From the Beginning

A STORY OF "TIME" by Trevor Topsfield

From the Beginning (Word)

Preface

From the Beginning is an objective look at history as it has been revealed to the author through The Bible.

The revelation has not come via any miraculous event or series of events, but rather a very long time of constantly seeking to discover the facts of life. The story itself will contain only Bible references, so, to give an example of the research behind this story I will tell another with the technical details stated.

It appears to be a little known fact of how the three days of Easter unfold.

Most of Christendom celebrates the death of Jesus Christ on Easter Friday and his rising from the dead on Sunday morning the day after the (Saturday) Sabbath. From Friday evening until Sunday morning is only a day and a half. However the Bible indicates it was common knowledge that Jesus said that after three days he would rise from the dead.

Inserted into this preface is “The Only One” and it explains how these three days can be calculated, giving the technical details needed to understand it. The same accuracy will apply to the rest of this book, but without the details.

The Only One

Jesus was anointed with expensive perfume by a woman in the home of Simon the Leper before he was crucified. Jesus’ disciples were indignant because of the waste, while Jesus was so impressed that he said wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what this woman has done for me today will be told in memory of her. (Matthew 26:13)

Matthew does not tell us her name, although she did the only thing of consequence that can stand in the context of the death of Christ, nothing any other person did is worth remembering with reference to the gospel. Her action indicated that she believed Jesus when he spoke of his death and resurrection, therefore she knew there would be no opportunity to anoint his body after his death, so she did it before he died.

So much hinges on these events, for with his death he took away the sins of the world, while his resurrection demonstrates God’s satisfaction with his sacrifice. Therefore surely we can believe what he said.

None of Jesus’ disciples realised he would be killed and raised from the dead. After he died they struggled with the concept of his death even though he had often spoken about it. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary did not understand either for they were too late to anoint his body; clearly they did not realise he would rise from the dead because by the time they arrived at his tomb to anoint his body he had risen. (Matthew 28:6)

What made the lady who anointed Jesus different from everyone associated with Jesus was her faith, as she believed what Jesus had said, knew what would happen and acted accordingly.

Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights so would the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth. This time factor was known to all and sundry as the Jewish hierarchy went to Pilate after the death of Jesus with a request to have a stone placed in front of his grave, for they recalled the words of Jesus when he said that after three days he would rise again. (Matthew 27:63)

If he was to be in the grave for three days, why would there be no time to anoint his body? The answer is simple. The three days after his death were Sabbaths and no work could be done on any of them (anointing his body was considered as work).

This is an explanation of how it happened.

It is important in the context of the story to understand that Jewish days begin in the evening at 6 pm

In the beginning of Matthew chapter 26 where Jesus tells his disciples that the Passover is two days away. The Passover was celebrated on the 14th day of the 1st month, so the date when Jesus spoke these words was the 12th and it appears as though it is daylight so “X” roughly marks the time my story begins.

Jesus connects his death to the Passover for this one will be different from all the rest. The Passover had been celebrated for years and years, but this time while the Jews go through the ritual, Jesus Christ will achieve all the ritual taught. This particular year Jesus Christ, “The Passover Lamb” will achieve all that the Passover lambs have illustrated over hundreds of years.

The Passover is part of the “Law” and the law is compared to a shadow in Hebrews 10:1. It was not the real thing, but it moved in unison with Jesus Christ. Before the coming of Jesus Christ all people saw was his shadow because he was hidden by time. The people of the Old Testament who observed the law learnt precisely what Jesus Christ would do because the rituals involved in their worship of God taught it all.

Much of the theory behind the Cross is not given in the New Testament because today we can see the shadow and its object, we can understand exactly what Jesus Christ achieved by studying them both.

While Jesus was with his disciples the chief priests and the elders of the people were at the palace of the high priest whose name was Caiaphas. They were plotting a cunning way to arrest Jesus and to kill him, but they could not do it during the feast for they said the people might riot.

The reason there might be a riot is found in Deuteronomy chapter 21, verses 22-23 in the form of a couple of instructions. If a person is sentenced to death by hanging from a tree, he is not to stay there overnight as he is under a curse from God. This curse is spread to the land and it too would be desecrated.

To desecrate the land on the Passover which illustrates the oneness between God and man would incur such a reaction from God and throughout their history they had seen his wrath in action and understood it was to be avoided at all costs.

Therefore to have Jesus betrayed and killed on the day of the Feast of the Passover would cause a terrible reaction from the people. (verses 3-5)

Still on the 12th is the story of the woman anointing Jesus which we will get back to. (verses 6-13)

Next is the treachery between Judas Iscariot and the chief priest. Judas went to the chief priest with an offer to betray Jesus and hand him over at a price. With thirty silver coins the agreed amount, when would he do it? (verses 14-15)

Verse 16 explains that from then on Judas sought for an opportunity to hand Jesus over. The Greek word for “sought” is εζητει (ezytei) which is 3rd person, singular, imperfect tense, active voice of ζητεω (zayteoo) which means “to seek in order to find”. The imperfect tense is a continuous past tense so εζητει could be translated “he was seeking” to hand Jesus over.

At this point there is a verse break and verse 17 begins. With the new verse we assume that it is a new sentence, but in fact the sentence of verse 16 continues on so that it should read that Judas was seeking to hand Jesus over (verse 17) on the first day of the.

Verse 17 seems to indicate that it is now another day, the day the disciples inquired where Jesus would like them to prepare for the Passover. However this day is the day Judas had in mind to betray Jesus.

Further explanation is required at this point in order understand when Judas had planned to hand over Jesus, so there is a need to see exactly what the original Greek language says in the beginning of verse 17.

This is what it looks like:-

τη δε πρωτη των αζυμων

“τη” (ty) is the dative, singular, feminine form of the definite article “the”.

“δε”(de) is adversative conjunction and indicates a “general contrast”.

“πρωτη”(prwty) is the dative, singular, feminine form of the word “πρωτος” (prwtos) which means “first”.

Because τη and πρωτη are both dative, singular, feminine, they go together and as dative indicates “indirect object” can be translated “on the first”.

“των” (twn) is the genitive, plural, masculine, and neuter form of the definite article “the”.

“αζυμων”, (azumwn) genitive, plural of the word “αζυμος” (azumos) which means unfermented, free from leaven (or yeast) or unleavened. Genitive indicates possession and is indicated in English by means of ’s or using “of” before it.

Using what we have so far (ignoring δε) it reads “on the first of the unleavens” (unleaven is in the plural).

When the classic “King James” version of The Bible was written the translators added words here and there so it appeared to make more sense. In this version these words are in italics so the reader might know what they have done. In the King James Version verse 17 looks like this:- “Now the first day of the feast of unleavened”. Having seen the Greek it is easy to see why some words are in Italics.

The Greek word “δε” adds conformation that it is the continuation of verse 16, for it contrasts that Judas was seeking to betray Jesus on the “First of the Unleavens”, rather than during the feast.

“Instead Judas sought an opportunity to betray Jesus on the First of the Unleavens.

What this means is that the date in our story is still the 12th and Judas was seeking to betray Jesus on another day.

It also means the disciples went to Jesus on the 12th to inquire about where they were to prepare for the Passover.

Now we need to work out the date of the “First of the Unleavens”. About this time there were 8 days when the Jews were not to eat ordinary bread and these were called the unleavens. In fact there were 9 unleavens because of a practical complication.

Seven unleaven days are set out in Leviticus chapter 23 verses 4-8. The feasts appointed by the Lord are as such that The Passover begins in the evening of the 14th day of the first month.

The Feast of Unleaven Bread begins on the 15th and it was to last a week when the Jews could only eat unleavened bread. The first day and the last day of this week were Sabbaths, which meant no work could be done on either of these two days.

So I will update the chart which now looks like this:-

To this point 7 of the unleavens have been identified and the other two will soon be added.

The number of unleavens is extended to 8 to cover the Passover as well. It extended to 9 as the result of a complication of a command stated in Exodus 12 verse 19, here God commands that no leaven (not even crumbs) are to be found in their houses for the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The Passover was the day that signified salvation to the Jews. The original Passover was the day the angel of death “Passed over” them, but killed the firstborn of the Egyptians. For this reason it was a “High Sabbath” and the most important day in the life of a believing Jew, for it represented the day he was saved.

Because the Passover was a Sabbath too (John 19:31), no one could clean out the leaven from their houses on this day because no work could be done.

Therefore the day before the Passover was designated as the day to prepare. At the beginning of the 13th leaven would be readily available, but by the end of it the house had been cleaned thoroughly of every last crumb of ordinary bread. Therefore the 13th was counted as another unleaven and making the total of them, 9.

To further update the chart so that it now looks like this:-

If the 13th is the First of the Unleavens, then this is the day when Judas was planning to betray Jesus and in fact it is the day after he went to the high priest to get it organised.

The story continues in the middle of Matthew 26 verse 17, the date is still the 12th. The disciples went to Jesus to inquire where they should prepare for the Passover. Jesus gave them certain instructions and the disciples followed them in verses 18 and 19 and they prepared the Passover. The Greek word for “prepared” is ’ητοιμασαν (aytoimasan) which is third persons, plural, aorist, subjunctive, active of the word ‘ετοιμαζω (hetoimazoo) which means “to prepare”.

The “aorist” tense in the Greek considers the action of the verb as an event without any other consideration. The event is stated at either the beginning or the end of it and the text will reveal which it is. In this case it is at the beginning for the disciples are inquiring where Jesus would like them to prepare for the Passover. Therefore the sentence should read, “The disciples began to prepare for the Passover”.

Verse 20 ushers in the beginning of a new day; “When evening came”. Now it is the 13th, the First of the Unleavens. So much happens on this day that a more detailed chart is required and I will mark on it the Last Supper as this is the first event that occurred on it according to Matthew (verses 20-29).

During the Last Supper Jesus was reclining with his disciples and while they were eating, Jesus told them that one of them would betray him. Judas protested that it would not be him, but of course Jesus knew better (verses 20-25).

After Jesus took some bread and broke it, gave it to his disciples saying; “This is my body”.

“Bread” is the Greek word “αρτον” (arton) which is accusative singular of “αρτος” (artos) and indicates ordinary bread or bread made from yeast.

Jesus broke bread at the beginning of the First of the Unleavens, the preparation for the Passover had hardly started, so leaven bread was still freely available.

Leaven is described in 1 Corinthians chapter 5 as malice and wickedness, while unleaven is sincerity and truth.

The body of Jesus will be inundated with our malice and wickedness and he will be judged for them on the Cross, so through his death the righteousness of God will be available to all (verses 26-30).

Point “B” on the above chart indicates about the time Jesus and his disciples went to the Mount of Olives where Jesus predicts that Peter will deny him three times before the cock crows (morning), (verses 30-36).

Point “C” is about the time the group went to Gethsemane where Jesus went off to pray while his disciples kept on falling asleep. Twice he went and both times they were asleep when returned, not surprising considering the lateness of the hour (verses 36-46).

When he returned the second time, he woke his disciples in time to see the arrival of his betrayer which would have been about the time indicated by Point “D”. With a kiss (at the agreed time) from Judas to identify Jesus, he is arrested. In the scuffle one of the disciples cuts off an ear off the High Priest and with this the disciples flee (verses 47-56).

Point “E” finds Jesus before the Sanhedrin (Jewish hierarchy) and Caiaphas the High Priest, with Peter following at a safe distance. False witnesses were sought to testify against him and finally in a travesty of justice Jesus was found guilty of blasphemy. (verses 57-68)

Point “F” is definitely before morning, before the cock crowed as Peter had denied Jesus thrice (verses 69-75).

Matthew chapter 27 begins early in the morning and the story continues with daylight on the 13th, (and because the chart is getting left behind I will copy it and carry on where the other left off.)

Early in the morning (Point “G”) those who had tried Jesus through the night took him to the Roman governor, Pilate, as they did not have the authority to pass the death penalty (verses 1-2).

Point “H”,Judas hangs himself when the impact of his actions are realised. (verses 3-10)

The trial of Jesus continues before Pilate, and after some time he gave into the wishes of the Jewish leaders who clearly want him dead. However, he washes his hands of the whole business (11-26).

When the trial before Pilate is over (Point “I”), Pilate’s soldiers ridiculed Jesus and took him away to be crucified (verses 27-31).

In the morning, at about 9 am. Jesus is crucified and hung upon his Cross and from the sixth hour to the ninth (12 noon to 3 pm) there is total darkness. This is the time the “First of the Unleavens” earns its title, for while some members of the family are cleaning out all the leaven (the malice and wickedness) from the house and their lives, others are killing the Passover Lamb (which is judged for the leaven cleaned from the house). This year however the preparations for the Passover were seriously interrupted by the total darkness, but this year there was no need to kill their own lamb as the sacrifice for their sins. This year God’s own Lamb paid the price.

This was indeed “The First of the Unleavens”. (Matthew verses 32-55).

To fulfil the passage in Deuteronomy 2 verses 22-23 his body could not stay on the cross overnight, so it had to be buried on that day because the Passover was a Sabbath and nothing could be done. verse 57 states the lateness of the day, “as evening approached”, and illustrated on the Chart as “J”.

So much for the 13th. The 10-day chart updated to show the burial time of Jesus (“J”).

The next day after the day of preparation (the Passover), the Chief Priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate and told to him how they remembered when Jesus was alive he said that he would rise again after three days. They wanted the tomb to be secured so the disciples of Jesus could not fake his resurrection (Matthew 27 verses 62-66).

So I will draw the chart again entering the days Jesus expected to pass before he would rise from the dead:-

The next recorded event is found in chapter 28 when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb on the 1st day of the week, the day after the Sabbath. (Now there is a change from dates as mentioned concerning the details leading up to the death of Jesus, to days of the week when his resurrection is the subject.)

This Sabbath is the Saturday Sabbath, remember the Ten Commandments “Six days you shall labour, but on the seventh you shall rest; even during the ploughing season and harvest you must rest.” Exodus 34:21.

As it turned out in the year Jesus was crucified there were 3 Sabbaths straight after each other.

  1. The Passover, which was always held on the 14th of the month.
  2. The 1st day of a week of celebrating the Feast of Unleavened Bread, always the 15th.
  3. The Saturday Sabbath, celebrated on the last day of every week.

We know there were three Sabbaths in a row that year; because the woman who anointed the body of Jesus before his death knew it too. She knew Jesus will have risen before there be would an opportunity to anoint his body.

To pin point the time he was raised from the dead, Matthew also says (Matthew 20:19) that on the third day he would rise. This would mean that it would have to happen on Saturday, so to make this statement true and still agree with the Jesus when he said that after three days he would rise from the dead we have to figure a time that agrees with both.

If Jesus was dead and buried 10 minutes before the end of the 13th, he could have been raised from the dead less than 10 minutes before the end of the 16th and have satisfied the requirement of being raised from the dead after three days. If this was how it happened, it is also true he was raised from the dead on the third day.

It is very easy to make both statements true.

To line up the days mentioned in his resurrection to the dates we were working with when his death was the subject, we can see from the chart that Sunday was the 17th of the month.

Saturday the weekly Sabbath was the 16th.

Friday was the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 15th.

Thursday was the Passover, the 14th day of the month.

The Day Jesus died was Wednesday the 13th, the First of the Unleavens.

The Woman who anointed Jesus before he died was the only recorded person to have understood the details of how Jesus would be killed and that he would rise from the dead as he said.

She was the only person.

The records show that the disciples believed much later, the best known for all the wrong reasons is probably Thomas.

While it may be difficult to believe that only one person understood what was happening at that time, it appears as though nothing has changed. For if Christ did die on Wednesday almost the whole of Christendom would be too late to anoint him if the event were to happen today. To celebrate the death of Jesus on Good Friday is too late and he would be dead and buried with no chance of anyone anointing him. Obviously something is wrong as the numbers don’t add up as they should, for three days cannot fit in between Friday evening and Sunday morning.

When Jesus was alive it appeared the people listened to all he said. How then could they miss such an important point as this? Today! Is it any different and are there other issues that have passed us by?

 

 

Chapter 1

The Perfection of God by Himself

God existed, even when nothing else did.

He is eternal, therefore he has always existed and he always will. However, there is a proviso to his continuity, he must remain perfect.

Only perfection lasts forever. Any imperfection will multiply and compound until imperfections become so wide spread and detrimental that they destroy their environment completely. God is eternal because of his righteousness, just as eternal by definition is an absolute, so is his righteousness.

The Beginning

Before the creation God was an invisible spirit. With the creation in mind, he would need to have a physical presence. The first thing he did was to become a finite visible being while retaining his spirit form.         (Colossians 1:15)

The next was to create the heavens and the earth and this was the beginning of the universe. (Genesis 1:1)

To indicate that the finite form would be no less than God himself, he is identified as The Word. (John 1:1-5)

A word is a finite visible indication of all that it means, a few letters that can easily indicate anything at all. In God’s case, all his attributes are compressed in these four letters. An indication of “The Word’s” ability is that The Word is credited for the creation.

As the creator, He is called by another name: God the Father. “The Word” indicates the finite form of God is just as much God as God the Spirit.

“God the Father” indicates he not only the creator but also sustains all he has created.

The Creation

While God as a spirit required nothing else for his existence to continue, as a finite being he needs a home.

To cater for his own needs he made a place where he could live and it is known as Heaven. Heaven of course had to be perfect, an everlasting place for God the Father.

The creation of Heaven meant that God could share it and enjoy the company of others and so he created a form of creatures with bodies of light and called them “Stars”. In the same manner that God is perfect, so the stars were created perfect, both their lives and their bodies. Because their bodies are made of light their perfection was obvious for all to see, as there was no darkness in their total being.

God has to be extremely careful to ensure the stars retain their perfection so that Heaven will not be tarnished and will retain its eternal quality. To achieve the righteousness needed the stars have to accept God’s authority on the standard required and look to him as their ruler.

The First Imperfection

The creatures God created were magnificent and they would shine as they moved about Heaven. Everything was perfect until one star considered he out shone all the rest, a brilliant star called “Son of the Morning”. Not only did he see himself as superior to all the other stars, he decided to set up a throne of his own to rule over them.

He would make himself like God. (Isaiah 14:13+14)

Such a demonstration of arrogance was a huge departure from the righteousness of God, so something had to be done because no star is able to rule in Heaven.

Pride Comes Before a Fall

The pride of this particular star is the first imperfection in the universe, and because this imperfection would contaminate Heaven, God condemned him to be exiled to the earth.

At the same time God caused the fire, the light energy to cease and he became mere ashes of his former being. (Ezekiel 28:15 – 19)

As an imperfect individual because of his ambition to be as God, his person was compromised and this contaminated his body, its perfection was destroyed and it became inferior.

However, this did not put an end to his aspirations of ruling the stars in Heaven, but how could he convince others to follow him? He no longer has a brilliant beautiful body; this was clearly evident, so therefore he would need to come up with very good reason why others should follow him.

The Great Deception

The Beautiful Woman

The next thing that happened is recorded by John in the very last book of The Bible.

Revelation ties up the loose ends that have not been sorted out previously. The story of how “Son of the Morning” overcame his personal shortfalls was seen by John much later in a vision and he recorded the details in it.

John was shown a wondrous sight in Heaven. (Revelation 12) A woman clothed with the sun and she stood upon the moon, upon her head was a crown of twelve stars. She was a spectacular sight that outshone everyone in Heaven, even God.

She was pregnant and about to have her baby.

The Red Dragon

Immediately after the woman is revealed is another sign; this time it is a great red dragon.

A red dragon! Who could this dragon be?

It is “Son of the Morning”, but not the magnificent “star” of his creation.

The red dragon may have appeared quite impressive to John, but he is far from the “being” he was before he decided to be like God. With the fire of his creation gone all John saw were the remaining ashes. This is the same arrogant person with a completely different and horrible body.

Dragons were not part of the original creation as God had only created perfect beings, so “Son of the Morning’s” new body came as a huge shock to all.

With the dramatic fall from grace came a name change. From that point the name “Son of the Morning” ceased and “Satan” took its place. Along with the name change, came a different role in life and “Son of the Morning” became “The Devil”.

The Dilemma

The unexpected problem “Satan” faces is that he is obviously no longer a perfect being and now the prospect of others following him in his attempt to be like God has dropped to zero.

Therefore he needs someone superior to God to take on his cause, but who can that be?

The reality is that no one fits that description unless he invents someone.

The dragon convinced a third of the stars to join his cause now they realise this woman is not only beautiful, but is the absolute power in Heaven.

His story is that he should have been given the throne in Heaven, but this woman’s child was snatched up and placed on it instead.

Such is Satan’s explanation of how God became the ruler of the universe. His explanation continues with details of her discontent with the policies and functions of God, therefore she supports Satan’s efforts to usurp his throne. With the ultimate authority in Heaven on Satan’s side, he became an attractive option for other stars to follow.

A Time to Decide

The woman fled to the desert for she must escape close scrutiny, she realises that she needs to stay away from others so her fictitious nature will not be exposed.

God on the other hand prepared a place for her so she can be used as an alternative.

All the stars in Heaven now have a choice:. to continue as they are with God being their ultimate authority, or put their faith in the dragon. (Revelation 12:1-6)

A time period of 1,260 days was set for the stars to make up their minds, so the Woman was taken care of for this period so all could understand the issues. After the 1,260 days or about 3½ years the decision each star made was binding and their eternity depended on it.

Just as “Satan” when he was known as “Son of the Morning” rebelled against the authority of God, so did all those who followed him. Therefore the same thing happened to his followers. They are no longer stars and with their inferior bodies they became demons.

Heaven became divided as about two thirds stayed with God and the others decided to follow the Red Dragon and the Woman (Revelation 12:4). War broke out and Michael the archangel led those who fought for God against the third who had changed their allegiance.

Michael and his army won the battle and Satan and all the demons were forced out of Heaven to live on the earth.

On Earth With Satan and His Crew

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) he created both to be inhabited. (Isaiah 45:18) Therefore the earth was a going concern when Satan and the demons were exiled from Heaven.

The earth had an established ecosystem with all manner of plant and animal life. From the time it was created it was always an alternative to living in Heaven.

God being God had always known some stars would rebel against him and so he prepared for the occasion.

It soon became apparent that life away from God was very different to what it was with him.

Perfection was the only way of life all the inhabitants of Heaven had ever known, so no one realised what a difference imperfections might make.

However they were warned as some of the faithful stars had gone to the trouble to research the issues involved. With an understanding of how life could change if the wrong decision was made, the message was spoken throughout Heaven and the consequences were clearly defined. (Hebrews 2:2)

When the stars functioned as messengers, they were called “angels”. Because they became more widely used in this role, these heavenly creatures are better known today as “angels”.

When Satan decided to be like “The Most High”, he rejected God for who and what he is. Now he is separated from God he can implement the policies he would have used if he had become like “The Most High”.

The policy of God is perfection and he is determined to maintain it. Satan had a different policy which he considers sufficient and with no influence from God it was to be tested.

Satan realises that any defect in his strategy causes specific problems and they soon escalate to become a drama and with no perfect solution available to him, things only deteriorated on the earth.

After a very long time, perhaps millions of years the earth was polluted beyond recovery. The compounding and multiplication of imperfections had destroyed almost everything.

The original ecosystem collapsed and all we can discover of it is the remains of a few dinosaurs and the like.

Eventually through their sinfulness they polluted the earth’s environment until it became formless and empty. (Footnote about Genesis 1:2 found in many Bibles)

An alternate place was required for Satan and his demons to live; one that could survive the constant production of imperfections. Therefore God created a place that consisted mainly of fire (Matthew 25:41) so that the fire would consume their works, while the rest of the universe remained as it was created.

God then called this lake of fire “Hell”.

The Appeal

Until this time all the stars had only seen the good side of God because Heaven was an extremely nice place to live. God had designed it so he and his friends could enjoy life there forever.

It was difficult to imagine the measures he was prepared to go to maintain perfection and when Hell was revealed it came as a huge shock!

God being God would not have made Hell any worse than he needed to, but its fire has to destroy sinfulness completely to maintain the integrity of the universe.

This is where the story could have ended. The loyal angels would continue with God forever, while Satan and his demons would spend their eternity in Hell.

The reaction of the fallen stars was to challenge God’s judgment.

“How could you do this to us” They cried.

“Do you think you alone have the ability to rule the universe?”

“Is it only your definition of perfection that lasts forever?”

“How could you inflict such a harsh judgement without a right of reply?”

“We tried to approach you in our time of need, but you were aloof with your pious self-righteous attitude, you were impossible to approach.”

“What did you do to assist us to avoid such a disastrous fate?”

“With such a wonderful description of the woman who bore you, surely she should have the chance to prove herself.”

God’s Response

Challenges God could not ignore.

To resolve this once and for ever God restored the earth to something of its former glory and started all over again.

Just as before there would be the same choices, the same issues, but will the end result be the same?

Chapter 2.

A New beginning

The Restored earth

The earth had become a mess because of an era of neglect and sinfulness. The original environment had been destroyed, so God covered the earth with darkness. (Genesis 1:1 a footnote in some versions of The Bible)

However, God once again made it habitable by causing there to be light on the first day.

The second day there was moisture above and below the horizon, the third he caused the moisture below to form the sea and dry land to appear.

The fourth and fifth days he continued with the restoration and on the sixth he completed it with the creation of the living creatures. Last of all he created man in his image. (Genesis 1:27)

Mankind in Principle

Mankind is a major component in the resolution of the conflict between the two warring parties because we have the ability to become involved. Mankind like the stars were created with volition and the freedom to do whatever we choose.

Given that Adam was created in the image of God adds considerable importance to the results of the campaign God was about embark on with Satan and his demons.

When “Son of the Morning” decided to be like the “Most High” his rebellion caused a huge change in his body when he went from being a star to becoming a dragon.

One of the reasons behind the creation of Hell is that God himself cannot be contaminated, so the “sinful” or “imperfect” beings must be separated from him. Because Adam was created perfect in the image of God, he would demonstrate the difference between the “perfect God” and the “imperfect God” if he were in some way to become sinful.

The fact that Adam was created in the image of God will indicate the importance to God that he “must win” this conflict.

Man will have the same option as the stars, so it will be a similar situation as it was when the stars were created.

God respects every decision man make regardless of the circumstances involved, but each will be held responsible them. This means there will be blessings associated with good decisions and curses with bad decisions.

Practical Mankind

So Adam was created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27)

In Genesis chapter two we have the record of how this actually happened. After God had finished the vegetation it needed to be planted and watered so God formed man out of the elements found in the earth (chapter 2:7).

What was the original Adam like?

He had to be perfect, for God can only produce perfection. So Adam was an earthly replica of God to care for his environment in the same way God cares for his.

God made the Garden of Eden and put Adam in it, but it soon became apparent he needed a helper. So Adam was put to sleep, a rib removed and Eve was made from it. Adam and Eve together became the basis of the family as together they became one. (Genesis 2:18)

Angelic Interference

As the stars were allowed to choose between God and Satan, so God gave Adam and Eve the same choices.

There were two special trees in the garden.

The fruit from the “tree of life” was designed to enhance the life they received at the point of their creation and therefore a positive aspect of their growth in their relationship with God.

The other special tree, the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”   represented Satan’s lifestyle.

Good and evil is not perfect, so to eat the fruit from this tree would contaminate them. (Genesis 2:9)

God had warned them about the fruit of Satan’s tree explaining to them that the day they ate it they would die. However serpents were very crafty in those days and so Satan instructed one of them to cause Eve to doubt the penalty. (Genesis 3:4)

It was suggested that by eating the fruit from the forbidden tree they would be like God in his understanding of good and evil. The fruit looked good and now she doubted that it would cause her death, so she took some and ate it.

Immediately the fruit contaminated her whole being and her perfect body died and Eve was left with an inferior one. Eve gave some of the fruit to Adam and when he ate it the same thing happened to him.

The Death of Adam and Eve

The day they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they died just as God had warned them.

Oh! They were still alive to a degree and they knew about good and evil. However, the perfect life, the life of God they had enjoyed from the time of their creation had died.

With the death of the life of God, the image of God could not be sustained; therefore a bodily change occurred at that moment.

Their sinful bodies were obviously inferior because they were ashamed of them and went to some trouble to cover themselves.

When God came walking in the evening as he usually did, it was clear they had eaten from the wrong tree so he made them clothes out of the skin of animals to save them their embarrassment (Genesis 3:21).

While their new bodies were greatly inferior to the bodies of their creation, there were certain characteristics that remained so they were still recognisable as the same people. Just as the star, “Son of the Morning” and the Red Dragon were recognised as the same being with totally different bodies, so were Adam and Eve.

The conflict between God and Satan had become very serious indeed, as it demonstrates how much God has to loose. Satan is trying to stay away from Hell and God is avoiding contamination and becoming like Adam and Eve.

Life After the Fall

Now they are sinful, perfection or the righteousness of God is out of reach. Only perfection can produce perfection.

Adam and Eve had children and their children were born in their image. (Genesis 5:3) In this way the sinfulness of the original parents was passed to their children and it has continued from a father to his children ever since. (Romans 5:12)

Mankind finds itself in almost exactly the same situation as Satan and his demons. They are sinful and so are we. There is one very important difference; Satan and the demons rejected God as the authority in Heaven, while mankind finds he is sinful without any such rejection.

We are sinful because Adam and Eve accepted the false argument concerning the fruit from Satan’s tree and not because of any choice we have made concerning God.

By eating the fruit from Satan’s tree Adam and Eve inadvertently handed the world to him as sinfulness is his domain and Adam and Eve found themselves under his authority.

The world now has a completely different set of standards to function by, good and evil is the catch cry, but how long will it last?

Satan has the challenge ahead of him to prove his principles can maintain the earth. While this is happening God will demonstrate a few things of his own.

The Hope of a Future

Perhaps the first thing God establishes is the fact that he is prepared to make a way for members of the human race to enter Heaven and to be with him forever.

What! How can that be? Adam and Eve are sinful and the precedent is set, nothing sinful can ever go there.

Satan and the demons were banished from Heaven because of their sinfulness. True, their sinfulness was the cause of their exile, but it was their rejection of God as the ultimate authority in Heaven that caused their sinfulness.

To demonstrate perfect love for all his subjects God will do the unimaginable. The supreme God will become one of us and take upon himself all that causes our sinfulness and judge himself for it. Then, with our sinfulness judged he will be able to give us his righteousness in its place.

This means our sinfulness is not going to stop us being with him as it has been dealt with and we can have the righteousness we need.

The demons through their pride thought they could assist Satan to be like God and rule Heaven, while members of the human race need to humble themselves before God, accept he is the ultimate authority and therefore go to Heaven.

The Obvious Thing to Do

The majesty of God is obvious to everyone, for right from the beginning his nature and power is seen in the things he has created so no one has the excuse they did not know. While we all know enough about God to glorify him as God, many refuse to acknowledge this.

It appears that considering themselves to be smart, they are actually foolish which leads them to glorify the things he has made rather than God himself. (Romans 1:18-21)

Another result that comes from the rejection of God is the acceptance ofunnatural concepts. An example being that men and woman seek solace in same-sex relationships, which brings about its own set of problems. (Roman 1:22-27)

The Two Alternatives

Heaven is so wonderful and Hell is so hot and horrible and the decision we make will cause each of us to go to one or the other. Because these are our eternal prospects it is a serious issue we all have to confront.

From the days of Adam and Eve there has been the promise of living with God forever and making every individual understand the issues involved has always been one of his top priorities.

He promised to come here on earth and take on the form of a sinful human being and indeed did so in the person of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21) This in itself is a demonstration of the importance he places on the need to be saved and to be part of Heaven. At the same time it is the strongest indication to Satan and his demons on what he is prepared to do for any of his creatures, for God would prefer that none should perish. (2 Peter 3:9) Therefore for all those who do, it is not his fault.

The Solution

The death of Jesus Christ on the Cross is the strongest statement on God’s opinion of all things imperfect.

There is no easy solution; the Cross was a horrible way to go. The result of sinfulness is terrible beyond description, so is its remedy.

To believe that Jesus died for us is to accept God’s judgment of our sinfulness and therefore accept his authority in regard to his righteousness.

So to believe in Jesus Christ is a “one off” decision that if we make it, we are saved. (Acts 16:31)

God has taken upon himself to overcome all the difficulties our sinfulness has caused, which has made a life with him the simplest and smallest act of faith for each of us. (Matthew 17:20)

The remedy was promised to Adam and Eve and this good news has been handed down from one generation to the next in various ways.

Early Opposition

It is Satan’s policy to prove God imperfect and one of his early attempts was to destroy the human race. If this could have been achieved before God could fulfil his promise, then God is not as smart as he thinks, nor as perfect as he presents himself.

Having established God as not being perfect, Satan would win his appeal and Hell would be averted.

So a strategy was implemented by Satan to rid the earth of human beings by cross breeding the population with demons.

It soon became apparent that sex with demons was quite good fun for both parties. (Genesis 6:1-4)

The results of these unions were a hybrid of half demon half human and in this way the human race as such would have disappeared.

Something needed to be done and something was done. Noah, his wife and his three sons and daughters in law were faithful to God and had not become involved with this demon activity and so God used them in a very special way.

These hybrid creatures were somewhat superior to the average male human being and they became famous as demigods. (Genesis 1:4)

To destroy them Noah was given the commission to build a boat that would accommodate his family and at least two of all the land creatures. Then God would cause a flood that would drown everything else. After it was all over Noah, his family and the animals he had with him would restock the earth.

A Very Long Time In Prison

The demons who took part in this were sent to a prison where they still are today, but they will be released at a later date. This prison is a bottomless pit. After Jesus had died on the Cross he went to them and spoke to them (1Peter 3:19). Now they know their efforts to rid the world of pure bred human beings has failed and the saviour God promised has come.

But they will be released to join Satan in his conflict with God and will suffer the same defeat and condemnation as their leader.

God’s Policy On Information

It may seem that the people featured in the beginning of The Bible were not fully informed on many of the details concerning the things of God, but the story of the wise men that went to the infant Jesus tells the story of God’s policy on this matter.

When there is an issue of faith we are trying to resolve, the Scriptures is the first place to look.

If the information we seek is already available then God expects us to find it. If it is not available or cannot be understood from the available resources at the time it is needed, then he will pass on the information required in a miraculous way.

Practical Implication

Just after Jesus was born at the time Herod was king in Judea, wise men went to Jerusalem to give the young infant presents. (Matthew 2:1+2)

They knew their lives and the life of the promised saviour should coincide from a prophecy made to Daniel.

Around 586 BC the Jews were overrun by Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, thousands were killed and most of the young Jews were taken to Babylon in captivity. Their captivity lasted about seventy years while Jerusalem remained desolate (Daniel 9:2).

At this time the Jews appeared to be down and out. Daniel was told they still had 490 years to get their house in order. The years were divided into three periods, seven sevens, sixty two sevens and one seven. (Daniel 9:24) From the time the decree was signed so the Jews could restore Jerusalem, until the death of the anointed was seven sevens and sixty two sevens or a total of 483 years.

In 458 BC in the reign Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:7) and under the leadership of Ezra the captives returned to Judah and settled there, but it was not until 445 BC that the decree was issued to restore Jerusalem   (Nehemiah 2:1-8).

Now we have a definite fix on the time of the death of Jesus, but there seems to be discrepancy of a few years.

Jesus died in 30 AD. 445 BC + 483 = 38 AD. This makes it mathematically 8 years out of kilter.

An explanation for the discrepancy could be that Jewish years are not calculated at 365.25 days, but 12 months at 30 days per month (a lunar cycle) or 360 days. To multiply the 5.25 days difference by 483 it comes to 2,535.25 days which equals 6.94 years which would explain 7 years of the apparent error. In the changeover from BC to AD another year could be lost which would cause the times to line up perfectly.

The wise men were academics, which meant they were learned in different subjects. I imagine that in their studies they realised there were 365.25 days in a year. They understood from the prophecy in Daniel that the anointed one would die in their lifetime.

An Incorrect Assumption

Through their faith they decided to pay homage to him, but when and where would he be born?

Exactly when he would be born was an impossible question to answer from the Scriptures because there is no prophecy on how old Jesus was when he died. So they could fulfil their act of faith Jesus’ Star went to them somewhere east of Jerusalem and told them about his birth.

So off they went to Jerusalem where they expected the King of the Jews would be born, probably in a palace or similar. The problem was that the place of his birth had been prophesied (Micah 5:2) and therefore the Star did not tell them where it would happen.

Their assumption was wrong; Jerusalem was not where Jesus was born.

When the wise men reached Jerusalem they needed more information, so they went to Herod for the details.

Herod assembled the Jewish scribes to tell him where this birth would occur, the scribes told Herod because they knew the prophecy.

Herod was now aware of the birth of Jesus through the ignorance of the wise men, so he set about to kill all the children less than 2 years of age in Bethlehem and in the coastal areas.

They made a serious mistake and a lot of young boys paid the ultimate price because of it.

The star did not tell the wise men where the birth of Jesus would occur, God expected them to find this out for themselves as they did anyway. However if they had further researched the Scriptures and found the passage in question, they could have saved a lot of young lives.

Now they knew where to go, they travelled to Bethlehem. But where in Bethlehem will they find the boy? It was never prophesied in the Old Testament, so the star stood on the house where Jesus was so they would find him.

A Miraculous Fix

The Angel of the Lord warned Joseph to get out of Bethlehem and go to Egypt away from Herod’s wrath and told the wise men not to go back home via Jerusalem. (Matthew 2:12) The “Angel of the Lord” and “His Star” they saw in the East was the same being. The emphasis being: the wise men saw a brilliant star in the east, but now while still being a star he is a messenger or an angel.

Regardless of who gets hurt this rule applies and today we have the completed Word of God. Everything we need to know we can find out, so the time of angels/stars visiting people is over.

The story of the wise men guarantees all who wanted to could achieve acts of faith even before The Bible was complete. Just because today we do not know how the early believers found out certain facts does not mean they did not know them.

Chapter 3

Spreading the Word

Word Of Mouth

God had walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day on occasions (Genesis 3:8) and therefore Adam and Eve had access to any information they might want to know.

The message was passed on down by word of mouth as the population grew and it was the firstborn male of the family who was given the role of spiritual leader.

After a period of time this broke down and a general understanding of God weakened. However for those who wanted to know about him, God made sure they received the information.

In those early days the majority of the human population became increasingly less interested in God and decided to unite and build a tower to reach Heaven. (Genesis 11) In this way they could bypass the need for salvation.

To limit worldwide collaboration in the future God caused all the different groups to speak in a language of their own so one group could not understand any of the others.

In the confusion the project stopped and the various groups went their own ways.

God’s Own Nation

However with the formation of many nations each speaking their own language, it became necessary for God to maintain a level of knowledge of himself throughout all the different people.

God needed a nation of his own to represent him here on earth, one he would relate to in exactly the same way as he relates to individual believers.

His nation would require its own territory so God’s people would have a stable base.

He would provide quality learning facilities so they could learn all the relevant information they would need to know.

His nation would need the affluence to support evangelists to go throughout the world so knowledge of him was available to all.

It was not their responsibility to add others to their number, but rather explain the way of salvation and how to apply it to their own lives in their own environment.

The Birth of Israel

God chose Abram, later known as Abraham to be the founder of this nation. Everyone who responds positively towards God become part of his universe. He chose Abram because he knew he would respond positively towards him.

God did not interfere with Abram’s volition; he just knew which way it would go. Israel was founded on the same principle as any individual believer.

God has always known which way each individual’s volition will take them; this knowledge precedes their existence and therefore the act of their belief.

For all those who will respond positively he ensures all their circumstances work together for their good. (Romans 8:28)

So when Abram was called to be the founder of his new nation. God was already prepared and ready for everything it was going to encounter.

Israel’s history is very public and well documented and clearly demonstrates how God interacts with people. God had to set in place certain procedures so sinful man could make contact with a perfect God without causing any contamination to himself.

It is of the utmost importance that God does not compromise at any point and even the slightest indiscretion is dealt with correctly. If God were to lower his standards at any point Satan could claim a victory. God has done it for some; why not for him and the demons? For this reason Jewish history has two parallel stories happening at the same time.

One is the actual recorded events concerning the nation and individuals within that nation. The other is an example of how there can be a relationship between God and all his subjects.

A Very Long Parable

A Short Parable As An Example

When Jesus was here on earth he often spoke in parables. A parable makes sense to everyone who hears it, but for those who have some understanding of the things of God it also has a deeper meaning.

To show how they work Jesus demonstrated by telling a large crowd the parable of the sower.

Jesus later explained to his disciples that the crowd heard the story and understood it, but many perhaps even most did not hear the message. Then Jesus explained the message to the disciples as apparently they missed the point also.

Much of The Bible is a parable in itself and one of the objectives of this story is to state the message where a parable exists.

Like the farmer who scattered his seed and some of it fell on the path, (Matthew 13) so the birds came and ate it. Other seeds landed on a rocky spot with little soil and they soon spouted but withered and died just as quickly. Some of the seeds fell in among the thistles and were choked by them. While the rest fell on good soil and grew to produce a good crop.

Like the seed that fell on the path many will dismiss this story without a second thought, others might consider it with some enthusiasm, but will not take the matter any further. Others like the seeds that fell among the thistles will soon be choked by other concerns of life, but there may be some who take this to heart and learn to appreciate the purpose of life and what we should expect to happen.

The Parable Of Israel

On the surface Israel appears to be little different from many other nations and to read about their history in The Bible makes sense.

However, Israel will contribute a considerable amount of evidence concerning the conflict that rages between God and Satan. This is a very important aspect of Israel’s existence and for those who are unaware of the conflict, they will not be aware of this message.

So there is a message for Satan and his demons, but there is also a message for the human race.

Individuals can study the history of Israel to better understand how God interacts with them personally, because as God interacts with Israel, so he will with everyone.

The history of Israel has always been different from other nations because of its relationship with God.

The positives of being God’s nation are the eternal promises of a wonderful future.

The negatives are the attacks on Israel to try to annihilate it so God’s promises cannot be fulfilled.

The anti-Semitic attitude that exists throughout the world is the reality of Satan’s forces in action.

The Jews as a group of people are no better or no worse than any other group. As a nation Israel will always have the financial resources to protect itself and they will do whatever it takes.

Israel is the “Apple of God’s Eye” (Proverbs 7:2) and if you fight against it, you fight against God.

There are many examples throughout history when Jews have been threatened, but they still exist.

Just as the Jews are the apple of God’s eye, so is every believer. All believers have the protection and the know-how is available to them so they can fulfil their lot in life here on earth. When life on earth is over a place is guaranteed in Heaven.

God makes an example of his nation and demonstrates how he will bless where he finds faith and how there is discipline administered when he is ignored.

Therefore there can be vast differences in the lives of different generations of Jews of which are recorded in The Bible.

When God blesses Israel, its population is blessed and these blessing are obvious to all. A considerable amount of jealousy is often leveled at the Jews by others, as they appear to have more than the rest.

However there is a down side to being a Jew, for if discipline is the order of the day, their suffering as a nation is far greater.

Satan and his demons are extremely interested in God’s treatment of Israel, for God’s fairness can be judged by his treatment of them. If there is any hint that God is unfair in any of his dealings, then Satan could argue that he is unfair to him and his followers also.

Because Israel is the example of how God deals with each of us as individuals, the history of Israel can be identified with the life of a person who will and eventually does believe in Jesus Christ.

Israel’s Role

For example Abram was a grown man, but he represents Israel as a new born baby.

There are also other Jews who have played the roles that have been decreed by God that teach a lesson that they themselves appear to be unaware of.

God can only use his people to advance his cause throughout the conflict.

Certain procedures have to be followed so sinful humans can enjoy a relationship with a perfect God and these will be set out in very graphic learning examples. Every time any of the procedures were violated a response from God was swift and very dramatic so the lesson to be learnt was obvious.

Jewish history has had times of great prosperity because God has lavished blessings upon them. It is a natural progression in their relationship with him. There have also been times when their relationship has soured and their discipline has been severe so there is no doubt about how the relationship should function.

Individuals can enjoy the same prosperity in different ways when their union with God flourishes and suffer similar disciplines when it does not. However when there is only one person involved the events are on a smaller scale, but they are equally important.

Keeping Israel’s Identity

Egypt was established long before Abram was called and had developed its own particular system of good and evil. Not long after Abram’s calling there was a famine in his region so he went to Egypt (Genesis 12:10).

At this point God’s new born nation consists only of Abram and Sarai, and Egypt will be their first contact with the world.

Before they went into Egypt Abram suggested to Sarai they should tell the Egyptians they were brother and sister because she was very beautiful and he feared for his life because of it.

Why should her beauty endanger his life?

The relationship between a husband and wife is formulated with Adam and Eve. When the Garden of Eden was established God created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs so he would have a helper and two would become one.

Eve was created to respond to Adam and between them they would function as one unit. When there is harmony between a husband and his wife the marriage is a pleasant arrangement and the wife displays an outer beauty because of it.

In the case of Sarai; she was extremely beautiful. The problem that arose for this couple was that men in general appreciate beauty in women, but they do not always realise the source of it. In the case of Abram and Sarai, her outer beauty was the result of the inner beauty she gained from both her response to God and her husband.

Abram was concerned that when the Egyptians saw how beautiful she was and they were bound to notice, they would try to kill him so that they could have her.

Of course Abram understood that to maintain her beauty she would need to continue as his wife.

This has been repeated throughout history and is prevalent in our society today. Men have wanted certain beautiful women and have been prepared to destroy both his and her marriages so he can have her. Often this union soon loses its appeal because he has now destroyed the very thing that made her so beautiful.

It is extremely important that Israel retain its identity and continue in the purpose for which it was created. Therefore the strength supporting it cannot be allowed to die for that is the source of its beauty.

Keeping Each Nation’s Identity

With 2012 upon us this same principle is obvious in the international arena and Australia is a good example.

Australia from the outside appears to be a great place to live and it is. This has caused thousands of people to migrate here and there are thousands more who are trying to come, either through the proper channels or any way they can.

I have personally spoken to many of these immigrants and they all tell a similar story, Australia looks like heaven in comparison to where they lived.

Very often the reality they find when they get here is not as good as thought it would be, but it is usually far superior to the situation they left behind.

Australia looks wonderful and it is, but what made it so good?

Perhaps the presence of churches scattered throughout the cities, suburbs and the countryside might be a clue. This indicates that the nation was built on Christian principles.

Perhaps it is the pro-Semitic policies we have maintained throughout the years. If so we have been the recipients of the promise that God gave to Israel when he told them that whoever curses the Jews he will curse, but whoever blesses them he will bless. (Genesis 12:3)

Australians often refer to Australia as the “Lucky country”; however, the “luck” I believe is not some system of random good fortune that happens to come our way.

One way of interpreting Australia’s history could be that it took a turn for the better when some of our forefathers, like Abram, responded to a call from God and like Abram were numbered among his people.

Australia like Sarai is beautiful, but the only way it will maintain its beauty is to stay with the principles that made it what it is.

Abram was smart enough to see what might happen in Egypt and therefore did something about it straight away. Sarai’s beauty would be sustained if the status quo stayed the same. In the same way if Australia is to remain the “Lucky country” its status quo needs to stay the same too.

However, this does not look likely to happen. While many of the immigrants who have come here appreciate our “luck”, they fail to understand its origin. Rather than embracing the principles that made Australia great, they have brought with them all their traditions, customs and religions that made the country of their origin the place they wanted to leave.

Christian principles have had to make way for various religious concepts that are incompatible with many of the standards established here so long ago.

One particular problem that appears to be part and parcel with the Islamic community is their open hatred of the Jews. The blessings we have received from God through our pro-Semitic attitude are blessings that are worth trying to retain.

There is a day coming when the whole world will gather its forces and surround Jerusalem with the aim of destroying the nation of Israel completely. Australian troops will probably be there with troops from all over the world. However God will intervene and the Jews will survive and as for the rest, they will receive a mention later on in this story.

Israel too needs to maintain all the principles that make it God’s own nation, so the importance of maintaining their integrity is of the utmost priority.

When Pharaoh made his move towards Sarai God caused havoc in his house (Genesis 12:17).

Pharaoh sent the two of them packing, but allowed them to take all they had accumulated while they were in Egypt.

A valuable lesson was learned and Abram and Sarai left the place much richer for the experience.

The Same Lesson Again

Sometime later, Abraham and Sarah went to a place called Gerar.

(Genesis 20:2)

Gerar was reputed to have no fear of God so Abraham suggested they do the same as they had done in Egypt. Clearly Sarah had lost none of her beauty as the king of Gerar was immediately interested in her.

Again God intervened and they were exiled from Gerar and they became even wealthier.

Both nations, Egypt and Gerar liked what they saw when Sarai/Sarah walked by, but Abram/Abraham knew they were not prepared to embrace the source of her beauty.

Abram Starts His Pilgrimage

Abram was told by God to leave his father and go to a place which God would show him. As a reward God would make a great nation from his descendants. (Genesis 12) So Abram departed for an adventure which included him having a son to make his reward possible.

It is a long story, but his wife Sarai could not have children. The promise of many descendants looked impossible. While the Ten Commandments were not documented at that time, committing adultery was a taboo well known in Abram’s time.

For God to make a great nation through Abram and his wife there would have to be a miracle. At the time Abram thought this would be more than God could handle, so between him and his wife they came up with the plan for him have a child through one of her maids. (Genesis 16)

The Birth of the Arabs

Abram had a son by Hagar (the maid) named Ishmael; however, the great nation God intended was not going to originate from a child out of wedlock.

This would compromise his righteousness.

But even so Hagar was assured by the angel of the Lord (the same star who would go to the wise men much later) that her descendants would be an exceedingly great number (Genesis 16:10). Because of Abram’s lack of faith he became the father of the Arabs through Ishmael.

However God was able to make it possible for Abram to have a legitimate child with Sarai his wife, but Abram had to believe he could (Romans 4:20).

At this point there are a couple of name changes, Abram is now to be known as Abraham and Sarai, Sarah. So Isaac was conceived with Abraham understanding God can do everything needed to fulfil all the promises he makes. Isaac’s birth was a direct result of Abraham’s faith.

Both the Arabs and the Jews have grown up together and the Arabs have always been a constant threat and annoyance to the Jews right from their beginnings.

The Miracle Birth of Isaac

If only Abram had had the faith to believe God had the ability to enable him to have a legitimate son and not try to sort out the problem his own way, how much easier it would be for Israel today.

History is very important when it comes to the conflict between God and Satan, as it is through history that many of the complications of functioning in a non-perfect situation become apparent. God’s perfection is eternal, which means there can never be compromise in his whole existence. While he remains perfect, he demonstrates how imperfections compound and multiply through time where perfection does not exist.

The Jewish line continued through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It was established at the start through the faith of Abraham.

Esau and Jacob

Isaac had twin sons Esau and Jacob who will demonstrate how everyone has a choice.

Esau was the firstborn and therefore had the privilege of being the spiritual leader of the family. Under normal circumstances the line of the Jews should have passed through Esau, but he traded his birth right for a bowl of soup.

Esau had the advantage over Jacob, but decided there were more important things and opted out of that responsibility.

Jacob the second born was able to take up the privilege not wanted by Esau.

Everyone born into the nation Israel can choose for or against God.

God has often declared himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This infers that he is the God of the Jews because of the faith of Abraham, the freedom to choose him as demonstrated through Isaac’s twins and Jacob’s positive response towards him.

It is the Jews who are the people of God and all who harm them; harm the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8). The day someone destroys the Jews completely will be the day we know God does not exist, which would completely contradict this story.

Chapter 4

A Comparison between the Old and the New

Salvation

The history of the Jews can be compared to the life of any believer, regardless of which time in human history they occupy.

When Abram was called by God to leave the place he called home it marks the beginning of both his new life with God and the beginning of the Jewish nation.

God has always known who will and who will not believe in Jesus Christ. God does not interfere with our volition; he just knows which way it will go. For all who respond positively towards him, he calls us to be part of the greater universe.

When Abraham accepted God’s authority his eternal relationship with God was assured.

It only takes faith the size of a mustard seed (Luke 17:6) to believe in God’s supremacy, his power and nature are clearly seen in all he has made (Romans 1:20).

Today, once a person has made this decision he receives the righteousness of God and then can function within God’s realm.

When anyone believes in Jesus Christ he is immediately given God’s righteousness and at the same instant he receives the Holy Spirit.

The practical implication is that the Holy Spirit uses our understanding of how God functions and produces perfection by faith when we allow him to do so.

Therefore, it actually takes a greater faith and knowledge to actively participate in the greater universe after we are saved.

This is the way it is today because the death of Jesus Christ is an historic fact; salvation is now available for all who want it.

However salvation was only a promise before the Cross. The promise has been fulfilled and all those who have taken up the promise have received their salvation.

Because salvation was not a reality, righteousness could not have been given to them because Christ had not yet died for their sinfulness. So for those who only had the promise, God credited them as having righteousness (Romans 4:9).

It was there for them to use so they too could participate in the greater universe in a similar way as we do today.

Another complication for those early days was believers did not actually have God’s righteousness. There was no place for the Holy Spirit to reside within them, so the Holy Spirit would come and empower them when they were in fellowship.

Either way, both the earlier and latter believers produced perfection through the Holy Spirit and so God was never compromised.

The Holy Spirit could not be given to anyone on a permanent basis till Jesus Christ died on the Cross (John 7:39).

Grace

Both systems operate on what is commonly called “Grace”.

Once a person has accepted God’s evaluation of his or her sinfulness, he is free to perform acts of righteousness for our benefit and on our behalf. The death of Jesus Christ on the Cross is “The Example” of Grace in action; it is where salvation is available for all through an act of God.

No one earns or deserves a thing from God, it is freely given and is utilised through faith.

The more we understand God and the function of grace, the greater faith we can apply to our relationship with him.

To try and add any “good and evil” to the function of grace simply destroys it.

The Believers’ Freedom

There is a freedom associated with having God’s righteousness, whether it is credited to the believer like it was for Old Testament believers, or being a reality as it is now.

From Adam each of us inherited an imperfect or sinful body, one in his image (Genesis 5:2). This body of ours influences how we think, what we do.

At the same time we have the righteousness of God as part of our salvation package, so we have two choices in every situation of life. We can apply our knowledge of God to whatever we face and the Holy Spirit applies our righteousness to it and produces Divine righteousness.

The other alternative is to use our own strength and sinfulness with the result it will be a combination of good and evil.

Abraham’s Growth

Abraham was credited with having righteousness because of his initial faith in God, but this was strictly limited by his lack of knowledge at the beginning (Romans 4:3).

However this marked the beginning of the Jewish nation and was an illustration of a baby who has the same potential.

So much does the nation follow the pattern of a person we can consider Israel as a nation and Israel as a person who is made up of all the people of the nation throughout its history.

Abraham’s faith grew as his knowledge of God became greater and there are examples of his faith that far surpass the mustard seed size faith he had at the beginning (Romans 4:18).

The Arabs on the other hand can be compared with an unbeliever and their history is compatible with any other unbeliever where ever or whenever they might have lived.

To suggest who is a believer or unbeliever depends on your point of view, but I think it is fair to say that very few Arabs would consider the God of the Jews as their god.

The problem the unbeliever faces is he has no other choice than to function from his own imperfect nature.

So Abraham’s legitimate son was Isaac and he had a son Jacob, so God became the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 3:6).

Jacob’s name was changed to Israel and he had twelve sons who make up the twelve tribes of Israel. There are twelve different aspects to Israel as a whole and therefore as individuals we have these different aspects also.

The difference between us is the degree that we allow each of the combinations to affect our lives.

The Twelve Sons of Israel

The Four Mothers

Our origin makes a difference to our lives and Israel had a convoluted beginning.

The twelve sons had four different mothers which is a story in itself. Needless to say there was considerable friction between them which was complicated further by the fact that Jacob made no secret he loved Rachel over and above the others.

It all added up to the fact that when the twelve sons were put together, the whole was far from perfect. The message is plain and simple, no one starts out perfect.

The love of Jacob’s life was Rachel and he worked seven years for her father Laban so he could marry her. However he was deceived on his wedding night and finished up married to her not so attractive sister Leah.

He worked another seven years for Rachel which was not the best start to a perfect family and it did not improve.

Leah had Jacob’s first four sons who were Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah.

Rachel became jealous when after some time she had not become pregnant, so she gave her maid to Jacob.

Bilhah conceived and gave Jacob two more sons Dan and Naphtali.

Leah realised she had stopped having children, so she gave her maid Zilpah to Jacob and she bore both Gad and Asher.

To add to this complicated story Rachel and Leah had an argument over some mandrakes (whatever they are) Reuben had gathered from the field during the harvest. Rachel asked Leah if she could have a few; Leah’s retort was harsh and indicated that not only did Rachel want her husband, she wanted the mandrakes too.

It would appear as though Leah did not understand Rachel was Jacob’s real love even though she had had his first four sons.

The outcome was that Leah was to sleep with Jacob that night resulting in the birth of her fifth son to Jacob, Issachar.

The union was obviously quite successful and so Leah bore Jacob another son Zebulun and a daughter Dinah.

At last God appeared to remember Rachel (Genesis 30:22) and because Rachel was his real love, Jacob favoured Joseph their son over all his other children.

By this time Jacob was getting on in years, but Rachel gave him another son Benjamin and sadly died in child birth.

The Family

Remember, as part of God’s on going conflict with Satan is his concern that heaven would deteriorate if imperfections were allowed there. Israel is going to demonstrate how things could become and how God overcomes the problems.

The line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will show how imperfections or sinfulness can compound and multiply until God applies his solution.

The line of Abraham and Ishmael has the same problems, but without God’s solution.

Reuben

Reuben was the firstborn, the first sign of his father’s strength (Genesis 49:3). However, the best a father can pass on to his children is the sinfulness he received from his father. So even if the firstborn has the best of his father’s characteristics he will not be perfect.

This soon became apparent when he too slept with Bilhah, following his father in this manner is definitely frowned upon and his birth right was taken from him and given to Joseph’s twin boys; Ephraim and Manasseh.Beware that you don’t judge Israel too severely, for the message behind this story is that Israel is a detailed description of every person who has lived or will live on this planet. To prove this point there is one exception, who is of course Jesus Christ.

Simeon and Levi

Simeon and Levi were identified together by Jacob saying they were both violent men who had killed in anger and were both cruel and fierce (Genesis 49:7). However, when there was a choice to be made, the Levites were on God’s side.

While Moses was away on Mount Sinai receiving the two tablets that were inscribed by the finger of God, the people gathered around Aaron as they became impatient for Moses’ return. Everyone wanted Aaron to make them a god to worship in the meantime, so Aaron used much of their gold to make a statue of a calf to fulfill this purpose.

After Moses had destroyed the golden calf, he challenged the people to declare who was on the Lord’s side. It was the Levites who responded positively, so Moses told them to arm themselves and go throughout the camp killing somewhat indiscriminately brothers, friends and neighbours. That day the Levites killed about three thousand Israelites (Exodus 32:28-29).

Because they followed God’s command, even though it probably sickened them as it sickens me, they were set apart from the rest of Israel to be the priestly tribe.

God demonstrated once and for all if you are to function within his system you follow him precisely.

The Levites were a fierce tribe; so if God needed something to be done, he could trust them to do it. It was the Levites who could be considered as the conscience of Israel; for this tribe was resolute in their determination to make sure the correct standards were maintained within the nation.

Naphtali

Naphtali on the other hand was a gentle person, a doe roaming the country side (Genesis 49:21).

Naphtali is what we would consider to be nice which is how we would like others to think of us.

Often the tributes we hear after someone has died could be referred to as the “Naphtali nature” within the deceased.

When the Jews left Egypt they went to Canaan, the Promised Land. Canaan was a land flowing with milk and honey, a very pleasant place indeed. However, it was already populated by a group of people who were living within the worldly system of good and evil.

To live a life maintaining a relationship with God requires fellowship with him and no contact with any imperfections. Nice guy as he might have been, Naphtali did not have the character to drive out those who were already there (Judges 1:32).

To achieve the potential that fellowship with God allows, sinfulness had to be eliminated and the tribe of Naphtali could not do it.

Naphtali also played an important part within the overall function so that Israel would appear as a pleasant group of people. Remember they were God’s representatives to the world, so they needed a well-balanced attitude in their dealings with their own and the outside world.

Joseph The Soul of Israel

Of all his sons, there was one Jacob loved far greater than the rest; that one was Joseph.

Joseph might have been his eleventh son, but he was the first born from the only woman Jacob loved and as far as Jacob was concerned Joseph was the soul of Israel.

“The soul of Israel” is Israel itself.

The life of each person is in their soul. Everyone’s soul was created by God as an act of love and as God can only produce perfection; our souls are perfect.

The perfection of our soul guarantees our eternal existence. Salvation gives us eternal life and that is the only life God considers. Eternal condemnation in Hell is death as far as God is concerned.

It is in our soul where we make all our decisions. It is where we decide which of our characteristics we will use at any given time. Therefore the soul determines the sort of person we happen to be.

This is the message of the dream Joseph had when he dreamt he and his brothers were binding sheaves in the paddock and all of his brother’s sheaves bowed down to his (Genesis 37:5).

While this story made his brothers hate him more than they did before, the fact is that the soul knows it has control of all the characteristics.

The Various Characteristic

For example, many people are described as a “chip off the old block”. It simply means he is very like his father, so this particular person’s soul is allowing the “Reuben” in him a considerable amount of influence in the things he does.

The “Reuben” characteristic would prefer that he could control the person totally and is jealous of the soul’s authority over him.

In the same way the “Levi” characteristic would be dogmatic in ensuring that the person always did the right thing and is jealous of thesoul because it has the final say and influence.

When a soul allows the Naphtali characteristic to be dominate then that person is a nice guy, but it does not give him a good character in itself. Again Naphtali was jealous of Joseph, because he could only influence Israel to the degree Joseph permitted.

Joseph’s dreams

The message is consolidated with a dream Joseph had where his brother’s stars bowed down to his star: not only that but the sun and the moon did also. The sun and the moon represent his father and mother and therefore we have the authority to limit the influence our parents have on our lives.

Obviously parental influence is required when we are infants, but there comes a time when we have to go it alone.

Going it alone was more than Joseph could cope with when he was a youth. He realised he had the authority, but did not have the wisdom or strength of his conviction to control his brothers. His brothers decided they could rid themselves of Joseph and when he was gone they would be able to do what they wanted when they wanted to do it.

One day Joseph’s brothers were away tending the flock, Jacob told Joseph to go and check to see if all was well. Away from parental influence and with each of his brothers wanting to have their say in the function of the unit, they saw their chance to rid themselves of the “star” (Genesis 37).

When Joseph’s brothers saw him approaching they plotted to kill him by throwing him into one of the cisterns or wells that were scattered around that area. However Reuben was prepared to do what he could to rescue him (Genesis 37:22). Fathers have a strong tendency to try to maintain the family name in future generations, so Reuben (who represents his father’s strength) wished that Israel should continue. Therefore his characteristic demanded Joseph should be saved.

When Joseph reached the place where they were tending the sheep his brothers attacked him and threw him down one of the wells.

Before Reuben had a chance to rescue him a caravan of traders wandered by and Judah suggested rather than killing Joseph, they sell him as a slave to these traders.

Judah was a tough man; he looked at life and saw it for what it is and then did what he had to do. Like a lion after prey, who dares to challenge him? (Genesis 49:9)

Jesus Is From the Tribe of Judah

Jesus Christ came from the tribe of Judah; he knew what he had to do and he did it.

The Cross was a horrible way to die and the Romans used it to maintain law and order. It was extremely effective, for when a person saw someone die in such a slow and torturous way, breaking their laws was done with either extreme bravado or stupidity.

However, for Jesus it was so much worse. For the normal criminal the sooner death came the better as it put an end to their pain.

The death of Jesus was not that simple.

Before Jesus even made it to the Cross he was firstly beaten badly by the soldiers of Pilate at the request of the Jews who wanted him dead, or to use the more brutal description; “he was flogged” (Matthew 27:26).

Then when he was handed over to the soldiers who were to carry out the execution, they constantly spat on him and struck him on the head with a staff (Matthew 27:30).

Physically, Jesus was in a very bad way for his enemies actually tried to kill him before he was nailed to the Cross.

If the Jewish hierarchy or the solders had killed him as they had intended; our salvation would not have been achieved.

Jesus Christ was too tough to be beaten to death, but the pain was tremendous.

Given the importance of the death of Jesus Christ in relation to the conflict between God and Satan; killing him before the Cross was their top priority. If this had been achieved Satan would have caused God to break his promise of deliverance.

At nine o’clock in the morning, or the third hour in Jewish time, Jesus was nailed to his Cross. If we can imagine how bad it had been for Jesus until this time, it was only going to get worse.

At twelve noon or the sixth hour it suddenly became pitch black. Nobody saw the pain and suffering Jesus had to endure as he was being judged for the sinfulness of mankind, but everyone heard his screams.

There was no doubt his sufferings were far greater than those suffered by others as they died agonisingly slowly for crimes deserving the death penalty.

For three hours he was judged by the God the Father and suffered like no one has suffered before or after.

However, when it was all over he could say. “It is finished” (John 19:30 ). “Then, and only then”, did he give up his spirit and died physically.

The Importance of the Gospel

Given the tremendous pain and suffering God endured for us because of his love, surely he will do everything possible to enable us to take advantage of it.

So that everyone who would like eternal life with God is saved there is logic built into the universe. It in itself defines the majesty of God as scientific research can verify the accuracy of all the principles God has put in place.

In fact where there appears to be a discrepancy it can be traced back to a lack in our understanding.

In every area and level of expertise it is only study that causes us to understand the way nature has been designed and to be at peace with it we have to adapt.

Everyone has the ability to recognise the importance of salvation and it is the Judah characteristic we all possess that indicates this necessity. It points out the facts of life as they are and ensures we as individuals know that it is us that need to change.

It was Judah who suggested Joseph (the soul of Israel) should be sold as a slave to a group of travelling Ishmaelites, because at this stage Israel as a nation represents an unbeliever and should be identified with those who have no faith in God.

Our Judah characteristic reveals to us the harsh truth just as Judah did to Joseph; it demonstrates to everyone that we are at odds with God.

Once this fact is established, then it follows there is no automatic affinity between the human race and God, therefore we function independently from God. We are committed to our own devices and therefore a slave to them.

Joseph could only function from his sinfulness, therefore he was a slave to the system of good and evil. This was the reality for him so to complete the picture he should be a slave in Egypt

Before we can appreciate the need for salvation, we need to understand our position

While Joseph was in control of his characteristics, it was impossible for him to argue against his Judah characteristic because his was accurate assessment of Joseph’s situation.

So they sold Joseph to Ishmaelite traders who in turn sold him to an Egyptian named Potiphar.

Judah was only carrying out the reality of the situation and was responsible for the recognition that Joseph was already a slave. With Joseph’s slavery established, he can now put forward the way of freedom as this is also his responsibility.

Judah will persist and will maintain an awareness of the need for salvation throughout the whole life of all those who chose to remain an unbeliever. Everyone who dies an unbeliever has done so against all the odds. The “Judah” characteristic in them all has persevered so when they die God can honestly say. “They have no excuse” (Romans 1:20).

The Significance of Egypt

Egypt has its own significance in the story. The soul of Israel and all its characteristics make up person of Israel and are housed within the body of Israel. The body of Israel is the visible manifestation of all its invisible components and they live in the world represented by Egypt.

Egypt’s major role in Israel’s history was when it was very young and God often reminds them that he was the one that brought them out from Egypt. This is because Egypt represents their time as an unbeliever.

Israel’s departure from Egypt represents their salvation and once a person accepts the authority of God they are saved. Salvation lasts forever and so the Jews never went back and for us who are saved it’s worth remembering where we started.

Joseph has left the protection of his parents and he is about to find out what it is like to function on his own. Potiphar is Joseph’s first contact with sinfulness as a maturing adolescent he will face some of the problems we all do.

God continues to work all things for Israel’s good and because Joseph is the soul of Israel he will always be on Joseph’s side.

Joseph thrived in the system and Potiphar soon realised he was getting Divine help and put him in charge of all his business affairs, but not his personal life.

Joseph’s success was noticed by Potiphar’s wife who also found him to be most desirable. Potiphar’s wife suggested several times that he should have sex with her, but each time he rejected her advances.

One day when there were no witnesses about, Joseph went to Potiphar’s house to carry out his normal duties. Again Potiphar’s wife propositioned and again he refused, but she took his cloak and used it as evidence that she was raped.

Joseph was sent to jail. In jail he was a model prisoner and the jailer put him in charge of the other prisoners and trusted him completely for their care.

Joseph’s Ability To Read the Signs

One day the chief butler and the chief baker from Pharaoh’s household were also sent to jail and Joseph was put in charge of them too.

Each of them had a dream and they were concerned about what the dreams meant (Genesis 40).

Joseph had the God given ability to understand the environment surrounding him and therefore could give an accurate interpretation of the dreams. As it happened Joseph’s explanation of their dreams came true and the butler was released in three days as he predicted.

It was sad news for the baker as he was executed within the three days, which was a true interpretation of his dream too.

Sometime later Pharaoh himself had a dream and he wanted to know what it was all about. The butler remembered Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams and suggested he be brought before Pharaoh to see if he could explain what it meant.

Seven sleek cows came up out of the Nile; afterwards seven gaunt cows came up and ate the seven sleek cows.

In another dream there were seven healthy heads of grain on each stork that promised of a very good harvest. These were followed by very poor specimen of scorched withered grain.

What does it mean?

Pharaoh gathered his advisers and asked them what the dream meant, but they had no idea.

Pharaoh then summoned Joseph and again he came up with the right interpretation.

The interpretation of the dreams was that there would be seven good years of agricultural success followed by seven years of drought.

Joseph suggested that Pharaoh should put a person in charge of gathering food supplies in the good years so they would have plenty for the seven years of drought.

Of course the best man for the job was the one who understood the situation, so Pharaoh put Joseph in charge over all Egypt.

After the good years Egypt had silos full of grain and in the bad years following the Egyptians could buy from the reserves established by Joseph.

Joseph Is promoted to Second in Charge

Meanwhile back in Canaan Jacob and the brothers are having a lean time too, not only was the soul of Israel missing, but they were suffering from the same drought as the Egyptians.

The brothers knew there was plenty of food in Egypt so they went there to buy some.

The reunion between Joseph and his brothers was a complicated affair because the brothers failed to recognise that the number two person in Egypt was their long lost brother.

Joseph recognised them and had a bit of fun with them. However all was forgiven in the end and both sides appreciated one another, which is more than they did before Joseph went to Egypt.

Because of the drought affecting the area and the fact that Israel needed to be reunited, the whole family moved to Egypt. At this time Israel numbered 70 (Genesis 46:26).

The message behind the story so far is that Israel has grown to the point where it is completely engulfed by the good and evil by which Egypt functions.

While the rest of Israel had been living in Canaan, Joseph was climbing the political ladder in Egypt at an incredible rate. With the success of correctly interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams he was promoted to oversee the preparation for seven years of drought, Joseph had reached the point where Pharaoh was the only person in Egypt who held a superior position.

When the drought hit, the Egyptians bought grain from Joseph. When their money ran out they used their livestock as barter for grain. With no livestock to barter they mortgage their properties. When this happened the Egyptians were at the mercy of Pharaoh and Joseph.

Joseph had strengthened Pharaoh’s hold over Egypt and made him an extremely powerful man.

While Joseph might have been second only to Pharaoh, he was still under Pharaoh’s authority. With Israel moving to Egypt it meant all the Jews were under Pharaoh’s authority too.

As humans we move from the authority of our parents to the authority of the worldly system of good and evil, then as we mature the more we try to do the right thing; the greater is its grip.

Joseph could have been proud of his achievements in Egypt because he had made Pharaoh far more powerful than he was before. In the same way we too can be proud of all we have achieved as unbelievers, but it is still not good enough when compared with the righteousness of God.

For those who have remained unbelievers, many are proud of all they have done and they rely on their works to get them into heaven

The Jews were in Egypt for four hundred and thirty years (Exodus 12:49), but there came a time when there was a Pharaoh in Egypt who did not know about Joseph.

Over the years the significance of Jewish influence was forgotten and how Pharaoh’s powerful position was due mainly to them.

With no appreciation of the work they had done for his cause, Pharaoh only saw their numbers were increasing and he thought they would become a threat. So he decided to enforce his authority and greatly increase their work load. At this point the lives of the Jews became unbearable. 
The Jews were given the task to build cities so Pharaoh could demonstrate his power and wealth. Much of the work involved making bricks for the buildings.

Many Jews were involved in making these bricks and each person was given a quota. Pharaoh was extremely ambitious and was never satisfied. Firstly he increased the quota and then the Egyptians made all the brick makers find their own straw.

In the production of mud bricks it is the straw mixed in the mud that gives the brick its strength. If the proportion of straw is reduced, then the quality and strength of each brick is compromised.

While it might appear as though the kingdom of Egypt is impressive, it is not as good as it seems and therefore may not last. The bricks are sub–standard because Pharaoh demanded more bricks than was humanly possible if they were to retain their quality.

Egypt is starting to show its true colours. The policy of good and evil demands a certain amount of work to be done, but it does not have the resources to be able to produce it and maintain the quality at the same time.

Chapter 5

God Breaks the Hold of the Egyptians

Moses

God saw the misery of his people and decided to do something about it.

Moses was the man who led them out of Egypt, but before he could do that, he had to break the hold Pharaoh had over Israel.

Joseph had made the Pharaohs so powerful that the Jews were unable to move out from under their control. Therefore they were compelled to live under the system of good and evil because that was the system operating in Egypt.

Moses had to take away the power Joseph had given to Pharaoh; he had to undo all Joseph had done.

It is one thing for God to have made salvation available through the death of Jesus Christ; it is another to free us from the influence of good and evil as demonstrated by Egypt’s control over the Jews.

However, as God has provided salvation he has also broken the world’s hold over us and we can say goodbye to its slavery forever.

The first thing God did was to make Moses “God like” to Pharaoh (Exodus 7:1), and Aaron his prophet. Between them they were to achieve Israel’s freedom.

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and told him to let God’s people go, but Pharaoh refused.

The easiest way to get rid of Moses and Aaron was to ask for a miracle, as Pharaoh thought it would be very unlikely either of them had the power to achieve one.

To his surprise Moses threw down his staff and it became a snake. Pharaoh called for his magicians who did the same, however Moses’ snake ate all the other snakes to prove who was the most powerful (Exodus 7:9).

Pharaoh was not impressed and would not let the Jews go.

Water To Blood (Exodus 7:14 -24 )

The miracle with the snakes has established who has the greater power. Now Moses will turn the fresh water in Egypt to blood to demonstrate the source of this power.

Blood is synonymous with life and goes right back to the time of Noah for when the flood had subsided and Noah was once again on dry land, God blessed him and gave him a commission. Everything on the earth was given to him and this has passed to us so that mankind has authority over all living creatures here on earth. However there is one limitation, we do not have complete authority over life and death. This does not mean we cannot kill, but we will be accountable for the killing we do (Genesis 9:2).

In contrast God has total authority over everything including life and death.

To prove that God is the source of Moses’ power he will turn the water of the Nile into blood.

While it appeared that Pharaoh’s men could do the same thing, only God could change the blood back to water.

Shedding blood is easy, anyone can do it. Killing is a legitimate function of life and all of us have done it at some time. However, killing for the sake of it is outlawed by God.

When Moses turned the Nile into blood all the fish died and the river stank, but after seven days God restored the river back to life which neither Pharaoh nor his men nor anyone else could do. Once we have killed we cannot reverse the process.

Blood will have a special significance for Israel as they will learn some of their doctrine through animal sacrifices.

The promised Messiah has always been the hope of Israel for their salvation as he would make amends for their rebelliousness. This would be achieved through his death, but he would have to be faithful to God.

He had to be righteous all his life to maintain the standard God required or he would have to atone for himself.

To teach the standard required the Burnt Offering was instigated (Leviticus 1).

The person offering the sacrifice would lay his hand on the head of the animal so it would be accepted as making atonement on his behalf. This was a symbolic gesture to indicate that his sinfulness was transferred to the animal.

The animal had to be without defect. It was to be killed, skinned and cut up in pieces.

The blood was taken by the priests and sprinkled over each side of the altar while all the organs of the sacrifice were placed on the burning wood at the altar. The odour given off from this sacrifice was a sweet smell to God.

This offering was very messy as there was an uncontrollable gush of blood when the animal’s throat was slashed. To add to the mess the internal organs dripped more blood when they were being prepared for the altar. This caused it to be a memorable event with blood being the predominant feature.

After the Cross the blood of the animal and the death of Jesus became synonymous and the term the “blood of Christ” joined the ritual and the reality together.

If the one who offered the sacrifice learnt the lesson it taught, then the shedding of its blood and the death of Jesus was not in vain. However for all who have not put their faith in Jesus the “blood of Christ” remains a memorial to their disbelief.

Had the Egyptians taken advantage of his death his blood would have brought about their salvation, but because of their rejection there was a considerable amount left over. So when Moses stretched out his staff on the Nile there was ample blood to fill it.

The Plague of Frogs

The next demonstration of the power of God was a plague of frogs. Aaron held his staff over all the waters of Egypt and millions of frogs came up and covered the land.

Pharaoh called for his magicians and not to be out done, they made even more frogs to appear.

If Pharaoh’s men could have made things better they would have made the frogs go away, but instead they only made things worse.

Just to make sure Pharaoh understood who was in control of the frog plague Moses gave Pharaoh the privilege of saying when he wanted God to take them away.

Pharaoh asked that they should go the following day and that is when they were removed. A reply of “straight away” might have been smarter, but all the frogs went back into the rivers, canals and ponds as Pharaoh requested.

Once the frogs had gone and life in Egypt got back to normal, Pharaoh again decided not to let the Israelites go.

Gnats And More

The next plague was gnats. The dust of the ground turned into gnats and when Pharaoh’s men tried to do the same they found it impossible. They concluded what was happening was the hand of God, but still Pharaoh would not let God’s people go.

Remember it was Joseph who had made Pharaoh so powerful and secure. Now God through Moses and Aaron is trying to make him realise that when God wants to set his people free, nothing will stop him.

The fourth plague was flies. There were flies everywhere. They were inside their houses, on the ground and ruining all their food. However, there were no flies among the Israelites, so there was distinction between the two groups of people. It took a plague of flies to make Pharaoh think about letting the Jews go but, when God took away the flies Pharaoh changed his mind and again stopped them from leaving.

One two three four five, six seven eight nine plagues and still Pharaoh would not let God’s people go!

In the four hundred years the Jews had been in Egypt they had realised their inability to please their slave masters and achieve anything of lasting value, so they are ready to accept a better alternative presented to them by God.

If the first nine plagues did not convince Pharaoh to let God’s people go, the tenth one will.

The Tenth Plague

The Jews need to demonstrate their faith by killing a lamb, but the blood will not end up in any of the rivers or creeks. They will put it on the door frames to indicate their faith in the promised Saviour and for them his sacrifice will not be in vain.

While God has always known they would, this is when Israel made the decision to accept Jesus Christ (or The Messiah as they knew him at that time) as their Saviour.

It is a decision everyone has to make, however for some theirs will not be a positive choice for God.

Chapter 6

From the Beginning! Is it True?

The first thing that has to be said is that salvation is dependent on our faith in Jesus Christ and to enjoy an eternal relationship with God the believer will need to continue with this faith.

We can be confident that everything Jesus said is absolutely correct. He said that after three days he would raise from the dead, so that has to be true. There are many cross references to back up Jesus’ statement and the translation of it.

Therefore if there appears to be conflicting evidence, then we need to look at what it says.

In the case in question we have the account of his death recorded originally in the Koine Greek language of the New Testament and perhaps some accuracy is lost in the translation into English.

Another issue is that the Old Testament is recorded in Hebrew so there can be more than one source for a discrepancy. There is the translation of the Greek or Hebrew into English and another is to associate Christianity with Judaism.

The Passover

The original Passover is recorded in Exodus chapter 12.

The week of the Passover started on the 10th of the first month when those in Egypt were to select a male lamb or goat and take care of it until the fourteenth.

The message behind the caring of the sacrifice from the 10th of the month is found in the book of Esther in the Old Testament.

The Story of Esther

An abridged version of the story is something like this; King Xerxes who ruled over one hundred provinces from India to Ethiopia requested Queen Vashti to parade before a crowd of people to display her beauty, but she refused.

The King’s closest friends and advisers suggested some disciplinary action to be taken or all their wives would rebel against their authority too. The Queen was banished from the presence of the King, but after a while another was sought to take her place.

The most beautiful women in his realm were brought before the King and eventually Esther a Jewess was chosen to be her replacement.

The four main players in this story are the King, Esther, Mordecai her step-father and Haman an anti-Semitic adviser to the king.

Haman advised the King that the Jewish population was not obeying the King’s law and it was in his best interest not to tolerate them.

The King told Haman to do with them as he pleased, so a decree was sent out to destroy the Jews.

When Mordecai heard about it he went to Esther to see if she would approach the King to have the decree against the Jews revoked.

To approach the King without an invitation was punishable by death unless the King gave his personal pardon. Therefore it was a very grave and dangerous mission Mordecai was asking of her.

Esther told Mordecai to gather the Jews together to pray for her for three days and then she would approach the King.

For three days Esther considered the choice she had to make, for those three days she thought of herself as dead, as this was the most likely outcome.

The story of Esther does have a happy ending. The King pardoned her, the Jews were saved from Haman’s deadly decree and the King hung Haman on the gallows he had built to hang Mordecai.

Decision Time For Jesus

It was the same for Jesus when he went to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the weekend before he died.

The Jews wanted him to be their king as they saw in him the power to rid them of the Romans who had conquered them.

Jesus had three days in which to make a very tough decision.

Jesus could rid Israel of the Romans, he could die the horrible death on the Cross, or he could go back to heaven where he belonged and let all humanity go to Hell where we all deserve to be.

What we need to do now is to understand all the pointers to better understand the message and therefore the reality it teaches can be become more real to us.

Courtesy of the “The Only One” found in the preface, Jesus died on Wednesday the 13th of the 1st month.

So Tuesday was the 12th, Monday the 11th, and Sunday the 10th.

The Jews in Egypt had to take the lamb they were going kill for their Passover on the 10th (Exodus 12:3), and this was also the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem.

For the three days (Sunday the 10th, Monday the 11th and Tuesday the 12th) Jesus was as good as dead, for he knew that if he was to carry out salvation for all, he was not going to leave Jerusalem alive.

Wednesday the 13th started with his “Last Supper”, continued with his trials and eventual death and burial.

Thursday the 14th is the Passover: a Sabbath, so no work could be done, therefore killing the Passover Lamb had to be done on the 13th. The one exception to the Sabbath rule was that they could cook (Exodus 12:16).

So in the original Passover they had to take a lamb on the 10th and care for it until the 14th, and kill it in the evening.

“Until the 14th”, would appear they killed their lamb on the day of the Passover. However the “until” found in this passage is like the “until” in “he laughed until he cried”. If in this situation the person cried at the beginning of the 14th, then he stopped laughing at the end of the 13th.

In the same way the Jews in Egypt selected their lambs and took care of them “until” the 14th, so they killed them in the evening of the 13th. Remember a Jewish day begins and ends in the evening, so the lambs were dead by the beginning of the 14th and they cooked them on that day.

Every year since the original Passover the Jews have celebrated the Passing over of the “Angel of Death” on the 14th so they could leave Egypt and begin a new life with God on the 15th.

The result from the death of Jesus is the fulfilment of all the Passover Lamb signified. When the angel of death passed over the Jews in Egypt it killed all the Egyptian’s firstborn. So death passes over all who have faith in Jesus and a life with God becomes a reality for us.

Whenever a ritual or a prophecy becomes a reality, it is a sign from God to the Jews (1 Corinthians 1:22).

The Promised Land

The Promised Land was where they were to live in fellowship with God. The plan was that they would function as a righteous people with God; no longer under the principle of good and evil. This means they could no longer call on the world or worldly concepts for their livelihood, they had to be self-sufficient. When Israel left Egypt it was very rich and this is the way Israel has to be.

Israel cannot call on the rest of the world for assistance, but they do not have to worry for God will make sure they will always have whatever they need.

It was a new way of life outside of Egypt and many found that while slavery was terrible, there was a sense of security. Out of Egypt they had to rely on God alone.

History has shown there were only two adults of the Exodus generation who left Egypt went into the Promised Land and they were Caleb and Joshua.

The Red Sea

However there was no going back and to make sure the lesson was well and truly learned, God lead them to the Red Sea. By this time Pharaoh had changed his mind concerning his decision to let Israel go and sent his army to bring them back.

God was there as a cloud in the day so there was always separation between the Jews and the Egyptians. In the night he was a pillar of fire so there was separation and guidance (Exodus 13:21).

A famous phenomenon in history is the parting of the Red Sea and there have been many explanations of how it could have happened.

The most logical explanation I have heard is that God did it.

If God made the heavens and the earth, he could part the Red Sea.

With all the discussion about how it could have been done, or whether it happened at all, the purpose for God doing it has lost most of its significance.

God lead the Jews to the Red Sea on purpose to demonstrate a certain principle.

The parting of the Red Sea is only ever going to happen once.

It was a trap for the Egyptians and every unbeliever who thinks they can follow in the footsteps of believers without their faith.

Salvation as The Bible teaches it is beyond the Red Sea and everyone who believes in Christ Jesus passes through it. On the other side is an eternal relationship with God and like the parting of the waters it is achieved completely by him.

For all who try to follow those who have put their faith in Jesus, God will make sure that they realise eternal life does not belong to them. They are like the Egyptians who tried to follow the Jews. They were swallowed up by the water when it returned to normal (Exodus 14:28). One of the problems with salvation through Jesus Christ is the fact that the alternative is death and the Red Sea incident makes this obvious.

It was a one way journey for Israel, for they were now committed to remain on the other side. God has never parted the waters of the Red Sea again to allow the Jews to go back to Egypt. Egypt was the place where the Jews grew up, it was where they developed their sinfulness to the point that it controlled their lives and they were slaves to it. It is a stage every believer has experienced, but no one ever goes back.

There are plenty of ways believers can function under Satan’s plan of good and evil, but from now on all sins have to be achieved as a believer. Israel’s history will give examples of believers out of fellowship, but it is a foolish believer who thinks he is better than the Jews.

God has put Israel under the microscope for thousands of years and he has used their history to demonstrate how he can have a relationship with sinful people without compromising his perfection.

Fellowship Offering

Fellowship with God is taught by means of the fellowship offering (Leviticus 3). This sacrifice teaches what is required for the believer to maintain his relationship with God.

The animal to be sacrificed came from the herd or the flock and could be either male or female depending on the sex of the one making the offering. This is because fellowship is for both men and women.

The person offering the sacrifice had to lay his or her hand on the head of the animal and kill it at the entrance of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was simply a mobile Temple in the form of a large tent that Israel carried around before they established the permanent Temple in Jerusalem. All the functions carried out in the Tabernacle were continued in the Temple when it was built.

The laying of a hand on the head of the animal was to identify the one sacrificing the animal with the sacrifice, so if the sacrifice is acceptable to the Lord so would the person sacrificing it. If the sacrifice sent an aroma pleasing to the Lord, then it had achieved its purpose.

To make the sacrifice indicated the one who was making it wanted to continue in their relationship with God.

The Fellowship offering in some ways is similar to the person who dismantled his car to find out why it is running so well. Some parts of the sacrifice will be removed and tested to demonstrate that it is acceptable to God.

For the animal to be the perfect example of being of being in fellowship; it had to die physically. In the same way we need to die to render our sinfulness inoperative, this gives us the opportunity to be alive to our righteousness. The message so far is that the animal died physically at the entrance to the Tabernacle, then, entered it with only those aspects of its life that is acceptable to God.

The shed blood of the animal was sprinkled on all the sides of the altar which indicates its death and when it was burnt it was a sweet smell to God.

The fat around the inner parts of the animal, both its kidneys and surrounding fat and the liver were all tested with fire.

The fat covering the inner parts refers to the soft fat all over the body. Absence of this fat makes the animal lean. When an animal eats more than it requires for normal functions and growth it produces fat. Because this fat is soft it quickly converts to energy if food becomes scarce, or in an emergency.

In the same way, the believers who diligently learns the things of God through the study of His Word store within themselves an understanding of God. When it is applied to their life experiences, the application of this knowledge is their faith (Romans 10:17).

With this surplus of information the mature believers can immediately apply it to counter any situation they might face. The greater a person understands the policies of God, the greater the influence the Holy Spirit can exert on his or her life when he applies this knowledge.

This fat that burns on the altar is an aroma pleasing to the Lord as our faith is pleasing to God.

The kidneys are to be removed and placed on the altar also.

The life of an animal is in its blood (Leviticus 17-11) and the function of the kidneys is to constantly cleanse it. In this sacrifice the kidneys have been successfully removing the impurities from the life, so when they are burnt on the altar they send up a sweet smell to God.

It is a simple task for us to cleanse our lives because the hard work has already been achieved by Jesus on the Cross. If we name, cite or confess our sinfulness we have acknowledged that we have not maintained the standard required, this action indicates we accept God’s authority (1 John 1:9).

Once this is re-established, God through the Holy Spirit takes control of our lives again and uses our knowledge of him to produce divine righteousness through us.

Not only were the kidneys placed on the altar, but the fat that surrounds them. This fat is hard and protects the function of the kidneys. It is also produced by the intake of more food than the animal normally needs which equates to a considerable understanding of God’s word, in particular his grace.

To protect the function of the kidneys we need to be certain God has taken care of our sinfulness and there is nothing more needs to be done, except constantly referring back to his authority.

To be confident that God will do this every time we confess our sinfulness takes a rock solid faith and to demonstrate it is a sweet smell to the Lord.

The Fellowship offering continues with the covering or the caul of the liver being burnt on the altar. The Hebrew word for “covering” or “caul” could also be translated “flap”. The “flap of the liver” is a description of it; this indicates it is the liver itself that was to be burnt on the altar.

The function of the liver is to produce bile which breaks down the food we eat into a life supporting substance.

For the believer who takes in biblical information and converts it into food for his soul, he will be able to apply God’s solutions to all his situations. He knows God’s policies and can function within them.

A liver that has brought about a considerable maturity in a believer gives off an aroma pleasing to the Lord.

Fellowship requires growth in our understanding of God, so regardless of the situation the believer can call on his knowledge of God to get him through.

Biblical information like food needs to be broken down so that it can be used, and the believer’s attitude towards God is the agent that breaks down the information he has learned into concepts he can use.

The following are the requirements to maintain fellowship with God.

  1. A comprehensive understanding of the policies of God so our faith in him never waivers, regardless of the situation.
  2. Constant cleansing of our lives so the Holy Spirit can use our knowledge of God.
  3. Being totally convinced that our sinfulness was dealt with on the Cross and therefore through our confession we are back in fellowship.
  4. So that all three of above are maintained the Biblical information we learn needs to be broken down through our faith into knowledge we can use.

Chapter 7

Jewish History

Their Beginning

The Jews got away to a slow start, but that is typical for most believers given there is so much to learn. No longer should we carry on as before, now the catch cry is to “walk in our new life” (Romans 6:4). The idea is not to walk according to the life we inherited from Adam, but the new which comes from fellowship with God under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

The Jews were no different to any other believer.

To fulfil the role of God’s people within the conflict God is waging with Satan and his demons, God has to make an example of his people. When Israel functioned as it should there was harmony between themselves and God.

Five Stages of Discipline

But God warned them that he would discipline them in five stages if things between them should sour. Each stage would be seven times more severe than the previous, culminating in the temporary destruction of the nation (Leviticus 26:14-35).

The fifth stage of discipline has been administered by God three times, so there have been three total breakdowns between Israel and God throughout their history. While these have been very well documented and extremely severe, three times might not seem too often when compared with many other believers and ourselves.

The Fifth Stage of Discipline To The Northern Kingdom

The first time it happened was in 721 BC and it happened to the Northern kingdom.

God’s people were divided in two with ten tribes rebelling against the harsh rule of Rehoboam the son of Solomon (1 Kings 11). Judah and Benjamin stayed loyal to Rehoboam at Jerusalem, but ten tribes went north under the leadership of Jeroboam and away from the Temple in Jerusalem.

When the ten tribes moved away from Jerusalem, they lost the influence the Temple could exert.

In the early days when the Scriptures or the Old testament were incomplete, God communicated with the Jews in various miraculous ways.

One of them was from the Ark of the Covenant which was chest or box made from acacia wood overlaid with gold.

Inside the Ark were three articles that represented God’s relationship with man (Hebrews 9:4).

  1. The gold container of Manna which represents God’s provision for man, as manna was supplied to the Exodus generation on a daily basis on their way to the Promised Land.
  2. Aaron’s staff that budded which represents God’s authority. As the Exodus generation moved away from Egypt, there was a group who rebelled against Moses and Aaron. To settle the matter each tribal leader had to write their names on their staff and give it to Moses. Moses then put them in the Tabernacle and the staff that had budded in the morning was God’s choice.

Buds had grown on Aaron’s staff overnight and that was the end of it (Numbers 17:1-12).

  1. The stone tablets are those Moses received on Mount Sinai with the commandments written on them.The Commandments represent the righteousness of God.

Inside the Temple were all manner of teaching aids and because knowledge of God is an essential component of fellowship, without it fellowship with God will breakdown.

However, when they began to stray, signs of the first stage of discipline began to appear.

With no understanding of God caring for them they were frightened by their own shadow and their health began to suffer. Their crops were failing and their enemies were winning far too often (Leviticus 26:16).

When the second stage kicked in it was seven times worse than the first, but still they did not change their attitude (Leviticus 26:18). Then the third was administered with the same result. The severity of the fourth stage was not enough to bring about a change of attitude, so God could do no less than apply the fifth.

Many individuals were smart enough to see the signs and migrated back to the Southern Kingdom to be near the Temple and it was through them that the ten northern tribes survived.

A Religious Alternative    

When the ten tribes went north, it was too far to return to Jerusalem to visit the Temple. Therefore the things of God became a distant memory.

At this point many of those living in the Northern Kingdom gave into their Dan characteristic.

Dan according to his father is a serpent who waits for riders on horses to go by and then bites their heels causing the rider to fall (Genesis 49:17).

Dan is our “religious component” and if we allow it to play a major part in our lives we become very religious. Because Jerusalem was too far away (1 Kings 12:28), two golden idols were made to substitute the worship of God in the Temple. One was set up in Bethal and the other in Dan.

The city of Dan used to be called Laish, but the Danites attacked it and renamed it after their patriarch (Judges 18:27-30).

They did not give thanks to God and in their foolishness they worshipped idols instead (Romans 1:22).

It is interesting to note that in the last book of The Bible all the tribes of Israel are listed except the tribe of Dan (Revelation 7:5-8). This story will demonstrate how the religious characteristic of Israel will not survive. The last thing that is needed is to confuse religion with a relationship with God, so God brought about the end of the tribe of Dan.

Hosea’s Warnings

Hosea was one of the prophets to the Northern Kingdom and part of his message was that they were destroyed through lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).

It is knowledge that produces understanding for without an understanding of God there is no fellowship with him.

Where there is no fellowship with God, there is no function as God’s people. If Israel does not function as God’s people they are no different to any other nation.

They thought that if they went through the rituals they would please God, but God does not care for rituals. God is interested to see if the people are learning the message they teach. The message of Hosea was that God wanted compassion and not sacrifices, knowledge of him instead of burnt offerings (Hosea 6:6). To carry out sacrifices without learning from them is a total waste of time.

The Assyrians came along and conquered the Northern Kingdom.

The Fifth Stage of Discipline To The Southern Kingdom

The next time the fifth stage of discipline was administered to Judah or the Southern Kingdom was in 586 BC.

Jeremiah was among the prophets who warned them of the impending doom and it was he who told them they had not responded to their correction from God and the truth was no longer spoken (Jeremiah 7:28).

Another issue God had with his people was that from the end of King Saul’s reign, Israel stopped celebrating the Sabbatical years. Every week on the last day of the week the Jews were to rest, as God rested after working for six days to restore the earth.

The message behind the Sabbaths is that the Jews could rest in God’s completed works in the same way he did.

Every Sabbath was a day for the whole nation to rest; it signified God had already done the work for it.

Faith is doing nothing; it is as simple as applying what God has done or will do at some time in the future.

To demonstrate God’s ability to sustain them he commanded them to celebrate the Sabbatical year, so every seventh year Israel was to rest in God (Exodus 23:11).

About 1,095 BC the Jews rejected God as their King (1Samual 8:6) and Saul was given this position instead. However, Saul did not have the resources to continue God’s provision for the Sabbatical Years and so the Jews had to fend for themselves every seventh year also.

Therefore throughout Saul’s reign the Jews had learned the Sabbatical Years were no different from any other, and the concept of resting in God was forgotten.

For four hundred and ninety years before 586 BC the Sabbatical year had been neglected. This meant when the fifth stage of discipline was administered there was seventy years in which the people and the land had missed out on their rest.

Nebuchadnezzar conquered the Southern Kingdom; he sacked Jerusalem, killed practically all the adult population and took most of the younger ones captive to Babylon. In Babylon, Daniel realised from a prophecy in Jeremiah (25:11) that the land was to remain desolate for the seventy years so that it had the rest it deserved (Daniel 9:2).

Jewish Objectives

The Jews were at the lowest point in their history, but they were not finished yet. God told Daniel he would give them another four hundred and ninety years to re-establish their objectives (Daniel 9:24). Remember the Jewish nation as a whole is the example for the individual believer, so their objectives are similar to our own.

The world was created for a purpose. God has his on-going fight with Satan and his demons, while at the same time we are trying fulfil our own objectives. But regardless of our success, God will achieve his purpose.

  1. The first objective is to “finish their disobedience”. (Daniel 9:24)
  2. The second is to “terminate sinfulness”.
  3. The third objective is to “forgive evil”
  4. The fourth is to bring about “permanent righteousness”.
  5. The fifth is to fulfil all “visions and prophecies”.
  6. To “anoint God”.

Is the four hundred and ninety years enough for the Jews to achieve all this? Of course it is!

God would not have chosen Israel if it could not achieve these objectives.

The first four will be noted in this story when we see their fulfilment.

Everyone Has An Opinion of God

The sixth is impossible for any believer to ignore as it affects us all.

This simply means we all have an opinion of God and we inadvertently give him a rating we think he deserves.

Morning Star was not impressed with God. In fact when he compared himself with God, he found himself to be considerably superior.

Morning Star’s pride caused him to think he could be like God. Our opinion of God will determine the blessing we receive in heaven, but he cannot bless us to the point where in our pride we consider that we too can be like the Most High.

During our life on earth we will establish our own conclusion of the greatness of God. For believers who have a relatively low opinion of God, he will be limited to the blessing he can give.

On the other hand for those who have a deep understanding of the greatness of God; he will bless them as only he can without the risk of them making the same mistake as “Morning Star”.

A gauge of our opinion of God is the amount we use the provisions he has made available and this is the basis of our blessings in eternity                (1 Corinthians 3:).

The things we do under the filling of the Holy Spirit are considered as gold, silver and precious stones which are not destroyed by fire. In contrast the things we produce through our own resources; the good and evil of the world’s system are wood, hay and stubble.

Throughout our life we build a structure and the believer uses Jesus Christ as his foundation. The building is tested by fire and the gold, silver and precious stones survive with the result that the believer is rewarded on what remains.

But if the believer builds his life using wood, hay and stubble, when his is tested; the house is destroyed with only the foundation and the person surviving.

The fifth Objective

The fifth objective is “to fulfil all visions and prophecies”. If we follow the prophecies designated for Israel we can understand its destiny. There are very important events that are crucial for their relationship with God and an understanding of them is vital for their faith.

When Israel was in its infancy, all these events were in the future. Therefore there needed to be a way to understand their importance before they actually happened and to recognise them when they did.

The sacrifice of Jesus was taught through the “Burnt Offering”, a representation of the event itself. The ritual demonstrated the standard of the offering was perfect both from the outside and the inside as well.

Each year when the Passover Lamb was sacrificed, the standard of the sacrifice was already established.

Every year when the Passover was celebrated it taught exactly how it would happen, so when it was time for the death of Jesus Christ the two sacrifices were in unison. In exactly the same way a shadow mimics the movements of its object. However before the event actually happened the reality was hidden by time, but when Jesus’ time came both were seen.

Salvation is taught by the Exodus generation killing their Passover Lamb on the evening of the 13th of the first month. The killing of the lambs was mainly performed by the male members of the family, while the female members would clean all leaven from the house. Leaven in the shadow was equivalent to sinfulness, so as the women were cleaning out their houses (and their lives) of sinfulness, the lamb was taking it upon itself and paying the ultimate price for it.

The First of the Unleavens

Salvation requires Jesus Christ to die on the Cross, so his death is God preparing for it. Therefore the 13th became known as the “First of the Unleavens” and/or the “Day of Preparation”.

The origin of this ritual occurred in Egypt, when the first Passover Lambs were killed. Their blood was put on the sides and the tops of the door frames and when the Angel of Death came that night he would pass over the houses with blood on the door surrounds (Exodus 12:12).

The Passover was celebrated each year, then one year Jesus Christ did exactly the same thing as the Jews were doing in their ritual as they prepared for the Passover. On the Cross Jesus took upon himself our sinfulness or our leaven, and so this was the first day our sinfulness no longer condemns us.

The Passover

On the 14th they celebrated the Passover and salvation was theirs because the Angel of Death had passed over them too. Through the eating of the Passover Lamb they were taking in all that it signified.

The Feast of the Unleavens

The Feast of Unleavened bread was celebrated over seven days. The first day (the 15th) and the last day (the 21st) were Sabbaths, but all the bread eaten in this week could not contain any yeast. This week spoke of time in fellowship with God immediately after salvation. Its origin goes back to the Exodus generation when they left Egypt to begin their relationship with him.

The Firstfriuts

The next celebration was the Firstfruits which were held on the Sunday after Jesus rose from the dead. This indicated his resurrection and the receiving of his eternal body. Jesus Christ was the first human being to get one and he received his on the Sunday after he was raised from the dead.

There were two women both named Mary (Matthew 28:1) who went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus early on the first day of the week (Sunday). Of course they were too late because he had already risen.

They alerted the disciples which made them run to the tomb to find out for them-selves.

The disciples came and went, but Mary Magdalene lingered at the tomb and Jesus met her there. Jesus told her not to hold him as he had not yet been to the Father which seems to indicate that at this point he had only been resuscitated or raised from the dead (John 20:17).

He then went to the Father and received his eternal body and then came back later in the evening to appear before his disciples who were behind locked doors.

Jesus had no trouble entering the room without having to open the doors (John 20:19). Material barriers such as doors, walls or ceilings would have prevented him from appearing to the disciples with the body he had before his crucifixion.

Pentecost

The next feast occurred fifty days after the feast of the Firstfruit and is sometimes referred to as the feast of the harvest in the Old Testament, or the day of Pentecost in the New.

The harvest for believers is the gathering of the people who accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This harvest is dependent on the death and resurrection of Jesus and was celebrated each year by this fifty day period.

They commemorated their harvest when it was finished and it was their failure to act as God’s people that caused it to end.

The fifth stage of discipline was administered again forty years later; this time by the Romans.

Chapter 8

The Church

With the demise of Israel, God established another group to act as his people while the Jews suffer under the fifth stage.

The new group is called the Church and it consists of believers of different nationalities scattered throughout the whole world.

The Church began on the day the Jews commemorated the end of their harvest, so there was no break in its continuity.

In fact God used the Church to evangelise the Jews, but the Jews had to realise they were no longer responsible for the dissemination of God’s Word.

On the Day of Pentecost there were many Jews in Jerusalem who had come to celebrate the nine days of the unleavens and had stayed on.

The disciples were gathered together in Jerusalem when suddenly a loud noise like the sound of a violent wind filled the house where they were staying. At this time they saw what appeared to be tongues of fire resting on each one of them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:2 3).

The noise caused a considerable crowd to gather.

Then under the power of the Holy Spirit the disciples began to speak in different tongues or languages, so all the Jews who had come from many different areas and could understand what they were saying.

The crowd was amazed, for not only were these men simple Galileans, but they were hearing about the wonders of God in their own language (Acts 2).

The Jews had every right to think they were God’s people and it was their right to spread this message, but instead they were hearing it from the disciples of Jesus. Under normal conditions they should have rejected this, but because it had been prophesied it was a legitimate message from God.

Isaiah prophesied that another generation would also fall foul of God even though they would have been taught in the best possible way, but still they would not listen (Isaiah 28:10-12).

The fulfilment of the Isaiah prophecy on the day which commemorated the end of their harvest meant that the reality of the ritual had occurred and the Jews were no longer God’s representatives.

The Fifth Stage Again

In 63 BC warning bells should have been ringing when the fourth stage of discipline was administered by Pompey the Great and the Romans occupied Jerusalem.

Jesus warned of the impending catastrophe and even told a relevant parable.

A man set up and planted a vineyard and rented it out, then, he went and lived somewhere else. At harvest time he sent servants to collect the rent, but they were beaten by the tenants who sent them back empty handed. This happened several times and finally he sent his son whom he loved and expected his tenants to respect.

Instead of respecting the son, they killed him.

What should the owner do?

He will kill the tenants and give the vineyard to others (Mark 12 1-9).

Of course most of the Jewish audience missed the point entirely. The vineyard was given to others; The Church would have its chance at the harvest.

In 70 AD Titus the son of the Roman Emperor Vespasian destroyed Jerusalem completely, but by this time the Jews had time to change their minds.

It was the Church’s top priority to evangelise the Jews first. The Jews had no excuse for not recognising Jesus for who he was and this was the reason for their downfall.

Right from his beginning Jesus should have been recognised as their Messiah, as it was prophesied that a virgin would conceive and bear a son and he would be that special one (Isaiah 7:14).

Then there was the occasion when some shepherds were tending their sheep and an angel of the Lord shone around them for he had really good news. Today a Saviour has been born and he is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:8-15).

Simeon was a devout citizen of Jerusalem who was waiting for the promised Saviour. It had been revealed to him by the Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Christ. The Holy Spirit took some of his spiritual understanding and made him realise he would be living at the same time as Jesus Christ.

The entire set of circumstances surrounding Jesus added up to him being the “One”, the promised “Messiah”.

To add to this were the things Jesus himself was doing. John the Baptist was aware of these events and he sent his disciples to Jesus to ask him if he was the one who was prophesied, or would there be another.

Of course Jesus could have simply said “yes”, but instead he pointed to the things he was doing. The blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear and good news is preached to the poor. Tell John these things so he can work it out himself (Matthew 11:1-7).

It seemed that everyone in Israel realised the death of Jesus was different; this meant the evidence demonstrated conclusively he was the Son of God.

After his death there were two people walking together on the road to Emmaus discussing what had just happened. Jesus walked with them without revealing himself and asked them what they were talking about.

“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days”.

                                                                               (Luke 24:13-18) (NIV)

Of course everyone knew, very few were impressed to the point of doing anything about it. The fifth stage of discipline was carried out some forty years later, which proved the point.

Jesus As a Man

In many ways Jesus did not live up to expectations. In fact all he did was to demonstrate the perfect righteousness of God. The righteousness of God verses our own righteousness. For those who are not impressed by the righteousness of Jesus have no need of salvation. Therefore Jesus’ death on the Cross is meaningless to them.

The death of Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of all the sacrifices and his resurrection is the sweet smell of the sacrifices on the altar.

Jesus Christ attained every standard required in the sacrifices and was therefore resurrected. If he had failed at any point he would have died for his own personal sins and that would have been the end of it.

The harvest for both Israel and the Church is dependent on the sacrifice of Jesus and its acceptance. The harvest is the people who have placed their faith in Jesus for their salvation rather than rely on their own righteousness.

Chronological Order

To get it all in chronological order, there was the day of preparation (the day before the Passover) when salvation was being prepared with the death of the lambs/Jesus Christ.

Then came the Passover or the day Israel believed in the death of the sacrifice and their day of salvation.

Immediately after the Passover was the Feast of the Unleavens which lasted a week, with the 15th and the 21st being Sabbaths.

Regardless of what day of the week the Feast of the Unleavens fell, the first day of the week following the Passover was the Feast of the Firstfruits which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Then for fifty days the Jews celebrated the harvest resulting from the death and resurrection of Jesus.

On the fiftieth day was the Feast of the Harvest, sometimes known as the Feast of Weeks.

However, there are still three more special days. The reality of these days has not yet occurred, but they will come after the Church has run its time.

The Purpose OfThe Church

The Church is different because it has one major advantage; it was established after the death of Jesus Christ. From then everything is based on the reality of the Cross and promises are things of the past.

Every true member of the Church has the righteousness of God which enables the Holy Spirit to live within us. Every believer has the perfection the Holy Spirit needs to avoid contamination and that is where he dwells. Now God has a brand new force in his battle with Satan and his demons.

While the Old Testament never made any reference to how the Church would function (Ephesians 3:5), there are two indications of its existence.

We have already seen one of them, as it was the prophecy in Isaiah which enabled the Church to evangelise the Jews. Speaking in different tongues was a sign for the unbelieving Jews before the fifth stage of discipline was administered by the Romans (1 Corinthians 14:22).

The other one is mentioned by David when he wrote about God the Father saying to God the Son. “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet” (Psalm 110:1) (NIV).

Making an enemy a footstool was a practice that members of a conquering army would do to those they had taken captive. The victors would stand alongside of their kneeling victims with one foot on them in an intimidating attitude.

The Presence Of The Holy Spirit

After the resurrection of Jesus, He was seated at the right hand of the Father and everything changed. Salvation is a reality, not a promise and righteousness is given to everyone who believes in Jesus as part of their salvation.

With every believer having the righteousness of God, the Holy Spirit can reside in their righteousness with no compromise to his integrity. This gives the Spirit presence within the world and therefore he can have an influence not possible in times past.

The Holy Spirit has a stabilising influence on the sinfulness of mankind as he demonstrates God’s righteousness through believers. Without his input mankind would cause the destruction of the world.

If this were to happen Satan could blame us for the demise of the earth’s environment and claim it was not his fault. Therefore the Holy Spirit will ensure the earth’s survival so Satan’s long term policies can be proven. When they have been shown to be inadequate, then God will have defeated Satan and he will have to suffer the humiliation of being a “foot stool” for Jesus Christ.

Satan and his demons are the enemies of Jesus because while Jesus is faithful to all the principles God holds dear, Satan and the demons were rebellious.

Jesus by his actions proves God is justified to reward him, while Satan, by his actions demonstrates he deserves to go to Hell.

Jesus is therefore the enemy of Satan as he condemns Satan by his example.

All of Satan’s accusations against God will be resolved throughout human history and it is while the Church is functioning this can be done.

One More Purpose Of The Church

One accusation is resolved directly by the Church itself.

Is God aloof to the point he will have nothing to do with sinfulness?

The answer is “yes” and “no”.

“Yes”; he cannot allow sinfulness to contaminate his perfection for even one small imperfection would destroy his eternal status which he must protect at all costs.

“No”; because being God, he has overcome our sinfulness through Jesus Christ and therefore we can approach God with confidence.

The Church should demonstrate to Satan and his demons that through Jesus Christ sinfulness is no longer a barrier between man and God (Ephesians 3:10-12). We can confidently approach God because we have humbled ourselves to accept his authority and if they had done the same they would not be in the situation they are at this time.

When there is separation it is because of a rejection of God’s authority and so it is Satan’s rebellion against God that caused his condemnation and not his sinfulness.

He had his chance to stay loyal to God, but he blew it.

Are The Issues Nearly Resolved?

It is two thousand years since the Church began and a lot has changed in this time.

All the time the Church has been functioning, Jesus has been seated at the right hand of the Father.

Perhaps it a good time to ask how much longer it will take until the Father will have made his Son’s enemy a footstool.

Is it all going well for Satan as he controls the world? Perhaps there are a few specific issues that might indicate he is losing the battle.

The year is circa 2,011 AD.

  1. Over Population
  2. Poverty.
  3. Climate Change.
  4. Energy Resources.
  5. Terrorists Threats.
  6. Financial Crisis.

7.Criminal Activity.

Will any of them cause an end to the world as we know it, or are there other issues that will destroy it?

At the present time it is still undecided; because the Church is still here on earth and Jesus is still at the right hand of the Father.

Has Satan proved he can rule the world forever?

While there are those who are confident that the world will just keep on going, there seem to be an increasing number who are not so sure.

Either way the jury is still out, the issues have not yet been resolved.

The Bible which represents God’s thoughts on the matter indicates Jesus Christ will return to sort out the mess. In fact for 1,000 years he will set up his kingdom here on earth before transferring it to Heaven.

The End of the Church

When and how will this happen?

Jesus will come down from Heaven to gather up the Church. He will remain in the clouds and from there he will call every believer since the Church began.

With the voice of an angel and a trumpet call of God, we will be gathered together to meet him in the air.

First those who have died will be resurrected, immediately after those who are alive at this time will also be gathered to meet him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

It will be a surprise. We are not told when it will happen, except that it will be like thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2).

From that moment on we will always be with him (1 Thess 4:16+17).

Not only will we be with Jesus forever, but there will be another great surprise.

In an instant we will all be changed (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). The last thing that happens while we are members of the Church is that we will all receive our eternal bodies, from that time we become members of Jesus’ Eternal Kingdom.

Jesus received his eternal body on the Day of the Firstfruits, we will get ours on the day the Church is dissolved.

With the removal of Church is the removal of the Holy Spirit, therefore he will no longer have a presence here on earth (2 Thessalonians 2:7.)

With no Godly influence here on earth and only a defeated Satan, things will really deteriorate.

Chapter 9

Future Events

“Omniscience”

The Church has now functioned for about two thousand years and after such a long time; perhaps we have forgotten God still owes the Jews another seven years.

However, from now on in the story we have to look into the future which we can only do by relying on God’s ability to know everything from the beginning to the end.

As it happens God is “omniscient”, so he has always known every single detail that has ever happened, or ever will.

From here on this is not a history lesson, but a prophecy.

We only have God’s word to go by which is expressed in The Bible, it is the only way to learn of these future events.

At this point God’s “omniscience” knows that Satan will fail.

If only Satan had the wisdom of hindsight so he could overcome all the problems before they happened. If only he was God his “omniscience” would come in very handy.

“I will make myself like God” has come back to haunt him. He is realising he is not God and does not have the attributes of God.

Satan had no idea that with the passing of time there would be:

  1. Over Population.
  2. Earthquakes.
  3. Climate Change.
  4. Energy Resources.
  5. Terrorists Threats.
  6. Financial Crisis.
  7. Criminal Activity.

How was Satan supposed to know all these things would become factors that would ruin the eternal status of the earth?

Of course, the answer is “NO”.

Only God can rule Heaven or earth; because only God is capable.

The point will be made; Satan will be defeated.

The story continues as though Satan is defeated by having failed to demonstrate his right to the throne in Heaven. Jesus Christ through his acceptance of the Father’s authority can rule, as he will remain within God’s guidelines.

Satan’s Remaining Chance

The opportunity for Satan to prove he is capable has passed, but he still has a chance of not going to Hell.

All he has to do is prove God to be imperfect and the easiest way of doing that is to destroy the Jews. If God cannot keep his promises to them; he is not as clever as he thinks he is.

From this point on Satan turns his attentions to destroying Israel.

Satan’s Team

(Remember the Holy Spirit is absent from the earth, which means Satan’s team has unrestricted access to it.)

The Beast From The Sea

The first member of Satan’s team is the beast from the sea.

“From the sea” indicates this king will come from the seaward or western side of Israel. So this beast is most likely the revised Roman Empire. Remember this is a future time, after the Church has been removed from the earth and united with Jesus Christ.

This beast has 7 heads and 10 horns (Revelation 13:1).

The Dragon will give this beast his power and the authority. (Revelation 13:2) Because the Dragon (Satan) will be defeated, he will give his authority and power to one of his faithful followers. It is worth remembering that everyone on Satan’s side is just as keen as he is to stay away from Hell.

Everyone (almost) will follow the beast and worship the Dragon, because the beast will have the authority of the Dragon. The beast will be so powerful that the people think it impossible for anyone to win a war against it (Revelation 13:3-4).

Every believer has their name written in Jesus’ Book of life, it happened when they believed in Jesus Christ. All the new converts of the Jews will have their name in his book and will not worship this beast from the sea (Revelation 13:8).

This Beast will be given the liberty to speak vehemently against God, Heaven and those who live there and this freedom will last for 42 months. In this time he will fight against believers and will conquer some of them while the unbelievers will worship him (Revelation 13:7).

The 7 heads and 10 horns give a clue to the massive power that beast has at its disposal.

Seven Heads

Understanding the meaning of the heads and the horns calls for wisdom and so there is an explanation (Revelation 17:9-14). The heads are seven hills where the woman sits and they are also seven kings. Five of the kings have fallen, one still exists (at that time), and one is a future king.

All 7 heads are kings who have opposed Israel, so the Beast from the Sea has the attributes of all those who have opposed the Jews.

To oppose Israel is to have no relationship with God; therefore they all have functioned under Satan’s system of good and evil and accepted him as their authority. Opposition to Israel is a characteristic of both our sinfulness and the function of good and evil.

The 5 kings who have fallen are the kings of these nations:-

  1. Egypt – Ruled Israel when it was considered to be an unbeliever
  2. Assyria – Destroyed the Northern Kingdom in 721 BC.
  3. Chaldea – Sacked the city of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
  4. Persia – Took over from the Chaldeans.
  5. Macedonia – When Alexander the Great defeated the Persians and many other nations, his conquests introduced a new language. With the defeat of a nation Alexander would allow their leaders to continue to be in charge, but they had to learn the Greek language so they could communicate with him.

For this reason Greek became the language of the day in that region. Even though Israel was once again functioning as the people of God, Alexander did oppose them. However there were Jews in Alexandria who realised the Scriptures should be translated into Greek and by doing this knowledge of God could be accessed by everyone.

  1. Rome – The sixth kingdom is the one that existed at the time John wrote Revelation and was of course Rome and it administered the fifth stage of discipline in 70 AD.
  2. The revised Roman Empire (the future king) –

When the Jews resume their time as the people of God, the political situation will be similar to what it was when they lost their franchise.

History has documented the sufferings Israel has had to endure at the hands of the leaders of these nations and it not a pretty picture. Millions of Jews have died throughout the years and many in horrible circumstances. If the attributes of all these leaders are given to one, then he will be a very nasty individual.

So the seventh king is in the future, the revised Roman Empire. There are many who think this could be the European Community with a shift of power from Brussels to Rome.

However it works out, it will be a similar political situation for the Jews when they resume as God’s representative. Rome will have similar control over the world in this seven year period as it did when the Jews were destroyed in 70 AD.

However, the revised Roman Empire will not have sufficient resolve to carry out Satan’s plans for Israel so there will be an 8th king                         (Revelation 17:11).

The 8th King will be nastier than all the others because he has been locked away for thousands of years. He is the leader of the demons who fathered children with the women of Noah’s day and created the half human/half demon creatures.

Except for Noah and his family, the whole human race including these creatures died in the flood. The demons were locked away in the Abyss which is a bottomless pit and from that time until their release in the future they will not see the light of day.

God will send a star from Heaven with the keys to the Abyss to free all the demons imprisoned there (Revelation 9:1) and they will appear looking like locusts with the sting of a scorpion (Revelation 9:2-6). After their imprisonment they will do whatever is needed to stay out of Hell and if that means killing the Jews, they will gladly do it.

The leaders name is “Abaddon” in the Hebrew, and “Apollyon” in the Greek, which means he is a very nasty character.

Apollyon is also described as having 7 heads and 10 horns                         (Revelation 17:7-8).

Ten Horns

The 7 heads will be an indication of their strategy, and the 10 horns will be the forces at their disposal.

Between the armies of the kings and the demons under Apollyon’s control they will make a formidable force.

The Beast out of the Land

Another player with huge resources is the Beast out of the Land with two horns like a lamb (Revelation 12:11).

In the Koine Greek language of the New Testament the use of the definite article is so prolific that it loses its emphasis. Therefore, if there is something that needs to be emphasised the definite article is left out. In this particular case there is no definite article, so if I insert one it would read, The Beast out of the Land had two horns like The Lamb. In the same way that Jesus; The Lamb of God has two forces or horns to call on; that is his own power and that of the Father’s.

There is land surrounding Israel on three sides which is controlled mainly by Arabs and the Islamic community. Therefore this beast would appear to be the Islamic community with the one horn being Allah, and the other his prophet Muhammad.

Allah remains on high while Muhammad represents him here on earth.

The Arabs trace their origin back to Abraham through his son Ishmael and since then they have demonstrated their contempt for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel.

Ishmael dates back to about 1,800 BC so it is nearly 4,000 years since the Arabs have had any contact with the righteousness of the God of the Jews. For so long they have functioned using the system of good and evil, so they now have no concept of how the perfection of God is applied.

Muhammad taught from about 610 AD to about 630 AD, so even at the beginning of the Islamic religion, the Arabs were without any kind of a relationship with God for well over 2,000 years.

The Beast from the Land will have the same authority as the Beast from the Sea and will make everyone worship it (Revelation 13:12). The Beast from the Land will perform many miracles which will deceive many and will set up an image of the Beast from the Sea in the Temple in Jerusalem.

By the time the abomination is set up the 8th king or Apollyon will be in power, which means that God’s Temple is controlled by a very ferocious demon. The Temple will be a very dangerous place for the Jews as he is the one most intent on destroying them.

God knows who the characters will be in this future time and he also knows exactly how the time will unfold.

The Bible gives a very accurate description of time and events so the Jews can appreciate this period.

The Time Of The Abomination

The first thing to happen after the Church is removed from the earth is that 144,000 Jews receive a seal on their foreheads to confirm the last of the 490 years promised to them has begun.

12,000 from each tribe will be called to service to resume their role as God’s witnesses for the last seven years here on earth as we know it.

One of the first things they will do is to re-establish the sacrifices, so the lessons concerning salvation and fellowship are taught. These will take 297 days to get organised and this time can be calculated by the figure given in Daniel 8:14 which I will explain a little later.

In the middle of the seven years the sacrifices will cease which means that the theory behind the Burnt Offering and the Fellowship Offering will be learnt by all who are interested. The latter part of the seven years will be a time for the mature believers to teach the same things as the sacrifices without going through the ritual. They will also teach advanced doctrines as these will be required to help the believers in a very torrid time.

To understand the number of days involved we need to remember this is a time when the Jews are in control of the dissemination of the Word of God and they consider a year to be 360 days with 12 months at 30 days per month. Using the Jewish calendar this would indicate that the middle of the 7 years or 3½ years will be 1,260 days after the confirmation that the sacrifices will cease (Daniel 12:11). So the sacrifices started on the 297th day and ceased on the 1,260th day after the confirmation.

After another 1,290 days the abomination is set up in the Temple which means it occurs (1,260+1,290=2,550) 2,550 days after the confirmation was given. When this happens the time for the Jewish franchise will be over as they are no longer in control of the Temple because Satan’s forces have taken over. God has allowed the Temple to be captured by the enemy because the Jew’s 7 years he promised them has expired.

2,550 days equals 6 normal years @ 365 days (2,190) plus 1 Jewish year @ 360, so the last seven years God owes them will have been fulfilled. The reason there is a Jewish year involved in the calculation is because the 7th year will have the fulfilment of certain festivals which require Jewish dates.

The Days Till the End of the Jewish Age

Forty five days after the abomination is set up in the Temple or 1,335 days after the sacrifices have ceased a series of spectacular events that will bring the Jewish age to an end. For the believers it will be a wonderful experience and blessed will be those who are still alive when the 1,335th day comes (Daniel 12:10). These times Daniel understood through a vision.

While Daniel was receiving his vision concerning the number of days involved at the end, the question is asked, “How long will the different aspects of this vision take, such as the sacrifices, the abomination and of the surrender of the Temple.

The answer is 2,300 days, then the Temple will be re-consecrated by Jesus when he returns on the second day after the End (Daniel 8:14).

The sacrifices are the first thing mentioned in this vision, so the vision and the sacrifices started 2,300 days before 2 days after the 1,335th day.

If we count back from the 1,337th day, we can conclude the sacrifices must have begun on the 297th day from the confirmation of the Covenant.

What Will Happen At The End of the Jewish Age?

Every feast teaches both the coming of a certain event and the theory of what will happen when it occurs.

So far we have looked at the

  1. “First of the Unleavens”.
  2. The “Passover”.
  3. The “Feast of Unleaven Bread”.
  4. The “FirstFruits”.
  5. “Pentecost”, or the “Feast of the Harvest”.

The reality of these have come and gone, but there are still 3 to be fulfilled.

They are:-

  1. The “Feast of the Trumpets”.
  2. The “Day of Atonement”.
  3. The “Feast of the Tabernacles”.

With only 7 years left in the promise, the reality of these three will have to happen in this time frame.

The Feast of the Tabernacles

The first one I will examine is chronologically the last.

The Feast of the Tabernacles begins on the 15th of the 7th month and continues for seven days with the first day (the 15th) and the last (the 21st) are Sabbaths. This week summarises the Jews relationship with God here on earth. It began with a Sabbath and it will end with a Sabbath. Therefore it started when God brought them out of Egypt on the 15th of the first month and it will end when God does something else on the 21st of the 7th month.

Because the reality of the Feast of the Tabernacles has not been fulfilled, the work God will do on the 21st is a future event. In the meantime the Jews celebrate their life here on earth by living in booths. Booths are a lower standard to what they will live in when their time on earth has been completed, but the booths signify God’s provision for them while they are here.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread uses exactly the same dates as the Feast of the Tabernacles, but is celebrated in the 1st month. This feast concentrates on the beginning of their relationship with God, the day he brought them out of Egypt. The important issue in this feast is the function of the righteousness they were credited with it on the 14th (the Passover), the day they were saved.

The middle five days represent their union with God with the Feast of Unleavened Bread emphasising the need for righteousness, while the Feast of the Tabernacles emphasises God’s provision.

While the significance of these days is different, they refer to the same time span.

The last of the five days or the 20th concludes the era of the Jews for on the 21st God will do what needs to be done to begin the next phase of his plan.

To line up the days mentioned in Daniel and the Feast days, we need to find a day that has a common meaning in both cases and then put the two together on the chart.

The last of the middle five days, or the 20th of the 7th month indicates the end of Israel living in booths. This is also means the end of their time on earth, and the 1,335th day.

So the 20th of the 7th month and the 1,335th day indicate the same event and therefore it is at this point the Feasts and the Days are in unison.

The 21st or the 7th day of the Feast of the Tabernacles is the day to celebrate a new life and this makes it the most joyous day in the Jewish calendar.

In fact it has been said in Jewish circles. “If you have not been in Jerusalem on the 7th day of the Feast of Tabernacles, then you have not experienced joy”.

Even in the concentration camps of the “Second World War” Jews rejoiced on the 7th day of the Feast of the Tabernacles.

Why such Joy?

On the 6th day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the 20th of the 7th month, and the 1,335th day, it will be all over here on earth for the Jews. “The end of their Age will have come”.

Those who survive to the “end of the age” will continue, but they will be members of the newly established Kingdom of Jesus Christ here on earth.

Every believer will receive their eternal body, but there is a sequence.

Jesus Christ is the first to get one and he received his immediately after he was raised from the dead. The next in line will be every Church member; it will be our turn when the Church has run its course (1 Corinthians 15:23).

Jesus will get up from being seated at the right hand of the Father and come almost to the earth and gather up all the members of the Church. At this time we will receive our eternal bodies.

Then at the end every one belonging to the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:24), which is every believer who has died before then (excluding the members of the Church). They are next in line after the Church and will be changed at that time.

The next day is the one the Jews have been waiting for, the most joyous day in the Jewish calendar. It is the 21st day of the 7th month.

This is the day they celebrate the wedding of the Lamb when every believer will be officially united with Jesus Christ in a “joyous occasion” that surpasses every other. It will be the climax for millions of people who have put their faith in him, a “joyous occasion” that will exceed our greatest expectation.

The believers who survive the 1,335 days will be the only exception; they celebrate this wedding here on earth, but will not be part of it.

What about them?

The Feast of the Tabernacles has been extended to 8 days just for their benefit (Leviticus 23:36). They have survived to have a different blessing.

Jesus will return to the earth with his bride, a cloud of believers and all looking wonderful in their eternal bodies.

With the return of Jesus those who have survived to the end of the Jewish age will be the origin of a new age that will last 1,000 years and they too will be united with Jesus Christ forever.

This group of people will have mortal bodies and will be the core of a new generation of people who will repopulate the earth. They will live right through the 1,000 year reign of Jesus and receive their eternal bodies at the end of it (Revelation 20:5).

After the 1,000 year reign of Jesus here on earth, his kingdom is transferred to Heaven for ever. Every believer from Adam will be in the presence of Jesus at this time and forever more.

Jesus Christ is the Love of God personified and therefore “Love” as an absolute. The believer’s future is to be united with Jesus for all eternity, couple this is living in His Kingdom and what do you have? The Perfect Scenario!

The Feast of the Trumpets

The Feast of the Trumpets is celebrated on the 1st of the 7th month and it consists of a trumpet blast.

This feast is not so much about the trumpet, but the noise it makes. The reality is that a noise, a very loud noise will be heard all over the world.

Now the Jews celebrate their new year on the 1st of the 7th month, so when “the day” they have been commemorating for thousands of years finally arrives they will be celebrating their new year.

But this year is going to be different, this year will be the last year as God’s representatives, it will begin with the noise everyone will hear, but only those who are celebrating the Feast of the Trumpets at the time will understand its significance.

Isaiah understood how the Feast of Trumpets would be fulfilled when he wrote that from the Euphrates to the swamps of Egypt the Israelites will be gathered together. On that day the great trumpet will sound and those perishing in Assyria, or exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord in Jerusalem (27:12-13).

God will rally Jews from all over the world to Jerusalem to begin a new world order with Jesus Christ at the helm.

So after the Jews get the message to go to Jerusalem, they will have 10 days to get there before the Day of Atonement.

The Day of Atonement

The Day of Atonement is considered in Jewish circles as “the last chance”.

So when the Jews arrive in Jerusalem from all over the world they have 10 days from the Feast of the Trumpets to settle.

As part of the ritual everyone has to deny themselves, this is a demonstration that God has precedence in their lives. To put God first is essential (Leviticus 23:29).

There is only 1 full year left before the coming of Jesus Christ so there is only 1 year of opportunity for salvation left. The Day of Atonement immediately after the fulfilment of the Feast of the Trumpets starts the beginning of the last year when salvation is available. For all who have not made a positive decision by the following Day of Atonement (a year later), they have missed out on the opportunity to do so.

A Jewish wedding is influenced quite strongly by The Day of Atonement’s ritual, for as a man and a woman are united in matrimony, so a person and God are united through faith in Jesus Christ.

The outcome of The Day of Atonement is that all who participate in it take up the offer of salvation while it still exists and they look forward to celebrating the Feast of the Tabernacles when its reality occurs. The Day of Atonement is concluded with everyone saying in unison:

“NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM”.

Theory – Practice

This is how these future events should happen in theory, but in practice things will work out differently.

As the end of the seventh year draws to a close, military activity will increase with armies from all over the world surrounding Israel and the fighting will become increasingly more violent. So much so that God shortens the number of days. How much shorter, God does not say.

But if he shortened them by one day there will be only 1,260 plus 1,334 days from the confirmation of the Covenant. The last day would then coincide with the 19th day of the 7th month or the 5th day of the Feast of the Tabernacles.

If God shortened them by 2 days there would only 1,260 plus 1,333 days from the confirmation of the Covenant and the last day would coincide with 18th day of the 7th month or the 4th day of the Feast of the Tabernacles.

Any shortening of the days throw the Feast of the Tabernacles dates out of kilter so they will no longer line up with the reality. Therefore, to understand what will happen, the Jews can no longer calculate when it will occur using dates alone.

What they will need to do is to understand the events they are experiencing and adjust accordingly.

The “end” will happen before its due date, but only God knows when that will be.

So how will they recognise it?

Jesus himself gave the answer to his disciples when they asked him: “What will be the sign when you come again and the end of the age”? (Matthew 24:3)

The Answer, immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shine (Matthew 24:29).

The Jews at the wedding have no need to ask when the end will occur, they will know because they will be part of the end. They will have their eternal bodies and are in Heaven

It is those who have survived the fighting on earth that will need to know.

They will easily recognise the end has occurred because the moon will not shine the next day beginning in the evening. The reason the moon is not shining is because neither is the sun.

They will have to celebrate the most joyous day in the Jewish calendar in the dark.

They will be safe from attack because the foreign armies will be bewildered and disorientated by the darkness.

The sun will not rise again after the end. From this time another light source will be required.

This is when it gets really exciting for those believers in Israel. At the beginning of the next day which starts in the evening, there will be a light appear in the distance. The light will get brighter and brighter until the evening is brighter than a normal day. Jesus will have returned to the earth in all his glory, he and his bride will all have bodies of light.

Millions of people lighting up the earth and they will be led by the brightest light of all, Jesus himself. This will be the most spectacular event ever to have happened in human history.

Everyone will see him, but it is only the believers who will be glad, for their time to be united with Jesus will have come (Revelation 1:7).

As for the armies surrounding the Jews, it is Armageddon.

The Success of Israel

So the age of Israel will have ended, but was it a success?

Did the Jews reach their objectives?

Since the Exodus generation every Jew should have known they would.

The Lampstand

This fact was established when the Tabernacle was furbished originally and the Lampstand which was made from gold became part of the furniture.

With the Lampstand came a story surrounding it, but while the details of how it was made is recorded in Exodus (25:31-40) the story is not. Instead the circumstances surrounding the Lampstand have been handed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth or other Jewish writings.

The seven lamps of the Lampstand are the seven Spirits of God (Revelation 4:5).

The seven Spirits are:-

  1. The Spirit of the Lord
  2. The Spirit of Wisdom
  3. The Spirit of Understanding
  4. The Spirit of Counsel
  5. The Spirit Power
  6. The Spirit of Knowledge
  7. The Spirit of Fear for the Lord (Isaiah 11:2).

When the lamps are burning, these Spirits shine out for all to see. Each of the lamps is connected to a bowl located at the top of the Lampstand.

How it works was explained to Zechariah in a dream.

Around 520 BC when the fifth stage was coming to an end, Zechariah the prophet spoke about a future that once again included a relationship with God. Part of his ministry was to remind them of the importance of the Lampstand which they would need to know about if they were to continue successfully as God’s people.

An Angel came to Zechariah while he was asleep and when he awoke the angel asked him what he saw (Zechariah 4:2).

Zechariah could see a Lampstand made of gold with seven lights and a bowl with a channel to each light from the bowl.

Zechariah also saw two olive trees one either side of the bowl (Zechariah 4:3).

The angel asked Zechariah about the olive trees (Zechariah 4:12), but he did not know the answer.

It was the Olive Trees that supplied the oil needed to keep these seven lamps burning so the Spirits of God can be a light to the World.

But who are the Olive Trees?

The Olive trees are two witnesses who will prophesy for 1,260 days in the last seven years of Jewish history here on earth. These two will supply the oil to the Lampstand so the Spirits of God will shine even in very dark days (Revelation 11:4).

In the process of keeping God’s light shining they will fulfil many of the objectives set out in Daniel (Daniel 9:24). Zechariah is reminding his generation of the story that accompanies the Lampstand, indicating that if these two can keep God’s spirits burning, so can they.

The Two Witnesses

The two witnesses have the task of preparing Jerusalem and the people of their day for the return of Jesus Christ.

To do this they will have to fulfil all the objectives set by God for Israel. But to understand how they will do it, it is easier to start at the last objective and work through them to the first.

The Last Objective

The last is to anoint the “Most High” (Daniel 9:24), to give God your personal rating. The higher the rating, the greater blessing he can bestow on us in eternity as we have already seen.

The Second Last Objective

The objective before that is to “bring in permanent righteousness”.

Jesus Christ will return to the world and rule here on earth for 1,000 years. When he arrives, the Jews who survive to the end of their age will have their role in establishing his everlasting kingdom. There will be both mortal and immortal humans alive at the same time, but it will be the mortal survivors who increase the number of people on the earth. Even though there will be a population explosion of people, Jesus Christ will be able to maintain perfection.

All those who are born in this period of time will have the same decision concerning Jesus as the rest of us, but they make theirs knowing him personally.

After 1,000 years of no compromise, his ability to sustain the standard required will be established, the point will have been made.

When Jesus’ rule on earth is over, every believer

will be transferred to Heaven.

Satan had the demons to assist him while he was ruling the world, so Jesus will have the believers with immortal bodies to assist him.

The Third Last Objective

The third last is to “forgive evil” (Daniel 9:24).

After the Church has been removed, there are no believing gentiles left on the earth. The ones remaining have displayed no interest in God or the things concerning him and treat his Temple with contempt. Because the sacrifices are being carried out by the Jewish population, they are still in learning mode.

For 42 months there has been no restraint on the gentiles (Revelation 11:2), because the Jews don’t have the maturity to establish a respect for God in this time frame.

However after that time there is enough understanding of God within the Jewish ranks for two witnesses to speak out with a message of forgiveness and instil a certain respect for God. Many gentiles will be saved while the rest will no longer be prepared to openly risk a confrontation with these two witnesses or God.

For 1,260 days the two witnesses hold their ground and demonstrate the power and majesty of God. They will bring about a respect for the Temple and it will no longer be trampled on. These two witnesses will verify that there has been an understanding of God preached right to the end of the Jews 7 years. 42 months plus 1,260 days adds up to a total of 7 years.

The First Two Objectives are the Foundation on Which the Rest Can Be Built.

The first is to “finish disobedience” which is the point of salvation. The word “disobedience” means rebellion” and to finish rebelling against God is to accept his authority.

The second is to “end sinfulness”. This would indicate many will enjoy fellowship with God as a result of their conversion.

The Jews will need to be saved and in fellowship but the sacrifices will have to cease so they can concentrate on bigger issues. They will need to learn lessons that will give them the faith and strength to endure the hard times coming their way (Daniel 9:27).

They will achieve all the objectives within their allotted time. Not only will some of this generation fulfil their purpose, but many from different generations throughout Jewish history will have done the same.

The Inability of the Opposition

John is taken to the desert and shown something of the future which is recorded it in Revelation (Revelation 17).

He saw a scarlet beast who we know to be Apollyon because he is described as the beast who was, (in Noah’s day) is not, (at the time of writing) but will come up out of the Abyss (Revelation 17:8). Apollyon is the demon who was the leader of all the demons who fathered the hybrid angel/humans back in Noah’s day. He will be the 8th king and will replace the King from the Sea.

Apollyon has proven himself to be extremely nasty, but the woman on his back is no friendlier. Described as the “Great Prostitute” she holds a cup filled with all manner of detestable things (Revelation 17:3-6).

She was introduced as the ultimate authority in Heaven and an ally of Satan. The time has come when the demons really need her to perform. However, with the passing of time she has proven to be powerless to contribute to his cause.

To have said she is the ultimate authority in Heaven was a lie and all who saw her as an alternative will be disappointed. She will be exposed as a fraud and hated because of it (Revelation 17).

Is this the magnificent woman Satan presented as his champion in his fight against God?

Did she turn out to be only a mirage in the end with no power to do anything but deceive?

A fictitious being can be made to appear exactly what we would want it to be, but it has no power to achieve a thing.

The Rest of the World

While all the action appears to be happening in the Middle East the rest of the world will not have been forgotten.

The 144,000 Jews will be at work spreading the message of salvation for they know it is the last chance for everyone.

When Jesus Christ returns to rule the world he will start with believers only. This means all the rest will be removed.

All the converts of the 144,000 Jews scattered all over the world, will be gathered by angels with trumpets when Jesus returns and taken to Jerusalem to be part of his new kingdom (Matthew 24:30-31).

But for the unbelievers it is a different story. It will be like the days of Noah when only Noah and his family were left after the flood. In his day only the believers were left and the same thing will happen at the second coming of Christ. When he comes he will remove all the unbelievers so there only believers left to begin his 1,000 year kingdom here on earth (Matthew 24:38-42).

Chapter 10

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

The second coming of Christ will be the greatest change the human race will have ever seen.

The first visit of Christ and his death on the Cross is the most significant event that has ever happened throughout the course of human history. But that has come and gone and in many cases people did not appreciate what he did.

The next time he comes, “no one will miss it”.

Everyone will notice that the sun failed to rise the day before. For one whole day it will be dark, but what happens next will be even more remarkable.

There will be a light appear in the sky; at first it will be a long way away. It will get brighter and brighter and then it will be possible to see that the light is made up of millions of lights. There will be one very bright who is Jesus Christ himself and he will be leading a cloud of lights. Millions of believers clothed in their eternal bodies which like Jesus will be made of light.

All these lights put together will light up the whole world brighter than a normal day.

So many things will happen, so many changes made that there are three chapters of Zechariah devoted to this day.

On this day, even though all the nations will be gathered against Jerusalem it will survive, Jesus will set up his headquarters in Jerusalem and rule from there.

On this day the battle of Armageddon will be fought. The leaders of Judah will be like a fire in a wood pile consuming the armies surrounding them. There will be no survivors of any of the armies, not one unbeliever will live past this day (Zechariah 12:6).

On this day the weakest person in Jerusalem will be compared with David, probably the greatest fighter in Jewish history (Zechariah 12:8).

On this day God will set out to annihilate all the nations that are attacking Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:9).

Jerusalem will survive but it is not good news for the all Jews. On this day there will be tremendous sadness (Zechariah 12:11), in fact not since they wept at Hadad Rimmon has it been so.

It is a gruesome story behind the weeping at Hadad Rimmon but it needs to be told as a warning for both Jew and Gentile.

However, I will not go into all the gory details, but give an abridged version. Judges chapters 19-20 is where this episode of Jewish history is found.

A Levite travelling with his concubine decided to stay overnight at a place called Gibeah which was a Benjamite town.

During the night some wicked men surrounded the house where they were staying; they took his concubine and treated her very badly, raped and abused her throughout the night and then she died. The Levite then let the rest of Israel know what had happened and an army numbering a tenth of the men of all the other tribes of Israel was formed.

When the Benjamite leaders were confronted, they refused to allow justice take its course and have put the perpetrators to death. To allow such a crime to go unpunished would defile all Israel.

So the 11 other tribes fought against the Bejamites and a total of 25,000 Benjamites were killed (Judges 20:44-45).

When the dust had settled and everyone realised what had happened, their sadness was overwhelming and they wept bitterly. They understood one tribe was missing from Israel.

It will be same on the day when Jesus returns, there will be some people missing from Israel who thought that they belonged to it.

The Church too will have the same problem.

To be a true member of the Church or Israel is dependent on a person’s faith in Jesus Christ and this is the only criteria for membership.

To Prove A Point

When Christ returns those who were in Jerusalem are now hiding in the hills and have been there for about forty days since the abomination was established in the Temple.

There are thousands of foreign troops, perhaps even millions, all trying to annihilate the Jews.

To save those hiding in the hills Jesus stands on the spot where he died on the Cross and splits the Mount of Olives into a valley to give them an escape route (Zechariah 14:4). The Jews are to go the same way as they did when they fled the earthquake back in the days of Uzziah.

The Earthquake is only mentioned once in The Bible (Amos 1:1), but no mention is made in it of which way the people fled back then. This information has been either handed by word of mouth in Israel or written in other sacred writings. It is a secret that belongs to the Jews so only they know the right way to go. If others try to follow they will get lost. From there they will go to Jerusalem where they will be part of his new kingdom.

While the one group is escaping, Jesus described as a rider on a white horse called faithful and true is making war. His robe will drip with the blood of the armies here on earth while those from heaven will follow his lead to destroy all unbelievers (Revelation 19:11-16).

From the time of Adam people have been escaping death via this same hill and the Cross that stood there. In exactly the same way all of Satan’s forces, both human and demon with be gathered at that hill to witness it happening again.

While the believers escape via the place where the Cross was located, it is a death trap for the rest.

The Mount of Olives has always been the deciding factor when it comes to being in or out of the Kingdom of God.

This is no longer the Jesus born in a manger who lived among us to die on the Cross; this is Jesus as God in all his glory.

The 1,000 Year Reign of Jesus Here on Earth

God’s kingdom will not be similar to anything else witnessed in history so far, it will not even be simply better. It will be completely different!

Because we have accepted the authority of God in relation to the standard required in Heaven, our sinfulness is no longer an issue. Jesus Christ is the love of God personified and this will be our only contact with God in eternity.

Because the love of God has no restrictions, it can bless infinitely. (The only restriction it has is our own understanding of how great God is.)

The result is a kingdom that is as pleasant as infinite love can produce.

One indication of the perfection of his kingdom here on earth is a change in the weather.

The day he returns will be a unique day. Because the sun will no longer be the source of light and heat, there will no longer be daytime or night time. There will be neither cold nor frost, Jesus and millions of believers in bodies of light will be the world’s heat source (Zechariah 14:6).

Because the presence of God controls the weather and not the sun, places that have been deserts will blossom (Isaiah 35:1-2).

The descriptions of the reign of Jesus here on earth is well documented, while very little is said about the rest of eternity in Heaven as we have no frame of reference to understand what it is like.

Perfect peace will prevail in all areas so that weapons will be turned into farming equipment (Isaiah 2:4).

Even in the animal kingdom there will be no fear. The law of the jungle will no longer exist, for lions will eat straw like an ox (Isaiah 11:6-7).

The Old Testament has many examples of how things will change. It will be a completely different world in every possible way.

Perfection is how it will be for 1,000 years. When the 1,000 years has been completed there will be no indication that even the slightest contamination has occurred.

Jesus will have demonstrated that against all the odds he was able to do what Satan never looked like achieving.

Where Will God’s Opponents Be?

The conflict is not over when Christ returns, it will require God to be capable of sustaining his own standards in the same environment as Satan and the demons.

While Jesus is saving his people and killing the armies surrounding Jerusalem an angel will come down from Heaven with the key to the Abyss. This angel will seize the serpent, (that is Satan or the devil) bind him and throw him in the Abyss for the 1,000 years.

Apollyon the beast from the Abyss, and his off-sider the Beast from the Land will both be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:19-20).

All the soldiers who are part of the battle for Jerusalem will be killed, and the scavenger birds will eat their flesh (Revelation 19:21).

Satan’s Final Appearance

In the 1,000 year kingdom of Jesus Christ there will be believers who have eternal bodies and those who will have mortal bodies. The population of the earth will greatly increase in the 1,000 years because except for the odd exception, no one will die. (The exceptions will be those who are born in this period and chose to remain unbelievers, if they commit a crime requiring capital punishment they will be executed)

The people born in the reign of Jesus will have the same option as the rest of humanity; they can opt for or against God. It will be a similar situation that Satan and the demons faced in the beginning; they will know God first hand and can choose to go their own way if they want to.

When the 1,000 years is over Satan will be released from the Abyss, gather all those who have opted to go against God as he wages a very short war. This battle will be decisive and Satan will be tossed into Hell with the other two never to resurface again (Revelation 20:7-10).

All the people from this time who will decide for God will receive their eternal bodies at the end of the 1,000 year reign (Revelation 20:5).

The Final Judgment

The conflict God has been having with Satan and his demons is over and the transportation of all the demons to Hell will be carried out.

John was able to look into the future and what he saw he recorded in Revelation and it is not good news for a lot of people.

There will be judgment at the Great White Throne for all the unbelievers, from the greatest to the smallest.

A distinction needs to be made between the dead and the living, the living are with Jesus Christ, but the dead are standing before this throne.

At the throne are books and they are opened.

One is the Book of Life and it contains the name of everyone who is with Jesus.

A set of books records the works of all the unbelievers standing before the Throne (Revelation 20:11-12).

The Book of Life is there just in case there are any disputes.

The dead will be collected from where ever they were when they died and will be judged according to what they have done (Revelation 20:13).

In their lifetime they thought they were like the “Most High”. Instead of accepting his authority they choose to do things their way and now it is time to pay the piper.

Perfection is the standard required and they did not achieve it.

The judgment handed down is the second death and they are thrown into the lake of fire or Hell (Revelation 20:13-14).

Eternity

John saw a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1).

The conflict is over; everyone’s eternity has been decided.

The universe as we know it will no longer be needed. It was created in the beginning as a home for the visible “God” or “The Word” or “God the Father”. A place where he and others he would create could live and have fellowship with one another.

At the same time he knew that if he gave freedom to those he created, some would decide against him. Therefore his creation would serve as a place for all to live until all these issues were resolved.

Permanent places would then be established so all could be with God or away from him, whatever they chose.

So the heavens will disappear with a roar and the elements destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:10).

The new Heaven and Hell will go on and on and on and on.

Scriptures taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.

All rights reserved.

 

Thanks and Appreciation.

From the Beginning” is like a giant puzzle that has taken decades to put together. To list all the people and books that have added a piece to the jigsaw over this time is impossible.

However there is one paragraph that stands out from all the rest as it identifies “the First of the Unleavens” as the Day Jesus died on the Cross. This was the key that opened up a way to understand the rituals that are part of Judaism. Therefore it gave me an insight to how history will unfold.

The paragraph is from “The Theological Dictionary of The New Testament”, volume 2, and page 903.

“It is perhaps surprising that in the accounts of the Last Supper we nowhere find the common LXX expression έσθιειν αζυμα for on the evening of Passover αζυμα alone were eaten and not ordinary bread (αρτοσ). This implies either that the meal presupposed in the story Mk., Mt. 1 C. 11 was not the Passover but took place the evening before (cf.Jn 13:1, 4; 18: 28) or that αρτοσ is used in these acounts for αζυμα.”

The technical evidence points to the fact that Christ died the day before “The Passover” and this opened up a whole new world to me.

Bibliography

HOLY BIBLE. The King James Version.

HOLY BIBLE. New International Version.

The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised 1978 Edition.

The Greek New Testament, Third Edition.

Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of The New Testament.

Elements of N. T. Greek, Wenham.

A Greek Grammar of New Testament Greek, Blass, Debrunner, Funk.

 

 

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