Thursday, August 28, 2014

It is OK for a Dispensationalsit to be critical of Israel.

I saw someone make a blog posts a few weeks ago trying to explain reason a Christian should be Pro-Israel even if their not Dipsensaitonalist.

I am a Supporter of Israel's right to their Land.  But I feel like saying that you can believe God's Covenant with the Nation of Israel still stands and admit modern Israel's government can be corrupt.

Now as a Libertarian I feel to an extent that Americans shouldn't be criticizing other Governments at all.  We should worry about our own Nation which is very evil right now and has been for decades, the Party doesn't matter.

What really bugs me however is seeing Jews including Israelis, who criticize the Israeli Government or show sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians, being written off as self hating Jews.  As a believer in the ideals America's Founding Fathers fought for, I believe the proof of a true Patriot is speaking out against your Government when you feel they've done wrong.

I agree that Romans 11 teaches that Israel shall be Saved as a nation.  But we are currently still in the Romans 10 Dispensation, they are currently still Enemies of the Gospel.

Ancient Israel had Evil corrupt Rulers constantly, Modern Israel is certainly going to do better then they did.

I agree there is evidence God supernaturally intervened in the Six Day War on Israel's behalf.  But he intervened on Ahab's behalf too.  That intervention is because of his Promise to Abraham, but it's not an endorsement of the leadership.

I agree that Satan wants The World to hate Israel.  But I also believe one of his tools to make that happen is the Evil with Israels' own Government.

Now you'll never see agree with those who believe Zionism period is Evil.  Or endorsing Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories lie the Khazar myth, of Holocaust denial, or the Protocols of Zion hoax, no suggesting Mossad had anything to do with 9/11 (that was all CIA).  But Israel's government is just as prone the natural corruption all Governments are prone too.  Which can include False Flag Terrorism.

Kings were Crowned in Nisan not Tishri

I used to believe the 70th week would probably be Tishri-Tishri years in-spite of the first 69 clearly being Nisan-Nisan years in my interpretation (as explained in my 30 A.D. study). Because of the fact that the Fall Feasts are about the Second Advent while the Spring Feasts were the First Advent.

But I point out in my Jewish Holy Days post that the Fall Feasts did have relevance to the First Advent. And there is no Biblical basis for God ever intending a return to Tishri-Tishri years, Ezekiel 45 clearly sees the future messianic era as Nisan-Nisan years.

Even when I did feel pretty strongly that the 70th week would be Tishri years I still considered that both the Rosh Hoshana view and Seventh Trumpet view of the Last Trump could both be correct. That the Seventh Trumpet isn't the exact half way point like the Abomination is, but perhaps the beginning of the 4th year, or the end of the 4th year.  Now however I've decided the 7th Trumpet must be close to the Resurrection of The Witnesses and thus to the Abomination of Desolation.

I still think it could be Tishi-Tishri years, we'll know once the Temple is rebuilt, because I'm not currently negotiable on that the consecration of the rebuilt Temple is what officially begins the 70th week. Those who think The Temple will still be under construction during the first 3 and a half years are unwittingly setting the stage for The Beast to device people with a counterfeit 70th Week.

The main thing that had me firmly viewing them as Tishri-Tishri years was that Solomon's Temple was consecrated on Yom Kippur, and so I figured both the Third Temple and "Millennial Temple" (which I still assumed was Ezekiel's), will likewise be consecrated on Yom Kippur. But now I view Ezekiel 40-48 and certain other assumed OT Prophecies of the Millennium as actually being the new Heaven and New Earth, I have a thread on that.

The Second Temple had a history firmly linked to Nisan as studying the 70 Weeks shows, even the incorrect views on it, pretty much all the possible decrees were issued in Nisan. And for many reasons, the next Temple is more like the Second then the First.  The 3rd of Adar was the day the second Temple was completed, just in time to begin a Biblical year.

One extra Biblical assumption about the Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hoshanna/First of Tishri, that I can't find actual Biblical Support for is the commonly stated claim of it being a day affiliated with Coronations.

In fact Biblical clues seem to show Nisan as being the "New year for Kings". The following quote from The Jewish Voice further clarifies this view: 
"How do we know that Passover is Rosh HaShanah for the Kings? It is in the Tanach [Old Testament], though somewhat hidden. How do we know that the Kings of Israel are crowned at Passover? In I Kings, it says this: ‘… in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the House of Adonai.’ (I Kings 6:1) It is repeated in II Chronicles 3:2 as well. The second month of the reign of King Solomon – which means Solomon was crowned the month before! The month of Zif is now known as the month of Iyar, which comes after the month of Nisan, when Passover is. From this understanding, we can check it with the other kings of Israel as well. There was a debate between the House of Hillel and the House of Shamai, whether it was on the 15th or the 1st of the month, but the 15th is Passover night, and this became the common understanding."
 The notion of Coronations being affiliated with Passover should be very interesting to Christians. Because it was on the 14th of Nisan 30 AD that Jesus was Crowned with a Crown of Thorns, and given a Royal Robe and mocked for being a King. And on the Cross was officially proclaimed by Pilate Jesus of Nazareth, King of The Jews.

At the beginning of the 70th Week, The White Horsemen is given a Crown when the First Seal is opened. And at the end, when Jesus returns also riding a White Horse he will have many crowns upon his head.

What all this means is we may need to consider the Prophetic significance of the Fall Feasts as being in the Middle of the 70th Week, not it's end. Hence possibly in the fulfillment of the Mid-Trib/Seventh Trumpet view of The Rapture.

David had two Coronations, one in Hebron when he was 30, and one 7 years later in Jerusalem.  Also Ish-Bosheth was crowned around the same time as David's first coronation.  So the Eschatological Week having Coronations in Nisan at it's beginning and ending could be interesting.  Ish-Bosheth could arguably be viewed as a type of the Antichrist.

Jesus also had a Coronation, with a Crown of Thrones, at the end of 69 Weeks.  So perhaps His formal Millennial Coronation will be in Nisan when the Eschatological 7 years are over.

The Karaites also know that the year begins and ends with Nisan.

If The Church and Israel are the same, why does Jesus marry his mother?

I don't feel like making my own study on the usual replacement theology arguments, which revolve largely around Romans 9-11.  But I want to address this aspect of Revelation.

The Woman of Revelation 12:1 is clearly Israel, the Sun, Moon and 12 stars clearly draw on Joseph's dream from Genes 37:9.  And also various Old Testament Prophets speaking of Jerusalem as a woman travailing in childbirth.  So Israel is defined as The Mother of the Man-Child.

Now I mentioned this in one discussion and got "why would Jesus marry his own Body", as if the doctrine of The Church as the Body of Christ proves that we shouldn't be comparing this mystical marriage to the rules and regulations of a real marriage.

I simply responded by referencing Matthew 19:5-6
"For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
So the Lamb's Wife also being his Body fits perfectly.

But a Man marrying his Mother, or anyone who had been married to his Father (Israel is the Wife of Yahweh, married to him at Sinai) violates the Incest restrictions of Leviticus 18:1-20 and Leviticus 20 and Deuteronomy 27.  And Paul alludes to that as still being wrong in 1 Corinthians 5.

The Types in The Hebrew Scriptures also supports there being two symbolic Women.  The Book of Ruth has Naomi and Israel and Ruth as The Church.  Genesis 22-24 has Sarah as Israel and Rebecca as The Church. 

Not all of The Saved are part of The Church

I've already talked a good deal on aspects of this directly relevant to Eschatology in the Post-Trib label.  For the sake of reference I realize I should talk a little bit about the foundation of this Doctrine.

John The Baptist

John 3:25-29
Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.  And they came unto John, and said unto him, "Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him."
John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.  Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, "I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him."  He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled."
John defines himself as not part of The Bride.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:11
" Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
John is not part of The Kingdom, which is The Church we know from the Kingdom parables.

I know people have other interpretations of these verses, but none of them hold up to me.  For the latter they say John isn't part of the Kingdom yet because he isn't Resurrected yet.  But we of The Church are citizens of The Kingdom already even while we're still mortal.  We're simply citizens who are currently residents of Satan's Kingdom.  That is one of the themes of Philippians.

The Church has a promise that the Holy Spirit shall never leave us.

John 14:16-18 " And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."

Romans 8:9 tells us, “…if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” This verse very clearly states that if someone does not have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, then that person is not saved. Therefore, if the Holy Spirit were to leave a believer, that person would have lost the saving relationship with Christ. Yet this is contrary to what the Bible teaches about Eternal Security.  Salvation cannot be lost.

But Old Testament believers lacked this promise.  The Spirit departed from Saul (1 Samuel 16:14), and David feared it might depart from him as we see in Psalm 51:11.  He didn't depart from David however, in this one way David was a prelude of this special promise of The Church.  

The Holy Spirit played a role in Pre-Christian times, but the type of relationship he has with believers now began at Pentecost in Acts 2.

Some might insist this isn't a matter of The Church being unique but simply that things changed at The Cross, and by no means proves there will come a time when things like this will return to how they were before Pentecost.

1 Corinthians 13:8-12 does say the Gifts of the Spirit shall cease "when that which is perfect is come".  However the secessionist argument that that moment is the completion of the Canon has no Biblical support.  Joel 2:28-32 which describes the Church Age condition of The Holy Spirit is also linked to the Sixth Seal.  I personally believe "when that which is perfect is come" refers to The Rapture/Resurrection of The Church, when we are perfected. 1 Corinthians 15:52 "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."  And Paul goes on to elaborate on that.

Sealed in The Holy Spirit

2 Corinthians 1:22 says we are Sealed with The Spirit in our Hearts.  Like how the Law of the New Covenant is now written on our Hearts rather then in Stone.

Ephesians 1:13 "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise".
Ephesians 4:30 " And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

Pre-Tribbers understand the Uniqueness of The Church, but insist we're not in The 70th Week at all.  I laugh when I see Pre-Tribbers and Pre-Wrathers talking about the Trumpet Judgments saying "there are no references to The Church, the only believers are those Sealed (the 144,000) being protected".  But being Sealed is a unique to The Church characteristic.

Paul also said this Sealing lasts until the Day of Redemption.  Revelation 14:3-4 says of the 144,000.  "which were redeemed from the earth.  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb."  Which to me supports the Mid-Trib Rapture.  The Day of Redemption is the Resurrection and Rapture of The Church.

There is a constant debate about if the 144,000 are a literal number or symbolic and simply represents The Church.  It can however be both, a specific group representing the whole.  The whole of the Church still living on Earth during the first half of the 70th Week.

When the Bowls of Wrath are poured out, there are no references to those faithful to God being Sealed.  It's the followers of Satan and the Beast who are Marked.  Every Futurist view but Mid-Trib desires to view the Sealed 144,000 and the Marked as existing at the same time, but no passage in Revelation discuses them at the same time.  Only 14 (which I view as part of the transition from the first half of the 70th Week to the second) mentions them in the same chapter.  But still distinctly different parts.

I proved in the second post I made on this Blog that those beheaded for not taking The Mark aren't part of The Church.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I'm now rethinking the Southern Conjecture.

I've posted a lot on that in the past.  I placed a lot on it really.  But it was Chuck Missler who first introduced me to it, and now he seems to have a new theory.
 http://www.baseinstitute.org/pages/temple/22
I have agreed with all Cornuke's earlier theories.  But I'm not gonna believe this just because it's him however.

Some aspects of it happen to overlap with why I like the Southern Conjecture.  Arguably this could still fit the Muslim Holy sites being the Outer Court trodden under foot by the Gentiles in Revelation 11.

I also think of 1 Kings 11:7, where on a Hill outside of Jerusalem is where Solomon latter built a High Place for Chemosh and Moloch.  Some translations say this Hill was "east of Jerusalem", but the KJV simply says "in the hill that is before Jerusalem".  The current traditional Temple Mount is north of the City of David.  (Udpate: I'm now aware most scholars think that is the Mount of Olives.)

The theory was around before Conruke and Missler recently jumped onto it.  Here is an article critical of it from a site that supports the Al-Kas fountain view.
http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-jerusalem-temple-mount-ophel-gihon-spring.htm
http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-jerusalem-temple-mount-threshing-floor-aqueduct.htm

One aspect of the debate over The Temple's location I feel gets overlooked is this. The Tabernacle David placed The Ark in when he first made Jerusalem his capital is NOT the exact same plot of land The Temple of Solomon was built on.  David did not buy the threshing floor on Mount Moriah until after the Plague following his Census, which was late in his reign after Absalom was dead already.  The Ark remained in that earlier Tabernacle until The Temple was complete.

Another thing over looked from II Samuel 24:23 is that Aruanah was a King.  " All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee."  Wikipedia says that English translations try to obscure or confuse this fact.  But I feel it's apparent enough in the KJV as I just quoted.  So I'm not sure the assumption that this land must be within what David originally conquered is as solid as Cornuke and others think.

Descriptions of the Future Messianic Temple tell us nothing about the Location of Solomon's Temple, or geography as we know it at all.  Ezekiel has a very different Geography for the entire region, and his Temple is miles North of Jerusalem not within it.  I'm attracted to the view that Ezekiel's Temple is actually on on near Shechem or Shiloh.  So it annoys me they spend so much time quoting from the last 9 chapters of Ezekiel and related Prophecies.

And one has to be careful doing a word study of Zion as well.  Zion became very much a poetic name rather then a technical term.  Anytime the borders of Jerusalem grew, that too became Zion.  Then there is the Heavenly Zion of Psalm 48 which will descend as New Jerusalem.

I also feel the Southern Conjecture is consistent with Jesus saying not one Stone would be left.   As the diagrams of it show, the wailing wall in that view is not one of The Temple's wall.

The link I provided critical of this view agrees that the Antonia fortress was built on the Temple mount.  And it was all Roman construction after the Bar Kochba Revolt, when Hadrian's Temple complex was build.

Something else I'm thinking about.  All these debates about the Temple's Ancient Location get brought into theories eschatologically about how the Third Temple which The Man of Sin will desecrate gets built.  But I'm thinking lately, what guarantee is there that Temple will even be built on the accurate place?

Jesus said the Abomination of Desolation will stand in the Holy Place.  Some might insist he wouldn't have worded it that way if it wasn't the authentic site of Solomon's Holy Place.  But the Holy Place is just a title for the innermost sanctum of The Tabernacle originally, which was portable.  It is believed at some point after Solomon it was decreed it can't move again, but as I've said I don't believe the even further future Ezekiel Temple is on the same location.  The 70th Week Temple I believe must stand in Jerusalem, the same city The Two Witnesses will preach from in Revelation 11.  But maybe not exactly where the old ones where located.

And I've seen some theories say the Second Temple wasn't actually on the exact same site as Solomon's.

I'll have to think over this for awhile.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Gates of Hell shall not Prevail against The Church

Matthew 16:18
"I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
 Daniel 7:21 says
"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them"
 This is another argument against Post-Trib, in particular their augment that the mere presence of believers during even the last part of the End Times scenario disproves the idea of a Coming separate from Revelation 19.  And in favor of the Dispensational argument that not all believers are part of The Church.

It's not just Post-Tribbers who have a problem here however.  Pre-Wrathers also insist all or most of those killed by The Beast are Pre-Rapture.

Critics of this way of looking at it may wonder.  "How can the Antichrist's persecution be prevailing against the saints but not the many persecutions The Church has suffered?"

First off it doesn't matter if it makes logical sense to us or not.  This is how The Bible defines things.

But I'd point at that the persecutions against The Church have always only made it grow.  And I believe that will include our persecution during the first half of the 70th Week which Jesus describes happening before The Abomination of Desolation in Matthew 24.  Martyr means Witness, seeing people die for their Faith has only inspired others to accept that Faith.  That is why we have always Prevailed even when they've killed us.

But during the Day of The LORD in Revelation 15-18 most of the world will have accepted The Mark.  And The Beast will control everything, so I really don't even expect the executions during this period to be Public.  So the murders of believers during this period may well not inspire Salvation in anyone else.

Yes Revelation 15:2 tells us these victims did have Victory over the Beast and his Image and his Mark.  But the word for Victory here isn't the same as Prevail in Matthew 16:18, in English or Greek.

There is however in my Mid-SeventiethWeek model a gap of at least three and a half days between the Abomination of Desolation and the Rapture.  The time the Two Witnesses are lying dead in the streets of Jerusalem.  So we do have a brief time for people who are part of The Church to be Martyred by The Beast.  But those Resurrected at the start of The Millennium who were beheaded can't be part of The Church, as I explained in my main anti-PostTrib study.

I also realize some my argue the "gates of hell" doesn't refer to Earthly persecution at all, but only to our victory in Spiritual Warfare.  I do consider Spiritual Warfare important as a Continuationist, and this part of Matthew is also relevant to that.

However it is an inherently UnBiblicla view of Cosmology to view the Demons we're currently battling as coming at us from Hades (the word used in this verse).  Current Hades only holds dead humans.  The hell that was "made for The Devil and his Angels" is Gehenna, the Lake of Fire, and no one has gone there yet.

But if it's accurate to view The Abyss(Bottomless Pit)/Tatraros as a part of Hades.  Then that is where Demons go when we Bind them.  But nothing sent there shall be able to get out until it's unlocked in Revelation 9.  It's in his resurrection that the White Horseman becomes "the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit ".  So yes, during the second half of the 70th Week he is indeed of the "gates of hell".

2 Peter 3, the real Biblical relevence of 2012, the boy who cried wolf

Verses 3-7
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
Many things are foretold here. Including the Uniformitarian scientific heresy, which is the root of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory and all of that stuff. A denial of the both The Creation and The Flood.

But also hinted at is the notion that people will stop taking predictions of the End Coming seriously because people have always been saying the end is about to come. This is one of the reasons the signs of the end are compared to a Woman in Labor, because false alarms happen.

This attitude was emerging already even before the Y2K panic. Skeptics pointing out how Christians have always thought their Generation was going to be the last. The overlooked problem is during most of Church history it was impossible to do that taking the Prophecies literally at face value, with Israel not being a Nation. Now the only factor lacking is The Temple, and once the Rabbis accept that the traditional view of The Temple's location is wrong it can be rebuild immediately.

Before the end of 2011, there was one random Church predicting the Rapture would happen in May. Then when it didn't people starting wearing T-Shirts mocking the whole thing saying "I Survived The Rapture".

So I think 2012 may have been the last straw, the way the hype around that surpassed all the others, and sadly even many Christians jumped into it in-spite of it being based on a Pagan concept. They should have viewed Chris White's 2012 debunking videos on Youtube.

Perhaps the Blood Moon theory is one minor remaining hyped up date setting that has to pass first.  I also recommend Chris White's debunkings of that.

Monday, August 25, 2014

We are not Appointed to Wrath

1 Thessalonians 5:9.
"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ"
It may surprise many people that I didn't even cover this in my main post against Post-Trib. The real difference between Post-Trib and the other major views is how we view the nature of The Church and Israel, and how that overlaps with how we view the sequence of The Resurrection.  But this distinction about Wrath is often cited as a favorite Proof Text on the issue.

To me the Dispensational view of this verse is fairly well backed by Mid-SeventiethWeek arguments.  And the two Pre- views weaken the usefulness of this by misunderstanding just how much of Revelation is the Wrath of God.

By viewing when we're taken out as Between the Trumpets and Bowls, and using parallels between the 7th Trumpet and Revelation 14 to classic Rapture passages to back that up.  The argument that this verse reveals something about the Timing of The Rapture makes sense.  But I can't see a Post-Tribber being impressed by the way Pre-Wrathers presents their chronology, and certainly not by Pre-Tribbers who don't place the Rapture in Revelation at all.

Thing is however, I cannot in all honestly consider the Post-Trib answers to this verse (of which there are two I can think of) completely invalid.

1. It doesn't mean we're not on Earth during the Pouring out of Wrath, but simply that we're protected from the Wrath.

Indeed the first Bowl specifically says it only affects those who take the Mark.  But no such qualifier exists with the other Bowls, and I can't see believers being unaffected by them without explicit divine intervention that Revelation 16 doesn't mention for them.  I believe the First Bowl is directly linked to the mark to show it happens soon after The mark is introduced.

But my interpretation of that is hardly doctrinal proof against that possible Post-Trib view.

2. It's not eschatological at all, Wrath here simply means Hell or The Lake of Fire, God's eternal Anger against Sinners.

On the one hand, being in 1 Thessalonians 5 gives a context linked to The Rapture and End Times.

But on the other, some uses of the word Wrath in non eschatological contexts (even of the more Specific Wrath of God) do support that view.  Particularly John 3:36  "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.".  And they also point out the fuller context of the verse in 1 Thessalonians 5 "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ".

So even though eschatology is in mind a little earlier.  That Post-Trib interpretation of that verse is doctrinally solid.

So those are the only two options I can think of they have.  Unless they break the traditional definition of Post-Trib in some way.

There are actually two completely different Greek words translated Wrath in the New Testament.  Orge (Strong# 3709) and Thumos (Strong# 2372).  Unfortunately my study of them hasn't really revealed any compelling common denominators in how they're used to distinguish between them mystically, at least not one to help the Dispensational case against Post-Trib.  Both are used in Revelation, and both are used with "of God".

Orge is the one used in both 1 Thessalonians 5:9 (every occurrence of Wrath in Thessalonians actually) and John 3:36.  As well as Romans 2:5's reference to the "Day of Wrath".

In Revelation.

 Thumos is the one used every-time you see Wrath in chapter 14-16:1, both when referring to God's Wrath and the "Wrath of her Whoredom" referring to the Whore of Babylon, which also occurs in 18:3.  It's also Thumos used of The Devil's Wrath in 12:12

Revelation 16:19 used both for the "fierceness of his wrath" against Babylon.

But in both Revelation 6 and 11, in the wake of both the Sixth Seal and Seventh Trumpet, Ogre is the word for Wrath used.

I'm afraid I reluctantly (since it doesn't suit my agenda) have to admit we can't solidly build Prophetic doctrine on the references to Wrath.

Now that the "Day of the LORD" refers specifically to the Second Half of Daniel's 70th Week is probably still a more solid argument.  And it's possible link to the "Day of Wrath", which would be a more solid chronological reference to Wrath.

Zephaniah 1:15-18 refers to "the day of the LORD'S wrath".  And 1 Thessalonian 5 also earlier refers to the Day of The Lord.    Both of the only times the NT speaks of a "Day of Wrath" in Romans 2:5 and Revelation 6:17 the Greek word is Ogre.

The Pre-Wrath camp might feel it backs up their view, the Sixth Seal being the only time Revelation mention the Day of Wrath.  But the fact remains that you can't build doctrine on what's said by fallible humans.  Interestingly the book of Job which I point to to make that point also has two references to the "Day of Wrath", in 20:28 and 21:30.  When Joel discuses the Sixth Seal event in 2:28-32 he clearly says this is BEFORE the "Day of he LORD'", not during it or when it starts, but before.

I've created a Facebook group. For discussing The Rapture.

I've created a Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1458364487772970/
For discussing The Rapture.

Update 2016: This group was deleted since it had no activity.  Check out my Virtual House Church instead.

The Seven Kings of Revelation 17(and 13) Part 3: Herodian Dynasty

I shall return now to the assumption that the Angel meant John's own time.  Remembering how I ended my Edom=Rome study.  I've considered, and found some others have as well, that they might be the Herodian dynasty.

In Revelation 13 it also says "upon his heads the name of blasphemy". Herod, which is actually "Herodes" in the Greek texts, derives from the same Greek root word as "hero" and "heroic".  To the Greeks however, Heroes were the Demigods, half human half god beings, or deified humans. So the very meaning of the name of Herod was Blasphemous.  It's also occurred to me that the name could be a masculine form of Hera, after him Herakles(Hercules) was named.

1. Herod The Great, 37-1 B.C. Was the first to have the name and the first to rule as King, being proclaimed King of The Jews (Rex Judearum) by the Roman Senate. He massacred the children of Bethlehem.

2. Herod Archelaus, B.C. 1-6 A.D. Was mentioned at the end of Matthew 2. When he was deposed The Scepter departed from Judah. Babylonian Talmud, Chapter 4, folio 37

3. Herod Antipas, B.C. 1-39 A.D. Beheaded John The Baptist, and mocked Jesus on the day of The Passover.

4. Herod Agrippa I, 37-44 A.D. Only one other then The Great to rule as King of Judea.  Martyred James and tried to kill Peter in Acts 12 which goes on to record his death. And indeed from that account I've considered him more then any other Heordian a type of The Antichrist.

Acts 1220-23

And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country.  And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.  And the people gave a shout, saying, "It is the voice of a god, and not of a man".  And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
This is verified by Josephus in Antiquities of The Jews Chapter 8.
Now when Agrippa had reigned three years over all Judea, he came to the city Cesarea, which was formerly called Strato's Tower; and there he exhibited shows in honor of Caesar, upon his being informed that there was a certain festival celebrated to make vows for his safety. At which festival a great multitude was gotten together of the principal persons, and such as were of dignity through his province. On the second day of which shows he put on a garment made wholly of silver, and of a contexture truly wonderful, and came into the theater early in the morning; at which time the silver of his garment being illuminated by the fresh reflection of the sun's rays upon it, shone out after a surprising manner, and was so resplendent as to spread a horror over those that looked intently upon him; and presently his flatterers cried out, one from one place, and another from another, [though not for his good,] that he was a god; and they added, "Be thou merciful to us; for although we have hitherto reverenced thee only as a man, yet shall we henceforth own thee as superior to mortal nature." Upon this the king did neither rebuke them, nor reject their impious flattery. But as he presently afterward looked up, he saw an owl sitting on a certain rope over his head, and immediately understood that this bird was the messenger of ill tidings, as it had once been the messenger of good tidings to him; and fell into the deepest sorrow. A severe pain also arose in his belly, and began in a most violent manner. He therefore looked upon his friends, and said, "I, whom you call a god, am commanded presently to depart this life; while Providence thus reproves the lying words you just now said to me; and I, who was by you called immortal, am immediately to be hurried away by death. But I am bound to accept of what Providence allots, as it pleases God; for we have by no means lived ill, but in a splendid and happy manner." When he said this, his pain was become violent. Accordingly he was carried into the palace, and the rumor went abroad every where, that he would certainly die in a little time. But the multitude presently sat in sackcloth, with their wives and children, after the law of their country, and besought God for the king's recovery. All places were also full of mourning and lamentation. Now the king rested in a high chamber, and as he saw them below lying prostrate on the ground, he could not himself forbear weeping. And when he had been quite worn out by the pain in his belly for five days, he departed this life, being in the fifty-fourth year of his age, and in the seventh year of his reign;
5. Herod of Chalcis, ???-48 A.D. After the death of Agrippa was given stewardship of The Temple and responsibility for appointing The High Priest.

6. Herod Agrippa II, 48-100 A.D. Took responsibility for The Temple from Herod of Chalcis. Paul was tried before him in Acts where he said "almost you have convinced me to become a christian". Lived for awhile in rumored Incest with his sister Berenice. He was the current Herodian monarch through both Nero and Domitian's reigns.  Died in about 100 A.D.

7 option 1. Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes, Legatus of the Iudaea Province 99-102 A.D. He is not known to have been biologically Herodian, but he happens to have the name, and little is know about his ancestry. He was the last Herodes to govern Judea or Jerusalem.  And he did so for only 3-4 years.

7 option 2. Bar-Kokhba.  Rashi described Bar-Kokhba as "one of the Herodian kings" at the same time as emphasizing his reign was short (two and a half years).  In his commentary on Sanhedrin 93b.

My Genealogy of The Antichrist study documents potential ties between the Herodian dynasty and modern European Royalty through their intermarriages with Roman Aristocracy.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Is Edom now Rome/The West

Rabbinic Judaism for the last two thousand years has called Rome, and from that Europe/The West in general, Edom. Even the United States is included, because we've inherited a great deal of Roman influence in our form of government.

Rarely do Christians inherit this concept, and some that do tie it into British Israelism ideas (the "white" people who aren't Israelite are Edomite). The opposition to it I think is because these Jews also view Christianity as a religion as synonymous with Rome/Edom. But coming from an Independent Baptist or Pentecostal or Hebrew Roots viewpoint, one could easily view paganized Christianity (or Christianized Paganism), who have been very Anti-Semitic as religious Edom. Chiefly the Catholic Church, but also the obscure Old Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican and other Protestant Churches that didn't actually reform much besides breaking with the Papacy. And to an extent also the Orthodox churches and the Mormons, and JWs.

Many Rabbis might argue that it's symbolic or spiritual, and does not require an actual genealogical/biological descent from Esau. But I think that possibility is worth looking at. Britam takes the descent literally, and identifies Edom today mostly with Germany, Italy and less definitively Japan. If you see a certain Axis there, that's not a coincidence.  I think their logic behind seeing Germany as Edom is flawed, Germany is clearly much more culturally linguistically and biologically akin to the tribes they see as Israelite.  I also think that if Italy is Edom then probably so is Spain/Portugal to some extent, and western Mediterranean islands like Malta and Corsica.

One could argue this is a purely extra-Biblical association, but it does have a Biblical basis I'll get to soon. But first, I know many would argue the Genesis 10 origin of Rome should be viewed as Kittim based on Daniel 11:30, where the "Ships of Chittim" refered to Rome's thwarting of Antiochus Epiphanes's designs on Egypt in 168 B.C.

This event took place on the Island of Cyprus (and is sometimes cited as the origin of the expression "draw a line in the sand" because that's what Laenas did). And Bill Cooler in After The Flood Appendix 3 documents that Kittim's original settlement before spreading further west was on Cyrpus and the most ancient names for Cyprus derive from Kittim.
11. Kittim: This is a collective name of a people who are spoken of in the Old Phoenician inscriptions as the kt or kty, and who settled on the island of Cyprus. They were to give their name to the ancient Cypriot city of Kition (modern-day Larnaka). The Romans preserved the name when they named the city Citium, and Josephus gave the name as Cethimus. (Refs: 1DB 3:40-1. JA 1.vi.1. P 1:26)
Elsewhere in Bible Prophecy (like in Isaiah 23 where Alexander's Conquest of Tyre is in mind) Kittim/Chittim is treated as synonymous with the peoples of his father Javan and thus Greece.

Before I get into this however I want to say one more thing. Certain Prophetic references certainly mean the Land of Edom geographically. Particularly Isaiah 63 and Daniel 11:36-45.  But I wouldn't always assume references to specific locations within Edom mean it's to be understood geographically.  Mount Seir for example was Edom's sacred Holy Mountain, their equivalent to Sinai or Zion or Moriah, or for a Pagan analogy Olympus.   If Edom is now Rome then maybe Seir is now Vatican hill?

Now, to get into why I consider this view valid.

Any Biblical Study of Rome ought to begin with Daniel 2 and 7, if you disagree the Fourth Empire is Rome I have a study on that, and I also address those that insist 7 doesn't correlate to 2. But for now, let's start with Daniel 7:11-12 when the Messianic Age begins.
"I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.  As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time."

The first three beasts will be part of the Millennium, one could argue all three are alluded to in other Millennial Age prophecies outside Daniel concerning Assyria, Persia and Javan, though for Persia that's true only with a Post-Millennial interpretation of Ezekiel 38.

The Fourth Beast is not however, it's completely destroyed. Outside Daniel cities are sometimes foretold to never be inhabited again like Babylon.  But a whole nation having it's destiny to be completely cut off is unique to Edom (Obadiah 9&10 and 18) and it's Bastard offshoot Amalek (Numbers 24:20).   Even Sodom is foretold to be restored in Ezekiel 16.  Jeremiah 46-49 also foretells judgment on several nations, but with Edom lacking a promise of restoration.

That Amalek comes from Edom is documented in Genesis 36:12.  Genesis 14's reference to "the land of the Amalekites" is Moses describing that location as his readers would have known it.

I don't believe this means that no descendants of Esau or Amalek will ever be saved and walk the Earth during the Millennium and the New Heaven and New Earth. It simply means that as a national identity Edom will cease to exist.

Isaiah 34 and Ezekiel 35-36 also speak of the future Judgment of Edom as being the last Nation destroyed before the Millennium begins.  Isaiah 63's reference to Edom is possibly further testimony of that.

It's also interesting that in Genesis 36 the earliest Kings of Edom were not a father-son inherited position.  Which is like how the earliest Kings of Rome were from Romulus till the Etruscan dynasty.

One of Rome's major national symbols was an Eagle, and it's from this Roman usage that America and Nazi Germany chose the Eagle as a national symbol as well. People when talking about the Tribe of Dan theories keep citing references from the Targums to support viewing the Eagle as a symbol of Dan.  But The Bible never links Dan with Eagles, however Obadiah 4 and Jeremiah 49:16&22 use an Eagle as a symbol of Edom.  Jeremiah also mention an Eagle here when talking of Moab but form a different angle, the soaring Eagle soars above Moab while it is Edom.  Moab and Amon were also dispersed and I think I agree with the theory that they're now Spain and Portugal.

In the sense that the U.S. is the inheritor of Rome's legacy, it's interesting to look at Obadiah verse 4 "Though thou mount on high as the eagle, and though thy nest be set among the stars, I will bring thee down from thence, saith Jehovah." And remember that the U.S. was the first nation to set foot on another celestial body. And that when we landed on the moon Neal Armstrong said "Houston, the Eagle has landed."

Before I talk briefly on the Hebrew Bible's history of Edom, I want to say I feel some offshoots of Edom traveled to other lands outside Biblical Edom proper long before even the time of Moses. Lots of Esau's sons and grandsons listed in Genesis 36 are never mentioned again, only a few are linked to specific cities, lands, or tribes of Edom that come up later.

The medieval manuscript claiming to be the Book of Jasher I by no means consider a credible source in-spite of it's popularity in some circles.  However I feel it's worth mentioning that it identifies  Zepho/Zephi son of Eliphaz as the grandson of Edom who contributed to Rome's pre-history. But the narrative it uses to explain this is ridiculous to any historically literate scholar.  Ken Johnson takes it seriously though and imagines a made up connection between Zepho and Latin words for Wolf.

Many of my fellow Creationists have considered linking Esau with the Neanderthals. Because of his hairiness being emphasized, and the meaning of the word Edom possibly implying red hair. Meanwhile the Edomites intermarried with the Horites, and Horite is often interpreted to mean "cave dweller". Likewise the same Obadiah and Jeremiah verses that link Edom with an Eagle also talk of them "that dwellest in the clefts of the rock". I believe the Neanderthals inspired the Woodwoses of Celtic/Germanic mythologies, who are often linked to the Roman god Silvanus.

In that context it's interesting to note that a map of sites were Neanderthal remains have been found reveals that almost all of them are within the borders of what would become the Roman Empire at it's greatest extent, and do include cites on the Italian peninsula. And geneticists now believe Neanderthals did intermarry with "normal humans" and have descendants alive today.

The last references in the Historical books of The Bible to the main Edomite nation interacting with Israel all occur in both II Kings and II Chronicles before the reign of Hezekiah. The last reference to the Amalekites chronologically is documented in I Chronicles 4:41-43 where it records them being wiped out by the Simeonites when they conquered the areas around Mt Seir in the time of Hezekiah.

The last reference to Edom in Assyrian inscriptions is during the reign of Esarhaddon (681 – 669 BC). I think it's possible many of them were deported like the Northern Israelites and others Assyria conquered. It'd be interesting if some of the same peoples British Israelim and Franco Israelism and Britam traces back to "The Lost Tribes" are actually of partially Edomite stock.

Psalm 137 and Obadaih are cited as referring to Edom being involved in Jerusalem's destruction in 588 B.C. But the Historical books during this period never mention Edom, they seem to have mostly disappeared generations earlier. Obadaih is a Prophetic book and Psalm 137 is a poem, many Psalms even if not blatantly defined as Prophetic have Prophetic qualities. This could refer to Rome and/or the Idumeans involvement in the 70 A.D. destruction of Jerusalem and The Temple, and the poetic link to Babylon in the Psalm to Rome being one of the many cities where Mystery Babylon has resided until she returns to Shinar (Zachariah 5). People of Idumean descent fought on both sides in the 66-73 A.D. Jewish-Roman war. I'll discus the Idumeans later.

The pre-Aeneas inhabitants of Italy are discussed by Eusebius quoting others.
http://www.attalus.org/translate/eusebius3.html#263
The Aborigines sound a little like they could be Neanderthals to me. Pelasgians were a specific tribe of the pre-Hellenic inhabitants of Greece, often used as a general term for all of them. Julius Pokorny derives Pelasgoi from *pelag-skoi ("flatland-inhabitants"). Which Biblically sounds like Peleg, son of Eber and ancestor of both Jacob and Esau. The Thalassocracies listed by Diodorus and preserved by Eusebius list The Pelasgians as the dominant Sea Power from about 1057-972 B.C. Which happens to be about when Ussher dated the reigns of David and Solomon, and Biblically I consider Ussher correct on the Kingdom period. So maybe these Pelasgians could be Edomites who traveled to Italy.

The Sabine Tribe of Italy are important to Rome's origin, Numa the second King was a Sabine, a number of later individuals claimed descent form Numa.  According to Plutarch the Sabines claimed descent from an ancient Spartan colony.  I discus evidence of a possible Edomite connection for Sparta on my Revised Chronology Blog discussing the Hycsos.

My favorite Christian scholars talking about the Herodian dynasty love to emphasize their "Edomite" status, (which they assume is indisputable) but the New Testament itself never does so.  It doesn't even confirm his presumed Idumean status, it only makes one reference geographically to Idumaea in Mark 3:8. Strangely the NT doesn't discus Edom as a nation at all it would seem, which is odd. Malachi ends the Hebrew Bible setting up the New Testament in a few ways, one by giving a key Prophecy of John The Baptist in 3:1. But perhaps all the talk about Esau also sets up Rome's key role in the New Testament narrative. This same Malachi reference is interestingly alluded to by Paul in his Epistles to The Romans 9-11. Indeed one of the only two NT references to Esau is in the Epistles to The Romans.  And those references are speaking of Esau in a typological sense, which Calvanists don't understand.

Jospehus is our main source on Herod, and he is ultimately a critic of the dynasty, he says Herod was Idumean. Herod's official court historian claimed he descended from Exilarchs, that is easy to write off as propaganda. What we do know for certain is his Paternal Grandfather and Father both first rose to power as governors of Idumea, and that the Hasmoneans had forcibly converted the Idumeans to Judaism under Hyrcanus.

Idumea refers to a geographical region in Greeco-Roman Judah that overlapped mostly with the original allotment of Simeon. It doesn't geographically equate to Edom, places like Seir, Bozrah and Teman where part of the Nebatean kingdom ruled by Aretas, Petra was his capital.

Any time you see Idumea in the KJV of the Old Testament, that was the same Hebrew word always used for Edom, no variant of pronunciation there. The KJV translators were just being arbitrarily selective because of an assumption.

The modern Palestinians being sometimes refereed to as Edomites is also probably because of partial descent from the Idumeans. The Idumeans are not the only aspect of their ancestry of course. They descend from many local populations who converted to Islam (including Samaritans) and Arabs who migrated there after the Islamic conquests. Today Palestinians make up about 75% of Jordan's population, in addition to their settlements in Israel.

Dumah was a son of Ishmael mentioned in Genesis 25.  Bill Cooper in After The Flood Appendix 1 says of them.

59. Dumah: The Assyrians and Babylonians knew Dumah's descendants as the Adammatu. Nabonidus later tells us how he conquered the Adummu. Ptolemy referred to them as the Domatha; and Porphyry recorded their name as the Dumathii. We know them today as the Idumaeans. The name of Dumah is still preserved in the modern Arab city of Dumat-al-Jandal, the erstwhile capital of his tribe (see Map 2.) (Refs: 1DB 1:873-4. NBD 328)
Cooper also records that this tribe had ties to Kedar when he discuses that nation.

So, is the popular Idumeans=Edomites assumption in fact wrong? I firmly thought so, until I read Isaiah 21:11 "The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?". This prophecy goes on to mention other tribes and places, including Tema of Ishmael, Arabia, as well as descendants of Dedan (most likely the Keturite Dedan).

So it might be there was some intermingling between Edom and Dumah.  Or maybe that prophecy from Isaiah just alludes to the fact that those lands would one day be inhabited by Ishmaelites.  Which was the case by NT times.

The Herodian Dynasty also intermingled with Roman Aristocracy, chiefly via Antonius Felix's marriage to Drusilla daughter of Herod Agrippa, and a son and grandson of Alexander who ruled Armenia (as Tigranes V and VI) who obtained Roman citizenship. There are also speculations about the Aristobulus of Romans 16 going to Britan, and Antipas & Antipater being exiled to southern France. And how those might tie into British Israelism and Merovingian-Rex Deus theories.

Some have guessed these intermarriages are the origin of the Rome-Edom connection, but as I've argued there's much more to it then that.

 I think It's interesting actually that the Herodians were an Idumean dynasty given rule of the Holy Land by an Edomite Empire, during The New Testament era.

I discus Edom and Rome's relationship to Yahweh here.

I speculate more on how Edom became Rome here.

One of the Edomite Kings of Genesis 36 was named Samlah.  I've recently wondered is Samlah could be related to the Samnites.  The Samnites were a tribe in ancient Italy, one of many that fought Rome at first but in time become Romans citizens after being annexed by Rome.

They were fighting wars with Rome during the time of Alexander The Great.  The most notable Samnite of that period was Gaius Pontius.  Because of the name many historians think it's probably that Pontius Pilate was a descendant of that Pontius.  So that is interesting, Roman history can perhaps link a Genesis 36 King of Rome to the Roman Prefect who authorized Jesus Crucifixion.

In between those two Pontius, was Lucius Pontius Aquila.  He was one of the killer of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March of 44 BC.  It's also interesting that Aquila is the Latin word for Eagle.  He also owned land near modern Naples, which was arguable within traditional Samnite territory.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Lords Day is The Sabbath not Sunday

First I want to make clear I'm not a Seventh Day Adventist or a member of any any other Sabbath based sect. I do not Support Legalism, Christians are not bound to observe any weekly service, at all. I'm writing this to refute the notion that The New Testament "Lords Day" is Sunday.

Not everyone who believes weekly Sunday worship is Biblical defines it as Sunday supplanting the Sabbath.  Some like Chris White  just define it as the New Testament ordaining weekly Sunday worship as a separate thing from The Sabbath.  I'm making this post in response to any form of suggesting The New Testament ordains weekly Sunday worship.

In The New Testament the term "The Lord's Day" occurs only once. Revelation 1:10 "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet".

We're not told what day of the week this is, or if it's a weekly day at all. Sunday supporters just assume this phrase means something distinct from the Sabbath and therefore it backs up their other reasons for saying The New Testament calls for worship on the First Day of The Week.

But in Matthew 12:8 Jesus said he was the Lord of the Sabbath, and Isaiah 58:13-14 calls the Sabbath, "The LORD's Holy Day". So using Scripture to Interpret Scripture this can only mean the Sabbath.

As far as extra Biblical references go (which don't actually matter to me). The Didache (supposedly the oldest Extra-Biblical Christian writing) also does not say when "The Lord's Day" is, just refers to it. The one quote of Ignatius of Antioch often used in this debate dated to 110 A.D. says in the only surviving Greek text (which is the language he wrote in) "If, then, those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer observing Sabbath, but living according to the Lord's life ...". Clearly not about when or if we should do a weekly observance at all, simply referring to us not being bound by The Law. Some later Latin texts add "The Lord's Day" to this, and some even make clear it's Sunday, but these are clearly latter corruptions.

It's not till the second half of the Second Century A.D. that indisputable references to The Lord's Day being Sunday occur, in texts like the Apocryphal Gospel of Peter, or Acts of Peter, or Acts of Paul, or Acts of John, or Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth in 170 A.D. You might think that sounds sufficiently early, but they're after the Bar Kochba revolt which occurred around about a third of the way into the Second Century. That is when the Church started taking on Anti-Semitic tendencies in response to the persecution of Christians carried out under Bar Kochba, I've written on this elsewhere. I feel this separation of Christian observance from the Sabbath was based solely on that agenda.

Now, for Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2.

The Corinthians reference is to me certainly not about weekly observance. "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." One could argue that Paul expected his Epistle to be read to the congregation on a Sabbath meeting, and that they should then begin saving up this money the very next day.

Acts 20:7 I don't really see as calling for anything. It just says they broke bread together, and then Paul preached.

I personally find the debating that goes own between Protestant and Evangelical denominations on when to observe the "Lord's Supper", should it be Weekly, Monthly or Yearly, and so on to be silly. Jesus told us when in the actual account of the Supper itself "when ye eat". It's not supposed to be an appointed ceremony, it's simply a matter of whenever we eat we remember that Jesus's Body was Broken and his Blood was Shed for us.

And Paul I don't think needed a special day to Preach on either, Preaching is simply what he did.

But another thing about the Acts reference is it's a Translation issue.

If your ability to check the Greek is only via using a Strongs, or a Strongs based Computer Program, then you probably just saw that the two words translated "first day of the week" here are the same every time that phrase is used of The Resurrection of Jesus. But the thing is the Strongs tells us nothing about grammar or word forms. And the word for Week here, even used in this exact same form "Sabbatwn" is also used in contexts that are indisputably about the Sabbath day, like in Acts 13:14 and 16:13 and Colossians 2:16. The Colossians reference BTW clearly implies in context that early Christians were keeping all those observances refereed to.

Almost no English Translations translate this phrase differently, but that doesn't mean the majority can't be wrong. What leads me to support the minority view here is the anomaly that occurs in my Greens Interlinear Bible.

In the Column on the side where the Greens puts things in a way that grammatically works in English, it reads like most translations "The first day of the week". But where the English words are placed under the actual Greek text it reads "on one of the Sabbaths". Reading the whole narrative in context I feel supports that reading.

Acts 20:6-7 "And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. And on one of the Sabbaths, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight."

Being so soon after the Days of Unleavened Bread means this is during the counting of the Omer, the Seven Sabbaths that pass between First fruits and Pentecost. So "one of the Sabbaths" probably means one of those Seven Sabbaths.

Even if we take the KJV at face vale, that it's between First Fruits and Pentecost means it's not a First Day of the Week that wasn't already ordained by the Torah in Leviticus 23.

Likewise The Resurrection and Pentecost were on Sundays because Leviticus 23 ordained them to be, those Sundays being important did not introduce anything new.

I keep hearing that ALL of Jesus post Resurrection appearances were on Sundays from the Evangelical Sunday supporting people.

Besides that it's well known The Ascension was a Thursday being day 40 of the Omer (Acts 1:3).  Most of them aren't clearly dated at all besides ones that occurred on the very Sunday of the Resurrection.  Or what John 20:26 says for the Doubting Thomas incident which mathematically does NOT tell me it was the same Day of the Week as the previews event.  Eight Day would make it at the same day of the week, but after eight days makes it a day later.

When you read through Acts, you'll see Sabbath observances are definitely still kept by Early Christians, even Paul. Even if the word Sabbath isn't used, if Paul is disputing with Jews in a Synagogue, you can infer that it is a Sabbath or a New Moon or a Holy Day. And for this reason it's clear that even the Mars' Hill Sermon was preached on a Sabbath not a Sunday, in Acts 17:16-19.

Ezekiel 45 clearly has the Sabbath still being observed in the Messianic Temple.  And I believe that is the New Heaven and New Earth not The Millennium.

So what day we do a weekly observance is not something to be Dogmatic on. Or even if we do a weekly observance at all.  I'm ultimately against the entire modern definition of what a church is, archaeology shows no church buildings were built till the Third Century. But the evidence both Biblical and Extra-Biblical shows that the first 2 or 3 generations of The Church met on the Jewish Sabbath, not Sunday.

But there is something else I want to note on the Western Sunday worship issue.  I was raised Catholic, and I remember during a catechism class on the Ten Commandments they showed a corny little video about a kid being a stubborn brat for not wanting to wake up early on Sunday morning to go to church.  I felt like the whole being a Day of Rest part of the command was being contradicted by forcing someone to wake up before it came naturally to them.  I didn't say that because I knew they'd just find applying that logic to be outright bizarre.

You see besides just changing what Day we should observe the Sabbath command on, we don't follow the Biblical definition of when a day begins either.  Sunset of the previous day is when the Day begins for Jews.  Jews and Torah observing Christians do their Sabbath worship service after the Sun sets on Friday, they do not worry about waking up early in the morning.  The Priests in The Temple may have had to get up early to make the morning offerings, but their responsibilities were different from most people.  If an additional Synagogue service happened during the daylight hours of The Sabbath, it wasn't first thing after Sunrise.

The Women came to Jesus Tomb early Sunday morning precisely because it wasn't a Sabbath, they came to do something they couldn't do on The Sabbath.  If you want to do a Sunday service based on The Resurrection, when they fond the Tomb Empty isn't the time you should use, but rather much later in the day when Jesus appeared to the Disciples which was at dinner time, or the Road to Emmaus which was a little earlier then that.  The reference to Bread there isn't a coincidence, they keeping the seven day feast of unleavened bread, of which I believe the Resurrection and First Fruits of that years was the third day, the 17th of Nisan.

But now after all that I want to advice my fellow Sabbath advocates not to make the ridiculous "Sunday is because of Sun worship" argument.  As I showed early on there were pre Constantine Christians claiming the Lord's Day was Sunday because of Anti-Semitism.  Constantine probably choose Sun Worhip to try and meld Christianity with because they happened to be worshiping that day already.

Each day of the week has a Pagan god attached to it on secular calendars.  That the Jewish Sabbath is Saturday was used by confused ancient Pagans like Tacitus to argue the Jewish God was actually Saturn.  That the Pilgrimage Feast days all revolved around the Harvest cycle probably would have backed that if he'd been aware of it, with Saturn being the god of the harvest.

Jesus is called by Malachi the Sun of Righteousness, and Genesis 1 says he Sun, Moon and stars were given for times and for seasons.  So I think it's fitting that He rose from the dead at sunrise on Sunday.

The Seven Kings of Revelation 17(and 13) Part 2: Maybe not John's Time

What if the "one is" detail is not as time sensitive as we think? Remember John was taken to Heaven, to God's throne, which means he was taken out of Space-Time.

I think back to my argument against the Bible skeptics interpretation that the author wanted people to think something wrong about when it was written. To a lesser extent that logic applies even to the fact that John is telling the truth, since a detail of the vision seems dependent on the present, and as Futurists/PreMillennials we believe the message was always meant to be understood by future generations, why not date itself? One answer might be that the 6th King had a reign that was so long it'd be nearly impossible to get the identity wrong so long as you have even a basic understanding of the 1st century. But still, it's odd.  And neither Nero or Domitian I'd consider to have had a reign that long.

Now I've seen people actually cite this Prophecy as if the "one is" part is referring to right now, as their citing it. That is certainly poor scholarship and truly amazes me that people do it.  And no they're not doing it in a way where you could say the entire Church Age is within the time allotted to the 6th King.

If you insist that the present in Revelation 17 must be in John's time when John is writing.  Then there verse 11 in proof that that the 8th King was one who died before Revelation was written.

The most attractive view after one considers the option of removing the Seven Kings from John's time is to consider a succession of Kings in the last days. Viewing them perhaps from the POV of the start of the 70th Week, or the midway point, or some other arbitrary event. Presidents of a United States of Europe would be the most popular from the Hal Lindsay/Left Behind style limitations people have these days.

I think the "was is and is not" means the 8th is one of the first 5.

Back when I used to lean towards the Mahdi/Islamic Antichrist view I kept this in mind looking at the Kings of modern Jordan and Iraq.

Jordan's current King, Abdullah II, is the 5th King, and he has 2 sons and 2 daughters.   Abdullah I was assassinated in Jerusalem in the Al-Aqsa Mosque with 3 fatal gunshots to the head and chest. Iraq had 3 Kings, the main current pretender, Prince Ra'ad bin Zeid, would be the 5th hypothetically, and is already a Grandfather as of May 17th 2001.

If some sort of Messiah Ben-Joseph deception is what will happen.  It might be leaders of Israel, or leaders of some Western nation British Israelists identify with Joseph (The US and the UK mainly).  Based on past precedent, when Prince Charles eventually becomes King that would be considered the start of a new dynasty for England.  But if it's not considered that, he'd be the fifth monarch of the current dynasty based on the current official numbering that Considers George V the first because he renamed it.  But more truly accurately either the sixth or seventh.

But perhaps looking before John's time is more logical then looking forward. You see whether Bible skeptics, Preterists, Futurists, Historicalists, or what ever almost all pretty much agree The Beast is basically Rome in some capacity. That understanding is consistent to me in some way with each suggestion I just made to look at.

But when thinking of Rome, to people who lived back then the first thing a succession of Seven Kings would make them think of is the succession of the Pre-Republic Kingdom of Rome founded by Romulus from 753-509 B.C.

According to legend, Romulus mysteriously disappeared in a storm or whirlwind, during or shortly after offering public sacrifice at or near the Quirinal Hill. A "foul suspicion" arises that the Senate, weary of kingly government, and exasperated of late by the imperious deportment of Romulus toward them, had plotted against his life and made him go away, so that they might assume the authority and government into their own hands. This suspicion they sought to turn aside by decreeing divine honors to Romulus, as to one not dead, but translated to a higher condition. And Proculus, a man of note, took oath that he saw Romulus caught up into heaven in his arms and vestments, and heard him, as he ascended, cry out that they should hereafter style him by the name of Quirinus. From Plutarch's Lives. Livy repeats more or less the same story, but shifts the initiative for deification to the people of Rome.

So perhaps the notion of one of the 7 returning possibly came from that legend? the original Roman King in The Mountain myth?  Remus was the twin brother of Romulus but was never King and so isn't one of the 7, but he is in some accounts said to have been killed by a blow to the head with a spade.

It's interesting that in extra Biblical Rabbinic tradition that has developed over the Diaspora, the Anti-Messiah figure who kills Messiah Ben-Ephraim is named Armilus, a name generally agreed to be derived from Romulus. This is generally just assumed to be because he represents Rome/Edom in general, but given what we just observed maybe there is more to it. However I in general suspect that these Extra-Biblical Antichrist figures like Armilus, Dajjal, and Mabus are probably Satan trying to set people up to be distracted by a decoy Antichrist, or a few of them.

Of the second King, Numa Pompilius. Plutarch tells of the early religion of the Romans, that it was imageless and spiritual. He says Numa "forbade the Romans to represent the deity in the form either of man or of beast. Nor was there among them formerly any image or statue of the Divine Being; during the first one hundred and seventy years they built temples, indeed, and other sacred domes, but placed in them no figure of any kind; persuaded that it is impious to represent things Divine by what is perishable, and that we can have no conception of God but by the understanding".

This and other references to Numa that make him seem Monotheistic I tend to cite along with Cicero's Intelligent Design arguments in Nature of The Gods when commentating on Romans 1 where Paul says the Romans were "without excuse" in their rejection of God as Creator.

The third King, Tullus Hostilius was said to be struck by Lighting for neglecting the gods. The fourth Ancus Marcius was a grandson of Numa, and had two sons.

Fifth was Lucius Tarquinius Priscus.
Tarquin is said to have reigned for thirty-eight years. According to legend, the sons of his predecessor, Ancus Marcius, believed that the throne should have been theirs. They arranged the king's assassination, disguised as a riot, during which Tarquin received a fatal blow to the head. However, the queen, Tanaquil, gave out that the king was merely wounded, and took advantage of the confusion to establish Servius Tullius as regent; when the death of Tarquin was confirmed, Tullius became king, in place of Marcius' sons, or those of Tarquin.

Servius Tullius is the sixth, why give John this revelation as if speaking from the POV of his reign? Maybe because he was the first who wasn't Democratically elected. Or perhaps because it was during his reign the 170 years Plutarch says Rome had no Idols ended, (if you interpret that he meant the period as beginning with Numa's reign).

The knowledge that even Classical writers had of Early Rome was very flawed due to the destruction of Roman records when it was sacked by Gauls in 390 B.C. Maybe originally the Edomites who traveled to Italy were attempting to be faithful to the God of their fore fathers, Isaac and Abraham, but their religion was corrupted and diluted over time until they finally fell outright into Idolatry, and it's that spiritual turning point of Rome the Angel is looking at them from?

The Romans did not view Servius badly though, but as the last of their Benevolent Kings.

Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was the Seventh and final King. He had a reign of 26 years, not the longest but at face value would hardly seem to justify "a short space" which is everywhere I've read interpreted to mean a very short reign, like the 2 year reigns of Titus and Nerva. And the Greek text seems to justify that. But maybe it's a matter that only the one yet future from this POV would need to have reign length addressed at all (and indeed he is the only of the 7 with such a clue) and from an Eternal perspective all reigns are short, besides The Messiah's Reign, of which The Thousand Years is merely a prelude.

But perhaps it just refers to him being the only one who didn't reign until he died, since he was expelled from Rome because of his Tyranny and thus the Republic was founded.  His reign was cut short.

Perhaps the "Eight King" is simply about how ultimately Rome returned to Monarchy, whether they wanted to admit it or not. You see the Emperors made a point even in the latter history never to officially call themselves Rex/King.

Or maybe all that is viewed as foreshadowing history of John's own time and/or the End Times.

In light of the possible connection between Edom and Rome, it's interesting that the Genesis 36 succession of Edomite Kings lists as total of 8.  The 8th is a namesake of one of the first 5..  The 6th King is Saul, who happens to share a name with Israel's first King.  And it seems Edom too was an elective monarchy of some sort.

Update August 2016:  I just did a post visiting the possibly of this applying to the Ptolemaic Dynasty.  On the subject of Egypt it could be interesting to note how in the traditional dynasty of the gods Osiris-Set-Horus are the 5th, 6th and 7th kings, meaning another example of the Fifth King being associated with dying and rising again.  I talk about possible history behind that mythology on my Revised Chronology blog.

The Seven Kings of Revelation 17(and 13) Part 1: Caesars of John's Time

Now I want to study who the Seven Kings represented by the Seven heads of the beast are.
Revelation 17:8-11
"The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is......... And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition."
A key issue is whether "of the seven" means he is one of the 7 returning, or just descended from them in some way. I've checked the Greek and the plain reading on it's own supports the latter. It'd have said "one of the Seven" if it meant the former clearly.

But the talk of "was and is not, and shall ascend out of the Abyss" combined with the Mortal Wound healing in Revelation 13 lends circumstantial credence to the former. "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed:" Here it says one of, meaning a specific Head.

Now, most of my favorite Bible teachers are wrong in identifying these kings, they insist that they refer to seven world Empires, four of which are the four Beasts of Daniel, problem is that doesn't work for many reasons, Rome did not truly end it continues today and is being reunited, that's the point of the Fourth Beast prophecy.  There is no following empire, just different balances of power between pieces of Rome (Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Turkey/Ottoman, Syria, Egypt, Iraq/Baghdad).

They typically make Egypt the first world Empire. In Biblical symbolism Egypt represents the Word, that's why Biblical world empires have to conquer both Israel and Egypt. And they make the second Assyria.   Nebuchadnezzar's Empire which we scholarly types today call the "Neo-Babylonian Empire" was defined by Ancient authors like Herodotus and Xenophon as only another phase of the Assyrian Empire.

The Bible defines the fall of Nineveh as just that, Nineveh, not as the whole Civilization. The Dynasty and Capital changed, like happened to Rome many times, but it was the same Kingdom. The Lion with Eagles Wings symbol used of Nebuchadnezzar's Kingdom in Daniel 7 originated as a symbol of Assyria, both secularly and Biblically..

But more importantly the whole context here is clearly implying seven individual kings, one of which is (apparently) contemporary with when John wrote Revelation.

But a variant of the above problem is to make them 7 individual kings scattered throughout history, major kings of each supposed empire, or 7 conquers of Jerusalem, or 7 types of The Antichrist, ect. Those are just silly to me, the point is clearly successive Kings.

 I also believe the grammar of "was, is not and is to come" demands the Eighth King (Antichrist) is one of the first 5.  White's fatal flaw is insisting the 8th must be the 7th, when that not only isn't said in the text but in my view is directly contradicted.  The Present in the context of this prophecy is the 6th King and the 8th is already associated with the past but not the present.  The 6th or 7th or maybe both could be Decoy Antichrists.

Now there are two different views among Christian scholars as to under which Emperor John wrote Revelation, the most popular view is under Domitian, the other is Nero, I favor Domitian because of Ireneaus.

Now remember, John is writing in the reign of the 6th and 2nd to last of the 7, and the 7th is seemingly identified as having a very short reign. So far that can apply to both, Nero was succeeded by Galba (Less then a year) and Domitian by Nerva (About 2 years) both pretty short reigns.

The first 14 Roman Emperors where
Julius-Augustus-Tiberius-Caligula-Claudius-Nero-Galba
Otho-Licinianus-Vitellius-Vespasian-Titus-Domitian-Nerva

But also maybe the very brief reigns of the "year of the four emperors" don't count at all, they where basically usurpers. Perhaps John was starting with the first new Emperor after the Church age began.
Caligula-Claudius-Nero-Vespasian-Titus-Domitian-Nerva
Which would make it possible for Caligula-Nero to be among the relevant 7 either way. Beginning with the first new Ruler after the Crucifixion, and the first Julio-Claudian who was both Julian and Claudian.

So the passage says The Beast is the 8th king, and is "of the seven". The word translated "of" here can also mean "from" or "out of". Could it mean a clone? I used to be very attracted to that theory but not so much anymore.

I will acknowledge that Bible critics believe Revelation was written during Nero's reign but wanted his readers to think it was written during Vespasian's. So they view the 8 as.
Augustus-Tiberius-Caligula-Claudius-Nero-Vespasian-Titus-Domitian
The fallen 5 as the Julio-Claudians, the short 7th as Titus and Domitian being viewed by Christians as a return of Nero. But why didn't the text say at it's beginning "in the ____ year of Vespasian" if he wanted the original readers to think his present time was anytime other then their own?

The view that Nero was the Antichrist was very popular in the early Church.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nero#Christian_tradition
Preterists use this to support their view. But what they forget is what went with that was the belief that Nero didn't actually die but would return. This myth wasn't limited to people that didn't like Nero, fact is Nero was popular with most of the common people of Rome(as well the east) who where hoping he'd come back.  Basically an Ancient Romans form of the King Under the Mountain myth.

Otho had a vague physical resemblance to Nero and tried to present himself as a new Nero. A person pretending to be Nero appeared in 68-69 A.D. in Greece. Another during the reign of Titus 79-81 and was entertained by the Parthians. And a third appeared 20 years after Nero's death during the reign of Domitian, he too had Parthian support.
Tacitus, Histories II.8, Dio, LXVI.19.3, Suetonius, LVII, Tacitus, I.2

Dio Chrysostom (40-115 A.D.), a Greek philosopher and historian, wrote "seeing that even now everybody wishes [Nero] were still alive. And the great majority do believe that he still is, although in a certain sense he has died not once but often along with those who had been firmly convinced that he was still alive."
Dio Chrysostom, Discourse XXI, On Beauty
That predates all known Christian sources on the subject.

According to the Talmud, Nero went to Jerusalem and shot arrows in all four directions. All the arrows landed in the city. He then asked a passing child to repeat the verse he had learned that day. The child responded, "I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel" (Ez. 25,14). Nero became terrified, believing that God wanted the Temple in Jerusalem to be destroyed, but would punish the one to carry it out. Nero said, "He desires to lay waste His House and to lay the blame on me," whereupon he fled and converted to Judaism to avoid such retribution. [Talmud, tractate Gitin 56a-b] Vespasian was then dispatched to put down the rebellion.

The Talmud adds that the sage Reb Meir Baal HaNess, a prominent supporter of the Bar Kokhba rebellion against Roman rule, was a descendant of Nero. There is no other example of the Talmud claiming a prominent Rabbi to be descended from a Gentile ruler.

But back to the Christian viewpoint, Domitian was the 2nd Emperor to persecute Christians, and because of that many Christians at the time thought he was Nero resurrected somehow, or perhaps possessed by the same demon(s).

The Ascension of Isaiah (Second century apocrypha) 4:2 says
"the slayer of his mother, who himself this king, will persecute the plant which the Twelve Apostles of the Beloved have planted. Of the Twelve one will be delivered into his hands."
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/ascension.html
Of the Twelve, Nero's persecution took Peter. The "slayer of his mother" refers to his killing his mother Agrippina. This author might have seen Agrippina as the Whore of Babylon.

The Sibylline Oracles, IV, 119-124; V.137-141; V.361-396 appear to claim that Nero did not really die but fled to Parthia, where he would amass a large army and would return to Rome to destroy it.

Tertullian said
The Goths will conquer Rome and redeem the Christians; but then Nero will appear as the heathen Antichrist, reconquer Rome, and rage against the Christians three years and a half. He will be conquered in turn by the Jewish and real Antichrist from the East, who, after the defeat of Nero and the burning of Rome, will return to Judea, perform false miracles, and be worshipped by the Jews.
This scenario makes Nero a decoy Antichrist. The idea that there may be a Decoy Antichrist is important to the current theories I'm developing. Particularly in my study on the Resurrection of The Antichrist.

Lactantius (310 A.D.) wrote that Nero
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-07/anf07-15.htm
"suddenly disappeared, and even the burial-place of that noxious wild beast was nowhere to be seen. This has led some persons of extravagant imagination to suppose that, having been conveyed to a distant region, he is still reserved alive; and to him they apply the Sibylline verses."
Lactantius, Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died II

Victorinus of Pettau
Now that one of the heads was, as it were, slain to death, and that the stroke of his death was directed, he speaks of Nero. For it is plain that when the cavalry sent by the senate was pursuing him, he himself cut his throat. Him therefore, when raised up, God will send as a worthy king, but worthy in such a way as the Jews merited. And since he is to have another name, He shall also appoint another name, that so the Jews may receive him as if he were the Christ. Says Daniel: “He shall not know the lust of women, although before he was most impure, and he shall know no God of his fathers: for he will not be able to seduce the people of the circumcision, unless he is a judge of the law.” Finally, also, he will recall the saints, not to the worship of idols, but to undertake circumcision, and, if he is able, to seduce any; for he shall so conduct himself as to be called Christ by them.
This one is trying to reconcile viewing Nero as the Antichrist, with the Antisemitic desire to see The antichrist as a Jewish Messiah which popped up following the Bar-Kochba revolt.

In 422 Augustine of Hippo, City of God XX.19.3 said "he now lives in concealment in the vigor of that same age which he had reached when he was believed to have perished, and will live until he is revealed in his own time and restored to his kingdom." Here he was referring to secular belief in Nero's return actually. He goes on to comment on those Christians still believing Nero would be the Antichrist, but he himself rejected that theory.

Some variant manuscripts have 616 as the Number of the beast rather then 666, (but Irenaeus a near contemporary of John knew about these and knew they were wrong). My hunch is the origin of this alternative was people who wanted Caligula to be the Beast (perhaps the earliest Preterists). His legal name Gaius Caesar, is spelled in Greek as Gaios Kaisar. Gaios is 284, and Kaisar is 332. 666 must be the valid one because that has Old Testament precedents. The measurements of the statue in Daniel 3. And 1 Kings 10:14 "Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty six talents of gold".

An Aramaic scroll from Murabba'at, dated to "the second year of Emperor Nero", (Hillers, D. R. (1963). Revelation 13:18 and A Scroll from Murabba'at. BASOR, 170. p. 65.) records the contemporary Aramaic spelling of Nero's name, in 2 forms. Nro Qsr, based on Nero Kaisar, the Greek form. And Nron Qsr, based on the Latin form, Neron Caesar. Aramaic letters are the same as Hebrew, so this allows us to compute the Hebrew numerical value of both names. The former is 616, the latter 666.

Now I feel it's Greek numerical value that should be used to compute the Number, and that doesn't match Nero at all. Since Revelation was in Greek, and 666 parallels Jesus's Greek numerical value, (Iesous=888). But that Nero's name can be made to match both the real number, and the popular alternative, 616, is convenient.

Another historical Detail of Nero often overlooked is what's compelling here. Most Pre-Christian Roman Emperors where cremated, their bodies burned completely leaving only ashes behind. However Nero was an exception, probably the only one. Acte had Nero buried in the Mausoleum of the Domitii Ahenobarbi, in what is now the Villa Borghese (Pincian Hill) area of Rome. What that means is he and he alone of the 14 possible candidates could possibly have remains still around today.

As interesting as all that is, I've come to feel any Romans Emperor view is actually too inherently conjectural. Rome did have way more then 7, and who should be counted as first isn't agreed on. And no single "dynasty" had a whole 7.