Sunday, December 7, 2014

Salem of Genesis 14 wasn't Jerusalem

A conclusion I've come to recently is that the common assumption of identifying Salem with Jerusalem is flawed.

The main basis for it is that the last part of the name Jerusalem is Salem, a detail not even obscured in transliteration. But it may simply be another example of a new city being named after an older one.  And Jerusalem was not named that till the time of David, any verses in Joshua or Judges using the name Jerusalem are simply editorial additions from later on.

The Wikipedia page uses as evidence against the Temple Mount being the Mt Moriah of Genesis 22 the assumption that the Salem reference proved Jerusalem was already a city then.  To me the evidence of that being Moriah is far stronger then Salem being Jerusalem.

Psalm 76:2 is usually considered verification of it being Jerusalem.  First of all Salem as a shortening of Jerusalem being used for that city during or after David's time doesn't necessarily prove where Salem of Abraham's time was.

However on top of that.  Psalm 76 seems to have an eschatological aspect to it, either the Millennium and/or New Heaven and New Earth.  In which case it should perhaps be read in light of Ezekiel 40-48, where The Temple is not within the city limits of Yahweh-Shammah ("The LORD is there") but many miles north of it.
"In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion."
It could be that Zion here like in Psalm 48 is New Jerusalem, and Salem is where Ezekiel's Temple is.

One theory some have proposed for the location of Ezekiel's Temple based on how far north it is of the City is in the vicinity of Shechem and Mt Gerizim.

In Genesis 12:6 that area is where Abraham built his first Altar to God, and then traveled south to Beth-El, and then further south till the Famine brought him to Egypt.

At the end of Genesis 33 Jacob comes to this same region after making peace with Esau.  There we are told in verse 18.
"And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city."
Shalem is rendered differently in the KJV, and the Strongs also tries to treat it as separate (Strong# 8003 rather then 8004). But in the Hebrew texts it is identical to the name of Salem in Genesis 24 and Psalm 76 (three Hebrew letters, S-L-M).  I believe it is the same city.

I feel like adding that any time we see the name Shechem used of this region or it's inhabitants (Shechemites) before or during Genesis 34 is an editorial decision from Moses much later.  I feel Shechem became the name for this city/region from the person named Shechem in Genesis 34.  I think the city of Salem and Shechem could very well be the same.  But if not they are certainly near each other.

I think maybe Melchizedek became Priest of the Altar to God Abraham built in that region after he left it to travel south.

But there is also a city in the region known in New Testament and modern times as Salim near Nablus. John 3:23 says John was Baptizing in this region for part of his ministry at least.  (I'm convinced however he must have been in the Trans-Jordan (Perea) region when he was arrested, since Antipas only had authority on the other side of The Jordan river.)  This Salim was near Aenon which is affiliated with Mt Ebal.

Jerome stated that the Salem of Melchizedek was not Jerusalem, but a town eight Roman miles south of Scythopolis, and gives its then name as Salumias, and identifies it with the Salem where John baptized.

However there are also those who calculate Shiloh to be the site of Ezekiel's Temple.

Shiloh is close enough to the later city of Shechem that it could be defined as the same basic region.

Actually the name of Shiloh derives from the same root word meaning Peace that Salem does (Strong number 7951).

References to the city of Shiloh don't start till the time of Joshua, long after the references to Salem in historical contexts ended.

Shiloh is where the Ark was throughout the Judges period, close to 450 years.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Solomon was the youngest son of Bathsheba

Chuck Missler and others keep referring to Solomon as the oldest surviving son of Bathsheba, and Nathan as the second.

All three verses that list the sons of David and Bathsheba list Solomon as the last of the four and Nathan third.  2 Samuel 5:14, 1 Chronicles 3:5 and 1 Chronicles 14:4.
"And these were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shimea, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, four, of Bathshua the daughter of Ammiel:"
Also I don't believe the four listed here are only the "surviving" ones, I think even the one that died at birth was given a name, and that name was Shimea.

Among the things said by Critics to attack the idea that Jesus had claim to the Throne of David from Luke's genealogy is that the Throne could only be inherited through Solomon.  Solomon is relevant to II Samuel 7 because he is the near fulfillment, but nothing in Scripture says the Messiah must be descended from Solomon.

On top of that go back to the account of the division of The Kingdom in I Kings 11.  It says Solomon's sons will never rule a United Kingdom, only Judah.  The Messiah will rule all of Israel.  Meanwhile Zachariah 12:12 makes a reference to the House of Nathan that is interesting.  And 2 Kings 23:11 has a mysterious reference to a "Chamber of Nathan-Melech" Melech meaning King.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cyrenius does not mean Quirinius

First in the actual Greek text of Luke 2:2 the word translated Cyrenius is the last word and Syria the second to last word.  And the word for "governor" is not a noun and should be more literally translated "governing".  In fact the most accurate rendering of the verse should be something like.
"This counting was first made during the governing of Surias Kureniou"
The last two words I chose not to transliterate and represent them as they are spelled in the Greek.

The only reason why Bible Skeptics insist this MUST be the 6 AD Census in-spite of all the ways it's nothing like that Census (Empire wide not local, and while Herod was still King) is the name of Kureniou.

But it's not even grammatically written as the name of a person.  Now if you look at the Strongs entry for Cyrenius it will claim that the name ends with the specific form of the latter Sigma that in Koine Greek any personal name of a male individual should, and that also ends many descriptive titles.  But in the actual Textus Receptus Greek text it does not.  (And the Sinaiticus is the same.)  And Quirinus does end with an "s" in the original form in it's original language.   So there is no excuse for there not to be a Sigma at the end.

You may ask "But we know from the Greek texts of Josephus that that is how Quirinus name was translated into Greek"?

But in fact the rendering in Josephus isn't identical, for one thing in Josephus it does end with Sigma. In Josephus it's spelled Kurinios, which, like I would expect, uses more then one Iota.  Also there is no "e".  It is a much more plausible Greek rendering of Quirinus.

I'm not sure how early on this confusion started.  Maybe simply because Luke refereed to the 6 AD Census in Acts 5:37 people made the wrong assumption it must be the same Census.  Or maybe the translation of Luke into Latin played a key role in the confusion, when Translations of The Bible into modern languages finally began to happen after the reformation, they were greatly influenced by the Vulgate directly or indirectly.  Even the KJV a little bit.

But Tertullian in his against Heresies book IV chapter XIX simply states Saturninus was governor of Syria at the time without any acknowledgment that supposedly Luke identifies someone else as Syria's Governor.  That tells me that neither he or his readers had heard of the idea that Luke tells us who the governor was.  (Note, identifying Saturninus would fit it being the 8 BC Census).

To be exact, Tertullian said that Roman records proved the fact that censuses (he used the plural) were conducted in Judea when Saturninus was governor.  Also in his Apology to the Jews Tertullian clearly dates the Nativity to 3-2 BC saying it was 27 years from the deaths of Antony and Cleopatra.  Though that is hard to reconcile with the Saturninus reference.

Since I'm contending that Kureniou doesn't mean Quirinus, what does it mean?

Below is how Cyrene or Cyrenian (of Cyrene) is rendered in various Greek NT verses.  Because these will be using 2 different Greek letters for o, lower case o is Omicron and capitalized O is Omega

Matthew 27:32, Kurenaion
Mark 15:21, Kurenaion
Luke 23:26,  Kurenaion
Acts 2:10, Kurenen
Acts 6:9,  KurenaiOn
Acts 11:20, Kurenaioi
Acts 13:1, Kurenaios

It's rendered differently almost each time, in total 5 different ways, and Luke used all 5.  So that Kureniou is identical to none of them means little.  Interestingly the last one is almost identical to how the Strongs incorrectly claimed Cyrenius was rendered (Kurenios) with the only difference being the added Alpha.

The differences are all a matter of vowels and what the closing suffix should be.  All of them begin with Kuren just like Kureniou does.

Ending with iou is the same as how Luke renders Jesus of Nazareth in Luke 24:19 (Iesous tou Nazoraiou).

So perhaps Luke 2:2 wasn't referencing the Governor of a province at all but two provinces.  Or I could point out that the word for Syria here does end with that specific form of the letter Sigma that signifies a personal name or possibly title of a male individual.  No where else does Luke in his Gospel or Acts render Syria as ending with a Sigma if it's referring to the region rather then a person.  But he does use that form of Sigma when referring to Naaman of Syria in Luke 4.

I could also note that when Luke identifies Pilate as Governor of Judea in Luke 3:1 he lists the name of the Governor before the name of the province.

If it's hypothetically possible for one Roman name to be transliterated into Greek in a way that resembles Cyrene, then one could just as easily be rendered in a way that resembles Syria.  Servius could become Surias as easily as Quirinus could become Kureniou, since Greek has no letter v.

Sulla could become similar to Surias in transliteration also considering how l and r are sometimes confused.  A Sulla we don't know much about was Consul in 5 BC, many former Consuls were made governors soon after their Consulship.  However the r and l confusion is not likely to happen from Latin into Greek.

Or it could be a Roman who was named after Syria because he or his ancestor had a military Victory there, like we see with names like Africanus, Britanicus and Germanicus.  But those names usually end with us or cus.

Or maybe the verse should just be translated as saying "when a Syrian was Governing Cyrene"?  Or perhaps that a Cyrenian was governing Syria.  Plausible translations are "during the Governing of Syria and Cyrene" or "during the Governing of Syria by a Cyrene" or "during the Governing of Cyrene by Syria".  But I feel from everything I've observed above the best translation is "during the Governing of the Syrian of Cyrene".

We don't have a complete list of all the Governors of Cyrene, in fact we know very few.  Though Ironically Quirinius was briefly Governor of Cyrene and Crete before he became Consul in 12 BC.    My point is however we sadly don't know who Governed Cyrene from 8-2 BC.

Why refer to the Governor of Cyrene rather then the closer Syria?  Maybe the Governor of Cyrene was in charge of carrying it out for the entire Eastern Empire?  Or Judea specifically being so close to Egypt.  Because Egypt wasn't a military province, military activity within or from Egypt was carried out by the Cyrenean Legions.

An Atheist who's unlike me willing to consider the text hasn't been perfectly preserved should consider that a name is missing, that it's saying someone of Cyrene was Governing Syria.  Heck what Tertulian said you could use as evidence Saturninus was named in the texts he had.

Upon my further research I've noticed the Roman Legion called the Legio III Cyrenacia was based for some reason in Bosra Syria;  Again I note the terminology of Luke properly translated is not necessarily identifying a person as Governor at all.

The last known exploit of this Legion before the time frame of The Nativity (from the timeline of the Legion Wikipedia has anyway), was being involved in a conflict between Rome and Nubia in Egypt in 23 BC.  The next time they show up is 7-11 BC when the Nikopolis fortress is established.

I'm thinking it's possible this Legion carried out the Census in Judea.

Varus governed the province of Africa being being Governor of Syria at the time of Herod's death.  Not quite the same province but close.  Since it borders Cyrene and we don't know Cyrene's governors perhaps he was entrusted with both.  Saturninus had also governed Africa before governing Syria.  Saturninus career immediately after his time as governor of Syria ended isn't documented, we know he was in Germania at some point but how soon is disagreed on.  What if Saturninus was governing Cyrene while Varus governed Syria?

I've had had a hunch enter my head that maybe Luke's intent was to identify a year that Augustus was Consul and verse 2 is meant to identify the other Consul, though I can't think of a solid to make that argument.

The only years in the vicinity where Augustus was Consul were 5 BC, where the other Consul was Sulla who I mentioned above for an admittedly flawed reason.  And 2 BC where the other Consul was Silvanus.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Star of Bethlehem was not something never seen before

Chuck Missler and many others like to dismiss the idea of looking for the Star of Bethlehem in actual astronomical events, insisting it's supposed to be entirely Supernatural.

Problem is, this ignores what Matthew clearly says.
"Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."
 The word for "seen" here means to observe.  It's not a Star that was brand new in the night sky.  It's a star (a planet clearly since it moves) that was always there and that they always thought of as "His Star".

Some will try to argue "Planetes Aster" would have been used if it was a planet.  First I believe the ancient traditions that Matthew was originally in Hebrew which had no distinct term for Planet.  The Magi also may not have been speaking in Greek as they inquired about this, but in Hebrew, the native language of the King they were seeking.  Second, a Planetes is a type of star in terms of what star meant to ancient Greeks, it being a specific kind of star doesn't make it inaccurate to simply call one a star.  The New Testament does not use Planetes when calling Jesus the morning star, which is a title of Venus.

Now some think Matthew 2:9 says that Star appeared again and hadn't been visible before that.  That is reading something into it that isn't there.

It being seen "in the east" does not tell us anything about where in the night sky the star was visible, it only refers to the Magi having been in the east when they observed it.

And it was Micah's prophecy that sent them to Bethlehem.  That Star's additional behavior just helped them determine where in Bethlehem.

Jupiter is the brightest planet and so I think it's the most likely candidate.  It also was a Planet constantly linked with Kingship.  Just as Regulus was the stationary Star linked with Kingship.

I am a supporter of viewing it as the September 11th 3 BC Jupiter-Reuglus conjunctions marking the birth of Jesus.  ([Update]I no longer am, I have changed my view on Jesus Birthrate, but still hold the same view of the Star of Bethlehem.)

Studying Jupiter's movements in 3-2 BC places the arrival of the Magi in Jerusalem on December 25th 2 BC

Jupiter being in Leo happens for about a year every twelve years.  It doesn't always have a conjunction with Regulus but it's not uncommon.  What is uncommon is Jupiter's retrograde going through where Regulus is, and even other times that does happen it's not a conjunction all three times.  A triple conjunction between Jupiter and Regulus is rare, and the first conjunction beginning on Yom Teruah is interesting.

Jupiter being in Conjunction with Venus is not super rare either, but that this rare tipple conjunction had Jupiter-Venus conjurations both before and after is interesting.  Now people placing the birth of Jesus in September of 3 BC haves gone and described that the June 17th Jupiter-Venus looks kind of like Jupiter and Venus are getting married.  Now that I've decided I do place the Birth of Jesus on December 25th 2 BC, I also place the birth of John The Baptist on June 24th, which was possibly Tammuz 17 on the Hebrew Calendar.  Mary left Elizabeth to return to Nazareth a little before that, which is when the events of Matthew 1 took place culminating in the marriage of Mary and Joseph.

The Star that Astonished the World book does make a lot of mistakes.  I don't think it Astonished the word, I don't think most pagans or astrologists saw any significance to it.  By secular standards the previous time Jupiter was in Leo around 26 BC was more impressive, Jupiter, Saturn and Regulus had a triple conjunction, on the Summer Solstice.

I think these were a special subgroup within the Magi responding to a sign Daniel had taught them to look for. I think he told them that when you see Jupiter conjunction with Regulus 3 times in less then a year (possibly also mentioning the Venus conjunctions before and after), a little after the following winter solstice (or if they were using a Lunar calendar then during the last week of Tevet) they should arrive in Jerusalem looking for the one who is "Born King of The Jews".  I also think it's possible this specific group of Magi could have had Ephraimite ancestry.

And it got what day on the Hebrew calendar December 25th of 2 BC fell on wrong.  Which is odd since it got September 11th of 3 BC right (it was Yom Teruah) counting the New Moons from there puts us in Tevet for most of December of 2 BC.  The Solar Eclipse on December 26th 2 BC makes that evening that New Moon of Shevat.

I also disagree with bringing Revelation 12 into this.  The signs in the Heavens in Revelation 12 are yet future, they follow the Last Trump.

This is the first in a series of Christmas themed posts I intend to do.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wrath and the Seventh Trumpet

Pre-Wrathers and many others with mistaken views need to claim that the Trumpets are all God's Wrath insist that in Revelation 11 when the Elders and the Four Cherubim say "and thy wrath is come".  That the Greek should be translated "has come" or "has already come".

My argument however is it simply doesn't matter how past tense the grammar is.  Everything here is in reference only to the Seventh Trumpet and what happens immediately after it's sounded.  Nothing said here was true before the Seventh Trumpet.

"And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."

How much of that was already happening during the earlier Trumpets? Wrath is the only one anyone would even try to argue for.

Trumpets Biblically are warnings, the Last Trumpet is the Last Warning, that's when the Parousia happens and the Day of The LORD begins.

The fact is, Wrath has already come at the Seventh Trumpet, but it would be inaccurate to say that before the Seventh Trumpet.

That the Bowls are described as "finishing" or "completing" God's Wrath is seen as evidence God's Wrath begins sooner.  Fine, it begins with the 7th Trumpet and is finished by the Bowls.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

One verse proving a Pre-Trib Rapture

That is a common challenge to Pre-Tirbbers.  I'm NOT Pre-Trib, but when this challenge comes specifically from Post-Tirbbers they mean any verse proving a Rapture that enables believers to escape any of the End Time scenario.

There is a verse for that however it's often overlooked.  Luke 21:36
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all the things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
 The verses before this have terminology that I'm certain Pre-Tribbers will think backs up they're Imminence doctrine.  What they keep missing is that you shouldn't be surprised IF your paying attention.

The point for me today however is that we do have a promise to escape.  And Revelation 13:6 refers to people dwelling in heaven when The Beast is at the height of his power.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Does Revelation start over in Chapter 12?

Some people have Revelation completely non-chronological.  But among those who choose only one place to see it as Rebooting, the by far most popular place is the start of Revelation 12.

"We are back at the birth of Christ" they will say.  I no longer agree with that assumption, but even if John is seeing Signs that represent some already past events.  I believe these Signs will one day be seen in the Heavens, not just by John but by everyone.  Luke 21:25 foretells "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars".

Matthew and Mark has Jesus refer to "The Sign of The Son of Man" being seen in the Heavens.  I have two theories on what that correlates to in Revelation. One I've said before is the Ark being seen in the Heavenly Temple in Revelation 11.  But another option is perhaps the Signs John sees in Revelation 12, the Birth of the Son of Man/Seed of The Woman.

Again, both the Chapter and Verse divisions are not in the original text. If you read Revelation from the sounding of the 7th Trumpet on till when The Dragon is cast down without letting the man made divisions effect your perception, I don't think it's possible to fail to see they're all one continuous sequence of events.  I will provide an easy way to do that at the end of this post.

Revelation 12:1 in the Greek text begins with Kai, Kai is translated in the KJV "and there" but in fact "and then" would be more accurate here, the word is translated "then" elsewhere in the KJV often.  It's also the exact same word that begins 12:3.  That word is how many verses in Revelation begin, including the last to chapter 11 and all of them in chapter 12 and most in 12.

Some defending the idea of Revelation starting over and showing us the same events from a "different angle" mention that we have Four Gospels, and that Chronicles repeats much of the history from Samuel and Kings.

Those are different books.  And when we do see different events from different angles within the same book on the subject of prophecy they're defined as distinct separate visions, usually given at different times.  Like the many visions Daniel has (or interprets for others).  And I indeed do believe we see most of what's in Revelation from different angles in other Prophetic books.

Revelation however is one continuous vision.  John was taken out of the Earth to the Heavenly Throne Room and is walked through everything that will happen step by step.  Revelation ceases to be confusing when people just accept that and interpret other Bible Prophecies chronology based on where John explicitly identifies them in Revelation.  Including that when the Son of Man comes on a cloud is in Revelation 14.

Even if some start over were the case, we're clearly caught up to the midway point and the Abomination of Desolation when The Woman flees as synchronization with Matthew 24 shows.  Her time in the wilderness is clearly the second half not the first.  It's generally the desire to justify putting the Trumpets in the second half that comes from this specific start over theory.  I've dealt elsewhere with why the Trumpets and Bowls being concurrent doesn't work.

Revelation 11:14-12:12
The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.  And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, "We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."  And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
And then a great wonder appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.  And then appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.  And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.  Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Seven Bowls time period

Part of the Pre-Wrath view is that the Seven Bowls take place over a short peirod of time, a month tops.

The reason that's illogical is mostly because of the 2nd and 3rd Bowls.  It will take a long time for the full effect of turning the world's Water into Blood to be felt.  Today lots of people are storing up Water to prepare for a future calamity.

And even in Ancient Egypt, well over a month clearly happened from the first Plague till when God's judgment on Egypt was over.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wrath Word Concept Fallacy

So I point out to Pre-Wrathers and Pre-Tribbers that Revelation doesn't mention Wrath until after the 7th Trumpet except in one passage where fallible human beings say they think it's already come, after the 6th Seal.

But Alan Kurschner goes on about what he calls a "Word-Concept fallacy" and says that concepts are in Scriptures that don't mention the word.  And yes that is true many times.  But when your building doctrine you need a higher standard then just that the concept is vaguely there.  Those other passages can demonstrate a doctrine but they don't build it.

And there are plenty of times when The Bible specifically avoiding saying something means something.  My view on God's Wrath is not about when the word isn't used but when it is used.  Only with the Bowls is it clearly linked to the entirety of that group of judgments.

The thing is, not even every passage with the word "Wrath" is about the concept of an Eschatological time period in which God pours out his Wrath on an unbelieving world after The Bride of Christ has been removed from it..

In fact even tough I do see the timing of The Rapture as before The Bowls.  I must reluctantly admit that the Post-Trib objection to how Pre-Tirbbers read 1 Thessalonians 5:9 is valid.  In that verse Wrath is contrasted with Salvation, not being Raptured.  Yes the Rapture is discussed around that same area, but that doesn't prove what he's referring to.  Comparing it to John 3:36 and also Romans 5:9. proves Wrath means Damnation in those kinds of verses.

The Lake of Fire and Hell is not "Eternal separation from God" as Liberals want to water it down to. (Revelation 14:10, Psalm 139:8)  It is God's Eternal Wrath.  The Fire that Burns you is the Fire that emanates from God's presence (Isaiah 30:33, II Thessalonians 1:8-9).

God also poured out his Wrath on Jesus on The Cross, that's the Cup Jesus spoke of in Gethsemane. And that's a conclusion I come to without needing the word to be used.

In Romans 1:18 Paul spoke about the Romans of that time being subject to God's Wrath, hence him delivering them unto certain Sins.

Ephesians 5:6 and Colossians 3:6 show that Christians when we're in Disobedience can be Subject to God's Wrath.  Salvation cannot be lost but there are ramifications when a believer Sins.  We are always God's Children but a Father can still be angry with his Children.  1 John 5 clearly warns of even a Sin unto Death for Believers, like what happened to Saul.

1 Thessalonians 2:16 refers to God's Wrath having already come upon the unbelieving Gentiles.

 And I'm also not one of those futurists who wants to remove 70 AD from Bible Prophecy all together.  Luke's Gospel especially has Jesus and John The Baptist saying things that clearly apply to 70 AD, not just in the Olivite discourse.  And Luke 3:7 and 21:23 refer to what happened in 70 AD as God's Wrath against Israel.

So let me explain why just saying what happens in Revelation 8 and 9 is obviously God's Wrath is stupid. And has nothing to do with a lack of the word Wrath.

The first 4 Trumpets in Chapter 8 are about Natural Disasters.  Jesus specifically tells us not to consider such things signs, for such things always happen.

Revelation 9 is about things Demonic creatures do.  God allowing these creatures to be released from the Abyss could be called his Wrath in a sense.  But when he pours out his Wrath is only what God does himself.  So to me saying Revelation 9 is God's Wrath is outright blasphemy.

Biblically Trumpets are warnings.  In the days of Joshua the Trumpets were sounded for 6 days before Jericho fell on the 7th.  Ezekiel 33 further makes that clear.

The Bowls are distinct from The Trumpets for a reason.  The entirety of the accounts of the Seals and Trumpets used the word Wrath 3 times.  The third after all 7 Trumpets are sounded.  But this word is linked to what happens with the Bowls for the entirety of their role.

At the end of Chapter 14 which clearly describes The Parousia "And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.".

The Bowls alone are defined by The Text as synonymous with God's Wrath.  Therefore a sound Biblical hermeneutic says only they should be refereed to as synonymous with God's Wrath.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Messiah The Prince of Daniel 9

The 70 weeks Prophecy four times refers to an awaited personage at the the end of the 69 weeks and/or the 70th week.

Messiah The Prince in verse 25
The Messiah in verse 26
The Prince that shall come in verse 26
He in verse 27

The standard view among Christians who are Premillennial Futurists (and even some Preterists) has been that the first two are Jesus Christ and the last two the person we commonly call The Antichrist.  Chris White however promotes a theory he didn't invent himself that makes each of the four something different. predicating it largely on how unclear it is which of the earlier personages the He in verse 27 appears to be.

However most people reading this Prophecy without a Christian starting point, as well as many Christians who are Preterist, see the clear grammatical logic as saying all four are the same person.

When verse 25 says to await the coming of a Messiah The Prince and then verse 26 says The Prince that shall come logic dictates that it's the same Prince.  And if there aren't two or three different people refereed to earlier, figuring out who He is, isn't that complicated.

It's also pretty much unique to Christians to see a Villain in any of the four references.  Because you see the "he" after "Abominations" in the KJV of verse 27 isn't in the Hebrew.  So the first He is not the one who sets it/them up.  That can agree with seeing him as The Antichrist however, because in Revelation while The Image is of The Beast, it's the second beast (False Prophet) that sets it up and enforces it's worship.

I'm going to suggest that the traditional Christian view, and this "only one person is mentioned" view can both be right, via the principle of Double Fulfillment.  I've already documented that there are Jews without a Christian bias who see the 70th Week as yet future and separated from the first 69.  But I've also argued that seeing the 70th Week as being entirely fulfilled from 30-37 AD is more plausible then my fellow Futurists realize.  Recently I've argued that some of our assumptions about how the End Times 70th Week will play out are wrong.

The suggestion that there is a Prophecy which is fulfilled by both Jesus and the Antichrist is certainly controversial.  But Solomon was a type of both Jesus and The Antichrist.  When doing well he was the near fulfillment of the Messianic Kingdom.  But when he backslid, the number 666 was directly linked to him.  Samson likewise has been argued to prefigure both, especially by those who see Genesis 49 as implying a Danite Antichrist.  Saul could also be viewed this way.

The word "Antichrist" means, false Christ, or counterfeit Christ, or opposing Christ, or replacement Christ, or enemy of Christ. or antithesis of Christ, or opposite of Christ.  I've seen several different meanings argued for it, but they all involve Christ, which is Greek for Messiah.  Many Old Testament types of The Antichrist were anointed by true Prophets of God (Jeroboam and Jehu, also Solomon and Saul I already mentioned).  Jesus refereed to Judas as someone He Choose, and Judas could perform divine Miracles by Jesus authority.  Yet he was a Devil and the Son of Perdition.

And at any-rate, he'll need to be able to make Messianic Prophecies apply to him if he'll be a credible Messiah Ben-Joseph.

Given what I argued on those posts I linked to.  This would mean his Mortal Wounding is at the beginning of the 70th week.  We tend to assume that his Resurrection happens soon after his death.  But I notice that there is no reference in Revelation to The Beast being active during the first half of The Week.  The first undisputed appearance of The Beast is when he kills The Two Witnesses, and hes' already ascended out of The Pit by then.

I do agree that The First Horseman is likely the man who'll become The Beast.  But I've become inclined to view all of the first 6 Seals as being right at the start of The Week, due to my Sixth Seal view and other things.

Maybe the opening of the First Seal has him doing his own Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, after winning many wars.  Doing it maybe even on the same day Jesus did his, the 10th of Nisan.  Then he is Crowned Messiah Ben-Joseph.  But the next thing to happen is the Red Horseman.  Who I argued in that same Four Horseman study could be The Antichrist's killer because of his Sword.  And many Christians and Jews will assume that that killer is The Antichrist/Armillus.

My main False Prophet theory wouldn't have it be possible for him to have The False Prophet with him already at this point.  But I could be wrong, he could also have a Prophet with him all through those Wars.  They could together claim to Christians to be The Two Witnesses, and to Jews that they're Messiah Ben-Joseph and/or Elijah and/or The Prophet like unto Moses and/or the Priest of the order of Melchizedek and/or Enoch.  And then people might selectively use the day=year theory to say that The Witnesses being dead three and a half days really means three and a half years.

This deception could fit what Perry Stone (who I respect and consider truly Saved) is predicting.  He's saying that The Temple will be under construction during the first half of the week, after Elijah/Witnesses conquers the Muslims.  Then The Mahdi will conquer Jerusalem and kill them and stop the sacrifice sin The Temple right after it was just finished being constructed.

The 1290 days are the first half of The Week

Daniel 12:11
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days."
The common assumption among my fellow Futurists is that both the Sacrifice being taken away and the Abomination of Desolation being set up occurs at the beginning of this time period.  Pre-Wrath needs this to some degree for their view on the Bowls.  And it's been a part of many of my past studies.

The problem is it doesn't tell us what marks the end of this period.  It's a useless Prophecy to say was proven true if we don't know what is supposed to happen at the end of this time we're keeping count of.

The Hebrew Grammar, and also the English when you read it carefully, is actually intending to tell us that there would be 1290 days from the Sacrifice being taken away until the Abomination of Desolation set up.  It's the very problematic Septuagint rendering adding the word "when" that is the source of this common error.

We keep assuming that clearly those events must be at the same time.  But neither Jesus in any account of The Olivite Discourse, or Paul in II Thessalonians 2, or Revelation in Chapter 13 tell us a taking away of Sacrifice occurs when The beast deifies himself and the False Prophet sets up his Image.  Revelation 11 clearly has The Temple standing during the first half, but I must now admit it says nothing to verify Sacrifices being carried out.  Jerusalem is trodden under foot of The Gentiles.

In the case of the near fulfillment linked to Antiochus Epiphanes they did happen at the same time, roughly.  But double fulfillment prophecies often have differences in how they're fulfilled.  And at any-rate Antiochus's had a different time period linked to it in Daniel 8, 23000 Mornings and Evenings (1150 days, or 37 months on a lunar calendar).

Many Preterists view the 1290 days this way.  But their interpretation of what sacrifice is taken away is clearly not the intent of Daniel.  They think it refers to sacrifices being made in honor of Caesar being stopped at the start of the First Jewish-Roman War.

Chris White even argues in his Mystery Babylon Theory, that I have objected to for many reasons, but now I'm rethinking some of those.  That the Temple services will be carried out (in worship of The Beast) during the second half after the Abomination is set up.

The Seventieth Week Prophecy says in Daniel 9:27 "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

First note, the "he" after Abomainitons isn't in the Hebrew text.  More importantly for this however, the word translated "midst" is also translated elsewhere "half".  So it could be valid to render it as "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and for half of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease".  And that the Abominations are defining the second half.

A note I want to add.  When this happens, who it appears to the world, (and to believers who don't put enough thought into it) is responsible for the Sacrifice ceasing may not be who God actually blames.  I say this because of my belief that there could be a Decoy Antichrist(s).  We're likely to think of it as the person who by force says "I won't let this go on anymore", but that may not be who God considers ultimately responsible.

Going back to Daniel 12, this allows us to make more sense out of the 1335 days.  That is what is meant to equate to the second half.  Rather then usually seeing it as some kind of extension to the 1290 days.  This could add to/adjust what I argued here.

"Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days." I'm now thinking could be further proof of a Mid-Seventieth Week Rapture.  Because that event is what we're supposed to be waiting for.  So maybe The Rapture is about where the 1335 days begins.

We do return to what the old 1290 days assumption left us with.  Some implied time after when the 1260 days Israel hides and 42 months The Beast rules the World ends.  Once again I think that could include Israel as a nation celebrating a Second Passover.  And then The Millennium is formally instituted.

The most telling thing this conclusion of mine tells me is that it backs up my reasons for thinking that part of the End Time deception will be trying to pass off the First Half of the Week as the second. With the way Pre-Wrathers and Post-Tirbbers have the 6th Seal and Trumpets and the Two Witnesses all in the second half while the more plain reading of Revelation clearly says they're the first half.

So if the Sacrifice and Oblation is made to cease when it starts.  And they pass something else off as the Abomination, like an allegorical interpretation of it.  Or just the Decoy Antichrist being really arrogant while in The Temple but falling short of what Paul describes.  Then that can make that deception fit together.

Revelation 11 is also dealing with the time periods of the first half of the week.

The 42 months the outer court is trodden under and the 1260 day ministry of the Two Witnesses are basically the same time period I believe, but possibly with slight variation.  For one thing the 42 months I don't think needs to be calculated to the day, in fact I think based on the Hebrew concept it's drawing on that it could only mean 42 New Moons transpire during the period, and thus could hypothetically be barely more then 41 months.  During a period of 1290 days there would be at least 43 New Moons and maybe even 44.

The 1290 days most likely begins rather then ends at the same time as the 42 months, since Jerusalem would have been trodden underfoot if the Sacrifices are stopped by force.  And the wording in Daniel 12 could allow the Sacrifices to be restored before the 1290 days are entirely over. And on the other hand there is no guarantee the Sacrifices would be restored right away when the gentile presence is removed since Revelation 11 doesn't address sacrifices at all.

It could be the Beast after his resurrection liberates Jerusalem and waits a month or so before actually performing his Abomination.  I used to be set on seeing the AoD as the same day as his resurrection, but now I'm not so sure.  Or it could be the actual Image of Revelation 13 is set up sometime after he does what II Thessalonians 2 describes.   Or a combination of both.

The Ministry of the Witnesses ends with their Martrydom, which I still feel instinctively is likely to be the same day as the II Thessalonians 2 Abomination event.  It must be after his resurrection since he's ascended form the Pit.  Matthew 24:15 I believe is not about the actual Image of Revelation 13 but the II Thessalonians 2 event. Three and a half days latter they are Resurrected and Raptured and Jerusalem repents.

Some Calculations I have done on how things could work out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Historia Augusta, Hadrian refrences Christians, In a letter

I'm not even gonna go into the fact that the Historia Augusta's historical reliability is questionable.

The following passage is about a letter written by the Emperor Hadrian which certain Atheistic scholars use to make a certain point, please read it in context.
For the Egyptians, as you know well enough, are puffed up, madmen, boastful, doers of injury, and, in fact, liars and without restraint, always craving something new, en [sic] in their popular songs, writers of verse, makers of epigrams, astrologers, soothsayers, quacksalvers. Among them, indeed, are Christians and Samaritans and those who are always ill-pleased by the present, though enjoying unbounded liberty. But, lest any Egyptian be angry with me, thinking that what I have set forth in writing is solely my own, I will cite one of Hadrian's letters, taken from the works of his freedman Phlegon, which fully reveals the character of the Egyptians.

       From Hadrian Augustus to Servianus the consul, greeting. The land of Egypt, the praises of which you have been recounting to me, my dear Servianus, I have found to be wholly light-minded, unstable, and blown about by every breath of rumour. There those who worship Serapis are, in fact, Christians, and those who call themselves bishops of Christ are, in fact, devotees of Serapis. There is no chief of the Jewish synagogue, no Samaritan, no Christian presbyter, who is not an astrologer, a soothsayer, or an anointer. Even the Patriarch himself, when he comes to Egypt, is forced by some to worship Serapis, by others to worship Christ.
Again, make sure you've read this without any preconceived notions before I go on.

Now, here is how this is used by many modern Skeptics.

"Followers of Serapis were called Christians as demonstrated in a letter from Emperor Hadrian to Servianus, 134. (Quoted by Giles, ii p86)".

The implied message being that before Christianity even existed the word "Christian" was a term for worshipers of Serapis in Alexandria, and how that becomes a term for followers of a Jewish Messiah varies but you get the point, it's another one of those Christ Myth theories.

Now, how many people reading the above citation without any bias or preconceived notions got that from the letter itself?????

If even one person did I'd be genuinely shocked.

Hadrian is clearly criticizing the way in Alexandria various distinct Religious traditions become mixed up together. Serapians act like Christians and Christians act like Serapians. And Christians are clearly placed with the Jews and Samaritans as people whose religious laws are supposed to be against the kinds of occult activities they were engaging it.

Does it contradict what the Bible implies about our History that Christians in Alexandria were doing this? No, The Bible warms about bad doctrines already popping up before it was even finished. And the problem of Christians engaging in Pagan rites they shouldn't be is addressed in Jesus message to the Churches of Thyatira and Pergamos.  Pergamos interestingly also had a Temple to Serapis as I noted here.

I'm sure there was a remnant of good Christians in Alexandria not doing this that Hadrian wasn't aware of, but that's besides the point, it shouldn't surprise Christians at all that this went on.

The alleged silence of Theophilus of Antioch

Atheists sometimes say that "Theophilus of Antioch wrote a
History of the Wold from Adam to Marcus Aurelius and failed to mention Jesus" and they do this as evidence of Jesus not being historical.

All this is manipulative, his history isn't "Detailed" as sometimes described at all, it's not even a historical work, it makes up part of Volume 3 of Apologia ad Autolycum. You can read it online here.
He uses this chronology to prove that Moses and the other Hebrew prophets preceded the philosophers. The leading chronological epochs correspond to the Old Testament prophets. It's OT figures he's primarily concerned with. Only reason it can be said to go to Marcus Aurelius is because of the dating information he uses in chapters 27&28

    When Cyrus, then, had reigned twenty-nine years, and had been slain by Tomyris in the country of the Massagetae, this being in the 62d Olympiad, then the Romans began to increase in power, God strengthening them, Rome having been rounded by Romulus, the reputed child of Mars and Ilia, in the 7th Olympiad, on the 21st day of April, the year being then reckoned as consisting of ten months. Cyrus, then, having died, as we have already said, in the 62d Olympiad, this date falls 220 A.V.C., in which year also Tarquinius, surnamed Superbus, reigned over the Romans, who was the first who banished Romans and corrupted the youth, and made eunuchs of the citizens, and, moreover, first defiled virgins, and then gave them in
marriage. On this account he was fitly called Superbus in the Roman language, and that is translated "the Proud." For he first decreed that those who saluted him should have their salute acknowledged by some one else. He reigned twenty-five years. After him yearly consuls were introduced, tribunes also and ediles for 453 years, whose names we consider it long and superfluous to recount. For if any one is anxious to learn them, he will ascertain them from the tables which Chryserus the nomenclator compiled: he was a freedman of Aurelius Verus, who composed a very lucid record of all things, both names and dates, from the rounding of Rome to the death of his own patron, the Emperor Verus. The annual magistrates ruled the Romans, as we say, for 453 years. Afterwards those who are called emperors began in this order: first, Caius Julius, who reigned 3 years 4 months 6 days; then Augustus, 56 years 4 months 1 day; Tiberius, 22 years; then another Caius, 3 years 8 months 7 days; Claudius, 23 years 8 months 24 days; Nero, 13 years 6 months 58 days; Galba, 2 years 7 months 6 days; Otho, 3 months 5 days; Vitellius, 6 months 52 days; Vespasian, 9 years 11 months 55 days; Titus, 2 years 22 days; Domitian, 15 years 5 months 6 days; Nerva, 1 year 4 months 10 days; Trajan, 19 years 6 months 16 days; Adrian, 20 years 10 months 28 days; Antoninus, 22 years 7 months 6 days; Verus, 19 years 10 days. The time therefore of the Caesars to the death of the Emperor Verus is 237 years 5 days. From the death of Cyrus, therefore, and the reign of Tarquinius Superbus, to the death of the Emperor Verus, the whole time amounts to 744 years.


    And from the foundation of the world the whole time is thus traced, so far as its main epochs are concerned. From the creation of the world to the deluge were 2242 years. And from the deluge to the time when Abraham our forefather begat a son, 1036 years. And from Isaac, Abraham's son, to the time when the people dwelt with Moses in the desert, 660 years. And from the death of Moses and the rule of Joshua the son of Nun, to the death of the patriarch David, 498 years. And from the death of David and the reign of Solomon to the sojourning of the people in the land of Babylon, 518 years 6 months 10 days. And from the government of Cyrus to the death of the Emperor Aurelius Verus, 744 years. All the years from the creation of the world amount to a total of 5698 years, and the odd months and days.
 (He disagrees with most sources on the Reign of Galba interestingly.)

So they describe it as though it's a comprehensive History like Jospehus, but it's really only a brief discussion designed to tie OT history to then contemporary historical dates.

Yet the simple fact that he didn't stop and give any little footnotes for the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius saying "This is when Jesus lived", is taken as proof he was unfamiliar with a Historical Jesus.  Kind of ridiculous don't ya think?

Now elsewhere in this same work, in Volume II Chapter 22 he says.

    You will say, then, to me: "You said that God ought not to be contained in a place, and how do you now say that He walked in Paradise?" Hear what I say. The God and Father, indeed, of all cannot be contained, and is not found in a place, for there is no place of His rest; but His Word, through whom He made all things, being His power and His wisdom, assuming the person of the Father and Lord of all, went to the garden in the person of God, and conversed with Adam. For the divine writing itself teaches us that Adam said that he had heard the voice. But what else is this voice but the Word of God, who is also His Son? Not as the poets and writers of myths talk of the sons of gods begotten from intercourse [with women], but as truth expounds, the Word, that always exists, residing within the heart of God. For before anything came into being He had Him as a counsellor, being His own mind and thought. But when God wished to make all that He determined on, He begot this Word, uttered, the first-born of all creation, not Himself being emptied of the Word [Reason], but having begotten Reason, and always conversing with His Reason. And hence the holy writings teach us, and all the spirit-bearing [inspired] men, one of whom, John, says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God," showing that at first God was alone, and the Word in Him. Then he says, "The Word was God; all things came into existence through Him; and apart from Him not one thing came into existence." The Word, then, being God, and being naturally produced from God, whenever the Father of the universe wills, He sends Him to any place; and He, coming, is both heard and seen, being sent by Him, and is found in a place.
 He quotes John's Gospel, so he clearly wasn't ignorant of the historical person of Jesus.

More Wikipedia BS attacking The Bible

Though from the point of view of an increasing majority of archaeologists, there were always two distinct cultures in Canaan, a strong and prosperous northern kingdom and a weaker and poorer southern one,  in the Biblical account the Israelite tribes were initially united in a single kingdom, and only later fractured into the northern and southern kingdoms; this fracture is blamed by the Bible on the jealousy of Ephraim over the growing power of Judah.
This is a massive over simplification of the Biblical Narrative.  It ignores the Judges period where the various Northern Tribes and Judah are all very distinct.  As well as the division between north and south during the first 7 years of David’s reign.  The Judges period also tended to have the dominant leaders be northern, coming from Ephraim or Manasseh.

The Trumpets and Bowls

Those who want to insist the Trumpets and Bowls are the same events from different angels, make a strong argument when they point out certain parallels between the 2nd, 3rd 5th, 6th and 7th of each.

Well they have no parallel for the 1st, they're not the same at all.  And the 4th is the opposite effect.  For 2 and 3 it's clear the Trumpets are only partial while the Bowls are complete.  And for 5 and 6, the parallels are small superficial details of larger complex situations.

To a certain extend I don't think these parallels are coincidences.  As I said before Trumpets are warnings, I think each Trumpet is a warning of each Bowl.  And the Seven Angles may well be the same Angels connected to each.  This is a conjecture, but I think maybe each Trumpet is 42 months before each Bowl.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Lost Tribes and Bible Prophecy

I know all the arguments out there against thinking The Lost Tribes are a thing.  I've heard it from Chuck Missler and Chris White.

I know that the Levites moved South when Jeroboam fell into idolatry.  And Chuck insists we can infer everyone not Ok with the idolatry did the same.  Even though it's repeatedly demonstrated that The North had a believing remnant.  God never tells his people that as a rule they must leave a country if it's sinful, we should be trying to make our countries better.  The Levites had a special purpose linked to The Temple.

I know that they claim Assyrian Records show the deportation to be not just incomplete but even it seems only a very small portion from select regions.  I prefer to believe Biblical Records over Secular ones, which say people remained but not a whole lot.  Most of those that did intermarried with Gentiles to become the Samaritans, who Jesus considered not Children of Israel.

See the problem with the point about the Assyrian Records is the Deportation happened in phases.  Just as the Southern Kingdom's did.  And those records cited deal with only one of what were at least 3 deportations.  The records of the 722 BC (724 BC in Usser) deportation is what people focus on.  But 1 Chronicles 5 alludes to earlier deportation of specifically the Trans-Jordan tribes, and additional deportations likely happened during Sennacherib's campaign against Hezekiah, or when they deported King Manasseh, the latter probably explains when Simeon was deported.

I know Josiah and Hezikiah and Asa had their special Second Passover where they invited northern Kingdom Survivors to come South and join them.  There were far from complete, but Anna the Prophetess I think descends from those Asherites.

I know the return from captivity records people from every Tribe but Dan returning. That Return wasn't complete even for the Southern Tribes. After even the last major return in the days of Nehemiah a significant population remained behind.

I know that after the captivity The Bible often treats Judah and Israel as synonymous.  But that is poetic in nature.

Even if all those points were as completely valid as they make them seem.  The Fact remains that Bible Prophecy speaks of a reunification of Judah and Joseph/Ephraim as Eschatological/End Times.

Chuck Missler in his commentary on Ezekiel 37 actually goes on about all those points as if Ezekiel 37 proved his point, Judah and Joseph are one.  The entire point of that reference is it's foretelling their reunification as part of that Prophecy.  And I also disagree with Chuck's desire to remove the literal Bodily Resurrection from this passage.  Yes it is about Israel's restoration as a Nation.  But it's not 1948, it's them being restored in belief, during The Millennium, after the First Resurrection is finished.  The references to the Resurrected David being there should leave that beyond dispute.

Now the thing neglected by people who tend to want to see this reunification as all flowers and roses is some of the Prophecies on this theme seem to predict more conflict between Judah and Ephraim, like they often had before.  Isaiah 9-11 may or may not have an End Times second application, but Isaiah 28 is indisputably End Times.  Zachariah 9-11 may also be of interest.  But on Isaiah 9-11, those that see the End Times there usually think The Assyrian is The Antichrist.  But in Ezekiel, The Assyrian is the Terrible of The Nations, who kills The Antichrist.  Isaiah 11 seems to me to allude to both The Antichrist and The False Prophet when speaking of Ephraim.  Jeremiah 4 and Micah 1 are also worth considering.

Jeremiah and Ezekiel when foretelling the Southern Kingdom's coming fall to Babylon compared it to the earlier fall of the Northern Kingdom.  God is saying you fell into the same error so I'll do unto you as I did unto them.  Well it's interesting that the captivity of Judah happened twice, it had a second fulfillment under The Romans.

Lots of Christians see an eschatological significance to much of Hosea.  But they insist the End Times application must manifest in Israel as a whole, even though the book is about Ephraim.

Chris White makes a solid argument that The Antichrist might claim to be the non Biblical Messiah Ben-Joseph.  I've talked on that before and how he leaves out the whole Northern Kingdom aspect of that. I also discus some of my thoughts on British Israelism there.

I also have a post where I respond to his view on Daniel 7.

Hosea 13:7-8 "Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them:I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them. "

I don't think it's a coincidence that this uses the same three animals used of the first three Beasts in Daniel 7.  Yes God uses them of himself coming upon Israel, but he often Judges Israel by foreign nations fighting wars with them. But if that's the case where is the fourth beast?  I'm speculating it could be viewed as Ephraim, in the sense that Ephraim represents the Northern Kingdom in general.

Deuteronomy 33:17 "His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh."
Jeremiah 31:18 " I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God."
And remember the Idols Jeroboam set up were Bulls, modeled after The Golden Calf.  Bulls are horned animals, they don't have 10 but that's irreverent, they're a horned animal.  The number being 10 could mean 10 nations that are claiming to be the Ten Lost Tribes.

I think the 4th World Empire is a hydride Empire, Edom/Rome (the Iron in both) and Ephraim/Dan.  I think in the Statue of Daniel 2 Ephraim would be the Miry Clay.  Many have interpreted the Miry Clay to represent the "Barbarian" tribes mingling with Rome as the Western Empire fell apart.  Those are the same tribes often identified as being entirely or at least partly descended from The Lost Tribes in British Israelism/Franco Israelism/Britam.  Usually those two Biblical connections for them aren't made by the same commentator however, (Example: Britam sees the Miry Clay as Ishmaelites).

Chris White continues to be skeptical of seeing the European Union as the Fourth Beast because it has more then 10 nations. I've posted one response to his objections before.  But I now have a better one.  The Ten Horns are not the entire confederation, only part of it as they'ree only part of The Beast.

I think the Ten Horns are the nine European nations Britam claims are Israelite nations plus Germany (who Britam wants to see Edom but they're really more like the other supposedly Israelite nations then the Edomite ones).  The iron teeth are Edom/Rome and hence Italy, Spain, Portugal and Western Mediterranean Islands like Malta and Corsica.  And the nails/claws of brass/bronze going back to Daniel 2 would be Modern Greece, and perhaps to a lesser extent Turkey/Cyprus.  I know people like to list all kinds of reasons Turkey will never become part of the EU, but militarily speaking it effectively already is via it's involvement in both the WEU and NATO.

That even those don't cover the entire EU (mostly it's eastern Europe that is left out) isn't a big deal because they're still not the entire body of The Beast clearly, but they're the key clues emphasized.

In the closing verses of Obadiah, the prophecy of the finale Destruction of Edom seems to allude to some Judgment coming on Ephraim/Samaria at the same time.

I made a post arguing against the Jerusalem as Mystery Babylon view.  What I have considered since then is that maybe Mystery Babylon could be Samaria, looking at passages like Micah 1.  Or maybe a different Northern Kingdom Capital within the land allotted to Ephraim and/or Manasseh.

In Hosea God says he shall avenge the Blood of Jezreel against the House of Jehu.  Jehu I've argued could be a type of The Antichrist.

Chris White has argued that Armageddon in Revelation might refers to Hadadrimmon rather then Megiddo.  Zechariah 12:11 refers to both, and both like Jezreel are in or by the Valley of Jezreel.

In Revelation 16 Armageddon is the gathering place, not where the battle itself is.  I think maybe The Beast gathers his armies after the 6th Bowl and then marches south.  Attacks whatever city Mystery Babylon is in the Mountains of Samaria (could that be why it's on 7 hills?) because we're told The beast will turn on The Harlot.  Then he marches on Jerusalem, but Jerusalem he won't destroy because Jesus comes back to defend Jerusalem.

Follow Up Post

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Preterists and Pre-Tirbulationists

I find it amusing when I see people who hold a Preterist and/or Amillenial view of Revelation/Matthew 24 joining the trendy chorus of Post-Tribbers in mocking Pre-Trib and going on about how there is no mass vanishing in The Bible.

However the basic fallacy that lies behind the Secret Rapture doctrine, That Christ's Coming described in 1 Thessalonians 4 could go mostly unnoticed, that he won't be seen by every single living person, is needed for Preterism to work too.

But Pre-Tribbers at least see it as a world wide event, while Preterists mostly think what was visible to the world was only seen in Jerusalem.  Citing Supernatural events described by Josephus and Tacitus and The Yossipon (I could do a whole post on Yossipon if an English version was available to the masses).

Preterism views the 70th Week of Daniel as the 7 years of the First Jewish-Roman War.  With the Abomination of Desolation event happening in it's 4th year in 70 AD.  One Preterist website I was reading cited historical references to what they view as the "Spiritual Resurrection" (reading this website made me realize how Gnostic full preterism tends to be) fulfilling 1 Corinthians 15, places them in 66 AD.

And some will add an event Cassius Dio and Suetonius record Nero seeing in Greece.  This must have been earlier then 70 AD.

One event they refereed to happened on Pentacost 66 AD, at the start of the War.  So they're even specifically Pre-Trib in timing.

And this same Website refereed to multiple returns of Jesus during the 60s and 70s AD.  So they don't even agree with those Post-Tribbers on only one "Second Coming".

All those three basic Biblical points of contention they are with Pre-Trib on more then any other Futurist model.  All they share with Post-Trib is Replacement theology.  And that makes no sense, all us Futurists who believe in Two Comings believe it's because he has two covenant people to come back for.  These Preterists have Jesus doing all this back and forth for not much of a reason at all.

On the subject of the Pentecost incident record by Josephus, Tacitus and Yossipon (the latter two are merely adapting Josephus to suit their own agendas).

Josephus The Wars of the Jews 6.5.3.
"Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence.""
 “The doors of the holy place abruptly opened, a superhuman voice was heard to declare that the gods were leaving it, and in the same instant came the rushing tumult of their departure.”
Sepher Yosippon, Trans. Dr. Steven Bowman, Ch. 87, Burning of the Temple, cited in Edward E. Stevens, First Century Events in Chronological Order: From the Birth of Christ to the Destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, (Pre-publication manuscript, 2008), 59-60.
  “When the holiday of Shavouth came in those days, during the night the priests heard within the Temple something like the sound of men walking, the sound of many men’s marching feet walking within the Temple, and a terrible and mighty voice was heard speaking, ‘Let’s go and leave this House.’”
 This doesn't seem like a Resurrection to me, but the divine presence leaving The Temple.  Josephus does not claim to have been an eyewitness to this event.  He was near Jerusalem but not in her at the time.  The Talmud says the Door of The Temple suddenly flew open 40 years before The Temple was destroyed.  Same year I believe Jesus was Crucified.  Maybe Josephus had deliberately changed or been mislead on when this happened.  Maybe this is the divine presence of The Holy Spirit leaving the Temple made of Stone and entering The Body of Christ on the Pentecost of 30 AD.  After the Veil was Torn.

In this same account, during the Feast of Unleavened Bread before this Pentecost Josephus says.
Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner [court of the] temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. Now those that kept watch in the temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up thither, and not without great difficulty was able to shut the gate again.
Before this it also talked about a strange Light in the Temple at the ninth hour, and a heifer giving birth to a Lamb.  Both signs that were originally interpreted as positive things but that Josephus insists the learned men knew were signs of disaster.

In Jerome's commentary on Matthew he repeatedly mentions differences that Gospel has in the version used by a sect of Jewish Christians (who's over all views he may or may not be misrepresenting) he called the Nazarenes or Ebonites.  When discussing Matthew 27:51 he says this Gospel claimed the lintel of The Temple was broken and split.

The Talmud actually claims the Veil was Torn because Titus slashed it with his Sword, in a passage Preterists love to quote as proving he committed an Abomination of Desolation.  So there is a precedent for the concept that some people wanted to move things that happened to the Temple in 30 AD up to 70 AD.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Census of Luke 2

Is a problem to chronology only if you forget Luke was written in Greek not Latin.  Syria in classical Greek writings often refers to more then just the Roman province given that name, same as Asia, Africa and Libya did.  It often included modern Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and parts of Modern Turkey like Commenge and Cilicia specifically.

The word translated Governor here (Hegemoneuo Strongs#2230) is first NOT whatever his actual Roman title was, but a Greek word, and 2nd it’s not even a Noun hence not even a title, it’s a Verb which means “to rule, command”.  A more accurate translation could conceivably be “Was Governing in Syria”.  The word is used in Luke and Acts for Pilate (Who was Prefect, never a title Quirinus held) and other latter Roman Procurators.

Josephus mentioned that actually there were “governors” (plural) in Syria during the rule of Saturninus.  (Josephus, Antiquities XVI.280, 285, 357, 361.)  While during the governorships of Titius and Quintilius Varus, Josephus spoke of a “governor” (singular), (Josephus, Antiquities XVII.89.) but during the administration of Saturninus why does he mention the plural “governors”?

From about 5-3 BC or 12-1 BC Quirinus was leading a military campaign in Galatia and Cilicia against the Homonadenses, we’re not certain what title he held while doing this, but either way he would have qualified as a “Governing in Syria” at this time.  Quirinus was rector or adviser to Gaius Caesar when holding Armenia (Tacitus, Ann. 3:48).  The nearness of Syria to Armenia was probably a reason for choosing Qurinus, Syria’s governor, to be the young prince’s adviser.

Based on what Josephus says of the History surrounding Herod’s death, the Legate of Syria at the time I date the Nativity was Saturninus (Agreeing with Tertullian, An Answer to the Jews, ch.8.) And Varus at the time The Magi came to Jerusalem.  Quirinius’ war against the Homonadenses, for which Tacitus singled him out for praise, has been called a “special command.” ( Hugh Last, quoted by Rice Holmes in “Architect of the Roman Empire,” II.89, note 1.)  This status is also reflected in an inscription which mentions Quirinius “as holding an honorary municipal office at Antioch-by-Pisidia.” (Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, 165.) And it was certainly a special command for Quirinius when he became rector of the young Gaius Caesar when Gaius acquired residential authority at Antioch over the eastern provinces in A.D. 1. (Tacitus, Annals, III.48.)  Gaius was probably not strictly called the governor of Syria at the time (C.E. 1 to 4) and it may well be that Quirinius was responsible for running the everyday affairs of government.

Tacitus said that Quirinius was one having “considerable talents for business.” This could account for his selection as being “guardian” of Gaius who was the heir to the Empire.  Quirinius already had experience in Syria by administering the censuses Tertullian talked about in 3/2 B.C. which took place during the time when Saturninus was governor. All these references indicate special commands for Quirinius throughout his entire governmental career. There are other historical records about Quirinius which show his special assignments.

Luke mentions Herod at this time just like Matthew does, if Luke had the 6 AD Census in mind he’d have also mentioned Coponius who was appointed at that same time and was far more relevant to Judea directly. 

Census is another example of a term often used more loosely by some then others, none of the normal Roman Censuses happen in 3 or 2 BC when I date the Nativity, but isn’t the context Luke implies itself Abnormal?  Luke implies an Empire wide event, the 6 AD Census was Local only.

2 BC marked the 750th Anniversary of Rome’s founding according to Roman Tradition, as well as the 25th Anniversary of Octavian being proclaimed Augustus.  On February 5, 2BC, the Senate and the people of Rome awarded him the highest of all decorations: Pater Patriae (Father of the Country).  In preparation for this the previous year an “Oath of Obedience” to Augustus was carried out.  Such an Oath could have by some fit the basic definition of a Census.
Josephus mentioned that an oath of allegiance was demanded by Augustus about twelve or fifteen months before the death of Herod [Antiquities, XVII, 41-45 “There was moreover a certain sect of Jews who valued themselves highly for their exact knowledge of the law; and talking much of their contact with God, were greatly in favor with the women {of Herod’s court}. They are called Pharisees. They are men who had it in their power to control kings; extremely subtle, and ready to attempt anything against those whom they did not like. When therefore the whole Jewish nation took an OATH to be faithful to Caesar, and [to] the interests of the king, these men, to the number of above six thousand, refused to swear. The king laid a fine upon them. Pheroras’ wife {Herod’s sister-in-law} paid the money for them. They, in requital for her kindness {for they were supposed, by their great intimacy with God, to have attained to the gift of prophecy}, prophesied that God having decreed to put an end to the government of Herod and his race, the kingdom would be transferred to her and Pheroras and their children. Salome {Herod’s sister}, who was aware of all that was being said, came and told the king of them. She also told him that many of the court {of Herod} were corrupted by them. Then the king put to death the most guilty of the Pharisees, and Bagoas the eunuch, and one Carus, the most beautiful young man about the court, and the great instrument in the king’s unlawful pleasures. He {Herod} likewise slew everyone in his own family, who adhered to those things which were said by the Pharisee. But Bagoas had been elevated by them and was told that he should someday be called father and benefactor of the {new} king, who was to be appointed according to their prediction, for this king would have all things in his power, and that he {the king} would give him {Bogoas} the capacity of marriage, and of having children of his own”].
Herod's Death is often miss-dated, I’m not go into that in detail here, but he died in January of 1 BC, not in 4 BC.  4 B.C. is the year his killed his Eldest son and his remaining Sons where appointed their various Tetrachies, causing the confusion since their reigns are dated from then.

15 months before gives us October of 3 BC, since people would have been given advance warning, it’s easy to see this putting Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem on September 11th 3 BC, the 1st of Tishri that year and thus the day I believe Jesus was born.  And on that day Jupiter was in Conjunction in Regulus the brightest Star of the Constellation Leo The Lion, a very rare Astronomical event, that Astrologers would easily have interpreted as making the Birth of a King, since both that Planet and that Constellation are affiliated with Kingship, and in Hebrew terms The Lion is Judah.

*A breviarium of the empire was ordered by Augustus (Tacitus, Annals 1:11), giving a return of its population and resources.
*An inscription with such an oath of obedience has been found in Paphlagonia, and is clearly dated to 3BC [Lewis & Reinhold, Roman Civilization, vol. II, pps. 34 and 35, Harper Torchbooks Edition has these words, “taken by the inhabitants of Paphlagonia and the Roman businessmen dwelling among them”, and importantly, the whole of the population were required to swear it: “The same oath was sworn by all the people in the land at the altars of Augustus in the temples of Augustus in the various districts”].
*Augustus received his most prestigious title, the Pater Patriae, on February 5, 2BC, and wrote of it in his Res Gestae: “While I was administering my thirteenth consulship the senate and the equestrian order and the entire Roman people gave me the title Father of my Country” [VI, 35].
*Official censuses involving taxation took place every 20 years (in 28BC and 8BC), but the next official census was in 14AD, which was 21 years after 8BC and not 20 as one would expect. Could it be that 2BC was dropped out of the yearly taxation in celebration of Augustus’ Silver Jubilee?
*The year 2BC, however, was reckoned so glorious a new beginning for Augustus and Rome that the imperial taxation and evaluation ceased during that year if people would give their oath of allegiance to Augustus as their Pater Patriae and universal lord. This could well be the case and explain the 1-year discrepancy (by the way, every five years there was a registration which updated individual Roman citizenship, and these archives were kept in their own native cities or other important “Roman centers” throughout the Empire [see Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, pps. 147ff]).
Orosius, in the fifth century, also said that Roman records of his time revealed that a census was indeed held when Augustus was made "the first of men"--an apt description of his award "Father of the Country"--at a time when all the great nations gave an oath of obedience to Augustus (6:22, 7:2). Orosius dated the census to 3 BC.
 *The Armenian historian, Moses of Khorene, said that the native sources he had available showed that in the second year of Abgar, king of Osroene (3BC), the census brought Roman agents “to Armenia, bringing the image of Augustus Caesar, which they set up in every temple” [History of the Armenians, trans. R.W. Thomson, Book II, 26].

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Gospel Preached unto all Kingdoms, and Revelation 14

Matthew 24:14 at the end of describing the Pre-Abominaiton persecution says.
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
On it's own sounds like it's foretelling The Church spreading The Gospel.  Completing the Great Commission finally in the End Times.

Both Chuck Missler (Pre-Trib) and Chris White (Pre-Wrath) see a correlation to Revelation 14:6.
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people".
It's funny first because it actually doesn't fit either of their Rapture models to have a Pre-Rapture event in Revelation 14.

Going back to what I argued before, about the Resurrection and The Rapture actually possibly being separated by 10 days (Trumpets to Yom Kippur).  I said there I was inclined to see Revelation 14 as during this period.

Remembering that "angel" simply means messenger.  It could be the angels here are resurrected Church Believers.

I want to say something about Revelation 14:8 that Post-Tirbbers might use to back up their non-chronological view of Revelation.
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."
I could see someone trying to argue this proved Babylon already fell even though it's Fall is described latter.  God (and his Prophets) often uses past tense language in reference to future events(commonly known as “prophetic perfect”; example, Isaiah 53; 21:1-10).

The full context and intent here is clearly that this "Angel" is giving a Prophecy of Babylon's coming Fall.  Not simply telling everyone what they already know because they just saw it happen.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Daniel 12 on The Ressurection

Daniel 11 seems to end with the death of The Antichrist.  Daniel 12 begins with "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:" Which I feel clearly corresponds to the War in Heaven and Satan's Fall in Revelation 12.  Then it says "there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time:" Which is how Jesus describes the time immediately after The Abomination of Desolation.

Then we read "and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book."  There are a few Heavenly Books.  I feel like this probably is not the Lamb's Book of Life.  Perry Stone, while Pre-Trib if I recall correctly, has a study on the Book of Remembrance from Malachi and how he feels that backs up connecting The Rapture to the feast of Trumpets.

That verse 2 says "many" rather then "all" of the dead are raised makes me feel like, following what's before, this is a Rapture reference and not a general statement of the entire Resurrection.  But the Problem with that theory is some of the Damned are raised here too.

But I think back to my argument that The Beast and False Prophet being cast alive into the Lake of Fire in Revelation 19 means their both early partakers of the Second Resurrection.  I believe The Antichrist will have both a Death and Resurrection that the End Times world will witnesses.  And The False Prophet will be Judas.

Chris White argues based on the Strong Delusion from 2 Thessalonians 2 that The Anitchrist's resurrection is something God himself makes happen.

Given that Judas is kind of defined as part of The Church even though he wasn't Saved, which is why Matthias had to take his office.  With what I argued in my Four Horsemen study, it could work to maybe speculate that the person who turns out to be The Antichrist could be a similar situation.

All that could well mean it'd make sense to see their resurrections as happening at the same time as or very close to The Resurrection of The Church.

All of this strongly backs up that a Mid-Seventieth Week Rapture model is what Daniel 12 points to.

I'm a Dispensationalist, but a different kind

I agree that not all saved are part of The Church, and The Church age is from Pentecost to The Rapture.  I agree the Church is a distinct Covenant from Israel, but not as completely separate a people often say.  Their destinies are linked.

I agree The Church is distinct from the Mosaic Covenant, and the Circumcision Covenant of Genesis 17.  Most Dipsensaitonlists agree that Abraham's Genesis 12 makes all of the Saved the spiritual Seed of Abraham (including those not part of either Israel or The Church).

However I do believe The Church is derived from the Genesis 15 Covenant just as much as the Mosaic one is.  And Jesus' promise to the 12 to rule the 12 Tribes of Israel makes The Church linked to the Davidic Covenant.

People get confused by what Paul says about The Church being a Mystery (Mysterion in Greek) in Ephesians 1:9 and 3:3-9, and other passages.  It does not mean The Church is completely absent from The Hebrew Bible, or not originally part of God's Plan.  Mysterion means that which was hidden.  Pieces of The Church doctrine are all over the Hebrew Bible, from the Pentecost Holy Day itself, to The Rapture allusions in Isaiah 26 and Joel 2:15-16, to the New Covenant promised in Jeremiah 31, And Joel 2:28-32 foretelling the out pouring of The Holy Ghost.  And of Course the Brides who are types of The Church like Rebecca and Ruth.

In II Samuel 7 David is told his Son not him will build The Temple.  This is viewed as a double fulfillment Prophecy, Solomon and his Temple as the first, and The Messiah Ben-David and the Messianic Temple described in Ezekiel 40-47 as the true final fulfillment.

1 Kings 5:3 tells us the reason David couldn't build The Temple was because he fought Wars.  Solomon's name is derived from Shalom, the Hebrew word for Peace.  The Temple has to be built by The Prince of Peace.  It occurs to me a potential problem exists with The Christian view of Messianic Prophecy that I'm surprised I haven't seen Jewish critics point out.  Jesus fulfills the roles of David and Solomon both.  How can that be possible?

I think the way Jesus gets around this is He builds His Temple first, then fights The Wars.  And I think that's part of the reason for the gap between the Two Advents.  The last thing he does at the First Advent is lay the foundation for The Temple.  The first thing he'll do at the Second Advent is remove his Temple to a safe place before His Wrath is poured out.

That The Church is The Temple of God is an important part of New Testament theology.  But because of the errors made by most Dispensationalists, they fail to see the Messianic Temple foretold in The Hebrew Bible as that same Temple.  But I have argued elsewhere that Ezekiel 40-48 corresponds to Revelation 21-22 not 20.

I can add to that the question of who resides in Jerusalem in Ezekiel?  It's not part of what's allotted to any of the 12 Tribes.  And even the portions of The Holy District given to the Priests, Levites and The Prince (probably David based on Ezekiel 33-36) are distinct from Jerusalem.  The simple answer might be that as The Capitol it has people of every Tribe.  Well that agrees with my belief that it is The Church, The Church has people from all of The Tribes as well as many Gentiles.

We are grafted into Israel as Romans 11 says, but not into one of the already existing Tribes, we're like a 14th Tribe.

None of that contradicts there being a literal structure with the design Ezekiel saw.  But that Tabernacle is the Heavenly One having descended to Earth (I believe it'll be on or near Mt Gezrim).  And has always existed, Moses saw it in The Wilderness, John saw it on Patmos.  And I suspect it had been on Earth once before, in The Garden of Eden before The Fall.  So it's construction isn't part of Prophecy.

As for how this effects the Rapture timing debate.  I agree with Chuck Missler that The Church is a unique entity.  I disagree that God can't or won't deal with Israel (and thus begin the 70th Week) while The Church is still here.  He dealt with Israel in 70 AD and and has again in 1948 and 1967.

He is correct based on Romans 11:25 that Israel's National Spiritual Blindness won't be lifted until The Fullness of The Gentiles has come in.  But that Blindness is only partial and does no contradict the 144,000 being Church Age believers.  When the Abomination of Desolation happens is when the blindness begins to be lifted, when they see that what Jesus foretold was correct and flee as he warned them to.

Chuck Missler is correct that up to verse 24 Luke 21 is about 70 AD.  Where Preterists stumble is in verse 24, after describing the captivity and diaspora.  "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." and then The Second Coming begins in the following verses, verse 27 makes clear he comes on a Cloud not a White Horse, so it's The Rapture.  Preterists want to make that "trodden under foot" period end with the Fall of Jerusalem even though Jesus clearly says that's where it begins.

The Rapture connection makes it very logical to see this "times of the gentiles" as corresponding to Paul's "fullness of the gentiles".  Luke is often defined as the most Paulian of The Gospels.

Revelation 11 describes the end of this period.  It makes clear that during the first half of the 70th Week while The Temple will be standing the Outer Court will still be Trodden under the foot of The Gentiles.  This is also clearly contemporary with the ministry of The Two Witnesses.  And after this 3.5 year period is the 7th Trumpet.

So that's pretty solid proof that the first half of the 70th Week is still The Church Age.