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1
The Antitypical Fulfillment of Old Testament Typology Concerning Ancient Israel:
- Conditional Types of Unconditional Antitypes
by Lysimachus

PART 1

Dispensationalists as well as Messianics attempt to derive literal, detailed fulfillments of Ezekiel 38 and 39 and a number of other related prophecies, but I must emphasize, they fail to recognize the differences between conditional types given specifically to the literal, geopolitical, national State of Israel, and unconditional antitypes which will ultimately reach fulfillment through Jesus Christ and His faithful followers--His entire body of saints.  The descriptions in Ezekiel 38 and 39 are types of a much greater fulfillment yet to come. Revelation's version of Gog and Magog is the antitype version as revealed by Jesus Christ to the His Prophet John. The events foretold in Ezekiel 38 and 39 were conditional types of unconditional antitypes. Had Israel remained faithful, God was going to fulfill this prophecy of Ezekiel in "type" (literally, with the Children of Israel). But since Israel did not keep their end of the bargain, God will still fulfill this prophecy, but this time in "antitype" to God's worldwide Spiritual Israel (this includes a literal remnant of converted Jews of course). 

To give an example of types that will never be fulfilled: Notice that according to Ezekiel chapter 38 and verse 5, the nations of Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are mentioned in this great battle as "prominent" world powers.  Let us raise the question: Are we to apply these nations as significant powers in our modern day? Just the fact that these nations were mentioned in Ezekiel 38 only shows that the Prophets were speaking in accordance to the world that they knew at that time. But these nations become symbolic types of Enemies of God. John in Revelation 20 and 21 now simply derives the unfulfilled types of Ezekiel, and Zechariah, and now shows how they are going to be fulfilled in the antitype form--with the Heavenly New Jerusalem at the end of the millennium and the earth made new. Those were conditional types. Had Israel remained faithful, and accepted the Messiah, these prophecies would have met fulfillment in such detailed manner as described in Ezekiel, and they would have destroyed ALL their enemies around the actual city of present-day Jerusalem. The problem with modern-day evangelicals is that they read passages in Old Testament books such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Zechariah, etc., and they take every word so literalistically, that they try to mesh and blend in these conditional type prophecies to the literal nation of Israel with Daniel and Revelation's unconditional antitypes, and it makes the prophecies virtually impossible to understand.  We cannot confuse the two.  We cannot fail to recognize that God's promises to the direct nation were conditional in nature, yet will ultimately and unconditionally be fulfilled to God's faithful people, the seed of the woman!  The New Testament antitypes must be employed as the expositor of the Old Testament types.

Let us ask, what are Types and Antitypes?

Type = "to prefigure; to foreshow; to represent by typical or figurative resemblance; a pattern, emblem, type, image, or imitation"...

Antitype = "the actual fulfillment of the type, but in a much greater form, yet still resembling the type", or better yet, in the actual Greek, "a replacement of the type", or "in place of the type"

Types and antitypes are never identical but only similar. In fact there must be differences in many respects. "As there must be a similarity or analogy between the type and the antitype, so there is also a diversity or dissimilitude between them. It is not in the nature of the types and anti-types that they should agree in all things; else, instead of similitude, there would be identity. Hence the apostle, wilst making Adam a type of Christ, yet shows how infinitely the latter excelled the former (1 Cor. 15:47). So the priests of old were types of Christ, though He infinitely excelled them." "Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopedia," article "Type". The same author mentioned as examples of "Actions Typical", "the deliverance out of Egypt, passage of the Red Sea, sojourn in the wilderness, passage over Jordan, entrance into Canaan, and restoration from Babylon."

An example might be that the sacrificing of the lamb was the Type. Christ dying on the cross was the Antitype.

Did Christ actually literally die by being slain by a priest in the courtyard of the Temple? No, because Israel chose to convict him as a false prophet. They slew him as a convict, not as a lamb. Had Israel accepted Christ as the Messiah, Jesus would still have had to die to pay the penalty of sin. But they would have performed it ceremonially, and he would have been sacrificed in the Temple Court. Though the type came to a fulfillment, it came to a fulfillment antitypically, and it did not occur the same way the type foreshadowed it--yet STILL met its fulfillment!

In the same manner, we are to take these prophecies of Ezekiel 38,39, and many others from the Old Testament and apply them as conditional types of ancient Israel that will now meet their unconditional fulfillment in a "similar, greater, yet not identical manner" in Revelation to modern-day Spiritual Israel, which is realized in the Church, which are the heirs according to the promise (Gal 3:29).

Dispensationalists continue to argue that God will never revoke his "land promises" to National Israel, therefore, 1948 becomes highly significant.

Allow me to clarify: We do believe the land-promises will be fulfilled, but at the end of the millennium. In other words, we believe that the New Jerusalem will descend from heaven and physically settle in Palestine, on the Mount of Olives, and Israel, the embodiment of the saints from all ages, will physically, and literally inherit the land. What we do not believe, however, is that this takes place at the beginning of the millennium. We do not believe it makes sense for wicked people to be amidst Christ and His people for 1000 years. What nuisances--who wants wicked people all over prancing about the surface of the earth in a time of "peace"? I don't believe that the term "reigning" means we will reign over wicked people, because Revelation 22:5 tells us that the saints will "reign for ever and ever" after the earth has been made new.  Unless we are to conclude that wicked people will exist forever, even in the earth made new?  I could not imagine even a less learned dispensationalist concluding such a ridiculous notion.   I believe that every Bible verse that Dispensationalists (or Messianics) use to apply to an earthly reign is to be applied at the end of the millennium, not during the millennium.

It is important to realize that the New Testament employs itself as the antitype of Old Testament types. This means that the New Testament employs itself as the focal point in fulfillment of Old Testament patterns. Exodus 25:9-40 describes on how the Sanctuary materials were made after a pattern, and the Hebrew for pattern is "tabniyth", and it means a form, plan, figure, image--equivalent to "tupos" in the Greek.

In Hebrews 8:5 the sanctuary was an "example" and "shadow" of heavenly things. In Greek, the word for "example" is "hupadeigma", which means an "example, an imitation, a figure, a copy", and the word for shadow is "skia" means an "image cast by an object and representing the form of that object." These words are very similar to "tupos" and "antitupos".

So in essence, the Mosaic sanctuary was a pattern, a type of heavenly things. With this in mind, it becomes clear that the local and literal settings of the land of Palestine, Jerusalem, the Temple, and the Jews, were a type of the worldwide saints with the Heavenly Jerusalem being the capital of the saints. The saints of the New Covenant make up the spiritual Davidic Sanctuary, and the New Testament Saints come to God through the Priestly Ministry of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary--the Antitypical interpretation shows that the literal settings of Ancient Israel served as a Type, or a Pattern, of worldwide Spiritual Israel.

It's important to realize that many of the prophecies, such as that of Ezekiel 36-48 have, been, REDEFINED by the Prophet John. John takes the prophecies of Gog and Magog and Jerusalem, originally meant for national Israel, and now applies them at the END of the Millennium in Revelation 20--which now will be fulfilled when God defends the New Jerusalem against the onslaught of Satan and his wicked hosts. Revelation 20 is also the antitypical version of Zechariah 14.

"When the Jews rejected Christ as the Messiah, God in turn rejected them and commissioned the Christian church as His chosen instrument for the salvation of the world (Matt. 28:19, 20; 2Cor. 5:18-20; 1Peter 2:9,10; etc.). Accordingly, the covenant promises and privileges were all permanently transferred from literal to spiritual Israel (Rom 9:4; cf. Gal 3:27-29; see on Deut. 18:15). Promises not already fulfilled to literal Israel either would never be fulfilled at all or would be fulfilled to the Christian church as spiritual Israel. Prophecies that fall into the latter classification are to be fulfilled in principle but not necessarily in every detail, owing to the fact that many details of prophecy concerned with Israel as a literal nation situated in the land of Palestine. The Christian church is a spiritual "nation" scattered all over the world, and such details obviously could not apply to it in a literal sense. Prophecies of the former classification cannot now be fulfilled because they were strictly conditional in nature and limited in scope, by their very nature, to literal Israel." (Raymond Cottrell, The Role of Israel in Old Testament Prophecy, Section VIII)

Commenting on Types and Antitypes regarding Ezekiel, Bob Pickle insightfully states:

Quote
How should we view Ezekiel's prophecy? Now for the proposal of a fourth explanation. Ezekiel's yet unfulfilled prophecy is clearly a type of the new earth. Therefore we may say that it is a prophecy about a conditional type of an unconditional antitype. Because of Israel's sins, the type will never take place, though the antitype will definitely come to pass. (Bob Pickle, Does Dispensationalism Allow to Be Fulfilled The Very Prophecies It says Must Be Fulfilled?)

In conjunction with the article cited in the above quote, I also recommend another article by Bob Pickle entitled Ezekiel's City: Calculating the Circumference of the Earth - Evidence for the divine inspiration of the Scriptures. By comparing Ezekiel's city with Revelation's New Jerusalem, it provides a way to calculate the precise circumference of the earth from the Scriptures. Also, upon close investigation, you will discover that Ezekiel's prophecy concerning the city he saw was a small scale model of the earth made new, while the Temple was outside of the city a minimum of 5,000 cubits away to the north. Hence, in technical terminology, Ezekiel's city, temple, and map were types or symbols of the antitypical New Jerusalem, Temple, and New Earth of Revelation.  Otherwise, if the prophecy is to be fulfilled as it reads to the literal land of Palestine, the Temple  must be rebuilt outside Jerusalem to the north (Ezek. 45:1-6), and Jerusalem would need to be totally rebuilt in the form of a perfect square, with three gates to a side (Ezek 48:31-34). Not to mention the entire reconstruction of the city measurements given by Ezekiel.  Can the entire city of present-day Jerusalem be reconstructed to these dimensions within a period of 3 ½ to 7 years? Sound reason and logic demand this an impossibility, if not wild speculation. Dispensationalists truly have a major problem on their hands, and this is without even mentioning the scores of insurmountable difficulties we have not as of yet even begun to scratch the surface of.

Therefore, when we understand Old Testament prophecies with these lenses, we see therefore how many of these prophecies (such as sacrifices, and feast keeping) will no longer be fulfilled in detail to the literal nation of Israel, rather, "antitypically" to the worldwide body of saints.  The sacrifices have met their end at Christ's death (antitypically), and feast keeping will be kept literally, in heaven, at the great supper of the Lamb. :)

The "New Moons" (meaning, monthly) will be celebrated when we convene at the Tree of Life once a month. :)  (See Revelation 22:2 [Antitype] and crossreference with Isaiah 66:23 [Type])

(To be Continued to Part 2)

2
Once Saved Always Saved?
Can a believer who is saved choose to be lost?
by Lysimachus

PART 1

Introduction

The question is asked, “If a believer accepts Christ as his personal Saviour and is born again through the spirit, does this ensure his salvation to the point where it is impossible to lose it?” Let us turn to inspiration from both the Old Testament and New Testament and see what we are instructed in this matter:

Old Testament
Part I

Scriptural References

Ezekiel 33:11   "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?"

Here we first see the Lord warn the wicked to turn from their evil ways.  The wicked have been given this choice.  The choice is given to them so that they may choose life by turning from all that is wicked or they choose to remain in their deplorable condition by sinning against the Lord.   The Lord is grieved when men choose the second choice.  He takes no pleasure in destroying the wicked.  He desires for ALL to choose life! But does this choice also apply to the righteous? Let us continue unraveling the word of the Lord for truth and understanding.

Ezekiel 33:12   "Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth."

This verse makes it evident that a choice to choose the opposite (life or death) is available to all whether they are among the wicked or the righteous.  Neither side of the spectrum locks an individual in their condition as long as the door of mercy is still open.  The option for life or death is given and mutual for both the wicked as well as the righteous.  A righteous man may live a life of righteousness, but if in the end transgresses against the Lord and does not repent, all his lived out righteousness cannot save him if he sins once and falls short in making intercession for it.

Ezekiel 33:13   "When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it."

This next verse continues on from verse 12 by clarifying that no one can cling to their righteousness and expect it to save them should they commit iniquity and sin.  If a man lives out an entire life of righteousness and sins against the Lord in the end, all of his righteousness shall not be remembered and he shall die for his iniquity of which he committed.

The scriptures could not be clearer. It leaves no room for error. A righteous man cannot expect to obtain eternal life if he chooses to not remain righteous. We shall continue on with more texts from Ezekiel, but before we continue, we must first understand the definition of “righteous”.

We have now established that in order for a righteous person to be righteous, he is saved providing he remains faithful in this current state. We are clearly told that a righteous person can turn away.  Now let us examine the correct definition of a righteous person: According to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, to be “righteous” means to be free from guilt or sin.

Dictionary Definition: Righteous
1 : acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin  ~ Merriam-Webster Online (http://www.m-w.com/)

A “righteous individual” is most certainly equivalent to a “saved individual”.  He is saved as long as he remains faithful and watches unto prayer lest he should stumble.  This makes it crucial that we do not utilize the term “saved” loosely among Christians, as the majority of Christians do not take heed to the fact that even after you are saved it is still possible to fall if a strong effort is not made on your part to remain that way.  To coin the term “saved” on an individual is to judge that person without really knowing whether there still could be sin in their lives.   The term should be cautiously used—making it clear that without diligent effort on our parts, we can still fall by the way side.

As we continue through Ezekiel, we now see that the door of mercy is still open for one who has committed iniquity against the Lord:

Ezekiel 33:14,15   "Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die."

In other words, if we turn away from our evil ways and walk in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, we shall live.  Once we have been converted, we must continue to walk in the paths of righteousness; otherwise if we fall back into sin and fail to repent, we shall surely die.  Scripture is especially clear on this matter.

Ezekiel 33:16  "None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live."

The word "live" in this context would be equivalent to being "saved".  Salvation is now fully ours. If we repent from our sins, all that we have done wrong will be erased from the book of records. Isn't that wonderful? What a merciful, all-loving God to do such a thing.

Next we read:

Ezekiel 33:17, 18   "Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby."

Here we have an incredible statement. So is it possible for a righteous person (one who is free from guilt or sin) to turn away from his righteousness, commit iniquity, and die? We have just been clearly told that this is the case.  No righteous person can live in assurance that he cannot lose salvation without continuing to keep his eyes fixed on Jesus.  If he does not strive with earnestness and with much prayer to continue to do all that is right in the sight of the Lord, he will lose sight of Him and surely die.   
 
Ezekiel 33:19   "But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby."

Once again, we now see that the wicked (one who has turned away from his righteousness) who turns away from his wickedness and repents, he shall be forgiven and saved!

In chapter 18 of Ezekiel, we see the same concepts repeated:

Ezekiel 18:20-28 (20) "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. (21) But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. (22) All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. (23) Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? (24) But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. (25) Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? (26) When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. (27) Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. (28) Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die."

In Ezekiel, we see not only how a righteous person can lose his salvation if he turns away from his righteousness, but chapter 3 emphasizes the importance of warning the wicked. If we fail to warn the wicked of their evil ways, we will be held accountable and their blood will be upon our shoulders:

Ezekiel 3:18-21 "(18) When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. (19) Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (20) Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. (21) Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul."

In summary, Ezekiel 3:18-21; 18:20-28; and 33:11-19 demonstrate unequivocally, and unapologetically that 1. A righteous person can turn away from God and be lost, 2. A wicked person can turn away from his wickedness and be saved, 3. A righteous person who does not warn the wicked of their evil ways can be lost, but if they warn the wicked of their evil ways, they will not be held accountable, for at least they have done their part.

We shall continue by providing a few examples of various individuals who once walked with God and turned away from Him from the Old Testament.

Examples from the Old Testament

Saul:

Saul was a man chosen after God’s own heart.  From the start he honored God and was faithful to him.   The spirit even fell upon him and he prophesied:

1 Samual 10:10-13   "And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came upon him (Saul), and he prophesied among them. And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?  And one of the same place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets? And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place."

Later we see another example of the spirit of the Lord falling upon Saul:

1 Samuel 11:5-7   "And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh.  And the spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.  And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent."

Later, after Saul is now king, we see him waver and disobey God:

1 Samuel 13:13,14   "And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.  But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee."

This was the beginning of Saul’s turning point.  From this point on he began to backslide against the Lord; although God did grant him mercy a number of times so that he might be saved.

1 Samuel 15:8-11   "And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.  But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.  Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,  It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night."

God would not have chosen a man to be king of Israel had he not been a righteous man.  God chose a righteous man to be captain over Israel, but this man turned back from following Him.  Had he remained faithful to the Lord, God would have worked marvels for Israel and most important of all, Saul’s soul would have been saved. 

1 Samuel 16:14   "But the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him."

1 Samuel 31:4-6   "Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.  So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together."

Saul’s probation came to a close.  The Lord would no longer hear Saul, so Saul replaced the Lord by fetching the witch of Endor.  Finally, that terrible day of battle with the Philistines came and Saul killed himself by falling upon his own sword.

Balaam:

In Numbers, chapters 22-24, and 31, we read concerning the life of Balaam, a prophet of the Lord.  Balak, king of Moab, knew that the words spoken through Balaam had powerful spiritual meaning, and thus summoned him.  He believed that if he could get Balaam to curse Israel, it would come to pass.  However, Balaam told Balak’s servants and the princes of Moab that the Lord would talk to him concerning the matter that night.

Numbers 22:8   "And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam."

The Lord did speak to Balaam that night and told him not to go with the servants or to curse Israel for they are blessed by God.  Balaam at first heeded the warning and refused to go with the servants.  But eventually greed got the best of him. 

Numbers 22:18   "And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more."

Had God given Balaam the choice to go and curse Israel, he would have gladly done so if he had been offered a house of many treasures.  But Balaam was yet willing to hear out the word of the Lord, and the Lord told him if he should go with them he could only say that which the Lord would put in his mouth.   We see in this that when a Christian desires to do something bad enough that is not approved of the Lord, He will let them have what they wish so that they may learn a lesson and see just how far they are willing to go against the Lord.  God was testing Balaam, and Balaam was failing.  The Lord did not really wish for Balaam to go with the princess of Moab, but Balaam was determined to go and so he went. 

For this the Lord’s anger was kindled against Balaam and sent an angel with a flaming sword to block the pathway Balaam had taken.  Balaam did not see the angel but the ass of which he rode did and attempted to turn off the path.  For this Balaam’s temper exploded and he beat the animal with his staff.  So then the Lord spoke through the animal and asked “What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?” Balaam was so enraged that he still did not perceive that it was the Lord preventing him from continuing his journey and even answered the beast by saying it had mocked him and that if he had a sword he would slay it.  The animal responded by then saying “Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee?” And Balaam answered and said, “Nay.”     

Not until the angel of the Lord appeared to Balaam with a sword did he bow down to the angel and submit to the Lord.  But the angel told Balaam to continue the journey, but only to speak those words which the Lord would speak to him. When Balaam arrived at Moab with the princes Balaam warned Balak that he could speak only that which the Lord would put in his mouth to say. But Balaam was wishing for the Lord to permit him to curse Israel.  However, each time when Balaam attempted to curse Israel, blessings came out.  God was still giving Balaam a chance to give up on his worldly ambition, but Balaam persisted to go against the will of the Lord.  He eventually counseled the children of Israel to trespass against the Lord and therefore was slain in battle between the Israelites and Midianites.   

Let us remember that even when we walk with the Lord, we may still turn back if we do hold fast to the profession of our faith and resist Satan.

(To be continued...next: New Testament - Part II)

3
The Israel of God and the False Charge of "Replacement Theology"
by Lysimachus

Does the Church really replace Israel?

Dispensationalism, in contrast to Covenant Theology, teaches that God has two distinct plans to save His people. One for Israel, the other for the Church. It has been argued by many who adhere to Dispensational ideology that those who subscribe to the notion that Israel is now realized in the Church is subscribing to a term they have coined known as "Replacement Theology". The negative connotation behind this term implies that in essence, they are try to accuse us of being "anti-semitic" in nature, that we have "replaced" Israel with the Church and that there is no longer hope for them.  In my paper entitled The Romans 11 Problem Concerning "All Israel", I argued the fact that we very much believe there is hope for any Jewish person on an individual basis, but that God has ceased to work with Israel as a national, distinct geopolitical entity in regards to finishing the work and carrying the keys of the gospel commission to the world.

In this paper, however, I will deal specifically with the charge that we believe the "Church" has "replaced Israel".

Contrary to popular opinion, we who believe that Israel is realized in the Church do not believe in "Replacement Theology". Those who truly understand the concept realize it to be "Continuation Theology", as God has always had a people for his name.

Please pay careful attention to the following typology:

The Church is Now the Caretaker of the Vineyard:

- Conditional Type (Israel is the Vineyard):

"(1) Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: (2) And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. (3) And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. (4) What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? (5) And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: (6) And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. (7) FOR THE VINEYARD OF THE LORD OF HOSTS IS THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry. (8 ) Woe unto them that join house to house, [that] lay field to field, till [there be] no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!" (Isaiah 5:1-8)

Thus we clearly see that the Vineyard is the House of Israel.

Now let us move on to see what this Vineyard consists of:

- Conditional Type (Vineyard would consist of Strangers):

"And they [the Gentile strangers] shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And STRANGERS SHALL STAND AND FEED YOUR FLOCK, and the SONS OF THE ALIEN shall be your plowmen and your VINEDRESSERS." (Isaiah 61:4,5, see vs. 1-11 for full context)

As we can see, the prophecy in Isaiah 61:1-11 foretells of a day when the strangers would stand and feed the flock, and they would would be the husbandmen, or "vinedressers" of the Vineyard (Israel).

Now take careful notice to the fulfillment of this prophecy:

- Unconditional Antitype (The vineyard was taken from national Israel and given to another nation):

"Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away…. Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to vinedressers, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the vinedressers took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those vinedressers? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto OTHER VINEDRESSERS, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be TAKEN FROM YOU, and GIVEN to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." (Matthew 21:18, 19, 33-43)

At this point, there should be no doubt whatsoever that Christ in Matthew 21:33-43 is clearly alluding to Isaiah 5:1-8 and 61:1-11.

Now please notice the clear allusion Hosea makes concerning the outcasts of Israel (or strangers) as now becoming the people of God:

"Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that IN THE PLACE where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God....And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God." (Hosea 1:10; 2:23)

In Romans 9:25,26, Paul repeats these words of Hosea!

Let us raise the question: Who then would be the caretakers or operators of the vineyard (the House of Israel)?

Answer: The strangers and aliens in Isaiah 61:4-5 would become the operators of the Vineyard!

We see clearly how non-Jewish people become very much apart of Israel!

Now pay close attention:

Israel has not been replaced, its vinedressers have:

The kingdom (the Vineyard) was to be taken from them and given to a nation (the strangers) bringing forth the fruits thereof! The Church is the new husbandmen for the House of Israel, the Vineyard. We see therefore how "Israel" has not been "replaced", rather the husbandmen known as the "caretakers", or the "trustees", or the "operators" or the "vinedressers" have taken over Israel. That SAME kingdom "Israel" has now been given over to new operators, the Church! This is why it is an absolute fallacy to call this theology "Replacement Theology". If anything, it is "Continuation Theology". Israel has not been replaced; just its vinedressers have been replaced. Israel "continues", but with new caretakers. We now can make perfect sense of phrase in Romans 11:25 that says ... ...blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Come into what you ask? Into the "House of Israel". In essence, before the whole House of Israel can be "saved", it must be "filled". Filled with what? Well, its vinedressers! And who are these vinedressers? The strangers. And who are these strangers? The Gentiles!

Another way to describe it is that God does not "replace Israel", He simply gives the vineyard (Israel) to new vinedressers (the Church). The Church continues to care for the Vineyard. The National State forfeited its chances to continue the vinedressing. It doesn't hurt to describe it yet another way: Israel was impregnated with the Church. See Micah 4:8-10.

I believe that the unity of the Bible teaches that the 12 Apostles replaced the 12 tribes of Israel, and are the foundation for the Church, which is the Spiritual Israel of God. This is not replacement theology, because only the operators (husbandmen) of the vineyard (Israel) are replaced, not Israel itself, as Israel was a spiritual name given to a literal man from its inception. See Gen. 32:28. The members of God's true Church are the Operators (husbandmen) of the Vineyard (Israel). Israel has not been replaced by the Church, rather, the Operators or Caretakers (the Jewish nation) of Israel have been replaced.

Summing up the Evidence

Isaiah 5:7 tells you that the vineyard is the "house of Israel". Verse 4 tells you that God would "take away its hedge", or [protection]. Isaiah 61:1-11, especially verses 4 and 5, tells you that the Vineyard (Israel) would be plowed by strangers (gentiles), who will be the ones to "feed the flock". This is the Church. Then the passage tells you that it will be the "strangers" who will be the "vinedressers". Jesus in Matthew 21:18, 19, 33-43 repeats this concept that the vineyard (Israel) would be let out to other husbandmen (the Church), which would replace the Jewish National Establishment to care for the House of Israel. Jesus says unequivocally, and unapologetically states that the KINGDOM (Israel) would be given (not replaced) to another nation (the Church) bearing fruit. Hosea 1:10 and 2:23 tells us that the children of Israel will be "as the sand of the sea", which will stand "in the place" of where it was said to them "ye are not my people". Paul in Romans 9:25,26 repeats this same concept. When all these pieces are put together, suddenly the phrase "until the fullness of the Gentiles come in" makes perfect sense. Come into what you ask? Into the "house of Israel" and operate the vineyard!


The Church is now the Little Flock:

- Conditional Type (Israel was the “flock”):

"As a shepherd seeketh out his FLOCK in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel." (Ezekiel 34:12-14)

"He shall feed his FLOCK like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." (Ezekiel 40:11)

"Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock." (Jeremiah 31:10)

- Unconditional Antitype (The Church is now that "flock", founded by the 12 Apostles):

"Fear not, little FLOCK; for it is your Father's good pleasure TO GIVE YOU THE KINGDOM." (Luke 12:32)

"And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils." (Mark 3:14,15)

"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)

Truly, one does not need a Ph.D to see that 1. Israel was called "his flock", 2. The 12 Apostles were now the "little flock", 3. Beginning with the 12 Apostles, Christ would build His Church, and 4. The "KINGDOM", meaning Israel, would be given to this "little flock"! This is a CLEAR allusion to Matthew 21:33-37, where Christ said the KINGDOM (meaning, the Vineyard) would be TAKEN AWAY and GIVEN to another NATION bearing forth fruit! In other words, the Vineyard, or the House of Israel, was now given to NEW VINEDRESSERS--the CHURCH! There is absolutely NO QUESTION that the Church began with the 12 Apostles--the Spiritual Israel. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the number of Disciples Christ chose reflected the 12 tribes of Israel! The 12 tribes of Israel were replaced by the 12 Apostles! The Kingdom of Israel (the Vineyard) was GIVEN TO THEM! Once again, this is not Replacement Theology, it is Continuation Theology---Israel now has new operators, caretakers, or vinedressers--and these are known as the Church. Israel has NOT been replaced, its caretakers have.

An Analogy

Imagine a father that entrusts his son with a pair of keys. He says "son, I want you to take good care of these keys", and then he notifies his son that these keys are for all the doors of the house. He also warns his son that if he does not take good care of the keys, the keys will have to be taken away from him.  So his son in turn promises to take good care of the keys, and he gives them to him. After enough time transpires, however, the father discovers that his son has damaged the pair of keys, and has even left several doors to the house open. More than once he lost them, and did not take careful heed to his father's instruction. After his son has abused his privileges enough times, the father then says "son, I am going to have to take these keys away from you and give them to someone else I can trust", and so he does exactly that.

This is exactly how it works concerning the promises to Israel. The house of Israel is has been and always will be a spiritual concept. The Jewish nation was given the keys to the House of Israel, but they forfeited their rights to the keys for the house.  The key, or trustees, were therefore taken from the Jewish nation--the geopolitical theocratic establishment--and given to the Church, which comprised of Jews and Gentiles. These in-turn have become the "caretakers", the "keepers" of the house of God.

The promises to Israel are never made to an ethnic race, but rather, to the House of Israel, and all those who are filled up in it--whether they be Jew or Gentile.

Recommended Study:

I recommend the following thoroughly researched paper that is related to this topic:

The Israel of God by D.S. Farris

Recommended Audio Series on the Israel of God, by Mike Warren and D.S. Farris:

The Israel of God - Part 1

The Israel of God - Part 2

The Israel of God - Part 3

The Israel of God - Part 4



4
The 70 Weeks of Daniel 9 - Vindicating the Historical-Messianic Computation

Part 1:

The following information is quiet in-depth, and will take some thorough review in order to effectively wrap your brain around.  For decades now, Christians have been left in a state of confusion concerning the 70 weeks of Daniel 9:24-27 due to the fact that scholars constantly throw mathematical formulas at them. The average layperson will simply accept what their scholar tells them, simply for the fact that they are incapable of understanding all the intricate mathematical complexities, and therefore, just end up exercising some faith in their professor that they obviously "must know what they are talking about". Over the years, I have been able to delve into these mathematical complexities and my purpose here is to show how the Lunar-Reckoning of the 70 weeks has been a device of the enemy to confuse souls, and steer them away from the simple formulas that God has ordained.

I will now commence with what I believe to be the Biblical and correct reckoning of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9:24-27:





As seen in the illustrations above, those of us who subscribe to the "Historical-Messianic Computation" of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9:24-27 believe they begin in 457 B.C. and end in 34 A.D. The "1 week" is from 27 A.D. at the baptism of Christ to 34 A.D. at the stoning of Stephen and the commencing of the proclamation of the gospel to the gentiles. Christ was crucified in 31 A.D., in the "midst" of the week. We believe this is one of multiple reasons why the 70th week cannot be "detached" and thrown into the future.

As Historicists, we reject the Dispensational/Futurist "lunar-calendar reckoning" of 360 days to a year for the 70 weeks. We compute this timing using regular Solar years, or 365 days. After exhaustively weighing all the research and evidence, we do not believe Dispensationalists have any sound basis for using Lunar years.  Our rejection of the Lunar reckoning for the 70 weeks is not only based on historical research of the Lunar year usage, but also on sound mathematical principles using astronomical calendar calculators. Later in this dissertation, I will show why both Anderson's and Hoehner's Lunar calculations are seriously flawed, and that Solar reckoning is the only possible way to "make the numbers work out". The 70 weeks are in alignment with the sabbatical cycles, which in-turn is based on Solar years, not Lunar. To summarize, we believe that the historical and biblical evidence demands the first 69 weeks (483 years) to have commenced at the decree of Artaxerxes' 7th year in 457 B.C. for Ezra to build and restore Jerusalem (Ezra 7, as well as ancient accounts testify to this), not Artaxerxes' 20th year in 444 or 445 B.C. Counting 483 regular Solar years from this date brings us to 27 A.D.

What happened in 27 A.D.? The Messiah, Jesus Christ, was Baptized and anointed by the Holy Spirit (See Luke 3:21,22; 4:18, 21 [cf. Isa 61:1, 2]; Acts 10:37,38), and was “revealed” as the “Messiah” [meaning, “anointed one”] (See Jn 1:35-41; Matt 16:16; Mark 8:29; Jn 11:27). In the Greek, Cristos [translated, “Christ”] means “Messiah”, or “anointed one” (See John 1:41). We know that Christ's baptism was in 27 A.D. simply for the fact that Luke 3:1 informs us that His baptism was in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius, and the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius was 27 A.D. when taking into account that Luke was 1) using Jewish non-accession-year reckoning, and 2) taking the year into factor when Augustus took Tiberius into partnership as co-emperor, and not beginning with his “sole rule” [Scholars, such as Eugen Ruckstuhl, in Chronology of the Last Days of Jesus, p. 6, date the 15th year of Tiberius as October 1, A.D. 27 to September 30, A.D. 28.]. (Critics have tried stating that the 15th year of Tiberius was actually 28 A.D, not 27 A.D. These mathematical problems are resolved in this website here: http://www.daniels70weeks.com/).

That leaves 1 week left. Adding 7 years to 27 A.D. brings us to the year 34 A.D. Christ's ministry lasted for 3 1/2 years, and is reasoned by accounting the number of Passovers that transpired during Christ’s ministry in the gospel accounts [See the following link for an image with the list of scriptures used to add up the number of Passovers: http://bit.ly/19CRlYY]. According to Daniel 9:27, "he" (meaning Christ, NOT Antichrist) would bring an end to the spiritual significance of the sacrificial system by His death on the cross. Christ was "cut off" and crucified in the "midst" of the week in the year 31 A.D. For 3 1/2 more years the disciples continued to preach to the Jews. At the end of the 70 weeks (or 490 years), we finally arrive at the year 34 A.D. when the last prophet was sent to Israel, Stephen. In 34 A.D. is when Stephen was stoned by the Sanhedrin, the leaders of the Jewish nation. This was national Israel's final sin. This was the year that Saul was converted and became Paul. This was the year that Peter received the vision of the net to go preach to the gentiles. This year was also practically about the time Phillip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch. This was the year that the Gospel went out to the Gentiles. This was the year when probation closed for the Jews as a nation (not as individuals). This was the END of the 70th week!! So the 70 weeks prophecy meets an EXACT fulfillment between 457 B.C. and 34 A.D.

The 70 weeks of Daniel 9:24-27 must commence at Artaxerxes first decree in 457 B.C. during his 7th year, not his 20th year in 444 or 445 B.C. Contrary to criticism, the decree of 457 B.C. truly does meet the qualifications of the command/decree of Daniel 9:25 to "build and restore Jerusalem".

We must keep things very simple, however, to start with. Start with 457 B.C. Was it 458? Not after they discovered that the Jews of Elephantine used accession-year-reckoning for Artaxerxes, and the Jews of that time used a fall-to-fal calendar (Horn and Wood, The Chronology of Ezra 7, pp. 75-90; Neh. 1:1; 2:1). If a king ascended the throne during a year, it wasn't until the NEXT year that it was recognized as "year 1". Once this was discovered, the 457 B.C. date became vindicated. Now, let's forget 457 B.C., and say that we can't count from Artaxerxes' 7th year (457 B.C.), rather, his 20th year in 444 B.C. (some say 445) The argument is that it has to start in Artaxerxes's 20th year according to Nehemiah 1 and 2, because, according to the theory, the decree in Ezra 7 does not actually meet the requirements of Daniel 9:25 to "restore AND to build Jerusalem...and the wall". The argument is that there was no command given in the decree to Ezra to "build the wall". Well, that is easily solved once we go to Ezra 9:9 --

"For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to GIVE US A WALL IN JUDAH AND JERUSALEM." (Ezra 9:9).

There is no doubt that this decree (mentioned in Ezra 7) was quite lengthy, and it most certainly included the command to rebuild the wall. Ezra was obviously not documenting all the elements of this lengthy decree in chapter 7.

Professor Gerhard F. Hasel succinctly states:

"It is argued that the decree of Artaxerxes I to Ezra does not refer to a rebuilding and restoration of Jerusalem. It may, however, be inferred that the Jews understood such to be the king's intention. The biblical evidence is that the wall and other aspects of the city were largely constructed by Ezra (Ezra 4:7-23; 9:9). The fact that Nehemiah's building program was accomplished in only 52 days (Neh 6:15) is mute evidence that the bulk of the rebuilding already had been done before Nehemiah's arrival." (Gerhard F. Hasel, 70 Weeks, Leviticus, Nature of Prophecy, p. 28)

If we start in 444/445 B.C., we're forced to use the Lunar Calendar (360-day lunar years), and assuming the 70th week is still future, that brings the 69th week to 32/33 A.D. As I will soon demonstrate from Bob Pickle's documentation, this would put Nisan 14 on a Saturday or a Sunday. This does not line up with Passover. Major problem! If we leave the 70th week attached, that puts the crucifixion about 35 or 36 A.D. This TOTALLY goes against the account of Luke 3, where it says Christ was baptized in the 15th year of Tiberius, and archaeological records put the 15th year of Tiberius in 27 A.D.! Counting a total of 4 Passovers in the Gospel accounts, that puts Christ's death on Nisan 14, 31 A.D., which was on Friday.

"Some also argue that the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple (mentioned in the prophecy) requires a termination in A.D. 70 rather than A.D. 34. However, that may be countered with the fact that it is the death of the Messiah (predicted within the prophecy) that sealed the fate of the ceremonial system as well as of the national state. The events of A.D. 70 are simply the subsequent external consequences of the advent and death of the Messiah, the chief foci of the prophecy.

While objects can be made to all four of the major interpretations of Daniel 9:24-27, the historical-messianic interpretation does not appear to be subject to the chronological, exegetical, and historical difficulties encountered by other systems. It thus recommends itself as the most adequate of the major interpretations."
(Gerhard F. Hasel, 70 Weeks, Leviticus, Nature of Prophecy, p. 28, 29)

Here is a powerful document I recommend that really breaks down the Biblical issues concerning Daniel's 70 Weeks:

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9 ~ by D.S. Farris

(Continue to Part 2)

5
The Romans 11 Problem Concerning "All Israel"
by Lysimachus

Dispensationalists constantly appeal to Romans 11, and especially verse 26, to prove that the national state of Israel plays a role in Bible prophecy, and will be "saved" as a distinct and separate entity separate from the Church.  However, we believe this theology is not based on a careful enough reading and study of Romans chapters 9-11.

The context of Romans 9-11 actually clearly teaches that the Olive Tree incorporates both Jews and Gentiles. The Olive Tree is ultimately Christ, and Christ is the embodiment of Israel. Those natural branches that were broken off because of unbelief are not promised unconditionally to be grafted in again, rather "IF they abide not still in unbelief" (Romans 11:23), they will be grafted back in again. So the promise is clearly conditional. In addition, it might be added that when a Jew accepts Christ, he is automatically grafted into the Tree. But there is only one tree, NOT two trees, one for Israel and one for the Church, as dispensational ideology would have us believe.

Paul clearly teaches that "all Israel" (vs. 26) will not be saved until (Gr. Achri, "as far as") the "fullness of the gentiles come in" (vs. 25). This proves that Israel is composed of Gentiles, and this is why verse 26 says "And SO all Israel shall be saved". The Greek word "so" is Houtos, and it means "in this manner." In other words, "In this manner, this is how all of Israel will be saved". Dispensationalism would have us believe that this word "so" means "then". But that's not what the verse says. The House of Israel gets filled up with Gentiles, and it is the Church that becomes the operator of the vineyard, Israel. Paul's words can only be understood in the light of the rest of scriptures, otherwise, if one interprets Romans 11 by itself, they are susceptible to come to faulty conclusions, and ultimately, those faulty conclusions will force one to conclude that Paul contradicts himself with Galatians 3:28,29 [cf. Isa. 41:8]; Galatians 4:22-31; Galatians 6:16; Ephesians 2:11-21; Ephesians 3:3-6; 1Corinthians 7:19; 1Corinthians 12:13; Romans 2:24-29; Romans 9:6-8; Philippians 3:3; 1Peter 2:5,9, and a host of other texts.

We have to allow Paul to interpret Paul, and let him define what the "Israel of God" in Galatians 6:16 means.

Now let me be clear on something. God will protect and save any Jew who accepts Christ, regardless of where he lives. God loves the Jewish nation just as much as He loves France, England, Japan, China, Australia, Spain, or any other nation.

- French will be saved, but not "France"

- English will be saved, but not "England"

- Americans will be saved, but not "America"

- Chinese will be saved, but not "China"


The same it will be with the Jewish nation. Jews will be saved, but not "The National Jewish State of Israel". God's "Israel" is no longer defined by a piece of real-estate in the Middle East or ethnic lineage. But those Jews will be grafted into the Body of Christ, which is the Church, the remnant of Israel. And THIS is "how ALL Israel will be saved". In THIS manner.

God will protect all faithful Jews.

Now we are NOT to negate the fact that there will be a remnant of literal Jews in the end. I believe this with my whole heart. I believe there will be a literal remnant of Jewish people. While God's covenant is closed to the National Establishment of Israel, mercy is still open to Jews on an individual basis.

The problem, however, has to do with how dispensationalists are "conceptualizing" it. One must first remove Dispensational goggles to ascertain the following:

These Jewish people who repent will be grafted into the parent stock, which is Jesus Christ, the embodiment of His Church, since the Church represents the "body of Christ" (1 Cor 12:27; Eph 4:12). So this "remnant of Jews" is automatically, recognized in God's eyes, as "part of the Church"...not a separate body. If Christ recognized them as a separate body, this would contradict Ephesians 2:12-19; 3:6, which states unequivocally and unapologetically that the wall of partition has come crashing down at the cross, that "both have been made one", making "one new man", in "one body" and that the strangers have become "fellow citizens with the saints", and the Gentiles are now "fellowheirs", and of the "same body" in Christ Jesus.

The Church is the Church, no matter how many Jews make up of it, no matter how many remnant Jews in the end repent. Any Jew that accepts Christ is automatically grafted into the stock of Israel. It is now a spiritual concept, not a fleshly, literal concept based on ethnic lineage!

John the Baptist already taught that the "Axe was being laid at the ROOT of the tree" (Matthew 3:10; Luke 3:9), and Jesus said that the "fig tree" would grow no more fruit on it from that point forward and "forever" (Matthew 21:19). The fig tree was another national emblem of Israel, along with the olive tree (Hosea 10:1; Jeremiah 24:5; Hosea 9:10; Joel 1:7,12). This is why Jesus said "Your house is left unto you desolate" (Matthew 23:38; Luke 13:35).

In Hosea 1:6, we see the termination of the literal, local, kingdom of Israel, was foretold by the meaning of the name "Lo-ruhamah." It reads: "And God said unto him, Call her name Lo-ruhamah, that is, not having obtained mercy: for I will have no more mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away" (Hosea 1:6). When the prophet's third child was born, God said "Call his name Lo-ammi, that is, not My people: for ye are not My people, and I will not be your God." (Verse 9). The rejection, and later, the restoration of the northern ten tribes are taught in the meanings of the names of the prophet's children. The prophecy of Hosea 1:10 and 11 is based on the meanings of these names. Paul, in Romans 9:22-28, presents the spiritual interpretation of Hosea's prophecy: through the Gentiles accepting Christ! "The numberer of the children of Israel shall be as the sands of the sea." (verse 27).

6
The Rapture & Second Coming - A Single Unified Event
by Lysimachus

The Central focus of this topic is on two verses: Matthew 24:31 and Mark 13:27.  The purpose of this study is to prove that both of these verses are speaking of the same rapture event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.

The Pre-Trib world tries to divide the Second Coming into "two" events. First, the rapture of the Church at the beginning of the "7 years tribulation", and then 7 years later Christ comes back "WITH" his Church saints to destroy the enemies of Israel and setup His earthly millennial kingdom in present-day Jerusalem (ahemm...yes, the old warn-torn down city!).

There is a big problem with this philosophy, however. Hebrews 9:28 says unequivocally, and unapologetically that Jesus will "appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Heb 9:28 )

Not two more times. Not three more times. But ONE more time. The "second time!"

As I'm sure some of you know, those who believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture believe that 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 is referring to the "rapture", not the Second Coming. The problem, however, is that verse 15 calls it the "coming [parousia] of the Lord", and verse 16 clearly says the "Lord himself shall descend from heaven". Then verse 17 says that the resurrected dead and the living will be caught up to meet the Lord "in the air". So where is the Lord?  He's in the air. Not in heaven, but in the air.

Pre-Trib Rapture proponents want us to believe that Jesus will descend from heaven two more times. Not one more time.

It's a WHOLE lot more simple than that, really, as we shall now see:

All we have to do is compare 2 Thess 2:1,2 with Matthew 24:31.

Remember, Matthew 24:31 is the verse that is supposed to be the "second coming", not the rapture, according to Pre-Trib rapture proponents. What does Matthew 24:31 say?

"And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matthew 24:31)

They place this event at the end of the 7 years, when the "Church saints come back with Christ". But let's compare the above verse with what Paul tells the CHURCH!

"Now we beseech you, brethren [The CHURCH], by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand." (1 Thessalonians 2:1,2)

Did you just catch that? Whoa! Sounds like Paul is no doubt talking about the VERY same thing as Matthew!

The Pre-Trib Rapture, proponents, however, will try to convince us that Matthew 24:31 is not talking about any catching away into the clouds of heaven. Rather, they believe that Jesus is coming to "gather them in one place on the earth", not into the sky.

There is a big problem with this conclusion, however. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the "synoptic gospels". They all talk about the "same thing".

How about we read Mark's account of Matthew 24:31? Shall we?

Here we go:

"And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven." (Mark 13:27)

Now how about we analyze the Greek:

Understanding the Greek of Mark 13:27:

"And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from [Gr: Ek, 'out of'] the four winds, from [Gr: Apo, 'away from'] the uttermost part of the earth to [Gr: Heos, 'until' 'as far as 'up to'] the uttermost part of heaven." (Mark 13:27 (same as account as Matthew 24:31, but with more details)

Amazing! Did you just catch on what is transpiring here?  This verse alone completely destroys any last trace that the Second Coming and Catching Away into the clouds (rapture) are two separate events!

Dispensationalists say this event is describing the Second Coming, yet they completely fail to grasp that Mark 13:27 is clearly implying the "gathering together" of the Church into the clouds of heaven, just as 1 Thess 2:1,2 and 1 Thess 4:13-17 is. Mark's account along with the Greek CLEARLY implies that the Lord will gather his people out of the atmosphere after he has brought his people away from the earth up to or as far as the sky. These scriptures are not, in the remotest way, illustrating the return of Church saints with Christ at His glorious appearing. The word "Heos" (to) represents "going up" or "as far as" (See Luke 10:15, John 2:7; 2Cor 12:2; Heb 8:11).

Therefore, when Jesus comes the Second Time, where are the Church Saints that Paul was addressing "gathered to"?

They are gathered up into the sky (the heavens) at the revealing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven!

From there, we will be taken to heaven. Jesus clearly tells us that He is going to prepare a place in heaven for us, and he will receive us to take us there (John 14:2,3), and Revelation 19:1 concerning the future, John saw "much people in heaven, saying Alleluia". (Revelation 19:1)

Now let's think about this carefully. If the Rapture of ALL the saints from all ages takes place AT the Second Coming, and they are taken to heaven, what does the Bible say will happen to the wicked at the same time?

Go ahead now and read 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:5.

Now I want you to notice some interesting points about this passage:

1. The Righteous Dead Saints are resurrected

2. The Righteous Dead and Living Saints are caught up and gathered into the sky, where Jesus is, in the air, receiving them (imagine the earth turning, and vacuuming up all the saints into the clouds of heaven)

3. The wicked shall receive "sudden destruction" (5:3), and shall "not escape" (5:3)

Paul in 1 Thess 4:15-5:5 is describing all the things that will happen in this SINGLE event!

So, if all the righteous are taken to heaven, and all the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of His coming (see also 1 Thess 2:8 ) and receive "sudden destruction" and shall "not escape", how many people does that leave on the earth during the millennium?

The simple math leaves zero, zilch!  Jeremiah 4:23-28 tells us that there is no man left on the earth and all the cities are broken down at the presence of the Lord! It also tells us that the earth is left "desolate", and the "heavens will be black". The earthly reign on the earth will not commence until all the saints return with Christ and the New Jerusalem at the end of the millennium.

In All Peace that Passes Understanding,

~ Lysimachus

P.S. For those of you who are interested in evaluating this study on the Rapture and the Second Coming deeper, I invite you to evaluate the following Radio Audio Program as well as the accompanying PDF document:

Radio Program: The Rapture & Second Coming ~ by Mike Warren and D.S. Farris

Accompanying PDF Document: Christ's Second Coming ~ by D.S. Farris

7
Greetings brothers and sisters!

For years Adventist teachers have traditionally taught that the doctrines inherent in Dispensational Futurism can be traced back to the Jesuits, primarily Cardinals Francisco Ribera (16th century), Robert Bellarmine (16th century), and Manuel de Lacunza (18th century). However, when this information is put forward to some of the more learned Dispensationalists of this era, they come back with a seemingly convincing counter-argument that Futurism originates in the teachings of the early Church Fathers in the 2nd and 3rd century A.D. long before any Jesuits existed. This they claim is “proof” that the Jesuits were not responsible for the doctrines of Futurism in the Protestant world. Getting to the bottom of this problem, some diligent Adventist students of Bible prophecy and history decided to delve much deeper into this subject to see if this claim is true. The results in this research were quite shocking, and it is something EVERY Adventist teacher, pastor, evangelist and professor needs to become aware about!

The primary purpose of this email is to encourage you to listen to the following Radio Program by Mike Warren and D.S. Farris, along with D.S. Farris’ accompanying document entitled “Futurism: The Counterfeit Prophecy” found at the bottom of this email. However, below is a summarized outline of facts to get your feet wet concerning the issues that will be discussed in the Radio Show and accompanying document in relation to the major problems of Dispensational Futurism.  To many Dispensationalists, the following information may prove to be quite shocking.  There is much to chew on here that is not discussed within eschatological circles:


A Summary of the Origins of Dispensational-Futurist Theology:

1. The Jesuits created the modern system of dispensational futurism. Although the Jesuits derived certain aspects of this myth from "futuristic elements" embedded in the teachings of the early church fathers, the evidence is clear that they elaborated the elements of this myth from the early church fathers as a tool to destroy and counter the Protestant Reformation by attempting to lift the heat off the Papacy as the identity of Antichrist.

2. The theological elements of Futurism are derived from the extra-biblical writings, such as: The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, The Sibylline Oracles, Baruch, 1st and 2nd Esdras, T. Levi, The Ascension of Isaiah, etc. etc.

3. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha writings were written by Hellenistic Jews. These Jews mixed Babylonian, Persian, and Greek paganism with Judaism.

4. Long before the first advent of Christ, mystical Jews believed that an anti-messiah would come and oppose the Messiah; the anti-messiah was called "Beliar"; and he was believed to be the devil incarnate in human form.

5. The early Church Fathers such as Ireneaus, Hippolytus, Apollinaris and others, borrowed Futurist elements from these mythical, pseudepigraphal writings, which served to shape their views of end-time events.

6. The Jesuits created Futurism from the Beliar myth found in these writings, indicating that modern Dispensational Futurist theology is nothing more than pagan mythology convoluted around real scripture.

7. The Protestants of the Reformation era knew about this fable, and Protestants separated the real Bible from the extra-Biblical writings.

8. When the Protestants studied the Bible without the fables of the Catholic Church fathers - the Beliar myth - they clearly identified the Papacy as the Antichrist.

9. Modern Protestant Churches the world over have abandoned the Protestant Reformation, and they now teach Catholic theology from the Council of Trent which commenced in 1545 A.D. The Jesuit Cardinals Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) and Robert Bellarmino (1542-1621) in the 16th and 17th centuries were foremost at setting out to accomplish this Protestant destroying task in scraping every bit of knowledge they could formulate from the Early Church Fathers to concoct and repackage the fantastical Jesuit scheme of Futurism. Jesuit Cardinal Manuel de Lacunza in the early 19th century, also an advocate of Futurism, deliberately attempted to take the pressure off the papacy by proposing that the Antichrist was still off in the future, and also laid the foundation for much of modern-day dispensational ideology. On the other hand, the Spanish Jesuit Luis de Alcazar (1554-1613) in the 16th and 17th century was set to the task of concocting the Preterist scheme. Both schemes blossomed about the same time and successfully got the "heat" off the Papacy from detection of Antichrist. It took about 300 years before the Protestant world allowed itself to become infected by these two deadly viruses. Dr. Maitland, James H. Todd, Henry Newman (who later became a Catholic Cardinal after accepting Futurism), Irving, and later Darby and Scofield all came to accept major elements of Ribera's and Bellarmine's fantastical views of a singled-out, future, one-man Antichrist (stemming from the Beliar myth that comes from Persian dualism and Zoroastrianism) as well as the incredible disjointed "gap" theory by which the Jesuits adopted from Hippolytus' erroneous construing of the first 69 units, or weeks of years, as reaching from the first year of Cyrus (or Darius the Mede) to the incarnation of Christ--a chronological impossibility without elongating the period. This "faulty reasoning" of Hippolytus inspired modern Futurism's "gap" theory.   

10. Dispensationalism is simply another branch of Catholicism—developed by the Jesuits in the Counter Reformation. After all is said and done, the Roman Catholic Jesuits must still be identified as being responsible for concocting and inventing the Futurist schemes of prophetic interpretation seen so rampant today in the Protestant and Evangelical world. Why? Because they concocted their Futurist interpretations based on outdated futuristic elements embedded in the teachings of the Church Fathers who thought the world would end no later than AD 500, not to mention many of their Futuristic views were shaped through the lenses of the extra-Biblical, Psuedepigraphal books written by uninspired authors. After the passing of some 1000 years, the Protestant Reformers were able to look back in retrospect comparing history with prophecy and were clearly able to see the manifestation of Antichrist and that Little Horn of Daniel 7 in the Roman Church State.

It now becomes the duty of the reader to verify and evaluate the data which supports these facts for themselves. Although it will be very tempting for any Dispensationalist to ignore this material, to such I entreat with utmost sincerity; that they wholly refrain from the temptation to embark upon this injurious mindset. May the truths presented in this exposition ring loud and clear in the Protestant and Christian world! My research has lead me to conclude that not only is Dispensational-Futurist ideology wholly at variance with the Sacred Declarations of Holy Writ, but also an ideology developed by the Counter Reformation, and will be used as a catalyst to help bring about the New World Order. I invite you all to listen to the following Radio Audio program as well as read the accompanying documents to help establish a foundation for all the forthcoming material. The proof is in the pudding, and I believe you will find in the following radio program and document all the necessary sources to back up the claims outlined above..

Click Audio: The Truth About Dispensational Futurism - Part 1 & 2 (2 hour Radio Program) - by Mike Warren and D.S. Farris

YouTube version: Cut 1 - Cut 2 - Cut 3 - Cut 4 - Cut 5 - Cut 6 - Cut 7 - Cut 8 - Cut 9 - Cut 10 - Cut 11

Along with the above audio/radio program, I recommend the following document that goes along with the audio above:

Futurism: The Counterfeit Prophecy (PDF Document) - by D.S. Farris -- this article goes along with the audio program above - (NOTE: I STRONGLY ADVISE you to read it thoroughly FROM BEGINNING TO END CAREFULLY, as it will lay a crucial foundation. It is my sincere prayer and hope that the data presented in this article will not be ignored by any dispensationalist or futurist.)
- Differences Between Protestantism And Catholicism, The Jesuit Scheme Of Prophetic Interpretation, Ribera and Bellarmine, The Early Church Fathers, EXTRA BIBLICAL INFLUENCES ON THE CHURCH FATHERS, The "Beliar Man"

P.S. The above Radio Program and Document can be found at http://www.HearingTheTruth.org (these men hold to Adventist beliefs, and have done a PROFOUND job in their research. You can find their full list of audio programs as well as a free online copy of D.S. Farris' book entitled: "Prophetic Toolchest for Dismantling the Dispensational Delusion" (about 550 pages long divided into 12 chapters). Feel free to support their ministry if you like what you read and hear.

8
Greetings brothers and sisters!

Below is included an article I wrote which is essentially an excerpt from upcoming book, "Vindicating the Historicist Hermeneutic".  The name will probably later change to something more understandable to the public, such as "Vindicating the Historical Approach of Bible Prophecy".  In the past, I have sent the following article to some of you, but regardless, here is a highly updated and revised version.  Included in a link below is the Printable PDF version which includes a “Misconceptions Corner” that deals with some misconceptions pertaining to Historicism.  For those of you who do not know what "Futurism", "Preterism", or "Historicism" is, I suggest you scroll down to the bottom of this article to the "Recommended and Related Sources" section is, and there you will find plenty of information to study up on.  Included in these sources is an article that traces Jesuit Futurism back to not only "futuristic elements" from the early Church Fathers such as Irenaeus and Hippolytus, but shows that these Church fathers borrowed these "futuristic elements" from elements found in the Pseudepigraphal (extra-biblical) writings written by Hellenistic Jews, and stemming back all the way to the Beliar Myth and Persian Zoroastrian dualism. You will also find a distorted version of Daniel's 70th week in some of these extra-biblical writings which were clearly unbiblical and not part of the sacred Canon of scripture.

I will be continuing to send necessary tools to as many of those who advocate the Historicist position of Bible prophecy as I can to help them vindicate the faith in these times when our doctrines are being severely tested by the fiercest opposition. Says an insightful author: "Some are not close Bible students. They are disinclined to apply themselves diligently to the study of God's word. In consequence of this neglect they have labored at great disadvantage and have not, in their ministerial efforts, accomplished one tenth of the work which they might have done had they seen the necessity of closely applying their minds to the study of the word. They might have become so familiar with the Scriptures, so fortified with Bible arguments, that they could meet opponents and so present the reasons of our faith that the truth would triumph and silence their opposition." (2T, 499)

This reminds me of the Bible passages that say:

"For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist." (Luke 21:15)

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15)

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." (Ephesians 5:11)

My expertise is dismantling the ideologies inherent in Dispensational Futurism and Pretribulationalism, yet at the same time I respect and admire the strong faith that many proponents of this ideology hold.  It is my prayer that these materials will prove to aid Bible students in the cause of vindicating and defending the foundational pillars of our faith.

Enjoy!

We will begin with the following article:

The Antichrist Beast Power - Exclusively a Single Man?
by Lysimachus

The most popular argument pertaining to the antichrist circulating in the Christian world today is that the Antichrist cannot be the Papacy because he must be exclusively a single man who rules for an exclusive future period for a literal 1260 days or 3 ½ years. They say that a man can simply not live for 1260 years long; therefore, the Papacy does not fit this criterion.

But is this criterion Biblical?  Do we interpret the words of Daniel, Paul and John to such literalism that we completely miss what they were truly trying to convey?

Allow me to quote Tim McHyde, a staunch Futurist proponent from TimMcHyde.com who comments on the Historicist perception in an attempt to refute its hermeneutic concerning the Antichrist.

Notice:
Quoting McHyde:
----------------------------------------------------------
Has the Prophecy of the Beast / Antichrist Already Been Fulfilled in the Papacy?

Historicists believe that the Great Tribulation is 1260 years long and that there is no gap in the 70 weeks of Daniel. Believing the 70th week has already been fulfilled years ago, the Antichrist then must also be history. Who was he? Since the papacyarose out of the 10 horned kingdom of the Roman Empire, they conclude that the papacy is the Antichrist.

Is this right? Once again, this site tries to raise awareness that prophecy is not to be read any differently than the rest of the Bible. We are not allowed to break scripture, i.e. come up with an interpretation that breaks the plain face value meaning of it. Does Historicism pass this test? We will see that to believe any of these things you have to give very strained interpretations of many plain passages.


Is the Beast a Man or an "Institution"?

It says the Beast of Revelation 13 is a man who later in Revelation 19 is cast into the Lake of Fire with the other beast of Revelation 13, the False Prophet. Historicism changes this from a literal man to a symbol representing a manmade institution, the papacy. This unauthorized allegorization of the plain text breaks scripture and must be rejected, even if throwing the papacy into the lake of fire where it is "tormented" with smoke rising as a result made sense (Rev 20:10). ~ (Tim McHyde, http://timmchyde.com/historicism-antichrist/)
-----------------------------------------------------------
End Quote


In response, I will begin by respectfully saying that these arguments put forth reveal a complete disregard for the consistency required in order to arrive at well-balanced conclusions on prophetic interpretation in relation to symbolism. They are completely devoid of sound and logical exegesis once put up to the Biblical test.

The Bible gives us the rules of interpretation.  We do not need to guess.

Please take careful notice as we break down the rules of prophetic interpretation in relation to kingdoms and powers:

1. Daniel 7:23 tells us that the "fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the earth". Therefore, we see that a Beast represents a kingdom. Not a single man.

2. Revelation 13 does not call the Beast "a man", rather, it uses the terminology "he". If this beast is "one man", how does he have 7 heads and 10 horns?  Daniel also tells us that horns can represent kingdoms.  Daniel 8 verses 9 and 23 prove this without a shadow of a doubt, that these 4 horns are "four kingdoms".  Saying that a horn is a "king" is another way to express it (verse 21)--”simply for the fact that a king is the head of a nation, and the king is the representative figure OF a nation.

3. 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4 describes the Antichrist power as the "man of lawlessness", and "son of perdition". The argument that this must be exclusively one man in the future is based on poor exegesis, and we shall see why.  First of all, Paul warned that in his day, the "mystery of lawlessness" was already at work in his day (verse 7), and that this would continue ALL THE WAY until the consummation of our Lord, when "that LAWLESS ONE will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth" (verse 8 ). This proves that it cannot be exclusively a single man, because Paul unequivocally and unapologetically expresses that this mystery of lawlessness was already beginning in his day (yes, the very elements of Catholicism were already brewing through the savage wolves who were entering the church), and would continue ALL the way until the coming of the Lord. That's the Papacy for you! It began in Paul's day, it showed its head after Paul died, and it's still in existence today. A PERFECT fulfillment! It has received a deadly wound (Revelation 13:3) terminating its Dark Age reign, but this wound is in the process of being healed (13:12).

4. While it is undeniable that the Papal Church is headed by a single man, the Pope--”we must remember that at the same time it is wrong to assume that this "man of sin" must be exclusively and only a "single man in the future". We should have no doubt that the Pope is a physical expression of the "Man of Sin". However, let us be careful to not stretch this to the point that the "man of sin" does not "include" an entire system through its dynastical line of Popes. While Paul expressly uses "the Man of Sin" in 2 Thess 2:3, Paul also uses the expression "Man of God" in 1 Tim 6:11 and 2 Tim 3:17 which state: "But thou, O MAN OF GOD, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."..."That the MAN OF GOD may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

Let us raise the question: Is there only ONE "man of God"? It is interesting how Paul himself uses both expressions "The Man of God", and "The Man of Sin". We begin to see, therefore, that it is the officiating authority and seat of the Popes being spoken of here, not a single man exclusively isolated into the future.

5. Regarding the notion that it is "an unauthorized allegorization" to throw an entire system into the Lake of Fire, take careful note to the following texts which cause this argument to fall flat on its face:

"And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with HER, shall bewail HER, and lament for HER, when they shall see the smoke of her burning." (Rev 18:9)

"And HER smoke rose up for ever and ever." (Rev 19:3) -- compare with..."And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Rev 20:7)

Let us raise two reasonable questions:

(a) Who is the "HER" in these texts that is burning? It's the Harlot Woman of Revelation 17, is it not? And she represents the system of Babylon according to Revelation 17:18.

(b) If our critics can accept that this Harlot Woman is also a system that will burn for ever and ever, and that it is not a single woman, should it not be just as easy and reasonable for them to conclude the same for the Beast and False Prophet?

Just because the entire Harlot Woman system will burn forever and ever doesn't mean everyone who WAS in the system will burn with her. They will separate from her. This is why they are called to COME OUT of HER (Babylon)! (Revelation 18:4)

If the woman can be identified as a "she", yet represent a system (because we are called to "come out of HER") why can't the Beast also be referred to as a "he", and still be a system as well? The prophet Daniel in chapter 2 verse 38 refers to Nebuchadnezzar and says "THOU art this head of gold" concerning the dream of the great metal statue. Was Nebuchadnezzar the head of gold, or was it the entire kingdom of Babylon? Obviously both! But Nebuchadnezzar was the representative of his kingdom! Verse 39 says "And AFTER THEE shall arise ANOTHER KINGDOM!"

Are we now getting a clearer picture of prophetic terminology?  I believe so. A king and a kingdom are used interchangeably to represent a kingdom!  According to the literalistic principles laid out by Futurists concerning the Beast and the False Prophet, consistency would demand that the Harlot Woman of Revelation be a single and literal woman.  Are they willing to push it this far?  Or are they willing to allow the Bible to be its own interpreter?

If you have pet lion, and it is a male lion, and someone asks you "where is your lion?", what would you say?  You would say "he's in the cage"!  No wonder the beast of Revelation 13 is referred to as a "he". A ferocious beast is no doubt identified with a male. A male lion with wings is a "he" too. The lion in Daniel 7 is recognized by most Biblical scholars as "Babylon". Interestingly, Babylon is also represented as a "her" in Revelation.

Finally, and conclusively, we have that famous passage from Paul in Romans chapter 13 concerning the higher powers of Rome. In rebuking those who felt they needed to physically rebel and take up arms against the Roman Empire, as well as avoid paying their taxes to Caesar, please carefully notice Paul’s terminology concerning the Pagan Roman power:

"(1) Let every soul be subject unto the HIGHER POWERS. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  (2) Whosoever therefore resisteth the POWER, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  (3) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:"

[Now pay close attention to the following the rest of this passage:]

(4) For HE [the POWER] is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for HE beareth not the sword in vain: for HE is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." ~ (Romans 13:1-4)

Here we see that Paul unambiguously declares the power and system of the Roman empire as a "HE" and a "minister" of God to execute wrath upon those who do evil.

We therefore should be able to clearly see how these arguments put forth by both Preterist and Futurist authors against the historical understanding of the Antichrist are not built on solid principles of prophetic interpretation. Unbeknownst to the majority in the Christian world, much of this confusion is due to the infiltration of Jesuit works which began at the Council of Trent in the mid 16th century to counter the Reformation and eliminate from the minds of the people that the Antichrist of Bible prophecy could ever be realized in the Papal System.  It is my invitation to all Preterists and Futurists (and all those who subscribe to Dispensationalism and its kin) to abandon these Jesuit inspired theologies at once.  They were clearly meant to mask the identity of Antichrist so that the world can no longer see its applicability to Rome.  This is exactly what the Devil has been trying to accomplish with the Protestant Christian world for the last 500 years.

May God help us in these last days to study diligently so that we might discern what the Bible is truly trying to convey to us regarding these matters. Let us pray earnestly that we may not fall victim to false interpretations of scripture that can lead us down the path of deception, and ultimately, destruction.

May truth and righteousness reign supreme in our lives!

Recommended and Related Sources (links):

- Futurism: The Counterfeit Prophecy:
http://www.hearingthetruth.org/chapter8.pdf by D.S. Farris (This article traces Futurism all the way back to the extra-Biblical (Pseudepigraphal) writings stemming back to the Beliar Myth)

- Futurism's Incredible Journey:
http://secretsunsealed.org/downloads/futurismsincrediblejourney.pdf by Pastor Stephen Bohr (This article documents the incredible journey of Futurism, and how it has impacted modern Protestantism)

- Futurist and Futurism Truth:
http://www.futurist-futurism.com/

- Preterist and Preterism Truth:
http://www.preterist-preterism.com/

- Historicst and Historicism Truth:
http://www.historicist-historicism.com/

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