Over the past 40 odd years I have heard an enormous amount of discussion and read books and literature on the ‘coming mark of the beast’ of the Book of Revelation. I was once a believer in the futurist interpretation of the books of Daniel and Revelation. But sometime back I realised that that interpretation was not correct. (See my studies on Daniel’s Seventy Weeks and in particular on Daniel 9:27 and who ‘he’ is in that verse.)
I now hold to an historical interpretation of scripture. At first I studied what Martin Lloyd-Jones would have classified as Historical: Continuing. However I found that that is very confining, trying to hang a label and only one label on every event through the Book of Revelation. In this blog many of the published studies on Daniel and Revelation use this method.
However, now I am convinced that the correct way to read the book is with the method of Historical: Spiritual. This is the method where we allow the scripture to be living. It is the idea that there are spiritual principles behind the battles and events encountered by Christians through all ages from Christ until the final Judgement, but not that each description in the book of Revelation applies to uniquely only one event. The scriptures belong to all believers through all generations and can speak to them for their time, and even their place.
If you have not yet seen this new video series on the life of Jesus Christ I recommend it to you. So far season 1 has been released (8 episodes) and free. It is available on various platforms including YouTube.
It is very engaging though it fills in details of the biblical events depicted. Of course a lot of the filled in details are not found in the Bible but they are totally reasonable within our understanding of the life people lived then.
The next seasons are crowd funded and as a result they will make as many as they are able. It is worth listening to the some of the discussions with the director and actors as it also is inspiring. All are strong believers and want this series to be used to bring in the unsaved.
I have heard it said many times that Jesus could not have been crucified on a Friday particularly if He was resurrected on the following Sunday. The following scripture is often quoted in support of this claim.
Matthew 12:40 (KJV) For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The logic is that if we count three full 24 hour day/night cycles, and given that He rose on a Sunday morning, He would have to have had died on the Thursday morning prior. Remember the Jewish counting of a 24-hour day starts at sundown and ends at the following sundown. That means that a Friday (the Preparation Day for the weekly Sabbath) starts at sundown Thursday and ends at sundown Friday when the Sabbath begins.
I have been told by many Bible commentators that the passage in Isaiah 65:17-25 refers to a Millennium period on Earth when Christ rules the nations directly before the Final Judgement of all men. They say that this is a period when nothing shall kill or hurt on Earth in the animal of human realms because God will directly be ruling the earth. Satan will be bound and have no influence on humans or the animal kingdom. Often the picture is shown of a lion and lamb sitting together. It portrays the idea of the Garden of Eden before the Curse.
I believed this idea for a long time. But is that really what these verses refer to? I held that view when I believed in the futurist eschatological view that the thousand-year period in Revelation chapter 20 was a reference to some sort of millennial rule of Christ on Earth before His Final Judgement on the unsaved. I no longer believe such ideas.
Now I believe the (so-called) Millennium is symbolic of the Church age — the period of time beginning with the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross and ending with the Final Judgement called the Great White Throne Judgement (Revelation 20:11-13). There are no others but the saved (in the new heaven and new earth) and the damned (sent to Hell). All are judged at the Great White Throne of God.
Have you ever wondered about this phenomenon of “slaying in the spirit” that you might have seen in some Pentecostal churches? It usually occurs where a “faith healer” lays his hands on a person, gets them to pray or repeat some words, gently pushes them backwards and they fall to the floor. The phenomenon is not confined to the evangelical churches either. It is practiced by some Roman Catholic priests. See below, for example.
The phenomenon does not appear anywhere in the Scriptures. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” 1 Corinthian 14:32 The same applies to all saved servants of the Living God. The Holy Spirit indwells them and they do not yield to another spirit.
Chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians is all about maintaining order in the church in relation to the gifts of the Spirit. But I do not believe that the Apostolic gifts are continuing now because we have the written Scriptures and there is no longer any Apostles writing new Scripture. However I do believe the Holy Spirit speaks to His servants, heals some at His discretion and gives gifts like tongues, but that tongues is not essential to salvation.
On that basis I have always believed that this so-called “slaying in the spirit” is not from the Holy Spirit, and therefore it must be demonic in nature. It was first brought to my attention decades ago with those spreading the false teaching of the Vineyard church, often referred to as the Toronto Blessing and involved “holy laughter”. Well, it was a lot more than just laughter, they would bark like dogs and behave in very uncontrolled ways. People like Rodney Howard Brown was very popular in the 1990’s spreading that in the Pentecostal churches in Australia. Today we see the same stuff coming from Torben Søndergaard–leader of the so-called Last Reformation cult.
What I have learned from the following YouTube video is that Søndergaard and all these other practitioners are using well-known hypnotist techniques. Through prayer they get their subjects to yield their will to them and the rest follows. Please watch!
So this is not just about “slaying in the spirit” but about these so-called faith healers who “heal” people, which turns out to be either only temporary, due to an adrenaline rush or completely faked, like in the example shown with Søndergaard moving a person’s shoe, while faking the lengthening of the person’s leg. Where are those who grow new limbs? Torben Søndergaard is a total charlatan — deceiving gullible people and being deceived.
But evil men and seducers [impostors] shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13
I know God can miraculously heal but He heals at His discretion. God is not flipped on like a light switch. He cannot be turned on at a moment by a “healer” or by the prayers of the one who wants to be healed. That is a works religion.
You can pray for healing and if it is within His will He can and does heal. But if there is anything that Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy should teach us is that in the last days there will be deceivers among the church, leading the sinful astray. We are told to resist them and to expect persecutions and afflictions. God’s way is not generally one of health and wealth. But He will eventually deliver us all in the end. Read the whole chapter yourself.
According to an online Catholic publication the Australian charity “White Ribbon” supports late-term abortion. Their claim is supported by White Ribbon’s own position statement on abortion.
That is quite ironic considering that about half of all aborted babies are female, and White Ribbon advocates ending violence against women. Of course the latter is a laudable goal but it is inconsistent with killing babies in the womb, don’t you think?
The following is excerpted from the Catholic Leader:
WHITE Ribbon Australia, known as the “Say no to violence against women” organisation is under scrutiny for supporting late-term abortion.
White Ribbon is named alongside organisations supporting candidates in the current Queensland election who have made a “pro-choice” pledge to “vote to remove abortion from the criminal code”.
Ahead of White Ribbon Day on November 25, South Australian Christian high school teacher Trevor Grace and his wife Robyn, who runs Pregnancy Help SA, are leading a national campaign to inform organisations of the charity’s pro-abortion stance.
“Few people are aware that White Ribbon supports and endorses full-term abortion,” Mr Grace, a long-standing political activist, said.
He has contacted churches and Christian schools alerting them of White Ribbon Australia’s position statement on women’s reproductive rights which states that the charity believes: “Denying a woman access to contraception and abortion is a denial of basic rights to health care”.
“It is a woman’s right to choose if and when she gets pregnant. It is a woman’s right to seek an abortion,” the White Ribbon statement says.
Watch the following embedded video of part of the pope’s speech and read the transcript on a Vatican website. The content of the pope’s speech is irrefutable. There it is written what he said to a general audience in Peter’s Square on Wednesday, 25 June 2014. Here is one excerpt:.
“There are those who believe they can maintain a personal, direct and immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside the communion and the mediation of the Church. These are dangerous and harmful temptations.”.
Of course by ‘church’ Francis means the Roman Catholic Church, but the true church are all those who are born-again regenerate Christians.
Pope Francis told a crowd of 33,000 in Rome that ‘a personal relationship with Jesus Christ’ must be avoided at all costs.
Pope Francis on camera warning against “having a personal relationship with Jesus” as “dangerous and harmful”. .
In the transcript Francis also says that we should
“… ask the Lord, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, for the grace never to fall into the temptation of thinking we can make it without the others, that we can get along without the Church, that we can save ourselves on our own, of being Christians from the laboratory.”
This is Catholic works doctrine and not salvation by grace through the atonement that our Lord Jesus Christ made for all those who trust in Him. There is no grace through Christ’s earthly mother. Only through the Lord Jesus Christ.
But God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
There is nothing you can do to save yourself. No amount of praying to Mary as Queen of Heaven will do. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can save you.
For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9
And he continues with:
“On the contrary, you cannot love God without loving your brothers, you cannot love God outside of the Church; you cannot be in communion with God without being so in the Church, and we cannot be good Christians if we are not together with those who seek to follow the Lord Jesus, as one single people, one single body, and this is the Church.”
But thank God you don’t need to belong to any organisation, especially the Roman Catholic Church. Christ can and does save all those who turn to Him, those who repent of their sins and put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone, not the papacy, the RCC or any church for that matter.
An article was sent to me, by a friend, where the author claims that Jesus’s name in Hebrew — Yeshua — is written over a hundred times in the OT. I have reproduced the article entirely below (blue indented text) with some comments following.
YESHUA IN THE TANAKH
(The Name of JESUS in the Old Testament)
Arthur E. Glass
In dealing with my Jewish brethren for the past many years in Canada, the United States, Argentina and Uruguay. I had one great difficulty, and it was this: My Jewish people would always fling at me this challenging question, “If Jesus is our Messiah, and the whole Old Testament is about Him, how come His name is never mentioned in It even once?“
I could never answer it satisfactorily to their way of thinking, and I admit I often wondered why His name was not actually written in the Old Bible. Oh, yes, I could show them His divine titles in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6 and Jeremiah 23:5,6, and even the word MESSIAH in several places; but the Hebrew name that would be equal to Jesus, that I could not show. Then one day the Holy Spirit opened my eyes, and I just shouted. There was the very NAME, Jesus, found in the Old Testament about 100 times all the way from GENESIS to HABAKKUK! Yes, the very word – the very NAME – that the angel Gabriel used in Luke 1:31 when he told Mary about the Son she was to have. “Where do we find that NAME?” you ask. Here it is, friend: Every time the Old Testament uses the word SALVATION (especially with the Hebrew suffix meaning “my,” thy,” or “his”), with very few exceptions (when the word is impersonal), it is the very same word, YESHUA (Jesus), used in Matthew 1:21. Let us remember that the angel who spoke to Mary and the angel who spoke to Joseph in his dream did not speak in English, Latin, or Greek, but in Hebrew; and neither were Mary or Joseph slow to grasp the meaning and significance of the NAME of this divine Son and its relation to His character and His work of salvation. For in the Old Testament all great characters were given names with a specific and significant meaning.
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:24-27)
These four verses found in Daniel constitute one of the most controversial passages found in the Bible. From the early church fathers to the modern commentaries, this prophecy has been interpreted with a plethora of views. There are those who maintain that this prophecy was fulfilled in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes in approximately 168 B.C. However, many place its fulfillment during the time of the life of Christ. Still, others say that its ultimate fulfillment extends to the time of the antichrist toward the end of the church age. Let’s see if we can wade through the maze of difficulties that this passage presents and, hopefully, discover its true intent and meaning.
Before I begin to explain this passage of Daniel’s prophecy, I will share with the reader the more popular dispensational view.
The U.K., like Australia, has laws against preaching the truth. These two street evangelist were prosecuted for preaching Christ in the U.K.. Christ said He is “the way, the truth and the life”. There is no other!