Believers deceived by Satan offer false faith, and do not present
their "bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God" (Romans
Originating in heaven with the great deceiver, it is known as presumption and encourages pride or resists compliance through complacency or misguided zeal. It is extremely dangerous because it prevents Christians from seeing their great need. It allows believers to love self and the world while blindly "continuing in sin that grace may abound"; it fosters self-righteousness and claims the promises of God while excusing sin, and this stifles growth and repels God.
God calls this a "lukewarm" state, when deluded believers feel totally justified while living a partially-compliant life (Revelation 3:16). They lack the imbued "enmity" that makes them hate this sinful world. This enmity is furnished by the indwelling righteousness of the Lamb of God. The presumptuous are in a lost condition if they only trust in the superficial robe of the Lamb's skin and lack that internal enmity imparted by His Spirit (Genesis 3:15, 20).
Being "saved", while "lukewarm", appeals to the unconverted who love pacifying preachers. Soothing sermons travel around the world at 186,000 miles (300,000 km) per second (the speed of electromagnetic waves in free space); meanwhile, the truth is censured (Jeremiah 50:6).
Ignorant of the unity and holiness that keeps God's universe secure, the presumptuous say, "God is not particular." They fail to exemplify heaven's principles and do not allow God to complete His work within--these half-saved yet totally-lost "Laodiceans" do not sense their deficiencies and they will be "spewed out of His mouth" like lukewarm water (Revelation 3:16).
Similar to the majority lost in Noah's day, the presumptuous sinners portray Satan's first lie, "In the day you... [sin] you will not surely die" (Genesis ). They feel that God's loving nature, or forensic act at Calvary, prevents Him from destroying transgressors; they forget that both John the Baptist and Jesus opened the Gospel with the words "repent"; and the disciples preached that same message: Be sorry for your transgressions and turn from your sinful ways (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:14, 15; 6:12).
The Gospel does not excuse sin, it provides the remedy--it demonstrates the virtues of heaven while furnishing conviction of wrongs, power to obey, and pardon for failures (Matthew 3:2; 4:17). Jesus said: "I tell you... except you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3,5).
The life of the impudent is fraught with alibis for bad conduct and this trait is carried into church. Many transgressors feel justified by their intellectual assent of God's great plan while rejecting His admonitions and warnings against sin and prideful hearts.
They blindly believe that the Gospel, or God's immeasurable love, saves them from the consequences of continuing in sin; while confessing His name, they hold to a form of godliness but deny His power to change lives (2 Timothy 3:5).
Abandoned by God and blinded by Satan, the presumptuous consider their faith "grace based." "Wrestling the Holy Scriptures to their own destruction", they stubbornly cling to selected Bible texts deemed favorable while rejecting those they need most (2 Peter 3:16).
For example, while "loving the loaves and fishes" that God provides, they may say "love, love, love, love" and quote Jesus' words to Nicodemus written in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world...", yet fail to read His complete thoughts that include good works: "But he who lives the truth comes to the light, that his works may be made manifest, that they are accomplished in God" (John 3:21).
God's humble followers, possessing true faith, firmly believe they are justified by faith that delivers them from their sins, that their works are accomplished in God; they do not believe they are justified by faith through their own good works or while living in blatant transgression (Ibid.). The faithful saints incorporate His righteousness and yield the product of obedience; they will not be easily deceived by those making a covenant with death.
Let me remind you once more of Jesus' enlightening words to those who "live not by bread alone, but by every word of God" spoken in His law and through His prophets: You "are not of the world, even as I am not of the world... and the Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 4:4; 17:16, 21).
Legislators know that anarchy is encouraged when their laws are not enforced; order is maintained only if they do not allow citizens to pick and choose which injunctions they obey. Likewise, the Supreme Lawgiver will do precisely what He did throughout the Bible, strictly enforce His divine laws.
God has asked nothing impossible or unreasonable of His subjects, and they must not make excuses for transgression, alter His commandments, or select the laws they wish to obey or transgress. And those who think God excuses willful sin will never be allowed to menace the peace and harmony of His immaculate universe (Exodus 34:7).
God exhibits sound logic in His reasoning and disobedient humans and angels will certainly harvest what they have planted because "God will in no case clear the guilty" (Exodus 39:7).
As you can see, there is more to the
important ordinances of baptism and communion than just doing them, their
principles must be applied in your life; that is, Christianity is living in
oneness with God. That oneness is the mission of His church. With the
saints exemplifying the changes God makes in their characters, it becomes the
theater of our lost world, displaying God's ability to change lives for
That change, that individual oneness with heaven, is the key to avoiding the "mark of the beast", surviving the plagues, and being resurrected to heaven.
the New Testament ordinances of baptism and communion, it also strengthens ones
faith to study other symbolic festivals observed in the spring and fall of each
Jewish year--they dramatized other components of God's plan of salvation.
Some of these are called Sabbath days, and are not enjoined upon the Christian church (Acts 15:9). In reading New Testament history, one would expect to find recorded a resistance to the elimination of those Old Testament ordinances by those who faithfully observed them from adolescence.
This did occur, resulting in admonitions such as recorded in Colossians 2:14-17; Galatians 4:9-10; Romans 14:5, 6; and Ephesians 2:15. These symbolic festivities, like the Sunday Pentecost, were legitimately abolished by Jesus (nailed to the cross), but this does not include any portion (jot or tittle) of God's ten-commandment law that defines sin (Matthew 5:18; 1 John 3:4; Romans 7:7).
With these thoughts in mind, and asking for Divine guidance, let us consider Christ's words further....
GOD'S LAW IS FOREVER
Jesus' mission was not to
destroy God's standard of righteousness, but to "magnify the law, and make
it honorable" (Isaiah 42:21).
God's truth is an absolute. That means we have no right to alter truth by vote or dismiss it as insignificant; and God's Word and His divine law is as eternal as God himself.
Jesus magnified the law by teaching that sin proceeds from the heart; that is, we must clean the cup within, then the entire vessel will be pure (Matthew 23:26). "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these [My Father's] commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:19). "Whoever will keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all" (James 2:10).
John the beloved uses much stronger language: "He that says, 'I know him,' and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:4). Your minister should be teaching you to revere God's Word and to observe all ten of His commandments.
Jesus did not allow sin to go un-reproved. Were He walking among us today and vocally reproving our pride and love of praise, compromising conformity, assent of worldly standards and neglect of duty, we would shout "Crucify!" like the religious bigots of yesteryear.
We would not recognize Him as the Messiah who must enforce His perfect laws--"certainly he is a Samaritan and has a demon", we would shout (John 8:48).
Jesus did not obey the Rabbinical traditions, nor should we. No one is an island unto himself; if we dismiss a single scripture that we personally feel insignificant, we unknowingly become "teachers of unrighteousness" and our bad example inspires others to negate those of their choosing.
The consequences of deceiving others by living an untruth effects our eternal realities because "the least in the kingdom of heaven" will be destroyed outside the Holy City--these are those who "cause... a lie", or "love and make a lie" (Matthew 5:19; Revelation 20:9; 21:27; 22:15).
If Jesus did not change His Father’s Law, then the change is again found with the "man of sin" that emerged from the Abomination of Desolation. Previously we have discussed that the Bible foretells the presumptuous intent of the Roman System to alter God's unchangeable Law (Daniel ). You certainly recall our discussion of the Roman Catholic Church. It was more than 1,000 years before the Protestant reformation when they presumed to effect this change and in the past they have honestly boasted about that presumptuous act.
INTIMIDATION CAN LEAD TO TRANSGRESSION
Do Jesus' followers have the
authority to change His instructions? Absolutely not! After Moses destroyed the
tables containing the ten-commandments, God engraved them a second time with
His own finger to remind us that His law can never be effaced by man
(Exodus 32:19; 34:1).
And Christ commissioned His disciples to baptize all nations, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world..." (Matthew 28:19,20).
There is no such thing as a secret Bible text that Jesus forgot to mention, so God's church must operate within the perimeter of Christ's teachings. Whatever the church thinks to "bind on earth" must be applications of Jesus' teachings in the New Testament, and they must not conflict with the testimonies of His prophets; to teach a conflicting revelation is worthless tradition and should be abandoned.
Judas Iscariot became a transgressor and lost his standing with God when he said to the chief priests: "What will you give me..." for Jesus (Matthew 26:15). He thought to set aside the tenth commandment that says "you must not covet" (Exodus 20:17).
In the tenth century the German King Otto the Great and the bishops of Rome made the same application in a letter excommunicating Pope John XII: "The traitor Judas received of our Lord the power of binding and loosing as well as the other apostles [Matthew 18:17-20]; and with that power he was vested so long as he continued faithful to his divine Master and Lord. But by betraying Him he forfeited all his power and authority, and could thenceforth bind none but himself" (Jones, Ecclesiastical Empire. Review and Herald, 1901, p. 311.6).
no religious organization has the authority to change God's commandments--it is
not found written in His Word, and by so doing, like Judas, we commit suicide.
We can only make decisions on Christ's pre-established Bible principles. Yet,
the Roman System claims authority not even given Christ's disciples, including
Catholicism determined if church policy should be based on Scripture or so called, "church authority" during the famous 16th-century Council of Trent. Therein they affirmed their right to change God's law because, after 18 years of deliberation, church tradition prevailed when the Archbishop of Reggio (Gaspar Ricciulli de Fosso) reminded delegates on January 18, 1562, that the Catholic Church changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, for which no scriptural authority can be found.
His argument silenced bishops advocating sola scriptura and belittled Protestants for claiming "scriptures only" while following Catholic tradition and transgressing the true (Saturday) Sabbath of the Bible. I have preceded a Catholic publication, Rome's Challenge to Protestants, with a portion of this archbishop's argument. By reading this scholarly analysis of Sunday "sacredness" (posted at: http://chasclever.tripod.com/romeschallenge.htm), you will understand why learned writers, like the editor of the Saint Catherine Catholic Church Newsletter, can state in all sincerity:
The Church has always had a
strong sense of its own authority. 'Whatever you bind on earth is bound in
heaven', Jesus said. Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary
change the Church ever did, happened in the first century [Actually, it was
at the Council of
During Constantine's reign, most of the Christians around the world were still keeping the Sabbath sacred. As centuries passed, Christians yielded to tradition and intimidation and exalted Rome's counterfeit commandment. The church historian Socrates, writing from the fifth century, aptly observes:
Almost all the churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries [communion, or Eucharist] on the Sabbath of EVERY WEEK, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ANCIENT TRADITION, have ceased to do this. (Ecclesiastical History, Book 5, chapter 22, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2d series, Vol. 2, p. 32)
A few years after Christ's
crucifixion gentile Christians feared being identified with the Jewish Nation
that was in revolt against Roman occupation. Avoiding the scorn associated with
being Jewish sympathizers, they adopted a two-day worship system. They kept both
God's sacred Sabbath and Sunday, in effect saying to the Romans:
"We are not Jewish, we worship the risen Savior." This was, as
you will later see, initially an essential compromise; that is, until intimidation
from Rome kept them from exalting all of God's law and the fourth commandment
was fraudulently abandoned.
The only quotes from early history exalting Sunday worship over God's sacred day come from these Roman territories where God's Sabbath would eventually be held in derision and Sunday erroneously called "the Lord's Day." These early bishops initiated this error despite the fact that John used the term "Lord's day" to designate the Sabbath that Jesus said He was "Lord of" (Revelation 1:10; Mark 2:28 ).
How can you know this is true? The disciples always used first day, the correct biblical term for Sunday as follows: Matthew, Luke and Paul, once; Mark, Luke, and John, twice. Read it for yourselves at Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2,9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2. Then notice that Jesus said He was Lord of the Sabbath--it is the Lord's Day (Matthew 12:8; Mark ; Luke 6:5; Isaiah 58:13.
Had you been living during that time
would you have exalted Sunday and distanced yourselves from the Jews by
compromising to retain your home and livelihood? Think about it for a moment.
It requires a strong faith to not yield to pressures, "because
Claudius [emperor--A.D. 41-54, succeeded by Nero--A.D. 54-68] had commanded all
the Jews to depart from Rome" (Acts 18: 2).
Yes! In all probability you would not want to appear Jewish and that is one reason many do not keep God's holy Sabbath commandment today: With extreme misunderstanding it is stigmatized as archaic and only applying to the Old Testament Jews.
The unity of the marriage institution was given to Adam and Eve in Eden 2,000 years before the first Jew. It was affirmed by Jesus in the "New Testament" (Matthew 9:3-9). Likewise, the oneness with God and humanity derived through Sabbath observance found its origin in
Jesus declared its purpose: "The Sabbath was made for man..."--it was made for man in Eden to bless Adam, you, and the saints throughout eternity (Exodus 20;8-11; Malachi 4:4; Matthew 5:19; Mark 2:27, 28; Isaiah 66:23).
Constantine the Great made a bigoted statement that worked to negate God's Sabbath: "Let us then, have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd" (Eusebius, The Life of Constantine, Book 3, chapter 8).
Constantine even passed the first recorded Sunday-rest law: "On the venerable Day of the Sun [Sunday] let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed...." (Codex Justinianus, lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; translated in History of the Christian Church, by Philip Schaff, Vol. 3, p. 380).
Satan is well able to influence people to exalt falsehood; this law would eventually expand to prohibit commandment keepers from obeying God by resting on His holy day:
Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day; but the Lord's day [Constantine's Sunday] they shall especially honor, and,... shall do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing [resting on the Sabbath], they shall be shut out from Christ. (Charles Joseph Hefele, A History of the Councils of the Church, vol. 2, p. 316)
It is very unfortunate, indeed, that these men who never visited the "third heaven" yielded to intimidation and did not possess the fortitude of the apostles and Peter, who said: "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
THE MARK OF OBEDIENCE
church leaders today refrain from declaring the whole truth. The majority, even
among the Catholic family, are as sincere as was Saul on the road to
After studying the issue closely, you can see that Sunday sacredness is ridiculous and a colossal myth promoted as genuine. And with the truth burning within, those recognizing the facts should not fail "to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin" (Micah 3:8).
Like the converted Paul, refusing to "scratch itching ears", they will face denominational expulsion and loss of employment, friends, family, and possibly their life, the ultimate result of declaring an unpopular truth to a lost society (2 Timothy 4:3).
By teaching present truth and warning the people of their transgression (the counterfeit Sabbath), they will ultimately be found among the faithful.
Christ teaches: "Therefore your sins remain...", and, "in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (John 9:41; Matthew 15:9).
If it is vanity to reject revived truths while professing allegiance to God, and not keep His commandments, then Sunday is kept in vain--it, like the Wednesday night prayer meeting, does not satisfy the obligations of God's law.
Substituting Sabbath sacredness for Sunday observance can "mark" one as a transgressor today and the Church of Rome claimed that Sunday observance is a MARK of their authority; yet, God says that the Sabbath is a sign [or mark] of our sanctification:
"Hallow [keep sacred] My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign [mark of allegiance, or seal] between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God" (Ezekiel 20:20). This text mentions that the seal (mark) of God is "hallowed" by the observance of the fourth Commandment.
Many honest Christians who keep Sunday do not know that Rome claims that Sunday observance is a mark of allegiance to their authority. Read what Monsignor Luis Segur frankly writes in Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today: "The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is homage [mark of allegiance] they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] church" (ibid., 1868, p. 213).
SIN IS NO SMALL
MATTER: JUST CONTEMPLATE
The issues at stake in God’s
Ten-Commandment law are significant beyond imagination. It was what we consider
a little sin that brought destruction to God’s entire universe (For
we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now,
You may have noticed that Satan concealed himself as a beautiful serpent to tempt Eve. Sunday also conceals its falsity under a beautiful religious disguise--the resurrection of Christ is likened to a weekly Easter Sunday celebration (See Pope John Paul's Apostolic Letter Dies Domini of May 31, 1998).
Adam's transgression was what we might think insignificant--he only yielded to his wife's suggestions, yet God shut them out of the Garden because of that "little" sin. Trying to keep peace in the family was fatal and the curse of sin now encumbers us.
Because the first ruler of earth forever lost the right to reign through "one small step for man", it became "one giant step for mankind." The only remedy available required the Lord God, the co-ruler of the universe, to become a human and accept upon Himself the punishment and death for those who are truly repentant.
At Calvary our sins were placed on our Substitute and God turned His face from His Son for a brief moment--so He can behold our continence forever. Our majestic Savior took our stunted human nature after 4,000 years of degradation, then Christ faced Satan in person after being weakened by 40 days of starvation; and He was victorious, even to the death of the cross. This is what one "little" sin cost--God's substitutional death. We deserve the beating Jesus took, but Jesus did not die from the wounds received at the hands of the Romans.
God is not a coconspirator with Satan in the plan of redemption; and although the devil persecuted and mocked Jesus at Calvary, his attempted murder of our innocent Savior has no part in our salvation because Jesus gave His life (John 10:17, 18). Then the Father crushed His Son's life by placing YOUR confessed sins on Jesus: "He has made Him sin for us", the innocent Sin Bearer "who knew no sin" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Our Holy Father can not dwell with sin, and Jesus cried: Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani as God crushed His Son by withdrawing His life-sustaining presence: "Yet it pleased the LORD [the Father] to bruise [crush] Him [Jesus]; He has put [Jesus] to grief: when you will make His soul [life] an offering for sin..." (Matthew 27:46; Isaiah 53:10).
When Jesus accepted our guilt and punishment, God inflicted our sentence for sin upon His Son, and Jesus died as the Substitute; and those two distinct streams of saving blood and water that flowed from the pierced side of His corpse, they testify of two powerful aspects of our redemption that we must possess (John 5:6-8).
The blood represents Jesus' sacrificial death for us and the water represents His Spirit's purifying work in us, "a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (Luke 22:20; John 3:5; 4:14; ).
Knowing this, you must not resist God's work in you by not giving your best efforts; because, God does not accept the punishment for known sins that you have not forsaken and transferred to your Substitute by repentance and confession; and "You will find [the LORD your God], if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 4:29).
When you contemplate those last
moments of Calvary, and understand His beating and ignominious death, the
distorted flesh on His lacerated body, that blood spilling from His ruptured
veins and pierced side--God allowed this as a punishment for sin by civil
Do you realize it should have been ours? "His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men" because sin cannot be allowed in God's perfect universe--it can never be dismissed--there is no excuse for rebellion against God and it demands the maximum punishment, even death.
Yet Jesus took our sins upon himself as symbolized by the brazen serpent, a symbol of sin, "lifted up" in the wilderness that saves beholders from the sting of death. And although Jesus cried "why have you forsaken me" as God hid His face for that brief moment when Jesus "became sin for us", the brilliance of Calvary illuminates the face of those who live His victorious life; Jesus lives again in you, and you are healed to radiate His righteousness to a rebellious world (Numbers 21:9; John 3:14,15).
The universe would never be secure by any other means: "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed"; Jesus suffered the punishment of the vilest sinner (Isaiah 52:14; 53:5; Hebrews 10:29; 2 Peter 2:9).
Can you see how inexcusable and detestable sin is in God's sight? There is no excuse for rebellion; disobedience must be punished and heaven would never be heavenly with its blight because permissiveness would eventually putrefy God's immaculate universe (Isaiah 26:21).
Let me remind you once more: That righteousness possessed by our Example is available to you; that is, provision is made to save every contrite sinner who comes to Him in true repentance. It is not my mind you want, or even the unfallen mind of noble Adam in his Edenic perfection; only the untainted mind of God--yes, Jesus was God. It is only His perfect mind that can make us righteous, and He offers it to you: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5-13).
God demands respect, and He will be glorified by His subjects. When His holy law was given in awesome splendor, just touching the mountain invoked the death penalty (Exodus , 13). Understanding the issues, can you better see why God demands death for the unrepentant and will never dismiss willful transgression of His holy law or the presumptuous substitution of a counterfeit commandment. The Bible is plain on this point and we need not question God's wisdom in demanding the unity with Him and His subjects that Sabbath sacredness conveys. The Sabbath is a rest-day for both men and women, and Christians desecrate the Sabbath sacredness, usually shun these verses:
Tomorrow is the rest of
the holy Sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which you will bake today, and boil
what you will boil; and that which remains over, lay up for you to be kept
until... [Sabbath] morning.
They found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day....
And the LORD said.... "The man shall be surely put to death...." Speak also unto the children of Israel, saying, "Verily my Sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign [mark of obedience] between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the LORD that sanctifies you. You will keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is HOLY to you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever does work therein, that soul will be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD [the Lord's holy day]: whosoever does work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death." "Keep the Sabbath... for a perpetual covenant.... forever.... (Numbers 15:32-35; Exodus 16:23; 31:13-17)
How proper it is
that God demands perpetual obedience, forever, upon the
penalty of death for transgressors of His law.
Legislators in collaboration with the Roman System will ultimately demand obedience and death for violation of Satan's counterfeit day-of-the-sun, that is, Sunday. Unable to sway total allegiance to their church's exaltation of Sunday, they will use civil governments to impose sanctions against the saints--antiquated laws will be revived and freedom of worship scorned.
As noted earlier, Constantine's church outlawed Saturday with the following decree: "Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday [Sábado in Spanish, the Sabbath] but shall work on that day; but the [so called] Lord's day they shall especially honor" (Charles Joseph Hefele, A History of the Councils of the Church, vol. 2, p. 316).
When conditions are favorable, Christendom will again exalt this counterfeit commandment. And to question their authority will excite the same wrath that was executed in the past against the innumerable people martyred by the Roman System throughout the Spiritual Dark Ages; and yes, you are surely aware that Protestants have, on a smaller scale, also persecuted each other and Catholics; strangely, they will collaborate with Rome in this final delusion.
The Vatican has a significant voice in world affairs, even before the United Nations. Presently restrained by public opinion and protective laws guaranteeing religious freedom and human rights, when conditions are right they will again slander God's International Rest Day by promoting their spurious Sabbath--such blasphemy and deluded logic to presume the authority to change God's law--it demands Saturday-abstinence from work.
Legislation will be introduced that revives and augments their archaic anti-blasphemy laws that are based on flawed interpretations of the Bible--freedom of religion and human rights will be scorned. Upholders of God's truth will again meet Satan's wrath through the influence of the Abomination of Desolation and its sympathizers. And this will occur on a much larger scale than similar anti-blasphemy legislation now existing in some Arab countries. Then the church and its sympathizers will be guilty of murder against the saints, and divine justice met by the outpouring of the seven vials of God's wrath as "the curse devours the earth" (Isaiah 24:5,6; Revelation 15:7).
all this sound impossible? Will tenants of constitutions guaranteeing religious
freedom be renounced by national and international law? Yes! Jesus said:
"The time comes that whoever kills you will think that he does God a
service" (John 16:2).
Satan knew how to shape policy in the past and possessing greater skills from practice, he controls world events to suit his evil plans.
These predictions are not written because of enlightened hindsight or deluded paranoia but our faithful God has warned us about this last-day image; that is, a reproduction or duplication of the past where governments enforce church laws; and as surely as Jesus is Lord, the Scriptures will be fulfilled (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:14,15).
easy it is to follow public opinion. Imagine for a moment the effect of a
global catastrophe with nuclear devices or other weapons of mass destruction.
Coupled with increasing sedition and anarchy on a scales unimagined by those
who framed our constitution, this devastation compels sincere people to make
decisions they would not make under normal circumstances.
It appears that humanities “experiment” with religious freedom has proven our downfall and allowed enemies to infiltrate our countries and exploit our vulnerability. Then we will assume there is no other way than to renounce our constitutional guarantee of religious plurality. We will form, just like the like the Dark Ages, an imperfect mixture of religion and civil government in a vain attempt to promote unity and save the world from disaster.
Peaceful citizens who are non-compliant will be branded “enemies of the state.” They will be scorned and considered traitors against society: "Consider that it is expedient for us, that one [innocent] man should die for the people, and that the whole nation [or world] perish not" (Caiaphas--John 11:50).
THE TRADITIONS OF MEN
There were times in the past when
feelings of despair overcame me as circumstances forced my absence from church
on Sundays. Being raised to revere Sunday causes one to esteem a day of human
invention--a tradition, and only sacred in man's eyes.
The atheistic German philosopher Fredreich Nietzsche correctly emphasizes this valid point when he writes:
"Every tradition grows even more venerable--the more remote is its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence due to it increases from generation to generation. The tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe" (Human, All Too Human, 96).
Jesus' greatest obstacle was trying
to overcome the errors of church hierarchy who had exalted man's theories in
place of God's. He did not obey church legislation that conflicted with God's
law, but His mission was to save. That is why He never failed to rebuke the
sins of leadership or laity; "Sin no more, unless a worse thing comes upon
you", He said to the man He healed--much stronger words were used against
the proud Pharisees (John 5: 14; 8:11).
As God forgives us our sins, we must also exhibit compassion against the repentant; of Christians, the Lord's prayer demands we forgive those who have transgressed against us (Matthew 6:12, 14,15; Luke 1-4).
Jesus also requires that church leaders maintain an attitude of forgiveness (John 20:23). But, if He was to enter our churches today, and find us trafficking in forgiveness like those of old, He would violently cleanse the temple of profiteers (Matthew 21:12,13; John 2:16).
Likewise, when Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven, He will execute judgment against those who are publicly enforcing Sunday worship because the church has NO POWER to exonerate the unrepentant, and that includes those who knowingly transgress God's Sabbath commandment through man-made rites (Jude 1:15).
The design of the Gospel is to give
victory over transgression and prepare you for life in paradise and more than
any other commandment, Jesus enforced the Sabbath because it is "the
Lord's day" and He was "Lord of the Sabbath" (Isaiah 58:13; Mark
He taught that God's special day was "made for man"--for their benefit. And that it was lawful to rescue suffering animals and minister to the immediate needs of humanity.
He emphasized this by allowing the hungry disciples to disobey the priests’ prohibition against eating the tender grain they had just plucked for lunch on the Sabbath. He never said that the Sabbath should be desecrated by common labor, like harvesting with a scythe to lay-up in storage, or doing one's own pleasure. He emphasized that performing intimate care on His special day is manifested through love of God and His creation.
This love was displayed by His acts of healing diseases on the Sabbath and His correct observance in attending church and, "as His custom was", by reading the Scriptures on that day; you see, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath" (Luke 4:16; Mark 2:27).
Jesus' refusal to observe tradition caused Him much criticism and ultimately death. And when charged with violating their rules, like healing or eating food from a plant, He corrected their error and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" and, "In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew. 15:3, 9) .
JESUS SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Through the prophet Jeremiah the Lord
taught the children of Israel that their prosperity was contingent upon
obedience, including the correct observance of the Sabbath (Jeremiah 17:
19-27). "Hallow the Sabbath day, do no work in it, then shall enter the
gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David... and this
city will remain forever"
(verses 24, 25). They did not obey those warnings and God's people were carried
as slaves into Babylonian captivity as Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed.
The Jews learned from this calamity and first-century scribes and Pharisees were very strict in dictating how to observe the Sabbath but, like Christians today, their "traditions" were mingled with false theories.
The Bible prohibited changing residences (house moving) on Saturday, but what about an emergency relocation (Exodus 16:29)? Jesus sets the record straight: Concerning the impending Roman invasion, Jesus asked his disciples to pray that their flight from Jerusalem be not in the winter or on the Sabbath day (Matthew 24:20). Winter is a difficult travel season and the Israelites were also aware of the guilt of fleeing on the Sabbath while carrying their possessions--they must travel-light, that is, literally flee empty-handed.
Jesus' counsels were thoughtful reminders of this to His faithful church because He had instructed through Jeremiah six-centuries earlier, to not “carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day” (Jeremiah 17:22).
The Christians had already sold their homes when Jerusalem was besieged in A.D. 66 (Acts 4:35). And on a day other than the Sabbath they could carry what little they possessed and relocate away from Israel--this they did and no faithful Christians lost their lives in that invasion.
Jesus’ did not "nail His Father's commandments to the cross", and He knew His disciples desired to keep God's law correctly. His urgent words were reminders to continually guard the sacredness of God’s Sabbath commandment, even several decades after His crucifixion; you see, this command includes emergencies like fleeing on the Sabbath.
In this perverse world, as Jesus requested, we should likewise pray that God controls circumstances so we can obey His law.
FAITHFUL TO THE END
My Christian friends, we must trust
Christ explicitly. While live during the fulfillment of these last-day events,
we must remember that Jesus said He will find faith when He returns. "And
shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to him, though he
bears long with them? When the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the
earth?" (Luke 18:7).
Yes! There will be His faithful servants resurrected without tasting death, who are changed "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye", and throughout eternity these saints will worship before the Lord every Sabbath (1 Corinthians 15:52; Isaiah 66:23).
So take note! It is imminent that
conditions worsen before resurrection day. Sunday observance will be legislated
globally as the beast causes all to receive the "mark" by
honoring Rome's Sunday in substitution of God's sacred Sabbath.
Flagrant transgression has always resulted in God's wrath; violation of the fourth commandment will cause God to withdraw His protection. Then Satan's followers, unrestrained by God's protective grace, will unjustly persecute those who keep God's commandments (Isaiah 24:5, 6; Revelation ,17).
senior citizens still remember the song, Istanbul
Was Once Constantinople and may wonder why God allowed Nicomedia to become
part of Turkey, now dominated by Islamics. That is where God’s Word was
neglected when the church committed presumptuous errors in changing God’s law.
At the Nicene Council in A.D. 325 they glorified Sunday; then, in A.D. 787 the
devotional use of images was allowed.
God’s law should not be tampered with and must be revered. As discussed earlier,
SHOULD YOU VIOLATE SUNDAY LAWS?
The Bible commands you to obey civil
legislation that does not require one to violate God's superior laws,
and the saints should comply with civil rest-days, also called Blue Laws (Titus
3:1; Romans 13:1-7).
God will not consider one a transgressor of His law because they obey Jesus' instructions to render unto Caesar and God what is required; if necessary, change your employment so you can attend church and abstain from work on both God's sacred rest day and "Caesar's" Sunday (Luke 20:25).
Although Sunday legislation is introduced with the best of motives, and may give a superficial appearance of unity, Blue Laws will not render global peace and sanctity as sponsors anticipate because prejudice, self-worship, mistrust, and hatred, is too deeply ingrained to be pacified. Do not provoke!
Although we must speak and live the truth, or be weighed in the balance and found wanting, it is not proper Christian behavior to insult those who cherish Sunday by flagrantly violating their civil Sunday laws because you will only bring reproach upon the saints and cause your unnecessary martyrdom; furthermore, the civil authorities will be overwhelmed prosecuting those of independent mind who respect neither the laws of God or man.
And God's faithful will also be blessed by studying His benevolence on Sunday, during a mid-week service, or daily; however, you must continue to assemble on and revere the true Sabbath--it is "blessed and sanctified"; that is, made sacred by God for a "holy convocation", to be explicitly "remembered" and "kept holy" (Genesis 2:3; Leviticus 23:3, Exodus 20:8).
Even today there are Christian ministers who mimic the English reformer John Wesley. He kept Saturday holy and preached on Sunday. Where necessary, the early church in
Please remain faithful during these difficult times--only those who obey God's law are translated alive--and the transgressors who have rejected present truth will perish on "judgment day."
They do not reason that, like Sodom of old, it is the few righteous in their midst that prolongs God's mercy and delays divine judgments against the wicked.
Remember this important fact: Regardless of their accusations against you, it is actually those who exalt Satan's false rest day who cause the plagues and destruction of earth; they have "changed the ordinance and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore has the curse devoured the earth and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men [saints] left" (Isaiah 24:5, 6).
Regardless of the magnitude of their errors, God requires you to love and respect the erring, to be a peacemaker at heart, and not possess a combative spirit or glory in your "rightness"; yet, you must remain steadfastly faithful to God's truths because, at this time, our world will not become the utopia they seek.
Jesus explains the end so vividly:
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:25--28). "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 your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)
Just one more important thought as
we close this chapter: Do not sell your eternity on a cheap market. To be found
among that faithful company must be your greatest goal---to be with that small group
enduring the final test of obedience to God's Law, not Sunday, the Mark
of the Beast.
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11).
As earth disintegrates around the saints, they are comforted by these words: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God [not man's tradition] and [possess] the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12).
The Omnipotent One is well able to preserve His people through the coming tribulation: "God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that which you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Will you join me by making that decision to trust our loving Creator explicitly so as to endure to the resurrection of the saints and inherit glories unimaginable?
Save the World?
In setting the
foundation for this chapter, let us first recall that the "unfolded" numeric
prophecies of Daniel 12 which were sealed for over 2,500 years authenticate the
historical time of Christ's first coming, His abolishment of the daily
sacrificial service, and the establishment of the Abomination of Desolation.
Furthermore, it identifies the timing of the great controversy between good and
evil--the final eradication of sin from God's universe.
The Great Mathematician also gave Daniel another numeric prophecy written several centuries before Christ. This little-known and greatly misunderstood prophecy accurately identifies the time for the close of
You were told you would learn old truths expressed in new ways, and this "old truth" was understood by those who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls before the birth of Christ. Catholic bishops also used this code in vain to convince a contingency of Jewish rabbis that Jesus was the Messiah. The Jews then prohibited its study:
Daniel has elucidated to us the knowledge of the end times. However, since they are secret, the wise (rabbis) have barred the calculation of the days of Messiah's coming so that the untutored populace will not be led astray when they see that the End Times have already come but there is no sign of the Messiah" (Rabbi Moses Ben Maimonides, 12th century Igeret Teiman, Chapter 3 p.24).
Also, because Protestants used this “code” to prove the Catholic Church “Antichrist”, as we did in Chapter Two, these important principles are now suppressed by Catholic leadership and shifted to some imagined event in the future.
Yet God placed these timed prophecies in the Bible to be understood and if you can accept these facts that are so important to your salvation, read on in a humble spirit of prayer because they accurately predict the year of Christ's baptism and wilderness temptation identifying the start of His earthly ministry as the "last Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45). Furthermore, they declare the exact year of His crucifixion and Yom Kippur, which is the time of the investigative judgment in heaven. This tangible information builds faith in those needing spiritual strength; and yes, these prophecies also date the end of the Jewish dispensation.
today erroneously speculate that the nation of Israel will accept Jesus as
their Savior in the near future and convert the world to Christianity and
commence 1,000 years of world peace. This, they say, is
Our destiny depends on
significant choices we make. Personally, I feel completely inadequate to handle
language in an efficient manner to impress readers with vital truths found in
the Bible. Attempting to develop journalistic skills, I took English classes
and enrolled for a few brief semesters as a student on a college newspaper
staff. Still, I am far from a proficient journalist.
So my prayer is that human weakness will be perfected in His divine strength and, in addition to reading this document, that you also seek deeper understanding from Him through prayer while you personally research these important issues in His Word.
To begin the topic of Israel's probation, let me first mention Jesus' use of an Old Testament prophecy of seventy times seven.
THERE IS A LIMIT TO FORGIVENESS
you have observed someone anxious to teach a valid truth. They may ask a question
while really wanting to give the correct answer. We have done this very thing
in the chapter heading: "Will Israel Save the World?"
Peter used a similar tactic in conversation with Jesus: "How often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?" In their day Jewish rabbis limited the act of forgiveness to three offenses. Peter wanted to be especially correct and was extra generous--he extended the forgiveness to seven times.
Jesus used this as an opportunity to introduce to Peter another topic of much greater importance, as you will see, the close of probation for Israel. To Peter's statement Jesus replied, Not "until seven times, but until seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:21-22).
is the number of perfection, the number of completeness, the number scattered
463 times within 391 verses of the Bible from Genesis' seven-day week to the
seven vials of Revelation, containing the seven last plagues. And Jesus
multiplies Peter's forgiveness of seven by 70, totaling 490 times (Ibid.).
How often we hear sermons magnifying God's forgiveness: "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your loving kindness: according to the multitude of Your tender mercies blot out my transgressions" (Psalms 51:1). Yes, "there is forgiveness with You" (Psalm 130:4).
By looking at God's great love displayed at Calvary, we may rightly emphasize God's forgiveness if we do not forget His promised judgments against transgressors. Jesus emphasized the importance of making decisions immediately and did not say that forgiveness would have no boundaries--no finality.
spoke repeatedly of the close of probation, even saying that it would be more
tolerable for the nations previously destroyed by God's wrath than for those
who rejected His truths (Matthew 10:15; 11:22; Luke 10:12, 14). And He
admonished His disciples to stamp the dust from their feet of the towns that
refused to hear His messages of mercy (Luke 6:11). Probation can close for nations and it can close
for individuals who despise greater
truths of God.
It closed for Lucifer and his angels, for Noah's generation; and let us not forget the prophet Samuel's words to the passive priest who neglected to restrain his children: "And therefore I have sworn concerning the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house will not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever" (1 Samuel 3:14).
Displayed by instantaneous death, judgment closed very swiftly for Ananias and Sapphira, "So a great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things" (Acts 5:1-11).
The Northern kingdom of Israel lost their commission and was forever banished to Assyrian captivity: "Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah.... For He rent
Now, please understand this fact: I
do not believe, nor want you to even suspect that there is forgiveness from God
limited to seventy times seven. Were
that true, we would all be lost.
Thank God for His patience, how often each of us must humbly kneel at Jesus'
feet asking for forgiveness after He allows circumstances to reveal to us
another character defect.
In reality, Jesus is borrowing seventy sevens from the Old Testament where the finality of God's use of Israel to fulfill His divine purpose is predicted--their last chance--the close of probation for that nation.
490 YEARS OF PROBATION
have forgotten or do not correctly understand this Old Testament occurrence of seventy times seven. But before we explore
this, let me mention a noteworthy observation: Ignorance of the fulfillment of a prediction promotes irrational
applications. To prevent irrational application of a prophecy that has
already fulfilled, let us turn to the ninth chapter of Daniel.
To take this chapter in context, we must recall that Israel's probation was closed during Daniel's lifetime for a period of 70 years. This 70-year sentence started at the time of Jeremiah's prediction when Judah was overthrown and God's people were carried away as captives to Babylon (Jeremiah 25:11-12).
Several decades later, in the first year of Darius (538 B.C.), Daniel read the scriptures and understood that the seventy years of captivity were almost fulfilled. He offered a prayer that occupies 16 verses.
In this prayer Daniel acknowledges the sins of his nation, the validity of God's judgments, and the goodness of God. Daniel finishes his appeal with these words: "O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name" (Daniel 9:19).
Daniel is pleading for another chance and asks God to re-establish His people in Palestine and to rebuild the city and temple that lay in ruins--another chance to fulfill Israel's original commission--to bring in everlasting righteousness, to be a blessing to the Gentiles, to make the house of God a place of prayer for all people. God hears Daniel's prayer and sends an answer.
who stands in the presence of God, flies swiftly and arrives about the time of
the evening sacrifice. He itemizes several events to fulfill within a specific
time frame: "I have now come forth to give you skill to understand" (Ibid. 9:22). "SEVENTY WEEKS
[literally seventy sevens, or 70 X 7] are determined for your people and for
your holy city, to finish transgression, to make an end of sins, to make
reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up
the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy" (verse 24).
You may recall that Ezekiel 4:6 and Numbers 14:34 establish the principle that a prophetic day equals literal years. So, Israel's probation would not be limited to the brief time of seventy times seven days, which is less than two years (70 X 7 = 490 days), but to a full 490 years.
Also, it would not be proper for God to start the timing of the 490 years while Israel was still struggling in captivity. It must commence when they were fully re-established as a nation with rights of autonomy by self-government, where they can legally "restore and rebuild
then tells when to start this "last chance:" "Know therefore and
understand that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem..." (verse 25).
Ezra and Nehemiah list three main "commands." The first is 537 B.C., to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1:1-4). The second is 519 B.C., eighteen years later to strengthen the first decree to rebuild the temple (Ezra 6:1-12). And the third is 457 B.C., to restore self-government to the Jewish nation under Persian lordship (Ezra 7:11-26).
Since the third decree of 457 B.C. established governmental autonomy with Israel's own "magistrates and judges", they would have the right to legislate as needed to "restore and build Jerusalem" (Ezra 7:25, 26). Therefore, 457 B.C. is the correct starting point of Israel's 490 year "last chance."
might ask the question: "Just how did Israel fare during this probationary
period?" Not very good as we will soon discover. The first 69 weeks (483
years) of the 70 week (490 years) prophecy was to reach to Jesus, the Messiah:
"Until the Messiah the Prince,
seven weeks and sixty-two weeks (7 + 62 = 69); the street and the wall [of
Jerusalem] will be built again, even in troublesome times" (Daniel 9:25).
If you read Nehemiah 4, it tells some of the problems encountered when rebuilding the walls, but what about the 69 weeks to the Messiah? Let us calculate the time to the Messiah, remembering that we must add one year for transition between B.C. and A.D. because there is no year zero in chronological time.
JESUS' BAPTISM AND CRUCIFIXION FORETOLD
prophetic weeks is 483 literal years (69 X 7 = 483). The year of
Using negative numbers for B.C., we can calculate: ( - 457 + 483 + 1 = 27 A.D.). According to Luke 3:1,2, 21, 22, Jesus was baptized in that very year--"the fifteenth year of Tiberius," which began in the fall of 27 A.D. This prophecy has LITERALLY FULFILLED. But there is more:
We have mentioned that Jesus said there is forgiveness of seventy times seven (490) and Daniel also conveys this thought for Israel. From Daniel, we observed that the 483 years of this 490 year prediction of time reached to Christ's baptism. There was still SEVEN YEARS OF PROBATION LEFT FOR ISRAEL to complete the 490 years (490 - 483 = 7).
Jesus sent out His twelve disciples with this commission: "Go not into the way of the GENTILES, and into any city of the SAMARITANS enter not: But go rather to the LOST SHEEP OF ISRAEL" (Matthew 10:5, 6). Probation would not finish for Israel until AFTER this seven year period.
Now, let us discover the
fulfillment of another prediction recorded in Daniel 9 remembering that seven
and sixty-two weeks reached to the Messiah.
In verse 26 we are told: "And after the sixty-two weeks [sometime after Christ's baptism in 27 A.D.] Messiah will be cut off [killed], but not for Himself [for us]; and the people [troops] of the prince [of the Roman emperor] will destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [the prince, Titus did this in the siege of 70 A.D.]. The end of it will be with [like] a [devastating] flood, and till the end of the war, DESOLATIONS are determined" (Daniel 9: 26).
We need only mention a few conflicts: Masada, the Roman Coliseum, marauding Ottomans, and the "crusades" that vainly attempted to recover Jerusalem for Jesus; nor the bombings and assassinations that are today carried out against the nation whose leaders said to Pilate: 'We have no king but Caesar", and "His blood be on us, and on our children" (John 19:15; Matthew 27:25).
And of whom our Savior and God pronounced this decree: "Behold, your house is left unto you DESOLATE" (Matthew 23:38).
There is more, emphasizing the
most tragic parts of this seven-year "last chance"--the 70th week of
Daniel's prophecy. "And he [the Messiah] will confirm the covenant with
many for one week [seven prophetic years]: and in the midst of the week he will
cause the sacrifice and the oblation to
cease, and for the over spreading of abominations he will make it DESOLATE,
even until the consummation, and that determined will be poured upon the
Notice that three different verses emphasize the abolishment of the sacrificial system (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). Jesus confirmed His Father's covenant (agreement) with
New Testament records Jesus' attendance at four Passovers. The first was six
months after his baptism in the fall
of 27 A.D., and He was crucified three years later at the fourth in 31 A.D.
Thus, three and one-half years after His baptism, Jesus would "cause the
sacrifice and the oblation to cease" becoming the "lamb of God, which
takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29).
You will recall that in Chapter One, we discovered that two events occurred at the time of Christ (7740). (1) The daily sacrifice was taken away, and (2) the Abomination of Desolation was established. These predictions were literally and fully fulfilled. But in the "midst of the week", that last seven-year period, Jesus died; there remains three and one-half more years for Israel's final probationary period; then, they would become the “DESOLATE.”
writes of Jesus' instructions to the disciples: "Go rather to the LOST
SHEEP OF ISRAEL." After Christ's death the Jewish nation would still have
three and one-half years to study the scriptures--to discover the predictions
in the Old Testament of the Messiah's birth, suffering, and murder.
Probation had not closed for the "lost sheep", and they were offered a new covenant--the indwelling Spirit of Christ their LORD (Jeremiah 31:31-33).
If they refused all this evidence, they would be like the flourishing fig tree that in all appearance professed to be productive but in actuality was barren. Jesus spoke these words to that pretentious tree: "Let no fruit grow on you after this FOREVER. And presently the fig tree withered away" (Matthew 21:19).
That wilted fig tree is an object lesson to all believers who pretend holiness yet, like Israel of old, are destitute of true godliness as manifested by God working out His noble qualities in their lives.
rest of the story is well known. Jesus preached to Israel for those final three
and one-half years by His Holy Spirit poured upon the church. Judaism, the
religion established by God and Moses, rejected the teachings of Jesus and His
While the Pharisees were furiously stoning Steven to death for his testimony of Jesus, there was a young man holding their coats and consenting to this atrocity. He was named for a famous king of Israel, Saul, but on the road to Damascus he met the great I AM.
Jesus said concerning Saul: "He is a chosen vessel for Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel" (Acts 9:15). Not only was Saul (Paul) chosen to spread the gospel to the nations, but a persecution arose after Steven's death and the church was "scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria..." (Acts 8:1).
Israel's allotted probation of 490 years, including the last week of seven
years, terminated in A.D. 34 as converts spread the Good News about Jesus to
the rest of the world ( - 457 + 483 + 7 + 1 = 34 A.D.).
This work was confirmed by God's bestowal upon the Gentiles of His Holy Spirit and Jesus' statement to the Samaritan woman found fulfillment: "The hour comes when you will... not worship the Father at
Paul was fully aware of Israel's rejection and said to the "chief of the Jews": "Therefore let it be known that salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!" (Acts 28:17, 28).
An important thought for your consideration is, If judgment was totally closed for the nation of Israel three and one-half years after they delivered their Messiah to the Gentiles for crucifixion (Matthew 20:19; Mark 10:33,34), then God's commission to teach the world belongs to spiritual Israel (Matthew 28:19,20).
It belongs to you, to me, and to individuals of every nationality who believe in Jesus. "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29).
Soon, His chosen from all nations will ascend to heaven and dwell in the Holy City and 1,000 years in the future they will ultimately inherit the earth (Psalm 37:11; Matthew 5:5). The promise is:
Blessed are those [from every country] who do His commandments; that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are [the ashes of] dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22: 14-15)
Malachi 4:3 refers to the ashes of the destroyed wicked: "And you will tread down the wicked; for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I will do this says the LORD of hosts." And those suffering this destruction will be individuals and nations for whom probation had closed, those who rejected essential truths.
you able to understand these "timed" prophecies? Some people have a
better comprehension of mathematics than others. And a few individuals might
have to receive them by faith, knowing that God is not a man and He cannot lie
These prophecies are truth and God intended them to be understood. To me, they are fun, and enhance my faith in God's dealings with humanity.
It was mathematical calculations of these prophecies that first convinced me that there was an all-knowing God that controlled our destinies and they persuaded me that we are living at the end of time.
Because Daniel's numeric prophecies were "sealed until the time of the end" (Daniel 12:9), I could pray without presumption for understanding.
And now, if you are not completely fatigued, there is one more number that God would have us understand, Daniel's longest numeric prophecy.
THE BEGINNING OF JUDGMENT FORETOLD
This prophecy stretches across history 2,300 years to affect our existence today. Because it is very significant for our time, we will briefly study it and I can assure you that it is quite easy to understand.
you must realize that all of the
annual festivals that Israel was
commanded to keep in the Old Testament were symbolic of occurrences that must literally fulfill in history.
Because God's 10 commandment law is as eternal as God Himself, its weekly Sabbath
is not symbolic but the other holy
For example, Israel annually killed a Passover lamb in commemoration of the lamb whose blood saved them from the plague of death in Egypt. But this drama, called the Passover, literally fulfilled when Jesus, the Lamb of God, was slain on the very Passover that fell on what we call "Good Friday"; Jesus very literally shed His blood for humanity on the exact day that was symbolized (Isaiah 53: 8). Another annual festival that must likewise fulfill was the Day of Atonement. The actions in this drama reveal the necessary judgment to legally cleanse the sins from our innocent Sin Bearer that we gave Him through confession and repentance.
These sins will finally be transferred to Satan in the judgment when the father of lies ultimately receives responsibility for all sin—that is what judgment is all about—establishing guilt and vindicating God.
Satan's wandering on this desolate planet for 1,000 years is also symbolized in this drama when Israel annually "let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness" (Leviticus 16:10).
spoke of this judgment; in fact, you might have even quoted His words before:
"But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall
give account thereof in the day of
judgment" (Matthew 12:36). It is also predicted in Revelation,
"for the hour of His judgment is come..." (Revelation 14: 7).
This judgment takes place before Jesus returns, as all heaven must determine that you are safe to entrust with eternal life in a sinless universe.
Please understand that there is no excuse for known sin. If one continues in sin while professing Christianity, "there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins" because they "crucify again for themselves the Son of God..." and have "insulted the Spirit of grace" (Hebrews 9:6; 10:26, 29).
Jesus made every provision for our salvation, and God accepts no excuses. While maintaining a humble spirit all of our unbecoming behavior must be confessed to Him who is "faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
COURT IS NOW IN SESSION
we discuss the date for the commencement of this judgment, we need to look from
We can get a clue to its timing from Daniel's chapter seven. In the latter part of the reign of the Abomination of Desolation, which we discussed in chapter one and two, verse nine says: "I watched until thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days [God the Father] was seated...." Verse 10 continues, "A thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The COURT was seated, and THE BOOKS OPENED.
Gabriel assigned 70 weeks probation to the Jewish nation, this period was
literally "cut off" from the much longer period of time, the 2,300
days which were mentioned "at the beginning of the vision" (Daniel
If you recall, Gabriel told Daniel in the second vision: "70 weeks are determined for your people...."
The Hebrew word for determined is chatak and forms of this word can mean taken, take away, or cut off. Ten years earlier Daniel had the first vision of 2,300 days (prophetic years--Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34), and even though the holy beings did not tell Daniel the starting date at that time, they said: "That which was told is true; therefore seal up the vision, for it refers to many days in the future" (Daniel 8:14, 26)
We already discussed Israel's starting date of 457 B.C. which reached 490 years to 34 A.D. Now, let us calculate the remaining years after Israel's probation closed.
If we subtract "cut off" Israel's 490 years of probation that terminated in 34 A.D., from 2,300 years, that leaves 1,810 years (2,300 - 490 = 1,810) This period of 1,810 years continues after 34 A.D. reaching to 1844 (34 + 1,810 = 1844 A.D.).