"But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them trapped in pigeon holes, and they are hid in prison houses, they are for a prey, and no-one delivereth them; for a spoil, and none says, Restore their share to them. Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?"- Isa. 42:22-23,
"They are a nation without sense there is no discernment in them. If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be!" - Deut. 32:28-29
THE WORDS OF A PROPHET ARE WRITTEN ON A SUBWAY WALL
Part 8 ©
Are you one of the millions of Christians being misled and spiritually 'left behind'? The answer to that question may well be a resounding, YES! Millions of Christians, and non-Christians as well, are being caught up in a new and seductive teaching. It's called the Rapture.
Ask yourself the following questions. Then, read the answers and discover whether the truth is more amazing than fiction.
Was there a ‘return’ of Christ in 66 - 68 A.D.?
Is the Great Tribulation already past, or is it a future event?
Are we facing the ‘battle of Armageddon’?
Are There Only Two ‘Comings’ of Jesus? -His First Coming (past) and a Second Coming (still future)??
What does the Kingdom of God look like?
What does it mean to be ‘changed into His likeness’?
These are not only exciting issues, they are crucial, because most of us are unprepared for the events that about to overtake us. On the other hand, if we are prepared, we have many reasons to rejoice.
The fact is, some of the most valuable prophecies in the Old Testament were ‘sealed up’ and not meant to be understood until the time for them to be fulfilled had approached.
One thing we hope to emphasize in this writing, is that what we believe about the future, will, in all likelihood, motivate us either to action or idleness.
For instance, if you believe as I do, you want to see the the Jewish people living safely in their own homeland and you may even pray, as I do to that end. But just how is this to be accomplished without pillage, plunder and racial genocide.
To pick up where we left off, let’s take a look at two news items, that probably didn’t make your local paper - one representing the deep concern of many Orthodox Jews and the other representing the crazy beliefs of certain fundamentalist ‘Zionist’ Christians.
ORTHODOX JEWS HOLD DEMONSTRATION AGAINST THE ‘STATE’ OF ISRAEL
From Neturei Karta International
On April 14th, 2004, Orthodox Jews gathered to demonstrate in front of the White House, in Washington D.C. as President George W. Bush and "Israeli" Prime Minister Sharon met inside, to proclaim and clearly state that: Sharon and the State of "Israel" are illegitimate and they do not represent the Jewish people.
Date: Wednesday April 14, 2004
Place: White House, Lafayette Park
Time: 12:00 PM
Let it be known that: The State of "Israel" does not represent the voice of Judaism and/or the Jewish people.
The Torah clearly forbids the formation of a State, for the Jewish people, in their time of exile.
The Torah forbids stealing land, subjugating and oppressing a people etc.
The root cause of the endless bloodshed and suffering in the Holy Land is Zionism and the State of "Israel".
The root cause for the continual rise of worldwide anti-Semitism is Zionism and the State of "Israel".
The Jewish people have been living in Muslim countries, including Palestine, in peace and harmony with their Arab neighbors, until the advent of Zionism.
True to the above and for many other reasons, the rabbinic authorities universally, have vehemently opposed the State of "Israel" since the time of its inception.
Consequently, Sharon has no legitimacy to be the representative of the Jewish people.
The only working solution to a true and lasting peace is the total dismantling of this illegitimate State of "Israel" - a transformation to a Palestinian rule.
Any other of the countless proposals for peace, whereby the State of "Israel" would continue to exist, is futile. As the Torah states "why are you violating the words of G-d, it will not be successful" (Numbers, 14: 41).
Our fervent prayer to G-d is, for this transition from the State of "Israel" to a Palestinian State, to transpire, speedily and peacefully, without any further suffering and bloodshed.
Under this new Palestinian rule, we will once again, God willing, be able to live side by side, Jew and Arab, in brotherhood.
Neturei Karta International
FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIANS DESIRE THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
Christian fundamentalists who donate generously to Jewish terrorism include oil and gas tycoon Terry Reisenhoover, a frequent White House visitor, Mission to America Chairman Dr. Hilton Sutton and Dr. James DeLoach, pastor of Houston’s Second Baptist Church, boasted that he and others have formed a Jerusalem Temple Foundation specifically to aid those, who are intent on destroying the mosque and building a temple.
At a meeting of Christian Zionists in Basel, Switzerland, the group adopted resolutions calling for all Jews living outside of Israel to leave the countries where they are now residing and move to the Jewish State. The Christians also urged Israel to annex the West Bank.
When an Israeli in the audience urged more moderate language, pointing out that an Israeli poll showed that one-third of Israelis would be willing to trade
territory seized in 1967 for peace with the Palestinians, one of the Christian leaders, van der Hoeven of Holland, replied, "We don’t care what the Israelis vote! We care what God says! And God gave that land to the Jews!"
The point of the discussion and of the alliance between Christian and Jewish fundamentalists – whose theological differences have been shelved for the political goal of strengthening Israel
– is instructive, Jews in Israel and the U.S., it seems, do not realize that the Christian fundamentalists urge such a policy because they believe it will usher in the Battle of Armageddon and the End of the World
– not because they are concerned with Israel’s long-run security.- The Orange County Register, May 19, 1987 Mr. Brownfeld is Chairman of the American Council for Judaism www.ACJNA.org
The book of Revelation was not sealed up, but it might as well have been, by the time the Dispensational, sensation-mongers get through writing in the latest news headline.
Hal Lindsey , one of the greatest sensation-mongers I can think of, has repeatedly accused post-tribulationists as somehow having complicity in the holocaust!
In his rapturist oriented Road To Holocaust, Lindsey states that "…anti-Jewish policies can be traced to the attitudes of the Church that began in the 4th century."
By describing basic New Testament doctrines under sub-chapter headings like "A Major Root Of Anti-Semitism," Lindsey deftly tries to show that all historic interpretations other than pre-tribulationism are anti-Semitic!!!
Indeed, in another section of this work, Hal Lindsey has a heading referring to the 2nd century Bible translator Origin
—yet here he brazenly connects 18 centuries of Christian history with, once again, the Nazis! Lindsey calls it "The Trail from Origen to Auschwitz."
In this, he goes out of his way to implicate those Christians who believe that the church has become synonymous with Israel, or that anyone that opposes the rapture cult system is somehow anti-Semitic:
"Using this method of prophetic interpretation, Church theologians began to develop the idea that the Israelites had permanently forfeited all their covenants by rejecting Jesus as the Messiah….
the most serious consequence was that the protections provided by the clear Scriptural warnings of God against those who would harm His covenant people were snatched away."
He goes on to plainly state that Adolph Hitler was the result of Christians holding the historic view that the Church has inherited the promises to Israel! This is a deplorable tactic, yet so-called "reputable" rapture cult leaders never oppose such incredibly false assertions.
John MacArthur, another prominent dispensational author and a pastor, has been trying to convince Christians that "‘Reclaiming’ the culture is a pointless, futile exercise.
I am convinced we are living in a post-Christian society—a civilization that exists under God’s judgment."
- John F. MacArthur, The Vanishing Conscience: Drawing the Line in a No-Fault, Guilt-Free World (Dallas, TX.: Word, 1994)
He also argues that "people becoming saved. That is our only agenda . . . . It is the only thing that we are in the world to do." - Quoted in John Zens and Cliff Bjork, "A Better Society Without the Gospel? The Unbiblical Expectations of Many Christian Leaders," Searching Together 27:1, 2, 3 (Spring-Fall 1999)
It would not surprise me at all, to see a great number of many thousands of Christians, fixated with tunnel-vision, on the Battle of Armageddon, ‘fetched away’ in the near future.
Yes, they and certainly thousands of their sons and daughters are about to be ‘fetched away’ by the Draft Board.
Perhaps it never dawned on these deceived folks, who would be doing the actual fighting in this horrendous war.
Legislation has already been introduced in both houses of Congress and will certainly be passed after the Presidential election is over, to bring back compulsory service for those between ages 24 and 36!! And the loopholes for ‘draft-doggers’ are being closed.
There won’t be any fleeing to Canada !!
ARE WE ABOUT TO BE RAPTURED OR ARE WE ENTERING THE THIRD PERSECUTION ?
In Part 7 of this Series, we revisited the belief that the ‘Signs’ in Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, corresponded to the first Six Seals in John’s Revelation.
Should we continue on to the 7th Seal, we will observe the 144,000 Virgins being sealed to protect them during the GREAT TRIBULATION, (which is actually the 2nd Tribulation spoken of, in the Book of Revelation.)
The 3rd Tribulation, which we are just now entering, is called ‘The Trial’, or ‘The Great Deception' and it will usher in the appearance of the ‘Lawless One’ or the ‘Anti-Christ’ and his great campaign, to encircle ‘the camp of the saints’ or the ‘heavenly Jerusalem’ - the last great persecution of God’s people.
The 1st ‘Tribulation’ ended with a large number of Early Christians being taken from under the Altar and given ‘White Robes".
(Rev. Chap. 5).
The 2nd period of tribulation (the GREAT TRIBULATION) was the war against the WOMAN in the WILDERNESS and her Manchild, and the 144,000 Virgins, who just happen to be the real spiritual leaders of the Kingdom, not some deceived mystics pleading a Benedictine vow of celibacy from a previous incarnation.
In fact, Chapters 7 - 14 of the Book of Revelation are based on certain crucial Old Testament prophecies regarding the RESTORATION and EXALTATION of the people of Israel.
I am satisfied that the truths we are about to explore regarding them , will come as a surprise, since one of the questions we will need to answer, is the long-neglected question:
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR SAINTS WEARING IMMORTAL ROBES TO FELLOWSHIP WITH NON-GLORIFIED SAINTS ??
Who’s right? Is it possible for martyred saints to fellowship, even work with mortals, who are still in their earthly bodies? Listen to these two views:
View A. To argue that sin-cursed covenant-keepers and sin-free covenant-keepers can operate jointly, either in heaven or in history, is to deny what Paul and Christ clearly taught regarding this mandatory separation.
This is a major argument against any version of popular premillennialism which teaches that heavenly saints will return to rule in history alongside sin-burdened saints. J. Dwight Pentecost, writes:
"Thus the millennial age will be concerned only with men who have been saved but are living in their natural bodies." -J. Dwight Pentecost, "The Relation between Living and Resurrected Saints in The Millennium," Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 117 (Oct. 1960), p. 341.]
View B. Contrast this statement with the following, made by Dr. John Thomas, "The government of the nations during that period will be such as their necessities, demand -- just laws and institutions, civil and ecclesiastical; and perfect and righteous men to administer them.
To fulfil these requirements, the government of mankind will be committed to Christ, and to those whom he may account worthy of association with Him.
The Bible expressly declares that the rulers of the world shall then be immortal kings and priests (Rev. 1:5-6; 2:26-27; 5:9-10; 12:5); so that - strange as it may seem -- mortal and immortal men will thus be living contemporaneously upon the earth."
- The Politics of the Kingdom of God, Dr. John Thomas
THE REASON EARLY CHRISTIANS WERE EAGER TO BECOME MARTYRS !!
Would you like to know the ‘real reason’ why the Book of Revelation was rejected, from the Canon, by the Church of Rome?? Well, I’ll tell you - actually - I’ll let Edward Gibbon tell you.
It is truly UNBELIEVABLE even today!! The historian Edward Gibbon, in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,described the early believers and the later suppression of the Gospel of the Kingdom.
As I have been trying to share with our readers, in this Series of articles, there was a belief among the early Christians, that a certain number of Christians had been killed, many by the Jewish leaders and then additional numbers by the Roman authorities and that they had been revived or brought back to life on Earth and lived among their fellow saints, who were still in earthly bodies.
According to him, the early Christians believed =
"... that Christ, with the triumphant band of saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon the earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection….
The assurance of such a Millennium was carefully inculcated by a succession of fathers from Justin Martyr and Iraneus, who conversed
with the immediate disciples of the apostles, down to Lactantius, who was a preceptor to the son of Constantine. Though it might not be universally received, it appears to have been the reigning sentiment of the orthodox believers;
and it seems so well adapted to the desires and apprehensions of mankind, that it must have contributed in a very considerable degree to the progress of the Christian faith.
"But when the edifice of the church was almost completed, the temporary support was laid aside.
The doctrine of Christ’s reign upon the earth was at first treated as a profound allegory, was considered by degrees as a doubtful and useless opinion, and was at length rejected as the absurd invention of heresy and fanaticism.
A mysterious prophecy [referring to the Revelation], which still forms a part of the sacred canon, but which was thought to favor the exploded sentiment, has very narrowly escaped the proscription [official condemnation] of the church.
(Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter XV, Section II)
This is one time I do find myself in agreement with Edward Gibbon. I believe that beginning in the 1st Century of this era, there were elements within ‘Christiandom’ who began to deny even the existence of Christ's kingdom or at least to distort its nature.
Not long after the war on Christians began, the Jewish elders had most of the extended family of Jesus arrested and interrogated. And the Romans got in on the act shortly there after by seeking to kill all the descendants of king David.
Today, we have people attempting to deny that Christ’s kingdom exists. They would have the Apostles wait for 2,000 years to reap their rewards which Christ promised them for enduring his privations with him.
Remember the promise made by Jesus to his Apostles, regarding their rewards?
"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the Regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thronesTWELVE THRONES, judging the TWELVE TRIBES of Israel.
And every one that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life."
- Matt. 19:27-29
DANIEL’S PROPHECY DEMANDS A RESURRECTION
Earlier, we saw that the ‘mini-resurrection’ was not the great judgement day (Day of the Lord) that still lies ahead of us, but the events that surrounded the ‘Return’ of Jesus which he promised his Apostles and the Sanhedrin, because it was seen by many people.
What Daniel saw, was not the Great Resurrection, that we still yet look to. .
What Daniel actually foresaw was a ‘mini-second coming’ of Jesus with his angels and a number of resurrected saints, which occurred in 66A.D. to 68A.D. Let’s examine Daniel’s prophecy:
"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
And MANY OF THEM THAT SLEEP IN THE DUST OF THE EARTH SHALL AWAKE, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased"
- Dan. 12:1-4
Both passages refer to the righteous shining forth as the Sun, and by comparison with Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 24, we understand that this refers to the fall of Jerusalem.
"And then shall appear the Sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a TRUMPET, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
- Matt. 24: 30,31
"The harvest is the end of the world, (or age, aiwnov,) the reapers are the angels,"
- Matt. 13:
When Jesus returned in 66 (or 68 A.D.) with the angels and flying discs and was seen by thousands of people, it certainly was a Sign that God’s judgement was about to fall upon Jerusalem and Israel. And when mothers are reduced to eating their own children, surely that is tribulation such as few people have ever seen.
It seems to me that this is what Jesus was referring to, when he said, "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world (or age, aiwnov,) -[Mosaic dispensation].
The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the Sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."
- Matt. 13:40-43 "
For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."
- Matt. 24:21 The events spoken of, in these two passages were fulfilled in the years 66A.D. through 70A.D. when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed and the surviving Jews sold into slavery, all over the world. It is at this point that God begins to deal with the REMNANT.
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES EXPANDED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
In the Old Testament, we have some marvelous unfulfillled prophecies regarding Israel (and when I say ‘Israel’, I mean both the ‘physical’ people, many of whom are still non-believers and the ‘spiritual’ part of Israel, which by now includes millions of Gentiles).
Then along came the ‘Gospel Era’ and we ask, ‘What happened?" ‘Were those prophecies fulfilled? Yes,
some of them were. Some of them have been EXPANDED, such as the prophecies regarding the REMNANT (the 1/3 brought through the fire), the WOMAN in the WILDERNESS and the TWO WITNESSES.
The time of ‘JACOB’S TROUBLES’ is also a time, when God pleads with ‘physical’ Israel to bring them to repentance and at the same time is judging the Gentile kingdoms that once lorded it over Israel.
As the Mosaic economy was drawing to a close and Jerusalem about to be destroyed, we see a ‘New Heaven and a New Earth’ coming into being..
We do not know how many saints were ‘raptured’ by the Angels but there seems to have been a goodly number. In Matthew, the phrase "end of the age" occurs five times: three in Matthew 13
My question, is, where do the white robed saints, who were beneath the Altar in Rev. Chaps. 5 and 20, exercise their ‘reign’??
And in what sense have we come together with the spirits of "just men made Perfect" and angels in Festive Assembly??
"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the City of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the General Assembly and Church of the FIRSTBORN, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,"
- Heb. 12: 22, 23
Friends, it is my belief that not only will there be glorified ‘sons of God’ walking and living among still mortal, non-glorified saints of God, but that this has been true, to a small degree, during the past two millennium. They have not received their ‘Resurrection’ bodies, but wait like us.
THE SEALING OF THE 144,000
At one time, the Book of Jubilees was part of the Bible but it too, has been more or less suppressed.
In that book, we get a look at certain classes of Angels: the angels of the Presence and the angels of Sanctification.
Then, there are the angels who are set over natural phenomena (ii. 2). These angels are inferior to the former.
They do not observe the Sabbath as the higher orders; for they a referred to in the New Testament but the angels over natural phenomena are referred to in our book of Revelation: angels of the winds in 7. 1, 2, the angel of fire in 14. 18, re necessarily always engaged in their duties (2 18). It is the higher orders that are generally the angel of the waters in 16. 5 (cf. Jub. 2. 2).
Now, John shows us the plagues to be visited upon the world and the angels who are set over them.
It is in the book of Jubilees that we get one of the first really revealing views of the Messianic kingdom.
According to its author 2:29, 23:30) this kingdom was to be brought about gradually by the progressive spiritual development of man and A CORRESPONDING TRANSFORMATION OF NATURE.
Its members were to attain to the full limit of 1,000 years in happiness and peace. During its continuance the powers of evil were to be restrained (23: 29). The final judgement was to take place at the close of the Messianic kingdom (23: 30).
This judgement embraces the human and superhuman worlds (5:10 seq., 14).
At this judgement there will be no respect of persons, but all will be judged according to their opportunities and abilities (5: 15 seq.).-The Ancient Book of Jubilees
One of the main purposes for the plagues was to ‘reason’ with the twelve tribes of Israel, now dispersed throughout the world and to bring them into the bonds of the Covenant.
They are withheld until the 144,000 are sealed in their foreheads. These are to become the ‘elite leaders’ of what the prophets called the ‘Remnant’ - the 1/3 of Israel, who endure ‘Jacob’s Troubles’.
"Then I looked and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mt. Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads...
And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures (zoa) and the Elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth...
They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb." - Rev. 14:1-5
Revelation 14 is, therefore, a heavenly scene and not earthly and the reference to Mount Sion (Zion) is not the earthly but the heavenly Jerusalem.
The 144,000 are said to be singing in heaven on Mount Sion not upon earth. These are singing in 14:3 before the throne and before the four living creatures (zoa) and the Elders. The word ‘these’ in 14:4 indicate the 144,000 are there in heaven, singing.
And in 14:5 the text says they are before the throne in heaven. Therefore, they ARE NOT Jewish evangelists sent to save Israel by preaching.
The one anomaly in this picture is that they had been BEHEADED - not CRUCIFIED or STONED. The Romans crucified their criminals. The Jews stoned theirs.
Who beheaded, or maybe I should ask, ‘Who guillotined their capitol offenders? Beheading and burning at the stake were common during the ‘Dark Ages’, which also happened to be the same time frame as the ‘Great Tribulation’.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE 144,000 VIRGINS - 36,000 Jews among the 144,000
Revelation Chapter 7 is a passage that the ‘'literalists' refuse to take literally. Even the Jehovah’s Witnesses want to ‘spiritualize’ it.
At this point, these souls are still on Earth, here they gain victory over the Beast and the False Prophet by their spoken word.
When we get to the 14th Chapter, they are shown, having been rewarded with the positions of Priests and Kings, serving God in the Heavenly Temple. (The Earthly Temple was built to reflect the truths enshrined in the Heavenly Temple.)
To keep the number of tribes at 12, the tribe of Joseph appears twice, once under his own name and once under the name of his son Manasseh.
Joseph is a type of Christ - Joseph was unjustly sold for a sum of money, he was unjustly charged with rape, he was imprisoned but later raised to glory.
Levi is included because it is the priestly tribe and the church is part of the kingdom . Rev 1:6. Levi, with his brother Simeon waxed exceedingly jealous of their sister Dinah and murdered a whole city full of men - breaking a Covenant that had already been agreed to.
So, we are talking about LITERAL VIRGINS here !!!
While Simeon and Levi had no inheritance in the land, and were scattered among all the other tribes, those who remained in the province of Judaea, under the "House of Judah" with capital in Jerusalem, were always called "Jews." The ‘televangelists' want us to believe that this group of 144,000 are Jewish preachers, let loose on Earth after the Church
has been ‘raptured’ and the Great Multitude seen in the later part of Revelation Chap. 7, are their converts. They arrive at such a conclusion because that is where they were, before they started.
One overlooked fact, is that THIRTY-SIX THOUSAND are actual JEWS if this passage is to be taken literally, because 12,000 are from Judah, 12,000 from Levi, and 12,000 from Simeon, which adds up to 36,000 Jews! Since Mary’s father was of the tribe of Levi and Levi is now considered 1/3 of Judah in Revelation 7.
These are the ‘southern’ tribes that continued to affiliate with Judah. Joseph was also from the tribe of Judah. After the death of King Solomon, the twelve tribes became two nations; Israel to the north with ten tribes and Judah to the south with Jerusalem as it capital.
The leading families of the northern kingdom were carried away captive many years before Judah.. This breach was to be healed, in messianic times.
The tribe of Dan is missing in this list. The reason that Dan and Ephraim are missing is because both tribes went off into idolatry (Jud. 18:30, Hosea 4:17, 13:12).
Dan almost ceased being a Tribe because of LUST and the judgement of their fellow Israelites.
There will be no idolaters in the New Jerusalem
(Rev 21:8, 22:15).
If one wishes to see how our Christian forefathers recognized the levels of leadership, beginning with vegetarian/virgins, all he has to do, is study the lives and practices of the Cathar ‘Perfect’ and the Novationists, to see the levels of spiritual maturity, they recognized.
I rejoice at all the truth that was re-established by the Reformers, but I fear that their children have been too ‘right brained’ and consequently the spiritual disciplines that made Christianity into something the world feared, is now a mild, lukewarm piety. In other words, we are left with a ‘form of godliness that lacks the power thereof’. There in lies our poverty.
HOW CAN THE 144,000 BE INCLUDED IN THE RESURRECTION, IF WE ARE STILL WAITING FOR THE SECOND COMING/ RESURRECTION ??
As my reader is aware, the Dispensationalists want to interject the ministry of the 144,000 sometime after the ‘Rapture’, which they conveniently forget, is a ‘resurrection’.
They are determined to place the "firstfruits" between the resurrection of the Messiah and the Great, General resurrection , which occurs at Christ’s Second Coming. If the FIRSTFRUITS are resurrected prior to the first resurrection of the Saints, then it is impossible to make the 144,000 to be part of the firstfruits.!!!
The fact that they are called ‘FIRSTFRUITS' should alert us to something. The Apostle Paul only knew of two ‘resurrection’ groups: "But every man in his order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."- I Corinthians 15:23
According to Matthew’s Gospel, there were a number of Jewish saints, who were ‘resurrected’ after Christ’s crucifixion. He descended into Hades and led many saints to a higher level, just beneath Paradise. They have not received their ‘resurrection bodies’ but
at least they are resting in a beautiful place. Matthew tells us that they walked about the streets of Jerusalem and other towns and visited with many people.
(Matt. 27:52, 53) What happened to them? ? ?
Well, I suspect that when he Ascended to the Father, he took them with him as an offering to the Father. But, this may or may not have been the ‘mini-resurrection which occurred in 66A.D. (See Part 7 of this series).
Paul understood that God was about to deliver up Jerusalem to judgement and he taught that some of the believers who had ‘fallen asleep’ would be brought back to life, or perhaps I should say, they were brought back into the ‘earthly plain’.
When Paul wrote, "It is now the hour to awake from sleep, for our Salvation is closer than when we first accepted the faith'', he was anticipating the return of Christ in or about 66 - 68 A.D. and the ‘'divination of a few of God’s people, himself included. (Rom 13:11)
WHO ARE THE GREAT MULTITUDE THAT FORMED PART OF THIS VISION WITH THE 144,000 ??
The fifth seal, therefore, will begin with the emperor Aurelian, in the year 268, at which time the longest of the calamities of the former seal, the pestilence of fifteen years' duration, was extant.
Now, the most significant events of that era in the the Roman empire, under this seal, and which surpassed all other events of that time, is the persecution of the Christians which commenced with Diocletian, was continued by others, and was by far the most severe of all. Former ages saw nothing to compare with it. "
It was longer, and more cruel," (these are the words of Orosius) "than all that went before.
For it was incessantly carried on for ten years, with the burning of churches, the proscription of the innocent, the slaughter of martyrs. Immediately on the beginning of the tenth, within thirty days, about seventeen thousand men are said to have been sacrificed; nor did the fury of the persecutors abate with the progress of time.
In Egypt alone, [just one province of the Roman empire!] if faith is to be given to St. Ignatius, patriarch of Antioch, according to Scaliger, "a hundred and forty-four thousand (144,000) men were sacrificed, seven hundred thousand (700,000) were driven into exile;"
whence the Diocletian era derived its name among the Egyptians, so that it is called, even at this day, the era of martyrs.
"What now should you suppose was done throughout the other provinces of the Roman empire? "Almost all the world was stained with the sacred blood of martyrs," says Sulpitius Severus.
"The world was never more drained of blood by any wars, nor did the Church" (the words are those of the same author) "ever conquer with a greater, triumph, than when it could not be overcome with the slaughters of ten years."
That’s all for this Issue folks. Hope it’s been a help to you.
I remain, yours in the Lord, Jeffrey Brackeen
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FORBIDDEN TRUTHS REVEALED
Using the latest research from the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi Codices, as well as other ancient Essene writings and recent findings,
Mr Brackeen has unlocked the secret Symbols and Codes found in John's Revelation.
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