A friendly warning
If you are one of those, who like the parents of the man born blind,
are scared of being cast out of the synagogue
turn around to see if someone is not
peeping over your shoulder
This is the account of Terah and his descendants. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran was the father of Lot. While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, his native land. Both Abram and Nahor married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, daughter of Haran. (Haran was the father of Milcah and Iscah.) Sarai was not able to have children. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (son of Haran), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, wife of his son Abram. They set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. When they came as far as Haran, they stayed there. Terah lived 205 years and died in Haran (Gen 11:27-]. One wonders why Terah left for Canaan. Abram could only have received ‘his calling’, whilst living in Haran, according to Gen 12:1-.
At the age of 75, Abram received ‘a calling’ from God, Gen 12:1, “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation (if one has faith in God, one would treat Abraham’s descendants with ‘kid gloves’. They, they are ‘the apple of God’s eye, Zec 2:-8-, “…For this is what the LORD of the Heavenly Armies says: ‘In pursuit of glory I was sent to the nations who plundered you, because whoever injures you injures the pupil of my eye. And look, I will shake my fist over them, and they will become plunder for their former slaves.’ And you will know that the LORD of the Heavenly Armies sent me’. ‘Sing and rejoice, daughter of Zion! Take note! I am coming to live in your midst,’ declares the LORD. ‘Many nations will cling to the LORD at that time [that time will start after the battle of Azal] and will become my people. I will live in your midst’, and you will know that the LORD of the Heavenly Armies has sent me to you. The LORD will take possession of Judah as his own property in the Holy Land—and He will choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, every living thing, in the presence of the LORD, because He is emerging from his Holy Place.”).
That angel continued speaking, “…and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Therefore, Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai (Sarai was later renamed. Sarah), his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.”
According to my computation, based on Scripture references, Abram was born in 1948 AM (after man/Adam) = 2 006 BC. Abram, became the Father of Isaac in 2 048 AM = 1 905 BC. The best way to present the sequence of events would be by means of a ‘time line’:
Moses was born in 2373, and, at age 80, leaves Egypt = 2453.
That promise was made to Abram 430 years before the Law (Gal 3:17). The law came three months after their exodus (Ex 19:1) in 2453. Total time, in Egypt = 2453-2238 = 215 years. How does one then explain Gen 15:13-, “ And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years. And that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance… in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” As for the ‘fourth generation’ Isaac was the first, Jacob the second, Levi the third and Moses the fourth. Even so, Judah, son of Jacob, was the third, Pharez the fourth. Both Pharez and Moses left but died during the 40 years of ‘wandering in the desert’. The main problem, to solve is, Exo 12:40- “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.”
Thanks to ‘e-Sword’s Rick Meters www.e-Sword.com one now has access to many Bible translations to choose from to suite one’s ‘need’. Something like what Paul wrote about, 2Tim 4:3-, “A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. People will refuse to listen to the truth and turn to myths.”
Please, don’t ‘freeze’, at the sight of the following translation (Apostolic Bible Polyglot translation) but, it ‘meets my need’, to a T. “And theG3588 G1161 dwellingG2731 of theG3588 sonsG5207 of Israel,G* whichG3739 they dweltG2730 inG1722 the landG1093 of Egypt,G* andG2532 inG1722 the landG1093 of Canaan G* theyG1473 andG2532 G3588 their fathers —G3962 G1473 four hundredG5071 thirtyG5144 years.G2094.” This translation indicates that it refers to the total time that they dwelt, in Canaan and Egypt, Exo 12:40. My own translation reads, “The time of being a nation, those being in Egypt, were 430 years.”
Allow me to compare ‘my translation’ to Gen 15:13-, “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” My understanding is, ‘They became a nation’ at the time of ‘Abram’s calling. Abram was 75 years old, in the year 2023. They left Egypt in the year 2453 a total time of 430 years. This, 430 years, is what Paul wrote about, Gal 3:17, “And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.”
However, God said ‘they would live in a land, not theirs, for 400 years being afflicted and enslaved’. Well, Abram, Isaac and Jacob lived in a ‘promised’ land; it was not their land, yet. Their ‘affliction’ started at the time Isaac was weaned, 30 years later, when Isaac was five, in the year 2053, Gen 21:8-, “And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.” Concerning this affliction, read chapter 26 and further. They were, eventually, enslaved in Egypt.
The first misunderstanding; they were not, in Egypt, for 430 years but, 215 years. Is it coincidentally that Abram was born in 1948AM and that the Jews returned to ‘their land’ in 1948AD? What can one expect to happen in 2048AD (Isaac was born in 2048AM)? Read the article on Daniel 9; you might be surprised.
A second misunderstanding is the ‘I AM THAT I AM’ ‘name’ of God, Exo 3:14, “And God said unto Moses, ‘I AM THAT I AM’: and he said, ‘Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.’”
If you have never been confronted with a list of possibilities as to the meaning of that name, let me be the last to list them. However, that so-called ‘name’ does cause ‘trouble’ when Jesus, two thousand years later, is accused of blaspheming, Joh 8:-57-, “Then said the Jews unto him, ‘Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?’ Jesus said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.’ Then took they up stones to cast at Him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”
Yes, God has, with all due respects, many nicknames better still, pet names also known as, ‘attributes’. Concerning them, there need be no speculation as God, Himself, interprets them. For the alert, I could end the explaining, concerning the ‘I AM’ controversy right here because of my ‘…there need be no speculation as God, himself, interprets them’ choice of words. Allow me to explain concerning God’s pet names. To remain true to the original texts it is important to know the translator omitted the article ‘a’ before ‘the God’ under discussion. The original text always refers to that God as, ‘the God’.
I know, many will wink at that statement, then again, ponder Joh 8:47, “He that isG5607 ofG1537 GodG2316 hearethG191 God’sG2316 words:G4487 yeG5210 thereforeG1223 G5124 hearG191 them not,G3756 becauseG3754 ye areG2075 notG3756 ofG1537 God.G2316”. The numbers are peculiar to www.e-Sword.com Allow me to rephrase, ‘One that is of a Xhosa understands a Xhosa’s words, one that is not, understands them not, because he/she is not of a Xhosa.
There are many gods; ‘our’ God is a living God, Joh 6:69, “AndG2532 weG2249 believeG4100 andG2532 are sureG1097 thatG3754 thouG4771 artG1488 Christ,G5547 theG3588 SonG5207 of theG3588 livingG2198 God.G2316” In plain English, “And we believe and are sure that thou art an anointed the Son of the living God”.
Note, only words, with numbers, are in the original text. Why the ‘of’, of, ‘the living God’, has been inserted is because ‘the living God’ is in the genitive case. It could have been translated, “…thou art an anointed, the living God’s Son.” Because of the debate concerning ‘the Trinity’, verses, like these are problematic. A good example is, Joh 20:17, “Jesus saith unto her, ‘Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.’”
Born again people are all ‘sons of God’. People born in Africa are ‘sons and daughters of Africa’, 1Pe 1:23, “Being born again,G313 notG3756 ofG1537 corruptibleG5349 seed,G4701 butG235 of incorruptible,G862 byG1223 the wordG3056 of God,G2316 which livethG2198 andG2532 abidethG3306 for ever.G1519 G165,” The word ‘by’ has been incorrectly translated, worst still, the definite article has been inserted. The Greek preposition ‘dia’ (see sketch under the Mat 28 article) could have been translated as, “…but of incorruptible, because of hearing God’s word, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of a man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. But, the word of a Lord (one who is in control) endureth forever. And, this is the word —the good news being announced to you. Rom 10:17 (ERV), “So faith comes from hearing the Good News. And people hear the Good News when someone tells them about Christ.”
I would therefore suggest one should read from an interlinear Bible in spite of the bother, especially when reading the O.T. which reads from right to left. It is for this reason I will use the LXX (the Greek translation of the O.T.). A new dimension is now also brought in, that of, God, Himself, interpreting his name, Ex 34:6-, “And the LORDH3068 passed byH5674 beforeH5921 H6440 him, and proclaimed,H7121 ‘The LORD,H3068 The LORDH3068 God,H410 mercifulH7349 and gracious,H2587 longsuffering,H750 H639 and abundantH7227 in goodnessH2617 and truth,H571. KeepingH5341 mercyH2617 for thousands,H505 forgivingH5375 iniquityH5771 and transgressionH6588 and sin,H2403 and that will by no means clearH3808 H5352 H5352 the guilty. VisitingH6485 the iniquityH5771 of the fathersH1 uponH5921 the children,H1121 and uponH5921 the children’sH1121 children,H1121 untoH5921 the thirdH8029 and toH5921 the fourthH7256 generation.” Note the words, without numbers, are inserted. These verses contain the proper interpretation of the venerable and glorious name Jehovah. But, it will be necessary to consider them in detail.
Allow an interpretation in ‘plain English, according to the original text, “A Jehovah (a self existent one) passed by before Moses proclaiming, ‘A Jehovah, a Jehovah, mighty, merciful, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin but, will not leave unpunished, visiting the father’s iniquity upon the children and upon the children’s children unto the third and the fourth generation.”
The different names in this and the following verses have been considered as so many attributes of the Divine nature. Commentators divide them into eleven, thus: – 1. יהוה Jehovah. 2. אל EL, the strong or mighty God. 3. רחום Rachum, the merciful Being, who is full of tenderness and compassion..
4. חנון Channun, the gracious One; He whose nature is goodness itself; the loving God. 5. ארך אפים Erech Appayim, long-suffering; the Being who, because of his goodness and tenderness, is not easily irritated, but suffers long and is kind. 6. רב Rab, the great or mighty One. 7. חסד Chesed, the bountiful Being; he who is exuberant in his beneficence. 8. אמת Emeth, the truth or true One; He alone who can neither deceive nor be deceived, who is the fountain of truth, and from whom all wisdom and knowledge must be derived. 9. נצר חסד Notser Chesed, the preserver of bountifulness; He whose beneficence never ends, keeping mercy for thousands of generations, showing compassion and mercy while the world endures.
10. נשא עון ופשע וחטאה Nose avon vaphesha vechattaah, He who bears away iniquity and transgression and sin: properly, the Redeemer, the Pardoner, the Forgiver; the Being whose prerogative alone it is to forgive sin and save the soul. 11 ינקה(לו) נקה לא Nakkeh lo yenakkeh, the righteous Judge, who distributes justice with an impartial hand, with whom no innocent person can ever be condemned. 12. פקד עון Poked avon, etc.; He who visits iniquity, who punishes transgressors, and from whose justice no sinner can escape. He is the God of retributive and vindictive justice.
These twelve attributes, as they have been termed, are all included in the name Jehovah, and are, as we have before seen, the proper interpretation of it; but the meaning of several of these words has been variously understood, taken from Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Definitions. The point I’m trying to make is that a living God is a Jehovah God, a God who is self existent. It is for this reason that, the Word—Jesus—could lay down his Divinity and be incarnated, born of a woman, in the fashion of, a Son of man.
Exo 3:14 και ειπεν ο θεος προς μωυσην εγω ειμι ο ων και ειπεν ουτωςερεις τοις υιοις ισραηλ ο ων απεσταλκεν με προς υμας
Exo 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
εγω — I AM ‘εγω’ is a pronoun/verb expression. The genitive case would be ‘mine’ and the accusative case, in Greek, ‘με’…—He hath sent me unto you.
ειμ — THAT I AM ‘ειμι’ is a verb of existence, I am. The Greek verb expresses both the verbal idea and the subject in pronoun form; ‘ει’, you are and ‘esti, ‘he/she/it is.
Were one to ask, “Are you what you are?” it would enhance the meaning, of what God said. God said to Moses that He is, what He is. The clown, hiding behind his mask, is not what he is; he’s clowning. God, being a Jehovah God, He is ‘the strong and mighty God’ in addition, all eleven of the rest of his attributes listed above. It is not true that God won’t change his mind in spite of, Heb 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Yes, I know I’m comparing ‘apples with pears’ however Jesus, and the Father are single minded in the same way as Paul and Apollos were one, they had the same goal, 1Co 3:8, “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one”. God did change his mind on many occasions because He is ‘abundant in goodness and truth’, one of his attributes.
The Jews misunderstood what God told Moses, they, themselves hiding behind a mask, Act 7:41-, “That was the time they made a calf. They offered a sacrifice to that false god and delighted in what they hadmade. So God turned away from them and let them worship the sun, moon, and stars. This is written in the book of the prophets: ‘Did you bring Me sacrifices and grain offerings in the desert for 40 years, nation of Israel? You carried along the shrine of Moloch, the star of the god Rephan, and the statues you made for yourselves to worship. I will send you into exile beyond the city of Babylon.” In spite of their behaviour, they received their ‘daily bread’, their shoes and clothes did not wear, the Jordan River parted to allow them entry into their promised land moreover, and the walls of Jericho tumbled-in. It makes one think
What is one to understand from Jesus’ saying, “Before Abraham was, I am”? From the definition of ‘I am’ it simply means that Jesus existed before Abraham, was. Was Jesus saying that He was the God, even the Father? Indeed no, He said that He, and by implication, existed together with the Father, as John so ‘clearly’, but for the translators, wrote. Joh 1:1-, “InG1722 the beginningG746 wasG1510.7.3 theG3588 word,G3056 andG2532 theG3588 wordG3056 wasG1510.7.3 withG4314 G3588 God,G2316 andG2532 [4GodG2316 3wasG1510.7.3 1theG3588 2word].G3056 This oneG3778 wasG1510.7.3 inG1722 the beginningG746 withG4314 G3588 God.G2316 … AndG2532 theG3588 wordG3056 [2fleshG4561 1became],G1096 andG2532 tentedG4637 amongG1722 us,G1473 andG2532 we sawG2300 G3588 his glory,G1391 G1473 gloryG1391 asG5613 an only childG3439 ofG3844 the father,G3962 fullG4134 of favorG5484 andG2532 truth.G225”
From the above, one can ‘clearly’ see which words were inserted and which, omitted. My understanding is that there is no ‘beginning’. Eternity, by definition, has no beginning or, ending. My translation would read, “By occasion was the Word, and the Word was by the side of the God, and a God was the Word. He was by occasion by the God… And the Word flesh became and abode among us, and we observed his glory, a glory as an only born of a father, full of favour and truth.” This is John’s ‘in a nutshell’ Incarnation of Jesus, the anointed One.
The problem, how does one reconcile John’s narrative with that of Matthew and Luke’s narratives? The best method is to compare the ‘original’ with the ‘translation’.
Mat 1:18-, “And theG3588 G1161 [2of Jesus G* 3ChristG5547 G3588 1nativity]G1083 was thus.G3779 G1510.7.3 [4being espousedG3423 1ForG1063 G3588 2his motherG3384 G1473 3Mary]G* to G3588 Joseph,G* beforeG4250 G3588 their coming together,G4905 G1473 was foundG2147 [2inG1722 3 the wombG1064 1having one]G2192 ofG1537 [2spiritG4151 1holy].G39 … And Joseph G* G1161 G3588 her husband,G435 G1473 being righteous,G1342 G1510.6 andG2532 notG3361 wantingG2309 to make her an example,G1473 G3856 willedG1014 in privateG2977 to dismissG630 her.G1473 [4these things G3778 1AndG1161 2of hisG1473 3pondering],G1760 behold,G2400 an angelG32 of the LordG2962 byG2596 dreamG3677 appearedG5316 to him,G1473 saying,G3004 Joseph G* sonG5207 of David,G* you should not fearG3361 G5399 to take to yourselfG3880 Mary G* G3588 your wife;G1135 G1473 for the oneG3588 G1063 inG1722 herG1473 [2engenderedG1080 3ofG1537 5spiritG4151 1isG1510.2.3 4holy].G39 And she shall bearG5088 G1161 a son,G5207 andG2532 you shall callG2564 G3588 his nameG3686 G1473 Jesus,G* for heG1473 G1473 shall deliverG4982 G3588 his peopleG2992 G1473 fromG575 G3588 their sins.G266 G1473 And thisG3778 G1161 completelyG3650 happenedG1096 thatG2443 should be fulfilledG4137 the thing G3588 having been spokenG4483 byG5259 theG3588 LordG2962 throughG1223 theG3588 prophet,G4396 saying,G3004 Behold,G2400 theG3588 virginG3933 [2inG1722 3 the wombG1064 1has one],G2192 andG2532 she shall birthG5088 a son,G5207 andG2532 they shall callG2564 G3588 his nameG3686 G1473 Emmanuel;G* whichG3739 isG1510.2.3 being translated,G3177 [2withG3326 3usG1473 G3588 1God].G2316
Using ‘the numbered words’, “And the nativity of Jesus, the anointed was thus [For his mother, Mary, being espoused] to that Joseph. Before their coming together, she was found having one in womb because of a holy spirit. …Now, Joseph, her husband, being righteous, and not wanting to make her an example willed in private to dismiss her hereof. Now, in his pondering, behold a sent messenger by a dream appeared to him, saying, ‘Joseph, a son of David, you should not fear to take to yourself Mary your wife for the One in her engendered is of a holy spirit. Also, she shall bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he shall deliver his people of the sins of them. This now finally happened that should be fulfilled that, that having been spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying, ‘Behold, the virgin [in womb has one] and she shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which is, being translated, [with us, a God].
It is important to note, :25, “And he (Joseph) knew her (Mary) not until she had given birth, for her, a first born son. She, and Joseph had more children; she did not remain ‘a virgin’, Mat 13:55, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary? Aren’t his brothers’ names James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? And aren’t all his sisters here with us?”
Luke’s nativity narrative reads, Luk 1:34i, “ [3saidG2036 1AndG1161 2Mary]G* toG4314 theG3588 angel,G32, ‘HowG4459 will this be,G1510.8.3 G3778 sinceG1893 [2a husbandG435 1I know not]?’G3756 G1097 AndG2532 answeringG611 theG3588 angelG32 saidG2036 to her,G1473 [2spiritG4151 1’Holy]G39 shall comeG1904 uponG1909 you,G1473 andG2532 powerG1411 of the highestG5310 shall overshadowG1982 you;G1473 thereforeG1352 alsoG2532 the oneG3588 being bornG1080 ofG1537 youG1473 holy,G39 shall be calledG2564 SonG5207 of God.G2316.’”
In plain English it would read, “And Mary said to the angel, “How is this to be, since a husband I know not?’ And answering the angel said to her, ‘A holy spirit shall come upon you and a power, held in high esteem, will enfold you. Therefore also, the one being born of you, shall be called, a Son of God.'”
It is written, Jesus came from the Father and, that He would return to the Father, Joh 16:28, “I left the Father and came into the world. Again, as I’ve said, I’m going to leave the world and go back to the Father.” Paul tells how it came about that Jesus left heaven, Heb 10:5-, “For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said, “‘You did not want sacrifices and offerings, but you prepared a body for Me. You did not approve of burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin.’ Then I said, ‘I have come! (It is written about Me in the scroll of the book.) I have come to do what You want, my God.’ In this passage, Christ first said, ‘You did not want sacrifices, offerings, burnt offerings, and sacrifices for sin. You did not approve of them.’ (These are the sacrifices that Moses’ teachings required people to offer). Then Christ says, ‘I have come to do what You want.’ He did away with sacrifices in order to establish the obedience that God wants. We have been set apart as holy because Jesus Christ did what God wanted Him to do by sacrificing his body once and for all.”
Jesus laid-down his Deity, then, as a sinless spirit, He entered Mary’s womb and ‘the Word became flesh’, Php 2:6-, “In God’s own form existed He, and shared with God equality, deemed nothing needed grasping. Instead, poured out in emptiness, a servant’s form did He possess, a mortal man becoming. In human form, He chose to be, and lived in all humility, death on a cross obeying. Now, lifted up by God to heaven, a name above all others given, this matchless name possessing. And so, when Jesus’ name is called, the knees of everyone should fall wherever they’re residing. Then every tongue in one accord, will say that Jesus the Messiah is Lord, while God the Father praising.”
We have considered the ‘years the Jews were in Egypt’, Jesus’ incarnation relative to ‘And the Word became flesh’ and, linked to this, the glorification of Jesus and ‘the availability’ of that Holy Spirit mentioned in Joh 7:39. With the ‘May scare’ on hand (see my article ‘May 11 and Beyond) the following concerning ‘the rapture’, the third misunderstood statement:
The rapture will be an event when the typified ‘the in-gathering of the harvest’, of which Jesus was ‘the first fruit, will be fulfilled in some, far in the future, Jewish Festival of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets is the 1st day of Siwan, our October, Num 29:1, “You are to hold a sacred assembly on the first day of the seventh month of each year. No servile work is to be done. It’s a day of blowing trumpets for you.” Paul writes, 1Co 15:51-, “Not all of us will die, but all of us will be changed—in a moment, faster than an eye can blink, at the sound of the last trumpet. Indeed, that trumpet will sound, and then the dead will be raised never to decay, and we will be changed.”
Jesus tells when the rapture will happen, Mat 24:14-, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place(let him that readeth understand),.. But immediately, after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven.
“Then, shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” It will happen after the great tribulation.
Paul writes concerning the delay of the one who will be the cause of the great tribulation, 2Th 2:1-, “But with respect to the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to meet Him. We entreat you, brethren, not readily to become unsettled in mind or troubled–either by any pretended spiritual revelation or by any message or letter claiming to have been sent by us–through fancying that the day of the Lord is now here. Let no one in any way deceive you. For that day cannot come without the coming of the apostasy first, and the appearing of the man of sin, the son of perdition. Who sets himself against, and exalts himself above, every so-called ‘god’ or object of worship, and goes the length of taking his seat in the very temple of God, giving it out that he himself is God.”
Jesus tells, in the parable of the ‘good seed’ and the ‘weeds’, concerning this ‘apostasy’, Mat 13:29-, “He said, ‘No! If you pull out the weeds, you might pull out the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, ‘Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles for burning, but bring the wheat into my barn.’” So, the rapture can’t happen until after the great tribulation. In addition, until ‘the weeds’ have been collected for burning. Once the ‘weeds’ have been ‘burned’ can the one, who will be the cause of the great tribulation, appear on the scene.
John tells concerning the ‘burning of the weeds, Rev 17:-16-, “The ten horns and the beast you saw will hate the prostitute. They will leave her abandoned and naked. They will eat her flesh and burn her up with fire, for God has placed within them a desire to carry out his purpose by uniting to give their kingdom to the beast until God’s words are fulfilled.”
This beast is the Antichrist, the 7th head, he, will allow, Rev 13:-15-, “The second beast was allowed to put breath into the statue of the first beast. Then the statue of the first beast could talk and put to death whoever would not worship it. The second beast forces all people-important and unimportant people, rich and poor people, free people and slaves-to be branded on their right hands or on their foreheads. It does this so that no one may buy or sell unless he has the brand, which is the beast’s name or the number of its name. In this situation, wisdom is needed. Let the person who has insight figure out the number of the beast, because it is a human number. The beast’s number is 666.”
Even so, the gospel of the kingdom has to be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, before the end can come. John tells the full story, Rev 14:8-, “Another angel, a second one, followed him, and said, ‘Fallen! Babylon the Great has fallen! (the apostasy). She has made all the nations drink the wine of her passionate sexual sins.’ Another angel, a third one, followed them, and said in a loud voice, ‘Whoever worships the beast or its statue, whoever is branded on his forehead or his hand, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured unmixed into the cup of God’s anger. Then he will be tortured by fiery sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and the lamb. The smoke from their torture will go up forever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast or its statue, or for anyone branded with its name.’ In this situation, God’s holy people, who obey his commands and keep their faith in Jesus, need endurance.”
Only now, the rapture, at the last trump and the voice of the arc angel, verse 14, “Then I looked, and there was a white cloud, and on the cloud sat someone who was like the Son of Man. He had a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Another angel came out of the temple. He cried out in a loud voice to the one who sat on the cloud, ‘Swing your sickle, and gather the harvest. The time has come to gather it, because the harvest on the earth is overripe.’ The one who sat on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the harvesting of the earth was completed.”
Let him/she, who understand, not be led astray. Seek the truth and turn away from myths.