation?

These two things did not necessarily occur at the same time.

 

 

 

 

Something to think about

 

 

 

Where did the Church ever get the idea that John was exiled to Patmos by a Roman ruler?  Certainly not from the following passage:

 

 
 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in persecution, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 1:9)

 

 
There is absolutely nothing in this passage that says that he was an exile or that he had been sent there by anyone.  John simply states that he “was on the isle called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
 
 If we went to a specific place to preach and evangelize it would be perfectly proper for us to say that we were in that place “for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
 
How, when, and where did the notion that John was exiled to Patmos by a Roman King get started?

According to the Bible was John really exiled to Patmos or did he go their voluntarily to teach and preach about Jesus Christ?

 

 

Where did Eusebius get the notion that John was banished by Domitian?  And to which Domitian was he referring?    Eusebius states that Nerva released John from his exile on Patmos. Historically who was Nerva?  Did he have the authority to undo what Domitian did?

 

 

The works of Eusebius posits a late date for the writing of Revelation, i.e. 95 AD.  Today, we know from many passages in Revelation and the balance of the NT that Eusebius’ notion of a late date was false.  Why would we accept his tradition about the banishment of John to Patmos by Domitian?  Would it not be suspect as well?

 

We think that it can be proven from the context of the NT alone that John received the Revelation, at least part of it, much earlier than 68 AD. 

 

What was John doing between 36 and 46 AD?

Could it be that he was going out preaching the “gospel of the kingdom” in fulfillment of the great commission when he received the Revelation? 

 

 

 Based on the information we have right now it would appear that John
received the Revelation, at least the first two portions of it, about 45 AD.
 
 According to internal information, John received the first portion (chs 1-3)
 of the vision when Jesus Christ “sent and signified” it by his messenger
 (1:1).  The second portion (4-16) was received when he was invited to “come
 up here (to the third heaven) and I will show you things which must soon come to pass.”  The third portion (17-21:8) was received when the messenger invited him to “come here; I will show unto you the judgment of the great whore that sits upon many waters. And the fourth and final portion (21:9-22:21) of the vision was
 received when the messenger came to John and took him to “a great and high mountain”.  Nothing is said about how long there was between each of these, but it clear that John could not go three different places at once (i.e. “up here,” into the 3rd heaven; “come here to the wilderness” to see the judgment of the whore; “come here, to a great and high mountain, to see the bride, the lamb’s wife.”

 

 

The Bible does not record that Peter, James, or Paul “received Revelation” yet each one of them apparently knew about it and seemly make reference to its contents in their pre 65 AD writings.

 

 

 

Example:  Who was Paul writing about in 2Cor 12:1-5?

 

 

“…I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter (or write). Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. (2 Corinthians 12:1-5 NKJV, emphasis and comment added)

 

We submit to you that in this passage, Paul is writing about John.  This is a clear accounting of John’s situation as described in Revelation. 

 

Compare:

 

 

 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must soon take place. And He sent and signified by His messenger to His servant John, (Revelation 1:1)

 

After these things I looked, and behold, a door open in heaven (the third heaven). And the first voice which I heard, like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here (to the third heaven), and I will show you things which must take place after this.” (Revelation 4:1)

 

And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not [unlawful to be uttered]. (Revelation 10:4, emphasis and comments added above)

 

When shown in this manner the similarities are astonishing.  Who else could Paul possibly be referring to?  The context makes it clear that he was not referring to himself.  Therefore, it seems clear to us from this comparison that John had this experience (the third heaven vision)14 years before Paul wrote 2Corinthians.  Of course the liberals and the late dating futurists will deny this, but this is extremely supportive of the preterist early date position.

 

Some will say that the exile is implied.  Implication is not enough, nor is it clear that “exile” is actually implicated. 

 

While the passage clearly states that John was a “companion” with others “in persecution” nothing is said about “exile.”  If some group decided that they were going to beat up on my family, we would be “companions in tribulation,” but that would certainly not mean that we were in exile. 

 

 

The Greek word translated “tribulation” is:

 

2347 yliqiv thlipsis thlip’-sis from 2346; TDNT-3:139,334; n f

 

AV-tribulation 21, affliction 17, trouble 3, anguish 1, persecution 1, burdened 1, to be afflicted + 1519 1; 45

 

1) a pressing, pressing together, pressure

 

2) metaphor. oppression, persecution, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits

 

By definition “thlipsis” could be and often is translated “affliction” or “persecution.”  The apostate Jews began to persecute and afflict the Christians long before the Romans got involved in this activity.  John’s statement here is most likely a reference to the disciples of Jesus, including John, who were being afflicted and persecuted by the Jews following the Jewish killing (stoning) of Stephen in c. 36 AD.  It is probably not a statement about Roman persecution as, unfortunately, is commonly assumed because of late dater and liberal bias.

 

The statement:

 

“was in Patmos.for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ”

 

Could very easily be a reference to the “preaching of the good news” which Jesus commanded.  Again there is nothing in the text about “exile.”  That appears to be an assumption that may be totally unwarranted.

 

 

 

Some would make reference to Rev 1:9 as follows:

 

 

John indicates that it was ‘because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus’ that he was formerly on Patmos. He was not there to preach that Word but because of religious-political opposition to his faithfulness to it.

 

 

First of all, this acknowledges that the notion of John’s exile is based on “religious tradition,” not the Bible, and the history passage which is quoted above continues that religious tradition.

 

 

Look again at Revelation 1:9:

 

I, John, your brother and companion in the persecution and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos because of the word of God and because of the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 1:9)

 

John simply writes that he “was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and because of the testimony of Jesus Christ.”  He does not say anything about “because of exile.”

 

 

Some attempt to make a case for the use of Patmos for penal purposes.  That is a given, everyone familiar with Roman history is aware of that.  However, exile is not the only reason that John may have gone to Patmos.  We personally know many that go to penal institutions; not because they have been sent there, but because they are compelled to go there by the Spirit because of the word of God to give testimony of Jesus Christ.  We submit that John could have been on Patmos for that very reason not because he had been exiled there by some Roman ruler named Domitian in 95 AD.

 

 

Above we quoted Paul’s statement from 2nd Corinthians about his knowing this man “fourteen years ago.”  Many Bible scholars date the writing of 2Corinthians at about 59-60 AD.  If we count fourteen years backwards from 60 AD, what do we have?  We have 46 AD.

 

 

Many scholars date the events of Acts 15 to about 45-46 AD.  If we count forward fourteen years from 46 AD we have 60 AD.

 

 

Acts 15 records the Jerusalem counsel and it demonstrates that Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to confer with the apostles and were “received by the apostles.”  Peter and James are mentioned by name and, given the language, it is a certainty that John and the other apostles were there also.

 

 

We submit for your consideration that by the time of the Jerusalem council, John had already been to Patmos; possibly several times on preaching missions, during the time (beginning in ca. 36 AD) of the apostate Jewish afflictions (persecution) upon Christians, and had received the Revelation while there on one of these trips, and that it was there, at this conference, that he conveyed, at least a portion of, the information of the Revelation to Paul and the other apostles.  Then the document we call Revelation could have been written later.

 

 

Revelation 1:1 specifically states that John was given the Revelation by Jesus Christ “to show unto His servants, things which must soon come to pass,” and John identifies himself as one of those “servants”.  Taken as a whole this identifies the apostles as His servants.  Paul, Peter, James, and John all made reference to events (last days) recorded in Revelation in documents which they wrote.

 

 

Can this all be just one colossal coincidence?  Can we really believe that Paul inserted these words for no useful purpose at all?  Where else does the New Testament make reference to anyone being caught up into the third heaven, to the throne of God and words that should not be uttered (written)?

 

 

There is more that we have uncovered, but we will let you chew on this for a while.

 

 


Lloyd Dale

70 AD — A very important date

 

More people from various groups of Christianity are coming to realize the Biblical significance of what happened circa 70AD. Dispensational futurist still insist the book of Revelation was written post 90AD, which to them means most of Revelation has a future fulfillment since the catostrophic events of 70AD were already in the past when John had penned it. Yet the new covenant Kingdom could not be right at the door as Jesus clearly stated while the old covenant and kingdom was still standing. Hebrews tells us the old was ready to vanish:

Heb 9:8 the Holy Spirit this signifying, that the way into the holy place hath not yet been made manifest, while the first tabernacle is yet standing;

Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Steve Simms whom we have no acquaintance posted this article in the Examiner.

70 AD — A very important date
September 8, 2009

 

Jewish Temple Mount What is the most important date after the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? My vote is for 70 AD.70 AD was an awful year–yet extremely significant in world history. That was the year Roman armies surrounded the city of Jerusalem and defeated it. Then they sacrificed a pig in the Jewish temple and totally demolished and flattened both the city and the temple. In the process they slaughtered more than a million Jews and drove most of the rest out of Israel. This was written about by Roman historian Josephus who was an eye witness to it.

So why is 70 AD the most important date in history since Christ?

1) When the Jewish temple was demolished, that was the end of Old Testament Judaism. Never again in history have the required animal sacrifices been offered in the “Holy of Holies” in the God’s Temple. The destruction of the temple totally changed the application of the Old Testament to Jewish and Gentile life. After 70 AD there was no longer an animal sacrifice for our sins.

2) The events of 70 AD also drastically effected the early Christians by greatly reducing the influence of Judaism and Jewish rituals on Christianity.

3) The events of 70 AD help us date the writings of the New Testament. Many people in an effort to discredit the New Testament writings say that they were written after 90 AD all the way up to the second or third century. But in the light of 70 AD, how is this possible? How could such a huge and radical event as both the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and the end of animal sacrifices not be mentioned one time in the books of the New Testament if they were written after 70 AD? The book of Hebrews says animal sacrifices are still going on–therefore it had to be written before 70 AD. Paul had great verbal battles with Jewish Christians that wanted all new believer’s to be circumcised. If the Temple had been destroyed before Paul was writing, wouldn’t he have used that as a great argument for his cause? Paul had to be writing before 70 AD. In fact, all the New Testament books must have been written before 70 AD, because no New Testament writer (all were Jewish but one) could have left out such a devastating event if it had happened before his writing.

This means that the New Testament was written by people who were no more than 43 years (70 AD minus the 33 years of Jesus’ earthly life plus 6 years if Jesus was born in 6 BC as some scholars say) removed from Jesus’ earthly life. All of the New Testament writers actually knew Jesus physically or knew someone who knew Him physically.

So why did the animal sacrifices end in 70 AD? Because the final blood sacrifice had been made by Jesus Christ on the Cross and the animal sacrifices were no longer meaningful.

70 AD shouts — “The New Testament was written before the destruction of the temple in 70 AD by eyewitnesses of Jesus and His earthy ministry and by those who knew eyewitnessesses personally. Therefore it is very reliable!” So since we have such an awesome witness of God’s working in our world, shouldn’t we devote some time to reading the Bible?

 

Thank you! We’ll be staying in touch.

Please contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

FUTURISM VS. PROPER PRETERISM (a debate with Malissia from “False Teachings … Identifying Them”

 FUTURISM VS. PROPER PRETERISM
(a debate with Malissia from “False Teachings … Identifying Them”)

 

S.H.

Malissia,  One thing I wish you ( and the others at FALSE TEACHINGS – IDENTIFYING THEM) would consider …

This is when Islam (Ishmael) is defeated:

Rev 20:9  and they did go up over the breadth of the land, and did surround the camp of the saints, and the beloved city, and there came down fire from God out of the heaven, and devoured them;

If you look at the table of nations in Gen 10, GOG & MAGOG are primarily Islamic and Communist countries.

But, notice that verse above is a thousand years after Christ returns? Hint, look at v.4 (i.e. when Christ and His saints began to reign) in Rev 20.

Conclusion: we (tradition) have misunderstood the thousand years to be some utopian time of peace, but Rev 20:7-9 (the Bible) show us it is not.

Malissia Earls Jones

During that time, the thousand years, the devil is supposed to be bound and locked away. He is in fact not and never has been bound, but has been working not just in the world, but within the church. There has been no era when Christ has ruled. Like our predecessors, man has taken control.

Malissia Earls Jones

And as for liking you, I don’t know you. But I love all in the Lord. Even those I disagree with.

S.H.

Ok, thanks for that, me too.

Now, correction: He has been reigning from heaven or we call him a liar and his truth is not in us …  (1Pe 1:4; Col 1:5; 2Tim 4:18)

AND

The devil has been bound only in the sense of “not being able to deceive the nations” it says nothing else, please read it. Plus, it is not just any deception, but it means something:

Rev 20:3  and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should DECEIVE THE NATIONS NO MORE, until the thousand years should be finished: after this he must be loosed for a little time.

What is this deception to the nations referring to?

S.H.

We are now in that “little while” of Rev 20:3 when satan is loosed.

Malissia Earls Jones

There has never been a time when the nations and everyone in them hasn’t been deceived to one degree or another. Not for a thousand years, days, hours or minutes.

While I don’t subscribe to the generally accepted view of the prophetic among evangelicals like myself, neither do I accept most of it’s alternatives. I’ll chit chat with you about it if you wish, but I can not change.

S.H.

Malissia, ANY Christian can change – only professing Christians cannot change.

Notice, I said it is not just any old deception.

What is this deception?

S.H.

It is not Islam Christians are deceived about, Islam is an obvious enemy.

During this thousand year reign Christ subdues his enemies, these enemies are not immediately subdued – it takes a loooong time (i.e. the thousand years rread 1Cor 15:23-28)

Malissia Earls Jones

There has been only one deception since the beginning. “Yea, hath God said……?” It has been mankind’s nature to change God’s word to justify themselves ever since. There has never been a time when this was not the truth of man’s nature. The enemy is not subdued and never has been.

S.H.

I did not say Christ’s enemies are subdued yet. Please, iron sharpens iron, just as one person sharpens another, the bible says. Please read 1Cor 15:23-28 – this happens during the thousand years and Christianity has missed it. It does not happen at the immediate return of Christ as Christians erroneously assert. It happens DURING the thousand years (a time process). Please read it, and note that Christ is reigning starting with v.23.

S.H.

“The end” in v.24 must mean the end of the thousand years, which is after (according to v.23) ALL have died and went to be with the Lord in heaven.

Malissia Earls Jones

You are being rather circular in your reasoning.

S.H.

Why or how am I being circular? If we reason the scriptures as Paul said to do, we may come up with something.

I have an appointment for work soon, so don’t think I’m ignoring you.

S.H.

1Co 15:23  But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits (raised); then they that are Christ’s, at his coming (the thousand years + the little while of Rev 20:3).

1Co 15:24  Then cometh the end (end of the thousand years + the little while), when he (Christ) shall deliver up the kingdom to God (the Father), even the Father; when he (Christ)  shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power.

1Co 15:25  For he (Christ) must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. (During the thousand years! NOT before?!!)

1Co 15:26  The last enemy that shall be abolished is death.

1Co 15:27  For, He put all things in subjection under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put in subjection, it is evident that he is excepted who did subject all things unto him.

1Co 15:28  And when all things have been subjected unto him (Christ), then shall the Son also himself be subjected to him that did subject all things unto him, that God may be all in all.

Thus, when God becomes “all in all” we have utopian peace, not during the thousand years when Christ is subduing his enemies! I don’t see anything circular about that, it is very straight forward.

Malissia Earls Jones

The fact that you insist the 1000 years is past is what makes it circular. It’s happened, but it hasn’t happened, but it has happened, but it hasn’t happened. And you had to add quite a bit to that scripture to make it say what you wanted it to say. I don’t do that nor do I accept it from others.

S.H.

It’s not adding – it’s reasoning (with you) what I see. The thousand years is over and we are in the little while when satan goes out again to deceive the nations (I have not deviated form that). Now, to reason further, what is wrong with it?

Malissia Earls Jones

You have not proven that the 1000 years has happened. It is merely what you choose to believe. “Yea, hath God said ………..?”

I count it a mistake to over spiritualize scripture.

S.H.

Yes, I count that a mistake too, but “proper preterism” does not spiritualize anything. 

Now, let’s please not lose track of where we were …

I showed you a brief timeline with 1Cor 15, of what proper preterism postulates. Now you say I have not proved the thousand years has happened….

The thousand years is signified by the binding and releasing of satan (better translated adversary from the Greek, as some of the literal translations do). So, in order to know when if or if not the thousand years happened, you have to identify this adversary that Revelation is talking about. We cannot just ASSUME we know – that causes deception and false teachings!

So, that’s our first job, then I can show you the thousand years is not a time of utopian peace like many have falsely been taught. Here is what we are attempting to do…

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Malissia Earls Jones

I told you. Satan has never been bound. He has been causing havoc for the history of the church just like he has from the beginning. You can only give me an interpretation that I do not consider valid.

S.H.

Did you not read what I wrote about “We cannot just ASSUME (who this adversary is) we know – that causes deception and false teachings!”

Revelation was written in code so that the Christians of the day could understand it because of the persecution. It is not some mysterious code we cannot know. All we have to do is let scripture interpret itself. God’s word tells us who this adversary is, if you will give it a chance and not assume you know.

S.H.

2Ti 2:15  STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY dividing the word of truth.

That says it is OUR JOB.

S.H.

Remember, the binding aspect of this adversary is only to prevent “deception” during the thousand years and little while of Rev 20:3. It does not say there would be peace during this time. In fact AFTER the thousand years it says lots of ungodly people attack or surround the camp of the saints …

Rev 20:7  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Rev 20:8  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

This is where we are now in prophecy, and I can prove it to those that have ears to hear.

S.H.

So, who or what is this ADVERSARY who deceives the nations???

Malissia Earls Jones

That’s non sense.

Not the scripture, your assertion of “code”. Revelation is happening literally around your ears and you are refusing to see it. I have studied. I’ve studied for over 30 years. I still study. The more I study, the more convinced I am of my convictions on the prophetic. You will not redefine it for me when God so wonderfully allowed me to see it. There is no other time in history when the Revelation could be physically seen. I can see it. You will not convince me otherwise and you will just insult me if you continue accusing me of ignorance.

S.H.

I do see it, and that’s what I’m trying to share with you!! Did you not see that I said we are IN the “little while” when adversary is loosed out of its prison?!?! Proper preterism does NOT say all prophecy has been fulfilled. Please, we have to be willing to be wrong (or admit we are wrong) before we can gert right with God’ word sometimes! I had to admit I was wrong – what’s so special about you?!?!

S.H.

Whoever this adversary is, it is VERY SUBTLE because it says it deceives THE WHOLE WORLD. Thus, it cannot be Islam or something that is NOT subtle …

Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

S.H.

HERE IS THE CODE, AND YOU LEARN IT BY NO OTHER WAY THAN BY LETTING SCRIPTURE INTERPRET ITSELF! …

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!

Malissia Earls Jones

If I am ever wrong, I’ll admit it, but I am not in this case. There hasn’t been any 1000 years when the adversary was bound. There has never been a time when man has not deceived HIMSELF.

S.H.

You’re inserting things into God’s word, because there will NEVER be a time when man will not deceive himself! That is not what it says, it says this entity deceives the nations! Can’t you see by the above that this entity is scripturally undeniably identified?? It’s identified by the code that God gave us “the ACC– USER of our brethren”!! Nothing else fits except lies and tradition! It’s also verified by “the SYNAGOGUE of satan (adversary)”. What other group of people go to a synagogue?!?! This God’s word saying it – not me.

S.H.

Deceives the nations before and after the thousand years. If it were what you said, it would just say there is always deception, it would not identify any timeframes like Rev 20 does.

If we add (I’m letting it interpret itself) to His word – we will face judgment for this …

Pro_30:6  Add thou not unto his words, Lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a LIAR.

This is real situation of tradition vs. the Bible!! Which will you pick?

Malissia Earls Jones

So are we getting to the crux of your thesis? It’s the Jews fault?

We should end this conversation now.

S.H.

No, a Jew can come to Christ just like anyone else! It is a matter of tradition vs. the Bible. Which do you choose?? I only let scripture interpret itself, if I have not, please show me where. Otherwise you are “adding to God’s word” and “falsely ACCUSING” me!

Malissia Earls Jones

End it NOW.

S.H.

Christ said tradition was so powerful it made void the word of God.