WHERE is the Israel of God? ‘Know ye not, ye are His Temple?’

FeaturedWHERE is the Israel of God? ‘Know ye not, ye are His Temple?’

(I cover a lot of ground in this one – a bit long but it will be worth the read for you as I begin to touch more solidly on the foundational thought for the revelation I believe I’ve had concerning the latter days & you will be able to see the direction I am going with this.)

Please read the two preceding posts (1st; 2nd), as I continue to lay groundwork of thought to share a particular revelation I’ve had.  To give a better explanation of what I am doing here I will say this: a mystery has been (I believe, rather conclusively) revealed to me about things concerning the latter days.  I see the great danger of misconceptions on this particular point – which I intend to get to when I seem to have liberty to fully release the specifics of the revelation.  Regardless of what comes in the latter-days, we can be prepared through full knowledge, and understanding of the Gospel.  Indeed, as I mentioned in a previous post – not all latter-day revelations are found in the books of Daniel, and Revelation; rather as God declared, He is the LORD that speaks the things of the end from the beginning:

Isa 46:9-10
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

I am not one given to theological trends, I believe the admonishment to ‘prove all things, and hold fast to that which is true.’  (1 Thess. 5:21) So, I’m not really blowing smoke when I say I believe I have received an important revelation regarding the coming days.  As I hope my readers can perceive as I lay this ground-work my perspective is based upon plain scripture, and if not you oughtn’t to read my works at all for it is written:

Isa 8:20
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

The Messianic Age

I have been speaking of the New Covenant era – in the first post I showed three authoritative testimonies which plainly state that the covenant of God is no longer exclusively with people of Jewish descent (teachings from John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and Paul the Apostle – ‘let every matter be established out of the mouths of two, or three witnesses.’ (Deut 19:15; Matt 18:16; 2 Cor 13:1; 1 Tim 5:19)).  According to these three witnesses, no one is accepted as the people of God except they receive the Messiah: Jesus Christ.  Those who are genealogical Jews are counted NOT to be Jews (God’s people) if they do not receive Jesus Christ, and those who are not genealogical Jews are counted to be Jews (God’s people) if they receive the Messiah: Jesus Christ.  ‘Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.‘  (Gal 3:7)

In the second post we looked at an example which conclusively verifies that under the New Covenant God’s people are NOT BOUND to the Old Covenant statutes or regulations.  Each one is accepted by God – and given the Holy Spirit upon the merit of their faith in Jesus Christ alone.  We saw that the three essential ordinances to receive salvation under the old covenant (and the three defining staples of the Jewish religion), namely:

  1. The covenant of circumcision
  2. The Law of Moses
  3. Submission to the Levitical priesthood

which all Jews HAD BEEN held strictly enforced to follow were no longer necessary practice under the New Covenant.

Some have posed the thought that we are in the ‘age of the Gentiles.’  I pointed out this thought in a previous post – so… do we live in an ‘age of the Gentiles?’  No, that thought would presuppose that the ‘age of the Gentiles’ will, at some point end – that salvation will once again be extended ONLY to Jews.  There is no scriptural precedent for that thought – furthermore, even under the Old Covenant Gentiles could be included in salvation by observing the three ordinances mentioned above (circumcision, law, Levitical priesthood).  We are not in the ‘age of the gentiles,’ we are living in the age of the Messiah – or the more scriptural term ‘the year of the Lord’s favor’ wherein ALL THOSE who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

In this current age we live in, all things are fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and salvation is open to every man, Jew or Gentile.  No earthly custom, culture, or religion need be observed – Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all righteousness before God.  This is the Messianic age, or age of Messiah – and it culminates not when the remnant of Jews return to God through Jesus Christ, but when Jesus Christ returns to the earth.  (Actually the biblical term for the age we live in is: ‘the year of the Lord’s favor,’ but here, it is far better described as the Messianic age, as the person of Messiah – Jesus Christ – fulfills all righteousness, and imputes it to those who believe in Him, apart from observing the law (Rom 3:28; Gal 2:16).)

(If you want to study these things in depth personally, the most concise places to find the distinctions between Old, and New Covenant doctrine in scripture is the book of Hebrews (wherein the writer explains Christ’s fulfillment of all three of these tenants of Jewish culture.) and Galatians.  If, after studying Hebrews you remain confused about whether we should continue to follow the Old Covenant traditions, then read the book of Galatians – where Paul strictly warns believers not to fall back into the tenants of the Old Covenant, lest they be quote: ‘FALLEN FROM GRACE.’ (Gal. 5:4))

WHERE is the Israel of God?

John 4:19-21
19 The woman saith unto [Jesus], Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.

20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye [Jews] say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, NOR YET AT JERUSALEM, worship the Father.

22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Where is the Israel of God?  Where is the place of the Lord’s habitation?

In the above conversation, Jesus clarifies that since the coming of Messiah (‘the hour cometh, and now is‘ – since Christ was in the earth already) a new mandate for worshiping God has come!  Thus Jesus is announcing this era that I have described above as the ‘Messianic Age’ – He clarifies this when He gives distinction to the fact that He, Himself is Messiah (v.26).  Once again, the distinction was the person of Jesus Christ – the Messiah.  Nothing else had changed, but Messiah – who is the fulfillment of all the law and the prophets had come, and was in the earth.

Not to go on too great a tangent, but a change from worship in Jerusalem would not only be a great change in the spiritual, and religious realms of Jewish society, but ALSO a great change in the social and political realms of Jewish life and culture.  From the time of King Solomon the temple in Jerusalem was the center of the economy in Israel – and was supported by the entire nation.  Not to go into too great a depth on that, basically, changing the mandate of worship in Jerusalem would change just about EVERYTHING in Jewish culture which was not already determined by the covenant, and the law.

Furthermore, Jesus declaration that worship in Jerusalem was not necessary is a direct statement that the era of temple-worship had passed.  What was the point of going to Jerusalem to worship?  The Temple – God’s dwelling place in the earth – was there.  But here Jesus declares that under the Messianic era (the era of the Messiah), God will dwell and commune with EVERYONE who worships Him in Spirit, and in Truth.  It was no longer necessary for people to go to Jerusalem to meet with God.

For Jesus to make the declaration that there was no further need to worship in Jerusalem is to completely liberate God’s people to serve and worship the Lord independently anywhere –  the formulation of their own communities for worship would be sufficient, no matter where they were!  In fact, this was precisely what the early Christians did in the book of Acts; taking the cultural synagogue practice to a new level (it is believed that the origin of synagogue meetings came about in the time of Israel’s exile, after the first temple had been destroyed).

This thought may bring immediate questions to why Jesus continued to teach in the temple, and why Paul, and other apostles continued to travel there.  The answer to that question is simple: to minister to the Jews.  When Jesus went to the temple, He taught, and healed the sick – He ministered to the Jews.  The Messianic age had begun (since Jesus had come into the world) but was not yet completed because He had not been crucified, raised and ascended to the right hand of the Father.  Yet regardless, physically He was a Jew by nationality, and by default followed Jewish cultural customs, though He was not bound by them – He is Messiah!  (Matt 12:8)

When Jesus came, He declared that He was come to minister to the ‘lost sheep of Israel’ (Matt 10:6; 15:24, etc.).  Thus, Jesus chief ministry, while in the earth was to the Jews.  Why?  Because this was – as He described it – the hour of their visitation (Luke 19:44).  God had sent His Word to the Jews first they were given the first opportunity to receive the Messiah (just as Paul, also declared it was quote ‘to the Jew FIRST’ (Rom 1:16; 2:9 – 11)).  There is no respect of persons (or of cultures, ethnicities, etc.) with God – Jesus went to the Jews first because their culture was instigated by God, because for all the years of time since Abraham, they had carried the knowledge (and the Word) of the One True God – they had the first opportunity to receive Him.

Jesus ministered in the temple, and according to Jewish custom because while these things were passing away (fulfilled in Him) the Jews could not receive Him if He did not act in a way that was consistent with their revelation of God.  He was already in process of delivering the disciples from the legalistic precedents of the law of Moses – declaring all foods clean (see previous post), making statements like: ‘the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.’  (Matt 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5)  (Which is to say, faith in Jesus Christ, and obedience to Him personally fulfills the requirements of the Sabbath.  Say: ‘MESSIANIC AGE’)

Even when Jesus commanded people to offer the sacrifices of Moses in His day it was not because they had to for the fulfillment of righteousness, BUT FOR THE PURPOSE OF TESTIFYING TO THE JEWS!  Look at this – Jesus heals a man of Leprosy; there was a specific sacrifice required by the law for one who was healed of leprosy, read what Jesus tells the man:

Matt 8:4 (Also Mark 1:44; Luke 5:14)
See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, FOR A TESTIMONY UNTO THEM.

Even while He walked the earth, Jesus wasn’t advocating the usage of the law to meet its righteous requirements, but as a testimony to the Jews!

Even after the revelation of the Messiah, when the fullness of the Messianic age was in place, Paul, and others continued to travel to Jerusalem and participate in temple services upon occasion, not because they had to – but so that they could continue to bring the testimony of Jesus Christ to the unbelieving Jews.  This was the clear perspective of Paul in continuing to follow Jewish customs, just as he plainly declared it was:

1 Cor 9:19-23
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Paul considered himself no longer to be bound by Jewish custom, but in order to continue bringing the testimony of Jesus Christ to the Jewish people, he occasionally followed Jewish customs.  And he says the same of the gentiles – to them that are without the law (gentiles) as without the law – i.e. he did not continue to follow the Jewish culture when with the Greeks, but Greek culture.  Notice the parenthesis in verse 21, where he says: ‘being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ’ this is a direct statement of the precedent I mentioned previously: OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST – not strict adherence to the law of Moses – is the fulfillment of righteousness in the Messianic age.

Paul’s usage of culture pagan, and orthodox is plainly illustrated when he preached the Gospel among the Greek philosophers, as a Greek intellectual on Mars Hill – a pagan place where no orthodox Jew would ever be found ministering (Acts 17:18-34)!  Among gentiles Paul did not follow Jewish culture, but the culture of the people where he was ministering – but at all times he ministered Christ no matter WHERE he was, or who he was with.

Know ye not, YE are His Temple?

Jesus Christ was not only the fulfillment of:

  1. the Covenant of Abraham – and thus circumcision passed away, and
  2. the law of Moses – and thus the letter of the law passed away (not the Spirit of it but the strict adherence to the letter of the law)
  3. the priesthood – by which the levitical priesthood passed away (we are now under the ‘Melchizedek’ priesthood, i.e. Jesus Christ, himself is the complete fulfillment of every priestly service we require (see Hebrews 4:14-5:10; 7-8:6; 9:11-28, etc.))  (Apologies that I have not gone into the further details of each these things; as I am blogging, and not writing a book most readers would find it over-tedious if I went into much further depth on these things than I have done in the last couple of posts.  The substance of what I am building to may well be important enough to merit a book, in which case I will fill these topics out more thoroughly therein (I’ve also found if you speak too long on the New vs Old covenant many pre-suppose you are anti-Semetic))

BUT Jesus was ALSO the fulfillment of the TEMPLE WORSHIP!  We no longer need to travel to Jerusalem – or any singular place – in order to worship God; if we are born again, we have permanent access to God through Jesus Christ wherever we are!  As He said: ‘the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.’

Heb 9:1 & 8-12
Then verily the first covenant had [<- HAD: PAST TENSE] also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.

8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, WHILE AS THE FIRST TABERNACLE WAS YET STANDING [<- PAST TENSE]:

9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;


11 BUT CHRIST BEING COME an high priest of good things to come, BY A GREATER AND MORE PERFECT TABERNACLE, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Under the New Covenant, the scripture declares that there is a GREATER, and MORE PERFECT TABERNACLE (or temple).  Jesus Christ was the fulfillment ALSO of the ‘tabernacle,’ or temple, itself:

John 2:18-22
18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

Jesus referred to Himself as the temple of God.  In context (and hermeneutically) He was speaking plainly of the temple of God.  This was not an amorphous saying where the word ‘temple’ – as Jesus used it here – could have been construed as anything other than the temple OF GOD.

Indeed, Jesus WAS the very temple of God, for He is the ‘fullness of the Godhead bodily’ (Col 2:9), and the ‘express image of His person.’  (Heb 1:3)

Even the Old Testament ministers, and prophets knew that God was too great to dwell in a building made with hands, for upon constructing the earthly temple even Solomon declared:

1 Kings 8:27
27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

Like the covenant, the law, and the priesthood, the temple itself is also fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  Furthermore each one of us, who is born again becomes the temple of God – for God comes to dwell in us.

1 Cor 3:16
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1 Cor 6:19
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

2 Cor 6:16-18
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Wherefore Jesus could plainly declare that men need not to go to Jerusalem, or anyplace else to worship the Father – for in receiving Messiah every Christian becomes the temple of God.

Further, the body of Christ – as a whole – is the temple of God in the earth.  For those who are not yet saved, the church universal is the temple.  This is not a PLACE they go in order to experience God, but a people they interact with: Christians.

Eph 2:18-22
18 For through him we both [Jews and Gentiles] have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:


Jesus Christ is the demonstrative human temple.  He is the chief cornerstone.

1 Peter 2:4-10
4 To whom [Jesus] coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Covenant, the Law, the priesthood, and the temple of God.  This is the blessed hope of the gentiles, and the stone of stumbling to the Jews.  This is a great stone of stumbling because Jesus Christ disannuls the entirety of Jewish culture as the appropriate response to God – but, of course, He was not singling the Jews out with this, adherence to NO culture is the appropriate response to God.  Only adherence to Jesus Christ, the Messiah is the appropriate response to God.

Now let us keep place in our minds, that does not mean that Jewish culture is bad – it was initially set in place by God.  Yet everything in the culture was prophesying of the coming Messiah.  One who has lived by the culture who rejects the Messiah’s fulfillment of it has been blinded to what that culture means, and his religion is worthless.  One who has lived under the culture, and RECEIVES the Messiah of whom it prophesied need no longer live under it, but keep step with the current covenant with God.

Where is the Kingdom? …Where is the Antichrist?

Luke 17:20-21
20 And when [Jesus] was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Above, Jesus plainly declares that the kingdom of God will not come with observation.  It will not be found in this place, or that place – but in the people of God: those who have made covenant with Jesus Christ.

(Now I begin to scratch the surface of the revelation I’ve had about the end-days:)

Under the New Covenant, the TEMPLE is NOT A BUILDING – the TEMPLE is the BODY of JESUS CHRIST, the Messiah.

If the temple continued to be a building – OR were once again a buildingthen the covenant of the body of Jesus Christ would pass away and salvation through Jesus would be void.  Everyone who wanted to serve God would have to, again, go to a geographic location to worship God – we would no longer have access to God wherever we are through Jesus Christ.  If the temple were a building, then worshiping God (under the BETTER covenant with BETTER promises) in Spirit, and in Truth would pass away.

The writer of Hebrews plainly declared that the worship of God in a building was based upon the OLD COVENANT, and was imposed only in CARNAL ORDINANCES (Heb 9:10) – NOT in Spirit, and in Truth.

So, I begin my warning: ‘Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there!

There will not again come a time – according to Jesus – when the Kingdom of heaven abides in some place that it can tangibly be said: ‘here it is,’ or ‘there it is.’  (Here’s the first major bombshell:) The Kingdom does not come with observation – it will not be found in the Vatican city; it will not be found in Salt Lake City, Utah; it will not be found in Mecca, Lhasa, or Varanasi; IT WILL NOT BE FOUND IN JERUSALEM.

Do not be deceived about constructing an earthly tabernacle – A TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM.  That, friend, would be a displacement of the body of Jesus Christ – that would be falling BACK into the rudiments of the CARNAL COMMANDMENTS (Heb 9:10).  In fact, it would be OUTRIGHT BLASPHEMY because it denies the person, work, ministry, and covenant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

To build a new earthly temple and presume to meet God in it (limiting Him) under the New Covenant era would be an abomination as the tower of Babel was an abomination.

But wait – 95% of my evangelical readers are now in a bind: ‘Doesn’t there have to be a temple built in Jerusalem to fulfill the prophecies of scripture regarding the latter days?  Doesn’t the Antichrist have to stand in the ‘Holy place,’ and declare that he is God?’

First I will say: No, I don’t believe so.  I believe that the fulfillment of those texts regard the SPIRITUAL temple under the New Covenant – which is a far more terrifying thought than that a building becomes inhabited by the devil!

But, before I get ahead of the revelation in answering that question fully – let me say this: I do believe that a new temple will be built in Jerusalem.  In fact at this point, I am as sure of that as I am sure that there will be a singular human Antichrist figure, but let me say this of the construction of an earthly temple in Jerusalem:


To construct a temple – a building of brick and mortar now that Messiah is come, and declare that God is in it (oh dear, I may be revealing more than I intended in this post) IS BLASPHEMY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT*(see bottom).  To attribute the anointing to a person (or place) where the Messiah’s ministry, work, and covenant has been rejected is the definition of ‘antichrist’:

1 John 2:22
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:3
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Any representation of God, which denies the Messiah has fulfilled all things is antichrist.


*Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (see Matt 12:22-35) I say beacause: In context, when Jesus spoke of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, it was due to the Pharisees calling Jesus’ miracles – which were wrought by the Holy Spirit – satanic (again, Matt 12:22-35).  Jesus equated the attributing of the Holy Spirit’s work to Satan as blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  Just so, surely the opposite is True, to attribute the work of the devil to the Holy Spirit is blaspheming Him.

Link to next in series: WHO is The Beast From the Sea?

Ere the Lamp of the Lord Go Out…

FeaturedEre the Lamp of the Lord Go Out…

Where there is no vision, the people perish…
– Prov 29:18

1 Sam 3:1-3
And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep

For those unfamiliar, the book of Samuel takes place almost immediately after events in the book of Judges.  The final verse in the book of Judges says this:

In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.  (Judges 21:25)

The kingdom, which was supposed to be ordered entirely by the Living God had forsaken the Lord, and digressed literally into a state of anarchy.  Due to this final verse in Judges, I have heard it speculated that God intended for the nation to be run as an anarchy.  This is entirely inaccurate.

God gave plain guidelines for this nation which He had called to Himself, they were supposed to be a nation of priests (Ex. 19:6).  Not only was the nation to be a kingdom of priests, but their king and ruler was to be God, alone (1 Sam 8:7; 12:12).

Yet how was the Lord to rule over the people?  If not via a king, what was God’s intended way to rule His nation of priests?  Actually, His desire from the beginning was  to have a personal relationship with each individual, and that they all might be led directly by Him.  However, when the Word of God spoke in an audible voice from the Mountain of fire the people feared, and with one accord they prayed that they would not hear the Word of the Lord, but that God would grant them an intermediary (Ex 20:18-22).

Because the people drew back from hearing the Lord for themselves, God declared that He would rule His kingdom of priests by the next best thing: the hand of a prophet (Deut. 18:15-18).  The prophet would act as intermediary between the people and God – as such, the office of prophet was a typological representation of the coming Messiah.

But even in his day, Moses, looking forward to the days of the coming Messiah declared this great restorative prophecy:

Num 11:29
…would God that ALL the LORD’s people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!

This prophecy of Moses would later be fulfilled in Acts 2.

Yet now back to the narrative of Samuel the prophet.

The book of Judges concluded with God’s nation of priests digressing into a state of total political, and social anarchy.  From the outset of the book of Samuel we see that the one thing remaining of Israel’s great spiritual dynasty was the religious service of the tabernacle.  Yet this, too, was in a dreadful state!

The high priest in Israel was a man named Eli, Eli was old, overweight (1 Sam 2:29; 4:18) and going blind (3:2).  In his physical state, Eli seemed to do very little of the temple service himself; almost every time we see him in scripture he is sitting, or lying down (1 Sam 1:9; 3:2; 4:13).  Eli’s two sons – Hophni, and Phinehas – who were carrying out the temple service were overtly corrupt, so much so that they would steal from congregants, and fornicate with women in the temple (2:22).  But the worst of their corruption was that they made the people to despise the sacrifice of the Lord (2:17; 2:29).  Thus, indeed, corruption had entered Israel at every level of its society – it was only a matter of time before the judgment of God would come, and even the priesthood of Israel would be cut off.

My, what a terrible state the nation was in!  The whole nation was corrupted with sin, even the very priesthood!  There was not a man in Israel to stand before the Lord, the entire realm had become – as the wife of one of the evil priest’s would later prophesy – ICHABOD meaning that God’s glory had entirely departed from the people, and the entire nation was left desolate.

Oh but hear this song of hope in the midst of the fallen priesthood:

1 Sam 2:18
But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.

What a great tragedy that there was no man in all the land of Israel to minister before the Lord!  But there was SOMEONE willing!  Even a little boy – a child wearing a priestly garment before God!

Now this is the stage set for the seed, the new hope of Israel – for the whole of the land was burned and charred with the corruption of sin, and in only a matter of a few years the very priesthood in Israel would be handed over to Satan.

Oh, but the child Samuel would soon carry that life which God had ever intended that the nation of Israel walk in – soon the light of the world would be imparted to a lonely little boy who had been given by his mother into a life of service to God.

1 Sam 3:1-3
And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep.

For those who have eyes to see, this passage fully defines the lack in Israel: that poverty for which the people would be handed over to the Philistines.  The WORD OF THE LORD was ‘precious,’ or ‘rare’ in those days.  What does this mean?  It goes on to give further clarification: ‘THERE WAS NO OPEN VISION.’

Specifically, this ‘vision’ speaks of PROPHECY.  The Hebrew word for ‘vision’ here is:

chazown (khaw-zone’); a sight (mentally), i.e. a dream, revelation, or oracle

Thus the ‘word of the Lord’ spoken of here, is not specifically the bible.  Bear in mind that they had the ‘Pentetuech’ that is the scriptures handed down from the pen of Moses (the first five books of the bible), as well as the book of Joshua.  (The book of Judges may still have been in the works for, as mentioned, 1 Samuel starts almost precisely at its tail-end.)

Some speculate that ‘open vision’ means a literal open-eyed vision as Ezekiel, and some of the other prophets had wherein they seemed to literally see heavenly beings and events with their physical eyes.  In this case that appears to be an inaccurate interpretation, for the word ‘open’ (King James) actually means something closer along the lines of ‘wide spread,’ or ‘given abroad.’

The trouble in Israel was that there was no widespread prophetic revelation.  The people of Israel were without the Spirit of God.  THERE WERE NO PROPHETS IN THE LAND.  Even the prophecy which was given to Eli, wherein God warned him of the coming wrath on his family was brought not by a ‘prophet,’ but simply by one called: ‘a man of God’ (1 Sam 2:27).

Bear in mind that God had promised to lead the nation by the hand of prophets.  Prophecy was intended to be widespread – the light of the kingdom.  But there was no open vision.


1 Sam 3:2
…it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

The high priest, himself, was losing his sight.  The correlation of his physically going blind is no coincidence; this is a prophetic parable of the state of the priesthood.  He who should be the most prophetic man in Israel was going blind.  He was not yet fully blind, as he would be the day of his death (4:15) yet at this time he had all but lost his perception of the things of God.

Israel had become a pagan nation which had not honored the Spirit of prophecy; of all those who knew the ways of the Kingdom that the LORD had instigated, only ONE priest who understood the ways of the Lord was left in the land – and he had compromised, and compromised until his complacency had caused his understanding to wax dim.

So it was that a nation designed to be filled with priests who communed with God, and walked in the Spirit of prophecy, had no widespread prophetic understanding.  Furthermore, even the high priest was going blind to the things of God – and the third and final horror is contained in the next verse:

And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD

The only remaining light was a dull flickering lamp in God’s temple.  The nation’s light was about to be entirely snuffed out.  If the light goes out entirely, there is nothing left in the whole world but darkness: death reigns with no hope of salvation.  Israel was like a man in some sort of a coma, barely breathing – at any moment the light could entirely flicker out and the nation of Israel would become just as the heathen kingdoms they had driven out of the land.

Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5) – this is speaking of the work and testimony of Jesus in the earth.  There must be a prophetic witness in the world.  The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy (Revelation 19:10).  God had to search out and find Himself a little boy who would regard the Word of the Lord.

Then in the dark of night, as a little boy faithfully executed the inept priest’s office, because he had made his heart right, for he alone set his face to worship, and honor the Lord – God spoke to that little boy.

Sadly, the nation was already too far gone – Eli the high priest was too complacent even to repent when warned of the wrath to come (1 Sam 3:18).  Judgment would come to Israel, the priesthood would die – the ark of God’s presence would be handed over to the devil.

But the light was not altogether diminished:

1 Sam 3:21
And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

And here is an interesting fact of scripture.  For Samuel’s first lesson was HOW TO HEAR GOD.  So learn carefully what this means, beloved children – from the perishing priest, his final flicker of illumination in the ancient ways; that which led Samuel fully into that blessed heavenly kingdom of light – hear carefully, and meditate on these words, until ye become prophets yourselves for I will not at this time reveal the mystery of it, but God shall reveal it to you if you seek Him:

1 Sam 3:9
Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

And now for the application.  Why am I writing this?  Why take heed to the life of the great prophet Samuel?

There is a testimony of God in the world.  Many fear that it is diminished entirely, and that there is now no hope.  But Samuel ministered unto the Lord, being a child girded with a linen ephod.

How about you?

Behold, I send You Elijah the Prophet

FeaturedBehold, I send You Elijah the Prophet

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.  -Mal 4: 4 & 5

Before the coming of Christ, a foundation of stone had to be laid.  A SOLID, UNMOVABLE FOUNDATION, to prepare the way of the Lord.  The high places needed to be brought down, the low places needed to be brought up, and the crooked places needed to be made straight.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John, the same came for a witness to bear witness to the light THAT ALL MEN THROUGH HIM MIGHT BELIEVE.‘  (John 1:6)

Did you know that John the Baptist is the man through whom God meant we should believe in Christ?  Well, let me clarify, not John the person, but the spirit and ministry of John – or to phrase it biblically: ‘the spirit, and power of Elijah.’

Jesus affirmed that without receiving the ministry of John, the Pharisees had been unable to receive His own ministry:

For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.  (Matt 21:32)

So it is at this day.  Without the foundational ministry of John the Baptist, we cannot receive the ministry of Christ.  What was the ministry of John the Baptist, which God sent before we could receive Christ?  It is deep beyond imagination, and more profound than any man yet realizes, it is spiritually complex, and powerful, but it can be summarized with these words: ‘REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND!’

If we receive not the preperation of the heart, neither can we receive the ministry of Christ in our lives.

The passage first quoted (from Malachi) speaks of the end times – behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

In John’s day the Jews expected Elijah, himself, to come back to the earth, but it would be the spirit and power of Elijah that came in the ministry of John.

Before the Lord returns there must be a revival of the spirit, and power of Elijah.

I our day there must be a turning of the hearts of the righteous to their children, and a turning of the hearts of the children to the fathers of faith – for if they speak not according to His Word, there is no light in them.  A foundation must be laid, and the bride needs to prepare herself for the coming of the Lord by the spirit and power of Elijah.

Learn more about the ministry of John the Baptist in my book: More Than a Prophet

WHEN Comes the Return of Christ, and The Rapture?

WHEN Comes the Return of Christ, and The Rapture?

Its been a while since I posted last – have had some computer issues, and other events of life, but I’ve now got a new laptop, and will continue.  I’ve been doing a series on the end days, specifically the beast from the sea.  Before I continue on that line, I will need to take a brief interlude to discuss the ‘rapture of the church.’  As it is commonly known.  I am often asked questions about the timing of the ‘rapture,’ and I know it is a widely discussed topic of interest among many evangelical Christians.  Thus I’ll use this post to address the topic.  (This series on the end days starts more or less here, though if you are an avid reader, and interested in the whole thought the very first in the series is this one.  Each post contains a link to the next in the series at the bottom should you want to read through from start to finish.)

I first will start with this point: I don’t like using the term ‘rapture’ because it is not a biblical term.  When ever we widely use an unbiblical term to define a biblical event, there is room for confusion.  The definition can be stretched to mean any number of things based upon assumption and other events could be credited to it, which in fact are something entirely different.  I grew up in church believing in the ‘rapture’ as it was taught, and knowing some of the biblical passages that seemed to give definition to the word – but I also grew up with a great deal of confusion about it, and an uncertainty as to the particulars of what was taught.  I simply believed what was taught on the rapture because it was commonly held, and adamantly taught by ministers who seemed to have understanding.  Thus my point here is to flush out greater biblical understanding, and give a full understanding of the event known throughout the evangelical world as ‘the rapture.’  (This is also pertinent preliminary to the continuing series discussion.)

Let’s look first at the word ‘rapture,’ and then go on to a clarifying discussion of what terms, and events are clearly described in the bible.

In fact, the meaning of the word ‘rapture’ at its ENGLISH origin has nothing to do with Christ’s calling people to heaven – you may find this idea in modern dictionaries, but that is only based upon the fact that the word has been used to describe said biblical event so that it is now in common usage.  Here I quote from Webster’s 1828 dictionary, the word ‘rapture’:

RAP’TURE, noun [Latin raptus, rapio.]
1. A seizing by violence. [Little used.]
2. Transport; ecstasy; violence of a pleasing passion; extreme joy or pleasure.

Music when thus applied, raises in the mind of the hearer great conceptions; it strengthens devotion and advances praise into rapture

3. Rapidity with violence; a hurrying along with velocity; as rolling with torrent rapture
4. Enthusiasm; uncommon heat of imagination.

Prior to modern times, generally ‘rapture’ was used according to Webster’s second and fourth definition – to be transported into an ecstatic state of worship.

Now, while I don’t like the term because it isn’t used in scripture, it has now become a commonly used word, and I will of necessity employ it occasionally as I continue.  I will also contrast it with terms which are biblical, and their meaning so that we can understand exactly what it is we are talking about.

So what is ‘the rapture’ in biblical terms?  The biblical term which is most commonly used for the supernatural gathering of the saints of God unto Christ is the first ‘resurrection of the dead.’  According to the book of Revelation, there are two resurrections (Rev 20:5 & 6).  The FIRST resurrection coincides with Jesus Christ’s return to the earth.  The second resurrection is the eternal judgment in which the remaining dead are judged according to the lamb’s book of life.

In fact, the resurrection of the dead is one of the first six principal doctrines of Christianity as described in Hebrews 6:1 & 2.  Surely understanding the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead will give us greater clarity on what the rapture is (and isn’t)!

When Jesus returns, the first resurrection takes place.  According to Paul, the dead in Christ are raised first, then those who are alive and remain are caught up also to meet Christ ‘in the air’ (1 Thess. 4:16 & 17).

So, when does the return of Christ, and the resurrection of the dead take place?  Is it before, during, or AFTER the tribulation?

The answer to this question is actually very clear to define as there are several direct plain statements in scripture which indicate the answer to that question.  Although no one knows the day, or the hour of the Lord’s return (Matt 24:36 & 37; Mark 13:32 & 33), yet Jesus, and the Apostles Paul, and John make plain statements declaring that the first resurrection takes place AFTER the tribulation.

Let’s start with Jesus.

In Matthew 24, Jesus describes the end days to his disciples.  He declares all manner of things that will take place, and that will be done to His disciples, which they will have to patiently endure during the period he calls ‘the beginning of sorrows’ (v.4-14).  In verse 14  Jesus declares that the Gospel will be preached to all nations, THEN the end will come.

Has the rapture happened yet?  No, there had to be saints in the earth to preach to all nations, by verse 14, the rapture has not taken place.

In verse 15 Jesus begins describing what He means by: ‘THE END.’  THE END begins with the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place (I will need to discuss that in greater detail and clarity later, but for now know He is saying that THE END begins, essentially, with the reign of antichrist.)  At this point stuff gets REALLY bad – worse than in the beginning of sorrows (v. 4-14).  Things get so bad that Jesus warns His disciples to flee to a safe place AS SOON AS THEY SEE THE SIGN (:THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION).

He declares that these will be days worse than any which have ever taken place, and that many false Christs, and false prophets will arise in order to quote: ‘deceive the very elect.’ (v. 15-25)

Now, has the rapture taken place yet?  If it has, He has not mentioned it in the entire chapter up to this point.  Furthermore, He plainly indicates that ‘the elect’ will still be in the earth (some may argue that these are those saved AFTER the rapture, but again, Jesus has not mentioned the rapture at all up to this point).  The rapture has not yet happened, Christians are still in the earth.

Then in verse 27, Jesus begins to describe His return, and the the first resurrection of the dead.  He declares two parables about what His return will be like (v.27 & 28), then He describes the literal technical details (not parable) of His return (v.29-31).  Here is what He says:

Matt 24:29-31
29 IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

30 AND THEN shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 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.

This event described in modern Christianese vernacular as the ‘rapture’ – the event in which the saints are gathered unto Christ from the earth – is plainly stated by Jesus Christ to take place immediately following the tribulation of the days He has described in Matt 24:1-25.  According to Jesus, this event is AFTER the period called the ‘beginning of sorrows,’ (v.4-14) and AFTER the time which Jesus calls the ‘time of the end’ (v.15-25).  Indeed it is – according to the Lord, Jesus Christ – ‘Immediately AFTER the tribulation of THOSE DAYS’; those days which He has just described in verses 14-25.

In our day there is a doctrine (or ‘teaching’) called the ‘imminent return.’  The imminent return doctrine means that Christ could return AT ANY MOMENT.  It is based upon something Jesus said about the resurrection of the dead in Matthew 24:36.  Let’s look at the verse.

Speaking of His return, and the resurrection of the dead, Jesus said:

Matt 24:36
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Jesus said that no one knows the day, or the hour of His coming.  I’ll leave it to the reader to assess this question: Is that the same thing as saying: ‘It could happen at any moment.’?

God knew that even with the plain statement of Jesus Christ on the timing of the resurrection, that there would arise confusion, and questions about it in the church.

There was also confusion on this point in the days of the early church.  The Thessalonians had come to believe that the rapture resurrection of the dead could happen AT ANY MOMMENT – they believed in the ‘imminent return’ as we call it today.

Paul plainly defines this as a faulty doctrine, and corrects it in no uncertain terms to the Thessalonians:

2 Thess 2
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by [1] the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [2] by our gathering together unto him [What is Paul talking about?  He defines it: 1. the coming of Jesus Christ, 2. our gathering together unto Him.  Here Paul is PLAINLY speaking of the rapture – the resurrection of the dead, even as described by Jesus Christ, Himself, in the above passage],

2 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. [Paul clearly defines, and negates the faulty doctrine: the idea that the day of Christ is ‘at hand,’ i.e. ‘within grasp’ ‘immediate’ – that it could happen at any moment.  Paul is directly speaking to the ‘imminent return’ doctrine, which the Thessalonians had come to believe.]

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for THAT DAY SHALL NOT COME, except there come [1] a falling away first, and [2] that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Paul speaks in such clear, adamant terms that there should be no doubt to the Christian: ‘LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU BY ANY MEANS.’  The rapture will not come until 1. there be a falling away first, and 2. the man of sin be revealed.

Of course the ‘man of sin’ is the phrase that Paul uses to describe the ‘antichrist.’  (In fact, the Apostle John (writer of the Gospel of John, the epistles of John (1,2,3 John) and the book of Revelation) is the only scriptural writer who actually uses the word, ‘antichrist.’  It is a part of John’s special revelation regarding the end days – His understanding in this is immensely enlightening; we will discuss it in a later post.)

Paul adamantly declares that the rapture will not take place until AFTER the arrival of the antichrist.  This affirms the teachings of Jesus, who declared that the coming of the son of man, and our gathering together unto Him takes place ‘IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days’ (Matt 24:29).

But again I am forced to ask – because our modern evangelical teachings demand it – couldn’t there be an event which takes place BEFORE the tribulation, wherein the church is caught up to meet Christ?  No – the only time in which the saints are to be gathered unto the Lord in the air is at Jesus’ SECOND coming (which both Christ, Paul, and John the apostle declare to take place AFTER the tribulation.)

Heb 9:28
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear THE SECOND TIME without sin unto salvation.

There is only ONE second coming.  Jesus does not come back two more times, one to snatch away the church, the other to raise the dead at the end of the tribulation.  In fact, again addressing the Thessalonians, Paul gives other clarity to the rapture resurrection of the dead, stating that the dead are raised BEFORE the living Christians in the earth:

1 Thess 4:16 & 17
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven [SECOND coming] with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: AND THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST:

17 THEN [AFTER THE DEAD ARE RAISED] we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Once again, the teaching of Paul leaves no doubt: if the DEAD rise first – before any of the living are caught up to meet Christ in the air, then CERTAINLY, without any shadow of doubt, THERE IS NO RAPTURE OF LIVING SAINTS PRIOR TO THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD.

As biblically defined – by Jesus Christ – all of Matthew 24:4-25 takes place prior to His return, and the first resurrection.  Paul confirms this stating plainly that no rapture of saints will happen until there is first a falling away, and that the antichrist is revealed, further clarifying that no living saints will be caught up from the earth until AFTER the dead are raised at the second coming of Christ.

Because so much of the church is now deceived, I cannot emphasize this enough: as Paul adamantly declared: ‘LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU BY ANY MEANS.’

This deception of the imminent rapture closes the mind of believers to essential Truths of the latter days.

Let me point this out: why would Jesus think it so important to teach us what is going to come in the end of days if we won’t be here for the experience?  Jesus Christ appeared to John the Apostle in order to give him a clear prophetic picture of the tribulation in all its details.  The book is so important to Christians that it is called ‘THE REVELATION of Jesus Christ,’ (Rev 1:1) readers are admonished to take to heart everything written in it ‘because the hour is at hand’ (Rev 1:3).  What hour?  The hour of the rapture?  No, Paul declared that the hour of OUR ascension is NOT at hand – the hour which John declares is at hand is the hour of testing that will come on the whole earth: the tribulation.

Why would Jesus Christ call John the Apostle up to the heavenly realm to teach him the intricate details of events which the church would not be a part of?  THE Revelation is frivolous information if there is a pre-tribulation rapture.  Matthew 24 is full of frivolous teachings if the church is not going to be in the world for what He describes.  Furthermore it would make Jesus an outright liar if the church will not be present for the tribulation because He declared to His disciples: ‘Then shall they deliver YOU up to be afflicted, and shall kill YOU: and YE shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (Matt 24:9)… When YE therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet (v. 15)… pray YE that YOUR flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (v. 20 & 21) …’

To whom is Jesus speaking, when He uses the terms ‘YOU,’ and ‘YE’ (‘ye’ is King James for: ‘you’ plural), but to the disciples – to the Christians?

How about this one: ‘And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened’ (v. 22)

If the elect are caught up out of the world in a pre-tribulation rapture, who could Jesus possibly be speaking of?

Now I digress, because many would say that there will be those who realize they have missed the rapture, and turn to Christ after the saints are caught up – and that Jesus refers to those who are saved AFTER the pre-trib rapture.  (But then, how can they get saved with no ministers in the earth to preach to them (Rom 10:14 & 15)?  Will Christ, indeed draw His body out of the world, and not give them for witnesses to the lost sinners of the end days?  Will He who spared not His own Son so that YOU could be saved, retract His own body as witnesses in the earth, leaving no witness to seek and save lost sinners?  Does God forget the Gospel, and the burden of the Word of the Lord in the latter days?)

Let me also point out two principals that Jesus revealed in the book of John:

John 14:2
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

This one statement holds an astounding principal from the Son of God: ‘if it were not so, I would have told you.‘  Contextually (in fact) Jesus is talking about the gathering of saints together to Himself.  He states plainly that He wants to dispel deceptions from our minds on the matter.  If there was to be a pre-tribulation rapture BEFORE the resurrection of the dead, why is there no PLAIN STATEMENT from the mouth of Jesus declaring so?  Why is it that the recorded plain statement of Jesus regarding the gathering of His saints together He declared to take place IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION? By the principal of this statement: ‘if it were not so, I would have told you,’ should He not have clarified when He spoke of this event that there should be another one like it which come BEFORE the tribulation?

Another interesting principal from the mouth of Jesus which applies directly here comes when Jesus is praying for His disciples in John 17.  Much of Jesus’ general will for the church is laid out in John 17.

John 17:15
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Here Jesus is praying for His disciples.  He declares plainly before God the Father, that it is NOT His will that His disciples should be taken out of the world in order to be spared evil, but that God would keep them from evil while they remain IN THE WORLD.  Here Jesus makes plain that it is not even in His will to take the church out of the world.  Why would God go against His own revealed will in order to ‘rapture’ the entire church out of the world before the hour of tribulation.  Again: ‘if it were not so, I would have told you.’  Instead He has plainly declared the opposite of the prevalent rapture teaching.

I may stop here, as I think I am beginning to beat a dead horse.  I pray the readers who feel so will have grace, because this rapture heresy (that is ‘false teaching’) is so prevalent that many will need even much more biblical proof than I have laid out here.

I have not even pointed out that the Word declares that when Jesus returns THE second time, that every eye will see Him (Rev 1:7).  How is it that we have a teaching, then, which proclaims that only those who are saved will see Him when they are caught up in the pre-resurrection rapture?  No, but when we understand the principal doctrines of the faith (the resurrection of the dead is not a doctrine of eschatological preference, but is plainly called one of the first six principal doctrines of Christianity (see Heb 6:1 & 2)), we will not be deceived by teachings ADDED to scripture.

I’m sure I will need to do a followup post on this, but to those first discovering what the Word declares about the resurrection do not be dismayed: there are promises of God’s provision for the days ahead – further there are teachings in scripture about how to be in the best possible situation throughout the trials of the end.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  The Gospel is as True in the end of days as it always has been.  God will not forsake His own.  I discuss this topic as preliminary to certain other points we’ll get to as we continue.

I’ll leave off with, again with the words of Paul:

2 Thess 2:3-5
3 LET NO MAN DECIVE YOU BY ANY MEANS: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

WHO is the Beast From the Sea? Pt. 3 – ‘Prophecy of Amos’

WHO is the Beast From the Sea? Pt. 3 – ‘Prophecy of Amos’

(New readers, please read the preceding posts, as large portions of this one won’t make much sense to you without them:

WHO is the Israel of God? ‘Seed of Abraham’WHO is the Israel of God? Pt 2. ‘First Glimpse into the New Covenant Era’WHERE is the Israel of God? ‘Know ye not, ye are His Temple?’WHO is The Beast From the Sea?WHO is the Beast from the Sea? pt. 2 ‘Antichrist’

Those who have read the preceding posts should more easily be able to follow this one.  Here I discuss the last two chapters of the book of Amos, where he predicts the coming Messiah, and the judgment that Jesus pronounced upon Jerusalem, and the Sanhedrin in Matthew 23.)

The book of Amos was written before the Old Testament destruction of Israel, and the exile to Babylon.  Years prior, Israel had split into two; there was a Northern Kingdom of Israel, and the Southern kingdom of Judah.  In like fashion the schismatic nation was twice judged – judgment came to the Northern Kingdom first.

The northern kingdom of Israel had rejected God from its offset.  When the kingdom divided, the first king of Israel rejected Jehovah, and set up idols so that his people would not flee to the southern kingdom of Judah through their religious affiliations (1 Kings 12:26-30).

The kings in Israel ruled from the city of Samaria, and waxed worse, and worse in idolatry, cruelty, and perversion until a king arose who was far worse than any previous king.  Ahab, the son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of the kings of Israel before him – under his reign the nation was reduced to a literal pagan nation.  There no longer remained any priests, and everyone who called on the name of Jehovah was systematically persecuted until only a handful of prophets, and a meager ‘underground church’ existed.  In the darkest hour of Israel’s history, God raised up the prophet Elijah, who called the nation to a spirit of repentance (for greater details see posts: Mount Carmel (Pt. 1)Mount Carmel (Pt. 2)).

Yet even after the prophets Elijah, and his protege Elisha brought the spirit of repentance to the nation of Israel, the kings of Israel continued to rebel against God.

Amos’ ministry came several generations later – shortly before the Northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed by Assyria.  Much of Amos’ ministry predicted the coming judgment which would be poured out upon the nation through the Assyrian army.

Yet, many of Amos’ words foretold of a more permanent judgment which was coming on the land of Israel when they rejected the coming Messiah.  The final two chapters of the book of Amos speak of Messiah’s judgment upon the leaders of the nation – the judgment to be declared by Jesus Christ shortly before His crucifixion.  That judgment I have discussed somewhat in my first post on the subject of the Beast from the sea, which is related in Matthew 23.

I have submitted the theological thesis that the beast of Revelation 13, and 17 is the Sanhedrin, which: ‘was, and is not, and is yet to come.’  Here I will discuss the last two chapters of the book of the prophet Amos, who prophesied the coming sacrifice of Messiah, and specifically predicted the final judgement that Jesus declared upon Jerusalem, and the Sanhedrin in Matthew 23; and some interesting correlations (specifically in the final chapter) to John the Apostle’s prophecy of the beast from the sea.

Most of this post is really just the prophecy of Amos with my added commentary in brackets.

Amos 8

1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.

2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. [Okay, so why does a ‘basket of summer fruit’ mean that ‘The end is come upon Israel’?  Doesn’t a basket of summer fruit sound like a good thing, and not one of judgment?  Answer: the summer fruit IS a good thing – as we will discover as we continue reading, it represents the NEW COVENANT of Jesus Christ.  Why, then, does God equate that with the end coming upon the people of Israel, that He will not pass by them anymore?  Because in order for the New Covenant to come, the Old Covenant has to pass away.  The blessing of summer fruit is come, which means that the old fruit is outdated.  Compare that statement at the end of this verse to the final sentence of Jesus Christ upon Jerusalem, and the Sanhedrin: Amos 1:2 – ‘The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them anymore.’  Matt 23:38-39 – ‘Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’]

3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.  [Matt 24:2 ‘And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things [the temple buildings]? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’  Also: Luke 19:43-44 ‘For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.’]

4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, [Matt 23:14 – ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.’]

5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?  [Luke 20:45-46 – ‘Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts.’]

6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?  [Matt 23:15 – ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.’; Matt 23:25 ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.’]

7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.

8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. [Matt 23:37 ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!’; Again: Luke 19:43-44 ‘For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.’]

9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: [This is a plain prophetic reference to the crucifixion of the Christ – Matt 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44 – all declare that when Jesus was crucified, at the sixth hour (noon) that there was darkness until the ninth hour (about 3 pm).]

10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.  [Matt 23:38 ‘Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.’]

11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: [Matt 23:39 ‘For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’  Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1) – this declaration is that following the crucifixion, desolation is left to the house of Israel (those who have rejected the Messiah) – they would be left without the Word of the Lord.]

12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.

14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beer-sheba liveth; EVEN THEY SHALL FALL, AND NEVER RISE UP AGAIN.

I will interlude here between chapters – verse 14 is the final verse of Amos 8; this verse is the key which unlocks the meaning of many of these things, so let’s look at the specific meaning of each of the terms he uses in this verse.

Remember this prophecy speaks of the time immediately following the crucifixion (as evidenced by verse 9, and verses we’ll come to in the following chapter), so although Amos is using Old Testament, pre-exile terminology, he is speaking of New Covenant principals.

The ‘sin of Samaria:’

Judah, the southern kingdom was ruled by kings in Jerusalem (which began in the time of king David), but when Israel separated from Judah, the kings of Israel ruled in Samaria.  The ‘sin of Samaria’ speaks of the kings of Israel rejecting Jehovah when they separated from the southern kingdom of Judah.  They set up for themselves gods to replace the one True God.

If you read 1 Kings 12:26-30, where the first king of Israel – as a separated nation – initiated this turning away, that the first idols were golden calves.  Why does this matter?  Because it was a golden calf which Aaron had made during the ministry of Moses, and declared it was the God who led them out of Egypt (Ex 32:4-8)!

Even in Jeroboam’s first creation of Idols for the Northern kingdom, he reached back into the tradition of Israel’s history!

1 Kings 12:28
Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

The ‘sin of Samaria’ is to turn away from the Living God to the traditions of Israel’s history.  In denying the Messiah has come, and clinging to the Old Covenant of circumcision, the Sanhedrin quote: ‘Swears by the sin of Samaria.’

‘Thy god, O Dan, liveth:’

The meaning of this one is somewhat two-fold.  First, it gives clarity to the ‘Sin of Samaria,’ for Dan is one of the two locations where Jeroboam placed the calf idols.  The god of Dan being, therefore that calf.  Yet this statement, also speaks regarding scripture’s overall prophecy to the tribe of Dan.  Some of this, further, meaning should be evident if you have read my first post on the Beast from the Sea, but I will reiterate.  ‘Dan’ means ‘judge,’ the Sanhedrin are the seventy judges of Israel appointed by Moses in Numbers 11 (I discussed in greater detail earlier).  Read this interesting prophecy spoken by Israel (or Jacob) regarding Dan:

Gen 49:1 & 16-18
1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.

16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.

17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.

God is no longer the God of the old order priesthood, nor the old order of the judges.  The time for the Sanhedrin has passed.  Moses appointed 70 elders to be judges under the old covenant.  When the law of Moses was fulfilled and superseded by Jesus Christ, so also was the time of the judges who sat in his seat (Matt 23:2) superseded in Jesus coming.

Jesus Christ – who fulfilled the prophecy of Moses, that there would arise a prophet like unto him (Deut. 18:15) – ALSO raised up 70 elders (Luke 10:1-20).  Jesus fulfilled the same commissioning, though not after the manner, nor order of the ancient Sanhedrin, but under the order of the Melchizedek priesthood (Heb 5-7).

To declare: ‘Thy god, oh Dan, liveth’ is idolatry – to declare that the order of Israel’s tradition – the Sanhedrin is still valid in spite of the fact that the reign of Messiah has fulfilled it – in spite of the summer fruit that has come.

‘The manner of Beer-sheba liveth’:

Interestingly, ‘Beer-sheba’ actually means ‘seven wells,’ and could also be considered a prophetic insinuation of the Sanhedrin, which has seventy judges, or prophets.  More specifically though, Beer-sheba is a reference to the covenant of Abraham.

Genesis 21:25-34 tells the story of Beer-sheba; Abraham made a covenant with Abimelech regarding a well which he (Abraham) had dug – that it belonged to none other but Abraham, who dug it.  The emphasis is that there was a covenant in which the well of water belonged to Abraham, alone, not to kingdoms of the gentiles.  The well is a typology of salvation – under the Old Covenant salvation was available to the natural offspring of Abraham (the Jews) alone.

The ‘manner of Beer-sheba’ references the way in which the Old Covenant was open exclusively to the Jews (and those who followed, and practiced their religious culture).  According to the New Covenant of Jesus Christ, salvation belongs to everyone, not to the Jews only – the manner of Beer-sheba has passed away.

Here’s Amos 8:14 again:

14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria [create idolatry by the traditions of Israel], and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth [declare that the ‘god’ of the Old Covenant judges still gives Old Covenant judges authority in the days of Messiah]; and, The manner of Beer-sheba liveth [the covenant which ensures salvation belongs only to the Jews]; EVEN THEY SHALL FALL, AND NEVER RISE UP AGAIN.

This verse three times denies the rightful place of the Old Testament way to salvation – notice that each correlates with the three points of Jewish culture by which I pointed out the Jews are saved (albeit not quoted in the same order):

  1. ‘The manner of Beer-sheba‘ – The Covenant of Abraham (circumcision)
  2. The sin of Samaria‘ – The law (or ‘traditions’) of Moses correlates
  3. Thy God, O Dan, liveth‘ – The Levitical priesthood; religious authority, or government under the ancient order

Now, the last chapter of Amos:

Amos 9

1 I saw the LORD standing upon the altar: [again, this is a clear reference to the crucifixion – Jesus the lamb who takes away the sins of the world] and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake [recall that in the Passover the lintels of the door are struck with the blood of the lamb? this also a reference to the crucifixion: ‘Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;’ (Matt 27:50-51) in the context I am speaking of, it means that the way of entry has been altered – we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, not through following the ways of the Old Covenant]: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword [Rev 13:3 ‘And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.’]: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.

2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven [Is. 14:13], thence will I bring them down:

3 And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel [Although they repent, and turn to the ways of the OLD COVENANT – as in the days of Elijah & mount Carmel], I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea [Rev 13:1 ‘…saw a beast rise up out of the sea…’], thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them [Rev 13:2 ‘…and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.]:

4 And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.

5 And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.  [Here references Jesus’ return, and the final judgment.]

6 It is he [JESUS] that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he [JESUS] that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name [JESUS].

7 Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?

8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob [Notice he uses the natural name ‘Jacob’ not the spiritual name, Israel – he is here speaking of the natural seed of Jacob, the Jews: the Jews shall have a remnant who do not perish: THOSE WHO RECEIVE THE MESSIAH], saith the LORD.

9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.

10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us. [Of the New Covenant, he makes the distinction – those who are sinners among the people shall die; just as I discussed in my first post in this series the message of John the Baptist to the Sanhedrin: ‘bring forth fruits meet for repentance.’  So again, only those who do not repent, and receive the MESSIAH are promised destruction.]

11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen [the ‘tabernacle of David’ speaks of the Messianic kingdom: Jesus the Son of David], and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old [that is, Christ, the Messiah shall reign supreme]:

12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name [the gentiles are received into the kingdom of God], saith the LORD that doeth this.

13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.

14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel [here he uses the spiritual term: ‘Israel,’ not the natural term ‘Jacob’ – he speaks of ALL the children of God who receive Messiah, the remnant of Jews, and the remnant of gentiles NOT THE NATURAL, UNSAVED JEWS], and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.

15 And I will plant them upon their land [this is not speaking of the land of Palestine – this speaks of the spiritual dominion of the presence of God; the NEW (HEAVENLY) JERUSALEM; they will have salvation, and nothing, and no one can take away their salvation (Rom 8:37-39)], and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.


Link to next in series: WHEN Comes the Return of Christ, and The Rapture?

WHO is the Beast from the Sea? pt. 2 ‘Antichrist’

WHO is the Beast from the Sea? pt. 2 ‘Antichrist’

These posts, in order, are the preliminary posts to this one:

WHO is the Israel of God? ‘Seed of Abraham’

WHO is the Israel of God? Pt 2. ‘First Glimpse into the New Covenant Era’

WHERE is the Israel of God? ‘Know ye not, ye are His Temple?’

WHO is The Beast From the Sea?

Recommend newcomers to the series first read the preceding posts in order.

I may fill out the shape of my revelation here in full, so that there is a better picture of what I am saying.  I can return in following posts, and give greater detail by way of biblical proof, and clarification.  This post will reveal the shape of this revelation in a fuller, more tangible, and immediate way.

I had said that I believe the Sanhedrin to be the beast of revelation 13 and 17.  My first prompting to this was this prophecy:

Rev 17:8
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit [the Greek word for ‘bottomless pit’ here is actually: Abyss], and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. [Or ‘yet shall be’]

The Sanhedrin was made in the days of Moses, existed during the life of Christ – ceased to exist in 70 A.D. when Jerusalem was destroyed.  When John wrote the book of Revelation in (approx) 95 A.D. the Sanhedrin no longer existed.  In recent days the Sanhedrin has risen from destruction in the natural Israel – the sand of the sea.

Rev 13:1
And I stood upon the sand of the sea [natural Israel (Gen 32:12; Is. 9:22; Rom 9:27)], and saw a beast rise up out of the sea [or ‘the abyss’ (Rev 17:8; also 11:7; 9:1,2 & 11 – all use the same Greek word: ‘abussos’: abyss) – typologically the place of destruction – clarification: Rev 9:11 declares that the angel of the Abyss is called ‘Appolyon’, or ‘Abbadon’ both meaning ‘angel of destruction’], having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Jesus declared that the Sanhedrin, and Jerusalem would be left desolate until such a time as they received their Messiah:

Matt 23:38-39
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Unless the Sanhedrin arises with the message of the Gospel, and preaches Christ – then by the prophecy of Jesus Christ – a risen Sanhedrin is a mark of rebellion to the plainly declared counsel and will of God.  The Sanhedrin, claiming to be judges in the seat of Moses – working the counsel of God in the earth is, therefore, an empire of outright blasphemy.  Just as John the Apostle declared elsewhere:

1 John 2:22
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

How can the Sanhedrin, then rise to power in the earth – if Jesus declared it to be desolate until they receive Him – then God did not give it its power:

Rev 13:2
And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Not God, but the devil gives the beast its power, its seat (or position), and authority.

The description of the beast gives us some definition of its character.  Tracing hermeneutically each mentioned animal can show us how the beast behaves.  Biblically, a leopard is used in description of people, or kingdoms who sit in wait for prey – watching closely, and waiting patiently to destroy.  Bears are used to describe violent, and powerful mauling.  A lion, of course, is fierce like the king of predators unmercifully tearing its prey.

Now, I will come back and fill in some of the details about the beast from the sea.  But to give an overall clarification of Revelation 13, I will continue to the next beast, the beast from the earth – natural (remember the Old Covenant is made in CARNAL ORDINANCES (Heb 9:10)).

The beast from the earth is the prophet of the first beast.  He does great wonders, and miracles, and erects an image to the first beast.  He comes from the earth – temporal – and forces all, small and great to receive the mark of man’s number in his right hand OR in his forehead.

Here is what I believe of the second beast.  I believe that this will arise, and appear to be a prophet of God, like Moses.  Indeed, Moses made this prophecy:

Deut 18:15-19
15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Now according to Jewish custom, this is believed not to be a foretelling of the general office of prophet – as God has always sent prophets to His people since the time of Moses – but a prophet like Moses: whom God spake with face to face, who performed miracles, and HAD AUTHORITY TO WRITE SCRIPTURE.

When the Sanhedrin sent their delegation to John the Baptist to find out who he was, one of the questions was about this prophecy of Moses.  The baptist declared plainly that himself was not the Messiah, the counselors asked him: ‘Are you Elijah.’  He answered ‘I am not.’ (Because he was not a physical return, or reincarnation of Elijah who was taken to heaven alive – which is what they believed of the prophecies of the coming Elijah.)  Then they asked him: ‘Art thou THAT prophet?’  (John 1:20 & 21)

This prophecy of Moses was the ‘that prophet’ they were referring to.  In not so many words they were saying, ‘are you the prophet Moses declared would come to whom God speaks face to face, who has authority to write scripture?’  He said, ‘no.’

In fact, Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of Moses’ prophecy.  He not only had authority to write scripture, He was the Word of God, made flesh!  He was living scripture!

I believe that a prophet will rise up claiming to be the prophet Moses predicted would come.  He will perform miraculous signs, and wonders and he will command an image to be built to the beast.  What is the ‘image’?

A new temple in Jerusalem.  Rev 13:15 declares: ‘…he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Now the word here for ‘life’ in the King James is actually PNEUMA – the Greek word meaning SPIRIT (wind, or breathe).

When Moses led the people through the wilderness God appeared in the form of a pillar of cloud, and a pillar of fire above the tabernacle.  The false prophet has power to give – SPIRIT to the image.  Should the temple be built, and a pillar of cloud appear in the temple, would it not be a convincing proof that God was there?  Furthermore, he has power to make the image speak.  God spoke to the nation of Israel in an audible voice from Mount Sinia when He gave the ten commandments.  Should the audible ‘voice of God’ come out of the spirit in the temple – would it not be a convincing proof that God was there?

Also the image will cause that as many who worship it to be killed.  The two sons of Aaron offered strange fire in the tabernacle, and were consumed by fire from the tabernacle. (Lev. 10:1 & 2)  Should the spirit in the temple kill in ‘judgement’ those who follow not the Old Covenant, would it not be a convincing proof that God was in the temple?

1 John 4:1-3
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.


3 And EVERY SPIRIT THAT CONFESSETH NOT THAT JESUS CHRIST IS COME IN THE FLESH IS NOT OF GOD: and THIS IS THAT SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

2 Thess 2:7-12
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

I have warned previously – and now warn again: do not be deceived by the construction of an earthly temple.  Call this back to recollection – because it is for today; it is for the end days:

The disciples were impressed with the temple built with hands.  Jesus declared plainly that in the offset of the end days there would be no earthly temple.  He was not impressed with the buildings.  Bear this in mind: these two verses are the beginning of Jesus’ prophecy of the end days:

Matt 24:1-2
1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Strong delusion?  It already exists in precedent in the world.  The whole of evangelical Christianity believes that the temple must first be built before the Antichrist appears.  But if the Antichrist has understanding with them that forsake the covenant [of Jesus Christ] by replacing it with the Old Covenant; if he corrupts Christians with flatteries: ‘we worship the same God…’ – the temple ITSELF would be the abomination that causes desolation.  The hearts of deceived Christians would forsake the Messiah, and travel to the image of the beast the temple would take Messiah’s place IN THEIR HEARTS – CHRISTIANS ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD!!!  The Holy place is in YOU, Christian.

Daniel, and Jesus refer to the ‘abomination that causes desolation.’  Again, I call to your remembrance Jesus’ final word on the Sanhedrin:

Matt 23:38
Behold, your house is left unto you DESOLATE.

If Jesus proclaimed that the Sanhedrin, and Jerusalem were desolate because they were unwilling to renew their covenant with God through Jesus Christ – and Christians turn to submit themselves to the Old Covenant by way of honoring a Jewish temple… guess what?  THAT IS the abomination that MAKES DESOLATE.  Antichrist does not have to enter the man-made temple to declare himself God.  And how deceived would the Christians be if he never did – because the image of the beast with all the apparent power of the God of the Old Covenant has already taken the place of Messiah in our hearts?

Link: Sanhedrin anticipates building temple.

Matt 24:15
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Mark 13:14-23
But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: 

15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:

16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.

17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.

19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:

22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.


Link to next in series: WHO is the Beast From the Sea? Pt. 3 – ‘Prophecy of Amos’

WHO is The Beast From the Sea? Pt. 1

WHO is The Beast From the Sea? Pt. 1

(This is more or less a series, which begins with this post.  Each post has a link at the bottom to the following post.  Please (at least) read the preceding post, which contains pertinent preliminary thought.)

Rev 13:1-10
1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.


10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

There are about a million places I could begin with this – I’d like to give it straight-up without too much my own interjection, but there are still a number of preliminaries I have not touched on.  These I will have to fill in as I go – so it may be most conducive to start with the passage that the Lord first quickened to me, then to go straight into the words of Jesus, who – believe it or not – told all these things even while still in the earth for the first time.

So, I will state this outright, and then begin: I believe that the Lord has revealed to me the mystery of the beast from the sea, the beast of the earth, and the mystery of Babylon from Revelation 13 & 17.  I expect you to be skeptical (Prove all things – hold fast to that which is True. (1 Thess 5:21)) – but I hope that any of those who know me, or have followed my blog for any length of time know that I am not prone to make assumptions, or jump on theological band wagons.  In fact, I typically remain annoyingly skeptical with those theories when people suppose to have unlocked elements of scripture (especially such as the beast of Revelation and latter-day events).

Over just the last century the beast from the sea has been defined as Nazism, Marxism, the Catholic church (actually this one goes back to the 1500s), and most recently the trend is that the beast is Islam.  (Yes, I have heard the theory that 666 in the ‘original manuscripts’ was not actually a number but an Arabic word, or symbol for Islam.  No, I do not believe this theory, as interesting and convincing as it initially seemed; the main reason is because it requires no understanding to interpret if one reads Arabic, and is familiar with Islam (most people who read Arabic in our time are familiar with Islam ;)) – John said that interpreting the number requires ‘understanding.’  I take that to mean prophetic, or revelatory understanding like that of Joseph, or Daniel, not mere academics.)

I do not have a cute youtube video with eerie music, and stills of ancient biblical art coupled with pictures of modern day politicians and garnished with digital graphics of meteors crashing into the earth.

I did not, in this case have a vision, or prophetic dream – I simply believe that the Holy Spirit pointed out certain passages of scripture and illuminated them to me.  After having these passages illuminated I began searching the fuller context of scripture, and passages which speak of the latter days, and found that the ‘theory’ seems to hold true throughout the bible.  This has happened in the context of things that I have seen to be going on in the world, and thus I have found that the revelation seems to hold true to current world events as well.

As we are living in the Messianic age, and I have somewhat given my position in my previous post, I will begin with the words of Jesus.  Be aware that Jesus’ ministry is all-encompassing in this age – there will not be a digression to an earthly, or more temporal covenant.  The culmination of the Messianic age is the return of Jesus Christ to the earth – for this reason His ministry encompasses everything between His first coming to earth, until His return at the end of the age.  This is why Jesus gave us the Revelation of things that were to come (Rev 1:1).  It is also why Jesus went into such great detail explaining to the apostles things that must be until the end of the Messianic age even within the Gospels (Matt 24, for example).  Latter day revelation is a part of the Gospel, itself, because it pertains to the Messianic age, and to the church (who will be here through the duration of the age, tribulation and all – though that is a thought for another post).

But before I quote the passage I will point out this: many seem to believe that the beast spoken of in Revelation 13, and 17 (for they are evidently one-in-the same) represents the single personality of the ‘Antichrist.’  While there may be a degree of truth to that thought in an indirect sense, the beast is more accurately interpreted as a kingdom, dynasty, order, or other organization.  The beast has seven heads which represent seven mountains (Rev 17:9 & 10) and ten horns, which represent ten different kings, or rulers (Rev 17:12).  The beast is an organization (kingdom, dynasty, or order).

I will tell you what I believe the beast is, and then begin providing my scriptural (and modern news) proofs for it.  You decide what you think, and live accordingly – this information will certainly pertain to you should you continue to live in the world from this day forward.

The beginning of my revelation on the topic was this: I had been thinking on the points established at the end of my last post regarding the temple in Jerusalem – that such a thing would be very blasphemy because it is a denial of the Messiah, and antichrist outright because to it would be attributed the presence of the Holy Spirit while denying Jesus Christ.

The God of Whose Religion?

Many people today have insinuated that the God of the Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims is the same God.  While the root precedent of this thought is true – all worship One God out of the basis of the ancient tradition of Abraham’s faith – the traditions and religions of each of these groups reveal a very different personality for this One God of Abraham.

When I hear people declaring that the God of Islam, and of Christianity are one and the same – my response to that statement is this: Go and ask any Muslim if he worships the prophet Jesus as God, and that Muslim will tell you immediately that their Allah is different from the Christian God.

Most Christians can see plainly that Allah of the Muslims is not the God that we serve.  Even if he were in name, he is not the same God in deed; the personality, and nature of the two religions are so vastly different that they could not possibly be confused for one another in works, or in precepts to those who are informed of both religions.

Here is a harder leap, though for most Christians: compare the God of the Christians with the God of the Jews who do not receive the Messiah.

We could apply the same question to the Jews that we did with the Muslim: ask any Jew if they worship Jesus the Messiah as God (or yet, if they even acknowledge that Jesus was a prophet, or specifically, the Messiah).  If they say ‘yes,’ you have found a Messianic Jew – a Christian.  But if they do not worship Jesus as God – they do not worship the same God that the Christians do.

Christians boast a LIVING relationship with God, rather than a relationship dictated by rules, laws, and commandments.  Christians obey the PERSON of Jesus Christ; unsaved Jews, and Muslims (both) worship a God of rules and regulations – a God who is strictly judicial, and legalistic.  But Jesus Christ came so that we could go from being the ‘subjects’ of God to being the ‘friends’ of God.

(Remember, John the Apostle defines the Antichrist plainly in the book of 1 John, so we need not be deceived what it means:

1 John 2:22
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:3
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.)

Christians worship Jesus, who is God incarnated in the form of a man.  The Christian covenant with God is based upon the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.  He fulfills all the law, and the prophets (Torah – the Word of God), for the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among (and within) us (John 1:14).  The current revelation of God to man is ONLY through Jesus Christ – He is the only WAY to the Father (John 14:6).

As I thought on these things, and prayed about them – I began trying to focus on something different, not wanting to be in the flesh.  As I forced my mind to change subjects, these words began coming into my mind: ‘Who was, and is not, and yet will come…‘  Now, I knew this was a passage of scripture, and that it spoke of the beast, or the Antichrist – but I was not sure where it was found.  I didn’t know if it was somewhere in Revelation, or in the book of Daniel.  The words kept coming to mind, so I looked up the passage (I was praying outside at the time and did not have access to a concordance, so it took me a bit of time – particularly since I was thinking it was actually in the book of Daniel.)

In King James the full verse is:

Rev 17:8
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. [Though, again, the better translation is ‘was, and is not, and yet will come’]

Now it occurred to me – and I believe it was the Lord who quickened this verse to me again, and again, as I thought on the blasphemy of an earthly temple based upon the Old Covenant, and denying the New Covenant bought with the blood of Jesus Christ – the book of Revelation was written circa 95 A.D.  Jerusalem was sacked, and the temple was destroyed (in accordance with the prophecy of Jesus (Matt 24:1 & 2)) in 70 A.D., approximately 25 years prior to John’s vision.

The beast WAS, and IS NOT – during the time of John’s vision – and yet WILL COME.

Islam, and many other world religions, or organizations which people have pinned as: ‘THE Antichrist order’ do not fulfill this prophecy of Revelation 17:8.  Only an order which ONCE EXISTED, was for a long time destroyed, and THEN REVIVED can meet this qualifier.

I have come to believe that the beast that rises from the sea – the beast of Revelation 13, and 17 is the Sanhedrin.  The Sanhedrin existed in ancient times, did not exist at the time of John’s revelation… and exists again today:

Link: Sanhedrin regroups

The Judges

What exactly is the Sanhedrin?  It is the ruling council of the Jewish religion, organized to exist, specifically as Judges in Jerusalem.  This ruling council of Judges was first initiated by God in the days of Moses; God took of the anointing – the Holy Spirit that was upon Moses, and imparted it to 70 rulers among the people.  In this way, the ruling counselors could share the prophet’s burden by acting as judges among the people in the place of Moses.  (You can read this story in Numbers 11; I also wrote a post about it, and its meaning under the new (Messianic) covenant you can read, here.)

Examples of the Sanhedrin acting in the official capacity of judges are seen throughout the Gospels, and the book of Acts.  In my first post about ‘WHO is the Israel of God?‘ we looked at the story of the Sanhedrin bringing the woman caught in adultery to Jesus (John 8), likewise the Sanhedrin acts in their official judicial capacity in the next chapter after Jesus healed the blind beggar (John 19:13-34).  The Sanhedrin had sent an official delegation to John the Baptist to determine who he was (John 1:19 -28) (we’ll look at some of the specifics of what was said in that conversation in a later post).  And of course, it was the Sanhedrin tribunal which finally sentenced Jesus to death.

Link: Sanhedrin to try Pope

In a previous post I pointed out that there were official interactions between Jesus, and the Sanhedrin recorded in the Gospel.  In Matthew 23 – shortly before Jesus’ crucifixion, and immediately prior to His description to the apostles of the latter day events (Matt 24) – Jesus begins to prophesy specifically to the Sanhedrin – I do not believe it is coincidence that His prophecy to the Sanhedrin is immediately followed by His description to the apostles of latter-day events.

The chapter begins with Jesus giving a description of the Sanhedrin to the multitudes, and ends with His prophesying directly to them.  You can study the chapter in your own time, I will select a few passages from it to discuss in detail – my added commentary is in un-italicized brackets:

Matt 23:1-10
1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat [He is clearly speaking of the Sanhedrin; first He defines WHO ‘Scribes, and Pharisees’ who were ruling counselors in the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus, then He defines their position – the seat of Moses: they are rulers over Israel, sitting in the position that God gave to the prophet Moses; again He is CLEARLY describing the Sanhedrin – even as it was initially instigated in Numbers 11.  (Remember that term: ‘sit in Moses’ SEAT,’ we will revisit that later)]:

3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi [in these few verses He has described the arrogant nature of the counselors of Israel in His day – they time that He came the day of Israel’s visitation].

8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.  [In these last verses 8-10 He describes the New Covenant Era, even as I have previously defined it (see last post) Jesus Christ ALONE is Lord, and the fulfiller of Moses’ seat, and EVERY POSITION OF AUTHORITY to the Christian (Rabbi, Master, Father, etc.)]

Then in verse 13, Jesus begins to specifically prophesy to the Sanhedrin.  He is not kind, or gentle about it:

Matt 23:13-16
13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.  [They have (in their day) denied Messiah, and condemned others for believing Him for themselves. (John 9:22; 12:42, etc.)]

14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

Jesus goes on like this for the rest of the chapter, in a railing prophecy of Judgment against the Sanhedrin – several times He calls them ‘fools,’ and ‘blind.’  In verse after verse He describes how the Sanhedrin has polluted the will, and law of God – they have made it a religion of rituals and symbolisms, and have rejected the True way of God.

The pinnacle of Jesus’ prophecy is at the end of Matthew 23 – this is difficult to read in the context of a current judgment.  Nevertheless, Jesus Christ spoke it, and it was a current judgment in His day:

Matt 23:29-39
29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. [vs. 35, 36 & 37 will be found very important when we discuss Mystery Babylon in a later post.]

37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

I quote this lengthy passage, because there are specific things He states in this passage which gives reference to the latter-day events.  For the time being, I call your attention specifically to the last two verses:

38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

This final judgment Jesus spoke to the Sanhedrin before His crucifixion – His final prophetic utterance to the Sanhedrin was that they would be DESOLATE until they were willing to receive the Messiah.  This means that they do not have the blessing of God, the Spirit of God, the Power of God until they receive their Messiah, Jesus Christ.  A few decades after Jesus uttered this prophecy, and was crucified – in 70 A.D. – Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Sanhedren disbanded.  The Sanhedrin, and Jerusalem were left ICHABOD – the glory has departed from them.  According to Jesus, it will not return until they receive Him – the Messiah, until they shall say (in Spirit, and in Truth) ‘Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’

If Jesus called the Sanhedrin desolate until they receive Him… how can the Sanhedrin rise, after 2000 years of destruction – still denying Jesus Christ, the Messiah?  Who gives them their power?  Who gives them their seat?  According to this prophecy of Jesus, it is not Himself – it is not God.  According to Jesus Christ, the Sanhedrin (and Jerusalem) is to be left desolate until they receive Him.

Generation of Vipers

Gen 49:1-2 & 16-18
1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.

2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.

16 Dan [meaning ‘Judge’] shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.

17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.

Remember, the Sanhedrin was the ruling council of Judges in Israel.

Jesus, and John the Baptist both referred to the Sanhedrin (when interacting with them in the official capacity) as ‘serpents,’ and a ‘generation of vipers’ (Matt 3:7;  12:34; 23:33).

Within His official prophecy to the Sanhedrin, Jesus declared this:

Matt 23:33
33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

The term Jesus uses for ‘hell’ here, in Greek is ‘Gehenna,’ which term Jesus seems to have reserved when speaking of the ‘lake of fire.’  (Jesus also used the common Greek term for hell: Hades, but in context of final judgment, and of burning punishment, He used the term ‘Gehenna.’  From my study of the terms, I believe that when Jesus used the term ‘Gehenna’ He is speaking of the lake of fire. Hades (hell) is a place of holding for the dead before the final judgment.  In Revelation 20, we see in the final judgment that death, and hell (hades) are cast into the lake of fire – they are clearly defined as two separate places (or conditions)).

At the end of Revelation 19, the beast is cast alive into the lake of fire (Rev 19:20).  How can the beast escape the damnation of Gehenna?  I believe this is a specific prophecy Jesus made, contributing to the identity of the beast.

And I Stood Upon the Sand of the Sea…

1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

This is actually a very enlightening verse, which gives several clues to the identity of the beast.  For years when I read this verse, I always felt that that phrase ‘I stood upon the sand of the sea…’ had some specific significance.  I never understood what it meant, however – until now – it is a clue to the identity of the beast.

Gen 32:12
12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

Isa 10:22
22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet A REMNANT OF THEM SHALL RETURN: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.

Hos 1:10
10 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 [the gentiles], there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

Rom 9:27
27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

John the Apostle was a Jew who had been saved by the Messiah – HE WAS OF THE REMNANT TO BE SAVED: he stood upon the sand of the sea – the foundation of the original people of God – the Jews.

(The sea, itself, is something that would require greater preliminary of thought to be laid.  The beast rises out of the sea – this does not have anything to do, specifically, with Israel (as the sand of the sea does).  In revelation 17, an angel describes the sea as ‘the abyss.’  I did a study on death, the grave, and hell; there are three specific places that the bible defines one may pass through when they die BEFORE the final judgment.  This is the case in Hebrew, and Greek – three synonymous places are described: death, hell, the abyss.  Frankly I don’t fully understand this entirely, so I won’t pretend to.  I do know in when the book of Revelation describes the final judgment (Rev 20:12-15) that there are three places the unjust dead are called from before they are judged and cast into the lake of fire.  Those three places are: 1) the sea, 2) death, and 3) hell (Rev 20:13).

On studying these I found that ‘the sea,’ and ‘the abyss’ in both Greek and Hebrew are synonymous – that is to say that in common language the sea is the natural sea, but in prophetic language the sea in figure represents throughout scripture, a place of destruction, and is used interchangeably with ‘the abyss,’ (Greek) or ‘the pit’ (Hebrew).)

In any case, the sea, the abyss and the pit all speak plainly of a place of destruction, or DESOLATION.  What did Jesus declare to the Sanhedrin?  ‘Your house is left unto you DESOLATE.

Standing from the place of the remnant of Israel – the Jews who have received the Messiah – John watched the beast rise out of destruction.

And upon his head the name of blasphemy.  The Sanhedrin will rise up, declaring its headship – its authority – is from God.  This is blasphemy for if they receive not the Messiah, God has given them no authority.


Now my post is running a bit long, but I’ve only gotten started.  There is much more.  Yet here is my initial warning – and the reason I am even writing out this revelation to share with others: the Antichrist will have quote: ‘intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant, And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt with flatteries…’  (Daniel 11:31 & 32).

I am small, and insignificant.  People don’t pay much attention to me, so I don’t expect that much will be made of this revelation I share with you at the stake of my own non-existent reputation.  I speak these things because they were whispered in my ear – may I be faithful to shout them from the housetops.

Here is my warning to the beloved church: DO NOT FORSAKE THE COVENANT OF MESSIAH BY FALLING BACK INTO THE OLD COVENANT OF ABRAHAM – he will have intelligence with them that forsake the covenant.  When the Antichrist comes, he will take away the daily sacrifice – that means he’s going to remove Christianity – YOU ARE THE DAILY SACRIFICE (Luke 9:23; Rom 12:1).  The abomination of desolation will stand in the Holy Place of the temple – YOU ARE THE TEMPLE – the heart of Christians will be deceived.  I believe they are already, by and large.

If any man hath an ear, let him hear.  (Rev 13:9)


Link to next in series: WHO is the Beast from the Sea? pt. 2 ‘Antichrist’

WHO is the Israel of God? Pt 2. ‘First Glimpse into the New Covenant Era’

WHO is the Israel of God? Pt 2. ‘First Glimpse into the New Covenant Era’

Heb 2:1-4
1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;

3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

4 God also bearing witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

Please ensure that you have read the previous post before continuing.  In said post I discussed WHO is the Israel of God.  We found from three authoritative New Testament Witnesses (John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, Apostle Paul) the message that the children of God are not specifically the children of Abraham, but rather, those who receive the Messiah of the Jews: Jesus Christ.

(I made the joke to my wife that I was writing this series because I felt I have too many friends – believe me, I understand what I am saying is unpopular (particularly among Christians in this hour.)  But I have had a revelation regarding pertinent latter-day issues, and am laying ground-work in order to share that revelation… ‘And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me.’  (Luke 7:23))


Quite literally, under the old covenant (the relationship of man with God during the time of the ‘Old Testament’), in order for a Gentile to be considered a part of the nation of Israel – i.e. in order for them to be ‘saved,’ they had to follow all the rules and customs of Jewish custom.  Every male would first have to be circumcised, as the Hebrew males were, and the family of any Gentile desiring salvation would have to fully submit to the law of Moses (the LAW of God), AND the priesthood of Levi (for the remission of their sins).  For ease of discussion, I will put these into a comprehensive list that we can refer back to:

  1. Covenant of circumcision (the foreskin (an unnecessary layer of skin surrounding the penis) would be trimmed away from the body – sorry for the graphic description, but it is essential that we understand the ‘type’ of the custom so we will be able to fathom its meaning
  2. The Law of Moses (the rules for living holy, and sanctified life before God)
  3. The Levitical Priesthood (The members of the Jewish tribe of Levi were the official intercessors between God, and man, they were to teach the people, atone for their sins, and complete the temple service.)

The thought that a Gentile should have to submit to these in order to receive salvation under the Old Covenant should not be offensive to us because the Jewish culture – in that original form – was set in place, and regulated by God.

Here was the trouble to the Hebrew nation, however: when Jesus, the Messiah of God came, He fulfilled all things pertaining to the Law and the Prophets in Spirit, and in Truth (Matt 5:17).  The covenant of circumcision, the law of Moses, and the priesthood were all fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ – the Messiah of the Jews.

Now, it is important to note what the fulfillment of the Law and the prophets means.  Believe it, or not, Jesus never fully explained what it meant to His disciples while He was in the earth.  Even the Apostles had to slowly discover the meaning of the fulfillment of the covenant, the law, and the priesthood as the church was formed over time in the book of Acts.  Recall Jesus before Jesus was crucified, He said this to His disciples:

John 16:12-13
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

The education of the disciples was not over at the ascension of Christ, but when the Holy Spirit would come – HE would guide them into ALL TRUTH; yes, even the Truth that they could not yet bear.  This is one of the reasons why the book of Acts is so pertinent – it is not only a record of the dealings of God with the early church, not only the chief example of how the church ought to live; it is also the continued education, and discipleship of the Apostles, which began in the Gospels.

One of the things that the church needed to be educated on by the Holy Spirit – one of those things that they could not yet bear to learn before the death and resurrection of Christ was God’s acceptance of the Gentiles irrespective of their following the customs and culture of the Jewish nation.

God had to show Peter in a vision (actually three visions) that the dietary restrictions (for example) of the Jews were no longer to be strictly adhered to (Acts 10:9-16).  This should not have been altogether a shock to Peter, because Jesus Christ, Himself had already said so – and specifically emphasized this point to Peter.  Not sure?  I’ll quote it:

Mark 7:14-19
14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.'”

17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? 19 For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean.”) (NIV)

In Matthew’s rendering of this same story (Matt 15:15-20) we see that it was, specifically Peter who asked Jesus to explain what He meant.  The funny thing, too, is that this thing Jesus said that they wanted Him to explain was not actually a parable!  In asking what it meant, Peter believed it was a parable (Matt 15:15 & Mark 7:14) because the concept was so far outside the scope of his cultural understanding of God’s Word!

Jesus had plainly said that nothing a person consumes makes him unclean.  When asked to explain the ‘parable’ He virtually says, word-for-word the same thing.

So, here Peter was told by Jesus Christ in the flesh that no food is unclean, but he didn’t believe it!  He was so inundated with Jewish culture – specific dietary laws set forth by Moses – that even when Jesus plainly declared a Truth, his eyes were holden to it!  Now, several years later, Jesus had to tell Peter the same thing THREE TIMES in a vision in order for him to be willing to travel, and eat with Gentiles!  Now, it was essential that Peter, finally learn this lesson just at this moment, because Jesus had also commanded:

Luke 10:8
And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

This was a command specifically pertaining to evangelism.  How could Jews go into gentile cities, and spread the message of Jesus Christ if all there was to eat was pork?!  They would quickly starve!  In fact – it may be that this was the very command of Jesus which precluded the early Jewish Christians from going among the gentiles.  How can you go an bear witness among a people if simply being among those people is contrary to the law of the God you are witnessing of?!  It cannot be done – not without a lot more resources than the early poor, and persecuted Christians had!

Bear this in mind, however: under the Old Covenant, Peter was right not to eat unclean food – Peter was right to refuse to have anything to do with gentiles.  They did not submit to the covenant of God, the commands of God, or the priesthood of God – they were unclean people!  You and I (if you be a gentile) were unclean people.  We were lost in darkness, and had never a hope of salvation.  You and I, would be on our way to hell without knowledge of the Son of God.

Yet even still, Peter could not fully believe that God’s New Covenant with man extended to all people regardless of whether had been privy to the Covenant of Abraham, the law of Moses, and the Levitical priesthood (Jewish culture), until the Holy Spirit was given in power to uncircumcised gentiles who were (also) un-initiated into Jewish custom, and culture!

Acts 10:44-45
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

45 AND THEY OF THE CIRCUMCISION which believed WERE ASTONISHED, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This full story of Peter’s vision, and preaching to the uncircumcised (those outside of the Old Covenant – the covenant God made with Abraham) gentiles can be found in Acts 10.  In fact, this story is so important to the early church that it is not ONLY found in Acts 10, the story is retold TWICE in the book of acts, thus it is declared a total of THREE TIMES in the book (Acts 10; Acts 11:5-17; and Acts 15:7-11).

Now – you’ve got to bear in mind that this single testimony from the life of Peter (which was important enough to be told three times in the book of Acts) was a HUGE perspective shift to the Jewish Christians.  God’s acceptance of the Gentiles broke ALL THREE UNBREAKABLE (to the Jew) STATUTES FOR LIVING!

  1. It broke with the Abrahamic covenant of circumcision – for the uncircumcised were accepted by God, and given the fullness of the Holy Spirit
  2. It broke with the law of Moses – for the gentiles neither knew, nor practiced the Jewish law, and yet were accepted by God, and given the fullness of the Holy Spirit
  3. It broke with the Levitical priesthood – for the gentiles entered not into the temple, submitted to no priest, nor did offer sacrifice to atone for their sins, AND YET WERE ACCEPTED BY GOD, AND GIVEN THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

In fact, the only way that these gentiles could be said to have submitted to the Jewish culture was that they honored the One True God in spirit, and in Truth (Acts 10:2)!

In what way did they submit to the God of Israel?  In one way only: they received the message of Jesus Christ – the Jew’s Messiah.

Jesus was the fulfillment of the law, and the prophets.  All we receive the fullness of God not through works of the law, not through the old covenant, but through faith in the Son of God.


Link to next in series: WHERE is the Israel of God? ‘Know ye not, ye are His Temple?’

WHO is the Israel of God? ‘Seed of Abraham’

WHO is the Israel of God? ‘Seed of Abraham’

I’ve had a particular thing revealed to me, which I believe is very pertinent for the church in our day.  The revelation pertains to end day events, and I believe it is essential to take heed to it.  Now, please don’t take me too odd here – honestly end day events are things that I have never tried to look too deeply into, nor to minister, or speak on – partly for the same reason I try not to be too political.

I feel that, generally, there is a great deal of interest in end-time events in the church, and that many ministers spend over much time emphasizing things that often amount to no more than speculative theology.  Wrong theology of end time events is terribly destructive.  If something does not hold True from the beginning, it will not be found True in the end. I.e. there should be plain, evident teaching of it throughout the scripture, it will not just be a singularly placed, stand-alone revelation.  For God is God who ‘declares the end from the beginning.’ (Is 46:10)  Remember that in questions relating to the end days – if an interpretation of something does not line up with the rest of the Word, it is out of place.  It will be found an untrue interpretation.

Further, the scriptures can only be interpreted through the revelation of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 3:14-16), how much more with the visionary elements of the prophets! (I mean, wheels and eyes, multiple headed beasts that look like leopards, bears and lions, horns sticking up everywhere, etc. …)

I have resisted any desire to emphasize latter-day things, though in my resistance to it, I often find that the Lord reveals certain things to me concerning that topic unsolicited (Ex: Elijah 1, 23 & 4) – to which I say: ‘His will be done.’

I look forward to sharing that revelation with whosoever will listen; as I search, and cultivate the Word I find it more and more conclusive from scripture, and more and more collaborated in reality.

Before I get to the revelation I speak of, I will need to lay some ground-work of thought, and so I have chosen to spend a little time answering the titled question.  Do bear with me, as this will all lead in to the thing that I believe the Lord has revealed to me.  These things may not seem to correspond any way with latter-day events, but again:

Isa 46:9-10
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:


WHO is the Israel of God?

There are just about as many perspectives in the church on this question as there are noses.  In our day one standard and commonly accepted perspective among Christians is that the genetic descendants of Abraham – the Jews – are the Lord’s chosen people: the Israel of God.  Christians are accepted under the covenant of Jesus Christ, yet Jews are elect of God and will one day return as a nation and accept their Messiah.  The belief is that we are in quote: ‘The age of the Gentiles.’

This belief comes centrally from Romans 9-11; the core verse is:

Rom 11:25
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that BLINDNESS IN PART IS HAPPENED TO ISRAEL, UNTIL THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES BE COME IN.

A natural assumption that follows this belief is that in the end days, the Jews will, again, become God’s chosen people, and that the geographic, and political nation of Israel will be re-established.  The temple will be rebuilt, and Israel will once again offer sacrifices in the physical temple.  Continuing this thought, the stage would, then be set for Antichrist to arrive, and shew himself to be God in the temple.

I think this is all pretty standard fair, which most evangelicals believe.  I am now going to bring some of these conclusions into question.  Bear in mind, I agree whole-heartedly with everything that Paul said in Romans 9-11, what I am bringing into question is some of our interpretation, and conclusions regarding what he said there – not the text itself.

So, I come back to the question: ‘Who is the Israel of God?’

And here I will begin as early as possible in the context of the New Testament revelation, and try to flush out the question so that we have a solid scriptural foundation to work from.

Let’s start with the initial inception of the concept of Christianity in the days of Jesus, with a man named John the Baptist.  John was the first actual teacher of the New Covenant, he prophesied the coming Christ, and his ministry was for the purpose of preparing our hearts to receive Jesus.  His central message was of repentance – those who repented of their sins, and believed in Christ would be accepted before God.  This message was intolerable to the priesthood because they trusted in their genealogical heritage for salvation.

Contrary to the popular view of his day, John declared that physical descent from Abraham had no bearing on salvation.  Here’s what he said:

Matt 3:7-12
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Whoa!  Intense!  Yeah, we could call John the original hell-fire, and brimstone preacher.

Here John makes a couple of very interesting statements, however.  First – he is speaking to whom?  ‘Many of the Pharisees, and Sadducees’ – that is: the official members of the Jewish religious council known as the ‘Sanhedrin’ (put a pin in this thought, because later we’ll visit some very clear and definitive prophecies that Jesus declared to the same group (the Sanhedrin) in another post… well we’ll look at some things Jesus said to the Sanhedrin in this post as well, but a certain other vital teaching in a later post.).

So John, speaking officially to the Sanhedrin (in fact a conversation is recorded in the book of John, where the Sanhedrin sent an official delegation to John in order to determine who he was (that conversation with the official Sanhedrin delegates is recorded in John 1:19-27), declares in no uncertain terms that physical descent from Abraham is of no value in the New Covenant but only those who bring forth fruit meet for repentance, and receive the Messiah will be accepted.

In fact, by his statement, John makes descent from Abraham of no value at all: ‘…God is able of these STONES to raise up children to Abraham.

How offensive!  The prophet is actually speaking of the hard-hearted; those who were not the people of God [the Gentiles], as we will see as we continue – not literal stones.  Surely to leaders of a religious counsel who believed their own salvation was sure based on their genealogical descent, this was the very height of insult.

He followed this with a strict prophetic declaration:

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Those of the sons of Abraham – he says – will be cut down, and: ‘Cast into the fire.’  A plain allusion to the lake of fire.  Not only does he warn the Sanhedrin counselors that their genealogy is of no value, but that although they have trusted their heritage, they are in danger of being cast into the lake of fire!

He goes on to declare the imminent coming Messiah:

Matt 3:11-12
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

The clear implication being: you have to obey my ministry and repent – you will, further, have to submit to the full cleansing power of the Messiah’s ministry, if you want to be included in salvation.  Those who do not receive the ministry of Messiah – including children of Abraham – John calls chaff, and says they will burn in the lake of fire.

Ah, but maybe this was a hyperbole for effect?  John is a pretty intense, and uncompromising dude… obviously.  Perhaps he was just rigorously pontificating, and got a little carried away.  Let’s see what Jesus had to say about the Jew’s acceptance before God based upon their descent from Abraham.

First the context of this conversation: it takes place entirely inside the Jewish temple (John 8:2).  The scribes, and Pharisees (again, the Sanhedrin) bring to Jesus a woman who was caught in adultery.  This, also, is an official correspondence with the Sanhedrin.  In this case, the Sanhedrin was acting in its official capacity of religious rule – they were in judgment of a woman caught in adultery.  Most know this story – ‘who is without sin let him cast the first stone.’  Then one by one her ACCUSERS left (not the Sanhedrin – remember this is in the temple – her ACCUSERS left; these were probably community members, family, etc.), until she was left standing alone before Jesus, and the Sanhedrin with no one remaining to accuse her.  Then Jesus declared that He would neither condemn her, ‘…go and sin no more.’  (John 8:11)

After this Jesus began speaking to the Sanhedrin.  In context:

John 8:10-12
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those THINE ACCUSERS? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

12 Then spake Jesus again unto them [the Sanhedrin counselors, still standing by], saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

13 THE PHARISEES therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.

The first thing Jesus says to the Sanhedrin – that is the Jewish religious leaders – is that in order to walk in the light of salvation they needed to follow Him (His teaching, His way of life, etc.).  The Jews understand what He is saying, and immediately begin to deny it.

That is the context of this conversation – Jesus is speaking officially to the Sanhedrin.  Reading John 8 you’ll notice that in retelling this episode in full, John refers to the people Jesus is conversing with as quote: ‘the Jews’ (v. 27, 48, 52) as though He is speaking to ALL Jewish people.  Guess what?  He is.  (Remember this is another official conversation between Jesus and the Sanhedrin – the ruling council of the Jewish nation.  A distinction is even made in the narration between the general council of the Jews, and the ‘Jews which believed on Him.’ (v. 31))

Now the context is laid, we will pick up in verse 32.

John 8:32-33  Jesus says:
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

Now this is the beginning of an interesting conversation about being descended from Abraham.  Jesus makes the declaration: ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

First I will point out that here Jesus’ declaration indirectly states that genealogy makes no difference to salvation, but that knowing the TRUTH is what makes one free.  The Sanhedrin counselors are not stupid, they understand that the premise of the statement infers that they are in bondage, and need to be liberated.  The Jews respond with their self-assured theology of their eternal salvation based upon the fact that they are descendants of Abraham.

In v.34 & 35 Jesus defines what He means: that even the Jews are in bondage to sin, and must be liberated only by the Son of God.  The rest of this thought is rather interesting:

John 8:36-40
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

37 I KNOW THAT YE ARE ABRAHAM’S SEED [Jesus gives recognition to the fact of the Jew’s genealogy]; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, IF YE WERE ABRAHAM’S CHILDREN, YE WOULD DO THE WORKS OF ABRAHAM.  [Above Jesus acknowledged they are the children of Abraham – here He DENIES that they are the children of Abraham.  The thought: if they are really Abraham’s seed, they would be so in spirit, not merely according to the flesh.]

40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

Abraham loved the Messiah, but THESE Jews, though they were physically Abraham’s descendants, rejected the Messiah!  So Jesus plainly declares (my paraphrase of v 39) ‘You are not REALLY Abraham’s children, or you would love me.’

Okay, now not to beat a dead horse, but we started with Paul.  How does this descent from Abraham line up with the Pauline revelation in the book of Romans?  Interestingly enough, Paul speaks specifically of Abraham, and God’s covenant with him and his seed in Romans chapter 4.

Well, since I have already taken a lot of time with the teachings of John, and Jesus, I will jump directly to the central essence of Paul’s message:

Rom 4:12-13
12 [Abraham,] the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, BUT WHO ALSO WALK IN THE STEPS OF THAT FAITH OF OUR FATHER ABRAHAM, which he had being yet uncircumcised.


Then in Romans 9, Paul gives a further declaration, as he speaks of the genetic Jew’s place in the New Covenant:

Rom 9:6-8
Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. FOR THEY ARE NOT ALL ISRAEL, WHICH ARE OF ISRAEL:

7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.


And the final passage from Paul’s Romans that I will quote declares two things plainly 1) that the natural seed makes no difference, and 2) that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation:

Rom 10:9-13
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

12 FOR THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE JEW AND THE GREEK: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.


Okay, so according to Paul, Abraham’s seed are not those of his genetic lineage, but to those who walk in faith – specifically those who believe in, and call upon the Jew’s Messiah.  He declares plainly that being Abraham’s seed does not have anything to do with genealogical lineage.  ‘Abraham’s seed’ means those who have been adopted into the faith of Abraham – those who receive the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Rough conclusion of the New Testament revelation on Abraham’s descendants:

  1. John Baptist: Genealogical descent does not matter; REPENTANCE (we could call this ‘circumcision of the heart’ (Jer 4:4)), and RECEIVING THE MESSIAH matters
  2. Jesus Christ: Genealogical descent does not matter; RECEIVING THE MESSIAH matters
  3. Paul: Genealogical descent does not matter; FAITH IN GOD VIA RECEIVING THE MESSIAH matters

Who is the Israel of God?

Is it those who, in outward form, are Jews?  I will let the scripture answer these questions:

Rom 2:28-29
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:


The Israel of God are those who receive Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  According to Paul (and other prophecies) I believe that there were, are, and will be a remnant of genealogical Jews who receive the Messiah, (Rom 11:25-27) but all are accepted on account of faith in Jesus Christ, not heritage or native custom.


Link to next in series: WHO is the Israel of God? Pt 2. ‘First Glimpse into the New Covenant Era’