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Just a re-post reminder that hell is real. This is actually part 2 of 2  of my series on hell 

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

God’s word is more glorious than even the wonder of birth; for in it He has given us some incredible insights into His own heart’s desire. His word is not merely a bunch of rules and laws made to regulate every aspect of men’s behavior and to oppress their freedom in life. No, God’s word is actually the only true wellspring of life, in addition to the only effectual means for guarding what He gives unto His people. Some may immediately feel compelled to challenge that statement, but I am not speaking about the bible you have on your shelf, I am speaking of that which came by unction of God’s Holy Spirit unto His prophets and apostles, that which is spirit and not merely “letter.”

The bibles we have are but books made of paper and ink, filled with letters that cannot do anything of their own, there is no power in them anymore than a flashlight has the ability to illuminate without batteries being in it. It is only a means, a tool whereby the supremacy of God’s spoken word which is ultimately spirit can be revealed unto us . . . that is if and when our heart is in the right condition.

Through God’s holy word comes first the revelation of His supremacy and preeminence, that “God is,” meaning there is in fact a God to whom all men are accountable. Secondly it teaches us how He has created all things in a state of “good.” God created the realms for life to flourish, the sea, the air and the land and then brought forth all manner of life and gave them not just the command to be “fruitful and multiply,” no much more than that, God gave forth the blessing of life.

He created every “herb bearing seed upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree for food which also has yielding seeds.” God also spoke into existence things that were not and gave them life that they might live and move within God’s very being. After God created man He declared that the result was “very good,” or what the Hebrew would convey as extremely good.

Thirdly, we can see, and learn from God’s holy word, that through it comes both the revelation and foundational teachings of righteousness. We also see creation set into motion with harmonious order, established cycles and rhythms whereby all things would thrive and flourish. It reveals boundaries for man’s protection whereby he could grow, learn and experience the joys and liberties given unto him. What God created was good, not evil; life and not death. This does not mean He failed to make provisions for such, which is far from the truth.

Just as certainly as God flawlessly fashioned all creation for life, He knew that giving His creatures the facilities and means to enjoy it, would also mean His perfect creation could be polluted and therefore most certainly would be. God knew from the beginning when He first put into place the harmony of creation that His creatures would eventually fall into disharmony with Him through exercising their ability to choose.

But that does not mean God created sin, for I would ask how could there be sin without first the establishment of righteousness? Disharmony and sin are not God’s creation, nor are they a state or condition that can exist alone; rather they are measured and established only by their contrast with God’s original harmony and righteousness. There can be no disharmony without harmony, nor sin without righteousness. These two things cannot exist by themselves, for they are nothing more than witnesses to the absence of their counterpart, just as darkness is measured by the degree of light present, likewise cold in regards to the presence of heat.

Now when I said God didn’t create “evil” I know many are going to throw the following verse at me,

 Isaiah 45:7 – I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

 One would do well to investigate the intent of this verse; for it is God’s forming of the light that created darkness, just as “the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep,” meaning without light and void of illumination. Likewise God’s desire and establishment of peace is what creates the possibility for evil. However, the “evil” of this verse is not moral; rather it is the contrast of peace, i.e. war, which cannot exist without willful disharmony to God’s formerly established harmony. Others may want to debate that God Himself does evil and they may seek to prove it by submitting verses similar to the following scriptures –

 Jeremiah 26:3 – If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent Me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.

 Jeremiah 42:10 – If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent Me of the evil that I have done unto you.

  What is paramount is to understand is that the “evil” in these verses is not synonymous with sin, wickedness or unrighteousness. This evil is best understood as a required action that is contrary to God’s preferred will. God never wanted to punish, but His holiness and righteousness demands it because God will not forever endure with that which refuses to live and exist in accordance with His word. Yes, God is longsuffering, but there is a limit to God’s willingness to wait for repentance, which when exhausted then obligates God to act contrary to the blessings He desires to give. If we will not comply with the conditions of His blessings, we are only left with the repercussions of His curses. But never, never does God commit wickedness or unrighteousness for He is holy.

  Isaiah 30:18  – And therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him.

 Lamentations 3:31 – For the Lord will not cast off for ever:  32 But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. 33 For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

 Ezekiel 18:23 – Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? . . . 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

 Ezekiel 33:11 – Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

 Romans 2:2 – But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

 1 Timothy 2:4 – Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 It has always been the desire of God that what He created as “good,” even “very good,” that it should continue as such forever. However, because sin entered, disharmony was created when His creatures made the fatal willful choice to cast away His word. Nevertheless, He has long sought to make available to all the remedy that was prepared from the foundations of the world to reconcile all things back unto Himself. For more on this plan of reconciliation please see my old post “Justified in the Spirit.

In continuing with the topic of hell, let’s now look at a little discussed passage of scripture –

 Deuteronomy 23:9 – When the army goes forth against your enemies, then keep yourself from every wicked thing. 10 If there is among you any man who is not clean because of an accident at night, then he shall go outside the camp. He shall not come inside the camp. 11 And it shall be as evening turns, he shall wash with water. And when the sun is down, he shall come into the the middle of the camp. 12 You shall also have a place outside the camp where you shall go forth. 13 And you shall have a paddle on your weapon. And it shall be, when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it, and shall turn back and cover that which comes from you. 14 For the LORD your God walks in the middle of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you. Therefore your camp shall be holy, so that He may see no unclean thing in you and turn away from you.

This is one of those passages that many Christians just read over and rarely gleam anything from. However, there is much here that we should be giving our focus too, for we are talking about going to battle and having the certainty that the Lord will be with us. What is the underlying principle in these verses is the requirement for us to be holy for He is holy. That is why it is absolutely clear that since everyday we are waking up afresh, we therefore need to be daily putting on the whole armor of God, . . . because every minute, of everyday, our adversary is seeking to devour all he can. Therefore we must keep ourselves “from every wicked thing.” These truths should be clear and evident even to the young in faith.

However, the passage also warns against those who are “not clean by reason of uncleanness that chances him by night.” Now what does this passage mean? These verses in Leviticus help to bring clarity–

Leviticus 15:1  – And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying,  2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man hath a running issue out of his flesh, because of his issue he is unclean. 3 And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh be stopped from his issue, it is his uncleanness. 4 Every bed, whereon he lays that hath the issue, is unclean: and everything, whereon he sitteth, shall be unclean.  5 And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening.

Leviticus 15:16 – And if any man’s seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the evening. 17 And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the evening. 18 The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the evening.

The light shed by these verses clearly indicate that the concern of the Lord is the uncleanliness, associated with either genital disease, or a “copulation,” meaning an ejaculation of semen. Now, some might readily see the problem with disease rendering one unclean, but an ejaculation? How would that defile a man? Whether we understand it or not it is still in God’s Holy Scriptures and is given as an admonition to His people and therefore requires our prayerful consideration. But this is also why I selected to entitle this post with the opening verse –

1 Peter 1:23 – Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

 The “corruptible seed” Peter is alluding to is the seed whereby we were originally born, our father’s semen. Yet in this verse Peter is also stating how we are in fact “born again” by incorruptible seed, even the word of God. Furthermore, the beloved Apostle John tells us that true Christians cannot sin because His seed is in us –

1 John 3:9 = Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother.

Now when John says one who is “born of God cannot sin,” he is not saying they are incapable of sinning. He is saying that because God’s “seed remains in him” that he cannot accept the pleasures of sin in the light of the cost of sin. It would be similar to me offering any of you $5.00 for your car or perhaps a gold watch. Certainly you could foolishly accept the $5.00, but if you truly understand the worth of what you have then you “cannot” accept my offer without abandoning what is reasonable. That is why Paul pleads with us to present ourselves as living sacrifices unto God.

Romans 12:1 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

How do you know “that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God?” Only by God’s word. That is why John stated that “His seed remains in him,” which may help to shed light on  some other passages of scripture regarding uncleanliness –

Leviticus 15:19 – And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the evening. 20 And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. 21 And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. 22 And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. 23 And if it be on her bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the evening. 24 And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean.

Leviticus 20:18 – And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.

Now why would it be inappropriate for a man to lie with a woman while she is menstruating? Apart from the normal responses regarding hygiene, it is because the “seed” placed in her would not remain; her body will naturally cast it forth from her. When a woman’s body is menstruating it is going through the process of expelling her last egg that wasn’t fertilized. Since at this point most eggs are no longer alive, in the normal situation the male sperm will therefore never penetrate a viable egg but it too will only be flushed out as waste.

(Now before I am dismissed because of accuracy regarding the chances of a woman becoming pregnant even though she has had her normal cycle, the chances are very, very rare and could only most likely happen if prior to the menstrual cycle some sperm from an earlier relation managed to enter the fallopian tubes and was not flushed out. This unlikely event would create an opportunity for them if they are still alive to encounter a new egg during the next ovulation if for some reason it was hastened from irregularity in the cycle. But again this is going outside the norm and stretching normal limitations. Please remember that I am not a gynecologist and that I work with wood)

What is important is that we see the correlation the Apostle Peter makes between the “corruptible seed” whereby we were conceived and the “incorruptible” whereby we are born again, even the word of the Lord. This shows us the significance of our design and Why God Created Us Male And Female. Symbolically the male’s semen represents the word of God which is not cast to the ground. To do so is prophetic action showing disrespect for that which has holy symbolism. Think of the anger the Lord had towards Onan who was told by his father Judah to go and “raise up seed” for his dead brother with Tamar –

Genesis 38:6 – And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 7 And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. 8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. 9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore He slew him also.

 This displeased the Lord on at least two counts, first, a lack of love for his brother and second, the intentional spilling of his semen on the ground. Since we are created in the image of God and are to be His glory, then it is conceivable that our seed, i.e. semen, represents His holy word. Thus it was important to God that Onan’s seed should have remained in Tamar, just as it is important that God’s seed remain in us, and that as children of God, we be able to impart His seed unto others. Perhaps part of this can even be our love of Christ and evangelistic willingness to go and “raise up seed” for our Brother and Savior Jesus Christ by being instant in season and ready to give and answer for the hope that is within us.

Again, these are but prophetic imagery given unto us to teach us greater lessons from our Lord, just as circumcision of the flesh does in regards to circumcision of the heart. But look at the verses in Duet.23 before this –

Deuteronomy 23:1 – He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

It is important to the Lord that we know in whom we believe and are able to procreate with our faith by His seed, i.e. word which remains in us. Those not having seed or unable to impart it “shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.” Also, since Paul tells us we’re to be living sacrifices, we should be able to appreciate that animal sacrifices were not acceptable unto the Lord either if they were born or rendered impotent.

Leviticus 22:24 – Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land.

Those who have truly been quickened by God’s word have hidden His word in their hearts and are desirous to share it. That is because God’s word is the only solution for uncleanliness in the heart and lives of His children, now please don’t confuse that with the purpose of Christ’s blood for our atonement and forgiveness. We know that all things were sanctified and consecrated unto the Lord with both water and blood. Consider how the Apostle Paul speaks of husbands loving their wives “even as Christ also loved the church” and the correlation of the water of the word and the blood of atonement and their applications as to why Jesus laid down His life for us. –

Ephesians 5:26 – That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Consider also the words of Peter –

1 Peter 1:13 – Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

We are to be holy, not just because we have been washed by His blood, but also because we have renewed in our minds. As if the very loins of our minds were girded with the girdle of truth and walking in obedience to our Lord and Savior. That is why we are forgiven by His blood, so we can be freed from sins and indwelt by His Spirit and empowered to walk in His word whereby we are to be changing daily, our old carnal nature decreasing while the nature of Christ is being formed in us.

1 Peter 1:18 – Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:  20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,  21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.  22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:  23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

We are given the responsibility of purifying our souls by obeying His truth, but thank God for the grace and empowering by His own Spirit within us which enables us and labors with us to perfect our love for Him and each other… if we remain willing. It is this Gospel, this incorruptible seed that causes us to be born again and quicken and changed.

1 Peter 1:24 – For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:  25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Let look back now at our text in Deut. 23 –

Deuteronomy 23:12 – Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad:  13 And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:  14 For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

After the instructions regarding, “uncleanness that chances him by night,” as it said in Leviticus concerning if “any man’s seed of copulation go out from him,” the Lord now moves to another topic concerning keeping the camp clean because the Lord walks in the midst of the camp. This shows both the responsibility for personal cleanliness, and the individual and corporate responsibility to keep the camp clean as well. Therefore if any man has to “ease” himself he is to go outside the camp and so do. By the words “thou shalt have a place without the camp” it is indicated that this would be a designated place, not just every man running off to wherever, but a specific place known to all.

Therefore, instruction was given that every man should have a “paddle upon they weapon,” whereby they could dig a hole and ease themselves in it, and “turn back and cover that which cometh from thee.” Again, regardless the apparent subject matter, we are actually being given glorious imagery here. Placed upon the weapon was a paddle, designed specifically for digging of a hole to accommodate that which is expelled from the body. Sadly we cannot see these weapons, but one of the weapons of choice which could be so equipped with a small spade is a sword. Again, symbolically the sword represents two things in scripture, God’s word and His judgment. Not just judgment in the sense of determining right and wrong, but in the sense of judgment coming upon a people for their rejection of His holy word, casting it, as it were on the ground.

 Deuteronomy 32:41 – If I whet My glittering sword, and Mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine enemies, and will reward them that hate Me. 42 I will make Mine arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.

Now one thing we must remember, our Lord is a warrior, the ultimate warrior . . . and He is mighty in battle.

Psalm 24:7 – Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

Our God has graciously given us His word and by it quickened us, it is His “seed” whereby we are born again. But be not mistaken, it is also the sword He will whet and take hold of, it is His sword of judgment against the wicked who “will not stand in the congregation of the righteous.” Consider also these verses in Isaiah –

Isaiah 1:16 – Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil;  17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:  20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

But as Jesus said, broad is the path which leads to destruction and many will choose it by casting God’s word behind them. These are wicked men serving their own lusts and not honoring God who gave to them both the blessing of life and the honor of being created in His own image. Instead they defiantly turn away and lived their lives refusing and rebelling, doing so regardless of the Spirit of His Grace. Therefore they are unclean, defiled, sold under sin and foolishly boasting in their own shame.

Isaiah 1:21 – How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.  22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:  23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

God will not always strive with mankind, He will soon avenge Himself of His adversaries.

Isaiah 1:24 – Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease Me of Mine adversaries, and avenge me of Mine enemies.

Yes, as God commanded the host to keep the camp clean, and just as a man who needed to ease himself was to go to the designated place and there with the paddle on his weapon dig a hole. Likewise God has prepared a place in His judgment where He too will ease Himself. Listen to the word of the Lord; listen to His cry, “Ahhhh!” This is the groaning of the pain within His bowels of mercies after continually being frustrated, grace extended in vain to a rebellious, stubborn and stiff-necked people. It is as if God is cramped over in anguish and heartache by the very presence of the wicked within Him; all creation as well is groaning for the manifestation of the sons of God and the removal of the wicked. Mind you though, all the evil men and all the demons and devils which hell currently awaits cannot weaken or abate one iota the strength of God. Still nevertheless He has long-suffered while warning the wicked, endeavoring to rescue the lost and to offer repentance to the broken and contrite ones. His omnipotence cannot be weakened by the sins of men, but His heart is nonetheless pained and vexed by their sins.

All who have rejected God’s word, those from the very beginning who have lived and moved and had their very being within Him, will one day be expelled out from His presence for all eternity as waste out the draught and into the pit. The Gospel makes it evident it is the responsibility of every person to take full advantage of the exceedingly great and precious promises of God’s word, whereby we can be made partakers of His divine nature. Therefore, we are commanded to be what He fully enables us to be. Therefore we must be holy, because He is holy, or be expelled.Only by purifying ourselves by obeying the truth through His spirit, can we perfect this holiness in the fear of God. For He will not be mocked. He will repay who reject what He went through great lengths to provide, a remedy for our sin and sinful nature.

Psalm 62:11 – God has spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto You O Lord belongeth mercy: for You renderest to every man according to his work.

Deuteronomy 7:9 – Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations; And repays them that hate Him to their face, to destroy them: He will not be slack to him that hates Him, He will repay him to his face.

Yes, there is a hell, Rob Bell and all the other universalists are wrong. It is the eternal place of torment for all those who would not be assimilated unto God, refusing to be purified, sanctified, consecrated and made holy by yielding to the working of the Spirit of Christ within them with and through the power of His seed/word. All those unclean, rebellious and wicked will not only fail to be able to stand in and with the congregation of the righteous, God will treat them as the filth they are and ease Himself of them in a place He has prepared outside the camp. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Isaiah 66:22 – For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against Me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Psalm 119:11 – Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Yoy.

John 3:17 – For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

 

Peace to those who love the Lord, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Post is here on my other blog…

Is your faith being tried?

Posted: October 10, 2019 in Shared Thoughts

Last week one morning, in my devotions and prayers, I was thinking about the trials God takes us through and a few verses came to mind which caused me to have to stop my prayers and go search them out; and look at them more in depth. It was even because of tonight in my prayers thinking of Psalm 23 that all this came back into mind afresh, of how the Lord works to “restore” our souls, even though the “path of righteousness” seems to be taking us right through “the valley of the shadow of death.” For all this is done both for “His name’s sake” and our well-being; because He is indeed our Shepherd.

Here are the passages –

Psalm 17:1 – Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goes not out of feigned lips. 2 Let my sentence come forth from Your presence; let Your eyes behold the things that are equal. 3 You have proved mine heart; You hast visited me in the night; You have TRIED me and shall find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. 4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of Your lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. 5 Hold up my goings in Your paths, that my footsteps slip not.

Psalm 26:1 – Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity. I have trusted also in the LORD, therefore I shall not slide. 2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; TRY my reins and my heart. 3 For your lovingkindness is before mine eyes and [therefore] I have walked in your truth.

Psalm 66:8 – O bless our God, you people, and make the voice of His praise to be heard: 9 Which holds our soul in life, and suffers our feet not to be moved. 10 For You, O God, have proved us. You have TRIED us, as silver is TRIED. 11 You brought us into the net; You laid affliction upon our loins. 12 You have caused men to ride over our heads and we went through fire and through water. But You brought us out into a wealthy place.

As you can see it is about “proving” and “trying” us, and that often while in the midst of our adversities. The word “prove” in the original Hebrew means as we would naturally conclude, to establish the reality of a thing; that thing being twofold, both our faith and our lives. For it is by His grace working through our faith that we are indeed changed and made to be partakers of His divine nature.

2 Peter 1:2 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the [ack-]knowledge[ment] of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue. 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature.

Now, the words “TRY” and “TRIED” in the Psalms above were in caps because that is the thing I was led to look at more closely. In some place in our KJV Bibles, where it says “tried” it means to test, so as to prove. As a matter of fact, the very word translated “proved” in Psalm 66:10 above has been translated as “try” and “tried” more than other ways.

But the words “TRY” and “TRIED” in the Psalms above is translated from a completely different word in Hebrew which has a meaning that is hidden in the English translation; which is more revealed in principle in Peter’s statement that “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold,” and in Psalm 66:10, where we are “…as silver is TRIED.” For the Hebrew word which was translated “TRY” and “TRIED,” is also often translated as “[re-]finer,” “refiner,” “goldsmiths,” and “founder.”

A classic verse is below –

Malachi 3:3 – And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He shall purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

Now remember, we are all called to be were as the “sons of Levi;” for as Christians we are called to be both kings and priests unto the Lord. But the Lord “sits,” or takes a place in our lives, “as a refiner and a purifier of silver”; which silver is often used to represent of our sanctification to the Lord. The “refiner” smelts the silver to purge it of the impurities or dross. The process of smelting requires heating it to its melting point and allowing the lighter weight impurities to come to the surface; the appearance of such is like soot being black. Once the silver is liquefied and the dross surfaces, the refiner carefully scraps it from the top.

Psalm 12:6 – The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver TRIED in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Now, silver when it melts is like aluminum or lead when they melt, in that they all simply liquefy at a lower temperature than other metals, which when heated to their melting point become illuminated with a glow. Silver simply melts with no glow, and pure silver free of dross lays perfectly flat with a glossy sheen causing the surface to be a perfect mirror. Thus, a refiner can look into the smelter and see a perfect reflection of himself therein. Such is the work of Christ as our refiner, it is to make us a partaker of His divine nature; that He might see the perfect completed work of His grace working through our believing-faith, making “the trial of your faith, much more precious than of gold.”

The same is true of the “founder.” For he is the one who takes the purified silver or gold, and then “casts” it in a mold so it can become solid in a fixed form. And for us, that is our coming to “…the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” or as Paul said, “until Christ be formed in you.”

Judges 17:4 – Yet he restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to the FOUNDER [same word], who made thereof a graven image and a molten image [of the silver] and they were in the house of Micah.

I just want to encourage you to be strong in the Lord and to remember that in everything we are to give thanks; for in truth He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him.

The title of this post is probably one of the most important questions people need to be asking themselves. If you are one who might eagerly say “yes,” then you need to make a list of all the reasons you think so, and then prayerfully consider how God might fit into your equation.

Some will point out that being so rich, President Trump cannot be bought.
Some will point to his astute ability to “make the deal.”
Some will say he is a no-nonsense guy, that whether you like what he says, or how he says it; that if Trump said it, then he means it and will get it done.
Some will even say, as it has made its sweep across “Christians” in America, that President Trump is another prophetic Cyrus, a man sent of God to set God’s people free, expose the wicked, and of course, Make America Great Again.

However, this post is to share my personal perspective concerning what is happening with President Trump and with the United States of America. To begin, let me first say that nearly 4 years ago I moved to Costa Rica after writing a book about America in prophecy and her prophetic destruction where she will one day be utterly destroyed in one hour. Yes, there is a verse for that… BTW, the book was the fruit of over three decades of prayerful studying regarding this matter, and I assure you it is not a book or message I like.

However, while being fully persuaded that God in His faithfulness led several others and myself to come out of America, as witnesses for those who might hear what His Spirit is saying to the church, I must admit that I doubted whether President Obama would leave office. Partly because, as it was obvious to many of God’s people, he was a blatant liar who only professed to be a Christian, yet clearly lived as an arrogant, immoral Muslim. Over and over Barack Obama openly mocked Christians and God’s word, even from the very podium of the presidency; not to mentioned that whole creepy Obama Messiah thing that happened everywhere… and amazingly is still lingering.

But as time drew closer to the 2016 election, I knew in my heart and understood by God’s word that Hillary would not be elected, but that is not the subject now. However, I couldn’t understand why God was being so long-suffering with America. It certainly required much prayer on my part and seeking God about it all; for having left both family and friends behind in the USA, many of them have since felt justified and that they were right to stay… and I foolish to leave. After all, look at the economy all the POTUS has done.

But let me share with you the process of how God begins to judge a nation. First, He exposes the sins of the people, and in order to do that He first uses the voice of His people, the watchmen, to cry out and define the wickedness of the people. In doing so, they tell everyone, the wicked and religious alike, that God will not be mocked. For the soul, or souls, that continue in sin are on a head-on collision course with Jesus Christ and will indeed be destroyed.

BUT, (and pay attention here,) before God destroys the ungodly and wicked, He purposely both tries and exposes the hearts of those who profess to be His people. That is because those who have taken His name in vain by calling themselves “Christians,” but are not seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness, are in fact themselves to be counted among the wicked. God was very clear that He would not hold them guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Exodus 20:7 – Thou shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain.

2 Timothy 2:19 – Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Do you think I’m wrong? If so, then I think you need to read your bible and reconsider all that God not only allowed to happen to His own people, but purposely caused. For those who He once rejoiced over to save, He later rejoiced over their destruction. Why? Because by continually rejecting His word and doing what was right in their own eyes, they frustrated and exhausted His sufficient grace, and therefore failed to so love Him as He requires; with all their heart.

Deuteronomy 28:63 – And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.

Being carnally minded, many are in love with themselves, the world, and the pleasures of the world, more than they are in love God. For loving pleasures MORE THAN God, the Jews of the Old Testament simply would not obey. They, like many Christians nowadays who refuse to pick up their cross and deny themselves, daily, refused to obey and follow God wherever He leads. Rather, doing what was right in their own eyes, they strayed from the truth and never missed it.

Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Proverbs 21:2 – Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

John 10:27 – My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

Remember, God’s people are called to be the light and salt of the world. BUT, if they have double eyes by only looking to Jesus to save them from hell, and then to the world for their satisfaction, then the so-called light in them is in truth darkness. They are deceived, for their light is darkness and their truth is error; for while they are supposed to be salt, they have lost their saltiness; therefore, Jesus said they are “good for nothing, unfit even for the dung-heap; so are cast out and trodden underfoot of men.”  Do you understand this, that a pile of dung is actually too good for such professors of Christ?

People, I am persuaded what God is doing with President Trump, is that He is proving the heart of those who claim to be His people in the USA. The test they must past is whether they are more interested in making America great again and it having a booming economy with hopes they’ll get to live out their American Dream in a comfortable retirement, or are they fervently praying for God’s kingdom to come and His will be done here on earth as it is in heaven; without reservation or hesitation. Are they truly looking for and hastening the coming of Christ their Savior? OR, having itchy ears have they rallied around President Trump as their hope for a better life here and embraced all the “prophetic words” about him being another “Cyrus?” Is it possible you too are hoping to have your “best life” now?

See, God’s righteous judgment MUST BEGIN IN THE HOUSE OF GOD. Thus, God tries the hearts of those professing Christ, that He is their God, to prove where their real affections rest. Because if they are not loving God with all their mind, heart, and strength, I can assure you they do not have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church. For if you do not have ears to hear, then yours is a vain self-serving religion which lacks a true God-pleasing, saving-faith. Bold statement? Well know this, saving faith works by love and those who are truly Christ’s hear His voice and will faithfully follow Him.

1 Peter 4:17 – For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

It is a fact that President Trump is the president of a nation divided, perhaps more now than ever since the Civil War. That alone is a disturbing sign, for Jesus said a kingdom or house divided against itself CANNOT STAND. Plus, never before has a president of the USA been so viciously hated by the opposition; that they conspired to keep him from winning the election, and has deceitfully plotted plan after plan to try and impeach him. If that won’t work, I am sure they are already desperately looking for another way or means to get him out of office; by violence if necessary. They have to, because otherwise at this point, too many are going to be exposed, publicly humiliated, and jailed for their crimes and treason.

For what has been done by the wicked controlling the deep state is now all being exposed; much to the glee of many on the right. For Jesus assured us that what was done in darkness will be brought to light, and that said in secret will be shouted from the rooftops. Yet sadly, there will actually be some “Christians” out there who are completely clueless to all I have been talking about; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, because in truth their hearts are harden towards God… because they simply love this world and want to save their life in it.

2 Timothy 3:4 – …lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.

People, be assure that God is using President Trump at this time to both prove and expose hearts. So, is your heart passing the test? For I do not know how much longer God will long-suffer with a lukewarm church whose affections are not on His kingdom, but I do know that it isn’t much longer…

1 Corinthians 15:34 – Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

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The Only Test of Love

Posted: September 12, 2019 in Shared Thoughts
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From the beginning, the only sound scriptural authorized test of love is obedience; and by “love” I mean the biblically righteous love which alone will be acknowledged by God and acceptable to Him.

There is of course, a carnal love, just as there is a divine love. However, the carnal love, though capable of somewhat benefiting others, it is nonetheless self-serving. For the height and benefit of a carnal love’s virtues are limited, and that because its priority is only to profit the hearts, mind (emotions), and the physical well-being of self and others.

Furthermore, the viewpoint of a carnal love is consequently limited, because the birth of such is out of one’s own affections, wishes and cravings. Often, a carnal love barely exceeds that of mere obsession; and that being one’s own gratification. Now, the important thing to acknowledge, is that carnal love is quite capable of being religious and have a profession of faith. For Jesus frequently had to deal with religious men who were lovers of themselves, prideful men who were selective in their obedience to God’s word. These are such who justify themselves, and being deceived think themselves to be superior to others in religious matters. Men who teach one thing, but yet do another.

A heart seeking truth will recognize that a divine love stands in stark contrast with carnal love; for a divine love is birth out of a revelation of God’s holy love and benevolence for humanity. God’s love is undeniable, in that He gave His only begotten Son for our redemption for and from sin. Thus, a divine love will only exist within one who has indeed come to the humbling revelation of God’s great love for them as an individual, and that in spite of the contrariness of their corrupt nature with He who is holy.

The fact that He first loved us is the very foundation and reason why we can love Him with a perfect love, which simply means to love Him with all of our hearts, our minds, and our strength. For in truth, if one truly comes to understand their poverty of spirit, that their sins have left them spiritually bankrupt before a holy God, they will be cast into great agony of heart and mourning before God.

It is then that the promise of entrance into His Kingdom and the gift of repentance is offered to them upon their open acknowledgment that their sins have bankrupt them; for only such who do so are truly contrite and broken before Him. These, at the prospect of His mercy, respond joyfully with obedience and delight at a chance now to do His will, and are in so doing comforted by His unmerited love and consideration.

Truly, such who have been so humbled by the illumination of God’s great love will no longer seek to justify themselves, nor will they blame others for their having fallen into the depravity of sin. For those who seek to justify themselves, especially by blaming others, have no inheritance with God.

But those who are so humbled will find themselves aroused with a holy hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness, which righteousness is now available to us solely because of that great love whereby He sent Jesus Christ to be our only Savior and Deliverer from our sins. It is only because of His death that we can be offered new life, and because of His holiness that sinners can now be made into saints.

Truly, anyone who has partaken of God’s redemptive mercies will themselves be both messengers and vessels of that mercy. This should be evident to others by a true Christian’s public proclamation that forgiveness for sins has been made available through Jesus Christ for all; as well as Christians freely forgiving all who have ever treated them wrongfully. These are such who seek through their obedience to God and His word to purify their hearts even as He is pure; and to be holy, even as He is holy. For if their old nature has truly been crucified with Christ, and they have been born-again and made new creatures desiring to be like their Savior, then they too will find themselves laboring to be peacemakers. For being forgiven, all become ambassadors for God’s Kingdom and messengers of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ that alone can save men from their spiritual depravity and bondage of sin.

But there are some who will not receive a love for the truth of the Gospel. There are those, who being carnal, have had their hearts hardened and have had their minds blinded by the god of this world. Such will naturally hate those, who not only “believe in Jesus Christ,” but purposely walk in His truths that they might sin not, and live their lives seeking foremost His glory that it might be brilliantly revealed to others through their obedience of faith.

Hence, the only sound scriptural authorized test of love is obedience. For only they who love obey, and they who obey overcome both the old nature of sin and the seductive wickedness of the world. Those who have a divine love delight to do God’s will, for the heart of all His precepts is love for Him and others as ourselves. Those who obey the dictates of a divine love have the promise that they will walk with Him for “they are worthy.”

So, do you love Him?

John 14:21 – He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.

Matthew 5:3 – Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

1 John 1:5 – This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we [us and God] have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 5:3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.

(To those who might not know, I live in Costa Rica, yet at the present I am visiting in the States. As to why I am living primarily in Costa Rica, you can find an answer here However, when I am in the states, I always endeavor to attend a men’s fellowship, breakfast prayer meeting.The following is an admonition which was impressed upon my heart while in prayer midweek for my brothers.)

The Admonition

Brothers, this men’s breakfast prayer meeting, or for that matter, any corporate prayer meeting, will never be greater than the sum of the secret prayers of the individuals. For prayers, that is, public prayers, have no more merit with God than the ones spoken to Him in secret.

Please know, that I am assuming all the attendees here do in fact have true, personal, secret prayer time with the Lord.

But what I have learned, biblically and experientially, is that secret prayer, or private prayer, is often as James said, fervent prayer; which by definition of the original Greek means fiery prayer.

Thus, if one’s private prayer time is humdrum, passive, or tedious and weak, or little more than a religious duty being performed; from where then should that necessary honest desire and required sincerity come from which is to be the motivation of one’s public prayers?

Or what cause then is there, if our private prayers are not earnest, for any compulsion upon the holy God that He should acknowledge it?

Be not deceived, for the heart which truly desires to know God, and to please Him, will with earnest prayer be in persistent pursuit of God, and will labor to press into the holy of holies, and will then wait upon Him; seeking His face and His glory.

For when Jesus said for us to “Strive to enter in at the strait gate,” the word strive means “as if in agony pursue.” For is indeed a variant of the very same word which testifies to how Jesus prayed, when “being in an agony, He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Is this not an example for us of how we too ought to pray; of how we might rightly strive so as to enter in at the strait gate?

But too often public prayer is done in a spirit of religiosity, and that by people praying what they think might sound good or upright, as what they ought to pray.

But in truth their prayers are not honest ventings from a burdened heart, or true yearnings for God and for His kingdom to come, nor are they true cries from a travailing heart for the lost souls of men.

If one’s private prayer is fervent and holy, then their public prayer will be the same. But if one’s private prayer is weak and lacks the fire of the Lord in their hearts, then their public prayers will be weak as well.

Did not John the Baptist say Jesus would baptize His people with both the Holy Spirit and fire? For it matters not how intensely or well-spoken one’s prayer might be, if the fire of His spirit does not rest within he who prays, such prayer will never move the heart of God, even if other men are thereby moved.

In truth, it would be better for one not to pray at all before men, than to pray in such a manner before God and men. For such prayers are but pharisaical, or hypocritical, spoken more for the ears of men than for the ears of God.

Note; I said all this with no intention to discourage one who might have difficulty praying, but nevertheless truly yearns to know how to pray in harmony with the unction of the Spirit. For prayer, like fasting or studying the word of God, are spiritual disciplines that are only learned and perfected by purposefully exercising oneself in them; which purpose must be to know God and glorify His Son Jesus Christ.

May we all never forget what Jesus said in His day, that the time had come, and now is, when they who would worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth; for such who do are whom the Father truly seeks to worship Him.

Thus, perhaps the worst and most insincere form of prayer is that of prayer-preaching; when one misuses this blessed grace given to us that we might make our requests known before a holy God, as a thing for them to misuse.

For too often, many under the guise of prayer, are in truth preaching in their own wisdom to others around them. Such prayer is in truth nothing more than a gross display of false humility and is in reality an evil and dishonest abuse of the grace of prayer.

That does not mean that a fervent holy prayer would fail to preach volumes to other saints within ear shot, but what is spoken is still being directed to God and not towards men.

It is God’s own testimony that He dwells with those who are contrite and of a humble spirit. It is this sort that seek to pray as Jesus did, and thus in like agony will often cry out to Him with a sacrificial heart in secret prayer. Sincere prayers for the souls of men, that His kingdom would come and that His will be done; first in their own lives as well as in the lives of others, here on earth even as it is done in heaven.

And thus, it is in the strength and glory of His Spirit that they boldly and willingly stand up for Him in public, both in word and deed. For you need to know It is only the prayers of the righteous, the godly, His holy saints, whose prayers truly honor God and can move Him into action.

Brothers, we desperately need the glory of God in our lives. For Jesus prayed, “And the glory,” now get that, “the glory which You [Father] gave unto Me, I have given them…”

So I ask, do you truthfully know, and what I mean by “know” is experientially, do you experientially know that you have received this very glory from Jesus Christ, and are you persistently living in such a way so as to be cherishing and nurturing it by doing all you know you ought to do? Are you purposefully striving to perfect personal holiness in your life in the fear of God?

For if you are not, I must warn you then that I fear that perhaps you have received of His grace in vain, for His grace is given to us to enable us in our obedience to the Gospel and the law of faith.

Brothers, if you have truly received this glory, and are still daily receiving an increasing measure thereof, then indeed there is true holy communion and fellowship being had by you with your God and His Son Jesus Christ, as well as with your fellow saints.

Of course, we know there can be no such holy fellowship between the righteous and the unrighteous, between the obedient and the disobedient, or fellowship between light and darkness.

However, too many self-professing believers nowadays seem to be quite at home with both disobedient believers and worldly associates.

But this “glory” is given only to His own. It is given so that they might be an effectual witness of God to the lost who are hell bound in a corrupt and fallen world; as well as a testimony against those who profess that they know God, but in their works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and reprobate in all their good works.

So, as the Apostle Paul would say, I beseech you brethren to please do yourselves a favor and honestly ask yourselves, or rather, honestly ask God, what is the truth of your standing before God in all of this?

Do you ever ask, like I often do, “God, where is this oneness, this unity of the saints that Jesus earnestly prayed for?”

For I tell you, that Jesus having so prayed, He fully expects there to be a holy unity among His people. A unity which brings them into the same oneness which He shared with the Father. But now a oneness with all His people together, with the Father and Jesus in us, and we in them, dwelling in a blessed state of holy unity.

As the Psalmist said, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity.”

Because, again, it is the very glory which the Father gave Him that He has given to His own.

Too often I look at the churches and too many believers and am compelled to ask, “Where is this “glory” that Jesus Christ has given to His saints; that glory that is supposed to be brilliantly shining within and out from their lives?”

Can you detect it, or recognize its presence? Do you at least perceive its growth within you? For if by Jesus own words we understand that the world is supposed to undeniably see it, certainly then the enlightened children of God should be able to behold it.

For the Apostle Paul said, “But we all, [not some, but all], with open face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image,” that is Christ’s image, the image of the invisible God, and are being transformed “from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

What evidence then do you see, or might others see that persuades you it is a reality in your life, or in those you fellowship with, or those where you attend church? For Jesus said “By their fruits you will know them.” Not fruits of good deeds, but the fruit of holiness which has its end in eternal life.

This is enormously important, so please do not fail to grasp the gravity of this exhortation I believe the Lord has laid on my heart for you all. For it is this glory given to His saints that alone creates and serves to empower us as we endeavor to maintain a holy unity among the brethren.

I pray you understand the reality and truth of this matter, how the divine purpose of this glory is to enable each of us to mirror the very unity of Jesus Christ and the Father in unbroken and unhindered love; for that was His prayer to the Father.

This glory alone can be the believer’s shining light, and in truth it ought to be shining brightly in and through each of us who are called by His name in this dark and lost world. For once again, this glory is no less than that same glory which the Father gave to His only begotten Son, and His Son to His followers.

This “glory” of the love and holy unity of the Father and Son laboring sacrificially together for the redemption of the lost, this glory, alone can convince the world that God did indeed send His only begotten Son into the world. This is the Gospel and it must both shine in and through us.

Yet many preach the gospel, or perhaps a beggarly version of it, but only they who truly live in this glory can truly witness to and preach the gospel effectually under the power of the Spirit.

Do not fail to realize, that somebody has been, and they still are, actively proselytizing and making converts, many converts, in Jesus’s name. And these, by compromising the Gospel and removing the offense of the cross which all true saints must pick up daily,  they have filled the churches with such who will one day be saying, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have cast out devils? and in Your name done many wonderful works?”

But Jesus will say to them, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you that worked iniquity.”

Hence, we both need and must have this glory, for this “Glory” reflects and brings into an undeniable light the holy love of God, which He has for His own Son, and reveals this very love through His saints to this lost world.

Without this love you are nothing, and that is a biblical truth and thus a spiritual reality.

Theology alone, even perfect theology, will not save anyone. Christianity without living in the Spirit is a false hope. You need this Glory in your life. Christ in you is the hope of glory. That is why it was the earnest prayer of Jesus Christ, and why it is therefore also the promise of the Father to those who would by faith lay hold of it.

John 17:22,23 – And the glory which You gave Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You did send Me, and has loved them, even as You loved Me.

2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image [of Jesus Christ] from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Brothers, my prayer and desire for you is that you all would individually be earnest and press into God, and seek His grace whereby you might truly become His living sacrifices, burnt offerings who are indeed a sweet-smelling savor unto God. But remember, you cannot have a burnt sacrifice without fire.

Second, I pray you all would come into a holy fervency of prayer and unity of the spirit, that you might as one man together humble yourselves before God and pray as true watchmen and holy priests over this community and your families and friends.

As the Lord said to His servant Joel, “Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, ‘Have pity on Your people, O LORD, and give not Your inheritance to shame, for a proverb among those of the nations. Why should they say among the people, Where is their God?’ For then the LORD will be jealous for His land and pity His people.”

Moreover, I pray this so that Jesus, the Lamb of God, might receive His full reward, and that His name might be glorified in you all. For they who go forth weeping bearing precious seeds have a precious promise that they shall doubtless come again rejoicing bring in the sheaves with them.

Come forth you men of God. In the name of Jesus Christ, come forth.

Note: I am posting chapters 12 thru 18 of my book (The Eighth Beast” in succession for ease of reading. The book deals with America in Prophecy, and these chapters address certain modern conceptions of eschatology that are in fact fairly contemporary.

Many believers nowadays are ignorant that most of the end-time theology which is being taught and widely accepted by both non-Catholics and Catholics alike concerning the antichrist, the rebuilding the temple, and his becoming a world leader, was originally taught by a French monk known as Adso of Montier-en-Der who died in 992 A.D. Though he was a prolific writer of poems, hymns, and biographies of the lives of saints, Adso’s most famous work was his “Letter to Queen Gerberga on the Place and Time of Antichrist,” which became known as the “Little Book on the Antichrist.”

However, Adso’s theology, which was so articulated over a thousand years ago, was presented basically as a rebuttal to the Protestants vehement protest against the papacy and Catholicism. At the time, it  was vehemently rejected by essentially every protestant commentator who sought to defend the truth of the Gospel with their pen. For the earlier commentators both agreed and therefore acknowledged Paul’s speaking in II Thessalonians 2:3 of “a falling away first” as the rise of Roman Catholicism, and “that man of sin… the son of perdition” as being the succession of popes. In the second century, Polycarp, deemed to be an apostolic father, in his Letter to the Philippians, paragraph 7, warned the Philippians that everyone who preached false doctrine was an antichrist. Polycarp’s use of the term “antichrist” agrees with the Apostle John who does not reference a single antichrist, but rather a class of people functioning under a spirit of antichrist. It is also interesting that the Apostle John, who coined the phrases “antichrist” and “many antichrists” DID NOT used those phrases in his writing of the Book of Revelation.

Nevertheless, the historical understanding of the Protestant churches concerning “a spirit of antichrist” that works to advance false prophets and teachers has for the most part been completely abandoned by non-Catholics today; most probably because most believers nowadays are ignorant of both scripture and history. Which means it would be prudent for the earnest seeker of the truth to ask what scriptural and historical justification the Protestant commentators have for interpreting it the way they used to, and why they have now embrace an eschatology that was birthed out of Catholicism itself. That and more is what is addressed in The Eighth Beast as I examine America in prophecy.

Sadly, most people’s understanding of end-time theology is similar to their hiking an old familiar trail where the slopes and turns have become so instinctive to them it requires very little focus (or faith) to navigate it. However, every so often along the way there is a hint of a old path that forks off the main trail where only the inquisitive will turn aside to see where it leads. Many never aware of the fact that beaten they always take is actually a newer path someone once took looking for an easier way and everyone else just followed, while the old path slowly becomes forgotten and less traveled. If someone wants to be sure they’re on the right path for where they’re wanting to go, they must be willing to leave the trail and take on the difficulties of climbing up to reach a vantage point that is open and clear enough to verify the path they’re on is correct for safely reaching their desired destination. As it says in Jeremiah 6:16 – Thus saith the LORD, “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” But they said, “We will not walk therein.”

I share all this because in my book “The Eighth Beast” I re-introduce an old, yet to many, a whole new perspective that is going to require a willingness to endure the difficulties of setting their current theology on the altar of God and take that climb to where the perspective becomes clear if they are going to understand why America is headed for perdition; and why God has warned us to, “Come out of her, My people, that you partake not of her sins and receive not of her plagues…”

 

Chapter 12

Before the Conclusion of the Seventy Weeks

It is asserted by those who embrace the doctrine of a seven year tribulation period that its primary scriptural foundation comes from Daniel chapter 9. In this chapter the angel Gabriel tells Daniel that “At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.” Gabriel then continues by telling Daniel that “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city.”

We must remember that Gabriel was sent forth at the beginning of Daniel’s supplications when he was confessing his own sins and the sins of Israel. Therefore the “matter . . . and the vision” which Gabriel was sent to help Daniel understand was connected to his prayer for Israel in captivity. In all, there were seven specific things Gabriel prefaces to the “understanding” of the vision with –

  1. It was a period of time(a) regarding Daniel’s people and the holy city(b)
    1. Seventy weeks
    2. Jerusalem
  2. It was to “finish the transgression”
  3. It was to “make an end of sins”
  4. It was to “make reconciliation for iniquity”
  5. It was to “bring in everlasting righteousness”
  6. It was to “seal up the vision and the prophesy”
  7. It was to “to anoint the most Holy”

The Angel Gabriel continues explaining to Daniel that the seventy weeks are going to be divided into three specific time periods, whereby each will serve specific prophetic purposes with outlining events and definite conclusions –

  1. Seven weeks                    7
  2. Plus sixty two weeks           7 + 62 = 69 weeks total
  3. Plus the last week              1 + 69 = 70 weeks total

Let’s quickly review these verses to give us a fresh recall of them before we continue-

Daniel 9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

It is that last week in verse 27, commonly referred to as Daniel’s seventieth week that has become accepted and known as the Seven Year Tribulation and linked to this verse in Daniel. Originally I had intended starting this post by listing the particulars of this seventy weeks revelation from the angel.

At this time I must entreat your patience, as I originally had intended starting this post with addressing the particulars of this vision from the angel. However, before tackling the seventieth week, there are some noteworthy observations regarding the method of Daniel’s writing this prophetic book that should be addressed first.  Additionally, there are various key players in Daniel’s book, including the angel Gabriel, which it would be prudent to briefly investigate since there are several visions seen by various individuals; some of which are associated to Gabriel’s presence and interpretations while others are not. Some visions address events immediately on the horizon for the Kingdom of Babylon and Daniel, while others have events are far off and the understanding of them were sealed until the end.

Daniel 12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Sadly, I know this will require more effort and energy to properly consider than even most Christians are willing to invest, but considering the gravity of this vision and the times in which we are living, it would stand as an indictment of lukewarmness and carelessness if I did not invest time to present to others this perspective of the final seventieth week of Daniel.

The first observation that is important to take note of is that the book of Daniel was not entirely written in Daniels own language of Hebrew, a fact that must be recognized as significant if we are to “rightly divide the word of truth” in trying to define the key players in Daniel; especially those involved with these seventy weeks. Daniel begins writing in Hebrew, but in chapter 2:4 he switches to the language of his conquerors. From that point all the way to the end of chapter 7 Daniel wrote in Chaldee. The explanation given by Commentator Adam Clark is as follows, “As the Chaldeans had a particular interest both in the history and prophecies from Daniel 2:4 to the end of Daniel 7:28, the whole is written in Chaldee.” Concerning chapter 8 to the end of the book, Adam Clarke continues explaining that Daniel wrote in Hebrew “as the prophecies which remain concern times posterior to the Chaldean monarchy, and principally relate to the Church and people of God generally, they are [therefore] written in the Hebrew language, this being the tongue in which God chose to reveal all his counsels given under the Old Testament relative to the New.”

Adam Clarke’s profound statement is worthy of prayerful consideration, that the prophecies in Daniel after chapter seven are “posterior to the Chaldean monarchy” or post Babylon. I think this detail gives good foundation for believing that many living today upon earth will witness the destruction of Mystery Babylon before the final “sealing up of the vision and prophecy… upon thy people and upon thy holy city.” Meaning, it is feasible that The Eighth Beast goes into perdition (destruction) before the conclusion of the seventieth week. To simplify that even further, America, being The Eighth Beast will be completely destroyed before the final prophecies of the vision regarding Israel are fulfilled prior to the Lord’s return.

My next observations and thoughts would be directed temporarily to the angel Gabriel. In the Bible we only have four passages that mention him. The first we will but briefly address is where Gabriel is commissioned to explain to Daniel his vision of the ram and the he-goat, and to give the prediction of the 70 weeks.

Daniel 8:15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.

Now I want to remind the reader that this vision is separate from the seventy weeks vision. Daniel was given this vision while Babylon was still an intact sovereign empire.

Daniel 8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.

Now even though Babylon was still intact, all the prophecies about it were already given and were about to be fulfilled. Here in chapter eight Daniel returns to writing in Hebrew because from now on the vision and prophecies are dealing with Israel post Babylon.  However, this vision in chapter eight is somewhat a continuance of one Daniel had earlier under  the rule of Belshazzar, King of Babylon.

Daniel 7:1  In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

These “four great beasts came up from the sea” represent four great monarchies. For the sake of clarity and presentation,we must set our discussing Gabriel aside temporarily and address these four beasts who are actually four of five key players in chapter seven.

Daniel 7:4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.

This first beast “like a lion” with eagle’s wings represents Babylon which invaded Israel quickly. Appropriately, in scriptures we find Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, being depicted as a lion and his conquests as swift as an eagle.

Jeremiah 4:7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.

Jeremiah 48:40 For thus saith the LORD; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab.

Isaiah 5:29 Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it.

Ezekiel 17:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar.

Nebuchadnezzar’s army conquered Israel and destroyed Jerusalem. The walls of the city were pulled down, the gates burned, the temple robbed of all its treasures and destroyed. In the process, a considerable percentage of the Israelites were killed, while the choicest of the young men were carried away captive, leaving only the poorest behind as miserable farmers.

Daniel 7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

This second beast, represented by a bear, was the Medo-Persian Empire. It’s been noted by some commentators how the bear, being the largest species of these four beasts, were found in the colder mountainous regions of Mede/Media (modern Iran). The Medo-Persian Empire is compared to a bear on account of their aggressiveness and thirst for blood.

However, with the Jews in captivity, we see how the sovereignty of God moved the Medo-Persian Empire leaders to allow a return of the Jews back to rebuild Jerusalem. It is under this empire that we have both the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

Daniel 7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

The third beast, a four headed leopard with four wings of a fowl, is the Macedonian, or Greek Empire which rose to power under Alexander the Great. The swiftness with which Alexander accomplished his conquests is appropriately represented by “a leopard… with four wings of a fowl.” For though the Babylonian Empire was embodied in a lion with two wings to witness the speed of Nebuchadnezzar’s conquests, Alexander’s empire has four wings; since up till that time in history no other empire was its equal. The four heads of the leopard prophetically foretells the dividing of the Macedonian Empire upon Alexander’s death between his four generals.

It is important to note in verse 6 that “dominion was given to it,” meaning the triumphs of the Greek Empire were not due to of Alexander’s own the skill or even the courage of his troops, rather the nations were given to him. Bishop Newton stated that, “had he not been assisted by the mighty power of God, how could he [Alexander the Great], with only thirty thousand men, have overcome Darius with six hundred thousand; and in so short a time have brought the countries from Greece as far as India into subjection?” It was God who gave Alexander his dominion, for we must remember the vision and prophecy are specifically concerning “thy people and upon thy holy city.”

 Daniel 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

Note that this fourth beast is not identified with a known species as it “was diverse from all the beasts that were before it.” It is the Roman Empire, dreadful, terrible, and exceeding strong and it devoured, and breaks in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet. This not only witnesses to its absolute triumph over all the other nations, bringing them to naught, but more significantly points to how Rome destroyed Israel in 70 A.D. scattering the remnant thereof throughout the nations of the world.

Before I continue, I need to make a short run down a rabbit trail… God created man to be responsive to Him and to live under the discipline of His holy precepts, delighting in His laws and meditating therein night and day. When a man is responsive to God, he is being responsible and therefore permitted to freely enjoy the benefits of God’s creation and Kingdom. Humanity has no rights or privileges apart from their responsibilities to the Kingdom of God. This is important to acknowledge if we are going to be found  fit for the kingdom of God.

Luke 9:62 Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Hence the angel stated that Rome “was diverse from all the beasts that were before it,” for history reveals it was a republican form of government in contrast to the preceding monarchal empires. Perhaps this fact serves as the foundation as to why it was not identified with a known species. Though God created man to have dominion, He never intended for men to govern their own selves. Such a government therefore is unnatural, being a creation of man and not of God. The only form of government God can truly approve is a monarchal kingdom, which alone under His guidance can be fashioned and ruled so as to prophetically represent His own, where He is honored as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Nevertheless, when men reign over other men, they will eventually reject God’s word and His Kingdom. Then it is no longer man that reigns, but sin. Such lesson can be verified not only in the history of each of these empires, but in Israel’s history as well. For when sin reigns, it will always be found to be dreadful, terrible, and exceeding strong for it devours and breaks in pieces, and stamps the residue with its feet as it will seek every opportunity to trodden underfoot the Son of God, and count the blood of the covenant an unholy thing, and despites the Spirit of grace.

Back on point, the “ten horns” on the beast were prophetic of the fall of Rome and how later it would be divided into ten smaller kingdoms which to the best of my knowledge forsook the republic governing structure of Rome and returned to monarchies and  have been surmised to be the following –

1. The Roman senate

2. The Greeks

3. The Lombards

4. The Huns

5. The Alemans

6. The Franks

7. The Burgundians

8. The Saracens in Africa and a part of Spain

9. The Goths

10. And the Saxons

The Little Horn

 Daniel 7:8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

This little horn is almost too quietly mentioned when contrasted against the weighed of “the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea” and “the four great beasts came up from the sea.” However, there are a few points worthy of prayerful consideration I would like to make, hoping those reading will have read my previous post and have already placed all their current persuasions on the altar of God so as to be open to examine these things afresh.

First, this little horn’s origin comes from “among them,” this to me speaks of a nation or empire that will rise up, not only out of the “ten horns,” but in all probability predominantly from one in particular. This is why it is prudent to compare each of these four beasts with the diverse attributes assigned to the Eighth Beast that rises up out of the sea.

Revelation 13:1  And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Second observation, notice the “little horn” has “eyes like the eyes of man.” These “eyes of a man” speaks primarily to the lust of the eyes of men, signifying the little horn is never going to be satisfied till all it sees comes under its control and influence. Therefore he will be cunning, flattering and given to endless lies to achieve its conquests. The ‘little horn” also has “a mouth speaking great things,” which also can be associated with the Eighth Beast–

Revelation 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.  6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

God has been long-suffering and forbearing with the folly of humanity from the beginning, permitting many seemingly great things to occur that many people perceive to have been accomplished through the wisdom and might of men. Yet all this ultimately is permitted only to prove to the whole world there is in fact a God and Creator before whom all the nations are reckoned but dust in the scales, for all the souls of such powerful men will still stand before Him to give an accounting, acknowledging that His alone is the Kingdom, the power, and glory forever and ever.

Isaiah 40:15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing.

AGAIN, please also recall how the three other horns were “plucked up by the roots” by the little horn. Consider again the verse –

Daniel 7:8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

It is simple history that originally the colonization of America was attempted by three of those ten horns; England, Spain and France. However, all three of these have been “plucked up by the roots” so to say and lost all sovereign claims to American soil.

It is evident that it was because of “the great words which the horn spoke . . . the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.” Again, this too can be seen attributed to the Eighth Beast who is destined to be destroyed by the ten horns–

Revelation 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

Revelation 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

Daniel saw both the rise and fall of this “little horn” which was confirmed to be under the sovereign watch of the “Ancient of days.” No kingdom, even though they may appear to be running rampant in defiance to His great authority, has ever gone beyond the tolerance of the Lord’s great power and restraint.

Daniel 7:9  I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.  10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

At this point, I would like to stress the importance of noting that the destruction of this “little horn,” which became a great beast and was destroyed by fire, that its judgment does not bring the same timely end to the other horns or “beasts.” It is clear that they lose some of their power, but they are permitted to continue on “for a season and time.” I hope to address this more thoroughly later in a post on the Seven Year Tribulation.

Lastly, I wish to return our focus to Gabriel where he appears to Daniel in chapter eight. Again, this is where Daniel returns to writing in Hebrew after the prophecies concerning Babylon which were written in Aramaic. This is only a couple of years after Daniel was given the vision of all the beasts above; now he was given another vision in the “third year of the reign of King Belshazzar.”

In this vision Daniel foresees the coming of the Mede/Persia Empire (2nd beast) represented here as a ram with two horns, one higher than the other. As he was pondering the ram and its horns, a great he-goat appears with a single great horn between its eyes. This horn in chapter 8 is Alexander the Great, previously the third beast in chapter 7 (the leopard) to which “dominion was given.” As stated earlier, this dominion was not just over the other nations, but is specifically given to him over “thy people and the holy city.” Here Alexander the Great/Greece as the “he goat” moves so quickly it is said to not to even touch the ground –

Daniel 8:5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

In the vision the he-goat smites the ram, breaks his two horns; taking away its power to stand and casts the ram down to the ground. After which the he-goat/Greece becomes a greater empire until the notable horn/Alexander the Great is broken and he dies. This leaves his empire to be divided among his four generals.

Daniel 8:8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. 9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.

There is not much said about the four note able ones that came up, for the emphasis of the verse straight way goes to another “little horn” that came forth from one of them. Now many people and commentators believe that this little horn is the same as the little horn in 7:8, but I disagree. The 7:8 horn comes from the remnants of the fourth beast’s ten horns, where this little horn comes from one of the four horns of the third beast. Also, this later second little horn is place in a time frame of “the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full,” which simply means the measure of Gods patience with the sins of the transgressors has come to an end; judgment is now eminent.

To put it simply here, I am strongly incline to believe this little horn was Antiochus Epiphanes who polluted the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar of God, blaspheming His name and was later defeated by the Maccabees. Antiochus died suddenly of worms and ulcers supposedly in 164 BC, in harmony with Daniel 8:25 which says “but he shall be broken without hand.”

I truly regret the length of this post, as I know many will not give themselves to read through all this. I would much rather be discussing Jesus Christ and His promises to us, but I felt some of these points needed be established for a foundation before entering the subject of the seventy weeks in chapter nine. However, for those that have read through thus far I would like to make one last point that concerns a clue given to us through an angel speaking to another asked concerning the duration of this vision–

Daniel 8:13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

If the prophetic day here is to be understood the same as it is in chapter nine, then we can conclude the duration will be 2300 years that “the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot.” It has always been my strong inclination that the retaking of the Temple Mount in 1967 was a significant event, one which would not have happen unless God had foretold it by His prophets.

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.

If we subtract 1967 years from the 2300 we end up with 333 years from year 1 D.C. to 1 A.D. there is only 1 year to be counted since there is no O (zero) year to be counted in the timeline. Though we do not know the months or exact time of year, this is the very close if not exactly to the time of Alexander the Great entrance into the Persian-ruled Asia Minor in 334 B.C. 

Josephus in “The Antiquities of the Jews” Book XI, chapter VIII, paragraph 5, tells this story of Alexander the Great arriving in Jerusalem:

“And when he (the High Priest) understood that he (Alexander the Great) was not far from the city (Jerusalem), he (the High Priest) went out in procession with the priests and the multitude of citizens. The procession was venerable, and the manner of it different from that of other nations … and when the Phoenicians and the Chaldeans that followed him (Alexander the Great), thought that they should have liberty to plunder the city, and torment the high priest to death, which the king’s displeasure fairly promised them, the very reverse of it happened; for Alexander, when he (Alexander the Great) saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed in fine linen, and the high priest in purple and scarlet clothing, with his miter on his head, having the golden plate whereon the name of God was engraved, he (Alexander the Great) approached by himself, and adored that name (the name of God), and first saluted the high priest. The Jews also did altogether, with one voice, salute Alexander, and encompass him about; where upon the kings of Syria and the rest were surprised at what Alexander had done, and supposed him disordered in his mind (They thought Alexander was crazy for bowing before the High Priest). However, Parmenio alone went up to him (Alexander the Great) and asked him how it came to pass that, when all others adored him, he should adore the high priest of the Jews? To whom he replied, “I did not adore him, but that G-d who hath honored him with his high-priesthood; for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit (high priestly garment), when I was at Dios in Macedonia, who, when I was considering with myself, how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he (God) would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians; whence it is, that having seen no other in that habit (high priestly garment), and now seeing this person in it, and remembering that vision, and the exhortation which I had in my dream, I believe that I bring this army under the divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius, and destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind.”

When the high priest went outside Jerusalem to meet Alexander the Great, he took the book of Daniel to show Alexander the prophecies concerning him. To which Alexander was so moved that he went to the temple to offer a sacrifice and worshipped God.

Summary

1. I strongly believe there is profound prophetic significance in that Daniel 2:4 thru 7:28 was written in Aramaic dealing with Babylon and its fall. This signifying to me that after the Eighth Beast and Mystery Babylon the Great falls, there will still be a brief period for other prophecies to come to past in the last days. That further indicates a necessity to prayerfully consider a literal interpretation of Revelation 18:4, to “”Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.

2. Before we see the conclusion of the seventieth week of Daniel, we will have witness the fall of Babylon the Great, i.e. America, The Eighth Beast being completely destroyed before the final prophecies of Daniel’s visions regarding Israel are fulfilled just prior to the Lord’s return.

3. The “little horn” that plucks up three other horns by their roots agrees with America having fought and gained her independence from England, Spain and France.

4. That Gabriel comes after Babylon and declares the ends and beginnings of other events on God’s predetermined timeline. Commissioned to explain to Daniel the vision of the ram and the he-goat and gives the prediction of the seventy weeks (Da 8:16; 9:21) in the Old Testament. Later in the New Testament he appears to Zacharias proclaiming the birth of John the Baptist, and then later to Mary, announcing the birth of Jesus (Lu 1:19, 26). Thus, again, I feel the conclusion of the seventieth week of Daniel will be preceded by the fall of Babylon the Great.

5. All this is crucial to understanding the seventy weeks as a prophetic period of time pertaining to Daniels people and the holy city.

(Continued below)

(Note: This is Chapter 13 of 21 from my book “The Eighth Beast” about America in Prophecy)

Daniel 9:27 – And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This is the only “seven year” scriptural reference I know of that is foundationally used for the complete duration of the seven years tribulation with the perceived division being “in the midst of the week” when, according  to popular understanding of the doctrine, the antichrist does away with the animal sacrifices that were reinstated in a rebuilt temple.  There are however, many scriptural references to “seven years”  –

  1. There were the both the seven years which Jacob labored for Rachael and was given Leah instead, then the next seven years for which he indeed received  Rachael.
  2. The seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine with Joseph in Egypt.
  3. The seven years of famine under David and Samuel
  4. The seven years of famine with Elisha
  5. The seven years of burning weapons after the war with Gog and Magog  (which if there is a seven-year tribulation immediately before the return of Christ this war must needs be before it then)

There are also several three and half year periods in scriptures referred to as “time, times, and half of time” or 1260 days even 1290 days even 1335 days. It is astounding the extreme that men have labored to know and define these times for years when scripture clearly states in regards to some of them that these things are sealed until the end. I am personally persuaded that for anyone to assume that each of these times mentioned are referencing to the same time period would be as imprudent as to believe all the previously mentioned seven-year periods were the same, which a simple reading of them all would easily bring a ready dismissal of such nonsense.  Therefore one must take caution when asserting things from scriptures because they can quickly earn the title of “false” teacher or prophet.

Nonetheless, in regards to Daniels seventieth week, one can certainly prayerfully consider the text in search of understanding by the Holy Spirit’s illumination. Perhaps reaping the greatest reward of avoiding being carried away by the flood of false doctrines brought forth by both demons and ignorant men thinking themselves to be something they are not.

True understanding is given by commandment of God. It is never the product of clever men being able to calculate their way through hidden codes in scripture; Harold Camping’s date setting errors should be a sufficient warning to any aspiring date setter. But that doesn’t mean we cannot know the times in which we are living. For I am persuaded that Peter understood full well the duration of time left for fulfillment before the Lord’s return

Jesus affirmed that for those true disciples who would keep His words that to them it would be given to know the truth, and the truth would set them free. Those true disciples who are truly seeking to know Him and not just gain knowledge, that to them it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed;  32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Mt 11:25 At that time, Jesus answered, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants.

Mt 13:11 He answered them, “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them.  12 For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he has.

Mt 16:17 Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

1Co 2:10 But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  11 For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God’s Spirit.  12 But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God.  13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.  14 Now the natural man doesn’t receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can’t know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Heb 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

I must re-emphasize that it was a consequence of Daniel’s supplications that the angel Gabriel was sent forth at the beginning of when confessing his sins and the sins of Israel. This fact establishes an unbreakable connection between the “matter . . . and the vision” Gabriel was sent to help Daniel understand and his prayer for his people in captivity.

To help keep this seventieth week in proper context, let’s look again from the beginning of the chapter –

Dan 9:1 In the first year of Darius . . . of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans 2 . . . I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.

This is by far one of my favorite passages, for the reason that Daniel clearly states he “understood” that the duration of the Jewish Babylonian captivity was coming to an end “by the books” of Jeremiah the prophet. Some things are not hidden, and therefore they can both bless and establish accountability on all who read or hear it.

Jer 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.  12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.

 Jer 29:10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform My good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.

Knowing the 70 years was about to conclude, Daniel therefore “set” his “face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes” God’s grace and mercy for the sins of Israel that they may find His favor to be restored. Oh, if only every believer in America so sought God’s face like Daniel did using every means of petitioning God’s mercies through “prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” Have we truly forgotten Jesus’ words concerning “Blessed are they that mourn?”

But nowadays too many churches have taken the shame out of sin by presenting the amazing grace of God as something so cheap and conveniently affordable like a common commodity on the shelf of a nearby convenient store, leaving professors of Christ’s name to carelessly commit sin the way the government spends never worrying about the consequences because they have “grace.” What else can this be but the “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ?”

What is amazing is Daniel’s faith and how it is evident in his prayer to God . . .

Dan 9:10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. 11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed Thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey Thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him. 12 And He hath confirmed His words, which He spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Thy truth. 

There are two parts in Daniel’s prayer for God’s people to embrace. First, how he believed God proved the certainty of His words by judging Israel according to His law as written by Moses. Second, having witnessed the certainty of God’s word . . . Daniel turns to prayer to remind God of the purpose of His judgments,” that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Thy truth.”

Dan 9:18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

Daniel’s was a faith pleasing unto God and because it was true faith which came by means of a heart open to hearing the word of the Lord as he read Jeremiah’s writings. Humbled by God’s righteous judgments, Daniel sought further understanding of the future events concerning his people and their fate. Therefore God sent Gabriel to reveal unto Daniel the future events which would unfold . . .

Dan 9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

It is evident that the angel was there to give Daniel a clear understanding of this vision. Yes, there are other visions which were given to Daniel which when he sought understanding and was told, “Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” But that is not the case here. This time the angel is there to explain these specific things to Daniel, things specifically concerning the Jewish nation, Jerusalem, the temple and the Messiah. In verse 24, the angel clarifies what Daniel’s vision is all about . . . and the duration of time to be given to it.

Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Again for convenience, here are the seven specific things the angel Gabriel is there to give Daniel “understanding” of the vision regarding –

  1. It was a period of time1 regarding his people and the holy city2
    1. Seventy weeks
    2. Jerusalem
  2. It was to “finish the transgression”
  3. It was to “make an end of sins”
  4. It was to “make reconciliation for iniquity”
  5. It was to “bring in everlasting righteousness”
  6. It was to “seal up the vision and the prophesy”
  7. It was to “to anoint the most Holy”

The first thing is the time element; “Seventy weeks are determined . . .” These “seventy weeks” represent a total duration of 490 years. The most difficult part of this vision deals with determining the exact time from which the time frame starts . . . and there are multiple views upon that point. I will submit my perspective a little later to you.

Daniel was praying in regards to when the 70 years of Babylonian captivity was to be finished when the angel comes to tell him about when another captivity will be over as well, the captivity of sin. Gabriel shows him “seventy weeks determined” relative to this captivity of sin, its solution and Redeemer, Messiah the Prince. These 70 weeks, representing a total of 490 years is said to begin with the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Apart from the fact that Daniel’s weeks represent a seven-year period is recognized by most commentators, biblical confirmation can be supported by God’s commandment to give the land a Sabbath every seventh year.

Lev 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a Sabbath unto the LORD. 3 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; 4 But in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of rest unto the land, a Sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. 8 And thou shalt number seven Sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.

The 490 years appears to be divided into three segments of time, two of which are mention there in verse 25. The first is a 7 week period representing a period of 49 years. During these 49 years “the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times” in Jerusalem. The second is a 62 week period representing a period of 454 years which concludes with the coming of “Messiah the Prince.” The total time here is 483 years.

Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

While it may be difficult for men to agree on when the commencement of these periods begin, “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem,” the angel Gabriel tells specifically what event concludes at their end, “unto the Messiah the Prince.” This clearly means that the coming of the Messiah would be 483 years after the commandment was issued. Jesus gives us the best indication of the time’s conclusion –

Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

If the time fulfilled wasn’t the time mentioned by Gabriel to Daniel, then students of the word are obligated to affix another prophetic time to Jesus words, of which no other do I know of. Consider also these other verses by the Apostle Paul –

Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.

There were students of God’s word at the time of Christ who, like Daniel, knew the meaning and purpose of these verses and were therefore in anticipation of their fulfillment during the days of Jesus birth.

Luke 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law, 28 Then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, 31 Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people . . . 36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Certainly the scriptural justification for these people to be looking for the redemption of Israel in their days was because they, just like Daniel who “understood by the books,” also understood the time in which they were privileged to live because of the book of Daniel and his vision concerning the 70 weeks. They knew the 484 years till the coming of Messiah was not far off and were eagerly looking for Him.

However, perhaps the greatest proof of Jesus’ ministry being the fulfillment of Daniel’s 69 weeks comes from His admonition of the people of Israel.

Lu 19:41 When he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it,  42 saying, “If you, even you, had known today the things which belong to your peace! But now, they are hidden from your eyes.  43 For the days will come on you, when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, surround you, hem you in on every side,  44 and will dash you and your children within you to the ground. They will not leave in you one stone on another, because you didn’t know the time of your visitation.

Now, in Daniel 9:24 there are six specific events mentioned which would be the consequences of the incarnation of our Lord –

  1. To finish (bring restraint to) the transgression. This was placed in effect by the preaching of the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, and pouring out of the Holy Ghost among men.
  2. To make an end of sins <chatta’ah>. This does not mean an end to sin itself, rather “to make an end of sin-offerings” This Jesus our Lord did when He offered his spotless soul and body on the cross once for all. The lawful offering of sacrifices unto God ended with the self-sacrifice of Jesus.

<chatta’ah>– an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation; also (concretely) an offender:–punishment (of sin), purifying (-fication for sin), sin(-ner, offering).

A few examples of where the same Hebrew word in 9:24 translated “sin” was translated “sin offering” (Translated such 199 times in O.T.) –

Ex 29:14 But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it [is] a sin offering <chatta’ah>.

Ex 29:36 And thou shalt offer every day a bullock [for] a sin offering <chatta’ah> for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.

Ex 30:10 And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering<chatta’ah> of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it [is] most holy unto the LORD.

Le 4:3 If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering <chatta’ah>.

Le 4:8 And he shall take off from it all the fat of the bullock for the sin offering <chatta’ah>; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that [is] upon the inwards,

Le 4:20 And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering <chatta’ah>, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. 21 And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him as he burned the first bullock: it [is] a sin offering<chatta’ah> for the congregation. 24 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it [is] a sin offering <chatta’ah>25 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering <chatta’ah> with his finger, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering.29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering <chatta’ah>, and slay the sin offering <chatta’ah> in the place of the burnt offering. 32 And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering <chatta’ah>, he shall bring it a female without blemish.

3. To make reconciliation, or “to make atonement” for iniquity; which Jesus did by the once offering up of Himself upon the cross. Therefore the sacrifices, or sin offerings <chatta’ah> had become totally unnecessary, and to offer them would be to “sacrifice Christ afresh.”

4. To bring in everlasting righteousness, that is, “the righteousness, or righteous ONE, of ages.” That person who had been the object of the faith of mankind, and the subject of the predictions of the prophets through all the ages of the world, beginning with the promise God made to Eve that she ultimately would bring forth “seed” that would avenge her and bruise the head of the serpent.

5. To seal up, or “finish or complete” the vision and prophecy. That is, to put an end to the necessity of any farther revelations, by completing the canon of Scriptures then given by Jesus fulfilling the prophecies which related to His person, sacrifice, and the glory that should follow.

6. And to anoint the Most Holy, which signifies the consecration or appointment of our blessed Lord, the Holy One of Israel, to be the Prophet, Priest, and King of mankind.

Again, Daniel’s seventy weeks, or 490 years, are divided into three distinct periods, to each of which particular events are assigned.

Seven weeks, that is, 49 years.
Sixty-two weeks, that is, 434 years
One week, that is, 7 years

The first seven weeks period was for the restoration and repairing of the wall and streets of Jerusalem, where we see Ezra and Nehemiah also employed in restoring both the sacred constitutions and civil establishments of the Jews. This work lasted forty-nine years after the commission was given by Artaxerxes.  Including the second period of 62 weeks brings us to 434 years, at the end of which the prophecy says “Messiah the Prince” would come. This conclusion of both these periods must take in the ministry of John the Baptist for Jesus our Lord says, “The law was until John.”

Mt 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Many feel this means “the prophets and the law” were only up until John, but not including John. However, the Greek word <heos> is the same word used in the genealogies of Mt 1:1,7 “So all the generations from Abraham to <heos> David are fourteen generations; and from David until <heos> the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto <heos> Christ are fourteen generations.” It is evident that the first period “from Abraham to <heos> David” is defined by the inclusion of David. Therefore it is not appropriate to exclude John the Baptist from “all the prophets and the law” which were to “prophesied until” <heos> the coming of our Lord . . . which begins the third period, or the seventieth week of Daniel. It is during this time that someone would “confirm the covenant with many for one week.”

It is this seventieth week of Daniel which has become known as “the great tribulation” or simply “The Tribulation.” Yet nowhere has the angel Gabriel mentioned any such thing taking place. However, Gabriel does mention an “overspreading of abomination” and the destruction of the temple.

Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This is where “7 year tribulation” theology takes off with the antichrist interpretation, seeing the “prince” as the antichrist which “shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” They say that he, the antichrist, will make a treaty with the Jews resulting in a peaceful solution to the Middle East crisis. Sometime during or before all this the Temple is expected to be rebuilt, which then depending on who you may asked, either the Jews or the antichrist then re-institutes animal sacrifices in the temple. (To address all that now would be too much of a side track.)

But, then according to come seven-year tribulation theology the antichrist will “in the midst of the week,” or after 3 ½ years, break his covenant with the Jews and “cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” thus issuing in the later 3 ½ years and worst part of “The Seven Year Tribulation.”

However, as it should be clear to all reading, I am not fully persuaded that this interpretation is the truth. The “vision” of Daniel is about the Jewish people, Israel, Jerusalem and their Messiah, Jesus Christ; God manifested in the flesh.

My conviction is that this last seven-year period, or the “seventieth week of Daniel,” that this is the period of time in which God tabernacles with man as Jesus Christ “confirm[s] the covenant with many.” However, I do believe this seventieth week is divided by a specific event –

“. . . and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease . . .”

What divides the 70th week is “the sacrifice and the oblation” are caused to cease. But how? By the antichrist breaking an alleged covenant with the Jews? Or by Jesus fulfilling God’s covenant to them?

Remember what was stated above? What the angel said would be accomplished within the 70 weeks? Six distinct things would be accomplished. Listed again below are numbers 2 and 3 previously mentioned above.

2. To make an end of sins. This does not mean an end to sin itself, rather “to make an end of sin-offerings” This Jesus our Lord did when He offered his spotless soul and body on the cross once for all. Therefore the lawful offering of sacrifices unto God ended with the self-sacrifice of Jesus.

3. To make reconciliation, or “to make atonement” for iniquity; which Jesus did by the once offering up of Himself upon the cross. Therefore sacrifices were totally unnecessary, and to offer one would be to “sacrifice Christ afresh.”

Therefore for the Jews to reject the true Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, and continue to offer animal sacrifices instead would be an abomination in the eyes of God. For them to continue to offer animal sacrifices would truly be an “overspreading of abominations.” Yet that is exactly what happened. They rejected Jesus Christ and continued in their now dead and empty rituals “crucifying Christ afresh.”

Heb 9:13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify to the cleanness of the flesh:  14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Heb 10:4 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.  5 Therefore when He comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You didn’t desire, but You prepared a body for Me; 6 You had no pleasure in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin.  7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (in the scroll of the book it is written of Me) to do Your will, O God.'”  8 Previously saying, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You didn’t desire, neither had pleasure in them” (those which are offered according to the law), 9 then He has said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first, that Ye may establish the second, 10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, (see all Hebrews 9 & 10).

That which was once commanded by God to be done as holy prophetic action to proclaim that which was planned from the foundation of the world, the death and passion of our blessed Lord and Savior would then become a continual testimony of the Jews’ rejection of God’s provision for their reconciliation and these very sacrifices would then become an “overspreading of abominations” for which “He,” that is God, “shall make it [the Temple] desolate, even until the consummation [the end], and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

What does all that mean? Remember the words of Jesus?

Matt 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house [temple] is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

24:2 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.

(For saving of time and space and avoid being “prohibitively long” here I would refer you to my “Matthew 24” post for the possible fulfillment of these words.)

However, if these things are possibly true, then there is more to Daniel 9:27 which is profitable to reason and address. Such as (1) what is the covenant Jesus was confirming? And (2) how did He confirm it? And if the seventieth week is for the “confirming the covenant” for the duration of 7 years was divided by His death, causing the ceasing of the sacrifices and oblations to be accepted by God, (3) then what about the remaining 3 ½ years?

Let me submit some possible answers to these questions for further prayerful consideration of you, the readers.

First, what is the covenant He/Jesus was confirming? What is the covenant that Jesus confirms to Israel and to the entire world? It is the promise of certainty to which righteous Job wrote the following –

Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

The covenant is the promise of the resurrection. Not just Jesus’ resurrection, but ours as well. Jesus confirmed the truth of the resurrection to His disciples –

Matt 5: 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; 27 And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 11: 23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

John 14: 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.

Here are also some Old Testament verses which proclaimed the covenant / promise from which Jesus would have preached and confirmed by His resurrection

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Eze 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

Hosea 13: 14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from Mine eyes. 

Job 14:12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. 13 O that Thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that Thou wouldest keep me secret, until Thy wrath be past, that Thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. 15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thine hands.

Psm 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 
10 For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psm 17: 15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.

In light of all these scriptures from which Paul would have preached it is easy to see  is why he would have continued with the confirmation of the covenant while declaring the certainty of the Gospel.

Rom 6: 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.

 I Cor 6: 14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by His own power.

I Cor 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 

I Cor 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.

II Cor 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

II Cor 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him. 

Phil 3:10 That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

The Apostle John was not silent, for he too confirmed the certainty of God’s covenant –

I John 2: Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.

Now, exactly how did Jesus confirm the covenant/promise of a resurrection? He confirmed the covenant with His own bodily resurrection. He proved He had the power to not only raise Himself from the dead, but others as well . . .

Matt 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

John 20: 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.

Roman 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

Now if Jesus confirmed the covenant with the Jews, both by His preaching and ultimately His bodily resurrection, just where are the remaining 3 ½ years of the 70th week???

I have come to believe that the final 3 ½ years will be fulfilled by the ministry of the two witness in Jerusalem ministering to the Jewish people the last days mentioned in Revelation chapter 11. These two witnesses will be again confirming the covenant of God to the descendants of Abraham testifying that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah the Prince. “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them,” meaning that as the devil as stirred up wicked men throughout the history of humanity to murder the righteous, these two will killed and left unburied in an attempt to discredit the “myth” of Christianity.

Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

These two witnesses will know exactly who they are, and like Jesus they too will testify in their last days that they also will be martyred . . . but they too, like Jesus was, will be raised from the dead. This testimony will infuriate the Jewish people, but a remnant will listen and watch, for they will be pierced in their hearts and convicted by the Sword of Truth. These are the ones who will give glory unto God after the resurrection of the two witnesses.

Rev 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

The only way any man can give glory unto God is to honor the Son as the Father . . .

John 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them [the covenant]; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. 22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him.

This remnant giving glory unto the Son as their Redeemer will be the in-grafting back in of the Jews resulting in the fulfillment of the Vision of Daniel ushering the resurrection of the dead.

Ro 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Lu 13:35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Lastly, one more reason why I believe that Daniel 9:27 “in the midst of the week” is referring to Jesus causing “the sacrifice and oblations to cease” is because Jesus also died in the midst/middle of the week, on a Wednesday. For clarification of that please see my Trip to the Tomb thread.

(excerpt from post)

. . . in Mark’s account we see that Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where and how the body of Jesus was buried (Mark 5:47). Then, “when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome” purchased sweet spices that when they came to the tomb they might anoint the body of Jesus for a proper burial because His body was prepared and buried in haste “before” sunset prior to a High Sabbath. This is a point that most fail to discern, that the week of Jesus’ crucifixion there were actually two Sabbaths. This “Sabbath” mentioned by Mark is not the seventh day weekly Sabbath, or Saturday, mention earlier in Matthew’s account. This “Sabbath” was day one of seven consecutive days of observance of the Feast of the Unleaven Bread, a “high holy day” and was therefore observed as a Sabbath since no servile work was to be done, see John 19:31.

. . . that Passover was on a Wednesday, which would have (regardless of our assumption) been the fourteenth day of the first month, (Lev 23:2). Then the Fifteenth day would have been Thursday, day one the Feast of the Unleaven Bread, declared by God to be a holy convocation and a High Sabbath. Therefore after the fifteenth day “was past” Friday came, they went out and “bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him” (Mark 16:1) and then, “prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the [fourth] commandment,” (Luke 23:56).

Summary

If these things have plausible credibility, then the whole seven-year tribulation message that has been taught and widely promoted by such fables as the “Left Behind” series, then we as believers have need to been diligent in our seeking to rightly discern the times and the seasons in which we are living and to pray that we may be found worthy to escape the wrath to come have posted before all the New Testament verses on tribulation in my post But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you . . .

Therefore we should give earnest heed to the words of our Savior and His apostle –

Lu 21:34 “So be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly. 35 For it will come like a snare on all those who dwell on the surface of all the earth. 36 Therefore be watchful all the time, praying that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

2Th 1:5 This is an obvious sign of the righteous judgment of God, to the end that you may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which you also suffer.  6 Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay affliction to those who afflict you,  7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted ~!-++giving vengeance to those who don’t know God, and to those who don’t obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus,  9 who will pay the penalty: eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might,  10 when he comes to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired among all those who have believed (because our testimony to you was believed) in that day.  11 To this end we also pray always for you, that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire of goodness and work of faith, with power; 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Continued below)

The Sum of the Prophecy

Posted: June 28, 2019 in Shared Thoughts

(Note: This is Chapter 14 of my book “The Eighth Beast” dealing with America in prophecy)

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, 1to finish the transgression, and 2to make an end of sins, and 3to make reconciliation for iniquity, and 4to bring in everlasting righteousness, and 5to seal up the vision and prophecy, and 6to anoint the most Holy. (Daniel 9:24)

In Daniel’s vision it is revealed in verse 9:24 that six specific things would transpire after “God was manifested in the flesh” by way of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus.

  1. To finish the transgression. “Finish” signifying bringing in an effective restraint against the power of sin, that it need not have dominion over the people of God anymore. This was brought into effect by the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross for the remission of sins and is made available unto all men through the preaching of the power of God unto salvation, i.e. the Gospel. Whereupon believing and repenting by acknowledging Jesus Christ as their Lord, believers are sanctified by the Spirit and forgiven through the blood that they might be empower through the out-pouring of the Holy Ghost upon them to walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:1 – What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

  1. To make an end of sins <Hebrew word, chatta’ah>. This does not mean an end to “sin” itself. For if that were the case, it would have been accomplished with the first, “finish the transgression.” For all sin is the transgression of God’s law.

I John 3:4 – Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Rather this “end of sins” means an end of the sin-offerings. This our Lord Jesus did when He offered His spotless soul and body on the cross, once and for all, as a sin-offering sacrificed unto God upon behalf of all mankind. Thereby, Jesus caused the authority and mandate requiring the animal “sacrifice and oblation to cease” with His own self-sacrifice upon the cross.

<chatta’ah> – an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation; also (concretely) an offender:–punishment (of sin), purifying(-fication for sin), sin(-ner, offering).

A few examples of where the same Hebrew word in Daniel 9:24 translated “sin” was translated “sin offering.” (Translated such 199 times in O.T.) –

Exodus 29:14 – But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering <chatta’ah>.

Exodus 29:36 – And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering <chatta’ah> for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it.

Exodus 30:10 – And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering <chatta’ah>, of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD.

Leviticus 4:3 – If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering <chatta’ah>.

Leviticus 4:8 – And he shall lift up from it all the fat of the young bull for the sin offering <chatta’ah>; the fat that covers the inward parts, and all the fat on the inward parts

Leviticus 4:20 – And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering <chatta’ah>, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. 21 And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him as he burned the first bullock: it is a sin offering <chatta’ah>, for the congregation… 24 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it is a sin offering <chatta’ah>.  25 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering <chatta’ah>, with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering… 29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering <chatta’ah>, and slay the sin offering <chatta’ah>, in the place of the burnt offering. 30 And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar. 31 And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the LORD; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him. 32 And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering <chatta’ah>, he shall bring it a female without blemish.

  1. To make reconciliation, or “to make atonement” for iniquity; which Jesus did once and for all, by offering up Himself upon the cross and shedding His blood. As a result, the sacrifices, or the sin offerings <chatta’ah>, had become wholly unnecessary. Subsequently, to continue offering them would cause one to prophetically “crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and to put Him to an open shame,” (Hebrews 6:6).

It is very important to understand that Gabriel was speaking here of that event, the work of the cross, which would bring to an end the necessity of the ceremonial sin-offerings as defined under the law and not an end to the commission of sin itself by humanity. For some having misunderstood and failing to make this distinction have made two grave errors thereby. One, some say this prophecy cannot be fulfilled until men no longer sin, and two, they completely misinterpret the Apostle Paul’s words below which were written to the believers in Corinth.

II Corinthians 5:21 – For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

I know some will draw back at this statement, but the Lord Jesus Christ never became sin; rather He became a sin-offering “for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Consider Young’s Translation of Isaiah below –

Isaiah 53:4 – Surely our sicknesses He hath borne, And our pains–He hath carried them, And we–we have esteemed Him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 And He is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace is on Him, And by His bruise there is healing to us. 6 All of us like sheep have wandered, Each to his own way we have turned, And Jehovah hath caused to meet on Him, The punishment of us all.

Dear reader, Jesus never became sin. He was never anything but holy, “a lamb without spot or blemish.” For even under the Ceremonial Law we see that the sins were imparted to the scapegoat and not to the sacrificial lamb.

Leviticus 16:8 – And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 And Aaron shall bring the [first] goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 10 But the [second] goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness… 15 Then shall he kill the [first] goat of the sin offering <chatta’ah>, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: 16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17 And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. 18 And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the [first] goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. 19 And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. 20 And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the [second] live goat:  21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the [second] live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the [second] goat, and shall send him [the second goat] away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22 And the [second] goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the [second] goat in the wilderness.

  1. To bring in everlasting righteousness, or as Commentator Adam Clarke would say, “the righteousness, or righteous ONE, of ages.” As a reference to that person who had been the expectation of faith and the subject of the prophets’ predictions throughout all the ages of the world; beginning with the promise God made to Eve, that she ultimately would bring forth “seed,” and that He would avenge her and with “His” heel would bruise the head of the serpent.

Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.

  1. To seal up the vision and prophecy. Meaning to “close up” or “complete” the vision and prophecy, to put “an end” to the necessity of any further revelations apart from those given to us by the prophets and apostles, completing the canon of Scriptures. For the same Hebrew word which was translated “end,” as in “make an end of sins,” is the same word which was translated “to seal up.” This too points to Jesus who fulfilled all the prophecies which related to His coming, person, sacrifice, and the glory that should follow.

Ephesians 2:18 – For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Hebrews 1:1 – God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

II Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

I Peter 1:10 – Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

The “prophets” through which “God… spake,” (Hebrews 1:1, 2), spoke as they “were moved by the Holy Ghost,” (II Peter 1:21). These “prophets… who prophesied” did so by “the Spirit of Christ which was in them.” Peter says this good news continues “by them [the apostles] that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.”

  1. And to anoint the Most Holy, signifies the consecration or appointment of our blessed Lord Jesus, the Holy One of Israel, to be the Prophet, Priest, and King of all mankind.

Hebrews 7:18 – For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by which we draw nigh unto God. 20 And inasmuch as not without an oath He was made priest: 21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by Him that said unto Him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec:) 22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24 But this man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

Hence we see by the scriptures that “there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by which we draw nigh unto God.” These are the six things which the 490 years of Daniel’s seventy weeks point to as going to be fulfilled. However, remember these 490 years were divided into three distinct periods, of which to each particular events were assigned.

  • Seven weeks, or 49 years
  • Sixty-two weeks, or 434 years
  • One week, or 7 years

The first seven weeks’ period spoke to the restoration and repairing of the wall and streets of Jerusalem, where we see Ezra and Nehemiah employed in restoring both the sacred constitutions and civil establishments of Israel. This work lasted forty-nine years after the commission was given by Artaxerxes king of Persia.

Ezra 7:21 – And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily, 22 Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. 23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? 24 Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them. 25 And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not. 26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.

By including the second time period of 62 weeks it brings the total to 483 years, at which end thereof the prophecy states “Messiah the Prince” would come. Howbeit, it should be understood that the conclusion of both these periods must take in the ministry of John the Baptist, for Jesus our Lord stated, “The law was until John.”

Matthew 11:13 – For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Many believe “the prophets and the law” were only up until John, but did not include John. However, the Greek word <heos> translated “until” is the same word used in the genealogies of Matthew 1:17, “So all the generations from Abraham to <heos> David are fourteen generations; and from David until <heos> the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto <heos> Christ are fourteen generations.”

Matthew 1:2-6 – 1Abraham begat 2Isaac; and Isaac begat 3Jacob; and Jacob begat 4Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat 5Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat 6Esrom; and Esrom begat 7Aram; And Aram begat 8Aminadab; and Aminadab begat 9Naasson; and Naasson begat 10Salmon; And Salmon begat 11Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat 12Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat 13Jesse; And Jesse begat 14David…

It is evident that the first period “from Abraham to <heos> David” is defined by the inclusion of David. Therefore, it is inappropriate to exclude John the Baptist from “all the prophets and the law” which “prophesied until <heos>” the coming of our Lord which marks the beginning of the third period, or the seventieth week of Daniel. It is during this time, that last week or seven year period, that someone would “confirm the covenant with many for one week.”

However, it is this very last seventieth week which has become known as “the Seven Year Tribulation,” or “the Great Tribulation,” or simply “The Tribulation.” Yet nowhere in regards to this vision does the Angel Gabriel mentioned anything that remotely resembles what has become widely accepted as a world-wide event taking place for a seven year period or even a three and a half year period, such as the theme is in the popular “Left Behind” series. However, Gabriel does mention an “overspreading of abomination” and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Daniel 9:25 – Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Verses 26 and 27 are where the popular “Seven Year Tribulation” theology takes off by the insertion of an antichrist world leader. This is done by interpreting the “prince” which “shall come [and] shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” as the antichrist. By doing so it has become widely accepted that the antichrist is the same “he” in verse 27 who “shall confirm the covenant.” However, those holding to this interpretation are obligated to contort the phrase “confirming the covenant” into “making a peace treaty” with Israel.

This “peace treaty” will supposedly introduce a temporary solution which brings an end to Israel’s Middle East crisis. There are two problems with this interpretation. First, “make a treaty” and “confirm the covenant” do not mean the same thing. For to “make a treaty” means one is being introduced; while “confirming the covenant” implies reinforcing what has already been established. Second, there are many more Arabs killing Arabs than there are Arabs and Jews killing each other. Grant it, Israel without a doubt is in the heart of the Middle East Crisis, but Israel’s existence is not the sole cause of the instability in the Middle East; sin is.

However, sometime before all this can happen, according to this popular theology it is asserted that a third Jewish temple MUST be rebuilt, and depending on whom you asked, either the Jews or the antichrist will then reinstitute animal sacrifices in it. Then, continuing with this theology, “in the midst of the week,” or after three and a half years into “The Seven Year Tribulation,” the antichrist breaks this theoretical treaty with the Israel and will then “cause the [reinstated] sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” This supposedly marks the beginning of the last three and a half years which will then usher in the worst part of “The Seven Year Tribulation.”

However, let it be clear to all reading that I do not embrace this interpretation as the truth, for Gabriel clearly states the “vision” is about the Jewish people, Israel, Jerusalem and their Messiah Jesus Christ; God manifested in the flesh. I do however recognize that “the prince that shall come [and] shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” after Messiah the Prince has been “cut off” will be an altogether different prince than Messiah. For historically it cannot be denied that the Roman General Titus, son of the newly appointed Caesar Vespasian and thus truly a prince, came with his army and did exactly as the Angel Gabriel said. Why then Titus is so widely disregarded in the present day interpretation of these verses completely eludes me.

(Continued below)

(Note: This is  Chapter 15 of 21 from my book The Eighth Beast)

As was stated in Chapter 7, “after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Romans under Titus, both Israel as a nation and their religion of Judaism as defined and practiced under the stringent guidelines of the Levitical Law “was not.” From that time forward it was impossible for the Jews to lawfully offer sacrifices, for the priests were killed or dispersed and the priesthood record of genealogy forever lost, and the sanctuary, the altar and the Holy of holies with all its furniture were lost or destroyed.” I believe all this was the mercy of God in His judgment towards the Jews; destroying a dead system which sole purpose was to point them to Jesus Christ, but could by no means save them. Thus the destruction of the Temple, along with all that was mandatory under the Levitical Law pertaining to the performance of its prescribed sin-offerings, sacrifices and oblations, has left the Jews obligated to look elsewhere for their salvation to be wrought by God.

Because of these things I am persuaded the words “He shall make it desolate” refers to what Jesus’ prophesied regarding the destruction of the Temple. However, this destruction of the Temple was said to be “even until the consummation,” which is a most interesting word for the translators to have elected to use. For “consummation” can literally mean two different things, as its definition can imply either the act of completing, as in fulfilling something, or the bringing it to conclusion to be no more, which are polar opposites. This is why this Hebrew word that was so translated “consummation,” has been translated in other parts of scripture to signify “a full end.”

Jeremiah 46:28 – Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.

Ezekiel 11:13 – And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?

Clearly we can see that this word can be used to imply “to utterly destroy so as never to arise again.” This is verified by Nahum’s use of the word below where it was translated “an utter end.”

Nahum 1:2 – God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies. 3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. 4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. 5 The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. 6 Who can stand before His indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him. 7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him. 8 But with an overrunning flood He will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue His enemies. 9 What do ye imagine against the LORD? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.

Since the Hebrew word in Daniel’s vision which was translated “consummation” has elsewhere been translated a “full end” and “an utter end” to imply never to rise again, then what are we to believe regarding the destruction of the Temple which was obviously brought to “a full” and “utter end?” Ignoring all the religious chatter of religious zealots out there, the question of whether the temple will or will not be rebuilt can only be truly answered by the scriptures and not popular opinion or the goal of men.

There are two main reasons why many people believe a third temple will be built again. One reason would be because of Ezekiel’s Temple which many believers holding to the popular theology insist must be a “Third Temple.” Many of these believers confidently state that there has been no temple ever built with its descriptive size. However, Adam Clarke writes, “This is the measurement of the sanctuary, or holy of holies. This also was the exact measurement of Solomon’s Temple, see I Kings 6:20. This, and the other resemblances here, sufficiently prove that Ezekiel’s temple and that of Solomon were on the same plan; and that the latter temple was intended to be an exact resemblance of the former.”

Likewise, the commentary of Jamieson – Fausset – Brown and that of Patrick – Lowth – Whitby – Lowman, both acknowledge the dimensions of Ezekiel’s temple comparable with those of Solomon’s Temple which was destroyed fourteen years prior to Ezekiel’s vision. Regarding this issue of the temple’s size I cannot speak authoritatively. Nevertheless, there is much discord among believers who clearly have given exhaustive time endeavoring to substantiate their positions on whether Ezekiel’s temple was intended to be literally rebuilt or if it was intended to spiritually represent the Body of Christ of which the believers are said to be its “lively stones.”

Ephesians 2:21 – In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

I Peter 2:5 – Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 3:6 – But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house [temple] are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Since Ezekiel speaks of animal sacrifices occurring in this temple, I fail to see how that could be acceptable to God in the present Christian Age, for scripture clearly reveals to us such sacrifices were but prophetic types and shadows of Christ’s sacrificial death pointing to that which was “to come.”

Colossians 2:17 – Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Hebrew 10:1 – For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast had no pleasure.

Plus, in light of 1st Peter 2:5 mention earlier, it is evident that the believers are now that “holy priesthood… [who] offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Which would seem to be in disparity with Ezekiel’s reference to “the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the LORD to minister unto Him.”

Thus when considering whether God would once again permit animal sacrifices to be reinstated and routinely offered as holy offerings unto Him, the concept to many believers seems to be a radical change of direction; a going backwards towards death and not forward towards life. Such a change would appear presently to only detract from the present glory that has been wonderfully revealed in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 9:28 – So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Hebrews 10:10 – By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Christ was offered to bear the sins of many, once, and for all; that is for all sin, for all mankind, for all eternity. Providing atonement and redemption for all that would confess all their sins and repent by turning from all their wicked ways and calling upon the Lord in broken surrender and humility. But for those who refuse, the Lord is coming “To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him,” (Jude 1:15). This is the sure promise and judgment of the New Covenant; for scripture clearly states regarding the Old Covenant which was adjoined to the last temple with all its sacrifices, oblations and priests of men, “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.” Yet there are still those who adamantly insist a third temple must be constructed, even if it is later in the millennium; though that too disagrees with scripture.

Revelation 21:22 – And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

Regretfully concerning Ezekiel’s Temple, I cannot speak with any more certainty or conviction about it except to say I do not believe it will ever literally be built as the anticipated “third temple” for the reasons mentioned and others to be addressed shortly. However, when examining the amount disagreement that exists regarding the subject, I get the sense it is a winding mystery which the Lord has not called me to solve or untangle. It is best to wait on the Lord till He sheds the light necessary to make apparent the things He has concealed.

The other main reason why people believe the Temple must be built again is because of the temple reference regarding “the man of sin… the son of perdition,” which we discussed in Chapter 2.

II Thessalonians 2:3 – Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

As was noted in Chapter 2, this temple Paul speaks of appears to be a reference to God’s people and not a structural building, as shown in an opinion which also was succinctly stated by Commentator Adam Clarke below.

“After the death of Christ the temple of Jerusalem is never called by the apostles the temple of God; and if at any time they make mention of the house or temple of God, they mean the Church in general, or every particular believer. Whoever will consult 1Co 3:16, 17; 2Co 6:16; 1Ti 3:15; Re 3:12; will want no examples to prove that, under the Gospel dispensation, the temple of God is the Church of Christ; and the man of sin sitting implies this ruling and presiding there; and sitting there as God implies his claiming Divine authority in things spiritual as well as temporal; and showing himself that he is God, implies his doing it with ostentation.”

Although there is much discussion and planning in the works about rebuilding a third temple, I remain persuaded it will never be allowed by God. For the force of scripture and history both testifies to God’s making a full and utter end of the Temple made with hands, and therefore it is my strong belief that together they serve as credible witnesses that He will never again allow it to be rebuilt. In fact, I have become strongly persuaded that this very belief now held by so many, that a third temple must be built, is actually being used by the adversary to cause many Christians to stumble by its serving as a false milestone or erroneous eschatological marker of the end times. Because of these theologies, I believe there are way too many procrastinating Christians nowadays who are looking for the fulfillment of such “prophetic signs” as indicators for when they are going to have to really “get serious with God.” The fact that there is indeed so much planning and preparations occurring these last days to rebuild a temple, only speaks to me of the shortness of time till the Lord returns to smite the nations and rule them with a rod of iron and tread them as in the winepress with the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. For surely if the adversary of God is promoting erroneous doctrines in these last days to which “believers” are looking and believe, he will surely endeavor to confirm them with rumors and the plans of fallen men as well as lying signs and wonders. But does that mean they are going to come to pass?

I Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Ephesians 5:30 – For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Doubtless, marriage is a covenant. As a matter of fact, it is the greatest of all forms of covenants that exist among humanity. For by marriage a husband and wife are to literally adorn the Doctrine of God our Savior. This we see in Titus chapter two where Paul speaks of the many roles in life where this doctrine can be adorn, husbands and wives, masters and servants, the young with their elders. We can especially see the adorning of this doctrine in the Fifth Commandment where we are all exhorted to honor our parents with the attached promise being given us of a long life; thus we as God’s children, if we honor Him through our faithfulness have the surety of His promise of eternal life.

Titus 2:4 – That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands… 10 …that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.

In marriage we witness the adorning of the doctrine of God our savior in that it was the male who was first created in the image of God in a position of dominion on earth similar to God’s own in heaven. When in a right relationship with God, a godly man will faithfully exemplify God in all his ways, whether in his own household or with his neighbors.

Since true love and commitment must be given of one’s free will, God designed His covenant so that all who have ears to hear will have the ability to choose whether to continue in their fallen shame or be reborn and restored as a light of His glory on earth. Thus when a man (male) humbles himself and by God’s grace yields himself to the holy precepts of God, he truly becomes the glory of God in the earth; his life is made new and increasingly begins affirming and reflecting both the righteous judgments and holy attributes of his God.

Similarly, the scriptures reveal that the substance for the woman was taken from man and perfectly made into a woman for the man; teaching us that by God’s royal design the woman should be to the man from which she was created, that which man was intended to be to God, His glory.

I Corinthians 11:7 – For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

(See article on above verse here “Because of the angels” )

Since woman was created for the man, when she chooses to align her life with those principles God established to guide her role as a wife, she becomes the glory of her husband. On the other hand, if she rejects God’s word and defies her husband’s authority as established by God, she will become a shame and hindrance unto him.

Proverbs 12:4 – A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

Thus through prophetic action, when a woman is resolved in her heart to serve God by faithfully honoring her husband, she represents that part of humanity (the true church) which has settled it in their hearts and are resolved to fear God and keep His commandments. Through her godly relationship with her husband the righteous woman will literally reveal through her actions that personal relationship God desires each and every one of us to have with Him; for her life will literally preach the Gospel of God’s love. For the proof of our love is witnessed by our trust and submission. The result of such love will be true and total intimacy.

Concerning the man, although he was created in the image of God, even in the midst of a creation full of other living creatures, it was still acknowledged by God that man was “alone.” For this reason, the substance for the woman’s creation was taken from man’s own flesh and made into a living soul-mate for him. Thus through the covenant of marriage, man’s role is intended to imitate that of God’s, while the woman’s role imitates that of the church, the Bride of Christ.

It is evident that God could have created man and woman at the same time, for surely God foresaw all Adam’s needs. Rather in His infinite wisdom God intentionally created the man first, placing him in a position parallel to His own; with authority over his, (that is man’s) kingdom, yet alone with no suitable mate. God wanted Adam to be able to fully identify with Him, both positionally and emotionally; for even amongst all the angelic beings, God’s desire was for something even grandeur with which He would share both His image and glory. Thus, it was only after naming all those animals when Adam fully realized just how alone he was that God created Eve for Adam from that which was close to his heart. For it was man’s heart and not his strength that was incomplete.

Through this we can see that the creation of humanity was the result of a yearning of God’s heart for what we in our frailty might best understand as a bride, a suitable helper magnificently designed so as to share His glory with Him for all eternity. This is why the greatest commandment God has ever given is to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and the entire essence of our being. “Therefore” as both Adam prophesied and Paul wrote, “for this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (See post “Why God created us male and female“)

This becoming “one flesh” reflects the merging of two hearts and minds in an endeavor to live as one through the covenant of marriage. This covenant is consummated, sealed and confirmed by the intimate joining of a man and woman together through sexual intimacy. By Royal design the male and female bodies fit together as one, with the male (representing God) entering into the female (who represents humanity), face to face and heart to heart, as the man then imparts his seed into the woman and life springs forth. And so it is that God causes us to be “born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”

And so it is more than thought-provoking, that in this vision the Angel Gabriel reveals to Daniel one who comes confirming a covenant and was then cut off. These points, each in their own measure, lend foundation to my conviction that this last “seventieth week of Daniel,” begins the period of time in which God tabernacled with men via the man Jesus Christ to “confirm the covenant with many.”

Summary

Two undisputable events transpire during this seventieth week according to the vision: first, is the beginning Messiah Jesus Christ comes and He is then “cut off, but not for Himself.”

John 12:27 – Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

John 18:37 – …To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Ephesians 5:25 – …Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; 26 That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

The second event, and most likely a consequence of the first, is that the seventieth week is divided in half by a specific event that demands clarification, which we will look into in the next chapter, for “…in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease…”

The events which transpire within the Seventieth Week led to the destruction of the Temple, bringing it to a full and utter end. However, that is not how the Holy Spirit led the translators to write it; rather they wrote “even until the consummation.” And so, wondrously, this phrase in the prophecy can actually have two layers of meanings that point to undeniable truths:

First, the last temporal prophetic temple that was made with men’s hands, was decaying, waxing old, and through its destruction vanished away. Just as the sacrifices and oblations, the Temple too, having fulfilled their purpose was brought to a full and utter end.

Hebrews 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.

Second, when at the glorious consummation of the marriage of the Lamb, “then face to face” the Bride of Christ will intimately know her lover even as she is known.

I Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Hebrews 9:5 – And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament [or covenant], that by means of death [being cut off], for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise, [and the confirmation] of eternal inheritance.

(Continued below)

 

(Note: this is Chapter 16 of 21 from my book “The Eighth Beast” about America in Prophecy.)

What divides the 70th week is an event that causes the Temple sacrifice and oblation to cease. But how does this division happen? The popular theology teaches it occurs when the antichrist breaks the alleged treaty he supposedly will make with the Jews; he then forces them to cease their reinstated practice of animal sacrifices.

So once again I am asking you to please place all your theological persuasions safely upon the altar of God that you might be able to examine these things afresh. For what if all this is actually referencing to Jesus being “cut off,” pointing to His death and resurrection as something designed before the foundation of the world to be a confirmation of the surety and power of God’s covenant to His people?

Remember the angel stated six distinct things would be accomplished within the 70 weeks, listed again below for a quick review are numbers 2 and 3.

  1. To make an end of sins <Hebrew word, chatta’ah>. This does not mean an end to “sin” itself. For if that were the case, it would have been accomplished with the first, “finish the transgression.” For all sin is the transgression of God.

 I John 3:4 – Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Rather this “end of sins” means an end of the sin-offerings. This our Lord Jesus did when He offered His spotless soul and body on the cross, once and for all, as a sin-offering sacrificed unto God upon behalf of all mankind. Thereby, Jesus caused the authority and mandate requiring the animal “sacrifice and oblation to cease” with His own self-sacrifice upon the cross.

  1. To make reconciliation, or “to make atonement” for iniquity; which Jesus did once and for all, by offering up Himself upon the cross and shedding His blood. As a result, the sacrifices, or the sin offerings <chatta’ah>, had become totally unnecessary. Subsequently, to continue offering them would cause one to prophetically “crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and to put Him to an open shame,” (Hebrews 6:6).

By rejecting the atoning work of the true Lamb of God sacrifice and clinging to mere animal sacrifices, the Jews were now committing a grievous sin in the eyes of God. Though before Christ’s death these animal sacrifices were indeed lawful mandates, afterwards they became dead works by having already fulfilled their prophetic purpose. Therefore, by these sacrifices continuing to be offered, they literally became an “overspreading of abominations” which now served only to testify against the Jews for their rejection of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, as stated above, by defiantly offering these sacrifices the Jews were now guilty of prophetically “crucifying the Son of God afresh” and with each animal sacrifice they put “Him to an open shame.”

Hebrews 9:13 – For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 10:4 – For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when He said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin Thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, (see all of Hebrews chapters 9 & 10).

Those sin-offerings commanded by God were holy prophetic actions, magnificently designed so as to proclaim that “mystery” which was planned from the foundation of the world, even the sacrificial death and resurrection of our blessed Lord and Savior.

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, 26 But now is made manifest, 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.

Galatians 3:23 – But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Colossians 1:26 – Even the mystery which hath been Hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints.

However, those sin-offerings could only proclaim the “mystery” while the Ceremonial Law was alive, but once it died, these sin-offerings became a witness of their condemnation by proving the Jews’ complete rejection of God’s only provision for their reconciliation.

Romans 7:1 – Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?  2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.  5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Hebrews 6:1 – Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.

So the witness of scripture confirms that because Jesus Christ died and had risen again, He had “caused the sacrifice and oblations to cease,” as they were no longer required.  Yet by the Jews continuing to offer these “dead works,” these sacrifices became an “overspreading of abominations” for which “He,” that is God, “shall make it [the Temple] desolate, even until the consummation [the end] and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

Desolations are Determined

Matthew 23:36 – Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Matthew 24:2 – And Jesus said to them, Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, There shall not be left here one stone on another that shall not be thrown down.

Clearly it was the Lord’s earnest desire to gather His people unto Himself, but they “would not.” Therefore, it was inevitable that His judgment would fall upon them. Below are other accounts in the Gospels pertaining to the fate of Jerusalem and the Temple.

Matthew 24:15 – When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Mark 13:14 – But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

Luke 21:20 – And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

It is common knowledge that Rome did indeed destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, as well as eradicated the whole geographical and sovereign nation of Israel with its physical boundaries. However, most Christians nowadays have no comprehensive historical knowledge of those events which occurred within Jerusalem and the Temple just prior this desolation. The fact that God was the author of this destruction can be witnessed to in that the author of Hebrews warned the Jewish believers before Jerusalem and the Temple was laid waste and burned that it was in fact getting “ready to vanish away.” Nevertheless, the Apostle Paul also warned that the Jews would enjoy a deceptive time of “peace and safety” just prior to this destruction.

Hebrews 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. 9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.

I Thessalonians 3 – For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

In confirmation to the surety of Paul’s prophetic words, the Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus recorded that it was a time of “peace and prosperity” in Jerusalem just “four years” prior to it being encompassed by the Roman army. Mind you that the Jews would often count part of a day, month or year as a numerical whole in their reckoning and thus it may have actually been around three and a half years “before the war began.”  Furthermore, there was a man, a prophet of sorts who also was named Jesus that entered Jerusalem in those days and began to wail and cry out persistently of its imminent destruction.

Josephus WARS Book 6 – Chap 5 – para 3

Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for everyone to make tabernacles to God in the temple, began on a sudden to cry aloud, “A voice from the east, a voice from the west, A VOICE FROM THE FOUR WINDS, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!” This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city.

 However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say any thing for himself, or any thing peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he cried before. Hereupon our rulers, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet he did not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, “Woe, woe to Jerusalem!”

And when Albinus (for he was then our procurator) asked him, Who he was? and whence he came? and why he uttered such words? he made no manner of reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him. Now, during all the time that passed before the war began, this man did not go near any of the citizens, nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow, “Woe, woe to Jerusalem!” Nor did he give ill words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good words to those that gave him food; but this was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come. This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals; and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased; for as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force, “Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house!” And just as he added at the last, “Woe, woe to myself also!” there came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost.

Jerusalem, having been encompassed by the Romans, fell into the greatest turmoil within her walls. For the Jews were divided as to what should be done to remedy their desperate condition being under Roman siege. For though they had rejected the Lord Jesus as the Christ, they knew it was a truth when He stated that should a house be divided against itself, it would not stand. Yet within Jerusalem’s walls three factions were warring viciously against each other, killing far more of each other than did the Romans.

Josephus – Wars Book 5 – Chap.1 – para. 1

THE SEDITIONS AT JERUSALEM AND WHAT TERRIBLE MISERIES AFFLICTED THE CITY BY THEIR MEANS;

    1. WHEN therefore Titus had marched over that desert which lies between Egypt and Syria, in the manner forementioned, he came to Cesarea, having resolved to set his forces in order at that place, before he began the war. Nay, indeed, while he was assisting his father at Alexandria, in settling that government which had been newly conferred upon them by God, it so happened that the sedition at Jerusalem was revived, and parted into three factions, and that one faction fought against the other; which partition in such evil cases may be said to be a good thing, and the effect of Divine justice. Now as to the attack the zealots made upon the people, and which I esteem the beginning of the city’s destruction, it hath been already explained after an accurate manner; as also whence it arose, and to how great a mischief it was increased. But for the present sedition, one should not mistake if he called it a sedition begotten by another sedition, and to be like a wild beast grown mad, which, for want of food from abroad, fell now upon eating its own flesh.
    2. For Eleazar, the son of Simon [leader of one fraction], who made the first separation of the zealots from the people, and made them retire into the temple, appeared very angry at John’s insolent attempts, which he made everyday upon the people; for this man [John, a leader of another fraction, son of a certain man whose name was Levi, that drew them into this rebellion, and encouraged them in it] never left off murdering; but the truth was, that he could not bear to submit to a tyrant who set up after him. So he being desirous of gaining the entire power and dominion to himself, revolted from John, and took to his assistance Judas the son of Chelcias, and Simon the son of Ezron [a leader of the remaining fraction], who were among the men of greatest power. There was also with him Hezekiah, the son of Chobar, a person of eminence. Each of these were followed by a great many of the zealots; these seized upon the inner court of the temple and laid their arms upon the holy gates, and over the holy fronts of that court. And because they had plenty of provisions, they were of good courage, for there was a great abundance of what was consecrated to sacred uses, and they scrupled not the making use of them; yet were they afraid, on account of their small number; and when they had laid up their arms there, they did not stir from the place they were in. Now as to John, what advantage he had above Eleazar in the multitude of his followers, the like disadvantage he had in the situation he was in, since he had his enemies over his head; and as he could not make any assault upon them without some terror, so was his anger too great to let them be at rest; nay, although he suffered more mischief from Eleazar and his party than he could inflict upon them, yet would he not leave off assaulting them, insomuch that there were continual sallies made one against another, as well as darts thrown at one another, and the temple was defiled everywhere with murders.

With these three fractions fighting against each other, and Eleazar and his party using the Temple as a strategic base of operations, these events caused many of the pious citizens and strangers who were still desirous to make sacrifices and offerings unto God to fall victims to Jerusalem’s internal strife. Therefore, when one carefully examines these horrors which occurred during the siege of Jerusalem, the following words of Jesus begin to ring piercingly loud with prophetic clarity.

Luke 13:1 – There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Josephus’ record of the fall of Israel with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple is worthy of a thorough read by all professing believers. For in it they might learn to truly fear God and fervently pray His grace be not frustrated in their lives lest He remove His protective presence and forbearing mercies. For these rebellious murderers who were now polluting His house were the very people to whom He had committed His oracles, that they might be faithful stewards and lights unto a world that knew not God. A people He had called by His name to be shining witnesses that their God was the true and Living One, “Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.”

However, to present the whole of Josephus’ record of these things is not practical. Therefore, I will share only a few more brief parts to convey the severity of men’s plight when God abandons them for their persistent rebellion against Him. For God had forewarned them that if they forsook Him and continued rejecting His pleas that He would turn against them and drive them out of His land.

Deuteronomy 28:63 – And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.

Matthew 21:42 – Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Josephus – Wars Book 5 – Chap.1 – para. 3

  1. But now the tyrant Simon, the son of Gioras, whom the people had invited in, out of the hopes they had of his assistance in the great distresses they were in, having in his power the upper city, and a great part of the lower, did now make more vehement assaults upon John and his party, because they were fought against from above also; yet was he beneath their situation when he attacked them, as they were beneath the attacks of the others above them. Whereby it came to pass that John did both receive and inflict great damage, and that easily, as he was fought against on both sides; and the same advantage that Eleazar and his party had over him, since he was beneath them, the same advantage had he, by his higher situation, over Simon. On which account he easily repelled the attacks that were made from beneath, by the weapons thrown from their hands only; but was obliged to repel those that threw their darts from the temple above him, by his engines of war; for he had such engines as threw darts, and javelins, and stones, and that in no small number, by which he did not only defend himself from such as fought against him, slew moreover many of the priests, as they were about their sacred ministrations. For notwithstanding these men were mad with all sorts of impiety, yet did they still admit those that desired to offer their sacrifices, although they took care to search the people of their own country beforehand, and both suspected and watched them; while they were not so much afraid of strangers, who, although they had gotten leave of them, how cruel soever they were, to come into that court, were yet often destroyed by this sedition; for those darts that were thrown by the engines came with that force, that they went over all the buildings, and reached as far as the altar, and the temple itself, and fell upon the priests, and those that were about the sacred offices; insomuch that many persons who came thither with great zeal from the ends of the earth, to offer sacrifices at this celebrated place, which was esteemed holy by all mankind, fell down before their own sacrifices themselves, and sprinkled that altar which was venerable among all men, both Greeks and Barbarians, with their own blood; till the dead bodies of strangers were mingled together with those of their own country, and those of profane persons with those of the priests, and the blood of all sorts of dead carcasses stood in lakes in the holy courts themselves. And now, “O must wretched city, what misery so great as this didst thou suffer from the Romans, when they came to purify thee from thy intestine hatred! ‘For thou couldst be no longer a place fit for God, nor couldst thou long continue in being, after thou hadst been a sepulcher for the bodies of thy own people, and hadst made the holy house itself a burying-place in this civil war of thine. Yet mayst thou again grow better, if perchance thou wilt hereafter appease the anger of that God who is the author of thy destruction.

Josephus – Wars Book 5 – Chap.1 – para. 5

  1. They agreed in nothing but this, to kill those that were innocent. The noise also of those that were fighting was incessant, both by day and by night; but the lamentations of those that mourned exceeded the other; nor was there ever any occasion for them to leave off their lamentations, because their calamities came perpetually one upon another, although the deep consternation they were in prevented their outward wailing; but being constrained by their fear to conceal their inward passions, they were inwardly tormented, without daring to open their lips in groans. Nor was any regard paid to those that were still alive, by their relations; nor was there any care taken of burial for those that were dead; the occasion of both which was this, that every one despaired of himself; for those that were not among the seditious had no great desires of any thing, as expecting for certain that they should very soon be destroyed; but for the seditious themselves, they fought against each other, while they trod upon the dead bodies as they lay heaped one upon another, and taking up a mad rage from those dead bodies that were under their feet, became the fiercer thereupon. They, moreover, were still inventing somewhat or other that was pernicious against themselves; and when they had resolved upon any thing, they executed it without mercy, and omitted no method of torment or of barbarity.

It is hard to believe those who God had called by His name had fallen into such horrid conditions and madness; engaging in constant fighting, but not against the Romans, but against their own countrymen. All this while a flood of abominations was being committed within the polluted Temple; this is the historic setting against which all Christians in America should prayerfully consider Josephus’ following words as he desperately pleads with his countrymen.

Josephus – Wars Book 6 – Chap.2 – para. 1

HOW TITUS PERSUADED JOSEPHUS TO EXHORT THE JEWS AGAIN [TO A SURRENDER]

“…I dare venture to promise that the Romans shall still forgive thee. And take notice that I, who make this exhortation to thee, am one of thine own nation; I, who am a Jew, do make this promise to thee. And it will become thee to consider who I am that give thee this counsel, and whence I am derived; for while I am alive I shall never be in such slavery, as to forego my own kindred, or forget the laws of our forefathers. Thou hast indignation at me again, and makest a clamor at me, and reproachest me; indeed I cannot deny but I am worthy of worse treatment than all this amounts to, because, in opposition to fate, I make this kind invitation to thee, and endeavor to force deliverance upon those whom God hath condemned. And who is there that does not know what the writings of the ancient prophets contain in them, – and particularly that oracle which is just now going to be fulfilled upon this miserable city? For they foretold that this city should be then taken when somebody shall begin the slaughter of his own countrymen. And are not both the city and the entire temple now full of the dead bodies of your countrymen? It is God, therefore, it is God himself who is bringing on this fire, to purge that city and temple by means of the Romans, and is going to pluck up this city, which is full of your pollutions.

Here we see the depths of sin into which a nation can fall when its people persistently frustrate God’s grace. Once noble men now reduced to brute beasts, behaving like savages towards their own countrymen. And yet, all that actually pales away in comparison to what else Josephus recorded. But first, be reminded of what Jesus said to these rebellious and stiff-necked Jews.

Matthew 24:19 – And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

Josephus – Wars Book 6 – Chap.3 – para. 3 & 4

ANOTHER DESCRIPTION OF THE

TERRIBLE FAMINE THAT WAS IN THE CITY

    1. Now of those that perished by famine in the city, the number was prodigious, and the miseries they underwent were unspeakable; for if so much as the shadow of any kind of food did any where appear, a war was commenced presently, and the dearest friends fell a fighting one with another about it, snatching from each other the most miserable supports of life. Nor would men believe that those who were dying had no food, but the robbers would search them when they were expiring, lest any one should have concealed food in their bosoms, and counterfeited dying; nay, these robbers gaped for want, and ran about stumbling and staggering along like mad dogs, and reeling against the doors of the houses like drunken men; they would also, in the great distress they were in, rush into the very same houses two or three times in one and the same day. Moreover, their hunger was so intolerable, that it obliged them to chew every thing, while they gathered such things as the most sordid animals would not touch, and endured to eat them; nor did they at length abstain from girdles and shoes; and the very leather which belonged to their shields they pulled off and gnawed: the very wisps of old hay became food to some; and some gathered up fibres, and sold a very small weight of them for four Attic [drachmae]. But why do I describe the shameless impudence that the famine brought on men in their eating inanimate things, while I am going to relate a matter of fact, the like to which no history relates, either among the Greeks or Barbarians . . .
    2. There was a certain woman that dwelt beyond Jordan, her name was Mary; her father was Eleazar, of the village Bethezob, which signifies the house of Hyssop. She was eminent for her family and her wealth, and had fled away to Jerusalem with the rest of the multitude, and was with them besieged therein at this time. The other effects of this woman had been already seized upon, such I mean as she had brought with her out of Perea, and removed to the city. What she had treasured up besides, as also what food she had contrived to save, had been also carried off by the rapacious guards, who came every day running into her house for that purpose. This put the poor woman into a very great passion, and by the frequent reproaches and imprecations she east at these rapacious villains, she had provoked them to anger against her; but none of them, either out of the indignation she had raised against herself, or out of commiseration of her case, would take away her life; and if she found any food, she perceived her labors were for others, and not for herself; and it was now become impossible for her any way to find any more food, while the famine pierced through her very bowels and marrow, when also her passion was fired to a degree beyond the famine itself; nor did she consult with anything but with her passion and the necessity she was in. She then attempted a most unnatural thing; and snatching up her son, who was a child sucking at her breast, she said, “O thou miserable infant! for whom shall I preserve thee in this war, this famine, and this sedition? As to the war with the Romans, if they preserve our lives, we must be slaves. This famine also will destroy us, even before that slavery comes upon us. Yet are these seditious rogues more terrible than both the other. Come on; be thou my food, and be thou a fury to these seditious varlets, and a by-word to the world, which is all that is now wanting to complete the calamities of us Jews.” As soon as she had said this, she slew her son, and then roasted him, and eat the one half of him, and kept the other half by her concealed. Upon this the seditious came in presently, and smelling the horrid scent of this food, they threatened her that they would cut her throat immediately if she did not show them what food she had gotten ready. She replied that she had saved a very fine portion of it for them, and withal uncovered what was left of her son. Hereupon they were seized with a horror and amazement of mind, and stood astonished at the sight, when she said to them, “This is mine own son, and what hath been done was mine own doing! Come, eat of this food; for I have eaten of it myself! Do not you pretend to be either more tender than a woman, or more compassionate than a mother; but if you be so scrupulous, and do abominate this my sacrifice, as I have eaten the one half, let the rest be reserved for me also.” After which those men went out trembling, being never so much aftrighted at any thing as they were at this, and with some difficulty they left the rest of that meat to the mother. Upon which the whole city was full of this horrid action immediately; and while every body laid this miserable case before their own eyes, they trembled, as if this unheard of action had been done by themselves. So those that were thus distressed by the famine were very desirous to die, and those already dead were esteemed happy, because they had not lived long enough either to hear or to see such miseries.

Even before the Jews entered the Promise Land, God had warned them of these horrors into which sin would take them, but they would not listen.

Deuteronomy 28:53 – And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee: 54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: 55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, 57 And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.

All this happened because they refused to listen to God whose only desire was to do wondrous things for His people. Instead, history records how these abominations worked to bring the Temple to its full and utter end. These things were foretold by the Angel Gabriel and bear witness to the sure word of prophecy. Let’s end this chapter with another strong admonition delivered against the Jews of those very days, written in the New Testament before these things came to past.

Hebrews 2:1 – Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him.

(Continued below)

Many people interpret the above as referring to a coming world leader many modern eschatology teachers are calling the Antichrist. To be straight forward and upfront in this post I want to let everyone know that I do not subscribe to that interpretation. After years of examining and re-examining these texts I have come to the persuasion that the adversary has attempted to high-jacked these verse to his own glory when they are in truth a testimony to the Lamb of God who alone worthy to receive glory and honor and power.

Revelation 4:11 – Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Revelation 5:12 – Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

If this “He” above in Daniel 9:27 is indeed referencing Jesus Christ, then this part of the verse is certainly the most advantageous to understand. Therefore, I will begin with the following three questions.

  1. What “covenant” was the Lord Jesus confirming?
  2. How did He confirm it; by word, deed, or both?
  3. If this seventieth week designated for “confirming the covenant” was divided by Jesus’ death which caused the previously Mosaic obligation of sacrifices and oblations to cease, then what about the remaining three and a half years? For from His baptism to His death, Jesus’ earthly ministry lasted only three and a half years?

Even if it is only a possibility that Jesus is this “He” in Daniel 9:27, then these are legitimate questions that need to be asked if we are honest in our search of the Truth. Plus, if Jesus is indeed this “He” then there will be biblical answers to all these questions that would require your prayerful consideration.

So let’s look at first question again, what is the “covenant” that Jesus was confirming? Answer, it is that promise of certainty of which righteous Job wrote the following.

Job 19:25 – For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

The covenant to which Job clings is the promise of a bodily resurrection; and not just Jesus’ resurrection, but all who love Him as well. Consequently, Jesus was constantly confirming this truth to His disciples.

Matthew 5:8 – Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live… 26 For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; 27 And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

John 6:39 – And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 11:23 – Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?

John 14:19 – Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.

This very covenant was revealed through the prophets of old and written in the scriptures; the very scriptures from which Jesus and the Apostles authoritatively preached the gospel.

Isaiah 25:8 – He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. 9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

Isaiah 26:19 – Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Ezekiel 37:12 – Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

Job 14:12 – So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. 13 O that Thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that Thou wouldest keep me secret, until Thy wrath be past, that Thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. 15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer Thee: Thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thine hands.

Psalm 16:9 – Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10 For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 17:15 – As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.

Hosea 13:14 – I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from Mine eyes.

These are the scriptures from which Paul was trained as a Pharisee. Therefore after his conversion, Paul would have continued with great authority confirming this covenant, boldly preaching the certainty of it through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Being the apostle to the Gentiles, we can see in Paul’s epistles how he was constantly confirming to all men that this covenant was not only to Jews, but to all who loved the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:5 – For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.

I Corinthians 6:14 – And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by His own power.

I Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

I Corinthians 15:12 – Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.

II Corinthians 4:13 – We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

II Corinthians 5:1 – For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him.

Philippians 3:10 – That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Likewise, the Apostle John also faithfully confirms the certainty of God’s covenant of a resurrection of the saints in his open thesis on the deity of Jesus as the Christ.

1 John 3:2 – Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.

Now the second question put forth at the beginning of this post was how did Jesus confirm the covenant of a literal resurrection? By word, deed, or both? Not only did He confirm the covenant in word, but with His own bodily resurrection as well. For by His resurrection Jesus Christ proved that not only did He have the power to raise Himself from the dead, but others too.

Matthew 27:52 – And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

John 20:25 – The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God!

Romans 1:4 – And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

The Spirit of Christ Which Was In Them

Daniel 9:24 – Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Now if Jesus “confirmed the covenant” in the Holy City to the Jews, both by His preaching and His bodily resurrection, then the last question that needs to be answered is where are the remaining three and a half years of the seventieth week whereby the week shall be completed with His confirming the covenant with many? Since the “seventy weeks” of the prophecy “are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy,” I believe the final three and a half years will be fulfilled through the ministry of the two witnesses of Revelation 11 ministering to the Jewish people in Jerusalem.

Just like the prophets of old, Jesus and the apostles, so will these two witnesses continue to confirm the covenant of God to the descendants of Abraham in the last days by testifying that Jesus was indeed their promised Messiah the Prince. “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them and kill them.” Showing us that just as the devil has stirred up wicked men all throughout history to murder the righteous, so too will these two witnesses eventually be killed. Then in a vain attempt to finally discredit the declared “myth” of Jesus Christ and His resurrection, their bodies are left unburied in the open streets for three and a half days.

Revelation 11:3 – And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth… 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

Surely by now some are hard pressed to ask how these two witnesses could be the fulfillment of Daniel 9:27. After all, “He,” meaning Jesus, is the one who confirms the covenant. So wouldn’t Jesus need to be the one preaching if He is the one confirming? The answer would be an absolute yes. But for clarity I must first direct you once more to a few verses I hope you are getting very familiar with.

Hebrew 1:1 – God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds.

Note the words in bold type, “God, spoke, by the prophets, by His Son.” Let’s continue.

II Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Again we see it was “God” who “spoke, by the prophets” in Hebrews 1:1-2, and is again speaking by “holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Same God, same prophets and the same Spirit.  Again, let’s continue;

I Peter 1:10 – Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

The “prophets” through which “God spoke” as they “were moved by the Holy Ghost,” were only speaking what “the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.”

Such is why Paul made his statement to the Galatians, that as a minister of the Gospel he was crucified with Christ and thus Christ lives in and through him. But Paul doesn’t stop with applying this principle only to himself, for later he stresses how this principle applies to all who are Christ’s. For if we are truly “in Christ Jesus,” it is only because His Spirit lives in us; and if we are ever to truly be ministering life through the Gospel, it is because Christ is ministering it through us.

Galatians 2:20 – I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 5:24 – And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

For this reason, Paul testified to both the Thessalonians and the Corinthians that what he preached unto them was not merely the word of a man, but rather the word of God. For what Paul had spoken was through the leading of the Spirit of Christ within him.

I Thessalonians 2:13 – For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

II Corinthians 13:3 – Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. 4 For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Below is another passage further establishes this truth that it was Jesus Christ, who by His Spirit was ministering through the prophets of old. Unfortunately, it is also a passage that has been greatly misunderstood by many throughout the centuries. Sadly, this confusion has given way for many erroneous teachings to creep into the church about Jesus, His death, and the completeness of the work of the cross.

I Peter 3:18 – For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

The “popular” understanding of this verse is that after He died, Jesus went to hell and preached to the souls there; and all those that believed were therefore set free. Added to this are other false assertions such as Jesus had to die spiritually, taste hell itself, and be born again in order to defeat the devil on his ground so that He could take back the keys of death and hell. All of which are false.

Many believers raised in traditional churches assume these beliefs to be credible because they lack an understanding of the scriptures and the Nicene or Apostles’ Creed they may have been compelled to memorize. For when it states that Jesus was “crucified, buried, descended into hell and rose again the third day,” they assume it means Jesus literally went to hell, the place prepared for the angels that had sinned. However, this reference to the death, burial, and resurrection which is a true tenet of the Christian faith actually refers to Jesus’ body being crucified, prepared for burial, and placed in the grave for three days after which He resurrected.

Psalms 16:10 – For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

This psalm is speaking about the body of Jesus not being left in the grave to decay, or “see corruption.” It is not speaking about Jesus going into hell which was prepared for the devil and his angels. The word translated “hell” in English is the Hebrew word “sheol” which was used sixty-five times in the Old Testament; thirty-three times implying the “grave” and thus translated.

Oddly, many people falsely believe that Hell is the headquarters of Lucifer, when actually it is a prison made for the fallen angels and those who imitate their lawlessness. For when Jesus cast out demons out of the possessed Gadarenes man, they were terrified of hell and fearfully inquired if He had come to torment them before their time by sending them there.

Matthew 8:29 – And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Except for those fallen angels which were long ago cast down for their particular sins and are already bound in chains of darkness in Tartarus, the remaining principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world are still loose and share the sentiments of demons having a fear for the torment of hell, for they know this prison was created for them.

II Peter 2:4 – …God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.

(Sadly, many are completely ignorant of the extent of the various rebellions and sins of these fallen angels, a subject far too vast to cover here. I would simply recommend two books on the subject which are available online in PDF format for those interested. The first would be “The Fallen Angels and the Heroes of Mythology” by Rev. John Fleming, A.B., published in 1879. The second would be “Earth’s Earliest Ages” by G.H. Pember, published 1889.)

Since Jesus created all things it would be foolish to assume He needed to go to hell in order to get the keys of death and hell, for He has always possessed them.

Psalms 68:20 – He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.

Revelation 1:18 – I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

One only needs to listen carefully to what Jesus is saying to correctly discern what He is not saying. For many have become so affixed by popular theology that they can only read the Holy Scriptures in the light of the theology they were taught: rather than proving their theology by the light of the scriptures.  For in Revelation 1:18, Jesus clearly says “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.” That is because once again to “confirm the covenant” He tells us that it is He who has “the keys of hell [meaning the grave] and death.”  After His death, Jesus ripped the veil of the Temple in two and “the graves were opened.” However, it was not until after His resurrection that “many bodies of the saints… came out of the graves… and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

Matthew 27:50 – Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Ezekiel 37:12 – Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put My spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

While there are conflicting opinions on just who those saints were that “came out of the graves… and went into the holy city and appeared unto many,” I do not believe they were the old patriarchal saints. The scripture plainly states that “many bodies of the saints which slept arose,” making it evident that not all of “the saints which slept arose.” Thus, I am persuaded these were probably saints who had recently died; for the patriarchal saints would not have been known by their appearance as there were no photos of them whereby the townspeople would have readily recognized them. Rather these were saints who like Lazarus were brought back to life in their mortal bodies. Incontestably, Jesus was the “firstfruits from the dead,” which means that all those who have died in faith are still awaiting the fulfillment of the covenant to be resurrected with their own glorified, immortal bodies at His return.

Hebrews 11:39 – And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

So let’s look afresh once more at that greatly misunderstood passage in I Peter and see if we cannot properly discern the apostle’s meaning.

I Peter 3:18 – For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

First it is clear how Jesus suffered and “was put to death in the flesh,” but was then “quicken by the Spirit.” That phrase means His body was not resurrected by the power of that earthen vessel of humanity, rather by the Spirit of Christ that dwelt within. Paul had stated virtually the same thing in his Epistle to the Romans, which again can also be viewed as “confirming the covenant.”

Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Next, notice how in I Peter 3:18 Peter stated “by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison.”  What Peter is saying is that it was by the Spirit that Jesus once went and preached to the spirits in prison and not in His bodily form. This reveals that it was not Jesus the “Son of man” which went somewhere and preached, but rather the Spirit of Christ.”

Also, unless we pay careful attention to just whose “spirits” these are that are “in prison,” then like so many others have we too will run the risk of jumping to all sorts of erroneous conclusions; which is completely unnecessary since Peter clearly states who they are. These are the spirits of those “which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”

Therefore, these spirits are not all the lost souls of humanity which died from the time of Adam to Christ; rather these are only the spirits of those who were alive during those the days “while the ark was a preparing.” This is an excellent example of how we must be careful not to apply content beyond what is written to the scriptures. So why then does it say it was Christ who preached to those souls which were alive in those last days of Noah while the ark was being built? Perhaps it will help to review what Peter said earlier in the context of this very epistle.

I Peter 1:10 – Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Not only was Noah a preacher of righteousness, he doubtlessly was one of these prophets Peter was referring to who preached by “the Spirit of Christ which was in” him. Thus it was Noah who preached unto them “which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah,” but the people rejected what the Spirit of Christ had preached to them through the Prophet Noah and therefore they perished; their bodies decayed and returned into the earth but their “spirits” are now “in prison.”

No, Peter wasn’t saying after Jesus died that He went to hell to preach, for anyone entering into hell and offering any hope to those spirits would immediately find everyone grasping at any possibility of escape. Rather, Peter was affirming the omnipotence of Christ, that though He was a man who suffered and died in the flesh, He was much more, He was a quickening Spirit in Noah through which He warned the world that then was to flee the wrath to come, of which only the few righteous were spared while the disobedient perished.

Thus we have a sound scriptural account of Jesus preaching before Israel was a nation or there was a Holy City of Jerusalem and Temple, even before the time of His own incarnation. Why then would we fail to believe that the Spirit of Christ will again be there in like power and authority via the Two Witnesses at the next coming end of the world which is now cresting our own horizon?

II Peter 3:5 – For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

These Two Witnesses will know exactly who they are; and by “the Spirit of Christ which is in them” they will testify in the last days how they are going be martyred and just like Jesus they too will be raised from the dead. Though their testimony will absolutely infuriate the world and most of the Jewish people, a remnant of the Jews will nonetheless believe and be watching, having been pierced in their hearts and convicted by the Sword of Truth. This remnant are those who will give glory unto God after the resurrection of these two witnesses once again confirms the covenant of God, perhaps for the very last time before the whole world.

Revelation 11:7 – And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

The only way these Jews can give glory unto God is to honor the Son even as they honor the Father. Thus this remnant gives glory unto the Son as their Redeemer, Christ the Lord. This will be the in-grafting of the Jews back into the vine, resulting in the completion of the Angel Gabriel’s prophecy to Daniel by ushering in the fulfillment of the covenant, the resurrection of the dead.

Romans 11:15 – For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Luke 13:35 – Behold, your house is left to you desolate. And truly I say to you, You will not see Me until it come when you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

In The Midst Of The Week

Lastly, one more reason why I believe that Daniel’s 9:27 reference to “in the midst of the week” refers to Jesus causing “the sacrifice and oblations to cease,” is because staying true to this verse, Jesus was crucified in the midst, or middle of the week, i.e. a millennial week.

Peter stated that when considering the coming of the Lord to be mindful of this one thing, that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day. This concept is not new, for many Jews believed that it would be six thousand years before Messiah would come and reign in the seventh millennial day, making as it were a millennial week. However, it was in the fourth and middle millennial day that Christ came and died and caused “the sacrifice and oblations to cease.”

II Peter 3:1 – This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Notice in addressing the subject of the promise of His coming Peter says he is writing to “stir up” their minds by way of remembrance, “that they may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets.” It must be recognized that it is in this context, focusing on the Lord’s return that Peter references that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” This phrase gives us the perfect key to properly understand what one of the prophets had written concerning both comings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hosea 5:9 – Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. 10 The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out My wrath upon them like water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment. 12 Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness. 13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound. 14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. 15 I will go and return to My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early.

In the above passage we see the obstinacy of the Jews towards the Lord at His first coming. The Holy Spirit testifying through Hosea that “The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound,” making reference those who move boundary stones seeking to lay claim to that which isn’t theirs. The fact that the Jews were trying to do this very thing to Jesus is witnessed in His parable against them concerning the keepers of the vineyard, where the wicked servant sought to kill the son of the landowner that they might steal his inheritance for their own.

Matthew 21:33 – Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41 They say unto Him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. 42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spake of them.

Therefore, just as Hosea had prophesied, Jesus became “as a lion and as a young lion to the house of Judah” and tore away the kingdom from them, bringing such desolation upon them that “none shall rescue him.” Hosea continued the prophecy saying “I will go and return to My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early.” Having gone through their affliction, and now like Daniel remembering that God’s judgments are foretold out of His earnest desire to show mercy, Hosea now gives prophetic voice to this remnant of Jews in the last days.

Hosea 6:1 – Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. 2 After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. 3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Thus by allowing Peter to stir up our minds “by way of remembrance, we too are made “mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets” and see how his reference to “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” provides the perfect key to what Hosea had written concerning both comings of the Lord. Therefore, we can see that the crucifixion when “Messiah the Prince… was cut off” and the “sacrifices and oblations ceased” all transpired on the fourth millennial day, which is “in the midst of the [millennial] week.”

However, this millennial week isn’t the only week where we find “Messiah the Prince… cut off” and the “sacrifices and oblations [having] ceased… in the midst of the week.” However, for centuries there has been much confusion among God’s people concerning the timeframe of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Certainly the different accounts of Jesus’ resurrection recorded in the Gospels don’t appear to offer help to the casual reader of God’s word, as each Gospel has its own list of various events which occurred around that glorious event.

The fact that these accounts each illustrate a different perspective of the resurrection story leaves many confused and thinking they are seeing contradictions in scripture. However, because all these different events are chronicled in God’s word assures us they all must be true. Perhaps, a good way to consider their seemingly different reports is to view them like transparent overlays, similar to the one’s used in medical books showing the skeleton, then the nerves and blood vessels, organs, muscular and finally the skin and hair. When this is done we discover the answer to the confusion is that there had to be multiple trips made to the tomb being recorded.

One of the important things to remember is that Jesus did not say He would be in the tomb for “three days,” He said it would be “three days and three nights.” Matthew clearly states the first trip was in the “end of the Sabbath as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week,” which is dusk, not sunrise. Dawn here means the actual beginning of the first day of the week, sunset and not sunrise, which would actually have been the middle of the biblical day. This dawn being like the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, of which there was no sunrise ushering in the Age of Aquarius.

Furthermore, the scriptures tell us it was after the Sabbath that the women purchase the spices, which John 19:31 reveals was actually a “high day.” What that means is that particular Sabbath was the first day of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread that began on the fifteenth day of the first month right after Passover; a work day and the fourteenth day of the month. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread both the first and seventh days are high Sabbath days, which would mean a weekly Sabbath would naturally always fall in between those two high-days. Thus scriptures accurately states that after the “high-day” Sabbath which followed Passover that the women went and bought the spices and spent the remainder of the day preparing them. Afterwards they then “rested according to the [Fourth] Commandment” which would be the following the weekly Sabbath which began at sunset.

According to Matthew it was “in the end” of this weekly Sabbath, as the sunset was ushering in the first day of the week, that the women went to “visit the tomb,” without any mention being made of their taking the spices since night was falling. That is when the angel of the Lord descended like lightning and the stone was rolled away and the angelic proclamation made “He has risen.”

Again, Jesus, having been crucified in the latter half of Passover, the 14th day, was placed into the tomb just before sunset as it “dawn toward” that “high day” Sabbath of the 15th. Remember, according to biblical accounting the beginning of every day is at the setting of the sun.

It was then after the 15th which was a high-day Sabbath that the women on the 16th day went and purchased the spices and prepared them. They then rested the 17th day which was the weekly Sabbath. It was here, “in the end” of the latter half of the 17th day, as the setting sun was getting ready to usher in the 18th day yet still prior to the arrival of the 1st day of the week, that the resurrection of Jesus scripturally occurred; just before the Sabbath sunset, and not Sunday’s sunrise. For after Jesus’ resurrection, the priests and guards franticly met throughout the night to forge the lie that the disciples came during the night and had stolen Jesus’ body… for come sunrise everyone in Jerusalem was going to hear that the body of Jesus was missing.

Thus Jesus was three full nights and three full days in the tomb just like He said He would be. Night and day of the 15th day of the month, night and day of the 16th day of the month, and night and day of the 17th day of the month; making it in the end of the weekly Sabbath when He rose just before sunset. Which means Jesus was crucified “in the midst of the week,” on a Wednesday and not on Friday according to the Catholic invention of Good Friday. All this is cover in more detail an older post titled “Trips to the Tomb.”

Summary

If these things have plausible credibility, then the whole seven-year tribulation message that has been taught and widely promoted by such fables as the “Left Behind” series needs to be reexamined to determine on what foundation of scripture does it stand or fall. Regardless, we as believers must be diligent to rightly discern the times and the seasons in which we are living and pray always that we may be found worthy to escape the wrath to come. Let us therefore give earnest heed to the words of our Savior and His apostle.

Luke 21:34 – And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.

II Thessalonians 1:5 – Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Continued below)

(Note: This is Chapter 18 of 21 of my book “The Eighth Beast” about America in Prophecy)

Is America missing in Prophecy?

This chapter was actually written many years ago as a stand-alone article. However, in light of all we have reviewed thus far, it is being included here in hopes it will now serve as a lasso to help pull together much of what we’ve covered to provide a solid answer to the question above and the one below.

We hear it all the time, “Isn’t it amazing that the scriptures are silent about America?” I once thought the same thing myself, but after prayerful re-examination of the history of America and scripture, I don’t believe that is true anymore. Therefore I submit the following for those open enough to examine for themselves whether or not America is mentioned in scripture. Though, I admit nowadays with the rising flood of endtime theologies, it is getting harder to convince most people that it is. As Mark Twain once said, “It is easier to fool someone than it is to convince them they have been fooled.” Likewise, it has been proven over and over again, that the greatest hindrance to people accepting the truth is a prejudice or presupposition to it before they fully hear a matter.

He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and a shame to him.” (Proverbs 18:13)

Please do not hastily jump to the wrong conclusion that I am anti-America. I simply believe that a holy and righteous God must deal with the sins of America the same way He would with any nation. The supporting information provided in this article is only a fraction of the information available and even this tends to be overwhelming for most people when first considering this concept.

Revelation 17:9 – And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Revelation chapters 13-19:4 speak of an end-time’s judgment of the LAST in a succession of empires. Though the chapter begins concentrating on a seven-headed beast, the primary focus is that last empire which the angel referred to as “The Eighth.”  In order to gain understanding of whom or what the eighth spiritual Babylon is, one must give heed to the clues given to John by the angel in chapter 17.

A critical clue concerning this succession of empires was given to John when he was told by the angel “the beast that was, and is not, yet is.” This clue reveals there would be an interruption in a succession of what could be called “spiritual Babylons” being represented by this seven headed beast; a time when this beast “was not” going to be represented in history by a literal country. However after an unstated duration of time, the beast would again briefly exist as the seventh head, (or seventh empire). Lastly, it would “rise up out of the sea” as that final and last beast (or empire) which would fulfill all these prophecies. Thus the whole imagery of a “seven headed beast” is designed specifically to expose that last, eighth, and final empire that “goeth into perdition,” or complete annihilation. (more…)

I am pleased to be able to share the following testimony from a follower and friend. For all who will humbly embrace God’s truths therein, it has the promise to be a life-changing blessing. To God be all the glory!

 A Testimony

I was thinking this morning about what it means to be who I am in Christ Jesus; and it occurred to me that first and foremost I am a woman. I cannot get around this very first point, that I am a woman which must mean it was His plan for me to be a woman… and so, now what?

Clearly, we are born into a sinful world, and by the time one begins to evaluate who they are, it becomes apparent to most that they are a lost soul. So naturally, our concept of ourselves is skewed and all haywire; we are a mess and have no “right” direction or plan for our lives. I know mine didn’t and that was painfully obvious. My life was a total mess, because I was both living it and viewing life itself through worldly eyes.  My life as a woman, was just not working according to my “own plan.” In fact, at best it was total chaos and comparable to a headache which nothing ever seemed to offer hope it ever getting better.

But once the Lord Jesus Christ got a hold on me, He began correcting my misconception of who I was, and He began by fashioning me into a godly wife. It was a true blessing that both my husband and I began seeking the Lord and following His Words of Life at the same time, and miraculously everything began to change in our lives; especially the relationship we were sharing in our marriage and the plans we had for our future.  The result was that I was no longer a trapped woman being controlled by worldly notions about how I should live and think. Rather, my eyes were now opened and I began seeing the glorious truth about who I was, and what I was supposed to be, in God’s eyes. Finally, I was recognizing God’s plan for us all through the light of His Word.

The first lesson I was struck by with that of my being a woman was the kind of wife I needed to be in regards to my relationship to my husband:

Ephesians 5:33 – Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

That verse became a new layer of foundation for our marriage, and it changed EVERYTHING in both of us. He truly “loves” me, and I always now endeavor to love him with the “respect” God’s word says a wife needs to both have and show.  We have been married now for 33 years, and I can say with all assurance that my husband, my marriage, and my home, together have all become a sanctuary.   Because of Jesus Christ, and the wisdom of His principles for a godly marriage, our relationship and home have been transformed into the only place in this world where I consistently find safety, comfort, love, trust, truth, and a holy satisfaction; because it is a place in which the Spirit of the Lord always resides.

My testimony is simple, for it is that my husband and I have both been transformed and are now growing together by acknowledging holy principles that began with the Lord’s desire and love for His Church; for the very concept of marriage was HIS creation. Therefore, if women would simply return to those foundational truths that work to change them into godly women and wives, and would faithfully submit to those godly principles, then their lives would have less stress and their marriages would make more sense than those relationships and marriages out in the world. I say this because God has truly honored our faithfulness so that the idea of me having to work outside the home has changed, instead God has allowed me to truly focus on raising my children, loving husband, and making this house a true home for our family.

Titus 2:3 – The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 – That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

By trusting the Lord and obeying His instruction, my husband and  I have truly become content. We now have something that would be hard to fully explain; as our home, marriage, and family have now become something truly sacred.  For me, to be a mom who is able to care for my own children means I don’t have to let the world have them now. Because I want the Lord to have them, and for them to trust, know, love, and serve the Lord, I rejoice that we were able to train them up in the ways of the Lord. What a blessing we did not accept the world’s lies and devil’s trap and leave our children exposed and subject to the deceptive ways of the world.

When we decided I would be a stay-at-home mom, our income went down to only my husband’s normally unpredictable self-employed income; which seemed a risk in itself. But God blessed us beyond measure, and that because together we made this choice in faith. Faith is the only way to come to God and to please Him, and because we exercised our faith, He has blessed us greatly.

In the beginning my husband was persuaded that we needed to have our marriage structured according to God’s word, and now he too feels great about everything God has done. His life has been changed and by God’s Spirit and grace he is becoming the man he is supposed to be in the Lord. For now, by exercising His faith in God’s word, he is now leading and providing for his family in the ways of God; and that now gives him the integrity and self-respect that is necessary for him as a man of God.  He truly loves me now and cares for me in a godly way, and I in return so love him.

With our children gone and married themselves, it is just my husband and I now; and so, we embark on a new phase of our lives together with the Lord. However, we both experientially know that faith works; for it is an amazing gift and godly concept that God has given us!  It made both of us complete in our marriage, as God so intended.  God knew the design would work for us, because it is the same design He made for His Church and Himself.

It often seems I don’t have adequate words to fully express how I feel today after walking this way, following those godly concepts for so many years in our marriage: it is as the Bible says, it is truly a mystery which is so deep that it is nearly incomprehensible.  God’s marriage plan, and the instructions for being a godly woman and wife is truly the only way to for a woman to be perfecting holiness… if only they will believe it and live it.

2 Ephesians 5:28 – So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.