Categories
Bible prophecy Book of Revelation The Papacy

Revelation 14

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The vision of this chapter opens with “a Lamb stood on mount Zion”. In chapter 13:11, the false lamb was seen, who “spoke as a dragon”. Here, in contrast, we see the Lamb of God, the same Lamb as in Revelation 5:6,7. In chapter 5 it is clear that the Lamb is Christ who took the book with seven-sealed book. Here and in Hebrews 12:22 are the only verses in the New Testament where the phrase ‘on mount Zion’ occurs. It is the same as “Jerusalem above” of Galatians 4:26. Hebrews 12:22 defines Mount Zion as the heavenly Jerusalem. Mount Zion is symbolic of the city of the great King, the seat of the worship of God in Jerusalem, and is used as a symbol of the true Church (Psalm 125:1,2). The saints who have entered into the covenant of Christ are said to have come, not to the mount that could not be touched, but to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. It is there used for the church of the saints, and such is its meaning in this passage

The Church of true believers are also marked in their foreheads (v.1), yet this is not a literal mark. The 144,000 (v.1-4) is symbolic of the believers who stand against the Satanic evil of the Papacy and its forces. In chapter 7:4, the same number are spoken of as sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel. It means there, a great, indefinite number. Here, I take that the meaning is the same. It is a great multitude, a round number, who are associated with the Lamb. (Alternate views of what the 144,000 represents include that it represents some 144,000 Jewish believers, or, a chosen 144,000 believers from the Christian church).

In verse 4 there is reference to those “not defiled with women”. This means those who refuse sinful intercourse with the world. Spiritual adultery or fornication is being wedded to the world and partaking of its sins. The expression “they are virgins” is symbolic that their lives are not defiled by the world. See 2 Corinthians 11:2; Hosea 2:19,20.

The believers were found to be without fault, because they are forgiven, and their sins are washed away (v.5). Then John saw “another angel fly”, which is symbolic of the true gospel being rapidly preached throughout the world to every nation and language group (v.6). The angel (v.6,7) means God’s Holy Spirit is the agency whereby this message is preached to the world. Since the Reformation the preaching of the gospel to the world has expanded quickly and is continuing to this time. This does seem to put us now towards the very end of world history (but who can say?). 

Categories
astronomy Cosmology Creation/evolution Physics

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…so the story goes

This time the story is about a galaxy of a billion stars that is allegedly seen from a time only 402 million years after the big bang. The galaxy is called GN-z11 because it supposedly has a redshift of 11.1,1 measured with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). That is the highest redshift assigned to any galaxy to date, and according to big bang cosmology it corresponds to a distance of about 13.4 billion light-years. It allegedly extends the time of observation of the universe back a further 150 million years than previously known. It also places the epoch of this galaxy in the period of predicted formation of a huge number of stars and galaxy formation built from these first stars formed after the alleged big bang.2

GNz11
Figure 1: That blurry image is of a galaxy so far away it dates closer to the Big Bang, from a time when the universe was a mere toddler of about 400 million years old (so reads the caption from Ref. 6) . Credit: Space Telescope Science Institute via AP.

In a new analysis of the publicly available CANDELS data3 over the GOODS fields,4 a team of astronomers, with lead author Oesch,1 identified six relatively bright galaxies with best-fit photometric redshifts z = 9.2—10.2.  But photometric redshift determinations are very model dependent and not so conclusive, so they chose the intrinsically brightest of them for 12 orbit passes of the HST, to collect grism5 spectroscopic data and more accurately measure its redshift. This galaxy (now called GN-z11) was previously labelled GN-z10-1. It was previously given a photometric redshift zphot = 10.2. It has strong emission in the infrared consistent with a very bright ultra-violet galaxy after taking in to account stretching of the source optical wavelengths down to the infrared. See Fig. 1.

The authors in their paper write:1

GN-z11 is remarkably and unexpectedly luminous for a galaxy at such an early time:

It is about three times brighter than expected for the time of its alleged existence only 400 million years after the big bang. Early in the alleged big bang history, the first stars were supposed to have formed into small nondescript galaxies. They are meant to have many ‘young’ stars but since the galaxies are not meant to be very large it also follows that they should not be very bright. They’re expected to have grown large later by mergers with other galaxies, where galaxy size is correlated with its intrinsic brightness. In this case the GN-z11 galaxy has the intrinsic brightness of a galaxy observed at a redshift near z = 7, at a time when the big bang universe is three times larger. Thus it follows that the only galaxy they have identified at the epoch of 400 million years after the big bang is three times brighter than galaxies when the universe is allegedly much older and when galaxies should be much larger and hence brighter. This means “galaxy evolution” has worked too fast on this newly discovered galaxy. It is the opposite of what is expected.

Is the measurement solid?