Category Archives: History

Actual Dates and 14C Dates — Michael J. Findley

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Please forgive the oversimplification. But radiocarbon dating, like all radiometric dating, begins with assumptions (beliefs, paradigm) and uses those beliefs as proofs of dates. Science is the accurate examination of the evidence. The evidence of radiocarbon in the remains of organism which were once alive does not produce a date. It produces a 14C:12C ratio. Then assumptions (beliefs, a paradigm) are applied to that ratio. The result is a date. But the science is only the ratio.

Regular 14N in the upper atmosphere is bombarded by cosmic rays and produces 14C, which is unstable and breaks down over time. All living organisms absorb 14C throughout their lifetime through eating and breathing. At death, the organism no longer absorbs 14C. Since 14C is unstable, it begins to break down at a steady rate. This allows us to measure the 14C:12C ratio. By applying assumptions, the end result is a date.

The group of assumptions used by Secular Humanism have a paradigm that assumes the present to be the key to the past. It assumes that formation of 14C:12C was roughly the same as 14C:12C today. Allowing for anomalies, it assumes a constant rate for 60,000 BP (Before Present) years, the maximum accurate date for 14C dating.
The flood model assumptions have a paradigm where the past is vastly different from the present. The flood changed the paradigm dramatically.

Since there are no samples to test before the flood, it is a waste of time to discuss the antediluvian condition. But we accept the standard geologic position that earlier time periods, such as what they called the Cambrian through the Jurassic, had much higher carbon levels than we have today. All of these strata were formed during the flood and represent antediluvian carbon levels.

With higher levels of 12C and 14C formed at a constant rate, the 14C:12C therefor had highly diluted levels of 14C. Therefore, any sample from this time would cause a 14C date to be much older than its actual date because of the increase in 12C, not a reduction in 14C formation.

The flood altered the 14C:12C ratio by saturating the atmosphere with volcanic aerosols laden with vast quantities of 12C. At the same time, the sluice-gates of heaven were opened. 40 days of worldwide torrential rains flushed the atmosphere of any element besides water. This included 14C. Finally, all air-breathing organisms died. The last stage of the carbon cycle, converting 14C back to 14N, did not exist.

It is important to understand that the flood paradigm assumes, just like Secular Humanism does, that 14C formation from 14N was constant throughout earth’s history. What changed, and changed greatly, was the addition of many times the regular 12C in the atmosphere compared to what we measure today. That changed the 14C:12C ratio. As the chart says, the 14C was diluted by many times the amount of 12C we measure today.
So immediately after the flood, 14C was so diluted that a sample from that time measured today would, without correcting for the additional 12C, would date to be 40,000 BP or older.

Following the blue line on the chart, the amount of 12C in the atmosphere decreased to the amount we have measured for centuries since around 600 BC.
Assuming the eruption of Thera coincided with the Exodus, then we can use it to correct 14C dates. Ussher dates the Exodus 1491 BC. 14C dates the eruption of Thera to be 1640 BC for an error of 150 years.

So 14C dates for Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian empire are approximately the same as Ussher’s dates. 14C dates for the Exodus, 1491 BC, are approximately 150 too old. And 14C dates for the flood are tens of thousands of years older than actual dates.

Image Credit included at the bottom of the chart

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How God Preserved His Word For Us: Torah — post by Michael J. Findley

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The Torah for modern readers is Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Some arrangements in the past have included Joshua, but that has not been the case for centuries for English readers.

We believe that the Law itself was given by the LORD God on Sinai. God could have added to and edited information Moses already had. Moses was trained in all the learning of the Egyptians and he left Egypt with records of creation, the flood, and the tower of Babel. He also had the records of his own people. He kept records of their wilderness wanderings. And after his death, Joshua added several verses to include his death.

It is possible that Joshua and his assistants made extensive changes to the book of Deuteronomy. It is also possible that the sons of the prophets, the school for formal education in the Law during the monarchy period, edited the Torah. The final edit for the entire Old Testament was made by Ezra after returning from the exile, though these were likely only minor changes.

Reading of the Torah, Aish Synagogue, Tel Aviv, Israel. Photographer Roy Lindman Wikimedia Commons

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How God Preserved His Word For Us: Job — post by Michael J. Findley

william blake job
Some very godly men might disagree in a few points of this traditional view. Martin Luther certainly did on the book of James. But if someone has more than a few disagreements and they might not be firmly grounded in the faith. Perhaps they might not be believers at all.
As a complete book, Job is the oldest written book in the Bible. It could be the oldest book in the world. It was written around the time of the Patriarchs, Abraham to Joseph. That makes it an Ice Age book. The speeches were likely written before they were delivered. Then these speeches were compiled into a book later. Perhaps others wrote the speeches down as they spoke, but cuneiform writing using wedges into clay tablets would require several people transcribing at the same time. However it was done, someone recorded their speeches and the speeches of God. God also directly revealed the scenes in heaven.
While it certainly is possible that the events in the book of Job took place before the flood, and the book was preserved by Noah and his family, there is no evidence to support this theory. Almost no Jewish sources support this. Job had 7 sons and 3 daughters before the events recorded began. He had 7 more sons and 3 more daughters and lived another 140 years after the events recorded in the book of Job. It is reasonable, based on how long he lived, to believe that Job was older than Abraham.
The book includes hundreds of descriptions of everyday life, and the details could fit with any preindustrial society anywhere on earth. Civilization has not developed or progressed the way Secular Humanists teach. The major technological changes in the past 200 years have not improved the quality of family life. The creatures God describes to Job, generally translated as leviathan and behemoth, fit what we know about dinosaurs. Dinosaurs could be what we know as dragons.
How did the Jews include Job in their sacred writings? The book of Job was written before the Jews were a nation. None of possible answers can be verified. But everyone agrees that Moses had the book of Job and included it with the writings he left the Children of Israel.

Image Credit: Behemoth and Leviathan by William Blake

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Peace, Unity, and Refugees: the Executive Order

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If possible, so far as it depends on you, live in peace with all people. Romans 12:8

Eric Costanzo, pastor of the South Tulsa Baptist Church (SBC) in Tulsa, OK co-signed a protest letter published in the Washington Post, wrote a facebook article, and posted a blog supporting the Evangelical protest of the temporary immigration halt from seven countries. In the Tulsa World he wrote that we have a “blindness to the degree of polarity between their [refugees’] needs and our extravagance that allows us to somehow justify our selfishness and inaction to their suffering.” The plight of many is desperate. It is also possible that there are more refugees in the world than the entire population of the USA.

His comments are typical of what many believe. “Whether or not we will admit it out loud, our conservative culture is quick to dismiss injustice if those who are oppressed are Muslim. The Bible contains several mandates from God that his people show compassion, provide refuge, and care deliberately for the foreigner who is in need.”
If this statement is true, why didn’t Jesus do this? Jesus fed people who listened to His teaching. This is not what most people mean by providing refuge and care. Jesus had no homes, clothing, money or food to give people.

Pastor Costanzo wrote: “These verses and stories are not hard to find, and their applications to the current refugee situation are hard to miss.” There are many great needs; refugees, our brothers and sisters in Christ in North Korea, the Sudan, China, and families next door. Meeting specific needs is certainly a responsibility commanded in Scriptures. So is providing for your own families and neighbors. Our abilities, resources, time and income are extremely limited. With billions of needy people on earth, what are God’s priorities?

“I believe it is the responsibility of every evangelical leader,” Pastor Eric wrote, “and every believer, to speak out against injustice; to take action on behalf of the refugee; and to be willing to step into the messiness of their lives in order to be good news.”
How does speaking out against injustice help us to teach and preach the Word, glorify God, worship, and make disciples? Great injustices have been committed in the name of speaking out against injustice.

He wrote “Of all the countries who have accepted and are accepting refugees from the Middle East, the U.S. has accepted a very low percentage. This has been true regarding refugees for decades.”

According to the UN, however, “The United States is the world’s top resettlement country for refugees.” “In fiscal year (FY) 2015, the United States resettled 69,933 refugees and in FY 2013 (the most recent data available) granted asylum status to 25,199 people.” migrationpolicy.org/article/refugees-and- asylees-united-states. According to the UN, though there are over 21 million refugees in the world, only 107,100 have been resettled. unhcr.org/en-us/figures-at-a- glance.html So about 70% of all resettled refugees in the world are in the USA.

From the Ice Age, the time of Job and Abraham, through the New Testament, refugees in the modern sense did not exist. Until recently, everyone on earth either owned enough property to properly take care of themselves or they were property, in other words, a slave. You either found some way to take care of yourself and your family, you died, or your were enslaved.

The letter Pastor Eric signed in protest of President Trump’s executive order says, “we are deeply concerned by the recently announced moratorium on refugees.”

Why? This letter dwells at length on the plight of many people. It also makes many false implications about those who do not agree with their position.

In an attempt to correct some of the worst errors in the Washington Post letter, here are some quotes from the actual Executive Order by President Trump, “the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by- case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.” Sec. 3. (g) “Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program.“

Defining terrorism-related attacks is difficult. Some make a definition which claims that there have been very few assaults since 9-11. Others use a very broad definition which leads to hundreds of thousands of assaults. It is pointless to attempt to convince anyone whose mind is already made up. There is no question that the Boston marathon bombing was terrorism-related. The thousands of unsolved homicides by illegal aliens in LA are not as clearly connected to terrorism.

Section 1 “In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”

It is so sad that Pastor Eric’s blog perpetuates the myth that “We are afraid that refugees from the Middle East will be our enemies.” A proper understanding of Islam reveals the radical form of the religion of Islam is our enemy. That is understanding, not fear. Radical Islam has declared war on the USA and Christians. Do we understand that?

For an example of how one country handled the very human and laudable desire to open its arms to refugees, look at Sweden. The best intentions to help the helpless turned Sweden into a nightmare where few are helped and many, including both refugees and native residents, regret this misguided attempt at giving refuge.
http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/09/how-sweden-became-an-example-of-how-not-to-handle-immigration/

To briefly summarize, the writer explains the generosity of the Swedish people in accepting disproportionately large numbers of refugees. It details the types of people who came, and what was done to try to help them. And it frankly covers the consequences to the native population and to the refugees, including the youngest people. Gang cultures, attacks on woman, a murder and rape epidemic, and forced child prostitution are just a few of the consequences.

Sweden is known for being one of the most generous, compassionate, and liberated countries in the world. If their hospitality can backfire on them so profoundly, are we so arrogant as to think that our compassion cannot blind us to the potential for a failure just as great?

We have to rightly divide the Word of Truth. We cannot react with well-intentioned compassion that is not guided by a true interpretation of Scripture. Of all the times when we need God’s guidance, one of the most critical is to discern what we can do to show Christ’s love to this world. Humanitarian aid and hospitality to foreigners in distress is wonderful.

But we have a mandate to communicate truth, and the truth is that we can only fight against man’s greatest needs with the greatest weapon, God’s truth in His Word. The weapons of our warfare are not material, but effective to the destruction of spiritual powers.

Thank you President Trump for standing for the Word of God, the rule of law and constitutional rights.

Here is a link to Pastor Costanzo’s blog post: https://ericcostanzo.me/2017/02/09/why-i-signed-the-letter-to-president-trump-on-behalf-of-refugees/

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What Is The Gospel? Part Two: The Gospel According to Jesus

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Then Jesus returned to Galilee by the power of the Spirit. Meanwhile, the news about him spread throughout the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was continuously receiving praise from everyone. (Luke 4:14,15 ISV)

Soon after Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus returned to Galilee. Luke, written to Theophilus, a Greek, does not use the word gospel here. It only says that Jesus began to teach. Matthew and Mark record the same event with the word gospel.

Then he went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every illness among the people. (Matthew 4:23 ISV)

Now after John had been arrested, Jesus went to Galilee and proclaimed the gospel about the kingdom of God. He said, ‘The time is now! The kingdom of God is near! Repent, and keep believing the gospel!’” (Mark 1:14,15 ISV)

The first time Luke uses the word gospel is when Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1 in a synagogue.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me;
he has anointed me to tell
the good news [gospel] to the poor.
He has sent me to announce release to the prisoners
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set oppressed people free,
and to announce the year of the Lord’s favor.
(Luke 4:18,19 ISV)

The gospel Jesus proclaimed was not a new teaching. As Jesus was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, so the gospel Jesus proclaimed was the same message proclaimed from the foundation of the world. It is the good news of salvation. But to understand salvation, we must understand sin, our need for a savior, and God’s righteous requirements for atonement.

When Jesus walked about teaching in Israel, He taught the same message over and over again. But he taught people who knew what we call the Old Testament. Jesus taught the gospel continuously throughout his life. To large crowds he taught in parables because many people in his audience were unwilling to accept everything included in the gospel.
The gospel according to Jesus included the entire Old Testament. It was not a simple list which could be accepted or rejected after a ten minute presentation.

When Jesus returned after his resurrection, he continued to preach the gospel. But he spoke only to his disciples. Jesus found two disciples, and walked with them over 7 miles, teaching as they walked.

Then Jesus told them, “O, how foolish you are! How slow you are to believe everything the prophets said! The Messiah had to suffer these things and then enter his glory, didn’t he?” Then, beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them all the passages of Scripture about himself. (Luke 24:25-27 ISV)

When Jesus left them, these two disciples ran back to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples.

While they were all talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and told them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus told them, “What’s frightening you? And why are you doubting? Look at my hands and my feet, because it’s really me. Touch me and look at me, because a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

After he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. Even though they were still skeptical due to their joy and astonishment, Jesus asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. Then he told them, “These are the words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about me in the Low of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms had to be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds so that they might understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:36-45)

The gospel of Jesus: everything written about me in the Low of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms had to be fulfilled.

Image Credit “The Road to Emmaus” by Robert Zund St Gallen Museum of Art  Photographer joyfulheart upload by Adrian Michael Wikimedia Commons

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The Historical Context of Jonah

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Nimrod built Nineveh very soon after the flood. It was part of his kingdom to rebel against God.

[Nimrod’s] kingdom began in the region of Shinar with the cities of Babylon, Eriech, Akkad, and Calneh. From there he went north to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, and Calah, along with Resen, which was located between Nineven and the great city of Calah. Genesis 10:10-12

2,000 years later, every Jew listening to Jesus understood Nineveh.

An evil and adulterous generation craves a sign. Yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah, because just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea creature for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment and condemn the people living today, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah. But look-something greater than Jonah is here! Matthew 12:39-41

Jeroboam II led the northern kingdom of Israel to its greatest glory since Solomon. Jonah prophesied that Jeroboam (II, of the line of Jehu) would take impoverished, defeated Israel and restore its borders to the Euphrates River. This was the same border Israel had under Solomon.

“God used Jeroboam to … restore the former borders [Numbers 13:21] from the entrance into Hamath to the sea of the plain. This fulfilled the prophecy of the Lord which was spoken by Jonah the prophet, the son of Amittai. 2 Kings 14:25,27,28.”
825 BC Ussher The Annals of the World

[Jeroboam] rebuilt Israel’s coastline from the entrance of Hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, in accordance with the message from the Lord God of Israel that he spoke through his servant Jonah the prophet, Amittai’s son, who was from Gath-hepher. 2 Kings 14:29
“Jonah was later sent to Nineveh …”
808 BC Ussher The Annals of the World

Sir Isaac Newton believed that Jonah actually lived and prophesied earlier, before the reign of Jeroboam II. “Homer mentions Bacchus and Memnon Kings of Egypt and Persia, but knew nothing of an Assyrian Empire. Jonah prophesied when Israel was in affliction from Syria, and this was in the latter part of the Reign of Jehoahaz, and the first part of the Reign of Joash, Kings of Israel, and I think in the Reign of Moeris the successor of Ramesses King of Egypt, and about sixty years before the Reign of Pul; and Nineveh was then a city of large extent, but full of pastures for cattle, so that it contained but about 120000 persons. It was not yet grown so great and potent as not to be terrified at the preaching of Jonah, and to fear being invaded by its neighbours and ruined within forty days: it had some time before got free from the dominion of Egypt, and got a King of its own; but its King was not yet called the King of Assyria, but only King of Nineveh, Jonah iii. 6,7 and his proclamation for a fast was not published in several nations, nor in all Assyria, but only in Nineveh, and perhaps in the villages thereof; but soon after, when the dominion of Nineveh was established at home, and exalted over all Assyria properly so called, and this Kingdom began to make was upon the neighbouring nations, its Kings were no longer called Kings of Nineveh but began to be called Kings of Assyria.”
Sir Isaac Newton The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms p. 99

II Kings 14:25 means that either Jonah lived during the reign of Jeroboam II or Jonah lived and prophesied earlier and Jeroboam II fulfilled an earlier prophecy. According to Sir Isaac Newton, Jonah went to Nineveh around 850 BC, more than 40 years before Ussher’s date for the book of Jonah.

With either position, Nineveh was at that time a minor city-state. The original Jeroboam, son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon lead the northern kingdom in rebellion against Rehoboam. Jeroboam, son of Nebat, was allied with Egypt. So the northern kingdom of Israel was either an ally or a vassal state to Egypt. This relationship is rarely mentioned in the Bible. Later, Ahab also had a strong alliance with Egypt. It is impossible to know if Egypt viewed the northern kingdom of Israel as an ally or a vassal state.

It is very likely that Assyria was a small local power before Tiglath-pileser developed a professional military and marched on Israel. (747 BC, Ussher).

The people of Nineveh would have no problem adding Jehovah to their pantheon. Their problem was the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” So what did Nineveh know about Israel when Jonah arrived?

  1. Abraham and his family left Mesopotamia traveled to Egypt, and left Egypt wealthy.
  2. Abraham headed a coalition from Canaan headed by 318 special forces from his own family which defeated a five nation alliance headed by the nation of Elam.
  3. Jacob and his children destroyed every person in Shechem.
  4. Joseph by skill becomes Vizier of all Egypt.
  5. As slaves, the Israelites, already skilled in the ways of Mesopotamia, learn all of the skills of Egypt.
  6. The God of Israel destroyed Egypt. This might be the most important point when they listened to Jonah’s message.
  7. Led by Joshua, Israel captured Canaan, destroying the most powerful city-states of that time.
  8. Led by Gideon, Israel destroyed the Midianites who were as numerous as the sand of the sea.
  9. Led by Saul, Israel destroyed Amalek, first among the nations.
  10. Led by David, Israel destroyed the Syrians. At one time, the Syrians had controlled Nineveh.
  11. Led by Solomon, every nation on earth paid tribute to Israel.
  12. Led by King Asa, Judah had defeated an army of one million Ethiopians.

Jonah did not arrive in Nineveh in a vacuum. God had prepared the people of Nineveh for Jonah’s message.

All Scripture quotes are from the ISV.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Nineveh. Adad Gate. One of the fifteen gateways of ancient Nineveh. A reconstruction was begun in the 1960s by Iraqis, but was not completed. The result is an uneasy mixture of concrete and eroding mudbrick, which nonetheless does give one some idea of the original structure. The lower portions of the stone retaining wall are original. Fortunately, the excavator left some features unexcavated, allowing a view of the original Assyrian construction. The original brickwork of the outer vaulted passageway is well exposed. The actions of Nineveh’s last defenders can be seen in the hastily built mudbrick construction which narrows the passageway from 4 m. to 2 m. Height of vault is about 5 m. Photo by Fredarch.
Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Nineveh_Adad_gate_exterior_entrance_far2.JPG Author Fredarch

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Chiliasm: What the Scriptures Teach — post by Michael J. Findley

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The dissertation on Revelation by Dr. Charles Smith, The Apocalypse by Joseph Seiss (1865), or my Biblical Studies section on Revelation cover this in detail. This is more a definition than even a brief overview.

Daniel 9: 24-27: 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 troublous 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. (KJV)

Up to the point where the Messiah was cut off is now history. It was a prophecy when Daniel wrote this around 540 BC. Now we have the advantage of understanding historic events and applying that knowledge to the portions which are still prophetic. We know that the phrase translated “week” is the word seven. It means a period of seven years, not seven days. A modern translation helps our understanding some. (the ISV, International Standard Version)

Daniel 9:27: He will make a binding covenant with many for one week, and for half a week he will pause both the sacrifice and grain offerings. Destructive people will cause desolation on the pinnacle until it is complete and what has been decreed is poured out on the desolator.

The first word of verse 27, “He,” refers to the “prince that shall come.” The Apostle John calls him the Antichrist in I John and in the Apocalypse (Revelation). The binding covenant is what we call a treaty. While we do not know everything about this treaty, it allows the rebuilding of the temple and the resumption of Jewish sacrifices. In the middle of the week (3 1/2 years), the sacrifices are cut off and the temple is made desolate by an abomination.
Jesus referred to this verse in 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.) (KJV)

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So this passage was important to Jesus. He wants us to understand it. The outpouring of the Church Age began with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. It ends with an event we call the Rapture, the taking of the Church, the bride of Christ, to ever be with the Lord. The word “rapture” comes from the Latin Vulgate translation of 2 Thessalonians 4:17. “Shall be caught up” (harpagesometha). Second future passive indicative of harpazo, old verb to seize, to carry off like Latin rapio. (Robertson’s Word Pictures)

It has the same meaning as the Greek word harpazo 1) to seize, carry off by force 2) to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly 3) to snatch out or away [Thayer]

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep [died in Christ]. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 KJV)

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinking of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

This is clear doctrine. The amillennial position claims that these words do not mean what they say. It follows the allegorical method of Origen for John’s Apocalypse. Our position is simple. The words mean what they say. We do not have the option of “interpreting” John’s word to mean something they do not say. Ezekiel describes a future temple in great detail which was not Herod’s temple. Ezekiel’s temple and the sacrifices of that temple are still future.

Revelation 18 describes God’s judgment on this world’s system, called Babylon. Joel and Zechariah describe this same judgment. At the very end, the nations of the world gather to do battle against the LORD. It is called the battle of Armageddon, but it takes place over a period of time, perhaps as long as two weeks.

Whore_of_Babylon

“And it shall come to pass in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have piered, and they shall morn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.” (Zechariah 12:9-11)

“I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem, to lay siege against it. The city will be capured, the houses will be ransacked, the women raped, and half fo the city will go into exile, but the remaining people will not be cut off from the city. ‘Then the LORD will go out to battle against those nations, waging war as in a day of battle. His feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. Then the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. Then the Mount of Lives will be split in two from east to west, forming a very large valley, with half of the mountain moving toward the north and half toward the south. [Note: this is likely the event which causes the water to flow out of the temple Ezekiel wrote about.]

“You will run away through my mountain valley, because the valley of the mountains will extend as far as Azal. You will flee, as you fled from the earthquake during the reign of King Uzziah of Judah. And so the LORD my God will come, and all his holy ones will be accompanying you.’ [note: This is not the usual term for angel. Some speculate that we, the resurrected saints of the Church Age at the Rapture are these “holy ones.” We will ever be with the LORD, and He is leading His armies at this time.]

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‘At that time, the daylight will be neither bright nor overcast. It will be a unique day, known only to the LORD-neither daytime nor nighttime-and it will come about at twilight there will be light! At that time, flowing waters will run perennially from Jerusalem, half toward the Dead Sea and half to the Mediterranean Sea [This means that the water flowing from the temple will continue throughout the Millennium. The following is a description of the Millennium.]

The LORD will be king over all the earth at that time. There will be one LORD, and his name the only one. The entire land will become like the Arabah plain from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem. It will be raised up and inhabited whier it is, from the Gate of Benjamin to the First Gate, then to the Corner Gate, to the Hananel Tower, and to the king’s winepress. People will live there, there will be no more destruction, and Jerusalem will be safely inhabited. [The following is probably looking back at the battle, war, of Armageddon at the end of the Great Tribulation.]

This will be the plague with which the LORD inflicts all of the people who have attacked Jerusalem: he will cause their flesh to rot away, even while they are standing on their feet. He will cause their eyes to rot away in their sockets, and their tongues to rot away in their mouths. At that time, they will be stricken with a terrible panic from the LORD. Everyone will attack each other. Judah, too, will fight at Jerusalem. Then the wealth of the surrounding nations will be gathered up: gold, silver, and clothing in great abundance. A similar plague will also strike horses, mules, camels, donkeys, and all the animals in those camps. It will come about that all of the survivors of the nations who came against Jerusalem will come there from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of the Heavenly Armies, and to observe the Feast of Tents.

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If anyone from the families of the earth will not come to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of the Heavenly Armies, there will be no rain for them. If the people of Egypt do not come to Jerusalem to take part, they will have no annual Nile overflow. A plague will come from the LORD to strike the nations who do not come to observe the Feast of Tents. This will be the punishment for Egypt and all nations who do not come to observe the Feast of Tents. At that time, there will be written on the bells of the horses: HOLINESS TO THE LORD and the pots in the Temple of the LORD will be like the bowls in front of the altar– every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be consecrated to the LORD of the Heavenly Armies. Everyone who offers sacrifices will come, will take them, and will cook in them. Furthermore, at that time, there will no longer be a Canaanite in the Temple of the LORD of the Heavenly Armies.’” (Zechariah 14:1-21 ISV)

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This thousand years of blessing ends with the battle of Gog and Magog, described in Ezekiel 38.

“Many days from now-in the latter years-you will be summoned to a land that has been restored from violence. You will be gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which formerly had been a continual waste, but which will be populated with people who have been brought back from the nations. All of them will be living there securely. You’ll arise suddenly, like a tornado, coming like a windstorm to cover the land, you and all your soldiers with you, along with many nations. This is what the Lord God says: ‘This is what’s going to happen on the very day you begin your invasion: You’ll be thinking, making evil plans, and boasting, “I’m going to invade a comprised of open country that is at rest, its people living confidently, all of whose inhabitants will be living securely, with neither fortification nor bars on their doors. I’m going to confiscate anything I can put my hands on. I’ll attack the restored ruins and the people who have been gathered together from the nations, who are acquiring livestock and other goods, and who live at the center of the world’s attention.”’” (Ezekiel 38:8-12 ISV)

“So it will be that on that day, when Gog invades the land of Israel,” declares the LORD GOD, “my zeal will ignite my anger. Because of my zeal and burning anger at that time there will be a massive earthquake throughout the land of Israel. I’m going to shake the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the wild beasts, all the creatures that crawl on the earth, and every single human being who lives on the surface of the earth. Mountains will collapse, as will their mountain passages and every wall will fall to the ground. Then I’ll call for war against Gog on top of every mountain,” declares the Lord GOD, “and every weapon of war will be turned against their fellow soldier. I’ll judge them with disease and bloodshed. I’ll shower him, his soldiers, the vast army that accompanies him with a torrential flood, hailstones, fire, and sulfur. I will exhalt myself and demonstrate my holiness, making myself known to many people who will learn that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 38:18-23 ISV)

Isaiah continues these events: “For the LORD is angry against all the nations, and furious against all their armies. He has doomed them to destruction, and given them up to be slaughtered. Their slain will be thrown out; and as for their dead bodies-their stench will ascend; the mountains will be soaked with their blood. The valleys will be split, all the stars in the heavens will fall down, and the skies will be rolled up like a scroll. All their starry host will fade away like leaves withering on a vine, or fruit withering on a fig tree. (Isaiah 34:2-4 ISV)

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John’s Apocalypse (unveiling) is mostly a repetition of Old Testament prophecies. He adds details, such as two resurrections and one thousand years in chapter twenty, but the main timeline of revelation is found in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, and Zechariah. If all of these are nothing more than allegory, then what makes anything in the Bible factual information? The entire death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah, using this method could be just an allegory of something, though no one knows what.

The allegorical method makes the reader or interpreter the authority instead of God. It replaces “Thus saith the LORD!” with “What do I want these words to mean?” While every possible literary device is used somewhere in the Bible, the Bible is not an extended allegory with no real meaning outside of the mind of the reader.

Image Credits:

Four Horsemen by Waiting for the Word Flikr Commons

Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX, and Gospel Light, Ventura, CA. Copyright 1984. Out of Print, released under Creative Commons License as a co-operative project. Wikimedia Commons

The Whore of Babylon Russian engraving 1800s Source/Photographer First upload to en.wikipedia by en:User:Ihcoyc as Whorebab.jpg Public Domain Wikimedia Commons

John Martin The Great Day of His Wrath Medium oil on canvas Credit line Photo: Tate, London Source/Photographer RQFpgg6aFrwrtw at Google Cultural Institute Tate Images Public Domain Wikimedia Commons

View of the Tapestry of the Apocalypse in Angers, France Author Kimon Berlin, user: Gribeco Wikimeida Commons

Chris Tolworthy The New Jerusalem from Revelation 20. A colored version of a Gustav Dore woodcut. Flikr Commons

Title screen from Revelation – The Last Cosmic Battle Parkside Church YouTube August 25, 2014 http://goo.gl/ulPPKU (Inclusion of this image does not imply endorsement of this church or its teaching. It is simply included as an illustration for the post.)

 

 

 

 

 

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