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Many false Christs shall arise December 5, 2011

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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46 comments

Today we live in a time of great deception when many false Christ’s, false Jesus’ and false Messiah claimants have appeared and are appearing on the scenes and are deceiving many people. The question that a Christian should ask themselves though is that if a “Messiah” claimant should appear to them today how would they know that he is who he claims to be? Is there a biblical basis for proving whether someone claiming to be the second advent of Jesus Christ is telling the truth? In order to answer this question it is necessary to look at some of the warnings given in scriptures. The problem with some Christians in particular though is that they refuse to accept that they can be deceived yet the warnings in scripture were in fact given to Christians or followers of Jesus. Some Christians however, instead of exercising discernment, take a blasé approach believing that God would not allow them to be deceived. As a result many are being deceived in the church today because of such blasé attitude of not exercising due diligence as scripture admonished.

As Christians we need to be attuned to the times we are living in. Jesus commanded us to watch and pray but many are praying and forgetting to watch. One of the signs we are to watch for is the rise of false Christs. Jesus said in Matt 24: 4-5

“4…..Take heed that no man deceive you. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”

Jesus was speaking directly to His followers here. These false Christs are already here however and many do not know it. They may not all claim the name “Jesus Christ” but nonetheless they purport to be the “anointed ones” who sit in the loftiest places in the church – they are on the Internet, in our pulpits and on Christian TV networks. They are everywhere and their messengers (“prophets” and “teachers”) are everywhere seeking to draw disciples after them. These “ministers” are leading many to believe in a false Christ by projecting a false image of Jesus Christ. So how then should we respond if one comes to us saying, “I am he who was promised!” or even saying, “he is in yonder place, lets go and meet him!” The answer lies in Jesus’ teaching in Matt 24:

23Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25Behold, I have told you before. 26Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 

One of the problems with many church goers is that they love signs more than the Word and therefore have developed a false perception that signs are a confirmation of one’s anointing. For example, many are of the mistaken view that if one speaks “in tongues” that this is a sign that such a person is filled with the Spirit. In this regard they fail to properly apply scripture to examine if what they witness is actually a move of the Spirit. This is not to discount the fact that the charismatic gifts are still evident and active in the church but not every sign that occurs in church is a move of the Spirit. This is a vital point that many seem to miss. Perhaps this is as a result of a fear of not wanting to question the Spirit. However the scriptures teach that we should test the spirit to see whether or not it is of God. How do we test the spirit? We do this by examining their works against the scriptures. The scriptures say in 1 John 4:

1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

This scripture highlights some very important implications for our world today and for the future. Today many different religious and pseudo-religious groups are awaiting a “saviour” or “messiah” of one sort or another. The implication of the above scripture however is that they have the spirit of anti-christ because though they await a “messiah” in this they have denied that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. So though they may call their awaited “saviour” or teacher, Jesus, Christ, Maitreya, messiah or anointed one, such an individual is no more than anti-christ in so far as their being represented as a denial that Jesus Christ already came in the flesh. In a world which is increasingly leaning towards a one world faith through ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue the imagination does not need to be stretched to see how anti-christ might be accepted by both Christians and non-christians alike.

The key thing to note about the second advent of Jesus Christ is that he will not come in secret unbeknownst to the world but His coming will be such a great event that no one will be in any doubt. Before that time however anyone else who appears on the scene claiming to be Christ will be none other than anti-christ. We have the assurance of Jesus Christ that is coming will be thus:

“..as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”  Matt 24:27

 

Let us therefore with patience wait for the true Messiah of the world and not seek after a false one.

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The Third Temple Fallacy August 2, 2011

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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23 comments

There are many Evangelical Christians who believe that Christ cannot come until after a third Jewish temple is built in the city of Jerusalem, arguably on the site where King Solomon’s temple stood. Aside from the fact that there are problems associated with the sighting of the third temple on the Temple Mount where the al Aqsa mosque currently stands, one of the central questions here from a Christian point of view is whether the building of such a temple is indeed written in Bible prophecy. There are no prophecies which directly require the building of another temple to usher in the return of Jesus Christ, although Dan 9:27 has been cited as ‘proof’ text. In spite of this fact it would appear that many in Evangelical circles have been duped into believing that such a temple is required and that they have a responsibility in contributing to the fulfilment of prophecy, as if God needed our help. One of the consequences of this fallacy has seen Evangelical Christians, particularly across America, contributing vast sums of money to support the rebuilding of the temple.

Whatever the relative merits of the Jews rebuilding their temple are, Christians have no business contributing to such an effort. In the first place such a temple, with its revived sacrifices and ordinances would be an affront to God considering the fact that Christ did away with all this through his death on the Cross. Evangelical Christians who support this rebuilding work are therefore unwittingly denying the work of Christ on the Cross and are making the Cross of non-effect. To return to the works of the Law is to deny the election of Grace through Christ’s death on the Cross but this reality seems to be lost on those who are committed to the establishment of a third Jewish temple. If the Jews want to rebuild their temple, let them do so but Christians should be preaching “Christ crucified” (1 Cor 1:23).

There is a wave of “Christian Zionism” sweeping acrossAmerica and many organisations have been established with the expressed purpose of promoting Judeo-Christian values and heritage (ecumenism). One such organisation is the “Battalion of Deborah” whose expressed belief it is that Christians should be standing shoulder to shoulder with Jews in an attempt to fulfil the “Abrahamic covenant”, a view which they based on Gen 12:1-3. Here is a quote from their website:

“….we believe it is Biblically Correct for us, as Christians and fellow believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to stand together with Israel and the Jewish People, in education to the masses regarding the promises of God, in support, in prayer and in our physical presence in the Land. It is for this purpose that we have been ordained and called out as ‘like-minded’ group of people and that we pledge to work toward being a blessing to Israel…”

As Christians however we are called to observe the teachings of Christ and we are ordained to fulfil the Great Commission. There is nothing in the teachings of Christ which encourages Christians to engender ecumenical relationships with unbelievers whether they are Jews or otherwise. Instead scripture commands Christians to come out from among them and be separate (2 Cor 6:17). However these organisations are entering churches and sharing the pulpits with Jewish religious leaders in order to drum up support for Israel and to raise funds towards the Temple Mount development plans.

This ecumenical construct has been made possible however due to a distinct lack of discernment on the part of many Evangelical Christians. In accordance they misapply scriptures such as Dan 9:27 in order to justify their position. In Dan 9:26, Daniel related the destruction of the SECOND TEMPLE that was to be built by the decree of Cyrus. Yet, some have insisted on inserting a gap of over 2000 years between verse 26 and verse 27 in order to arrive at a conclusion that verse 27 refers to the ending of sacrifices in a third temple. Even if such a gap could be established verse 27 does not make mention of a temple and the absence of a temple does not preclude sacrifices and oblations from being performed. 

In summary, the third temple is a Jewish ambition which has nothing to do with Christians or the fulfilment of Bible prophecy as concerning Christ’s return. Prophecy does not indicate or give instruction for the constitution and the construction of a third temple, which would actually be an abomination in the face of the Cross.  With the destruction of the second temple, the Old Covenant vanished away and has been replaced by the New Covenant in Christ’s blood. Christians therefore have no business working to fulfil a mission that denies the Christ who bought them out.

For a more detailed expose on this topic read this article: http://www.thomaswilliamson.net/temple_next_event.htm

Time, times and half a time: What does it mean? July 21, 2011

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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34 comments

Whilst I claim to be no expert on eschatology I do sometimes like to raise questions concerning end time issues. The reason for this is not so much to confound the popular interpretations that abound but rather to highlight the fact that some of the more popular interpretations are not necessarily correct.

 The question I would like to raise here then is whether the reference “a time, times and an half” in Dan 12:7 is really 3.5 years as many interpreters seem to think? It is important however to put the phrase in context before attempting to answer this question.

 In Chapter 9 (Book of Daniel), Daniel makes clear that following the 70 year desolation which saw Israel exiled in Babylon, the city of Jerusalem was to be rebuilt again along with the temple leading up to the time of Messiah. Later in the chapter we are told that following Messiah’s departure (being cut off) the city and the sanctuary shall again be destroyed by a people that shall come. In Daniel 10 an angel in a vision appeared to Daniel again to tell Daniel what would become of his people in the latter days and the angel began his account from Chapter 11. In verse 22 of chapter 11 the angel makes reference to the same “prince of the covenant” who was previously mentioned in Daniel 9:26-27 so the events are related (interconnected). This is further confirmed by verse 31 where it is further mentioned that the prince shall pollute the sanctuary, take away the daily sacrifice and shall put in place the abomination which makes desolate. Chapter 11 therefore further explains the prophecy from Chapter 9. Chapter 12 again is a continuation of the explanations made in Chapter 11 by the angel concerning the future of the Israelites. 

To further confirm that the prophesy is the one and the same, we note in  Dan 10:4-5 that Daniel was by the side of the river (Hiddekel) when the angel was explaining the vision and he was still by the side of the river in Dan 12:5-6 when the following question was asked:

 Dan 12:6

How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?

 The end of the “wonders” here is referring to the end of the vision which is ended by the consummation of the world as described in the preceding verses in Daniel 12. The question that was being asked therefore was basically when will the end come?

 The response by the angel was that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” Some have interpreted this phrase to mean 3.5 years (or 42 months or 1260 days) based on a similar reference in Revelation 12: 6, 14. It should be obvious though that from the time of Daniel’s vision through to the very end of the age could not possibly be 3.5 years. It would seem therefore that the “time, times, and an half” reference covers a very different span of time than what some interpreters previously thought. Recall that the angel said in Daniel 10:14 that “for yet the vision is for many days”. Clearly the angel left Daniel with a bit of a mystery and it is not solved by applying 3.5 years to it. Given that Daniel was told to shut the Book when he enquired of what should be the end of these things, emphasises the point that attempts to interpret these things amounts mostly to speculation.

Pre-tribulation Rapture Myth and the Remnant of Israel May 24, 2011

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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I have done a number of articles in which I have attempted to dispel the myth of the pre-tribulation rapture but in this study I will attempt to approach the subject from a different angle than I have done before.

Numerous studies have so far been carried out and numerous books, articles and blog posts have been written concerning the end times scenarios yet many are completely wide of the mark concerning the realities of those times. One of the popular positions is that the church will be “raptured” (secretly, unbeknownst to the world) sometime prior to the opening of the first Seal mentioned in the Book of Revelations. Following this event it is believed Israel will go through a seven year tribulation period (supposedly Daniel’s 70th week, See Daniel 9). It is believed that at the start of this week (the seven last years of planet earth) the anti-christ will make a covenant with Israel and in the middle of the week (3.5 years later) the anti-christ will break the covenant and cause the sacrifice and oblation offered by the Jews in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem (The third temple) to cease. This will be followed by the setting up of the abomination of desolation in the temple culminating with great tribulation at the hands of the anti-christ. It is then believed that it is out of this “hour of trial” that Israel will be saved and will be gathered to meet Jesus at His full appearing when all eyes shall behold Him. This is normally the general view adopted especially by pre-tribulation rapture “theorists”. In my view however all of this is simply fancily suppositions by people who do not apply proper exegesis in interpreting scriptures.

The first glaring contradiction in the afore-mentioned scenario is that though it is claimed that Daniel’s 70th week marks 7 years of tribulation, in effect there is only 3.5 years of tribulation since the first 3.5 years are characterised by a period of peace. This point however is just an aside and is of little consequence to the business end of this study.

One of the important points to note is that in order for the “theorists” to arrive at their conclusions they make namely two false claims. First they claim that Israel rejected God and therefore salvation went to the Gentiles instead and therefore Israel will only be saved after having gone through the tribulation at the hands of anti-christ (the beast of Revelations 13). The second false claim is that the saints who are persecuted by the anti-christ are merely tribulation saints who are distinct and apart from the church which has already been raptured sometime before or at the start of the 7 year tribulation period. In support of this latter claim it is suggested that the Holy Spirit will no longer be on earth when the church is raptured and so these saints are saved perhaps through the preaching of the “Two Witnesses”. Of course none of this is supported in scripture and I will demonstrate why.

The first thing we should note is that salvation came to the Jew first and then to the Gentiles (Rom 1:16). The question here then is this: Did allIsrael reject the gift of salvation? The apostle Paul had this to say in Romans 10:

1Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We know from these verses that there is no “special way” for the Jew (or Israel) to be saved but through the said Gospel that is available to the gentiles. So then howbeit that some argue that the Jew will only be saved at an appointed time during the so-called 7 year tribulation period? Are we to believe that no Jew (or Israelites) were saved though God purposed salvation to come to them first. God forbid. In verse 16 of the same passage of Rom 1 Paul went further to say this:

16But they have not all obeyed the gospel.

Although not all Israel believed the gospel the crucial point is that some did – a remnant of Israel did believe the gospel even though the majority might not have believed. First, John the Baptist preached to the Jews and baptized many unto repentance. Then Jesus came and preached the gospel to the Jews and sent His 12 disciples to the lost sheep of the Houses of Israel (the 12 tribes). The theorists seem to forget therefore that the early church largely comprised of Jews initially before the gospel was spread abroad to the gentile nations. It isn’t correct therefore to say that the Jews rejected salvation – whilst some did, not all did. God had purposed to save a remnant through the election of grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom 11:5, Rom 9:27). The point needs to be emphasized here that God will not save this remnant of Israel at the end of the tribulation period after gentile Christians had been “raptured” but they were being saved since the going forth of the Gospel. Paul refers to these as the “first fruits” in verse 16 (Note that the 144,000 males of the 12 tribes of Israel are also referred to as the “first fruits” to God [Rev 14:4] – Christ being the first of the first fruits).

Having now established that God had purposed to save a remnant of Israel through the election of Grace and that this remnant are regarded as a type of “first fruits” unto God we can now address the issue of the “pre-tribulation rapture”.  The pre-tribulation rapture is defined as an event where Christ will secretly come in the clouds and gather all those that are his prior to the beast of Revelations 13 establishing his [second] kingdom. Do the scriptures support this view? If there were to be such an event as a pre-trib rapture then surely the remnant of Israel that are saved through grace would surely be amongst those that are raptured during the “first resurrection and catching away”. However, Revelations 12 presents a serious problem for this argument [if indeed the events of Rev 12 are in the future and not already fulfilled]. The relevant verse says this:

17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Note here that the woman referenced is Israel and this can be gleaned if we read from verse 1. The poignant point here then is whether the Lord would indeed rapture the “second fruits” (the gentile Christians) and leave His “first fruits” who incidentally have also been saved according to the election of Grace (they have the testimony = Gospel of Jesus Christ) at the mercy of the anti-christ beast. If there were any rapture taking place the first fruits would most certainly have been among the first to be raptured. Similarly the 144,000 who are referred to as first fruits to God were sealed first before the great multitude were seen gathering before God’s throne at the opening of the 6th Seal (Rev 7). If the scripture says therefore that the remnant, which we understand to mean those Jews who accept Christ since the inception of the church, were left for the dragon to make war with them then you can rest assured that so too the rest of the church will be left at the mercy of the dragon. This remnant are not merely tribulation saints but they include those who have the election of grace since the gospel began.

Perhaps the Lord has a plan and a purpose for the remainder of the Jews [Israel] who have rejected Christ but the remnant will clearly face the dragon which has 7 heads, 10 horns and 10 crowns as per Rev 12:17. That remnant isn’t separate and apart from the church but they are numbered amongst the church.  This scripture clearly demonstrates that there is no basis on which a pre-tribulation rapture can be established. I pray that people will wise up to the truths of these end days.

Who are the 144,000? The elect? The “male child”? May 23, 2011

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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Whilst I venture from time to time into eschatology my main focus is not so much about unravelling end times prophecies but rather to emphasize the need for Christians to apply discernment especially in this area by demonstrating some of the erroneous teachings that have emerged contrary to scriptures.

One of the many “theories” that abound concerning the end times is the identity of a group of 144,000 people spoken of in Revelations. Some say the 144,000 are the church, others say these are the elect and an even more preposterous view is that these together are the “male child” spoken of in Revelations 12. The theory I want to focus on here is whether this group could indeed constitute the “male child” of Rev 12:5. Here are the relevant verses:

1

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

2

And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

5

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

6

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

13

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

14

And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
     

We understand from reading other prophecies that the woman here spoken of in verse 1 isIsrael, which shall bring forth a “male child”.  According to the theorists therefore this “male child” are the 144,000 men that would be saved from the 12 tribes of Israel before the Lord’s return. Scripture tells us in Rev 14 that these are 12000 men of each of the twelve tribes of Israel (See also Rev 7).

Could these 144,000 be the “male child” referenced in Rev 12? The first thing we need to note here is that in verse 5 of Rev 12 the man child was caught up to God and to His throne. Following this event the woman (Israel) fled into the dessert for 1260 days (we could apply the principle of 1 day for a year here to mean 1260 years but the theorists say this is 3.5 years). If the 144,000 are indeed the “male child” at what point in history were they caught up to God’s throne? The short answer is they would have been “caught up” during the opening of the 6th Seal in Revelations 6:12-17, 7:1-8. It was during the 6th Seal that the heavens were opened, when the day of God’s wrath had come. Reading from verse 1 of Revelations 7 therefore we learn that 4 angels stood at the ready at the four corners of the earth to pour out God’s wrath but they were told by another angel not to hurt the earth till the servants of God (the 144,000) were sealed in their foreheads. So we know therefore that up to this point in history the 144,000 were still on the earth and could not have been caught up at any time previously since it is only at this point that they were to be sealed with the seal of God. If indeed this group were caught up then they could only have been caught up after they were sealed. So what does all this mean?

Going back to Revelations 12 we learn that after the man child was “caught up”, Israel fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God for her to be nourished for 1260 days. If the theorists are to be believe then what this means is that after the 144,000 (the supposed “man child”) are “caught up” at the 6th Seal, Israel flees into the dessert on “judgement day” for 3.5 years. We do not know the gap of time between the 6th and 7th Seals but it makes no sense to say that Israel is fleeing to the wilderness at a time when everyone else has “gone to heaven” including the great multitude that were seen after the 144,000 were sealed, and the wrath of God was about to be poured out on the earth. I do not need to make any suppositions here though as Revelations 12 makes clear that the time period when the “man child” is caught up and the woman fleeing into the wilderness is a distinctly different time period from the 6th Seal events. Reading to the end of Rev 12 we learn that after the woman flees into the wilderness the serpent cast a flood out of it’s mouth after the woman but the earth helped the woman by swallowing up the flood. What happened next is that the dragon tried to make war with the remnant of the woman’s seed:

17

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

Note therefore that the remnant were those that had the testimony of Jesus Christ. The serpent could only have made war with this remnant of the woman’s seed prior to the 6th Seal because at the 6th Seal all those that had the testimony of Christ were joined with Him and were gathered around His throne. The evidence is therefore clear that the 144,000 could not be the man child because the events that occur after the man child is caught up and that of the 6th Seal are in two separate time-frames. The man child is therefore none other than Jesus Christ as it is only He that has the distinction whereby He will rule all nations with a rod of iron (Rev 19:15). The 144,000 are 12,000 men from each of the 12 tribes who have not defiled themselves with women, and who are considered the first fruits unto God (Rev 14).

What I have presented here is an example of how false teachers read scriptures and interpret them in isolation, ignoring the glaring inconsistencies in their arguments, which goes against the grain of scripture. This is one of the reasons we need to apply proper discernment instead of being carried away with every wind of doctrine.

The Two Witnesses October 7, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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Some people assume that the Two Witnesses who will preach the Gospel in the last days are Elijah and Moses, whilst others theorise that they are Joshua and Zerubbabel, and the list goes on. Could any of these be true? Let’s look at what Revelations 11 says about the Two Witnesses:

Rev 11

3And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

In order to shed further light on these things we need to pop over to Zechariah 4:

Zech 4

2And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: 3And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. 4So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? 5Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be?

Zechariah saw the same depiction of the olive trees and candlestick which John saw in Revelations 11 and he inquired to know what these were. The answer is presented in verse 10 below:

10For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

Here we see that the seven lamps of the candlestick are the seven eyes of the LORD which run to and fro through the earth, but more on this later. What I want to home in on though is the identity of the two olive trees which Zechariah has seen and we shall see who they are in verse 14:

11Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? 12And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? 13And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. 14Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

It would appear from these verses that the two olive trees which are beside the bowl on the top of the lamp are pouring oil into the bowl (through two golden pipes) in order to feed the lamp. Verse 14 of Zechariah 4 therefore tells us that the two olive trees are the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. So then to sum up, the seven lamps of the candlestick are the seven eyes of the Lord.  So what are these seven eyes of the Lord? The following verses tells us plainly what they are:

 6And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (Rev 5:6)

5And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. (Rev 4:5)

Clearly then the seven lamps of the candlestick which Zechariah saw are the very same eyes here depicted in Rev 5:6 and these are the seven Spirits of God (which are sent out into all the earth). Seemingly therefore the two olive trees are feeding the bowl which feeds the seven lamps with oil – so in essence the olive trees are feeding the seven Spirits of God. It is these two olive trees therefore that are the Two Witnesses (the two anointed ones) that will preach the Gospel in the end times as mentioned in Rev 11:4. Could these witnesses therefore be Elijah, Moses, Joshua, Enoch etc? The answer clearly lies in the fact that the seven Spirits of God that stands before His throne must be eternally before God’s throne and the two olive branches also must be eternally present to feed the seven lamps, which are the seven Spirits of God.

NB: This post has been updated. Initially on reading the KJV I thought the two olive branches were attached to two of the 7 pipes which form the seven lamps and therefore wrongly designated two of the pipes as the two witnesses. On reading other translations however it appears that the two branches are apart from the seven lamps and instead feeds the bowl with oil which in turn feeds the lamps.

Will You Be Left Behind? July 9, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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65 comments

Each time I look at this issue of the rapture I can’t help but be amazed and amused at how people can be so easily persuaded to believe something that is not even founded in scripture. I guess this is one of the results of extra-biblical materials from people who claim to have some kind of secret knowledge or insight. Take the Left Behind books for instance. These are nothing but fiction yet people buy and believe in them as if they are gospel truth. If Tim Lahaye (et al) really believed in an imminent rapture I don’t think they would be so concerned with amassing wealth now would they. After all where are they going to spend all that money, in Heaven? Already 63 million copies of this book have been sold worldwide and there are movies and games to go with it and yet people are unable to see into the scam of it all. If these men really believed the stuff they wrote they wouldn’t be trying to peddle it but instead they would be given this info out for free. 

The simple truth is that there is no imminent rapture. Strictly speaking the idea behind an imminent rapture is that Jesus can come anytime (or the church can and will be miraculously wisked away before you can say ABC) but of course if we read scripture we can discern that this is not so. To add to that the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture is a LIE – It is a complete fabrication by fantasists. Simply put, a pre-tribulation rapture purports that the church will be raptured before the man of sin, the son of perdition (synonymous with the anti-christ beast of Revelations) comes to fore but again I will show that this is simply not so.

Paul writing to the Thessalonians had this to say:

2 Thess 2

1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3Let 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;

He was encouraging the brethren that they should not be deceived or be troubled in spirit concerning the day of Christ being at hand (or imminent). And as such he reminded them of a key sign which would need to take place before the day of Christ came. This sign was that the falling away (OF THE CHURCH INTO APOSTACY) and the revealing of the man of sin would need to take place first. If this man of sin is the same as the anti-christ beast of Revelations then Paul’s explanation here is corroborated by Rev 20:4-5 which makes it clear that the first resurrection (which is considered the rapture) takes place after the anti-christ was already in power and persecuting and killing the saints. It should be noted that the scripture which is cited for the rapture is 1 Thess 4:13-17. Essentially the resurrection and catching away must necessarily be the FIRST resurrection which included those who were also beheaded by the beast and those who overcame his mark and image.

In light of this therefore where is the pre-tribulation rapture and how can it be imminent? Yet you have people falling over themselves looking at Jewish feast days and wedding ceremonies trying to prove something that is clearly not in scripture. Why are so many people being deceived on this issue which is so simple to understand?

Daniel’s 70th Week: The Correct View? June 22, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
Tags: , , ,
30 comments

I have sourced the below article from the following website. In my view and based on my previous postings concerning the problems with the traditional |(futurist)  interpretation, I believe the below tends to lean towards the correct interpretation of Daniel’s 70th week.

http://www.keithhunt.com/Dan9_1.html

Daniel 9, 70 weeks Prophecy #1

Is the last half of 70th week still ahead?

                             by

                        Ralph Woodrow

"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.
"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 troubled
times.
"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.
"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" (Daniel 9:24-27).

This great prophecy pertaining to Daniel's people and the city of
Jerusalem is linked with a time period of seventy "weeks." Bible
students recognize that these seventy weeks or 490 days are
symbolic of years - each day representing a year - that is, 490
years.
It was this same year-for-a-day principle that was used in
Numbers 14:34. Because of unbelief, the Israelites were to
wander for 40 years in the wilderness, a year for each day that
the spies were absent searching out the land. This same scale was
used in Ezekiel 4:4-6: "I have appointed thee a day for a year, a
day for a year:"

While Christians are generally united in the belief that the
"seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks", that is, 69 weeks
(483 years) measured unto "Messiah", concerning the final week of
the prophecy, the 70th week, there are two entirely different
interpretations that are held today - the FUTURIST interpretation
and the FULFILLED interpretation.
The futurist interpretation is that a huge gap of "2,000 years"
or so separates the 70th week from the other 69 weeks that
measured unto Messiah. The fulfilled interpretation is that no
gap is to be placed between the 69th week and the 70th - that the
70th week followed the 69th in logical sequence.

"The futurist interpretation is that the 70th week refers to the
Antichrist who will make a covenant with the Jews. This covenant
will allow them to offer sacrifices in a "rebuilt" temple at
Jerusalem for seven years, but after three and a half years he
will break this covenant and cause the sacrifices to cease. 

The fulfilled interpretation, on the other hand, is that the 70th
week refers to Christ and that the causing of the sacrifices to
cease was accomplished at Calvary when Christ became the final
and perfect sacrifice for sins.

What differences exist here! One says the 70th week is future;
the other says it is fulfilled! One says there is a huge gap
between the 69th and the 70th weeks; the other requires no gap.
One says the 70th week pertains to Antichrist; the other to Jesus
Christ! In view of such glaring differences, both of these
interpretations can not be correct.

We believe the fulfilled interpretation is the correct view; that
the 69 weeks measured "unto Messiah"; that in the midst of the
70th week - after three and a half years of ministry - he was cut
off in death; that this sacrifice, being the perfect sacrifice,
caused other sacrifices to cease in God's plan. Let us now notice
step by step - all of the basic parts of the 70 weeks prophecy
and how these things were fulfilled.

1. JERUSALEM WAS TO BE RESTORED. We have already seen the
scriptures that explain this.

2. THE STREET AND WALL WERE TO BE REBUILT IN TROUBLOUS TIMES. We
have seen in the book of Ezra some of the troubles that
confronted the people in those years of rebuilding.

3. THE MOST HOLY WAS TO BE ANOINTED. We believe this reference is
to Jesus Christ. Gabriel announced to Mary: "The HOLY thing that
shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Lk.1:35).
Peter referred to him as "the HOLY ONE" (Acts 3:14). John
referred to him as "the HOLY ONE" (1 John 2:20). Even demons had
to recognize him as "the HOLY ONE of God" (Mk.1:24).
David spoke concerning Christ: "Neither wilt thou suffer thine
HOLY ONE to see corruption" (Acts 2:27). In Revelation 3:7 he is
called "HOLY" and the heavenly creatures rest not from saying:
"HOLY, HOLY, HOLY" before this one "which was, and is, and is to
come" (Rev.4:8).

From the going forth of the commandment to restore and
build Jerusalem unto Messiah was to be 483 years. When this time
was fulfilled, those who knew this prophecy, were expecting the
appearance of the Messiah, that is, the Christ. (Christ is the
Greek form of the Hebrew word Messiah.) Thus when John came
baptizing, "the people were in EXPECTATION, and all men mused in
their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ or not" (Lk.
3:15). John plainly told them that he was not the Christ - he was
only the forerunner. When Jesus appeared on the scene, John
cried: "Behold the Lamb of God"! The time had now come that Jesus
should be "made manifest to Israel" (John 1:29-31). He was then
baptized and when he had prayed, "the heaven was opened. And the
Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and
a voice from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee
I am well pleased" (Lk.3:21,22).

He had appeared to Israel right on time! Thus Jesus, in evident
reference to the time prophecy of Daniel, said: "The TIME is
fulfilled"(Mk.1:15) and as the Messiah, the Christ, the "anointed
one", he preached the gospel. When he entered the synagogue of
Nazareth, he announced: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he hath ANOINTED me" (Lk.4:18-22). Acts 4:27 mentioned
Jesus as the "holy"one that the Lord "ANOINTED." And Peter
mentioned that "God ANOINTED Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy
Ghost... who went about doing good, healing all who were
oppressed of the devil" (Acts 10:38).

Daniel's prophecy revealed that the time period unto the Messiah
would be 69 weeks (483 years). This measured to the time when
Jesus was baptized and anointed to begin his ministry as the
Messiah, the Christ, the "Anointed One."

4. MESSIAH WAS TO BE CUT OFF. The 69 weeks (7 plus 62) were to
measure unto Messiah "and AFTER" the 69 weeks "shall Messiah be
cut off." Now "AFTER "69 weeks does not and cannot mean "in" or
"during" the 69 weeks! If Messiah was to be cut off AFTER the 69
weeks, there is only one week left in which he could have been
"cut off" - the 70th week! - after three and a half years of
ministry.
The term "cut off" implies that Messiah would not die a natural
death; he would be murdered! So also had Isaiah prophesied using
an equivalent word: "He was cut off out of the land of the
living" (Isaiah 53:8).
The details about how Messiah was "cut off" are given in the
gospels.

5. "TO FINISH THE TRANSGRESSION", or literally, "to finish
transgression." As Jesus was dying, he cried: "It is FINISHED."
At Calvary, Jesus finished transgression by becoming sin for us.
No future sacrifice can ever finish transgression; it was
finished at Calvary (Heb.9:15). "He was wounded for our
TRANSGRESSIONS" (Isaiah 53:5).

6. "TO MAKE AN END OF SINS." Here the basic thought is repeated.
If we understand the glorious significance of what was
accomplished at Calvary, we know that here there was truly an end
made of sins.
Jesus, who came "to save his people from their sins ",
accomplished this when he "put away sin by the sacrifice of
himself" (Mt.1:21; Heb.9:26). "It is not possible that the blood
of bulls and of goats should take away sins... But this man,
after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever... hath
perfected for ever them that are sanctified... And their sins...
remember no more" (Heb.10:4-17). The old system of sacrifices
could never make an end of sins, but Christ - by the sacrifice of
himself - did make an end of sins, even as the prophecy had said!
John announced him as "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the
sins of the world" (John 1:29). "Christ died for our sins"
(1 Cor.15:3). He "bare our sins in his own body on the tree"
(1 Peter 2:24) and "hath once suffered for sins"(3:18). "He was
manifested to take away our sins" (1 John 3:5). This "end of
sins" was accomplished at Calvary.
All of this does not mean, of course, that right at this point
men quit sinning. This was not the case. But what the scripture
does mean is that at Calvary the eternal sacrifice for sin was
made, so that any and all - past, present, or future - who will
be forgiven of sins will be forgiven because our Lord's death
almost 2,000 years ago made an "end of sins"!

7. "TO MAKE RECONCILIATION FOR INIQUITY." The word reconciliation
used here is the same word that is used so frequently in the book
of Leviticus where it is rendered "to make atonement." This, too,
was part of our Lord's redemptive work. Surely "reconciliation"
is a present reality - because of Calvary! Jesus, "our merciful
and faithful high priest" made "RECONCILIATION for the sins of
the people"(Heb.2:17). "Having made peace through the blood... to
RECONCILE all things unto himself... and you, that were sometimes
alienated... hath he RECONCILED... through death" (Col.1:20-22;
Eph.2:16).
"God was in Christ, RECONCILING the world unto himself, not
imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us
the word of RECONCILIATION "(2 Cor.5:19). Plainly, "recon-
ciliation for iniquity" was accomplished by Jesus, for he "gave
himself for us, that he might redeem us from all INIQUITY" (Titus
2:14), and "the Lord hath laid on him the INIQUITY of us all"
(Isaiah 53:6).

8. "TO BRING IN EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS:" This too was
accomplished by the redemptive work of Christ! The great
redemption chapter of Isaiah 53 had prophesied: "My righteous
servant shall make many RIGHTEOUS:" Paul put it this way: "By the
righteousness of one... shall many be made RIGHTEOUS... unto
eternal life by Jesus Christ" (Rom.5:17-21). He who came "to
fulfil all righteousness" (Mt.3:15) and who "loved
righteousness, and hated iniquity", was "anointed" of God (Heb.
1:9) and made unto us wisdom, and RIGHTEOUSNESS, and
sanctification, and redemption" (1 Cor.1:30). "Who his own self
bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to
sins, should live unto RIGHTEOUSNESS" (1 Peter 2:24). "Even the
RIGHTEOUSNESS of God... through the redemption that is in Christ
Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith
in his blood to declare his RIGHTEOUSNESS for the remission of
sins" (Rom.3:21-26). "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"(2 Cor.5:21). "Everyone that doeth RIGHTEOUSNESS is
born(begotten) of him" (1 John 2:29).
Taking all of these verses into consideration, we ask: Did Christ
in his coming to earth provide righteousness through his
redemptive work? All Christians acknowledge that he did. We ask
then: Was not this righteousness that he brought in everlasting?
Of course. Surely no Christians would deny that the righteousness
of Christ is "everlasting righteousness."
"By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having
obtained ETERNAL REDEMPTION" - everlasting righteousness - "for
us" (Heb.9:12). This eternal or everlasting righteousness is
contrasted to the old sacrifices under the law which were only
of a temporary nature. But Christ, once for all time, offered
himself - thus providing, as the prophecy of Daniel had said,
"everlasting righteousness."

One only has to read the great redemption passages of
Romans, Corinthians, Colossians, Ephesians, and Hebrews to see
how an "end" of transgressions and sins, "reconciliation for
iniquity", and "everlasting righteousness" were all accomplished
at Calvary by our Lord Jesus Christ!
In view of this, we see no basis for the futurist teaching that
none of these things have yet been fulfilled, but are to be
linked with a supposed seventieth week at the end of the age! To
teach such is contradictory and tends to take away from the glory
of that great redemption of Calvary which so beautifully and
completely fulfilled these prophecies!

9. "TO SEAL UP VISION AND PROPHECY", or literally, "to seal up
vision and prophet." The use of the metaphor "to seal" is derived
from the ancient custom of attaching a seal to a document to show
that it was genuine (See 1 Kings 21:8; Jer.32:10,11; cf.John
6:27; 1 Cor.9:2). Christ "sealed" Old Testament prophecy by
fulfilling what was written of him.

Repeatedly we read concerning him: "... that it might be
fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets." Acts 3:18 says:
"Those things which God before had showed by the mouth of all his
prophets, that Christ should suffer he hath so fulfilled." Truly
Jesus fulfilled what was written in the visions and prophecies of
the Old Testament concerning him, and thus he "sealed" them
showed that they were genuine. "They are they", he said, "which
testify of me" (John 5:39). "All the prophets and the law
prophesied until John" (Mt.11:13), then John presented Jesus as
he that was to be "made manifest to Israel." Jesus was the one
that was to come - and we look for none other. He is the
fulfillment of vision and prophecy.

10. "HE SHALL CONFIRM THE COVENANT." When Jesus instituted the
Lord's supper, representative of his shed blood for the remission
of sins, he said: "This is my blood of the new testament
[covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins"
(Mt.26:28). The word "testament" here and the word "covenant" are
translated from exactly the same word in the New Testament. "How
much more shall the blood of Christ... purge your conscience from
dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the
mediator of the new testament [covenant]" (Heb.9:14, 5).
Jesus is called the "mediator of the new covenant" (Heb.8:6), the
"messenger of the covenant" (Mal.3;1), and his shed blood is
called "the blood of the everlasting covenant" (Heb.12:24). Our
Lord Jesus is the one who confirmed the covenant through his
redemptive sacrifice at Calvary. And how beautifully this
harmonizes with what we have already seen.

11. "HE SHALL CAUSE THE SACRIFICE AND THE OBLATION TO CEASE."
This too was fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ. In the Old
Testament, as we have mentioned, sacrifices were repeatedly made.
Each of these was but a mere type looking forward to the time
when the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God, would be offered.
Once this would be accomplished, God would no longer require or
accept any other sacrifice.

The perfect sacrifice was Jesus Christ. The old system of
repeated sacrifices (types) could only end at Calvary - when
Christ became the perfect, eternal, and final sacrifice (See Heb.
9 and 10). In addition to Calvary's sacrifice, "there remaineth
no more sacrifice for sins" (Heb.10:18,26).

For a few more years, the Jews continued their sacrifices, but
these were not recognized by God. Such cannot be termed
sacrifices in the true scriptural sense of the word, for the
death of Christ provided the perfect, and therefore, the final
sacrifice for sins forever.
Further proof that this was fulfilled in Christ is seen in the
time element, for the prophecy said that sacrifice would cease in
the middle of the week - the 70th week. This was when Christ
died, for the 69 weeks measured unto Messiah and his death came
after a ministry of three and a half years.
That this was the length of our Lord's ministry may be seen by a
study of the gospel according to John in which mention is made of
four Passovers that occurred during our Lord's ministry: John
2:13; 5:1 (IN this verse the feast is not mentioned by name.
However, by taking John 4:35 about the 'four months' into
consideration, it is possible to determine that this was the
feast of the Passover (See Boutflower, page 208); 6:4; 13:1.
Eusebius, a Christian writer of the fourth century, pointed these
things out: "Now the whole period of our Saviour's teaching and
working of miracles is said to have been three-and-a-half years,
which is half a week. John evangelist, in his Gospel makes this
clear to the attentive (Eusebuis, The Proof of the Gospels, bk,8,
chapter 2).
And so, after three and a half years of ministry as the Christ,
the anointed one - Jesus was cut off in death, in the middle of
the 70th week of seven years. As Augustine said: "Daniel even
defined the time when Christ was to come and suffer by the exact
date."

Understanding this, we can now see real significance in certain
New Testament statements which also speak of a definite
established time at which Jesus would die. For example, we read:
"They sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because
his hour was not yet come" (John 7:30). In John 2:4, Jesus said,
"Mine hour is not yet come." On another occasion, he said, "My
time is not yet come" (John 7:6). Then just prior to his betrayal
and death, he said, "My time is at hand" (Mt.26:18), and finally,
"the hour is come" (John 17:1; Mt.26:45).
These and other verses clearly show that there was a definite
time in the plan of God when Jesus would die. He came to fulfil
the scriptures, and there is only one Old Testament scripture
which predicted the time of his death - the prophecy which stated
that Messiah would be cut off in the midst of the 70th week - at
the close of three and a half years of ministry! How perfectly
the prophecy was fulfilled in Christ!

But those who say that the confirming of the covenant and causing
sacrifices to cease in the midst of the 70th week refers to a
future Antichrist, completely destroy this beautiful fulfillment
and are at a complete loss to show where in the Old Testament the
time of our Lord's death was predicted.

The prophecy of Daniel 9 stated that Messiah would confirm the
covenant (or would cause the covenant to prevail) with many of
Daniel's people for the "week" or seven years. We ask then, when
Christ came, was his ministry directed in a special way to
Daniel's people - to "Israel" (Dan.9:20)? Yes!

John introduced him as he "that should be made manifest to
ISRAEL" (John 1:31). "I am not sent", Jesus said, "but unto the
lost sheep of the house of ISRAEL" (Mt.15:24). And when he first
sent out his apostles, they we re directed: "Go not into the way
of the Gentiles... go rather to the lost sheep of the house of
ISRAEL" (Mt.10:5,6).

The first half of the "week", the time of our Lord's ministry,
was definitely directed toward ISRAEL. But what about the second
half - the final three and a half years of the prophecy - was it
also linked with Israel? Did the disciples continue to preach for
the duration of the remaining three and a half years (as Christ's
representatives) especially to Daniel's people - to Israel? Yes,
they did!
Jesus had told the disciples to go into all the world and preach
the gospel to every creature (Mk. 16:15; Mt.28:19; Acts 1:8), YET
- and this is significant - after Christ ascended, the disciples
still at first preached only to Israel! Why? We know of only one
prophecy which would indicate that this was to be the course
followed. It is the prophecy of the 70 weeks which implied that
after the death of Messiah there would still be three and a half
years that pertained to Israel!

Bearing this in mind, we can now understand at least one reason
why the gospel went "to the Jew first" and then later to the
Gentiles (Rom.1:16). Peter preached shortly after Pentecost: "Ye
are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant... unto you
first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you,
in turning away every one of you from his iniquities" (Acts 3:25,
26). "It was necessary that the word of God should first have
been spoken to you" (Acts 13:46).

In person, Christ came to Israel during the first half of the
"week" - three and a half years. Through the disciples - for the
three and a half years that remained - his message still went to
Israel, "the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with
signs following"(Mk.16:20). In a very real sense of the word, the
ministry of the disciples was a continuation of the ministry of
Christ.
Then came the conversion of Cornelius which completely changed
the missionary outreach, outlook, and ministry of the church.
Though the New Testament does not give an exact date when this
happened, apparently the time for special exclusive blessing upon
Daniel's people had drawn to a close. The gospel which had gone
first to the Jews was now to take its full mission - to be
preached to all people of all nations!

This time of changeover was marked by a number of supernatural
events. Cornelius received a heavenly visitation. An angel
appeared to him and told him to call for Peter "who shall tell
thee words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved" (Acts
11:14). God showed Peter a vision which caused him to know that
the gospel was now to go to the Gentiles and not to Israelites
only. All of these things were timed perfectly - showing that
God's hand was accomplishing a definite purpose.
Returning to Jerusalem, Peter explained what had happened. "When
they heard these things, they... glorified God, saying, Then hath
God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life"(Acts
11:18). From this very point, more and more, there was a turning
to the Gentiles with the gospel message. God's measurement of 490
years pertaining in a special way to Israel had obviously been
completed.
And finally,

12. THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM AND THE TEMPLE. This part of the
prophecy was not dated within the framework of the 70 weeks as
was the time of the appearance of Messiah to Israel, the time of
his death, etc. Nevertheless, living on this side of the
fulfillment, we know that the predicted destruction found
fulfillment in 70 A.D. when the armies of Titus brought the city
to desolation.

With Adam Clarke we say: "The whole of this prophecy from the
times and corresponding events has been fulfilled to the very
letter." (Clarke's Commentary, note on Daniel).

                            ...................

Yes, the Old Bible Commentaries like Adam Clarke, Albert Barnes,
Matthew Henry, and some others, all CORRECTLY understood the
prophecy in Daniel chapter 9, the coming of the Messiah and the
final destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

TO BE CONTINUED

 

 

Daniel’s 70th Week: The Biggest “Prophetic” Dilemma? June 9, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
Tags: , , ,
2 comments

Another dilemma I would like to draw attention to concerning Daniel’s 70th week revolves around the current state of Israel, which scholars believe marks the “prophetic return of the Jews” to the Holy Land and the precursor to Christ coming. If the current state of Israel, birthed in 1948 as a result of the Balfour Declaration do indeed mark the prophetic return of the Jews then there is a problem in reconciling this to the traditional view to interpreting Daniel’s 70th week. Firstly, according to the interpretation Daniel’s 70th week will occur in a future time period in which the anti-christ will confirm a covenant with Israel at the start of the week and in the middle of the week (3 and ½ years later) will break the covenant and cause the sacrifice to cease and establish the abomination which makes desolate in Jerusalem. This results in another future exile of Israel as it flees into the wilderness for 42 months.

 We know from scripture that Israel has been exile (or made desolate) twice; the first time when Nebuchadnezzar plundered Israel and took most of the people captive to Babylon. The second desolation occurred when Titus the Roman general sacked Jerusalem in circa 70 A.D. But is this third period of exile after a second restoration period supported in scripture? No doubt a vast proportion of Christendom believes this to be the case. But what does scripture say? Here is what Isa 11:11-12 says though it is worthwile for the reader to read from verse 1 to get the full picture:

 11And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

 We note here that the Lord will gather the remnant of his people the second time. If we read from verse 1 it should become clear that this day in which the Lord gathers Israel the second time is at His coming. How do we know this? Verse 4 provides the conclusive evidence:

 4But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

 It is confirmed in 2 Thess 2:8 that Jesus will slay the wicked (man of sin) with the breath of His mouth at His coming and in Rev 19:15 we learn that a sharp sword goes out of His mouth and that He shall rule the nations with a rod of iron (at His coming). Where then is this idea of a third dispersion and a third re-gathering of Israel? That is perhaps the biggest dilemma of them all!

Daniel’s 70th Week: Another Prophetic Dilemma! May 27, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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5 comments

The “traditional” view to interpreting Daniel’s 70th week also suggests that this “week” marks the 7 year tribulation reign of the anti-christ. In this regard it is believed that the anti-christ will make a covenant with Israel at the start of the “week” and that in the middle of the “week” (or 3.5 years later – 1260 days) the anti-christ will break the covenant and cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease by setting up the abomination of desolation. Israel will then flee into the “wilderness” (Rev 12:6) as a result for the remaining 3.5 years or 1260 days, until Christ returns. In looking at Daniel 9 (see below) this seems a reasonable conclusion but is this really so?

 Dan 9

26And 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. 27And 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.

 Of course one of the main problems with this view is that one would be able to accurately predict when Jesus Christ would return if they knew when the anti-christ came to power. However, in spite of the fact that Jesus knew that Daniel was already written and available to us He made clear that no one knew the day nor the hour when He should return (Matt 24:36). To confound the matter further there is a portion of scripture in Daniel 12, which is overlooked when interpreting Daniel 9:

 Dan 12

10Many 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. 11And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. 13But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

 Here, the scripture says that from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away through to the time when the abomination which makes desolate is set up, will be 1290 days. Now this surely does put a spanner in the works where modern eschatology is concerned. Assuming that the traditional view is correct and that the anti-christ did break the covenant in the middle of the 70th week (7 year tribulation period) then according to Dan 12:11 the abomination of desolation would not be set up until a further 1290 days had expired. Obviously the math does not add up here because the fleeing into the wilderness does not occur until after the abomination of desolation is set up (Matt 24:15-20). Going by the traditional view therefore we would have the abomination of desolation being set up 30 days after Jesus was due to return (according to some) at the end of the second half of the 70th week (1260 days).

 To summarise the timeline in accordance with the traditional view then and to factor in the account of Daniel 12, we would have:

 –         At start of 70th week anti-christ confirms a covenant with “the many” ( assumed to be Israel) (Dan 9:27)

–          In the middle of the week or after 1260 days anti-christ breaks the covenant and causes the sacrifice and oblation to cease (Dan 9:27)

–          After a further 1290 days abomination of desolation is set up (Dan 12:11)

–          Israel then flees into the wilderness for a further 1260 days from the setting up of the abomination (Matt 24:15-20, Rev 12:6)

–          Jesus due to return after the completion of the 1260 days of Israel in the wilderness?

 So then what we have chronologically speaking is not 7 years or 2520 days but 3810 days in total to mark the period of the “tribulation”. The dilemma for interpreters therefore is how do you factor in the 1290 days which spans the time from the taking away of the sacrifice through to setting up the abomination of desolation?