The prophesies from the Old Testament of the new covenant and the new Jerusalem are being falsely taught as literal. Many have been taught to believe that the words “forever,” and “no more” apply to a land based, earthly nation state of Israel. Those teaching these prophesies to be a literal rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem, and a literal carnal earthly kingdom of Israel do not consider that no where in the either the Old nor the New Testament is the forever kingdom of God promised to be a natural, earthly kingdom.
Jeremiah 30 to 31:25 is the prophesy of the return from the Babylonian captivity for both Ephraim (the northern 10 tribes) and Judah. But, beginning in Jer. 31:31 is the Messianic prophesy of the new covenant of the gospel of Christ.
“31Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:
33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
35 Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: 36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
37 Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord. 38 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the city shall be built to the Lord from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.
39And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath. 40And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the Lord; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.” (Jer. 31: 31-40, YLT)
This is the prophesy of the new Jerusalem, the heavenly Jerusalem, and just as all other prophesies, it involves much symbolism and metaphors and re-defining of Israel. The prophesy clearly says that the new covenant would not be like the old covenant made with the tribes of Israel. Therefore, the new covenant would not be about a promised land on this earth.
The seed of Israel (vs. 36) is defined under the new covenant as all those who are in Christ (Gal. 3:26-29), as all those in Christ are now counted for the seed of Abraham. Those who are in Christ are the Israel that is saved with an everlasting salvation (Isa. 45:17). This prophesy of the Israel that will never more be plucked up, nor thrown down is of the everlasting kingdom of God for all those who are in Christ Yeshua (Jesus). Paul stated that a Jew is now one who is inwardly circumcised of the heart (Rom. 2:29).
Jer. 31:31-40 is the same prophesy as is given in Joel 3:14-21.
“14Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. 15The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
16The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. 17 So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
18And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth out of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim. 19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
20But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion.” (YLT)
Only the new Jerusalem would be holy through the Messiah because of His sacrifice for our sins. Only His blood could cleanse our and their sins. It is what is repeated in Heb. Chap. 8.
“4For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
6But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” (KJV)
Christ could not be a priest on the earth as He was not of the line of the Levites. The old covenant of the Mosaic Law was about to vanish away when the book of Hebrews was written in about AD 66, and it very clearly stated that Christ would not be ruling from an earthly nation state with earth-drawn borders.
Jeremiah’s prophesy of new boundaries for Jerusalem took in the nearby “unclean” areas around the old city of Jerusalem; the hill of Garab and Goath to the northwest, the valley of dead bodies (Hinnom) to the south where the babies had been sacrificed to the pagan god Moloch, the Kidron valley east of the city (also called the valley of Jehoshaphat,and the valley of decision) to the horse gate.
It is a prophesy of an enlarged and expanded Jerusalem under the new covenant which is the same meaning of the description of the new Jerusalem in Rev. 21:15-17 of a four square city, a perfect cube large enough to hold every saint that is in Christ Jesus.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” (Rev. 21:1, KJV)
The national, earthly region of Israel, and the remnant that was Judea and Jerusalem had been called “the earth,” or “the promised land,” or “the pleasant land” (Psa. 106:24; Jer. 3:19; Dan. 8:9), or “the four corners of the land” (Ezek. 7:2). All of the pagan gentile nations that surrounded the pleasant land of Israel were considered “seas” that would come up as floods covering the “land” of Israel in the prophesies (Psa. 90:5; Isa. 28:2; Jer. 46:7; Amos 8:8).
That there is now no more sea is the meaning at Rev. 21:1 that there is now no more distinction of earthly nations and land boundaries before God under the new covenant of the gospel of Christ. All people of all nations who will answer the call of the gospel of Christ are now welcome to tabernacle with Him (Rev. 21:3) which is the fulfillment of the last feast, THE Feast of Tabernacles where all nations were welcome in Jerusalem, also called the Feast of Nations on the 15th of Tishri.
After the destruction of that temple in Jerusalem in AD 70 the first earth and the first heaven had passed away, and there was no longer any importance on the earthly land, the pleasant land, the promised land of that old covenant. It was all fulfilled in the prophesies of the destruction of that temple and converted into the everlasting kingdom that came without observation, and is in our midst (Luke 17:20) for believers in Christ. The new Jerusalem is a spiritual city, the capital city of the everlasting kingdom of Christ which is NOT an earthly kingdom.
The prophesy of Joel 3:17 that no strangers would ever again pass through the new Jerusalem is the same as Rev. 21:8, 27 that all of the unrighteous, the unbelievers or strangers are even now outside that city.
“8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death…..27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (KJV)
Only those who are in Christ occupy the heavenly Jerusalem now (Rev. 21:24-27).
The people who call themselves “Jews” today do not want to hear this. They are using and misapplying scripture for their own agenda, and political power to glorify themselves. They have deceived many others to believe that false agenda because they want to believe that God will make them the most important nation over all other nations on earth. They are the most to be pitied for their own blindness.
Do not be deceived. God redefined the House of Israel under the new covenant as all who are in Christ, and they are found in every nation on this earth – in England, France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, Finland, Norway, Russia, the united States of America, Brazil, Columbia, Canada, Africa and even China. The current nation state of Israel was established through political machinations of Zionists and their agents of the Rothschilds, and it has nothing to do with the word of God.
See the posts God’s Definitions – Part I: The House of Israel, and Part II – The House of God at the right margin. See also the post It’s Not The End of The World – Part VI: The Zionist and Jesuit Deceit.
75 thoughts on “The New Jerusalem – The New Heaven & Earth Covenant”
Above, when you stated, “The serpent was a representation of Eve’s sin” does that mean you don’t take the existence of the serpent literally? I agree that Eve’s own lustful desires came from within her. I also believe the serpent in the garden is the original ancestor of the snakes we see today slithering on the ground in our backyard. That serpent in the garden probably walked upright. Perhaps it had wings. Not sure exactly what it looked like. But one of the major points of the story is to tell us why women experience birth pains, why men have to toil for their pay, and why snakes slither on their belly. Do I believe the serpent in the garden was Satan, with a capital “S” ? No, I don’t. I believe it was a real creature whose descendants we see today slithering on their bellies through the grass. I just don’t see the serpent in Genesis as a literary device of personification representing Eve’s sin.
Was there a real snake in the Garden of Eden? I am sure there was, and it was probable just as described. But, just as fire became the symbol of God’s judgment after Sodom and Gomorrah, the snake/serpent was used as a symbol of the deception and lies. The sin we battle against will deceive us into doing what we rationalize for our desires. I really wish you would check out this post : https://www.realdevil.info/2-3.htm as well as this one: https://www.realdevil.info/3-1.htm
God described the snake as a beast of the field, but Eve used it to pass the blame for her actions. Quoting from the last post cited above:
“The account of Adam and Eve has has been slowly re-interpreted by Christian dogma, initially under such Jewish influence, to mean that the real villain was the Devil who supposedly used the snake, or turned into a snake, in order to deceive Eve; and the way of putting it right is to cheer on Christ in Heaven as He does battle with this terrible ‘Devil’. But as we’ve stressed so many times, the Bible speaks of the snake as a snake, one “of the beasts of the field” which God created (Gen. 3:1). The ideas of Satan, Devil, lucifer, fallen angels, rebellion in Heaven- simply don’t occur in the Genesis record. …….
I’d suggest it’s because humanity [and that includes theologians and formulators of church doctrine] squirms awkwardly under the glaring beam of the simple record of human guilt. And therefore the serpent has been turned into a superhuman being that gets all the blame; and human sin has been minimized, at the expense of the plain meaning of the text. The whole structure of the Biblical narrative is concerned with the guilt and sin of the man and the woman; the snake isn’t where the focus is. Von Rad, in one of the 20th century’s most seminal commentaries on Genesis, understood this clearly: “In the narrator’s mind, [the serpent] is scarcely an embodiment of a ‘demonic’ power and certainly not of Satan… the mention of the snake is almost secondary; in the ‘temptation’ by it the concern is with a completely unmythical process, presented in such a way because the narrator is obviously anxious to shift the problem as little as possible from man” (12).”
I have struggled through this and am now convinced this view is scripturally correct. The personification of our “sin” as the Adversary (satan) or the devil (false accuser) is a representation of the evil within our hearts.
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I’m struggling with Revelation 12.
“Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels.”
– I take this to mean Christ (Michael) and his disciples (angels) who are in a spiritual battle against the dragon (Rome) and his angels (the apostate Jews)
“And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven.”
– This verse confuses me. I can understand these angels being forced out of heaven, if these angels are the apostate Jews who once held authority in heaven under the Mosaic Covenant. But if the dragon is Rome, then how did the dragon ever have a place in heaven in the first place since it is pagan?
“This great dragon, the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the deceiving the whole world, was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.”
– So in this verse, is Satan being used as a proper name, or a general term for accuser? I’m thrown off here, because in the prior verses, I understand the dragon to be Rome (it has seven heads and ten horns) But in this verse the dragon is called
“the ancient serpent called the devil or Satan.” This description of the dragon doesn’t seem to jive with the prior description of the dragon as Rome (seven heads).
Remember the prophetic usages of “heaven” and “earth.” God rules in His heaven from His heavenly throne, so there is no battle in the spiritual heaven above. This battle in Rev. 12 took place upon the “earth” or land of Judea. The word “heaven” as used in this and other prophesies represents the ruling power and authority over that land / earth. The beginning verses of Rev. 12 set the time frame as the days / generation of Jesus’ birth. Vs. 4 is the flash back John sees of King Herod and the massacre of the children (Matt. 2:13-16). At the time of the writing of the book of Revelation this was already a past event.
Herod was appointed and confirmed by the Roman Caesars, and so was an agent of Rome. Vs. 3 sets the red dragon as the idolatrous image of Roman rule, and extends it to Herod in vs. 4. Vs. 5 is the reference to Jesus’ birth and ascension to God’s throne, and at the same time incorporates the birth of the church at Jerusalem. Vs. 6 sees the woman as the Christ’s body, the church fleeing into Pella and surrounding areas before the Roman legions encamped upon Mt. of Olives, where they were protected for the duration of the war (1260 days, 42 months, time, times, and half a time).
Then staying with the already defined metaphors, Vs. 7 depicts the battle between Christ (Michael, Dan. 12:1) and His apostles / disciples during the persecutions and tribulations from the Jews under the kings Rome set over Judea (the dragon, both Roman and Jewish rulers) and the Roman/Jewish authorities during the 40 years from the crucifixion to the destruction of the temple in AD 70.
Vs. 8, “and they did not prevail…” When Rome destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, they threw down the Jewish ruling authorities from their “heaven” to their “earth”, meaning the Jews had no more authority in the land. This is the fall of that “great dragon” who caused the people to worship falsely in vs. 9. Then Rev. 12 turns back again and recaps the recap of this battle. Rev. 12 is a prelude to the battle in the followings chapters 13 thru 20.
There are the spiritual overtones through all of the battle that Christ wages through His disciples and His messengers, both earth born, and heavenly which were brought to bear against the idolatrous Rome and the evil, liar serpents of that day. I have wanted to approach this subject of the war in heaven, but the topic is so profound, and intricate in its details that I have hesitated over it.
But, essentially that “heaven” was the ruling authority of Rome, and then as it was extended to the authority of the rulers they set over Judea after Herod’s death. Being thrown down to earth was not being thrown out of God’s heavenly relam above, but out of power of their offices of authority in the Roman empire.
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I appreciate the response. You explained it to my satisfaction. My only further inquiry in Chapter 12 is pertaining to the verse, “That old serpent called the Devil and Satan. ” I get the impression that this goes beyond mere use of the general term “accuser.” Am I viewing this correctly that accuser here is not a reference to human adversaries but to a spiritual entity?
“The wages of sin is death….” (Rom. 6:23 KJV)
“The sting of death is sin; …” (1 Cor. 15:56, KJV)
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Heb. 2:14, KJV)
According to the scriptures above wages of sin equals death, and the sting of death equals sin, therefore we can say that sin equals death, and therefore the power of death being the “devil”, the “devil” thereby equals sin. Sin comes from within the heart of man (Gen. 6:5; Ecc. 9:3; Jer. 17:9; Matt. 15:18-20; Rom. 7:21), therefore where does the “devil” come from?
The continual struggle within man to deny self (Rom. 7:15-19) but to exercise self control (Rom. 6:12; 1 Cor. 9:27; Gal. 5:16-17) over our lusts is within us. It is our own lustful desires that causes sin, therefore sin/the devil is our own lustful desires. The use of “the devil” and “the Adversary” in the Bible is a personification of sin. It was Eve’s own lustful desires that caused her to disobey God in Gen. 3. The serpent was a representation of her sin, and “that old serpent” of Rev. 12 is that same personification of man’s sin.
The specific men who were the “devils” or false accusers of God’s saints during the 1st century AD were the Roman magistrates who were trying God’s people in Roman courts, and the Jewish authorities empowered with “letters” from the Sanhedrin and bringing the saints into the temple before God to falsely accuse them. These were not “spiritual entities.”
It is very hard to keep the language of the day in mind when reading the NT scriptures written during the 1st century AD in times when pagan beliefs in demons and “spirits” ruled their minds. The word “devil” or “satan” is never used in Genesis. The early Judaism teachings understood man’s evil tendencies as opposed to his good tendencies, and recognized the evil tendencies as being symbolized in the Hebrew scriptures as “the adversary” or “the devil.”
I refer you again to Duncan Heaster’s discussions of The Real Devil here: https://www.realdevil.info/1-1.htm
I have a question about Isaiah 7:14. We Christians see this as a prophecy about Christ’s birth that would take place over 500 years later. I was reading an interpretation of this from the Jewish perspective and it got me curious. The argument being made is similar to the argument I see Preterists making against Dispensationalists. A dispensationalist will read about “the beast of the sea” in Revelation, and instead of putting it into the proper 1st Century context, they place it in a future setting. The argument I read by this Jewish person made a similar charge, that Isaiah 7:14 needs to be placed into its proper context, during the time of Isaiah. According to this view, the child that 7:14 is referencing is the child that Isaiah’s wife gave birth to. It was meant to be a sign to King Ahaz, that the two kings who threatened him, would be destroyed quickly. “For before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread, will be laid to waste.” Perhaps you were already aware of this passage in Isaiah not being a reference to Christ, but to Isaiah’s son. This is something I just came to realize however.
Destroyed quickly? The prophesy says that the northern ten tribes (Ephraim / Israel) would be destroyed in 65 years (vs 8). A normal child born of Isaiah’s wife would be taught and learn the difference between good and evil surely before he was 65 years old. The background in Isa. 7 is of Ahaz’s fear that Judah was about to be overcome by it’s enemies of which one was Ephraim in league with Asshur. God was telling Ahaz to ask for a sign for Judah’s continued existence. Ahaz would not dare and so refused God’s command, so God gave Ahaz the sign that he would continue to maintain Judah and Jerusalem UNTIL a virgin conceived and bear a son who would be called Immanuel, meaning God With Us. And, indeed God was with them until Mary – the virgin who knew no man prior to conception – bore a son whose name was provided by God, Immanuel. The prophesy was an assurance so that Ahaz would not be so afraid, and would know that God was going to keep Judah safe. I recommend reading Clarke’s commentary on vs 15 of this chapter here: https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/acc/isaiah-7.html
I also recommend Barnes Notes and Gill’s Exposition on Isa. 7:14 at Biblehub here: https://biblehub.com/commentaries/isaiah/7-14.htm
And, indeed God protected and maintained Judah for the planned coming of the Messiah before He allowed Judea and Jerusalem to be destroyed.
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Do you believe all the New Testament books were written before A.D. 70 ?
Absolutely. There is very clear evidence for all of them, especially Revelation both internally and externally. Some very good points to review on the time of the writing of Revelation can be found at DatingTheNEwTestament.com here: http://datingthenewtestament.com/John.htm
And, please read my post The Signs of Revelation – Part I: The Time of His Coming at the right margin.
One interesting aspect of the Gospel of John has to do with this mysterious “disciple whom Jesus loved”. This phrase is mentioned several times in the Gospel of John and I don’t understand why church tradition holds that John is this disciple. Clearly, Lazarus is the only disciple associated with the phrase “the one whom Jesus loved.” It’s my belief that Lazarus was the one standing by Mary at the cross when Jesus said to him, “here is your mother.” In John 11:3 the sister say, “Lord the one you love is sick.” This establishes Lazarus as that “one”. After establishing this fact, several times later in this Gospel the phrase is used. It must be a reference to Lazarus every time. I will need some serious convincing to persuade me to believe it was John.
I am sure Jesus loved all of His disciples. But, was Lazarus in the upper room at the last supper?
“20 And Peter having turned about doth see the disciple whom Jesus was loving following, (who also reclined in the supper on his breast, and said, `Sir, who is he who is delivering thee up?’) 21 Peter having seen this one, saith to Jesus, `Lord, and what of this one?’
22 Jesus saith to him, `If him I will to remain till I come, what — to thee? be thou following me.’ This word, therefore, went forth to the brethren that that disciple doth not die, 23 yet Jesus did not say to him, that he doth not die, but, `If him I will to remain till I come, what — to thee?'”
24 this is the disciple who is testifying concerning these things, and he wrote these things, and we have known that his testimony is true. (John 21: 20-24, YLT)
Who was writing and bearing witness in the gospel of John? Wasn’t it John? I don’t believe John was trying to say he was any more special to Jesus than the others, but that he was kind of using a literary method without constantly saying “I”. There is a very nice view point expressed here: https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/who-is-the-disciple-jesus-loved
Has the Sabbath been done away with? Orthodox Jews still observe it. I have a Catholic friend who believes Sunday Mass constitutes observing the Sabbath. I would assume that the end of the Mosaic Covenant in 70 A.D. also brought an end to the Sabbath as well.
Please read Isa. 31:13ff. Vs. 16, “ and the sons of Israel have observed the sabbath; to keep the sabbath to their generations [is] a covenant age-during,” (YLT) The sabbath law was a covenant between God and the children of Israel to THEIR generations. Their generations ended when the scepter passed from Judah to Christ (Gen. 49:10) beginning at His baptism by John (the grandson of the last legitimate Zadoc High Priest) where Christ became our new High Priest, legally at the cross when He took away our sins by His sacrifice, and at the full establishment of His everlasting Kingdom in AD 70 when He took away the Mosaic covenant, when the “holy people” (Dan. 9:24) were scattered (Dan. 12:7).
Christ rested from His spiritual works (mirror of Gen. 2) of His plan of salvation (Rev. 13:8). We no longer have to do the “works” of the Mosaic sacrifices under the Mosaic Law which all pointed to Christ. He fulfilled ALL of them, and has rested having sat down at the right hand of the Father (Acts. 2:33; Eph. 1:20; Heb. 1:3; 8:1). When we have been baptized into Christ, we have put Christ on (Rom. 13:14; Gal. 3:27) and have been clothed in His righteousness (Isa. 61:10, Col. 3:27; Zech. 3:4) and have therefore entered into His Sabbath rest (Rom. 8:1-2; Heb. 4:1).
The sabbath or 7th day is no longer reserved for our weekly worship. We now worship God on the first day of the week, or on Wed. nights, or Thursday nights, or Sat. mornings, or any time any of His saints come together for study and praise of Him. Our sacrifices are now the fruits of our lips and our good works (Heb. 13:15-16).
I have nothing against those who feel more comfortable worshiping God on the 7th day (if we even know when His 7th day is any more under the manipulated Gregorian calendar) as long as they do not try to bind the Mosaic covenant upon us as a requirement to be in His kingdom. We can worship God at any time we choose.
This is a good article at GotQuestions.com – https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-Sabbath.html
And see Don Preston’s articles on the Sabbath here: https://donkpreston.com/the-seventh-day-sabbath-the-elephant-in-the-room-of-dominionism-and-futurism-1/ and https://donkpreston.com/the-seventh-day-sabbath-the-elephant-in-the-room-of-dominionism-and-futurism-2/
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I am replying to the Sabbath comment, I know we all agree God does not change He is the same yesterday today and tomorrow so in Genesis He set aside the Sabbath and sanctified it. My question is wouldn’t that imply we should always keep the Sabbath observance?
“Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
Genesis 2:3 NKJV
When did God sanctify it? Moses was writing a history of Genesis some time after the Exodus from Egypt. Gen. 2:3 then may not have meant that it was sanctified at the end of the 7 day creation event, but after God’s covenant with Egypt in remembrance of their covenant relationship with God. Please read the links I posted previously to Don Preston’s remarks on the Sabbath.
Thank you I read those links and it makes sense now. I appreciate your help.
Good morning Gina hope you are doing well, I have a question about this scripture verse. How do we correctly understand it? It seems Jesus is saying to keep the commandments. Thank you for your time and help.
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”
I John 5:2-3 NKJV
Good morning, Calvin. I am well, and hope you are too.
1 John 3:22-23, “22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” (KJV)
Fulfilling the law was filling up / completing all of the ceremonial “fence” laws around the temple worship system in Jerusalem, which encompassed all of the ritual sacrifices and “works” imposed under Moses that pointed to Christ. Loving God above all others, and loving each other will cause us to keep the original 10 commandments. For, it would be silly to try to say that Christ completed / fulfilled “do no murder.” By loving our Father, His Son, and each other we will not do harm to others. That love fulfills all of His commandments. Does that help?
Ok that is how I was understanding it thank you, it has been a process starting to understand scripture in its correct context and time frame. I use to be part of UCG and they believe in keeping the 10 commandments and Sabbath worship not to earn salvation but as bearing fruit but it always had me conflicted. I was never raised in church so I came to accept Christ and our Father in 2012 and have been self educating myself the best I can lol. Thank you again for your help and having patience with so many questions, it’s really tricking because I trust God not man when it comes to understanding His word but obviously we need human guidance at times.
Understood. We all need help to study and understand God’s word. It takes time and research, and a lot of love. Hope you have a good day!
Good evening Gina I was curious how and where the Old Testament prophets used heavens and earth to determine that it’s the temple and Israel? I will go back and read your post on some of this I’m looking to see which one it was. Thank you and sorry if this is a question you’ve answered too often lol.
Good morning, Calvin. When used together in prophesy, God metaphorically called the covenants “heaven and earth,” initially the Mosaic Law that would be the witness against them for their sins –
“I have caused to testify against you this day the heavens and the earth,…” (Deu. 4:26, YLT)
“`I have caused to testify against you to-day the heavens and the earth;…” (Deu, 30:19, YLT)
“26`Take this Book of the Law, and thou hast set it on the side of the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God, and it hath been there against thee for a witness; 27 for I — I have known thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck; lo, in my being yet alive with you to-day, rebellious ye have been with Jehovah, and also surely after my death. 28 `Assemble unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your authorities, and I speak in their ears these words, and cause to testify against them the heavens and the earth,” (Deu. 31:26-28, YLT)
And God literally equated them in Jer. 33:25,
“Thus said Jehovah: If My covenant [is] not daily and nightly, The statutes of heaven and earth I have not appointed –” (YLT)
And then of the new covenant of the gospel of Christ –
“ For, lo, I am creating new heavens, and a new earth, And the former things are not remembered, …” (Isa. 65:17, YLT)
“For, as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making, Are standing before Me,…” (Isa. 66:22, YLT)
The phrase encompasses both the Mosaic covenant and the temple in the prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in Joel 3:16, “And Jehovah from Zion doth roar, And from Jerusalem giveth forth His voice, And shaken have the heavens and earth…” (YLT)
And, again in Haggai 2:6, “ For thus said Jehovah of Hosts: Yet once more — it [is] a little, And I am shaking the heavens and the earth,” (YLT)
As does Jesus’ prophesy in Matt. 24:35, “The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (YLT) His words as opposed to Moses words; His new covenant, the gospel of Christ, as opposed to the Mosaic covenant of the old heaven and earth that was ready to vanish away (Heb. 8:13) in that generation (Matt. 24:34).
Hebrews 12:26-28 refers to the “shaking” from the prophesy of Joel when it says,
“ …and now hath he promised, saying, `Yet once — I shake not only the earth, but also the heaven;’ 27 and this — `Yet once’ — doth make evident the removal of the things shaken, as of things having been made, that the things not shaken may remain; 28 wherefore, a kingdom that cannot be shaken receiving, …”
When used together in prophesy it is a metaphor for the covenants of God’s word.
When the prophets used them separately as in Deu. 32:1, “Give ear, O heavens, and I speak; And thou dost hear, O earth, sayings of my mouth!” the word “heavens” (plural) represented the ruling authorities of that land (kings, governors, emperors, etc) and the word “earth” represented the people of that land.
Whereas God alluded to the temple, it was the Jews who began to call the temple “heaven and earth” in part because the architecture and symbolism within the temple used the imagery of the heavens (the veil with the cherubim and stars embroidered upon it for the firmament, the sun was the menorah, the moon was the 12 show breads, the altar of incense was the clouds of the sky), the inner court represented the land / earth of Israel, and the outer court represented the chaotic seas of the gentile nations. They also called it “heaven and earth” because that is where God met with man to give the High Priest his commands.
See my previous post “Heaven and Earth Have Passed Away.” Also, recommend this article here: https://www.reenactingtheway.com/blog/when-heaven-and-earth-passed-away-everything-changed879420187179853150181
Blessing to you…
Thank you very much, I found your post on this right after I asked and sent the question lol. Your feedback is greatly appreciated thank you again.
Good evening Gina, I was researching Preterism and I read in a few different areas that it was started by a Jesuit. Is this correct?
LOL, No. That is a false accusation designed I believe to mislead and cast doubt. I’ve heard that charge several times but they have not researched very well. Augustine was not a Jesuit, but even he recognized and knew that Revelation was about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, and that it had already happened. It’s irksome that ppl will so easily discard Jesus’ words for their preferred ideas. Technically, it is God and Jesus who are the authors of Preterism because we believe what God says.
Origen came to realize it in later life: : http://preteristcentral.com/Origen%20Was%20a%20Preterist.html. See some early comments here: https://providencechristiannm.com/church-history-preterism/. And, you will find a very thorough history on the teachings of the different views held about Revelation from AD 70 on by Bruce Gore here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTqxCTu2OjM&t=2s
I agree I was just curious after seeing that lol. I was researching the origins of preterism or it’s earliest examples. Thank you for your help and I greatly appreciate the links to get more information.
Good afternoon Gina hope you and your family are safe and doing well. I was curious if there is an online preterist weekly service? Thank you!
The only on-line preterist weekly church service I have found is the Berean Bible Church with preacher David B Curtis here: https://www.youtube.com/@BereanBibleChurch. Caveat, he preaches from a Calvanist view which says that baptism / immersion is a work, and there is no requirement from God except that you believe. This is false teaching, and if you can be vigilant to catch the Calvanist view pt and move past it, then he brings some very sound preaching from the Preterist perspective. I will see if anyone else knows of another weekly on-line service.
Thank you I have researched his church but was still looking for options. Thank you again.
I will let you know if I find another.
In all your studies, have you ever come across how the Jewish priests handled the torn veil of the temple after the crucifixion of Christ? I believe they continued on with their religious practices, but I am curious how they were able to do that with the Holy of Holies being exposed. Do you know if they repaired it, or left it? I have tried to look to see if Josephus mentioned anything about it, but I could not find anything.
I have come across some comments as to the veil’s dimensions, and in some of them they mention that two veils were made each year, as it took 300 priests to clean it. So, I just thought that the unbelieving Jews probably just replaced it with the 2nd veil. Some have made mention of it being sewn back together, but I cannot imagine the priests nor the Sanhedrin would have deemed that acceptable. See source for some of this info here: https://cbumgardner.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/the-thickness-of-the-temple-veil/
Thanks again for your response. I also noticed in Isaiah 40:3-4 “A voice is calling, Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley;”
If Zech 14:4 is literal and ‘proves’ that Christ must come and split the mount of Olives because it says so, then what do you say about this verse, which we KNOW already happened – (John the baptist did come proclaiming). So are you telling me that when John the Baptist came preaching, that there was (had to be) a massive earthquake that lifted valleys, brought mountains low and smoothed out all the ground? Of course this didn’t happen. It is symbolic. Just as Zechariah 14:4 is symbolic.
Yes. Lifting up valleys and lowering hills and mountains makes a broad plain that is easy to traverse. It makes the paths smooth. Traveling to Jerusalem was up through hills and mountains. It was not an easy path for the caravans to get to the feasts.
There is another aspect we need to consider for Zech 14:4 and that is Christ’s crucifixion. It may not be speaking only about the destruction of Jerusalem, because of vs. 6-7 are clearly speaking of the crucifixion, and the living waters of vs. 8 which refers again to Christ’s death on the cross. What other way of deliverance or salvation has God provided us than through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection? What other escape path is there, really?
Have you written in any of your posts specifically about the book of Zechariah and how it relates? I have a friend who can’t get past Zech 14:4 as ‘proof’ that there is a time when Jesus will return again in our day to Jerusalem,
No, I have not addressed Zechariah. It is difficult in many parts, and especially Zech 14:4. The reason it s difficult is because people are attempting to make a highly symbolic book very literal. The prophesy of the splitting of the Mt. of Olives deals with the metaphors of the OT where God compared His people to olive trees (Psa. 52:8; 128:3;Jud. 9:8-9; Isa. 24:13; Zech 4:2-3). Paul used the imagery of grafting the gentiles onto the olive branch (Rom. 11:24). The promised land was described as a land of olive oil (Deu. 8:8). Olive oil and spices was used in the anointing of the priests (Ex. 30:23-25) and of kings (1 Sam. 10:1). The oil was a symbol of honor and favor, and was not to be used in the sacrifices for sin offerings (Lev. 5:11; Num. 5:15) nor in times of mourning (Dan. 10:3).
At this time, I do not have certainty about which symbolic meaning to attach to the prophesy in Zech 14 of the splitting of the Mt. of Olives, tho I favor that it has to do with dividing the people – those that believed Christ is the Son of God from the unbelievers – which is the breaking off of the branches Paul spoke of (Rom. 11:17) – and I can also attribute a symbolic association with the removal of honor and favor from Jerusalem with God’s judgment at its destruction in AD 70. Either of these would fit, but there could be another meaning I have not yet come across.
Your friend’s refusal to acknowledge God’s prophetic use of metaphors and symbolism, and his refusal to acknowledge the prophesies throughout both the old and new testaments for the destruction of Jerusalem does not hang upon Zech 14:4. It is an excuse he is giving you because he doesn’t want to believe the very obvious proofs you have already shown him. There is more than sufficient scripture to absolutely know Jesus’ second appearance in that generation of the 1st cent. AD was promised to them, as I have already pointed out at this blog. My advise is to let him ponder what you have said to him. It may be that one day he will ask you again about these things. You might gently ask him when he expects the 3rd destruction of Jerusalem?
Jer. 11:2-3, 16-17; “2 Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
3 And say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant,…
16 The Lord called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken. 17 For the Lord of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.” (KJV)
Micah 6:2, 14-16, “2 Hear ye, O mountains, the Lord’s controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the Lord hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.”….. “14 Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword. 15 Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine. 16 For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.” (KJV)
The curse of Israel and the mountains of Israel ? Treading the olives, but not being anointed with them? Slavery, and destruction. When Titus and his legions encamped upon the Mt. of Olives they denuded the mountain and all of the valley and hills around Jerusalem of all the trees. I am sure that this also plays into the imagery of the splitting of the Mt. of Olives in Zech.’s prophesy.
I know you have discussed this before. It’s still probably the biggest sticking point for me. In the Bible are the words devil and satan always used in reference to humans on Earth who oppose God’s people? Or are there instances where these terms are used in reference to an invisible entity who prowls through the world seeking the ruin of souls? I find this to be the most difficult subject to get a handle on.
I beleve there are indications of an agent that God used or allowed to operate as an enemy,and accuser of people. Job 1:12; Luke 22:31; Zech. 3:1-5 where the “adversary” or “satan” asked permission to harm them. God gave this agent permission with certain limits in Job, and pushed against this agent in the vision in Zech 3; and denied him Peter and the apostles collectively in Luke 22. But, he/it always asked permission to do so. Which means that ultimately it was God who allowed the punishment or judgment, and the adversary was His agent.
The Greek word “diabolos” from which we get the English word “devil” means a false accuser, a slanderer. The Hebrew word “satan” means an enemy, opponent, or adversary. Both of these words can be used generically throughout the scriptures for anyone who takes on that position. When used in 1 Pet 5:8 we have to keep in mind the contemporary time frame of the persecution by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem against Christ’s disciples and apostles. The words “satan” and “devil” in that verse indicate the seeking out of the weak and innocent through false accusation to bring in before the council for legal damages. That verse is being used too loosely today. The imagery is from the OT scriptures where the wicked ones were compared to a lion seeking its prey, whom they might rend and tear. (Psa. 10:8-9; 17:11-12)
God used the imagery of predator beasts – lions, wolves, leopards, bears, etc – for wicked people who sought to do evil for their own satisfaction. So, most often the use of the words “satan” and “devil” were indicative of evil people who will not acknowledge God (Psa. 14:1-3; 53:1-3). Their use in prophesy encompassed many wicked people. And, in Rev. 20:10, the devil (false accuser) who deceived “them”, and the “beast” and the “false prophet” encompassed the same group of people – those who stood against Christ, those who crucified Christ and persecuted His saints – the scribes, Pharisees, and the Sanhedrin of Jerusalem. The focus of the prophesy of Rev. – as it was in Matt. 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 – was the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. As the rulers of Jerusalem rejected their Messiah they were the adversaries of God and of Christ. Those adversaries of that prophesy are dead and gone.
Is God still allowing an agent called “satan” to operate against people on earth? I can’t answer that question. I believe that people are responsible for their own actions, and are accountable to God for what they do here (Jer. 31:29-30; Ezek 18:19-21; Deu. 24:16 ) That means that the agent of God, if he is still active, who acts as an enemy accuser is not at fault. We are. So, is the real accuser an unseen enemy from the spiritual realm, or is it us?
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That’s a great answer. Thank you!
I want to go over the topic of the mortal wound of the beast and its subsequent healing. From what I gather, most preterists believe the mortal wound is suffered at the death of Nero and the wound is healed after Nero when order seems to get restored in Rome. I recently read a different preterist viewpoint on this matter. It goes something like this….there was persecution that arose over Stephen that lasted about three and a half years from 34 A.d to 38 A.D. When this first three and a half year period collapsed, that constituted the mortal wound of the beast. Then when Nero began his persecution of the church, that’s when the mortal wound was healed.
The determining factor is the beast. Rev. 13:1 identifies that beast as the beast of the sea. The sea in prophesy stood for the pagan nations that surrounded the land of Israel as water surrounds an island. So, the sea beast was a pagan nation, and specifically Rome. It was one of the heads / Caesars of Rome that was mortally wounded that nearly caused the death of the sea beast nation. The sea beast nation was then revived but a succeeding king / Caesar.
The persecution of Stephen was carried out at the hands of the land beast, the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. Different beast, different situation. I believe that viewpoint is misconstrued. See my post Frequent Mistakes – Part I: The Wounded Head at the right margin. The situation of the mortal wound was of the sea beast and only suits that of Nero’s mortal wound and the subsequent re-birth of Nero metaphorically by both Otho and Vitellius through their mimicry of Nero.
Good evening Gina I hope you are doing well, I have an off topic question for you if you have any input on it. Is there reasons why we don’t have writings from 10 of the 12 disciples? Also is there sources from the Judeans who lived during the time of Christ who wrote about him? I read some from non biblical sources but there seems to be evidence they may be forgeries or not the right time frame. Thank you for your time and insight.
The first century AD disciples had been given the gifts of the Holy Spirit, some to prophesy, and some to teach, and some to speak foreign languages, etc. They were living testaments of the word of God, the gospel in earthen vessels (2 Cor. 4:7). Jesus told them not to worry about what they would say as the Holy Spirit would give them the words (Matt. 10:19). Paul told them that the disciples spoke the words of the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:11-13).
Jesus sent Paul as an apostle to the gentiles. Paul’s first missionary trip began about AD 48-49 to Galatia. Many believe Matthew stayed in Jerusalem for about 15 years or so after Christ’s crucifixion. So, the first 20 years after Jesus’ death the people had the word directly from God, either through His Son (Heb. 1:1-3), or through the spoken word of the gifted disciples / apostles.
Also, Jesus told his disciples that they would be persecuted during their missions to the “lost sheep” of Israel, throughout those cities known for their Jewish population (Matt. 10: 17, 22-23). It is believed that James was martyred about 44 AD. It is most probable that many of the others died within the next 10 to 15 years. Most believe Peter and Paul to have been martyred about AD 64-66. So, having the Spirit to tell them what to say, many of the disciples probably had no need to write.
As Peter says that the men of old were moved by the Spirit to speak (2 Pet. 1:21), then we know the Holy Spirit was operating the same way during the early years after Christ’s death. The people had the word spoken directly to them first by the Son of God (Heb. 1:1-3), and then by the disciples / apostles. The writings to record the words of the Holy Spirit only began about 49-51 AD with Paul’s letters to the Galatians and Corinthians. And, as the Holy Spirit moved the men to speak, He also moved those whom He chose to write the books of the New Testament. (See the article at Apologetics Press here: https://apologeticspress.org/why-so-long-for-the-new-testament-to-be-written/)
As the gifts of the Holy Spirit would fade away (1 Cor. 13:8), as the disciples and apostles died, then the Holy Spirit provided the written record of His words to replace the living earthen vessels / messengers.
Further, there were writings by unbelievers, impostors who made false claims to have written other “gospels” or accounts of Jesus which have all proved to contradict the word of God and have been rejected. See https://www.gotquestions.org/lost-books-Bible.html and https://apologeticspress.org/are-there-lost-books-of-the-bible-66/ and https://apologeticspress.org/the-canon-and-extra-canonical-writings-968/
Thank you so much for your reply and quick response I truly appreciate it. Thank you also for not assuming it as an attack on our faith I know it can look like that to some. I was just doing research on the question and really wanted your thoughts on it. Your answer makes a lot of sense so thank you again and God bless.
Your welcome. I try not to read any emotion into the questions, as all questions are legitimate to someone. I didn’t take it as an attack on our faith, so all is good. Blessings upon you, and may you be well.
I was wondering what your understanding of Psalms 82:1-8 is? I’ve been studying it today and obviously looks like a couple different opinions on it lol.
Yes, a great many people want to make it mystical and say it is about a heavenly council with the angels, or that it means there is body of lesser “gods” which God convenes. But, is about the judges and priests of Israel. Vs. 1 in the YLT is phrased as “God hath stood in the company of God, In the midst God doth judge.” The CJB has it as “Elohim [God] stands in the divine assembly;
there with the elohim [judges], he judges:” The company of God was the Mosaic assembly, the tribes of Israel who God set to be an example to all of the people of the nations (Ex. 19:5-6) Vs. 2-5 clearly address human failures to judge righteous judgment, and God is the highest judge of all. Vs. in the CJB, ““My decree is: ‘You are elohim [gods, judges], sons of the Most High all of you.” Because the Levitical priests and the appointed judges were representing God’s word and Law to the people. He set them as authorities over the people, and delegated that task to them. Vs. 7 should make it very clear to be about men. “7 But as man ye die, and as one of the heads ye fall,” (YLT) Vs. 8 is speaking of the “earth” of Israel, the promised land, not the entire literal earth. Vs. 8 – ” Rise, O God, judge the earth, For Thou hast inheritance among all the nations!” (YLT) – refers again to God’s people, His inheritance in all the nations. He brought them into the promised land of Canaan, displaced the evil nations from before them, and gave them the “earth” of their inheritance. God was calling the judges on the carpet for failing to do their jobs correctly, and reminding them that they face Him in their final judgment at their death (Vs. 7).
Ok that’s what I thought but I was struggling a little bit with them be addressed as gods and judges. Thank you for your help it does make more sense that way.
Hello Gina I was looking at 2 Peter 2:4 and was wondering if this verse is talking about godly men who sinned and we’re cast down until judgement?
Yes, the topic of 2 Pet 2 is false prophets, false teachers. Vs. 3-8 are a list of some of the instances of unbelieving men whom God punished. Vs. 11 makes the distinction between earthly “messengers” (vs. 4) and heavenly messenger who are of greater strength and power. See my post :Testing the Spirits – Part IV (b) – Slandering Angels.
Good morning Gina hope your doing well. I was wondering what is Jesus Christ’s Hebrew name according to scripture? I’ve read it’s Yeshua or Yashua, is there scripture that says what it is? Thank you for your input.
Good morning, crossbow. It is Yeshua, and the clues are in the Greek and Latin spelling of His name, Iesous / Iesus. Strong’s Gr. 2424. The Hebrew letters cannot cross into Greek or Latin, so the spelling was phonetic. The “I” before the “e” in the Greek made the “y” sound. The letter after the “I’ determined the vowel sound with the “y”. So, “Ie” made the “yeh” sound. If it had been spelled as “Ia” it would have been the “yah” sound. The middle “s” in the Greek has the hash mark over it to signify the “sh” sound, and the “ou” is the “ooo” sound. The Greek masculine case never ends with a vowel, but with an “s”. So they dropped the “ah” sound at the end in favor of the masculine case “s”.
When later translated into the Latin, the “Ie” was kept but in Latin the “e’ was a long “a” sound, so was pronounced as the “yay” sound. The “oo” sound just became the letter “u”, and the Latin kept the ending “s” sound and so His name was pronounced “Yaasoos”. When later translated into the English, the translators invented the “j” in place of the “i” as the letter “i” in the English was a distinct long “eee” sound. So they added the hook at the bottom to make it as the “y” sound. And, today it is still pronounced as “Yaasoos” in the German. Every “J” in the English translations of the Bible were originally pronounced as a “Y” sound. So, Joshua was pronounced as Yehoshua, Jacob was Yacob, Judah was Yehuda, etc.
But many people argue differently for Yahshua, or other variations. I believe the original Greek spelling is definitive and is most compelling for Yeshua. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AYeshua%2FJesus
Thank you very much that helps quite a bit.
Good morning Gina hope your doing well. I was wondering what is meant by the many scripture verses that talk of death as sleep? Jesus said the dead know nothing and likened it to being asleep but other scripture seems to talk about awareness after death until the resurrection. Obviously until Christ they we’re waiting but why does it seem like a contradiction? Thank you for your help and input.
Good afternoon, Calvin. I am well, thank you! I believe it is due to the mind set of the translator.
Strong’s Heb. 7901 – “shakab” – to lie down, also used as laid, laid low, to rest, to sleep, to lay down, to lie down in death
1 Kings 2:10, “And David lieth down with his fathers, and is buried in the city of David,” (YLT) is translated in the KJV as “slept with his fathers”.
The proper translation according to the BDB is 4b, lie down. Paul uses “sleep” metaphorically in 1 Cor. 15:51. It is Strong’s Gr. 2837, “koimao”, and it is to sleep, to fall asleep, and sometimes ”metaphorically and euphemistically“ as the sleep of death. Source: https://biblehub.com/greek/2837.htm
There are some Christian denominations who have taken that usage literally (7th day Adventists) but I don’t think that view can hold up when we look at the scriptures. The picture given in the scriptures is a state of rest or relaxation, and not of unconsciousness.
1 Sam. 28:15, when the woman at Endor supposedly raises Samuel from the dead, Samuel says to Saul, “…Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?…” The YLT has “…Why hast thou troubled me…” We know this appearance was allowed by God, but the words make it appear as though it was Saul’s doing. Samuel’s words are of bothering him, not wakening him.
On the Mount of Transfiguration, Matt. 17:3, “and lo, appear to them did Moses and Elijah, talking together with him.” (YLT). This is almost the same wording in the KJV. It would seem that to be talking with Jesus, both Moses and Elijah would have had to be aware of the circumstances of that day and time.
And, the imagery of the Lazarus being comforted in Abraham’s Bosom (Paradise) in Luke 16:22ff, the discussion between the two divisions of Paradise and Torment does not lend itself to a state of unconsciousness.
One last example is that when Jesus told the thief on the cross the he would be with Jesus that same day in Paradise, where we know Jesus preached to those in that section of Paradise for the time He was in lying down in the grave, He was not unconscious either (1 Pet. 3:19) where in my opinion He told those in Paradise the same thing He had told His disciples before His death that the kingdom was at hand. Those souls waiting in Paradise would soon be resurrected, too. Did Jesus have to wake them up first to tell them that? I don’t think so.
Therefore, the confusion is caused by the translators beliefs, and not from a critical analysis of the scriptures.
Thank you again for your insight, I was wondering because of a certain denominations belief in the sleeping until resurrected view but it seemed to conflict with other scripture so I knew it was a human interpretation error lol.
Good morning Gina hope all is well. I was doing some research and come across several ancient pagan false gods and beliefs that show a virgin birth, son of god and resurrection. These were before Christ so I was wondering did they somehow know about what would happen with Christ or I don’t believe it but could Christianity have copied that idea? Again I don’t believe that but not sure what to make of it. Thank you for your help and input.
Isa. 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself giveth to you a sign, Lo, the Virgin is conceiving, And is bringing forth a son, And hath called his name Immanuel,” (YLT)
Isaiah is thought to have prophesied from about 739 BC to 681 BC (about 58 years) during the reign of four kings – Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. It is surprising, really, how many non-believers, atheists, pagan researchers keep coming up with this claim that Jesus was not unique, and pagan gods had similar origins of a virgin birth, or were killed and resurrected. But, when closely examined all of those supposed similarities quickly fall apart. Turns out those pagan gods are either born of a sexual encounter, or some mystical, magical use of a phallus which involves sexual encounters. They all fail.
It is really a question of who is copying whom, just as much of the language structure of the Islam / Muslim religions are very similar and possibly derived from the associations with Catholic missionaries who were traveling through the Middle East preaching the gospel before Mohammed’s supposed revelations were secretly written down. So, yes it is very possible that the OT prophecies were copied into other pagan religions to support their “gods” and belief systems.
See the posts at ApologeticsPress.org which discuss these claims in detail here: https://apologeticspress.org/jesus-christ-unique-savior-or-average-fraud-part-i-186/, and https://apologeticspress.org/jesus-christ-unique-savior-or-average-fraud-part-ii-609/.
See also this article from Catholic Answers which also debunks many of these claims: https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/was-the-virgin-birth-of-jesus-grounded-in-paganism
Jesus is the only man born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and is the only Son of God who was crucified, and the first to be resurrected from the dead – the uniquely begotten Son of God.
Thank you I agree and was thinking the same thing. I actually accidentally stumbled onto this topic lol. I was just curious about how it may have come about.
Hello Gina hope you are doing well, I was wondering how are we to know the correct view or understanding of scripture with so many different opinions on it? So many seem to show scriptural evidence to back up their beliefs and to be honest it’s been difficult for me to understand which interpretation of scripture is correct or how to figure it out. I do feel strongly toward the preterist view but in the end I feel like I’m taking one persons opinion over another. Thanks for any feedback I know it’s a complicated topic, at least to me lol.
The opinions that are swimming throughout the institutional churches are derived because of the wrong perspective, and taking scripture out of context. The first rule is always of the first audience perspective, and then you have to keep the scriptures in their proper context / subject matter. We always have to let scripture interpret scripture, as any other interpretation will lead you off the narrow path. It takes discipline and study, and study and more study until you know it. That’s when those other ideas and opinions will no longer cause you to doubt yourself.
I run across people every day who are asking questions about Jesus’ teachings who are taking the scriptures out of the 1st century AD and are reading them as though Jesus was speaking directly to us in our generation. They don’t realize that is anachronistic. They forget the 1st audience, and don’t realize that a particular instruction was not meant for any other than the person Jesus was speaking to.
The preterist view is of fulfilled eschatology and it is based upon the time texts within God’s word, and by connecting the scriptures together. It is not my opinion. It is God’s word. To try to move the prophesies for Jesus’ return away from the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 is to make Jesus appear to be a liar. He told them He was returning soon, and He meant it. It is up to us to believe in Him, and put our full faith and trust in Him.
Thank you that makes the most sense and I definitely agree.
Calvin, furthermore it takes a long time to throw off indoctrination. I did not come to this knowledge yesterday, but have been studying God’s word diligently in this matter for over 30 years We have all been subjected to the false futurist agenda, and it serves a political purpose that is not revealed to the masses. I recommend you go back to the beginning series at this blog – all ten parts of It’s Not The End of The World and reread them. Hang your hat on the word of God.
I will continue to study and definitely will go over your series again. I definitely agree with the preterist view it makes the most sense to me and clears up most the conflicts or confusion. Thank you again your help is greatly appreciated.
Good evening Gina I was hoping you could explain these verses?
“And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.”
II Timothy 2:17-18 NKJV
Partial preterists claim these show the resurrection to still be future. Thank you for your input.
II Timothy is possibly Paul’s last letter (2 TIm. 4:6-8) thought to have been written around AD 63, before the destruction of Jerusalem. The resurrection promised by Christ at His coming in glory (Matt. 25: 31ff) was still in front of that 1st century AD generation and was in THEIR future. The partial preterists who bring this scripture forward as a proof of a still future resurrection from Hades are being disingenuous and frankly are not thinking clearly. Must remember the before and after scenario; before AD 70, and after AD 70. Anything written before AD 70, which is all of the NT books was still future to them. After AD 70 it became our past history, an accomplished event. See the post at this site for The Resurrection in Three Parts. Keep the books in the time period in which they were written. See DatingTheNewTestament.com.
Thank you that is what I thought. I’m still in the studying phase so I was not quite sure when it was written.
I read what you said about the Sabbath being for the Israelites but didn’t God sanctify it and set it aside as holy in Genesis? “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
Genesis 2:3 NKJV
Thanks for your reply regarding the mortal wound of the beast. You may be familiar with Kurt Simmons’ writings. He’s a full-preterist from what I gather. I don’t want to misrepresent his belief on this, after reading some of his work, it seems like he interprets the healing of the beast’s wound to occur when Nero begins to persecute the church. I read that in his book, “Revelation Explained.”
Yes, he does. Kurt and I do not agree on all things. I don’t see a mortal wound applying to the Jewish heads / rulers because the wound was to the Roman ruler / head. The persecution issuing from the Sanhedrin with Stephen’s death did not mortally wound the Roman rulers. Kurt was looking at the heads as being population centers where persecution occurred, and at the same time as heads / rulers of the pagan gentile nation that rose from the sea – Rome. I believe this was some initial confusion when he wrote the book, which my father (Bill Fangio) helped publish, and which I helped proof 12 years ago, but I am not sure he would say the same today. We all grow as we study. At this time, I stand by my earlier reply.
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Count me as one who has enjoyed this site thoroughly. I’m still learning and struggling with certain verses in Revelation, but the time statements alone, are enough for me to conclude that all things were fulfilled by 70 A.D.
To your discussion above, regarding what heaven will be like, I often wonder how my earthly pleasures and hobbies will be different in heaven. For example, I enjoy biking outdoors. I try to bike at least 1,000 miles every year when the weather is nice. For me, part of the pleasure of biking is the tired feeling my muscles and lungs get as I am biking. Let’s face it, if my muscles didn’t get tired from the exercise, then I wouldn’t know when to quit my bike ride for the day. My legs muscles eventually start to get weary and tell me that it’s time to go home and rest. There is a certain satisfaction in that rest after a bike ride. So I wonder, in heaven, will we experience that same type of need for rest after an endeavor like a bike ride? Will we sleep? We only sleep on Earth because our bodies need it. But there is a satisfaction from laying down at night after a day’s work and feeling tired. I just wonder if that need for rest exists in heaven.
Smile. Well, you know I haven’t been there yet, so I can’t say for sure. But, I dream of swimming in clear blue waters without fear of sharks or jelly fish, and the dream doesn’t include getting tired and drowning. What we can say is that there will be a different set of physics. Will our bodies get tired with physical exertion in a spiritual world? Hmmm. Jesus’ appearance in the upper room with disciples after His resurrection indicates a new body with new rules not bound by matter in this physical world. Teleportation?
Thinking of the parable of the wedding feast in Matt. 22:1-14 where the saved are reclining suggests resting from our labors / work, but that is not speaking of literally resting of the body. Will we feast because we need energy, or just for fellowship and pleasure. Will there be more than the corn of heaven to eat (Psa. 78:24)? Haven’t really any idea, except that it indicates pleasurable things.
We are born into this physical world having to learn as a new born baby how to breath oxygen. When our carnal body wears out, and expires, it is another birth process where we have to learn how not to breathe oxygen. It is a transformation process into a new body. Jesus said that in the “rising again” that we will be “as the messengers in heaven” when speaking of marriage, meaning there will be no sexual congress in heaven as marriage was made for the getting of children here on earth. But it may be that there is also a comparison to those messengers who are of greater strength and power (2 Pet. 2:11). Is that spiritual strength and power, or is it physical? We are just going to have to wait to find out when we get there. And, I expect the joys of heaven will be much more pleasurable than the physical exercise of the carnal body.
The heavenly messengers are working under God’s direction (Dan. 10) and are ministering spirits of service (Heb. 1:14) to those of us that inherit salvation. They appear to us in the form of men (Gen. 19:1-3) who wash their feet and eat with us. But, that earthly appearance is probably not their true form as the description given in Dan chap. 10 is much more beautiful. Paul has stated in 1 Cor. 15:36ff that our heavenly body will be more beautiful and more powerful than our earthly body. You might not need that bike to fly up and down the hills and mountains and the exhilaration will probably not be limited by muscular exertion.
I am glad you find the content here enjoyable.
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I want to thank you again for this site. I find myself now better ‘hearing’ an OT verse that provides context and clarity to other verses while I am reading them, and it has become so fulfilling and has helped me understand things so much more clearly.
I have three questions:
(1) In your opinion, what is the functional significance of having this understanding of the Word correct? I have people tell me all the time, “look, if we both love the Lord and are working to be obedient to Him, and we believe the essentials, what does it matter what we believe about the ‘end times’”. I am a purist, so of course I believe that we need to value and honor God’s word and work hard to understand what it actually says, and not what some man says that it says, but many people think that means I am trying to be ‘holier than thou’ by saying that.
(2) I have read most of your posts, but I just can’t remember if you have dealt with this question, and get people asking me this a lot as well – since you believe that Jesus came again in 70 AD and accomplished what is discussed in Revelation, do you believe that Jesus eventually returns again to earth to ‘wrap up’ God’s eternal purpose? To me that doesn’t seem to make sense, because it seems to me that God has wrapped up His purpose in establishing His spiritual kingdom. And if He did, wouldn’t that violate the scripture in Hebrews 9:27 that says that it is appointed unto every man once to die?
(3) What are your thoughts on what heaven is like from the standpoint of faith? The bible teaches us to live by faith, and that is a major emphasis of our time here on earth, so I would assume that God would expect us to live by faith in heaven as well. Living by faith means that we trust and obey Him even when what we see and feel tells us that we shouldn’t, yet how can that be in heaven if there are no trials in heaven? I am just curious. I am not struggling with this, it is just a fun, curious thing to think about. Honestly, I don’t believe that heaven is going to be much like we have been told that it is.
Thank you for the positive feed back. It is so very rewarding to know that I may be reaching a few around the world, when I cannot make the indoctrinated ones in my congregation understand. They are comfortable with what they think they know, and will not investigate the scriptures thoroughly. So, I value every one who will be humble enough to seek out God’s word in truth and Spirit.
(1) IMO, and I think there is a very strong case for it, at its root the belief in a future return of Christ to “finish” His work is blasphemy as it presents Him to the world as a liar, and someone who failed to do what He said He would do. That is the position Peter took for a just a moment when he said to Jesus, “Not so, Lord.” He became in that moment an adversary to Christ who denied His word. Peter basically called Jesus a liar. And, what was Jesus’ response? I believe that those who deny Him now, and will not see that He finished the salvation work the Father charged Him with will have to answer that same charge when they stand before God. How will they answer it? I truly believe they are in danger, and that it is a salvation issue. I addressed this in the Part VI of It’s Not The End of The World series.
(2) No. Christ finished it all. He established His kingdom and the method of salvation through baptism (immersion) into His name. Such a simple thing, and yet the majority of the Christian world is kicking against it. We now have to answer that call, and it is up to us to be obedient to His terms. The process is in place, and He takes care of all those who have complied, and remain faithful unto death. We have the promises always before us that if we are faithful to repent of our sins and confess them, then He is faithful to forgive us, and will remember them no more. We are clothed in His righteousness, and will stand robed in pure white before Him at our resurrection from this earthly realm. What more could we ask for? I believe that He will keep this process going as long as there are souls that will answer His call. Otherwise, He would be putting a limit upon His grace, and Christ’s sacrifice. I can’t see that happening.
(3) Just for fun… I can imagine a lot, but, 1 Cor. 2:9, “…“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” As there will not be any liars, nor murderers, nor thieves, nor any unbelievers there, can you imagine a place where every one you meet will be a friend, and someone you can trust completely? Where we will not have to doubt another’s word, nor hold a reserve about meeting new people? Can you imagine a place where everything is more real, more beautiful, where colors are more intense and more vivid than here? Can you imagine the brilliance of the scene in the throne room in Rev. 4:3? Or the pavement like sapphire stone under God’s feet (Ex. 24:10)? We will have a true Eden, God’s garden. This earth realm is a copy of the true things in heaven (Ex. 25:9, 40; Heb. 8:5) So, I can imagine a lot, beautiful blue seas, wonderful green trees, and flowering plants, etc.; but right now that is only speculation. I certainly long for that beauty and that peace.
Thank you again.